The mainstream media has been running tons of bits on “number-crunching” Chimpanzees today. Here’s one headline from WiredScience, “Chimpanzees are probably better than you at math.” Having previously studied primates’ mathematical abilities, I was shocked. It’s widely known that primates can’t do math because they don’t think the way we do. Eagerly I read the article only to learn that math wasn’t involved in this exercise. That pissed me off (I hate deceitful headlines), so I decided to blog about it.

Here’s the real skinny on this bit of misinformation. The chimps were TRAINED to use a touch-screen and memorization program. The program displays numbers in random positions, then the numbers disappear and the chimp touches the places the numbers appeared in numerical order (1, 2, 3, etc).

We know the chimps see numbers as symbols and understand that one symbol preceeds the next. But that’s the extend of their “genius”. There was no addition, subtraction, multiplication or division involved in this exersize. If chimps could add two numbers and understand what they were doing then that would be a true number crunching math chimp, but these aren’t. Again, the headline was, “Chimpanzees are probably better than you at math” …A complete lie.

Some chimps, which had practiced for quite some time, were pitted against college students who had no prior experience with this exercise. The students kept up with the chimps until the numbers were only appearing for less than half a second. I’m not impressed at all that chimps can be trained to react/memorize faster than humans who weren’t trained.

Instead of pitting college students against the chimps, why not use children and spend an equal amount of time training them? I’d put money on a 6-year old winning. …Children are faster learners than adults and have excellent memorization skills.

Obviously this story is another example of the media selling scientific lies by the click. Below is a clip from an average player in a Halo 3 match. Your reaction time here has to be in the 50-millisecond range to be competitive, and it’s ridiculously more complicated then the chimp game above. This is the kind of game humans (children and adults) play FOR FUN. Let’s see a chimp do this…



				

 

Michelle the Flying Cow

November 6, 2007

No, I didn’t forget about my blog. I was simply waiting and watching for the next great article. …Today I found it. You want to read this.

Fresh from today’s headlines, this is totally legit…

Couple escapes injury when falling cow hits minivan

Early Sunday morning in my home state of Washington something terrible happened. A visiting Michigan couple was driving home from church along the lake when all the sudden…

SLAMMOOO!!! A huge freakin’ cow landed on the hood of their car, instantly killing the peaceful creature.

The escaped cow was a beloved local prize heifer, affectionately named Michelle. It has been said of Michelle that she was fond of gazing into the heavens, sometimes with a longing look in her eye. …Not exactly normal cow behavior.

Obviously Michelle had decided she wanted to fly. Being an intelligent animal she must have planned to make her attempt over the lake. Unfortunately Michelle probably miscalculated her speed and trajectory by a few decimal places, resulting in a leap that landed her in history but was tragically short of clearing the road.

This is the cliff where Michelle made her fatal flight attempt…

This is the car…

And this is Michelle…


Your thoughts?

Fact or Fiction?

October 3, 2007

Recently a sixth-grade teacher brought up the Iraq war in her classroom. She said America was doing terrible things in Iraq, and that we needed to leave as soon as possible.

Unbeknownst to the teacher one of her new students recently lost her older brother in Iraq. This little girl proudly rebutted, “My brother went to Iraq to fix things. They killed him for trying to help. He’s in heaven now.”

The teacher rolled her eyes. Dedicated to the idea that she needed to educate her students on the harsh world around them she responded, “I’m sorry to tell you this, but if he was fighting in Iraq then he wasn’t helping anyone.”The little girl looked hurt for a second. Then she swallowed hard and said, “Oh yeah, when I get to heaven I’ll ask him.”

Irritated at the child’s response the teacher sharply replied, “What if he went to hell!?!”

Immediately the little girl spouted back, “Then you ask him!”