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Sharon Sinéad Gaughan
Immersed in family, science, history, & the arts
Immersed in family, science, history, & the arts

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Opinion: We Didn’t Domesticate Dogs. They Domesticated Us by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods
National Geographic News (03 March 2013)

ssg: I have been a dog person since childhood. Like other dog so-called owners it has always been the case that we choose each other. If that doesn't happen when you go searching, do not bring the dog home.

Hare and Woods: In the story of how the dog came in from the cold and onto our sofas, we tend to give ourselves a little too much credit.

The most common assumption is that some hunter-gatherer with a soft spot for cuteness found some wolf puppies and adopted them. Over time, these tamed wolves would have shown their prowess at hunting, so humans kept them around the campfire until they evolved into dogs.

But when we look back at our relationship with wolves throughout history, this doesn't really make sense. ... Humans have a long history of eradicating wolves, rather than trying to adopt them. Over the last few centuries, almost every culture has hunted wolves to extinction.

How was this misunderstood creature tolerated by humans long enough to evolve into the domestic dog? Most likely, it was wolves that approached us, not the other way around, probably while they were scavenging around garbage dumps on the edge of human settlements. The wolves that were bold but aggressive would have been killed by humans, and so only the ones that were bold and friendly would have been tolerated.

Click on the title to read the complete article at National Geographic News. To play science-based games to find the genius in your dog, visit

Dr. Brian Hare is the director of the Duke Canine Cognition Center and Vanessa Woods is a research scientist at Duke University. This essay is adapted from their new book, The Genius of Dogs (Dutton).

#news #science #scienceeveryday #sciencesunday #evolution #behavior #homosapiens #wolf #canislupus #dog #canislupusfamiliaris #sharongaughan

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"No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state."

-- Constitution of the United States of America, Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 (Title of Nobility)

"The law's totally on my side, the president can't have a conflict of interest." -- Donald Trump

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Boots of Spanish Leather
Written by Bob Dylan (rel. 1964)
Peformed by Nanci Griffith (1993)

ssg: In real life, where the song was sung in my life, this is about true love at a crossroads. A woman leaves while another waits for her return. And there it stands for six alternating verses until it becomes plain that the absent lover, or at least her absent heart, will not return as long as the waiting woman still waits.

The waiting lover turns down all sorts of blandishments to just go away. But she does come to realize what has happened and makes a practical request: will her lost lady send her something to remember her by? And not a reminder of what she no longer can give. With boots from a faraway place the waiting lover must wait no longer and finally try to move on.

Speaking as a woman, the following rendition of this song by Nanci Griffith speaks directly to my female soul and experience.

Oh, I'm sailin' away, my own true love
I'm sailin' away in the morning
Is there something I can send you from across the sea
From the place that I'll be landing?

No, there's nothin' you can send me, my own true love
There's nothin' I wish to be ownin'
Just carry yourself back to me unspoiled
From across that lonesome ocean

Oh, but I just thought you might want something fine
Made of silver or of golden
Either from the mountains of Madrid
Or from the coast of Barcelona

But if I had the stars from the darkest night
And the diamonds from the deepest ocean
I'd forsake them all for your sweet kiss
For that's all I'm wishin' to be ownin'

But I might be gone a long old time
And it's only that I'm askin'
Is there something I can send you to remember me by?
To make your time more easy-passin'

Oh, how can, how can you ask me again?
It only brings me sorrow
The same thing I want today
I would want again tomorrow

Oh, I got a letter on a lonesome day
It was from her ship a-sailin'
Saying I don't know when I'll be comin' back again
It depends on how I'm a-feelin'

If you, my love, must think that-a-way
I'm sure your mind is roamin'
I'm sure your heart is not with me
But with the country to where you're goin'

So take heed, take heed of the western winds
Take heed of the stormy weather
And yes, there's something you can send back to me
Spanish boots of Spanish leather

Boots of Spanish Leather lyrics © Bob Dylan Music Co. Peformance by Nanci Griffith -- Vocals and Guitar, Jerry Douglas -- Dobro, Donald Shaw -- Piano Accordion, Danny Thompson -- Double Bass, Tommy Hayes -- Percussion.

#music #BootsOfSpanishLeather #BobDylan #NanciGriffith #guitar #vocals #bass #dobro #PianoAccordion #DoubleBass #Percussion #JerryDouglas #DonaldShaw #DannyThompson #TommyHayes #culture #poetry #youtube #sharongaughan #sharonsineadgaughan

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Carol Jessen - Blue Umbrellas

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Андо Хиросигэ - Лист Красный морской лещ.

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Amen brother.

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I am a born and raised citizen of the United States who has descended from Irish ancestry. One of my most vivid memories is of a sit with my Grandmother Gaughan the night after my Grandfather died (13 December 1970).

She described the events to me as she witnessed them: First came fairy woman, a banshee for that night, who keened the Caoineadh, weeping and wailing as we sat up through the night waiting for the arrival of the Cóiste Bodhar (the deaf or silent coach -- you might know it as the Death Coach). Dullahan, the headless horseman, driving the coach, had a busy night on the avenues collecting the souls of the dead.

When the coach arrived and Dullahan collected my Grandfather's soul from her purse, there seemed to be satisfaction but the spectre also seemed to have a special interest in me. My Grandmother waved him off saying it was not yet my time. There were debts yet to be paid. I saw or heard none of this directly and depended on my Grandmother for witness.

I stayed on with Grandma for a bit as she prepared breakfast. Even though I had seen him die I was still skeptical that my Grandfather had truly died. I called my brothers after breakfast and reported that everything on my plate was brown; it was time to go. My wife and I would meet the rest of the family at the funeral home later that day.

But then, that morning as I drove away in the mist I saw the wee washerwoman at the ford scrubbing my Grandfathers bloodstained armor and knew he was truly dead.

Some of you (or your children or grandchildren) may want to go out tonight as a Fairy Princess, Leprechaun, as a Druid or Celt, well you go right ahead. Perhaps you prefer to be a Banshee, or might even play Dagda's Harp. You might sally forth as Finn MacCool or a Pooka, So what!

As far as I am concerned you can wear the green and appropriate all you want in the spirit of fun. After all, this is real life out here and nothing like what passes for formal education these days. There, in academe, the Banshees are real.

#halloween #ireland #gaughan #ancestry #banshee #caoineadh #CoisteBodhar #DeathCoach #Dullahan #soul #funeral #washerwoman #Dagda #FinnMacCool #Pooka #culture #appropriation #life #education #sharonsineadgaughan
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