Showing posts with label Pigs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pigs. Show all posts

Feb 13, 2015

Oxford University Press Guidelines

The news is that Oxford University Press has issued guidelines instructing authors of children’s books to avoid references to pigs, sausage, or anything else that might be construed as porcine for fear of offending Muslims. It has no specific policies issued instructing authors not to offend Christians.

Mar 29, 2013

First Wireless Brain Interface

Researchers at Brown University have created the world’s first wireless brain-computer interfaces, or computer control chips that can be applied directly to your brain. These chip works by broadcasting brain activity as a wireless broadband signal, similar to how a cellphone works.

The scientists tested a series of these 2.2-inch devices by implanting them into the heads of three pigs and three rhesus monkeys for nearly 16 months. The rechargeable wireless brain sensor proved itself by relaying real-time activity from 100 neurons for up to six hours.

Up until now, most of the brain-computer interfaces have been just beneath the patient’s skin and required a wired connection.

The Brown team is working to further miniaturize the device while bumping up the neural data transmission rate beyond 24 Mbps. It is also working to improve the device’s safety and reliability so that it can someday be used for clinical applications in people with movement disabilities.

Dec 7, 2011

Bacon and Boobies

We all like bacon and we all like boobies. For some reason, many years ago man introduced pigs to tiny uninhabited Clipperton Island, about 800 miles off Acapulco Mexico. 

The pigs soon turned feral and began eating the eggs of the nesting Boobie sea birds. A few years ago, Ken Stager came to count the wildlife on Clipperton and brought with him a shotgun to shoot some birds for a museum. Instead, he saw what the pigs were doing to the birds and used his shotgun to kill all the pigs. True story.

Today Clipperton is host to 40,000 Masked Boobies and 20,000 Brown Boobies, among others, but no pigs and no men. Just goes to show you that if that island had been inhabited by man, who is naturally predisposed to bacon, then man, boobies, and pigs would have all lived in peace and harmony.

Jan 13, 2010

Pig in a Poke

It is an offering or deal that is foolishly accepted without being examined first. 'Don't buy a pig in a poke' might seem odd and archaic language. It's true that the phrase is very old, but actually it can be taken literally and remains good advice.

The advice being given is 'don't buy a pig until you have seen it'. In British commercial law it is 'caveat emptor' - Latin for 'let the buyer beware'. This remains the guiding principle of commerce in many countries and supports the view that if you buy something you take responsibility to ensure it is what you intended to buy.

A poke is a sack or bag. It has a French origin as 'poque' and, like several other French words, its a diminutive is formed by adding 'ette' or 'et' - hence 'pocket' really means 'small bag'.

Poke is still in use in several English-speaking countries, notably Scotland and southeastern USA, and describes a type of bag that would be useful for carrying a piglet to market.

A pig that's in a poke might not be a pig. If a merchant tried to cheat by substituting a lower value animal, the trick could be uncovered by letting the 'cat out of the bag'.  Many other European languages have a version of this phrase, with most of them translating into English as a warning not to 'buy a cat in a bag'. The advice has stood the test of time and people have been repeating it for at least five hundred years.

Oct 21, 2009

Pigs Using Mirrors

More pig news from another stupid study. A study of domesticated pigs has found that with some experimenting they can find food based on a reflection in a mirror.

In the study, four pairs of domesticated pigs were allowed to familiarize themselves with a mirror for five hours. The study was conducted at Cambridge University in the U.K. and found that, given a chance to familiarize themselves with a mirror, many pigs can find food based only on its reflection in the mirror. The findings will be published in the journal 'Animal Behaviour'.

After familiarization, each pig was placed in a pen with an angled mirror and a partition, behind which were treats such as apple slices or M&Ms. Seven of the eight pigs immediately looked behind the partition and found the food. A control group of pigs that had never seen a mirror before searched behind the mirror for the food.

A researcher said the study shows pigs have a high degree of assessment awareness, or the ability to use memories and observations to quickly learn to assess a situation and act on it. It is hoped the conditions in which pigs are raised, including overcrowding, which do not meet the needs of the animal, may be improved as a result of the study. Yeh, and maybe pig farmers will also be adding brushes and lipstick in the pig sties. Do you think this proves eating bacon makes you smart?

PS - Did you know the mirrors on motorcycles are called pig spotters?