Orangs play charades?

One word, sounds like . . .
Photo credit: University of St. Andrews

Science Daily[*1] :

When using gestures to get their points across, orangutans rely on the same basic strategy that humans follow when playing the popular game and intentionally modify or repeat hand (or other) signals based on the success or failure of their first attempt.

Professor Richard Byrne of the (University of St. Andrews) School of Psychology said, “We were surprised that the orangutans’ responses so clearly signaled their assessment of the audience’s comprehension. Looking at the tapes of the animal’s responses, you can easily work out whether the orangutan thinks it has been fully, partially, or not understood, without seeing what went before.”

“This means that, in effect, they are passing information back to the audience about how well they are doing in understanding them, hence our ‘charades’ analogy. In playing the game, you want primarily to convey your meaning non-verbally – as does the orangutan – but secondarily to help the team get your meaning by giving them hints as to how well they are doing.”

Minneapolis bridge collapse

No, I’m not ignoring it.  I just don’t have much to say, except my prayers go out to all of the victims and their families.  We do need to do a better job of maintaining our infrastructure.  That means more money.  Materials science and physics don’t work on the cheap.

Brain implant revives man

Yahoo News/Reuters[*1] :

“His skull was completely crushed and he was left for dead,” his mother told reporters in a telephone briefing.

He spent the next five years in a nursing home with no hope of recovery. He would occasionally mouth the word yes or no, but could not communicate reliably or eat on his own.

His parents agreed to try the experimental treatment in August 2005, and doctors saw immediate results.

He was alert and could move his head to follow voices.

He can now drink from a cup, recall and speak 16 words, and watch a movie.

Rezai said he is engaged with his family, playing cards with his mother and taking short trips outside the facility.

They implanted a device in the brain and provide small electric pulses for 12 hours a day, something called “deep brain stimulation.  Truly remarkable and amazing.

So much silliness, so little time

Usually, the dog days of summer are a lazy lull in the overall news cycle.  It is so this year, notwithstanding the prodigious efforts of the newsie industry.  So, I ain’t postin’ much, ’cause I ain’t thinkin’ that much is of great import at the moment.