Researchers at Auburn University have created a device that allows people to remotely control a dog. It's like a backpack that the dog wears that produces tones and vibrations that direct the dog. Push a few buttons on your remote control, and the dog does what you want — with an accuracy rate of 98%! However, it's not quite as gee-whiz as it may initially sound, because a dog needs to be trained to respond to this thing. In other words, it ain't something for your average lazy pet owner. It's intended for rescue dogs and the like. [eurekalert]
Over in China, researchers decided to test the theory that dogs can predict earthquakes. So they housed four dogs at the Nanchang quake center and waited for them to show signs of "abnormal" activity, such as barking a lot.
They soon discovered that dogs (and apparently these dogs in particular) often bark a lot. According to local residents "every night at 11pm they start barking over and over." After fielding multiple complaints from angry neighbors, the researchers "offered to muzzle the dogs, but accepted later that this might impede their skills as quake-prognosticators." Finally, the experiment was shut down.
So maybe dogs can predict earthquakes, or maybe they can't. But until we learn to speak dog language better, it doesn't look like our canine friends will be much use to us as official quake predictors. [London Times]
So apparently this is a real thing. That is, there really are people willing to take your money so that you can bring your dog to your yoga class. The Metro provides some history:
Doga originated in Florida in 2001 when yoga instructor Suzi Teitelman found her new puppy, a black cocker spaniel named Coali, would climb on to the mat with her when she was practising.
‘Any time there was a yoga mat around he was there,’ she says. ‘I realised he loved yoga and being around the class so I started adding him into the postures. I would inhale my arms up and he would inhale his arms up – with some help from me. Over the years we have perfected the postures and found moves that suit both our bodies.’ Teitelman started incorporating dogs into her yoga classes and held her first Doga class in New York in 2002.
Even if Mitt Romney becomes president, his decision to drive 650 miles from Massachusetts to Ontario with his dog in a carrier tied to the roof of the car will remain a black mark against him in the eyes of many people. Wikipedia calls it his "Dog Incident." However, he's not the only person in Presidential history to have suffered from a dog controversy. Back in 1964, Lyndon Johnson caused an uproar when he showed reporters how he could pick up his two beagles, named 'Him' and 'Her,' by their ears. Dog lovers were not amused.