Floppy ears

Why do some domesticated dogs have floppy ears? Find out with this fun animated video from NPR:

This video says that it was 1868 when Darwin published his findings about domestication. That’s the same year as the Meiji Restoration. What other amazing things happened that year, I wonder. One research project idea?



A job you love

Not a particularly Christmassy way to end the year, but I love dogs. And there is a little snow in the video. This is Piper, the Aviation Bird Dog — a border collie whose job it is to chase birds away from airfields, so they don’t interfere with the airplanes. And it’s the story of a man who loves his job. And a dog who seems to love his job too, after coming to terms with the fact that he has to wear those goggles.

This article from BBC is a little old (2013) and mentions a different dog: “10 ways to prevent plane bird strikes”

I’ll be back in January with new topics.

❄️ Happy Holidays ❄️

Poop coming in handy

Yes poop. 💩

Here are two ways poop came in handy this year:

In Japan: “Professor Poo bestseller brings scatology-based study to Japan” (from the Guardian). This book is helping kids learn to write kanji characters, and the term うんこ漢字ドリル(Poop Kanji Drills is the name of the book) was one of this year’s Words of the Year in Japan. (“The Japanese words that perfectly sum up how the country felt this year” from Quartz)

Read more about the workbook at Spoon and Tamago.

In the US: turning cow poop into electricity

Read more about this “methane digester” at the Strauss Family Creamery in California.