May 20, 2013
Q: Our dog will sometimes come into the bedroom and be startled at the sight of herself in our mirrored closet doors. Sometimes she'll even bark. Other times she takes no notice of her reflection at all. Does she recognize that it's her? Or think it's another dog? A: The answer is actually a little more complex. In psychology circles, the mirror test is considered an important evaluation of self-awareness in animals and a sign of the normal development of cognitive skills in children.
May 11, 2013 |
Pennsylvania Ballet revived Carnival of the Animals on Thursday at the Academy of Music, and it continues to be a delightful, colorful piece that, like ballet, transforms characters into other beings. Written and narrated on stage by John Lithgow, and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon to music by Camille Saint-Saëns, Carnival is the story of a boy, Oliver Pendleton Percy the Third (the personable Lucas Tischler, notable in winters past as both Fritz and the Nutcracker Prince)
April 12, 2013
THURSDAY they treated me like an animal. OK - I'm an animal every day, and you are, too, so don't be giggling behind your hairless paw. You may think you're something special, but to biologists you are an animal, a mammal to be precise. Yes, yes, you have a really big brain, but most of it you don't use. Yes, yes, you have an opposable thumb, a high order of communication and the ability to theorize, but, really, you're just an animal. Thinking about animals leads to the zoo, and this is a big weekend for the Philadelphia Zoo, America's first.
April 12, 2013 |
AUGUSTA, Ga. - Sumeth Budhraja is a 40-year-old golf nut from Bangkok, a 3-handicap with a nice short game. In October, he won a local tournament at Siam Country Club in Pattaya, a beach resort about 70 miles south of the capital city. He shot 78 in the first flight. Barclays, the international finance monolith, sponsored the tournament. First prize: a trip to the Masters. Budhraja is a Sikh, bearded and pleasant, so proud of his heritage that he not only wore a blue turban on Thursday but also a T-shirt that explained the reasons why he wore it. (Final reason: It makes him look good.)
April 10, 2013 |
The Rutgers basketball scandal bounced into the political arena Monday, with Gov. Christie calling the coach an "animal" even as he disagreed with Democratic calls for hearings and the dismissal of another top official. The Republican governor repeatedly expressed support for Rutgers President Robert Barchi as he fielded more than a dozen questions about the topic in his first appearance before reporters since videos showing Coach Mike Rice throwing basketballs at players and using anti-gay slurs went public last week.
April 10, 2013
By Crystal Miller-Spiegel 'De-extinction," the idea that extinct animals can be brought back through cloning or genetic engineering, has caught the interest of a small group of scientists. The topic graces the cover of this month's National Geographic. Proponents say they are doing it for moral reasons and because we "miss" the extinct animals. They cite human exploitation (e.g. hunting, habitat destruction) for the extinctions, but their plans, though they sound exciting, are exploitation in another form.
April 9, 2013 |
Do animals have a sense of fairness? Do they empathize with another's pain? A few decades ago, such questions would have been dismissed as nonsense. Even today, they'd be rejected by many ethicists who argue that moral reasoning is unique to humans. Frans de Waal begs to differ. He holds that morality springs from our instincts as social animals, not from God, Society, Reason or any other capitalized Higher Being. The Dutch-born primatologist, who will speak at the Free Library of Philadelphia on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., has spent three decades upending our assumptions about the origin of morality.
April 8, 2013 |
The Philadelphia Zoo's new children's area - its largest construction project ever - is a place where sheep have four horns and trained chickens will turn a light on and off. A place where a kid can climb opposite a monkey, watch a bug walk on water, and get eyeball-to-antenna with ants. "It will be a game-changer," said Marina Haynes, curator of the new KidZooU. "Until now, the children's zoos have had a simple focus - the barnyard, the backyard, and pets," she said. The zoo's new $33.3 million children's area, which took nearly two years to build and opens Saturday, is taking a more sophisticated approach.
April 2, 2013 |
The Humane Society of the United States will be offering a one-day seminar for area law enforcement on animal cruelty investigations, the organization announced. The training, through the affiliated Humane Society University, will be on Wednesday at the New Castle County Police Southern Headquarters in Middletown, Del. The course will include information on drafting arrest and search warrants, preparing for prosecution and testifying in court. Animal cruelty laws, including those for dog fighting, are on the books in all 50 states, but are often a low priority for prosecutors, according to the group.
March 26, 2013 |
School buses of drunk college kids are never a good thing. Especially in Old City. That's the message Capt. Brian Korn of the 6th Police District wanted made clear after large crowds of college students arrived at a Market Street lounge in yellow school buses Thursday night. "This lends itself to an 'Animal House' atmosphere, which of course is not a very inviting atmosphere for the non-fraternity type of visitors Old City businesses like to attract," Korn wrote Friday in a e-mail to Graham Copeland, executive director of the Old City Special Service District.