Today’s Cartoon

8 January, 2010
Rat Fink

This morning I read that explorers Christopher Columbus and John Smith reported having seen “mermaids” on their travels at sea (1493 and 1614, respectively). The sightings persisted into the 19th century. Marine scientists later postulated that the men might have in fact been seeing manatees or dugongs– not maids.

Hence, today’s little funny.



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8 January, 2010 12:06 pm

Manatee are the gentlest of creatures. While living in Florida, we would often take our little sailboat to a shallow area on the Indian River to scrape the barnacles off the bottom. Manatee would swim around us as we worked and try to play with us. They are protected by Florida law, which is stringent with severe penalties for disturbing these animals. Our sense of beauty has changed in the last 500 years. In Columbus’ day, a woman who was on the heavy side was considered robust and healthy and hence, beautiful. The waifish, figureless forms now favored in the… Read more »