I’m not sure if it’s the technophobe in me or the nature-lover in me, but something about this video makes me smile inside.
Police in the Netherlands, concerned about the security threat posed by unmanned aerial drones, have enlisted eagles to bring them down.
The Dutch National Police Force announced that they’ve partnered with Danish company, Guard from Above, to train the birds, according to Global News.
Just as with police dogs, there’s a potential that law enforcement might misuse its new-found ally. There are probably questions that could be raised from an animal rights perspective, as well. On top of that, I’d hate to think that eagles were somehow being used to abridge free speech.
But police officials emphasized the eagles won’t be going after law-abiding drones, just those that are posing a security threat.
“There are situations in which drones are not allowed to fly. This has almost always to do with security,” Mark Wiebe, innovation manager of the National Police, said in a press release. (No need to click that link unless you speak Dutch.)
The video above is from a demonstration National Police put on last Friday, during which one of the trained birds successfully tracked and brought down a standard commercial drone in mid-air.
It’s almost as if the regal birds are taking back the sky, which, in our view, was their’s to begin with.
Yes, I’m definitely seeing too much symbolism in it, but watching still makes me say, “Go Eagles!”
Posted by John Woestendiek February 5th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, company, drone, drones, dutch, dutch national police force, eagle, eagles, guard from above, law enforcement, nature, police, security, technology, the netherlands
We started off on Carefree Highway, got some kicks on Route 66, spent some time standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, and ended up at a Motel 6 in Albuquerque.
That last one isn’t a song, though the price of a room was — only $29.99.
Day one of the trip back home — which will be slightly more rushed than our earlier travels — saw us cover 450 miles, even with repeated pee and sniff stops, as recommended by the animal communicator Ace recently spoke with.
We took time, too, to exit Interstate 40 and roll through Winslow on Route 66, stopping on a street corner of our own choosing to relive a line from the classic Eagles song, “Take it Easy.”
When no “girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford” came by, we moved on to Winslow’s officially designated place to stand on the corner, where a mural of a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, is provided.
“Standin’ on the Corner Park, opened in 1999, and it also features a statue that some people think is Jackson Browne, but it’s not. Glenn Frey is credited with co-writing the song, which was released by the Eagles in 1972.
Until the 1960’s, Winslow was the largest town in northern Arizona. But, like Tucumcari, New Mexico, and other towns, the prominence they enjoyed by virtue of their location on Route 66 faded when Interstate 40 bypassed the community in the late 1970’s. Tourism suffered and some downtown business closed their doors. “For the next twenty years, downtown Winslow was frozen in time,” the park website says.
The park was part of a downtown restoration effort that included the reopening of the historic La Posado Hotel. That effort required some re-restoration after a fire damaged the corner. Statue and mural are back in place now.
The statue, despite what some on the Internet claim, is not that of Jackson Browne. According to the official website of Standin’ on the Corner Park, it’s a generic “1970’s man,” wearing jeans, with a guitar resting on the toe of his boot.
While the song brought Brown, the Eagles and Winslow some much-wanted notoriety, the corner referred to in the song was actually in Flagstaff. But Winslow sounded better. (That leads me to question whether seven women were actually on Browne’s mind, or if maybe it was just three, and seven sounded better.)
Here’s how Frey explained the collaboration in the liner notes to the 2003 album, The Very Best of the Eagles:
“I told him that I really liked it. ‘What was that, man? What a cool tune that is.’ He started playing it for me and said, ‘Yeah, but I don’t know — I’m stuck.’ So he played the second unfinished verse and I said, ‘It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me.’ That was my contribution to ‘Take It Easy,’ really, just finishing the second verse. Jackson was so thrilled. He said, ‘Okay! We cowrote this.’ But it’s certainly more of him.”
The real corner that the song was about was next to the “Dog Haus,” a hot dog drive-thru on Route 66 and Switzer Canyon in Flagstaff.
Ace probably would have preferred that corner, given it has food, but he settled for two stops in Winslow before we pressed on and stopped for the night in Albuquerque. On Wednesday we pushed on to Oklahoma City, hoping to stay ahead of a winter storm that, along with some appointments we have back east, is preventing us from fully taking it easy.
But we promise this much: We won’t let the sound of our own wheels drive us crazy.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 30th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, arizona, carefree highway, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, eagles, flagstaff, girl my lord, glenn frey, in a flatbed ford, jackson browne, music, pets, route 66, standin' on a corner, standin' on the corner park, standing on a corner, take it easy, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, winslow
Eagles quarterback Michael Vick told students at Juniata Park Academy in Philadelphia that it’s important to take care of pets “with all your heart,” but that, were it not for his arrest, he would probably still be dog fighting.
“Honestly … Yeah, I’d probably still be doing it,” he said in answer to one student’s question.
“I got caught and went through what I went through so that none of … you kids like you guys will have to go through what I went through.”
The NBC 10 sportscaster reporting on Vick’s appearance — one of many he’s made under the auspices of the Humane Society of the United States — concludes his report by saying, “You gotta say that what he did was heinous, but certainly no one is doing more to come back from his situation than Michael Vick is.”
Posted by John Woestendiek December 8th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, anti-dog fighting, appearance, coverage, cruelty to animals, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, eagles, football, media, michael vick, news, nfl, pets, philadelphia, quarterback, torture, vick
This trip, whatever else it’s about, is also about nostalgia, and I got a big dose of it on the drive to Houston – most of it induced by the long-distance driver’s best friend, the radio.
Music, like old friends revisited and roads previously traveled, can be a powerful memory trigger.
Music and roads, in fact, have a lot in common.
The road itself has a rhythm – the steady thwack-thwack percussion of cracks in the highway, the different humming tones produced by different road surfaces, the rat-a-tat drum roll when you accidentally veer across those lane divider bumps, which always causes Ace to, ever so briefly, wake up.
Then, on the Interstate at least, there is the familiar chorus: Exit ahead … Food, Gas, Lodging … Shoney’s, Cracker Barrel, Taco Bell.
When it comes to roads, some are pop roads, also known as Interstate highways, where you’re not likely to see anything you haven’t seen before. There are classical roads, like Route 66; and blues roads, which are dark and swampy with moss hanging from the trees. There are jazz roads, which meander, make abrupt turns and have unpredictable curves and riffs. There are alternate, or alternative highways, which often lead to something interesting; and of course there are country roads, which may or may not take you home … to the place … you belong.
On Friday, with the radio blasting, I traveled a swampy stretch of I-10 – a combination blues/pop road — from Baton Rouge to Lafayette, crossing a piece of the Atchafalaya Swamp, whose name itself is almost musical. During the drive I had four flashbacks, three of them music-induced.
Blame the first on the Red Hot Chili Peppers – the musical group that, like the vegetable, tends to come back and haunt me.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 12th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, ace does america, andrew, atchafalaya, blues, boyz II men, classical, country, dog friendly, dog's country, dogscountry, eagles, emotions, glenn grey, groom, highways, hurricanem, jazz, katrina, louisiana, memories, memory, music, nostalgia, pop, red hot chili peppers, road, road trip, roads, songs, swamp, texas, travel, trigger, you're a part of me
Here’s what Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick said about winning the the Ed Block Courage Award, which honors NFL players who exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage — as quoted by the Associated Press:
“It means a great deal to me. I was voted unanimously by my teammates. They know what I’ve been through. I’ve been through a lot. It’s been great to come back and have an opportunity to play and be with a great group of guys. I’m just ecstatic about that and I enjoy every day.
“I’ve overcome a lot, more than probably one single individual can handle or bear,” Vick said. “You ask certain people to walk through my shoes, they probably couldn’t do. Probably 95 percent of the people in this world because nobody had to endure what I’ve been through, situations I’ve been put in, situations I put myself in and decisions I have made, whether they have been good or bad.
“There’s always consequences behind certain things and repercussions behind them, too. And then you have to wake up every day and face the world, whether they perceive you in the right perspective, it’s a totally different outlook on you. You have to be strong, believe in yourself, be optimistic. That’s what I’ve been able to do. That’s what I display.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said the Eagles “fumbled when they gave Michael Vick the Ed Block Courage Award, which was named after a man who advocated in behalf of abused children … Michael Vick should not be the person anyone points to as a model of sportsmanship, even though he has now exchanged dogs for touchdowns after serving time for extreme cruelty to animals. We wish him well in educating others, but this is not appropriate and does not mark a joyous moment in NFL history.”
Posted by John Woestendiek December 24th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, award, children, conviction, courage award, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, eagles, ed block, michael vick, nfl, peta, philadelphia, reaction, response, sportmanship, vick
The Philadelphia Eagles — as if to make amends for hiring a convicted dogfighter — have announced a half million dollar effort to reduce the abuse of animals, promote responsible adoption, encourage spaying and neutering and put an end to dog fighting through increased public education and awareness.
Eagles owner Christina Lurie and Eagles president Joe Banner announced the initiative yesterday. It was described as a half million dollar commitment to support animal welfare organizations. An Eagles press release on the campaign made no mention of Michael Vick, who the Eagles signed as quarterback after completion of his federal prison sentence for dogfighting.
As part of the new effort, the Eagles will donate $50,000 each to the Humane Society of the United States’ anti-dogfighting program, a low cost spay and neuter facility operated by the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, and the Berks County Humane Society in support of its new mobile veterinary clinic.
The Eagles also announced they will coordinate a TAWK (Treating Animals With Kindness) series that brings animal experts to local schools, a public service announcement campaign involving Eagles players and a website with information and updates about the TAWK program, and information about animal welfare issues.
Posted by John Woestendiek October 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, adoption, animal welfare, anti-dogfighting, campaign, christina lurie, dog fighting, dogfighting, eagles, humane society, initiative, joe banner, michael vick, neglect, neuter, philadelphia, pledge, spay, tawk, treating animals with kindness
The team may be named after a symbol for freedom, but the Philadelphia Eagles apparently don’t want fans practicing it.
Eagles security staff squashed a suburban fan’s freedom of speech at the gate before Sunday’s game, telling her she couldn’t enter the arena unless she covered up the anti-Michael Vick sentiments expressed on her T-shirt.
Kori Martin, 32, of Broomall, was wearing a shirt bearing the words “Losers fight pit bulls” on the front, with Vick’s name and No. 7 crossed out. On the back were the words “You don’t deserve a second chance,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
At the gate, she was told by security guards at Lincoln Financial Field that she could not wear the shirt because it was offensive to players and that the policy came from top management.
Martin was allowed into the stadium when she agreed to wear the shirt inside out — but she doesn’t consider the issue resolved.
“Not only has (Eagles owner) Jeffrey Lurie and the Eagles organization supported a dog murderer by signing this convict,” she said, “but now they want to take away my freedom of speech just because I don’t agree with them?”
Pamela Browner Crawley, the team’s senior vice president of public affairs, told the Inquirer she knew of no specific policy banning such shirts.
(Photo: T-shirt from Pitbullgear.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 30th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: anti-vick, banned, denied, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, eagle, eagles, entry, fan, football, freedom of speech, keffrey lurie, kori martin, nfl, pit bulls, security, shirt, sports, t-shirt