WATCH: Rescued seals recover at National Aquarium
Huckleberry Finn, a gray seal rescued from Assateague, and Pippi Longstocking, rescued from Dewey Beach, recover at the National Aquarium.
Video courtesy: National Aquarium, Salisbury Daily Times
As you may have read, last summer’s Undies Challenge, hosted under the auspices of the Sussex Conservation District (SCD), went off without a hitch or, more accurately, without irritation.
Last spring, SCD staff planted pairs of Hanes Cotton Briefs — yes, you read that right — in the soil of several county farms. Contrary to normal agricultural expectations, conservationists did not expect children’s underwear to grow later from the “seeds” of adult underwear.
It was more the effect of the ground on these tight whites that interested them. In mid-July, SCD staff members spent a morning digging and examining their underground Hanes deposits. The more the slips are broken down, the more active the microbes are in the soil and the better the field for planting.
SCD is a strong advocate of good conservation practices, and those who excel in this area are rewarded with the title of Soil Health Champion.
It is not at all clear why the SCD chose to use Hanes underwear. Agriculturally, Fruit of the Loom would probably have been a better brand of underpants to sow.
Lest I be accused of exposing the dirty laundry of the coast, let me put this episode into a larger context, and I’m not referring to the size of her belly.
Protecting and improving the health of the soil is a positive good, perhaps not rising to the level of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but a good nonetheless.
Likewise, protecting and improving the health of endangered species is highly valued in the Cape region. In this regard, a colony of gray and harbor seals, numbering perhaps in the hundreds, has been encouraged to grow off the coast for a decade.
Unfortunately, an increasing number of these pinnipeds – I love that designation – have required medical attention in recent years; including, last winter, a Louis Armstrong, a thirty-pound gray seal pup.
As you might guess, Louis was not the birth name given by his mother, but rather the one assigned by his human savior.
However, this seasonal colony of coastal seals (SC2) is still described by the Marine Education, Research & Rehabilitation (MERR) Institute as being somewhere “off Lewes”. The MERR is deliberately vague here to minimize human contact with these seals.
In the words of the director of the Institute, “we do not wish to share this information”. “Keen” is his kind way of saying that unless you stay away, you could face a costly fine and/or spend time in jail, as required by federal privacy law. Marine mammals.
Reports that the exact location of the seal colony is shown on a map recently found at Mar-a-Lago and labeled “TOP SECRET” have been denied by the FBI and the current owner of this station.
Protecting and improving the health of local residents is also considered a priority in our region. To that end, we recently saw the introduction of Moxi, a robotic assistant that works with clinical staff in hospital settings.
Moxi should not be confused with Moxie the Soft Drink or the 2021 film of the same name. Rather, it is a “cobot”, a collaborative robot, with sufficient artificial intelligence to communicate and assist nurses and medical technicians.
She’s able to secure patient supplies, deliver lab samples and medicine, and, with a computerized arm, Moxi can even correctly press elevator floor buttons to speed her way.
Currently, there are two Moxis in the state, and they are located at Christiania Hospital in Newark. These cobots operate 22 hours a day and were built by the aptly named Diligent Technologies. The Moxis spend the other two hours charging at the Tesla.
As Beebe Healthcare and BayHealth battle or fight for the ascendancy in the Cape Town region, perhaps one of them could get a chip, so to speak, by being the first in the region to have his own robot. I would suggest his name is Soxi.
In addition to collaborating with nurses and medical technicians, Soxi could perform another function.
Sometimes we humans need a way to vent our frustrations. A recent study on workplace stress conducted by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence, a human resources company, found that 68% of workers would rather discuss their stress and anxiety with a robot than with their manager.
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Perhaps while cobots like Moxi, Soxi, and Cotton-tail (pardon me) recharge, they could productively spend their downtime picking up overworked nurses while listening without comment to nurses’ related concerns. at work ; thus serving as emotional support cobots.
Mike Berger is a retired freelance writer and university administrator with a home in Lewes. Contact him at [email protected].
AFTER: Ten Tons of Elephants: When the Circus Came to Rehoboth Beach for Labor Day