Dopey the hamster, and his private LEGO elevator.

Discuss

66 Responses to “Dopey the hamster, and his private LEGO elevator.”

  1. tomic says:

    Yeah it’s not cruel, except perhaps existentially.

    Clearly Dopey is trying to reach the food, so tortuously put just out of reach. He’s not THAT stupid, merely at the limits of cognition and physical skills.

    Movies like THE CUBE are this for humans.

    We all have our limits.

    My oldest dog, very smart socially, has a hard time with spatial problems. To bury a rock, she puts the rock on the spot, then digs. It goes flying. She brings it back, and repeats. She almost gets it. Or, the goal is actually something else I don’t understand.

    Have you never written code you just can’t get to work? It’s only a matter of degree…

  2. fatbactory says:

    I used to have a hamster that would leap from anything you put it on, regardless of height. Nice animal but not smart.

    Anyone who’s seriously thinking about cruelty is a victim of personification.

  3. Chevan says:

    I wonder what’s triggering the elevator – a button in the middle of the platform? A light sensor?

    Neat video, and thanks for linking it.

  4. arkizzle says:

    Dopey is not trying to reach his food.

    Watch til the end. He is trying to make it into his penthouse.

  5. MiketheGreat says:

    It’s okay Dopey, I hate jumping puzzles too. This is why I’ve never finished the original Super Mario Bros.

  6. morcheeba says:

    I think he needs a little indoor skydiving setup to take him upstairs… something like this, but on a smaller scale: http://www.skyventurecolorado.com/

  7. Justin Ried says:

    @34: It’s not cruelty, but it certainly would have been kind of the owner to let Dopey have the treat after all of his troubles. That’s what I (and I suspect most sympathetic happy mutants) would have done.

    Eventually he gives up and goes to bed. It’s all so… anticlimactic?

    Perhaps the owner was trying to tell a deeper tale of the trials and tribulations of existence – that persistence doesn’t always pay off… but I doubt it.

    @35: Yes he did totally want that treat ^_^

  8. Sethum says:

    I think the food is tied up there just to give Dopey a tasty reward for exercising by reaching up. Dopey definitely is not trying to use the elevator to get to the food, although it looks that way at first.

    I’m guessing that the designer of the elevator may have increased the game to the door just to make sure it would take a few tries while he/she was filming… How boring would that video be if Dopey made it on the first try?

  9. Lea Hernandez says:

    Reading these comments, I thought I’d stumbled into a Cute Overload comment thread on a picture showing a baby and a cat. The only thing that could make some commenters more exercized would be a baby laughing as the hamster fell.

    Dopey’s box is not that far away. He could’ve made it in one try if he wasn’t…dopey. Also, many of those crash sounds aren’t Dopey smacking into the floor of his cage, they’re foleyed in.

    Last, a fall from twice his height isn’t the same to Dopey as it would be for us. Dopey weighs a few ounces.

  10. IWood says:

    It’s all fun and games until someone’s hamster gnaws through its cage at night and roams free in search of human flesh.

  11. Takuan says:

    hamsters`are good. I recommend a red wine based marinade and no more than three per skewer.

  12. Xeni Jardin says:

    WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE NIBLETS

  13. gonzilla says:

    It would have been more epic if it was a hamster spinning on a Lego escalator.

  14. Xeni Jardin says:

    It would have been more epic if it was a hamster spinning on a Lego escalator in a field of animatronic strawberries on the moon with sparkle dust, but we take what we get from YouTube, bub.

  15. GregLondon says:

    I can’t tell if the elevator is remote controlled by some human or not.

    If it’s a fully automated elevator, awesome. If remote controlled, I’ll ahve to take off a couple points for that.

    But overall, good stuff.

  16. Mindpowered says:

    Let’s just be clear on few things.

    This is cruelty to animals

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7494184.stm

    “Many of the rabbits have been decapitated and the blood drained from their bodies. ”

    That video is not.

  17. pepsi_max2k says:

    It would have been more epic if it actually worked. I mean, it’s an elavator to nowhere, people!

  18. JDspeeder1 says:

    But how does he get DOWN???

  19. SC_Wolf says:

    @ #3 PEPSI_MAX2K
    It would have been more epic if it actually worked. I mean, it’s an elavator to nowhere, people!

    You would prefer a Stairway to Heaven perhaps?

  20. insect_hooves says:

    I think I can haz. I think I can haz. I think I can haz … Ah fuck it. Nibblets r ghey anyways. (sniff)

  21. Xeni Jardin says:

    @#55 = teh win.

  22. pepsi_max2k says:

    >> You would prefer a Stairway to Heaven perhaps?

    A Stannah stairlift’d do. Though to be honest just a trampoline underneathe would’ve been infinately more entertaining. I feel no lulz must be had in watching a hampster fall to it’s untimely death. Even if it did survive. And fall to it’s untimely death. And survive. And fall…

  23. DWNLDTH5 says:

    He still didn’t get the niblet though. I was rooting for the little guy. :(

  24. squarefrog says:

    No-one else think this is kind of cruel? Raising the little guy up, setting him up for a fall!

  25. MichaelRN says:

    Q: “But how does he get DOWN???”

    A: By doing the Hamster Dance?

    Sorry, someone had to say it.

  26. Jack says:

    You know, if you look at the setup, the hamster could have “teh niblet” when it’s in it’s house and pulls up “teh string”.

  27. Amelie says:

    This is neither clever nor funny but simply cruel. Bit of a shame to see it on what is otherwise a great blog site.

  28. SeppTB says:

    Cruel? Elevator to no where? Did none of you watch this all the way to the end? Its a story of persistence and overcoming obstacles, the hamster triumphs!

  29. alisong76 says:

    Showing up on cuteoverload in 3…2….1…..

  30. boyhowdy says:

    Now THAT is a wonderful thing. Thanks for reminding us what BoingBoing is really about, Xeni.

  31. GammaBlog says:

    It shouldn’t be Dopey the hampster, it should be Dopey the designer for leaving that huge gap between elevator to the poor beast’s bedroom.

  32. spazzm says:

    Richard Hammond is not amused.

  33. Talia says:

    “This doesn’t amuse me. Therefore, it shouldn’t be here, because BB is a site of things that only entertain me personally!” ;p

    This reminds me of a lengthy but cute documentary about Squeak the Squirrel from 1957 (looks like a chipmunk to me, but the filmmakers claim otherwise)

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5321023603675822454

  34. iamcantaloupe says:

    “Also, many of those crash sounds aren’t Dopey smacking into the floor of his cage, they’re foleyed in.”

    Shit, really? I totally thought hamsters had crash cymbals in their backs. This video is so disappointing!

  35. chicagojohn says:

    The door to the cage was open… that was his chance to escape, but instead he spends his time riding the elevator.

  36. Lady Katey says:

    Kinda sad. Cruel? Well, it was the hamster’s choice to keep getting in the elevator, and keep failing.

    Elevator=much win

    Hamster=FAIL

  37. Pipenta says:

    Hamster = win

    If you’ve ever had a problem with mice getting into your house, gophers having at your garden, or squirrels getting in your attic or into your bird feeder, how can this fail to be of interest? It’s a chance to watch the workings of the rodent mind and applaud their persistence. The little guy does NOT give up. He keeps trying and trying. He’s no more a failure than any of the rest of us. Is this tragedy, is this comedy? This is LIFE baby!

    And the film, it’s Oscar material.

  38. bcsizemo says:

    It would have been better if they had dubbed Killface from Frisky Dingo into it. That would have been awesome, boosh!

  39. gonzilla says:

    At least Dopey didn’t get stuck up there for 40 hours.

    You can haz the world for building a better mouse trap. Butz, youz can haz the innarwebs for building a better hamster elevator.

  40. Lazlo Panaflex says:

    I applaud the hamster’s tenacity but the design of the elevator was quite bad. I hope that this was a prototype and that elevator 2.0 would have a larger capacity and perhaps some additional safety measures (i don’t know, maybe a door, railing at least).
    I wonder, does the designer live in an apartment building that demands a leap over an 8ft gap to enter their unit?

  41. Bender says:

    Who can explain his never-give-up attitude? I know I can’t!There wasn’t even a lady hamster up there waiting for him.

  42. UnderRat says:

    The cruel bit would be if it was a vid of the poor little bastard chewing into the wire that powers the elevators motor. Kzzzzap!!!

  43. Jellyblue says:

    There is nothing sadder then watching people play god with their small, caged animals. This badly designed saga is just another example of someone who believes that cuteness is ultimately derived from watching an animal struggle. If you’re going to set up a cool little elevator for the hamster to enjoy, that’s great, but the unreachable nibblet and stupid placement of the loft do not inspire confidence in this respect. It’s a creepy form of entertainment, and even if in this case it’s not terribly harmful to the animal, I hate watching it. I hope the guy who made this video comes back as a hamster.

  44. Talia says:

    Another one of my favorite hamster videos

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo4WkiFTCk4

  45. franko says:

    go, dopey, GO! you can do it!
    YAY!

  46. Takuan says:

    I find Dopey’s unoriginal colour choices for his LEGO bricks embarrassing. Also, why didn’t the video show his little paws snapping the pieces together?

  47. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Antinous, Hiro Frumentius is unavailable for comment at the moment. He’s busy with extremely important running up and down and around and over the ramps and levels of his cage, plus the strategically essential vertical wall climbs.

    Hamsters do indeed get bored. In the wild, Syrian hamsters can roam for miles every night. I don’t know the roaming stats on Dwarf Siberians, but an automated puzzle that keeps one going that many tries is a big win.

    DWNLDTH5 @8, don’t worry. He’ll get the nibblet in good time.

    Jellyblue (45), I take it you’ve never owned a hamster. The cube square law is blatantly biased in their favor. They can be hurt by falling if they fall far enough, and some of them have more talent for long jumps than others (they have surprisingly variable personalities), but a bitty drop like the one in the video isn’t going to hurt any of them.

    Pipenta @17, you’re right about it illustrating rodent thought processes. Herewith, some of my favorite hamster videos, which also demonstrate their turn of mind:

    The immortal Gom Soon, in Gom Soon: I Want These Cookies! and Gom Soon Finale.

    Three videos from Arcobalenoverde: Criceto e popcorn/Hamster with popcorn, Criceti acrobati/Climbing hamsters, and Criceto Rosicchia Porto/Hamster vs. door.

    Melancholy fact discovered while looking for the above videos: beloved Gom Soon, and Chmurka, Princess of Tofu, both died on 22 June of this year.

  48. Antinous says:

    I’m appalled that Hiro Frumentius hasn’t weighed in on this discussion. My understanding is that the principal problem facing the modern hamster is boredom. Sans challenge, physical and mental health decays rapidly. Don’t they enjoy this sort of thing?

  49. arkizzle says:

    Dopey hamster is dopey^h^h^h^h^h persistent!

    This is clearly winsome.

  50. Antinous says:

    That would explain why house cats are the dominant species on earth.

  51. arkizzle says:

    Also, there was clearly some planning-permission issues, or some draconian building codes affecting how close Dopey was allowed build his elevator to his penthouse.

    Has it really come to this? That a hard working, self-made hamster must risk his precious little life every time he gets home from work, for the sake of a few petty building regulations? Call your local lawmaker, this madness must end!

    Wait.. can we get this hamster a drawbridge? Or a gangplank maybe?
    Donations to the usual address.

  52. insomma says:

    The laugh is awesome!

  53. karpov says:

    A clear example of Karpov’s Law – There is no video of an animal so innocuous that a commenter cannot construe it as animal cruelty

  54. xopl says:

    @#2 Xeni,

    “a hamster spinning on a Lego escalator in a field of animatronic strawberries on the moon with sparkle dust”

    Oh man, if I had an animation studio I’d be on that RIGHT NOW.

    I’m looking at YOU, Blogosphere.

  55. squirrelgirl says:

    hamsters are amazingly persistent little creatures. my friend’s hamster cage had a tube that ran vertically up the center, leading to a ball on top where Lizzy Borden, the hamster, had her nest. she liked to bring all of her food up the tube.

    Well one day we gave her the crust from a piece of toast – the entire length of the bread. It took Lizzy a full hour to get that crust up into her nest. She had to carefully prop it up so it was leaning inside the tube, get up in the tube without knocking it over, turn around and then drag this thing that was nearly twice as long as she was all the way up, backwards. Her cage was next to the TV, but we ended up just watching her for the whole hour. We cheered aloud when she finally made it.

  56. RJ says:

    Good grief, look at the dent in the shavings he wallowed-out from all the drops. He’s a persistent little thing, though; he did eventually make it into the little bed box. But how does he get down without falling?

  57. doplgangr says:

    I’m with ya, Squarefrog and Amelie (#9 & #10)

    It is a bit on the cruel side to find it amusing that an animal keeps trying to get to its food, falls a considerable distance and lands on its back. (Imagine a human falling a similar distance, proportionately.) And then there’s the matter of exposing it to wires that can probably give it a good zap if it decides to chew on them.

    I know I’m just wasting my time responding to this, but what the heck. We have to speak up when it comes to cruel treatment of animals. We’re supposed to be the evolved species.

  58. thericketandoo says:

    This video made me so sad! Dopey never gave up though. He tried…and tried…and tried…over and over and FINALLY succeeded! I hope it felt good for him.

  59. Avram says:

    I’m surprised that the little guy hasn’t already gnawed the elevator to pieces.

    Doplgangr, you needed to pay more attention in science class. First, falling impact is based on mass and distance travelled. A mouse can survive uninjured falling off a tall building that would messily kill a human. Second, hamsters are evolved too. All living things are evolved.

  60. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    The reason Syrian hamsters aren’t Earth’s dominant species is that they’re inclined to think other critters are friendly (unless the critter is another Syrian hamster). This has to be unnatural. My theory is that a UFO once landed in Syria, the aliens’ kid’s genetically engineered pets escaped, and they couldn’t be found before the UFO had to leave. There’s no other way to account for it.

  61. Anonymous says:

    @29 That’s just bad hamster-physics. Proportionately, smaller animals can fall further because they are better able to cope with the lower impact stresses due to their reduced weight.

    Also, the DC voltage across those wires would be too low to give Dopey a shock. Finally, his cage is open so he has the free choice of making a break for freedom if he so wishes. I don’t think it’s cruel.

  62. KurtMac says:

    Life would be more interesting if all elevators had a 10-foot gap to jump to get to your desired floor.

  63. Hedonisbot says:

    Its a hamster that is treated to such awesome technology. I for one am jealous I dont have the joy of a lego elevator in my room. It is in no way cruel. The bottom of the cage probably has more then enough of that ehhh hamster stuff for lack of a better word to keep the fall for being harmful and the hamster never seems to be hurt.

  64. squirrelgirl says:

    none of the people who think this is cruel have ever had a hamster, clearly. they do this kind of thing to themselves all the time. you must remember that their bodies are much more resilient than ours.

    i can’t count the number of times my hamster would just decide to leap from my hands to the hardwood floor and land just like that, then jump up and happily run around until i finally caught her…

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