Re: Whales: Not Easily Bored

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it survived a similar hunt -- more than a century ago.

GOTCHA SUCKA! Thought you'd make it the 2d time, didn't ya? DIDN'T YA???


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 4:58 PM
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exploding lances, eh?
sucks to be a whale.


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 5:00 PM
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"Exploding lance" is the translation of "Monongahela."

Remember, you learned it on Unfogged.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 5:03 PM
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Not Easily Bored

Why do you think they're moaning all the damn time?


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 5:06 PM
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A 50-ton bowhead whale caught off the Alaskan coast last month had a weapon fragment embedded in its neck that showed it survived a similar hunt -- more than a century ago.

The miracle of nature! Thank god we finally killed it!


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 5:11 PM
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Listen guys, it's all part of the great circle of life ok. im in ur oshun harpoonin yr walz.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 5:13 PM
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"Circle of death" always seemed more to the point to me, but the Disney people wouldn't use *my* title.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 5:17 PM
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If you call that living.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 5:24 PM
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It so chanced that almost upon first cutting into him with the spade, the entire length of a corroded harpoon was found imbedded in his flesh, on the lower part of the bunch before described. But as the stumps of harpoons are frequently found in the dead bodies of captured whales, with the flesh perfectly healed around them, and no prominence of any kind to denote their place; therefore, there must needs have been some other unknown reason in the present case fully to account for the ulceration alluded to. But still more curious was the fact of a lance-head of stone being found in him, not far from the buried iron, the flesh perfectly firm about it. Who had darted that stone lance? And when? It might have been darted by some Nor' West Indian long before America was discovered.

Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 5:34 PM
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9: Boring! Post the parts with Ahab and the devil, or the parts where Ishmael is totally gay for Queequeg.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 5:45 PM
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Actually, 9 is fascinating. Less gay sex and violence, more natural history!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 5:47 PM
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Natural history, my ass. Melville devotes several pages to explaining why, contrary to these "scientists" who'll say all sorts of nonsense, the whale is a fish, not a mammal. After all, it has fins and swims in the water!


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 5:56 PM
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Squeeze! squeeze! squeeze! all the morning long; I squeezed that sperm till I myself almost melted into it; I squeezed that sperm till a strange sort of insanity came over me; and I found myself unwittingly squeezing my co-laborers' hands in it, mistaking their hands for the gentle globules. Such an abounding, affectionate, friendly, loving feeling did this avocation beget; that at last I was continually squeezing their hands, and looking up into their eyes sentimentally; as much as to say, --Oh! my dear fellow beings, why should we longer cherish any social acerbities, or know the slightest ill-humor or envy! Come; let us squeeze hands all round; nay, let us all squeeze ourselves into each other; let us squeeze ourselves universally into the very milk and sperm of kindness. Would that I could keep squeezing that sperm for ever!

Posted by: Ishmael | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 6:02 PM
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Apparently Melville's subtle irony went right over your head, stras.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 6:06 PM
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13 is one of my favorite parts of the book.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 6:10 PM
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If you want natural history, read Moby Dick. Seriously. It *is* fascinating, all these long descriptions of whales and whaling and stuff.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 6:12 PM
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Oh, and. Part of that sperm passage in 13 was on the subject GED, which I took before I read Moby Dick. Like an idiot, I decided it couldn't *possibly* actually be from MD, because that would be too obvious, and I chose some other answer.

To this day, obviously, I'm kicking myself.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 6:13 PM
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Don't kick yourself, Song of the Loon was also a good guess.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 6:15 PM
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Wait - whales have necks?


Posted by: mike d | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 6:16 PM
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I call bullshit on the claim that whales can live to be well over 100 years old. All the sites I've checked show them topping out at 80-90 years, max. That harpoon must have been fired more recently.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 6:28 PM
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If Ogged's claim is true, that means Moby Dick might still be out there.

Let me pimp George Klauba here. Genius Melville paintings.


Posted by: Brian | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 7:26 PM
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If you call that living.

"Dyin ain't much of a livin, moby."
--The Outlaw Josey Wales.


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 7:39 PM
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Shorter 20: The internet never lies!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 7:42 PM
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i swear i wrote "Wales" as "Whales". curses.
and now you've all missed my fantastic pun.


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 7:43 PM
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Longer 20: A consensus of reputable websites focused on a particular subject is unlikely to be jointly perpetuating the same lie, and is more likely to be accurate than a single report from a journalist who may not have a background in the subject.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 7:46 PM
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Gaijin Biker, might I suggest you do a google search for "Bowhead Whale Age" and read the first five-ish results?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 7:57 PM
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I feel beholden, nay pressed, nay squeezed, to add the strand of my opinion to this thin rope of a thread. Cast the iron shaft-head aside, says I - find me the whale with the foot in it!


Posted by: ahab | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 8:02 PM
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#26: Wow, that's amazing. Previously I had googled for whales in general, with the upper figure coming in at 80-90 for the larger species. But I guess Bowheads are special.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 8:09 PM
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Now that my namesake's persona has been subdued a little (sorry about the outburst), I must say I quite like the Klauba image linked above. I'm not sure I'd rate it as genius, but it's goodness surprises me a little.


Posted by: ahab | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 8:18 PM
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The handsome Barry Moser-designed Moby Dick is not only a modern masterpiece of the book arts, it also includes a woodcut of a whale penis. Official Unfogged edition!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 8:19 PM
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Orson Whales


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 8:37 PM
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The handsome Barry Moser-designed Moby Dick

WANT


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 8:41 PM
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I have read the handsome Barry Moser-designed Moby Dick. It is about a whale.


Posted by: joeo | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 8:50 PM
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woodcut of a whale penis

I don't really have that serious a whale fetish.


Posted by: ahab | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 8:54 PM
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WANT

Thanks to this thread, I'm leafing through it right now. It's exquisite -- and if you look on bookfinder.com, you can find it used in harcover for under $20. Or if you have 25 grand to spare, you can pick up 100 signed original engravings from the Arion Press edition.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-13-07 8:57 PM
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stras: also, remember, Melville was writing pre-1857. If you don't have a theory of common descent, there's no reason to say that one classification is more "right" than any other. Why should we privilege air-breathing and homeothermy, and put shrews and whales into the same class, rather than privileging swimming and fins, which puts whales in with the whale sharks?

Richard Dawkins makes this point in "The Blind Watchmaker".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-14-07 8:57 AM
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woodcut of a whale penis

Some of us see it every day & have no need for a woodcut.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 06-14-07 8:57 AM
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Melville was being funny and using the fisheries typology. According to the grocery typology, rabbits are poultry. So it goes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-14-07 10:37 AM
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29:

As you learn when you spend enough time hanging out with people still stubborn and stupid enough to be painters in this day and age: Not designed to be viewed on the internet.

I've never been that crazy about Barry Moser (though he has his moments). There is supposed to be a Klauba edition coming out at some point.

Sandow Birk's Divine Comedy seems like the proper art book for unfogged.


Posted by: Brian | Link to this comment | 06-14-07 7:56 PM
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Not only did Melville argue that a whale is a fish, but Weekly World News columnist Ed Anger pretty much cribbed the chapter some 20 years ago in a column.

Actually, Melville's account of why a whale is a fish was highly satirical, and, considering the modern "debates" on subjects such as "intelligent design", his satire has not aged one day.


Posted by: JT | Link to this comment | 06-24-07 1:25 AM
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