Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm Pulling for the Chimp

Thanks to Doc Quatermass for the link.

iWon News - Ape applicant vies for star on Walk of Fame: "LOS ANGELES (AP) - Three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame have gone to the dogs, so why can't Cheeta the chimp get some love? The animal actor, whose credits include the 1967 comedy 'Dr. Doolittle' and the 'Tarzan' movies, is trying for the seventh time to get a sidewalk star and become the first monkey to get the honor. His handlers have launched an online petition to get supporters to urge the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to give him a star in 2009.

Each June, the Walk of Fame Committee picks from hundreds of nominations a list of inductees for the next year.

Cheeta's 'inclusion on the Hollywood Walk of Fame will not only give recognition to one of the international, animal megastars of all time, but focus attention on his fellow primates in the wilds of Africa who now face extinction,' the petition reads.

The petition notes that Cheeta's canine colleagues Lassie, and 1920s stars Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart are immortalized on the boulevard, along with fictional animals Kermit the Frog, Godzilla and Donald Duck."


Todd Mason said...

Chimps ain't monkeys.

I'm not sure why this error is so widespread.

Doc Quatermass said...

(Bored and I should really start a blog but with the ADHD, I'm better acquainted with procrastination than with consistency.)

Mostly TV and movies, but also the American "educational" system. Teachers, journalists, doctors, lawyers, - professional people who use to be better educated in an all-round sense before WW II are amazingly ignorant. I've long pointed out that 85% to 95% of what most people "know" is heedlessly acquired clich├ęs and half truths and falsehoods from the communal myth pool. Push the right conversational button and the canned response comes out as it makes the person sound (to themselves) like they know something. I've engaged in conversations where the "fact" or bit of information has no direct connection to the point myself or another person is making about something but it's related to the "subject" and a person feels that they want to be part of the conversation.

Back in the early '80s a retired Cornell University professor did a study comparing pre-WW II eighth grade texts with then current gifted programs texts and found the former more demanding. Not that people then were necessarily better about reasoning about formative subjects, just better prepared as far skills relating to commerce and everyday life and a quite a bit better informed about the world around them.

Although I've read documents lamenting the poor quality of students by college and university professors in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s (and talked to instructors in the 1980s who decried the poor preparation of incoming college students by primary and secondary teachers and thus that they had to dumb down their courses and lower the bar on their demands and expectations), the influx of blue collar WW II veterans who never would have had an opportunity to go to college if it were not for the G.I. Bill which created a greater demand and rush for instructors for the greater number of students that standards were lowered. Likewise, the demand on public schools with the influx of baby boom generation children created a need for more teachers and had an effect of poorer quality hires in some instances (as well as political infighting among various proponents of educational theories who sought to have their "babies" dominate school curriculums making a mess of things).

Chimps and gorillas are apes. Apes lack tails. Monkeys , generally, but not in every case have tails.

One thing I get via e-mail on occasion a list containing this gem "If man evolved from apes why are their still apes?" We evolved from a common ancestor. Sometimes this observation is included with a list of observations falsely attributed to George Carlin, who I think would know better.

And to be honest I've only known the monkey ape thing for about ten years or so and the common ancestor thing for maybe the last five or so. I read a lot and widely and have a tendency to get into discussions with Fundy Xians and political and supernatural nut jobs which leads me to look for facts that counter their mistaken beliefs and errors of fact and reasoning.

"I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me.- Dave Barry

Watch Leno's Jaywalking.That will really depress you. Especially when he has teachers or college kids studying "Education" on.

Read Steve Allen's "Dumbth". He gives a year of 1964 when he started noticing that the average person seemed much more poorly informed and less capable of ratiocinative skills. Heckfire, I've seen numerous news stores the last several decades and read books about how poor our students are compared to most of the rest of the world in the various academic subjects esp. science and math.

We've been going to a fish fry the last couple of years at Holy Trinity Catholic Church (a Polish National Catholic and National Catholic Church) as they do their own breading on the fish (and no fish fry fish tastes better) and make homemade pirogues, potato pancakes, cabbage and noodles, coleslaw and mac and cheese. Also theres a cute older couple, the husband of which turned 93 this past March. Joe likes to talk to me as most people he talks to doesn't get most of the subjects he likes to discourse upon and I'm pretty bright and informed (so he says). I suggested we start bringing each other a word each week as he likes to talk about language. I did so the first week and he forgot so he started copying down words he saw in the newspaper and brought a list after I hadn't seen him for a couple of weeks. He went through the list with me and later my wife. He's was disappointed, and at the same time impressed, that we gotten most of them (he threw in a couple of medicine brand names we weren't familiar with). The church's priest, who is now a Bishop in the denomination brought his college age daughter over to meet us and talk to my wife about putting in a good word for her as she had applied for an summer internship at the newspaper my wife works at. Joe saw an opportunity and started quizzing her on the words he had. She did fair but lamented not being very conversant with vocabulary words. I later asked my wife if you wanted to be a writer would you not have an interest in words. She agreed, but then discussed how woefully informed about most subjects the journalists at both papers, but especially the current one, she's worked with have been. You can generally tell when one of the copy editors used a thesaurus to mine a new word as it shows up quit a bit for a while in headlines.

Bill Crider said...

I'm convinced that Jay-Walking has to be a put-up job. Surely people aren't really that dumb. Just couldn't be. I hope.

Todd Mason said...

It is pretty remarkable how ignorant a whole lot of reporters are. About nearly everything.

I, too, suspect that most "Jay Walking" participants are playing dumb to Get On TeeVee, if in fact not hired to do so, as the JERRY SRPINGER folks are.

I could see the confusion with monkeys who are called Barbary apes, and perhaps even with siamangs and gibbons, the most monkey-like apes. I'm not sure I understand any confusion beyond that, a bit like confusing dogs for bears.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Thanks for the novelette, Doc. Enjoyed it.

Apes are chimps, gibbons, gorillas, and orang-utans. I thought everyone knew that.

As for the talking heads, I've never seen one that could ad lib worth a damn, which shows me they aren't very bright.

Alas, those dopes on Jay Walking ARE that stupid.

Todd Mason said...

Well, Cap'n, don't forget the siamangs, bonobos, and humans. The happy ape family.

Meanwhile, the newish news story involving macaques (monkeys with tails and everything) is about some who have figured out how to fish. Macaques, which include the Japanese snow monkeys and their cousins who salt their food with seawater, are the next out!

Todd Mason said...

And, as you'll recall, Doc, the pre-WW2 schools could shake out those who weren't interested in a classroom education, and and least some of those folks could find industrial or agricultural jobs, some of which might even support them reasonably well. Postwar, not so much.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Todd, humans are primates, as are apes, but humans aren't apes. Don't let the WWE fool you. When I was in school the only members of the ape family were the four I listed. Maybe more have been added since then.