What led the killer whale Tillikum to attack and kill one of his SeaWorld Trainers in Orlando will not be known until behavioral records from the days and weeks preceding the incident are examined. But one thing is becoming clear. The attack was violent and bloody, perpetrated with a viciousness by one of the smartest of ocean species.
Tillikum did not just knock Dawn Brancheau and drag her down to drown at the bottom of the pool. According to a source, he rose out of the water to snag Brancheau by her ponytail, yanking her into the water for two brief but shocking episodes in the pool. After grabbing her by her hair, he toyed with her underwater for two minutes as she struggled to use trainer signals to calm him down and get him to release her. He knocked her about and, according to some reports, had her by the waist, her blood spreading through the clear water, in full sight of members of the public that had been watching Tillikum with another trainer through a glass underwater window.
She was still alive at the end of the first take-down when Tillikum let her go. But he watched as she tried to get to safety and then grabbed her again for another minute under water, this time apparently killing her. He then settled at the bottom of the pool, keeping her in his mouth. She apparently remained in his mouth until the staff at SeaWorld managed to beach him as they moved him to a separate pen. No one at SeaWorld was available to confirm reports that Brancheau’s body was very badly mangled. (A 2006 killer whale attack in San Diego.)
Killer whale trainer fatalities tend to be drownings, when the human is pushed down and kept underwater. In such situations, experienced trainers know to try calming the whale with signals even as they try to control their own panic. But the violence and abrupt nature of the attack on Brancheau has stunned many in the profession. She was one of the best and most experienced in the field, featured in many of SeaWorld’s promotions and advertising.
Whales like Tillikum that have gotten violent are likely to be separated from the rest of the performing troupe, kept in isolation and trained…
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Syriza is one vote short of an outright majority. However, Syriza has already secured an alliance with the Independent Greeks, a right-wing party that shares little common ground with Syriza except for its rejection of austerity measures.
The coalition would have at least 162 seats, and that's an allegedly comfortabl...
Last week, the S&P 500 put an end to its streak of weekly losses, despite giving back some gains on Friday. Thursday provided the big catalyst, with the ECB’s announcement of its bold new monetary stimulus plan. Investors were cheered and soothed for the moment. And U.S. fundamentals still look strong. But with Greece trying to turn back time, with volatility elevated (and likely to continue as such), and with the technical situation still dicey, the near term outlook is still worrisome.
In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart...
An interview with John Ehlers of Stock Spotter and Mesa Software
Ilene: John, in our last discussion about trading systems in general and yours in particular (Can trading be reduced to cycles, stresses and vibrations?) you mentioned Monte Carlo simulations and their use in measuring performance. Can you explain more about how you measure the performance of a trading system?
John: Let's start with comparing trading with gambling. The two have several things in common. In both ...
So as I was saying yesterday (Bitcoin: The Biggest Clown Show In History?), Bitcoin has several obstacles on the path to potential success as an alternative currency. But I forgot to mention hacking and theft at Bitcoin exchanges and other technical problems. This is related to the lack of government backing and the fact that the value of Bitcoins is based entirely on confidence.
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PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs! The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down! The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months. What could go wrong?
Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.
Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies. A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...
Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
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