Studio 360 : "Hominid" reenacts violence of chimpanzee colony


Homo-Thespian: A new play, "Hominid," reenacts a violent incident that took place in a chimpanzee colony. Primate expert Frans de Waal and the play's actors describe what it took to stage a chimpanzee drama with a very human story.

Substituting for murderous, hairy apes is a chorus of bright and shiny affluent cultural elites in sparkling tennis whites.

The story, however, ends the same, with suicide, murder and the overthrown of a beloved leader!

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Chimps in Retirement

The Wauchula Woods Accord Toward a New Understanding of Animals
By Charles Siebert
Scribner, June 2009

From Michael Jackson's Bubbles to Tarzan's Cheetah, the simian stars of the Career Builder ads and laboratory test animals, these working apes are finally living in peaceful retirement.

In an interview on NPR'sFresh Air,journalist Charles Siebert describes his new book,The Wauchula Woods Accord: Toward A New Understanding of Animals.

He details his encounters with Roger a retired former circus chimp, who lived at the Center for Great Apes in Florida and preferred the company of humans to chimps.

As a science writer, Seibert covers the influence of person and animal interaction—both creatures are forever changed.

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Podcast for Christopher Fuller @ VizThink

Using Design Visuals To Communicate Ideas: A Podcast from Vizthink '08 by Jeff Parks

In late January I had the pleasure of attending the VizThink conference in San Francisco. As an Information Architect I wanted to learn how to use different ideas around design to assist me with “big IA” and “little IA” projects. The folks kind enough to join me in this conversation include:

Monkey Management for Project Teams

Goal of Time Management:
Get control over the timing and content of what you do.

Wait... what's that on your back? Could that be a Monkey? In the course of our working days all of us acquire duties, chores and tasks.

Some of them are important and they need to be addressed so that we can finish our deliverables. Others must be considered as "Monkeys" - tasks that we got stuck with and now don't seem to be able to get rid of even though we might not be the right person to take care of them. And we all wonder - how did I get stuck with this?

Mike Graupner, PMP ( describes to us today the techniques he uses to address the Monkeys in his life. We talk about Monkey Management in general and we also look at how this translates into managing the Monkeys on your projects.

In addition to the law of monkey management, the authors list six rules of managing monkeys that are instructive to managers. These include:

1. Monkeys should be fed or shot. No one likes the consequences of a starving monkey. They tend to be very disagreeable and squeal and raise a ruckus. Monkeys must be fed periodically; in this analogy, the problem must be dealt with between the manager and the employee with the problem on a regular basis. If the monkey can be shot (the problem solved quickly), then feeding times are not necessary.

2. Every monkey should have an assigned next feeding time and a degree of initiative. After a feeding session, the manager should select an appropriate time for the next feeding and should have a number of action steps for the employee to take. "Can we meet next Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. to see how things are going and what we should do next?"

3. The monkey population should be kept below the maximum number that the manager has time to feed. The authors suggest that it should take 15 minutes to feed a monkey, and that managers should keep the list of problems that are in various stages of solution at a manageable number.

4. Monkeys should fed by appointment only. Allowing employees to bring problems to you on their timetable increases the chances that the monkey will move from the employee to the manager. By setting specific times for addressing the problem, managers empower employees to make interim decisions about the problem, and still report back.

5. Monkey feeding appointments may be rescheduled but never indefinitely postponed. Either party, the manager or the subordinate, may reschedule a feeding appointment for any reason, but it must be scheduled to a specific time to avoid losing track of the monkey.

6. Monkeys shall be fed face to face or by telephone, but not in writing. Holding feeding sessions via e-mail or memo transfers the monkey to the manager. An employee can pass the monkey to the manager by simply requesting a response. Feedings that take place in person or on the phone require the monkey to remain with the employee unless the supervisor takes an affirmative step to take it.

Proper delegation skills, properly applied as suggested in this creative approach, can help managers better solve problems and develop their employees' problem solving skills. Visualizing each problem as a monkey that is impatient and noisy can help managers see problems as they really are and address them in the best possible way. Beware of the monkeys that may come into your life today!

This American Life: Unconditional Love

Dr. Harlow spent a lot of time with monkeys and their mommas. Evil, robot mommas, to be exact.

Dr. Harry Harlow and his Artificial Mother

Harry Frederick Harlow was an American psychologist best known for his maternal-deprivation and social isolation experiments on rhesus monkeys, which demonstrated the importance of care-giving and companionship in the early stages of primate development. He conducted most of his research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he worked for a time with humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow.

Some of Harlow's experiments involved rearing infant macaques in isolation chambers that prevented them from having any contact with other monkeys or human beings. The monkeys were left alone for up to 24 months, and emerged severely disturbed.

This podcast from This American Life examines Stories of unconditional love between parents and children, and how hard love can be sometimes in daily practice.

Hard as it is to believe, during the early Twentieth Century, a whole school of mental health professionals decided that unconditional love was a terrible thing to give a child. The government printed pamphlets warning mothers against the dangers of holding their kids. The head of the American Psychological Association and even a mothers' organization endorsed the position that mothers were dangerous—until psychologist Harry Harlow set out to prove them wrong, through a series of experiments with monkeys. Host Ira Glass talks with Deborah Blum, author of Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection.

Radio Lab: Emergence

A great audio exploration of organization from chaos, order from the accidental: ants, cities, fireflies and life itself.
clipped from

What happens when there is no leader? Starlings, bees, and ants manage just fine. In fact, they form staggeringly complicated societies, all without a Toscanini to conduct them into harmony.


We gaze down at the bottom-up logic of cities, Google, even our very own brains.

Featured: author Steven Johnson, fire-flyologists John and Elizabeth Buck, biologist E.O. Wilson, Ant expert Debra Gordon, mathematician Steve Strogatz, economist James Surowiecki, and neurologists Oliver Sacks and Christof Koch.


Since 2004, I have had the privilege of being the Pop!Tech House Scribe, creating large paintings and drawings while lurking in the upper balcony of the Opera House in Camden, Maine.

[ see artwork from 2005 and 2006 ]

Exposure to the people and ideas that appear both on the Pop!Tech stage and in the audience have changed the course of my life. In this forum, groundshifting concepts on energy, demographics, technology, design and society are shared, and only months--or years!--later do they end up arriving as front page news announcing that a new worldview has arrived.

Now you can see and hear these exciting and sobering presntations on-line. From Andrew Zolli, Chief Curator of the annual Pop!Tech conference:

Pop!Tech, the extraordinary thought leadership forum and social innovation network that I'm involved with, has just released it's first twenty-two Pop!Casts -- free, online video and audio presentations that you can watch online or download to your iPod!

Available at, and on iTunes, the Pop!Casts feature provocative and engaging presentations from leading and emerging thinkers from many different fields -- and we'll be releasing new ones ever two weeks throughout the rest of the year!

The initial batch includes fantastic presentations by such renowned folks as:

Thomas Friedman — Pulitzer Prize winning author and New York Times Columnist.

Serena Koenig — Global health leader and Director of Haiti Programs for Partners in Health

Brian Eno — One of the world's leading pop musicians

Richard Dawkins — World renowned biologist and evolutionary theorist

Zinhle Thabethe — Renowned AIDS activist from South Africa

Chris Anderson — Editor in Chief of Wired magazine and author of "The Long Tail"

Sinikithemba Choir Performance — South African Choir of Zulu men and women who provide support to persons with HIV/AIDS

Bunker Roy — Founder of the Barefoot College in Tilonia, India

Carolyn Porco — Chief Imaging Scientist on the Cassini Mission to Saturn

Erin McKean —Editor-in-chief of U.S. Dictionaries for Oxford University Press and self-proclaimed "word geek"

Juan Enriquez — Leading futurist and bestselling writer on the future of nations

Neil Gershenfeld — Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms

Jonathan Coulton — Singer/Songwriter and the official Pop!Tech Balladeer

Thomas Barnett — Strategist and expert on national security and best-selling author

Jesse Sullivan and Todd Kuiken —Jesse Sullivan and his doctor, Todd Kuiken, work together to make Jesse the world’s first bionic man

Martin Marty — One of the most prominent interpreters of religion and culture

Theo Jansen — Dutch "kinetic sculptor" who creates wind-powered robotic "animals"

Marcia McNutt — Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute director

Reggie Watts - Human Beat-Box Polymath Musician and Comedian

Marian Weems — Artistic director of the new media theater ensemble The Builders Association

Homaro Cantu —Inventor, entrepreneur and molecular gastronomist

Lester Brown — Preeminent environmentalist and head of the Earth Policy Institute

Kent Nichols — Co-Creator of the wildly popular website and podcast

These Pop!Casts are brimming with ground-breaking ideas, and are being made available to the world with the help of our friends at Lexus, with production support from Yahoo! To encourage their distribution, we're releasing all of these as open-source, non-commercial Creative-Commons licensed content.

You can also subscribe to Pop!Casts within iTunes -- available by going here: