DO WHALES DREAM OF OCEANIC SHEEP?


During the first spring of her stay at SeaWorld, J. J. was always found floating off to one side of her pool, and caretakers feared that she was perhaps suffering from boredom and depression. It soon dawned on them, however, that she was facing north, the direction of the gray’s spring migration. Subsequent necropsies on gray-whale brains revealed that they contain tiny particles of magnetic iron oxide, inner navigational ball bearings of a sort that whir in concert with the earth’s magnetic fields, guiding the whales toward their Arctic feeding grounds and, in the early winter, back down to Baja’s birthing lagoons. (Russian scientists, meanwhile, conducted sleep studies on J. J. and found the first definitive evidence that whales do, in fact, dream.)
-From the most fascinating NY Times Magazine cover story since that one about the Israeli diamond magnate*, “Watching Whales Watching Us”
*hey what’s that guy doing? wonder if he got the madoff blue plate special..

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One Response to DO WHALES DREAM OF OCEANIC SHEEP?

  1. Not really the same thing at all, but here’s an alright article about how human language determines conceptions of space and how this makes it harder to learn foreign languages (one of the linguistic groups uses compass directions when speaking, and so apparently always knows which direction is north, east, etc.):
    http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/boroditsky09/boroditsky09_index.html
    WRT home economics, mentioned in Givenchy post, i wrote a little rememberance recently too: http://nottooshaabi.wordpress.com/2009/06/08/drain-cleaner-feminism-and-home-economics/

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