Ravens have social abilities previously only seen in humans Humans and their primate cousins are well known for their intelligence and social abilities. You hear them called bird-brained, but birds have demonstrated a great deal of intelligence in many tasks. However, little is known about their social skills. A new study shows that ravens are socially savvier than we give them credit for. They are able to work out the social dynamics of other raven groups, something which only humans had shown the ability to do. Bullying in the community Pascal's Wager Blaise Pascal Pascal's Wager is an argument in apologetic philosophy which was devised by the seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician, and physicist Blaise Pascal (1623–1662). It posits that humans all bet with their lives either that God exists or does not exist. Given the possibility that God actually does exist and assuming the infinite gain or loss associated with belief in God or with unbelief, a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.).
Reinforcement Diagram of operant conditioning Although in many cases a reinforcing stimulus is a rewarding stimulus which is "valued" or "liked" by the individual (e.g., money received from a slot machine, the taste of the treat, the euphoria produced by an addictive drug), this is not a requirement. Indeed, reinforcement does not even require an individual to consciously perceive an effect elicited by the stimulus. Furthermore, stimuli that are "rewarding" or "liked" are not always reinforcing: if an individual eats at a fast food restaurant (response) and likes the taste of the food (stimulus), but believes it is bad for their health, they may not eat it again and thus it was not reinforcing in that condition. Thus, reinforcement occurs only if there is an observable strengthening in behavior. In most cases reinforcement refers to an enhancement of behavior but this term may also refer to an enhancement of memory. Introduction
Researcher decodes prairie dog language, discovers they've been talking about us You might not think it to look at them, but prairie dogs and humans actually share an important commonality -- and it's not just their complex social structures, or their habit of standing up on two feet (aww, like people). As it turns out, prairie dogs actually have one of the most sophisticated forms of vocal communication in the natural world, really not so unlike our own. After more than 25 years of studying the calls of prairie dog in the field, one researcher managed to decode just what these animals are saying. And the results show that praire dogs aren't only extremely effective communicators, they also pay close attention to detail. According to Dr. Con Slobodchikoff, who turned his vocalization analysis on the Gunnison's prairie dog of Arizona and New Mexico, the chirps these animals use as 'alert calls' are actually word-like packages of information to share with the rest of the colony.
St. Elmo's fire St. Elmo's fire on a ship at sea St. Elmo's fire is named after St. Edward Thorndike Edward Lee "Ted" Thorndike (August 31, 1874 – August 9, 1949) was an American Psychologist who spent nearly his entire career at Teachers College, Columbia University. His work on Comparative psychology and the learning process led to the theory of connectionism and helped lay the scientific foundation for modern educational psychology. He also worked on solving industrial problems, such as employee exams and testing. He was a member of the board of the Psychological Corporation and served as president of the American Psychological Association in 1912. Do Dogs Speak Human? What's the Big Idea? Perhaps the better question is, do humans speak dog? Either way, the debate over whether language is unique to humans, or a faculty also possessed by wild and domestic animals from dogs to apes to dolphins, is an interesting one.
Wahhabism Wahhabism (Arabic: وهابية, Wahhābiyyah) is a religious movement or sect or branch of Sunni Islam variously described as "orthodox", "ultraconservative", "austere", "fundamentalist", "puritanical" (or "puritan"), an Islamic "reform movement" to restore "pure monotheistic worship", or an "extremist pseudo-Sunni movement". It aspires to return to the earliest fundamental Islamic sources of the Quran and Hadith, with inspiration from the teachings of Medieval theologian Ibn Taymiyyah and early jurist Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Etymology According to Saudi writer Abdul Aziz Qassim, it was the Ottomans who "first labelled Abdul Wahhab's school of Islam in Saudi Arabia as Wahhabism". The British also adopted it and expanded its use in the Middle East. In the US the term "Wahhabi" was used in the 1950s to refer to "puritan Muslims", according to Life magazine. Wahhabis do not like—or at least did not like—the term.
Behaviorism Behaviorism (or behaviourism), is the science of behavior that focuses on observable behavior only, it is also an approach to psychology that combines elements of philosophy, methodology, and theory. It emerged in the early twentieth century as a reaction to "mentalistic" psychology, which often had difficulty making predictions that could be tested using rigorous experimental methods. The primary tenet of behaviorism, as expressed in the writings of John B. Watson, B. F. Donnie (dog) Donnie is a Doberman Pinscher dog who came to the attention of science due to his penchant for arranging his plush toys in geometric forms. His owner rescued him from an animal shelter, and at first he was slow to learn, and very reluctant to interact socially with her. He has appeared on the National Geographic Channel’s Dog Genius show. On the show, he is shown arranging some of his 80 plush toys into evenly-spaced triangles and lines, and chooses to use, for example, only stuffed frogs or monkeys for a particular design. He is shown creating his arrangements in his large yard in Maryland on remote video cameras without humans being present. He is even said to create social vignettes with the toys. For example, the day after he first allowed his owner to put her arm around him, he placed a large bear with its arm around a smaller frog. Dr. Pictures of Donnie and his compositions on University of Michigan website
Breast-shaped hill Overview The name Mamucium that gave origin to the name of the city of Manchester is thought to derive from the Celtic language meaning "breast-shaped hill", referring to the sandstone bluff on which the fort stood; this later evolved into the name Manchester. Mostly breast-shaped hills are connected with local ancestral veneration of the breast as a symbol of fertility and well-being. It is not uncommon for very old archaeological sites to be located in or below such hills, as on Samson, Isles of Scilly, where there are large ancient burial grounds both on the North Hill and South Hill, or Burrén and Burrena, Aragon, Spain, where two Iron Age Urnfield culture archaeological sites lie beneath the hills.