Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Of Crows and Corporate Thugs

More time-and-money wasting by the scientists.

Although I think I read about this a year or so ago, and New Scientist is looking to fill space on their site.

But really - so crows can recognise human faces? What a revelation!
They could've just asked me, or anyone who's spent some time with birds.
And it's not just crows, either - the sparrows who nest across from the smokers' balcony at work recognise faces as well. The time I bring them bread and cheese can vary wildly, but they almost always greet me the first time I step out onto the balcony on any given day. I get scolded, too, if I've forgotten to share my breakfast with them the previous day. They have great memories.

The Pied Crows who scavenge around Melrose Arch recognise , not just my face, but that of my favourite colleague, who I normally just call The Moffie.
The crows don't normally waste their time hanging out with the Sparrows, but will put in an occasional appearance nonetheless. And I mean occasional. They seem to know when there's a special day - the day I read Tarot for The Moffie, they came and perched on the microwave tower, looking down at us and commenting loudly.
Then the other day -on his birthday - two of them took up position on the tower and facing us, cawed loudly and long, as if wishing a 'Happy Birthday' to my depressed friend.

It's not just faces they recognise, then - but time and emphasis as well, as it pertains to humans. At least, as it pertains to humans who have bothered to initiate a relationship with them. But I'd like to see the scientists attempt to measure that one.

In other news:

This Facebook page gives details of the world-wide take-to-the-streets scheduled for February 6th, my son Shevek's birthday, as it happens.
In South Africa I see a marked reluctance for people -white folks in particular - to apply themselves to this kind of not-so-radical action. Seems like we think we need to belong to COSATU, or be Black, to protest in any meaningful way.

...Or maybe we're a bunch of complacent upwardly-mobile civilised corporate thugs. Hmm, that's probably it.