Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Years, be careful and try not to be too crazy

The Daily Journal (San Mateo County), "Off the Beat" Michelle Durand Tuesday Column, 12/30/14. "Drinking is for the birds."

Where's everybody?
"Think you and your friends do some drunken tweeting after a few too many appletinis?

You’ve gotten nothing, it seems, on a bunch of real bird brains. No, seriously. Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University fed a bunch of zebra finches alcohol-spiked juice to learn more about how adult beverages impact human speech. Much like a crazed girls night out with the radio cranked up or hung heavy with peer pressure to karaoke “I Will Survive,” the buzzed birds slurred their songs. Specifically, according to the findings, some of the syllables were less intelligible than others and their songs grew quieter over time, not unlike those happy drinkers who slide into la la land after one too many toasts. What the researchers can’t tell yet is if the birds themselves know they and their feathery pals sound different, too.

This unique experiment proves two things. First, as often stated in this column space, scientists and researchers can get paid to study just about anything. The rest of us are apparently lacking in creativity if we can’t figure out something to “study” in the name of science and grant money. And two, my dog is obviously not the only animal to sneak a drink when the opportunity arises."   Read article.

Note:  cartoon by Patrick McDonnell "MUTTS" comic strip from Comics Kingdom.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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