July 27, 2007

Eeee-Haw, It's the Friday Round Up!

It's that time of the week again, when Crabby abandons all attempts at organizational themes or helpful transitions and just rounds up a bunch of random studies and links for you too read or not, whatever your preference. So saddle up your ponies and lets go for our usual wild ride!

So who knows how scientific this story is, and it's been out on the AP wires for a couple of days so you may have read it already. But it seems there's a cat at a nursing home who is normally pretty aloof. But "Oscar" has the ability to sense when a patient is about to die, and when they are he curls up beside them. The folks at the nursing home have become so convinced of his abilities to predict imminent death that they use him as an early warning system to let relatives know they may need to get in quick. Skeptical? Crabby was too, because it seems like the sort of thing people tend to exaggerate. But she's keeping an open mind, because apparently this little guy keeps getting it right over and over and over again--twenty five times so far. The full account is here.

In other animal matters (and this might make a full post one day, given the interests of Crabby's readers) there was recent study suggesting that owning a dog may make you healthier. Cats--not so much. Crabby needs to investigate this further, because while it may be that the necessary daily walks are helping people lower their blood pressure and cholesterol, it also seems possible that only relatively healthy people can take on dog ownership in the first place. The study may well have controlled for that; Crabby needs to poke around a bit more.

And here's a produce fact Crabby didn't know: watermelon is a vegetable, not a fruit! Elastic Waist (which is a cool blog) has a link, as did one of Crabby's Smart Readers, but Crabby forgot who it was, sorry! The links eventually take you to WebMd.

And it looks like scientists may have isolated the chemical in curry that helps prevent Alzheimer's. Crabby is glad that there may be a potential new weapon against Alzheimer's on the way; still it's much more fun to eat Indian food that swallow some sort of extract. So in the meantime: more curry, yumm.

So that's enough research for a Friday. Now it's on to some recreational links that have nothing to do with health.

For you writers, Jen over at The Working Writer has a post full of resources for writing Sex Scenes in novels--many of the amusing What Not to Do variety.

And Dawn at The Flightless Writer has a funny post about the similarities between bloggers and trained rats.

Finally, some silliness that has probably been making the rounds for years but it was new to Crabby. It's a compendium of unfortunately placed advertisements. Given that Crabby is easily fooled by photoshop, caution is advised; however, it looks as though the site's authors make some effort to "keep it real." Some of them are, actually, pretty damn unfortunate.

And if you've made it this far and can find something in this odd collection to comment on, Crabby will be quite impressed!


  1. re: Death Kitteh

    I, personally, am totally psyched for all the LOLcats that this is sure to produce. This is truly full of WIN and AWSUM.

    It's already started:

  2. Curmuninoids sounds like a space alien species. Good. They'll straighten us out once and for all.
    We should all eat more curry. It's good for the tummy.

    Watermelon - one of the examples cited suggests that it's a vegetable like the tomato. Umm, Crabby, botanically speaking, tomatoes are berries, like bananas.

    Good to know Oscar's on the job.

  3. Hm, being a person who prefers dogs to cats, the psychological side may very well be important. I've always found it funnier to have a dog around: for instance, you can play with him differently (no risk of seeing claws dug in your butt...), and a dog is basically your pet--whereas you're basically the cat's pet, which isn't exactly interesting per se. ;) While this won't magically lower your cholesterol, I can see how this would have positive effects, much like a person surrounded by loving people may recover more quickly than someone who is alone and abandoned. And the contact bit I found to be true as well: more than once, I chatted for an hour or so with another person walking her dog, while we didn't know each other at all. You can't exactly do that when you own a cat, since walking a cat is, uh... I don't know, there are very few people who do that.

    PS - And those misplaced ads gave me a good laugh! XD

  4. I just found your blog through a link from Crunchy 'Nanas and I wanted to let you know that I love it. I'm sure I'll be back.

  5. In a previous life (up to about 6 months ago, actually), I worked as an RN in a palliative care residence. Our residents could bring pets if they wanted/needed and it was always so heartbreaking after their person died, to see those pets look so lost. Broke my heart.

    Animals do sense things. Several years ago, I was quite ill and our golden retriever, who was not allowed on our bed (husband's decree) found a way to do so. After we both fell asleep, Rox would jump onto my side of the bed and sleep on the bottom corner until sunrise, and then he would jump off. He did that only while I was ill, for about a week or two and then never did it again.

  6. Chicken girl,
    You are totally scaring me! I love it. Beware the Death Kitteh!

    Leah, okay now I'm worried about space-alien curmuninoids as well as death kittehs. I am totally going to have nightmares tonight. (And yeah, tomatoes are fruits! But I got the feeling the whole watermelon/squash thing had some actual botanical basis. I have to confess I didn't read much more than: usually reliable source (WebMD) says watermelon=vegetable.)

    Great point about the social aspects of dog ownership. I actually kind of believe the results of this thing, but would like to take more time to actually find the study itself rather the newspaper article. Although depending on the cat, they can be the lovey-dovey friendly kind who really feel like companions. And you're right, dogs provide a great way to connect with humans as well as a walk.

    Welcome Vanilla!
    And sorry you landed here on a "roundup" day, which tends to be even weirder than usual. Your blog Half-Fast looks great--will definitely have to spend some more time checking it out.

  7. Hi Marijke,
    Wow, that does sound heartbreaking--never really thought about the issue of pets outlasting owners.

    And it sounds like you have a really wonderful dog!

  8. The owning a dog thing makes sense in that you have to walk a dog. My cat gets exercise leaping all over the apartment, but a dog couldn't do that, of course.

    About kitty knowing when people will die, maybe the ancient Egyptians knew something we didn't...cats were sacred, maybe not for nothing!

  9. really enjoying the site...followed you off of HealthBolt. Those misplaced ads really made me laugh.

    Keep up the good work.

  10. Watermelon is a veggie. Colored me shocked. I refuse to believe it. Thanks for the link to the funny ads I was busting up :)

  11. Welcome anonymous peep!
    Yeah I think you're right about the limited exercise potential of a feline companion. But good point, maybe the Egyptians were on to something!

    Thanks Brian! It's really nice of you to stop by here. And I just sort of re-discovered HealthBolt so perhaps I'll be seeing you over there sometimes in the comments too.

    Hi Jennifer,
    Well, knowing your amazing ability to find weird things on the web, I'm betting you already have some sort of Watermelon House over at Offbeat Homes, or if you don't, you will soon.

  12. YES! Watermelon is a vegetable - I need all the help I can get. In fact I think I read somewhere that pineapple was a vegetable too... ;)

  13. Katieo,
    Pineapple too? Awesome!

    The Lobster is of the opinion that not only is popcorn a vegetable, but so is Candy Corn. I'll have to push the watermelon and pineapple as healthier alternative "vegetables."

  14. I was very touched by the story about Oscar the cat. As you know (DUH! :)), I am a huge cat lover (well, I love cats hugely, and one of the cats I love is huge, almost twenty pounds, but I digress...)

    ANYWAY! :)

    Oscar sounds like a little fuzzy fella on a mission, and his mission is a very, very good one.

    Here's a really good story I happened upon about Oscar. An excerpt:

    "Jack McCullough of East Providence lost both his mother and aunt at Steere; the octogenarian sisters, suffering from disease-induced dementia, shared a room. Marion, his mother, died in November 2005; Aunt Barbara died on March 9 of this year.

    "In both cases, Oscar predicted death: Hopping onto each woman's bed near the final hour. Cuddling close and purring.

    "Oscar's presence gave a sense of completion and contentment," said McCullough. "Both women loved pets."

    I cried when I read the story. It touched me in a way I really can't describe.

  15. Crabby animals have a heart of human being :)

    They do care for humans, we need to take care.

  16. Thomma Lyn,
    Thank you so much for sharing that part of the story! I hadn't seen that. Makes me a little teary too.

    Hi Prize Blog,
    I agree, they do so much for us we need to take care of them too! Thanks for visiting.

  17. Cats vs. Dogs. What total nonsense. I do not own a cat for the health benefits. I own a cat because she's beautiful and fires my imagination. And she makes me laugh every day. I've met many a dog I liked a lot -- a standard poodle, a Rhodesian ridgeback, any dachsund at all -- but the dependence and submissiveness side of the dog personality does not appeal to me, as inspiring as loyalty and the tribal thing may be. I don't want to be an alpha anything. Cats lead us on; dogs follow us. Each gives us something different. Some people live with both. Moi, I'm just not ambipetrous...

  18. Hello Appleton!

    Love your analysis of cats vs. dogs. I think in spirit I'm "ambipetrous" as I love both cats and dogs, but the pragmatics of dog ownership are much more daunting so we just have a cat. And I agree: one should pick an animal companion because they are wonderful creatures, not for their supposed health benefits.

  19. "Cats--not so much"

    But what if I have 2? Can I rub them together and make some sort of staticky filled life enhancement device?? :)

  20. Geosomin,
    That's hilarious!

    And I think those studies must be wrong: every try to round up an cat and get her in a carrier when she knows she's going to the vet? Plenty of exercise!


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