This fantastic ad is for the Anagram Bookshop in Prague, Czech Republic
I realize I keep nattering on about how I want to keep learning. And I do. At least I try to. Every time I choose to read a news story online, I try to make sure at least one or two of them isn’t some boneheaded story about Lady Gaga’s latest affliction, or what Kate Gosselin is or isn’t doing. Trust me, this isn’t easy. I have a wandering mind and to be truthful, I really do want to know why she won’t allow her kids to “Google.”
After two and a half decades, even first class has lost its glamour
But aside from that, I try and find a new thing to learn every day. One thing I do to continue learning is read books. I have an iPad and I use it primarily as a Kindle. I find it indispensable on my flights now. After 25 years of flying, I don’t really find the job much of a challenge as you can imagine, nor do many of my colleagues. It gets kind of old.
I found this at the FB Group, Novel Matters.
My iPad with the Kindle App gets my brain far away from that 767 and off to other things. My body may be trapped on a Boeing 767, but my mind doesn’t have to be.
I was buying books anyway and I thought, “Well, at least with the Kindle App, you’ll be saving money as well as space in your office for all of those books. I also reasoned that I wouldn’t have to carry that weight around in my luggage.
Save money? When all I have to do is press Click and I have a new book downloaded into my iPad? Dangerous. Very dangerous.
Sometimes I just Doodle on my iPad with a little help from the Flowpaper App.
Oh, one other thing. I rarely, and I mean very rarely read fiction. It simply doesn’t appeal to me. The last non-fiction book I read was We Need to Talk About Kevin. My cousin is a television and film producer and was going to put an option on the book for production and wanted to know what I thought. Well, she decided against it. (Not that my opinion had anything to do with it.) The film was made by someone else starring Tilda Swinson and Bonny went on to other projects. The book did change how I thought about psychopaths, for what that’s worth.
My African Grey, Parker was named after Dorothy
I try and keep up with science. I try and keep my brain nimble with papers I have read before but need to reread in order to keep the information sharp in my mind. And I have come to realize that when you go over information you have learned before, you tend to get more insight into the material that you might not have gotten the first or even second time around. I’ve also found that when you read a lot, you tend to be a better writer. Well, at least that’s what I keep telling myself.
There are some papers that I rely on to get some basics explained to other people about stuff that irritates me when people make statements that just simply aren’t true. Some of these tales of fiction I hear over and over. So over and over I have to refer back to them in order to try and explain stuff properly. One of these statements is that a bird higher than your head is dominating you. You know, the old height dominance thing. This simply isn’t true and I run across it from time to time.
My friend Shari came across a discussion about height dominance recently in a group at Facebook. I guess the moderator didn’t want to hear that he was incorrect. Upon hearing this, I sent Shari papers written by Steve Martin of Natural Encounters and Dr. Susan Friedman of Utah State University.
Now let me explain something about Susan Friedman. She lives, eats and sleeps behavior. An excellent teacher and lecturer, Susan loves teaching people how to train by teaching the scientific principles behind it. She truly is committed to changing the world with training people about behavior and how it works.
Photo courtesy of Natural Encounters Inc.
And she excels at it. When you are through with a seminar conducted by Susan or read a paper written by her, you not only know how this or that works in behavior training, you know why. I love that aspect. It changes the way you look at the world. Here is her website, called Behaviorworks. It’s jam-packed with great stuff and I recommend it highly.
So when I sent that paper to Shari, I knew she would not only devour the paper, she would understand exactly how to explain the concept should the need ever arise again. Oh, here is a link to Susan’s paper titled, The Struggle for Dominance. When you have that kind of science behind you, you really don’t have to say another word. Here is Steve Martin’s paper on the very same subject: Height Dominance
The thing that stuns me is that this fabrication about height dominance is still rearing its head when I thought this folklore had been put to bed years ago right along with the world being flat and putting salt on a bird’s tail will keep it from flying. I guess I was wrong.
Nevertheless, I keep on with my learning; trying to absorb as much as I can about the world around me. And hopefully, my iPad won’t blow up from all of the books I keep stored in there.
October 14, 2012 at 10:00 am
I loved We Have to Talk About Kevin! There is a very popular book now in the same genre, Gone Girl, that’s really a page-turner too…maybe your cousin can do something with that one.
Now: I’m uncomfortable that you called the concept of height dominance a fabrication. Maybe I’m naive, but I don’t believe that the trainer who promoted this concept deliberately fabricated anything. I think she is a sincere and caring person who spoke out of her own experiences and observations, which might not be scientific but which were perfectly valid and have gotten results for people. I wish you had provided the reference to the fine information from Steve Martin and Susan Friedman without using words like folklore and fabrication. Just my two cents adjusted for inflation…
October 14, 2012 at 10:31 am
I’m sorry those references made you uncomfortable. I’m not really sure what trainer you are referring to and that certainly isn’t what my reference was.
But I must maintain that there is simply too much overwhelming evidence and agreement among ornithologists, behaviorists and trainers that height dominance does not exist in parrots. I could have called it a “misunderstanding” or a “misinterpretation,” but some people so strongly believe in height dominance to the point where it goes beyond a misunderstanding. I’ll try and be less opinionated in my choices of terms in the future and simply let the references speak for themselves.
Here are some additional links about height dominance, or lack thereof:
This is from Karen Pryor, author of “Don’t Shoot the Dog.”
There is an opinion here from Glen Glendell:
This is from Trainer Barbara Heidenreich:
October 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm
Nice article! “Don’t shoot the dog” and Susan’s Behaviorworks class are extremely valuable. Anyone that shares their life with a parrot should read the book, then take this class!!!
October 15, 2012 at 8:42 am
Patricia, just wanted to tell you that I read most of your posts [if time allows] I enjoy them and found a commonality here. My motto also is “to learn at least one new thing every day” . But then I have to educate hubby as well;) and it drives him crazy;) Happy writing and Blessed Be.
October 16, 2012 at 10:50 am
We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.
October 17, 2012 at 5:29 pm
What was originally thought to be high dominance has been found, after further study, to be a behavior colored by insecurity. Parrots are prey, people are predators. When you are a prey species and a predator is staring up at you….chances are things could end badly for you. So it creates insecurity, which can lead to defensive behavior. It has nothing to do with dominance and everything to do with discomfort.
October 17, 2012 at 9:38 pm
I once had a room full of people advise me to remove the playgym from atop my Indian Ringneck’s cage because it made her “taller” than me, thus played into her height dominance. While removing the playgym certainly sent her flying to other cages to play during the day, it didn’t calm her angst toward my fiancé. We’re in a new “tree” now and her cage (with playgym reinstalled) is in an area with less “surprise” traffic. In other words, she’s not against a doorway-wall where my fiance can walk into the bird area unannounced and startle her with his sudden presence. She’s much calmer and doesn’t try to attack him (as much) any more.
I think we humans can see one type of behavior and make a scientific statement; but when we get new information in the field of study, it’s time to modify the statement and change the way of thinking.
My Indian Ringneck is happier with more toys and play items atop her cage now. (But she still flies to the other cages to visit and play with her fave friends.)
I like the sources in the article!