Happy Family Day, Ontarioans! Today is a statutory holiday in my home province of Ontario. I am celebrating Family Day by avoiding all contact with my family. Just kidding. Mostly.
Thanks to all of you who left messages of sympathy and good will in response to my pathetic illness posts. If you have been praying for me and/or sending healthy thoughts my way, it's definitely helping. That, and the pretty, pink antibiotic pills that I finally started taking on Friday.
I can tell exactly how the antibiotic functions. It's a marvel of simplicity. It's actually just a high-powered sedative for all living things. It has made everything in my body, including the virus, so tired that all we (the virus and I) want to do is lie around and vegetate. I did manage to rouse myself for some board games with friends this weekend (we all felt that I must be past the infectious stage by now) but I played rather badly. This time I blame it on the antibiotic. (I'll have to come up with a new excuse for next time.)
In my more alert moments, I've been keeping myself busy reading a book by Rupert Sheldrake; Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals. It was published in 1999, so I thought it might be a bit out of date, but apparently scientists still can't explain in detail the mechanisms of bird migration and/or animal homing instincts, so the book basically still stands.
I was alternately impressed and saddened by reading about experiments testing the abilities of homing pigeons.
"The theory... that the birds remember the twists and turns of the outward journey has been refuted by taking pigeons to an unfamiliar point of release in dark vans, within rotating containers, by devious routes. When they are released, they fly straight home
"The theory that they rely on familiar landmarks has also been ruled out. ... [I]n experiments carried out in the 1970's, pigeons were even temporarily blinded by being fitted with frosted glass contact lenses. They still found their way home over great distances, although they tended to crash into trees or wires very near their loft. They had to be able to see in order to land properly."
(Poor pigeons!) :-(
"The theory that pigeons smell their home from hundreds of miles away, even when the wind is blowing in the wrong direction, seems extremely implausible. Nevertheless, it has been tested in a variety of ways. In most of these experiments, the pigeons could still find their way home even if their nostrils were blocked up with wax, their olfactory nerves severed, or their olfactory mucosa anesthetized."
I would like to take a moment to remember the brave suffering of all the innocent homing pigeons who were trapped for lengthy drives in rotating drums, blinded with contact lenses, and had their sense of smell removed in the name of science. They got home anyway! Go pigeons go!
Alright. Back to vegetating.