Whale Tale Before Turkey Day


A couple of notes….after a fine Tuesday afternoon…we go into the tank. Rain on Wednesday and a few t’storms. The Boys at the Severe Storms Center have us barely in a slight risk for severe weather. Data I see at this point doesn’t support that too strongly. It would appear to me that we are at the extreme periphery of the region most likely to get some action because of the very fact that the data is not strong. However, it will be worth while to monitor and you know we will. Big chill on Thanksgiving Day. Flurry or two possible Thursday night but it won’t be significant. I saw a local tv station promoting the possibility. That is just plain silly and you shouldn’t be suckered in. I’ll let you know when its a big deal. For that matter…any time you think there may be something significant, come and check my blog and I’ll give you the real low down. Our regular forecast is mainly just the facts man and no promotion induced hype. But I try to give other details that we may not have space or time to do elsewhere. In this case, you can tell that because I didn’t post the NWS maps, I’m not too enthused….instead I have Gregory Peck…


On This Date in History: In 1820, the US whaling ship Essex got attacked by an 80 ton sperm whale 2000 miles west of South America. The 238 ton vessel sunk and all died except for 5 men who survived in an open boats for 83 days before rescue….thing is….originally there were 20 survivors….as the 15 died off from exposure and such, the remaining men had a little meal at their comrades expense, if you know what I mean. Not sure that if someone died, someone rang the dinner bell.


Anyway, this story inspired the tale written by Herman Melville called Moby Dick. Melville’s work was written in 1851 but Hermie didn’t do too well at the book stores. After some early success as a writer, he died in 1891 relatively unknown and not very wealthy. It wasn’t until the 20th century that Melville’s genius and talent came to be known. Nowadays, many academics consider Moby Dick to be one of America’s greatest novels. Melville lived near Nathaniel Hawthorne and dedicated his whale tale to his friend and famous writer. But the book only sold 3000 copies.


The photo above is of course from the famous 1956 movie with Gregory Peck starring as Captain Ahab. It also has Richard Basehart and a cameo by Orson Welles as Father Maple. Another guy who shows up is Royal Dano who plays “Elijah” who was a drifter kinda guy who is pretty scary and prophesies to Basehart the the ship would be doomed by a great white whale. Later, Dano in the early 1980’s is the preacher in The Right Stuff who seems to represent death as he shows up at all of the funerals, test flights and space shots. One other interesting aspect of the movie: the screen play was written by Ray Bradbury and John Huston. Huston also directed.
On a related note…on this day at this very moment, a small fleet of ships in a Japanese whaling expedition is on its way to the Arctic regions to hunt whales. They want to get 90 sperm whales among other specimens. I say specimens because whaling is banned world wide under an international treaty. But they can be hunted for research. The official mission of the fleet is for research. Yet, when they left port they left to great fanfare and people of small villages in northern Japan claiming they need to whaling so that they may carry on their thousands of years old culture. Greenpeace isn’t buying the scientific aspect and will attempt to thwart the harpooning of the great mammals. Perhaps Moby Dick will resurface and get a bit of revenge.

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