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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

You need to get in on this.

People who know me will say if there is one thing that interests me it is technology, and predatory animals, and using technology to keep an eye on predatory animals.  That might be more than one thing, but people I know have little use for math, or the rigid confines of proper vocabulary, we are rebels.  So, when I read on PRI, (Public Radio International, yes, I read the radio, on Facebook, did I mention our rebellious nature) that I could download an App to track sharks it was a mad dash to the iTunes store.

Now I am following Lydia, a Great White Shark, as she travels across the Atlantic Ocean.  Not like a
"I think we may be following this one a little too close."
Private Eye following an unfaithful spouse to a seedy motel where he will drink tepid, foul tasting coffee, and eat peanut butter sandwiches with his Canon Rebel DSLR equipped with a Canon EF EF 100 -400mm Telephoto lens (on sale now at Amazon, don't miss this deal, it is crazy cheap) in hand, waiting for a few fuzzy photos.  But, not exactly like following someone on Twitter, either, though that would be closer.  But, I can open an app on my phone (iPhone 5, soon to be outdated and will be offered at very reasonable prices, by everyone) and see where she has been.

Apparently, this shark has surprised the scientists at Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, because she is swimming around in the ocean.  No, I am only kidding, what is surprising to them is that she seems to be crossing the Atlantic Ocean (apparently they feel sharks prefer coastal waters), and may be on her way to Ireland, perhaps arriving just in time for Saint Patrick's Day.  Which shows a remarkable sense of timing, and current events.

According to the article (The PRI article about the Shark) tagging Great White Sharks is rare and difficult.  It seems that someone on the boat needs to distract the shark, maybe with a card trick, or some sleight of hand (sharks are suckers for magic tricks, but who isn't) and another person needs to sneak up behind the shark and stick a tracking device to it's back using industrial strength marine adhesive.  That sort of glue is so caustic and irritating that it was difficult to find volunteers.  No, I just made that up.

There are many difficulties and it is potentially dangerous for the shark, but these good people are trying to save this majestic creature.  They work long hours under trying and difficult conditions, all in the name of conservation, science, and education. I think everybody should show their gratitude for the difficult work by reading the article, and downloading the app, it is available, for Apple as well as Android devices at the OCEARCH.org website, here (Try it, you will be the coolest person you know.).

Imagine, at the touch of a button, (is that what you call it on capacitive touch screen, who cares, not us rebels, that is obvious) you can see where dozens of sharks are, and where they have been.  There are worse ways to use a smart phone, you know?