stinking up your comedy cup, since 1978!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

dog jerk

so tonight i went to second cup at north york centre and read part of an issue of the economist (i always seem to be 2 weeks behind in reading this damned magazine - it's too good to skip anything and too dense to just plow right through in one sitting - love it, love it love it!). anyway, at one point i went outside for a smoke, and i noticed this poor little dog who was tied with his leash to an iron railing next to the building. it is cold tonight in toronto; it's apparently -10F and 20 mph winds.

anyway this pooch is sitting there, shivering and whining, and the owner is nowhere to be found. so i started petting him and it was obvious he was freezing, since he starts pushing himself against my body to get some warmth and cover from the wind. i knelt there for a while with him until he seemed a little warmer, and then went inside and started asking people if the dog was theirs. while i was asking around, someone pointed out that the owner had shown up, so i went back out and gave the guy a hard time about leaving his dog out there to freeze. he didn't say anything and just walked away, but hopefully he felt bad about it and won't do it again.

it really bothers me when people do shit like that. this dog was some little beagle mutt - couldn't have weighed more than 15 pounds and only had a thin layer of fur, and was attached to the fence with a short enough leash that he could only move in a 3-foot space. he couldn't even run around to keep himself warm - just had to sit there and shiver. biologically this dog's no more robust than a two-year-old human child in a sweater, and nobody would think about leaving one of those out there in this cold for a minute, much less a half-hour.

people can be so irresponsible with their pets - we force them out of nature and into our lives, demand that they abide by our rules and our schedules, make them dependent on our care and then we do shit like this where they are prevented from even taking care of themselves in the most basic of ways. for all of the sanctimonious preaching about personal freedom that people carry on, we incarcerate these animals for the most frivolous of reasons - which i guess would be alright if they were well cared-for, since they'd live a safer and more-comfortable life than in nature - but most people fail to uphold their end of the bargain. there oughta be a test you have to take.

anyway, that's enough of a lecture. have to knuckle down - i'm supposed to give a talk at the group meeting on the 25th and most people usually present the results of their research. being a twit, i have no results to present, so i'm not sure what the hell to talk about. they say "an off topic will do" so i might talk about accelerators and try to relate the subject to materials science via synchrotron light. if i can get it to work by then, i'll maybe talk about the elastic modulus measurements i've been trying to do on kai landskron's PMO thin films with gilbert's AFM. i think my own research is so tenuously-defined right now that i don't really know what to say about it yet.

i'm gonna try to add more science content to this blog, because, hey, i'm nerdy like that!


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