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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Baby Pigeon?

Someone asked me the other day if I had ever seen a baby pigeon. I must have been the last person alive to consider the answer, but I had to admit that since I have never raised pigeons, I had never seen a baby one anywhere. So my answer to the question was, "No, I have never seen a baby pigeon." Although I was sure they existed, I had no explanation for having never seen one. And, I thought the question was pretty intriguing. It turns out baby pigeons are left in the nest until they can be taught how to fly, and this is usually done away from sight. They are fed with partially digested food by the parents (a high fat, high protein diet that makes them grow very quickly) and then when they are old enough to resist predators they can be brought out to forage for food. So, when they do come within our sight in their natural environment, they look almost identical to full-grown birds. I began to wonder what other intriguing questions and answers I could find. 1. Do people who are born blind see images in their dreams? No, but they do have dreams equally vivid involving their other senses of sound, smell, touch and emotion. 2. Who, in terms of IQ, is the smartest person in the world? According to Guinness Book of Records, the smartest person in the world is Marily vos Savant, who scored IQ 228 Terman as a 10 year old. This would correspond to about IQ 185 at adult age. 3. Can you name some famous living personalities with very high IQ? James Woods 180, Bill Gates 160, Quinton Tarantino 160, Sharon Stone 154, Madonna 140. 4. Why are eyes closed when we sleep? People can sleep with their eyes open, but usually when we sleep, our eyes are closed. There are 2 primary reasons for this. First, distracting sensory stimuli (lights, noises, etc.) can interfere with sleep, and closing your eyes greatly reduces visual input. Second, closing your eyelids protects your eyes from foreign objects and from drying out during sleep. 5. When atheists go to court, they can't swear on the Bible, can they? Atheists who are open about their world views regarding faith or religion normally make an affirmation, which has the same force in law as an oath. If an atheist chose to take an oath, without revealing his or her beliefs, then the oath would be binding in law. 6. Is it better to be right or left hand dominant? Although reviews are mixed as to advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed, Chris McManus of University College of London argues that the proportion of left-handers is rising and left-handed people as a group have historically produced an above-average quota of high achievers. He says that left-handers' brains are structured differently in a way that widens their range of abilities, and the genes that determine left-handedness also govern development of the language centres of the brain. 7. Is it best to be ambidextrous? Ambidextrous tendencies may mean better memory, but Leading British psychiatrist Prof. Tim Crow believes he can show that ambidextrous children are less intelligent than their peers - and his theory could even shed light on schizophrenia. Crow says, "People who are truly ambidextrous are slower to develop verbal and non-verbal skills. It's the predictor of both reading difficulties at the age of 16 and psychosis."
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