Monday, August 25, 2014

Win a double pass to the Australian Museum night talk and a TED talk about mental illness in animals

After reading our post mentioning their night talks, the Australian Museum have generously offered SAT readers TWO double passes to their night talk on the White-fronted Chat (a chat about a chat – but you can’t take your cat!)(okay, I will stop now).

The White-fronted Chat, Epthianura albifrons, is a small honeyeater. It used to be found all across Sydney but is now isolated to two patches of saltmarsh which are surrounded by urban development.

Ecologist Richard Major has been undertaking research to look at the decline of the endangered Sydney population. Using genetic techniques, he and his team have set out to determine whether urbanisation is the problem and has also trialled cages to help protect nests from predators.

Dr Major is the Principal Research Scientist in Terrestrial Research at the Australian Museum. His other research interests include birds in backyards and historical changes in the birds of Sydney.

If you’ve not been to a talk at the Australian Museum it is well worth the experience. There’s something cool about popping into the Museum after hours and hearing from experts in their field. The talk is will be held on October 30. Tickets are normally $30 each (or $20 if you are a member of the Australian Museum). For more info, hit this link.

To WIN a double pass, simply tell us in 30 words or less why you’re keen to go, and don’t forget to include your name and contact details. Entries must be received by 9am on September 30.

In other companion animal news, Jess sent this link to a fascinating TED talk by Laurel Braitman about the mental health of animals, and what it means for humans. I found this take very interesting, particularly the discussion of humans acting as assistance companions for animals, growth of the pet psychopharmaceutical market and the difference between history taking when discussing human vs animal anxiety, depression and mental health (its about twenty minutes but quite interesting - definitely worth making a cuppa for this one).

The late actress Lauren Bacall has left about $AUD10K to ensure the ongoing care of her dog Sophie, a Papillion. Bacall once described herself as a dog yearner.

“I didn’t have a dog growing up in the city with a working mother. As an only child, I yearned for someone to talk to.”
Sophie accompanied Bacall on set. Good for her – taking your dog to work is fantastic if you can do it, and if you can afford to put money aside for your pet’s care in your will it can help avoid family dramas.