Obsolete Word of the Day

If you share my enthusiasm for interesting words and phrases, give this blog a try! It's just for grins and giggles.

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

belly-bender

Floating pieces of ice, or weak ice, which bend under one as he passes from one cake to another. Boys take great pleasure in this precarious amusement.
-William Craigie and James Hulbert's Dictionary of American English, 1940

I saw an interesting television show the other day. It was called Iceberg Cowboys or something like that. An Ice Patrol went into effect in 1913 for the North Atlantic. Why? Because the Titanic was sunk by an iceberg in the North Atlantic in 1912. Apparently folks decided that it should not happen again. So, to this day, a patrol is flown daily to sight 'bergs. Current technology has added satellite tracking to the Ice Patrol's arsenal.

If a large, potentially deadly iceberg is sighted and it's moving toward shipping lanes or offshore oil platforms, the iceberg wranglers are notified. These sailors take their big boat out and attempt to get a rope around the iceberg to change its course. They need to be careful so they don't sink themselves, or break up the iceberg into several smaller but still deadly chunks. They also try using their propeller wash or water cannons to deflect the icebergs if they can't lasso it.

If all else fails, as in the show I watched, they hauled up all the anchors on the oil platform that was in the way of one iceberg and moved the platform! Good thing they had quite a bit of warning, because that activity took them about 3 days, including down time due to heavy seas.

Who knew?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice blogging

mynewsbot.com

1/14/06, 12:26 AM  
Blogger the scribbler said...

Thanks, Newsbot, I appreciate that!

1/14/06, 4:05 PM  

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