Here is my story about a Smart Crow. So, I was out on a rainy day and I watched this crow struggling with a sealed and unpopped pistachio nut. Tricky. First it was just smashing it on the ground to no avail...
Next thing he/she did was fling it with a sideways snap of its head against the pavement. Tried this a few times, no go. Too bad crow, thought I
Next thing really surprised me. Crow picks up the pistachio and drops it in a puddle of water for a few seconds then taked it out and tries pecking it. Repeat. It dawns on me this crow is trying now to soften the shell, like it was a peanut. But a pistachio is no peanut. Unopened
Finally - and this really changed the way I think about all crows - it picks up the nut and perches on a branch over the road. It starts repeatedly dropping the nut, flying down, picking it up, repeat. Cars are going by on his slow sidestreet. I slowly realise what's happening
...No, surely not!
But yes. Eventually a car rolls over the nut, and there is an audible "pop". Crow swoops down, and, yes, after a couple seconds locates the kernel. And that is how smart crows are
Was this luck? Was it just trying to throw down the nut from a greater height, and the car just finished the job by chance? I guess it's possible. But I routinely see humans (well, fund managers) take credit for things far more reliant on chance, so allow me to conclude otherwise
For balance I should point out I've also seen a crow eat a live chickadee so I'm not suggesting we put them in charge or anything

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More from @ianjamesyoung70

7 Jun
There are two guys who routinely tag 20-50 people into conversations they then have AMONG THEMSELVES as part of a campaign to harass me. It's been going on for years. It's pathetic. It's like pleasuring yourself in a crowded room and pretending you're at an orgy Image
This is what my mentions look like, on a near-daily basis, when folk understandably crack and tell them to stop. I'm frankly amazed at this pair's persistence. And I admit: it is VERY unpleasant, so mission accomplished guys, I guess?
The key sad element of this image is the "28 others" these loons added to this particular conversation. Including my bosses at the SCMP, various news outlets, journos and hapless others who get dragged along on this ride
Read 6 tweets
3 Jun
This thread is getting attention, so I wanted to add a post-script: IMO, there are two reasons horrific treatment of the #Rohingya flies under the radar, both counter-intuitive in the west. 1) The concept of ethno-Buddhist hatred, which many find hard to credit, but is v real...
Exhibit A is Gen Manas, an amulet-wearing believer in Buddhist primacy, who saw Muslim Rohingya as subhuman in same way as, Exhibit B: diplomat Ye Myint Aung, who reject the idea that these dark-skinned "ogres" could possibly be connected to Myanmar…
Exhibit C is even more jarring: Aung San Suu Kyi. Yes, her with the Nobel Peace Prize, who tainted herself with genocide apologia, and sided with the militant ultranationalist Buddhist monks (also a thing) who sought to kill/expel the Rohingya…
Read 6 tweets
3 Jun
It gives me great pleasure to announce the death of Lt General Manas Kongpan, disgraced and bereft in a Thai prison, the most evil man I have encountered in 30 years of journalism...
Manas died Wed in a prison hospital. He got off lightly. In 2009, reporters Alan Morison & Chutima Sidasathian came to @SCMPNews with a tale so hideous it seemed impossible: The Thai military was secretly towing #Rohingya refugees out to sea on wrecks & casting them adrift...
@SCMPNews Hundreds were dying under the most nightmarish circumstances. Skeletal men, baked to death by the tropical sun in excrement-filled hulks, as they drifted. Dying of thirst, starvation. Drowning. How many? We'll never know
Read 13 tweets
1 Jun
Should have been the Edmonton Etymologists
Maybe the Edmonton Tunas
The Edmonton Shrimp
Read 7 tweets
31 May
Oh, hi, you don't think China cares what Canada thinks? Well, the media chief of Citic (China's state investment gigacorp) LITERALLY BOUGHT CONTROL of a Canadian newspaper. The insane story (spoiler, he dies in a Chinese prison) is here...A THREAD:…
I investigated the astonishing tale of Li Bolun & Global Chinese Press (a major Cdn Chi-language paper) last year. It's cited today in a report by @alliancecanhk to Can parl committee on China. That's Li on right with Citic's late chief Wang Jun, one of China's most powerful men Image
So, never mind the subtlety of Chinese influence on local media: Here's Citic, THE CHINESE GOVT'S OWN COMPANY, literally buying a Cdn newspaper. Look. Here's the share certificate! Image
Read 12 tweets
28 May
These are the max diameters of trees that are STILL ALLOWED TO BE KILLED under the BC govt's law that is meant to protect especially large trees.

Sitka spruce (yellow): 2.83m
Coastal red cedar (red): 3.85m

(assumes logging truck width 2.6m)
Diameters are including bark, measured at "breast height", ie: 1.3m off the ground. BC govt says this tree, a spruce, "might" have been saved under the new laws. Others (incl me) are not sure. Look at that yellow circle.
And just because, here are the supposed maximum growth potentials of these two species which was used to devise the big-tree law...again, Sitka spruce (5.6m) in yellow, and coastal red cedar in red (7.7m). Hard to even conceive that trees this big ever existed
Read 4 tweets

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