Science Friday: Awesome Podcast

My favorite podcast is Science Friday: Making Science Radioactive.  I listen to it (free) for several hours each week.  They talk about everything from embriotic stem cells to genetic testing to apes to hurricanes to string theory.  I always finish wanting to buy the guest speaker’s book to learn more …

Constant Interruptions

There’s an interesting article in the New York Times Magazine about how interrupt driven our lives are, Meet the Life Hackers – New York Times.  One interesting concept was that we like the interruptions because the make us feel needed:

This can actually be a positive feeling, inasmuch as the constant pinging makes us feel needed and desired. The reason many interruptions seem impossible to ignore is that they are about relationships – someone, or something, is calling out to us. It is why we have such complex emotions about the chaos of the modern office, feeling alternately drained by its demands and exhilarated when we successfully surf the flood.

The article went on to talk about the ways computers could help us deal with the interruptions by figuring out when we were busy (and therefore should not be interrupted) and when might be a good time to deliver all our email.

There was also a study that said that having a bigger computer screen where you could see all your active tasks might decrease your stress and allow you to finish tasks 10-40% faster than on a small screen!

Why does my dog lean?

Judging from the general lack of information on the web and the large variation of answers that I did find, I think we don’t yet know enough about dog behavior.  From what I found, I concluded that our chocolate lab is looking for attention when he leans on you.  (The other option was aggression and I’m not buying that as a cause for leaning for our 75 pound lap dog!)  From Dominance aggression in dogs: Part 1.

Owners need to distinguish these behaviors from mere pushiness or attention-seeking. For example, if a dog is leaning against its owner just to get attention, the owner can physically move the dog without its becoming aggressive. Unlike most dominantly aggressive dogs, dogs that lean on a person for attention do not stiffen, open their eyes, and move with the person so they are again touching or pressing.

Think Like a Dog

If you want to figure out why your dog is misbehaving, you need to think like a dog, not a human.  This article does a great job of showing how we misinterpret why dogs misbehave.  One of our dogs has diarrhea in every room of the house if we leave him at home alone.  I decided it couldn’t be because he was mad at us because it didn’t seem to be something he could control.  Besides, if we leave him in the bedroom, he doesn’t have a problem.  Our vet confirmed that he’s nervous.  The house is too much freedom; the bedroom feels safe.

Do Dogs Think? – Owners assume their pet’s brain works like their own. That’s a big mistake. By Jon Katz.

del.icio.us: Another cool tool

Sometimes I think I’m the last one to hear about some of
these tools and I wonder how you are supposed to find them all.  Del.icio.us is a website that lets you store all
your bookmarks online so that you can access them from any computer. You can
also share them with others (anonymously if you want) and search other people’s
bookmarks by keyword or popularity.  If you use more than one computer
it’s a lifesaver!

My top web tools right now are:

  • Bloglines – a tool I use to read news and blogs
  • Flickr – for sharing photos
  • Del.icio.us – a tool for keeping track of all your bookmarks in one place
  • Gmail – email
  • Amazon – books: information, reviews and recommendations

Pictures from Sailing Class

I had a great week sailing in the BVI on the Moorings boat Salaway with Offshore Sailing School.  I made new friends and learned a lot.  One of the coolest things we learned was how to "heave to", how to stop in the middle of the ocean.  The joke of the day was several thousand dollars and a whole week of class and we learned how to stop!

Here are the pictures I took.

www.flickr.com

Back on Land

Today we had a smooth sail home with the wind on our side.  We tried to stop at the Indians for some snorkeling but there were way too many jellyfish.

Now if the land would just stop moving …