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(Guardian)   Surprisingly enough, in an era in which splitting the atom into its tiniest parts has become commonplace for science, we still can't explain how birds do this   (guardian.co.uk) divider line 39
    More: Cool, particles  
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8912 clicks; posted to Geek » on 12 Nov 2012 at 9:06 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



39 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-11-12 03:37:52 AM  
A flock of starlings ate all my bird food, then raped my dog. I can't explain it.
 
2012-11-12 06:44:08 AM  
Are those African or European?
 
2012-11-12 08:40:51 AM  
I wonder what it'd look like if humans did synchronized mass flock / herding behavior.
 
2012-11-12 08:46:52 AM  

Cythraul: I wonder what it'd look like if humans did synchronized mass flock / herding behavior.


cdn.newsday.com

Oh wait, this is probably what it'd look like. (Opening Ceremony, 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics)
 
2012-11-12 08:58:59 AM  
A house fly can see 40 times faster than a human.

Your argument is invalid.
 
2012-11-12 09:08:50 AM  
imnotsayingitwasaliens.jpg
 
2012-11-12 09:13:37 AM  

Sgygus: A flock of starlings ate all my bird food, then raped my dog. I can't explain it.


Were they tired?

silver horses
moonbeam
dark eyes

old
 
2012-11-12 09:20:28 AM  
Wait, birds can split atoms and we don't know how they do it?
/off to RTFA
 
2012-11-12 09:27:11 AM  

DECMATH: Wait, birds can split atoms and we don't know how they do it?
/off to RTFA


No, science can split atoms. These birds are starlings therefore they fuse atoms.
 
2012-11-12 09:41:18 AM  
i.imgur.com

i.dailymail.co.uk

i.dailymail.co.uk

userserve-ak.last.fm
 
2012-11-12 09:41:47 AM  
Duh.. The birds are from Libria

upmequilibrium.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-11-12 09:43:47 AM  
Headline = comically wrong fail stupid
Submitter = hiding in cave for the past five years

Google "swarm theory" and be enlightened. The starlings' behavior can be captured by two or three simple rules that each bird executes... like "stay twenty inches away from other starlings" and "fly away from falcons".
 
2012-11-12 09:56:40 AM  

Cythraul: I wonder what it'd look like if humans did synchronized mass flock / herding behavior.


Didn't that just happen last tuesday?
 
2012-11-12 10:12:48 AM  
Cell phones.
 
2012-11-12 10:22:41 AM  

Parthenogenetic: [i.imgur.com image 821x500]

[i.dailymail.co.uk image 600x395]

[i.dailymail.co.uk image 600x395]

[userserve-ak.last.fm image 252x168]


That second picture... I'm thinkin' Arby's.
 
zez
2012-11-12 10:23:16 AM  

Cythraul: I wonder what it'd look like if humans did synchronized mass flock / herding behavior.


img.skysports.com
 
2012-11-12 10:23:59 AM  
FTA: "How do so many birds move in three dimensions in such dynamic and tightly-packed aggregations without crashing into each other?"

Ummm... birds do sometimes collide when flying in flocks. Same with fish swimming in schools, etc.
 
2012-11-12 10:27:26 AM  
But what is water? It's a difficult question, because water is impossible to describe. One might ask the same about birds. What are birds? We just don't know.
 
2012-11-12 10:30:34 AM  

Cythraul: I wonder what it'd look like if humans did synchronized mass flock / herding behavior.


Sheeple being herded like livestock?

Just check out an Obama rally.

thekaoseffect.com

/I keed, I keed. 
//Hotlinked
 
2012-11-12 10:31:40 AM  

Breathe Laugh Twitch: Headline = comically wrong fail stupid
Submitter = hiding in cave for the past five years

Google "swarm theory" and be enlightened. The starlings' behavior can be captured by two or three simple rules that each bird executes... like "stay twenty inches away from other starlings" and "fly away from falcons".


Personally I find this to be a cop out. It answers the question what they do, not how they do it. The idea that the behaviour can be captured by two or three simple rules excludes so many variables from the equation that it isn't even funny any more. It might be an useful tool to describe the movement but it does not answer the question about how it is done.

Q: How do birds manage to fly around in huge groups without bumping in to each other?
A: By keeping their distance from each other

Q: How did Mitt become rich?
A: By getting a lot of money.

Q: How did Queen write such good music?
A: By picking the right chords and put them in a pleasing order

Q: How could Hussein Bolt run so fast?
A: By rapidly placing one foot in front of the other

All of those QA pairs are valid but I'm sure people would like to know more than what is provided here.
 
2012-11-12 10:35:22 AM  

DrPainMD: FTA: "How do so many birds move in three dimensions in such dynamic and tightly-packed aggregations without crashing into each other?"

Ummm... birds do sometimes collide when flying in flocks. Same with fish swimming in schools, etc.


Ummm....the article was leading into an explanation of the very explainable behavior. Your "point" isn't. Car accidents happen all the time, yet we still have rules for driving.

"What, so NO ONE ever crashes if they use those rules? I'm not learning them!"

"Well, wait, I wasn't done-"

"Ummmm, you're trying to tell me car accidents don't happen?"

"Ok, forget it. Go read a cereal box."
 
2012-11-12 10:37:45 AM  

DerAppie: Breathe Laugh Twitch: Headline = comically wrong fail stupid
Submitter = hiding in cave for the past five years

Google "swarm theory" and be enlightened. The starlings' behavior can be captured by two or three simple rules that each bird executes... like "stay twenty inches away from other starlings" and "fly away from falcons".

Personally I find this to be a cop out. It answers the question what they do, not how they do it. The idea that the behaviour can be captured by two or three simple rules excludes so many variables from the equation that it isn't even funny any more. It might be an useful tool to describe the movement but it does not answer the question about how it is done.

Q: How do birds manage to fly around in huge groups without bumping in to each other?
A: By keeping their distance from each other

Q: How did Mitt become rich?
A: By getting a lot of money.

Q: How did Queen write such good music?
A: By picking the right chords and put them in a pleasing order

Q: How could Hussein Bolt run so fast?
A: By rapidly placing one foot in front of the other

All of those QA pairs are valid but I'm sure people would like to know more than what is provided here.


So go read about swarm theory. It's a big research topic these days, because it applies to humans too (traffic, elections, law abidance, etc.) rather than just birds, ants, bees, and the like.
 
2012-11-12 10:48:16 AM  
Birds can split atoms?
 
2012-11-12 10:49:45 AM  

Publikwerks: Birds can split atoms?


See, that's just the thing here. We don't know.
 
2012-11-12 11:11:45 AM  

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Publikwerks: Birds can split atoms?

See, that's just the thing here. We don't know.


Where is your science now, Atheists!

/Derp 1, Science 0
 
2012-11-12 11:12:43 AM  
My dad explained it just fine. He also used a bee metaphor.

// I also seem to have it figured out pretty good...
// [insert "tiny" joke]
// [also "I split that" joke]
 
2012-11-12 11:20:29 AM  

Breathe Laugh Twitch: So go read about swarm theory. It's a big research topic these days, because it applies to humans too (traffic, elections, law abidance, etc.) rather than just birds, ants, bees, and the like.


At that, it does answer the how and the why.

Why, because birds are beings with some amount of intellect as well as all other species of animal life, really. Sure, ants and bees collide a lot(on the ground), but that is how they communicate.

We group together for various reasons(safety, knowledge[ie where is the food? ok, we'll go there then] and usually try to not bump or be bumped in any serious degree.(though bees get interesting, as I recently saw, they will bully each other interrupting differing "directions" to garner support for their own opinion.

It's like asking about magnets and painting your face with black and white make-up, and eerily akin to saying the banana was created and biatching about crockoduck.

Very simple explanations. Yeah, it's pretty in effect, but it's abstract. There is no ID on the side of the birds, it's a natural result of those simple explanations. People reject rational science and look for deeper meaning and want to wonder about things like this, magnets, and indeed, god, because they're euphoria addicts, or various other flaws.

Nothing wrong with wonder, or even religion, up until the point they reject science because it challenges that wonder, that is the key to the above statement.
 
2012-11-12 11:24:23 AM  

Cythraul: I wonder what it'd look like if humans did synchronized mass flock / herding behavior.


I've got a running theory that if humans had evolved from some herd animal there would be fewer traffic jams.
 
2012-11-12 11:42:00 AM  
I blame twitter. They just take following someone so literally.
 
2012-11-12 12:20:37 PM  
They're all just following along, except somewhere inside the flock there's one that's just a little greedier, a little faster, a little hungrier. A little ahead of the flock.

/obscure?
 
2012-11-12 12:31:20 PM  
I saw those birds when I was in Rome. It's neat.
 
2012-11-12 12:45:04 PM  

fluffy2097: Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Publikwerks: Birds can split atoms?

See, that's just the thing here. We don't know.

Where is your science now, Atheists!

/Derp 1, Science 0


www.criticalcommons.org

Birds Split Atoms
Dinosaurs are Birds

ATOMIC DINOSAURS!
 
2012-11-12 12:50:20 PM  
Recent studies of starling flocks have shown that each bird modifies its position, relative to the six or seven animals directly surrounding it, no matter how close or how far away those animals are. (via Wikipedia)
 
2012-11-12 01:12:32 PM  
and here is a poem by my favorite living poet (me)

stupid birds
they shiat everywhere
my car is covered with poop
who
farking cares how they flock together
ciz i got billz to pay, biatch.

/so pretentious, "here is a poem". fark you and your poem.
 
2012-11-12 01:35:31 PM  
Or maybe scientists are off actually doing cool stuff?

//Short-sighted
///Has a tendency to want to punch biologists for studying inane things.
 
2012-11-12 01:47:22 PM  

Cythraul: I wonder what it'd look like if humans did synchronized mass flock / herding behavior.


img5.imageshack.us

img339.imageshack.us

Human herds are an ugly thing, much more prone to aggression than starlings. Amazing how such self-interested creatures can band together to form a larger, single self-interested creature.

/Random protest shot selected, not commentary.
 
2012-11-12 02:05:04 PM  

Krymson Tyde: Are those African or European?


European, even the starlings in America are invasive European ones. Subby should read the Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins, he explains how starlings do this. They act on local rules, and do bump into each other. It's like how humans can walk around a crammed city and traffic can flow through it while keeping space in between each other and slamming into each other at a less frequent rate than you would imagine. Fish school into bait balls in the same way these birds do this beautiful undulating flocking.
 
2012-11-12 02:15:53 PM  

RicosRoughnecks: Krymson Tyde: Are those African or European?

European, even the starlings in America are invasive European ones. Subby should read the Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins, he explains how starlings do this. They act on local rules, and do bump into each other. It's like how humans can walk around a crammed city and traffic can flow through it while keeping space in between each other and slamming into each other at a less frequent rate than you would imagine. Fish school into bait balls in the same way these birds do this beautiful undulating flocking.


i dunno. African swallows are non-migratory.
 
2012-11-13 06:01:35 AM  

Cythraul: I wonder what it'd look like if humans did synchronized mass flock / herding behavior.


www2.pictures.gi.zimbio.com
 
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