Yanny woof woof! Laurel woof! woof!

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You can see I take no pleasure in this viral auditory phenomenon. Yanny? Laurel? WTF.

We canines know that humes have fairly deficient hearing (as well as olfactory) abilities, so their fascination with such anomalies doesn’t surprise us.

My hume became mildly interested in the viral controversy when she saw a FB post on her phone. So, at first she heard “Yanny” repeatedly. Then, in a nod to her proclivity for scientific inquiry, she went to her trusty HP Chromebook to see how it sounded there. Lo and behold! It was “Laurel,” plain and simple. She again checked her phone and it had become Laurel there as well. And remained so.

Various scientists and audiologists and pundits pontificated to no definitive conclusion.

According to Yahoo.com, the audio clip was captured by a teenager who was listening to the playback of a professional pronouncer’s voice over her laptop speakers, then posted the weirdness to Instagram, Reddit, and the virus was born.

Marc Tinkler, president and CTO of Vocabulary.com, says that tinny speakers, like the ones on TV sets and laptops, emphasize higher frequencies, so people sometimes hear “Yanny.” Older people, who have begun losing some of the higher frequencies in their hearing, are more likely to hear “Laurel.”

As noted, my hume, who is an elder, heard Yanny on her phone and then Laurel on her laptop, then Laurel on her phone. Was her ear being trained?

Our pups are born deaf and cannot hear until they are 21 days old, according to an article by Debra Meno on Puppy Playground (you know, a Web site). When their hearing is fully developed, they can hear four times the distance of a human with normal hearing.  We also can hear higher pitched sounds and can detect a frequency range of 67-45,000 Hz, compared to a human range of 64-23,000 Hz. And we have 18 muscles in our ears allowing them to move in the direction of the sound. But, I digress. Our awesomeness never fails to fascinate me.

For my part, I believe it is a conspiracy, as some have suggested–not to distract from either the “fake” and/or abhorrent real news–but to allow humes who possess the requisite  technology (Pew Research Center says 91% of adults in the United States have cell phones) to interact on a topic that isn’t politically, socially or culturally divisive.

So far, celebrities, sports teams and all the men and women in the street are partaking of the mystery and sharing their results with the closest hume at hand. What a wonderful distraction! Almost…. I said almost…. makes me wish I had a cell phone.

P.S. In case you wondered, it’s really saying “MilkBone.”

P.P.S. That’s a tater tot in my mouth, not a Hannibal Lecter disguise.

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She made me watch it

Hume had this brilliant (to her) idea about dog movies. She wanted me to watch them with her. As can be seen, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about the concept. This particular one, A Dog’s Purpose, she believed would captivate me and give her an excuse to cry (she’d already read the book and it was a tear-jerker interspersed with family friendly humor). And so, Redbox time it was.

I am sure many of you have read or already seen the flick. I hadn’t. Truthfully, parts of it were captivating, especially the love affair between the huge Roxy and tiny Toby. What machismo! What hubris! On Toby’s part, that is. The death of the K-9 Elleyea was particularly disturbing and very sad. Unfortunately, the filmmakers showed nothing of the over-the-top tributes that would have followed her demise as a two-time heroine.

The “sweaty smell” description of human hormonal emanations I found too euphemistic for my taste. It was almost as if dumb Bailey didn’t know a male from a female. Also, no mention was made of any sexual activity among the various canines portrayed. Oh, really? Give me a bitch in heat and I’ll show you what a “sweaty smell” looks like.

It is very surprising that various human religious entities did not protest or picket this film. (You know which ones I mean.) Reincarnation, a big no-no for most Christian sects, was the vehicle that moved the plot forward. It was never clear if this reincarnation thing was going to last an eternity or as scientists believe, till the next Big Bang or black hole collapse of the universe does us all in.

Too, Bailey’s philosophical musings at the outset about his purpose in life were a tad overreaching for a supposedly dumb puppy who grew very little intellectually through the film. Poor Bailey. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why he didn’t learn from past experience.  And the ending (which I won’t reveal) was problematic on several levels, but I won’t go into them. You will just have to see for yourself. And be forewarned, cat lovers, your feline friends don’t come off too well. Not the Egyptian gods you might think.

All in all, A Dog’s Purpose had a nice beat, but you couldn’t dance to it. I give it 3 1/2 paws.

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Free the pugs! Free all pets!

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There was quite an interesting post on FB recently by two Rutgers law professors, Gary L. Francione and Anna E. Charlton, that has stimulated my grey matter to no end. (See how somber and thoughtful I look in my picture.) The piece was called “The case against pets,” and its subhead–“A morally just world would have no pets, no aquaria, no zoos. No fields of sheep, no barns of cows. That’s true animal rights.”

Basically, the argument is that humes consider animals property and therefore, as slaves, with whatever nasty connotations that conjures up. I would say this is what seems to be the case. Now, I don’t recall the professors acknowledging any traditions countermanding this, but the King James version of Genesis does say that after God created Adam and Eve, he said, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

I guess the real key is what dominion means. Many theologians agree there is a component of stewardship implied. That means my hume must care for me responsibly: clean my nose folds, my ears and my elevated butthole (can’t reach it myself). The only way I could see disallowing domestication of animals and freeing them all, would be if there were no humes around. And that would spell disaster for toy dogs such as me and my ilk. (“Dog eat dog.”)  For better or worse, we have a symbiotic relationship with the two-leggers and besides, my credit is bad and I couldn’t get a bag of chicken tenderloins on my looks alone….

 

 

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Never say “Never”

I have done it. Finally. Heretofore I would turn up my nose (such as it is) at any “treat” other than cheese, meat, fish, chicken or a Dentastyx. And I am nearly 10 years in human terms. In recent weeks, however, my mistress hume has dangled vanilla ice cream and yellow cake in front of me. I know she knows she shouldn’t, but she has definitely bought into the current ethos that canines, especially pugs, are sentient, feeling beings. Of course, we always have been and some humes of higher intellect have known this, but now it has become de rigueur for the masses… .

At any rate, the ice cream and the cake were so delightful I could not restrain myself. I slurped and nearly gagged on their scrumptiousness. Every morsel I consumed like a starving beast. Now what? I’ve opened the proverbial Pandora’s box or can of worms or whatever, and there’s no going back. There is only one foreseeable outcome: She and I will grow old and fat–but happy–together. Word.

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Catching up

Since last I posted, I have aged. My whiskered pug mug is going grey and I am a little paunchier. But my mind–when not fried by the searing Florida sun–is still sharp and shows no signs of plaque formation.

We (hume and I) have suffered the slings and arrows of sling-shooters and archers, and are holding up as best as can be expected. Hume is always in the throes of self-doubt, superstition and dissatisfaction with recent gainful employment, but what matters that to me? My chicken tenderloins appear with regularity and I still sleep in her bed. So, what else is new?

 

 

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Embed solar panels in roads

I think they should make cars that use solar power generated by solar strips on the roads. We have miles and miles of highways and a solar strip embedded in the roadway could somehow transmit its energy to a device underneath a car and power it. That’s it. So you smart MIT types, get busy!

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When I get them, I’ll post them

This is for any ideas I get….

Here’s one: Whenever there is new construction in the Sunshine State, it must be AT LEAST 75% solar powered… For heaven’s sake, Florida is so sunny it’s the skin cancer capital of the world…

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Pugs are NOT clowns

Humes can be cruel, misinformed or sometimes just easily swayed by others. Particularly I am referring to commentary about us being “clowns,” “natural clowns” etc. This point of view is often reiterated in books about pugs or other venues and I would hope it will die the timely death it deserves. The weird part is it is often repeated while at the same time the truism is touted that we are a regal breed with innate dignity and so forth. The latter is certainly true.

I know of no pug who relishes being dressed as some cartoon character or holiday imp, elf or other grotesquerie. We only allow it because we are an ancient and wise species that understands the small pittance of frivolity such action provides our humes. They have hard lives, full of worry and woe, so it behooves us as the royal beings we are to allow them some small measure of distraction.

There is no doubt we are playful and do like to tease our humes. But clowns? No indeed. I should appreciate it if such remarks are no longer repeated anywhere. Holla holla! Just kidding…..

A PUG JUST SAYIN’

While lazing the day away, waiting for my current hume, master, mistress, whatever, to return from the place she calls a four-letter word, I listen to quite a lot of public radio. Very entertaining. The radio folks’ feigned sincerity and breathy attempts at gravitas quite amuse me. I won’t name names, however, because these radions seem to relish small controversies and would likely read my blog as a “letter to the editor” to prove how objective, fair-minded and open to criticism they are…. NOT! LOL!

Anyway, they blather a lot about education and now “higher” education. I presume by higher education they mean the institutions where much of the student body is higher on alcohol, narcotics, hallucinogens or stimulants than they were in middle school. …

I never quite understood the concept of higher education: Students pay exorbitant amounts of dollars to attend institutions (appropriately also what humes call the places where inmates and nutjobs are housed) and then these poor dupes are subject to the whims of pompous eggheads, AKA professors, teachers or instructors or some such. Humes are being hoodwinked! They pay professors to “teach” students, who in turn are graded and judged by the very same persons hired to do the job in the first place.

Forsooth, if logic prevailed, the payers would judge the purveyors of education and only pay if they do what they are hired to do! Yikes! Why don’t the so-called investigative journalists of public radio sink their tiny claws into that story??? It’s because all radions hold their own “degrees” and alma maters so dear they don’t want to admit to their public that they too have been hornswaggled…

Just call me “Scoop.”

WHACKED

Just read in The Week that the number of euthanized pets in this land has declined since 1970 from 20 million (what massive genocide) to 3 million today, even though our numbers (we who wear collars and are fussed over) have more than doubled since the Days of Carnage. Sounds good, unless you’re one of the three million.

I myself have undergone the procedure and truly it has not “altered” my character a whit. I’m still the pugnacious, feisty, ready-to-rumble canine I was before. My lineage is what it is. You know what they call us… multi in parvo. A lot of dog in a little space. So true. I miss my testicles a tad, however. I liked the way they swung when I walked, gently caressing my inner thighs. But the overall experience was for the good of the breed: We don’t think of our own particular offspring–what humes call “their” children–as paramount. It is our breed that matters in the long term. We esteemed ones (pugs to you) have been around 3,500 years give or take, so we tend to focus like Warren Buffett on long-term gains.

But is spaying/neutering contraception? Would the Church approve? What does Rick Sanitarium think? Will he speak for us and stop the mutilation that ultimately thwarts the act of procreation? I guess he believes we have no souls so we don’t count…. Little does he know…

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