Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Fighting Maltese Falcon

A danger is menacing all of England. No, not terrorism. Pigeons. After failed attempts to prevent pigeons from overruning British town squares, authorities have turned to unleashing Robotic Birds of Prey, or Robops for short, according to the Popular Science Blog. But Wired thinks the current Robop design is too tame, arguing they should have been equipped with "sidewinders and lasers". Gizmodo says the current unarmed model costs $3,700, but may help Liverpool save on the 88 man-hours it spends shoveling pigeon-droppings daily.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone, or "Red Ken" as he is known for his ideology, has finally found an enemy he can hate. The PETA Files writes:

It's difficult to say exactly why London Mayor Ken Livingstone hates pigeons with such a virulent passion. Perhaps he was bitten by a pigeon as a young child, or harassed by gangs of pigeon bullies as a schoolboy, but whatever the reason for it, his "war on pigeons" is well known in London, and his various attempts to poison and starve them out of his city have earned him the nickname of "Ken 'The Killer' Livingstone." OK, whatever, I made that nickname up, but you get the point. One last little tidbit about Ken Livingstone before I get to the actual point of this post (which is robotic peregrine falcons): In 2001, when Ken the Killer was at a news conference in Washington, an animal activist made international headlines by dousing him with a pitcher of water and shouting: "Your plan to poison pigeons is all wet. Mayor Livingstone starves pigeons to death."

You can't make this stuff up.


Blogger allen said...


People who need pigeons

Are the statuary

Standing on the mall

4/26/2007 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Robotic falcons? WTF?

Why not real falcons? Cities in the States have taken to stocking their environs with real falcons.

I would think banning the feeding of pigeons would be in order but tough to enforce.

4/27/2007 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger ricpic said...

Boids. Doity boids.

4/27/2007 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Chavo said...

Interestingly, Drudge has an article on robotics today as well, you can see it here . What would happen if the robots turned against us?

Aside from the creepy Japanese guy with a robotic facsimile to himself, it does raise some philosphical issues, i.e., self cognizant androids. I've a few thoughts at House of Love on the subject if your interested.

4/27/2007 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger doolz said...

The Ancient Greeks were way ahead of RedKen.

4/28/2007 09:23:00 AM  

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