Ravens are probably smarter than your four-year-old


birdsandblooms.com

❝ We’ve long known ravens aren’t your typical bird brain: Myths featuring the wily black bird extend from Aesop’s fables to Native American folklore.

In more recent times, experiments testing the problem-solving capabilities of ravens and their corvid kin, the jays and magpies, have shown these birds have cognition on par with people and some other great apes…

❝ [Swedish researchers] Kabadayi and Osvath designed a series of experiments with five captive birds to see if ravens can plan for an unseen future…

In almost identical experiments on four-year-olds, the ravens were technically more successful in planning ahead…than toddlers.

❝ The researchers also set up an experiment to test the birds’ bartering skills.

They instructed the ravens how to exchange tokens to get their favorite foods at a later time. Again, the birds passed these tests with flying colors over 90 percent of the time.

I admit to being crazy about ravens. That started decades ago watching the genetically-older, bigger versions common to places I spent camping, hill-walking, in Europe and the UK. RTFA for details of the experiments and where this all may lead.

5-year-old brings a loaded gun to school


My preference

❝ A kindergarten student brought a loaded gun to his Pennsylvania elementary school on Monday, school officials confirmed.

The kindergartener entered Pittsburgh Faison K-5 elementary school with a loaded gun in his backpack on Monday and kept the weapon in his locker all day, KDKA reported.

On the bus ride back home, another student alerted the bus driver about the weapon, which prompted the driver to search the boy’s backpack and take the gun…

❝ The district alerted parents about the incident and announced new increased security measures. Beginning on Tuesday, both students and adults will be required to pass through metal detectors, School Spokeswoman Ebony Pugh said.

What, what? You thought we could rely on parents to have enough good sense to keep a 5-year-old from having access to a loaded gun? It is to laugh!

Someday MAGA hats will be shameful secrets, like Klan robes

❝ Donald Trump’s values and beliefs may appear incoherent, but they are not a buffet or à la carte meal from which a person can pick and choose from. Rather, they are a nasty, incestuous knot that cannot be easily untangled. Ultimately, to wear Donald Trump’s MAGA hats or his other regalia is to share and endorse his racism, sexism, nativism, bigotry and anti-social behavior. To utter the words “Make America Great Again” with no sense of irony or foreboding is to announce one’s betrayal of human decency and distrust of democracy.

❝ How do Trump’s MAGA hats and other clothing and slogans help to create a sense of political community for his followers? Is “Make America Great Again” an implicit threat against nonwhites, Muslims and others that he and his followers deem to be a type of enemy Other? Does Trumpism represent larger cultural battles in America about the role of academics, teachers, intellectuals and other experts in public life? Should Trump’s supporters be held morally accountable for their political decision-making and the harm that they are causing to American society?

❝ If you look at the reasons that Trump and his movement actually believe (and often explicitly say) that American is not great any longer, it’s because there’s now too many nonwhite immigrants. America for Trump and his supporters is no longer great because black people have too many rights or there are too many women in the workplace.

Trump and his MAGA hats and slogans and policies are also connected to things like the Muslim ban, building the wall, calling Mexicans rapists and saying the terrorists are crossing into the border among these caravans from Guatemala. The obvious conclusion is hard to escape. It takes a certain kind of willful denial and willful ignorance to wear a MAGA hat and assume that you’re not conveying all those values and beliefs.

RTFA if you need reinforcing arguments for the concept. Actually, if you have the habit of reading science-based articles, verifiable material reality – it’s just one more good source to give to your friends who haven’t the habit.