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Director's Greeting: Issue #55

March 1, 2013 Leave a comment dridrive


2-29 Drive SNAKE photo-5There’s snake in my house.  That’s not a figure of speech, and it’s not a snarky commentary on the character of a family member.  There’s really a snake in my house.  My son named it “Fantastic Mr. Brown,” which is a BIG name for a little snake, and this teeny tiny guy could hide in a drinking straw with room to spare.  FMB arrived last weekend after being found behind a friend’s dishwasher, keeping cozy for the winter. He’s here because I’m that kind of mom, and my son is a magnet for misplaced wildlife and people’s used pets.  Last summer alone, we hosted two litters of kittens, an injured baby chipmunk, and a couple of stray dogs.  That’s in addition to the permanent zoo that includes cast-off lizards, special needs parrots, and two crazy canines (You’ve all heard about Molly).  My rule is “No venom. No vermin.”  So, FMB made the cut.I was wondering what kind of creatures the warm weather would surely bring when I saw an article that made me grateful that we live in Pennsylvania, where the wildlife is not so wild.  It seems a 13-year-old Kenyan boy has bigger problems than what to do about the stray cat population. He’s got a much larger feline foe: lions.

The boy, Richard Turere, is responsible for his family’s livestock, which had been coming under attack by local lions.  So, Richard came up with an ingenious invention that protects his family’s critical assets and does so without harming the lions.

After some trial and error and much observation, Richard noticed that typically bold lions became skittish at night, when people walked around with flashlights.  Moving light confused and frightened the lions.  In a master stroke of mitigation magic, Richard rigged dozens of LED lights to a battery and solar panel. He placed the bulbs on poles around the livestock enclosure and came up with a way to make the lights flash.  That put an end to the lions’ nighttime raids, and Richard’s system is now being used throughout the region.

Richard was invited to speak at this week’s 2013 TED Conference in Southern California, where he shared the story of safeguarding his family’s livelihood using ingenuity and very limited resources.  I think that’s pretty cool.  And I hope that maybe you are inspired to take a fresh look at a persistent problem, even though resources may be scarce.  Who knows? It just might be you who comes up with the next big innovation in business continuity.  As for me, I know that Spring will bring creatures to care for and the chance for FMB to return (fat and happy) to the wild, where I hope he stays.

Buffy Rojas
DRI International
Director of Communications

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