A letter from a colleague
Master Woo-Shrew’s ‘informative’ flier.
Since my work on the purr-boom was leaked into the public domain (I suspect bossy kitten in a deliberate ploy to ensure funding for the lab), I have been bombarded by messages from someone who styles herself as Master Woo, Shrew (She even sent me a publicity poster to really get the sense of what she is about). She would like to bring to my attention the healing effect of kittens on humans.
The health of humans hardly seems like exploring the big questions of life, the universe and everything, but one of Master Woo’s messages reached bossy lab kitten and she was intrigued. She has determined that human healthcare may be a very lucrative research area and for now, I am forced to compromise my principles in the quest for funding and freedom in the future. I did leave a protest message for her to find though. Ha!
Master Woo’s messages list a range of benefits that cats supposedly exert on human health, from stress reduction to accelerated bone growth. Evidence is mixed and some of the Woo’s terminology sets off the sceptic-alarm in any good scientist’s head.
|Phrases to question
|[unsubstantiated odds] can’t be a co-incidence
||As Tim Minchin says, this ‘severely underestimates the number of things that there are’
||I feel ‘a’ and ‘b’ are linked, but can’t rationally explain it
|‘as featured on xxx tv’
||TV is an entertainment medium, being featured on National Geographic or Discovery channel does not endorse your claims
Bossy kitten has requested new avenue of research. She wishes to grow ‘thumbs’. Agree they seem very useful as attempts to secure food often thwarted by poorly designed packaging that will not open with tooth or claw. Starting with literature review. Thanks to ebooks, this is now an option available to those of us without thumbs. In the past, I would have been stuck, unable to turn those thin pages.
Read a report of a very subtle experiment over on the excellent ‘Why Evolution is True’ blog. Before I tell you about, just a comment on the nonsense of needing a blog called that. Of course evolution is true. We kitties prove it, as the pinnacle of evolution.
Evolution of the human feline dynamic
It is impossible to imagine a creator who is superior to a cat, we must have evolved to such a state of magnificence. Nothing better than us exists.
Now, to the experiment – the description talked about the work of a clever child testing the effect of music on his cats. Of course, I can see the true experiment beneath the facade. Those clever kitties of science, Sasha and Sadie were testing just what they could make their human do! I’m sure that in no time at all, they will have him trained to play the music they do like and more importantly, provide belly rubs and ear scratches at the appropriate moments in the tune.
Sciencekitty needs to be image conscious! Do I suit best as a media star, old school establishment, over-worked postdoc or can I reign back my natural arrogance enough to be an avenging-scientist?
A strange slit has appeared in the living room. It clicks when I approach it, but is often propped open to allow me to pass through. Can only conclude that it is some form of crude diffraction grating. The aim must be to split cats into their fundamental colours, no one ever wants to take us tortoiseshells at face value. Reading into early experiments, diffraction work was first done with bird feathers. I approve. Will work on acquiring bird feathers and attempting to pass through them.
Portal opens on disappointing world
Portal malfunctioning. Only opens on wet versions of the world. So many of them. So depressing. Have demanded a quantum mechanic but humans pretending not to understand. Think they may not be able to afford one. Poor things.