When Euphemisms (but Never Sharks) Attack
Shark scientists urged the public to call human-shark interactions something other than shark attacks, preferring less derogatory terms like “shark encounters.” Scientists point out that humans tend to be to blame for shark injuries – accidentally stepping on small sharks, which retract; swim in cloudy water, venture too close.
“A ‘shark attack’ is a story of intent,” Christopher Pepin-Neff of the University of Sydney told Times reporter Alan Yuhas. “But sharks don’t know what people are. They don’t know when you are in the boat. They don’t know what a propeller is. It is not an attack.
But the replacement terms, while more precise and less inflammatory, have an air of cuteness, reminiscent of the top hats and evening gloves of centuries past.
Namely, a shark incident:
Meanwhile, scientists elsewhere this week published one of the most detailed views to date of shark innards, using a CT scanner to reveal “the complex internal geographies of more than 20 species of sharks,” writes Véronique Greenwood. The results, in a stunning 3D video, indicate that some sharks’ spiral gut behaves like a Tesla valve, advancing fluid without moving parts.
The study also seems to support the long-held idea that such complexity helps slow digestion and extract the most calories from its prey. Chew this while you do your part to avoid shark understatements.
What we’ve been metabolizing lately
Hard to miss: Earlier this week, a rare 100-pound opah or sunfish ran aground in Oregon.
This week on “The Argument,” Michio Kaku, physicist at City College of New York, and Douglas Vakoch, astrobiologist and president of the non-profit research and education organization METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) International, discussed of the wisdom of trying to contact other intelligent lives in the universe.
These parents of African wild dogs don’t exactly bring home bacon, but these rare images of them feeding their puppies are truly adorable.
And there are few better times to read Norman Maclean, both “A River Runs Through It,” his majestic fly-fishing memoir, and “Young Men and Fire,” his re-enactment of the Mann Gulch tragedy of 1949. in Montana which claimed the lives of a dozen US Forest Service firefighters. “The story, which I’ve read at least four times now, is scary to read, making the hair on my arms stand on end,” Anna Holmes wrote in The Times in 2015. “It’s also one of the experiences. the most enjoyable. I’ve had.”
Facts to note
“On Tuesday, the Montana Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Parks imposed owl owl restrictions on the Missouri River, one of the state’s most popular trout fishing sites, between Helena and Great Falls due to the hot water temperature. The rule prohibits fishing after 2 p.m. (The term “owl restrictions” originates from the early days of the lumber industry. Loggers work early in the morning of late summer, when it is cooler, as the forests are dry and this increases the risk of chainsaws or other equipment causing a fire. Loggers would often hear owls during their early morning shifts.) “
#Euphemisms #Sharks #Attack