After walking by it for years, curiosity finally won out. What’s with the "Whalebone" on 161 Duane Street?
A Google led to a 1920 article in The New York Times marking the occasion of George Messmann closing the US’ last known whale-cutting shop at—161 Duane.
And come to find out, whalebone, isn't actually bone. Also known as baleen, it's more keratin-like, lining the upper jaws of right, sperm, and humpbacked whales. Practical, whalebone acts like a sieve to catch plankton and other small organisms on which these whales feed.
Less practical—for the whales—was baleen’s tough but elastic features proving useful as supports in 17th and 18th-century corsets and dresses, among other applications.
Anyway, now I know.
So here’s some plankton in the form of recent content that made me think.
Climate change is here + we’ve got a deadline: 12 years left to cut emissions in half.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 17, 2019
A #GreenNewDeal is our plan for a world and a future worth fighting for.
How did we get here?
What is at stake?
And where are we going?
Please watch & share widely ⬇️pic.twitter.com/IMCtS86VXG
"Losing Laura" in this weeks @BostonGlobeMag is a @Longreads top 5 pick. It's about love, unimaginable mistakes, and my wife's tragic death steps from an ER door. I wrote it for her, and to save someone else's life #longreads #BostonGlobe #asthma #911https://t.co/FeSQbNA0vB pic.twitter.com/RXg7lJq6X3— Peter DeMarco (@peterdemarco) November 10, 2018
The @IPCC_CH report on #GlobalWarming of 1.5°C is one of the most important #climatechange reports ever published. Limiting temperature increase requires unprecedented changes in society, but will have huge benefits. Every half a degree of warming matters. https://t.co/a7GOzVFv50 pic.twitter.com/p0wX5vYrA5— IPCC (@IPCC_CH) October 8, 2018
"So this is how we live today: by stuffing ourselves to the gills, yet somehow it only makes us more anxious, more confused, and more hungry. We are hurtling forward — frantic, dissatisfied, and perpetually lost." @hhavrilesky @doubledaybooks https://t.co/nTsFDmVaIn— Longreads (@Longreads) September 16, 2018
"Ramos took what began as a minor infraction and turned it into one of the nastiest and most emotional controversies in the history of tennis, all because he couldn’t take a woman speaking sharply to him."— Post Sports (@PostSports) September 9, 2018
Sally Jenkins on Saturday's U.S. Open final https://t.co/wznX9IgRt7
Astonishingly expensive and strategically incoherent, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue today without an end in sight, reauthorized in Pentagon budgets almost as if distant war is a presumed government action. https://t.co/yl8JAFEQUl pic.twitter.com/XW3HDxEYOL— NYT Magazine (@NYTmag) August 15, 2018