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HOORAY FOR DOLPHINS! NOW PUT DOWN THAT TUNA FISH SANDWICH.

(Okay, I changed the headline, but the article is real.)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Reuters) — A pod of dolphins circled protectively round a group of New Zealand swimmers to fend off an attack by a great white shark, media reported on Tuesday.

Lifesavers Rob Howes, his 15-year-old daughter Niccy, Karina Cooper and Helen Slade were swimming 100 metres (300 feet) off Ocean Beach near Whangarei on New Zealand’s North Island when the dolphins herded them — apparently to protect them from a shark.

“They started to herd us up, they pushed all four of us together by doing tight circles around us,” Howes told the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA).

Howes tried to drift away from the group, but two of the bigger dolphins herded him back just as he spotted a three-meter (nine feet) great white shark swimming towards the group.

“I just recoiled. It was only about 2 meters (6 feet) away from me, the water was crystal clear and it was as clear as the nose on my face,” Howes said.

“They had corralled us up to protect us,” he said.

The lifesavers spent the next 40 minutes surrounded by the dolphins before they could safely swim back to shore.

The incident happened on October 30, but the lifesavers kept the story to themselves until now.

Environment group Orca Research said dolphins attacked sharks to protect themselves and their young, so their actions in protecting the lifesavers was understandable.

“They could have sensed the danger to the swimmers and taken action to protect them,” Orca’s Ingrid Visser told NZPA.

Found this gem on one of the internets. As we enter the week of Thanksgiving, I thought I would share it in the spirit of togetherness:

The election is over, the results are known,
the will of the people has clearly been shown.

Let’s forget the quarrels and show by our deeds,
we will give our leader all the help that he needs.

So let’s all get together and let bitterness pass.
I’ll hug your elephant and you kiss my ass.

I heard Cheney use the “M” word on NPR (mandate).

“George W. Bush was elected with more votes than any presidential candidate in history.”

I love how they embrace facts only when it suits them. Until yesterday, Al Gore was the candidate that had received more votes than any presidential candidate in history. Where was his mandate?

Conversely, it is also true that more votes were cast against George W. Bush than any other sitting preident in history. Shove that up your mandate, asshole. Today I despise your guts.

(PS. That felt really good. Let the healing begin!)

An election haiku I’m stealing from a Salon reader:

Gullible Red States
You know not what you have done
Too bad for the rest

I just wanted to mention how pleased I was to be part of the Hopper coincidence. After the whole mother/sister Barbara/Laura Steve Steve extraveganza died down around 1995, I thought my connection to the coincidences was over.

Then I bought a little book about a man named Hopper.

On to Paris? Enjoy the escargot, or, as I like to call them: FREEDOM SNAILS.