Monday, October 22, 2012

Intelligence of Non-Humans

 The Bee-Engine

There was a crowd of bees flying around one day.   
These bees were most peculiar.
They were powered by gasoline,
rather than the allergenic goodies that bees usually eat.

As the crowd flew along, periodically a bee or two would start to sputter; 
it would fly down to a gas station...drink up the gas spilled in fuelling a car, 
and then fly up and rejoin the crowd.

One bee began to sputter a little, but flew right by an open gas station.   
As he passed the second station, he was coughing badly, but still he flew on.

Finally, as he was on his last fumes, he dove  down to a station and gassed up.

When he rejoined the  crowd, his neighbour challenged him:  “Look, you passed
right by an open station when you started to get low.  You passed another station
when you were perilously low.  And finally, you  ran out of gas just in time to glide
into that last station.  Are you crazy???”

He replied, “Well, it's like this.  The first station was a Gulf station.  
I really don't like Gulf at all! The second station was a Texaco station!  
That's even worse.  But the third station was an Esso station!!!   
Let me tell you...Esso is my brand of gasoline!”

Now you know what they say, don't you ... ???
“There's an Esso Bee in every crowd!”

Feline Learning?

Did you hear the one about the cat that earned an MBA online?

No, it's not the latest water cooler joke.  It's actually the basis behind a lawsuit 
filed in early December against Trinity Southern University...a front for a 
school run by  two Texan brothers accused of selling fake degrees and prescription 
drugs using spam e-mail.

         The “school” which offered no classes, allegedly awarded a Master of Business 
         Administration degree to a Deputy Attorney General's 6-year old cat for $299!

(This is one “intelligent looking cat”!
A “head and shoulders” photo of a striped tabby
(as becomes a graduate)
with the usual black tasselled mitred hat!)

Kitten Wisdom

A pretty little girl named Suzy was standing on the sidewalk in front of her home. 
Next to her was a basket containing a number of tiny creatures; in her hand 
was a sign announcing FREE KITTENS.

Suddenly a line of big black cars pulled up beside her.    
Out of the lead car stepped a tall grinning man.  Hi there, little girl, 
Im President Obama.  What do  you have in the basket? he asked.
Kittens, little Suzy said.
How old are they? asked Obama.
Suzy replied, Theyre so young their eyes arent even open yet.
And what kind of kittens are they?
Democrats, answered Suzy with a smile.

Obama was delighted.  As soon as he returned to his car, he called his PR 
chief and told him about the little girl and her kittens.
Recognizing  the perfect  photo op, the two men agreed that the president 
should return the next day, and in front of the assembled media, have the girl 
talk about her discerning kittens.

So the next day, Suzy was again standing on the sidewalk with her basket of
FREE KITTENS, when another motorcade pulled up, this time followed by vans
from ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN.  Cameras and audio equipment were quickly
set up, then Obama got out of his limo and walked over to little Suzy.
Hello, again, he said.  Id love it if you would tell all my friends out there
 what kind of kittens youre giving away.
Yes, sir, Suzy said, Theyre Republicans.

Taken by surprise, the president stammered, But yesterday, you told me
they were Democrats.
Little Suzy smiled and said, I know.
But today, they have their eyes open.

Patience Pays!

 A mirror-like lagoon and thick reeds fringed the marshy water. 
A blue heron on “stick legs”stood in the shallows.  Statue-still!

The bird was fishing...instinctively knowing...the most effective means to 
accomplish it was do nothing!  It didn't even seem to be breathing...its heart 
racing...its beady eyes scanning the clear bay water...and then emerged...
a gleaming silver fish clasped in its beak.  The heron scarfed down the 
still-squirming  fish...and then took off like a seaplane...gathering speed...
and then soaring ...its great wings beating with smooth strength.

Halcyon Days
(meaning calm, peaceful days)

The Halcyon is a bird of Greek legend and the name is now commonly given 
to the European Kingfisher.  The ancients believed the bird made a floating 
nest in the Aegean Sea and had the power to calm the waves while brooding 
her eggs.  Fourteen days of calm weather were to be expected when the 
Halcyon was nesting ~ around the winter solstice, usually 21st or 22nd of December.   
 The Halcyon days are generally regarded as beginning on the 14th or 15th of December.

The source of the belief in the birds power to calm the sea originated 
in a myth recorded by Ovid.  The story goes that Aeolus, the ruler of the winds, 
had a daughter named Alcyone, who was married to Ceyx, the king of Thessaly.   
Ceyx was drowned at sea and Alcyone threw herself into the waves in a fit of grief.   
Instead of drowning, she was transformed into a bird and carried to her husband by the wind.

        The myth came to the English-speaking world in the 14th century, 
       when in 1398 John Trevisa translated Barththolomew de Glanville
                         De proprietatibus  rerum into Middle English:
  “In the cliffe of a ponde of ocean, Alcion, a see foule, in wynter maketh her neste
           and layeth egges in vii days and sittyth on brood…seuen dayes.”

(May you and I always live in the "halcyon days")

 “Pearl of Wisdom”
You've got to Stay Alive
to Stay in the Game!
(James Patterson from his novel “Cross Country”

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . composed April 2, 2012
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