Friday, January 20, 2006


In the coverage of the "Whale Swims Up the Thames" story that has been everywhere today, newspeople keep repeating the following datum:

"This is the first bottle-nosed whale to be spotted in London since record-keeping began in 1913."

To me, this piece of information raises the following questions:

1) Have other species of whale been spotted in London since 1913?

2) Were whales, bottle-nosed or otherwise, common enough before 1913 to inspire the keeping of records?

3) What, precisely, do these records record? "1913: No Whales." "1914: Still No Whales."

I'm at at a bit of a loss.

Anyway, we've gotten enough mileage out of the"Whale of a Tale!" headlines now. Let's save the poor bloke.

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