"Cenedl heb iaith, cenedl heb galon"-"A nation without a language is a nation without a heart" Welsh Proverb

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Did your Border Collie go to school or was it just born smart?

    I thought I would get off politics for a post or two because I fear Obama calling me to ask for a break! Well you might think I am going to the dogs for this post but if so a very intelligent one! I try to make my posts interesting to my American as well as my Welsh friends on line so what better than this story!?!  I was reading through the News & Observer a largely Democratic rag here in Durham, N.C. usually filled with pages of basketball and little else! Well we are in the triangle with...Wake Forest, UNC, Duke, North Carolina State and more in the area. But looking to Science & Technology (As Outlined by Obama  we as Americans fall short in)  pages last Sunday I saw something close to my heart Border Collies!
Why? Well my cousin in Wales was Marion Jones national and international champion with Border Collies from nr Ruthin, North Wales. My Welsh friends may remember him as he did the very first "One Man and His Dog." program on BBC! He was famous as well for being able to run seven dogs at the same time! One of my other cousins judges and does dogs as well! I used to sell border collie statues. One time I fell in love with a Border Collie puppy that was walked by my Welsh shop at a fair by a young lady! I asked is it a Welsh Border collie? No she said it is Scottish!!! I asked with interest if she had papers.  Yes I will get them for you from my Mom. Back she came. The papers to my amusement showed that the dogs family came from a farm in Wales quite near relations! The dog was also looking for a new home. I asked how much because it was so hard to give her up!!! $500 was the price and I did not have it! When I got home I called relations and they knew the dog and the owner...come to find out the dog was worth at least $1400+ as it was bread from a champion! You might think of that saying " My Border Collie is smarter than your Honor Student." Well this one out smarted me! O by the way as a LOL I wanted a border collied to herd in my customers! Ha! On that "cheap bark,"  I will get on with the story from the paper!
          The  article was about "Chaser," a border collie from South Carolina (USA) that has learned over 1000 proper nouns! (see Google for more stories and videos on Chaser. Also Chaser will do scienceNow show for Nova 8PM Feb. 9th on PBS)  Well the article rightly stated that Border Collies are the smartest dogs and bread to go all day herding sheep. But more than 1,000 nouns? I had taught school for 7th to High school and most of my students did not have that kind of smarts! LOL! Well John Pilley eighty two year old retired psychologist and Prof. wanted to see if he could beat another German owner who had a dog of two hundred words to his canine mind! Since 04 he has been daily working with the dog 4-5 hours a day doing repetitive words till the dog learned the word of the day! In a matter of three years the vocabulary understood by Chaser was 800 different cloth animals 116 Balls, twenty six Frisbees and many plastic items. Now I am sure that my students could not do this as they barked at reading a chapter a night in their History books! Well at 1,000 words Pilley the article says switched to grammar with the dog! Something from reading test papers from students is something even hard for them to chew on! So on it was to fetching the ball, nosing the ball, pawing the ball and more! He even learned to fetch a new sounding animal from among her old known toys without being told to look it up in the dictionary....sorry I was a teacher ya know! Lol. This is quite a dog!.
        Wonder if they could teach the dog sign language too because I observed my cousins dogs moving to hand commands! I always admire animals that could master another language be it a human or a dog! I wondered if these dogs of my cousin's could take hand commands from me who spoke only American? Well I found out very young at 14 when the dogs raced to save me from a charging bull. (silly city boy on his first real Welsh Farm.) Years later at late in my twenties the dogs taught me something I did not learn in seminary. They taught me the real story of the The Good Shepherd. How you say? Well I thought that sheep were driven, but I observed that as a shepherd it worked better to "walk among the sheep" and let the dogs run behind and around with the sheep. I wonder how Chaser would stand up to my cousins dogs with all the LLs and CHs etc. O did I not tell you that my cousins dogs were smarter than me as they only took their commands in WELSH! LOL Could Chaser learn a 1,000 plus proper nouns in Welsh....I am willing to put money on that canine learning! Hurry up people in Wales learn your Welsh or your Border Collies may be smarter than you!!! LOL No offence intended, but what is it with kids in Wales that Can speak Welsh but do not find it fashionable? I would give anything if my Taid had taught me Welsh now this old dog who has had, Latin, Spanish, German, Ancient Greek and Hebrew courses has a hard time getting Welsh past his tongue! LOL He could have even given Me a Welsh speaking Border Collie (hint, Hint people) I could have learned from him!.............Better get to bed as my somewhat intelligent White German Shepherd is looking at me saying......."What am I chopped liver? I taught you to go to the door and let me out, fill my water dish, feed me, pet me, talk to me and I did this in less than a year!" LOL-

Neil Degrasse Tyson introduces you to one amazing K-9.

Obviously not Border Collie but funny!
This silly barnyard play date looks an awful lot like a furry version of hide and seek.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

President Obama's State of the Union Speach-All talk? Pep rally? Or?

      Well we heard from the President on the "State of the Union." last night and today people are having their say including me! I suggest that you also read the clips I have provided following this opinion. ABC usually does a good job on seeing just how accurate the speech is in terms of figures etc. 
        Well the President is quite the speaker and this time to a confused seating pattern wearing white and black ribbons with respect to gunned down fellow Congress Woman. Something I liked. The speech began with the power of his last speech in Arizona. A good move for Obama and it got the crowd going for what usually is a President's time of the year for a Pep Rally! Many people are saying today that it reminded them of good old Ronald Reagan. That is fine with me! But right from the start I thought that he would follow up on the shooting saying something about gun control, mental health etc.!
           Some things in the speech did delight me but others did not! On the plus side he was clever with humor to take down the governments subsidy on the oil industry....but will that cost us at the pump? How about Obama taking on the amount of profits they make! This is something I would also like to see on Health care companies and drug companies!!! He rightly attacked the wealthy and their tax contributions! I wondered about the cuts in the military...the faces of the Join Chiefs of Staff did not look too happy! He rightly also put education before the people for us as the key element of the whole speech to be more competitive on the World view of science and technology. But I was not amused with the "Sputnik"   catch up for the nation. (-especilly when he just killed NASA's manned space program!) I lived through those days and people felt we were in trouble! But is this nation in trouble that is a theme that ran through both the Presidents speech and the GOP take on the speech. If we are in trouble I wonder if a move to be more competitive will COST THIS NATION MORE and up the debt even more? Building infrastructure and war at same time? His examples of nations in trouble including Britain were Socialist nations or was that a clever move on his part to be more like the so called modern nations of Europe? I had to laugh at his stating that we should keep the clever children of immigrants in this country....Is he a president that really was born in this nation???
       One of the good things I thought and I wonder what his fellow Democrats think about it is that he will not sign into law any bill that has earmarks in it! I am confused? Does that mean that he has taken on himself as President to do line item veto? We will see if he holds to this pledge!!!
         Interesting enough the President was championing this nation and saying that we have a great nation and Constitution! Wonder if he actually has read it and understands the defined role of President, Congress, and Supreme Court. It might be noted that the cameras did not pan the Supreme Court last night to see their faces especially when he mentioned the Constitution.
          In all I see the speech increasing debt  and government where I would like to see government rolled back to what our founding fathers saw it. One that is limited as being of the people, for the people and by the people. I do not feel that this has been the case for the last few years at all. What we feel had no bearing on the Health Care reform and it has seemed that the Democratic care less about the people was heard in the last election! Even the President of late has referred to his taking it in the polls! More competitive, but what about costs! "He tried to cast this more-of-the-same into a call to national greatness." (Charles Krauthammer: Washington Post Group.) He wants to change the very American social contract to a new foundation, but was that foundation found to have cracks according to the last election? In the end I wondered what the State of the Union really is and is to be?
Atop President Obama's list of targets for a proposed overhaul of federal bureaucracy is the trio of agencies that has a hand in regulating the country's salmon catch.
Rep. Michele Bachmann spoke to Tea Party Express activists Tuesday night. Her speech was a lot tougher than the official GOP response to the State of the Union address, yet there were some similarities to Obama's speech.

ABC News takes a look at some of the claims in President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday and separates facts from fiction.

NEW CARTOON ! ! "Obama's New Strategy"

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‎"We're going to have to out-educate other countries," President Obama urged this week. How? By out-spending them, of course! It's the same old quack cure for America's fat and failing government-run schools monopoly. The one-trick ponies at the White House call their academic improvement agenda "tar

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pre-State of the Union Message-Funny!

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Dydd Santes Dwynwen-meaning 'Day of Saint Dwynwen' in Welsh

 Dydd Santes Dwynwen, literally meaning 'Day of Saint Dwynwen' in Welsh, is considered to be the Welsh equivalent to Valentine's Day and is celebrated on 25 January every year. It celebrates Dwynwen, the Welsh Saint of love. 25 January is the feast day of Saint Dwynwen