When Twitter becomes too much, or a particularly noxious tab crosses your browser window, or you simply decide you can't take the Internet anymore, just breathe deeply, and return to this extremely soothing video of the American Museum of Natural History's forty-five-year-old, ten-and-a-half-ton fiberglass blue whale being cleaned. There. There. (via)
And now, this: "Hi there, my name is Eduardo Rocha, the Mariachi guitar player from this video. I believe that the name of Mr. Beluga is Juno and is a male. About the question if Juno heard us through the glass in this case I would say no because is pretty thick but he heard us through the air -water because the sound travels better in the water and the pool was open at the top. Take care." [Via]
Today in total planetary collapse: "An increase in the number of whales with sunburnt skin has been documented by scientists after they took photographs and tissue samples of the animals. In the worst-hit species – the blue whale – researchers found that the numbers affected rose by 56 per cent between 2007 and 2009, which they said has 'worrying' implications for their health."
"He was two years [old] when the slavers captured him in 1982 and hauled him off to the little town of Victoria, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in the far Canadian west. And there he met his fellow slaves, Nootka and Haida. Day after day in slave school they learned their tricks." -Alexander Cockburn "goes there" about the "killer whale" attacks and quotes Frederick Douglass along the way.
[Scene: The ocean. Two sperm whales, swimming in opposite directions, tentatively approach each other. They begin to speak.]
SPERM WHALE: Hey, boy, how you doin'? Y'all hear that Schwarzennegger was messin' round with the help?
OTHER SPERM WHALE: Ach, I um zo ashamet. Ashamet, but nod zo much zurprizet.
SPERM WHALE: Well, I don't reckon it reflects on you none. Have a great day now.
OTHER SPERM WHALE: Ja, ja, you too.
Everyone incorrectly knows how killer whales like to kill humans-well, at least when the humans keep them in tiny little pens. Apparently, though, out in the wild, killer whales do not like to kill dogs. As Jennifer Viegas reported recently at Discovery, whale researchers have noticed a "mysterious connection" between whales and dogs.
What animals are truly most like human beings? Humpback whales, who mate for life and communicate with complex, melodic songs? The upright-walking, chronic masturbator bonobo chimps? Bears, who seem to want to inhabit our homes and drive our cars? An article in today's New York Times points to a different answer, and one that shouldn't surprise anyone who's looked in the mirror lately. As Natalie Angier reports, "Last week, an international team of biologists released the first draft sequence of the pig genome." According to team-leader Lawrence Schook of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, "The pig genome compares favorably with the human genome." [...]
"A Redondo Beach kayaker has posted a video on YouTube of an incredible encounter with a blue whale earlier this month…. He posted guidelines from the National Marine Fisheries Service, which note that a whale's behavior should not be interrupted because doing so can cause them to rapidly change direction or swim in an erratic pattern, which can have major consequences for any human-size creatures in the area." Which, uh, yeah.
Meet the loneliest whale in the world: "Just imagine that massive mammal, floating alone and singing—too big to connect with most of the beings it passes, feeling paradoxically small in the vast stretches of empty, open ocean." As a rotund, misunderstood person who also feels alone in a massive sea of humanity, this story has a particular resonance for me. [Via]
Big deal. Here in America, our whales KILL.