The Watering Hole, Monday, December 30, 2013: Shark Tweets

Western Australia is the world’s deadliest region for shark attacks. In an effort to make it safer for surfers and swimmers to go into the water, officials have set up a Twitter feed (Surf Life Saving WA) that notifies followers when a tagged shark enters the area. Scientists outfitted some 400 sharks with transmitters that send warnings to the Twitter feed. Here is an example of the kind of tweet the system might send. A tweet like this about a tiger shark had been sent every four or five minutes for about an hour and forty-five minutes before this one.

I think this is a brilliant idea and a fantastic way to do something useful with social media. Now you can take your cell phone to the beach and see if it’s safe to go in the water. Of course, most of us don’t live in Western Australia, so unless scientists working near our shores can tag us a bunch of sharks this innovative way to use Twitter won’t directly benefit us in North America.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to talk about sharks, Western Australia, or anything else you wish to discuss.

108 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, December 30, 2013: Shark Tweets

  1. Age of Ignorance

    Widespread ignorance bordering on idiocy is our new national goal. It’s no use pretending otherwise and telling us, as Thomas Friedman did in the Times a few days ago, that educated people are the nation’s most valuable resources. Sure, they are, but do we still want them? It doesn’t look to me as if we do. The ideal citizen of a politically corrupt state, such as the one we now have, is a gullible dolt unable to tell truth from bullshit.

    • This planet’s hominid population is, indeed and in spite of its numbers, on the downhill slope, and in many ways the US is both showing the way and leading the charge. Not much good can be said about a “civilization” in which the educated and the intelligent are epithetically referred to as communists, Marxists, anti-American, etc. etc., and the fans of such stupid crapola as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Louie Gohmert, Sarah Palin, Duck Dysentery, etc. etc. (all interchangeable, for all practical purposes) are viewed by the masses as ‘patriots’ — or worse, as ‘Leaders.’

      Problem is, when officially imposed stupidity comes to define a population (especially a global population which has the means of achieving both education and intellect embedded in its gray matter), imposed stupidity accurately portends impending collapse and possible extinction.

      In re hominids, with luck the latter will be the case and ‘we’ will not take the rest of the biosphere with us on our way out. Maybe next time evolution will get it right.

      • I blame the media for pushing these ignorant folks on us. How else would they be heard or known? I still have no clue as to what the show Duck Dynasty is about and I have no interest in finding out. I didn’t even know it existed until someone in a store back in late October, was telling us that she was dressing up as one of the Duck Dynasty men for a Halloween party. It surprised me as I wasn’t aware that Duck Dynasty was a real TV show. This is what happens when one doesn’t have TV service. Guess I’m not missing much. I can watch my favorite shows, such as The Good Wife and The Daily Show, the next day on the computer.

      • I think it’s all about the money=power equation. When the masses are educated (as was pretty much the case prior to the ‘conservative’ takeover in DC), money was more widely distributed, and the vast bulk of people were living comfortably. Since then, since Reagan’s “trickle down” nonsense, the rich have gotten richer, the poor are still poor if not poorer, and the middle class has shrunk. And today, money in the hands of the extreme rich has effectively become a government purchase tool — i.e. the key to immense power. The way to the top has become to monetize everything, including education, with the result being more money trickling UP, courtesy of less education and a more agreeable trickle-up politic.

        All of which predicts the demise of what was once seen as the ‘land of opportunity’ into its diametric opposite, for all but the few.

        As a culture, as a civilization, we die slowly, but we die. And in the process the rich get richer. And in the end, no one wins.

  2. New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County, Fla., is the shark attack capital of the world, according to a database called the International Shark Attack File. Each year, thousands of people dip their toes and then jump in, stroking past the surf and into a zone that’s literally thick with sharks.

    “Most people who have swum in and around New Smyrna have been within 10 feet of a shark in their lifetime,” says George Burgess, an ichthyologist and fisheries biologist at the University of Florida who maintains the International Shark Attack File (ISAF).

  3. I like to fly down the beach and check out spots to go fishing.
    On one occassion, I observed a large bait pod that was changing shape.
    Black tip sharks were beating up the bait pod.
    The kicker: The water was full of people in up to their waists with drinks in hand totally unaware of what was going on next to them.

  4. I won’t ever have to worry about sharks, but with regular reports of alligators this far north, I don’t plan to go fishing ever again.

    • “If you didn’t think that took balls you’ve never been to Oklahoma,” Stanhope remarked. “Saying ‘I’m an atheist’ in Oklahoma is like screaming ‘Jihad’ at airport security. It took some nuts.”


    • He had a couple of great points …. – she did have courage to say what she did and absolutely right, it takes a selfish lack of self-awareness to thank Jesus/God/Allah/whatever for the tornado ripping your neighbours and their houses up on the opposite side of the street from you.

  5. At least next year Christmas and New Years won’t split the week down the middle, making folks like me work one or two days at each end of the week.
    The weather Wednesday is supposed to be decent for the first time in several weeks on my day off.

    • This is the kind of cruel, heartless, idiotic behavior that reflects poorly on Liberals. If he had a mental episode that made hi not see the animals, it might be forgivable. But what he did was very deliberate and completely inexcusable. I hope he gets primaried and replaced by a more humane liberal.

  6. I can cope with sharks, I can cope with alligators.
    However, nothing instills more fear into my heart than a carload of Jehovah’s Witnesses trolling the neighborhood.

    • We might have told you the story of our second neighbor from the other side of our house. She was single and she had a handgun. (I never heard her fire it.) One day she was cleaning the gun when some Jehovah’s Witnesses rang her door. She answered with the gun in her hand. They said thanks and never set foot on our property again for about ten years.

    • I had a friend that was deployed to Columbia for the farcical “war on drugs”
      Oh stories he told (none of them heartwarming).
      After he was out of the military he became scarce, sold everything and became a hermit in Idaho

      • He oughta head southwest and hook up with my brother who is living somewhere in the foothills of the Illinois mountain range west of the Applegate valley in southern Oregon. Better game and milder climate, I’d bet.

  7. Anti-Obamacare rhetoric from Papa John’s CEO and a major Applebee’s franchise owner appear to have driven down both chains’ consumer perception with casual dining eaters in the US, and are still impacted two weeks after those remarks were made.
    Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter’s post-Election Day comments about passing on health care reform costs by reducing worker hours and raising prices coincides with a swift negative reaction among casual food diners seemingly accelerated by the November 13th class action lawsuit accusing Papa John’s of sending unsolicited text messages to customers.
    Despite Schnatter’s Huffington Post op-ed on November 20th claiming his words were twisted, Papa John’s perception levels continued to experience one of its sharpest drops of the year, sending it well below rival Pizza Hut.

  8. And the disaster that is the NFL franchise in our nation’s capitol once again hoses up. This time with the firing of the manager, as certain Mr Shanahan. As he sits stuck in traffic on the way to the team HQ. Can the NFL Owners pull emininent domain and just take the team away from Daniel Snyder? Please? Then they can change their name to the more dignified Washington Legislator’sWhollyOwnedByCorporateAmerica. A much scarier and more politically correct name.
    And they could also void retroactively the umpteen draft choices they gave the Rams for RG3..OK, well maybe not…

    • BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth said the train carrying grain derailed first, then knocked several cars of the oil train off adjoining tracks.

      Assuming this is true, this proves that merely increasing safety measures for oil train transport alone isn’t good enough. Also, oil transport needs to be required to be secured with a hefty bonding to prevent ’empty’ corporate shells from being all that can be held liable for accidents/negligence.

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