The result of over 50 years of experiments in the Soviet Union and Russia, the breeding project was set up in 1959 by the Soviet scientist Dmitri Belyaev. It continues today at The Institute of Cytology and Genetics at Novosibirsk, under the supervision of Lyudmila Trut.
Domesticated foxes exhibit both behavioral and physiological changes from their wild forebears. They are friendlier with humans, put their ears down (like dogs), wag their tails when happy, and vocalize and bark like domesticated dogs. As a consequence of breeding, they also developed color patterns like domesticated dogs and lost their distinctive musky ’fox smell’.
COMMENTING on a shared link to a Time slideshow offering a tour of Norway’s Halden prison, the “world’s most human prison”, one of my Facebook friends says, “If you prefer comfort to liberty, go to Norway and commit murder. You could get 21 years in what looks like a nice dorm.” A good number of Americans, it seems, are agitated by the possibility that Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian mass-murderer who gunned down scores of kids at an isolated summer camp, might end up at such a luxe detention facility. In this segment on Norway’s “heavenly prison”, the folks at Fox News seem sort of boggled by the idea that prisons might be anything other than the squalid overcrowded rape pens where human offal in America is sent to fester out of sight.
If America’s abominably cruel and unjust system delivered results even remotely comparable to Norway’s enviable level of civil peace and order, then there might be some reason to take seriously American animadversions against Norway’s short sentences and humane prison. But we don’t. We’re not even close. So Americans should just shut up and watch. It could do us some good to see how a civilised society handles such a horrifying crime.