Saturday, 17 July 2004
No Escape Route By Tree Climbing
CREDIT: © Steve Nelson & Zovtaigi/NationalGeographic.com
WHERE: Siberia. WHAT: endangered Amur (Siberian) tigers & leopards.
MAP: Siberia. Thumbnail pops-up source page.
We are somewhat miffed. Our computing platform of choice is elegant, powerful, and as comfortable as an old slipper. Our hardware and software are both comprehensive and up to date. Every now and again we run into some blinkered, platform centric web resource that without good reason denies us service. Imagine a gasoline company that supplied its fuel to work only in specific models of automobile, from specific manufacturers. This is not like supplying unleaded fuel that only runs in later model cars that are capable of using that formulation, because in this case it is more like the supplier is making fuel that will not work in the very latest cars from Rolls-Royce. Discrimination comes in many forms.
When the digital supplier is a world class organization like National Geographic then things have hit a low. We surfed into the otherwise excellent  WildWorld, then selected the  'Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World' link.
Our reward was to be dumped on a screen that tartly announced "Your Browser is not supported. The Following Browsers are supported: Netscape 4; Netscape 6; Internet Explorer 4; Internet Explorer 5; Internet Explorer 5.5; Internet Explorer 6. Please download one of these free browsers and try again." We noted the strange capitalization, but decided this was probably consistent with the impaired judgement represented by other decisions being made about this resource. We have all of these browsers installed, and it does not work on any of them, at least not on our chosen computing platform. See what we mean by discrimination?
Minorities suffering discrimination do learn to work within or around the barriers erected against them. We told our browser to report itself as one of the listed browsers from The Darkside computing platform, as it has become known among the more discerning. We were not able to operate the mouse dragable map that appeared, but have these people never heard of clickable image maps that work cross platform? Most disappointing of all, no alternative link was made available.
Where does all this ballyhoo lead? To a list of terrestrial profiles that is viewable in all our browsers that were at first denied access. Does it come any more obtuse than this? National Geographic and the World Wildlife Fund in partnership with Ford Motor Company sent WildWorld maps to every school in the United States. Pre UK monetary decimalization this sort of thing used to be called 'spoiling the ship for a ha'p'orth [halfpennyworth] of tar'. It is not a good tactic even in new money.
Venting over, and the sun having sunk below the yardarm, we relaxed with a therapeutic noggin of grog while enjoying the show. Next port of call was the PALEARCTIC section. Ahhhh! At last we arrived at the Ussuri Broadleaf and Mixed Forests page, home of the Siberian tiger. Clicking on More Photos led us to just that, including the tree climbing tiger in today's featured picture.
These animals are an endangered species. An Anglo-Russian charity named AMUR (celebrity patrons: Sir Roderic Lyne , British Ambassador to the Russian Federation; and Ilya Lagutenko, lead singer of pop group Mumiy Troll) is working with some heavyweight commercial sponsors to protect Russian Amur (Siberian) tigers and leopards. Learn more about big cats at the  Cat-Domain.com site.
The cause is also supported by PLUs [People Like Us], such as Michael Sayles & Aimie Wright through their Lakelandscapes.com web site with four     galleries that contain fine art pictures of the English Lake District: for sales during July 2004 Lakelandscapes.com will donate 20% of proceeds directly to AMUR.
Father and son team Michael & Philip Sayles also completed a sponsored hike, without transport assistance, of all fifty six Lakeland fells [hills] over 2,500 feet of altitude, to raise money for the AMUR appeal to protect the big cats.
|. . . . . . . . . . . . |
. . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)