Dogs, reunited with their owners, cry tears of joy

Dogs literally cry tears of joy when they see their owners after they’ve been away, scientists have found in the first study of its kind that is also totally going to make us cry, too.

Published in the Current Biology journal, this study by Japanese researchers found not only that dogs shed happy tears, but also that the love hormone oxytocin — the same one that causes humans to feel emotional bonds with each other and with animals — may be underlying that mechanism.

Researcher and paper co-writer Takefumi Kikusui of Azabu University in Japan said in a press release about the study that he first began to wonder about oxytocin tears in dogs when his standard poodle gave birth to puppies about six years ago. He noticed then that his dog had tears in her eyes as she nursed the puppies, and has been fascinated by the topic ever since.

My parents bought my first dog for me when I was 5 years old. An Alaskan Husky, his name was Hank. And that’s about all I can put down on this page, right now.

Ireland will be reunited

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — It was meant to be a year of celebration.

But Northern Ireland, created in 1921 when Britain carved six counties out of Ireland’s northeast, is not enjoying its centenary. Its most ardent upholders, the unionists who believe that the place they call “our wee country” is and must forever remain an intrinsic part of the United Kingdom, are in utter disarray. Their largest party has ousted two leaders within a matter of weeks, while an angry minority has taken to the streets waving flags and threatening violence. And the British government, in resolving Brexit, placed a new border in the Irish Sea.

The writing is on the wall. While the process by which Ireland could become unified is complicated and fraught, one thing seems certain: There isn’t going to be a second centenary for Northern Ireland. It might not even last another decade.

One can only hope. And hope it is for a peaceful transition. Sith gun robh so!

Pic of the Day

nina pham & bentley
Click to enlarge

Nurse Nina Pham had a tear-jerking reunion with her dog Bentley Saturday after they both had been declared free of Ebola and released from quarantine.

Bentley was quarantined along with his owner after Pham tested positive for the disease. He has been cared for by Dallas Animal Services and his treatment has been covered mostly through donations. Bentley only had one more step before ending up back in the arms of his owner — a bath.

“I’d like to take a moment to thank people from all around the world who have sent their best wishes and prayers to me and Mr. Bentley,” she told reporters. “I feel like Bentley reentering my life is yet another reminder of hope and encouragement for me moving forward … with my best friend at my side again.”

Pham was released from the hospital on Oct. 24 after being declared Ebola-free.

With all the hysteria, opportunist politicians and mediocre journalism surrounding anyone and anything to do with ebola in America – it’s a pleasure to offer a happy moment. Realism in the midst of insanity.

Burger King Baby reunited with her biological mother

Katheryn Deprill was reunited with her mother Monday, 27 years after the elder woman left her as a newborn in a Burger King bathroom in Allentown, Pa.

The so-called “Burger King Baby” was left at the restaurant just hours after her Sept. 15, 1986 birth, with no note or indication left behind as to the identity of her biological parents.

Deprill launched a search on social media three weeks ago to try to track down her birth mother.

Deprill’s birth mother, who didn’t want to be identified, saw her daughter’s request to meet her and approached an attorney on how to facilitate the meeting. Allentown attorney John Waldron arranged the reunion Monday, the Allentown Morning Call reported.

“It was pure shock to see it was actually her standing there,” Deprill said. “The first thing I got was my hug that I wanted.”

Waldron said Deprill’s birth mother became pregnant when she was raped at age 16 and hid the pregnancy from her family. She gave birth at home when she was 17, and dropped Deprill off at the Burger King knowing someone would find the baby there.

She kissed the baby on the forehead and left,” Waldron said. “She was a kid in high school. Back then, you couldn’t just go to a hospital and drop the baby off, no questions asked.”

A piece of the good that comes from the widely expanded communications we get from the Web.

Siblings separated by 40 years – and 300 yards

A brother and sister who have been reunited after nearly 40 years discovered they had been living only 300 yards from each other.

Ken Whitty, 64, had even walked past his younger sister Yvonne’s house and had seen her in her garden, never knowing they were related.

Mr Whitty and his sister grew up together, but their parents died when they were young and they were placed into the care of a family friend.

They stayed in touch after Mr Whitty left home at 21. But they lost contact when he went to visit her house and found it had been demolished in a slum clearance programme. Both then went their separate ways…

After several failed attempts to contact his sister down the years, Mr Whitty wrote to the Manchester Evening News before Christmas asking for help.

When Mr Whitty’s letter was published he received a telephone call from an old school friend and five minutes later the telephone rang again and the voice said: “Hello, this is Yvonne”.

“It happened just like that”, said Mr Whitty. “I could not believe it.” But he was even more astonished to discover his sister had been living so close to his home in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

Nice tale. Hollywood could figure out how to screw it up; but, they seem to be sorting it out themselves.

The original Microsoft ‘family’

In 1978, when Microsoft was three years old and based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, there were only a dozen people working for the company – compared with the current number of almost 90 000 employees worldwide.

Thirty years on from the taking of the original photograph, the Microsoft staff who worked at Albuquerque were reunited to recreate the photograph.

Wonder what their net worth is, nowadays?