May 21st, 2009

is updated on Thursdays.


For sale: hot merchandise. tee shirts (40°C), car stereo (45°C), AMEX card (111°F). Various prices. Send for list Box 12.
For rent: complete set of burgler's tools including spare mouthpiece, lanyard and tuning slide thumbscrew. Ideal for a burgler just starting out. $145. Box 34.
The 14th Annual Provincial Wrench Throwing Competition will be held Wednesday, May 27th at 2PM, in the front of 167 Lombard Avenue, Winnipeg.

Tips For Spring Living:

Number 9: Flowers can really brighten up your yard. Some florists can be convinced to dump their wilted leftover flowers on your lawn for a fee.

Listen to Part Six of

The Mystery of the Lost Lenore

Click on the picture. (3:54)



Send expressions of unrestrained praise to:

The Supremacy of the Human Race Challenged

pigeons doing something

Recently I was reading an article on the navigational abilities of homing pigeons (I lead a very rich and full life) and it occurred to me that we, humans that is, might not be the most advanced form of life on the planet.

This is not the first time that this thought has crossed my mind but the story of these pigeons really was an amazing revelation to me.

It seems that researchers have gone to great lengths to try and sort out this whole question of how pigeons find their way home. In some of their experiments, unsuspecting birds were placed in large sight-proof rotating drums and transported as far as 200 miles from their homes and yet they still managed to make it back.

In another experiment, some of the birds were fitted with special completely frosted contact lenses and a control group was fitted with plain everyday ordinary contacts that you could actually see through. And although the group with the frosted lenses flew funny and a number of them were fairly easily snatched by hawks, the rest still managed to find their lofts at distances over eighty miles (although apparently they all had a lot of trouble actually landing in them).

Now this pretty definitely proves to me that pigeons are a lot smarter than humans. For one thing if I or, I suspect, you, were placed in a rotating drum and driven 200 miles from my place (or yours in your case), I, or you, would have one hell of a time getting home. Even just being driven 200 miles from my home is a disorienting enough event for me. As for the frosted contact lenses, I don't even want to think about it. How would you know what bus to get on? I can't make out those numbers even at the best of times.

The second thing that occurs to me is that pigeons are obviously a lot better behaved than we are as well. I'd like to read just one letter from someone who's had a pigeon try and jam a contact lens (either frosted or plain) into their eye or a group of pigeons shove them into a rotating drum and drive them anywhere. This sort of thing just never happens. Pigeons don't spend their time dreaming up new ways to irritate and disorient us. They settled on pooping on things years ago and they seem to be sticking with that.

Perhaps we (humans that is) need to start concentrating a little harder on finding our own ways home and leave the pigeons the hell alone. They're doing just fine without us.

Hugh Briss