Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Let’s start with the tasty pieces. That would be Snyder’s Honey, Mustard and Onion flavored pretzel bits. Yikes! are they good! They were on sale a couple of weeks ago, and I’m surprised they made it into the house. Try ‘em; you’ll like ‘em.

Bits? Well a new super market opened nearby (we need that -- there are only three in the immediate area), named Sprouts. They advertise themselves as a farmer’s market, with fresh produce direct from the farm. Their ad in the paper showed some tempting prices, so we did some of our shopping there today. So did nine million other people. We found what we wanted -- finally! I called it a traffic jam. Cliff called it a zoo. Yes it was.

And otherwise -- I received a most interesting book for my birthday, Alex and Me, a true story. Alex was an African Grey parrot, who died in 2007 at the age of 31, and “Me” is Irene Pepperberg, an associate research professor at Brandeis University. The sub-title of the book says “How a scientist and a parrot discovered a hidden world of animal intelligence -- and formed a deep bond in the process”. Ms Pepperberg worked with Alex to disprove the notion that birds possess no potential for language, or anything remotely resembling human intelligence.

I just started reading this story. Ms Pepperberg starts at the end, when Alex passed away. And no wonder! Pictures of Alex appeared on CNN, in Time magazine, and scores of other publications around the country. NPR ran a story on All Things Considered. Diane Sawyer did a two and a half minute segment on Good Morning America. CBS anchor Katie Couric devoted more time to Alex’s life and death than to major political stories.

But this just cracked me up: The prominent British newspaper The Guardian, wrote “ America is in mourning. Alex, the African Grey parrot who was smarter than the average American U.S. president ...” And that’s where I lost it. I was laughing so hard, I couldn’t read any further. I’ll be reviewing this soon.

If you go to Google, and type in "Irene Pepperberg", there are other photos, as well as some videos.

And speaking of smart birds, try this video on for size:


  1. Anybody who's spent any time around parrots can attest to how intelligent they are.

  2. The NYTimes recently ran a story on hot pretzels and how in Germany they wouldn't be served with just mustard. What the...?! Mustard is MADE for pretzels! Sounds like a tasty treat.