I used to smoke, once upon a time. A lot. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I’d fire up and smoke like a chimney. And then I would throw my butts on the ground. Shame on me. But I will get back to that.
For just right now, there is the Crow. I’ve talked about those Crows before, I know. But I really like them. In fact, I’ve never met a Crow I didn’t like. Unfortunately, they get a very bad rap. But truly, they are amazing beings.
They are the smartest bird on the planet. Here is the drift. Crows are second only to humans in intelligence. Or so the studies say. More intelligent than apes, is what that research has found. I guess if you had to be a “Bird Brain” this would be the way to go.
Mostly, this is due to their brain-to-body weight ratio. It is equal to that of the great apes and the smart swimmers, like whales and dolphins. That ratio is only slightly lower than in humans. Heavy-headed creatures, we are.
And. Here is some of what they do. Crows remember human faces. They must be great in Police Line-ups. Those smarty-birds can make and customize tools. Like knives fashioned from leaves. They understand causality and they can reason. I am not sure why they would need to, but Crows can count up to five. Not six or seven. Just five. They only have four talons on each foot, so that isn’t it. Go figure.
The bottom line. They are intelligent.
Now for me and my smoking of days gone by and my unforgivable habit of tossing my butt all over the place. It seems like I am not the only one. In fact, it is a big problem in most places.
It is bad, bad. By some estimates, 4.5 trillion butts are littered each year, and the chemicals and plastic waste inside often end up polluting water. No ifs, ands, or butts about it.
So. There have been many “campaigns” to get smokers to stop tossing cigarette butts on the street. Different cities have experimented with “ballot bins” that let people drop in butts to vote for a favorite soccer player, or whatever. Other cities have tried cutey-little trash cans that light up and play music. Oh boy, oh boy. There have also been pricey marketing campaigns, fines, and even jail time.
Yet. Nothing seems to stick. The butts still land on the ground. How to solve such a planetary atrocity? Well, there is a Dutch startup company. They have this idea that we can’t train the humans to behave. So… if it’s hard to train humans to stop trashing cigarette butts, maybe we can train those very-smarty-crows to collect the litter and keep streets clean instead.
Yes. They want the Crows to fly around, spot the butts, and snag them.
Another cool thing about Crows. They appear to be able to teach each other skills…. like ….. how to collect cigarette butts for rewards. Monkey see. Monkey do. The Crows pick up cigarette butts from city streets and dump them in a specialized bin, for which they are rewarded with food.
It sounds like a great plan. Except for one thing. They are worried the butts may be hazardous to the Crows. So they have to be sure before this thing will take hold.
So, until those big black birds become the Butt Police…. I have a suggestion. Humans: Stop throwing your butts around.
And start using your big brain-to-body-ratio, for crying out loud.
“If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly.”
― Steve Maraboli
“The price of greatness is responsibility.”
― Winston S. Churchill