Tag Archives: Rats

No Wonder I Build My Life Around Laughter.

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(reversal rat from http://animator.deviantart.com/)

This morning during my meditation by the lake, the spiral canal that faces our parking lot was full of floating detritus.  Coconuts, bottles, seaweed… and two dead animals.  There was a huge rat floating right next to a small box turtle.

Of course I took it as a sign.  The first thing I learned upon googling the oracle?  Rats laugh.  No wonder I love them so much.  Check this out:

It was discovered that rats emit short, high frequency, ultrasonic, socially induced vocalization during rough and tumble play, and when tickled. The vocalization is described as a distinct “chirping.” Humans cannot hear the “chirping” without special equipment. It was also discovered that, like humans, rats have “tickle skin”: certain areas of the body that generate more laughter response than other areas. The laughter is associated with positive emotional feelings, and social bonding occurs with the human tickler, resulting in the rats becoming conditioned to seek the tickling. Additional responses to the tickling included: those that laughed the most also played the most, and those that laughed the most preferred to spend more time with other laughing rats. This suggests a social preference to other rats exhibiting similar responses. The initial goal of Jaak Panksepp & Jeff Burgdorf’s research was to track the biological origins of joyful and social processes of the brain by comparing rats and their relationship to the joy and laughter commonly experienced by children in social play. Although the research was unable to prove rats have a sense of humor, it did indicate rats can laugh and express joy. Chirping by rats is also reported in additional studies by Brian Knutson of the National Institute of Health. Rats chirp when wrestling one another, and before receiving morphine or having sex. The sound has been interpreted as an expectation of something rewarding.”

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Twenty Second Question of the Day.

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(photo of the crotch of the girl in the glass coffin, with friends)

How do you balance conformity and originality in your life?

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Yesterday’s Shoes V

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Yesterday’s Shoes.

The brown creatures and halo are imported from ebay.  That is two views of a hand-carved netsuke that I bought and had sent to Miami from China.

In Photoshop, I started by using a filter called Cutout to make the background look paint-by-numberish.  It is in the Artistic tab, and it is one of my favorites.  Then I opened the wooden rats sitting on a mushroom, selected all, copied, and pasted into the header.  I lowered the opacity on the new layer and erased all the excess background from the photographs of the netsuke.  I returned the layer to 100% opacity and moved it to the appropriate place on the image.  I added some contrast and some saturation for pop, then I right clicked on the layer with the mice and duplicated it.  I moved the new layer with the cursor to the right side and flipped it with the Transform function.  Then I moved it some more.

The halo is the underside of the carving.  I copy/pasted, erased excess, and placed it properly.

One note about sharpness.  If you want to increase detail and make the image more well defined, use UNsharp Mask.  That’s right, the “Sharpen” functions don’t work the way they sound.  Use “Unsharp Mask”, usually 60/2 or 100/1 for settings.  I use it almost every time.

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