Do your part: Categorize A Whale’s iTunes Library!


After my highly critical io9 post, I thought I would post something that they posted that was pretty cool.

Want to be a whale scientist?  How about an unpaid intern to a computer that a whale scientist that has uploaded some music to a library?  If so, this story is for you!

Check it out!

Take a Bite Out of Whale

How to Get Rid of a Whale Carcass


So, you’ve murdered a whale.

Maybe it was taunting you for the last time or you scrambled its brain with your SONAR testing. Maybe you didn’t clip the six pack ringlets and the global warming jacked up its swim routes. It’s possible your pet dolphins talked the poor thing into thinking it was people or something. You poisoned it or had an unsavory hit-and-run incident. More likely, you used black magic on it or something cause it seems like we don’t really know why whales get beached. I don’t know and I’m not here to judge.

IT’S COMING STRAIGHT FOR US

Now you’ve got a real problem on your hands. How to get rid of the body.

Thankfully, you’ve got your choice of options depending on the site and the tools and time you have available to get this over with. Don’t think you need to do anything about it? That can’t be right cause you know those things attract diseases and stink to high heavens, right? And if you’re anything like the guys in Australia who recently found themselves with 22 sperm whales on their beach, you can’t afford to have all the nasty crap just accumulating and possibly exploding their stoachs all over the place.

I’ve ordered these in what I think is most practical to least based on, I don’t know, whatever the fuck I think is appropriate. Let’s begin.

Other skeletons just don’t compare.

Cut up & Sell to Science

This is going to sound weird but I’ve always enjoyed seeing whale skeletons in museums. Of course, I know whales are big but their creepy skeletons hanging majestically overhead give a real sense of scale for these animals and it’s incredibly humbling. But whale parts are for more than just pretty mobiles. By giving the pieces over to cetacean biologists (I prefer the term “whalologists”), we could actually figure out what sent the whales to their demise in the first place along with probably some other kickass whale stuff.

But I can see why it’s kind of an issue since carving whales is incredibly labor intensive and (probably) gross. I also need to mention that the “Sell to Science” part is crucial. You can’t just cut up dead whales if you’re some PhD-less yahoo.

 Drag It Out to Sea

If you check out this awesome puppet version of a whale’s natural decomposition in the deep sea, you can see why this idea is a sensible one. Other animals get rid of the evidence by eating it. And it’s not like a few animals or even a few species benefit from a dead whale. There are species wholly dedicated the task; freeloaders and scavengers whose lives might depend on getting this fatty bounty.

The problem with this is the moving seems to be pretty intense too and pricey to boot. And I dunno if you guys saw that episode of The Walking Dead where they tried to pull the zombie out of the well and it fell apart but that seems like a likely outcome as well.

Just imagine that with a whale. Better yet, a zombie whale.

Bury It Away From the Crime Scene

Away from the crime scene, guys.

This seems like the most common way to get rid of a whale. Throw it in a landfill or hold a candlelight vigil or just put out of the way of tourists and everyone is happy. This method has also been suggested to get the skeletons clean for scientists to use later on.  I mean why let the deep sea nightmares get the meal of a lifetime when we have perfectly good, starving scavengers on land?

Yet, said land scanvengers don’t really know how to do this. Plus the moving part is an expensive process that can take forever and be totally nasty in the meantime. Bacterias involved tend to make carcasses melt if real animals aren’t chowing down on the flesh. So yeah, grossness for the long haul.

Burn Them. Burn Them All.

This photo isn’t really relevant but an entirely different, more interesting story.

I’m not sure why this is so low on the list. It’s the fastest and cheapest way to get rid of beached whales and seems to be just as popular as burying the animals. Perhaps I’m not looking at the situation like a criminal. *I* don’t like wasting things and all the methods before this one feel like some way of justifying a sad event. But any real criminal knows that burning gets rid of evidence and, despite having some god awful smell, clears the area with the least amount of drama and back-breaking labor.

There’s no huge downside to this except the smells. Light a Glade candle and deal.

Eat It

nomnomnom

Don’t do this. It will make you sick and there’s no way you’ll finish the job in any reasonable amount of time. Did you see that puppet video? It will take for goddamn ever.

Explode It

This is barely worse. But if you do this, you have to have a backup plan that involves cleaning up splattered whale bits and avoiding the giant bits raining down on you after your idiot plan, Oregon. But I guess if what you want is just a big “fuck you” to everyone within a half mile of the crime, then you’ve got the perfect solution.

Alternative Mix & Match Methods to Dispose of Carcasses (Patent Pending)

Burn + Eat

Whale meat is meat. Cook it up in some butter and add your favorite sauce for a phenomenal cookout. Make sure to make a whole shindig out of it because you and your party of 1000 will be eating quite a bit tonight.

Bury + Eat

You read the thing with fermenting birds, right? Tie up birds, stuff in seal skin and bury until they taste like cheese. Now, you’d have to find a larger whale to stuff the first whale into and do it in a super cold environment to keep the bad bacteria out. I mean minus that last part, the Australians could pull off some sort of turducken-like dish with fermented whales and feast like kings for weeks. But make sure you wrap that shit up tight or the botulism will just about kill you.

That’s all I got. Please let me know of more methods in the comments. Even crack-pot ideas are welcomed. No, especially crack-pot ideas are welcomed.

Update: Fail Whale

Twitter inadvertently proposed an elegant solution to whale carcass disposal.

Birds carry all sorts of things, why not put their lazy tailfeathers to help someone for a change? Birds or bats. Bats would work.

Get It Stuffed

You know, send it to this guy.

The Blast Heard ‘Round the World


As we mentioned on the last installment of the codpast, before the “viral videos” were all the rage, there was The Exploding Whale. Watch it often, especially at parties:

Podcast: Whalesplosion, Dead (Animal) Body Disposal, and Your Local Taxidermist’s Commercials


Animal News: The Podcast is on, won’t you listen, and be my neighbor, and render your animals down into various industrial solvents?

Because that is what we’re talking about today.

Rendering animals.

Down.

To.

Glue.

Animal Extras: Narwhal Art


Look around your place. Chances are you don’t have a single narwhal related item or you certainly don’t have enough. And why not? Narwhals aren’t just great sources for vitamin C, they make for neat art subjects.

I tried to find every kind of cool thing I would want in my Narwhal shrine and came up with this list of nifty stuff.

A Narwhal Wallet or Narwhallet. This image introduces the bizarre theory of unicorns operating inside the whales.

I just like the lines here. I want this as a sign outside my office.

I'm not sure why I'd want a stuffed, dead eyed narwhal mouth agape in eternal horror...but I do.

'Yeah it's a narwhal, you've probably never heard of it' she thought hipsterly.

And just in case you weren’t sure whether narhwals were the “monocled hipsters of the whales”, there’s this.

This is pretty awesome.

I've found quite a few ridiculous hats and this is my favorite though I lack an occasion to wear it.

Narwhal chair with chairs of lesser creatures.

And last but not least, a depiction of actual ocean life.

Simple yet poignant.

Learning How Others Talk: An Animal Story Review


Today, at my job, I’m doing storytime.  Storytime involves some of the most soulcrushingly boring stories, broken up over 8 weeks of time.  It’s pretty brutal.  This two months, the story is about animals, so I’ve decided to reproduce it, in full, so that I can fully complain about it.

Learning How Others Talk, Part 1:

One day, Grandma went out to see her friends.  A stranger walked into the house.  The dog barked, “Help! A stranger is in the house! Woof, Woof.” The cat meowed, “Help! He’s going into the bedroom. Meow, meow.”  The goldfish said, “Oh! He’s taking the vase. Blub, blub.”  They couldn’t understand each other.

Okay.  Let’s just get this out of the way. I think it is irresponsible for an old woman, who apparently lives alone, to be taking care of all of these pets.  I appreciate that two of them don’t need to be taken care of as much, but seriously, the dog alone would be hard for this apparently frail woman to take care of properly.  She could be a spry old woman, but from her pictures, she is pushing 250 years old.   Also, there is no evidence of this stranger coming in from anything other than a basic understanding that this old git didn’t lock her doors.

Secondly, I know it is difficult to believe this, but dogs, cats and goldfish don’t just use their respective sounds as punctuation.  They don’t have fully formed thoughts in English and then convert them to barking by going woof woof.  Also, fish (at least pirhanas) are now know to make a diversity of sounds.  Blub blub, is the sound of escaping air, which, as far as I can tell, is not what any fish would be able to produce. 

Learning How Others Talk, part 2:

They said, “Let’s learn how to talk to each other.”  They started to learn.  The dog said, “Fish, I’m stronger than you. Blub, blub.”  The goldfish meowed, “Cat, I can swim faster than you. Meow, meow.”  The cat barked, “What a suprise! You two are great! Woof, woof.”

Look, I get it.  This story is about learning how to communicate and learning how to understand each other.  This, however, is not how this works.  If they, collectively, are able to communicate to each other that they are 1. unable to talk to each other, and 2. that they should learn how to talk to each other, what the fuck more do they need to learn.

These animals have just experienced what should have been a somewhat traumatic event.  They have just had their home invaded, but all concern for safety and their batty owner not locking the doors or whatever has been completely disregarded so that they can compare attributes?  That doesn’t make any goddamn sense.

And, the attributes that they compare aren’t even that good.  Sure, the dog is probably stronger than the goldfish.  It’s also bigger by a factor of 800% at least.  Relatively, however, if you stuck it’s head underwater, the fucking goldfish would murder it.  The goldfish may be a faster swimmer than the cat underwater, but take away the water, and you have a snack for the cat, prepared and ready.

And now, apparently, all you have to do to speak someone else’s language is to finish everything wtih a particular phrase.  So, apparently, my nonsense Spanish is finally validated. Yo voy a shoestoreo is now a valid sentence, because the ending sounds Spanish?  And I actually looked up how to conjugate the verb for that sentence-o, so maybe this one is better to demonstrate what I am talking about-o.

Learning How Others Talk, part 3:

Many days later, the dog meowed, “What do you want to do this afternoon? Meow, meow.”  The cat said, “I want to swim. Blub, blub.”  The goldfish barked, “I want to sing. Woof, woof.”  They were very happy to talk to each other.

“Many days later?”  What?  How does that make any sense?  There was a thief in the first part of this story.  These animals picked up each others langugae within minutes of the thief leaving, and they haven’t been using this apparent superpower for anything other than asking what they’re going to do after teatime?  These animals could go to a zoo and talk to a fucking whale.  They could get centuries old animals to talk about what they have seen that has changed their life, and they use it for the lowest imaginable purpose. It’s infuriating.

I’m super psyched that they were happy to talk to each other, but weren’t any of them worried that Grandma hasn’t appeared in several days.   How do these animals eat?  The dog might be able to deal, and the cat could eat the goldfish, but Grandma is either there, and they don’t give a fuck about her, or she isn’t there, and she is currently being murdered in her “friends” basement.

Learning How Others Talk, part 4:

One afternoon, Grandma was looking for her vase.  The dog barked, “Grandma, a stranger took your vase.”  The cat meowed, “Grandma, he took the vase.”  The goldfish said, “Grandma, he took the vase.”  But she didn’t understand them.  They said, “Grandma has to learn how we talk.”

Oh, hey, drama.  Where the have you been for the last two parts? Oh, you’re just popping by?  I understand, I wouldn’t want to be in this story either.

Look, another indeterminite time later, our Grandmother has appeared again.   She has finally realized, after days and days, that someone invaded her private space and took her stuff.  However, the animals know who did it, they have the ability to speak to each other now, and they try to do the exact same thing that they did with each other, with nary a blah blah after everything that they say.   Also, the goldfish is so unoriginal that he merely repeats what the cat said.

Also, this is actually the end to the story.  The resolution is just a moment of brutal storytelling.  The animals have the ability to communicate to everyone but the one person who could do something.  However, they are left on this cliff of unknowing, waiting to try to talk to Grandma.  And even if Grandma finally learns that they can talk, the instant that she talks to another person, the independence that she has cultivated will be taken away, because she believes that animals can talk to her.  She will live the rest of her days in an institution, haunted by dreams of animals talking in English to her, making her insane.  Her gift will be her curse, and she will be so withdrawn from society as to be dead to it.

This is what I teach to children.  I just don’t get to add my own parts to the story.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Whale Tale


Today, I was cruising around io9, and I came across this.

This short video shows what happens to a whales corpse as it descends to the bottom and is consumed by the scavengers that live there.  It’s pretty incredible to watch, because of the detailed craftsmanship of the puppets, and the beauty of the whole thing.

Anyway, what with our most recent podcast being about Whales, I hope you guys would like to see this video.  In the comments, which one of the puppets is your favorite?

Podcast: Whales, Tales, and Toothpaste-Like Milk


Listen up kids, it’s time to talk about the 4000 uses for whale bones.  Listen up.