Study shows fish discouraged by evolutionary process

Pensacola, FL — Ichthyologists doing research on the behavior of fish in the gulf region, just off the coast of northern Florida, have been perplexed for months by the apparent mood changes of many vertebrates in the area.

“We’ve seen fish change behavior based on environmental factors, predator stressers, and the like, but we haven’t seen anything quite like this before,” says scientist Joseph Blaylock. “Entire schools of fish swimming slowly, with no apparent direction, some were even documented as having ‘sad faces,’ so we’re conducting more research to find out what might be causing this.”

A few factors that might make a fish to look “sad,” or frown, are big sharks in the area, getting hooked by a fishing line, losing Nemo, or watching your best friend turn from a mermaid to a human and leave forever.

Marine biologists have been brought in to study the sounds heard amongst some of the fish in the gulf. Primarily studying the fish who appear downcast, communication between them has an eary similarity to a minor key in music.

Progress took a leap forward yesterday when a stack of paper was found floating near a school of mopey mullet. It was nearly tossed aside until some of the writing caught the eye of a few biologists on the research boat. The spelling was very, very poor, but was in English, much to the delight of all on board. The note was written by Yerlstey the Mullet, Jr., and can be summarized by extreme disappointment that they have yet to turn into humans. Pages two and three mentioned all the fun they see humans doing, from jet-skiing to parasailing, kayaking, boating, using arms and legs, talking, laughing, hugging, snorkeling, breathing air, all things fish in the area cannot do.

The last page, page four, ends with an honest question: “Can’t we at least get to lizard status? Having little legs and feet would be a real game-changer for us.”

Although the sentiment of the underwater dwellers tugged on the hearts of those who heard the plea, there’s ultimately nothing these scientists can do. In a handwritten note addressed to Yerlstey the Mullet, Jr. and friends, a response:

“We’re sorry you are still fish. The process of evolution takes millions of years, so although those reading or hearing this note won’t be turning into humans during your lifetime, but on the bright side, a lot of humans are becoming vegan. This means they won’t eat you or your family.”

Scientists weren’t exactly sure this was the right angle to take with the fish, but blamed their years of schooling and lack of social interaction on however their note might have sounded.

-Out of the Wilderness News

 

My very own epic fails, part 1

I had an epic fail yesterday so as I laughed at the mistake I made, I thought about other times in my life where I’ve had major goof-ups. A few solid ones came to mind, and a few that I was hoping I’d forget about. The first I’ll share with you takes place in a Coast Guard Day softball game. My dad was in the Coast Guard and on this particular day, he let my brother and I play in the softball game. I was probably 12 or 13 at the time. I had seen this on TV so at one point when I hit a ball to the infield, I decided to slide into first base… head first. Let’s just say I ended up back in the dugout because the mud I slid in wasn’t as slippery as I thought it would be. Dove towards first, slid a little, stopped sliding before I even reached first base! Embarrassing. Then to top it all off, I cried. What a sissy.

There’s another embarrassing softball story, but this was in college. And again, I was sliding. I rounded second base and sprinted towards third. The throw came in and the third baseman tagged me, I was out. But we were arranged in such a way that when he pulled out of the tagging position, he had to toss my legs to the side. I took that as an arrogant assault so I became visibly angry. Realizing I took this the wrong way, he offered his hand to help me up, to which I rejected and popped up on my own. Unfortunately I got up too fast for my own good and ended up falling backwards. It was the most embarrassing moment of my college career, and that includes the few times I crashed my bike riding down a hill.

Another epic fail while I was in college involves my brother, yet again. This time it was his college graduation. Me, being the techy video fanatic, brought along my video camera to record the once-in-a-lifetime event. It was a great day! The battery was charged, I had a tape in the camera and things were looking up. I recorded clips throughout the ceremony and when it was his turn to walk across the stage, I was ready. Or so I thought. Checking the video afterwards, I made a giant mistake. You know how sometimes you can be recording when you don’t think you are, then not recording when you do think you are? So I recorded him walking up the ramp to the stage, then nothing, then him walking back to his seat. I completely missed him receiving his accolades as he shook hands with faculty crossing the stage. I’m such an idiot!

I owe an apology to my brother-in-law for the next epic fail. It was a beautiful day in the Gulf of Mexico. The guys in my family went out for a fishing trip in hopes of catching grouper, snapper, rock bass, whatever we could. My bro-in-law hooked something big. It took him a good while to reel it in, and whatever it was put up such a fight that we all took turns reeling. Towards the end he took the pole back and I assigned myself video duty. It was a huge nurse shark from about 90 feet down! It was amazing. I’d show you the video here but much like the disaster that was my brother’s graduation, I hit record to capture the event, only to realize when I hit the button to start recording, it was actually stopping the recording. I got about a 1-second view of that big fish. Dang it, Ben!

And to circle back around to my most recent epic fail… it was yesterday. I set out to capture the total solar eclipse in video fashion so I planned and prepped. Practiced and packed. On eclipse day I was ready. I arrived a couple hours ahead of time to get a good spot. I wanted to record 2 separate videos… 1. A 360-degree view of the park where I watched the eclipse and 2. a timelapse of the Parthenon there at the park. The 360-video went off without a hitch, but when I went to start recording the images for the time-lapse on my GoPro, the information window said “no SD card.” My attempt at a cool time-lapse was eclipsed by my own silly forgetfulness. As it turns out, I was practicing time-lapse shots in my back yard and after transferring footage from the SD card to my computer, I forgot to return the SD card to the GoPro. Soooooooo instead of a cool shot of the Parthenon, enjoy my practice time-lapse of mushrooms in my back yard. You’re welcome, America!

-Out of the Wilderness

 

 

A retreat on early evening tides

I recently returned to Nashville from a 7-day trip visiting family in Florida. It started with a few days at my favorite beach where my dogs can explore, the ocean recedes but leaves small pools of water across newly exposed sand, porpoises feeding nearby, sugary soft white sand where crabs make their home, birds chirping above…. and this, magical time floating on the early evening tide:
paddleboarding in the Gulf-Out of the Wilderness

A Fur Piece To Go

The thing about the ocean is that it never stops trying. It already covers about 71% of the earth’s surface, but it always wants more. Think about the last time you were at the beach… the ocean was trying to wash up farther and farther, right? Not to be discouraged, though, it’ll move to another beach and try there, too. We call it “tides” but I think it’s just another oceanic attempt to cover more land. This behavior is not unlike our own as humans. A lot of our success and even our self-worth is determined by how much ground we can cover, how much we can acquire. We are measured, we keep scores, we have watches with chronographs on them to record how fast or slow something happens. If we meet a roadblock, we’ll try to find success some other way or somewhere else. Like the ocean tide, we persist. We push and push, then go somewhere else and do it again.

Gulf of Mexico

Thinking about the neighborhood I live in, most homes are either your first house, or your last. There’s not much in between. I’m part of the group that is hoping to eventually move to a bigger house in a better neighborhood. The other group doesn’t plan on leaving the neighborhood until they leave the earth altogether. They’re satisfied with their lives, and for that I applaud them. They’re the lakes of society. I’m not there yet. I’m still an ocean seeking more. I have tsunami moments where I try too hard, harming things around me. I have thunderous moments that turn out to be duds. I can be cold and uncomfortable or warm and inviting. I can be rough and dangerous, or calm and peaceful. I can wreck stuff if I’m not careful. I’m shallow. But I can be miles deep. It’s all part of the maturing process and learning to live with boundaries. Two things are for sure, though, the ocean won’t stop trying to reach dry land and I’ve still got a fur piece to go before I settle for lake life.

A boat turned over by the ocean in a tropical storm.

The BP Oil Spill

Photography: manNblack, Nashville, TN.

Video / Editing: Driftwood Services, Nashville, TN.

Lyrics to “Time For Me To Fly” by REO Speedwagon:

I’ve been around for you
I’ve been up and down for you
But I just can’t get any relief.
I’ve swallowed my pride for you
I’ve lived and lied for you
But you still make me feel like a thief.
You got me stealin’ your love away
‘Cause you never give it.
Peeling the years away
And we can’t relive it.
I make you laugh
And you make me cry.
I believe it’s time for me to fly.

You said we’d work it out.
You said that you had no doubt
That deep down we were really in love.
Oh, but I’m tired of holding on
To a feeling I know is gone.
I do believe that I’ve had enough.

I’ve had enough of the falseness
Of a worn out relation.
Enough of the jealousy
And the intoleration.
I make you laugh
And you make me cry.
I believe it’s time for me to fly

[Refrain:]
Time for me to fly
Oh, I’ve got to set myself free.
Time for me to fly
And that’s just how it’s got to be.
I know it hurts to say goodbye
But it’s time for me to fly.

Oh, don’t you know it’s…
[Refrain]

It’s time for me to fly
[Repeat to end]