ZOMBIE WHALE: As the buried whale of Barnegat Light has erosionally risen from its shallow grave, I further researched ways to rid a beach of deceased leviathans a worldwide problem, though not so much in Kansas. Not that theres a ton of de-whaling options. Its comes down to either burying it on the spot or hauling it away.
Ill re-mention that Long Beach Township once towed a smaller whale over to High Bar Harbor park for burial. However, the coolest tow-away solution Im reading about is tying a rope to a whales tail, then having a boat come in close enough to pull it out to sea. That can be done by the Coast Guard, seeing whales are federally protected, or maybe a for-hire boat towing vessel. SeaTow and TowUS jump to mind since I think theyd allow me on board for the process.
While a boat towaway sounds easy on paper as has the dynamiting solution in the past such an effort can be wrought with rottenness.
I watched videos of whale towaways on the West Coast and noticed the deceased whales were relatively rigid, a nice way of saying they werent rotten to the core. The remains now ripely residing in BL? Lets just say it wouldnt be a pretty tow.
In the case of fresher, rigid whale remains, a burial at sea would be not only an honorable dispatching, but a boon to the planet. Ill explain.
Once far out to sea, a dropped-off whale once degassed by allowing our Coast Guard buddies to blast it with their itching-to-be-used M2 .50 caliber machine gun would sink to the bottom to thoroughly serve the planet and marine ecosystem.
When expired whales sink to the bottom, which nine out of 10 nobly do, theyre dined upon by an array of down-deep creatures sporting astounding cleanup capacities. The feasting is led by hagfish, which can make piranhas look like slackers when it comes to divesting carcasses of meat. Also dining to their hearts content, since a large whale can take two years to be fully consumed, are sleeper sharks, crabs, lobsters, and worms of many curves.
Now onward to the stunning environmental feat performed by departed whales upon their sinking: It comes via carbon pulldown. Thats a process whereby carbon collected in the body of whales goes bottom bound, taking a goodly load of atmosphere-damaging carbon with it and essentially passing it on to bottom feeders, which keep it pinned to the bottom even after they pass on and are eaten by their buddies.
According to an article on International Monetary Funds website titled Natures Solution to Climate Change; A strategy to protect whales can limit greenhouse gases and global warming, researcher Ralph Chami reports, Great whales are the carbon-capture titans of the animal world, absorbing an average of 33 tons of CO2 each year throughout their lives before their carcasses sink to the bottom of the ocean and remain there for centuries. A tree, by contrast, absorbs no more than 48 pounds of the gas a year.
Expanding on that concept, live-whale droppings support the production of powerhouse phytoplankton. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, these marine microorganisms contribute at least 50% of all oxygen to Earths atmosphere and capture as much CO2 as 1.7 trillion trees, or four Amazon forests.
Ill be writing more on this astounding planet-saving carbon exchange process in the future. Ill also follow the progress or digress of the BL zombie whale.
DIE, SQUATCH, DIE!: If you have a soft spot for Sasquatches and such, you might want to get a bead on Oklahoma Rep. Justin Tinyfoot Humphrey setting his redneck butt straight about the compassion widely felt for the planets sundry cryptids, most belovedly Bigfoot.
If Humphrey gets his legislative way, the world might see a treasured Bigfoot all shot to hell and pathetically hanging from a big-ass tree branch with a hick hunter standing next to it humming the Garth Brooks song I Got Friends in Low Places, referencing Old Tinyfoot.
Humphrey, in the ultimate display of foot envy, has fostered legislation encouraging shootists nationwide to grab their shootin irons and hightail it to Oklahoma to go balls out after Bigfoots. Im as serious as slipping on a cow pie.
According to CNNs Cryptozoology Bureau, The hunting season would be regulated by the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission, which would set annual dates along with specific hunting licenses and fees.
Trying to disguise his foot fetish behind political rhetoric, Humphrey declared that siphoning heavily armed crazies into Oklahoma would surely draw in tourists. I say hed be better off spicing up his states motto of Oklahoma is OK. Geez, theres a glowing endorsement.
Tourism is one of the biggest attractions we have in my House district, Humphrey told reporters from around the nation. Establishing an actual hunting season and issuing licenses for people who want to hunt Bigfoot will just draw more people to our already beautiful part of the state. It will be a great way for people to enjoy our area and to have some fun.
Oh, its all fun and tourism until some jackass with a long-range sniper rifle takes a 2-mile-downrange pot shot at an assumed Bigfoot only to take out a group of innocent groundhogs just trying to have some midday fun making a pyramid by standing on each others shoulders. Lets see the states press office downplay that misfire. Ive dealt with the American Groundhog Huggers Association, and those suckers can chuck some serious wood when POed.
Then theres the most career-killing call to ever reach Humphreys office. Overheard: What the hell ya mean someone actually shot a Bigfoot!? Oh, great and during an election year. Look, just bury it real fast and what say we just go back to being only OK?
Afterthought: Please dont let our N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife get wind of this OK hunt. With the smell of license revenues always dancing through their heads, itll be no time flat before theres a battalion of good old boys rushing into our state to get a Jersey Devil stamp.
WHAT THE HELLS THAT, BARNEY!?: Last weekend I was stopped in my tracks by a new lighthouse topper a bright silver metallic protrusion now issuing upward from the resplendent countenance of Old Barney. It appears to be some sort of galvanized vent, maybe to offload gathering radon gases or possibly to enhance air exchange inside, should the lighthouse ever again throw open its now COVID-silenced steps. Might mold be proliferating within this suddenly sealed-off landmark? Im looking into it.
Whatever, I see the topside addition as an uncomely protuberance atop an attraction that vies for the most viewed manmade spectacle in the state. Ill downplay Lady Libertys draw since that dithering gal splits her stately allegiance between N.J. and N.Y. Once shes out of the picture, Old Barney wins the most looked-upon category, hands down, albeit handlessly.
Now we see this, this growth ignobly emanating from his noggin. Imagine how fury would fly if such an everyday piece of utilitarian equipment were placed atop the crown of Lady Liberty. Yet our equally historic Old Barney has his head bored to accommodate a ventish thing that is not just anachronistic, but borders on toppingly ugly when juxtaposed to the long-established beauty of the entire edifice.
OK, Ill back off a tad by objectively wondering if there was some pressing purpose behind the slapping on of such a banal object. Its nonetheless cringeworthy to think thousands of future Barney photos will reflect the growth. There might even be an eventual photo differentiation, namely B.V. (Before Vent) and A.V. (After Vent).
Being a makeshift historian, Ill even go as far as thinking a hundred years hence, when great-great visitors view the top of Barney by then, possibly barely protruding from the ocean and excitedly remark, Wow, look at that old-fashioned vent on top there. Ill bet that goes back to before we all began wearing ventilators to breathe.
JERRYS KIDS: To fulfill my weekly weirdness quota, lets head over to San Francisco quite a cool a place, often literally. Mark Twain once twanged, The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. Been there, felt that.
An equally quotable San Fran mention comes from an Eric Burton and the Animals song called San Francisco Nights, in which Burton serenades, The kids are cool, they dont grow fools. Well, it seems that Bay City coolness might go higher and higher as the citys school board undertakes a high school renaming process.
In a much-publicized attack on San Frans school system, equal rightists voiced ire over certain schools having been named after famed historic figures who are now being associated with racism. Singled out was Thomas Jefferson. And they just might have a case on a couple fronts. Not only did Tommy Boy own a slew of slaves, but theres thoroughly compelling genetic evidence that he kept a female slave housed in the side quarters of Monticello for personal usages.
During the citys current process of changing questionable school names, the BOE is seriously pondering renaming one of its schools after the late hometown rock n roll musical legend Jerry Garcia, guitarist, lyricist and vocalist for the Grateful Dead. Theres a BOE Id like to meet.
For those so young or so unhip that the rock nickname The Dead conjures up only a Zombie apocalypse, their music reached and sometimes surpassed the hilt of highness, as stony as sound gets, though in a good and highly peaceful manner, mind you. The higher you are, the better we sound.
In Rolling Stone terms, the Grateful Dead has long been revered for its nonchalantly mellow, inescapably catchy songs. Though hearkening from the 60, their songs live on despite the passing of its school-name-worthy lead singer, who died of a heart attack in 1995. Through its remaining band members and innumerable tribute bands, Dead music lives on, sometimes louder than ever. The band has never feared decibels.
But the band itself is only half of the Garcia-led legacy. The group has been matched, some might say surpassed, by its religiously dedicated devotees, dubbed Dead Heads. They rest in a realm far beyond mere fans or groupies. Whats more, they have also timelessly lived on.
Seemingly from day one, Dead Heads literally caravanned with the band to every concert venue, worldwide! Pre-concert parking lot gatherings, more like enraptured happenings, easily surpassed the rowdiest NFL tailgate parties. The Dead Head happenings were also sell-fests.
To this day, a multimillion-dollar merchandising industry is attached to the bands brand. Last year, Variety magazine headlined 25 Years After Jerry Garcias Death, the Grateful Dead Is Bigger Than Ever; The band hasnt played a show since 1995 but remains as relevant and profitable as ever.
Dead merchandising is led by stunning tie-dyed clothing hosting the iconic Grateful Dead trademark, designed by Owsley Stanley and duly named the Lightning Skull. Per trademarks.justia.com, it consists of two concentric circles with a drawing of a skull adorned with roses in the inner circle. The outer circle contains the words GRATEFUL DEAD in stylized font, separated by two roses. Imagine that being a logo for Jerry Garcia High School. And picture a slow-moving Jerry Garcia lookalike mascot wandering somewhat aimlessly through the stands during sports events.
Of pertinence is the huge ongoing cottage industry that came about when Dead Heads realized virtually any tie-dyed clothing item marketed at parking lot parties carried an undeniable kinship to the band. Cha-ching. In fact, some early custom-made tie-dye shirts are now worth a goodly sum as high collectibles. Just imagine the parking areas around Jerry Garcia High School, with old hippies hanging out selling tie-dyed school pride shirts and offering olden-day tales to the next generation of Dead Heads.
Oh, and lets not forget the munchies side of Jerry Garcias good name, brought your way almost daily through the soundalike Cherry Garcia Ice Cream by Ben and Jerrys. Imagine having a school named after both a rock legend and a decadently delicious ice cream. Theres nobody dropping out of that school. But I dont want to go to college. I wanna stay in Jerry Garcia high, I mean Jerry Garcia High.
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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero