Of course, I'm quoting lyrics from the song by Ministry, called "N.W.O." But now that that's been dispensed with, we can continue.
Today, I was contacted by the United States Government.
That contact was in the form of an e-mail and it was to enquire about the use of one of the insect pictures that I had taken and posted on BugGuide.net. Specifically, a Bombus pensylvanicus, or as it's more commonly known, the American Bumble Bee. You can see my bee right here.
This fellow was affiliated with the National Biological Information Infrastructure, (NBII), and was asking how he could obtain the correct permissions to use one of my "excellent photographs" (his words), on their website, pollinators.nbii.gov. He asked all the right questions and promised appropriate credits and asked what my image use requirements were to be able to use/reproduce my image on their website.
Now, I don't know about you, but in this day and age, I tend to be just a little bit leery when any branch of the United States Government seeks me out on their own initiative. Even if it is for something so seemingly innocuous-sounding as using my bee picture on their website. Wouldn't you feel that way, too? Regular readers of my blog may have an idea of just what I'm talking about in respect to this.
It's always nice to be given a compliment, who doesn't enjoy that? So, I did a little research online to see if there really was such an organization as the NBII, or a person with the name that had been attached to the e-mail I received. I found out that this person was also affiliated with The Ecological Society of America, which has a street address located in Washington, D.C. Seemingly confirming that this was not a scam of some kind. So far, so good.
Just a little more research, however, brought up other affiliations with the NBII and him. Organizations such as:
Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)
World Conservation Union
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
ComisiÃ³n Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO)
United States Trilateral Committee
Consortium for Conservation Medicine
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)
Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (I'd love to sit in on their meetings!)
National Atlas of the United States
Conservation International, Center for Applied Biodiversity Science (CI-CABS)
The Gaia Institute
Natural Resources Defense Council (be sure to look them up.)
Nature Network (relays live imagery and sound from cameras placed in natural settings throughout the world!)
The Nature Conservatory (another one to look up.)
Wildlife Information Network (seeks to make " . . . information on the health and management of captive and free-ranging wild animals and their habitats readily available to wildlife professionals and decision-makers worldwide.")
Wildlife Trust (empowers local conservation scientists worldwide to protect nature and safeguard ecosystem and human health.)
Horne Engineering Services, Inc.
U.S. Bureau of Land Managment (BLM)
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Energy (DoE)
Enviornmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Federal Geographic Data Committee
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Global Change Master Directory (NASA-GCMD)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
The National Park Service (NPS)
U.S. Forest Service
National Science Foundation (NSF)
The Smithsonian Institution
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (funny how they have their finger in everybody's pie!)
All in all, there were lots of links for this guy and his NBII organization, dozens more than I even mentioned. This is a lot of affiliations, perhaps too many. I'm sure the conspiracy-minded among you could make a lot out of some of the groups in the above list. Be sure to research any and all of them that you're curious about.
I did one final thing and Googled the guy's name in particular. The first entry that came up was some kind of experiment he had participated in. This is the title of the paper that was published in relation to that experiment: "Using Fecal Glucocorticoids to Assess Stress Levels in Captive River Otters (2008)." I don't know about you, but that sounds like the kind of thing Hitler was doing back in the 1940's on humans. Maybe I should be very careful with whom I allow the use of my pictures on their websites.
One other thing before I sign out. You'll all remember not to shop at Wal-Mart, right? Yes, my campaign to boycott them is still in effect. The picture below has nothing whatsoever to do with them. It's just a weird little thing I discovered when I was using the online Sim City 4 Terrain Generator to create a custom landform upon which to build a city. It must surely be an oversight on their part, but for some reason, you cannot pull up the terrain for a place called Jekyll Island. You can clearly see it's blanked out - the little island just to the right of center. If you don't know where that is, it's the place where a secretive meeting took place in 1910 and members of the US government and the biggest financiers of the day created the Federal Reserve System. Apparently, it's still an exclusive place for politicians and the uber-rich. I wonder just what's going on there that would prevent Maxis and the makers of Sim City 4 to not be able to include this little island on their Terrain Generator? Be sure to have your 72-Hour Survival Kits ready.