Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Heidi the Cross-Eyed Possum

"Crossed-eyed opossum becomes German media star"
BBC News (January 11, 2011)

"A cross-eyed opossum called Heidi, who is being housed in Leipzig Zoo, has become a media sensation in Germany.

"The creature, who is not yet on display, has already inspired a YouTube hit song and a toy, and attracted more than 65,000 fans on Facebook.

"She was abandoned in the US with her sister and moved to Germany in May...."

Whether or not Heidi has the sort of ability - or luck - that Paul the Octopus had, predicting the 2010 World Cup results, remains to be seen.

Heidi has a sister, Naira, and those two showed up at an animal shelter in North Carolina.

How did they get to the Leipzig Zoo? Good question. The BBC is mum on the topic.

Will the public get to see them live and in person? Apparently, yes: in July of this year.
What's with that photo?

Since the Lemming - and just about everybody else online - has access this video's embed code, why just a cropped bit of one frame?

First, Heidi the cross-eyed possum is, in the Lemming's opinion, cute as a button: and maybe you'll think so, too.

Second, the Lemming decided to make do with a photo because of the BBC's terms and conditions. Among other things, the BBC "can remove the content without notice," and if you aren't in the UK you may see an error message.

Considering how many folks don't live in the United Kingdom, and how quickly online content can disappear, the Lemming figured that it would be a good idea to include a cropped clip from the video. That way you'll still have something to see, after the video goes away.

Another point: the BBC makes it clear that embedding a video from them doesn't imply that they endorse some website. Actually, the Lemming would be mildly astonished to learn that the BBC even knows about Apathetic Lemming of the North.

Most important, though is the following, from 2.3 of "British Broadcasting Corporation ("BBC") Embedded Application Standard Licence Terms." ("BBC Embedding Terms of Use")

"You will not permit advertising to be displayed on the same screen as the BBC Application where there is a connection between the advertising and the BBC Content...."

Apathetic Lemming of the North contains contextual advertising: which isn't as scary as it may sound. "Contextual advertising" is a five-dollar phrase where, as Wikipedia's article puts it, "...advertisements ... are selected and served by automated systems based on the content displayed to the user...."

In other words, if someone is advertising fishing lures, the ad may show up on a post about fishing lures: not a highfalutin dissertation on haute couture. Or, in this case, a possum.

That's not much of a connection, but the Lemming thinks it's the sort of daft thing a corporation lawyer might make a fuss over: so if you want to see the video, you'll have to follow the link.

And hope that the BBC still has it online.

Ending on a more positive note, the Lemming found that from a technical point of view the embedding code worked just fine, when tested with a computer here in central Minnesota.

Heidi the possum, as the Lemming opined before, looked cute - even on the third viewing.



Brigid said...

There's something off about this sentence: "Paul the Octopus had, predicting the 2010 World Cup results remains to be seen."

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...


What a difference a comma makes!


Anonymous said...

І fee this օne. This listung is soo insulting.

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