A bird rescue group in Las Vegas says one of three hat-wearing pigeons which gained popularity on social media has died.
Today, Wired advises you to "Stop Renting E-Scooters Every Day and Just Buy One Already!", which may or may not be good advice in terms of your own safety and the safety of others, but if you like the idea, you don't need to spend $1000-$1600 to risk your neck and the necks of everyone else on your commute. Read the rest
E-scooter companies like Bird and Lime have sued Scootscoop -- a self-financed startup that tickets and impounds e-scooters that have been abandoned on private property -- claiming that the repo men are violating the same traffic laws that the same companies also say don't apply to scooters, a belief that is their basis for filling the sidewalks, streets, lawns and alleys of every city with e-waste that blocks wheelchairs, strollers and pedestrians. Read the rest
Birdpunk is the quite natural intersection of two subcultures, punk and birding. From a feature article by Steve Neumann in Audobon:
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The overlap between birding and punk might seem strange to outsiders, but for birdpunks like Croasdale, the Do-It-Youself (DIY) values that shape punk living feed perfectly into low-frills activities such as birding. The DIY aesthetic and mentality is a core philosophy for punks, who thrive on independence and individualism. Their music bucks the profiteering industry of labels and promoters and travels over a homegrown network of venues and websites. The ethic also spills over to visual media, politics, economics, and social philosophy. Hospitality, trust, and authenticity are key traits in the community.
When you consider these principles, it’s clear why many punkers are drawn to birding and its rustic qualities. Or vice versa: why their early love of birds steers them straight into the throes of punk. It’s a two-way street that draws out the best of both worlds, forming a distinctive subculture that’s holistic, aware, and expressive...
Raquel Reyes, who lives in San Francisco... (had) always been interested in biology, but she credits her volunteer work at a wildlife hospital with making the discipline more personal. Similar to the others, Reyes discovered punk in her teens; she found self-esteem in a community where being a “weirdo” was a badge of honor.
“Mainstream views about punk culture characterize it as self-absorbed and nihilistic,” Reyes says, “but there are many sub-categories immersed in ecological concerns.” The rejection of capitalism and mainstream consumerism spurs the need for self-sufficiency and self-discovery, through sewing, carpentry, gardening, and, of course, birding.
Sometimes life comes at you fast, and you just have to make the best of a challenging situation. Read the rest
Scooter companies like Bird and Lime do not currently provide helmets for their riders. A recent UCLA study shows riders without helmets suffer the worst injuries.
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During a year of study, doctors identified 249 people who were admitted for scooter-related injuries. They did this by looking through medical records and identifying any that contained notes with the word "scooter," or that mentioned Bird or Lime — the top two operators in the market.
The study found "helmet use was low and a significant subset of injuries" were documented in patients under 18, which is the legal age required by scooter operators to ride.
Researchers also studied scooter riders' habits by observing a pair of "busy intersections" in Sept. 2018 — one in downtown Santa Monica, the other near UCLA's campus.
Last week, our lawyers at the Electronic Frontier Foundation sent a reply to Bird, the scooter company, which had sent us an intimidating letter seeking to censor this post on Bird conversion kits, which let you unlock the hundreds of Bird scooters that are auctioned off by cities after Bird fails to claim them from their impound lots. Read the rest
Last month, I published a post discussing the mountains of abandoned Bird Scooters piling up in city impound lots, and the rise of $30 Chinese conversion kits that let you buy a scooter at auction, swap out the motherboard, and turn it into a personal scooter, untethered from the Bird company. Read the rest
Did you know a baby peacock is called a peachick? I didn't until I started writing this post up. I'm not even sure I had ever even seen a baby peacock, er peachick, before in my life. This peachick's name is Drew and he was rescued by the folks at Hairy Farmpit Girls in White Oak, Georgia. Last week, they captured him strutting around with his new big-bird feathers for the first time and it's really, really cute.
"Drew was thrown in a garbage can out in Douglas, Georgia," Jennifer Evitts, owner of Hairy Farmpit Girls... "Someone saw what happened, grabbed him and then reached out to us to see if we would take him as she didn't know what to do with him."
...In addition to providing a safe haven for abused or neglected animals, the farm sells a range of goat milk-based products, from soap to lotion to lip balm, to support their cause.
On the occasion of Bird being ordered to remove its scooters from the streets of San Francisco, JWZ has published the beginnings of a costed teardown of the key components of any you find lying around after they become illegal litter: Read the rest