Saturday, September 07, 2013

kill a whale for the moon

I don't know what to say about this.

[The] use [of whale oil] as a lubricant impervious to extremes in temperature persisted well into the space age -- NASA lubed its moon landers and other remotely operated vehicles with sperm whale oil …

I mean, it's amazing that whales produce this stuff in their bodies and that our techno cleverness wasn't able to produce an improvement -- only the law making commerce in whale products illegal ended NASA's use of whale oil -- but it's cool in the way that executed prisoners supplying donor organs is cool. That is, I don't know that it is.

source: Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

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