Grover Krantz was an American anthropologist and one of the very few scientists to have researched Bigfoot as well as believing in cryptids, something that actually cost him research grants and promotions due to the criticism he received. He passed away from pancreatic cancer on 14 February, 2004, and at his request, no funeral was held; his body was taken to the body farm where the decomposition could be studied to aid forensic investigations. Following this, he had requested that his body was laid to rest in a green cabinet in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History alongside his three Irish Wolfhounds, Yahoo, Clyde, and Lucky, whom he had also donated to science following their death. In 2009, his skeleton was articulated along with the skeleton of one of his beloved dogs where they were put on display.
Scientists have found that cats don’t love you the way dogs do. Tests has shown that a dog releases Oxytocin (love hormone) in their brains at MUCH higher levels when compared to cats. A dog releases upwards to 60% while a cat releases 12%.
Is it just me, or is Night Vale slowly being explained?
We know why Cecil hated Steve. we know who Huntokar is, we know why there are tiny houses on crates in the middle of the desert. We know what the Dog Park is and we know what happened to Kevin.
Think about when these things were first introduced. They were just, you know, another quirky part of Night Vale, right? Why does everyone hate Steve Carlsburg? I don’t know, just go with it. Why can’t we go into the Dog Park? Don’t question it. Why does Simone Rigadeau keep saying the world ended? Well, don’t look at me, it’s just what she keeps saying.
Everything seems to be falling into place now.
Some part of me desperately wants to cling to the inexplicableness of year one Night Vale.
The other part of me finds the idea of a podcast that starts out in complete chaos and weirdness and slowly falls together until everything is connected and clicks into place five years later highly appealing.
On September 1951, during the Soviet Union’s sub-orbital rocket travel experiments with dogs, just days before her flight, a test dog named Bolik (Болик) ran away from base, taking all the weeks of training and preparation with her. The soviet scientists, undeterred (and scared of their superiors) decided to look for a quick replacement, finding it in an unnamed street dog that kept roaming the base, and according to the military personnel, was very friendly.
Still without telling their superiors, the scientist named the dog ZIB (a Russian acronym for “Substitute for Missing Bolik”, “Замена Исчезнувшему Болику” Zamena Ischeznuvshemu Boliku) and put her in the rocket intended for Bolik with no training whatsoever, making a successful flight, and for her troubles, earning the best sausages the scientist could afford.
After the flight the truth was revealed, and while surprised, the director of the program accepted the scientist’s decision, and made sure that both ZIB’s name and history was put in the records of the program, going as far as to report it to the Politburo.
I’ve seen several posts lately talking about how the dragons of Tarkir are all scumbags because of the way they treat the humanoids in their clans. While I don’t necessarily disagree, I think it’s worth mentioning that most of these posts seem to be working from the premise that humanoids are people and dragons are just bigger people with wings and scales. That is NOT the way the dragons see the situation!
The closest analogy I could think of to approximate the way dragons view humanoids on Tarkir is in the way that humans view dogs on earth. Let me give some examples. (DISCLAIMER: This analogy includes generalities and stereotypes in an effort to illustrate a point. In no way is it meant to reflect an accurate assessment or judgement of scientists, dog breeders, junk yard owners, hunters, or anyone else.)
Dromoka – Family Pet
The family dog has things pretty well off. It is cared for, receives recognition, and occasionally gets a treat or pat on the head when it does something particularly good. Naughty behavior is punished, though most owners try not to be cruel about it. In cases of serious problems, the owner may try to correct the unacceptable behavior, though sadly in extreme cases the animal may have to be put down. The pet definitely has a place in the family, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be allowed to eat at the table or share a toothbrush with its owners. Yuck.
Ojutai – Lab Animal
The lab animal is an important part of scientific study. The animal’s caregivers make sure that it’s basic needs are met, along with perhaps training it to perform specific tasks. While emotional attachment to a lab animal is discouraged, so is cruelty to the animal, as both are seen as unprofessional. While scientists and students may come to appreciate or admire a particular specimen or group, nobody would ever consider the idea of a Labrador taking over the lab when a professor retires.
Silumgar – Puppy Farm Prisoner
This animal is alive solely for the personal gain of its owner. The owner has no affection or regard for the animals, aside from how it might contribute to their personal wealth and status. To make matters worse, the owner is like Cruella DeVille, and keeps a large fur collection that acts as a constant reminder to the dog that it could be next.
Kolaghan – Junkyard Dog
Intentionally bred and trained to be excessively mean and aggressive, this animal serves a purpose for its owner, but isn’t really appreciated for it. In fact, the owner may go out of their way to mistreat it, just to ensure it doesn’t go soft. If fights break out among the other junkyard dogs, the owner will just ignore it in the hopes that it will either toughen the dogs up, or that there will be one less mouth to feed.
Atarka – Hunting Dog
Not to be confused with modern-day family pets that are merely taken on hunting trips, early hunting dogs were allowed to enjoy the safety of the tribe and eat the hunter’s leftover scraps only if they pulled their own weight in the hunt. Though valued for their ability to help hunting other animals for food, the dogs were only as valuable as their results, and were certainly expendable. In times of scarcity, if the hunting dogs couldn’t help provide meat for the tribe, they could end up as meat themselves.
One final point I’d like to mention. As we’ve learned more about the world of Dragons of Tarkir, I’ve thought to myself, “Why would the humanoids stick around with dragons like Silumgar or Kolaghan?” I realized the answer is that just as dogs are not wolves, the humanoids in DTK are not the same as their ancestors before them. They’ve been domesticated by the dragons, and now fill the roles those dragons mean for them to fill. No matter how badly they are treated, they will still yearn for and seek the affection and praise of their beloved owners.