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Okay, so we all know there are stupid people on the internet. But sometimes we hear about exceptional folks like this guy, who upon being caught with naughty pictures on his computer claimed, "My cat downloaded those!" So far no humans have believed him.
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MJ, we have lived a few houses apart for several years now. I've petted you frequently, and you've rubbed up against me enough that a second cat could be knitted from the fur you've shed onto my pants. It's always nice to see you and I'm happy to stop to pet you, particularly when - as today - you sit on the porch meowing for attention.

But once the petting has started and you're purring, it is not necessary to suddenly leap up into the air as if you have never seen a human before, nor to run in blind panic into the bushes. This only confuses the humans around you.
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Okay, so the Meow Chorus is just silly. But it is funny.
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A while back I noted here that a company called Neuroware (in Japan, naturally) had come out with brainwave controlled cat ears. Now I discover that an American hobbyist has made his own. Apparently there's a real demand for this, at least among some people. I am aware that I know some of these people.

Among other things, this tells me that some SF authors have been much too conservative about what people will get up to as soon as easy cybernetics and/or genetic modifications become available. Once we have a technology, we'll play with it.
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According to an io9 article, a scheme is going down at UMichigan to get a computer to mimic a cat brain. (I'm sure this has been done in science fiction, possibly by an author with the initials C.S.) Having read the article I'm confident that nothing dramatic could possibly go wrong involving emulating the mind of an opportunistic predator and hooking the gadget up to the internet.
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Found here, a page about cats. This appears to be an Arabic textbook teaching English, so I am suddenly less worried about the state of education in North America.
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Wait, that's everyone I know. I got pointed to The Secret Life of Cats, a National Geographic documentary viewable online to anyone willing to put up with the site's slightly quirky video player.

The film examines the predatory behaviour of cats rather more than their other 'secrets' but there's only so much cat life you can cover in an hour. The piles of small dead things are impressive, but it doesn't address how many Mighty Hunters are in the cat population compared to the well known Ambulatory Pillow and Feline Drama Queen types.

It's not to be confused with this study which involved putting tracking systems onto cats, but that report makes a fun read - and the fate of the Stephens Island wren is a memorable factoid.
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Just a few minutes ago I went into the kitchen and discovered that my back window gave me a view of a, TWO raccoons! This is a bit of a surprise when you're only a meter away from them. It seems a mother raccoon and her child have set up base camp under my garden shed, as after getting a good grip on the youngster's scruff she dragged the little fellow underneath it and has not emerged. She could stay down there all summer if she had water and an internet connection.
Of course there's more! )
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I post this knowing that it may not be read by anyone who cares about mad science or cats. *grin*

A recent study of radio tracked cats reveals interesting things about their habits. For example, individual territories vary widely, with feral cats covering much more area than domestic felines. Also, cats spend more time laying around than you might think.

You can read an article or catch a quick Scientific American podcast about it.
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If it's not clear - and why should it be? - those are telephone and data lines serving the local neighborhood. I'm glad I don't need to maintain it.
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A friend of mine pointed out that in Japan you can now buy cat ears. No, not just costume pieces (nor real cat's ears, yuck), but robotic brainwave-reading ears.

Apparently the headband electronics picks up something it can interpret and moves the ears in response. The company, Neurowear claims this is just the first in a line of, um, something. Their website also has this lovely quote:

"People think that our body has limitation, however just imagine if we have organs that doesn’t exist, moreover we can control that new body?"

Is this not the prelude to SF-nal body upgrades?
scott_sanford: (Default) I'm not sure whose car this is.
Read more... )
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YouTube has more than a few videos featuring cats; indeed, delivering Amusing Cat Pictures seems to be one of the core functions of the internet. This one has engineers explaining cats.

Their disclaimer: None of the cats, humans, or engineers were mistreated in the making of this film. They were however, slightly annoyed.

Cat Island

Mar. 19th, 2011 10:32 pm
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Tashirojima, Japan's 'Cat Island,' came through the recent earthquake and tsunami fine. See here or here for news; both include video of way more cats than you really need.
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I stumbled across this cat video and got to thinking... I'm aware cats generally aren't good at mirror self-recognition, but isn't it task focused enough to keep chasing away the other cat? My guess is that it's fought that darn Other Cat before and is used to its cunning tricks.


Feb. 5th, 2011 08:02 pm
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I cannot believe that this video shows an approved app for the iPad. If nothing else, the level of screen protection required must be formidable.

On the other hand, it's right up there with the laser pointer as a cat toy.
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Okay, so I see what happens. What I want to know is how the cat got under the grass in the first place.

If cats can now manufacture and deploy their own ghillie suits, the superiority of the food apes is threatened. Good thing they're still practicing on their own kind.


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