Words & Banter

Birds Aren’t Real? This Is Unreal!

Photo by ideeone on iStock


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I'm still shaking my head, in amazement and amusement, at you telling me how there are people claiming that birds aren't real – they're surveillance drones.


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At first, I thought it was a joke. But then, I found a Newsweek article on the "Birds Aren't Real" movement that claims the government killed all birds and replaced them with surveillance drones.


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Well, if you hadn't forwarded it, I'd have thought you were messing with me! Anyway, my absolute favorite part is the "logic" that when the birds or drones or whatever you want to call them sit on powerlines, they're recharging. That's hilarious.


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And, in its own way, clever as it does sound plausible. After all, it is a much easier concept to understand than the explanation of why birds can sit on high-voltage wires and not get electrocuted.


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I've always wondered about that, but not enough that I want you to explain it. However, can you explain how anyone could believe that all birds are government-operated drones? It sounds more like an SNL skit. Please tell me people know this is just a joke or parody of conspiracy theories.


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Do they? Conspiracy theories have always existed, and thanks to the internet and social media, they are now running rampant. Some are bizarre, some are silly, and some are dangerous and toxic.


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Which I find scary. Especially since the only people who can dispute the conspiracies are experts, but if you think they're in on the conspiracy, then that just further feeds it.


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I disagree. All it takes is people to stop and think versus joining the flock and just following along. But, that is how these conspiracies gain traction.


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Joining the flock? Cute. And just another "hint" that this idea that birds are secretly spying on us is a prank or satire. I don't know how the organizer can maintain a straight face when they say this is real.


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Their FAQ (frequently asked questions) page is most amusing, stating, "Bird Poop is actually a form of liquidated tracking apparatus." But, one of the first things that caught my eye on their website is the focus on merchandise for sale. What a brilliant marketing scheme.


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Well, when I went to the site, what caught my eye was the Richard Nixon "quote" which, even given his involvement with the Watergate coverup, must have been made up, "We needed a way to keep an eye on the American citizens without them knowing. It was imperative, for their own safety of course. We hired only the best. It took years. We designed, built, tested, failed. We persisted. Eventually, over decades, we had it. A fleet of covert technological surveillance devices unlike anything the world had ever seen. We called them, 'Birds.'"


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Very effective. But, if it is an actual quote, it could refer to some surveillance drones they code-named "Birds" versus ALL birds. Especially as the history of drones goes back to the mid-1800s.


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Yes, but you're doing that "critical thinking" thing, and we both know that many people will read that quote and assume it's true. And supports the bird conspiracy theory.


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Then, I would call those people "bird brains," except I do not want to insult the intelligence level of birds.
Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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As you know, I love history, but I appreciate many people don’t.


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I am one of those people, so not sure where you are going with this.


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Exactly. So, when you first wanted to talk to me about the history of credit cards, I should have known something was up.


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Or, at least been curious.


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How was I supposed to know it would make a difference in my life?


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Why else would I want to give you a “history lesson”?
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Photo by mevans on iStock
Let’s be very clear. Autism has no correlation with intelligence; it’s a developmental disability (or what Black refers to as “DIFF-abilities”). And it’s a spectrum disorder, which means each autistic person has their unique mix of abilities, challenges, and ways of seeing the world (can’t that be said of all of us?!) So, as we celebrate World Autism Acceptance Week, remember it’s more than just awareness – it’s about acceptance.

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Did you know that April's Autism Awareness Month? I wasn't aware (pun intended) of it until I read our local homeowner's monthly newsletter and it caught my eye.


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Actually, last month the founding organization, the Autism Society, changed "Awareness" to "Acceptance" to foster inclusivity, as knowing about something is very different from accepting it. But I am guessing that is not the point of this call.


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Although it isn't autism, it reminded me of years ago when we found out that Natasha has learning disabilities.


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I think you mean DIFF-abilities.


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Of course, that's another thing I remember. I was focused on the negative aspects of her diagnosis until you asked me, point-blank, "Why are they called disabilities?" And proceeded to explain that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.


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Exactly! Imagine the world if everyone excelled at math, but flunked English. Or, a world of lawyers, but no musicians. Some people are better at social skills, while others excel at handling technical data. Why not just say that people who have different skillsets and abilities have DIFF-abilities versus making them feel like they have shortcomings?
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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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As much of a history buff as I am, I’m embarrassed to admit that for a long time, I didn’t know March was Women’s History Month. But now that I do, I’m amazed by all the inspirational stories of women’s remarkable achievements.


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Too bad Natasha and Sawyer do not still live at home; it would be fun to start a conversation by asking them what women they find inspiring.


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I already know who they would pick. The first woman to race the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And I’d have to agree with them. Your Ferrari racing has made an impact on so many people. But especially girls.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

Until you mentioned it several years ago, I never thought about that. In the 1970s, I was one of the few women in business school. I then made a career in the male-dominated oil and gas industry. I am used to being a “token” female.


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Trust me. I watch people whenever we’ve done speaking engagements. It’s predictable ... we put up the family tree, and Natasha and Sawyer get awws, but your two racecars get everyone’s attention.
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