November 25, 2009

special pun


sit. grow. learn.

For days now, this article on applying Cesar Milan's dog whispering techniques to children has been the most popular article on the NYT website.

“When we started watching his shows, we had intended to apply his advice toward our dogs,” said Amy Twomey, [...] who is raising three children under 10 with her husband, Matt. “But we realized a lot of ideas can be used on our kids.” Indeed, Mr. Millan’s advice has replaced a shelf full of books on how to tame an unruly child. “It’s all the same simple concept: how to be the pack leader in your own house,” she said.

I suppose if you live in a house in which the word ‘no’ is considered harmful, it is perhaps useful to learn that setting limits is not always a bad thing. Just why one would have to learn that lesson from watching someone train dogs escapes me.

November 04, 2009

sniffed into jail by a dog

But can a dog missniff? The Innocence Project of Texas calls scent lineups "junk science":

HOUSTON — A dog’s sniff helped put Curvis Bickham in jail for eight months. Now that the case against him has been dropped, he wants to tell the world that the investigative technique that justified his arrest smells to high heaven. [...] Dogs’ noses have long proved useful to track people, and the police rely on them to detect drugs and explosives, and to find the bodies of victims of crime and disaster. A 2004 report by the F.B.I. states that use of scent dogs, properly conducted, “has become a proven tool that can establish a connection to the crime.” Scent lineups, however, are different. Critics say that the possibilities of cross-contamination of scent are great, and that the procedures are rarely well controlled.
More here.