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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 30, 2009 / 6 Iyar

Planning of the Apes

By Malcolm Fleschner


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If I had to summarize, in one sentence, the result of most scientists' studies of animal behavior, that sentence would be, "They're smarter than we give them credit for" (the animals, not the researchers).


The problem, as I see it, is that for centuries people have just assumed that animals are pretty stupid, primarily because we've witnessed our own dogs and cats who, when not engaged in lengthy licking and scratching rituals, tend to fill their time with non-Einstein-esque behaviors like ferociously attacking invisible dust bunnies or gleefully rolling around in dead squirrel remains. And then it's right back to the licking and scratching.


With such low expectations on animal intelligence, it's no wonder we're always reading about new government-funded studies excitedly reporting that, for example, goldfish can recognize themselves in a mirror, pigeons can identify more complex patterns than previously believed or that rats, when trained over a period of months, can be taught to fill out basic government research grant forms.


"This has been a real time-saver for us, as you can probably imagine," the lead researcher on the project told reporters. "And to think some people don't see any practical application for scientific research!"


The latest example of this "Animals: Not as dumb as we thought" strain of research comes from Sweden, where animal behaviorists have discovered a chimpanzee named Santino who exhibits what the scientists claim is "human-like planning behavior." As evidence, researchers report that Santino will regularly spend hours meticulously collecting stones and broken off bits of concrete which he then fashions into what the researchers describe as "a primitive sort of BlackBerry." Ha! Just kidding. He hoards the rocks to throw at people visiting the zoo.


"Such planning implies advanced consciousness and cognition traditionally not associated with animals," says primate researcher Mathias Osvath.


Or, for that matter, I might add, many of the people you see scrambling to get to the post office before midnight every year on April 15.


And while we can all readily agree that stones are easily the second-worst thing that primates tend to throw at people, whether this kind of advance planning is so rare in the animal kingdom remains an open question. Why, in my household alone, I have witnessed any number of instances where my cat will sit by the door for hours until he's let in, at which point he promptly throws up on the carpet. That's not just planning, it's actual scheming.


Besides, the recognition that primates are plotting against us should come as no surprise to anyone who's seen Planet of the Apes. In this chilling documentary about a post-apocalyptic world ruled by super-intelligent chimpanzees, humans are hunted and enslaved, and can't even be saved from their primate oppressors by a force as powerful as Charlton Heston's overacting.


Clearly, Santino's rock-throwing is merely a small part of the primates' larger plan to make the Planet of the Apes scenario a reality. And frankly, can you blame them for turning against us? Any time we're not conducting experiments on them or locking them up to be gawked at in our zoos, we're dressing them in humiliating diaper and baby bonnet outfits or shooting hilarious YouTube videos of them riding on Segways (Seriously, if you haven't seen this, check it out - keyword search "chimpanzee segway." You won't regret it). In truth, Santino is probably just gathering all those rock piles to defend himself in case any Hollywood types show up looking to cast the lead role in Most Valuable Primate: Going Ape in Europe.


Still, to be on the safe side, we humans have to assume that our simian cousins have us in their rock-throwing crosshairs, and we need to think about how we can discourage them from putting their dastardly plans for human subjugation into action. The first step should be to show them that we're not all sadistic animal experimenters or weird monkey diaper fetishists, and highlight all we've done to benefit primate species.


For example, in the early days of the space program, NASA bestowed on monkeys the rare honor of experiencing the exhilaration of space travel — why, they even got to go into space before we sent any humans up. These early monkey-nauts could provide great testimonials to other primates about the privilege of helping to pioneer space travel. What a terrible shame that they were all either asphyxiated while in orbit or killed on impact after reentry.


OK, so maybe that plan won't work. Instead, we'll have to find a way to distract the primates from their plans for world domination. And as we know, primates are social animals, so all we need is a way to trick them into expending all their energy on a completely useless, time-wasting activity. I think I may have the answer: www.monkeyfacebook.com.

JWR contributor Malcolm Fleschner is a humor columnist for The DC Examiner. Let him know what you think by clicking here.


Previously:

04/08/09: No more phoning it in
02/26/09: Tuning in to the English Channel
02/19/09: 25 AND COUNTING
02/13/09: A new life, dead ahead
01/29/09: NOW STARRING ... EVERYBODY!
01/15/09: You know the type
01/08/09: Just in time, here comes 2009
11/20/08: Hotels go for the green
11/06/08: Something does not compute
10/30/08: Early adopters tech their chances
10/21/08: Cyberspace invaders
10/21/08: Keeping up disappearances
09/17/08: Victims of math hysteria
08/07/08: My newfound sense of self (promotion)
06/24/08: Getting the brand back together
05/29/08: Phrased and confused
05/13/08: Take this job and love it
04/17/08: News you can (re)use
04/02/08: Commercial (over)load
02/20/08: An overdose of reality
02/14/08: A developing situation
01/30/08: I can tech it or leave it
01/02/08: Confessions of a coke addict
01/02/08: Our bills are due
12/13/07: Going (to lunch) once, going twice…
11/28/07: Out with the old
11/06/07: My latest pet project
11/06/07: Can't tune it out
10/23/07: Something special in the hair
09/12/07: Can I have your attention, please?
09/12/07: Houston, we have an image problem
08/21/07: In the heat of fashion
08/09/07: Let's get in the game
06/13/07: You gonna eat that?
05/08/07: That's disinter-tainment
05/02/07:You Are (not) Getting Sleepy...
04/18/07: No time like Father Time
03/15/07: Deface the Nation
03/08/07: More gifts? You shouldn't have
02/22/07: Relationships can be such a chore
12/05/06: Who's calling the shots?
11/09/06: I'm taking selling to a whole new level
10/27/06: Some skills are beyond repair
10/18/06: You can't tech it with you
10/04/06: Award to the wise
08/24/06: Phrased and Confused
08/09/06: We're Gonna Party Like it's $19.99
07/19/06: Just Singing in the Brain
05/24/06: Who says you can't go home again?
05/11/06: When nightly news stories go off script
04/26/06: Cents and sensibility: A thought for your pennies
03/16/06: The day the Muzak died
02/23/06: Checkbook diplomacy begins at home
02/15/06: Today's toys: Where learning means earning



© 2006, Malcolm Fleschner

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