Imagine you are standing in front of a wall. If you look to your left or right, you can see that the wall stretches out far into the hazy distance. On the wall are arranged a series of pictures, all of bestiary beasts. If you move closer, you can see more detail, and a note appears below the picture to explain what you are seeing. You can walk along the wall in either direction, and as you do, more pictures come into view. You can stroll along looking at the beasts, stopping to examine one here and there.
Sound like fun? Well, now you can do it! Virtually, anyway. The Medieval Bestiary is now Cooliris enabled, giving you the wall of beasts.
Cooliris? What’s Cooliris, you ask plaintively. Cooliris is a browser extension that lets you browse a set of images displayed on the virtual wall of beasts described above. The extension is free, easy to install, and safe. It is available for Windows and Mac (sorry, penguinites, no Linux version yet), and for the more common browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari). Of course the highly intelligent readers of this blog only use Firefox, but if you are forced by unfortunate circumstances to use the inferior Internet Explorer, it will still work.
The bonnacon has asked me to allow him at this point to express his opinion of Internet Explorer. The opinion expressed is that of the bonnacon, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of the Beastmaster, though it almost certainly does.
Anyway, the Firefox logo shows a fox with its tail on fire, which is something that could readily happen to Reynard, and thus Firefox is the right browser for this site. QED.
Back to Cooliris. You can download and install it from the Cooliris site; instructions are here. Once you have it installed (mere seconds for blissful Firefox users, longer for sad Internet Explorer users), you can go to the Beasts index page (the only page Cooliris enabled so far), then click the Cooliris icon in your browser’s toolbar or click the Cooliris icon near the bottom of the page. The wall of beasts will appear; the pictures are in alphabetical order by beast name, from Amphisbaena to Yale. You can “walk” along the wall by dragging the slider at the bottom of the page. When you see a beast you would like more information about, click the picture to zoom in and see the notes; you can also click the “Jump to page” icon near the bottom of the screen to zip to the main page for that beast.
More pages will be Cooliris enabled in the future. Problems? Tell the Beastmaster!