Monday, July 13, 2009

Cats 'exploit' humans by purring

Researchers at the University of Sussex have discovered that cats use a "soliciting purr" to overpower their owners and garner attention and food.

Unlike regular purring, this sound incorporates a "cry", with a similar frequency to a human baby's.

The team said cats have "tapped into" a human bias - producing a sound that humans find very difficult to ignore.

Well, I love it when research tells us something we already know: cats manipulate us. Yeah, I know. For heavens sake, chickens manipulate us! All our animals as they come to know us better, try to make us do stuff for them. What I find really the most interesting about this is the fact that animals think we are smart enough to spend time on trying to train us at all!

In an Op-Ed Column in the New York Times I read NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF's opinion of The Best Kids’ Books Ever and started to think about the books that impressed me as a kid. I mostly didn't agree with his choices but then Kristof is a guy-different make-up there so no wonder!
I never liked Laura Ingalls-I liked Caddie Woodlawn. Didn't read Charlotte's Web or the Secret Garden until I was a grown-up. I loved books about magic like the
Half Magic books by Edward Eager, and I dearly loved Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
. Another book that really left an impression as I read it way too young, was Animal Farm- "Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad" reely creepy!

Anyway, what were the books you remember reading? The ones that really left an impression?

Read a review of a new book coming out: a new publication of Sofia Tolstoy's diaries.
What emerges from Sofia's diaries, which span more than 50 years and which are due to be published by Alma Books this October, is a picture of a cruel and difficult man, indifferent to his family, endlessly critical, who forced his wife to breastfeed all 13 of their children despite the agony it caused her.

I always thought he was nasty to her but to hear more about him from Sofia sounds like a fascinating read. I read a wonderful book some years ago about Tolstoy's last couple of months by Jay Parini called The Last Station. We see various portraits of Tolstoy
through a variety of voices: that of his wife, Sofya Andreyevna; of his daughter Sasha; of Valentin Fedorovich Bulgakov, his young secretary who had just been appointed; of Vladimir Grigorevich Chertkov, whom Tolstoy loved as his closest friend and disciple; and of Dushan Petrovich Makovitsky, Tolstoy's doctor. (They had in fact all kept diaries.)

Can't wait to read Sofia in her own words. She wasn't published in full before as she was considered to jealous of her husband! Right...

How lucky to have a considerate husband!
Talk to you later,

The faults of husbands are often caused by the excess virtues of their wives.
Sidonie Gabrielle Claudine Colette


TM said...

Happy Birthday to my favorite blogger!
Much love, TM

Anonymous said...

hi... just dropping by!