From:  "shanlung9" <shanlung9@y...>
Date:  Thu Feb 12, 2004  1:34 am
Subject:  Re: OT: Rupert Sheldrake - whatever it is worth

What I relate later will be very much OT but those in this current
discussion that started of with that N'kisi posting that I send up
may  find interesting.

I was staying in Hong Kong before South Korea and now Taiwan. I
stayed in the fishing village of Saikung. The apartment I stayed in
was just over a seafood restaurant. Evenings would have thousands of
people in the many restaurants crowding the waterfront. There were
more restaurants in that village crowded near the waterfront than in
Taegu, a Korean city of 2 million that I stayed in.

We have a tabby cat, Ivan, with us. He is a killer and I have seen
him leaped 6 feet up to bring down a flying bird. We had him since
he was a kitten. He is currently looked after by Joy's mum and
separated from us by 3 months quarantine period in a third country
that I do not wish to subject him to.

Joy worked for a couple of PC magazines. With the head office in USA
requiring liasions together with printing deadlines, she came home at
very odd times. Some days she might reach home by 6pm and other
times, as late as 11pm, and at any time in between.

We did not have a car or bike then but the public transport there was
superb. Mini-buses would pull in at the terminal just outside the
apartment entrance at the rate of one every minute or so.

The ambience noise from the hungry Hongkongers that thronged just
below my apartment would have been as loud as you can imagine.

Much of the time, Ivan would go to the door and meow loudly and moved
in a distinct agitated manner until I go and open the door. The
first time he did that, I opened the door, looked around and just as
I was about to close it, the lift door opened and out step by wife.

After a few times, I asked if my wife jangled keys or called out to
find with great surprise she never did but I thought she might have
been noisier than she felt herself.

Sometime later, I timed Ivan's call to find he would start up about
45 seconds before my wife appeared. I was getting intrigued enough
to do some checks. That from the time you step out of the bus, about
8-10 seconds to reach the door at ground level. The lift to 3rd floor
timed to be 15 seconds or so.

Joy got back at very irregular times. She could have been on any of
the mini-buses. The ambient sound from diners and tourists below
together with the TV being on is loud.

It then struck me that Ivan started the meowing when Joy was still on
the minibus a hundred meters away rounding the corner, he could not
have picked up any sound or odour clues.

He did it many many times. Not once was it a false alarm like
neighbour getting off or that Joy did not materialised herself.

I had much difficulty with it at first. My logical mind told me that
this could not have happened. When I refused to open the door after
the meowing, he will sit there patiently to find my wife ringing the
doorbell shortly later. I later relented to open the door at his
meowing. He would then sit with me to wait for lift door opening to
reveal Joy. When I get back later than my wife, I asked her if Ivan
called out for me. I was chagrined to find that ungrateful beast
never called for me even though I was the chief caretaker and feed
and groomed him.

I do not know what kind of process that was used and did not even
want to think about it. Made me felt too uneasy.

Take this for whatever it is worth.

Warmest regards

From:  "shanlung9" <shanlung9@y...>
Date:  Thu Feb 12, 2004  3:34 pm
Subject:  Re: OT: Rupert Sheldrake - whatever it is worth

--- In, jd021357@a... wrote:
> In a message dated 2/11/2004 1:09:28 PM US Mountain Standard Time,
> chrisbiro@s... writes:
> I
> think they called it discriminative hearing or something like that.
But then
> maybe it was more than just hearing the mouse...
> Parrots: More Than Pets, Friends For Life
> Chris Biro
> Chris -- I was joking but...I had assumed Shanlun was saying the
cat was
> using some sensory mechanism other than the ones we know about.
Like esp or
> seeing the future. Perhaps his wife always said the same thing
every time as she
> departed a taxi (i.e., good bye, live long and prosper) and the
timing of
> arrival was inaccurately measured? Could she have been laughing out
loud as the car
> pulled onto their street? The cat was hearing something Shanlung
> hear.


I belong much more to the Western world than many other Westerners.
My entire educational upbringing was rooted in the process of
science. I am a senior consultant in mass transport system, which can
only deliver goods and passengers safely through applied science and
mechanics. My expertise is in project controls and time&motion
studies and productivity. That required stop-watch timing of
processes/work units and statistical studies.

The tables of the restaurants spilled out over to the footpaths
around my apartment. Not withstanding that, I still felt that Ivan
must have heard my wife the same way we can catch a particular
conversation in a hall of people.

Ivan was doing that on such a regular basis that I thought I might as
well established that he must have heard my wife. I did not approach
the timing with a clipboard and a stop watch. I relied just on the
second hand on my watch and I hope that is acceptable. Ivan's
meowing was so consistent, 44 to 47 seconds and timed over 5

I timed myself walking back to the lift from where one alight from
the bus and again, on that lift as that bugged me so much that time.

That mini bus connected Saikung to the nearest MRT train station stop
about 15-20 minutes away depending on traffic.

In Hongkong where 7-8 million live, you do not exchange greetings or
goodbyes leaving buses, especially in the case of my wife who got
home at very irregular timing. Where in peak time such as 5-8 pm, as
many as 4 of those mini buses may depart every minute, the chances of
meeting 'regular' commuters will be very very slim.

When her hours were too late, she would take the taxi back.

When I told her last night after I wrote that, she related to me that
she could hear Ivan screaming when the mini bus pulled to the
terminus stop or when she opened the taxi door. From my perspective
since I was at home, Ivan screamed started earlier before that bus or
taxi was even in sight.

My findings freaked me out when I realised how inconsistent it was
against the more familar world that I am used to.

If you cannot accept it, so be it and I feel no rancour at all. I
find it so difficult to accept it that time. If you think I lied and
made it all up, the choice is yours entirely and you can doubt every
word I said on everyone of my emails.

I do not feel comfortable talking about it even now. I find it
difficult even to use that T word or that E word.

I have no beef in proving or disproving science or pseudo science. I
have enough faith in science that it can look after itself. The road
of science have been littered all through history by Romans 2500
years ago who felt they discovered all of science, and in the late
1800s where American patent office was to shut down as no further
patents were expected and by most of the eminent Western scientists
that all discoverable science was discovered in early 1900, other
than some strange properties of pitchblende that Mdm Marie Curie was
working on.

I have no emotional gratifications in trying to prove or to disprove
anything especially when such thing is not 'reproducible' especially
now 5 years down the road.

With that, I get off that soapbox now and will not add any more on
this particular topic

Warmest regards