You may recall the “Miracle on the Hudson” when captain Sullenberger landed a disabled US Air A-320 airliner full of 150 passengers on the Hudson River in New York and everyone got off the plane safely, though some of them wet. That airliner was killed by birds flying over the runway on take off and they clogged both engines. Birds are a menace especially on takeoffs at many airports around the world. Various countries have tried shooting guns, hawks, drones, broadcasting obnoxious noise to scare bird off the airport property with various levels of success. Geese are a particular problem at the Schiphol airport, with over 7,000 of the cranky, belligerent fowl rounded up and killed in 2014 alone. Other bird deterrent methods tried include: the planting of coarse and indigestible grasses, and the use of nets, gas cannons and inflatable scarecrows. But while people chasing birds around with specially equipped cars can mitigate the problem somewhat, ultimately the airport authorities would prefer it if there were just fewer birds in the vicinity. And especially geese, because they are big and stupid* and can potentially bring down an aircraft if they interact in the wrong place.
Pigs were recently used in Amsterdam, Holland to help fend off birds from airport grounds. The pilot project was conducted in September to find out whether pigs might be able to help drive birds from the area. Special bird-detecting radar will monitor the two sites in order to see whether the pigs’ presence has made a discernible difference to airport safety. About 20 pigs were used to chase off larger birds, such as geese, in the area surrounding Schiphol International Airport. The pigs would be able to come and eat the grass and crop leftovers which would starve the birds into going elsewhere. Schiphol is the main international airport of the Netherlands, built on reclaimed land which is entirely below sea level, and the third busiest in Europe. So it is that this herd of heroic pioneer pigs have stepped in to separate these beaked trespassers from their jet-engined nemeses.
Q: What happened to the pig who lost its voice?
A: It became disgruntled!
Last week I was telling my husband about how some religions believe that when you die you get reborn, but as a totally different animal. He said he thought he’d like to be reincarnated as a pig. I said, “You evidently weren’t listening.”
During a debate in England’s House of Commons, one Member of Parliament shouted at another: “The right honorable gentleman has the manners of the pig!” Members of the opposition booed loudly and cried, “Retract, retract.” The member of Parliament replied: “I retract the last statement. The right honorable gentleman hasn’t the manners of a pig.”
Vladimir Putin and his driver were on their way to Kyiv in a car when all of a sudden they hit a pig near a farmhouse, killing it instantly. Putin told his driver to go up to the farmhouse and explain to the owners what had happened. About one hour later, Putin sees his driver staggering back to the car with a bottle of Horilka (Ukrainian vodka) in one hand, a cigar in the other, and his clothes all disheveled. “What happened to you?” asked Putin. “Well, the farmer gave me the Horilka, his wife gave me a box of cigars and their 19 year old and 21 year old daughters made mad passionate love to me simultaneously. “My God, what did you tell them?” asks Putin. The driver replies, “I’m president Putin’s driver, and I just killed the pig.”
January 6th Birthdays
1984 – Kate McKinnon, 1971 – Ree Drummond, 1996 – Courtney Eaton, 1965 – Hillaria Thomas Baldwin
1960 – Howie Long, 1955 – Rowan Atkinson, 1982 – Eddy Remayne, 1914 – Danny Thomas