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Sasha Explains It All
Hi there, folks! Time for another go at reader mail.
Kyle Miller asks: “Do fish sleep?”
A good question, Kyle. Turns out, fish don’t sleep like humans and other mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians. They do slow down all bodily functions from time to time, sort of going into suspended animation, but nope, they don’t actually sleep.
Now, that’s here on our Earth. Over on Earth 17, there is a fish called the Sand Snoozing Cod that actually comes into very shallow sandy coves and does indeed fall right to sleep for about 5 hours out of every 30. They even snore! To protect themselves during this vulnerable time, they excrete a deadly poisonous mucus that spreads all over their bodies.
Carol Robinson want to know about the canine sense of smell: “Can your beautiful species smell intentions? Can you tell when someone is up to no good as opposed to someone who loves you at first sight?”
First off, Carol, thank you for the compliment about my species. And the answer is a definite yes. Dogs can smell bad folks and good folks pretty easily. We know if you are up to no good or are a nice person. Generally, bad people smell of fear and sometimes insanity. Also booze, drugs and filth. Nice people smell like, well, you humans have no word for it, but in canine it would be “roowurf”. It’s a good smell.
The big problem is that we dogs are fighting about 20,000 years of wanting to cut you humans slack and be with you. That’s why some dogs stick with bad humans and other dogs fear everyone. It’s not that different than mental illness in humans or whatever it is that makes people stick with abusive mates or parents or vote for the same scumbags over & over. It sucks, but there it is.
As you no doubt know, we dogs can smell all manner of things you can’t. And wolves can smell stuff we can’t, at huge distances. Of course, wolves are often arrogant wankers, but man, can they catch a scent.
In a somewhat less than serious vein, Joshua Simon wants to know: “Has anyone fed you in the last three weeks?”
Well of course they have. We get fed four times a day, plus a Milkbone or other treat at midday. Most days it’s dog food, sometimes dry, sometimes mixed with a delicious sauce (our dad makes an excellent Stinky Sauce). Recently, the Parental Units have been mixing in delicious cooked lentils. Yum Yum!
The problem is that the portions are never enough to satisfy our doggie lust for food. There is also the fact that Mom & Dad eat delicious human food right in front of us and almost never share. However, this seems to be a common human trait, so I guess we can’t change it.
My Auntie Avis Crane wants to know: Why is the sky blue?
As you well know, Auntie Avy, the sky is blue because we see it after certain wavelengths of light have been scattered by particles in the air. Now, some folks not involved in the hard sciences will tell you that in the past, people did not see a blue sky because they had no word for blue. These folks are as full of shit as a well fed hog. Blue has always been there, but those old humans just didn’t know how to describe it. A bunch of stuff was there that they didn’t have a word for, like germs, radiation and lead poisoning. Ancient humans were not nearly as smart as modern man thinks they were. Of course, modern man is pretty damned stupid, too.
Now we dogs, as well as many other animals, have also always seen blue (and yellow & grey), but we had a word for it: wefif. Just as an aside, I’d like to point out that once dogs like me become Smart, certain pysiological changes occur that let us see the rest of the colors. I can tell you that seeing green grass and red flowers for the first time was quite the mindblower, yessir.
If you ever want to hear a REALLY strange description of the world, talk to a swarm of bees. It has to be a swarm, the bigger the better. They see all sorts of goofyass colors.
Ok, folks, that’s it for this session. Good questions.
Until my next rant,
Sasha Jane Cross, PhD