Some recent pics sent to me by mobile phone by my son Thomas . . .
- Richard Dawkins quote
"We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because of the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few who won the lottery of birth, against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state, from which the vast majority has never stirred?"
As regards the Loneliest Whale:
- The whale is known as the 52-Hertz whale.
- What is unique about this whale is the relatively high frequency range of its calls. Different species of whales call within their own range of frequencies – giant blue whales at 10-20 hz; the next biggest, fin whales, at about 20 hz, and sperm whales (the ones often heard on recordings) at 30-8 hz. This whale calls at 52 hz, comparatively high for whales.
- The whale’s call was first heard in 1989 and it has been tracked since 1992.
- No one has seen it and there is speculation that it could be a malformed or hybrid of a blue whale and another species. There have been suggestions that it could be the last member of an unknown species.
- It is also believed to have matured since 1992 in that its voice has deepened slightly since then.
- Its migrations and travels are unlike those of other whales, its movements being similar to those of blue whales but the timing being more like that of fin whales.
- It is not definitively known whether the whales has a mate, has friends, or is really the loneliest whale in the world. Researchers have reported that the sounds seem to come from a single animal with no other whales present.