Okay. So today I had a new experience. I read an article: scientists have successfully proved that simple sensory impulses can be transmitted between the brains of two different animals using the Internet. If you keep rats as pets, take a deep breath before you click that, the picture is a bit harrowing.

Now I’ll tell you something about myself, before I begin. I was brought up by a science teacher. Continue reading


Hollywood leaves the rats out of it for once

ImageWent to see Les Miserables today – and surprisingly enough for a Hollywood film set in slums, sewers and downtrodden city areas, it actually wasn’t full of rats. I understand that when rats are used in films they’re quite commonly coated in vegetable oil to make their fur spike and improve their scariness. Now that I own rats I find that hilarious since I’ve seen how fastidious they are about cleanliness (well, OK, never mind Salt sitting in a spoonful of babyfood and Pepper giving himself porridge eyebrows, but we all make mistakes, right?) I suppose there’s a difference between having a nice healthy silky-furred rat in your fake sewer to demonstrate how much good nutrition the negligent society above it throws away, and having a scary spiky symbolic disease vector to show how NASTY it all is…

Interestingly enough the one film I’ve recently seen which had a perfectly ordinary rat in it was The Book of Eli, in which a post-apocalyptic wandering man of faith shares his delicious meal of grilled stray cat with his rodent neighbour. I suppose once your human characters have reduced themselves to scavenging in garbage anyway, you can let the vermin off the hook for once.

What’s your favourite movie rat moment?