An Interview with Myself

Bowing to the demands of my own powerful curiosity, I have agreed to a give an exclusive interview to myself. My publicist disagrees with my decision, but I believe I have a strong connection with myself and I think I can be trusted to report my answers fairly.

tat3.jpgQ: Hello Erica. I’m glad you agreed to this interview. You have been pretty reticent with the press lately. What’s been going on?

A: There have been major changes in my life this year. I haven’t felt it was appropriate or respectful to write about them here.

Things have settled down a bit recently. I’m no longer engaged, and I’m living in rural Ithaca near some friendly horses and sheep.

Q: Wow. Do you want to talk about what happened?

A: No. Thank you.

Q: I hear you are moving to the Bay Area in the next few months?

A: I’ve been looking at the Bay Area and NYC as possible places to relocate. After visiting last week, I decided to move to San Francisco.

San Francisco is one of the geekiest, friendliest places I’ve ever been. The city is beautiful, I’ve got good friends, there are interesting projects, and I’ll be among my fellow dorks.

I’m really looking forward to learning the city, starting a new job, volunteering at 826 Valencia, and being immersed in the calm, weird, sunny West Coast atmosphere. Come visit. Bring chocolate babka.

Q: Where are you going to work?

A: An excellent question. I’ve interviewed at a few places where I would like to work. I will know more by next week. Stay tuned.

Q: Don’t you like Ithaca?

A: I love Ithaca and I adore my job at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which is why I’ve been here for four years.

However, that translates to about 40 years in Internet Time. It’s time for me to start a new project. I might return to Ithaca someday, once I’ve made my fortune. I’d like to live on a big farm with dogs, books, a wood stove, and all my friends.

Q: Ok. That covers the big topics. What else is going on?

A: I’m having the best year of my life. This weekend I swam in a waterfall, watched a turtle lay eggs, drove a sports car really fast, petted dogs, helped a friend find tractor parts, drank local beer, picked flowers, was charged by a deer, and met one of the first US African refugee coordinators who was working in Botswana in 1965.

Q: Well, thanks again for letting me interview you, Erica.

A: I’m welcome. Thank me.

Duck mating dance

anseriformes.gifHee. One of the nifty things about having my library’s Animal Sound and Video collection available online, is I get to stumble across hilarious things in the course of my duties. Like this video of Mallard ducks doing a mating dance.

Watching the ducks, I’m really reminded of this: Mah nah mah nah.

You’re welcome. Hope the speakers were on.

Animal Recordings. Dotcom.

Eat my educational interactives baby! The Cornell University Lab of Ornithology project I designed won second place in Science magazine’s 2006 Visualization Challenge.

Plus, we were on the front page of Der Spiegel last week, so Germans love us!

What does this mean for you? It means you can now go online and visit the world’s largest collection of animal sounds and video. Listen to animal recordings and watch videos for free. Explore the crazy world of animal behavior.

Right now you can use Realplayer to listen to sounds, or you can download our plugin that lets you watch and manipulate spectrograms in real-time. Which has never been done before, incidentally.

So, to summarize, alligators, elk, robins, and whales, all online and free. Good? Go nuts. Version two should be out in a few months.

Library Tourism, Ithaca

The weekend was so good that it took me until Tuesday to write about it. With a full serving of book-shopping, horse-petting and firework-ogling,  I luxuriated my way around Ithaca, reveling in the not-work.

I discovered that libraries can be found in the most surprising places. The bird sanctuary where the beavers live also houses a new audio and video library, complete with some very hip compact shelving and an enormous AV-lab. I saw a huge turtle from the window outside their reading room, so I am now a big fan.