Alex the African Grey parrot

Alex the African Grey parrot

‘Hey bird brain’ – not the insult one might think

“Dr. Irene Pepperberg, of Harvard University,” Spirit Daily reports, “who puts her ‘top three’ in animal intelligence as apes, dolphins, and parrots – specifically, the African grey parrot, which Dr. Pepperberg has tested for forty years. ‘A lot of the research we’re showing is that they’re equal,’ she claims.”

Dr. Irene Pepperberg

Dr. Irene Pepperberg

That’s right, folks. Birds, at least the African Grey parrot, is testing at a level equal to apes and dolphins.

But what is intelligence? How is it measured? Standardized tests in schools are no proof of actual intelligence, but rather the capacity to retain select information.

The Harvard professional worked with one parrot, Alex, an acronym derived from the full name Avian Learning EXperiment, whose intelligence she equated to a 5 to 6-year-old child. The reason? The wee birdie would apologize with an “I’m sorry” when the good doctor showed agitation. He also threw the anticipated tantrum when his expectations weren’t met. So, forget trying to bamboozle Alex with a nut when he asked for fruit. The offering would be tossed, literally.

Spirit Daily notes, “The African grey is the only animal heretofore tested that, astoundingly enough, understands the concept of zero.”

When asked how many yellow balls there are in an offering with only red, for example, the African Grey would answer, “None.” That’s comprehension. It could also distinguish between 50 objects, tell you how many corners an object has (for instance, three on a triangle), pick up the right colors (or at least seven colors), and not just repeat words but string together meaningful phrases (“Want to go back,” when it desires to go back into its cage, or in other cases, “Wanna eat” when it’s hungry, sometimes even specifying what it wants to eat: “Want seed”). It can also differentiate the size of objects (“bigger,” “smaller,” “same,” and “different”). If there was ever a misapplied expression, it’s “bird brain.”

When confronted by a fruit it did not recognize – an apple – Alex took literary license to give birth to his own word, “banberry.” Being familiar with bananas and cherries, he combined the two concepts to give what he didn’t know a name. What’s more amazing is that this parrot asked questions about himself. “What color?” Why? To find out what color “he” was when staring in a mirror.


Little'How To' Girl changes oil

Little ‘How To’ Girl changes oil

From the mouth of babes

Want a lesson in auto mechanics? How about just living life and getting on with what needs doing?

Cozy up to Little “How To” Girl for a quick demo. Your host may only be 3 years old, but she seems more than able – and willing – to teach some old dogs new tricks. Watch how she dives in and gets things done.

Videos on how to change a lawn mower battery, fix a bedtime snack, and how to cut a man’s hair are also available. Can’t wait to see what she does next!

Sudan the rhinoceros

Sudan the rhinoceros

World’s most eligible bachelor

All right, ladies. Looking for that really rare find? Singular perfection? Sudan the rhinoceros is looking for a mate.

Huffington Post reports:

On Tuesday, Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy and dating app Tinder announced a joint campaign to raise awareness about Sudan’s plight, and to raise funds to support efforts to save the northern white rhino from extinction.

“We partnered with [the conservancy] to give the most eligible bachelor in the world a chance to meet his match,” Matt David, Tinder’s head of communications, said in a statement.

“I perform well under pressure. I like to eat grass and chill in the mud,” reads Sudan’s Tinder profile. “6 ft tall and 5,000 lbs if it matters.”

Seriously, though, the northern white rhino is in jeopardy of extinction. Harems may be all well and good in some fantasy fiction, but a man – or in this case, a rhino – has limits. And, in truth, this dating app is a fundraising gimmick. Sudan, our solo stud, is already living in the company of the only other two white rhinos, females, Najin and Fatu.

What is often believed to come naturally when putting males and females in a shared space has sadly not proved to be true. Perhaps the presence of armed guards 24/7 has killed the mood. Like many humans do today, the in-vitro option is being tried, the pool of potential mothers being expanded to include southern white rhinos.


Paid internship – for drinking beer

Drinking beer – the perfect opportunity for the snowflake in your life? No, seriously. Well, maybe not a snowflake, because World of Beer interns must be dedicated, driven, and focused. Above all, they must love beer.

Get the scoop in the following clip:

That’s right. As Thrill List reports, “World of Beer, a Florida-based chain of more 70 craft beer taverns, announced that it’s currently looking for three ‘Drink It’ interns who will be tasked with visiting numerous breweries across the country and abroad, tasting all sorts of beer, attending major beer events and festivals, and sharing live updates from the boozy adventure via social media, according to the official job description. Although it’s not a long-term job with a salary or traditional benefits, like last year, the internship lasts four months and World of Beer will pay you $12,000 and cover all your travel expenses. Oh, and there will be plenty of free beer, of course.”

While this year’s awards have already been made, summer of 2018 is closer than you think!

Barista -- coffee giraffe

Coffee art to blow your mind

BuzzFeed has the skinny on barista Kangbin Lee, a Korean sensation who knows how to make a specialty coffee really special. Check out the artwork here.

Barista -- coffee samples

“I wanted to find amazing and delicate new flavors of coffee so I developed Cremart,” says the artist. Well, if the art looks this good, one can only imagine how unique and appealing the coffee must taste.

A feast for the eyes and the palette!

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