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Today I Learned: Crows

July 28, 2009

Heard this story on NPR this morning about crows. It talks about how humans have not evolved brains that would allow us to distinguish one crow from another. Even crow researchers who have studied them many years cannot tell them apart. They have a test on the site which you can take to see if you can tell one from another. Crows, on the other hand, have a special ability to tell one human from another, and it is based on facial recognition. The scientists say that crows have traditionally had to tell humans apart because some humans were mean to crows and would shoot them while others were nice and would feed them, so it became a survival skill.

Yesterday I learned some things about Joan of Arc after watching La passion de Jeanne d’Arc (Dreyer) played in the Acapella parking lot with live backing musicians (Hubcap City). Joan was executed when she was just 19. And she was a key military figure (claiming to recieve directions from God). She led several key French victories in the Hundred Years’ War (which lasted 116 years, off and on) and helped Charles V to the throne. The movie itself was amazing, and now that I know the context more, it makes more sense. Most of the dialogue in the movie was taken directly from records of her actual trial and execution.