Sunday, July 31, 2011

Shark Week-ly Features

One of the best parts of the dwindling days of summer vacation is Shark Week on Discovery Channel.  That starts today for those of you who were not aware and our weekly features are so shark-centric that they are practically made out of cartilage.

It starts with our top five list, which, simply enough, is my top five favorite sharks:

5. Basking - With an average size slightly larger than a Great White this otherwise intimidating shark looks comical as it glides through the water with its gaping mouth open, looking like a predatory windsock.

4. Hammerhead - One of the most unique looking species of any animal on the planet, it was also the inspiration for one of the Mos Eisley Cantina patrons and one of the action figures we had about five extras of for some reason when I was a kid.

3. Thresher - This one gets included because it gave Quint that impressive scar on his leg that he was able to reference during the all important bonding scene below deck in Jaws.

2. Whale - The world's largest fish and a filter feeding, it also has a bad-ass blue and white pattern.  In fact, I think I have a new Shark Week idea for my desktop background.

1. Great White - Is there any need to argue?

This week's cool-ass thing you will never own is your own Ampillae of Lorenzini, the shark's electroreception organ.  Being able to sense magnetic fields would come in handy while navigating, playing hide and seek and trying to locate your lost cell phone.

This week's sign you are a nerd is that, if you were unfortunate enough to be the victim of a fatal shark attack, the last thought that ran through your about to be devoured head would involves how statistically unlikely it was that you were just the victim of a fatal shark attack when only 464 people from 1670 to 2009 died in such a manner.

This week's nemesis is the movie Jaws.  The problem I face this week is that I will more than likely waste hours of my time this week watching my favorite movie of all time on the various other channels that will undoubtedly run it to compete with Shark Week.  I've already noticed six airings scheduled on Encore.  I also think this is the best movie to ever have so many terrible sequels.  On top of all that, whenever I see it now I am reminded of how I missed out on snorkeling into deeper water in the Pacific ocean due to the images from it being laser burned into my memory.  Hooper in the shark cage seeing that shadowy mass in the distance before it closed in on him, that was my mind.

This week's lesson learned is that leaving baked goods unattended in a house with children will result in a feeding frenzy.  It may be the safest way for the average person to observe anything close to typical shark behavior.

This week's equation shows just how unlikely it is that you or anyone else might die of a shark attack:

The likelihood of a person dying in a shark attack (s) is compared here to the likelihood of a person dying in a dog attack (d).

This week's Star Wars quote is from Episode I (my apologies): "There's always a bigger fish."

Thanks for reading.  Stay tuned as our monthly poll will be completed soon and there should be some other exciting new here in the month of August.

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