the new awesome

whatever we are blogging about, that's the new awesome

Monday, June 05, 2006

Whales are the new awesome

there are probably about 3 days a year that are actually beach worthy in san francisco - days where you can actually go sit in the sun and not even bring a jacket. we had a hot weekend, so just in case this was the last chance to go to the beach in 2006, i went twice!

tracy, juliann, cameron and i rolled out in style with the top down on the blue bug


how excited was cameron? pump-your-fist-up-and-down-wildly excited. (dont look at his face. just his excited fist)


Baker Beach is my favorite because you sit in the sand with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.


All of us were happy about getting tan except for cameron. He was pretending to be han solo at that part in star wars when he gets frozen


Jeff's muscles are bigger than the Golden Gate Bridge! See how his bicep blocks the bridge out completely? For those of you that didn't know, Jeff totally made the Hot List last month.


One of the highlights was when a few dolphins swam right up to the shore and started playing in the surf. See those fins? Those are dolphins!


Wait. Let me zoom in a little closer so you can see the dolphins a little better.


It was funny because as everyone on the beach was pointing and yelling, "dolphins!" a family with three small children on the blanket nearest mine started yelling, "whales!" At first I looked toward the ocean a little harder, trying to see the whales they were referring to. Then I realized that in fact, they were talking about the dolphins, just misnaming them. The youngest of the children piped up, asking if he could go closer and look at the whales, but the dad very seriously told him that whales kill people, and that he should never get too close.

I had to bite my tongue. Part of me felt it my civic duty to make sure that those kids were not being led astray. I wanted to yell over to their blanket that those animals swimming in the ocean right in front of us were not whales, but dolphins (or maybe porpoises) - aquatic mammals certainly related to whales, but also famous for their willingness to occasionally approach humans and playfully interact with them in the water! Hadn't this family heard all the stories of dolphins protecting shipwrecked sailors against sharks by swimming circles around the swimmers? Had they never heard of Flipper? Even if I thought that the father was making some sort of joke, we all know that such humor would have been lost on a three year old. I am pretty sure he was giving information that he thought to be accurate. In the end, I decided not to say anything, even though I worried about the repercussions of this misinformation - would these children embarrass themselves in school sometime because of this? Will they experience some heartbreaking moment where they lose trust in their father when they realize that he doesn't know everything?

I made myself feel better by coming home and reading about dolphin/whale attacks on humans, conceding that in fact those wild cetaceans could be potentially dangerous after all. Also, apparently there is a big debate in some circles about whether dolphins really are whales - it is just a matter of semantics according to some science people that apparently know. So maybe it is a good thing that I didn't bring it up with the family, because maybe the dad was one of those science guys that would have given me a science lecture and humiliated me on the beach.

But I am still pretty sure that those were dolphins.

6 Comments:

  • At 5:47 PM, Blogger Benielle said…

    I wonder if this stuggle doesn't come from seeds planted early in childhood. Your own childhood best friend may have had a dad filled with misinformation that you always wished you could correct. YOUR dad was the scientist dad who really DID know everything.... We get it... your dad is smarter than my dad... maybe it's my struggle.

     
  • At 5:48 PM, Blogger aaron d.w. said…

    have you ever seen that movie called orca? it's basically jaws, but with an orca. there's this one part that's super-scary where the orca slams into an iceberg breaking it into pieces. two people are left on one of the pieces that's floating helplessly in the ocean. then the orca jumps out of the water and onto the edge of this smaller iceberg, tipping it to like a sixty degree angle (that's pi/3, if you like radians better). the people frantically grab onto the top edge of the iceberg to avoid sliding down, but you can only hold onto ice for so long. they both eventually slide right into the open jaws (get it?) of the orca.

    to cameron: pretending to be han solo from any part of any movie is better than any other beach-related activity on any day and during any season.

     
  • At 12:10 AM, Blogger bex said…

    i am sorry if my dad has ever humiliated anyone on the beach or otherwise with his superior scientific knowledge. and i am sorry that i grew up under his tutelege and now have a deep respect for nature and the science that governs it. and i am especially sorry that killer whale (orca) ate all those people.

     
  • At 10:15 AM, Blogger Manfoom said…

    It's people like that who make it necessary to "Free Willy".

    What do you call racism when it is directed towards whales?

     
  • At 4:07 PM, Blogger English said…

    "Jeff's muscles are bigger than the Golden Gate Bridge."

    Seriously, I've been saying this for years.

     
  • At 11:11 AM, Anonymous jeff said…

    thanks for putting a topless foto of me on your blog

     

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