New, More Accurate Dog Age Chart from Tufts University

April 20, 2012

It used to be that you multiplied your dog’s age by 7 and came out with a rough equivalent human age. Then this was refined by making the first year of your dog’s life equal 10 human years, the second 8 years and all the rest 7. This certainly seemed appropriate to me as the owner/guardian of two Labrador Retrievers.

At 2 years old they did seem like 18 year-old boys, not quite fully mature but certainly no longer “kids.”

Now the folks at Tufts University who publish the excellent Your Dog newsletter have added an additional factor: your dog’s weight, making this calculation even more accurate (see the chart below). Click image for larger size.

WordPress Stats Infographic from Yoast

April 20, 2012

Click image for larger size.

Optical Illusion of the Day – April 20, 2012

April 20, 2012

The Café Wall Illusion. All lines are straight and parallel to each other. Don’t believe it? Put a straight edge up against your computer screen for confirmation.

Click image for larger size.

Glucosamine for your Arthritic Dog – What’s the Benefit? from “Good Old Dog”

April 20, 2012

 “Glucosamine. When it comes to glucosamine, a supplement used to quell arthritis pain, the evidence is a little more compelling, with the emphasis on a little. That is, the science showing any benefit is not nearly as strong as word on the street.

Note that as an ingredient in store-bought food, there will probably never be enough glucosamine to have a therapeutic effect. That’s true even for therapeutic foods you can get only at the doctor’s office. Yes, they are analyzed so that glucosamine levels indicated will be in the food. But most do not reach levels that may have potential therapeutic benefits. Glucosamine must be taken in the form of pills to reach a therapeutic level.

Specifics on choosing glucosamine for an arthritic dog will be addressed in Chapter 4, but be aware that even if you do choose to give your arthritic dog glucosamine supplements, whatever it does for him won’t be a drop in the bucket compared to the benefit of helping him get into optimal body condition, meaning helping him to lose weight if he’s overweight. Lifestyle-wise, that’s the number one thing you can do to lessen an arthritic dog’s pain.”

– from Good Old Dog: Expert Advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Happy, Healthy, and Comfortable by the Faculty of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

DogTV: Minimally Useful Cable Programming for Your Pooch

April 20, 2012

Your dog does not want or need this but you can probably be guilted into wasting your money on it.

DogTV, new cable channel for dogs home alone,  shows soothing programming for your pet – New York Daily News, April 17, 2012

If you read the article carefully you’ll note the various disclaimers. Remember also that journalists are often shills for marketers (newspapers are, like television stations, primarily advertising delivery systems).

Dogs are not primarily visual creatures, they live in an ocean of smells. As Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at the Cumming School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and celebrated author of many great books on dog care makes clear that the service to add here is smell.

It’s not even proven that dogs can recognize images on digital televisions, as they couldn’t on analog sets previously. Certainly they can hear the content of DogTV. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this service can in any way replace proper socialization for puppies.

The claim that you can prevent rescued dogs from going kennel-crazy with a combination of DogTV a two 20-minute walks a day is an accurate statement. The only problem is that you can eliminate the DogTV and achieve the same result. It’s like saying you can add water to water to make it more watery.

The only aspect of this that can be of any real benefit is the audio component. But dog radio wouldn’t get the marketplace traction that dog TV will.

My opinion? Don’t waste your money and save up to hire a dog walker to take your dog out while you are at work. In the real world. With smells and interaction with actual grass, sidewalks, other people and, hopefully, other real dogs.

Not dogs on a LCD screen.


Facebook is Evil: 5 Binding Terms of Service That Should Give You Pause

April 20, 2012

If you know me, and you probably don’t, I think Facebook is evil, as I’ve said before. Any group, online or off, with close to a billion members is one I want to avoid on the Groucho principal:  “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

I was once told that because I wasn’t on Facebook I didn’t exist. This person couldn’t understand my elation at that thought.

She did not grasp that people are only tolerable in strictly limited numbers. As my close personal friend Jean-Paul Sartre is always reminding me,  “L’enfer, c’est les autres.” (I won’t translate, someday you’ll understand). Get a group of them together and what do you have? A mob. And mobs are capable of  the most vicious things imaginable. Except when they gather together for a Zombie Walk. Then they are just swell.

Here’s an article from Business Pundit that lists 5 sections of the Facebook terms of service that should give you pause.

1.) Facebook retains the right to use your content however they see fit, forever.

2.) Facebook tracks you based on where you log in, even after you’ve logged off.

3.) Facebook’s arbitration statement insures that they will never be held liable for any damages you may suffer from their service.

4.) Facebook sells your address, your email, your cell phone number and all other information it collects to third-party developers, external websites and advertisers.

5.) Finally, like most TOS or EULA’s (end user license agreements) Facebook can change their Terms of Service any time without notifying you.

So go ahead. Give your digital life over to Mark Zuckerberg. You can trust him with your intimate relationships, your marriage, your career, your future job prospects, your friends, your family and your reputation. He’d never do anything that might cause you the slightest difficulty. After all, his only concern is making money off you. And when did that ever go horribly, horribly wrong?



Bacon Roses

April 20, 2012

I was speaking with a neighbor the other day about how my religion prohibits exercise – hail Satan! – and has as its primary sacraments Bacon and Cheesecake (the finest in the world comes, of course, exclusively from Junior’s on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn).

Later that same day I was perusing pages on the InterWebs and came across this photo (below).

More proof, as if any was needed, that there’s nothing that can’t be improved by adding bacon. . .

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