Monday, June 30, 2008

Monkeys in the News

It all started with that CNN news ticker. All it said was, "monkeys control robots with their minds." I couldn't let that go by without a comment. Then I got some encouragement to continue the monkey thing. My blog turned into a monkey blog. I never intended that, but that's what happened. Now I'm out of the monkey business, mostly because while looking for something to blog about monkeys, I came across this blog:

Monkeys In The News.

There is no point in having two monkey blogs in the world.

I'm going to go back to... whatever it was I wrote about before.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Confusing Confucius

I just read this quote attributed to Confucius: "Never give a sword to a man who can't dance."

I wonder what the hell that is supposed to mean.

Friday, June 20, 2008

While chimps show empathy, monkeys do not

My research team came up with an interesting story about how chimps console each other with hugs and kisses after suffering acts of aggression. Monkeys, however, do not. So, despite all the amazing monkey abilities I've been reporting on, you shouldn't expect a monkey to really care how you feel.

Let's hear it for chimps!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Take Off, Hosehead!

More monkey news.

In this story, a monkey escapes from a zoo by climbing up a hose (use of tools, 'eh). The really interesting thing, though, is that he was caught trying to commandeer a speed boat.

Monday, June 16, 2008

One Banana, Two Banana...

Monkeys acquire meta-cognitive skills, fish, use sentences, get made chairman of business schools, and control robots. Now, it seems, they are also good at math. In fact, they are almost as good as college students when it comes to simple arithmetic.

As I said before, either monkeys are getting smarter, or entrance requirements to colleges are getting too lax.

Here's a link to the article: Monkeys match humans in arithmetic tests

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I'll Bet You $100...

I found a report that says that monkeys can acquire meta-cognitive skills: the ability to reflect about their thoughts and to assess their performance.

According to the article, the study was inspired by the way children pretend to make bets about things they believe they know ("I'll bet you $100 Santa Claus isn't real").

From the article: In the experiment, two monkeys were trained to play a video game that would test their ability to remember a particular photograph while also allowing them to make a large or a small bet. Ultimately, this wager would reflect the monkey's perception of their memory accuracy.

I can see where the researchers are going with this, but is it really a good idea to get another species involved in gambling? Or, for that matter, playing video games?

Here's a link to the article: Monkeys' Ability To Reflect On Their Thoughts May Have Implications For Infants, Autistic Children

Friday, June 13, 2008

Monkey: God of Business

Okay, this monkey thing might be getting a little old, but I've got at least one more story.

Apparently an Indian business school has appointed a Hindu monkey god as its chairman.

This seems a little strange to me, but then again, from what I've seen as an MBA student, it isn't all that surprising.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Eloquent Monkey

Now things are getting weird. It seems that not only do monkeys control robots and catch fish, they also use sentences.

Give a Monkey a Fish, and He'll Eat for a Day...

In my last post, I reported on the recent finding that monkeys control robots. Now, it seems, they can also fish.

Maybe it is just me, but does it seem like humans are getting dumber, and monkeys are getting smarter?