This last week of summer in which there is no school and no camp, I’m taking my children to be tourists in their own home town. When I asked them what they wanted to do, they both agreed that they wanted to go on a whale watch. This made me cringe because I’ve been on whale watches twice in my life and found the experience underwhelming.
Well, third times a charm, because in addition to enjoying a cruise with two enthusiastic children, we saw a lot of whales! We saw a mother humpback whale and her calf, and even witnessed them nursing. We saw a whale practicing “kick feeding” a practice unique to the humpbacks of the Gulf of Maine, and it turned out to be the whale who invented this type of feeding. We saw her calf imitating her, and it was very cute. We also saw minke whales and a blue shark.
I think what made it extra special is that on the long journey back to port, the naturalist came through the ship to talk about the whales we witnessed, showed us pictures, and had the kids flip through binders to see if they could help identify the whales by the patterns on their flukes. We took the New England Aquarium Whale Watch through Boston Harbor Cruises. I highly recommend it.
I did. And so did the whales.
And a humped back.
The whale’s head.
Mouth wide opening.
And a whale of a tail.
Identifying the whales.
Title: Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt
Narrator: Dylan Baker
Publication Info: Simon & Schuster Audio (2014)
Previously read by same author: Moneyball : the art of winning an unfair game, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, and The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game.
This book focuses on the contemporary financial trading practices of high frequency traders or “flash traders” seeking to gain advantage in fractions of seconds by having more direct cable connections to the markets. This is emphasized by an effort to lay a cable from to New York to Chicago through the mountains of Pennsylvania as directly as possible. Many financial intermediaries are taking advantage of the high frequency trading to basically rip-off their customers and by proxy making the whole financial system susceptible to collapse. The heroes of the book are the quirky iconoclasts who create the Investors Exchanges (IEX) to counteract this effect. Lewis can get bogged down in technical details and traders’ talk at times, but mostly keeps things moving along to be entertaining and informative