The Great Outdoors!

Originally a television series about the plants and animals of the South Carolina Lowcountry, Coastal Kingdom contacted us when they decided to expand their audience by offering episodes online. The show was already a staple for local educators, and so making it available to any interested teachers (as well as their students) was the next logical step in their mission.

With video hosting via Vimeo, we were able to offer complete, 30-minute HD episodes as well as an index of individual clips of each plant and animal highlighted on the show. To add to the educational value of the site, we incorporated a blog (Tony's Notebook), a brief scientific description of all the wildlife seen on the show (Field Guide) and an in-depth, scrap-book narrative tracing the careers of the show's host and director. We also included "Resources for Educators," with review questions for each episode and an outline of the South Carolina K-12 Science Standards met by the series.

View the Coastal Kingdom Web Site

 

A Dog for All Seasons

cooper about

This is Cooper. (Oh, how we love Cooper!)

He is the mascot for Pawdiatrist, a company that designs and sells paw protection systems for household pets. Although we weren't contracted to come up with a mascot for the company – in fact, they already had a logo and only needed us for a Web site and marketing materials – like so many dogs before him, Cooper found us.


The problem was this: the company needed a Web presence and marketing materials, but the final suit design was still in-process. While the concept was clear and the product was thisclose to production, actual photographs were impossible. How, then, to convince potential customers to pre-order a suit or consider stocking them in their store without showing them what they were buying???

cooper-suited 

 Cooper!


Aside from his practicality, he is pretty darned cute and adds a goofy, memorable face to the Pawdiatrist brand. Manufacturing and sales of stuffed Cooper toys (for people and dogs!) are on the Pawdiatrist agenda for fall 2012.

View the Pawdiatrist Web site


The Never-Ending Chess Project

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This wasn't for a client but for our own fun and so it isn't finished yet! In fact, we cannot even call this one "in progress" as it's been in the works for so many years (2005??? Egads!!!) that someone else has already done it. Despite that, we will finish it one day, if only to say that we did.

Schach Musik was inspired by a story of two brothers, one a musician and the other a professional chess player. The musician brother plans to compose a piece of music in honor of his sibling's attainment of FIDE World Champion (when and if), and the piece itself is intended to be an audio representation of the moves in the final game of the tournament.

We decided to try it in real life, but as an RIA instead of a singular composition…

Step one: calculating the tonal map of the chess board. The standard chess record is algebraic notation, which identifies each of the 64 chess board squares with a letter-number combination. Files are the vertical measure, and they are labeled a through h. Ranks are the horizontal measure and are labeled 1 through 8.

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 Our initial thoughts were 1) we're mad if we try to do this without German musical notation (which uses the note H) and 2) if we also use scientific pitch notation, we might actually be able to make a tidy map without thoroughly confusing ourselves!

 sm2

After that easy beginning, we had other questions: should every piece have its own disctinct instrument, a la Peter and the Wolf? And what about castling? What about a piece taking a piece? Should there be an alto and tenor version of the doubled pieces (to represent King's Knight for example)?

But first things first…if it sounded awful, there wouldn't be much point (or fun) in continuing! So we tested the first ten moves of the Game of the Century, Donald Byrne vs. Bobby Fischer (notes only, no separate instrumentation).

It looked something like this:

byrne-fischer

which is a translation (mostly) of this:

1. Nf3 Nf6  2. c4 g6  3. Nc3 Bg7  4. d4 O-O  5. Bf4 d5  6. Qb3 dxc4  7. Qxc4 c6  8. e4 Nbd7  9. Rd1 Nb6  10. Qc5 Bg4    

And it sounded like this:

My Kingdom for a Horse!

Meet Al Khamsa, Inc., a not-for-profit organization of enthusiasts devoted to preserving the horse of Bedouin Arabia.

Ready to redesign and reorganize their site after several years of rapid membership growth, Al Khamsa needed a content management solution that would continue to attract new members and keep existing members connected – both with the organization and with each other. This project involved several distinct areas of interest, from general educational materials and membership information to the integration of a massive pedigree database and years of print publications.

The final site included user-submitted classified ads for the sale of horses and stud services, a database of participating farms and breeders, a user-submitted news and events repository, and an online store.

Visit Al Khamsa, Inc.

To (Pre)Serve and Protect

Meet the LowCountry Institute and the Native Plant Project. Both of these organizations encourage the preservation and conservation of the natural assets of the Georgia and South Carolina LowCountry through education and environmental leadership. 


The LowCountry Institute

The mission of the LowCountry Institute is to provide responsible leadership in the conservation and use of LowCountry natural resources – its biodiversity, pristine waters and ecological landscapes – by fostering learning opportunities and helping local policymakers, landowners and residents make informed decisions.

A great deal of their outreach is focused on school programs and adult education, so their Web site needed to be tailored for blogging, tweeting and video links and uploads.

Visit the LowCountry Institute


The Native Plant Project

We were contacted by the Spring Island Trust in Okatie, South Carolina to build a Web site for their plant rescue and propagation activities. The Native Plant Project works to:

  • Preserve and propagate plants that are indigenous to Spring Island and the Low Country
  • Increase the availability of native plants through regular plant sales. (Proceeds benefit the Spring Island Trust.)
  • Provide education for Spring Island members and others about native plants and how to grow them

Critical to the project was the creation of a master database of applicable plants. The database had to be simple to operate, exportable in various data formats for archival and restorative purposes, and serve as a foundation for various sale catalogs published throughout the year.

The finished database is used by both research staff and casual viewers to preserve and protect these indigenous plants.

Visit the Native Plant Project