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Christmas Day at the Untold editorial offices by the office dog

How many blue whales can you fit into a Boeing 747 before lunch and what your dog’s barks mean


Last thursday, I went in to enquire about getting a dog collar to give as a Christmas present to one of my chums who had recently taken a creature from the local Animal Rescue Shelter.

The pet shop offered me a device that translates dog barks into English and then sends the translation to your mobile phone.  The dog barks, your phone buzzes and you get to know what your dog is saying and can thus answer its every need.   It’s called WhatsYapp.

This in turn led me on to the notion that perhaps, if I had a dog and if I attached the WhatsYapp collar, I could then transcribe each of the comments the dog made and turn it into a dog diary.   I predicted a best seller.

So I bought a collar, borrowed a dog name of Joey, and took it for walks, transcribing the commentary from my phone each morning and evening upon my return.

“Speed up you dozy old git,” as enunciated by Joey and transcribed by myself is to be published by Woof Books next year.

But what made it all so interesting is that I discovered to my surprise that Joey could hold forth on all sorts of things beyond issues relating to the speed of my perambulating.  

For example he told me that the world’s lightest planes weigh about 150kg which is less than one eighth of your standard blue whale.  On the other hand a Boeing 747 can weigh about 412 tonnes, and a blue whale weighs on average 190,000kg.   Turns out a Boeing is 21.6 times heavier than your standard blue whale.

But… Joey continued, if the Boeing were to be empty, with limited fuel and neither passengers nor luggage on board it would only weigh 180 tonnes.  However to be fair one would have to weigh the blue whale before breakfast.    I really never knew dogs were so intelligent, although sadly it seems that they don’t have the concept that being a know-all becomes a little tiresome after a while.  If you want to borrow my WhatsYapp, you are welcome to try it out.

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8 comments to Christmas Day at the Untold editorial offices by the office dog

  • Gord


    What has to happen such that the robot slaps itself?

    This time of season is nominally tied to religion festivities, when a certain church took over festivities of a “pagan” nature for their own purposes.

    As a young person, I believed in something, or thought I did. I read enough of the Bible (or a translation of a translation of a translation, …) to grow dis-satisfied with the circularity in the arguments. And so ye shall not believe.

    Growing older, one learns that religion in part is a mechanism to provide an explanation for the natural world around us. I found more satisfaction in the laws of physics as I under stand them then, and as I’ve grown to understand them now, as a better explanation of the natural world that I observe and sometimes participate in.

    But that doesn’t mean that I see no value in religion. Whatever that religion may be. Many religions have at times done great harm. But by and large, religions have tended to operate for the greater good (as well as at the same time possibly contributing the to goods of the people in the religion hierarchy).

    Consequently, I really try to avoid getting into religious arguments with people, as it serves no useful end. I do not want to change someone else’s beliefs.

    I believe in being a good person. Pay it forward, and random acts of kindness seem like wonderful concepts to me. This time of year tends to have more of this type of activity than the remainder of the year, which bothers me.

    I wish you the best, for varying values of “you”. Unless ‘you’ are too much of a dork, and then I don’t.

    In terms of the airplane, I would be surprised if there were many species on Earth such that mankind could build a vessel large enough to hold all of that species inside it.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Mankind can build a vessel large enough….

    But the question remains, are we kind/generous enough to do that….

  • Gord

    I don’t know about that 13.

    Some researchers came up with an estimate of 10,000 trillion ants for the total number of ants on Earth. The BBC had a show after that, where they claimed only 100 trillion. We have since discovered more kinds of ants.

    But at 100 trillion ants, the mass of ants on Earth would be the same as the mass of people. I don’t think we could build a boat big enough to carry 7 billion people (we could probably build refrigeration plants big enough to freeze enough water to make a barge).

    The above says there are about 300 pounds of insects for each human on Earth. Which would again end up with boats big enough to put all people on (within a factor of 10 or so).

    Maybe it is just rare to find species we couldn’t build a boat for. But I was thinking yeast and bacteria when I made my original statement.

    Hmm, Noah and his Ark. It seems there are multiple versions on Youtube, but here is a link to a text version. Bill Cosby on putting 2 of each animal on a boat (before he ran into troubles).

    So, how long can you tread water?

  • WalterBroeckx

    The worlds gone to the dogs….

  • Gord

    Walter’s comment reminds me of a news story I seen on Google News. Apparently, one (or more) humane societies in Canada were unhappy that many dogs in China were about to be butchered for food, that they rescued all the dogs. They are bringing them back to Canada to adopt them out.

    I’ve tried to read the news today. Most is fine, but Arsenal news is crappy again. For instance, Wenger out is a theme again. They just never quit.

    But, I am still going through data, trying to get a handle on November. Trying another approach.

    I am having to enter 1995/1996 data, to “seed” a neural net program. And we get to March 20, 1996. I can see a Wednesday game happening during the Christmas season at 1500, but how the heck did this game against ManU in March get scheduled for 1500?

  • Anything is possible, so he doesn’t want Draxler!? OK Gov, well I think it pertinent to reinforce, but you claim no?

    Pulis next, 13 is the magic number.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Gord – 24/12/2016 at 11:53 pm – Any robot slapping itself silly must have been programmed with female logic ! Full of self doubt and prone to contradictions and argumentative .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And on the subject of walking the dog ….

    A little girl asks her mum ,” Mum, can I take the dog for a walk around the block ?”

    Her mum replies : ” No, because she is on heat . ”

    ” What does that mean ?” , asked the child.

    ” Go and ask your father. I think he’s in the garage.”

    The little girl goes out to the garage and says :” Dad, can I take Lulu for a walk around the block ? I asked Mum, but she said the dog was on the heat, and to come and ask you.”

    So the father took a rag, soaked it in petrol, and scrubbed the dog’s backside with it to disguise the scent, and said :” Ok, you can go now, but keep Lulu on the leash and only go one time around the block.”

    The little girl left and returned a few minutes later with no dog on the leash.

    Surprised, Dad Asked,Where’s Lulu ?