Thursday, November 30, 2006

ARE THE SEA CREATURES TRYING TO TELL US SOMETHING?

First Steve Irwin. Which was shortly followed by another stingray that lept from the water onto an old man's boat, stabbing him in the chest. And this unholy trinity of Satanic Stingray attacks was completed yesterday when yet another of the vicious brutes stabbed an Australian fisherman in the chest!

But lest you think this tale of marine-borne woe is confined to the ichthyological world, think again. The scourge has spread to the mammals.

For instance, we have this story about violent Sea Lions, which Yahoo! News has been beating into the ground lately. (Hell, I tried to raise the clarion call last spring, warning everyone that those cuddly sea lions were nothing but a crew of drunken, horny, rowdy frat-boys! But does anyone listen to me? Noooooo.)

I respect the sea.

And today, in an act that will undoubtedly get everyone on board with the realization that the marine world has gone to war with the terrestrial, we learn from AP that Shamu himself has gone to the dark side, attempting to inflict harm on the hand that feeds him. Yes, America's favorite captive Orca attacked his trainer, a man who "has been working with animals for 16 years, including 12 spent at Shamu Stadium." I'm too stunned to explain, so I'll let the news piece speak for itself:

The mishap occurred around 5 p.m. when the trainer and Shamu were to go underwater as planned. They were to emerge with the trainer jumping off the whale's nose. "While underwater, the whale opened its mouth and grabbed his foot and kept him underwater for a period of time" . . . When both came up for air, the trainer attempted to calm Shamu by gently rubbing it, but the whale took him down a second time . . . According to the SeaWorld's Web site, a show at 4:30 p.m. "blends new killer whale behaviors with elaborate set pieces, music, choreography and state-of-the-art multimedia."

Hmmmm. Actually, now that I read this, I have to admit I understand the sea creatures' grievences a bit. Maybe I'm just uptight about these things, but I can see attacking someone who "jumps off my nose," "gently rubs me" in an effort to calm me down, and forces me to perform in a cheesy, underwater version of a Broadway musical. Especially if my natural existence involves none of these activities, but instead finds me hunting down other sea creatures in large packs.

They're called killer whales for a reason.

13 Comments:

Blogger DED said...

Actually there's two types of Orcas, or killer whales as all but a dozen people on the planet call them. There's the "friendly" variety that eats fish and then there's the variety that gave the creature its more popular name. This variety will go seals and sea lions. To this day, biologists don't know what makes some Orcas into Killer Whales. Maybe, we're seeing signs of a late transference.

And speaking of Irwin, he posthumously made the cover of the current issue of Men's Journal. Apparently he was actually doing real science between wrestling tapings. His efforts weren't going unnoticed. He was about to be granted an adjunct professor position at the University of Queensland. Money made from the show was also being funneled into conservation efforts in his home country.

And in that same issue there's an excellent article on how the Bush admin is killing the National Park Service. One week in Iraq would cover the budget deficit the Park Service deals with every year. And a month of Iraq would cover the entire National Park Service debt. Apparently there are alot of job vacancies that are going unfilled. For example, the park that contains Mt. Rainier, which is a dormant volcano, doesn't have enough money to hire a vulcanologist to monitor it.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

For example, the park that contains Mt. Rainier, which is a dormant volcano, doesn't have enough money to hire a vulcanologist to monitor it.

There has got to be some Star Trek geek available to see if any vulcan's come around.
I joke I kid. And I make bad jokes.

"Shamu Stadium" ? Thank God that's not who bought the naming rights for the new Mets stadium.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

If we can just isolate the orcas that eat sea lions and combine them into a super-secret Überünterseemacht with the orcas that eat fish, including the killer sting rays, we may just win this war.

Then again, maybe not.

how the Bush admin is killing the National Park Service.

Well, if there's one thing the man knows how to do, it's kill things.

Apparently there are alot of job vacancies that are going unfilled.

Must be cause so many of the candidates are fighting for freedom overseas.

the park that contains Mt. Rainier, which is a dormant volcano, doesn't have enough money to hire a vulcanologist to monitor it.

Hey DED, Washington's a BLUE state. Why would Bush care if Seattle -- that latte-sippin, flannel-wearin, windows-programmin reservoir of west-coast lefties -- gets buried beneath a Krakatoa-sized plume of ash, and a Santorini-scale blob of oozing lava?

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

"Shamu Stadium" ? Thank God that's not who bought the naming rights for the new Mets stadium.

Never happen. Shamu's a football fan. He thinks baseball's wimpy.

He did have his eye on the proposed Westside Stadium for the Jets, but it didn't come to pass.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

Santorini-scale blob of oozing lava?

Ah, Santorini. We went to Greece on our honeymoon. Santorini and Mykonos. I loved both, but Santorini was so beautiful. Akrotiri (they claim it may be Atlantis), the vineyards (of course), the sunset. Just lovely.

11:16 AM  
Blogger DED said...

Washington's a BLUE state.

Just barely. The interior (timber country) is very red. But what's going on in Yellowstone, which primarily lies in Wyoming (Cheney turf) is much worse.

And Old Faithful, the popular geyser in Yellowstone, sits atop a massive magma chamber. In essence, that part of the park lies inside a supervolcano. If it were to blow, well, you could kiss several red states goodbye.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Yellowstone, which primarily lies in Wyoming (Cheney turf) is much worse. And Old Faithful, the popular geyser in Yellowstone, sits atop a massive magma chamber. In essence, that part of the park lies inside a supervolcano. If it were to blow, well, you could kiss several red states goodbye.

So Cheney's a total scumbag to folks in his own state too, huh?

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Ed-

Sounds great. Add yourself to the list of people that loved Santorini.

That list, by the way, includes every single person who ever went there, as far as I can tell.

12:31 PM  
Blogger George said...

Actually, wasn't Shea called Shamu Stadium back in the Mo Vaughn years?

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

wasn't Shea called Shamu Stadium back in the Mo Vaughn years?

The Mo Vaughn Years! Does that refer to years played, or years paid?

In fact, it was called Shamu Stadium, but far as big Mo could tell, it was Sham-boooo Stadium.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous John Royal said...

You know, Mike, reading about Shamu gives me an idea for your Friday movie. "Orca." Richard Harris. Bo Derek. I think Bo filmed this before "10" because she doesn't take her clothes off, but it got released because they were trying to take advantage of Bo being in the movie. If I remember right, the Orca bit off one of Bo's legs.

4:28 PM  
Blogger DED said...

Good one John.

So Cheney's a total scumbag to folks in his own state too, huh?

Yeah, but the snowmobile, RV, and 4-wheelin' crowd love him for opening the place up for their enjoyment. And ranchers like him for being allowed to herd their cattle over to parklands for grazing and then being allowed to shoot the wolves that suddenly prey on their livestock. Can't forget the mining companies. So, there's lots of people that love Dickie. :)

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Yeah, that's a helluva crowd he's popular with.

Is his best friend a rabid alligator?

6:00 PM  

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