Category Archives: encyclopedia of life

Day 198 and 199: MLwC and WTF?

Under the heading of WTF? we find this story from Forks, Washington, a fishing town near the Makah Indian Reservation on the Olympic Peninsula. Apparently five guys from the Makah tribe decided it was time to kill a Gray Whale–weather was fine, water was calm, and they were armed to the teeth with the largest rifle on the market. The odds of successfully killing the creature simply could not be better, so who could resist?

My nephew is a resident out there and stood on the shore with a lot of other people watching this scene. He said there were grown men crying to see how the whale suffered the inept and senseless attack. The Coast Guard was slow to respond and ultimately took action seemingly only after the television networks picked up the story.

What’s the matter with us as a species, anyway ? We wait for a migrating population, arm ourselves in order to galvanize the odds in our favor and then call it, what? Shooting fish in a barrel? No. Tribal rights. Part of a cultural prerogative. Call me callous, but I have a feeling the previous generations didn’t use .460 Weatherby Magnums and didn’t let the poor creature struggle and suffer for 10 hours before it drowned and sank to the bottom of the ocean. Subsistance and cultural needs, my ass.

So, that’s it for today. The perpetrators have been handed over to the tribal council for punishment–perhaps jail time and 20K in fines. Whew. Can’t quite rid myself of this event.

Daily Stats (Saturday and Sunday)
Car: 0
Bike: 12 miles
Ped: approx 5 miles
Bus: 0

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Encyclopedia of Life and E. O. Wilson’s one wish

I just visited the Encyclopedia of Life and watched E.O Wilson’s 20 minute video, upon receiving the 2007 TED prize.

Wilson discusses the vast importance of insects to our living environment….he focuses on the massive scale of insect life that is simply unknown and yet are key parts of our great chain of life.

Also: there’s a fabulous vid-within-vid moment accompanied by Billie Holiday.  Worth a watch and a listen.

So, what is E. O. Wilson’s one wish?  That we work together to build the Encyclopedia of Life– built and shared by all communities around the world.  For the first time ever, the ability to gather and share the enormous magnitude of knowledge about science, biology, the climate, global warming, species preservation–the ability to gather this information is within reach due to the internet.

Well, if you check out eol.org, it looks like Wilson got his wish.  Cool.