January 24, 2008

You’re A Chimp Off The Old Block

Good morning, good afternoon and for Beach Boys fans, “good vibrations.” I don’t know if you locals here on the central coast have been watching the sky this past week, but we’ve had two sunsets that would be rated outstanding. If you like fantastic finishes over the Pacific, then Tuesday and Wednesday were definite keepers. It was a good and plenty time to be in possession of a camera.

Today’s photo expose is from the first day of December 2007. There was a dark cloud hovering across the western sky but it allowed the sun to shine thru like the Giant’s Plexico Burris against the Packer’s secondary. The first three shots were taken from Stockton Avenue along West Cliff Drive before I moseyed on up to Natural Bridges for final three. Actually, the last shot of the gull flying in front of the sun is from an evening back in November but I thought it worked as the grand finale for this day. And who says cheaters never prosper. Just ask Karl Rove.

I don’t know about you, but I love stories about monkeys, gorillas, orangutans and furry little bunnies. There’s just something about animals that swirls in my mind and gets the Wild Kingdom going inside me. Here’s a story I ran across that renews my faith in Marlin Perkins and the human mind. Perhaps we did evolve from fish.

Japanese researchers recently pitted young chimps against human adults in a test of short-term memory, and as Gomer Pyle would say
“surprise, surprise, surprise,” the chimps won. That challenges the belief of man, including scientists, that “humans are superior to chimpanzees in all cognitive functions,” says researcher Tetsuro Matsuzawa of Kytoto University. I say try this simple test. Put a double bacon cheeseburger in front of a chimp and a American teenager and see who grabs for it first.

Matasuzawa, a pioneer in studying the mental abilitity of chimps, said even he was surprised. He thinks two factors gave his chimps the edge. For one thing, he believes human ancestors gave up much of their skill over evolutionary time to make room in the brain for gaining language abilities. The other factor is the youth of the chimpanzees. The memory for images that’s needed for the memory tests resemble a skill found in children, but which dissipates with age. In fact, young chimps performed better than older chimps in this study. So the next logical step is to give the young chimps some real competition: little kids. Or the former head of FEMA Michael Brown or anyone who still believes a word that came out of Donny Rumsfeld’s mouth.

So that will do it for a cold, chilly week here on the central coast. But have no fear as there are some great photo series on the horizon. Since we were talking chimps today I thought we’d end the week with a little humor. A patient in a mental institution walked into the doctor’s office and complained about his roommate, saying, “Herbie keeps elephants in the room. It smells awful.” The doctor said, “Why not open the windows?” The patient replied, “And let me eagles out?” So fly like an sea gull and have a great weekend and we’ll catch for some Monday magnificence.


  1. Interesting, I’m not seeing this in Richmond. Mebbe if I stand on my tippy toes?


    Comment by Rev. Biggles — January 25, 2008 @ 5:47 pm

  2. Funny joke. I think your next research should be: How many games will the warriors play until they realize that they have to play defense to win games?

    Comment by Jason Williams — January 25, 2008 @ 11:48 pm

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