Words I love.

Ok, so I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile, and today, I’m extra-bored. SO –

Punk – Jo says this one is the hard consonants, which I think is true, as far as sound goes. But

Wiggins – As in ‘Weird old guys really give me the wiggins.” Did anyone else have Mr. Wiggins in high school? I’m sure he was not creepy, but he has a name that sounds like it should be a ridiculous butler.

Wapiti – not only are these little deer things cute, they also have a name that stings like a sandwich in the FACE. Also, the plural gives you a Scrabble bingo.

Eunuch – I love this word, and I hate it. The hate comes from my inability to pronounce the thing. I see the ‘e’, and think it should start with a ‘ee’ sounds, not a ‘you’ sound. I love this word, because it’s better than you’re basic threat: “I’ll make you a eunuch.” See, that even looks wrong.

Ragamuffin – Not only for the aspirated ‘f’ sound do I love this word. It looks like what it is – a little ragged around the edges, possibly spongy like cake. And when you say it, it sounds as if there are little sprouts growing out of it. Delicious!

Tomfoolery – This is Corina’s input. It does have a certain hickish/grandpa ring to it. ‘Dagnabit, quit your tomfoolery, Huckleberry!’

Bebop – This works both as a music genre and as a name for a cute little robot.  What other word could encompass the pep, energy, vim, and vigor of both?

Smorgasbord – Maybe it’s my European blood, but this word just sounds like THE ULTIMATE.  It’s like an infidel conqueror of a word, something reserved for total annihilation.  Who can resist the power of the mighty SMORGASBORDI?!

Tsunami – Ok, that last one got me thinking about destruction, and what natural disaster is more fun-sounding and anime than !Tsunami! ? For real though, it sounds even like the title of a cheesy
70s beach movie, which I would love.  Actually, it may be the title of a cheesy 70s beach movie.  In fact, I’m going to be disappointed if it’s not.

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Duck and Swimmer.

It is estimated that the North Atlantic shipping speed reductions proposed by US government scientists to protect right whales could cost over a million dollars.  While this is a hefty chunk of change, it is a relatively small percentage of the overall North Atlantic shipping industry’s profits (about $340 billion).  Still, the evidence that a reduction in speed will reduce whale deaths and increase the right whale population is strong.  So the only real question before the Office of Management and Budget should be whether this chunk will negatively impact shipping more than it will positively impact the most endangered of all whale species.

It’s a complex question, which may be why the proposal has languished with the OMB for so long.  Since the shipping industry is wide and diverse, are there companies that are going to be so negatively impacted as to go under due to this new speed rule?  Will shippers in a local area be unable to compete, due to a lower speed rule in places where more widespread shippers can make up the cost easily?  How will transatlantic shipping be affected, and will we be able to continue to compete in the international shipping market?

However, despite the plausible validity of checking all sides of the story before issuing a rule, shipper’s claims that less whales would be injured if shipping boats go faster seems to treat whales like randomly floating masses.  True, a faster boat will spend less time in a certain area of the water, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate less collisions.  Whales are perceptive.  When they see a giant thing bearing down on them slowly from the surface, they are not going to bonk into it headfirst, curious though they may be.  And any child can tell you it’s easier to doge a ball that’s thrown gently than one speeding with force.

Hopefully this is a conclusion the OMB will be able to realize soon.

Wellfleets. Yum.

I like raw oysters.  Only since moving to Boston did I realize I like them.  In Indiana, oysters just aren’t as prevalent, and while I like seafood, somehow I never got around to trying them.  Now I love to hop up to Summer Shack after a long week and grab a pitcher of Fisherman’s Brew and a nice little selection of oozy goodness.  I generally try what they have on hand, learning the names of different types and maybe even something about the part of the coast a particular oyster comes from.

Wellfleets are pretty good.  The Wellfleet Oyster Fest describes them as ‘long and strong-shelled. Experienced tasters know that they are plump and clean with a distinctively good balance of creamy sweetness and brine.’  But I’ve never been to Wellfleet, MA, and didn’t even know they had a lighthouse, until now.

It is interesting to me the way local legend grows up around a particular event or circumstance.  It must have been true that someone in Wellfleet knew the fate of the lighthouse at the time it was moved.  The amount of effort it must take to move a lighthouse from one coast to another, even disassembled as some think it was, must have meant the local population was well aware of the movement, even if they were unaware that the lighthouse would eventually end up on Point Montara, CA.  Someone must have written the letters that are now coming to light as evidence of the movement of the lighthouse.  Local rumor may have eventually spewed forth the idea that the lighthouse was merely disassembled and not transported, but what of those ‘in the know’?  Is there some reason they would not want the town to know that their lighthouse was still being used (and is still being used today) somewhere else?  Or did the townspeople themselves simply prefer to allow the truth to fade into past and legend.

It is odd the ways truth and story blur in local tradition.  In Talcott, WV, it is often said that after his titanic battle with the steam engine, John Henry came home to his wife, had a quiet dinner, and passed softly in his sleep, his big heart finally giving out from the strain of that struggle.  In Ireland, Oisin lives to tell his tale to the future, perhaps even to Saint Patrick.  We are drawn to the poetry of the moment, and who would rather not see their beacon of light sinking slowly beneath the waves forever, rather than used for purposes not their own on some distant shore?