Comment on Rats and Mice: Scientific Heroes by 13yankeesfan

I agree that much of the resentment towards rats simply come from our close proximity to them and the fact that this not true for most other animals. I compared the presence of rats to an annoying little brother, much like your comparison with a roommate. I share some sympathy towards rats as well but I was glad to read that due to their contributions in the lab they can even be thought of as heroes. Obviously lab mice are only a small part of the rat and mice population and I doubt that any good feelings will make the leap from domesticate to wild. I also agree with you stance on the necessity of lab animals towards the benefit of the human species.
I have always wondered if animals in cages or zoos are truly less happy than their wild counterpart. Experimenters do not try to provide mice their natural habitats but they do not have to feel the stress involved in scavenging for food or living in constant fear.

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Comment on Rats, us, and my weak attempt at comedy. by 13yankeesfan

I completely agree that human kind lives closer to rats than any other species, even dogs. I feel like this is the source of our contempt for them because certainly not many people like this fact. It is forced upon us we didn’t choose the rat to be a part of our lives like we did the dog. Haha I like your reference to cats in the internet caused by rats and based on your pie chart we have to be careful. I hope that you made that yourself and it’s not some actual evidence on some crazed website about rats taking over the world. I agree with the fact that some testing of animals is understandable while some is not. Certainties both exist but I would like to see the testing of animals for luxuries like beauty products to stop. I was glad to see in the readings that despite humanist ideals in laboratory experiments, measures are being taken regarding unnecessary pain and terrible living conditions. Honestly, I see little weight in the death of testing mice in the pursuit of knowledge to cure things like cancer. This is obviously an extreme, but in the pursuit of the betterment of humanity some sacrifices have to fall on the shoulders of lab animals.

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Comment on Rats, Mice, and Lovecraft by 13yankeesfan

I agree that these readings lacked opinion especially if you compare them to our previous Bulliet readings. Of the readings, I found that I could confirm or dispute some of Burt’s topics because they came across to me as more opinion than the other two passages. I can’t believe the Mountain of Madness story wasn’t referenced in any of the readings because it applies perfectly. I know this isn’t as academic as your reference but this view reminds me of a scene in Men in Black. In the scene Will Smith comments his pity for an alien race living within a locker to which Tommy Lee Jones opens a cool looking door to show that they too are in a locker in some alien place. This doesn’t really incorporate the ability of rats to inherit the human foothold or humans to inherit the alien foothold but I feel like it is close in that it shows our system can exist on a larger or smaller scale.

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Comment on Dog Sweaters and the Bee by 13yankeesfan

If you never thought of pets as social distinctions then I consider you lucky. All it takes for me to realize this sad truth is an image of Paris Hilton walking around with a tiny dog in her hand in some place a dog shouldn’t even be like a shopping mall. I think people like this just consider the dog a fashion accessory, and the fact that they are able to afford the costs of a dog simply for appearances sake shows a social distinction. I was also interested in acclimatization, but I was confused on exactly what it was until I read your post. This technique does seem obsolete because of our ability to influence genome. I n the reading acclimatization is discussed in regards to zoo animals. Perhaps it still exists because it is a more natural way of keeping wild animals wild.
It seems that the definition of domestication will always vary because of vast different species it is applied to. If the bee truly is not influenced by humans then this would debunk our theory that domestication affects both parties involved. But aren’t bees mysteriously dying or disappearing? Could this be an effect of domestication, although it is obviously not beneficial to the bees?

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Comment on Domestication and Home by 13yankeesfan

I agree that many, if not all our readings discuss different reasons for domestication that don’t include the want for pets. Perhaps domestication comes from the word home because when domestication first appeared, human settlements involved much more cooperation than they do now. In early towns that first demonstrated farming and domestication, a sense of group mentality must have been remained from hunting-gathering times. Early techniques were crude and also required the cooperation of a whole town in order to be successful. What I am getting at is home back then did not compose of an individual self-sustaining house of one family. As we know, early domestication required many people to achieve and maintain, so perhaps back then a home was thought of as the entire community because without the efforts of everyone, survival would not have been possible. So in this sense a group of animals in a fence directly attached to a town could be considered animals in a ‘home’.

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Comment on Bit wear and Prehistory by 13yankeesfan

I was wondering if everyone would be sold by the bit experiment. I too found the study really interesting and I have a lot of faith in the validity of such an experiment. Anthony thoroughly convinced me that a couple millimeters on a thousand year old tooth can tell so much. I feel like he thwarted all possible issues regarding his validity. The only remaining problem that I see is simply the difficulty in obtaining samples.
It seems that written records are favored among many historians. I was really surprised that people were hesitant about using carbon dating at first and would rather rely on some ancient writings instead. I was really interested about the discussion on ancient language but it was short and confusing to me. O agree that it too can be a valuable tool in mapping our past.

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Comment on Food Fundamentals by 13yankeesfan

I was just as bewildered by the origin of archeology as you were. He mentions twice in the reading that archaeology was just the collection of things to move into a museum and nothing more. I can’t believe that no one saw the significance in such an amazing tool right off the bat. Based on the reservations regarding carbon dating it seems that for some reason there will always be trepidation regarding constructing the past. I thought it was funny that some discredited the use of carbon dating because it could be off by 100-500 years. That seems close enough to me.
I didn’t notice any connection between Anthony and Diamond ideas in the reading but that was probably because of the section where Anthony openly discredits Diamond with an example of delayed progress despite similar geography. This does not mean that he did not present some of the same ideals however. It seems like both men agree on the importance of innovation or a technology in shaping the entire culture of a people. I guess the question is where all ancient people able to obtain such a thing or did they not even have a chance.

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Comment on Caging Wolves by 13yankeesfan

I too admit that as humans we would be able to be perfectly adapted to our environment but the article convinced me otherwise. With the trade-offs between adaption and environment it seems impossible to actually be perfectly suited for one’s environment. I agree that wolves played a larger part in their domestication than other domesticates did but I am still cautious with how much credit Derr gives the wolves. Derr makes it seem that humans imposed no will upon wolves in their journey to become the dog which I find hard to believe just because of human nature and our controlling ways. I wish the author discussed wolf culture more but enough was said for me to agree that animals can have a culture. If you were to compare cats and dogs they obviously live by separate ideals, wants and needs which is enough to be classified as culture I believe.

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Comment on A Paleo Lifestyle – Relatively Useful by 13yankeesfan

I found the paleo life style very interesting and unique and I was impressed that you were still able to sympathize with some of the points in the article. As you said, I think it is possible to advocate such a life style without showing “paleofantasies” necessarily. I don’t think anyone would argue the fact that some of the synthetic things out there may not be good for us and a natural approach would be better. With evolution apparently able to occur in a much faster rate than I originally thought it makes sense that animals can be domesticated faster. I think this notion proves that other factors such as evolution play a more vital role in domestication than geography. Is it hard to maintain your diet on a college campus?

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