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…
Things have taken a turn for the worse since the glory days of the mining construction boom, with companies responding to falling commodity prices by pulling the plug on new projects and laying off workers across the Surat Basin.
The increasing exodus of workers, investment and money from the mining towns has left houses empty and businesses struggling, with many of those left behind wondering what to do...
I’m Bedazzled by the Bewilderment Surrounding the Fed’s Behaviour... So I’ve De-engineered to the Bare Basics... and Oh Boy!
According to former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke in an excerpt from a Nov. 3, 2009 Bloomberg article, the Fed strategy is that “..large-scale asset purchases should boost economic growth through lower borrowing costs and higher stock prices…”...
Five of the eight indexes on my world market watch list posted weekly gains, with Germany's DAX as the top performer, up 3.18%. Japan's Nikkei and France's CAC 40 were in a near dead heat for second place with China's Shanghai Composite not far behind after emerging from its long Lunar New Year break. Hong Kong's Hang Send and India's SENSEX finished the week a hair below flat. The US's S&P 500 was the weakling of the bunch with its 0.27% loss.
Here is an overlay of the eight for a sense of their comparative performance so far in 2015.
Here is a table of the 2015 data performance, sorted from high to low, along with the interim highs for the eight indexes. All eight indexes are in the green, with the two Eurozone indexes up nearly 16 percent.
Chris Kimble's chart for KOL shows a recently beaten down ETF struggling to pull itself up from the ashes. As the chart shows, KOL has recently drifted down to levels not seen since the financial crisis of 2008-9.
Bouncing or recovering with energy in general, coal prices appear to have stabilized in the short-term. Reflecting coal prices, KOL has traded between $13.45 and $19.75 during the past year. Bouncing from lows, KOL traded around 2% higher yesterday from $14.26 to $14.48 on high volume. It traded another 3.6% higher in after hours to $15, possibly related to ...
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Stocks are hitting new highs across the board, even though earnings reports have been somewhat disappointing. Actually, to be more precise, Q4 results have been pretty good, but it is forward guidance that has been cautious and/or cloudy as sales into overseas markets are expected to suffer due to strength in the US dollar. Healthcare and Telecom have put in the best results overall, while of course Energy has been the weakling. Still, overall year-over-year earnings growth for the S&P 500 during 2015 is expected to be about +8%.
In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 cha...
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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 email@example.com 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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