Saturday, July 30, 2016

All Hail The Happy And Hardy!

In history on 26 July 1903, the first automobile trip across the United States was completed by two happy and hardy gentlemen.
It was America's first transcontinental road trip and, like all hard drives, an unforgettable experience.
Happy and hardy butcher
This year on 26 July, another hard drive...this time in the beautiful Faroe Islands, where it's stunning rugged beauty was once again savagely tarnished by one more bloody and brutal grindadráp.
A pod of approximately 200 long-finned pilot whales was driven by 25 Faroese boats for two hours, before 135 were eventually beached and hacked to death on the rocky shoreline at Hvannasund.
This was the second slaughter of 2016 - the largest so far, following the totally unnecessary deaths of up to 50 pilot whales on 06 July.
In 2015, the "gentlemen" of the Faroes butchered 501 whales - now just one month into 'the season', they're already a third through last year's tally. I hope these hardy gents are happy...

Sunday, July 24, 2016

This Time, The Whales Win

A new court ruling, in an ongoing battle between the US Navy and marine wildlife advocates, has come down in favour of marine mammals that're affected by navy sonar.
Sonar, which involves detecting underwater objects using sound waves, is used by whales and dolphins to locate prey or members of their pod. But the human-developed sonar can be harmful to marine mammals and their feeding and mating patterns.
An Appeals Court in California has found a 2012 decision - to allow naval use of low-frequency sonar for training, testing, and operations - was contrary to the US Marine Mammal Protection Act, which states peacetime oceanic programmes must have "the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammals."
Environmentalists have claimed 155 whales and dolphins in certain parts of Southern California and the Hawaiian islands were killed by the US Navy's mid-frequency active sonar and explosives, with estimates for serious injuries in the range of 2,000.
The use of sonar has been shown to cause whales to swim hundreds of miles to escape, change depth so fast that injury is caused, or beach themselves in order to avoid rolling walls of noise that're nearly twice the volume of the loudest rock concert.
This lawsuit by the Natural Resources Defence Council is part of a larger campaign to limit man-made oceanic noises impacting the health, feeding, and breeding patterns for marine mammals. Other examples include sounds caused by shipping vessels and seismic oil and gas drilling.

Monday, July 11, 2016

2016 Grindadráp Begins

In the Northern Hemisphere, it's summer.
A time for family fun in the sun, frolicking at the seaside, running helter-skelter into the waves...and for some Faroe Islanders, hacking trapped pilot whales to death. Their local media confirms up to 50 whales were killed on 06 July.
The pod of pilot whales was initially spotted near Svinoy (an island in the NE of the Faroes), before boats forced them south about 11km onto the killing beach of Hvannasund...Sea Shepherd activists were not present at the grindadráp, as the group has been barred from entering the FI.
The 2015 summer saw 501 whales butchered, 14 SS volunteers from across the globe arrested, and SS's vessel Bob Barker barred "in the interests of maintaining law and order." A new law was brought in, forcing all visitors - not just SS activists - to report sightings of whales to authorities, or face a possible 2yrs.jail.
There were also claims that the navy was involved in preventing protests. As actor Martin Sheen wrote to the Danish PM: "I was appalled to see the Danish Navy being used to defend the killing of hundreds of defenceless pilot whales. Does it really take a frigate, a patrol boat, commando units and a helicopter along with Danish police officers and a Faroese patrol boat to stop a group of compassionate, non-violent people?"
The Faroe Islands govt claims there's no special legislation regarding entry visas for members of Sea Shepherd. But from April 2016, a new executive order allows a Faroese minister to ban foreign vessels if they're expected to "disrupt lawful activities".
As a result, SS has modified its tactics. It's 2016 pilot whale defence campaign Operation Bloody Fjords will take its battle to the heart of the Faroese and Danish institutions that support this bloody dated practice. It plans to pursue a legal complaint in the European Union Parliament, and to promote the boycott of Faroese farm-raised salmon and other fish products.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

US Army Sharpshooter Ain't Too Sharp!

Jas the hero?
OMG! This could only happen
(a) in America, and
(b) on their beloved 4th of July Weekend!
In Minnesota, US Army veteran Jason Galvin saw a bald eagle dangling upside down from a tree, its leg caught in a piece of rope around a tree branch the ground.
Police, Fire and Dept.of Environmental Conservation all said they couldn't do anything about it because of how high the bird was.
TV sensationalism, at its American best!
Galvin, who did two tours in Afghanistan (note this!), was asked by his wife to use his marksman skills (note this also!) to shoot the rope and branch the bird was hanging from...
So, after 1½ hours and 150 shots (take note!), the bird fell safely onto the branches below. The eagle, which Galvin named "Freedom", was taken away for treatment, and is expected to make a full recovery.
Wife Jackie (absolutely overawed by Jason's manliness) tweeted:
Best story of a lifetime! I knew with his sharpshooter skills that if anyone could save this eagle it was him! A neighbor (sic) borrowed (sic) Jason his .22 as it had a better scope than Jason' hour and a half later and 150 bullets, the eagle broke free from the branch and fell into the trees...
I can't even tell you how amazing this experience was and I knew of all people, my husband wouldn't let me down! What an amazing hero, my Army Veteran, saving an eagle on 4th of July

Weekend! I love you Jason and all that you are!
Well, there's nothing like some down-home adulation - but lady! PUH-LEEEZZZ!!!
Your Jas ain't The Ace!
A two-tour sharpshooter..with a 'scoped rifle, who could pick any firing position, was under no pressure of incoming bullets, and still had to expend 150 rounds to sever a rope no more than 100ft/30m away...needs to go back to Rifleman 101!
God bless America!
You surely need all the help you can get.