Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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pigeon litter patrol

put those 'rats of the sky' to some use
  (+7)
(+7)
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against]

they get in your way in the street, they carry dodgy diseases and they crap all over the show, however, your average city dwelling pigeon is actually quite an intelligent and mobile citizen. So I propose that we put them to work.

Litter is a problem that all our cities face and, give them their dues, the pigeons do get rid of a certain amount of organic matter from our streets, but I suggest we train them to pick up non organic matter and deposit it in specially designed bins.

These bins would be the major part of the training procedure as they would have food dispensers which would 'reward' each correct litter deposit.

A little work would have to be done to train them to distinguish between litter i.e crisp bags, drinks cans etc. and other things, small children etc. <joke> but thats the idea.... I'll get my coat.

etherman, May 11 2004

smarter than the average bird brain http://www.scienced...pigeon_intelligence
intelligence going to waste [etherman, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Maybe pigeons can be trained http://www.google.c...ogy/pigeonrank.html
(and maybe not) [theircompetitor, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

life savers and life takers http://www.guardian...604,1221363,00.html
[etherman, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

accidental baking - sorry etherman http://www.halfbake...Disposing_20Pigeons
i baked this some time ago - but its not your fault cause my account was deleted and only renewed after the crash. . . . . [benfrost, Oct 09 2004]

memorial http://news.scotsma...test.cfm?id=3797110
[po, Nov 30 2004]

Unicode 65229 http://tinyurl.com/9kxu7
ghain isolated (arabic letter looking a bit like a half a croissant) as per [PainOCommonSense] [zen_tom, Jul 25 2005]

[link]






       <°¯)
( ( ) }<
; ;
po, May 11 2004
  

       its amazing how many limp to get the sympathy vote.
po, May 11 2004
  

       at least explain the fishbone PO, instead of just being a grump.
etherman, May 11 2004
  

       its a pigeon, :) grump? moi?
po, May 11 2004
  

       i know u didn't vote i just meant the drawing. it is a fish isn't it?
etherman, May 11 2004
  

       It is a pigeon, [etherman]. I like your idea since it will give homeless people a chance at a tasty snack. I fear your birds will get nothing. Oh and who are you gonna pay to refill the bird-snack tray?
k_sra, May 11 2004
  

       etherman, you're too late, Google is already using pigeons for the search engine. See link
theircompetitor, May 11 2004
  

       //who are you gonna pay to refill the bird-snack tray?//   

       I would presume that the local city council would be more than happy to feeed such useful workers peanuts, Belfast City Council certainly pay me that.
etherman, May 11 2004
  

       apologies <po> of course its a pigeon, and a beautiful one at that, grovel grovel....any chance of taking ur fishbone back???
etherman, May 11 2004
  

       awww po gimme a break!
etherman, May 12 2004
  

       I'll have you know that text pigeon was created by myself some time ago. It was a peace offering after I "made" po cry after some awful comments about pigeons were posted by yours truly for which I am truly sorry. That said, the only good pigeon is a dea-, I mean, *dear* pigeon, yes, that's it. Dear pigeon.
thumbwax, May 12 2004
  

       or a live pigeon trained to make the world a neater place.
etherman, May 12 2004
  

       So I say sentence them to Service Industry, and I like the idea of trash pick up. And if it's baked, I'll have mine with a little dijon to cover the gamey taste. Thanks.
dentworth, May 12 2004
  

       recently had pigeon with a nice plum sauce,mmm.
etherman, May 12 2004
  

       recently I had my dear pigeon friends to dinner with a nice etherman sauce. mmmmm
po, May 12 2004
  

       good point Zanzibar, once they're on the peanut payroll who knows what control we could have over them. strap webcams on them and get them to spot crime, bad parking, poor dress sense... the possibilities are mindless..emm.. endless.
etherman, May 14 2004
  

       great link <buddha> especcially love the line   

       "if you're adrift in a life raft, and have lost all hope of rescue, look to the sky and pray for pigeons."   

       my thoughts precisely.
etherman, May 18 2004
  

       I guess some of you guys in the uk might have seen the reports of the British Military training pigeons as suicide bombers? <link>   

       This does bring up the possibility of my litter patrol being infiltrated by bad people bent on city centre destruction, though I still reckon its worth the risk.
etherman, May 25 2004
  

       Nah! Kill 'em all! Evil, nasty, disgusting, filthy, smelly, plague-infected vermin.
Apparently, feeding them calcium carbide can be entertaining.
angel, May 25 2004
  

       angel, angel, you are missing out on the point that these vermin may be able to be useful to us if we just change our perspectives a little.   

       they aren't really any dirtier than your average teenager.
etherman, May 25 2004
  

       you actually raise a good point, if by accident. if we can train these pigeons to retrieve things, then while we are at it we can train them not to shit all over the place.
etherman, Jun 01 2004
  

       Apparently pigeons have a use (linky), (even if it's not this).
angel, Jun 04 2004
  

       A much better use for pigeons was postulated during WW2 they were trained to be a guidance system in missiles, a very weird idea that, and more scarily the idea seemed to work reasonably well.
engineer1, Jun 04 2004
  

       i dont think training pigeons to blow things up is a better idea than getting them to keep the place tidy.
etherman, Jun 08 2004
  

       Surely an Asci Fish would look more like this   

       @++++<   

       I will give you an Asci Croissant &#65229; but only because of Po's entertaining Pigeon. (note great effort was made to find a unicode character that resembled half a croissant but sadly it comes through with the code # grrr!)
PainOCommonSense, Jun 15 2004
  

       I think with this rebirth of the HB finally people might wake up to the might of pigeon power!! maybe.
etherman, Oct 05 2004
  

       Well, out of all the animals Noah stuffed into that ark he trusted a Pigeon as the news bringer. (I'm sure it was the female pigeon of the set ;) ... Anyways, my point is, those flying rats are somewhat smart.   

       Don't get me wrong. The little buggers disgust me. Let's put them to work. [+]
Pericles, Oct 09 2004
  

       baked - yet unbaked by the crash. maybe its illegal to link your own bake. maybe im not really me. i'll check.
benfrost, Oct 09 2004
  

       sorry, how was it baked?
etherman, Oct 11 2004
  

       half-baked!
po, Oct 11 2004
  

       darnnit. i loved this idea, I cant believe its baked ahhhhhh!!!!   

       although the automated bins, which are the real invention here folks, are a much simpler way and more practical than the suggestions in benfrost's thread.
etherman, Oct 11 2004
  

       Referring to use of pigeons as weapons: if you equipped a large number of pigeons each with a small amount of nuclear material, and trained them to gather at a certain point, maybe you could create critical mass leading to explosion. As for the original litter clearing suggestion: great idea! You can't eat the buggers (too many diseases) and they do s*** every where so this is one useful thing they can do for society. If a small amount of nuclear material was added to their feed excessively large colonies would automatically explode, preventing pigeon epidemics!
Belfry, Dec 02 2004
  

       Interesting idea about the nuclear pigeons. Can anyone gimme some advice on how you train pigeons to home to certain areas? I suppose retrain is the word as the naturally home to the place the live.
etherman, Dec 02 2004
  

       I think pigeons navigate using a mix of magnetic fields, polarized light and visual terrain following (studies have shown they follow main roads and rivers). I don't know if you could train a pigeon to follow a map but you could use a GPS controlled helmet to mimic the pigeon's natural magnetic and polarised light inputs that would guide it home but alter them to direct it toward the target.   

       Regarding the issue of preventing the litter picking pigeons from depositing their do-do everywhere, they mostly poop where they sit so just train them to roost at certain selected sites. I think they should be issued with uniforms such as smart caps and waistcoats.
Belfry, Dec 02 2004
  

       indeed the collection points could have rows of roosting bars, with self cleaning poop trays beneath.
etherman, Dec 02 2004
  

       Or just feed the pigeons something to make their poop taste like McDonalds (shouldn't be hard). That way, the pigeons clean up after the kids and the kids clean up after the pigeons.
Belfry, Dec 02 2004
  

       Hmmmm I fear mad pigeon disease may result.
etherman, Dec 02 2004
  

       That is a great idea! A disposal bin with a treat food dispenser! I am sure they can learn from each other after you've taught one.   

       Maybe fast food containers could be made out of a material that pigeons eat instead? Maybe something that is tightly packed, but turns into food after getting wet? (Insides of cups and things would still be coated with wax, but after a rain, the outsides would expand into something similar to bread as far as birds are concerned.)   

       Then again, pigeons don't really dispose of the litter they eat. They just convert it into poop.
omegatron, Aug 02 2005
  

       This is really a great idea. I wish I could double-croissant it. I will double-annotate it, instead.   

       Pigeons can be trained to play ping pong or pilot missiles. Crows are smart enough to make hooks out of wire to retrieve treats with. Why can't they be trained to pick up litter? I don't know how smart sea gulls are...   

       You really only need to teach one to do it, maybe a domesticated one, and the rest will learn by example.   

       Potential problems:   

       1. The treat has to be accessible only by the bird that brought the trash. Otherwise they'll quickly figure out how to wait by the treat dispenser while another drops the trash in.   

       2. Obviously the machine has to differentiate between different types of objects. Otherwise you would have the downside of birds picking up things that shouldn't be picked up, like stones or parking tickets or paper money from people's hands. But at least you would know where things ended up. Maybe run the trash down an assembly line after collection and have humans pick out things for the lost and found. For a first implementation, you could make it easy and have it recognize only one type of trash, like cigarette butts or aluminum cans. They already have machines for recognizing cans. Maybe anything with a bar code?
omegatron, Aug 03 2005
  

       pigeons are awsome.   

       theyd be great workers. and maybe later if we become theire friends, we could train them to do other stuff. Like stop global warming!! YAY!
bobathie, May 21 2007
  
      
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