The 97 Effect

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We live in a technological world. Smartphones run in our blood, and social media in our minds. Nowadays you can’t walk around without seeing someone posting a picture on Instagram or Tweeting about their brunch. Because this is what I have grown up with, it seems completely normal to me. But for many adults, this stuff must be equally intriguing, confusing, and infuriating. But love it or hate it, one thing is undeniable…

The internet is taking over.

And without the immense reach and power of social media, literally everything I do relating to the Vaquita would be impossible.

I learned about the Vaquita online, as I’m sure 99% of the people that know about the Vaquita did. I then got into contact with some Vaquita experts through email. Then, in 2011, I started this website, albeit with low expectations. Since then, countless opportunities have come up for me because of this blog, the best example being the Muskwa Club finding me. And social networks are even more effective.

I check Facebook and Twitter every day, and I am increasingly amazed by the impact the Vaquita is causing. Literally millions of people are learning about and being touched by the Vaquita’s story every day, especially recently. It’s almost like every day is a Vaquita Tweetstorm.

Every major news outlet has covered the Vaquita’s predicament, and it really is beginning to get in the pop culture limelight. It’s a shame it took there being only 97 (possibly only 88 now) Vaquitas left for this kind of attention to occur, but better late than never, right? The number 97 seems to really speak to people, which I am coining ‘the 97 Effect.’ And I am confident that all this recent exposure and outcry towards the Mexican government is what pressured them into creating the new ban (see previous post).

Here are just a few examples of the Vaquita’s newfound fame:

Clipping

Above is an example of news sources’ recent interest in the Vaquita. Maybe the number 97 has some magical qualities?

iFunny

Here is a screenshot from the Featured section of the extremely popular app, iFunny, featuring Save the Whales’ photo of a Vaquita model in a net. Notice how many likes and comments it already has (it was quite entertaining reading some of the 7,096 replies)!

QuizUp

I was very excited to see my favorite app, QuizUp, have a trivia question about the one and only Vaquita in the Aquatic Life topic! (I think I know the answer). 😉

WWF Together

This screenshot is from the iPad app WWF Together, which is quite the immersive spectacle. This free app really makes you feel like you are in another world, both visually and sonically. If you have an iPad, this one is a no-brainer.

So thanks to the 97 Effect, the Vaquita is skyrocketing into fame. Using this exposure as a springboard, let’s make 2015 the best year yet for the Vaquita! A great start is donating to VIVA Vaquita (link in the top of the right sidebar, click on the baby Vaquita being carried). Thank you.

© Aidan Bodeo-Lomicky

© Aidan Bodeo-Lomicky

 

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Vaquita model

I’ve had the idea of a Vaquita app for a while now. It would be a spectacular way to get the word out, not to mention the financial benefit for the Vaquita. WWF is a great example of conservation through apps, with Rhino Raid and WWF Together. My app would be something along the lines of you playing as a Vaquita who has to dodge gillnets to get to a goal, such as its family or a school of fish. Between levels, there would be little blurbs of information on the Vaquita, such as why it is endangered and how you can help, as well as a button on the home page to directly donate. The hardest part of creating the app would be the animation of the Vaquita. It could be a cartoon Vaquita, but I would prefer it to be quite realistic. I have been browsing through deviantART a lot in the last few days, and was inspired by all of the realistic animal models, some even moving with muscles and skeletons! I did a little research on 3D software, and discovered the free program Blender. I am starting to figure out how to use its endless features, and I created a basic Vaquita model. My hopes are to learn a lot more about animation and modeling, and eventually try to make the app. Below is my Vaquita which I will be using as the basis for the app’s animations. If you are or know anyone that you think can help with this project, please let me know at gl.tamarin123@gmail.com.

Wireframe Vaquita

Solid Vaquita

Solid Front Vaquita

Vaquita Model

Amazon

*If you would like to buy the book, please purchase it from https://www.createspace.com/4268018 to make your donation as large as possible. It is the same price, but I get more profits (therefore I donate more) via this website than the ones below. They are only used for publicity for people who find it by chance, because a little money is better than no money.

My book is now available on Amazon and Amazon Europe! As I said above, please do not buy it from these sites (Amazon takes a much larger profit than the Create Space site above, so less money will go to the Vaquita via Amazon), unless you want the Kindle version more than a physical copy (the actual book is only $4 more). The Kindle version is $8.95, and you can get it on any device with Kindle (including the iPhone and iPad with the free Kindle app). The Kindle version definitely does not look as good as the paperback, so my advice is to just buy the book from https://www.createspace.com/4268018. Thanks in advance from the Vaquita!