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Speaking Bonobo

Great Ape Trust of Iowa

This article comes from the Smithsonian and includes a link to a video which vividly portrays Kanzi’s amazing intelligence. Please read this, watch the video and tell me what you think. I guarantee you a New Year’s mind-boggling experience. While I firmly believe that man was made in the image of God and did not spring from a lesser life, God also created other magnificent and highly intelligent creatures. These apes are phenomenal.

Speaking Bonobo

Bonobos have an impressive vocabulary, especially when it comes to snacks

By Paul Raffaele


To better understand bonobo intelligence, I traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, to meet Kanzi, a 26-year-old male bonobo reputedly able to converse with humans. When Kanzi was an infant, American psychologist Sue Savage-Rumbaugh tried to teach his mother, Matata,
to communicate using a keyboard labeled with geometric symbols. Matata never really got the hang of it, but Kanzi—who usually played in the background, seemingly oblivious, during his mother’s teaching sessions—picked up the language.Savage-Rumbaugh and her colleagues kept adding symbols to Kanzi’s keyboard and laminated sheets of paper. First Kanzi used 6 symbols, then 18, finally 348. The symbols refer to familiar objects (yogurt, key, tummy, bowl), favored activities (chase, tickle), and even some concepts considered fairly abstract (now, bad).

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Tagged Into a Meme

I’ve been negligent in my duties of responding to being tagged by iced mocha, but at this moment will redeem myself. Fracas tagged her into a meme and Iced Mocha tagged me.

1. Grab the book closest to you.
2. Open to page 123, go down to the fifth sentence.
3. Post the text of next 3 sentences on your blog.
4. Name of the book and the author.
5. Tag three people.

1. Done

2. Done

3. “When a government institution—the Church Committee on Intelligence, for example—issues a report, which commonly runs to several volumes and to many thousands of pages, the convention is to run with the accompanying press release. No reporter has the time or patience or temperament to wade through those documents. So the conventions exist: either the press release, or the word of two living sources.

4. Gone–The last Days Of The New Yorker Renata Adler

5. I tag The Pattons, Maria and Will

Holidays The World

Once More for Santa Claus

I ask your indulgence for one more Christmas story.

Top draw ... card was delivered with this sketch on the envelope instead of an address

CRAFTY Paul Bates sent a Christmas card to a long-lost pal in this envelope with NO street name, NO town, NO postcode — yet it arrived!

The steel worker, 48, had forgotten the name of the town workmate Peter O’Leary moved to from Neath, South Wales, three years ago.

But he recalled Peter had pointed it out on a map. So he put a dot on a sketch of the South West Peninsula, wrote “somewhere here” and hoped for the best.

Amazingly the card arrived at Peter’s home in Bude, North Cornwall, nine days later — after his postie recognised the name in a local sorting office.

The pals are now back in contact and plan to meet soon. Peter, 48, now a driving instructor, said: “It was very inventive.”

From The Sun

When I read this story, I tried to visualize the person in the post-office who came across this card, and then the postman who on his trek followed the map and found the house and made the Christmas delivery. “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

America Internet Social The World

Kudos! Brazil Orders Shutdown of YouTube Because of Sex Video

I salute the Brazil court for this action.

SAO PAULO, Brazil, Jan 4 (Reuters) – A Brazilian court ordered the popular video sharing service YouTube, a unit of Internet search provider Google Inc. (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile , Research), to be shut down until it removes a celebrity sex video from its site, a judicial clerk said on Thursday.

Daniela Cicarelli, a model and ex-wife of soccer great Ronaldo, sued YouTube after a video of her apparently having sex in shallow water on a beach with her boyfriend was posted to the site.

For days it was the most viewed video in Brazil.

Cicarelli and boyfriend Tato Malzoni filed to force YouTube to take the video down and demanded $116,000 in damages for each day the video remains up. Some copies of the video have been taken off the site but users have reposted it.



The case dragged on for several months before they filed a third suit in December requesting that YouTube be shut down as long as the video is available to users.

The court honored that request on Wednesday, but legal experts say the ruling by the Brazilian court could be difficult to enforce in the United States, where YouTube is based.

Last year, a Brazilian court demanded Google disclose data on local users of its social networking site Orkut who had pages with content supporting racism or child pornography.

Google took down some of those Orkut pages but has said that under U.S. law it could not reveal user data.

Google was not immediately available for comment on Thursday.

America Holidays Patriotism Social The World

And Christmas Cheer Goes On

When I read this beautiful account on Sarah’s Stories, I knew I had found yet another reason to prolong Christmas on my blog. Read it and smile. (I believe the word Mexico here refers to a town in Missouri.)

MEXICO – A Mexico man is enjoying an early Christmas present that was very unexpected.

Ray Heilwagen’s mailbox may not look amazing but its contents were the other day

Ray is an 83-year-old WWII veteran with a story that spans from France to his front lawn.

“We went from November through July without any hot food at all,” said Ray.

During war, a wallet can be a soldier’s most prized possession, chock full of pictures and family memories. Like many other veterans Ray was carrying his wallet on the battlefields of northern France in 1944.

Shortly after D-day, a mortar shell hit him in the leg. The explosion was so powerful it blew him into a river. Ray survived the attack, but somewhere between the battlefield and the tent hospital, he lost his wallet.

Ray spent about a year recovering in hospitals, But when he got out he thought his wallet was gone for good. It wasn’t.

Last month, Ray got a phone call.

“Wanted to know if I’d ever served in France during WWII. I said yeah, and he said did you ever lose a billfold? I said yeah I sure did. It just kind of shocked me,” said Ray.

“I didn’t even know that he lost his wallet so he calls and says that this man that he doesn’t know calls and says he found his wallet from the service some 60 years later,” said Kayla Subrock Ray’s granddaughter.

“And then he went on to tell me that his father was a WWII veteran and he found the wallet but he didn’t know where I was to return it,” said Ray “So, he took it home with him and stuck it in a drawer some place where it’s been for 62 years.”

Decades after Ray lost it on the battlefield the wallet arrived at his house in mint condition. With his original social security card, all his money, and the memories still intact.

“This is a newspaper clipping that my parents sent to the Hannibal Courier Post,” said Ray.

The fact that he got his wallet back after 6 decades is amazing, but so too is the timing. As the Illinois man found it on Veteran’s Day.

“Finding it on that day is so ironic,” said Kayla “That he found his wallet from the service on Veteran’s Day.”

“I couldn’t hardly believe it,” said Ray

Ray earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his efforts in France, and now adds another prized possession from the war.

Ray always knew Veteran’s Day was special, but perhaps this reunion shows just how much. Steve Breitenstein of Illinois used the internet to locate Mr. Heilwagen in Mexico, something his father couldn’t do 60 years ago.

Christianity/Religion Medical/Technical Science & Technology Social The World

Cigarette Smokers Hate The Habit

When Jerry was still a pastor, people would often come into our church bound by the nicotine habit. After they found God, many of them easily rid themselves of their addictions, while others found it extremely difficult. I recall one man in particular who just could not seem to stop smoking, and I believe he probably went to his grave still addicted to cigarettes. Here in this recent article from the Victoria Cancer Council 84 percent of smokers say, “I don’t want to smoke.”

January 03, 2007 07:05am
MORE than four out of five smokers want to give up cigarettes, a study has found.
The figures, compiled by the Cancer Council Victoria, found 84 per cent of smokers were not happy to continue the habit, Quit Victoria executive director Todd Harper said today.

Only 11 per cent of smokers were happy to continue smoking for the rest of their lives.

“That so many smokers are unhappy to continue smoking illustrates not only how addictive cigarettes are, but also how adept the tobacco industry have become at making it hard for smokers to quit,” Mr Harper said.

“We need to be doing all that we can to help people to quit and this means restricting the ability of the tobacco industry to market their deadly product.”

Plain packaging and a ban on point-of-sale tobacco displays were needed to reduce the risk of others taking up the habit and to encourage smokers to quit, Mr Harper said.

“The only way to stamp out aggressive tobacco industry tactics, using the pack as the primary method of promoting their deadly product, is to force the tobacco industry to adopt plain packaging,” he said.

“Along with the removal of the tobacco products currently displayed at the point of sale, often in venues frequented by children, a move to plain packaging would be a significant step forward in reducing the exposure of both smokers and non-smokers to tobacco marketing.”

How about you? Have you ever been addicted to cigarettes? Are you now? Do you wish you could stop smoking? How about people who come into the churches you are associated with? Has it ever been a problem in the church? Any suggestions for those who are addicted to these and other drugs?

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The Brain’s Image of Our Future

Since we’re full of insights and plans for the New Year, I’m sharing an intriguing article that speaks to the way our brain images our future activities. The article originated from the Washington University and was picked up by BBC.

Brain scan

Certain brain areas are active when we think about the future

Brain scans have given US scientists a clue about how we create a mental image of our own future. The Washington University team say that specific areas of the brain are active when thinking about upcoming events.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study could help doctors trying to understand damage inflicted by strokes, injuries or diseases.

The findings tally with damage spotted in the brains of patients who have lost the ability to ‘think ahead’.

Much of our everyday thought depends on our ability to see ourselves partaking in future events

Washington University Researchers

The brain remains the most poorly understood organ of the body, but the use of MRI scans to examine the way they work has taken off in recent years.

The rest of the article is here.