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September 9, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Bright sometimes. Shocking others.

You can’t in a roller skate in a buffalo herd.

You can’t use sarcasm around people any more.

Avoid trouble with inert smiles and nods.

But seriously, do you think whales, turtles, raptors, and babies don’t mind?

Ever shuffle uncomfortably seeing wildlife GPS collared or tagged?

Bound to mess with their flight dynamics or cause a vague lopsided feeling when tearing through the underbrush. Hang up potential.

If Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer was the laughing-stock among his peers about his nose, what about one with the weird alien lump?

Animals can have self-esteem issues, right?

Researchers say animals aren’t bothered by the monitors, but how do they know? (Ever had a pebble in your shoe and not be able to get rid of it?)

Animals aren’t talking, but a new invention may offer insight shortly. 

Designed for a tiny creature who can’t object – one pretty mush speechless for several years (then you cannot shut them up). In a few years data by those who can finally speak up will tell if monitors are darn annoying to those who get them stuck on.

Bird. Mexican spotted owlet. Zion Nat. Park. NPS Sarah Stio USPD by-fed-employee

Not this kind of owlet.(USPD/

The Owlet has arrived!

The Owlet is a smart sockie that monitors a sleeping infant’s heart rate and oxygen levels. If the child stops breathing, an alert is sent to your smart phone.

Honestly this is an important tool for premature infants or those at risk for SIDS.

But after talking recently with some soon mothers-to-be who are frantically worried about every little thing and totally panicked seeing dangers everywhere, I wonder if the giggling joy of a baby freely kicking those piggies in the air will become a thing of the past like feeling the wind in your hair while riding bikes or horses.

Let’s hope Owlet marketing is done with some restraint.

Babies have enough to cry about.

As if monitor tags aren’t bothersome enough, there’s a new way to be even more annoying to ocean inhabitants like sharks. Long distance even.

Saildrones: unmanned, wind and solar-powered ocean vessels that can to patrol the oceans to track movements, guard protected areas, gather research data, possibly carry cargo, and there’s the quietly muttered military uses.

There goes the neighborhood.

“Sea Drones Venture into Uncharted Waters” (Bloomberg article)

If you’re land locked, you can still get into the technology circle.

Ever get really bored and hunt up that YouTube video of cat on the rumba? (That one should be captioned “Perception is everything”. It is RC Cat approved. Sufficient warning.)

Park yourself and get energized. No more worries about getting tripped up in the garage!

“Wireless charging for the Leaf, Volt, and ELR? It’s here …and it’s ain’t cheap” (Autoweek)

Car in garage. Leaf charging wirelessly ( by PLUGLESS)

Leaf charging wirelessly. No, that is not green Leaf poop. ( by PLUGLESS)

Think wireless cell phone charger on steroids.

Once the car is carefully parked exactly over a pad on the floor, an induction coil on the underside of the car picks up the electric magnetic field and starts the charging process for the car battery.

Sounds very Jetson’s cool…but that electric magnetic field?

People used to worry about getting too close to those EMF things.

But car manufacturers wouldn’t create stuff that might be dangerous, would they?

Just to be sure, send the cat in on a rumba, coax it to hop on the charging pad by using a fishing pole dangling a mousie, then see if the cat starts glowing or get scary zombie-ish.

Advancing technology can create some unpredictable results.

Don’t let the cat get your tongue.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Kitten with wild hair. Tesla cat lectures on science of static electricity (

Shockingly, test idea is not RC Cat approved.(







  1. easyweimaraner / Sep 9 2016 6:30 am

    I don’t like the idea of electric cars… they are good for 100 miles and need hours of charging… that’s like living in medieval times where we needed days for a shopping trip in the next town… theoretically then I had to start now to be in paris for black friday… LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 9 2016 7:19 am

      Molly hates the darn things as they are so sneaky; it’s nice and quiet and empty, then unannounced- there’s a big electric rolling device. Our neighbor left hers on in the garage when she didn’t hear it.
      A looong time ago there were electric cars for “ladies” as they didn’t need cranking and were cleaner. They stopped making them for a reason. Sometimes well meaning people don’t do enough research or want to believe what they want to believe.
      (Any one who liked “Big Oil” will love “Big Electric”) If technology advances, maybe someday electric cars will be better. Right now the battery life is an issue (And companies still will not tell how many years the batteries will operate – and more important what will happen to the old batteries that are very ugly and damaging to the environment – or how much those parts will caost to replace. A big problem is that here the climate is so hot it destroys batteries quickly – and also when it’s 100 degrees F with humidity drivers must have AC to sruvive in the bumper to bumper crawl to and from work. NAturally, most also want to listen to the radio…sometimes use lights during rain storms or night. All of that drains batteries quickly in this climate. No a good region to be stranded on the side of the road ’cause car is tired.
      But Easy, maybe you uncovered the plan: they want us all stuck at home. More time to play with dogs! And feed cats. It’s probably the cats. Thanks for driving in with a charged comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • easyweimaraner / Sep 9 2016 7:23 am

        yes, that’s the plan… here they howled as the plan of the eu was to ban mr. burns nukes… some towns becames as dark as… well ya know… and we all better should switch our habits because of the rare and precious electricity. And suddenly they say till 2025 we all have to drive this toy cars… but no one has a clue how to feed all the batteries. I have an idea… we build hamsterwheels operated by useless politicians… then we have enough energy for centuries…

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Kate Crimmins / Sep 9 2016 7:27 am

    I’m waiting to be “beamed” wherever I want to go. Hate travel in any form!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 9 2016 8:58 am

      Yes, Scotty, we’re waiting…
      Travel is so annoying now. It’s faster to drive than go to the airport and get on a plane. (And the animals complain about having to get up early, go through scanners, and behave long periods waiting at the gate. RC would probably want to entertain by singing. Molly would demand everyone pet her or know the reason why not.HA HA) Driving takes so long.(and RC demands if Molly gets to pack the crate, then ALL her mousies get to go. Then there’s the “she’s on my side” car battles)
      Yeah, ready for rapid beaming transport. Thanks for packing in a comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kate Crimmins / Sep 9 2016 11:00 am

        Nothing worse than battling pets in a car. “She touched me!” “She’s on my side!” Oh yeah….


  3. Paul / Sep 9 2016 8:07 am

    Hybrid cars work extremely well in our climate. For about 8 months the A/C or heat is used only sporadically. That means cycling the gas engine but the reverse power achieved when braking is a big gain. The batteries have become very rugged and last over 8 years even in heavy application like taxi. They are almost 100% recyclable. I am pleased with this still developing technology and it is rare that I say that. There is a difference of a few thousand dollars for a hybrid but government subsidies take most of the sting out and the long term cost is much cheaper than gas engines. Our temperature range of -40C to +40C seems almost ideal for the hybrids. The vast majority of time the temperature is between -25C and +30C. No external charging is ever needed.

    Oh,the ocean wanderers. This will set many researchers into dances of happiness. That said, my guts say this is yet another invasion of privacy somehow. Humans are notoriously poor stewards of our environment. It scares me that we should have the necessary info to make the destruction of sharks or other ocean species easier if we pleased. There are very few places on the planet where human reach has not yet extended and under the surface of the ocean was one. That too is slipping away and that makes me sad – perhaps to see the mystery disappear.

    Wireless charging will require some serious safety protocols – I hope they get it right..

    Please give my regards To RC and Molly and let RC know I will leave a tin of tuna open at the door.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul / Sep 9 2016 8:27 am

      Oh and a stick for Molly.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 9 2016 9:23 am

      Energy solutions are not one size fits all and probably need to be regional.(Around here we need ultra fast rail…people been voting for it for decades, but…) Around here, recommendations are if you want electric car, lease and get rid of it before the parts/batteries start being an issue. The batteries are a long way from being perfected/practical – and companies are not telling people the truth.
      But we were all excited about a neighbor’s cool hybrid. Worked fine at first, then mysteriously would stop during travel or refuse to start at all. It started living in the shop. Got “fixed” then repeat some mysterious problem. The manufacturer started flying specialists to work on it. She’s a single mom with kids (all environmentalists, too) and needed reliable transportation. After almost a year of problem (and rent cars) the company bough it back and discounted another regular car for her. They tried, but the bugs are still an issue – probably this climate, too. Eventually, some transportation solution will be found and it will probably be so simple people will be stunned it took so long. Meanwhile protect the environment by making sure vehicles are maintained properly and tuned correctly (so few have car skills now – and cars are so complex) Some well maintained older models use less gas than the new ones and keeping the old car prevents damage to the environment caused by creating materials/building/painting the new car – then there’s the disposal of the old one. New is not always necessary or better.
      Unmanned autonomous sea drones. Great. As if there’s not enough man-made nonsense like abandoned/functioning oil platforms, windmills, huge metal cargo containers that washed off some boat out there to be dodged by sail boats and ocean going vessels. Bound to be annoying to migrating sea dwellers, too.
      Although staff caught RC Cat googling “programing ocean going drones to catch and return with fish”. Technology is our friend.
      Thanks for sailing in with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paul / Sep 9 2016 8:10 pm

        That is sad about the single Mom and the broken car. It has to be the climate because we use Priuses and other hybrids here for taxis and when I ask the owners about the service record, they inevitably reply that the car has never been in the garage even if they are 5 years old. I must have spoken to 20 drivers and none have a single complaint.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 10 2016 9:10 am

          This area does have a good number of Prius and others, but I think most are leased to avoid problems. Extreme heat here is a battery killer for all cars which is a surprise to newcomers. The situation with the neighbor’s car is simply a situation of the technology isn’t quite there yet and the car companies are being forced by feds/desire to be the first/stockholders to put stuff out before it’s really ready or they know all the bugs and issues. It will happen eventually, but right now flying down factory specialists who then can’t pinpoint the problem indicates it’s time to head back to the drawing board. Don’t rush the cook! (no garaging of cars? Gag. Here the paint and interior liners/fabrics/leather wouldn’t hold up at all. Nothing ages/destroys a car faster here than living outdoors…especially if near the Gulf salt waters)
          Another example of one size doesn’t fit all – and people at a distance should stop wagging those fingers and trying to tell others how to function.
          Thanks for mulling over the mysteries!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. shoreacres / Sep 9 2016 9:16 am

    I’ve read the hype on electric cars, and I’ve read the studies of precisely how much “greener” they are. By the time you factor in the manufacturing of the batteries, and the electricity use for charging, and the battery disposal problems, and…and… I’m sticking with petrol, thank you very much.

    As for the babies and over-protective parents, guess what came to mind at work this morning?

    “Rock-a-bye, baby, in the tree tops,
    when the wind blows, the cradle will rock.
    When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
    and down will come baby, cradle and all.”

    As far as I know, none of us were traumatized by such, but I don’t think it would pass muster today.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 9 2016 9:45 am

      It’s more about money and profit (and governmental pat on the back/perks) than the environment. Far too many people are willing to be sold a pig in a poke without taking the time to examine it.
      People- moms to be – babies have been born and raised forever – in the dirt- on trails – in the fields- in wagons – in all sorts of weather/climates/environments. Geesh. Between the for profit scare them publishing industry and internet, parents are frantic over far too much. Precautions and common sense yes, but honestly stop the hysteria. Owlett is wonderful for at risk babes, but the ordinary ones? Babies love their toes – Free the piggies!
      It has occurred to me that overly cautious parents have crippled development of some…pain is a teacher. If a kid never feels any normal, not really dangerous, childhood scrapes and aches, that when an authority figure says “Don’t do that. It hurts someone. You don’t want to hurt someone, do you?” the kid thinks “I don’t know. What is this “hurt” thing?”. OUtsmarted ourselves. Sigh.
      Thanks for swinging by (Oh, you probably recognized the opening line. Has that chant repetition thing great for kids?)


  5. Carrie Rubin / Sep 9 2016 9:45 am

    I hadn’t heard of the Owlet. Thanks for the heads-up. I see a lot of false alarms in its future. As if parents didn’t lose enough sleep as it is. There’s no evidence these types of devices prevent SIDS, and I worry they either stress a parent out more or provide a false sense of security. Putting baby on his or her back to sleep is still the best way to prevent SIDS.

    Hope you’re doing well and easing into your fall happily!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 9 2016 9:56 am

      Your read is the same as mine. New parents today seem to be worrying themselves to total exhaustion. Really need a commons sense mid-ground between “ignorance is bliss” and totally wrapping the world in soft protective cotton, (Attempts didn’t work so well for the ill-fated Russian prince, Alexei.)
      Besides trying to grab those wiggiling toes is developmental. Body awareness. And so cute.
      (Always looking for updates on your posts. Cool progress! Hope the move is complete and you are settled in. If condo monthly fees weren’t so high here, we’d consider one. Pondering next step…there’s the dog.)
      Thanks for rocking the comment cradle

      Liked by 2 people

  6. roughwighting / Sep 9 2016 11:49 am

    I enjoy everyone else’s intelligent comments, so I’ll just go to one perhaps not so intelligent but I really want to know. Where did the expression “don’t let the cat get your tongue” come from?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 9 2016 12:59 pm

      From RC Cat. (She means it.)
      She says it’s very old from royal Egyption cats who found a knife could silence those who couldn’t be trusted.
      Staff counters they heard it came from Middle Ages when cats were said to partner up with witches. Supposedly old women would threaten to silence people by either having the cat sneak in and steal the tongue – which got fed to the cat..
      RC sniffs (demonstrating her broad education) “Ignorant fools!‘je jette ma langue au chat’. French for ‘I throw my tongue to the cat’ or I have nothing to say. (Translation provided for dunderheaded staff.)
      All I know is that is appears in a magazine around 1881- 1900.
      We should leave now, before RC wakes up enough to get charged up about all this?
      Thanks for the purrfect comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • roughwighting / Sep 9 2016 3:13 pm

        This is all rather fascinating. Cats sure get around, from Egyptian royals to Middle Age witches to new age writers and sages. Well, of course, cats are the ultimate sages, right RC?


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 9 2016 4:28 pm

          RC Cat: “Silence is the key to everything, yet is nothing. We graciously nod in your direction for your astute observations…but don’t let it go to your head.”


  7. the dune mouse / Sep 9 2016 11:55 am

    I love having my mind boggled when I visit your posts. For some reason I can’t stop thinking of that first line-rollerskating in a buffalo herd – Do you have a video of that anywhere?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 9 2016 12:48 pm

      Brain play is always nourishng? I added Roger’s video to my reply to swim on down the comments to there and sing along. Seems to be the right tune for a Friday. Thanks for adding a moving comment

      Liked by 1 person

  8. heretherebespiders / Sep 9 2016 2:40 pm

    I got mentally stuck on your first lines. My brain always hears lyrics of songs on the slightest cue. In this case a song by Timbuk 3: ‘Life is hard, can’t find happiness no matter what you do. Can’t get to heaven on roller skates, can’t take a taxicab to Timbuktu.’

    Seems rather appropriate, despite the song being older than people who can now drink and vote 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 9 2016 2:54 pm

      Nothing like a good opening line. That particular one was created by Roger Miller (song video below in comments as response to shoreacres. Go ahead sing along. And be amused at the similarity to Timbuk 3’s?) I think some of the little kids could appreciate a good number of the older songs…hey , they are certainly catchy! Thanks for electrifying the comment pile

      Liked by 1 person

  9. 47whitebuffalo / Sep 9 2016 9:28 pm

    Thank you for making me laugh today. Love this, really.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 10 2016 9:16 am

      Laughter is the music of the universe. Puts things back in balance. My job is done (haha). Thanks for giggling along


  10. Jane Dougherty / Sep 10 2016 7:58 am

    Why can’t people just live?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 10 2016 9:18 am

      What? Manage their own lives and leave the rest alone? What fun would that be…besides having to focus on their own issues is so tedious…better to stir other pots HA HA. Thanks for pondering along


      • Jane Dougherty / Sep 10 2016 9:35 am

        Dogs do dog stuff, lions do lion stuff, lizards, monkeys, horses, hyenas all do what they do best. Why can’t we decide what human beings were intended to do, and just do it?

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Robin / Sep 10 2016 6:44 pm

    Yes, I have wondered about the tagging of wildlife when I’ve seen it. Seems like it ought to be cumbersome in some way, but then I thought about the wearing of a wedding ring and after 40 years, I hardly notice it (and it feels weird without it!). Dang me, I’ll be singing about how you can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd all night. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 11 2016 9:59 am

      Aerodynamic design would be critical for animal tagging I would think. There are some benefits to the animals (like the mountain lions/cougars in that area between freeways in CA)
      Ha! That song was most appropriate as the German, Ella, and Molly were careening around their house during a visit…after which they all slept soundly the next day.
      Nothing like a cheery buffalo herd to bring a smile


  12. Paul / Sep 11 2016 1:58 am

    As an aside Phil, I have a guest post over at Mark Bialczak’s I would be honored if you had the time to drop by for a read and comment. Thank You.


  13. Kirt D Tisdale / Sep 11 2016 5:13 pm

    Great post….lots of things to think about…I do like the owlet for the reasons you stated. Our youngest (now 26) was a preemie and we had her on a monitor for her first year of life to monitor breathing. This device sounds less cumbersome, but I also agree with your thoughts on overuse by the compulsive, controlling kind…..


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 11 2016 5:26 pm

      I will admit to husband creeping in to sleeping child and holding thin paper by nostrils to make sure….only a couple of times. You worry! Preemies are a whole different ball game. Hard to stay calm. Atleast the owlet looks like a soft sockie and sensibly might not be on every single minute so those piggies can wiggle free…besides, how taste is a monitor compared to a little toe. Babies are amazingly flexible and so happily easily amused. At 26 your daughter is probaby discovering how smart her parents got somehow overnight….
      Thanks for slipping by with a quiet comment

      Liked by 1 person

  14. patriciaruthsusan / Sep 17 2016 9:19 am

    Interesting. I hope the Saildrone will help the sharks in some way. 🙂 — Suzanne


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 19 2016 7:42 am

      If only the darn things don’t get in their way or go rogue and ram into them or simply become more useless junk floating around out there. Far too much stuff that someone used to think was a good idea bobbing in the oceans.Hope those darn things have obvious ID that can be tracked to owners in case it rams a sailboat or become leftover junk cluttering up the place Could they become floating oyster reefs? Or rest stops for tired sea birds?
      Wondering….if those are unattended, can they be claimed as salvage by someone? Boats can be. (Legal eagles are already grinning about the fee potential?)
      Giving this waaay to much thought HA HA
      Thanks for flaoting a comment this way


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