These pages are an effort to record the things that people have been urging me to publish. Some are adaptations of my natural history programs that I deliver in the field to assorted clients, others are opinions that I might express around campfires or on long hikes and boat journeys.
Jump on to YouTube. Hell, get an account and upload a little video of your own.
You can use anything to shoot it, from your webcam or digital camera to a pro videocamera. Your piece could consist of a single photo or slideshow and sound track, to an animation built from a string of stills or a Full HD masterpiece of cinematic expertise. It could be a six second snip of your dog catching a stick to a highly polished documentary or drama. There are almost no restrictions on content. It can be funny, sad, thoughtful, stupid, weird, political, opinionated. It can be sexy but it can't contain nudity or graphic sex. Absolutely anyone can do it.
There is an incredible amount of stuff there. Lots of very good stuff as well as lots of what could generously be described as utter crap. That's to be expected when anyone can do it.
Another thing that anyone can do on You Tube is to post comments on any video they watch. Not only that but you can post comments on comments.
I'll try not to get too carried away but you can even post comments on comments on comments...etcetera. All at the click of a mouse.
In fact many videos have generated long trails of commentary consisting of numerous conversations between commentators. Not all of them are friendly conversations. Some videos have generated vigorous debate between perfect strangers who have logged on and reacted to what they have seen in vastly different ways.
Here is where it gets very interesting, and soberingly instructive as to the nature of humanity.
Among the many contributors to the You Tube archive are military personnel on duty in the Middle East. Some appear to be videos that soldiers with handy cams and video phones have uploaded. Others are of a more official nature and consist of tactical footage and are preceded by a frame of text in English or Arabic describing the military unit releasing the images and often with a short background explaining the action. Both sides are posting clips for all to see.
These military contributions depict soldiers engaging their 'enemy' on the ground and from the air. From hidden positions sniping targets or calling in air-strikes, to full frontal, guns blazing attacks filmed in helmet cam or from the infra-red targeting cameras of aircraft and missiles delivering their deadly payloads.
They are breathtakingly graphic. You will see people running for their lives ,and you know that you are among the last to see that man, woman or child alive before, in a camera jolting thump, they are converted into a warm stain on the landscape.
Now go to the comments section.
What you will discover is the most incredible series of sickeningly aggressive and almost universally illiterate rants in support of the actions depicted in the videos. These rants are from what we are to believe are normal members of the public responding to the clips they watch. The vast majority of the comments loudly cheer the staggering, mind-numbing overkill that is the War in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is surreal in the extreme.
On the rare occasion in which the actions are questioned, the person who posts the comment is viciously lambasted by a succession of apparently highly agitated and obviously under-educated 'patriots'.
I would be tempted to guess that a good number of these replies are from PsyOps personnel except it seems that most of them are written by folk who seem more than just a little bit retarded.
The calibre of the pro war commentary is very interesting. I'll cut and paste a few...
“kick some ass marines. All you hippies need to check out my comment on iraq war footage- america returning fire il explain some shit to you you probobly wont understand due to all the thc particles in your brain wall but I know first hand. So keep kikin ass marines n fuck dees hippies”.
“im glad they died they hate all americans,they wanna live in the stone age and they fucked with the wrong country iu think we should pull all of our troops out and nuke em all we'd be doing them a favor”.
“Your a dumbass, how is the u.S. babylon?! If were so bloody evil then why are we the freest nation in the world?! People are allowed to say virtually everything here except "kill the president" your ignorance is stupifying, its scum like you that makes me even happier when I see a video like this”.
The last two comments were associated with two different streams of dialogue inspired by a video of a mosques congregation being eliminated by small areal bombs as they exited the mosque. Did you know that in infra-red from a few thousand feet in the air, you can't hide? I learned that on You Tube. Definitely don't try hiding in cars...
You can freely view the final moments of hundreds of human beings with the click of a mouse on You Tube. No sign in. No age limit. It is nothing short of free snuff media.
I needed a break from the slaughter. I clicked on a thumbnail for a music video clip. It had a hot girl in a swimsuit in it.
I was instantly redirected to a page which informed me that the content of the clip might be inappropriate for some viewers.
I had to sign in at this point.
Then, when I had signed in I was redirected to another page where I was asked to reassure the site that I was over eighteen. I clicked the button in numb amazement and got the clip.
It was five still images of a girl in a modest, one piece swim suit, alternating on the screen in a simple slide show to music. I thought, 'anyone could do that'.
structure of a tropical rainforest is what many people would consider a
bit upside down. While the deep-rooted trees of temperate forests are
free-standing, and often ancient, behemoths, tropical rainforest trees
are not as massive or old. They have roots only at the surface and they
are supported mainly by their crowns.
A healthy tropical rainforest possesses a highly ordered and organised architecture.
Enough trees have reached a sufficient height to form a “canopy” of interlocking tree crowns bound together by vines.
The canopy forms a skin over the rainforest ecosystem and it regulates many of the conditions within the forest.
canopy provides almost complete shade to the forest floor. In the
absence of light, plants don’t do much growing and this subdues the
plants below the canopy. Thus, the understory is dominated by a
relatively open forest floor, studded with an even spread of younger
plants and trees of all ages which are not so…
Daintree Coast in Far North Queensland is a very popular tourist
destination which is marketed to the world by virtue of its diverse
natural landscape. The
world famous Great Barrier Reef lies just off shore. Ranked amongst the
most biodiverse regions on the planet, The Reef is World Heritage
listed and the economic backbone of numerous communities, it is also
threatened with imminent destruction on multiple fronts. Adjacent the
Reef and also Heritage listed, the Daintree Rainforest is widely
considered to be the most ancient rainforest on Earth. Also ranked
amongst the most biodiverse ecosystems known,
the Daintree Rainforest is the last fragment of the ancient Gondwanan
rainforests from which Earths great modern rainforests have evolved.
Between the rainforest and the reef, growing along the rivers and
estuaries in the region, resides the most diverse mangrove on the
planet, with more than two thirds of the total diversity of mangrove
Go and find a
piece of plate coral close to the surface and spend a minute looking
closely between the coral fingers and amongst the polyps.
Upon the surface
and within the mucous layer, in the flesh and in the matrix of the
coral skeleton, reside a fantastic collection of highly adapted,
mutually independent symbiotic partners. These symbionts include
representatives of all the major groupings of the tree of life. There
are bacterial, archean, protozoan, fungal, algal and animal
communities occurring throughout all levels of the coral colony.
diverse populations themselves are intricately integrated with each
other and the animal hosts into stable structures which we call coral
assortment of animals inhabits the complex microhabitat of the coral
plate. These residents are often sculpted and coloured in ways that
provide almost complete camouflage against the background of their
particular host coral.
have complicated relationshi…