Teaching the F.A.A. That Dogs Don’t Buckle Up [NYTimes.com] – This is (part of) what it takes to do great work: patience and persistence. As much as we slap our foreheads about the corporate cultures we interact with, clearly the regulatory cultures are likely to be even worse.
In one scene, about a minute into the video, a man is shown sitting next to a large bull as he fumbles with his seat belt. A voice-over says, “For the 0.0001 percent of you who have never operated a seat belt before, it works like this.” Few people know that the bull was originally a dog. But when the Federal Aviation Administration reviewed the video, one of the many concerns it had was that passengers would think dogs, which are sometimes on flights, had to wear seat belts — I’m not kidding here — so it made Virgin America change the dog to a bull, as bulls are, thankfully, not allowed on planes. According to people who were involved in the making of the video, there were six months of meetings with the F.A.A. and changes to the video before it was finally approved.
The zoo is working with a program, dubbed “Apps for Apes,” which was started by the conservation group Orangutan Outreach. The goal of the program is to improve the quality of life of primates in zoos by providing them with additional mental stimulation in the form of Apple’s tablet. Apps for Apes collects donated iPads and then provides them to zoos with orangutans. The staff who work with the orangutans had to teach them to touch the screen with their fingers — they were initially using their nails to manipulate the screen, and the tablet does not recognize that. In April, orangutans Puppe and Budi used Skype to interact with Orangutan Outreach director Richard Zimmerman. The next month they used Skype to view other orangutans at the Milwaukee County Zoo, although the video was blurry as the primates moved so much.