Stories tagged dogs

Jan
20
2008

A famous dog translator: David spent years speaking with his neighbor's dog, Harvey, without the aid of Hungarian computers. Fortunately, we can't all be like him.
A famous dog translator: David spent years speaking with his neighbor's dog, Harvey, without the aid of Hungarian computers. Fortunately, we can't all be like him.Courtesy Wikimedia commons
“Doctor, no! I need those!” “Kibbles and bits, kibbles and bits,” “It tasted great both times I ate it,” and “Rook out, Raggy!” All exclamations humanity has every right to expect from a dog. The canine linguistics community, however, has been left sorely disappointed by the recent bark translations of a team of Hungarian researchers.

The Hungarians, no doubt doing their best with the resources at hand, recorded and digitized over 6,000 barks of Hungarian sheepdogs, and fed them into a specially designed computer program. The computer was then able to correctly identify, 43 percent of the time, whether the dog was barking in a “fight,” “stranger,” “play,” “walk,” “alone,” or “ball” scenario, with “fight” and “stranger” most often yielding accurate results. The program was also able to correctly determine the individual dog barking 52 percent of the time.

Both of these statistics are much better than the average human translation of dog barking, although they pale in comparison to some of history’s more notable dog translators (Shaggy, The Son of Sam and Jack London, to name just a few). It is, certainly, an admirable start, and it has got me looking forward to the day when I can ask my brother’s dog just what’s so great about putting his nose right there, exactly.

Jan
10
2006

The Buzz

Since early 2004 the scientific community has been all abuzz with news of the multiple remarkable discoveries of South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk. His work has given him rock-star status in South Korea that we can hardly imagine in America. The only problem is, he was completely lying about several of his key findings. He finally admitted to this deceit on Monday, Jan. 9th, but also claims he was sabotaged.


Hwang Woo-Suk: The scientist who fabricated stem cell research. Image credit

Hwang Woo-suk was a pioneer in the field of stem-cell research and cloning. Stem cells are the special cells in a human embryo that can grow into any type of tissue or organ in the body. Research into these cells offers the possibility of many unique science breakthroughs: