WTF Fun Fact 13091 – Scent Makes Dogs Feel Safe

You probably already know your dog is happy to be around you. They’re pretty good at showing it. Your behavior towards your dog is what matters most. But once they feel secure in your presence, your scent makes dogs feel safe.

The research on scent making dogs feel safe

Have you ever smelled a scent that reminded you of someone (perfume, for example) and had it stir your emotions?

Gregory Berns, a neuroeconomist at Emory University, performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on dogs (don’t worry, he taught them to sit still).

“We started the dog project about three years ago to get around this problem that we really don’t know what dogs are thinking or what they’re experiencing,” Berns said, according to National Geographic (cited below).

The goal was to see the activity of the brain’s nerve cells in order to get a hint of what they might be thinking. Of course, there’s a lot of interpretation to do to turn those images into ideas about doggy feelings. But they studied the part of the brain that is associated with reward.

According to NatGeo: “In the new study, Berns and his team performed fMRI on 12 dogs, including 5 service or therapy dogs and his own dog, Callie, to test their response to biological odors. The experiment dogs were presented with five scents on gauze pads: a familiar human, an unfamiliar human, a dog that lived in their household, an unfamiliar dog, and their own scent. The researchers found that the dogs’ caudate nucleus, an area of the brain associated with positive expectations, was most activated by the scent of the familiar person.”

The scent of a dog owner

The results suggested that dogs can pick out their owner’s familiar scent, AND it tends to produce a positive reaction that shows up in the reward center of the brain.

The dogs didn’t react to the other scents in any way that would indicate they had an emotional reaction to them.

While this is sweet and all, the research will be beneficial for service animals.

“What’s more, scanning potential service dogs for enhanced brain responses may pinpoint canines that are most up to the task. Training service dogs is very expensive, he said, and only 30 to 40 percent of those trained are placed with a person. Overall, Berns believes the dogs experience something akin to pleasure when they smell their owners.”  WTF fun facts

Source: “Dog Brains Link Pleasure With Owner’s Scent” — National Geographic

WTF Fun Fact 12410 – The Donda West Law

The Donda West Law, also known as Assembly Bill #1116, us an act added to Sections 1638.2 and 2259.8 of the California Business and Professions Code, relating to cosmetic surgery. It was approved by the Governor on October 11, 2009. 

It reads, in part:

“This bill would enact the Donda West Law, which would prohibit the performance of an elective cosmetic surgery procedure on a patient unless, within 30 days prior to the procedure, the patient has received an appropriate physical examination by, and has received written clearance for the procedure from, a licensed physician and surgeon, a certified nurse practitioner, or a licensed physician assistant, as specified, or, as applied to an elective facial cosmetic surgery procedure, a licensed dentist or licensed physician and surgeon. The bill would require the physical examination to include the taking of an appropriate medical history, to be confirmed on the day of the procedure. The bill would also provide that a violation of these provisions would not constitute a crime.”

Donda West died on November 10, 2007, at age 58, the day after undergoing cosmetic surgery. following heart problems. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said that her death was due to coronary artery disease and multiple post-operative factors from cosmetic surgery. The LAPD investigated her death further after learning that her doctor had settled two large malpractice cases and had convictions for alcohol-related offenses. – WTF Fun Facts

Source: Assembly Bill #1116 – The California Legislature

WTF Fun Fact #12390 – Dumb Ways to Die

A 2012 ad campaign about rail safety has won dozens of marketing awards and has even been credited for saving lives by discouraging foolish behavior around railroad tracks. The song and video were created by the advertising agency McCann Melbourne for Metro Trains in Melbourne, Australia.

It went viral immediately on social media after being uploaded to YouTube. Called “morbidly adorable,” it shows animated characters dying in ridiculous ways.

The songs lyics are:

Set fire to your hair
Poke a stick at a grizzly bear
Eat medicine that’s out of date
Use your private parts as piranha bait

Dumb ways to die
So many dumb ways to die
Dumb ways to die
So many dumb ways to die

Get your toast out with a fork
Do your own electrical work
Teach yourself how to fly
Eat a two-week-old un-refrigerated pie

Dumb ways to die
So many dumb ways to die
Dumb ways to die
So many dumb ways to die

Invite a psycho-killer inside
Scratch a drug dealer’s brand new ride
Take your helmet off in outer space
Use a clothes dryer as a hiding place

Dumb ways to die
So many dumb ways to die
Dumb ways to die
So many dumb ways to die

Keep a rattlesnake as a pet
Sell both your kidneys on the Internet
Eat a tube of superglue
“I wonder, what’s this red button do?”

Dumb ways to die
So many dumb ways to die
Dumb ways to die
So many dumb ways to die

Dress up like a moose during hunting season
Disturb a nest of wasps for no good reason
Stand on the edge of a train station platform
Drive around the boom gates at a level crossing
Run across the tracks between the platforms

They may not rhyme but they’re quite possibly
The dumbest ways to die
The dumbest ways to die
Dumbest ways to die
So many dumb
So many dumb ways to die

– WTF Fun Facts

Source: Has Dumb Ways to Die been effective? — Mumbrella