Sunday, June 11, 2006

Some values are timeless (i.e. "R.I.P. Diana")

I'll tell you why I'm blogging this later. But first, a brief summary of what the Otterman (Siva) has been up to regarding a Dugong carcass that washed up on Singapore's shore recently:

  • 6 Jun 06: He gets notified of a discovery of a Dugong carcass. Stands-by for permission to retrieve and dissect carcass for biological study

  • 6 Jun 06: Emails the folks at Yesterday.SG on what knives to buy. Buys the knives (for dissecting the carcass)

  • 7 Jun 06: Dissects carcass in the field (WARNING: graphic picture ahead). Adds a reference to a text on Procedures for the Salvage and Necropsy of the Dugong

  • 10 Jun 06:
  • Gave name to dugong and dedicates a message

Here's why I'm blogging about this:

I've been following the whole Dugong Carcass episode since Siva alerted the bunch of us at But up till Siva's last post on 10 Jun, I viewed the entire episode as just one more incident in the whole business of science. Nothing wrong with it, just that it's all so very... clinical and detached. Almost routine.

This evening, reading his dedication to the Dugong, whom they've named Diana, I felt compelled to left Siva a comment -- that his post "reminds me of stories of hunters who, after killing the prey, thank the gods and also the animal spirit that provided food. It's not so much superstition but respect for life."

In this day and age of technological gadgetry, I find comfort that some values are universal and timeless. Personally I need this reminder, particularly on Sunday nights before the weekly headlong rush into the routines and pursuits of day-to-day living begins.

Respect -- for all life and life-forms on earth, dead or alive.


  1. Ivan, thank you for this post. I did not know anything about any of this but am glad I do. I agree with your sentiments regarding respect for life. jennimi

  2. Hey Ivan, thank you for your lovely response to the post.

  3. I too share your sentiments. Remember by post about the Tragedy at Old Holland Road and the quote from Colleridge.

    I think Sporeans in general still don't rank highly in this area.


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