Monthly Archives: June 2022
Sunday, June 26, 2022
Precipitation: Not happening
A group of Blacktip Island marine scientists Thursday announced they will stage a Wild West-themed Nassau grouper roundup next week so they can implant location transponders in as many of the fish as possible to track their movements and behaviors.
“We’ve been randomly tagging Nassaus for years, but it doesn’t give us an accurate picture of their habits,” Tiperon University-Blacktip marine science professor Goby Graysby said. “Rather than continuing all higgledy-piggledy, our plan is to round up every grouper on the island in one big pen so we can stick ‘em all.
“It’s a big project, and we’ll need every volunteer diver we can get,” Graysby said. “To encourage participation, we decided to model it after an Old West cattle drive. Without the horses and lassos, of course. But we will have divers, some on underwater scooters, herding the groupers into a big net enclosure just out from the public pier. Then we can tag them all at one time.”
Organizers expect the roundup to be a multi-day affair.
“Blacktip’s a small enough island, it’s likely we can get almost all the Nassaus,” Ginger Bass said. “Thing is, it’s also big enough it’ll likely take us several days to get all the fish corraled and tagged. Weeks, even, depending on the number of herders we get.
“We’ll have our aqua-buckaroos working ‘round the clock, and sleeping on boats,” Bass said. “There’ll be a chuckwagon-style pontoon boat bringing meals to herders so they don’t waste time going home and cooking dinner. If this works out like we think it will, this could be the new standard for fish tagging worldwide.”
Island environmentalists, however, opposed the plan.
“Why do they need every Nassau to have a transponder?” ecologist Harry Pickett said. “They can’t study the grouper without terrorizing them? In a marine park. And what about the other reef creatures they’ll traumatize? And the coral they’ll damage?
“This central net-corral they’ve installed is anchored in living reef and will cause irreparable damage,” Pickett said. “And once they release the grouper, what guarantee is there the fish will go back to the section of reef they came from? They might just stay there, and there’d be no groupers anywhere else on the island.”
Organizers remained optimistic.
“We’ll have contests as we go along, to keep volunteer fis-pokes engaged,” Graysby said. “We’ll have time trials, where individual divers compete to see who can round up and tag a grouper the fastest. Like an underwater rodeo. This could become the Tiperons’ national sport. Maybe even get in the Olympics when we host them.
“We also encourage all participants to dress in Western-themed scuba gear,” Graysby said. “We’ve seen some nice neoprene cowboy hats and vests already. And rumor has it several folks’ll be turning up in leather chaps.”
Participants will receive free meals during the roundup, and ‘Grouper Wrangler’ t-shirts afterwards.
Sunday, June 19, 2022
Precipitation: On the way
Sunday, June 12, 2022
Precipitation: Tomorrow, maybe
The opening lines of Blacktip Island artist and writer Rosie Blenny’s emoji translation of Homer’s Ancient Greek epic ‘The Odyssey.’ (image courtesy of Rosie Blenny)
In an effort to revive interest in Classical literature, a Blacktip Island artist and writer is translating Homer’s Ancient Greek epic poem ‘The Odyssey’ into an all-emoji format, she announced Thursday.
“I wanted to update an old chestnut, make it culturally relevant again,” Rosie Blenny said. “The goal’s to get younger generations interested in literature. Sure, using only emojis limits the number of characters I can use, but a picture’s worth a thousand words, so I reckon I’m in good shape.
“I was going to do the obvious and start with ‘The Iliad,’ but it’s pretty dry, and bogged down with all the names and speeches,” Blenny said. “The Odyssey’s got lots of whizz-bang action and is way more of a page turner. Or screen scroller. I’m releasing it in short, daily installments to keep up folks’ interest.”
Local artists praised the idea.
“It’s a brilliant cross-textual take that truly speaks to what it’s like to be alive in this time and place. And that one,” local artist Jerrod Ephesians said. “The Odyssey’s about a sea voyage, after all, and Blacktip’s surrounded by the sea. That naturally lends itself to speak to the in-common experiences of Blacktippers and the Ancient Greeks. I think people underestimate how expressive you can be in emoji.”
Others in the island’s literary community weren’t so sure.
“It’s an interesting concept, certainly, but I’m not sure emojis will deliver the desired level of nuance to the story,” Tome Time book club president Helen Maples said. “There are aspects of Ancient Greek society emojis simply can’t convey. The worry is that could easily lead to misinterpretation.
“What Rosie is doing is essentially creating a new text that’s a hollow echo of the original,” Maples said. “Any meaning or has import it has will spring from the call-and-response between the old and the new. If there is any. Personally, I don’t see the point, but if it gets kids reading, I suppose I’m all for it.”
Others on the small Caribbean island were looking forward to the work.
“It’s literature, so it’ll be better for the kids than Aquaman or manga or whatever comic books they’re reading now,” George Graysby said. “Hell, I loved the Classic Comix version of Moby Dick when I was in high school. That puppy got me a ‘C’ in 10th-grade English without having to slog through that boring great brick of a book.”
Blenny said she has other translations planned.
“If this proves popular, I’ll do Shakespeare’s sonnets next,” she said. “I can publish one a day, and emojis naturally lend themselves to iambic pentameter.”