Monday, November 01, 2004

dumpster-recognition module

noun. An innate part of the brain that may not know chicken shit from chicken salad but can identify a dumpster full of fresh, refreshing garbage a mile away.

Real citation: "Learning is a much faster way to get behavior that tracks a changing environment than evolution is. In Oakland [Calif.], there's a market with a big fish department, and black-crowned night herons have taken to perching on the awnings by the dumpster, waiting for fish to be discarded. Awnings and dumpsters are recent features of the environment, and if herons had to wait to evolve a dumpster-recognition module in the brain, they'd be missing out on a great food resource."
(Susan McCarthy interviewed by Katharine Mieszkowski, Aug. 31, 2004, "When animals go to school,"

Made-up citation: "After the accident, I lost my short term memory and eyebrows, but I gained a fascinating new dumpster-recognition module that has truly changed my life."

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