Cat Scan

News… and then some.

Park Spark – Fall 2010, or: “that dog poop lamp piece”

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By Cat Viglienzoni — May 23, 2011

I hope the title of this post didn’t gross you out. I promise there’s a rhyme and reason behind what I do.

Believe it or not, despite (or perhaps because of) its unusual content, this is probably my favorite or second-favorite piece I’ve done. And I hope you’ll watch it to see why.

The gist of this piece is that I went out to a dog park in Cambridge to check out a unique project that harnessed the methane from dog waste to power a lamp in the park. By burning the methane, the gas (which is far worse for the environment than carbon dioxide) was broken down into two components: carbon dioxide and water.

Unfortunately, it never officially aired for a student news station. But if I’d had the chance to air it, I totally would have.

I did this piece with my teammate and friend Katie Eastman, who did most of the shooting. I conducted my own interviews and wrote and edited everything.

There isn’t TOO much I’d change on this version, except for that I needed to conclude my otherwise-good standup a bit sooner instead of taking another step. The hands also needed to go down. (However, that was the third real standup I’d done ever, so it wasn’t that bad, considering. The dog was also rather cooperative.)

My teacher and classmates loved it. I had people asking me during the spring semester about three or four times if they could use this piece in their shows for practicum classes (and I allowed them to, even though I reminded them it was VERY outdated at that point, considering the project was taken down at the end of September 2010). But people had a hard time remembering the project’s name, so it earned the title I have in quotes: “that dog poop lamp piece.”

I love this piece because it shows an example of the way science can be directly related to everyday life and how a reporter can break down a concept to explain to people how a project like this works and why it matters. It doesn’t hurt that the piece also has cute puppies running around everywhere either.



Written by Cat Viglienzoni

May 23, 2011 at 6:17 PM

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