Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

(Artist credit: Christian Lassen)

I've been really distracted lately by basketball games, and have not been online much. With the college women's basketball tournament kicking off this weekend and games on TV almost every day for the next week or two, I figured I'd better get in now while the getting is good :-)

Before I proceed further though, do I have any tech proficient experts in my audience? My other blog at The Dolphin's Wink is undergoing a renovation. The friend I am hosting with on his server, had previously been my go-to guy for updates, changes, etc to that blog. His career has taken off though and he no longer has the time to dedicate to a novice like myself like he used to. Which is great news for him and I wish him all the success in the world ;-) But I now need to learn how to maneuver around my FTP control panel where my blog info is and learn how to add banners and where, add the RSS feed and where, etc etc. I don't know my FTP from my elbow and am a complete and total noob to this stuff.

If anyone knows this sort of information and where the easiest and clearest place to educate myself on this, I'd be much Obliged in being pointed in the right direction.

In the meantime, I'm wavering between two themes over there and not sure which one I want to stick with. Perhaps my readers could provide some feedback and leave a comment with your vote on which one you like the best.

Beach Day

This one is simple but does have it's limitations. I like the colors and the beachy theme.


(Already set up on my blog at the moment)

This one has more flexibility for advertising, etc. But I'm not sure how important that is to me right now and it's a more complicated theme to work with for a newbie like myself. However, I also like this one too.

Appreciate your feedback!

I am currently reading two books that I HIGHLY recommend if you truly and deeply care about our marine mammals.

Messages From the Dolphins

I mentioned this one in my previous post and the author is Scott over at Dolphin Smile. This book is a summation of various messages from the dolphins on the subjects of Nature/Environment, Children, Communication, and War.

Mostly, it's a message about love and peace. Loving ourselves, each other, all living things, and our Earth. I believe we could learn a lot from our marine friends if we open our hearts and our minds to it. There is enough suffering on this planet and it's unfortunate, but true, that humanity is the cause of most of it. It begins with us and can end with us.

The Whale Warriors (check your favorite bookstore, either on or offline, or your local library)

This book is written by Peter Heller. He joined the Sea Shepherd crew last year and wrote a very detailed book on his experience. I'm only about 1/3 through it but Mr. Heller's talent for writing makes you feel like you are in the thick of the experience with him and the crew.

I'd like to share a passage here near the beginning of the book that stands out to me. It was part of a speech Captain Paul Watson gave at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival about two years ago.

"In June 1975, sixty-five miles off the coast of Siberia, Bob Hunter and I ran our Zodiac between a Russian whaler and a small pod of panicked, fleeing gray whales. We were the first to use a Zodiac in this way. The whalers fired a harpoon over our heads and hit a female whale in the head. She screamed. There was a fountain of blood. She made a sound like a women's scream. Just then one of the largest males I've ever seen slapped his tail hard against the water and hurled himself right at the Soviet vessel. Just before he could strike, the whalers harpooned him too. He fell back and swam right at us. He reared out of the water. I thought, this is it, it's all over, he's going to slam down on the boat. But instead, he pulled back. I saw his muscles pull back. It was as if he knew we were trying to save them. As he slid back into the water, drowning in his own blood, I looked into his eye and I saw recognition. Empathy. What I saw in his eye as he looked at me would change my life forever. He saved my life and I would return the favor."

Here's another passage, and if this doesn't bring home to anyone just how cruel and inhumane killing these mammals is, then you have ice running through your veins and your heart.

"The killing of a whale by the most modern methods is cruel beyond description. An exploding harpoon meant to kill quickly rarely does more than rupture the whale's organs. It thrashes, and gushes blood and begins to drown in its own hemorrhage. It is winched to the side of the kill ship and a probe is jabbed into it and thousands of volts of electricity are run through in an attempt to kill it faster. The whale screams and cries and thrashes. Often, if it is a mother, her calf swims wildly around her, doomed to is own slow death later on. Again, the electricity fails to kill the whale, and it normally takes fifteen to twenty minutes of this torture for the whale to drown and die. Whatever one thinks of whales' high intelligence, the advanced social structures, the obvious emotions and the still mysterious ability to communicate over long distances, this method of slaughter would not be allowed as standard practice in any slaughter house in the world."

It's not just about saving the whales, it's about saving the planet. Everything is linked and interlinked and as we destroy more and more of the resources we have left on Earth, we are, in effect, killing ourselves.

I hope to one day experience what it is like to be *thisclose* to a whale or dolphin and to make eye contact. I have no doubt that it would move me to the very core of my spirit in ways I can only currently imagine or dream.

For now, the closest I can get is here: Life Size Whale (Definitely check this out)

Ambrose Bierce says this about the ocean: "Ocean. A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills."

I wish everyone a Happy Easter and a wonderful weekend.