Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Ted Levin: VPR Commentary – Jaws Revisited

(HOST)  Cape Cod is a favorite summer vacation spot for land-locked Vermonters. But this year commentator Ted Levin says that news from the Cape has begun to resemble a series of movie flashbacks.

(LEVIN)  Thirty-five years ago the movie “Jaws” set box-office records, made hundreds of millions of dollars, and forever influenced the way we feel about the ocean and the great white shark, which reaches a length of 23 feet and weighs 5,000 pounds.

I have a fossil great white tooth in my dining room. Four-inches long and two- inches wide, sharply pointed and serrated like a steak knife; these days it would likely be confiscated by airport security. In a shark, rows of teeth fill the mouth cavity, and are endlessly shed in a lifetime of production, wave after toothy wave, which makes fossil shark teeth fairly easy to find.

Sharks have been patrolling Earth’s oceans for 400 million years, and have been terrorizing humans for the past half a million, which is why Steven Spielberg, who adapted Peter Benchly’s book into the first “summer blockbuster” film, chose a big fish to summon our fears.

The book Jaws takes place on Long Island, in the fictional town of Amity, and the film on Martha’s Vineyard. Both leave you with the sense that great white sharks are hardwired, mindless killing machines lurking just offshore in your subconscious, rising like nightmares whenever you enter the ocean. Not true, of course. The great white is an epic ocean traveler, whose migrations are as periodic and predicable and every bit as awesome as those of terns or shearwaters; warm-blooded and intelligent, they live birth single pups, miniature replicas.

Growing up on Long Island I was vaguely aware of a great white birthing zone 50 miles off Montauk Point. I recall that occasionally someone would catch or harpoon a really big one. Newsday would cover the story dockside.

Now, after years of depredation, their population in the North Atlantic is recovering. Great whites can again be spotted off Cape Cod. And as unlikely as it may sound, their return to good fortune is due to Richard Nixon.

Read the rest (and listen!) to Ted Levin’s commentary on VPR.org

Ted Levin is the author of Backtracking, available in our bookstore.


Prepare! Keep a Grab-n-Go Survival Kit Handy

Are you prepared in the event of a sudden emergency? Blizzard, earthquake, insurrection after the inauguration? We know a lot of people are wondering what’s coming next in the US, as well as the world, given terrorism, politics, and global warming, among other threats. In this excerpt from When Technology Fails, a popular book on […] Read More

Chelsea Green: In the Media 2016

Oh, 2016. Where did the time go? Each year, Chelsea Green receives hundreds of mentions (well over 1000 in 2016) in the media both big and small. From interviews, to excerpts, to opinion pieces by authors we’re always working to make sure that the mission and message of each book is spread far and wide. […] Read More

Yes, America We Can Make It … Really

Uncertainty got you down? The political world may seem like it’s crumbling around us, but this we know: We can make it, America. Literally, we can make things. Houses. Gardens. Food. Below we’ve selected some of our classic how-to and DIY books (and some new favorites) to help you sustain your self, family, and community. […] Read More

Chelsea Green on Instagram: Our Most Popular Photos of 2016

What a year for Chelsea Green on Instagram! We began the year with 500 followers and are now fast approaching 4,000 photo-loving brewers, gardeners, cheesemakers, permaculturists, foodies, seed-savers, homesteaders, foragers, and more. Our most popular posts of 2016 say a lot about what makes you happy: mushrooms, innovative garden designs and techniques, tiny cabins, and […] Read More

What’s a Carbon Sink?

World leaders met in Marrakech this month as part of COP22, to discuss the next steps to reducing global climate emissions. One of the solutions being discussed is carbon farming. Author Eric Toensmeier participated in COP22, in part, because he literally wrote a book on it. First off – what is carbon farming? It’s a […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com
+1
Tweet
Share
Share
Pin