Monday, February 28, 2005

*UPDATED* RADIO - BBC Radio 4 Nature

On Monday February 14th 2005, Radio 4 aired an episode of "Nature" called Animal Instinct, specifically about how the animals in the Tsunami region acted oddly ahead of the waves striking. The waves did reach Madagascar and Mauritius of course. Full episode synopsis and streamable audio at BBC - Radio 4 - Nature.

To bring shows like this to my car radio in the USA, I use Replay Radio to record the shows to MP3 files, and then I play them on my IRiver MP3 player with my I-Rock FM transmitter.

Record Internet radio. Click here to find out how!

Using this combination I can schedule all sorts of BBC Radio2, Radio4, and BBC7 shows to record to my computer overnight, which I then copy down to my MP3 Player for use the next day. You can record either live feeds or any of the BBC's OnDemand shows. It is working wonderfully for me! Larger capacity MP3 players are available at Amazon of course. So far 256MB has been adequate for my needs, but 512MB or 1GB would have been better I think.

I grew up on Radio 4 comedy so I was enjoying listening to Just A Minute this morning, while riding the train into Philadelphia! Paste the URL of the stream into Replay Radio and off you go! The free demo version works for 7 days, and convinced me that it was a solid product, worthy of purchase!

It will also work nicely when the fourth radio series of "The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy" arrives on BBC Radio 4!

EVENT - Steve Meretzky and Michael Bywater in conversation

London - This Thursday, 3rd March 2005, 8pm, Steve Meretzky and Michael Bywater in conversation... all proceeds go to Save The Rhino and The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

In honour of the BAFTA award nomination for the BBC's new Internet
edition of the classic Infocom computer game, "The Hitchhiker's Guide
To The Galaxy", we present two titans of the text adventure:

(on interactive fiction, Douglas Adams and other lost worlds)

As well as working with Douglas Adams on the "Hitchhiker's" game in
1985, STEVE MERETZKY is responsible for such other classics of the
genre as "Planetfall", "Leather Goddesses of Phobos" and "Zork Zero".
In 1999 he was named one of the industry's 25 "Game Gods" by PC Gamer
magazine. He currently holds the position of Principal Game Designer
for WorldWinner, Inc.

Veteran writer and broadcaster MICHAEL BYWATER has been involved with interactive storytelling since the eighties, both with Douglas Adams
on Infocom's "Bureaucracy" and the legendary British games company
Magnetic Scrolls. He worked with Adams again in the mid-nineties on
The Digital Village's "Starship Titanic". His third book, "Lost Worlds: What Have We Lost & Where Did It Go?" (a collection of his columns for The Independent On Sunday) is out now.

Date: Thursday 3rd March, 8:00pm
Price: 4 pounds on the door - all proceeds go to Save The Rhino and
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

Venue: The Brockway Room, Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Any questions:

Thanks to David for this notice.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


Reminder, the 3rd Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture takes place on March 10th, 2005. The lecture is entitled "LAST CHANCE TO SEE…JUST A BIT MORE", and will be given by book co-author Mark Carwardine.

And as a nice preview, over on H2G2 you can view video of The First Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture, as given by Richard Dawkins.

KAKAPO PARROTS - Virtual Field Trip November 23-25, 2005

For schools in New Zealand, here's an opportunity to take your class on a "virtual" field trip to see the Kakapo Parrots.
LEARNZ is an online education programme for students in New Zealand state, private and integrated schools.

LEARNZ offers 16 virtual field trip experiences each year - students stay at school but visit places they would never otherwise go to and interact with people they would never meet. Students' participation is supported by online background materials and enabled using live audioconferencing, web board and diaries, images and videos uploaded daily.
Full details about how to register your school for the Kakapo field trip at the LEARNZ site:
  Summary for Kakapo Virtual field trip - November 23-25, 2005
Themes: Adaptations, habitat, gadgets.

Highlights: Fly to Codfish Island, home of the kakapo and land on the beach. Discover the kakapo habitat. Go on a night visit to meet a kakapo. Get to know the people on the island and find out about the gadgets they use to help kakapo.

Friday, February 25, 2005

BLOG - Template V2.0

I thought it was about time I gave the blog a bit of an update, and try and move it away from the basic Blogger template that I started with (and which so many other Bloggers still use). Hope you like "Another Chance To See - Version 2.0"!

Looks OK on Internet Explorer and Firefox as far as I can see. Comments always welcome, especially if it's screwed up in your own favourite browser.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

KAKAPO PARROTS - Four Kakapos sitting on eggs

More on this wonderful developing story from New Zealand with these two reports from The Scoop and NZ City.
Please visit The Kakapo Recovery ProgrammePlease visit The Kakapo Recovery ProgrammeThe Department of Conservation (DOC) has established that four female kakapo on Whenua Hou island in Southland have recently laid eggs. Birds named Flossey and Margaret-Marie are each sitting on a nest of three eggs. Another bird, Sue, has laid two eggs, and a fourth bird laid three eggs but these appear to be infertile.

Please visit The Kakapo Recovery ProgrammePlease visit The Kakapo Recovery Programme“The last time kakapo bred was in 2002, so this is hugely significant for the Kakapo Recovery Programme particularly after last year’s tragic loss of three birds to disease,” Chris Carter said.

AUDIO INTERVIEWS with Douglas Adams

Great stuff. Here's a page at Wired For Books with two nice audio interviews with Douglas Adams, the second of which from 1989 has Douglas talking about the plight of the Baiji Dolphin, but also promoting the second Dirk Gently book "The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul". Both interviews run around 25 minutes and can be found here: "Douglas Adams interviews by Don Swaim (CBS Radio)". The Last Chance To See part of the interview begins about 11:40 into the 1989 interview.

Replay Radio should serve me well again here...
In a second Douglas Adams interview, he talks with Don Swaim in 1989 about searching for the Yangtze River dolphin in China, promoting the conservation of wildlife, and his novel, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.

LEMURS - Florida Reserve Aims to Save Endangered Lemurs

This VOA News article talks about The Lemur Conservation Foundation located in Florida, and the work they are doing to help understand and protect the lemurs...
Deep in the west Florida wilderness, one hears the sounds of the jungle. If lemurs seem out of place in Florida, it is because they are. Lemurs are native to Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean.

This isolated patch of Florida forest is home to the Lemur Conservation Foundation, one of the few lemur reserves in the world. The reserve opened three years ago, and there are 30 lemurs here.
The report also includes a video version in dial-up and broadband sizes.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

KAKAPO PARROTS - Five eggs on Codfish Island

Please visit The Kakapo Recovery ProgrammePlease visit The Kakapo Recovery Programme

More good news from The Kakapo Recovery Programme, with this report from New Zealand's Stuff.

Kakapo on Codfish Island have laid five eggs with more thought to be on the way.

Kakapo recovery team leader Paul Jansen yesterday said one bird, named Lisa, had laid three eggs, while another had laid two.

The team had checked nests of the endangered parrot on the island, near Stewart Island, on Sunday and had tried to check fertility on Monday night but Lisa would not get off her nest, Mr Jansen said.

Monday, February 14, 2005

NEWS - Madagascar wilderness in the balance

More on this recent story from BBC NEWS.
Madagascar is fast losing its forest wilderness. But villagers are angered by moves to prevent them cutting down trees in recently created nature reserves.
"Our village has been burning forests to plant rice here for generations. Then suddenly they come and tell us we no longer have the right to do this," said Dimanche Dimasy, chief elder of Mahatsara village, which lies deep inside the eastern Mantadia forest reserve.

"This is our way of life. If we can't cut the forests, we can't feed ourselves.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

DOWNLOAD - CD-ROM Version of Last Chance To See

If you're reading this looking for a download link I'm afraid you're going to be slightly disappointed. But, if you would like to make a $10 donation to one of Douglas' favourite organisations like Save The Rhino or The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, and THEN email me, I'll point you in an appropriate direction where the CD-Rom can be found. Can't say fairer than that...

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

KAKAPO PARROTS - Egg-cellent! Four chicks expected this season!

Please visit The Kakapo Recovery ProgrammePlease visit The Kakapo Recovery Programme

Wonderful news from Codfish Island, with this article from The New Zealand Herald.

A flurry of activity on a remote island means at least four kakapo chicks are expected this season.

At least five matings of the birds were observed by Department of Conservation staff on Codfish Island, off the coast of Stewart Island, last week. The ground-dwelling parrots do not breed every season.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

NORTHERN WHITE RHINO - Evacuation called off!

In this heartbreaking development, we learned today that the evacuation of some of the remaining wild Northern White Rhino (believed to be less than 10) has been called off, ostensibly due to mis-informed government officials. Full story over at
Five rare white rhinos due to be airlifted out of lawless northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo before poachers wipe them out must stay put, the government said on Saturday, infuriating conservationists.

'This country has to show that it is a sovereign nation able to protect its own wildlife as well as its own people and its cultural heritage,' Information Minister Henri Mova Sakanyi said. 'The ministers of tourism and of the environment have decided that the animals must stay.'
One conservationist based in Kinshasa, who asked not to be named said, 'The tourism ministry has done nothing to help the rhinos so I am quite curious as to how people who have had nothing to do with it now think they can turn things around'
'It is ridiculous misinformation and stirring up of public opinion (by the government). It is just a rescue operation, nothing more,' said another Congo wildlife expert.
This is disastrous news, and utterly infuriating!

Friday, February 04, 2005

BUSHMEAT PROJECT - Save the Great Apes

WARNING - the website below contains some disturbing images
Here is the main website for the Bushmeat Project, their goal being to stop the threat of hunters on the Great Apes; Chimps, Gorillas, Bonobos and Orangs.

This is a very important program, and their primary theme has been the attempt to convert "poachers to protectors" . Clearly we must find alternative ways to satisfy the needs of the humans in these areas, otherwise these wonderful creatures could be gone within a generation. Like most, I think it is the closeness of the apes to us that makes me abhor this practice.

The photography on the website comes primarily from the lens of Karl Ammann. His own website can be found at

I want to learn more about this issue, and so high on my reading list is

Buy from from
Eating Apes
Written by Dale Peterson
Photographs by Karl Ammann
UK Edition                US Edition

NEWS - Plight of Great Apes inspired executive to change careers

This Kansas article describes how the plight of the mountain gorilla prompted him to change careers late in life...
The eyes of the mountain gorilla that peered at him with such intelligence and compassion on his first trip to Africa. It nearly broke his heart to learn that these gorillas might soon be extinct.

'Someone should try to save them,' Norm Rosen thought.

Before he knew it, Rosen was one of those someones.

At age 55, when most people are starting to think about retiring, Rosen quit his job, went back to school and threw himself passionately into the race to save the great apes.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

TRAVEL - Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Here'a a nice personal account about Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi's impenetrable forest. The article has some very nice photographs, and also has a link to a video of the gorillas, albeit not the best quality I've ever seen.
We crept toward the baby and the juvenile. They glanced at us and continued to bounce on the branches. As we neared them, a giant reclining figure came into view – the silverback! He was dead asleep, letting out tremendous, irregular snores.

The juvenile and baby continued to play. They were almost obscenely adorable. The little guy swung around the branches, leapt on his older brother, and then scampered away, beating his chest just like they do in the movies.
Interesting footnote to the final picture...

There is only one mountain gorilla for every 10 million people on earth

Makes you think...