There are certain varieties of whales in the seas of Iceland that may be eaten by men. One of these is called humpback; this fish is large and very dangerous to ships. It has a habit of striking at the vessel with its fins and of lying and floating just in front of the prow where sailors travel. Though the ship turns aside, the whale will continue to keep in front, so there is no choice but to sail upon it—but if a ship does sail upon it, the whale will throw the vessel and destroy all on board. Then there is a kind of whale called the rorqual, and this fish is the best of all for food. It is of a peaceful disposition and does not bother ships, though it may swim very close to them. Because of its quiet and peaceful behavior it often falls a prey to whale fishers. It is better for eating and smells better than any of the other fishes that we have talked about, though it is said to be very fat; it has no teeth. It has been asserted, too, that if one can get some of the sperm of this whale and be perfectly sure that it came from this sort and no other, it will be found a most effective remedy for eye troubles, leprosy, ague, headache, and for every other ill that afflicts mankind. Sperm from other whales also makes good medicine, though not so good as this sort.
Then there is one that is scarcely advisable to speak about, on account of its size, which to most men will seem incredible. There are, moreover, but very few who can tell anything definite about it, inasmuch as it is rarely seen by men—for it almost never approaches the shore or appears where fishermen can see it, and I doubt that this sort of fish is very plentiful in the sea. In our language it is usually called the kraken. I can say nothing definite as to its length, for on those occasions when men have seen it, it has appeared more like an island than a fish. Nor have I heard that one has ever been caught or found dead. It seems likely that there are but two in all the ocean and that these beget no offspring, for I believe it is always the same ones that appear. It is said that when these fishes want something to eat, they are in the habit of giving forth a violent belch, which brings up so much food that all sorts of fish in the neighborhood, both large and small, will rush up in the hope of getting nourishment and good fare. Meanwhile the monster keeps its mouth open, and inasmuch as its opening is about as wide as a sound or fjord, the fishes cannot help crowding in in great numbers. But as soon as its mouth and belly are full, the monster closes its mouth and thus catches and shuts in all the fishes that just previously had rushed in eagerly to seek food.
Originally quoted in Lapham's Quarterly, which says: From The King’s Mirror. Composed in Old Norse during King Hákon Hákonarson’s reign (1217-1263), this anonymous instructive work takes the form of a father-son dialog and may have been intended for the king’s sons. The kraken, a fabled sea monster of Scandinavian invention, may have originated with a rare sighting of a giant squid. In addition to the humpback variety, the text mentions Greenland right, horse, red-comb, and white whales.
[youtube=http://youtu.be/BNZu1uxNvlo&w=700] The Nathaniel B. Palmer in the Ross Sea, Antarctica.
This is an unofficial video. It's made with an excerpt of the animation 'Girl And Dolphin' by R. Zelma. The song is from the album 'The World Of Arthur Russell'. Love that cello!
"I'm a little lost Without you Or that could be an understatement Oh now I hope that I have paid the cost To let a day go on by and not Call on you"
[youtube=http://youtu.be/xusdWPuWAoU&w=700] View this at 1080 and full screen if you can.
This visualisation shows ocean surface currents around the world during the period from June 2005 to Decemeber 2007. The goal was to use ocean flow data to create a simple, visceral experience.
It was produced using NASA/JPL's computational model, Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II or ECCO2. ECCO2 is a high resolution model of the global ocean and sea-ice. ECCO2 attempts to model the oceans and sea ice to increasingly accurate resolutions that begin to resolve ocean eddies and other narrow-current systems which transport heat and carbon in the oceans. The ECCO2 model simulates ocean flows at all depths, but only surface flows are used in this visualisation.
The dark patterns under the ocean represent the undersea bathymetry. Topographic land exaggeration is 20x and bathymetric exaggeration is 40x.
My favourite bit is the equator at around 1.39.
"The oceans thru the eyes of Van Gogh", says one viewer.
credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
by Edward Lear, 1812-1888
THEY went to sea in a sieve, they did; In a sieve they went to sea: In spite of all their friends could say, On a winter's morn, on a stormy day, In a sieve they went to sea. And when the sieve turned round and round, And every one cried, "You'll all be drowned!" They called aloud, "Our sieve ain't big; But we don't care a button, we don't care a fig: In a sieve we'll go to sea!" Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green and their hands are blue; And they went to sea in a sieve.
They sailed away in a sieve, they did, In a sieve they sailed so fast, With only a beautiful pea-green veil Tied with a ribbon by way of a sail, To a small tobacco-pipe mast. And every one said who saw them go, "Oh! won't they soon be upset, you know? For the sky is dark and the voyage is long, And, happen what may, it's extremely wrong In a sieve to sail so fast." Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green and their hands are blue; And they went to sea in a sieve.
The water it soon came in, it did; The water it soon came in: So, to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet In a pinky paper all folded neat; And they fastened it down with a pin. And they passed the night in a crockery-jar; And each of them said, "How wise we are! Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long, Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong, While round in our sieve we spin." Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green and their hands are blue; And they went to sea in a sieve.
And all night long they sailed away; And when the sun went down, They whistled and warbled a moony song To the echoing sound of a coppery gong, In the shade of the mountains brown. "O Timballoo! How happy we are When we live in a sieve and a crockery-jar! And all night long, in the moonlight pale, We sail away with a pea-green sail In the shade of the mountains brown." Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue; And they went to sea in a sieve.
They sailed to the Western Sea, they did,-- To a land all covered with trees; And they bought an owl and a useful cart, And a pound of rice, and a cranberry-tart, And a hive of silvery bees; And they bought a pig, and some green jackdaws, And a lovely monkey with lollipop paws, And forty bottles of ring-bo-ree, And no end of Stilton cheese. Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue; And they went to sea in a sieve.
And in twenty years they all came back,-- In twenty years or more; And every one said, "How tall they've grown! For they've been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone, And the hills of the Chankly Bore." And they drank their health, and gave them a feast Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast; And every one said, "If we only live, We, too, will go to sea in a sieve, To the hills of the Chankly Bore." Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue; And they went to sea in a sieve.
I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by, And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking, And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life, To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife; And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
By John Masefield (1878-1967). (English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967.)
- From the Wikipedia entry on him: It was not until about the age of 70, that Masefield slowed his pace due to illness. In 1960, Constance died at 93, after long illness. Although her death was heartrending, he had spent a tiring year watching the woman he loved die. He continued his duties as Poet Laureate; In Glad Thanksgiving, his last book, was published when he was 88 years old. In late 1966, Masefield developed gangrene in his ankle, which spread to his leg, dying of the infection on 12 May 1967. According to his wishes, he was cremated and his ashes placed in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. Later, the following verse was discovered, written by Masefield, addressed to his ‘Heirs, Administrators, and Assigns’:
Let no religious rite be done or read In any place for me when I am dead, But burn my body into ash, and scatter The ash in secret into running water, Or on the windy down, and let none see; And then thank God that there’s an end of me.