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Hugging a Chicken via the Internet

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I’m normally try not to go overboard on videos on NC, but this one features two of our pet interests at once: geekery and being nice to animals. I’m told chickens make good pets; I even once saw one in a grocery store (alive that is), in a Shaws in Brunswick, Maine, on a leash.

More background on the project here. Hat tip Slashdot.

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11 comments

    1. Valissa

      Very cute story! Reminds me of a story a friend of mine, who lives in western MA, told us last year.

      A local family had brought their autistic son for a trip to the New England Aquarium; it was one of his favorite places to visit. His favorite exhibit was the penguin exhibit and he spent alot of time there. At one point they briefly lost track of him but quickly found him so weren’t too concerned about it. Shortly after they arrived home they realized that their son had brough home a baby penguin in his backpack. So they promptly called the museum, who sent someone to come retrieve the penguin. In the meantime the boy had about 2 hours of playtime with the penguin which he enjoyed very much and was a bit upset when it was time for the penguin to go home.

  1. timotheus

    We have an escaped guinea hen in our park in upper Manhattan, and it’s been quite a highlight. We hope the red-tailed hawk that also visits from time to time does not decide to put it on the menu.

  2. Christophe

    How horrifyingly gizmocentric. Perhaps we could put our children in similar boxes and convince ourselves that interacting with them virtually is equal (if not superior) to real world interaction. I have no doubt that they would overwhelmingly choose virtual touch or lullabies or rocking over absolutely no interaction whatsoever. Hell, I would choose to wear a fuzzy, buzzing sweater if I found myself trapped in such a highly contrived nightmare.

    With all of the real benefits that modern technology offers, humans are too easily confused into imaging that it can solve all our problems. But technology cannot solve the problems that it, itself, creates. Like trying to resolve a crisis with the same kind of thinking that produced it or doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, we are more likely to increase the problem (and the neurotic behavior) we hoped to solve. Just as lying about a lie does not bring one closer to the truth and two wrongs don’t increase the rightness in the world, throwing lifeless technology at the problem of too much isolation from the living world and living beings only creates greater isolation. As much sympathy as I have for the ennui of the caged chicken, I am flooded with empathy for the loneliness of the inventor.

  3. Schtuz

    He couldn’t get (the funding for / get it past his thesis adviser) for haptic panties, so he went with the chicken idea his roomate came up with as a drunken joke one night.

    (For the record, the tamest of our chickens – the ones we touched the most as chicks – run towards us when we enter the yard, and follow us around. The sweetest and most tame will actually sit on our feet if we stay in one place, and has actually laid an egg on my wife’s feet once. The temptation to anthropomorpize here is almost irresistible, but I will confine myself to agreeing that chickens do seem to like to have their back feathers stroked. Perhaps they think we are grooming them for parasites.)

  4. Enraged

    Used to have a pet chicken. That thing would shit all over the place. Can’t train it to go to the litter box and they need to run a lot.

  5. Merlin Bannowsky

    It’s the second time when i’ve seen your site. I can gather lots of hard work has gone in to it. It’s really good.

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