Dogs are smarter than we give them credit for

Dog lovers have been saying it for years: dogs are smarter than many people give them credit for.

Now, scientists are joining in. Over the past decade, research into canine behavior and intelligence has been blossoming, and a range of experiments have suggested that dogs are capable of surprisingly complex feats of social intelligence and emotional sensitivity. On the whole, psychologist and dog researcher Stanley Coren estimates, the average dog’s intelligence is roughly as sophisticated as a 2.5-year-old baby’s.

So far, research has suggested that dogs can read our cues, show emotional connection to their owners, and even display jealousy. Studies have found that the brightest dogs appear to be capable of learning hundreds of words. It’s likely that these abilities have been shaped by evolution — over thousands of years, we’ve selected those dogs best adapted to live with humans.

The field is still new, however, and researchers keep finding out a surprising amount. “Most labs have historically been invested in rodent and monkey models,” says Gregory Berns, an Emory neuroscientist who conducts MRI research with dogs. “But dogs are unique animals, and I think in many ways they’re one of the best animals for understanding social behaviors.”

Using newer technologies such as MRI as well as carefully designed behavioral experiments, a handful of labs around the world have dug into the dog psyche — and found that they’re much smarter than many people assume.

Dogs can learn hundreds of words…Dogs pay attention to the words of our speech — not just our tone…

Dogs love humans, are good at reading us, and are eager to please us. But that doesn’t mean they know right from wrong. Instead, they simply feel sad when they let us down.

And just like person-to-person interaction, sometimes that’s our fault for presuming what should be an appropriate response – and we’re the ones who are wrong.

Thanks, Helen [and Sheila the dog]

Ted Cruz discovers he’s an idiot deluded by ideology

“This invisible snake protects me from reality”

One day after Ted Cruz told college students in New Hampshire that he had no health insurance because President Barack Obama’s health care law caused the cancellation of his coverage, the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign walked back that assertion…

Contrary to what Cruz, a top contender for the GOP nomination, said on Thursday—”I don’t have health care right now”—it turns out the U.S. senator from Texas and his family appear to be insured after all.

A campaign spokeswoman said Cruz’s insurance policy was indeed cancelled but that he didn’t realize his provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, had automatically transitioned him and his family onto a new policy…

As they do for anyone else whose existing coverage doesn’t meet standards.

Cruz, who is married and has two daughters, attributed his insurance situation to “the suffering that Obamacare has caused.” He told students at Saint Anselm College during a bus tour in New Hampshire that his family was “in the process of finding another policy. I hope by the end of the month we’ll have a policy for our family…”

Cruz is a victim of a favorite Republican mantra: Make Congress follow the same laws it enacts for others. Prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act, the lawmakers and staff members were eligible for the same benefits employees of the federal government received. Now, however, lawmakers and some staff are required enroll in health plans available to other Americans under the law.

As a result, Cruz found himself in a dilemma shared by many constituents: In July 2015, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas said it would end its preferred provider organization (PPO) plans on the individual market at the end of the year and transition to health maintenance organization (HMO) plans…

Blue Cross Blue Shield added, “We’re sharing this information well in advance of the required notification date so that you have plenty of time to research the plan options that best suit your needs.”

Cruz was too busy telling everyone in America what was wrong with helping more folks have access to healthcare that he apparently didn’t get round to reading his mail and noticing what was actually happening to his coverage — instead of what he believed would happen.

Coppers agree with paranoid stoners who made 911 call — they are dumbasses!

Two self-proclaimed “dumbasses” driving high in Idaho with 20 pounds of marijuana called the police on themselves after they got “spooked” about cops following them.

East Idaho News released audio of a 911 call from last year that led to the drug trafficking arrests of Leland Ayala-Doliente, 22, and Holland Sward, 23, who were apparently so high and paranoid they were certain undercover cops were tailing them.

East Idaho News released audio of a 911 call of Leland Ayala-Doliente, who said he was convinced police were following him.

The two young men were traveling from Las Vegas to Montana on 23 January when they became increasingly concerned that they were going to be arrested after crossing the Idaho border, according to police in Rexburg, a city in eastern Idaho.

Eventually, the men decided to speed up the process of their arrest and called cops – politely requesting that they “just end it”.

While pulled over near a gas station and an Applebee’s restaurant, Ayala-Doliente told a confused Madison County dispatcher: “Hi, uh, we’re the two dumbasses that got caught trying to bring some stuff through your border and all your cops are just driving around us like a bunch of jack wagons, and I’d just really would like for you guys to end it. If you could help me out with that, we would like to just get on with it.”

“You got caught doing what?” the dispatcher replied.

“Ahh, God, OK,” Ayala-Doliente continued. “We kind of got spooked here trying to bring some stuff across your Idaho border. … A bunch of your cops are driving around in a bunch of civilian cars not wanting to pick us up. I don’t know what’s the deal.”

He added: “It’s getting cold out here, man. I just want to get warm.”

When police showed up, the men had their hands behind their heads, and Sward told an officer: “We’re surrendering,” according to court records obtained by East Idaho News…

A Rexburg police captain told the news website that no police officers were following them

Folks tell me today’s hybrid weed is outer space-strong compared to what was around BITD for old hippies like me. Cripes, I quit smoking anything in 1958. Only bumped into a little weed like once every 10 years or so. Last time was over 25 years ago at a “wet” opening at a Santa Fe gallery. Think I had 2 tokes and it took me 3 weeks to drive home.

So, I understand that part of the problem. I don’t think I’d go out of my way, though, to bring any attention to myself from the Man.