The cultural heritage of wetlands -- the E-Card and instructional screensaver
The Ramsar Bureau offers an "e-card", both live and portable, and a screensaver for World Wetlands Day 2002
E-card opening screen, awaiting your choice of language
What's an e-card? Well may you ask. This is a 3-minute show that takes place on your computer screen, an entertaining animation suggesting some of the chief reasons that wetlands are essential to human life and the pursuit of happiness, suitable for schools and kids of all ages, and probably yourself as well. Download this 645kb executable file, note where you stored it on your machine, and then click on it. No need to bring your lunch, it's short, but it's pithy, and memorable. And if not memorable, you can play it over again and again, indefinitely.
Portability. Once you've got the executable file down onto your machine and laughed yourself into fits watching it through a long afternoon and evening, you can send it to all your friends and relations if you want to, on a diskette or by e-mail attachment. A caution, though -- since the file is not small (645kb), not all of your clunky-modem friends will appreciate the forced download, and we must also recall that most of us are very well trained never to open an .EXE executable file received over the Internet, even from our best friends and, even, mothers. I would recommend that, before shipping this prized artifact to everyone on your personal address book, you query them first, describe it briefly, and seek their consent. That's a courtesy that will always be appreciated when sending large files over the e-mail.
That's not all. No way.
We have a Web-based runtime version of the same e-card ready for your viewing convenience.
In order for your Web browser to be able to run this fine cutting-edge wetlands "communications, education, and public awareness (CEPA)" product, it will need to have been fitted out with Macromedia's Flash Player 5, and if bog forbid you don't have that little piece of software already, you can download Flash Player here.This is a mere 312kb installation executable, offered free by Macromedia, and you need only download it and then click on it, and it will install itself as a plug-in on your Web browser. Macromedia Flash is a standard plug-in for modern Web viewing, and your browser will thank you for this long after you've ceased murmuring in admiration of our WWD2002 movie.
Have you got your Flash Player 5 installed now? Well then, let the fun begin -- wwd2002.html.
That's still not all. Still no way!
What about a screensaver?
What's a screensaver? Ten years ago it was widely understood that if your computer monitor were to sit idly for more than half an hour, whilst you were having a coffee or visiting the loo, the words of your text would be indelibly etched onto the phosphorus backing of the screen, ruining it forever. The risk is real, but for modern monitors you'd have to spend more than 250 uninterrupted years in the loo for that etching to become a lively problem. Nonetheless the Screensaver industry has built itself upon that practical function and become -- well -- entertainment. From AfterDark's Flying Toilets in the early '90s to Windows' proliferating tubular structures to homebuilt scenes of your own family bobbing to the surface at 30-second intervals, screensavers are beloved by officeworkers and homeowners all over the world. They may serve no practical purpose; but never mind . . .
Thus the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) also offers for the delight of you and all your friends a screensaver based on the same motifs seen above. Just download it here (ca.800kb), note where you saved it to on your machine, and click on it to install your nifty Ramsar screensaver. When, many years in the future, you've tired of it and want to go back to your Australian outback scenery, Arctic species at poignant moments, or Windows spiraling widgets, just go to Windows Control Panel/Display/Screensaver (or the Mac equivalent) and pick something else, no worries.
The e-card and screensaver were produced for the Ramsar Bureau by MA@D Communication, Braddon, Australia.
These excellent products for World Wetlands Day have been financially supported by the Evian Project funded by the Danone Group.