Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sharks and Our Flat World.

I have always been fascinated by marine life. For some reason, I just feel very drawn to and connected with water [even though the only water I've ever seen in person (basically) is Lake Erie!]. I used to want to be a marine biologist, actually. Still do, really.

Anyway! So lately I've been watching a lot of marine life shows on the Discovery Channel. Last week was Shark Week.

I watched a lot of fascinating shows. Great White Sharks are so amazing! There were numerous shots of them flinging their entire body out of the water and into the air as they went after seals and turtles (sad!). They're a huge animal, so to be able to do that? Wow.

And sharks aren't predators to humans. It's not part of their evolution to think of us as food. When people are bitten, most of the time it's because sharks think we're seals. Sharks are close to humans in the water all the time (without us knowing) and don't attack us. In one of the shows, there was footage of a man in a helicopter spying a couple of huge Great Whites in the water--and if they looked huge from the air...--and then noting how fifty feet away was a beach full of people (and noting that he sees this all the time).

Then I watched a new special on giant squids. Did you know more people have walked on the moon than have dived more than five miles in the ocean? The ocean is so mysterious and beautiful.

Anyway, a giant squid has never been filmed alive. A Japanese scientist and his friends created this camera that could go deep in the ocean and automatically snap photos every thirty seconds. After several tries and misses with it, they got about 400 photos of a giant squid. They were still photographs, but the show put them together in sequence and showed it like a slide-show. Magical!

Can you imagine how these scientists must feel? What a breakthrough. But it's still not as good as a film of them would be!

And just like in the myths, sperm whales and giant squids do fight! Squids are what the sperm whales eat, and the whales have scars from fights with them. Crazy!

I borrowed The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou from the library so I can see pretty (and fake) sea animals.

Do you know what else you can borrow from the library? CDs. Awesome! I borrowed Nina Simone's Remembering and Ani DiFranco's Knuckle Down. And what do you think I'm going to do with them?

I've started to read The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century by Thomas L. Friedman, which is not exactly what I thought it was about. I'm freaked out, though. Did you know some accounting firms outsource our tax returns to people in India? And that this practice will probably be the norm in a decade? And that some hospitals outsource the reading of our CAT scans to people in India and Australia? Um. Not cool. All this after only reading about twenty pages? Ack.

P.S. I hate my slow-ass Internet connection. I've been trying to download something for several days now, and it ain't happening. Every time I get up to 70-90% done, the Internet conks out and I have to start all over! Gah.

ETA: Yea! I finally got it downloaded. *does a little dance*

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