Thursday, July 3, 2008

Australia-Things that kill the things that will kill you

We have blogged about it over and over and over again.

Australia is a dangerous country. If local critters are not out trying to kill you, they are out to sting, maim, or incapacitate you for consumption at a later date.

Case in point. Cane Toads are not just a recreational drug anymore, they will kill you. That's the latest finding in Australia (no surprise there) as hundreds of freshwater crocks have turned up dead, that's right, from Cane Toads.

Oh and by the way, Cane Toads were imported in 1935 into Australia because someone thought the country did not have enough crazy, dangerous wildlife to avoid at all costs.

Shark Finning-A big idea to "Chew On"

A while back we had a conversation with the CEO of Wild Aid Peter Knights. Wild Aid is the "master of the message" getting major players in the entertainment and sports world to come forward and do pro wildlife PSA's (Public service announcements).

We spoke about an idea we had about viral PSA's for a cash prize. Here's how it works. In the USA alone there are hundreds of small, upcoming, digital media production houses all looking for work. These folks are, in a word, brilliant-but they lack the main stream exposure they need to get the entire world to see their talent.

What if someone offered a $50,000 cash prize for the best anti shark finning viral video based on several criteria, one of which would be the number of downloads.

It's called a force multiplier. Now hundreds of PSA's that catch the eye and showcase raw digital talent would be all over the place, spreading the message in multiple languages, and multiple formats-being seen by the world.

$50,000 may seem like a lot-but when you consider a single Wild Aid PSA has a donated value of many hundreds of thousands, you get the idea. Here's an example of a commercial shark video that has become viral. Imagine if you changed the message slightly how many people would be affected. By recent counts 87,000 and growing:

Airline safety...tagging of a different sort

Yeah, we know it's a major departure from the regular format and we apologize in advance.

A Note on Airline Safety

You would assume after 9/11 that the airline security situation had improved. O.K, so you're not a dummy and you know the airlines security situation has not improved .

But what about Air Force One? You know, the plane POTUS (President of the United States) rides around in stationed at Andrews Air force Base?

One would assume the security there is "otherworldly". Prepare to be disappointed. As this video would suggest getting the message across is as simple as two skate punks, a 2 dollar can of paint and some cajones the size of a Whale Shark:

Oh and by the way this is a brilliant fake. Welcome to the new media-"viral videos". Something we know a little about.

Shark Tagging Continues at Isla Guadalupe 2008

We got word this week that the final year of a 4 year tagging and tracking effort at Isla Guadalupe will proceed. The team lead by Mexican shark researcher Mauricio Hoyos expects to publish their findings in 2009.

Of course we here at Underwater Thrills have a "good idea" about what the data will show, and we can tell you it answers many of the questions posed at this unique site over the past 7 years: