Did you ever wonder why dogs sneeze when they’re excited? They usually sneeze more than once. Dogs are a highly olfactory species: perhaps it has something to do with clearing their noses in readiness for whatever exciting thing they think is about to happen. A Pavlovian reflex of the nose. (Whoever knew Pavlovian reflexes also worked on dogs!)
I wonder if wolves do the same thing. It would seem strange if they didn’t. I find it hard to believe sneezing in excitement is something dogs have picked up since we domesticated them, so it stands to reason wolves should too. On the other paw, sneezing in the excitement of the chase would seem a major disadvantage for wolves: it would be bound to lose them the odd caribou or two.
Mysteries like dogs’ sneezes make life worth living.
R: Did you know the correct English plural for the word dwarf is dwarfs with an F? J: Not …V-E-S, then? R: No—although, when he was writing The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien, as an expert in linguistics, decided the word would be far more common in Middle Earth, so would have been corrupted through everyday usage. So he made a point of spelling the plural …V-E-S. J: I dare say, after working that out, writing the rest of the book will have been a cinch.
BBC (30-May-2017): Manuel Noriega, Panama ex-strongman, dies at 83
General Manuel Antonio Noriega, the former military leader of Panama, has died aged 83, officials have announced.
…Although he was never elected to office, Noriega became the de facto leader of Panama, serving a six-year tenure as military governor in the 1980s.
…But the US tired of his increasingly repressive role internally in Panama, and there were indications he was selling his services to other intelligence bodies, not to mention drug-trafficking organisations.
I'm pretty sure the word so steadfastly failing to trip off the BBC's tongue is ‘dictator’.
Jen and I are looking after Stense's dog, Millie, for a couple of months. She's been with us for a week so far, and I've been sending Stense daily photos of her pooch to reassure her that I haven't been doing anything characteristically irresponsible, such as feeding Millie the rest of Daisy-May.
Anyway, yesterday I decided to send Stense a video update, to show her how Millie's getting on. And as a new video constitutes new content, I thought maybe I should post it here too:
Just about the only benefit (other than the highly dubious one of ‘getting some exercise’) of spending hundreds of hours chasing your farmer friend's cattle across field and moor is that, every once in a while, you get to eat your arch-nemesis:
Two sirloin steaks formerly known as ‘Daisy-May’ yesterday.
Daisy-May had it coming, believe me.
Best steaks we ever ate. (And I'm not just saying that.)