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Posts Tagged ‘cats’

Rock, Paper, Scissors


Have you ever played Rock, Paper, Scissors? It's a simple game, but I've read that there is actually strategy involved in winning. The game consists of three gestures (weapons) — rock, represented by a clenched fist, paper, represented by an open hand, with the fingers extended and touching, and scissors, represented by two fingers extended and separated.

The object of the game is to select a gesture that defeats the opponent's. The winning gestures are as follows:

Rock smashes scissors = the rock wins.
Paper covers rock = the paper wins.
Scissors cut paper = the scissors win.

If both players use the same gesture, that round is tied and the players "throw" again. Normally Rock, Paper, Scissors is played in a "best two out of three" match.

As I did some research for this post, I was surprised to learn that there is a World RPS Society website. As I said earlier, there are supposedly strategies to help you win. On the World RPS Society website there's a link on How to Beat Anyone at Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Knowing that RPS is an international phenomenon, I figured it must have a name in other languages. I found that in French it's Pierre, Papier, Ciseaux and in German it's Stein, Papier, Schere.

In case this game is new to you, I'll show several pictures to see if you remember which gesture wins.

The picture below is rock and scissors. So who wins this round?

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Cat Definitions


picture of kitten sleeping

Cats seem to be one of those creatures that people either love or hate. Becka and I enjoy our cats very much. Their being in the house causes extra work for us, but name a house pet that doesn't cause extra work. Our cats have had to endure some turmoil this past week as our white vinyl kitchen floor was replaced with porcelain tile. You can read about it and see pictures on Becka's blog. The cats seem to have come through it all unscathed and happy to be back out from under the bed.

I looked through my files to see what I have on the subject of cats. Today's instant vacation is a few things I've never posted.

Ten definitions of a cat:

1. a lap warmer with a built-in buzzer
2. a four-footed allergen
3. a small, four-legged, fur-bearing extortionist
4. a gracefully designed, organic alarm clock
5. a wildlife control expert impersonator
6. a treat-seeking missile
7. a small, furry, lap fungus
8. one who sleeps in old, empty boxes
9. an un-programmable animal
10. a hair relocation expert
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Cat Laws of Physics


picture of kitten in a Pringles can

Even if you don't like them, you have to admit that cats are interesting creatures. Although they can be very animated and move silently at lightening speed, they spend about 20 hours out of every 24 sleeping. That is true not only of domestic cats, but also the big cats like lions and tigers. I didn't grow up with cats since my mom, for whatever reason, said she didn't like them. My wife, however, comes from a long line of "cat people." The first summer of our marriage I brought home an adorable kitten for her. Becka thought we should name her Elsa because she was free. (Think: Born Free....) It didn't take long till I was hooked. That kitten (and later cat) was just so much fun!

One reason some people don't like cats is that they don't understand that cats operate by a different set of laws from dogs. Maybe once those who don't like cats know what these laws are, they can appreciate cats more. But then again, these laws may clinch why cat haters don't like them. Anyway, here's a list of laws to which cats adhere, with an occasional personal story from my experience.

Cat Laws of Physics

Law of Cat Inertia
A cat at rest will tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by some outside force, such as the opening of cat food, or a nearby scurrying mouse.

Law of Cat Motion
A cat will move in a straight line, unless there is a really good reason to change direction.

Law of Cat Magnetism
All blue blazers and black sweaters attract cat hair in direct proportion to the darkness of the fabric.
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Dog and Cat Haiku


picture of dog and fan

Do you enjoy the "dog days" of summer? Dogs have been on our minds for reasons other than the dog days of summer. We dog-sat for our daughter Nora while she visited our daughter Megan and her family in Detroit last week. Becka and I have been "cat people" for so long that we'd forgotten how much more work dogs are than cats. And puppies (like Nora's Kingston) require lots of attention and have boundless energy!

Since the new school year is on the verge of beginning, I decided to post something a tad more literary than usual. I'm far from being an expert on the Japanese poetry called haiku. I'm sure the haiku I'm posting today (not my own composition) is probably not the finest ever written, but at least the number of syllables per line follows the standard formula of 5-7-5.

Here's some dog haiku for your amusement:

Dog Haiku

I love my master;
Thus I perfume myself with
This long-rotten squirrel.

I lie belly-up
In the sunshine, happier than
You ever will be.

I sound the alarm!
Paperboy — come to kill all —
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

I sound the alarm!
Mailman Fiend — come to kill all —
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

I sound the alarm!
Garbage man — come to kill all —
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

I sound the alarm!
Neighbor's cat — come to kill all —
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

I hate my choke chain —
Look, world, they strangle me! Ack!
Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack!!

Dig under fence — why?
Because it's there. Because it's
There. Because it's there.

You may call them fleas,
But they are far more — I call
Them a vocation.

My human is home!
I am so ecstatic I
Have made a puddle

How do I love thee?
The ways are numberless as
My hairs on the rug.

Look in my eyes and
Deny it. No human could
Love you as much.

I am your best friend,
Now, always, and especially
When you are eating.

My wife commented recently that I hadn't posted any cat humor lately. So to balance out the dog haiku, here's some cat haiku.

Cat Haiku

Grace personified,
I leap into the window.
I meant to do that.

Small brave carnivores
Kill pine cones and mosquitoes
Fear vacuum cleaner.

You never feed me.
Perhaps I'll sleep on your face.
That will sure show you.

The rule for today:
Touch my tail, I shred your hand.
New rule tomorrow.

Blur of motion, then —
Silence, me, a paper bag.
What is so funny?

You're always typing.
Well, let's see you ignore my
Sitting on your hands.

My small cardboard box.
You cannot see me if I
Can just hide my head.

Terrible battle.
I fought for hours. Come and see!
What's a "term paper"?

I want to be close
To you. Can I fit my head
Inside your armpit?

Wanna go outside.
Oh no! Help! I got outside!
Let me back inside!

Oh no! The Big One
has been trapped by newspaper!
Cat to the rescue!

Humans are so strange.
Mine lies still in bed, then screams.
Claws are not that sharp.

Cats meow out of angst
"Thumbs! If only we had thumbs!
We could break so much!"

The Big Ones snore now.
Every room is dark and cold.
Time for "Cup Hockey."

Several people have asked about what the symbols =^..^= =^..^= at the beginning of my signature line in each blog post stand for. It's our two cats — Adelaide and Clementine — each pictured by whiskers, ear, two eyes, ear, and whiskers.

This evening I downloaded a piano CD from mincymedia.com called A Place of Quiet Rest. Dave Mincy is offering all 11 tracks of the CD for free at least till the end of this week. I'm listening to it on my iPod, even as I type, and its quiet beauty is ministering to my heart.

Do you enjoy the dog days of summer? Any thoughts on the superiority of dogs or cats? 🙂

quotation...

"We're all going to be sifted, and Satan would love to discourage us." - Dr. Chris Barney

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

A dog will come when you call, but a cat will take a message and never get back to you.


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King Tut’s Cats


picture of Tut banner

Last week I told a little about our visit to the King Tut Exhibition in Atlanta, focusing mainly on the Atlanta part of the experience. I needed more time to gather my thoughts as to what to write about what we saw at the exhibition. Today I'm ready to share more about the exhibit itself, with a different focus yet. We were not permitted to take pictures in the exhibit, and so I had to do some searching to find some online that I could use in this post.

I enjoy learning about history, but I must admit that history classes or classes with a heavy emphasis on history were always among my least favorites in high school and college. I enjoyed learning about how life was, how people interacted, and about how historical events unfolded, but I simply could not get all the names and dates down and retain them for testing purposes. I guess my mind gravitated more to the social and cultural side of history.

That being said, you might imagine why I found the King Tut exhibition fascinating. To be sure, there were all kinds of names and dates for which I was thankful not to be held responsible - I even commented in front of a table of all the lineages how thankful I was not to be a professor of Egyptian history! But greater yet for me were the artifacts and the explanations of why those artifacts were there.

I was amazed to see how advanced they were, even hundreds of years B.C., although the use of B.C.E. ("Before the Common Era") was ubiquitous in the exhibit. They even had stone toilet seats! (Today's Chinese society could take some lessons from the ancient Egyptians!) Here is a picture of some of the artifacts found in King Tut's tomb:

picture of artifacts from King Tut's tomb

It was interesting to see simple things like stools, tables, and chests similar to what we might have today. The styles and ornamentation were different, of course, but still some of the basic forms and functions were the same as today's. In addition to common, everyday objects, though, we saw beautiful and intricate jewelry, like this pectoral with a scarab:

picture of pectoral with scarab

Many objects from King Tut's tomb are not allowed in displays outside of Egypt, like his mummy itself. Here's a picture of it:

picture of Tut mummy

picture of Tut coffinette

We saw an interesting object called the Canopic Coffinette of Tutankhamun. It's a miniature coffin (about 16 inches long) that was used to store Tut's liver. We saw the coffinette, but not the liver which undoubtedly had to stay in Egypt. A picture of the coffinette is on the right.

Those of you who know my wife Becka and me or who have been a reader for long know that we are cat people. (Ever wonder what the little =^..^= =^..^= is when I sign off my blog posts? It's to represent our two cats.) Something that we noticed in the Tut exhibit was how often we saw representations of members of the cat family, be it lions, panthers, or even house cats. Here's a picture of one of the chairs:

picture of Tut chair

If you look closely, you will see that the feet of the chair are feline feet, something common to many pieces of his furniture. Here's a picture of a bed where the cat motif is less subtle:

picture of Tut bed

Here's a picture of a statue of King Tut on the back of a panther:

picture of Tut on panther

picture of running black cat

From what I found online, Egyptians domesticated cats about 4,000 years ago. The first domesticated cats in Egypt were more than likely used for warding off snakes and chasing rodents. Egyptians treated cats very well, almost considering them as spiritual intermediaries. The Egyptian cat was considered a sacred animal, apparently having the run of the place. Actual mummies of cats were buried by the thousands in special cemeteries. Additionally mummified cats have been found in various Pharaohs' tombs. Here's a picture of some cat mummies:

picture of cat mummies

Ancient Egyptians used bronze statues of cats in their temples to communicate with the gods. Inscriptions surviving on some of these statues reveal the different types of requests made to the gods by the person dedicating the statue, such as a long life or good health.

In the exhibit there were many statues of sphinxes. According to Wikipedia, a sphinx is a zoomorphic mythological figure which is depicted as a recumbent lion with a human head, but occasionally as a lion with the head of a falcon, hawk, or ram. Here's a picture of a sphinx statue similar to the ones we saw at the Tut exhibit:

picture of sphinx statue

With their great love for morphs, the ancient Egyptians would just go crazy over what we can do today with images. Here are several pictures I received recently that are morphs of members of the feline family with other animals - puts a whole new twist on "what do you get when you cross an X with an X?"

a sphinx-like panther-ape

picture of morphed animals

a polar-tiger

picture of morphed animals

a kanga-lion

picture of morphed animals

a cat-squirrel

picture of morphed animals

That poor creature would have to be conflicted, knowing how much our cat Adelaide hates squirrels!

If you would like to learn more about the history of the finding of King Tut's tomb, here's a link to a site with lots of history and pictures - http://www.crystalinks.com/tutstomb.html

quotation...

"Don't put your eggs in the basket of temporal kingdoms." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Thousands of years ago, cats were worshiped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.


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