Tuesday, December 13, 2011

All Whales Are Mammals

Every whale is a mammal.

          Any whale is a mammal.

Whales are mammals.

          If anything is a whale, it is a mammal.

Anything that is a whale is a mammal.

          If anything is not a mammal, it is not a whale.

All non-mammals are non-whales.

          A thing is a whale only if it is a mammal.

Only mammals are whales.

          Nothing is a whale unless it is a mammal.

No whale is not a mammal.

NOTE:  Seeing Minke whales swimming in the open sea quite close to our boat in Kennebunkport last summer was one of the highlights of the year.  We had seen whales before in Cabo San Lucas, but only from the shore at a great distance.  I would love to have also posted a link to Claire Hamill’s song You Take My Breath Away, but couldn’t find the original version from her Stage Door Johnnies  record.  Eva Cassidy had great success with her version, but Claire’s is really unforgettable.   The "equivalents" list is excerpted from Logic by Wesley Salmon (Prentice-Hall, 1973).


  1. Brings to mind the singing humpback whales on "Farewell To Tarwathie". Almost sounded like a lamentation.

  2. Do you mean Mr. Tambourine Man (sounds like a lamentation)? Late-period Bob Dylan vocalizing can have an odd effect on people. I like the clip, though, and really love the whale pictures. Curtis

  3. The wonderful whale photos reminded me of Judy Collin's version Farewell to Tarwathie. If you're not familiar with it, Collin's sings a cappella accompanied by recordings of humpback whales "talking". It's beautiful and quite melancholy, I think. As for Mr. Tambourine Man, despite it being written in a major key, I always felt there was a cry of desparation that runs through it. Maybe I'm wrong. I've always liked Dylan's voice untamed, as opposed to his style on Lay Lady Lay, and I think Dylan is great on the clip. Nell

  4. Also.. Most things remind me of a song.

  5. I will check out the Judy Collins song, which I am not familiar with. I love Mr. Tambourine Man. I'm always sorry when performers omit the third verse (there are only four) -- the "but for the sky there are no fences facing" one. (Actually, when former Byrd Gene Clark re-recorded the song on his Firebyrd lp, he conflated verses 1 and 3, making the song as much a Gene Clark composition as it was a Dylan one. I thought the song fit some things I was feeling about these whales, whales generally and other things I was thinking about. COLD tonight. Heading to NY tomorrow. Curtis

  6. It's funny how a feeling will trigger a connection to a song. I don't know what I would do without music. A friend of mine from high school is rapidly losing his hearing. Ironically, he has/had perfect pitch. He's having a great deal of difficulty coping with the loss. I ramble. By the way, we tried the braised endives over the weekend. Scrumptious! It's cold here tonight, too. Frost in the morning. Hope NY is sunny even if it's cold. Nell

  7. It should be ok. I'm going to attend what could be a positive, pivotal meeting on a project I've been working on for some time. I was going to take the train but now I'll drive in order to return in time for Jane's hand bells concert in the evening. There is always too much happening at this time of year. The season requires a person of steadier nerves. The endives are great - so easy. They go with a lot of things. Sometimes I have ones I cooked the previous evening on toast for breakfast. Curtis

  8. Curtis, All I can say is, if anything was ever a Whale of a Post, it must be this.

    The briny depths are dark and cold,
    But have no fear, ye great beings who are alive,
    For we are young and you are old,
    And should men come to attempt to En-close,
    May you always En-dive.

  9. Thank you very much. At some points this week, I really felt as though I was diving deep, having a difficult time finding landmarks. As of last night, I felt like I was Slipping and Sliding into Jane's Christmas vacation, which at least helped reorient me. Curtis