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Arts & Culture > Miscellany


Some things I read recently — Only a few animals are known to recognize themselves in a mirror: humans, other great apes, dolphins, elephants, bees, and magpies.

Magpies recognize people fairly well too; they aren’t fooled by changes of clothing or headwear, either. Crows recognize humans somewhat well, and actually hold grudges against humans. They may scold a “bad” human who bothered them by crying loudly at the person. Their offspring and neighbor crows pick up the cry too, and continue scolding the human whenever they see them. Have been noticed doing this to one researcher who caught, tagged, then released some crows… they scolded him for nearly 3 years.

I just read that bees sometimes sleep inside flowers. Now I’m afraid to trim the flowering bushes, if possibly bees are in it all the time and might come out all mad because I woke them up? I had been noticing bees were still around at twilight, so the Rose of Sharon bush has grown huge and ragged.

Being Yankees, we obviously don’t have any Confederate statues in town, but we also won’t be embarrassed by the condescending Stephen Foster statue which was pulled down a few years back. It portrayed the composer sitting grandly while a barefooted black man sat at his feet playing a banjo.

People had started a ritual of rubbing the black man’s toes for luck. They got very shiny. Now he’s gone.

posted on Sept 14, 2020 5:29 PM ()


Putting a drop of catsup (blood) on a great ape's forehead is/was used to test self-awareness--the ape would think he/she's bleeding. I hope that doesn't work with the other species.
As for bees: If you aren't disturbing the hive and they aren't wasps or African bees you should be safe. I wish we had more bees around here. Used to be that you could hear the squash patch buzzing in the morning. It hasn't been that way for a few years now and production is way down because of it.
comment by jjoohhnn on Sept 15, 2020 7:24 AM ()
I once saw a friend's cat (visiting) who looked into a tall mirror and slowly turned around with a quick twist at the end to catch the intruder. I don't know if the kitty knew he was looking at himself.
comment by tealstar on Sept 14, 2020 5:53 PM ()
I guess dogs and cats don't often catch on. Besides mirrors, I love seeing cats reacting to TV animals. Sometimes they react to cartoon animals, even.
reply by drmaus on Sept 14, 2020 8:40 PM ()

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