Thursday, December 04, 2008

O Pigeon, What art thou thinking!

The title of the news video reads "Exclusive: कबूतरों पर ग्रेनेड का कहर "

The reporter Vishal Agarwal seems to have been given a formidable task of filling up a 1.5min slot of fluff reporting. He's reporting live, clearly unedited material about pigeons in front of the Taj. He successfully captures a kabootar / pigeon's perspective on the Mumbai attacks.

I am not an expert on animals. But by a superficial analysis of their head-bobbing and extent of toilet training, I do believe that they are one of the dumbest animals (or at least the biggest morons within the birds category). The reporter attempts to attribute to their little pigeon heads ace qualities of memory, cognition and emotions like desperation, nostalgia and disappointment.

The flip side is none of the pigeons were available for comments - they were busy crapping or reminiscing their old Gateway of India days.

The wikipedia article I perused for getting some estimate on an average/achiever pigeon's dumbness mentioned an article that sets standards for pointless research.

In a famous article in 1995, Watanabe, Sakamoto and Wakita described an experiment which showed that pigeons can be trained to discriminate between paintings by Picasso and Monet.

The birds were first trained on a limited set of paintings: when the shown painting was a Picasso, the pigeon was able to obtain food by repeated pecking; when it was a Monet, pecking had no effect. After a while, the pigeons would only peck when shown Picasso paintings. They were then able to generalize, and correctly discriminate between paintings of the two painters not previously shown, and even between cubist and impressionist paintings (cubism and impressionism being the two stylistic schools Picasso and Monet belong to). When the Monet paintings were shown upside down, the pigeons were not able to properly categorize anymore; showing the cubist works upside down did not have such an effect.
I am no smart pigeon to judge impressionist paintings. But thanks to India TV, I can now accurately differentiate between crap and content on television.


Thanks Vatsal for posting the video on facebook (link)

3 comments:

  1. Picked this up on google reader (one of their recommendations). Brilliant find!! Am blogging about it too.

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  2. Lol..India TV really sucks..and Aaj Tak and Star news too..

    NDTV is probably the only channel worth watching, but after their shows on the recent attacks, I have to reconsider that too!

    Nice post :)

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  3. I agree. India TV is very lame. And this clipping confirms it all.

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