19th-Century Weapon Found in Whale

Did you ever have a pain in the neck that just wouldn’t go away?  Some poor bowhead whale was lanced with a weapon by some whalers 115-130 years ago and has carried a fragment in its neck ever since.  Well at least until last week where this whale got caught in another whale hunt off the coast of Alaska and didn’t get away this time.

Who knew whales lived for so long?  Marine biologists probably, but not me.

I first hear the story on NPR and the read about on BBC News via Found History.  It’s a cool story so I needed to share it here.

All of this is a good excuse to visit the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Biking to Work

The Bike Commute Tips Blog shares the Top 10 Best & Worst Cities in the US for Bicycle Commuting.  Boston is on neither list which doesn’t surprise me because Boston is good enough to have a bike friendly attitude but has not invested in the infrastructure for lots of bike paths, bike lanes, bike racks, and bike traffic lights that some more progressive cities have.  While Paul Dorn posts some questions at the end of his post, I think it comes as no surprise that “That the coastal West is generally more hospitable to bicycle commuting than the South? That compact, dense cities are better for bike commuting than sprawling, sparsely inhabited cities?”  I rode a bike to work in Virginia where the general attitude toward bicyclists was downright hostile.  I expect any parts of the country with newer cities that were built on the scale of the car and thus have many multi-lane roads/highways with lots of sprawl are not going to be bike friendly, and most newer cities are in the South and Southwest.

Streetsblog posts a pie chart showing How Americans Get to Work.   Only 4.7% take public transportation, 2.5% walk, and 0.4% bicycle. These numbers are shockingly low, but I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised.  I fall into all three of these categories at one time or another, but like biking best.

It’s nice that they mention that Boston leads the nation with 12.5% of the people saying they walk to work.  “America’s Walking City” indeed!