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Monthly Archives: June 2008

In Defence of Whaling

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Recent years have seen an increase in bad press for the Japanese research whaling fleet, and indeed, harrassment of their vessels, from those maritime vandals, Greenpeace.  I would like to contribute a more balanced argument in their defence.

Japan has always insisted that their whaling operations are strictly for scientific purposes, and yet there are cynics in the world who choose to question the integrity of the Japanese government on this matter. It was even wildly suggested once that whales are being harvested to be eaten by humans.
Our world owes much to the inventors and great minds of the past, who, although mocked, derided, stoned and even hanged during their lifetimes (well the hanging was more often than not at the end rather than during),  provided many of the building blocks used for modern civilisation.  And so it continues with present day attitudes towards the Japanese.
They are trying their very best in the South Pacific oceans to do research for the betterment of mankind.  They indeed have a proud history of good works in this area…..not least of which was to provide the building blocks for artificial coral reefs in places like Pearl Harbour, Truk lagoon, Guadalcanal, Rabaul and Madang.

Very few people seem to appreciate the research value of their current scientific program, which seeks to address a couple of common misconceptions.

Myth No 1; There is unfortunately a cult growing out there in the far left field of human endeavour, that there is a process of global warming induced by human behaviour.  Really!!???  Lets get honest here.   Global warming, as the Japanese may well discover very soon, is due to the massive increase in the numbers of warm blooded creatures living in our oceans where they have no right to be.  They of course should be on land with all the rest of us.  Eventually the research will be successful……to date the trials to establish whale colonies on terra firma have had only limited success…..well actually no success, from the few thousand animals they have attempted to relocate, which is why more research is required.  It is too early to draw conclusions.

Myth No. 2;  Global warming is resulting in rising ocean levels. Again a flawed, but partially correct assumption.  Sea levels are rising, but let me remind you dear reader, of Archimedes law.   Whales, by virtue of their huge bulk, displace enormous quantities of sea water, which only has one way to go…ie  UP.  Global warming, on the other hand would result in ocean levels going DOWN…increased ambient temperature = increased evaporation. Simple logic.  Lets continue to cull the water displacers until ocean levels stabilise.

There are millions of whales out there.  Its not like humans have ever in past history been responsible for decreasing their numbers.

GOF is starting a non profit research foundation in 2009 involving Panda bears.  Only a few animals will be used each year, humanely conked on the noggin'  using recycled wooden clubs from the annual Canadian seal hunt.   My senses are positively throbbing at the prospect of contributing so much data to the collective knowledge base of humankind.
Ahhhhh……finger lickin' good panda.

Any volunteers?

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Heroes and Heroines

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GOF has an email friend on the other side of the world. He has never met her, and probably never will, and yet we have been able to share so many life events, both happy and sad, over the years.  Her heroine is her Mom, the family matriarch, who navigated her family through many difficult times.

GOF left the family nest at an early age and had parents who were distant  (in both the geographical and psychological sense), and he never ever really knew either of them well.  Like most children he never asked the relevant questions of them whilst they were alive. They have both gone to God, and it is only now that I appreciate the sacrifices made by my Mother for the 13 years she nurtured me.
Women do not immediately spring to mind as heroines for most men, and their heroism is seldom publicly recognised.
My favorite philosophy for life includes the phrase "life is full of heroism", and I suspect women are responsible for a large proportion of it.  So it is that I appreciate the role of mothers who, often receiving little support from partners continue to raise successive generations of responsible and caring human beings.

From the public arena, GOF has a very small handful of people he has admired.
Firstly I would like to include Nelson Mandela, but suspect he is almost something above and beyond human.  How can a man be incarcerated for so many years, yet emerge so forgiving to those responsible?
Returning to mere mortals.  Peter Ustinov.  My grandparents died before I was born.  If I had known my grandfather I would have liked him to be like Ustinov.  Even at my present age, I would have liked to sit by him and just listen.  He possessed so much wisdom, knowledge and the ability to communicate it with dignity and humour. R.I.P. Sir Peter.

Dick Smith, for those outside Australia is a self made entrepreneur, aviator, adventurer, and all round nice human being.  He is fiercely pro-Australian and anti the multi-national takeover and control of our small companies.  He founded the Australian Geographic magazine, and sponsors many young Australian adventurers, and heritage projects.  GOF in recent years has resolved to tell those he admires, and who have been a major influence in his life, before it is too late.  GOF does not value material possessions all that highly, but a personal response letter from Dick Smith is one that I do. Thank you Dick for giving us all something to aspire to.

John Denver.  There was so much I would have liked to say to John Denver. Then he died. Too late!  Perhaps I would have said very little to John in person, for, like Ustinov I would have preferred to just listen to him…..his oratory and his music. He was a man of great passion and eloquence, and a true friend of the planet before it became fashionable and political to do so.    GOF loves all sorts of music, but to my mind nobody wrote love song lyrics any better. He exuded a genuine sincerity in his music and conservation values, to which he devoted his life in his final years.  
His honesty extended to his autobiography, written just a few years before his untimely death, in which he confronts the shortcomings of his own flawed personal behaviour, in an almost brutal fashion,
admitting his responsibility for the failure of his personal relationships.

John has been gone for more than 10 years now.  He would end concerts wishing the audience "peace my friends".
John Denver;  peace to you my friend.  I still miss you.

If my valued reader would like to nominate a favourite hero, please leave a comment.

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The world according to GOF

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This whole pile of garbage is going to contain the epistles of a Grumpy Old Fart.
Why anyone else than me should want to read it is totally beyond my comprehension.  I have almost completed my 6th decade of life on earth, and I
am becoming pissed off that someone previous to me suggested that 3 score
years and 10  (if the additional 10 was for good behaviour then I have less than 3 months to make some urgent final preparations) was a sufficiently long life span.  I want a second opinion.  

This whole project is therapy for me.  I am a virgin blogger and its good to know that at my age I have some virginity left.   My intention is to speak my mind, but I suspect that asset has severely diminished in the 40 years since leaving a mediocre but nevertheless tertiary seat of learning, at which time I was capable of learning huge amounts of useless information, and regurgitating it accurately at examination time.  Whats left is large amounts of crap which I would like to divest myself of within these pages.  For anyone seeking literary genius and enlightenment it will become quite apparent they are looking in the wrong place.
Info dump No. 1;   The causal organism of the disease pulpy kidney in sheep is called Clostridium welchii Type D.  Well it was true 40 years ago.  Maybe CwTD has also grown old with grey hair and been replaced by some other upstart pimply- faced bacteria.  If anyone needs that information please take it away. I don't need it any more.
Ahhhh I feel better already.

Grumpiness is one of the great happinesses in my world.  It is not a negative character trait.   It only comes through the accumulation of wisdom achieved on lifes journey. Fellow grumps can share deep and meaningful conversation for they are able to recognise each other.    True grumpiness is only achieved when the processes of the mind are accurately reflected by facial expression.  Only then is it possible to reap the rich rewards of the truly grumpy.  All the people we have no desire to communicate with will recognise us from 100 metres away…."look at that grumpy old fart" and they will happily deviate from their proposed track and leave us to our inner happiness.

I am not grumpy in a "yearning for the olden days" way.  What did we do before God invented the Ipod??  I always found it difficult to cart an old 45 record player around under my jacket.
The internet has to be one of the best inventions of my lifetime.  Its possible to talk (read) yourself into having so many diseases that you previously had no idea existed.   It has been my joy to see more naked female bodies in a few years of net surfing than I could have found in several lifetimes of expensive holidays to the nude beaches of the world.
I do not want to revisit the cold war, Iron Curtain, black and white television, Berlin wall, racial apartheid, or women without equal (more or less…no correspondence please) work opportunities.   
No, I am totally at peace with my brand of grumpiness.

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