Saturday, September 30, 2006

A good Big Day Out/holiday excursion

And much as I wanted to, I couldn't entirely escape the footy Grand Final either, because the Aquarium reminded us to catch the last five minutes or so on their own big screen, so I did manage to see the Eagles put a final nail in the Swans' coffin (http://afl.com.au/default.asp?pg=news&spg=display&articleid=301141pg=news&spg=display&articleid=301141 - you may have to copy and paste this link to the stats as an unbroken link in your browser, if you want to check it!), but it looks like the Swans did not even really get a look-in this day of the Blue Lunar Eagle (see, I told everyone it looked like the omens favored the Eagles, and they have landed!)... I recommend the Aquarium to anyone living in or passing through Melbourne, as it represents a really good day out: funnily enough, a similar cool but sunny, early spring day saw Bjorn Erik and me visit the Bergen Aquarium to check out the spider exhibition, and I reckon a job in the aquarium, especially diving among the sharks and rays at feeding time, would amount to one of the world's coolest jobs! I really envied those divers, but had fun also "diving down" and popping my head up, gopher-like, through some of their little glass bubbles, for a fish-eye view!

Discussing fish "smarts", i.e. memory, learning, communication, sharks came up trumps every time; apparently they recognise the divers individually, despite the anonymity of their wetsuits and helmets, and can apparently sense whether a person seems nervous or relaxed by their heartbeats, and respond appropriately, by either swimming around them in a relaxed way, or avoiding them. They also have a special sensory organ for detecting electrical fields around fish, so maybe they actually read auras? And they have lived longer on this planet than practically anything else, since before the dinosaurs in fact! And now their worst enemy, the worst enemy of practically everything else, seems... us! ;-P And I will keep my eyes open on the beach this summer for a little spiral, rubbery, twisted thing, which you could mistake for a bit of tyre or kelp, that might just possibly represent the egg of a Port Jackson shark (yes, some sharks do lay eggs, although most bear live young!)...or possibly some other weird shape, from some other species? Go, the Sharks! (Why do we not have a footy team named after them, although the Rugby League does have a team called the Cronulla Sharks) ;-))
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