sistermagpie: Classic magpie (WTF?)
( Feb. 1st, 2007 07:22 pm)
Well, if they're killing The Dark is Rising at least they're consistent. I just saw a commercial for a movie made by Walt Disney and Walden Media about two young teens who have to "save the world they've created" using glowing swords and robot-like shield technology, with which they fight against giant fantasy creatures. They can't control the tree monsters and such they've created, and now need to "solve the mystery" that will "reveal their destiny."

The movie? Bridge to Terebithia.

Spoilers below for the BOOK Bridge to Terebithia: )

This is like doing a movie of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes and making it a movie about a girl who commands an army of magical CGI paper cranes. Walden Media, you outdo yourself. I picture them getting their orders direct from Satan, who's standing in front of this bookshelf full of classic children's books.

Coming Soon:

Little Women: This time they're hobbits!

The Day No Pigs Would Die: A Pig Superhero protects his people from a Pig-Eating Dragon.

Pippi Longstocking: Invasion From the Planet Sweden

ETA What is up with Stephen Colbert tonight? He seems to be having an on-going attack of the giggles and has almost lost it more than once. (And lost it once, adorably, talking to Jon Stewart.) It's adorable.

And ETA again: And he just declared the magpie the most poetic bird! Hurray for Stephen!!
Recently, when I was reading The Name of the Rose, I was amused to come across this exchange:

"Have you been told about [St. Francis] preaching to the birds?"

"Oh yes, I've heard that beautiful story, and I admired the saint who enjoyed the company of those tender creatures of God," I said with great fervor.

"Well, what they told you was mistaken, or rather, it's a story the order has revised today. When Francis spoke to the people of the city and its magistrates and saw they didn't understand him, he went out to the cemetery and began preaching to ravens and magpies, to hawks, to raptors feeding on corpses."

"What a horrible thing!” I said. "Then they were not good birds!"

Um, yeah, not "good birds." Unlike the tender creatures of God.

Then I read this article on a Canadian scientist who had tested birds on creativity to create a sort of "Bird I.Q." and put corvids (the magpie/crow/raven/jay) family on the top intelligence-wise that had this quote:

Many of the birds that ranked high on the innovation scale are the least popular with the public.
"When you look at published reports on whether people like birds or don't like birds, they don't correlate well with intelligence," said the McGill researcher.
"People tend not to like crows, because they have this fiendish look to them and they're black and they like dead prey. Warblers and the birds that people tend to like are not the high innovators."

I was slightly less amused.

And now Sporting Shooter Magazine has offered a £500 reward for the farmer who kills the most magpies between now and July because while the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds says that "the justification the magazine gives flies in the face of all that we know to be the real causes of songbird decline. There has been a lot of work done into the reasons and in no case are magpies cited as the main reason for the decline." According to the actual research RSPB has done, it found that the population of songbirds in any given area was determined by availability of food and suitable nesting places and that the number of magpies made no difference to the number." But what's that in the face of the way everybody "knows" that "if you get rid of the magpies you get more songbirds," and the fact that the guy with the contributing editor has estimated they kill 80 songbirds a year. Because if there's one thing we've learned from history, it's that old wives tales and anecdotal evidence are totally more reliable than actual experiments.

I just can't help but wonder what it is about human nature to attach all these bad qualities to smarter birds as opposed to the pretty ones with prettier songs. I mean, isn't it logical to think that in an environment where food is limited you're naturally going to get more corvids because they're more adaptable and have many food sources? Then there's also this hatred of carrion eaters, which is especially ironic when you imagine people murdering each other and then calling the birds evil for cleaning up after them. Disgusting things. And what's with the black feathers? Don't they know that's evil?

I note that not one person in this article who's so horrified by declining songbird populations mentions anything about people possibly having anything to do with it. It's more like, "Dammit, we've destroyed the environment to make it the way we like it, and it's not fair that these disgusting things are able to survive better than the birds I like. I couldn't have killed off the sparrows--I LIKE sparrows! It must be those damn magpies. I see them up there on the phone wires, plotting, looking for songbird nests to destroy."

Wolves have to put up with this kind of thing too. (I remember one quote where someone said the wolf was "the Saddam Hussein" of the animal world. Right.) Bastards.

Also I'm an English Genius, so there. Take that Sporting Shooter Magazine! )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Neville Magpie.)
( Feb. 2nd, 2005 04:40 pm)
"Magpies, at an earlier age than any other creature tested, develop an understanding of the fact that when an object disappears behind a curtain, it has not vanished." --New York Times, Febuary 1, 2005
"Pliny wrote that certain magpies not only repeat favorite words but love them and constantly ponder their meanings. Should a magpie fail to comprehend such a word, it may die of disappointment. If the raven was a warrior, the magpie was a dedicated scholar." --Boria Sax

So when you're tempted to get fed up with my obsessing in here, repeating things and constantly pondering their meaning, remember if I don't figure this stuff out

I could die!!! >:0


sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)


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