Well, because it is easy, I mean they wear Berets and talk funny. Also, it is safe, because no one from France will kick your butt for doing it, I mean they wear Berets! Lastly, it is fun, I mean they wear Berets!! Just ask Chris at Wyblog who is more afraid of literate baboons, because they do NOT wear Berets.
Dan the baboon sits in front of a computer screen. The letters BRRU pop up. With a quick and almost dismissive tap, the monkey signals it’s not a word. Correct. Next comes, ITCS. Again, not a word. Finally KITE comes up.
He pauses and hits a green oval to show it’s a word. In the space of just a few seconds, Dan has demonstrated a mastery of what some experts say is a form of pre-reading and walks away rewarded with a treat of dried wheat.
Dan is part of new research that shows baboons are able to pick up the first step in reading — identifying recurring patterns and determining which four-letter combinations are words and which are just gobbledygook.
The study shows that reading’s early steps are far more instinctive than scientists first thought and it also indicates that non-human primates may be smarter than we give them credit for.
“They’ve got the hang of this thing,” said Jonathan Grainger, a French scientist and lead author of the research.
Sure, this week they give him some dried wheat. Next week? Next week he gets a rifle. The French immediately surrender. Then we find out Dan’s real name is Dr. Zaius.
Where’s Charlton Heston when you need him?
Yeah, go ahead, laugh now, but when we are fighting monkeys in the streets, we will know who to blame won’t we? Yeah, those beret-wearing Frenchmen!