And so this SatChat started before it really started, with Ray showing up at least one day early just to say "A big hello to everyone" with an enormous smiley face because he knew there was no one in the room!
As if inspired by Ray's conspiracy, Andrew showed up one hour early and left several vibes, he says because he might not be able to come back, but since he did come back, one has to wonder what his real motivations were!
No less conspicuously, Kyron has the nerve to appear 11 minutes early, to say that he will return, and thereupon exit!
Finally, Rachel shows up only 32 seconds late and poor thing she has to sit around all by herself since Kyron, Andrew and Ray had all left, till Sangeeta appears 7 minutes later. They discussed Rachel's dog as well as the high quality of Rachel's recent posts.
Then Ranjana enters and Rachel asks Sangeeta if she is my daughter and Ranjana says no and so does Sangeeta. So this did not come as a surprise to me.
After I entered, the conversation turned to people's intelligence and how this particular quality should not be a basis for judgement. Ranjana commented that we view intelligence in a very narrow way ignoring that shown by not only people, but also animals. Andrew appeared at this moment and joined in this most interesting conversation.
It is sometimes mistakenly thought that brain size is the sole determinator for intelligence, which of course is by no means the whole story. It is also commonly mistaken that animals also don't have emotions. As Andrew pointed out, "Anyone who has had a dog, knows animals have emotions".
Part of the problem is that some people, certain scientists in particular, do not acknowledge animal emotions even without exploring the validity of their viewpoint. Sangeeta suggested an excellent book dealing with the recognition of animal emotions by Masson entitled When Elephants Weep.
Sangeeta made a good point that people will hopefully grant animals rights. However, it is interesting to note the deontologic perspective that bbarr laid out in the RHP forums that animals already have rights regardless of whether people grant these. If anyone is interested in these arguments, just let me know and I'll get a hold of them again.
Lori appeared and after some minor adjustments to her color settings was introduced to Rachel as one of the group that saved Bacon/Daisy. Rachel mentioned that her dog was named Daisy and that she was a evil dog. I commented how evil our dogs were and that I had contemplated trading them in for furbies and that got Ranjana after me even though I pointed out that she spoils them and they take it out on me!
Fortunately, Lori talked about her parrot who sits on her shoulder which reminded me of Pericles who always stayed on mine.
Ray entered but couldn't say anything since he was having a lot of trouble with his browser interfacing with our chatroom.
I thanked Lori for her contribution to the Canada's disgrace (seal hunt) thread and told her she may be interested in what was happening in the Society and Gender thread and before I knew it, she had contributed a most thoughtful and intelligent post there.
Meanwhile, Ray had successfully solved his browser problems and surprised us by revealing that it was actually sunny and mild in Montreal (claiming that he had placed his order for good weather early)!
So as soon as Kyron learnt that Ray was in the room, he rushed in too and the two asked each other how their Linux was!
Lori, Sangeeta and I had a discussion on the formation of Animal Rights groups within schools. SOAR is doing fine Lori reported and apparently has a new member!
Fjord and Orin then appeared and we were much surprised to see that they had both aged since our last encounter: Orin by one year and Fjord miraculously by 34! Orin told us about his chess and his favorite Lord of the Ring characters, while Fjord spent most of his effort trying to explain that he really wasn't 99, yet.
Meanwhile, Ray and Kyron were engaged in a discussion about teleportation and two of Ray's cats, not that there was any connection at all.
We talked a bit about meat eaters and how though some of them are adamantly opposed to animal cruelty they still do not see the connection to their plate. Ray made a most profound comment regarding this: "Seriously, most modern carnivores do not understand that their meat does not come from a hunter that took one individual out of the wild. They seemingly refuse to understand that their meat comes from a species of animal that is being held hostage and treated like dirt."
Michael appeared and started talking to Orin, while Kyron disappeared because the rabbits wanted his attention. Then Kyron reappeared and we talked about bunnies for a bit and how some of them can even drive away cats!
Then Gary entered as usual with his double identity neither of which said anything for the longest time. Meanwhile, Rachel came back.
Then Ray private messaged me wanting to know Kyron's hedgehog's name so he could appear to guess the name. I thought this was a clever thing to do, but instead of private messaging him back, I brilliantly direct messaged him the information in full view of everyone. Fortunately, Kyron did not see this, so Ray was able to follow through with his plan. As he proceeded to dramatize his psychic determination of the hedgehog's name, Kyron began to use a process of elimination to figure out who had told Ray. Eventually, he narrowed it down to Ranjana or myself (since Sangeeta had left and Breaca wasn't at the chat). Since Ranjana had gone downstairs to get ready for her fundraising recital, I was caught as the guilty party. I suppose my only consolation was that my inadvertant revelations had been spotted only by Ray.
Some people left, but I can't recall who. However, we learnt that Gary, who had found his voice and identity by now, had done mechanical engineering at university and that he was also working on a novel.
Rachel suddenly asked Michael what his favorite food was and that got Michael thinking about eating. Suddenly, she noticed Sangeeta had left too, but I didn't know where. Then Ray said he was being forced to go shopping so he was taken away.
That pretty well left Rachel, Gary and myself because Lori also left for a while. The three of us had a very interesting exchange with Rachel inquiring about Gary's good fortune at being 25, Gary and I wondering about what influence language had on the thought process, and both of us trying to encourage Rachel to not be so miserable about where she was living and the fact she was only 12. It culminated with Rachel posting a very angry, red emoticon after which she said she felt much better.
Lori had in the meantime returned from talking to her godmother who opposes Lori's being vegetarian. It can be difficult for vegetarians sometimes to deal with the lack of understanding that others have for them and their beliefs. However, consistency and commitment often do pay off and sometimes one will be surprised how the strongest opponents become the staunchest allies!
Lori and Rachel left at this point and Gary figured he should get back to work. I was about to clear the chatroom leaving it completely empty when who should suddenly appear but Kirksey! We talked about the state of the forums for a bit and how rudeness seems to be so prevalent on RHP sometimes. Then Kirksey wondered about getting a new computer, though he didn't want to try Linux. After suggesting that he consider even a used machine, we both figured we had better get on with the spring day.
And reminiscent of last week's chat, 43 minutes after we left, Lori comes back to the chatroom only to find that there was no one there. I understand just how she felt, because I am here now more than 9 hrs after she left, all alone, as I finish this week's summary.