Just When You Thought It was Safe
August 06, 2012
It’s coming, folks. I know it has been in the back of your mind all summer: A faint, persistent da-dum, da-dum as August 12th draws closer. You wait with baited breath until finally, it strikes - SHARK WEEK!
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Discovery Channel’s most popular show is back with all things shark-tastic. It’s often described as being like Christmas but with teeth. Lots and lots of teeth. In the spirit of this newfound holiday, I’ll be counting down the final six days until Shark Week, highlighting all the databases, books, movies, and resources that the Library has to offer. Come on in - we don’t bite, I promise.
Day 6. First things first. You may want to check out some of the numerous shark sightings we’ve had in the United States so far this year. According to scientists, sharks have been coming closer to shore due to the exploding seal populations. This has led to closed beaches in California and numerous sightings in New England. Thinking about heading out to the beach one more time before you finish your vacation? If you’re staying at Cape Cod, think again. Great whites have been seen here a lot lately and just last week, a man was attacked while swimming with his son. Fun fact: this is also near the site where Steven Spielberg filmed Jaws.
Day 5. You’ll definitely want to start reading up on sharks before the big event. For little ones, MCPL has a great database called BookFlix. Here, you can watch short films and read eBooks on several different topics. Look for the sharks under the "Animals and Nature" tab.
Day 4. Like your shark fiction with a little more bite? Look no further than the classic Jaws by Peter Benchley. For young adult fiction, you also can’t go wrong with Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham. Beautifully written in free verse, it tells the haunting story of a teenage shark attack survivor. If it’s more of a scientific study you prefer, I highly recommend The Devil’s Teeth by Susan Casey and Demon Fish by Juliet Eilperin. Casey camped out with biologists in the famous Farallon Islands, and Eilperin traveled the world gathering shark lore and data.
Day 3. Which brings us to the movies. You’ll want to stock up and you’ll want to start with the one that got everyone out of the ocean in 1975. If you haven’t seen Jaws, now is the perfect time. You’ll also want to check out our Shark Week collections. One of my favorite episodes in Great Bites has Adam and Jamie from Mythbusters building their own massive ocean predator! The Disney Nature movie Oceans is also quite good. Narrated by Pierce Brosnan, it includes some fantastic footage of cameramen swimming with great white sharks. (Can you guess which shark is my favorite yet?)
Day 2. There are many organizations and people dedicated to saving and protecting endangered sharks. One such intrepid filmmaker, Rob Stewart, focuses on debunking all the typical stereotypes we have developed about sharks. Check out his website and the movie Sharkwater to see how you can help as well. Another great resource is the Shark Research Institute; on their site, you can learn more about sharks and what is being done to save them. And finally, the one you’ve all been waiting for: Discovery’s official Shark Week website. View amazing pictures, watch videos, and play games (I highly recommend Shark Yourself.) Totally jawsome!
Day 1. Last, but certainly not least, if you are tired of just looking at pictures of sharks, go see one up close. The Sea Life Aquarium in Crown Center is a great place to learn about oceans, conservation, and best of all - sharks! They have a tunnel aquarium that allows you to watch reef sharks swim lazily overhead, truly the perfect end to a great summer.
Hopefully this has taken a large bite out of your shark craving. Tune in for Shark Week August 12, 2012, and remember: when it comes to Carcharodon Carcharias, it may be fun watching them on TV, but finding them at your local library is even better:)
Blue Springs North Branch