Monday, July 27, 2009

2009 Top Party Schools List Released by Princeton Review
The yearly Princeton Review list of the top party schools in the nation was released on Monday, showing off the top 20 party schools.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cats Do Control Humans, Study Finds - Yahoo! News

Um, I could have told you this! :)  Lilly has me well-trained...

Cats Do Control Humans, Study Finds - Yahoo! News
Posted using ShareThis

If you've ever wondered who's in control, you or your cat, a new study points to the obvious. It's your cat.  Household cats exercise this control with a certain type of urgent-sounding, high-pitched meow, according to the findings.  This meow is actually a purr mixed with a high-pitched cry. While people usually think of cat purring as a sign of happiness, some cats make this purr-cry sound when they want to be fed. The study showed that humans find these mixed calls annoying and difficult to ignore.

"The embedding of a cry within a call that we normally associate with contentment is quite a subtle means of eliciting a response," said Karen McComb of the University of Sussex. "Solicitation purring is probably more acceptable to humans than overt meowing, which is likely to get cats ejected from the bedroom."

They know us
Previous research has shown similarities between cat cries and human infant cries.
McComb suggests that the purr-cry may subtly take advantage of humans' sensitivity to cries they associate with nurturing offspring. Also, including the cry within the purr could make the sound "less harmonic and thus more difficult to habituate to," she said.
McComb got the idea for the study from her experience with her own cat, who would consistently wake her up in the mornings with a very insistent purr. After speaking with other cat owners, she learned that some of their cats also made the same type of call. As a scientist who studies vocal communication in mammals, she decided to investigate the manipulative meow.

Tough to test
Setting up the experiments wasn't easy. While the felines used purr-cries around their familiar owners, they were not eager to make the same cries in front of strangers. So McComb and her team trained cat owners to record their pets' cries - capturing the sounds made by cats when they were seeking food and when they were not. In all, the team collected recordings from 10 different cats.

The researchers then played the cries back for 50 human participants, not all of whom owned cats. They found that humans, even if they had never had a cat themselves, judged the purrs recorded while cats were actively seeking food - the purrs with an embedded, high-pitched cry - as more urgent and less pleasant than those made in other contexts.
When the team re-synthesised the recorded purrs to remove the embedded cry, leaving all else unchanged, the human subjects' urgency ratings for those calls decreased significantly.

McComb said she thinks this cry occurs at a low level in cats' normal purring, "but we think that cats learn to dramatically exaggerate it when it proves effective in generating a response from humans." In fact, not all cats use this form of purring at all, she said, noting that it seems to most often develop in cats that have a one-on-one relationship with their owners rather than those living in large households, where their purrs might be overlooked.

The results were published in the July 14 issue of the journal Current Biology.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Policy Refresher: Commenting on Blonde's I-View

To all my dear readers and followers:
  • First - THANK YOU!  Thank you for following, reading and responding.  It is your voice that keeps me going and keeps Blonde's I-View interesting.
  • Second - This is not an anonymous blog - I tell you who I am - in a pretty detailed 'about me' section for that matter.  I ask that you tell me who you are.  I don't need a bio - just a name.  Doesn't even have to be your real name; it can be your online persona's name.  The more info you are willing to share the better, IMO.  My personal view is that hiding behind the anonymity of the internet is cowardly.  Don't say something on my blog that you wouldn't say to me in real life, looking me in the eye.
  • Third - Not all comments get published.  Comments that cannot curse words, spam, border on or cross the line into defamation, etc or are just plain false will not get published.  It is for these reasons that I have a comment moderation feature in place.
  • Fourth - It is my right to publish or not publish comments - I tend to err on the side of publishing if you are willing to take ownership of your comments; not publishing when you don't.  But I do, as the owner of this blog, reserve the right to not publish a comment for any reason I choose.
  • Fifth - Opposing views to my own do not factor into the decision whether or not to publish comments.
I hope that you will continue to read and interact with Blonde's I-View.   I'd love to hear your thoughts on my policy and about the comment policy you have instituted on your blog!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hayden Christiansen to play 'Sean' Scanlon in Abramoff Scandal Movie

It's not always a great thing when you realize that a movie is being made about people you know (knew) and its going to portray them in a very negative light, despite the fact that that they were involved in major wrong-doing.  But.... when you find out that hottie Hayden Christiansen is going to play them - it sure softens the blow!!!  And, despite his name really being Michael Scanlon most people in these parts called him Sean, so before you criticize me for getting it wrong - I'm giving the caveat as to why I used that name in the post title.

I wonder who will play Brandi?

For more info on the movie: check out IMDB

(Thanks for a good photo of Sean)