Today sees the launch of a new project. Doesn’t that sound portentous? Or, do I mean pretentious?
Ever since I started this website and started writing my book, ‘Is That Cat Dead?’, at about the same time, I’ve realised that there are different ways to present information to suit the requirements of different audiences. Sometimes, I believe, information is better suited to one medium rather than another. I deliberately did not include illustrations in the book because there are so many images available online showing plants in all stages of growth, flowering and bearing fruit. One small image in a book cannot hope to provide reliable identification help.
But there can also be times when the same information can be re-worked to make it accessible to new people.
Communications today are dominated by video and I have produced a number of videos that can be found around this site or directly on YouTube. Each of those videos was made to tell the story I wanted without any fixed idea of what length would suit, though I did, of course, realise that people would be unlikely to sit through a 90-minute exposition of the folklore associated with Mercurialis perennis, dog’s mercury.
It occurred to me that there might be interest in short videos, each dealing with one plant or one aspect of poisonous plants. Such videos might be enough to satisfy some people’s interest or might lead others onto looking in more detail at the subject of each short movie.
I decided to find an over-riding identity for these videos and considered using the American term ‘101’ meaning an introductory course in a topic. I baulked at that partly because I wasn’t sure about the true derivation of the term but also because I wanted to make the series title also the video length and I felt 1 minute 41 seconds was just a little too short.
Then I realised that videos that you choose to watch aren’t being broadcast. They are narrowcast in the narrowest possible way with one viewer watching being a satisfactory audience. And that is why, today, I have uploaded the first in series of videos called ‘Poisonous Plants 1-to-1’ or ‘121’ since each video runs for 2 minutes and 1 second.
I thought it would make sense to get an important general point out of the way immediately so the first topic is the difference between poisonous and harmful. A lot of writers about plants or poisons or poisonous plants focus on how poisonous something is ignoring the true extent of the harm caused. So this first video is much more in the ‘Don’t Have Nightmares’ category than the ‘We’re all Doomed’.
I hope you will give it 121 seconds of your time and I hope it will lead you to look at some of my longer videos or read more of the site.
More videos will follow every few days and I’ll blog about them here.
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