Tuesday, October 19, 2010

WildCare Selects Mozaic Photo

We first became aware of the WildCare organization in San Rafael, California when they contacted us about a photo they had seen in our blog. It was a photo of least terns that we shot for a post about Newport Beach's Back Bay, and they wanted to use it for their monthly newsletter. We were more than happy to oblige.

The newsletter focuses on estuaries, the areas where salt water meets fresh water and which are prime habitat for fish and birds.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Clean Water in the Gulf

Today is Blog Action Day, where blogs across the internet have pledged to focus on a single topic. This year's topic is clean water.

We urge you to consider clean water not only as a basic human necessity, but as a wildlife necessity as well. The pollution and destruction of our lakes, rivers and oceans affects all living things in an ever-moving cycle of cause and effect.

The America's Wetland Conservation Corps is dedicated to cleaning, rebuilding and preserving crucial wetlands in coastal Louisiana. In September they co-authored a set of recommendations to Congress on "sustaining economic and ecological assets of the Gulf region in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill." Among those recommendations was a federal Trust Fund for Gulf Coast Restoration, funded by money from BP.

For more information about the America's Wetland Foundation, or their partners, see their website.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ducks and Canucks

We went to the home opener of the Anaheim Ducks last night, although really, we're dyed-in-the-wool Los Angeles Kings fans. But the Ducks are a hometown team like the Angels or the San Diego Chargers, so we cheered them to a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Seeing the Canucks' new-ish logo live and in-person made us think of the evolution both clubs' logos have gone through over their respective histories.

NHL teams have a tendency to juggle retro or alternate logos and jerseys so often that sometimes it's hard to say what is a current logo and what is historic. It may cause confusion, but it's an easy way to sell more merchandise.

Against the Kings last week, for their first game of the team's 40th anniversary season, Vancouver players wore jerseys with their original, unimaginative hockey-stick-lying-on-the-ice logo, one of the worst pro sports logos ever created. Last night they wore their modern breaching-whale-out-of-a-C logo. The whale has a stylistic totem-pole look, and jerseys have the team's original bright blue and green colors, appropriate for the Pacific Northwest (and not unlike the Seattle Seahawks').

From left to right, the Canucks' new logo; the middle years logo; the original, 1970 logo
The whale logo is a major improvement over the hockey stick, as well as over the tepid, shooshing "Canucks" ice skate logo from a couple of years back. That's when Vancouver dumped its calm blue and green for the more aggressive black, red and yellow color scheme. But the logo only progressed from a stick to a skate, a symbol generic enough to fit any ice-skating rink in North America. If Vancouver stays with the blue-green and whale logo, it will finally have a cohesive look and feel worthy of a big-league franchise.

The Ducks, meanwhile, have only been around for 17 seasons, but they have switched logos and colors as well. The marketing brainchild of Disney, they joined the NHL at the height of Gretzky mania in Southern California, and were given the movie tie-in name Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. It was easy to hate them just for that, complete with childish logo and teal-and maroon colors. When Disney sold the team, the new owners tried to polish their image with a logo makeover and a more sophisticated gold, black and orange color scheme. They also dropped the word "mighty" from the nickname. The new logo is a  "D" stylized in the shape of a webbed foot. Better than the original, but not great.

The Ducks' current logo, left; the ugly Disney original

So the game got us to thinking about sports logos. Who has the best? Who has the worst? We'll have to think about that.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spring Vacation: Baja Eco-Tour

Photo © 2010 by Mozaic Studio

WildCare, the friends of wildlife rehabilitation group located in San Rafael, California, is offering a Baja Adventure ecotour next March.

Leaving from San Diego, the tour will do some whale watching in Baja and the Sea of Cortez, and stop at islands in the Baja Peninsula for birdwatching, hiking and snorkeling.

The tour is limited to 26 people, registration first-come, first-served. Dates are March 11–22, 2011; cost is $3,575 for non-WildCare members, airfare not included.

Contact them at 800-326-7491 or at 415-441-1106.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Adobe's Digital Media Museum

One of the more public feuds between companies has been Apple's dismissal of Adobe's Flash software. Flash powers a lot of animated web content, but can use a lot of a computer's resources to display it. Ever had a slow web page, or a page that never fully loads, or crashed a browser? Blame Flash. And bulky software is incompatible with the increasing demands for mobile computing.

Apple has been working on its own Flash-style software, which would have a good chance of becoming the web standard. In an attempt to tarnish Flash's reputation, and likewise drive its demand, Apple has barred Flash from the iPad and for a time had also barred apps using Flash for the iPhone.

Perhaps it's cynical of us to suspect that Adobe's new digital museum/website is really just a subtle (or not-so-subtle) marketing tool to promote Flash. We say this because when we checked into the website's launch yesterday, it took an unacceptably long time to launch. Today it's not loading at all. Blame Flash.

What we did see yesterday was very brief, taking a shorter time to play than it took to load. It was animated art that was impressive, but hardly enough to hang a "museum" on. The rest of the site is limited, and heavy on the futuristic/cyber/geek vibe.

Still, it has potential, and might be worth checking into again in a few weeks. If we remember to.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Adobe Launches Museum of Digital Media

Adobe is set to open a new "digital museum" that will explore and highlight "groundbreaking digital work," including photography. The museum/website launches on October 6th.

Guest curators will help choose the content, which will exhibit digital work as well as discuss the innovation and execution behind it.

Free membership is available by visiting the website, which Adobe promises will deliver advance exhibit viewings, seminar access and exclusive content. We'll check back on the museum when it opens on Wednesday.