Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Coffee and Provocation

Clipnosis is True for Cats, Terriers, and Fox
"Clipnosis," or "pinch-induced behavioral inhibition," (PIBI) is when a small animal is gently scruffed by the back of the neck and lifted. What happens next is fairly universal:  an animal that ceases to flail and that remains calm. As Tony Buffington, a professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Ohio State University notes in an article in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, PIBI is neither a fear nor pain response. The cats' pupils do not dilate – a physiological response seen in fearful animals– and their heart rates do not increase. Nor does their breathing quicken. The cats also remain responsive, so it is not "tonic immobility" of any kind.  Buffington and colleagues conclude that PIBI is likely to have evolved to make it easy for mother cats to carry their kittens -- no doubt why the response is common in other meso-predators whose mothers carry them around in a similar manner.

Zeuterin Has Made it to the New York Times
Zeuterin is a mix of zinc gluconate and arginine that is injected directly into a dog’s testicles, killing the sperm and shutting down the vas deferens. The results are permanent, and the process takes only a few hours, poses little risk compared with surgery, and works in 99.6 percent of dogs.  Zeuterin may be FDA-approved by the end of the year.  This blog first reported on Zeuterin as a new hope for Pit Bulls about 16 months ago, and again earlier this year.

Bad News, Good News:
The bad news is that the Department of Homeland Security and ICE are purchasing 450 million rounds of .40 caliber hollow point bullets.  Far be it from me to ask who they intend to shoot with them!  The good news is that the bullets, made by Federal Cartridge Company, are so defective that the U.S, Government is suing for fraud.

Hacking the War to End All Wars:
During the height of the Cold War, the US military put such an emphasis on a rapid response to an attack on American soil, that to minimize any foreseeable delay in launching a nuclear missile,
they intentionally set the launch codes at every silo in the US to 8 zeroes.

Breakfast for 12 Very Quickly:
I tried this the other day, and it works like new money. Think little quiches.

Delivery and Trade Bikes:
I have an interest in delivery bikes. For any other kinky boots out there, there is this small web site.

Sheep Killers:
Though coyote kill a lot of sheep, fox very rarely do. The number one killer of sheep is this bastard, and it does most of its work in the Spring.

Caged Hens Worry Less:
Life is short and red in tooth and claw, and don't think hens don't know it.  A recent study done at the University of Bristol found that caged hens have fewer injuries, lower mortality, lower stress levels and generally less time spent pecking at each other.  Does that mean hens in a really well-fenced (electricity!) and dog-guarded hen house might not be even happier? No, but most free range chickens don't actually get that kind of protection, which is why predator-induced mortality is so high on so many truly "free range" farms.


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