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 …
100% of the whole whale
Perhaps the WCDS could pursue a sponsorship deal with a leading manufacturer of large-screen plasma displays. The screens will carry a legend stating that they can display such-and-such a percentage of a blue whale that is floating a certain distance from the camera. It will be the whale percentage/distance ratio. Current screens can only show a tiny portion of a blue whale if it is nearby, or a complete blue whale only if it is far away. The eventual goal will be to produce a screen large enough to display an entire healthy regular-sized adult blue whale, from a distance of one foot, without scrolling, with a little bit of a border to account for the whale's undulations.
I add all these qualifications because I envisage the manufacturers cheating in little ways, e.g. by using the blue whale equivalent of a size zero model, or by photographing the whale only when it is breathing out, or has just gone to the toilet or given birth, etc, and is thus smaller than the average whale. Or by using a similar but smaller race of whale.
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.
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.
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 (email@example.com) ?? 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.