How can we describe the landscape of what is increasingly referred to as post-postmodernism?


As I monitor the important work being done to find extraterrestrial intelligence today, I often consider how we might communicate with ETI if/when we do finally connect. Pioneering work done over the past decades to develop an understanding of dolphin communication may serve as a guide when the time comes. […]

Dolphins produce a wide array of sounds aside from their distinguishing whistles. These range from lower-pitched grunts to the clicks that they employ for echolocation (a highly developed ability that enables them to locate even tiny objects underwater while blindfolded). Many scientists have hypothesized that these diverse sounds actually comprise an extensive form of language that dolphins use to communicate with one another. The general demeanor of these creatures – oftentimes playful, humorous, and responsive – suggests that they could be capable of such a level of comprehension. […]

(some scientists have surmised that dolphin “speech” may consist of as many as 60,000 “words”, or more)

{ Wired Cosmos | Continue reading }

From prudals to the secular but from the cumman to the nowter

Couple Plans To Deliver Baby In Dolphin-Assisted Birth.

Just one thing, however slight, that is certain and unshakable


There is plenty of evidence to suggest that brains can produce rather complex behavior without consciousness. Studies in humans show that we perform so much of our complex behavior unconsciously – from driving a car to investing our savings. There’s every reason to believe that most – if not all – non-human animal behavior we see could be being produced by an otherwise intelligent mind that is not producing subjective experiences of its own decision making processes. […]

Just because an animal behaves like a human, does this mean we should assume its mind functions in the same way? […] Banana-reaching via unconscious thought for the chimpanzee […] a computer might also be able to solve this problem, but we don’t suggest that computers are conscious. One of the main problems we’re dealing with here is that science does not really have a good definition of consciousness. Yes, it’s some form of subjective experience, but it might come in a variety of forms, and thus animals might be conscious in different ways to humans. […]

Scientists have given dolphins the mirror self recognition (MSR) test. Having some kind of awareness of oneself – whether it’s awareness of one’s body or of one’s own mind – is certainly linked to the idea of consciousness. For these tests, dolphins were marked with a kind of dye on their bodies, and if they then swam over to inspect the mark in a mirror, we could conclude that the dolphins must know that it’s themselves they are seeing in the mirror. This then is some kind of self awareness. […]

The problem is that being able to recognize one’s body in the mirror (that is, recognizing an external representation of one’s body) might not be the same thing as having a representation of one’s own mind (i.e., a sense of self). So passing the MSR test might not even be a sure test of self-awareness, let alone subjective experience.

{ Justin Gregg | Continue reading }

[Flipper chirps his agreement]

Ukraine’s ‘Killer’ Dolphins Not Killers, Not Gone – Military.

‘The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom… for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough.’ –William Blake


Putting Helium in a Dolphin. Two opposing hypotheses propose that tonal sounds arise either from tissue vibrations or through actual whistle production from vortices stabilized by resonating nasal air volumes. Here, we use a trained bottlenose dolphin whistling in air and in heliox [a mixture of helium and oxygen] to test these hypotheses.


Sixty-two percent of the dishwashers were positive for fungi.


Some years ago a colleague pointed out that there was a connection between paranoid symptomatology and the drawing in of joints on arms and legs on human figure drawings. [A researcher named] Buck states that emphasis upon knees suggests the presence of homosexual tendencies. Over a period of time, this investigator was impressed with the frequent connection between these two variables. This study was designed to determine the validity of this hypothesis.


In Study 1, 55 young women responded that they preferred men with hairy chests and circumcised penises.

{ Annals of Improbable Research | Special Body Parts Issue | PDF }

Then: Xanthos! Xanthos! Xanthos!


{ I’d like to introduce a paper published last year in the journal Aquatic Mammals, which reports on two separate playful and – as you’ll see – uplifting encounters between bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales. | AnimalWise| full story }

‘From one, learn all.’ –Virgil


Dolphins are known to make three types of sounds: whistles, clicks and burst pulses. Whistles are thought to be identification sounds, like names, while clicks are used to navigate and to find prey with echolocation.

Burst pulses, which can sound like quarreling cartoon chipmunks, are a muddy mixture of the two, and Dr. Herzing believes that much information may be encoded in these sounds, as well as in dolphins’ ultra-high frequencies, which humans cannot hear.

The two-way system she will test next year is being developed with artificial intelligence scientists at Georgia Tech. It consists of a wearable underwater computer that can make dolphin sounds, but also record and differentiate them in real time. It must also distinguish which dolphin is making the sound, a common challenge since dolphins rarely open their mouths.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

The first thing I want to say is, I love you more than all these words can ever say

Researchers have begun to create a new technology that could soon allow humans and dolphins to talk to each other.

Dolphins have long been considered by scientists to be the most intelligent animals on the planet. But soon, with the help of newly developed underwater translation software, our two species may actually be able to talk to each other.

Armed with a waterproof computer, divers may soon be able to decipher the chirps of dolphins, then create and project an appropriate response, all in real time.

Since the 1960s, captive dolphins have been communicating via pictures and sounds. In the 1990s, Louis Herman of the Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory in Honolulu, Hawaii, found that bottlenose dolphins can keep track of over 100 different words. They can also respond appropriately to commands in which the same words appear in a different order, understanding the difference between “bring the surfboard to the man” and “bring the man to the surfboard”, for example.

{ NewScientist | Continue reading | via DigitalTrends }

related { psssst…Imp is a Dolphin! }

What’s slang for flug the dolphin?


{ You may have heard of freshwater sharks, but what about freshwater cetaceans? River dolphins share long thin rostrums, reduced eyes, numerous teeth in both upper and lower jaws, and somewhat flexible necks. | Wild Mammal Blog | full story }

Thou’lt find each day a greater rapture bringing


{ Historical photography from the archives of Spaarnestad Photo }

it’s amazing how fast i swim


{ imp photographed by paul nett }