Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.

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Whale death cults

EVER notice how mammals seem to be the only sea-going animals that beach themselves? There are beachings of pods of whales or dolphins frequently, but when was the last time you heard of a beaching of a school of swordfish, or tuna?

What kind of sense does that make? Mammals are supposed to be the smartest critters in the world. They're hugely smarter than fish. Ever dissect a shark's brain? I did, in a class in Vertebrate Morphogenesis in college. It's tiny! That huge head is almost entirely cartilage. The brain in a four foot shark is literally the size of the head of a pin. Sharks are very, very stupid. But do sharks strand themselves on beaches, en masse?

It's a shame. Strandings of tuna, or bluefish, or shark, or almost anything edible would be great. I guess it would be too much to ask for a mass stranding of lobsters. But if strandings of stupid fish don't happen, what is the problem with all those smart dolphins and whales?

There can be only one possible explanation: whale death cults. You know, like Heaven's Gate, or Jim Jones' People's Temple. Somewhere out there, there is an insane and megalomaniacal but immensely charismatic whale, who stirs up his followers with promises of an afterlife of seas filled with endless delicious plankton, gets them to donate all their earthly possession to him so he can buy multiple Rolls Royces, then  drives them up on to beaches to die.

yowa(i), yowa(ru), yowa(maru), yowa(meru)
meaning: weak
yowamushi == weakling
jakushou == puniness
Both radicals combine 'bow' with 'hair', suggesting things that bend easily. Henshall suggests remembering this kanji by: 'Weak hairs bend like bows'.

I love the 'yowamushi' compound: it literally means 'weak insect'. What a terrible thing to call someone!

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