Six Good Reasons to Stop Displaying Taxidermy Animals

I recently visited a major natural history museum in a U.S. city and again wondered at the tradition of displaying dead animals as so-called “live mounts.” I say “so-called” because the animals do not look alive. They just look dead, and are often displayed in unnatural poses or scenes. I will not judge the wisdomContinue reading “Six Good Reasons to Stop Displaying Taxidermy Animals”

Encouraging a Community of Arts

Today we stopped by the Donkey Mill Art Center just south of Holualoa, Hawaii, and enjoyed a small but fascinating exhibit based on area artists taking the challenge of creating a unique work of art from one eight foot two by four, the most basic unit in wood home construction. The variety of results achievedContinue reading “Encouraging a Community of Arts”

Though Boys Throw Stones at Frogs in Sport

A very long time ago Bion of Borysthenes, (325-250 B.C.) wrote,   Though boys throw stones at frogs in sport, yet the frogs do not die in sport but in earnest.   This Greek slave, later a freedman turned philosopher, shared several ideas that get interpreted lots of ways and still resonate today. The boysContinue reading “Though Boys Throw Stones at Frogs in Sport”

Mass Media Ethics in Films and Videos

http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Confessions-of-a-Wildlife-Filmm Early in my career I delivered snake programs with live snakes for people to touch or see at a state park. Each year my live snake show at the Illinois State Fair would draw four or five daily audiences of hundreds. I was trying to provide an alternate narrative to the misinformation about snakesContinue reading “Mass Media Ethics in Films and Videos”

The Uncertain Future of Elephants

Earth’s largest land animals, elephants, have never been more threatened. Dozens, if not hundreds, of organizations and individuals are working on various tactics in hopes of turning the current very negative trend.   Since 1977 the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has been devoted to protecting elephants. Their Orphans Project is noted for rescuing, raising andContinue reading “The Uncertain Future of Elephants”

Great Things Happen to Good People

  You often hear “bad things happen to good people.” It’s sometimes true and unfortunate, but sometimes great things happen to good people. Ange Imanishimwe was selected to participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowships (MWF) this summer. We first met Ange when training Certified Interpretive Guides in Rwanda. Ange organized Biocoop Rwanda to defeat povertyContinue reading “Great Things Happen to Good People”

The Power of Real People

Using photos of real people on signs and exhibits is an especially powerful method of telling the stories of communities. Here are some examples we have seen around the world that were interesting choices connecting visitors to real people in the region. The Warm Springs, Wasco and Paiute people of Oregon share their stories in the Warm SpringsContinue reading “The Power of Real People”

Your Message Could Be Many Places

Signs, exhibits, videos and TVs are the most common media selected for interpretive messages at natural and cultural heritage sites and in communities. There are some variations on these approaches that will convey a message powerfully and creatively. Here are a few to think about:     Visiting natural and cultural heritage sites and communities will become moreContinue reading “Your Message Could Be Many Places”

Shark Bait – Revealing the Real Story

Recent shark attacks in Hawaii are the current subject of conversation when we call family members on the mainland. In the past few months, a shark attack on Maui and a surfer bitten by a tiger shark in the Big Island’s northern waters were reported nationally as major stories. The focus of media attention makesContinue reading “Shark Bait – Revealing the Real Story”

We’re Nuts about Hamakua Nut Factory’s Tour

We have driven by the sign pointing up the hill in Kawaihae, Hawaii, many times. Hamakua Nut Factory Tour is just one block off of the main highway from Kailua-Kona to Hawi on the Big Island of Hawaii. Having a guest with us, we were looking for a macadamia nut factory tour and the timeContinue reading “We’re Nuts about Hamakua Nut Factory’s Tour”