so let us close out the year in the fashion with which we’re all accustomed: a slightly-delayed update composed primarily of mocking and/or complaining about things in the news! well, maybe things will be better in 2013, and maybe not, but we’re all welcome to engage in a little bit of hope around the eve of the new year, right? right? well, anyway, let’s just get on with the update and see if we can improve upon things next year…
searched for “parrot listens to Scissor Sisters’ music,” received these buttocks. thanks ever so much, Google
…which is a TERRIBLE title for the article. terrible! the subheading is more informative –“parrots have musical tastes, with some preferring classical works and others pop tunes, scientists have found. But the creatures do not like dance music”– but unless you’re really into the Scissor Sisters and/or parrots, i don’t think you’re majorly hooking the reader. except that i AM intrigued by the possibility of parrots being enraged by dance music. stupid parrots! anyway, there’s an article here:
“They are known as great mimics, but now scientists have discovered that parrots also have varied musical tastes — and an intense dislike of dance tunes.”
what exactly does the “great mimics” thing have to do with this? is the standard belief something along the lines of “animals can either be mimics or have varied musical taste, but not both. never both! UNTIL NOW, THAT IS?” because if it’s not, this is just lazy writing.
“Researchers monitored the listening preferences of a pair of African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus)- a popular pet species, pictured – and found that while one favoured soothing “middle of the road” music, the other opted for more upbeat, modern pop. Both birds also enjoyed rock and folk music and “danced” along, by bobbing their heads and legs. They even “sang along”, by squawking. But neither animal appreciated electronic dance music, which left them both distressed.”
is this the time when we make fun of researchers studying these kinds of things on the public dime?! BECAUSE THOSE ARE MY TAX DOLLARS WE’RE TALKING ABOUT! (insert outraged noise here) i mean, not literally, as i understand this is taking place in the UK… anyway, anyway, what’s weird to me is that “soothing “middle of the road” music” and “upbeat, modern pop” sound like the same damn thing to me, a dilemma not addressed by the clarification of what each kind of music we’re talking about which will be coming later in the article. granted, i like all that hippety-hop garbage, but still, confusion reigns.
“Dr Franck Péron, from the University of Lincoln, said: “The birds clearly showed preferences. One preferred the rhythmic and one preferred the classical. There is no trend for the birds. Even if they are in the same place hearing the same things, they do not prefer the same music.”
seriously, i LOVE how serious the tone of this “discussing the music parrots enjoy” conversation is.
“The research initially involved three parrots, Léo, Zoé and Shango, being played a series of “rhythmic” songs, including tunes by U2, UB40 and Joan Baez. They all appeared to enjoy this and were observed dancing and singing along, with excited calls and human words. They also listened to several cantatas by Bach which appeared to relax them, encouraging them to rest and preen themselves.”
01. UB40 made the cut to get played for parrots AND mentioned in this story? HELL YES;
02. seriously, though, are U2 and Joan Baez really “rhythmic” music? i mean, okay, it’s music and so it has some amount of rhythm on principle, but when someone tells me “hey, i played a bunch of rhythmic songs for some parrots,” i don’t think of stadium rock and old-school activist folk rock. i guess to me “rhythmic songs” sounds more like older soul music? like the Temptations?
03. U2 makes you dance, Bach makes you groom yourself. got it.
“The two male parrots — Léo and Shango — then took part in a second trial in which a touch-screen monitor was left in their cage, with two large buttons, which could be pressed by the birds’ beaks and which activated a 15-second segment of two different songs: either I Don’t Feel like Dancing, by the pop group Scissor Sisters, or the more soothing La Petite Fille de la Mer by Vangelis. The touch screen was left in their cages for a month and the birds were allowed to select the music whenever they wished. Although the pair liked to listen to both songs clear preferences emerged — with Léo consistently choosing the Scissor Sisters and Shango opting for Vangelis.”
now we return to my point. granted, i do not listen to either the Scissor Sisters (whose name is apparently based on EXACTLY what you think it is) or Vangelis (although i at least recognize him from the soundtrack to Blade Runner), so this comment is based on ignorance and Wikipedia, but i understand them to both be creators of “pop rock,” with one being admittedly more toward the classical end of the spectrum. also… “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” isn’t basically dance music? the thing that enrages parrots? alright, whatever.
“The birds’ aversion to dance music — by acts such as the Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers — was not discovered under the test conditions. It emerged when the researchers were listening to music of their own preference within earshot of the birds.”
this is where some snide science type yells “not discovered under test conditions? THEN I GUESS YOU DISCOVERED NOTHING!” not me, though, because now i have useful information for my war against parrots. on the other hand, i do remain bothered by being forced to call them “THE Prodigy.” doesn’t “Prodigy” just sound better as a band name?
“Dr Peron explained: “The electronic dance music was not appropriate for them. We had the radio on in the office and when it was a very fast beat, they started to scream; not in a friendly, communicative way but in a distressed, scared way. They seem to like pop music when there is a voice.””
you know what else has a voice? a lot of electronic dance music. this is not really coming off as the most scientific observation i have read about recently, Dr. Peron.
“He said the findings, which will be published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, would be useful to owners, who could use touch-screen technology to provide their own “jukeboxes” for their parrots.”
findings published in a journal! well, that’s certainly something. i’m not sure if it makes all the time and money invested in this research worthwhile, but it’s certainly… something.
now, okay, this is not as bad as being disappointed with sex and filing a false rape claim as a result, but it still seems a little excessive. i mean, i can see how this is an emotional topic and a fight might occur, but it’s not appropriate, right? right? well, someone better tell these women in Manatee County, Florida, because they are absolutely losing their minds over the topic. from a little while back:
“A Florida woman was jailed last night for a post-coital assault on her boyfriend, an attack the victim says was prompted when only he climaxed during a sexual encounter in the couple’s residence. Raquel Gonzalez, 24, was arrested Monday afternoon for felony domestic battery and booked into the Manatee County lockup, where bond has been set at $750.”
so was this, like, the very first time this had happened? because if not, it’s definitely excessive, and if so, well, shouldn’t you give the man a chance to put his respective work in? i guess what i am saying is that i find this assault excessive no matter what the circumstances are.
“Deputies noted that Davis and Gonzalez were “involved in sexual intercourse” when “Esric then climaxed and Raquel did not.” Which reportedly angered Gonzalez, who allegedly “began hitting and scratching [Davis], causing scratches near his eye and nose.” Davis told investigators that Gonzalez “goes off” frequently and that she had previously been physical with him. At one point, Gonzalez told deputies, “I have scratches on me too from where he tried to restrain me when I lost it.”
i have to figure it’s not a great legal strategy to declare that not only did you “lose it” (as opposed to, say, something about “mutual combat” or “righteous vengeance in response to selfish sexual intercourse”), but also to say your injuries came when someone was FORCED TO RESTRAIN YOU? i guess the real question is, aside from the sex motive, why did such a fight occur? well…
“A sheriff’s report indicates that alcohol may have been a factor in the alleged battery.”
MAY have been a factor? when there’s a crazy assault charge, alcohol is always a factor. always. anyway, so that was late November, and then in late December…
“A Florida woman is jailed on a battery rap for allegedly striking her boyfriend after he “finished first and stopped pleasuring her” during a mutual oral sex session late last night in the victim’s home, police report. Jennie Scott, 50, was booked into the Manatee County lockup on a misdemeanor charge stemming from the 11 PM encounter in the Palmetto bedroom of Jilberto Deleon, 32. Scott has dated Deleon “for the last 5 years on and off,” according to a sheriff’s report.”
now, in this case, i have to admit that this sounds like a more offensive situation than the previous one, but at the risk of being sexist, a 50-year-old lady with a 32-year-old boyfriend? some might say he’s doing her a favor just by showing up. not me, though, i love all women and would never say something that’s a combination of sexist and ageist just to get some laughs. perish the thought.
worse, though, is that this situation devolves into a couple of scenario where i cannot quite figure out how things happen as written:
—“deputies were summoned to Deleon’s home by a witness who heard the couple arguing and saw Scott (seen at right) atop Deleon “punching and scratching him.” she also allegedly struck Deleon with a stick and threatened to hit him with a wrench before the tool was taken from her hand by the witness.”: wait, so this fight occurred as a result of selfish oral sex in a bedroom… but the argument was seen by a witness? who was then close enough to disarm the drunken, wrench-wielding Scott? how did this chain of events occur, and how public was the oral sex?
—“A deputy noted that Scott said that she was also mad at Deleon because she had “heard [him] having sex with another woman over the phone earlier in the day.”: so, she heard him having sex over the phone? how… how did this even occur? she called him while he was having sex with another women and he took the call AND continued having sex while answering the call? because that is the most logical explanation i can come up with, and it’s completely stupid and completely crazy. COMPLETELY CRAZY.
in short, these deputies really, really need to tighten up their report writing, as well as whatever part of their investigative work leads to good reports being written, because i am dying over here.
“Scott struggled with deputies before being placed in a police cruiser, where she kicked a window until being warned that she would be maced unless she stopped.”
i have never, never understood why people do this. you’re in custody! you’re just adding a charge to whatever they hit you with, only it’s one you’re not likely to dodge! unless…
“Bail has yet to be set for Scott, who deputies described as “extremely intoxicated.””
what was that i said? “when there’s a crazy assault charge, alcohol is always a factor. always.”
so there you have it: 2012 is over, 2013 begins. so we’ll see if we get any better at this update thing…