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10,000 ["How to Send a Message 10,000 Years into the Future."]
"This is The Ray Cat Solution:

1. Engineer cats that change colour in response to radiation.

2. Create the culture/legend/history that if your cat changes colour, you should move some place else."



"In the 1980's, a curious project was proposed by two scientists : why not creating a breed of radioactive cats that would change colors when they are next to nuclear waste?

OFFICIAL SELECTION Pariscience 2015 - International Science Film Festival -- This film is on free access - if you like it or if you feel it should be seen, feel free to share it.

THE RAY CAT SOLUTION
Philosophers Françoise Bastide and Paolo Fabbri were part of the Human Interference Task Force, employed by the US Department of Energy and Bechtel Corp at the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository in 1981. Their solution consisted of two steps:

Engineer a cat that changes colour in response to radiation.

Create a culture around this cat, such that if your cat changes colour, you should move someplace else.

This requires a combination of scientific work in biology as well as social sciences and art, and there are many questions to consider:

• How do we actually engineer this cat?
• What are some of the scientific challenges?
• How do we create this culture?
• What types of art are more effective?

and much more..."



"WHAT DOES THE RAY CAT MEAN FOR YOU?
This project is as multi-faceted as it can be. Everyone's expertise and opinions are welcome and encouraged. We are here to challenge each other, ask questions, learn and share knowledge and perspectives with eachother.

SCIENCE
How do we engineer a colour change in response to radiation?
Where do we start and what are the challenges?

ART & DESIGN
How do we send a message 10,000 years into the future?
What types of projects do we need to do in order to create this culture?

POLITICS AND PHILOSOPHY
How is science funded?
What are the regulations and current perspectives on this type of project?
Should ray cats be allowed to exist?"



"SHARE, DISCUSS, CREATE, INVENT
This isn't a project. It is a movement. It doesn't have a particular direction, nor is it meant to. We are starting out with a blank canvas, and many directions we could go. The movement exists simply from those who choose to visit it and contribute.

We encourage creativity, and discussion. Question each other's ideas, inspire new ones, think out of the box and listen to what people have to say. Every mistake made and every question asked is progress.

This movement and process is bigger than the cats. This page also exists as a challenge to artists, scientists and anyone. How provocative are your ideas? Does this project have any less or perhaps more meaning than yours? Are your ideas truly creative and innovative?

There are many questions to answer, and even more questions to ask. We are in our first few years of another ten thousand. If nothing else, we at least have some time.

CONTACT US
Feeling inspired? Want to start a project? Not sure how you can contribute? Write to us at:

info@brico.bio "
cats  bioluminescence  biology  bioengineering  multispecies  radiation  via:vruba  pets  françoisebastide  paolofabbri  color  art  design  science  future 
december 2018 by robertogreco
Couple Share Studio Flat With A Cougar | BEAST BUDDIES - YouTube
"MEET the brave couple that share their home with a playful two-year-old COUGAR. In 2016, Alexandr Dmitriev and his wife, Mariya, decided to adopt a young cougar called Messi and raise him as a house-pet in their small, studio apartment in Penza, Russia. Messi follows a strict grooming routine to ensure he doesn’t make too much of a mess around the house – he gets washed in the bath, has his nails trimmed, his teeth checked and he receives a special brush-down every day. The big cat eats twice a day with a diet consisting of turkey, beef, a bit of chicken breast and some bones. And with a growing social media following of 250,000 on Instagram and more than 2 million views on YouTube, Messi has become a local celebrity.

To follow Messi's journey, visit:
https://www.instagram.com/l_am_puma/
https://www.youtube.com/c/Iampuma "
cougars  cats  animals  multispecies  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  2018  bigcats 
october 2018 by robertogreco
김메주와 고양이들Mejoo and Cats - YouTube
"Told my dad that I am taking care of 4 cats!!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFK8XUa2l_8

"My dad who hates cats finally met the cats."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGpI6v582qg

"My dad who had hated cats, finally ended up having a cat!"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb-UBFYb3_I
cats  korea 
october 2018 by robertogreco
Give Me Shelter Cat Rescue SF en Instagram: “Meet beautiful 💕 FIONA 💕! We rescued her from Contra Costa County. She ended up there because she was abandoned in a feral colony, but she…”
[where we found Sestra]

"Meet beautiful 💕 FIONA 💕! We rescued her from Contra Costa County. She ended up there because she was abandoned in a feral colony, but she is anything but feral. She is a teeny bit shy when she first meets you, but once she knows you she’s an expert muffin maker and a total sweetheart, not to mention completely stunning. She’s in one of her foster homes and only 1 year old. Adopt Fiona!"

[also in this collection: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bky_X_Cn17j/ ]
sestracat  cats 
september 2018 by robertogreco
Kitsune - Wikipedia
"Kitsune (狐, キツネ, IPA: [kitsɯne] (About this sound listen)) is the Japanese word for the fox. Foxes are a common subject of Japanese folklore; in English, kitsune refers to them in this context. Stories depict them as intelligent beings and as possessing paranormal abilities that increase with their age and wisdom. According to Yōkai folklore, all foxes have the ability to shapeshift into human form. While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others—as foxes in folklore often do—other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives.

Foxes and humans lived close together in ancient Japan; this companionship gave rise to legends about the creatures. Kitsune have become closely associated with Inari, a Shinto kami or spirit, and serve as its messengers. This role has reinforced the fox's supernatural significance. The more tails a kitsune has—they may have as many as nine—the older, wiser, and more powerful it is. Because of their potential power and influence, some people make sacrifices to them as to a deity.

Conversely foxes were often seen as "witch animals", especially during the superstitious Edo period (1603–1867), and were goblins who could not be trusted (similar to some badgers and cats).[1]"
foxes  japan  sestracat  myth  myths  mythology  shinto  trickster  folklore  cats  badgers  shapeshifting  companionship  multispecies  morethanhuman  inari  kami  spirits 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Skoffín | A Book of Creatures
"Variations: Skoffin; Skuggabaldur, Finngalkn, Fingal; Urdarköttur, Naköttur; Modyrmi

Skoffin

The Skoffín is one of a complex of Icelandic fox-cat hybrids with a lethal gaze, combining the cunning of the fox with the cruelty of the cat. This group also includes the Skuggabaldur, Urdarköttur, and Modyrmi, all of which are variations on the same theme; they are also linked to the “demon harriers”, foxes sent by sorcerers to maul livestock.

A skoffín is born from the union of a male Arctic fox and a female tabby cat, and resembles both of them. Its gaze is so deadly that everything it looks at dies immediately, without needing to see it. Its exact appearance varies; it may even change color with the seasons like the Arctic fox does. Reports suggest that skoffíns are short-haired, with bald patches of skin throughout.

Skoffín kittens are born with their eyes wide open. If not destroyed immediately, they sink into the ground and emerge after 3 years of maturation. It is therefore imperative to kill sighted kittens before they can disappear into the ground. When a litter of three sighted kittens was born at a farm in Súluholt, they were placed in a tub of urine to prevent their descent into the earth, and were drowned by placing turf on top of them. The entire tub was then tossed onto a pile of manure and hay and set on fire. The mother cat was also killed.

Skoffíns are irredeemably vile and malicious, and satisfy their appetite for destruction by killing humans and livestock alike. They are best shot from a safe distance, ideally with a silver bullet and after having made the sign of the cross in front of the barrel, or having a human knucklebone on the barrel. Hardened sheep dung makes equally effective bullets.

Thankfully, skoffíns are not immune to their own gaze. An encounter between two skoffíns will lead to the death of both of them. As with basilisks, mirrors are their bane. Once a skoffín stationed itself on the roof of a church, and the parishioners started dropping dead as they left the building. The deacon understood what was going on, and had the rest of the congregation wait inside while he tied a mirror to a long pole and extended it outside to the roof. After a few minutes he gave the all-clear, and they were able to leave the church safely, as the skoffín had perished immediately upon seeing its reflection.

Eventually, confusion with the basilisk of the mainland muddled the skoffín’s image, leading to some accounts claiming it was hatched from a rooster’s egg.

The skuggabaldur (“shadow baldur”) or finngalkn has the same parentage as the skoffín, but is born of a tomcat and a vixen. It has very dark fur shading to black, sometimes has a deadly gaze, and preys on livestock. It may be killed in the same way as the skoffín. One particularly destructive skuggabaldur in Húnavatnssýslur was tracked down and killed in a canyon; with its last breath, it exhorted its killers to inform the cat at Bollastadir of its death. When a man repeated that incident at a Bollastadir farm, a tomcat – no doubt the skuggabaldur’s father – jumped at him and sank its teeth and claws into his throat. It had to be decapitated to release its hold, but by then the man was dead.

The urdarköttur (“ghoul cat”) or naköttur (“corpse cat”) is of less certain parentage. It may be a hybrid, but other accounts state that any cat that goes feral in Iceland eventually becomes an urdarköttur, and all-white kittens born with their eyes open will sink into the ground and re-emerge after three years in this form. Shaggy, white or black furred, growing up to the size of an ox, these felines kill indiscriminately and dig up corpses in graveyards. It may be killed in the same way, and is attached to the same story as the Bollastadir cat. Gryla’s pet, the Yule Cat, is most likely an urdarköttur.

The modyrmi (“hay wormling”) is a canine variant, created when puppies born with their eyes open sink into the ground and reappear after three years as wretched, virulent monsters. The specifics are the same as with the skoffín.

References

Boucher, A. (1994) Elves and Stories of Trolls and Elemental Beings. Iceland Review, Reykjavik.

Hermansson, H. (1924) Jon Gudmundsson and his Natural History of Iceland. Islandica, Cornell University Library, Ithaca.

Hlidberg, J. B. and Aegisson, S.; McQueen, F. J. M. and Kjartansson, R., trans. (2011) Meeting with Monsters. JPV utgafa, Reykjavik.

Stefánsson, V. (1906) Icelandic Beast and Bird Lore. The Journal of American Folklore, vol. 19, no. 75, pp. 300-308."
cats  foxes  animals  multispecies  morethanhuman  sestracat  iceland  hybrids  skoffín  skuggabaldur 
august 2018 by robertogreco
KitTea
"KitTea is the first cat cafe in San Francisco and the first cat cafe established in the nation! We're a unique cafe experience dedicated to enriching the interactions between humans and felines in a relaxing environment. Slow down, sip some tea, and support rescue cats.

We provide high-quality care to our permanent resident rescue felines and work with local cat rescues, including San Francisco's Animal Care and Control, Toni's Kitty Rescue, and Wonder Cat Rescue to find our featured adoptable cat(s) a forever home at each cat's own pace. Whenever possible, we go outside of the area to shelters where the kitties would otherwise be put down."

[See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aak1ARFmvc ]
cats  classideas  animals  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  multispecies  tea  restaurants  pets  morethanhuman  sanfrancisco  teahouses 
may 2018 by robertogreco
On the Blackness of the Panther – Member Feature Stories – Medium
"At least once a day, I think: “another world is possible.” There’s life yet in our dreams. The pan-African political project is still alive. The memory of whatever was good in the Bandung Conference or the Organization of African Unity still makes the heart race. Flashes of common cause among the Darker Nations can be illuminating and sustaining. But “Africa” as trope and trap, backdrop and background, interests me ever less.

I am more fascinated by Nairobi than by Africa, just as I am more intrigued by Milan than by Europe. The general is where solidarity begins, but the specific is where our lives come into proper view. I don’t want to hear “Africa” unless it’s a context in which someone would also say “Asia” or “Europe.” Ever notice how real Paris is? That’s how real I need Lagos to be. Folks can talk about Paris all day without once generalizing about Europe. I want to talk about Lagos, I don’t want to talk about Africa. I want to hear someone speaking Yoruba, Ewe, Tiv, or Lingala. “African” is not a language. I want to know if a plane is going to the Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport. You can’t go to “Africa,” fam. Africa is almost twelve million square miles. I want to be particular about being particular about what we are talking about when we talk about Africa.

* * *

I grew up with black presidents, black generals, black kings, black heroes, both invented and real, black thieves too, black fools. It was Nigeria, biggest black nation on earth. I shared a city with Fela Kuti for seventeen years. Everyone was black! I’ve seen so many black people my retina’s black.

But, against the high gloss white of anti-black America, blackness visible is a relief and a riot. That is something you learn when you learn black. Marvel? Disney? Please. I won’t belabor the obvious. But black visibility, black enthusiasm (in a time of death), black spectatorship, and black skepticism: where we meet is where we meet.

Going on twenty six years now. I learned African and am mostly over it. But what is that obdurate and versatile substance formed by tremendous pressure? What is “vibranium”? Too simple to think of it as a metal, and tie it to resource curses. Could it be something less palpable, could it be a stand-in for blackness itself, blackness as an embodied riposte to anti-blackness, a quintessence of mystery, resilience, self-containedness, and irreducibility?

Escape! I would rather be in the wild. I would rather be in a civilization of my own making, bizarre, contrary, as vain as the whites, exterior to their logic. I’m always scoping the exits. Drapetomania, they called it, in Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race (1851), the irrepressible desire in certain slaves to run away.

* * *

Ten years pass and I still dream about that cat. The eyes slide open, an image enters. Where are you now, Mirabai? Euthanized years ago by the animal shelter? Or successfully adopted and now gracefully aging in some home in Brooklyn? With people, young or old, merciful and just? Dream cat, leaping up to meet me."
tejucole  2018  blackpanther  africa  culture  race  film  blackness  identity  cats  animals  knowledge  racism  zoos  capitalism  monarchism  rainermariarilke  switzerland  colonialism  tonimorrison  lagos  nigeria  immigration  edwardsnow  eusébiodasilvaferreira 
march 2018 by robertogreco
The CIA’s Most Highly-Trained Spies Weren’t Even Human | History | Smithsonian
"As a former trainer reveals, the U.S. government deployed nonhuman operatives—ravens, pigeons, even cats—to spy on cold war adversaries"
morethanhuman  multispecies  cats  pigeons  ravens  corvids  birds  animals  cia  2013  foreden 
february 2018 by robertogreco
These photos show some unexpected friendships between humans and their animals - The Washington Post
"Over the summer, The Washington Post partnered with Visura in an open call for submissions of photo essays. The Post selected three winners out of more than 200 submissions. We are presenting the second winner today here on In Sight — Diana Bagnoli and her work “Animal Lover.”

Bagnoli is an Italian freelance photographer based in Turin and has always loved and lived with animals. What started as a personal project in her free time has blossomed into an award-winning personal series.

“I wanted to explore the special relationship that people establish with what I would call ‘unusual pets.’ I had a feeling that I would discover interesting situations and be able to document how someone can be involved in a different kind of friendship,” she said.

Bagnoli finds her subjects in the countryside near her home town in northern Italy. She visits animal sanctuaries, meets animal activists and finds everyday animal lovers, each with a unique story and special connection.

“One man entered in a factory with a balaclava in the middle of the night to save a pig, and another one explained to me how he deeply loves toads because he’s so proud of their survivor spirit,” Bagnoli said.

She photographs her subjects where they are most comfortable, at their homes. She chooses a location that might yield an interesting interaction and show the animal’s connection to the world of the humans who care for them. Bagnoli says her subjects are always happy to share their stories and how passionate they are about their animals.

She recently started a new chapter of her series dedicated to insect lovers. She discovered an unexpectedly large community of people who bred insects or had them as pets. She found them to have an even more personal and tender relationship with their insects, valuing their beauty, character and how important they are to the planet. Her most unusual subject so far is Andrea Bonifazi and his stick insect, Phasmid. Andrea has bred stick insects for 10 years and spends most of his free time observing them.

“They’re like a living book, it’s enough to watch them to understand how their world works,” he said.

Bagnoli learned that pigs squeal quite loudly when they are not coddled and that Alpacas are faithful companions, but most of all that the animals she photographed sought affection and companionship from their humans and vice versa. She is not sure that her series has changed perceptions about our relationships with animals, but she hopes it will."
multispecies  animals  human-animalrelationships  human-animalrelations  photography  2017  geese  alpacaspigs  sheep  bees  turtles  rabbits  cats  butterflies  insects  chickens  classideas  donkeys  goats  snakes  birds  via:anne  dianabagnoli  italy  italia 
november 2017 by robertogreco
The Dodo on Twitter: "This little kitten was adopted because his very special siblings needed him 😻 https://t.co/GaWtyadTqA"
"This little kitten was adopted because his very special siblings needed him 😻

Wobbly Kitten Loves His New Siblings
Special thanks to North Shore Animal League America for helping Blossom find her forever home: http://thedo.do/nsala."
cats  pets  disability  2017  animals  disabilities 
august 2017 by robertogreco
The Wild Dogs of Istanbul | The Smart Set
"No, you’d rather not cuddle with them. They seem a little too unpredictable and unkempt for that. And it’s not tempting to project human characteristics on them either. But it is easy to feel sorry for some of them, who bear traces of injuries, disease, and accidents. Most resemble one another: large, with a light-brown, sometimes darker coat. Some have short legs paired with unusually large bodies. Despite their scars, the wild dogs of Istanbul seem self-sufficient and untroubled, as if no one could mean them any harm. You can find them everywhere: between parked cars or, early in the morning, under the chairs in front of the Starbucks on Taksim Square. Often they just lie there and doze. Are they recovering from last night’s activities? Most people don’t seem bothered by them, but it’s obvious that some, a little uncertain, take pains to avoid them. But they are not to be made fun of because of that.

The dogs’ presence in this metropolis is not entirely without problems. Some of the animals are said to be so smart they understand traffic lights, but more often they cross streets in front of terrified drivers, keep residents awake with their barking, or even attack someone. In fact, I have myself observed an incident in my neighborhood Tarlabası, where a young man was literally chased by two dogs. He fell to the ground and dragged himself into a barbershop. It was painful to watch, but it all happened so quickly that one couldn’t really intervene; besides, how would one disperse the dogs without any adequate stick or tool? I don’t know what exactly preceded the incident, why the dogs had attacked the man in the first place. These attacks, however, happen far less often than one might expect, considering the dogs’ constant presence. No reliable count exists, but according to estimates, the dogs number about a hundred thousand. When you come to Istanbul, you will see that this doesn’t sound like an exaggeration.

The dogs’ position is a strange one: They are used to having people around, and even depend on them, but they don’t live directly together with humans. Behavioral scientist Konrad Lorenz, who once wrote about Istanbul’s stray dogs, observed that they carefully avoid loose small hens and newborn sheep — a lesson they learned in order to survive. Instead, they feed themselves in two ways. First, residents in the poorer sections of the city often put their trash bags out in front of their houses, where dogs and cats plunder them before trash trucks cart off the remaining piles in the early morning. But more and more metal trash cans are popping up, and their content is inaccessible, at least for dogs. Second, many people follow a custom (unfamiliar to Western observers) of more or less adopting a dog and regularly feeding it, without bringing it into their homes. Some people even make beds out of cardboard that become a dog’s regular spot in front of the house. Animals in these relationships are not full-fledged pets, but they are not complete strays either. In any case, their uncommitted “owners” never take them for walks. This reluctance to take in the animals can’t really be due to the size of the apartments; in a society where the single lifestyle is practically unknown, almost all residences are designed for families, and rarely measure less than 80 square meters. So what is the reason?

In Turkey, relationships to dogs are complex. In his novel My Name Is Red, Orhan Pamuk enters the mind of dog and asks himself about the origins of mankind’s enmity:
Why do you believe that those who touch us spoil their ablutions? If your caftan brushes against our damp fur, why do you insist on washing that caftan seven times like a frenzied woman? Only tinsmiths could be responsible for the slander that a pot licked by a dog must be thrown away or retinned. Or perhaps, yes, cats…

Although there is no clear basis for this belief in the Koran, strict Muslims consider dogs — especially their drool — to be unclean. People don’t let the animals into their homes because they could dirty the prayer rug and because, even today, little tradition exists of keeping dogs as pets. Furthermore, a common belief holds that köpekler, as dogs are called, prevent angels from visiting. Not all Turks share these views. In parts of Istanbul influenced by the West, all sorts of purebred dogs can be found, including traditional fighting breeds. In these cases, dogs are highly desirable status symbols, and many stores sell pet supplies. However, problems with religious neighbors disturbed by the presence of dogs can arise. “Many people want a dog, but don‘t know how to go about it,” says Bilge Okay of the dog protection society SHKD, which works toward better treatment of the animals.

Although keeping pets in this way is a very recent development, the breeding of dogs has a long tradition in the region. One of the oldest pieces of evidence for the domestication of dogs at all comes from Çayönü — in eastern Turkey, near the border with Syria –— from approximately 12,000 years ago. Well-known breeds like the Kangal, a very large shorthair, come to mind as well. Kangals were herd dogs used by Anatolian shepherds even before Islam spread throughout the region; they were associated with one of the 12 months of the year. But back to the wild dogs of Istanbul. Their presence in the city stretches far back, but their origins are the matter of legend: Do they hail from Turkmenistan? Did they arrive with the troops of the conqueror Mehmed II in the 15th century? Wherever their roots may lie, they have been an established part of the city for centuries, skulking in the shadows of the buildings.

Accounts of travelers — sometimes baffled, sometimes disconcerted or frightened — rarely fail to mention the dogs. In the 17th century, Jean de Thévenot noted that rich citizens of Istanbul bequeathed their fortunes to the city’s dogs to ensure their continued presence. And his contemporary Joseph Pitton de Tournefort heard from butchers who sold meat specially intended for feeding the dogs. He also saw how the city’s residents treated the animals’ wounds and prepared straw mats and even small doghouses for their canine neighbors. No less an establishment than the legendary Pera Palas, the best hotel, cared for the dogs and fed them regularly. Edmondo De Amicis, an Italian traveler whose book Constantinople records his impressions of the city in the mid-19th century, went so far as to describe Istanbul as a “giant kennel.” And Grigor Yakob Basmajean, an Orientalist born in Edirne, claimed in 1890 that no other city in the world had as many dogs as the metropolis on the Bosporus. The dogs were so omnipresent that streetcar employees had to drive them from the tracks with long sticks so the horse-drawn wagons could pass through. Passers-by could often stop to watch them fighting with one another. Their howling could be heard all night; there were so many dogs that their voices blended into a constant sound “like the quaking of frogs in the distance,” as one observer vividly described. It sounds like the dogs, not the authorities, set the tone. In popular shadow-puppet plays, dogs were compared to the poor.

Dealings with canines were always marked by ambivalence. Although dogs formed part of a romantic cityscape, caricatures from the Ottoman period depict them as threats to be stopped, along with cholera, crime, and women in European clothing. Again and again, attempts were made to catch them and remove them from the city. In the late 19th century, Sultan Abdülaziz decreed that the dogs should be rounded up and deported to Hayirsiz, an island of barren, steep cliffs in the Marmara Sea. Sivriada, a tiny island to which Byzantine rulers once banned criminals, made headlines in 1911 when the governor of Istanbul released tens of thousands of dogs there. A yellowed postcard shows hundreds of dogs on the beach; their voices could be heard even at great distances. However, an earthquake that occurred shortly thereafter was taken as a sign of God’s displeasure, and the dogs were brought back.

Attempts to stem the plague of dogs in the city continued, with more or less success. Their presence was always seen as a sign that the city could not impose order and guarantee the safety of residents. Cities like New York and Paris, where the problem was under control, became role models. Shortly after the revolution, Mary Mills Patrick, an American who taught at Istanbul’s Women’s College, thanked the new Turkish regime for its efforts in this area; after all, a civilized city was no place for packs of dogs. But even in the decades that followed, the dogs never completely disappeared. Occasional efforts to eliminate them were seen as acts of barbarism. Until 2004, when a law to protect the animals was finally passed, meatballs laced with strychnine were not uncommon. But today such draconian measures are things of the past.

Real change will only come once new solutions for the city’s trash problem are found and garbage is no longer simply placed on the curb, as it is in many neighborhoods today. Then things will be tough for the dogs. Animal protection activists today call for a concerted effort to catch the dogs, vaccinate them against rabies, sterilize them, and tag them before releasing them back into their territory. The World Health Organization also recommends this strategy. But gray areas exist in how authorities deal with the problem. Animal advocates claim that inexperienced veterinarians pack the neutered dogs into overcrowded cages, load them into trucks, and dump them in Belgrade Forest, about 10 miles northeast of the city near the Black Sea coast. There, the dogs are often attacked by wild animals or starve. “In the end, it would be better to put the animals to sleep than to release them in the unfamiliar wilderness,” says Bilge Okay. “But that would be against the religious beliefs of the people operating these facilities.”

… [more]
via:tealtan  2012  istnbul  dogs  multispecies  cities  urbanism  cats  animals  pets  orhanpamuk  history  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  strays  quiltros 
august 2017 by robertogreco
Kedi
[Trailer: https://vimeo.com/87816089
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgYAuo9UYoE

"KEDI is a documentary feature focusing on the millions of street cats that live in one of the world's most populated cities and the people who love and care for them. It is a profile of an ancient city and its unique people, seen through the eyes of the most mysterious and beloved animal humans have ever known, the Cat."]

[See also:

"Ode To The Street Cat: 'Kedi' Follows Istanbul's Famous Felines"
http://www.npr.org/2017/02/15/515188621/ode-to-the-street-cat-kedi-follows-istanbuls-famous-felines

"The street cats of Istanbul have a hit with the documentary 'Kedi'"
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-kedi-cats-turkey-20170221-story.html ]
film  cats  documentary  multispecies  cities  animals  classideas  pets  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  2016 
july 2017 by robertogreco
When Your Teacher Keeps Saying You Can’t Draw Cats, But Your Paintings Are Photorealistic | Bored Panda
"If you showed somebody these drawings and told them that they were accurate representations of cats, they'd probably laugh at you. But the truth is that they're actually purrfect depictions of our furry feline friends. Sure they're a little abstract, and ok, you might need to use your imagination with some of them, but as you can see from the pictures that inspired them, they're closer to the real thing than you might think. They were drawn by Heloisa, an artist from Brazil who posts their super-realistic creations on their Twitter account called Poorly Drawn Cats. Which one do you like the most? Let us know in the comments."
humor  cats  drawing 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Meet the designer cats with wild blood - YouTube
"Bengals, Savannahs, and Toygers, explained.

By breeding house cats with wild animals, cat breeders developed hybrid cats that look like little leopards. Bengal cats are a breed that were developed from breeding domestic cats with asian leopard cats. The first American bengal breeder is a woman named Jean Mill, but her work has continued through other breeders. We met one of those breeders, Anthony Hutcherson, when we went to film the cats at the Westminster Dog Show. Besides bengals, we also saw another hybrid breed: savannahs. Instead of asian leopard cats, savannahs were developed by breeding house cats with servals. Unlike the other two breeds, the last breed we met, toygers, are not hybrid cats. Breeder Judy Sugden created the breed by carefully breeding domestic cats with qualities that resemble wild tigers. To learn more about the cats and the breeders that made possible, watch the video above."
cats  classideas  animals  multispecies  genetics  breeding  2017  nature  pets 
march 2017 by robertogreco
The Case Against Cats - Los Angeles Review of Books
"IMAGINE THERE’S NO CAT. Imagine there’s no mouser, no pet, no fuzzy thing rubbing against your leg, meowing for dinner. Imagine there’s no word for jazz hipsters, nothing to always land on its feet, nothing for animal hoarders to hoard, nothing to dangle from a tree limb telling you to “Hang in there!” Imagine there’re no cat memes, no Grumpy or Nyan Cat, no cat playing keyboard or framed by a misspelled catchphrase. Imagine a world without cats.

It’s not that easy to do. The cat has become ubiquitous in our lives, whether serving as pest repellent, loyal friend and companion, inexhaustible reservoir of metaphor and cultural association, or internet content. This last is the latest, but not the least, of the cat’s accomplishments. Of all the things that get shared, retweeted, liked, favorited, loved, or memed on any given day of our networked lives, up at the top of the list is always cats: cats with their heads between slices of bread, cats trying to fit into a cardboard box, cats riding around on Roombas in shark costumes. Because we love them, we put them anywhere and everywhere, spreading their images far and wide.

Cats are colonizers: this is what they do. They have colonized the internet just as they have colonized so many other habitats, always with the help of humans. This is the lesson of Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer, a new book by conservation scientist Peter P. Marra and travel writer Chris Santella. From remote islands in the Pacific to the marshes of Galveston Bay, Cat Wars traces the various ways in which felines have infiltrated new landscapes, inevitably sowing death and devastation wherever they go.

Perhaps the most famous case of genocide-by-cat is that of the remote Stephens Island in New Zealand. Before the end of the 19th century, it was home to a unique species: the Stephens Island wren. One of only a few species of flightless songbirds, the wren ran low to the ground, looking more like a mouse than a bird. After a lighthouse was built on the island in 1894, a small human settlement was established; and with humans, invariably, come pets. At some point a pregnant cat, brought over from the mainland, escaped and roamed wild. The island’s wrens, unused to facing such a skillful predator, were no match for the feral cats that spread throughout the island. Within a year, the Stephens Island wren was extinct. It would take another 30 years to eradicate the feral cats.

This is not an isolated incident. Cats have contributed to species decline and habitat reduction in dozens of other cases. Because they’re so cute and beloved, we have little conception of — and little incentive to find out — how much damage cats are doing to our environment. When researcher Scott Loss tallied up the number of animals killed by North American housecats in a single year, the results were absolutely staggering: between 6.3 and 22.3 billion mammals, between 1.3 and 4 billion birds, between 95 and 299 million amphibians, and between 258 and 822 million reptiles.

¤

It is undeniable, then, that cats are a menace to animal society, particularly those cats that are allowed to roam free outdoors. We have known this for almost a century. In 1929, the ornithologist Edward Howe Forbush commented that “the widespread dissemination of cats in the woods and in the open or farming country, and the destruction of birds by them, is a much more important matter than most people suspect, and is not to be lightly put aside, as it has an important bearing on the welfare of the human race.” Forbush, having tallied up an impressive anecdotal record of death and destruction, concluded that the cat “has disturbed the biological balance and has become a destructive force among native birds and mammals.” The cat doesn’t much care if its prey is threatened with extinction. Any small mammal, bird, or reptile is fair game, regardless of its rarity.

In one of Cat Wars’s more enlightening analogies, Marra and Santella compare housecats to the pesticide DDT. The cat, they argue, is one of the earliest known invasive species, and invasive species, they argue, are “simply another form of an environmental contaminant; like DDT, they can cause great harm and, once introduced, can be exceptionally difficult to remove from the environment.” Both started out as human technologies used to rid the landscape of unwanted pests, and both came with unintended side effects and unwanted additional destruction in the wild. Given the amount of energy we have devoted to banning DDT and ridding the environment of its consequences, it’s noteworthy that we seem so uninterested in a similar remedy for the scourge of cats, which, by most metrics, are far more destructive. The authors note that, while cats have been implicated in the decline and extinction of some 175 different species, “there are no confirmed bird extinctions from the pesticide DDT.”

The news that housecats are laying waste to wide swaths of biodiversity has not, like revelations about climate change or other ecological evils, led to some kind of scientific consensus about what was to be done. It’s led, instead, to the establishment of two warring camps: the cat people and the bird people. The bird people think that the wholesale slaughter of the world’s bird population is a problem requiring human intervention, namely the banning of feral and outdoor cats, forced sterilization, and euthanization. The cat people are aghast at these solutions, and argue instead that cats, being innate predators, should be allowed to fulfill their natural directive. When University of Wisconsin professor Stanley Temple published a report noting the high number of birds being killed by cats, he was besieged with death threats. “Many Wisconsites (at least those who wrote letters to the editor and hate mail to Temple),” Marra and Santella write, “were much more concerned that cats were being blamed for songbird deaths than with the fact that millions of songbirds were being killed. And some were more troubled about the possibility of cats being killed than they were about the life of a researcher.”

In the ensuing stalemate, legislation has been halfheartedly introduced, allowed to languish in committee, and finally scuttled altogether. Half-measures have been introduced that do no good. Invective has been hurled from both sides with increasing ferocity. And, meanwhile, cats continue to kill all manner of creature of field and stream.

¤

Cat Wars raises an interesting ethical question: is it justifiable to kill one animal because that animal kills other animals in disproportionate numbers? The authors cite Bill Lynn, an ethicist who has supported the culling of one species as a means to protect another, calling such work a “sad good.” But Marc Bekoff, an evolutionary biologist at University of Colorado, Boulder, contends the opposite: that the life of each individual animal must be weighed separate from a concern for species and for diversity. This kind of dilemma — is it morally acceptable to sacrifice the one to save the many, or the many for the one? — has long vexed philosophers of human ethics, and it is fascinating to see it here played out with regards to interspecies warfare.

Rather than explore this difficulty further, though, Cat Wars remains mostly about the war between cat people and bird people. Marra and Santella are clearly bird people. (Marra, after all, is the head of the Smithsonian’s migratory bird center.) The pro-bird, anti-cat thrust of their book is not subtle. “Allowing owned cats to roam freely outside,” they write, is an example of “irresponsible pet ownership,” a message they drive home with increasing emphasis. (Full disclosure: I don’t have a dog in this fight. I’m a dog person.)
Cat Wars is one of those strange books, reading which one can feel generally comfortable with the authors’ conclusions while growing increasingly frustrated with their bad faith arguments, rhetorical sleights-of-hand, and other abuses of the reader’s trust. A chapter that focuses on cats as disease vectors is the worst offender. They point out, correctly, that housecats can be carriers of bubonic plague (an Arizona man died in 1992 after catching plague from a cat) as well as rabies, and that Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite found in cat feces, has been linked to behavioral changes in humans. It’s true, of course, that cats can transmit plague and other diseases, but this trait is not unique to them, nor are toxoplasma cysts restricted to outdoor cats. The haphazardness of these arguments makes the book seem indiscriminate in its anti-cat bias. Repeatedly, Marra and Santella offer rhetorically strong arguments that fall apart under scrutiny. They claim, for example, that “[w]ild birds and mammals […] have rights that do not seem to receive as much attention as the claimed rights of cats to wander freely outdoors.” It’s true that threatened and endangered species are protected under law, as are pets (mostly in the form of animal cruelty laws). But what can it mean to say that other, non-protected birds and mammals have “rights”? What kind of rights? Moral rights? Rights under some unstated but presumed “natural law”? Is this a call to extend legal protection to all American animals? Are all animals created equal? Does the equally invasive black rat lack rights that more charismatic native songbirds have?

Cat Wars also bends over backward to paint cat-owners, particularly those who advocate for outdoor lifestyles, as unstable and poorly educated. As Marra and Santella become increasingly polemical, they resort to refuting a straw-man “leading outdoor-cat advocate’s website” bullet-point-style:
CAT ADVOCATE CLAIMS: Cats have lived outdoors for more than 10,000 years — they are a natural part of the landscape

SCIENCE SAYS: Domestic cats are an invasive species throughout their current range, including North America

This … [more]
cats  colinedickey  2016  literature  petermarra  chrissantella  animals  environment  colonization  books  housecats  pets  multispecies  biodiversity  ethics  billlynn  marcbekoff  life  nature  birds  wildlife  invasivespecies  songbirds 
january 2017 by robertogreco
ドコノコ、はじまりました。[Dokonoko]
[via: "reminder that Dokonoko is a social network for animal pics & those are better than tweets also they sent a kerchief"
https://twitter.com/RealAvocadoFact/status/772534496373637122 ]
animals  pets  japan  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  dogs  cats  animalpics  photogrphy 
september 2016 by robertogreco
HK Project – Screenshot Daily
"A cat adventure game set in a city inspired by Kowloon.  It’s still in really early development, you can follow the dev log here.  I apologize for the low quality gifs; I didn’t have access to anything better but I wanted to share anyway as it seems like a really neat project. :)"

[See also: https://hk-devblog.com/ ]

[via: http://finalbossform.com/post/146605119562/badaxefamily-thedovahcat-dionkozmos ]
hongkong  kowloon  kowlooncity  cats  animals  multispecies  videogames  games  gaming  2016 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Feeds...
"Here is a live kitten feed
Here is a live puppy feed
Here is a live penguin feed
Here is a live English Bulldog puppy feed
Here is a live parakeet feed
Here is a live sea otter feed
Here is a live panda feed
Here is a live calf feed
Here is a live chick feed
Here is a live sloth feed"
multispecies  livefeeds  animals  pandas  calves  cattle  cows  puppies  dogs  kittens  cats  penguins  parakeets  seaotters  otters  sloths 
december 2015 by robertogreco
More-Than-Human Lab. » Pt I, Companion animals (and belonging)
"I’ve started pulling together my paper for the Losing Ground – Gaining Ground session at the RGS Conference in Exeter in September, where I’ll be presenting on what it means to belong in the valley in which I live.

Part of this involves sorting [Edit: casual (iPhone)] photos I’ve taken of the plants, animals and elements around us, and thinking about how I’ve learned the differences between native and endemic, abundant and protected, introduced and invasive species.

I started by choosing a set of representative images I’ve taken since moving here in mid-September last year. I didn’t select them to represent a linear progression of time, but sorted them by type of animal–cat, sheep, bird, insect, other–and selected my favourite ones.

Below are the photos and my notes."
animals  multispecies  annegalloway  cats  sheep  newzealand  birds  landscape  insects  invertebrates  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Frans de Waal: The Bonobo and the Atheist | Chicago Humanities Festival
"Frans de Waal, recognized for his expertise on primate behavior and social intelligence, has produced some of his field’s most influential research. Having observed chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbors and bonobos share their food, he is convinced that the seeds of ethical behavior are found in primate societies. The translation to humans—their closest living relatives—is a natural step: are we by nature selfish and aggressive, or cooperative and peace-loving, and how have these traits evolved? Join him for a far-ranging exploration of the origins of morality."
fransdewaal  morality  religion  science  ethics  behavior  2015  via:anne  primates  animals  charlesdarwin  bonobos  conflictresolution  chimpanzees  darwin  reconciliation  cats  domesticcats  mammals  emotions  social  empathy  atheism  multispecies 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Final Boss Form — gifsboom: Strong cat. [video] The lessons we...
"Strong cat. [video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxFPG6Gcx2w]"

"The lessons we are taught about the entire animal kingdom supposedly being “every animal for themselves” is so incredibly, comically wrong. I always wondered who these narratives actually serve."
cats  multispecies  animals  pets  survivalofthefittest  socialdarwinism  individualism  kenyattacheese 
april 2015 by robertogreco
In Brooklyn, gentrification wipes out pigeons and chickens to make room for cats and dogs | Money | The Guardian
"Gentrification of inner-city neighborhoods into pseudo-suburbs have created a line between the haves and the have-nots"

[See also: http://gothamist.com/2015/03/21/photos_lamb.php ]
brooklyn  animals  cats  dogs  chickens  pigeons  birds  2014  pets  nyc 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Mystery of Bulgaria's green cat finally explained - Weird News - News - The Independent
"He's been making other cats green with envy but a Bulgarian moggy's mysterious emerald coat may finally be explained.

Locals believed that the green feline, who was first spotted in the Bulgarian seaside town of Varna, had been attacked and painted the unusual shade by vandals, even setting up a Facebook group to catch the perpetrators.

But it has now emerged that the – as yet unnamed – moggy has been sleeping on the top of an abandoned pile of synthetic green paint in a garage.

Gradually, it is believed that the paint slowly covered the entire cat – giving him his unusually vibrant appearance.

The colour also appears to show no sign of wearing off as each nap the cat takes just makes the colour stronger.

Although widely reported by local and international media, it remains unclear whether the green feline has an owner or is another stray on the Varna streets. The city is Bulgaria’s third largest and a well-known holiday resort on the Black Sea coast."
animals  pets  cats  green  bulgaria  2014  color 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Dia Art Foundation - Exhibitions: Bruce Nauman: Mapping the Studio I (Fat Chance John Cage)
"This new installation with multiple projections records nocturnal activity by the artist's cat and various mice in his studio over the summer of 2000. "I used this traffic as a way of mapping the leftover parts and work areas of the last several years of other completed, unfinished, or discarded projects," Nauman has stated."

[See also: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/05/arts/art-in-review-bruce-nauman-mapping-the-studio-i-fat-chance-john-cage.html

http://www2.tate.org.uk/nauman/work_1.htm
http://www2.tate.org.uk/nauman/work_2.htm
http://www2.tate.org.uk/nauman/work_3.htm
http://www2.tate.org.uk/nauman/work_4.htm
http://www2.tate.org.uk/nauman/work_5.htm

http://exhaustedscreen.tumblr.com/post/78103882660/bruce-nauman-mapping-the-studio-i-fat-chance ]

[Read about this in Where The Heart Beats (p421): wheretheheartbeatsbook.com ]
art  brucenauman  video  animals  cats  mice  2002  night  nighttime 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Here, Ansel! Sit, Avedon! - NYTimes.com
"It was in 2007 that Juergen Perthold, an engineer living in Anderson, S.C., strapped a tiny camera of his own design to the collar of his cat, Mr. Lee. When the images Mr. Lee captured while roaming around their neighborhood were posted online, they went, predictably, viral. Mr. Lee received a flurry of attention from the international media and became the star of a documentary, “CatCam: The Movie,” which made the film festival rounds in 2012 and even won a few awards.

Mr. Perthold has since refined his tiny camera, which was designed to record video or still photographs at programmable intervals, and has sold nearly 5,000 to pet owners in 35 countries, many of whom send their images back to Mr. Perthold, who displays them on his website. For Mr. Lee is not the only pet photographer, and his CatCam is not the only pet-oriented photographic device.

Last week, GoPro, a camera company made famous by surfers and other athletes who clip on its waterproof miniature Heros to record their adventures, introduced its own version: Fetch, a harness and camera mount designed for dogs. For years, pet owners had been rigging Heros to attach to their pets; perhaps you’ve seen the YouTube video of that surfing pig? (GoPro, a 10-year-old company that enjoyed a stunning I.P.O. in June, couldn’t say how many Heros have been used “off-label” in this way, but it did share its 2013 revenue: $985 million, up from $150,000 a decade ago. And GoPro’s spokesman was quick to remind this reporter that last year Americans spent nearly $60 billion on their pets.)

As programmable digital cameras get smaller and cheaper, the universe of pet, uh, journalism — or is it fine art? — has exploded. Scientists on both sides of the Atlantic have been using these technologies to learn more about the habits of all manner of animals, including house cats. The work of Leo, a cat from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, has been made into a poster. Cooper, from Seattle, has had a gallery show of his work, which has also been collected into a book. A collaborative (what else to call them?) of Swiss cows posts their oeuvre at cowcam.ch.

Inevitably, copyright disputes have arisen over who exactly owns the images taken by nonhumans. As The Washington Post and others reported last month, David Slater, a British photographer whose camera was snatched up and passed around by macaque monkeys while he was in Indonesia in 2011, has been sparring with various media outlets, including Wikimedia, over their use of the winsome “selfie” one monkey shot with Mr. Slater’s camera."
animals  photography  gopro  pets  cats  dogs  pigs  cows  monkeys  2014  intellectualproperty  copyright  wikimedia  petcams  cameras  chriskeeney  juergenperthold  tortoises  georgejacobs  art  tonycenicola  catcam  vivianmaier  jamescoleman  dianaoswald  jamesdanziger  markcohen  paulfusco  streetphotography  alanwilson 
september 2014 by robertogreco
I Know Where Your Cat Lives
"Welcome to today's internet—you can buy anything, every website is tracking your every move, and anywhere you look you find videos and images of cats. Currently, there are 15 million images tagged with the word "cat" on public image hosting sites, and daily thousands more are uploaded from unlimited positions on the globe.

I Know Where Your Cat Lives is a data experiment that visualizes a sample of 1 million public pics of cats on a world map, locating them by the latitude and longitude coordinates embedded in their metadata. The cats were accessed via publicly available APIs provided by popular photo sharing websites. The photos were then run through various clustering algorithms using a supercomputer at Florida State University in order to represent the enormity of the data source.

This project explores two uses of the internet: the sociable and humorous appreciation of domesticated felines, and the status quo of personal data usage by startups and international megacorps who are riding the wave of decreased privacy for all. This website doesn't visualize all of the cats on the net, only the ones that allow you to track where their owners have been.

Thanks for letting us be your cat fan headquarters; keep the pictures coming.

One final note, we’re currently running a kickstarter so everyone who loves this website can pitch in a little to pay for web hosting. The rewards includes beer koozies. Just saying!

Privacy Policy

Some things that are important for you to know:

• We do not store usernames.
• We do not share your information.
• We do not sell your information.

FAQ

How did you get all the pictures?

It’s simple, really. But not so simple, really. We procured the images by running a query for public photos tagged with cats from the APIs provided by Flickr, Twitpic, Instagram, and a few others.

How can I remove my pictures?

You have the right to remove your pictures from this website. The way you would go about doing so is by increasing the privacy settings of the photos of your furry feline friends. Then within 30 days your photos will be gone from our site.

Do you really know where my cat lives?

They tend to roam... Every photo on this site was created and uploaded with the locational metadata intact by the original owners. With an estimated 7.8 meters accuracy, if you took a photo of your cat in your home you might find it near that location on the map, or you might not. Every cat we visualize could be accessed just as easily by searching popular photo sharing websites. So, no, we do not know where your cat lives, nor do we care.

What is the point of all this?

We set out on this adventure with a mission in mind: to point out the ease of access to data and photos on the web. We sought to showcase how readily available social media users’ information and snapshots are to the general public.

How did you build it?

HTML5, CSS3, Twitter Bootstrap 3, Javascript / jQuery, history.js, Google Map API, MarkerClustererPlus, MarkerWithLabel, PHP 5, MySQL, Apache, Python, SciPy K-means clustering"

[via: http://morethanhumandesign.tumblr.com/post/92692891885/i-knows-where-your-cat-lives-dazed-when-artist ]

[See also: https://vimeo.com/99867948 ]
maps  mapping  pets  animals  geolocation  metadata  cats  privacy 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Petcube – Interactive wireless pet camera. Smart monitor for your cat or dog.
"Check on your furry loved ones when out of home
Play with your pet using a safe built-in laser toy
Save your pet from obesity with daily exercise
Share access to your petcube and play with other shared pets
Make friends. Discover cuteness."
pets  hardware  technology  surveillance  play  dogs  cats  cameras  animals 
june 2014 by robertogreco
LUNARES
[http://maria-cactus.blogspot.com/2014_01_01_archive.html ]

"María Fernanda
Chile
clase media
tomo té
tengo un perro
tengo gatos
uso el computador
veo Facebook
tengo un cactus
leo libros
bajo música
la cargo en mi iphone
salgo a la calle
camino al ritmo de la música
nadie cacha que estoy escuchando canciones de películas
es chistoso."

[http://maria-cactus.blogspot.com/2014/01/arq.html ]

"tengo 18 años
voy a entrar a la universidad

se aleja la adolescencia
chao
chao

cada vez hay menos formas de justificar las vacilaciones
la bipolaridad
lo pendeja
llegó la universidad
arquitectura en la católica
(el domingo entregan los resultados, pero estoy segura de que quedé, no pedían tanto)

es difícil decidir qué estudiar, yo postulé a arquitectura pero también quería estudiar periodismo (puede que a simple vista no se parezcan mucho, pero es la misma razón la que me mueve por ambos)

¿qué voy a hacer entre el agorex, el cartonero y las maquetas con esta llama que me mueve a la escritura? porque me gusta mucho escribir, me gusta expresarme de esta forma.

¿qué va a ser de mi futuro como arquitecta?
tengo 18 años
la gente espera mucho de mi vida
y de la maría fernanda
y que se vuelve aquitecta
que se vuelve adulta
que se vuelve
se transforma
la vida lo pide
le quita los berrinches
la hace aguantarse los llanto
ahora la maría fernanda
la maría fernanda arquitecta, adulta



no puedo seguir, porque no sé qué pasará, en verdad sólo espero que sea divertido y que me apasione así como lo siento desde aquí: el fin del cuarto medio y el declive de la adolescencia."

[See also: http://derere.tumblr.com/ ]
blogs  chile  valparaíso  youth  design  tea  pets  animals  dogs  cats  socialmedia  identity  whatwedo  howwelearn 
april 2014 by robertogreco
List of animals with fraudulent diplomas - Wikipedia
"Animals have been submitted as applicants to suspected diploma mills and, on occasion, admitted and granted a degree, as reported in news and magazines. Animals are often used as a device to clearly demonstrate the lax standards of awarding institutions. In one case, a cat's degree helped lead to a successful fraud prosecution against the institution which issued it."
academia  animals  dogs  education  wikipedia  lists  diplomamills  cats 
february 2014 by robertogreco
If a cat could talk – David Wood – Aeon
[Related: "How Humans Created Cats: Following the invention of agriculture, one thing led to another, and ta da: the world's most popular pet." http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/12/how-humans-created-cats/282391/ ]

"Perhaps because we selected cats for their internal contradictions — friendly to us, deadly to the snakes and rodents that threatened our homes — we shaped a creature that escapes our gaze, that doesn’t merely reflect some simple design goal. One way or another, we have licensed a being that displays its ‘otherness’ and flaunts its resistance to human interests. This is part of the common view of cats: we value their independence. From time to time they might want us, but they don’t need us. Dogs, by contrast, are said to be fawning and needy, always eager to please. Dogs confirm us; cats confound us. And in ways that delight us.

In welcoming one animal to police our domestic borders against other creatures that threatened our food or health, did we violate some boundary in our thinking? Such categories are ones we make and maintain without thinking about them as such. Even at this practical level, cats occupy a liminal space: we live with ‘pets’ that are really half-tamed predators.

From the human perspective, cats might literally patrol the home, but more profoundly they walk the line between the familiar and the strange. When we look at a cat, in some sense we do not know what we are looking at. The same can be said of many non-human creatures, but cats are exemplary. Unlike insects, fish, reptiles and birds, cats both keep their distance and actively engage with us. Books tell us that we domesticated the cat. But who is to say that cats did not colonise our rodent-infested dwellings on their own terms? One thinks of Ruduyard Kipling’s story ‘The Cat That Walked by Himself’ (1902), which explains how Man domesticated all the wild animals except for one: ‘the wildest of all the wild animals was the Cat. He walked by himself, and all places were alike to him.’

Michel de Montaigne, in An Apology for Raymond Sebond (1580), captured this uncertainty eloquently. ‘When I play with my cat,’ he mused, ‘how do I know that she is not playing with me rather than I with her?’ So often cats disturb us even as they enchant us. We stroke them, and they purr. We feel intimately connected to these creatures that seem to have abandoned themselves totally to the pleasures of the moment. Cats seem to have learnt enough of our ways to blend in. And yet, they never assimilate entirely. In a trice, in response to some invisible (to the human mind, at least) cue, they will leap off our lap and re-enter their own space, chasing a shadow. Lewis Carroll’s image of the smile on the face of the Cheshire cat, which remains even after the cat has vanished, nicely evokes such floating strangeness. Cats are beacons of the uncanny, shadows of something ‘other’ on the domestic scene.

Our relationship with cats is an eruption of the wild into the domestic: a reminder of the ‘far side’, by whose exclusion we define our own humanity. This is how Michel Foucault understood the construction of ‘madness’ in society — it’s no surprise then that he named his own cat Insanity. Cats, in this sense, are vehicles for our projections, misrecognition, and primitive recollection. They have always been the objects of superstition: through their associations with magic and witchcraft, feline encounters have been thought to forecast the future, including death. But cats are also talismans. They have been recognised as astral travellers, messengers from the gods. In Egypt, Burma and Thailand they have been worshipped. Druids have held some cats to be humans in a second life. They are trickster figures, like the fox, coyote and raven. The common meanings and associations that they carry in our culture permeate, albeit unconsciously, our everyday experience of them.

But if the glimpse of a cat can portend the uncanny, what should we make of the cat’s own glance at us? As Jacques Derrida wondered: ‘Say the animal responded?’ If his cat found him naked in the bathroom, staring at his private parts — as discussed in Derrida's 1997 lecture The Animal That Therefore I Am — who would be more naked: the unclothed human or the never clothed animal? To experience the animal looking back at us challenges the confidence of our own gaze — we lose our unquestioned privilege in the universe. Whatever we might think of our ability to subordinate the animal to our categories, all bets are off when we try to include the animal’s own perspective. That is not just another item to be included in our own world view. It is a distinctive point of view — a way of seeing that we have no reason to suppose we can seamlessly incorporate by some imaginative extension of our own perspective.

This goes further than Montaigne’s musings on who is playing with whom. Imaginative reversal — that is, if the cat is playing with us — would be an exercise in humility. But the dispossession of a cat ‘looking back’ is more disconcerting. It verges on the unthinkable. Perhaps when Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote (of a larger cat) in Philosophical Investigations (1953) that: ‘If a lion could talk we would not understand him,’ he meant something similar. If a lion really could possess language, he or she would have a relation to the world that would challenge our own, without there being any guarantee of translatability. Or if, as T S Eliot suggested in Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (1939), cats named themselves as well as being given names by their owners (gazed on by words, if you like), then the order of things — the human order — would be truly shaken."



"Yet the existence of the domestic cat rests on our trust in them to eliminate other creatures who threaten our food and safety. We have a great deal invested in them, if now only symbolically. Snakebites can kill, rats can carry plague: the threat of either brings terror. Cats were bred to be security guards, even as their larger cousins still set their eyes on us and salivate. We like to think we can trust cats. But if we scrutinise their behaviour, our grounds for doing so evaporate.

It is something of an accident that a cat’s lethal instincts align with our interests. They seem recklessly unwilling to manage their own boundaries. Driven as they are by an unbridled spirit of adventure (and killing), they do not themselves seem to have much appreciation of danger. Even if fortune smiles upon them — they are said to have nine lives, after all — in the end, ‘curiosity kills the cat’. Such protection as cats give us seems to be a precarious arrangement."



"Look into the eyes of a cat for a moment. Your gaze will flicker between recognising another being (without quite being able to situate it), and staring into a void. At this point, we would like to think — well, that’s because she or he is a cat. But cannot the same thing happen with our friend, or child, or lover? When we look in the mirror, are we sure we know who we are?"



"Cats, one at a time, as our intimates, our familiars, as strangers in our midst, as mirrors of our co-evolution, as objects of exemplary fascination, pose for us the question: what is it to be a cat? And what is it to be this cat? These questions are contagious. As I stroke Steely Dan, he purrs at my touch. And I begin to ask myself more questions: to whom does this appendage I call my hand belong? What is it to be human? And who, dear feline, do you think I am?"
cats  humans  pets  animals  2013  montaigne  tseliot  wittgenstein  jacquesderrida  gaze  michelfoucault  relationships  nature  consciousness  independence  codependence  rudyardkipling  domestication  davidwood  compatibility  trickster  magic  talismans  micheldemontaigne  foucault 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Foto de josephgrima
"Cat Tracking

Using RFID, infrared LEDs, computer vision, or collar-mounted cameras, we can track and record the location of the Fabricats and integrate that into the displays around the building as well as give them an online presence for the public."

[See also: http://instagram.com/p/gs4DNytuDH/ ]
cats  pets  fabrica  josephgrima  quantifiedpet  tracking  quantifiedpets  animals  fabricats 
november 2013 by robertogreco
BBC News - Secret life of the cat: What do our feline companions get up to?
"Ever wondered what your cat spends its time doing when you're not around? Where do our purring pets go when they disappear through the cat flap? Armed with GPS tracking devices and micro-cameras, a team from BBC Two's Horizon programme in collaboration with the Royal Veterinary College set off to a Surrey village to find out. Discover more by selecting a cat character below."
cats  animals  pets  data  geography  maps  mapping  gps  213 
june 2013 by robertogreco
In Search of the Living, Purring, Singing Heart of the Online Cat-Industrial Complex | Underwire | Wired.com
"What an Internet cat does is thus confront us with how cravenly we ourselves court approval. A cat, if it decides to love you, will do so only on its own terms, and, as that Viennese study showed, the more you let it come to you, i.e., the less you need it, the better loved you’re going to be. The reason the lolcat says "Oh hai" is because he only just noticed, and certainly doesn’t care, that you caught him serenely occupying ur nouns, verbing ur other nouns. He doesn’t worry about you or what you think; by his living in your screen, you can love him, but there isn’t a prayer of reciprocation. Thus is the Internet cat the realest cat of all."
nyancat  lolcats  internet  digitalculture  2012  japan  cats 
september 2012 by robertogreco
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