Jason M. Colby, author of “Orca: How We Came to Know and Love the Ocean’s Greatest Predator”

Jason M. Colby—an environmental and international historian, and professor, at the University of Victoria and author, most recently of  “Orca: How We Came to Know and Love the Ocean’s Greatest Predator”—recounts the impetus for writing the new book, acknowledging that “Orca” was hardly telegraphed by his academic fields, or his previous book. Colby does note that he was partly impelled by a complex desire to settle some family business:  His father, John Colby, participated in capturing orcas for various operations, including SeaWorld, and has long felt tormented about it. His Dad discouraged him from writing the book, Colby recalls, noting he made it clear that he hadto write it—and once his Dad understood this, and talked with him for the book, other key figures in the history of capturing and displaying killer whales agreed to speak with him, too—he was John Colby’s son.  Colby spends a good portion of the interview discussing Ted Griffin, a pivotal figure—perhaps thepivotal figure—in this saga, the first person to swim and perform with a captive orca, and who became an uneasy entrepreneur, responsible for capturing and selling dozens of killer whales. He explains that Griffin, whose initial foray into this world was propelled chiefly by a desire to befriend an orca—at a time when the prevailing view of the animals was that they were vicious, blood-thirsty predators—did forge a profound relationship with that first orca, Namu; when Namu died, Griffin was shattered, and never quite the same, Colby says. Colby goes on to address insights Griffin, now 83, gleaned from “Orca,” how his Dad felt about the book, “Blackfish”—he sees “Orca” as a “prequel” to that film—and more. (https://www.uvic.ca/humanities/history/people/faculty/colbyjason.php)

ALSO: I spoke with Diane Koon, one of the organizers of the 9thAnnual Tampa Bay Veg Fest, slated to take place on Nov. 3, at a new location: Perry Harvey Sr. Park.  She addressed other new elements—namely, the Vegan Mac & Cheese Contest—this year’s speakers, including Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, favorite features of past Veg Fests, etc. (http://www.tampabayvegfest.com, https://www.facebook.com/TBVegFest)

 

COMEDY CORNER:  Tom Ryan’s “Greyhound” (portion) (http://comedypro.com/performer/tom-ryan/)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: George Harrison’s “Dark Horse”

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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