Above the Arctic Circle in Alaska, a half-day's journey by snowmobile from the nearest paved road or tree, a village called Kivalina sits on a slip of permanently frozen earth bracketed by water — a lagoon on one side and the Chukchi Sea on the other. Everything on Kivalina is hard: there are no roads, few jobs, and rising waters that will soon swallow the island whole. But life can get better if the villagers catch a whale. It hasn't happened since 1994, but that's no reason to give up. This just might be the year. [more inside]
SLYT: Pstereo by Emilie Nicolas, the music video.
One of the most beautiful, amazing, and depressing things I’ve ever done is participate in a whale necropsy. This work helps us understand the patterns of whale mortality, and determine whether whale deaths are natural, or possibly man-made. This is important stuff. In fact, their work has helped guide changes in policy, especially when it comes to designing the shipping lanes that go into and out of San Francisco Bay. Their research helped establish new, longer, and narrower shipping lanes that reduced the chances of ships hitting, and often killing, whales. This work saved whales’ lives. [more inside]
In the late 1970s, a bicycle mechanic named Lee Post moved to Homer, Alaska to run a small bookstore with his mother. He also volunteered at the town's natural history museum, where he took on the task of assembling a beaked whale skeleton.This is the story of how a bookseller from Homer, Alaska became the an international animal skeleton re-assembly expert (Bay Nature). [more inside]
Post thought, well, I've repaired bikes — surely I can repair a whale skeleton if I have a book to follow, and conveniently, I run a bookstore. He searched for any books about reconstructing whale skeletons. “There was no such thing,” he says.
The request — to haul four whale sharks in Taipei and two beluga whales in Mexico to Atlanta — was daunting, but UPS had just the man for the job. As one of the company’s cargo load masters, Bland Matthews has made a career out of shipping seemingly impossible items. In his 20 years at UPS, he’s played an instrumental role in moving everything from 2,000-pound whales to China's Terracotta soldiers. Dream up an item, however delicate or colossal, and Mathews will swiftly sculpt a plan of action: he’s a logistical guru.
The Nautilus and her Corps of Exploration are mapping and exploring ocean features from the Gulf Coast up to British Columbia. Yesterday, they found a whale. You can watch live to see what they find next!
Since 1979 the main hall in London's Natural History Museum has been dominated by a plaster cast of a fossil of a Diplodocus (apparently called 'Dippy'). It has been announced that is to be replaced by the skeleton of a Blue Whale. There has been somewhat of a reaction.
The whale approached them, stopped, pointed straight downward, and then, in the words of underwater photographer Keri Will, “the storm began.” Keri and his fellow divers were caught in the thick of a massive whale poop. As he described to CBC Radio, "If you held your hand in front of your face you wouldn't be able to see your hand any more because the water was so thick with the faecal matter." [more inside]
Director Mel Brooks spent a lot of money on white handkerchiefs while making his 1974 tour de farce, Young Frankenstein. "I gave everybody in the crew a white handkerchief," said the 88-year-old comedy legend during a recent phone interview. "I said, 'When you feel like laughing, put this in your mouth.' Every once in a while, I'd turn around and see a sea of white handkerchiefs, and I said, 'I got a hit.'"An interview with Mel Brooks on the 40th anniversary of Young Frankenstein, with an overview of the events that lead to what Mel Brooks calls 'by far the best movie I ever made.' [more inside]
Young Frankenstein was more than a hit. It is a comic masterpiece.
From Hell's Mouth, Herman Mellville's Moby Dick 2 stabs at thee! Featuring the dashing lead, an eye-watering seafood spread, some seagulls and the Wilheim Scream among a cast of thousands.
In 2037 mankind almost destroyed its own planet through greed, pollution and war. Salvation came through the evolution of a new species of hyper intelligent whales. Via telepathy the whales send their grief over the planets sorry state into the minds of every man and woman on earth. This made humanity rethink its ways and the Whale-Human Alliance was founded. With the guidance of the wise whales mankind healed its planet and began to peacefully explore the universe. But peace was not meant to last long. In deep space humanity encountered an evil race of marauding aliens bent on enslaving anyone in its path. Vastly outclassed by the weapons and fighting skills of the aliens the humans had to turn to their brother whales to defend them against this new threat...[2:55] [all videos contain animated violence and gore][more inside]
...the big baleen whales can be over 100 feet in length, so their reproductive tracts likely wind for several feet. That’s a vagina you could walk through. (SFW)
The Charles W. Morgan is the world's last remaining wooden whaleship. Her unusually long career included 37 whaling voyages between 1841 and 1921. Over the past few years, she's received a full restoration by the skilled shipwrights at the Mystic Seaport Museum Shipyard, and is in the final stages of outfitting for her 38th voyage, an ambituous plan to make her seaworthy enough to sail her one final time and visit her original homeport of New Bedford, MA, along with many of the ports she frequented in her working days, before she returns to her permanent berth. Among the crew will be one stowaway, a crew member chosen via a selective process including a video application, who'll use video and social media to tell the stories of the voyage, the crew, the accompanying scholars and artists, and what it's like to make amends with whales.
"The cinema was made for horror movies. No other kind of film offers that same mysterious anticipation as you head into a dark auditorium. No other makes such powerful use of sound and image. The cinema is where we come to share a collective dream and horror films are the most dreamlike of all, perhaps because they engage with our nightmares." And so Mark Gatiss opens his three-part series, A History of Horror. "One of the great virtues of this series is that it is thoroughly subjective. Gatiss does not feel any particular obligation to give us an A to Z of horror, but instead lingers lovingly over his own favourites," taking the viewer with him from the Golden Age of Hollywood horror through the American horror movies of the 1960s and 1970s. [more inside]
The hero responsible for the exploding whale video has died. The video is one of the first links I remember sending to people because of its awesomeness and still makes me laugh. Talk a little walk back through Internet history.
MONSTRUM believes that playground design should be a reflection of the world surrounding us. We see the world as a place full of colour. We meet boys that like pink and girls that likes climbing trees. Why only play on a monky frame and a sandbox, when you can play in a moon crater or a submarine or a giant spider or an enormous snail or a Trojans horse or a rocket or an ant or a princess castle. The fantasy is infinite.
Researchers think that the late beluga whale named NOC had been trying to speak with a human accent – or at least talk to its keepers. Current Biology has more (PDF link).
"A pod of orcas, or killer whales, cooperate to wash a Weddell seal off an ice floe. This sequence, filmed for Frozen Planet, marks the first complete filming of killer whale "wave washing" behavior." [more inside]
Humpback whales intervene in orca attack on gray whale calf near Monterey, Calif. (article with photos)
A whale of a tale. On Sunday, a jet-ski activist of Paul Watson's Sea Shepard gang (Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson Documentary) was water-cannoned into the Antartic by a Japanese scouter boat during filming of Whale Wars. The ICR presents a different side to Paul Watson as evidenced by their regular press releases. Greenpeace believes Paul Watson is an extremist.
Off the coast of Hawaii comes the first scientific evidence of cooperative play between a bottlenose dolphin and a humpback whale. In two separate incidents a dolphin rode on the head of a whale above the surface of the water. It is not, however, the only footage of dolphins and whales playing around and helping each other out. [more inside]
It's halfway through the work week, so let's just chill out and watch this mariachi band serenade this happy beluga whale. (SLYT)
Japan has suspended its whale hunt after pressure from world governments and harassment by eco-vigilante group Sea Shepherd. Previously.
Single Link Saturday Night Dance Party: The neon-dripped hallucinatory candy-pop world ofBrite Futures' - Sideways Pony Tail [more inside]
Paleontologists discover the skull of a massive predatory whale (Leviathan melvillei) in Peru. Discovery News presents this finding with the best of all possible illustrations. (via)
...and there was just rope everywhere--it went around the whales mouth, around the whale's head, across her eye, over her back wrapped around the pectoral fins, all the way down to its tail. I thought there was no hope, there was no chance, we're looking at a dead whale, the whale just doesn't know it yet--but I knew that I had to try. ...It was a very surreal moment looking down and seeing the 20 crab traps and buoys just disappear into the abyss... And just like that, the whale was gone. ...I'm spinning around, where'd she go, where'd she go ? ...Now here's where the story takes a pretty startling turn. ...Next thing I know there's this fifty ton whale coming right at me...From about 4:00 to 14:30 in nearly 23 minutes of the segment, Animal Blessings--in mp3 here, all 20 megs of it. Or you can try the podcast at RadioLab: Animal Minds. Either way, you are in for a most truly awesome anecdote. And listen to the whole program to have some back and forth science dropped on you in regards to what we think we know about what and how animals think. [more inside]
For the past 21 years, across the limitless expanse of the North Pacific, a lonely whale has been singing, calling for a response. There has been none, and there never will. [more inside]
"One month ago Dartz presented uberluxury armored car with whale penis interior - PROMBRON... As the world’s resonance was very huge and Dartz got lot of angry e-mails from Greenpeace, WWF and also Pamela Anderson, Dartz make strong decision to stop their plans regarding such interior."
Stunning Underwater Photography A website filled with incredible underwater photography. Particularly impressive shots of a sardine bait ball being attacked by dolphins, sharks, whales and birds.
A Beached Fin Whale Closes a Popular Beach. . . .It had been foundering in the surf, and just beyond the surf, for several days. They may bury it or they may tow it out to sea to become a whale fall. [more inside]
The Faroe (Fær Øer) pilot whales slaughter (warning, crude pictures). The Faroe Islands (prev) were nominated in year 2007 by National Geographic as one of the most appealing tourism location in the world. The inhabitans have traditionally hunted pilot whales and other cetaceans for their own sustainment, but according also to their own national statistics (PDF) , the whale hunting business is no longer a significant factor. Some ongoing online petition is trying to put a final end to this practice.
The Jupiter Foundation and the Whalesong Project are both organizations which record humpback whale songs from floating buoys; some of their archived recordings can be found here, here, and here. (Warning, last two may resize your browser.) DOSITS hosts a more comprehensive collection of oceanic sounds, with seals and fish along with its whales and dolphins. It also has a couple of nice sections on how animals use sounds in the ocean. (Previously.) [more inside]
"Why the fuss? Well, Colin's a baby whale..." Oh no. They named the doomed little thing ('little' meaning about the size of a large car). Mal Holland's report from the Daily Telegraph gives a very illuminating rundown of the nervous breakdown that "Sydney's booming whale watching industry" is experiencing right now... [more inside]
Mister Splashy Pants needs your vote. Even though Mister Splashy Pants is enjoying a comfortable lead, we must continue working to get the vote out.
Oh, also, whaling is bad and Greenpeace is good.
Oh, also, whaling is bad and Greenpeace is good.
Rethink. The. Shark. [YouTube] The Save Our Seas Foundation [small Flash], a Swiss-based non-profit, joins the growing ranks of a world-wide movement to undo the damage caused by popular reports and gross misrepresentation by Hollywood of sharks as human-savoring sea monsters/killing machines. The fact of the matter is that the opposite is true: Current estimates give between 65 million to 165 million sharks being killed worldwide annually via unregulated catch - including 38 million to 70 million [PDF] for their fin alone, with untold numbers of butchered and bleeding-to-death sharks being cast back into the oceans to die slow and gruesome deaths. [more inside]
A bowhead whale was recently killed off the coast of Alaska. When its hunters carved it up, they discovered someone else had attempted to kill it- more than a century earlier.
Whale shot in front of tourists. What would you do if you were a tourist, eco or not, and you saw a whale being harvested right in front of you?
1. Make a remix featuring whale sounds.
2. Save a whale.
3. Get discovered for your remixing skills.
4. Profit! The Whale Remix Project.
2. Save a whale.
3. Get discovered for your remixing skills.
4. Profit! The Whale Remix Project.
Whale puke may not sound like the sort of thing that could make you money, but a 15kg lump of it found on a beach has made Australian Leon Wright and his wife more than a quarter of a million dollars overnight. Perviously discussed here, ambergris is essentially the vomit of a sperm whale. It has a scent like nothing else on earth and is used in perfume or as an aphrodisiac.
"I saw it blow..." Whale spotted near Westminster Bridge
The narwhal, often termed "The Unicorn of the Sea," has a really odd tusk. It's long, spiraled, and there's only one of 'em per animal. Its purpose has been disputed for ages, but at long last, it seems that the answer has been found. And it's pretty damn cool.
Minke whales, known as cockroaches of the sea are now available in burgers from Japanese fast-food chain Lucky Pierrot. This is somewhat controversial.
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