The Public Data Ferret


Digging is one of the crucial elements of investigative journalism! While I’m digging on material for my thesis on investigative journalism, I ran into this little fellow here: The Public Data Ferret!

Why I dig the ferret? After the incredibly funny and cute cats that spit out of Seattle, the city has now brought a second line of animal cuteness on the way. And this time, it’s incredibly helpful, too!

Although a lot of information from government (more in the US than Germany) is publicly available, that does not mean it is easy to find or maybe you will have to ask for it first! The Public Data Ferret has set out to change that and serves a collection of data on different topics, currently limited to the Seattle area.

While the ferret seems to be living in a rather limited environment at this time, I feel positive that he is going to grow quite a family from this point (he’s a rodent after all, isn’t he?). I think it’s an idea worth spreading!

Go fetch! 🙂

  1. No, Ferrets are not rodenti. Ferrets are superior to their pet humans, in that ferrets are fearless, and have no known predators willing to take them on. As a matter of fact, ferrets were used in the world’s navies up to and including World War 1 to chase rats, because cats and terrier dogs could not reach all the places ferrets dared to tread. The Massachusetts Coast Guard still uses a ferret as it’s mascot, which is emblazoned upon it’s Coat of Arms. Before rat poison, ferrets were employed chasing rats in all of the World’s big cities.

    Now underemployed, or unemployed in the military, and as ratters, we are so called the Twunemployed, that is we sit around on Twitter all day, and crack smarmy remarks about our pet humans, and catch foibles on blogs where we are mistakenly labeled as rodents. Being rich, with a rigorous napping schedule has it’s benefits after all.

    Should you actually read this message, I would have you know that I bear no ill will toward your misclassification. I have come to understand that pet humans are rather dysfunctional, and blurt things out without thinking. I pilfer car keys just to see fireworks, then I go take a nap, serene and content that I have made another human late for work. It’s free entertainment.

    I Tweet at @Samuel_Clemons

  2. Oh, and ferrets are VERY good at making their pet humans late for work by hiding the car keys! You are correct, Sam, that ferrets are not rodents – they are part of the mink/otter family, although not all of them like to take baths.

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