October 27, 2006

10/27 - Slime Eels:  NOAA's hagfish concerns come to life

Back on 8/2 we noted that NOAA was worried that the disgustingly slimy hagfish might actually run the risk of being over-fished.  We thought they might almost be joking, but now here's an article about Canadian fishermen hoping to offset the declining snow crab fishery with the slippery jawless ones.

Posted by Randy Olson at 12:29 AM

October 20, 2006

10/20 - Ocean Enemy #1: Pombo the Pirate

Arrrrr, maties, our favorite ocean political activists, Ocean Champions, have got California congressman Richard Pombo in their cross haaaaaairs. Great poster.


It's RichAAAARRRd Pombo

Posted by Randy Olson at 01:21 AM

October 19, 2006

10/19 - Why We Find PSAs So Interesting

Does advertising still work?  That was the title of an article by Ken Auletta in the New Yorker last year.  His conclusion:  hard to measure, but pretty much "yes."  His key piece of evidence was the insurance company that realized their name sounded like a duck, then made a series of duck commercials with Gilbert Gottfried as the voice that shouts, "Aflaaaaac," and without changing anything in their business practices, doubled their business in four years.  And now an article in USA Today reaffirms this notion with an article that quotes an expert as saying, "TV is still the weapon of choice for politicians."  

Which begs the question we've been asking for four years -- why doesn't the conservation world make better use of television?


Would you vote for this duck?

Posted by Randy Olson at 02:17 AM

October 18, 2006

10/17 - More Failed Ocean Communication:  Fish decisions don't consider environment

Here's an article today in USA Today about the two variables in deciding whether to eat fish -- the good side (health benefits) and the bad side (toxins like mercury).  Not present in the discussion:  the other bad side (raping the oceans through over-fishing).  Isn't this the object of all the seafood guides?  What's happening?  Why isn't that criteria entering the picture?  Why are some people foregoing their favorite fish (swordfish or Chilean seabass) when their efforts are not part of the mainstream discussion?  Is anyone asking these questions? 


Does it matter what you don't eat?

Posted by Randy Olson at 12:11 PM

October 16, 2006

10/16 -  And just as Frickin' Funny is SB Veteran Actor Mitch Silpa as David Blaine

Mitch Silpa was the wonderfully bitchy bald headed waiter in our No Seafood Grille short film a couple of years ago.  I didn't even recognize him playing street magician David Blaine in this incredibly funny video currently featured on Youtube. The Groundlings are pure genius.

David Blaine Mitch.jpg
Oh my God, David Blaine, cut it out

Posted by Randy Olson at 05:08 AM

October 14, 2006

10/15 - A Frickin' Funny Film from SB Veteran Jeremy Rowley

Jeremy Rowley, improv comedy actor from The Groundlings who co-produced our Groundlings films, PSAs and taught a workshop on communicating science with Randy Olson this summer at Scripps stars as a "dream" date in this frickin' funny short film currently on Youtube.

Jeremy Rowley Youtube.jpg
He got dinosaur brains

Posted by Randy Olson at 07:02 PM

October 13, 2006

10/13 - The Blame Game:  NZ oyster fishery crash leads to finger pointing

There's always debate about whether fishermen can and should regulate themselves, but in the New Zealand oyster fishery a lot of people think they could have.  But the government didn't let them.


Shucks, where'd the oysters go?

Posted by Randy Olson at 01:37 AM

October 10, 2006

10/10 - Lifeless in Seattle:  The impending dead zones crisis hits Pacific NW

When we gave our silly Rotten Jellyfish Award to the dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico three years ago it seemed like a relatively minor ocean problem.  But yesterday the the Seattle Post Intelligencer spoke in dire terms about the emergence of dead zones in Puget Sound.  It's for real.  Just look at this line from the article:

Lang's story and similar anecdotes match the findings of scientists who study the Sound. Their conclusion: Marine life is disappearing, and fast.

There's no deying, the oceans are dying

Posted by Randy Olson at 01:51 AM

October 02, 2006

10/2 - How to Communicate Today in the U.S.:  Read the Drudge Report

If the conclusion of the "Turning the Tide" report is correct (that ocean conservationists are much better and more comfortable with policy than politics), and you want to change things, then one part of the solution is to start reading the Drudge Report.  As I do, all the time.  Yes, it is full of the worst crap in our society, but that's the whole problem with ocean conservationists.  They tend to avoid conflict, turn their heads away from all that is unpleasant, and believe that if we just love the oceans hard enough they will heal themselves.

Anyhow, if you have any doubts about the importance of The Drudge Report in American politics today, here's an article today from ABC News telling you that you shouldn't.  It's real.  Drudge is a driving force in our society.  For better (doubtful) or worse (or much worse).

Drudge logo.jpg
All the news that's not fit to print

Posted by Randy Olson at 11:44 AM