Monday, June 20, 2005

Great White Feeding Frenzy

Great White Feeding Frenzy

Great White Feeding Frenzy (2000)

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel -- "It's Great White Feeding Time Again":

But humans aren't a shark's preferred prey. Great whites are curious animals and it seems more likely bites are just their way of figuring out what a surfer in a wetsuit really is. Sharks bite crab pots and tires. Once, [UC Santa Cruz biologist Burney] Le Boeuf saw a female great white check out a plywood decoy that had been set in the water near Año Nuevo Island.

"She lifted the decoy out of the water, then let it drift back out of her mouth and swam away," Le Boeuf says. "We couldn't find any distinguishing marks on the decoy" to show she'd even bitten down.

In fact, more injuries may occur when a victim yanks his or her arm or leg out of a shark's razor-sharp teeth, rather than because the beast wants a human snack, Le Boeuf says.

Still, it's hard to stay calm in the face of a species that can grow to be 20 feet long and weigh as much as the combined weight of two college football teams -- 22 big, burly guys.

"They (great whites) remind me of that scene in the first Star Wars when the Star Destroyer passes overhead," says Le Boeuf, who has witnessed them pass by the boat he was on.

"They seem to go on forever. They looks like they're never going to go by."

From ESPN Outdoors -- "Tourists Pat Feeding-Frenzied Great Whites":

Australia may change laws "to protect people too stupid to protect themselves" after sightseers clambered on a floating dead whale and patted great white sharks eating the carcass, a senior official said.


[South Australian state Environment Minister Iain] Evans said he was shocked at the disrespect the tourists showed for their own safety when they were caught on film this week patting the sharks near Cape Jervis, 60 miles south of Adelaide.

"I am also appalled by the bizarre behavior of walking across the back of dead whales or, for that matter, patting a great white shark while it is feeding," Evans said.

"These creatures are not toys. In the case of the great white, they can be extremely dangerous and it is clear the state government will need to look at changing the law in order to protect people too stupid to protect themselves," he added.

The southern right whale died late last week. About a dozen sharks immediately began devouring the carcass, tearing off chunks of flesh in a feeding frenzy.

Boat operators cashed in, ferrying dozens of customers to the site for a closer look.

From the Discovery Channel CA -- "The Shark That Won't Be Caged":

For the past 50 years, more than half a dozen institutions have tried roughly 20 times to display a great white. No one has been successful in keeping one in captivity for more than three weeks.


An article written by shark expert Ian Gordon recounts an infamous incident in 1968, when a fisherman caught a great white in Australia. The male shark was transferred to an aquarium and placed in their one million-litre tank. The shark recovered and began swimming and even feeding in its tank.

It was doing so well that some of the aquarium divers were becoming nervous when the shark appeared to be showing a little too much interest in their activities. The aquarium decided to capitalize on the problem by selling tickets to the general public and the media. People came to witness the destruction of a 'killer shark' and the shark was shot in front of a sold-out crowd.

From the Washington Post -- a review of Jaws -- 30th Anniversary Edition DVD:

Best Spielberg Bonus Point: "From the Set," the 1974 featurette hosted by Brit Iain Johnstone, provides a semi-entertaining peek at a super-young Spielberg at work on the water. During an interview conducted between takes, the director offers this nugget of wisdom about his casting choices: "I like people who are outspoken and very large, so I can bring them down to life level." So that explains why he works with notorious sofa-jumper Tom Cruise.

Most Interesting Bonus Point: If you've never seen the "Making of Jaws," it's worth a look. You'll hear all the usual stories about the movie (the mechanical shark [Bruce] didn't work, cast and crew members got seasick, etc.), but some more-obscure nuggets -- like the fact that the shark's first victim (played by Susan Backlinie) is pulled underwater by Spielberg himself -- are shared as well. Those make this a worthwhile, if out of date, doc.

And, finally, from A Tiny Revolution:

Millions of years of evolution have designed George W. Bush for one purpose and one purpose only: lying.

Silently he swims through the sea of American politics. He does not sleep. He knows no mercy. And suddenly, with no warning, HE ATTACKS:

Bush-Blair Press Conference, June 7, 2005

Q: Thank you, sir. On Iraq, the so-called Downing Street memo from July 2002 says intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy of removing Saddam through military action. Is this an accurate reflection of what happened? Could both of you respond?...

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, I -- you know, I read kind of the characterizations of the memo... And somebody said, well, you know, we had made up our mind to go to use military force to deal with Saddam. There's nothing farther from the truth.

The fight is quick and bloody :

Interview Of The President By Sir Trevor McDonald Of Britain's Itv Television Network, April 4, 2002

Question: I take your point about no immediate plans, but in a sense, have you made up your mind that Iraq must be attacked?

The President: I made up my mind that Saddam needs to go...

Question: So you're going to go after him?

The President: As I told you, the policy of my government is that Saddam Hussein not be in power.

Question: And how are you going to achieve this, Mr. President?

The President: Wait and see.

Yes, readers, we're going to need a bigger blog...

Fellows, let's be reasonable, huh? This is not the time or the place to perform some kind of a half-assed autopsy on a fish.

...and a much better media. Our "watchdogs" have certainly waited. Now, isn't it about time they smell the chum -- and bite?

No more barking. No more rolling over. No more playing dead. Just biting. Biting every day.

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