Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Week 5: Animals in Human Imagination

"Make it work!" Social documentation & Legislation animal projects

This is a social and scientific documentation project.  Based on your one-on-one interaction with the tribble (toy) I brought in give a NatGeo, Animal Planet, or BBC Planet Earth script for the habitat or the tribble. You have to imagine this is a creature on earth now now in the time of Star Trek. Imagine Morgan Freeman reading your script in a documentary. Please its taxonomy delineating its scientific name and  description. Think of this script coming together in pieces. How would you as taxonomists, anthropologists, conservationists, biologist, activist, hunters, celebrity chef, or urban planners, etc. characterize the tribble?  Taking a different social position may be a good way to create a holistic and realistic picture of this animal. Again, use Star Trek as a reference but this ought to be documentation relevant to our real modern not our fictive future. On Tuesday, you will work as a group, again, to make it cohesive script (in parts). The students in discussion today may have already come up with ideas so those who were absent should be prepared to modify accordingly.

Please post by Saturday, May 9th. 

SECTION A: Anthony, Gina, Dustin, Marshall, Charles, Kyle U, Norberto
SECTION B: Annie, Kyle S, Holly, JJ, Marlo, Deseary, Shalaina, Diana


Wild (Wom)an Rights:
This is a social justice project. You are in a modern time where wild wo(men) exist. Again, reading Seth in the general reader will be vital. We are going to use Dr Jekyll as a real historical figure, not fiction.  So, in 1886 a Dr. Jekyll unleashed this wild-man capacity available in all humans. OR,it could be that this was simply the first time in modern times it was recorded so now, across the sea in America, the prospect of wild (wo)men must be dealt with in terms of rights and social order.   

 You, as a lawyer or Supreme Court Judge will need to ratify or rewrite an amendment. Pick any US Amendment and rewrite it for the “wild (wo)men” as emerging on the scene in the late nineteenth century after the unleashing of Hyde (c. 1886).  I attach a comic book version of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and a short silent film to help you understand the “wild” that is now in our modern world. If you don’t have time to read or view these Jekyll/Hyde material, the Seth paper will be enough to guide you.

Section B already chose to rewrite the 2nd Amendment. I don’t know what Section decided but will let you know soon.  Again, you can hold off until Tuesday to do any writing. I will allow 15 minutes of cell/computer research on Tuesday. You should each think about contributing one amendment article (2-3 sentences) or  2-3 sentence court case summary (an imaginary case) that helps to paint the picture of the amendment working in the world (e.g. Brown vs. Board of Ed and the 14th amendment)

Please post by Saturday, May 9th. 

SECTION A: Michael, Clare, Kaylie, Laura, Jimmy, Sarah Mc
SECTION B: Maya, Carlos, Sal, Abigail, Dylan, Cedar


Savage Beauty: 
This is a visual representation project. Inspired by Project Runway, create a new look(s) for the late Alexander McQueen collection. Yup, you have to draw. In addition, create a short 2-3 sentence artist statement about that piece. You may include a short quote from anything read so far. Each person in this group is responsible for one look that, as McQueen narrates, repurposes animal remains and naturally cast-off animal material or recreates it.  Each person should write their own artist’s blurb.  I will bring in the Savage Beauty art book but you may find some images and statements online.  This is not so far off from your thesis/arguments. On Tuesday, you will work as a group, again, to make it a cohesive collection. I will bring in color pencils and paper. The students in discussion today may have already come up with a theme (e.g.: banana slug or bay life) so those who were absent should be prepared to modify accordingly.

Please post by Saturday, May 9th. 

SECTION A: Amit, Alyssa, Veronika, Jazel, Henry, Yajaira, Martina

SECTION B: Anna, Nadya, Rachel, Jill, Ryan,  Elijah, Sarah B

Please post "comment" In this thread. Thanks!


  1. Morgan Freeman (Narrator): Behold, Capillus Robusto, the world’s first lab-created animal. Most know them as Tribbles, and everyone has an opinion about them. To some, they are a loving friend. To some, a menace. And for some, they will be dinner… Join us, as we explore the enigma of the 21st Century:


    Freeman: Tribbles first came into existence in the year 2015.

    Dr. Tanya Jenkins (Taxonomist): Capillus Robusto was created by a stem cell researcher named Dr. Lars Wilhelm--

    Dr. Timothy Schaeffer (Wilhelm’s Research Partner): Wilhelm was, uh, never exactly stable. Let’s just say, the Tribble was not an “approved” project.

    Jenkins: Using the stem cells and DNA from hamsters, guinea pigs, squirrels, and more--no one knows exactly how many different species he used--he synthesized these animals to be asexual and rapid reproducers. Again, no one knows why.
    Schaeffer: The last thing Wilhelm said to me before I never saw him again was, “What have I done? I’ve gone too far.” The next day the Tribbles escaped the lab and he fled the country.

    Freeman: Much mystery still lies behind the Tribble, but there’s one thing we know for certain: the Tribble, though inorganic, is quite similar to many animals.

    Dr. Brenda Wong (Biologist): Tribbles are a lot like guinea pigs; they have a two-chamber heart, stomach, a single lung, intestines, and a brain. They are also hermaphrodites with both a uterus and gonads. The most unusual aspect about them, however, is their cloaca, which is used for both ingestion and excretion of food and water.

    Freeman: As Tribbles were first discovered, it seemed they were friendly, benevolent, furry friends that meant no harm. But as they began to multiply day after day, it was clear that Tribbles posed a problem for the world.

    Bill Henderson (Farmer): Think it was the October of 2015 when I first realized my crops disappearin’. Nearly every piece of corn in that field was eaten within a week. Them Tribbles ruined me.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Freeman: Newspapers and Television called it the “Fur Plague.” The Tribbles kept multiplying and multiplying and getting hungrier and hungrier. It became too much for America. Tribbles quickly became the enemy.

    Tom Lund (Hunter): I began hunting Tribbles for fun at first. They’re easy to shoot so naturally I’d kill them any chance I got. Then once people started hiring people to kill them, I hopped on that train real quick. And later when I found out they taste alright with some barbeque sauce, well, that was just a bonus.

    Guy Fieri (Celebrity Food-Eater): The minute I laid my eyes on a Tribble, I thought, I’m gonna eat that. So, I hired some professional chefs to cook one up for me, and ever since then, Tribble has been my favorite meat. Guy Fieri gives Tribble two thumbs up!

    Freeman: Tribble populations began to dwindle from the widespread hunting and consumption. Soon the species was considered threatened, and then endangered by 2018. They were created by humans, and it seemed they would be destroyed by humans. That is, until conservationist groups began to pop up throughout the country.

    Carla Rodriguez (Tribble Activist): Tribbles are living, breathing creatures just like any other animal. Just because they were created in a lab doesn’t mean they don’t deserve fair treatment. They make great pets too; most people didn’t realize that at the beginning, but they do.

    Freeman: As these groups became more powerful in spreading their message, treatment of Tribbles improved greatly. Populations began to stabilize as the practice of hunting and eating Tribble became inhumane and taboo (except for Guy Fieri, who refuses to stop eating them). Instead, veterinarians began removing their sexual organs through painless surgeries, and many homes adopted them as pets.

    Jennifer Smith (Tribble owner): My Tribble, Gerald, is my baby. I take it with me everywhere, I sleep with it--I always have it in my arms when I’m around the house. We go on walks at least once a day and I only feed it farmer’s market vegetables. I used to be a dog person, but my Tribble stole my heart.

    Freeman: Whether you love them or hate them, the Tribbles are here to stay. They have quite a mysteriously baffling history within their short existence on Earth and have become a huge part of our American society. They will continue to perplex us for years to come. Thank you for joining us on this journey through the history of the Tribbles. I’m Morgan Freeman, good night.

    1. This script s hilarious and if we had an extra week and a camera, it would have to be filmed. Great job!

      'I used to be a dog person". Classic! And Guy Fieri is perfect for his conversation on their edibility.

    2. This is Anne Susco and I also was a part of this group

    3. Members of this group post: Deseary, Shalaina, Diana, Annie, Kyle S, Holly, JJ, Marlo

  4. Wild Wo(man) Rights
    Several landmark court decisions impacting the 2nd amendment rights of wild people and citizens were implemented. They all represent various ways of approaching this issue and the discovery of this new group of people.
    Case 1:
    No living being, be it animal human, or hybrid, shall be allowed to legally carry any form of human made weapon. This includes, but is not limited to knives, spears, or firearms. The change in law banning weapons derives from the intent to create equal opportunities of protection and predation for all members of society. No one shall have any additional advantage other than their individual strength and cunning to survive upon, as nature intended. This amendment to the constitution, which effectively nullifies the original second amendment, draws precedent from the majority ruling in the supreme court case Wolf Children V. Ohio. In Wolf Children V. Ohio the court ruled in favor of a group of hybrid half-wolf, half human beings who were facing dangerous levels of predation from local unregulated human rifle hunting. Under the ruling, Chief Justice Roberts declared that the hunters could not lawfully hunt down the humanimals with rifles because it qualified as discrimination under the 13th amendment. Furthermore the court extended this opinion to declare the use of firearms and weapons could not be used against any living creature without being classified as discrimination.

    Case 2:
    In the Supreme Court case Wild Man v. California, a wild man was found eating out of a trash can behind a local business. Armed men then surrounded him, prompting the wild man to feel threatened and fight back. Regardless, the armed men had an advantage over him, and the wild man was shot. This prompted the question of whether or not this can be deemed as discriminatory, as wild men and women are not legally allowed to bear arms. Ultimately, it was unanimously decided that yes, this was discriminatory against wild men and women.
    This case prompted the rewriting of the 2nd Amendment (now deemed "the right to bear arms only"). In the edited version, nobody in the United States is allowed to bear arms, which allows equal defense opportunities for all in the event of physical conflict.

    Case 3:
    "Right to Bare Arms Only" A citizen's killing of a wild man prompts a ban on the holding and obtaining of all manufactured weapons. No man wild or otherwise should be discriminated against or subject to danger by the hands of other people. We should block all people from being able to commit dangerous acts against those who still lack equal rights. All manufactured weapons shall be banned from use.

    1. Whoa. This is fabulously thought through and written. It offers an alter-"her"story. Is this for the group or just for you?

    2. My group members and I collaborated through e-mail. Michael, Clare, Kaylie, Laura, and Jimmy helped with the ideas and writing.