“Roll Over. Play Dead.”

I am known for my antipathy to the news. (In his book Information Anxiety, Richard Saul Wurman has the best term for it: “Violent wallpaper.”) I could not, however, resist a story from Germany I came across today, about a sloth named Mats.

It sounds right out of The Onion, but apparently it’s true that university scientists doing a study on animal movement spent three years trying to train Mats climb up and down a pole, but he refused to move.

For three years! Until finally, Mats — having taught the scientists quite a lot about animal behavior — was removed from the study at the end of January and shipped off to a zoo.

What an inspiration. You’ve got to admire an animal so secure in its inner sloth.

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