In 150 Years

PumpkinToday, I’m looking a hundred and fifty years into the future. Fun! What kind of changes in technology and culture can we expect to see? Obviously, I can’t cover everything, so I’m just going to spew. Here are a few thoughts.


The ability to make and encode human brains and put them into computer systems. Think of it as a simulation of yourself, your memories, your personality, everything – a snapshot of you that’s then left running. Of course, it then takes a life of its own, but when you die, it continues. So, in a lot of cases, this becomes “retirement.” When your body fails, your mind is encoded. You die, but your copy lives on in cyberspace. Given enough of this, cyberspace then becomes filled with undead AI that are all people from the past. I’m not sure if we’ll be there in a hundred years, but the groundwork for it is being paved now.

Meat Puppets

Growing new bodies for the retired undead eventually becomes possible, but a lot of them won’t want to leave their cyberspace environment. Some do, some don’t. And there needs to be a reason someone would want to be a meat person. Still, it changes the life-cycle of humanity in some significant ways, particularly if and when this technology becomes commonplace. Not every meat-person you run into will be new. Some of them will be ancient copies of personalities from the past. And these people will demand the same rights as meat people, inside of cyberspace or out.

Medical Technology

It will probably depend on what you can afford. I expect it will stratify from a “basic” plan that covers the standard stuff all the way up to an entirely new body. Cancer will be a thing of the past. Oh, people will still get it, but it will be easily cured. Alzheimers and dementia will be gone. Almost any body part can be regrown from one’s own cells. That includes hair. Baldness will be a choice – so long as you can afford the growth and transplant of new hair. People will live longer, but there will still be a cap on how long you can keep an old body running. The wealthy who can afford the most advanced care will, of course, live the longest.

Becoming a Parent

Birth control – as in the right to procreate – will likely eventually no longer be a right but a privilege. First world countries burdened with overpopulation will likely be the first to impose laws. Homogeneous countries with forward thinking populations will likely accept these restrictions far easier than countries with mixed populations and different social and religious beliefs. They will be more likely to rebel against it, and there may be civil wars. Regardless, some form of population management will eventually become necessary or the Earth will no longer sustain humanity, and artificial means will be required. Given that humans are horrid at this type of self-regulation, it’s more likely that we’ll undergo complete removal of the Earth’s biomass and all food will be produced by artificial means. Imagine a world that’s one big city. Some countries will refuse to regulate their populations. They will overflow and there will be wars.

The Environment

Environment control – think weather control – may become a necessity if we can’t halt global warming. This means we’ll have to have artificial means of heating and cooling the planet. To a large degree that may require some kind of solar shield. A mesh network of nanotech particulate in the upper atmosphere that can be programmed to absorb or let light through, for example. Rings of umbrella satellites that can be closed or open to focus sunlight in specific areas. And a computer system called something like “The Butterfly’s Wings” that can calculate the massive number of variables in this chaos and determine the changes to make to artificially stabilize the earth’s heating and cooling. Will we be capable of this in a hundred years? Maybe. But even if we are, I expect the polar ice caps will be gone by then, and the heating of the ocean will result in the loss of coastal cities, islands, and probably massive storms.

Class Structures

Expect the further fragmentation of society into classes with very wealthy, moderate, poor, and very poor. Upward mobility through that system will become more and more difficult. The cost of education will become prohibitive. Genetic engineering of progeny may also have a factor – ala Brave New World on some level or another. This will further fragment things to the point that the children of the wealthy with genetically engineered intellect may run everything, and everyone else is basically screwed.


Employment may change significantly with the advent of advanced robotic systems. In some countries there may be no more menial labor and physical labor jobs will become a thing of the past. For many people, there simply may be no work. Some countries will pay people anyway – a form of socialism that keeps capitalism alive by giving people money to spend so that they can continue to function as consumers. Without this (at least as an intermediary step) entire economies may collapse. Educated jobs will suffer as well once computer AI become advanced enough to take over some of those jobs. What won’t change, at least right away, will be those profession that require creativity and originality, but even they will have to compete with computers eventually. And they’ll have to compete with the “retired” people in cyberspace.

The Speed of Change

Expect all changes to occur in stages and mostly slowly. It will be a piecemeal social and cultural evolution, and be different in different locations, while at the same time it will be visible to everyone due to the exposure of the internet. Which brings me to privacy and information security. There won’t be any for the poor. Anything and everything most people do will be easily accessible to their governments (which is largely the case now). The only exception is quantum entanglement. If we crack that nut, and we end up with FTL communication, then expect the hardcore exploration of our current solar system and nearby ones to take place via robotics.

The Proto Planets

Back in the old days – a few years ago – we would have just called them planets. Now, they’re called a bunch of different things, depending on who you ask. Dwarf planets, minor-planet, planetoids, exo-planets, trans-Neptunian objects… whatever. We get it, astronomers, you need to draw a line between the little stuff and the big stuff. So now, if it hasn’t “cleared the neighborhood” around its orbit, it’s not considered a planet. Plus, you have to be in orbit around the sun, AND you have to have sufficient mass to have become round (aka achieved hydrostatic equilibrium).

Dwarf planets are typically around the same size as Pluto, give or take, generally making them smaller than Earth’s moon. Pluto is, in fact, one of them (now that it’s lost its charter membership in the planets of the solar system club). It’s not easy being a planet anymore. You can’t just throw a lot of mass around, you’ve got to clean up your area too. Just being global isn’t enough. But if you don’t have the chops for planethood, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a planetoid.

Yesterday, as I was counting the “real” planets to make sure they were all there, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t been keeping track of the planetoids. My bad. While I wasn’t looking, more of them had been found, and some of them were moderately interesting. In fact, given that we’re still discovering them way out there in the Kupier belt and the Oort cloud, they could be very interesting indeed.

Something out there is disturbing the Oort cloud. Do we have an unstable neighbor? Maybe a large brown dwarf that’s dark and mysterious and generally boring except when it comes around once in a while and flings rocks at us? It’s possible, although it’s more of a conspiracy theory at the moment. Nemesis, they call it – or would call it if they found it. But it may not exist.

So, without further delay, let’s identify them. Let’s meet the neighbors we know about. You might be surprised at how many there actually are. (And I’m sure I’m missing some, but maybe they haven’t been discovered yet).

Eris (Xena)


Eris is big – the biggest of the dwarf planets. It’s 27% bigger than Pluto. It was discovered in 2007 by Mike Brown. Eris is the reason Pluto is no longer a planet. It caused a big argument about whether or not it should be the tenth planet in the solar system, which caused the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to redefine what a planet is.  Eris has an elliptical orbit outside the orbit of Pluto. It also has a small moon of its own named Dysnomia (Gabrielle).



Sedna was discovered in 2003 by  Mike Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David Rabinowitz. Sedna is smaller than Pluto, probably around 800 to 1100 miles in diameter.  It has an extremely exceentric orbit around the sun that takes around 11,400 years to complete, so forget about having a birthday party there. Sedna is one of the reddest objects in the solar system. Nearly as red as Mars. This is suspected to be due to hydrocarbon sludge on the surface formed by organic compounds after long exposure to radiation. Interestingly, due to radioactive decay, Sedna may have enough heat to support subsurface pockets of liquid water.



Quaoar was discovered on June 4, 2002 by astronomers Chad Trujillo and Michael Brown. That Mike Brown guy seems to find a lot of planetoids. I wonder if he’ll eventually get an award for most found? Anyway, like Sedna, Quaoar is kind of red. Not as red as Sedna and Mars, but redder than most non-red places. Quaoar (Kwawar) is around 800 miles in diameter, about a fourth the size of our moon. Quaoar may have undergone a collision with some other big object that stripped it of its mantle, leaving behind the dense core. That’s the ineresting thing about Quaoar, it’s fairly dense. It’s orbit is off the solar plane, but fairly circular. Quaoar has a little bitty moon named Weywot.



Haumea was discovered in 2004 by… you guessed it, a team headed by Mike Brown. It was named after the Hawaiian Goddess of Childbirth. It’s gravity is strong enough for it to have become spherical, but obviously, it’s ovoid, a big floating space dragon egg. It’s shape is suspected to be due to its high speed rotation. It’s considered a  Kuiper-belt object, with an orbital period of 283 Earth years, and it’s about 1/6th the size of our moon in mass, making it pretty small. It’s moons are Hiʻiaka and Namaka.



Makemake is about 2/3 the size of Pluto and has no known moons. It was discovered in 2005 by Michael Brown. It’s name comes from the mythology of the Rapanui people of Easter Island. It’s very red, and probably covered with ethane, methane, and maybe nitrogen – all in ice form.



Orcus was discovered in 2004 by Michael Brown of Caltech, Chad Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory, and David Rabinowitz of Yale University. Orcus is grey in color, and presumabley has a lot of water. Orcus has a large moon named Vanth. Orcus itself is about the same size as Quaoar and Charon (Pluto’s moon). It completes a solar orbit about once every 245 years.



Varuna is “probably” a dwarf planet . It’s considered a “cubewano” or “classical Kuiper belt object” which means it has a low eccentricity orbit and isn’t in orbital resonance with Neptune. Estimates for the size of Varuna have varied from 500 to 1060 km. The surface of Varuna is moderately red (similar to Quaoar) and small amounts of water ice have been detected on its surface. It orbits the sun once every 281 years.



Ixion was discovered in 2001 by someone other than Michael Brown, which makes it somewhat unique. The Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory found it. It’s believed to be around 650Km in diameter. It’s moderately red and orbits the sun once every 249 years. It’s surface is composed of tholin and liquid ice.



Pluto is the original dwarf planet. It was discovered in 1930, and classified as the ninth planet in the solar system until 2006 when all Hell broke loose and we began finding all these other proto-planets, causing the IAU to redefine the criteria for what a planet is. Since Pluto hasn’t “cleaned up” it’s orbit, it’s no longer considered a planet. See what happens when you’re messy?

Pluto has five moons.  Charon, NixHydraKerberos, and Styx. Charon is the largest of them. In 2015, the “New Horizons” spacecraft (an unmanned probe) will fly by Pluto and give us our first close pictures of it. That will be pretty exciting, and likely result in a lot of Pluto-Parties and paraphenelia. McDonands will probably even make glasses that you can get free if you buy a full meal deal.



Huya was discovered in March 2000 by Ignacio Ferrin using data collected by at the CIDA Observatory in Venezuala. It’s estimated to be around 530Km in diameter and completes an orbit around the sun every 247 years. The surface is slightly reddish, probably covered by tholins again. It may have a satellite which could be around 202Km in diameter.

Ceres (in the asteroid belt)


Ceres was discovered in 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi. It’s about 950Km in diameter, and sits in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. That’s right, this isn’t a Kupier belt object, it’s actually IN the solar system. That makes it special. The “Dawn” spacecraft, an unmanned probe of course, will visit Ceres in 2015. It looks like 2015 will be a banner year. Pluto and Ceres parties are going to be rampant. Maybe Poppa Murphy’s will have a Ceres pizza special.

The surface of Ceres looks to contain water, ice, and various hydrated minerals such as carbonates and clays. It may have oceans of water below its surface like Europa. Could there be life on Ceres in those underground oceans? It might be a great place for refueling starships on their way out of the solar system, or just getting a drink of water.

2002 TC 302 (not formally recognized)


Discovered in 2002 by Mike Brown’s team at Palomar, this one hasn’t been formally recognized as a “dwarf planet” yet, so it’s sort of in limbo. It has an estimated diameter of 584Km, but this isn’t for sure. It’s a trans-Neptunian object with an elliptical orbit that circles the sun every 413 years.

So, I suppose the question arises, why should you care at all about our closest neighbors? The answer is primarily about the evolution of our solar system and what may lie out there beyond our perception. These little planets are part of our territory. If we are the only intelligent life here – which appears to be the case – then these tiny worlds belong to us. They orbit our sun, and fall within our jurisdiction.  When the time comes, and we quit screwing around and actually begin to populate our system, then these worlds will become stopping points, refueling depots, and later, places of refuge. Eventually, they may be usable as worlds unto themselves, assuming we figure out how to produce our own energy and don’t rely on the sun for it.

In many ways, our solar system appears almost pre-configured for us to do so. Volatile organics and usable resources show up exactly where we’d need them. Some may claim this is due to intelligent design. Others will say it is inevitable given the nature of our solar system. Personally, I could care less about that crap. They’re there, and we would be fools not to make use of them. Given the nature of our society, someday we will. Unless, of course, we all die first.

The Future of Literature

LitGamingWhat is the future of the written word?

In Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 the government outlawed books in favor of “book plugs.” In this day, we’d call them “audio books.” What was the reasoning? Censorship – Control over what people know. It’ pretty basic stuff from a social control perspective, and really a very simple idea. Eric Arthur Blair (aka George Orwell) pretty much outlined the process in his novel “1984.”

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

Revisionist history is nothing new at all. It’s been going on since people could keep records. But this isn’t what I want to discuss. I’m more interested in the future of the written word itself. As in, will it survive as a medium when fewer people read, and more people are satisfied to go to a movie? The common perception is, “if the book is good enough, then they’ll make a movie out of it, and then I’ll go see the movie.” It’s not a wildly inaccurate concept; it’s only inaccurate as to what is considered “good.”

What “good” literature is varies to each of us. Why? Because we relate to it differently. Literature, like everything else, is subject to perception, just like reality is relative, and personal perception is reality. We all see it differently, and in our own light. Some of us look beyond reality, and some of us are grounded within it. I’m sure many of you reading this will know of books that you’ve read – books that you can safely say were utterly fantastic, but would make horrible movies. There are reasons for this – the exclusive use of narration, for instance, or the extensive use of thought process, which does not translate well into the visual medium (as we have noticed by directors who have made this attempt). This is the negative case, but there is also a positive case. There are many books that would make marvelous movies that never make it to screen. So what’s the problem with them? The answer is simple.


And what is “popular?” Well, it’s simple to a publisher, or to a movie maker. “Popular” is what happens when something is widely read. It doesn’t matter if it’s absolute crap. Take “Twilight” for example. It was basically garbage, and made a horrible movie. But its erotic foundation and undefined main character gave plenty of teenage girls the means to “step into” a world they wanted. An escape! And that’s what they bought. So it sold brilliantly, and I salute the author for her capacity to produce such a thing. A work of art, not for what it included, but for what it didn’t include – detailed characterization. There are plenty of other examples of this, but I won’t delve into them here as it will be a wormhole, and I’m well aware of my ADHD OCD tendencies to go down that path – which would be boring, so let’s stick to the main subject instead.

What will happen in the future? Will movies become the new “books?” There is a decreasing demand for books. Part of that is due to the massive dump of indie literature into the e-book market, which is both expected, and not necessarily a bad thing. But it lacks something, and that thing is promotion and motivation. I must ask the question – are people motivated to read? Are we training our young people to adopt and stick to the written word? This question has been asked by others many times, and statistics show that “training” our young people to read does have an effect. But should we be doing this when the “new world” is not written word but rather other media entirely? Video games, for example, are becoming more complicated. They give more of a plot than the used to (depending on the game) and can create a storyline that the reader (aka player) not only reads, but lives through. Descriptions aren’t in words in this media, they’re visual. As a writer, you take your vision and make it REAL. It’s not a description anymore; it’s simply there for the person to perceive.

Sometimes I look at video games and compare them to my novels, and think that THIS is what I really want to make. Not a passive story, but a living one that people will participate in. One that they react to, and live in, and one in which their decisions and reactions have a result. If you look at the concept of “play-by-post” or “choose your own adventure” books in which the reader determines the outcome, some video games are not so different. It’s a new medium.

Given this (and also given that I’m an educator by trade, and would use such concepts for reader education) is it any surprise that I might wonder at the concept of providing concept education – real life physical education – technical education – social education – and moral education all in one place? Not really. It seems a perfect storm – a perfect medium. And so I wonder if the future isn’t aimed at this idea. The idea that we give to people a virtual environment… a “tutorial” if you will, but not a passive one, but one in which they take part. Could this be the future of literature?

I cannot answer this, but as the process of creating more and more complicated decision-making games becomes more and more simplified, I am given to wonder if the medium of the passive written word will become something of the past. I wonder if literature itself will give way to virtual environments and media that serve the same function. And even beyond that, would literature come BACK into play, not as nostalgia, but as a medium that works better for some, and not as well for others. I mean, if you could write a story, submit it to a company that would take it and provide MULTIPLE media outputs for it (books, video games, movies, and everything else) how would that work? What would it do?

Inevitably, this will BE the future. It will eventually become possible. And what happens then? Who becomes the “portal” for such media?

Zimmerman Trial Ends

The trial of the year is finally over, and George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin. At least for now. There may still be a civil lawsuit – just as there was with OJ Simpson – and Zimmerman may again find himself in court, but for the moment, it may be done with. One can only hope, for I disparage of the media coverage this trial has brought. It has not been good for the country.

While this trial has reached its conclusion, the coverage by the media networks has been absolutely ridiculous. I’ve tried to find information about the war, about Syria, about Iran, about the instability going on in Egypt, and I’ve had to get it off the web. The television has become blanketed with re-coverage and meta-analysis of this trial, over and over again. I sicken of it.

Zimmerman was found guilty in the court of public opinion shortly after the event took place. Putting myself in his situation, I looked at the events as I knew them at that time and kept my mouth shut. Why? Because I could see myself acting the same under similar circumstances. For ten years I worked as a security guard – unarmed in my case – but still placed in a situation where it was my “assumed” job to ask people pointed questions about their purpose and intentions for being in a particular place at a particular time. Most people are fairly decent about it and understand, but there are those who get very irate when confronted. And, quite often, those who are the most irate are acting out because they know they are not supposed to be where they are, and have something to hide. I never had one of them attack me, but it came close a few times. Letting them know the police were on the way was usually sufficient.

But if I was armed, and I was beaten to the ground, would I draw a gun and fire on my assailant? Yes, without a doubt. Would their race matter? Not at all. You care nothing about the race of the person attacking you when you’re under attack. In the heat of the moment, you’re worried about your own survival. And if I knew that robberies and home intrusions had occurred by a specific age group or ethnic group, would it affect my perceptions? Absolutely. If I’d heard that young Hispanics, or Asians, or Caucasians, or African Americans had been seen and were suspected, then I would be on high alert when seeing them. Does such profiling make me a racist? Not at all. Not any more than if someone told me men in red shirts were causing trouble in the area. And it makes me nervous that other people would see this as racist.

I expected that a not guilty verdict would be the end result of this case if it were tried without bias and simply based on the available evidence. Does that mean Zimmerman isn’t a racist and didn’t put himself in this situation intentionally because he wanted to kill Trayvon Martin? No, it does not. That possibility still exists, but how do you prove such a thing? And what are the odds of it being true? There simply isn’t any evidence to support it. Is Zimmerman actually guilty of doing anything more than defending himself? It doesn’t matter, because he was found guilty by the public before he was even tried, and then he was demonized – a puppet symbol of white suppression for a simmering rage that still flows like a caustic poison beneath our culture.

You will never convince those who wish to think this verdict was unjust that it was fair. And maybe it wasn’t. Of that, I can’t say, I can only look at the evidence and put myself in the shoes of both parties. In that perspective, it was an avoidable tragedy, but not one spurred by racism. It was spurred by circumstance.

Some will say, and have said, that the result of this trial would have been different if Trayvon Martin had been white. I disagree. The only difference would have been the amount of media coverage, and the outrage of the people of color who wish to perceive this as a racial case. This, in and of itself, shows how far we have to go before there is true equity in the heart of this country, not just in our minds. What happened to Trayvon Martin was a tragedy, but one with a moral to it. If you’re going to be wandering around at night in some neighborhood, then don’t do it if you look and dress like other people who have been seen causing trouble in that area. And if someone does confront you, don’t get irate, simply identify yourself and your reason for being there. Don’t expect you won’t be approached, you might. Don’t expect other people won’t be suspicious of you, they will.

And don’t expect that something like this will never happen again. It’s only a matter of time.

It’s Gotta Go in the Garbagio

GarageGarbageSixteen pounds of crap in a two pound plastic bag. It’s all gotta go in the garbagio.

Ever clean out your garage? Ever notice the number of letters separating the word “garage” from the word “garbage?” (It’s one, in case you weren’t counting). That’s right, it all comes down to the letter “B.” It’s the only letter keeping your garage from becoming garbage, and let’s face it, a lot of us have way too much “B” in our garage.

As I’m digging through the boxes of untold riches from years past, I can’t help wonder how much of this crap I could sell on Craig’s List. I don’t want to rip myself off. How about this old nylon computer case? Sure, the laptop has long since found its way to China where it was melted down for precious metals, but the case is still good. What can it be used for? I could pack my clothing in it and use it as a carry-on when I go on vacation. Nah… it’s just junk. I’d better keep it, but first, I need to put something inside. It’s padded, so I fill it with carved emu eggs and bubble wrap. They should be well-protected.

What about this life-sized bust of Edward from Twilight that my daughter made out of paper-mâché? Should I throw it away, or burn it? What about all these ancient 60-year old encyclopedias I inherited? They smell like piss, and they’re full of information that probably isn’t relevant anymore. I love the map of the USSR. Ah… the cold war. Those were the days. How about this fossilized wedding cake? Will my marriage really end if I throw it away? Would the dog die if I fed it to her? And what’s up with this box of cables? If I get rid of them all, will I really need them tomorrow?

Toys, toys, toys. Not good toys, parts of toys. Parts I will never ever identify. Every few minutes, my wife holds up some plastic part and asks, “what’s this?” As if I keep a catalog in my head. I usually just guess. “It’s for a race track.” That’s one of my favorites. Or, “It’s part of a doll house.” That’s a good one too. Every once in a while, I’ve got to break it up with something interesting. “It’s the safety to a shotgun.” Or, “It’s the retaining pin for lawnmower blade.” But this always raises questions.

What about this thing? It’s either a chainsaw blade, or a bike chain for a sadomasochist. Since I don’t own a chainsaw, and I’m not a sadomasochist, I have no idea where it came from. I open another box and find the guts of a grandfather clock mixed in with replacement parts for an espresso maker. I remember selling the espresso maker, but I’ve never owned a grandfather clock. And look! Here’s that broken microwave from three years ago. I’ve got enough parts to build a microwave espresso clock chainsaw. Sounds dangerous.

Corroded batteries, piles of old magazines, Tupperware containers of bolts and screws, broken tools, comic books, a fish tank, four pounds of clay (now hard as a rock), I feel like a fricken horder. The garbage pile at the front of the garage grows, and I watch it carefully, testing myself for feelings of anxiety. Nope. Nothing yet. I still want to get rid of it all, and add an old lamp to the top. It teeters threateningly as my wife throws a calendar-filled plastic bag onto the stack.

The guys at the dump charged me 20 bucks to take all the “B” from my garage, but now I’ve got enough room to actually move around in there. There’s even a partially empty shelf! I’m pretty sure there’s enough “B” in the closet upstairs to fill up the space. I’d better get busy.

Rolled Gold

CrazyDogWhat will a dog do for a pretzel? My dog is a rescue mutt. Once we decided to get a dog, we searched for a long time, trying to locate a Golden Retriever of the more mellow variety that would get along with our children. We found very few. Apparently Goldens are in big demand. But we didn’t need a pure bred or anything, just a dog, and so we ended up looking at a wide variety.

The dog we ended up with is a mixture of breeds I’ve never been able to identify. She has the body of a Golden Retriever, but she’s slightly more muscular and a bit larger than your average golden. I was told that the police officer who caught her in assumed she was some type of Rottie mix. At first, I found this somewhat unlikely. She doesn’t have a Rottweiler’s snout, and isn’t quite that muscular. But I can see where someone might think she’s part Rottie, as she has similar coloring (albeit with very long hair). And later, when I learned her personality, I discovered it was very similar to a Rottie’s protective nature. She’s a barker, and might be potentially dangerous to people who don’t know her, and that she considers a threat to her family. In the end, I decided that she might be some kind of Burmese / Golden / Rottie / Gorden-Setter mix. She has a small white spot on her chest, and white tips on her paws. The coat of a Burmese, but the coloring of a Rottie. At the same time she has the feathering of a Golden, and the retriever instincts of a Setter.

In any case, we’ve had her for over ten years, and while she’s getting on in age, I’m surprised at how spry she still is. She’ll still play, although she won’t fetch anymore. She must be at least twelve or thirteen years old now, because she was fully grown when we got her. I think she may have had pups. When we first got her, she looked like she was still getting over lactating, although that might be because she was so emaciated. I was tempted to name her “Nipples,” but my wife nixed that.

Recently, I decided to teach her to roll over. She’s always known how to sit and how to lay down, so I think someone must have spent some time training her. (She also doesn’t beg – or didn’t used to until the kids started feeding her at the table).

Using Rolled Gold pretzels, I told her to sit, lay down, and then roll over. She looked at me like I was crazy, so I made a circular motion with my hand and repeated the command again. To my surprise, she rolled onto her back! Praising her, I fed her the pretzel and repeated the sequence. Sure enough, she did it again. So, for the past few weeks, I’ve been reinforcing the behavior, and now she’ll do it without the pretzels (although this is obviously disappointing to her).

I can’t help but wonder if she used to know this command, or if she just happened to roll over at one point and figured out that’s what I wanted.

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The Shut-in Stand-Up

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Miss Demure Restraint

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Randomize ME

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The Good Greatsby

The humor blog of Paul Johnson: He doesn't do it for the money. But he wouldn't object if you gave him some.

Gruffguano's Weblog

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The Official Blog of JERK Magazine at Syracuse University

Politics or Poppycock

A Look From the Left At Politics, Politicians, Policies and Issues of National Concern


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