Our Sepia Saturday theme image this week comes from the collection of the Preus Museum which is the National Museum of Photography in Norway. It is a photograph by Elisabeth Meyer entitled "Stewardess Hugging A Puppy" and forms part of the Preus Museum stream on Flickr Commons (you will recall that we are working the way through some of the Flickr Commons participating archives at the moment). It appears that the photograph was taken in Alaska and it dates from sometime in the 1950s. All sort of themes come to mind - dogs, cute animals, air crew, hugs: as usual it is up to you to interpret the theme in any way you want to. Simply post a post on or around Saturday 14th March 2015 and add a link to the list below.
I searched the old family pictures and have little that fits the bill as closely as this over-used shot of myself (with Barbara Streisand hair-do) plus koala bear in Sydney, circa 1984. The koala has a similar expression on his face to the puppy in the prompt photo -half asleep. He is almost in the correct position, in my arms, although not quite cheek-to-cheek. Would a cheek-to-cheek hug be a good idea with a koala? I think not, having read about their sharp teeth and sharp claws.
Koalas have smaller brains than other marsupials and some experts opine that its brain-to-body ratio over time (evolutionary time) has followed a deteriorating path due to poor diet which consists of eucalyptus, eucalyptus and more eucalyptus. Some refer to its brain, kindly, as "svelte" and energy conserving. Our brains are getting "svelte" too.
A caution to everybody
by Ogden Nash
by Ogden Nash
Consider the auk;
Becoming extinct because he forgot how to fly, and could only walk.
Consider man, who may well become extinct
Because he forgot how to walk and learned how to fly before he thinked.
You might not consider this one of Ogden's best, but you have to give him huge credit for the two principal rhymes: auk and walk;
extinct and thinked. And he couldn't google "rhyming words" and get every conceivable combination in less than a minute. He had to use his nicely sized brain for everything - even the scut work of finding the rhymes.
"Another likely reason for this decline is that brains are energetically expensive and will not be maintained at larger sizes unless it is necessary. The fact that we increasingly store and process information externally—in books, computers and online—means that many of us can probably get by with smaller brains. Some anthropologists have also proposed that larger brains may be less efficient at certain tasks, such as rapid computation, because of longer connection pathways.
The way we live may have affected brain size. For instance, domesticated animals have smaller brains than their wild counterparts probably because they do not require the extra brainpower that could help them evade predators or hunt for food. Similarly, humans have become more domesticated. But as long as we keep our brains fit for our particular lifestyles, there should be no reason to fear for the collective intelligence of our species.
You can read the whole interview Here.
And finally a couple of brainy and cute animals.
|Cashew, presently 11 months old, in a favorite spot - the sink.|
|The long departed Lulu and Squeaky, half asleep in a planter.|