Reporting within their story that Edgar Allan Poe's favorite, or worst, nightmares are so smart that one of them recently 'hacked' one researchers experiment and allegedly had to be removed so that it didn't teach all of the other birds its new tricks, we take a look within this ANP story at the latest bizarre animal attacks across America and the world, including a monkey attack video from Florida thats gone viral. We also look at a few recent studies of our natural world that many may find shocking including estimates that up to 40% of the US population might be destined to become 'mind controlled zombies'. Some would argue far more already are.
As we read in this Vice story and hear in the first video below from Science Magazine, ravens, like SOME human beings and the great apes, can plan for the future! Showing the ability to delay gratification in order to obtain better future rewards, how many politicians in Washington DC, wasting away their's and our grandchildren's freedom and future, could learn a thing or two from these birds?
While ravens have sometimes been looked upon as a harbinger of coming doom, Greco-Roman mythology looked upon the birds as a symbol of good luck associated with Apollo, the mythological 'God of Prophecy'. Called 'God's messengers to the mortal world', we also see Ravens were a life-saving miracle which appeared in 1 Kings chapter 17. Ravens were sent to Elijah directly by God and supplied him with meat and food.
Elijah Is Fed by Ravens 2 Then a message came to Elijah from the Lord. He said, 3 “Leave this place. Go east and hide in the Kerith Valley. It is east of the Jordan River. 4 You will drink water from the brook. I have directed some ravens to supply you with food there.” 5 So Elijah did what the Lord had told him to do. He went to the Kerith Valley. It was east of the Jordan River. He stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning. They also brought him bread and meat in the evening. He drank water from the brook.
According to this new story from Geek.com, human beings bred dogs to forgive mistreatment by us. Studies show that while most dogs are more than happy and quite quick to forgive their owners for mistreatment, wolves have no such tendencies. As the study also tells us, the dogs KNOW that they are being mistreated yet generally harbor no ill will towards their 'humans', who they consider their 'leader of the pack', and will soon forgive and forget.
Yet wolves, generally the same species as dogs, had a strongly different response than dogs to being 'slighted'. While we'd hope that none of you ever mistreat your pets, we hope that you remember this the next time your pet looks at you as if you just did them wrong. As we learn, after these tests were done, wolves resented both their partners and their trainers for being slighted, a trait that we've seemingly bred out of our pets as they'll quickly let go of any misdoings.
To be clear, dogs (as well as wolves, their wild cousins) definitely know when we’re giving them short shrift. If you have a steak and you don’t give them any, they might tolerate it, but they’ll definitely know that you held out on them. How could they not? They won’t, however, hold a grudge. Wolves, on the other hand, definitely remember.
Researchers were originally looking to test the idea that we trained dogs to recognize unfair treatment — a hallmark sign, biologists have found, that a species is gregarious. To their surprise, the study authors found that wolves — technically the same species (canis lupus) as our own pet doggos — had the same trait.
To test their hypothesis, a team at the Wolf Science Center in Austria raised several dogs and wolves in similar pack-based environments. Then two of them were placed in neighboring plots with a machine attached to a button. Subjects were trained to press the button, but noticed that when they did, the pupper next door would get the treat — not them. Both animals would be furious when they realized that they weren’t getting food.
“For some of them it was a really, really quick and strong response,” study co-author, Jennifer Essler, told the BBC. “One of the wolves stopped working after the third trial of not receiving anything while his partner received something. I think he was so frustrated he even broke the apparatus.”
While the plan by Verily to release 20 million mosquitoes into the wild in California might sound like 'mad science' to some, it's nothing compared to what we learn from Project Syndicate. As we see in their story, sometimes the very smallest forms of life on the planet are pulling the strings. While many human beings have long believed that we are the dominant species on the planet so therefore we control most of the the 'every-day workings' of life, as this recent story from Project Syndicate argues, that isn't always the case.
Sounding almost like an outrageous and unbelievable science fiction movie, we're told that the mind-controlling properties of some parasites aren't just limited to pigs, cows and sheep and that in fact, human beings quite frequently fall victim to some of the smallest microscopic 'creatures' known to mankind.
Science fiction has long explored the terrifying possibility that we are devoid of free will, and that some unpleasant creature could control our minds or turn us into plodding zombies. But mind control is not just a literary trope. It is also a common method by which parasites gain access to environments where they can grow, reproduce, and complete their life cycles. And parasites’ mind-control abilities are not limited to invertebrates. Consider the rabies virus, which is transmitted among dogs, humans, and other mammals by biting. To maximize its chances of spreading to another host, the virus actually alters its host’s mind to turn it into an angry, slavering, biting machine that will chomp at anything it encounters.
Another species that can affect human behavior is the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, the causal agent of Toxoplasmosis.T. gondii is extremely common, with an infection rate of 15-85% across different countries, depending on climate and diet. Whereas Brazil and France have infection rates of around 80%, Japan’s is only 7%.
T. gondii can find its way to humans through farm animals such as pigs, cows, and sheep. And, as it happens, raw-meat dishes are more common in French and Brazilian cuisines. But T. gondii naturally targets cats, by way of rats whose behavior it has altered. Namely, the microbe increases the likelihood of its host rat being eaten by a cat, by reducing the rat’s natural fear of light (photophobia) and cat urine.
Humans, too, can experience alarming behavioral changes after becoming infected by T. gondii. Infected men can become jealous, distrusting of others, disrespectful of established rules, and less risk-averse; as a result, they are almost three times more likely to be involved in a car accident. Infected women, meanwhile, can become either suicidal or more warm-hearted, insecure, and moralistic.
Moreover, there is evidence that a T. gondii infection could play a role in mental disorders. More than 40 studies have shown that people suffering from schizophrenia test positive for T. gondii antibodies, indicating that they may have been previously infected. And T. gondii has also been tied to dementia, autism, Parkinson’s disease, and brain cancer.
As we hear in the 3rd video below, according to some scientists, nearly 40% of the population could be 'under the influence' of the mind-controlling parasite without even knowing. Seeing how many different diseases could be tied to T. gondii is disturbing and certainly warrants much more investigation before this disease, too, evolves into something much more dangerous and uncontrollable.
As we also hear in this 3rd video, some 60 million Americans may be infected with T. gondii right now despite it sounding like a '3rd world disease' and besides the other diseases mentioned that it is being blamed for causing, it could also be partially responsible for the 'dumbing down' of Americans and people throughout the world.
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, “Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;— Darkness there and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?” This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”— Merely this and nothing more.
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore; Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door— Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door— Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, “Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore— Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!” Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
Do you find ravens to be harbingers of doom, a symbol of good luck or 'nothing special'? We found the Elijah story to be telling. Just for kicks and memories, in the final video below we hear the song "The Raven" from the band The Alan Parsons Project from their debut album "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" released in 1976. Certainly showing my age and giving all a small glimpse of my somewhat eclectical musical tastes, this song immediately came in to my mind when I read this Vice Motherboard story.
The album's avant-garde soundscapes kept it from being a blockbuster, but the interesting lyrical and musical themes — retellings of horror stories and poetry by Edgar Allan Poe — attracted a small audience.