Good stuff of the week 7/15/2011

 Posted by at 11:52 am on July 15, 2011
Jul 152011

It’s Friday, and you know what that means.

First, it’s one of those animals that just makes you go, “Wow!” The Bornean Rainbow Toad (Ansonia latidisca) was just re-discovered after being “lost” to science for 87 years. The toad was re-discovered (and photographed for the very first time!) as part of a Conservation International effort to find mysterious amphibians.

Speaking of amphibians, my friend Joe Milmoe just finished his Masters degree in Conservation Communication, and produced this nice multimedia piece about the plight of Appalachian salamanders. You might not know it, but the southern Appalachians are a global hotspot of salamander biodiversity. But by heavily exploiting the area’s natural resources, we’re putting this diversity — and our own health — at risk!

Bora Zivcovic, the fearless leader of the new Scientific American Blog Network, has his own blog, A Blog Around the Clock. This week, Bora discusses the importance of storytelling in science communication — particularly in today’s media landscape, which is very different from the media environment in which traditional journalistic practices evolved. It’s a very good read!

A European lobster photographed in The Netherlands by Joris Van Alphen.

Our friend Joris Van Alphen, who created the award-winning film “Cold-blooded Cannibals” with Nate earlier this spring, has launched his new photography website. Joris is one of the most talented young photographers we know, and his new site is beautiful. Check it out!

Finally, my friend Dan Warren is a really talented musician (not to mention a respected evolutionary biologist), and he has generously provided music for several of our short films. Dan has been getting some well-deserved press for his latest project, an “avant-garde prose poem” called Son of Strelka, Son of God. Dan uses spoken words from Barack Obama’s autobiography, artfully rearranged, to spin an entirely new creation myth, all accompanied by Warren’s own original soundtrack. Animators Ainsley Seago (also a biologist!) and Adam Bozarth have animated the first few chapters. You can see the animation here and here, and download the full album for your listening pleasure here.

  3 Responses to “Good stuff of the week 7/15/2011”

  1. Thanks, Neil! One minor correction – Ainsley is only doing the first chapter. Chapter two is being done by Adam Bozarth, a friend who is not a scientist for a change.

    • Thanks for keeping me honest, Dan! I definitely noticed the difference in style, but I had just attributed it to a different animation medium. Makes more sense now that I know it’s two different artists!

  2. I watched the two videos of Son of Strelka–found them via Slate even before I read Neil’s blog entry–brilliant and amazingly creative work. What an idea and what an execution. I need to download all of it. Congrats to Dan!

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