Bird is the word for 2009

Did birds intervene into our technology too often this year?

What was up with the birds this year?

2009 will go down as the year that birds had it in for technology.

First a flock of birds brought down US Airways Flight 1549 in January, the famous “miracle on the Hudson,” making a hero of pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger.

Then earlier this month, a bird dropped a bit of baguette into the Large Hadron Collider, effectively shutting down the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. Two physicists said that the bird was time-travelling from the future, sent to shut down the collider because the experiment “was so unacceptable to the universe,” according to an article in Time magazine.

There hasn’t been a year for bird strikes this bad since 1999, when romance novel cover model Fabio was hit in the face by a goose while he was riding the Apollo’s Chariot roller coaster at Busch Gardens.

The really scary thing is that in at least two of these bird strikes, the birds died a kamikaze death. It reminds us of the scene in “The Godfather II” where Michael Corleone realizes that the Cuban revolution is a done deal when he sees that the rebels are willing to blow themselves up for their cause. To others it may seem an eerie reminder of what  Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" did to Bodega Bay, Calif. What’s going on? Are the birds angry at us? For what? For our technology? For trying to be like them and fly? For all the turkey we’ll be eating next week? For that annoying partridge in a pear tree song we’ll all be singing?

Our first thought is that they are angry about Twitter. Perhaps they resent the site’s ubiquitous bird logo or that all of a sudden we all think we can twitter and tweet the way that birds have for millennia.

Maybe our feathered friends want to “friend” us, on Facebook and Twitter, and this is how they are getting our attention. We’d be glad to friend you, little birds. All of you, cardinals, ravens or penguins. You can tweet us, link in to us, friend us. Just please stop dive-bombing our technology and male supermodels. Oh, how we wish we could speak to the birds—and not just parrots. Where is Dr. Doolittle when we need him?

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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Reader Comments

Mon, Nov 23, 2009

There is a real technology-bird concern. If the height and rotation speed of the new wind turbines isn't set correctly, our new energy source will kill off many birds. Certainly not a desired result of cleaner energy.

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