Thursday, August 18, 2011

Smart dog displays math skills, giant rodent on the loose in California, and survey shows tea party less popular than atheists and Muslims

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Daylights breaking and I’ve got the coffee going. Thanks for dropping by. Pull up a seat, grab a cup of freshly brewed, and let’s look at a few headlines to get the day started:

Montana dog becomes local celebrity for his math skills

Labrador Retrievers are known for their hunting skills and friendly dispositions, but Beau, a black Lab who lives in Montana, is winning acclaim for his math abilities.

Owner David Madsen says if he tells Beau there are six dogs at the park and three dogs leave, and then asks him how many are left, the dog replies: "Woof, woof, woof." "He counts, he adds and subtracts, he can do some division and has memorized square roots," Madsen said.               Photo

A capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), born in captivity 15 days ago, follows its mother at the Santa Fe Zoo in Medellin March 8, 2010. REUTERS/Albeiro Lopera

Giant South American rodent spotted in California

A giant South American rodent weighing at least 100 pounds (45 kgs) was spotted at a waste-water treatment facility in California recently before disappearing in the brush, according to a wildlife official. The animal, which was identified as a capybara, is the world's largest rodent and feeds on vegetation.

The capybara is believed to be an escaped pet, Tognazzini said. It was last seen about two weeks ago at a waste-water treatment facility in Paso Robles, 175 miles northwest of Los Angeles, he said.

Survey’s surprising finding: tea party less popular than atheists and Muslims

In an op-ed article in the New York Times, Robert D. Putnam, a professor of public policy at Harvard, and David E. Campbell, a political scientist at Notre Dame, say they have collected data indicating that the tea party is "less popular than much maligned groups like 'atheists' and 'Muslims.'"

Early tea partiers were described as "nonpartisan political neophytes," Campbell and Putnam write, but their findings showed that tea partiers were "highly partisan Republicans" who were more likely than others to have contacted government officials. "They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do," they went on.            Cartoon

Time to walk on down the road…

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