Social Networking With Your Tadpole

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Social Networking With Your Tadpole

I normally don't like to look at pro-environmentalist stuff because I find it boring and the goofiness a bit unsettling.

But I saw a TED Talk entitled "The art of the eco-mindshift" by Natalie Jeremijenko and thought, "Hmmmmm... I think this might shed some light on the good side of what these folks think." You see, I like people who think outside the box, I like quirkiness, and I believe people are basically good.

So I watched it.

After a few minutes, my jaw dropped open.

Sweet Mother of Jesus, this lady is talking about taking a tadpole out for an evening stroll--and she's doing it in front of some of the smartest people on earth!

And they like it!


Don't take my word for it. here is the video:

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There is a transcription of the video here: The art of the eco-mindshift, but I am only going to give the two paragraphs relative to walking the tadpole and social networking with the critter.

Some of the things that the monitoring protocols have developed: this is the tadpole bureaucrat protocol, or keeping tabs, if you will. What they are is an addition of tadpoles that are named after a local bureaucrat whose decisions affect your water quality. So an impatient concern for water quality would raise a tadpole bureaucrat in a sample of water in which they're interested. And we give them a couple of things to do that, to help them do companion animal devices while they're blogging and doing their email. This is a tadpole walker to take your tadpole walking in the evening. And the interesting thing that happens -- because we're using tadpoles, of course, because they have the most exquisite biosenses than we have, several orders of magnitude more sensitive than some of our senses for sensing, responding in a biologically meaningful way, to that whole class of industrial contaminants we call endocrine disruptors or hormone emulators.

But by taking your tadpole out for a walk in the evening -- there's a few action shots -- your neighbors are likely to say, "What are you doing?" And then you have to introduce your tadpole and who it's named after. You have to explain what you're doing and how the developmental events of a tadpole are, of course, very observable and they use the same T3-mediated hormones that we do. And so next time your neighbor sees you they'll say, "How is that tadpole doing?" And you can let them social network with your tadpole, because the Environmental Health Clinic has a social networking site for, not only impatients, humans, but non-humans, social networking for humans and non-humans. And of course, these endocrine disruptors are things that are implicated in the breast cancer epidemic, the obesity epidemic, the two and a half year drop in the average age of onset of puberty in young girls and other related things. The culmination of this is if you've successfully raised your tadpole, observing the behavioral and developmental events, you will then go and introduce your tadpole to its namesake and discuss the evidence that you've seen.

For those too busy to watch the video, here are some screenshots. The times are given, so if you want to jump to the specific parts in the video, just go where it says.

In the first, you have a typical tadpole container. In the second and third, you have a person walking her tadpole on an evening stroll (albeit in a larger container). In the third, she encounters a person who is asking, "What in the hell are you doing?" And that apparently is the main reason for the pollywog promenade. She gets to explain to the curious person the glories of interacting with nature's plants and animals (and probably the evils of capitalism thrown in for good measure).





Well, there it is.

The video actually has a couple of cool ideas, but she ends with texting with fish.


(I just can't be bothered to write that part up. Enough already! :) )

The brains at TED roundly applauded her.

What a world...


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I've known and dealt with some of the smartest people on earth, including my own father. They've all had huge blind spots. I don't have any--I think--so I know I'm not that smart. If anyone thinks I have a serious blind spot or spots, please let me know I'm a genius.


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Now I can make my video ...

Social Networking with my hammer and Little Blue Heron...

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