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Search tags: K.A.-Tucker
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text 2017-11-24 18:45
A Weekend with Few Plans!
The Mummy Case - Elizabeth Peters
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling
The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts - Joshua Hammer
Hide and Seek - Ian Rankin
The Great Starvation Experiment: The Heroic Men Who Starved so That Millions Could Live - Todd Tucker

Such a rarity and I appreciate it very much.  Saturday will be errand day and Sunday will be for cooking.  With lots of breaks for reading.


And I will finish The Mummy Case, dang it!  Don't know why I've been so easily distracted from it, but I will finish it this evening.


The Great Starvation Experiment is surprising--I am finding it somewhat creepy!  Who would do this to their fellow human beings?


Have a great weekend!



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text 2017-10-26 00:33
A quote from The Lion in the Living Room
The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World - Abigail Tucker

The mutual failure to communicate puts indoor cats in a precarious position, since once sealed in our homes they have no way to survive without human patronage. To complicate matters, due to what Bradshaw describes as their “weakness in social skills”, cats are almost impervious to punishment, fixated on food exclusively as a reward, and so are very tough to train. We can’t teach them our ways.


Which is where cat-human interaction studies take a fascinating turn: as they so often have in their relationship with humanity, cats take the initiative and tame us. Trapped in a house and with no other recourse, every pet cat sets about the daunting task of bringing its thick-skulled human to heel. Since this chore is well beyond the scope of normal feline (anti-) social life, the cat must more or less start from scratch, performing what amounts to a set of tests on human subjects. Indeed, it turns out that what we think of a cats’ affection or love for us is not only not unconditional, it is actively conditioning. Cats are the experimental architects; we are Pavlov’s dogs.


Some of this is obvious and even delightful to cat lovers. “Honeybun is the biggest love-mush,” says an owner quoted in one study. “She demands affection and will actually ‘hit’ people with her paw to get them to pet her or keep petting her.” But we are oblivious to much of the taming process.


Many cats somehow figure out, for instance, that humans respond well to sound. Take the pleasing trill of a purr. Among cats, this tonal buzzing in the vocal folds has no fixed significance—it can mean anything from “I am happy” to “I am about to die”. But to humans the sound is welcome and even rather flattering. So within our earshot, many cats apparently rejigger their purposeless purr to include a barely audible,  very annoying, and insistent signal, a cry—usually for food—that resembles a baby’s wail. “The embedding of a cry within a call we normally associate with contentment is quite a subtle means of eliciting a response,” purr researcher Karen McComb has said. She described this “solicitation purr”, which people register subconsciously, as “less harmonic and thus more difficult to habituate to,” and claimed that cats increase the behavior when they realize it gets results.


—The Lion in the Living Room by Abigail Tucker, p. 131-132

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review 2017-10-25 03:36
The Lion in the Living Room by Abigail Tucker
The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World - Abigail Tucker

Although not exactly a scientific book, this was informative, and Tucker mentions many studies. She covers the history of our "domestication" of cats (although she suggests that it may be more their domestication of us), the changes in cat lifestyles (indoor) over the last few decades, the recent advent of cat "breeds", the increases in their population levels, feral/pet cats, and cat memes, among others.


Some of the studies show that pet owners with cats may not enjoy all of the health benefits that other pet owners seem to, but this may be a selection effect since people in poorer health would tend to pick a cat over a dog as a pet. Apparently there's been some speculation among researchers concerning schizophrenia and toxoplasmosis as well as linking the latter to some other diseases. I remain somewhat skeptical, naturally. The correlation data wasn't exactly smoking-gun quality.


Anyway, it was an interesting read and I was satisfied with Tucker's style. I'm also pretty sure that my own little hypercarnivore has me well-trained. I should try to take possible noise pollution into account when I encounter apparently aberrant behaviour on his behalf, I think. I must admit that I don't really understand this modern desire for fancy cat breeds. My own little rescue is cute on his own despite his lack of "parentage".




Previous update:

page 81 of 187


A quote from page 131 (for Themis-Athena)

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text 2017-10-23 03:20
Reading progress update: I've read 81 out of 187 pages.
The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World - Abigail Tucker

Even with their categorization as an invasive species, cat eradication makes me sad.

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review 2017-10-04 03:57
The Ghost Fucker: Hung like a Dead Man (Paranormal Strangulation Erotica) (The Ghost Fucker Chronicles) - Fannie Tucker

Kevin is hanging around his home after his suicide.  He cannot pass over so his widow hires Katrina to rid the house of Kevin.  She has a different way of ghost busting.


This is a short quick hot read.  It is fun.  Katrina gives Kevin what he want so he can pass over.  I enjoyed it and plan to read more of the series.

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