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Ripples #57

Compiled and Edited by Lenny Giteck


Ripples art--smallWheelchair-Bound Woman
Saves Senior Swimmer  

Last September, British Web site dailymail.co.uk reported on the extraordinary rescue of a drowning elderly man at a clinic in Switzerland. What made the event amazing was the fact that the rescuer — 48-year-old Corrine Colombier — was partially paralyzed from an automobile accident seven years earlier and was confined to a wheelchair.

The woman was in the clinic’s cafeteria when she heard cries for help coming from facility’s swimming pool. Dailymail.co.uk related, “[Colombier]…somehow managed to lift herself from her chair and sprint 150 feet to an outdoor pool, where she found the 70-year-old Italian man struggling in the water.”

Remembering lessons she learned in a first-aid course three decades earlier, she was able to render mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the man. The swimmer was airlifted to a hospital and survived. Colombier herself is mystified by what she did. She was quoted as saying she found “movement I thought I no longer possessed.”

There have been any number of documented cases in which a petite person was able to lift an automobile weighing thousands of pounds to rescue someone trapped underneath. Scientists have attributed such extraordinary episodes to massive rushes of adrenaline that temporarily give the rescuer super-human strength.


Question: Why Is Sci-Fi
Romance So High and Dry?

That is not a question that would ever occur to Ripples to ask, since he isn’t particularly a science fiction fan and didn’t even know the subgenre of sci-fi romance exists.

Not so for author and blogger Heather Massey, who is a “lifelong fan of science fiction romance” and writes such tales. On the Web site heroesandheartbreakers.com, Massey poses this question: “Why Aren’t There More Aquatic Heroes in Sci-Fi Romance?” She answers, in part, with the following:

Creating aquatic characters that readers can engage with is a challenge. It’s one thing for the heroine to find these heroes attractive, but what about readers? Can they buy into the fantasy of a hero with science-generated gills or finlike limbs? Genetic engineering would involve the manipulation of so many genes that the person in question would become more humanoid than human.

Personally, Ripples has never thought of humanoids with gills or finlike limbs as particularly sexy — but in the hands of a skilled writer…who knows?

Massey, for her part, lists a number of works of sci-fi romance that do spotlight aquatic characters, including Refugees on Urloon by Melissa Aires (Lyrical Press); Stellarnet Rebel and the sequel, Stellarnet Prince, by J.L. Hilton (Carina Press); and Europa, Europa by KS Augustin (Total-E-Bound).

To learn more about Heather Massey, visit her blog at www.thegalaxyexpress.net or her Web site at www.healthermassey.com.


When Fish Fall in Love:
It’s All in the Hormones

Human beings have spent millennia speculating on why we fall in love and mate — writing songs and poems about it, examining it in plays and movies, and battling over it in divorce courts the world over.

Perhaps understandably, much less attention has been paid to the love lives of our scaly friends in the sea. Now a new scientific study by Canada’s McMaster University and reported on in the publication Animal Behavior sheds light on this admittedly arcane topic.

From the Web site phys.org: “Researchers have discovered that a form of oxytocin — the hormone responsible for making humans fall in love — has a similar effect on fish, suggesting it is a key regulator of social behavior that has evolved and endured since ancient times.” Lead researcher Adam Reddon was quoted as saying, “[Oxytocin] is related to love, monogamy, and even risky behavior” in humans. (For some reason, a former U.S. president from Arkansas comes to mind.)

The piscine form of oxytocin is called isotocin; the McMaster researchers investigated how it functions in a very social fish species named Neolamprologus pulcher, whose native habitat is Africa’s Lake Tanganyika.

Without going into all the details, the scientists found that fish subjects injected with isotocin displayed heightened behaviors conducive to maintaining the species’ “permanent hierarchical social groups.”

Ripples can only imagine Lake Tanganyika reverberating on moonlit nights with the fish version of Marlene Dietrich’s classic song: “Fallink’ in luff agaain, vaht am I to dooo….”


And speaking of hormones taking over…

Randy Couple Has Public Sex
On Waterpark Waterslide

At a waterpark in Opoczno, Poland, a couple of tourists were unceremoniously evicted from the premises after they joined what polishforums.com termed the “waterside-high club” by engaging in sexual relations on the way down. The untoward incident gave new meaning to the expression “having a quickie.”

The couple apparently took several minutes at the top of the slide to get into the correct carnal position. The Web site noted, “The woman was filmed [by security cameras] straddling her boyfriend and starting to make love before the pair shot down the bright blue tunnel, in what must have been a breach of waterpark rules.” Hopefully.

The two — who were greeted at the bottom of the slide by officials wielding buckets of cold water — were not allowed to collect their clothes before park officials escorted them out of the facility.


Finally, this dog could teach humans about appropriate behavior…

Great Dane Has Great Fun
On Backyard Waterslide

If you ever encountered a Great Dane, you probably soon realized that despite their giant size, this dog breed tends to be gentle and loving. (Ripples had the pleasure of knowing Phyllis, a four-pawed sweetheart, when the two lived in the same condo complex in L.A.)

Indeed, petwave.com says, “The Great Dane Dog Breed has a personality and temperament that is friendly and kind.” It also notes, “Great Danes are not a highly energetic breed, but they do need daily exercise and walks or they can become bored and destructive.”

You wouldn’t know about the “not a highly energetic breed” thing from the video below, in which one Great Dane repeatedly and enthusiastically takes the plunge off a backyard waterslide, perhaps to avoid becoming bored and destructive.

Dailymail.co.uk reports: “According to You Tube, the family in question kept coming home to puddles of water on the verandah by their pool. Initially, they thought their neighbor's kids were jumping the fence and using the pool while they were at work. But after installing the security camera they captured their animal's amusing antics.”

It’s exhilarating just to watch this miniature-horse-sized canine having so much fun in the water!

To see the video, click here.


And with that, Ripples again barks…
Until next time, happy watershaping to you!

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