Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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pavements for head bangers

make the pavement surface a littler softer for pigeons’ beaks
(+8, -8)
  [vote for,

pigeons are designed to peck into soft earth for their crumby existence, yet all over the world in our towns and cities these poor little creatures are relentlessly banging their beaks into hard concrete. The headaches brought on by this innate behaviour must be dreadful; the stress on the beak structure itself enormous; their little eyes must tremble in their sockets. It would not be difficult to made the pavement surface a little softer. Is it any wonder that some pigeons feign a limp for the public sympathy vote.
po, Jan 22 2002

Poisoning pigeons in the park http://members.aol..../lehrer/pigeons.htm
Tom Lehrer's solution to pigeons [cp, Jan 25 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       Yeh, I lost mine 3 times - not - how on earth do 'they' know that. Similar to "if you dream you're falling, and you hit the bottom (of whatever) you die, how does anyone know that kind of info.??? I think all pavements should be softer, not only for the pigeons, but also for us trip-over-a-lot people.
arora, Jan 22 2002

       Leave 'em be. In a couple hundred thousand years or so (my sense of time might be off), selective pressures will result in pigeons with jackhammer-strong beaks. Then, someone will post an idea here for "coordinated flocking pigeons as jack hammers." Purely on the basis of Quarterbaker's Razor*, I would have to opt for leaving things alone.

*Quarterbaker's Razor: principle of rationality that says, "all other things being equal, pick the solution that offers the greatest potential for exercising creativity."
quarterbaker, Jan 22 2002



       Does that not lead to a new Idea? personal airbags (front & back) for trip-over-a-lot-people. Especially if they are away from beak friendly pavements/sidewalks..   

       Regarding the pigeons, some sort of mini goggles to stop their eyes popping out if they hit a bit of hard gravel, and painkillers ala Roald Dahl inside rasins.
andrewuk, Jan 22 2002

       qb, does Mr Occam know you are highjacking his ideas?
po, Jan 22 2002

       Occam? Mere poseur. Simplicity? Where's the fun in that?
quarterbaker, Jan 22 2002

       oh I don't know, us simple girls like the simple things in life
po, Jan 22 2002

       (Suspects [po] is anything but simple while simultaneously wondering if pigeons actually touch beak to concrete.)
phoenix, Jan 22 2002

       Pigeons make me twitch
thumbwax, Jan 22 2002

       I was watching them today banging their little heads on the pavement, I don't think their fine tuning is that great. Peter you seem more in tune with London than New York - how is that?
po, Jan 22 2002

       I was duped by a crow the other day. It feigned a broken wing and a limp across a coffee shop parking lot, so I gave it a chunk of bread. It immediately grabbed the bread and flapped lustily up to the rooftop, no hint of injury. Pigeons should pay attention to what the crows or crow-equivalents are doing and come up with their own sidewalk scam.   

       They seem to be learning the rules of pedestrian behavior--using crosswalks, moving with the crowd. Maybe all that pecking on hard concrete is making them civilized.
entremanure, Jan 23 2002

       Oh--I should tell you my pigeon story.   

       I was standing on a corner in the Pioneer Square area of downtown Seattle when movement in the air above the street caught my eye. I looked up to see a Bald Eagle flapping mightily as it descended toward the pavement, mid-street, only to pull up at about two meters above pavement. Then I noticed the pigeon in its talons. The eagle was headed west, down the street toward the Sound. Then it registered--one pigeon, flying very close to the pigeon in the eagle's talons, as if saying one last "Goodbye!!" to its mate or friend or relative that was snatched off the building only seconds before.   

       The eagle turned left down 1st Avenue, then right out onto the waterfront. I was totally amazed and turned to a bystander and said, "Did you see that!!". He nodded and said, "Yeah, I hate pigeons.".
entremanure, Jan 23 2002

       Baked. If you go to any part of the 99.9% of the worlds land mass that's not part of a city or town, chances are that it's not paved. I myself have been encouraging pigeons to emigrate to the countryside for years now. The air is cleaner, there's less hustle and bustle, and there's not as many of those nasty sky-scrapers with those all-too-confusing transparent barriers (windows) to smash into. Leads to a better idea: anybody caught feeding the flying vermin should be fined one week of community service cleaning "pigeon doo" off of public buildings.
whiprsnapr, Jan 23 2002

       I'm with the [SealyBot] here. Death to pigeons.
angel, Jan 23 2002

       I'm with Mr Sealy, thumbwax and angel - death to all pigeons. Well those disease ridden city ones anyway, we'll let wood pigeons go unmolested. And fines for all foolish tourists who feed these bloody rats with wings in Trafalgar Square.
mcscotland, Jan 23 2002

       Were Pigeons on Headbangers Ball on MTV way back in yeasteryear?
thumbwax, Jan 23 2002

       All these pigeon detesters, and yet "squab" is still considered a fine delicacy in most corners of the world. Tsk. I'm all for softer pavements if it ensures more tender meat.
jurist, Jan 23 2002

       [jurist]: You would actually *eat* a city pigeon, would you? *Ugh*.
mcscotland, Jan 25 2002

       Like the one I saw drinking from a gutter yesterday.
thumbwax, Jan 25 2002

       Is the US pigeon the same creature as the UK one? In the UK pigeons very commonly have mangled feet, and I've never been able to understand why.. I don't think it's pavement related   

       In terms of softer pavements, I'm not sure it's going to help their heads / eyes. Physics tells us that Force x Time = change in momentum, which means that the Eye popping force is equal to the degree to which the head bounces off the floor. (it's why you can't knock a nail in easily if the hammer doesn't bounce). If our soft pavement has a better coefficient of restitution than concrete then the little blighter's no better off.. What they need is to peck, say, soil.. like most of the planet outside cities.   

       I think (apologies, I'm off on one now) that pigeons are originally cliff dwelling birds (it's why they're so good with buildings) and cliffs are not renowned for their softness.. What they don't have, and what pigeons seem to really need, is McDonalds.. I wonder how many pigeons there would be if there was no leftover fast food for them to eat?.. There a PhD in that for someone "A study of pigeon density, related to density of McDonalds restaurants"
Gran Tade, Jan 25 2002

       Pigeon density is in direct correlation to density of pigeon feeders
thumbwax, Jan 25 2002

       City pigeons, whether feral or 'domesticated' (like the ones that the fool who lives over the back from me keeps in his shed), are descended from the wood-pigeon, and as such are theoretically tree-dwelling. However, like all feral creatures, they are able to adapt to whatever circumstances they find, such as buildings, hamburger-remains, and similar components of city life.
angel, Jan 25 2002

       Pigeons should stay off of the pavements and stick to the cycle lanes, with all the other pests.
DrBob, Jan 25 2002

       The pigeons everyone loves to hate are Rock Doves: "A large, stocky pigeon, introduced from the Old World, now common to abundant in cities, towns, and agricultural areas." In other words, not native to the U.S. I don't mind them, but we have only a small flock in our rural town. What we do have is Mourning Doves, a bird native to the area.
TeaTotal, Jan 25 2002

       [TeaTotal]: Rural pigeons are fine I agree (particularaly served with a red wine sauce and roasted vegitables). But you should visit Trafalgar Square or even worse St. Marks Square in Venice. Then you too will come to have a knee-jerk reaction to any flapping grey bird you see in the city. Indeed a friend of mine took this figure of speach too literarly when walking through Glasgow. He got so annoyed at the flocks of pigeons he aimed a kick at one. But, much to his horror, city pigeons are too tame/stupid to realise the danger any more so he sent the thing flying into a wall. Which, unfortunately killed it, much to the absolute shock of the old woman who had been feeding the things from her window.
mcscotland, Jan 25 2002

       I had the misfortune to work for a while in a Grain store (part of the EEC grain mountain).. What I learnt is that there is nothing that will stop a pigeon from eating, and with 25,000 tonnes of grain to go at, it was common to see pigeons walking around for days, too heavy to fly, and not at all unusual for them to just eat until they died.. That can't be good in evolutionary terms can it?
Gran Tade, Jan 25 2002

       Now *there's* an idea - fatten them up for the kill
thumbwax, Jul 24 2002

       [DrBob] hah, missed that the first time round, hah.
po, Feb 06 2003

       did I get a croissant?
po, May 27 2003

       I like it. +
saker, May 30 2003

       pigeons, HAH! funny stuff, po
dentworth, Oct 21 2004


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