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Timesaving with Social Clarity

37 How a Seagull Thinks Outside the Box

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Breakthrough Ideas

[1] Tucker Skywalker (pictured above) is the name Nickantony Quach gave a seagull he saw. It was around lunchtime on the third Sunday of August 2022 in Bristol, Rhode Island, right on the East Bay Bike Path and only a city block away from its southern end. He enjoys people-watching while sitting on a fancy metal bench planted along the waterfront to review his Thumoslang material.

[2] Nick does not own a gun. The last time he used one was when he first played with his father’s handgun while no one else was at home. The high school sophomore did not understand the danger involved. He thought the gun was empty and pulled the trigger to see how it felt to use a real gun. The loud bang scared him to no end. The hole on the floor made it sound even louder in his mind. “Could I spread the fur and hope dad would not discover the hole through the carpet?” wondered the young Nick in total silence and under unexpected sweat. Fortunately for him, his father never found out. Thanks to the incident, he lost the desire to get into hunting, fishing, and bird-watching before he had it.

[3] Nick had no reason to enjoy watching a seagull walking in or across an open bike trail. He saw it elsewhere many times over the years. Alec Mustafayev, his chief editor, would be the one who enjoys such distraction. Not Nick; he was too busy trying to finish writing the tail end of the book while Alec reviewed the first chapters.

[4] “Cooking?” Nick wondered in silence. “Here?”

[5] That was the second time he heard the same click, as if someone were cracking a raw egg in one hand with a knife in the other. On the third click, the writer put his phone down. He looked up in the direction of the sound and saw a seagull.

[6] “Whatever the bird was carrying must be too bulky,” Nick thought as he pulled out his phone and started recording the bird’s activity. He didn’t know at the time, but a drama played out in nature unexpectedly, all on camera. Nick found the bird so interesting that he later gave it a full name, Tucker Skywalker. To gauge how large the bird was, watch Nick’s video of the bird, [The Seagull Named Tucker Skywalker | Objective Observation | S1E1 | @Ri4CTV](v=a6_Yp2f_gK0).


[7] While the camera was on, Tucker, the bird, walked across the bike lane while carrying a bulky seashell. He dropped it before he reached the other side of the pavement. When the seashell hit the pavement, it made the signature click egg-cracking sound again.

[[0:08 seconds of 3:53]]

[8] Tucker picked up the shell with its beak, but within two seconds, it dropped the shell again. Tucker picked up the shell again and dropped it within two seconds. The bird is now on the other side of the bike lane. It picked up and dropped the seashell three more times before it flew off with the seashell toward the south.


[9] Two seconds after the bird took a flight to the south, it turned west. Within two seconds, it turned north and then stayed north in flight parallel to the bike lane.

[10] As Tucker flew north, it passed three bike riders heading south. It then crossed the bike lane and flew east for half a second. The first two riders wore white helmets. The third rider was in a blue shirt.

[11] Nick could not see the bird well because the trees were in the way. He was about to turn off the recording, but the bird was in view again.

[12] The bird flew south along the bike lane as it flew higher and higher to increase its altitude.

[13] The fourth bike rider heading south wore a red helmet and was in a white shirt. Up until now, Nick did not see any rider going north.

[14] David, not his real name, was the fifth rider heading south. He was in a red shirt and the first without a helmet on his head.

[15] David’s bike was faster than Tucker, the bird in flight. While passing the bird, David turned his head and looked at the bird for half a second.


[16] Two seconds after David gave Tucker a quick look, the bird reached its highest desirable altitude. Just as David rode past Tucker, the bird dropped the seashell, which hit the ground only a few feet behind where David was. The egg-cracking click was so loud that it startled David and made him turn his head backward. The bird lowered itself but was still in the air. The bird’s elevation was the same as that of David’s shoulder while David turned his head to look back. The following snapshot shows where everyone was at the moment.

[17] “The bird dropped the seashell because it was too bulky,” Nick told himself in silence.



[18] Within a second, Tucker landed on the bike lane where the dropped seashell was. The shirtless sixth rider dodged the bird and rode off the bike lane. Tucker picked up the seashell and walked off the bike lane as two more riders passed the bird. As soon as they rode away to the south, the third brought the seashell back into the bike lane and then tried to eat lunch.


[19] Up until now, Nick did not see any riders going north. While Tucker was trying to have lunch, no riders were going by. Nick did not realize that Tucker couldn’t get his food out of the lunchbox.


[20] After the seagull determined it failed to crack the seashell, the bird picked it up and flew off again. The bird was heading south as it flew parallel to the bike lane. It kept increasing its altitude during the first six seconds by flying higher and higher. The following snapshot shows the bird dropping the same seashell the second time on the same bike lane. Notice the bird’s shadow at the bottom of the photo. Could you also see the shadow of the seashell on the bike lane near a yellow stripe nearby the bird’s shadow?



[21] “The bird dropped the seashell again,” Nick thought in silence. “Is the seashell too bulky for the seagull to grasp in flight?”

[22] Within two seconds after Tucker dropped the seashell the second time, the bird landed right next to the seashell.


[23] In the next 15 seconds, Nick still couldn’t figure out what was happening. While walking across the bike lane, Tucker dropped the shell and picked it up several times.


[24] Finally, Nick saw Tucker pull his lunch out of the lunchbox. That was when Nick realized the bird had broken the seashell with a hole large enough for the seagull to dig in using its beak.

[25] “Wow, I couldn’t believe it,” Nick thought in silence and found himself totally amazed by the drama of nature that transpired over the bike lane in the last two minutes.

[26] “The seagull must have used the bike lane as a hammer twice,” Nick concluded in silence.

[27] The seagull poked in the seashell with its beak only three times to finish its lunch in six seconds. The following snapshot showed the result when Tucker pulled lunch out of his lunchbox the third time. The amount of food appeared to be larger than the first two times.



[28] The video [A Seagull’s Hammer | Objective Observation | S1E1 | @ri4ctv](v=z8EN48VKXGY) captured the entire observation made by Nick. It demonstrated how the seagull Tucker thought outside of the box. It used the bike lane as a hammer to crack the seashell for lunch.

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