Whale Ranch

Agriculture experts have teamed up with scientists and engineers to develop the first ‘whale farm’, an enterprise that seeks to increase the population of whales with breeding programs, protected migration, controlled slaughter and even milking.

“The husbandry is similar to land-cattle. We are enlisting the help of engineers that specialise in aquatic environments to help design the equipment and machinery required,” says Brennan Horswich, head of the program based on the Ivory Coast ‘Ranch’, “It is a real team effort. [The venture] is expensive, yes, but worth it. Just think of the benefits such a program would bring!”

Logistics is not the biggest hurdle, he says, even though tracking and driving a pod of whales across the expanse of the ocean is a feat in itself. Problems lie in how to artificially inseminate whales, or, if this proves too difficult, to encourage the right bull to mate. Further issues arise in predator control, health checkups, birthing and ensuring that the whales are happy.

“There are three main economic benefits that will come of this. First, there is the tourism for eco-watchers. Secondly, we aim to be able to harvest the milk of the cows (female whales) in the same way as we do cattle. Thirdly, the meat, bones, skin and especially the blubber is amazingly valuable,” says Brennan Horswich, “Tourism is easy. For milking, we are creating launches that will act similar to a suckling whale and float gently underneath. The milk is very rich, very nutritious.”

Once the milk is harvested, it goes into great, cooled vats to be pasteurised and processed. While the taste is not to everyone’s palate, efforts are underway to provide cooking techniques and examine ways to filter unwanted flavours.

He goes on to say that until a painless and reliable slaughtering technique is devised, his team will concentrate on the tourism and milking aspects.

“In any case, with proper breeding and farming practices, we will end up with more whales, and healthier whales, than what we started with and this, we can all agree, is the greatest benefit of all.”ChesterLogoSmall

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Global Warming Linked to Earthquakes

A team of Japanese seismologists and meteorologists have joined efforts to determine whether ambient temperature fluctuations have a bearing upon tectonic activity.

“It came as a surprise. We decided to compare [data from separate studies] on a whim, just to see if there was any link,” says Professor Yamato, Head Meteorologist in the study, “There is no direct correlation, not in a perfect sense, however we did see that the patterns of environmental fluctuations were followed, after the order of several years, by deviations in tectonic activity.”

In layman’s terms, it appears that there is a 14 or 15 year shift between extreme temperatures on the Earth’s crust manifesting and subsequent tectonic activities. Extreme cold and hot years cause a rippling effect, a contraction and expansion on a global scale, that disrupts the motion of tectonic plates.

“Think of it like metal fatigue. Thermal fluctuations cause ultra-long scale oscillations. Rapid expansion and contraction, and when I say rapid, I am talking about the order of years in this case, can loosen the macroscopic bonds, freeing up plates so that they move more easily.”

Professor Hiro, Head Seismologist, is more cautious when it comes to the claims.

“I will not accept that a hot spell ’causes’ earthquakes,” he says, “For that would be going too far. I will [accept that] there is a distinct and uncanny correlation between the two if we perform the time shift.”

He states that the Earth has a natural, complex cycle and that while his team’s research is potentially revolutionary, causality cannot be established with any confidence given the current research.

“More research is required, specialised and particular, and it will take many more years, I am afraid. I would hesitate to jump to any conclusions.”

An application for further research is expected to be submitted in the coming months.ChesterLogoSmall