Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The case for the prosecution...

Exhibit A) the carpet and rug:

Exhibit B) the sofa:

Exhibit C) this paint-covered paw that Avon denies any knowledge of:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Good for whose welfare?

Dr Spot gearing up for Halloween, 26 gallon tank.
On one hand I like a study* that shows that keeping goldfish can be good for your health.

On the other hand basing it on people keeping two goldfish in 2.5 gallon tank is ridiculous.

Goldfish are a type of carp (which is not a small fish). A tank that small basically communicates an intent to kill them young.

And given the lack of cycling of the tank, the size and the stocking density, I would be astounded if all the residents ended the study with the same fish they started out with (this data was not reported in the results).

*Riddick CC (1985) Health, aquariums and the non-institutionalized elderly. Special issue: Pets and the family. Marriage Fam Rev. 8:163–173.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A word from Avon

Uploading Papers to Researchgate

 Researchgate encourages you to upload pdfs of your papers to their site. But I would sound a note of caution--just because they invite you to do it, does not mean it is legal.  I have been coming across embargoed, preprint and other papers on Researchgate via Google Scholar search.

Many of these papers are most likely still behind the pay wall of the journals they are published in.  As such, the authors should not be making them freely available over the internet! Check before you upload or you may be burning some bridges at those journals.

Dissociation and Animal Attachment

It is a fairly common finding that people dissociative traits or conditions are more attached to pets.  Dissociation is a continuum associated with feeling detached from reality or even your own identity.  In milder forms it is a personality type and in more severe cases it can cause disruption and distress.  But why would being detached from reality make you more attached to pets?

One suggestion is that dissociation tends to develop when growing up around unreliable adults who are not safe attachment figures.  The animals act as some kind of substitute and so friendships with animals will tend to remain important throughout life.

Another is that dissociative personality tend to me more prone to fantasy or vivid imaginations which create a more elaborate connection to animals or even objects (like stuffed toys) than might otherwise exist.

  • Barlow MR, Cromer LD, Cron HP, Freyd JJ. Comparison of normative and diagnosed dissociation on attachment to companion animal and stuffed animals. Psychological Trauma Theory Practice and Policy 2012, 4, 501-506.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I am really curious about what one of my neighbors has apparently lost.