Posted by Juliet Linderman

Hey there dicksters, welcome to Friday and in turn, welcome to Dick Watching, bringing you all the sexiest (Moby) Dick-related news and gossip, from across the switchboards. All aboard!

1. Holy moly! There’s been plenty of beached-whale buzz in California this season, and last week a blue whale–the largest creature on the planet–washed up on a beach in Northern California. But here’s the kicker–or flipper, if you will–this large lady was pregnant, and landed on Half Moon Bay’s shores with its unborn fetus in tow. It is  believed that this lady was killed on impact, probably from a collision with a large ship. The whale is 80 feet long and weighs 75 tons, and the fetus is 17 feet long. Here’s what a scientist at the scene had to say:
“”I’d say it probably died four to five days (before reaching the shore). The fetus was about 50 feet from the carcass, and most likely came out, after it died, from a discharge of gas pressure.”
Sad. Also, ew. According to one news article, a dickster left a bouquet of flowers next to the whale’s body. Again, sad. And ew.

2. Ok this is horrifying: A trio of sailors were gliding along minding their own business off the coast of Western Australia when they hit a whale, and their boat sank. Luckily, they sent out a mayday and were promptly rescued  by an oil rig. According to one of the dudes involved in the rescue: “Horrendous seas out there,” Sgt Trew said. “It was pretty shocking conditions: 35-knot winds and three- to four-meter (10- to 13-foot) swells. It would have been pretty bloody awful.” I don’t want to think about this anymore. Moving along!

3. This tidbit of blubber is also kind of dark, but also weird, so I will mention it anyway. You know how Japan still relies on whaling as a major source of income? Well, in the town of Taiji–the focus of the documentary, The Cove–which is kind of ground zero for the Japanese whaling industry, every year the residents celebrate the Isana Festival–Isana is whale in Japanese. This year, Taiji residents constructed a giant mechanical whale, and proceeded to chase it. That’s…that’s what they did.

4. Next time you have an idea for a science experiment that sounds really stupid, you should probably do it anyway, because maybe you too could win an Ig Nobel Prize for silly scientific research! This year’s winners included a guy who determined that wearing socks outside your shoes drastically reduces your risk of slipping on ice, another dude who proved that shouting obscenities while in pain helps a lot, and a trio of scientists (all ladies!) who devised a system for collecting the snot whales blow out of their blow holes using a remote-controlled helicopter. That’s some gooey research!

5. Twitter fail whale.

6. This delicious tidbit comes courtesy of a friend and dick-loving academic George Cotkin, who’s book about Moby Dick is finished and forthcoming (can’t wait!). Last week he sent over a link to a talk given by Doctor Caleb Craine, addressing Herman Melville’s secrets. As Cotkin `warned me, the talk is a bit academic, but it’s also a bit sexy, and a lot awesome. Listen in here.

7. Hell yeah, San Diego (‘whale’s vagina’)! San Diego has been giving us whale-related gift after whale-related gift, but they’ve outdone themselves this time: Yesterday, the San Diego Opera unveiled the dates for their rendition of Jackie Heggie’s operatic rendition of our favorite tome! It’ll be running from February 18-26, 2011. So, field trip?

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