Friday, February 25, 2011
Overheard on Dying dolphins, falling eagles


Comment of the day: "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish!"  --Iveeno


Deaths of baby dolphins worry scientists


Many readers wrote to share feelings and thoughts about Friday's news of the unusual number of deaths of members of two beloved species: bald eagles and bottlenose dolphins. "So sad," wrote lana. "With this and the article about the dead baby dolphins makes for a very unhappy Friday in the world of wild animals."


Readers argued over whether these were natural events or the result of human impact on the environment.  With regard to the dolphin deaths, most commenters blamed the oil spill. yellerdog said, "Gee, think the BP spill has anything to do with this? DUH. Poor sweet creatures." Winterowl said, "Cause remains a mystery"? This is just a guess, but I think BP's big oopsie is the answer to the 'mystery.' "


FxMercenary added, "It's not the oil, it's the dispersant they used." caroSatsuma agreed, "The dispersant is a huge part of the problem. It's been common knowledge that nobody knows what that stuff will do and if I'm remembering correctly, TPTB have refused to disclose what the dispersant is composed of. How scary (and telling!) is that?"


rockweed said, "This is terribly sad. Algal blooms could be to blame. Chemical poisoning seems highly suspect given the conditions of the past year. Whatever the cause I hope the truth comes out." en1ightened1 responded, "Algae blooms would also be affected by chemicals in the Gulf."


A few disagreed that the oil spill was at fault.  SC2Pilot asked, "Do you have any proof this was caused by the oil spill the government caused?" xVodKAx answered, "Drinking crude oil can be fatal."


bobthemoose wrote, "Did you know that as much petroleum leaks out into the oceans in two years as did in the entire recent BP spill in the Gulf? And over fifty percent of those natural seeps are right here in the Gulf of Mexico."


UpL8 said: "Millions of gallons of oil leach out of the ocean's floor every year. Nature can handle that. When a large amount is present quickly (as with oil spills), it has a lasting effect. These Bottle Nose calves are either sick and culling themselves or they have had to venture closer to shore for food. Either way, their deaths, and others, are telling of an ocean that is suffering."


HowlyBooyah added, "BP is not the only big oil company who has been drilling out there for decades. And Big Oil is only one of the culprits; Big Industry has been steadily poisoning this planet for years, so whatever caused those previous 'unusual mortality events' would've been man-made, too."


YankeeThundr said, "Tuna comes in oil ... and now apparently dolphins do too. I really hate BP and anyone who protects them."


Starving eagles fall from sky in Canada


Response was more balanced with regard to the eagles, with some pointing to the comeback of the species as good news.


RunForTheHills said, "It's not a sign of the times. This is natural. This is nature's way of maintaining equilibrium. When there's a glut of fish, the bird population will increase, eat more fish, and keep the fish population under control. When there is a glut of birds, they will eat too many of the fish, and the bird population will decrease from lack of food. This has been the way of things for hundreds of millions of years.


J responded, "Although that is true and may once have been true for these two species, you're talking about eagles and salmon - both of which have had their population dramatically depleted by human impact. These populations are not experiencing natural fluctuations. They are being wiped out."


SM wrote, "Google 'record salmon run' and you will find that all up the west coast last year there were record numbers nof salmon. The 'late fall' run was the only one low. Just another one of mother natures natural cycles."


JohnR agreed that pollution, overfishing, and environmental stress might be the cause but concluded, "On balance, however, eagle populations in general and bald eagle populations in particular have made a dramatic comeback and are one of the more impressive 'back from the brink' success stories. So SOME of the doom and gloom in the comments do seem more than a little over the top."


Not everyone cared that much, however, with the inevitable comeback.


ensue wrote, "So many of you sound so ignorant!!! Humans are what should be on earth! You cannot compare an animal to a human. I would much rather see a human race here than a eagle. Get rid of yourself if you think humans are so bad and the world will be better with just animals and cats. I would never find an animal more important than my child or any family. It's nature's way: they don't eat? Oh well, why don't you worry about all the starving children and adults in the world, not a damn eagle. Goofies!" perilous responded, "Shut up, you nitwit. It's people like you that ruin this planet for every other living thing on it. The idea that you have children terrifies me."


Bailoutsos concluded, "Time to leave earth before it becomes the ghetto of the Universe."


A microscopic look at hotel hygiene


Top comment: ""Add this to the list of things I'm better off not knowing about." --podbaydoors


You might think that an article warning of lack of hygiene in hotel rooms would elicit moans of disgust and fear from our readers. In fact, most took a no-nonsense view of the hazards of encountering other people's germs.


"Hope he didn't consider the germs he encountered in cab or on the subway getting to the hotel or he might lose it completely," wrote TooManyThngs.  "Big deal. Ditch the spread & shower. Use your own pillow with an allergenic cover. Keep your clothes in your bags & iron them before putting them on. Wash your hands. It's not rocket science people," ReallyJersey advised.


"We come in contact with all sorts of bacteria and bodily fluids all day long. Yeah it sounds gross when you think about it, but it's part of living. This is an absurd article from a guy with a germ phobia. It it isn't making you sick, don't worry about it," evines said.


"Places where people gather will ALWAYS have germs. Get over it," wrote eamryvan. "I see your bullet points and have to say that's bordering severe OCD," sacdaddy said. "You can make yourself nuts obsessing over this kind of stuff. Why not get yourself one of those haz/mat outfits?" suggested Guest.


"Are hotel rooms any worse than other places?" BillClint0n asked. "Living in a sterile cocoon is not a requisite to living. Would you hesitate to sleep in a friend or relative's guest room? I can assure you that it would not contain any less germs than the common hotel room." CurtX wondered "if people's own homes would pass the microscope test. I'm sure hotels are criticized for things that people's homes are even worse at." nursie said, "The microbiologist should check out college dorm rooms.That would really scare him."


Of course, a few did consider the benefits of sleeping elsewhere.


UCFKnightman wrote, "This is why I prefer camping. My own 'bed', fresh open air, and the only one to blame for hygiene issues is myself. Not to mention MUCH cheaper and MORE fun." WomenOnGuard agreed, "WOW, I'm just going to sleep in my car from now on if I go on a road trip!" SouthBeech said, "Durn. A tent in the wild sounds more than good right now even if it means an occasional rattlesnake."


Compiled by the moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

1 Comment
March 1, 2011
Click to view SMILEEE's profile

This is ridiculous! If your going to work at a hotel, do your job and clean up after people its what your paid to do!

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