Saturday, May 24, 2008

I Am the Walrus

Walruses are cool! As per the NYT article; “The first thing the walruses will do when they come over is start pushing at you, pressing their heads right into your stomach,” he said. “Don’t let them get away with that. No matter how hard they push, you have to stand your ground.”

I stopped short, confused.

“If you don’t stand your ground, you’ll be knocked over or backed against a wall in no time,” Dr. Schusterman said.

But but ... I sputtered. How was I supposed to stand my ground against an animal the size of a Honda Civic? This sounded less like “friendly and playful” than “aggressive and possibly dangerous.”

“Just push back on the snout with the palm of your hand and blow in its face,” Dr. Schusterman instructed. “A walrus really likes to be blown in the face.”

But suddenly there I was in the pen, time expanding as I watched Sivuqaq, a 2,200-pound adult male, roll toward me like a gelatinous, mustachioed boulder and head straight for my solar plexus. Somehow, either out of professional pride or rigid terror, I managed to stay standing and stuck out my palm; when Sivuqaq nuzzled against it, all my fears fell away. I stroked his splendid vibrissae, the stiff, sensitive whiskers that a walrus uses to search for bivalves through the seabed’s dark murk, and that feel like slender tubes of bamboo. Then I blew in his face, and he half-closed his eyes, and I huffed and puffed harder and he leaned into my breath, all the while bleating and grunting and snorting for more."

Amazing stuff here, all the more reason to stop bickering about the causes of global warming and doing something about it. Man is creating the equivalent of a Permian Extinction through gross mismanagement of the earth's resources. We are in desperate trouble yet we continue to, for the most part, act as if climate change is "a ways off" so we can continue to pollute and generate ever more greenhouse gases that will kill off the kind of magnificent animals like the Walrus and Polar bear.

As stated in a previous BRT article (click here) , the tech is there to do something about it, the question remains, do we have the will to do something about it?

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