Charity offers 'life size' virtual whale on web
Blue screen of extinction
The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WCDS), "the global voice for the protection of whales, dolphins and their environment", has launched a "life size blue whale interactive banner", which can be seen here.
It is an approximately one-to-one scale map of a whale, as if seen through unrealistically clear water, movie-style. Mostly it looks like, well, a closeup of the side of a whale.
According to the WCDS, this is "possibly the last chance [for people] to experience a life-size blue whale...in the comfort of their own home".
The WDCS doesn't mean the interactive banner is soon to disappear - indeed it would like people to spread it around the internet on their sites - but that real whales may soon be no more, should the pro-whaling nations nations succeed in overturning the present international ban on commercial hunting.
The whale banner was created by German ad agency Jung von Matt using Soulpix 3D animation technology.
Other services offered by the WCDS include giveaways for school children and teachers, or even visits to schools. It is also possible to adopt a whale or a dolphin, though there seem to be only 14 whales up for adoption at present – prospective whale parents have to share. The adoptees in question live off Cape Cod or British Columbia depending on species. The adopt-a-dolphin WCDS webpage was down at the time of writing.
Lindsay Bruce, the WCDS' UK IT manager, tells us that he's looking for some cheap hosting at the moment. Those wishing to do the cause of cetacean conservation a favour should contact him. ®
what's really rubbish...
-- is that some large ad agency got to make a bunch of money out of an integral environmental organisation on a product that only half works and now get to use that as good-guy P.R. --
... and that the majority of people are kept in the dark shroud of ignorance... Well, even top experts don't really know what whales get up to - and certainly won't before the largest cetaceans become extinct very, very soon.
Delving into a quick excursion of the subject, it immediately stands out that arguments from the side of Japan's gov. agency ICR (http://www.icrwhale.org/eng-index.htm) are constructed from blatant innacuracies, viscious accusations, utter defensivness and a total lack of social and ethical resposibilty. I mean, when where you last on a website that only lists the webmaster as an email contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) ?? At the same time noting, that any inquiries (allegedly, of immature academic nature) will be referred to elsewhere as they are far too busy... killing and selling unwanted whale meat that is.
I looked around the whale, but there was no option to show the map view, and no way to get directions. They definitely need to make this more feature-rich if they want to leverage their Web2.0 position for effective whale monetization.
Also, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to find local businesses on the whale. I don't see what good this is if I can't find out if there's a Starbucks within walking distance of the blowhole.
Kill 'em all
I took a look, and got this message on a dark blue screen:
"no content for you
please install macromedia flash player 7"
I don't suppose that would be anything to do with the fact I am using Opera with flash player 9 on it?
I fired up IE (meh), which has the same flash version installed. Surprise, it 'works'.
By which I mean the thing loads, and I find I am now looking at a small picture of a whale, on a dark blue background, with a few floaty bits. Krill? Who can tell.
I have learned that whales don't know anything about browsers, are unable to provide useful error messages, and are also invisible up close. In short, ladies and gents, whales are pretty rubbish.
I for one will be murdering a whale tonight. The sooner they are gone the better.