Sir Patrick Stewart Wants Whale Snot, A Kickstarter

Sir Patrick Stewart Wants Whale Snot, A Kickstarter

Sir Patrick Stewart is lending his considerable acting talent to raise awareness of the SnotBot Kickstarter campaign, which is building a flying robot to collect whale mucus.

It is one of the most memorable scenes in the history of Star Trek. Patrick Stewart's Picard is set on revenge against the Borg; Lily, played by the great Alfre Woodard, chastises him: "Well, it looks Captain Ahab has to go hunt his whale... snot."

Close enough.

In a Kickstarter campaign launched on Saturday, P-Stew joins his friend Iain Kerr of Ocean Alliance to ask for your help in funding Snotbot. What is Snotbot, you ask? Why, it's a remote-controlled flying drone that hovers over whales and waits for them to exhale through their blowholes. The little robot collects as much of the exhalation as it can, then returns to its home boat to deliver its payload: fresh whale mucus. Yum!

The mucus that lines the lungs of a whale or Starfleet officer can tell us a lot about the animal in question. Much like a blood sample, the cetacean goobers are filled with DNA, hormones, virus and bacteria loads, environmental toxins, and much more. Once the snot rockets have been examined, biologists can then tell exactly which whale they are looking at, what their stress levels are like, how close they are to mating, if they are sick or well, and if something in the water is dangerous to them.

Unlike a blood or tissue sample, though, being sneezed on by a beautiful marine mammal is non-invasive (for the whale). The bot is already built; the Kickstarter is to fund its use in the field.

Check out Escapist's coverage of other big Kickstarters here.

This makes at least two captains of the Enterprise that are really fond of whales. While this little bot itself isn't directly Star Trek related, it is interesting how so much science news recently seems to tie into the venerable franchise somehow.

So? How much did you pledge to supply a knighted British actor with his own supply of whale snot?

Note: Sir Patrick Stewart does not collect whale snot for his personal use.

Source: Kickstarter

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Hah! Snot Rocket is a wobbly music track by lone creator: Tipper. Not a bad artist if you like wobbly music with really baffling names.

OT: This sounds great. Patrick fighting the good fight as usual. I'll spread the word of this.

"Note: Sir Patrick Stewart does collect whale snot for his personal use."

Suuuure he doesn't... *wink wink*

Still, nice! Though I wonder if a whale exhaling all over a small drone won't knock it out of the sky. Great way to lose an expensive piece of kit.

My first thought is doesn't Sir Patrick Stewert have enough money to fund a small continent?
Why is he asking others to pay and not doing it himself?

Dapper Changeling:
My first thought is doesn't Sir Patrick Stewert have enough money to fund a small continent?
Why is he asking others to pay and not doing it himself?

Probably because, like any other sane person, he's not willing to waste his own hard earned money on the insignificant collection of whale snot. With that said, I think it's insane to put money towards this fundraiser.

Dapper Changeling:
My first thought is doesn't Sir Patrick Stewert have enough money to fund a small continent?
Why is he asking others to pay and not doing it himself?

Good money management starts with not spending your hard earned dosh on every single thing that interests you. The way you spend money is a habit that can be hard to break, especially if you have enough to go around. Those who spend money frivolously tend not to have it very long. Just ask most professional athletes, lottery winners and Nicholas Cage.

That being said, it's quite possible he's also donating money to them as well. It's just that they'd likely stand to make more money if he uses his social and political influence to support their cause. Nothing wrong with that, really.

You what?

Well...I never had any idea that whale/purpose/orca spout-offs were useful like this. It's just crazy enough to get funded.

This might just be the most glorious thing I've seen all week and it cheered me up. Patrick Steward, such a stud.

The idea is good, but you just took some $200 store bought equipment and strapped a towel to it... we aren't exactly funding some grand technological leap. Doesn't make their idea any worse but one does wonder how it costs 225k to develop the already done deal.

Smooth Operator:
The idea is good, but you just took some $200 store bought equipment and strapped a towel to it... we aren't exactly funding some grand technological leap. Doesn't make their idea any worse but one does wonder how it costs 225k to develop the already done deal.

They aren't developing it... That number is for implementation. Gotta get a ship and crew, plus the equipment to find the damn things before you can harvest their sweet, sweet nose filling. Though it would be really amusing if they really WERE asking 225k to strap a pool noodle to a drone with a mayonnaise jar to collect fluids.

For Science!

It's for a good, even if disgusting, cause.

ccggenius12:

Smooth Operator:
The idea is good, but you just took some $200 store bought equipment and strapped a towel to it... we aren't exactly funding some grand technological leap. Doesn't make their idea any worse but one does wonder how it costs 225k to develop the already done deal.

They aren't developing it... That number is for implementation. Gotta get a ship and crew, plus the equipment to find the damn things before you can harvest their sweet, sweet nose filling. Though it would be really amusing if they really WERE asking 225k to strap a pool noodle to a drone with a mayonnaise jar to collect fluids.

Any sane project manager for an undertaking such as this, even one asking for a bare minimum on kickstarter as a baseline, would put in a reserve amount too.

This is exactly the sort of project one can expect budget overruns for, even if perfectly managed. (Equipment damage, whale pods migrating early/late etc...)

"I wanna roll with him, a hand pair we will be. I don't give a crap about whales so go and hug a tree."

OT: As my pricing concerns have already been addressed by earlier posts with what should have been an obvious conclusion (obviously ships, crews, and equipment are pricey), I'm very okay with this.

 

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