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Contact Peter Midgley

In 2009, an IT specialist in Durban, South Africa complained that a pigeon could deliver information faster than his internet. He attached a bundle of data to the leg of a racing pigeon called Winston. At the same time he released Winston into the skies, he also released the data to the mercy of the ether. Then he sat back and observed Winston and the internet connection progress.

Winston took one hour and eight minutes to fly 80 km (50 miles) from Pietermaritzburg to Durban to deliver his precious cargo. It took another hour to download the data. By then, four percent of the data had been uploaded via the internet.

Throwing pigeons into the air and observing their flight is an ancient form of augury known as ornithomancy. I prefer to think of it as original cloud technology.

All that to say: Ornithomancy may be a more effective means of communication than the internet. If you want speed and reliability, find a pigeon. Unlike the internet, it’ll get back to you eventually—as will I.

Good luck!


The detail view of the Eye of Sauron is provided courtesy of a demented selfie stick. It’s an accurate reflection of my state of mind.