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Applied Sciences Application of existing scientific knowledge and the development of practical applications

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  #1  
Old 11th October 2017, 12:41 PM
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Default Faaaaarking Cigarette Butts!

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Crows are certainly clever creatures, with a history of bringing girls gifts, understanding analogies and using tools, some scientists they believe their intelligence may even rival that of apes. So could we employ these brainy birds to help keep our streets clean? That's the idea behind a project from Dutch startup Crowded Cities, which is looking to train crows to scoop up the butts in exchange for treats.

Cigarette butts are a problem everywhere, but the primary focus of Holland's Crowded Cities' is its motherland, where it says six billion are dropped on streets every year. And clever crows could be just the folks for the job, with the team crafting a win-win system whereby the birds roam cities on the lookout for discarded butts and receive something in return for their troubles.

That's the idea, anyway, and the approach isn't as crazy as it sounds. Part of the team's inspiration is the work of American technologist Joshua Klein, whose 2008 Ted Talk described a crow vending machine that trained the birds to collect coins and exchange them for peanuts.

Crowded Cities uses a similar approach. It is developing a device called a Crowbar, which is basically a feeding mechanism for birds. They first bring a cigarette butt to the Crowbar and drop it into a funnel. A camera then confirms that the item is in fact a butt and the system spits out a little food onto a platform, repaying the crow for its efforts and kicking off what is hoped to be a fruitful relationship.
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Old 11th October 2017, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Faaaaarking Cigarette Butts!

I doubt the crows general health will be improved by picking up butts...yuck, I mean, yaaaaark.

Not sure about that idea.
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Old 11th October 2017, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Faaaaarking Cigarette Butts!

Yes I was thinking the same thing. Nicotene absorbtion and all that.
Seems a bit like slavery. Disgusting job? Get the immigrants/minorities/animals to do it. They won't mind (they won't have a choice.)
There may be need of a future crow union
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Old 11th October 2017, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Faaaaarking Cigarette Butts!

So we can teach crows to put up butts but not humans. Hmmm...
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Old 11th October 2017, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Faaaaarking Cigarette Butts!

The other day I called someone out for stubbing a cigarette butt. It was pretty close to a playground entrance. I said "oh no, littering". Just 3 words. She said "you're littering just by being on the street". Then after she got into her car, hubby did a U-turn and stalked me slowly as I walked on the footpath, yelling from the driver's side window "hey mate, you got something to say". Fearing violence, I scurried into the park near the playground, while he drove slowly around the perimeter for a few minutes.

I think they might have also recently smoked some other substane from a glass pipe. But it does irk me somewhat that people who would always go to a bin to drop any other piece of litter, seem to think it's fine to drop cigarette butts on the ground.

Once when my kids were toddlers, we were at the beach on the cenral coast of NSW and I noticed a butt in the sandcastle we'd just made. I looked again and saw there were at least 10 in every bucket of sand we picked up. Forget the crows, smokers just need to remember they're human, even after a refreshing, smooth, cool, deadly cigarette.
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Old 12th October 2017, 08:34 AM
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Default Re: Faaaaarking Cigarette Butts!

Your butt is worth crowing about...
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Old 12th October 2017, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: Faaaaarking Cigarette Butts!

No butts with vaping....just saying.
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Old 12th October 2017, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Faaaaarking Cigarette Butts!

I can imagine 50 years from now when smoking is no longer a thing, a generation of crows who have forgotten how to feed themselves, begging on street corners for a spare butt to exchange for food so they can feed their families.
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Old 12th October 2017, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Faaaaarking Cigarette Butts!

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Wrenn said View Post
I can imagine 50 years from now when smoking is no longer a thing, a generation of crows who have forgotten how to feed themselves, begging on street corners for a spare butt to exchange for food so they can feed their families.
They'll have moved into recycling plastics and small electronics by then. And they'll be bringing Indian Mynahs in on 457 visas.
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Old 12th October 2017, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Faaaaarking Cigarette Butts!

I would just like to say, without a hint of bias, that ciggie butts are a natural and attractive product!
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