Link Love

August 28, 2008 at 6:08 pm Leave a comment

Once again — I’m too busy to post.

But I’m not too busy to browse, so here are a few links I’d like to share:

First, hat tip to Jessica at Bioephemera for her post telling us about Forestle. 

Forestle uses the Google search algorithm, but the ad revenues associated with each search go to prevent deforestation (via donations to the Nature Conservancy).

According to the site, the average search saves about 0.1 square meter (0.11 sq. yd) of rainforest – approximately the surface of your computer screen. And Forestle’s browser plugins make altruism about as easy as possible. (Its creators estimate that about 5% of revenues will go to admin costs).

I uploaded their browser plugin today and hope to save a couple of square meters a day!  A special feature of the Forestle search plugin is that you can use indicators to access numerous search functions.  In briefly perusing their indicators I saw that they had somehow missed ‘blogs’!!  So I sent them an email asking if they’d add it.  I was pleasantly surprised to get a response within minutes, thanking me and agreeing to add a blog indicator in the next 24 hours!  Please check them out.  Nice people doing good work.  What’s not to love?

Next check out YesBiscuit’s post on Mother Jones’  “The Chinavore’s Dilemna.” 

…an overview on how the FDA allowed – and keeps allowing – tainted imports from China to enter the US. Pet food, toys, toothpaste, heparin, seafood… and the hits just keep on comin’.

Ye-ah.  Next time you go to the supermarket, check the labels on the frozen fish.  It is nearly impossible to find any that doesn’t come from China.  And items like toys made for children and dogs (especially the ones found in bulk bargain bins) are often not labeled as to country of origin.  Our friends over at PetConnection reported a few days ago that the FDA is opening offices in China. I suspect that this is being done more as a public relations cover than to make significant inroads into product safety and quality in China, but time will tell.

And last but not least — Kudos to Pat the Terrierman for his excellent articleon Mark Derr and Cesar Millan.  Terrierman astutely observed that:

But no matter how nice or over-educated you are, a dog is not a child.This is a particularly uncomfortable and threatening truth for women who have managed to displace their maternal instincts to the family pet. This is a point Millan does not address directly (please, not too much honesty Millan!) but he does suggest women often have a harder time asserting dominance over their “fur babies.” He is right. Why does saying this obvious thing send Mark Derr clucking away like a hen? Anyone who works with dogs has seen the maternal displacement problem in action, and anyone who has seen the “Dog Whisperer” TV show has seen the problem repeated out again and again. The Daisy Fuentes episode was particularly memorable for some reason ….

The simple but harsh truth is that the psycho-demographic watching the National Geographic channel tend to be people with two types of common “dog problems”: They think their dog is their child, and their dog is over-fed and fat.

The dog is, quite simply, being “loved to death.”

Terrierman goes on to say that:

Derr seems to take issue with Cesar Millan’s admonitionthat dogs do best with “exercise, discipline, and affection,” and he seems to disagree with Mr. Millan’s definition of discipline as meaning “rules, boundaries, and limitations.”

Derr is being stupid.No serious dog man would argue with Millan on these points. The only thing you should say after Milan’s statements on these issues is “Of course.” Or perhaps, if you are being a bit chatty, “It is also true for children.”

Sigh.  Yes. 

Since when did any type of coercion – no matter how fair, how mild or how instructive – start being defined as torture?  I have to say that I don’t believe that this is the view taken by most people.  It is onlyin the media, on the internet and among a small – but extremely vocal minority  of dog trainers that any type of correction has become equated with mortal sin.  Sadly, this group seems to have found a way to dominate the media and many publishing houses (most likely with the aid of animal rights groups who would like to end all pet ownership) .

As Terrierman posted in this blog – the man who invented clicker training believed in using corrections:

It may come as a shock to some people to learn that Karen Pryor did not invent clicker training. It was invented by legendary animal trainer Bob Bailey. Bailey was on an animal training list-serv that I was on. Both of us were quiet lurkers, but one day Bailey popped up to set one “pure positive” person right on his ass. Mr. Bailey wanted it known to the list that he himself was not a “clicker trainer.” He used clickers, sure, but he also felt there was a place for mild coercion. He even thought there was a right time and place to “shoot the dog” when dealing with extremely dangerous animals. Not a peep was heard after that.

Bob Bailey is still around.  He’s retired, but still occasionally offers workshops on animal training.

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Entry filed under: dog training, dogs, health. Tags: , , , , , .

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