the ugly earring

ug‧ly [uhg-lee] offensive to the sense of beauty; displeasing in appearance

Category: whale

dragon’s spittle

Whale oil is, of course, why most whales were killed in the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. Not only any old whale oil was useful but in particular sperm oil, from the head of the sperm whale, which contains spermaceti, “brilliant white crystals that are hard but oily to the touch, and are devoid of taste or smell, making it very useful as an ingredient in cosmetics, leatherworking, and lubricants.”  Sperm whales also produce ambergris, a very special and mysterious substance which the whales secret in their stomachs to ease the passage of hard objects (like giant squid beaks):

“Ambergris has been mostly known for its use in creating perfume and fragrance much like musk. While perfumes can still be found with ambergris around the world, …It was banned from use in many countries in the 1970s, including the United States, because its precursor originates from the sperm whale, which is an endangered species. However it has been legal since 2005 due to strict monitoring of distributors who ensure that only ambergris that has been naturally washed to shore is sold. Ancient Egyptians burned ambergris as incense …The ancient Chinese called the substance ‘dragon’s spittle fragrance.’ During the Black Death in Europe, people believed that carrying a ball of ambergris could help prevent them from getting the plague. This was because the fragrance covered the smell of the air which was believed to be the cause of plague … some people consider it an aphrodisiac. During the Middle Ages, Europeans used ambergris as a medication for headaches, colds, epilepsy, and other ailments.” [wiki]

(from a whale of a read: here)

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cheer up, sad world

At midnight in the museum hall
The fossils gathered for a ball
There were no drums or saxophones,
But just the clatter of their bones,
A rolling, rattling, carefree circus
Of mammoth polkas and mazurkas.
Pterodactyls and brontosauruses
Sang ghostly prehistoric choruses.
Amid the mastodontic wassail
I caught the eye of one small fossil.
“Cheer up, sad world,” he said, and winked-
“It’s kind of fun to be extinct.”

~ogden nash “fossils” to accompany the carnival of the animals

it seems inviting

“The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean.

From it we have learned most of what we know. Recently, we have waded a little out to sea, enough to dampen our toes or, at most, wet our ankles. The water seems inviting.

The ocean calls.

~ carl sagan

the whale mother

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 “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new.”  ~Rajneesh

…a seahorse song.