no commercial opportunity here
Whale meat is not sold in Japan for profit, it's actually subsidized (e.g. to schools) to maintain tradition of whaling.
Yes, I know it's silly.
French explosives experts have been put on high alert as officials consider plans to carry out a controlled detonation of a beached whale. The 15-ton beast washed ashore near Montpelier earlier in the month and quickly turned into a stinking and potentially dangerous mound of rotting horribleness. Dead whales are not just a …
Uhm, no....If it is not for profit, why can you buy imported whale meat in Japan?
What is silly is that the Japanese pretend that their purely commercial fishery is simply a byproduct of their scientific research. It isn't. That being said I don't really have a problem with small scale commercial whaling of the like carried out by Norway, Iceland etc, it is certainly a more sustainable fishery than cod, for example, and the animal has had a happier life than my bacon sarnie's previous incarnation. It can also be delicious ;)
Thankfully, "research" whaling has finally stopped in Japan this April. The International Court of Justice officially stomped on them and demanded that all permits be revoked, and that Japan honor the 1986 worldwide whaling ban (which Japan is a signed member of). They have agreed to all terms, effective immediately.
They could someday withdraw from that agreement and start whaling again, but they haven't done that, and it would destroy a lot of their trade from the penalties for doing so.
Looking at that video it is more of a job for a knight of the mechanical variety. Unofrtunately, most weapons mounted on a standard issue police bot will be too weak to pierce through the several inches of blubber. Even a large bore shotgun is helpless when facing 20cm of fat.
If the whale has fermented enough already sticking a charge or two with a bot may be the only sensible solution as it may be too dangerous for a human to approach on the "belly side". Anything else aside, the fermentation produces not just methane so if this blows "in yer face" it may take a couple of fortnights and quite a lot of soap and rubbing to get rid of the stench.
.. as long as I'm VERY far away when they do it.
I guess someone like Lewis Page will be able to tell them that it's actually not possible to "fry and vaporise" in one big bang, and therein lies the problem (and -for us outsiders- the humour): the most likely result of blowing it up will be to distribute pieces of already decomposing meat over a VERY large area, which will all happily continue to do what they did before: rot. And smell. It's been done before, by the way, with exactly that result.
On the plus side, at least the explosion danger will have gone. So, for the sake of the locals I hope they come up with another idea, but my sense of black humour is actually hoping they will indeed make this mistake.
Does anyone have an idea how it *would* be possible, or have explosives improved?
How about using a few chains of those elongated shaped charges that building demolitions teams use to cut through the wide steel i-beams that hold high rise buildings up. I'm sure that a few lines of those laid over the top of the whale would cleave the mighty beast into family sized portions more precisely than traditional method of a giant pile of dynamite dug underneath it.
russell 6, I disagree. With surprisingly few changes, Melville’s original text can become positively Lovecraftish:
A gentle balefulness — a mighty mildness of repose in swiftness, invested the gliding whale carcass. Not the white bull Jupiter swimming away with ravished Europa clinging to his graceful horns; his lovely, leering eyes sideways intent upon the maid; with smooth bewitching fleetness, rippling straight for the nuptial bower in Crete; not Jove, not that great majesty Supreme! did surpass the glorified White Whale as he so undyingly swam.
On each soft side — coincident with the parted swell, that but once leaving him, then oozed so wide away — on each bright side, the whale shed off enticings. No wonder there had been some among the hunters who namelessly transported and allured by all this serenity, had ventured to assail it; but had fatally found that quietude but the vesture of tornadoes. Yet calm, enticing calm, oh, whale! thou glidest on, to all who for the first time eye thee, no matter how many in that same way thou may’st have bejuggled and destroyed before.
And thus, through the serene tranquillities of the subtropical sea, among waves whose hand-clappings were suspended by exceeding rapture, Mouldy Dick moved on, still withholding from sight the full terrors of his submerged trunk, entirely hiding the wrenched hideousness of his jaw. But soon the fore part of him slowly rose from the water; for an instant his whole marbleized body formed a high arch, like Virginia’s Natural Bridge, and warningly waving his bannered flukes in the air, the grand god revealed himself, sounded, and went out of sight. Hoveringly halting, and dipping on the wing, the white sea-fowls unwillingly lingered over the agitated pool that he left.
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When the Frogs might pass us up in the whale demolition department!
Mr. President, we cannot allow the development of an exploding whale gap!!!
(Actually, why don't they bring in something like a Barrett 50 caliber rifle to shoot the ballooning baleen-bearing bomb in the gut, and release the gas that way? Or bring up an armored personnel carrier or a tank and shoot the whale a couple times with a solid armor piercing round? That would certainly do it, and it would be a lot less dangerous than blowing the whale up. Then you carve the whale up and bury it or dump it far out at sea.)
I felt sorry for the poor soul who drew the short straw and had to start hacking at the weak points, in hopes of unceremoniously disarming the whale. I went through a very similar situation, except the event I was party to involved a large bull and a chain saw, most of which I've been able to repress, thanks to my therapist.
However, I feel obligated to point out that if one goes to the video that shows Mr. Thornton's rise to minor deity status, there's one scene, at 2:15 to be exact, where an officer goes into angry mob control mode, and starts warning two senior citizens to disperse. Sad the taser wasn't invented yet... They looked shifty.
While the one circa 1970 will go down in the anals of history, I can't help but think that france got off lucky, as I distinctly recall an incident in Korea (I think) where they were hauling the carcass of a dead whale through a sea side town, to get it to the local university for study. It didn't quite make it, as the truck got stopped at a stop light and shortly after coming to a stop, it detonated. I can't remember if there was a convertible in the right lane, attempting to turn right or if it was a car with all the windows down, but it took the brunt of the blast. As for the rest of the block, it didn't fare much better. I think we as a specie, don't have a very good relationship with large sea mammals. And I think this is their revenge, or Jihad, against humanity. May God have mercy on all of us...
The best thing to do is to tow it to deep water and sink it. There's lots of animals which are specialized on scavenging dead whales, but they've been studied only in the pacific and northern atlantic -- no one's ever studied a "whale fall" in the mediterranean. So, this is actually a golden opportunity for some real science.
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