To Shoal Or Not To Shoal

To Shoal Or Not To Shoal


and Now for something completely different

As some of you know, I get up really early of a morning

 Before Sparrow Fart or “dawn” as it is politely known.

Of a morning during those precious quiet, peaceful, tranquil, serene, relaxing childless dark hours, I write. …..and read. I am an avid News and Current Affairs reader. I have this kind of ritual when I step into my office with my morning coca cola can. After   quick peruse of Facebook I click along my shortcut bar in my browser to open up my daily websites. These include two Australian Newsfeeds, Two International, Environmental News Updates and Planet Ark, Latest Earthquakes Shakes Map, Global Volcano warnings, Pacific Weather satellite images and in the American Hurricane season that Includes the Carribean satellite maps to track any hurricanes. Then I open Perez Hilton. Then I go through and pick out articles that catch my eye and read the headlines. By the time I have finished with the updates on those sites I have satisfied my curiousity on just what the state of my world is for the day.

Quite often something I spot on one of those sites will be the subject of a Piece I will begin to write with it still fresh in my mind.

That was the case this morning.

My Amusement and dry sarcastic wit was sparked by an article in my National Newsfeed. I mean maybe it is just me but do you ever wonder why there is so much starvation and anger and war and pain in the world. There are so many IMPORTANT problems that need to be addressed and fixed and healed, not just patched with a bandaid.

Do you ever wonder if journalists and editors have too much times on their hands?
Do you ever think of the statement

“The dumbing down of the people”

 Sitting here I can see so many reasons why this following headline should not have been on my “top stories” feed on the major Australian Newspaper’s website today. It reminds me of watching Sesame Street when I was a kid and Big Bird Singing

One of these doesn’t belong here.”

and while I am on the subject of Sesame Street, did anyone ever really like that show as a kid?

I can also think of how better off I was before I so incredulously read this wayward headline and pondered the millions of dollars invested in placing this one particular article before me on my breakfast menu. However somehow, somewhere, sometime, someone may… ….and I say may very loosely here, gain some type of benefit out of this article. Other than to shake one’s head and to ponder as I have done, I really don’t think it is going to help us much. Of course I might be wrong and this particular article may hail a wonderous new thing.

So by now you will be probably wondering what the heck is this strange headline that I am sprouting about?

That’s Ok…….. you can wonder

Because I wonder too

I really do scratch my head and amazement when I see headlines like this in my top ten News Feeds For International and National News

Oh I know they get some pretty silly names for headlines sometimes, I’m used to that. I don’t know about you but my eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw this headline sitting near the bottom of my top six world news features and I just HAD to click it and read it

Numeracy helps fish go shoal searching


Now WTF is that

Do you mean to tell me that some group of intellectual idiots somewhere thought it might be a great idea to spend millions of dollars to figure out whether fish can count or not?

Ok so that is just the headline but maybe the article itself is fascinating.

 Well here is a little Excerpt for you to ponder…



PYTHAGORAS may not be nervously twitching in his casket just yet, but the unique quality of humankind’s mathematical abilities has taken yet another knock from the animal kingdom.
Fish are able to count to four, according to experiments that involved giving them the option of joining shoals of different sizes.



Ok so now we know that fish can count to 4 just because a clever little bunch of cookies took way too much laboratory LSD and decided that we just HAD to know that.

How does anyone figure that counting is a human ability?

Lets look at this logically.

I am a little kid, two years old. In front of me are my mum and dad and mummies friends that I don’t know. I know there is four people there even if I don’t know what the actual Number 4 is. I can go up to each of the people when asked and touch each one of them. And if I get scared, I run to my mummy and daddy but not my mummy’s friends.

I am a baby. My mummy and daddy are in front of me. I know there is a mummy and a daddy there and they are not the same person because sometimes daddy is not here and then sometimes mummy isn’t but Can I count to two?

I am a giraffe in the wild being stalked by a pride of lionesses. I know there is one to the front of me and one behind me and one at the side but can I count to three?

So why don’t they just say Fish have fucking eyes and can see objects with them.

 I mean seriously .. Have you ever wondered How they pick out which one is their own particular  mum or dad or spouse. I mean it’s not like they go oh look, theirs a short fat blonde with blue eyes.. thats my mum.. and that brunette over there, the six foot tall skinny one is your mum. They are fish.. they are identical for crumbs sake, so they have to be smart enough somehow to tell that this here is my shoal… and that there isn’t.

Then the next paragraph made me spit my coffee rather messily over my keyboard. Wow. What can I say but WOW.

To establish whether the fish have a head for figures, the team based their study on the fact that females who are being harassed by a male will bolt for the largest nearby shoal for cover.

Yes folks, these are our scientists. Not much hope for the world. I have one thing to say to you people who wrote the report.  “My three year old daughter could have written that just by using logic”.

Of course they will run to the bigger shoal for protection… I certainly wouldn’t run to a vertically challenged little person to hide behind but if there was a giant handy, well der…

If someone yells BOO at my baby girl I could bet my knickers she would run screaming to her big strong tall daddy and go right around me to get there. Big Is Safe.

I am afraid to explain to the Professors and noted Intellectual brainiacs who carried out this revered and revolutionary study that It is Instinct, logic and common sense in a world of shark eat fish. Nothing mathematic about it except for survival odds mayhaps.

Look at the magic above of all those fish swimming around in one direction. In almost perfect unision and speed they are circling the shark. Notice they don’t breach their own wall, like they are swimming aorund an invisible barrier.

And yet we have this stupid article telling us that fish can count to four?


Then there is this little ditty thrown in.
Whether fish have a head for figures

I am sorry but I just lost it on that part.


I began imagining my annual trip to my accountants office to be have my taxation done by none other than John Dory and his wife and partner Silver Dory.


And I must say…. The one fact I did get out of this study that was beneficial to me.How I don’t know yet but it seems like the sort of Useless information I like to retain and spring on people in peculiar situations.

Male Fish are horny bastards just like male humans and they like to chase pretty girls for a roll in the weed. 

But really just as I was getting excited about University level brain activities of dumb fish who jump on my hook without much coaxing, I read this

At larger numbers the difference between the shoals had to be bigger for the fish to make a meaningful choice. A ratio of 1:2 was high enough, such as the difference between eight and 16 fish in a shoal. But when the difference was smaller, such as 12 to 16, the fish did not show a preference. 

I prefer to think that the fish know more about Geometry and shapes more than pure math. They certainly know the difference between big and little but I guess that helps to distinguish the difference between a BIG shark and a LITTLE clown fish for them way down in the deep. I mean it is a fatal choice isn’t it.. and lets face it.. the dumb ones died out long ago…..

So there you have it…… Numerical Fishies… They will be starring on Numbers as the FBI’s latest covert operatives next.

Do you remember in ID4 When Jeff Goldblum’s Screen dad Ira said

 “You don’t actually think it costs 25,000 for a new white house toilet seat do you?”

And that really made me wonder. Do they really actually carry these studies or is it total widespread dumbing down.

“Well Mr. President, we really need 6 new IBM’s secretly pointed at Russia so I think it’s time for another Fish Study”.

“Yes of course Madam Secretary, How does a 15 Million grant sound? Oh and we need to grab another one of those junior high school essays again Madam to use as the study report.”

After perusing this article and reading about this Study I am honestly starting to think that Humanity needs more help than I ever dreamed it needed.

 The world really desperately needs a life coach

Priorities need to be explained in plain simple ABC English to these people and numerical fish studies aren’t it.

 As my Glen said when  told him about it and we had a big laugh……………..
Geez mustn’t be much happening in the world if they are that hard up for news

So their hard up for news Stories “Filler Article” became my mornings satirical amusement that I just had to share with you.

Then again maybe I just have a warped sense of humor and a very left of centre view of the world.

Numercial Fish Article

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