Slow news day or future Olympian?

British 6-month-old learns to walk

LONDON, March 5 (UPI) — A mother in the British town of Harlow got an unexpected surprise last month when her 6-month-old son got up and started walking around their home.

Connie Robinson told The Sun that she was shocked when her son, Reuben, engaged in the infant milestone at such an early age.

"He just got up and started walking round the front room," the 38-year-old said. "I couldn\’t believe it. He\’s so young. It looks very funny."

While her previous two children were also early walkers, Robinson said she was driven to find out if little Reuben had broken a world record.

"I contacted the \’Guinness Book of Records\’ who said they didn\’t have a record for it but they hadn\’t heard of any babies learning to walk at a younger age," she told The Sun of such efforts.

While area health officials maintain that such an early milestone was unheard of, the mother of three told the paper that such physical advancement does have a price, The Sun said.

"He is getting up to so much now he can walk," she said. "He pulls the phone cord and tries to eat the houseplants."

Those feisty Brits!! Children learning to walk at such an early age; what is next, pulling up at four months? Potty Training at 9 months?

My daughter (E) actually walked at 7 1/2 months, which did look kind of strange. We did not, however, think of calling Guinness. I am actually concerned about the idea of Guinness tracking such milestones. Parents may become desperate to have a famous child and start "development camps" where children are hounded by drill-mommies from the crack of dawn.

Another shocking development heightens my fear:

Bird-brained Chinese scientists learn to fly pigeons

Tue Feb 27, 7:52 AM ET

Scientists in eastern China say they have succeeded in controlling the flight of pigeons with micro electrodes planted in their brains, state media reported on Tuesday.

Scientists at the Robot Engineering Technology Research Centre at Shandong University of Science and Technology said ther electrodes could command them to fly right or left or up or down, Xinhua news agency said.

"The implants stimulate different areas of the pigeon\’s brain according to signals sent by the scientists via computer, and force the bird to comply with their commands," Xinhua said.

"It\’s the first such successful experiment on a pigeon in the world," Xinhua quoted the centre\’s chief scientist, Su Xuecheng, as saying.

Su and his colleagues, who Xinhua said had had similar success with mice in 2005, were improving the devices used in the experiment and hoped that the technology could be put into practical use in future.

The report did not specify what practical uses the scientists saw for the remote-controlled pigeons

As in previous posts, I have to apologize for the lack of editorial oversight in the news agency that let that headline slip by.

This whole "Robo-Pigeon" gives me the willies a little. It does not seem to be at the pinnacle of scientific priority to gain mind-control over pigeons, so I suspect government pressure. In the future, dissident mobs will be swarmed by pigeon cronies and pelted with guano. As much fun as you can make with the story, actually, there are some scary possibilities.

So do you see the connection between the two stories. Do you see a Brave New World in which parents have micro electrodes implanted in the brains of their children to ensure a new Guinness record? Perhaps infants will one day be swarming dissident mobs and pelting them with…never mind.