Dick Watching: Does the Whale’s Magnitude Diminish? Will He Perish?

Hey there Dicksters, and welcome to this week’s Dick Watching. You might notice that it is, unfortunately, NOT Friday. It’s true: we’ve re-arranged things here at Vol. 1, so instead of a week-ender, you can look forward to your favorite sea-themed link list to brighten up your work week instead. Let’s get to it, shall we? And we’re off!

1. As a fair-skinned, blonde-haired girl I know as well as anyone how much getting sunburned sucks. So, I feel the pain of all the cetaceans experiencing extreme sunburns. According to a study conducted by scientists in California, the number of whales experiencing sunburns increased 56 per cent between 2007 and 2009. Blue whales are getting the worst burns—ouch! CNN says: “Photos and skin samples gathered by scientists from the UK’s Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Mexico’s Interdisciplinary Marine Science Center revealed blisters and changes in skin pigmentation in blue whales, fin whales and sperm whales.” All signs point to ozone depletion and global warming. Double ouch!

2. Remember last week when we learned that hearing damage is believed to play a role in massive strandings of whales and dolphins? What? Well, here’s a follow-up: Now that the oceans are really noisy, whales have to essentially scream at each other in order to mate. In the last 50 years, whale mating calls have gotten ten times louder in order to compete with all that underwater rumble and grumble. From the Herald Sun: “The rumbling noises emitted by ships and marine installations have similar frequencies to those used by whales,” said Peter Tyack, a marine biologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.” AND “The whales are not just getting louder. Their messages are getting simpler and repeated more often, just like a human forced to shout,” he said.”  Terrible!

3. A group of porpoises allegedly saved Dick Van Dyke’s life. I mean…there’s nothing I can add to this.

4. WHADDUP: On November 14, 1851, Moby Dick was published as a single volume by Harper and Brothers, three weeks after its original debut as a three-volume tome. So, everybody: Rejoice!