Star Trek IV

Now the thing that’s always bothered me about this film is how does Dr. Taylor deal with the fact that removing her from her own time line with no warning or explanation whatever, the kind of granny-killing paradox that we’re told so often will totally destroy the universe as we know it by making a mockery of causality or some such HAS ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT AT ALL!

I mean, she doesn’t have a cat or something?

But I like to deliver good news on occasion and we seem to have some from the Great White North.

Stranded killer whales break free from Hudson Bay ice

Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent, The Guardian

Thursday 10 January 2013 12.17 EST

A dozen killer whales, trapped and facing near-certain death in the frozen expanse of Canada’s Hudson Bay, broke free on Thursday morning, to the vast relief of locals and many thousands monitoring their plight online.

“They are free, they are gone,” Johnny Williams, the town manager, said in a telephone interview. “Last night, the winds shifted from the north. The ice cracked and with the new moon, the ice went. We have open waters on the coastline of Hudson Bay.”

Had the weather not intervened, it is likely the whales would have suffocated beneath the sea ice, or endured slow starvation until the break-up of the ice next May.

So, good news right?

Stranding of killer whales in Arctic ice is relatively unheard of. Williams, who is 69, said in his lifetime he had only ever seen two or three carcasses of orcas before this week.

But marine biologists say killer whales are moving into the Arctic in greater numbers over the last decade as the sea ice retreats due to climate change.

Orcas face no natural predators in the Arctic, putting them at the top of the food chain.

The whales spend the summers in the Arctic, feasting on seals and narwhal and beluga whales. By the time the ice freezes, in November or December, they are miles away. A killer whale once tagged near Baffin Island had made it as far as the Azores by winter.

This year, however, the freeze came later, after the new year, and the whales were trapped.

Hmm…  And then there’s this-

Ice breakers, as demanded by the mayor of Inukjuak, were too far away from the remote region.

What could be more pristine and clean than some good old Arctic crude?

In the event, however, nature took its course, freeing the whales before the list of bad options had to be explored.

“I am just very glad,” said Megan Epoo, whose elderly uncle was the hunter who originally spotted the stranded whales. “The men here had announced they were going to try and make the breathing hole bigger, and remove the ice from the side of the hole, and that would have been very dangerous. So we were all very worried that something bad would happen,” she said.

“But now nobody has to do anything because the whales are free.”

Yay us, I guess.

Here’s the video the authorities in Inukjuak posted Wednesday to attract some government attention to the whale’s plight.

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