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Claudia Imhoff

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About the author >

A thought leader, visionary, and practitioner, Claudia Imhoff, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert on analytics, business intelligence, and the architectures to support these initiatives. Dr. Imhoff has co-authored five books on these subjects and writes articles (totaling more than 150) for technical and business magazines.

She is also the Founder of the Boulder BI Brain Trust, a consortium of independent analysts and consultants (www.BBBT.us). You can follow them on Twitter at #BBBT

Editor's Note:
More articles and resources are available in Claudia's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

 

It's June -- My birth month. I always require humor at these times. And have I got one for you...

I got the following gem from my good friend, Shelley S - a long-time Oregon resident. Turns out Oregon is one strange state... or at least has some very strange ideas about "waste disposal". The "powers that be" most definitely needed an injection of BI analytics before they decided on how to dispose of a dead whale...

Thirty-seven years ago, a dead whale washed up on the beach of a small Oregon town (Florence, OR). It sat there for many days (the smell was apparently overpowering) while the Highway Division and a bunch of civil engineers decided how to dispose of said carcass. Why the Highway Division got this little problem is beyond me.

Their options were:

1. Bury the 45 foot, 8 ton (that's 16,000 pounds of rotting whale to you) body. That was thrown out because the engineers and Oregon's Highway Division determined that it would just get dug up again. I can 't help but wonder who or what would dig up a putrefied whale but like I said, Oregon is one strange state.

2. Cut the whale up and haul off the pieces. They quickly discovered that no one in their right mind would do this so the idea was jettisoned.

3. Burn the whale. See reason 2 for why that didn't happen. Again the idea was thrown out (or up!).

The civil engineers then hit on the bright idea to simply blow the sucker into a billions little pieces. Yes, you read correctly -- disintegrate 8 tons of rancid, decaying whale by stuffing it with a half ton of dynamite. Woohoo!

The video says it all. Watch this and then we will return to the discussion...

From my friend, Shelley: "The part they don’t talk about is how the entire town was coated in “rotten whale mist” and it took weeks to wear off… Guess there wasn’t enough tomato juice to wash down the entire town."

She goes on, "To get esoteric, they could have created drift models for any resulting fallout. Basically, my biggest question is WHAT WERE THEY (NOT) THINKING? It’s the LACK of intelligence that makes this so funny, although not for the guy whose car was smashed (can you imagine that insurance claim?) or the town that stunk for weeks. These guys were civil engineers, for heaven’s sake! Even if they’re used to blowing up things a little more solid, like hillsides or boulders, you would think ONE of them would have said “We pause here to ask the question, what is inside a rotten whale? Stinky, gooey stuff. Right! And what will happen when we atomize this stinky, gooey stuff with explosives? It will drift through the air, covering everything in its path. But wait, which way will it drift? Well, at the beach, the airflow is usually from the water to the land. Correct! So to summarize, we are going to explode a huge whale full of stinky, gooey stuff so that we can cover the town in rotten whale mist. Brilliant! Let’s get to it!!!”

You might think they would at least analyze how far people would have to move away from the site to ensure that they would be out of the "strike zone". But alas, it was not to be -- no BI for these folks.

Unfortunately, history has a nasty way of repeating itself. ANOTHER dead whale just recently washed up on the shores of Oregon, a mere 40 or 50 miles from the original dead whale debacle. Apparently the Oregonian authorities are looking for the people who removed bits and pieces of this rotting whale (you have got to be kidding...) There have been several proposals put forth about how to dispose of this stinker: Shelley informs me, "One was to pull the whale back into the water and let it decompose at sea or (much more likely) come ashore some place else (where it would be someone else’s problem). This from a government official! And you wonder why blowing up the last one was considered a good idea…"

It was 80 degrees in Oregon when she sent me her note, and expected to get up to 90. Ah, the pungent smell of ripe whale in the morning.

It appears the Highway Division learned at least what not to do (as the reporter foretold 37 years ago). The current plan is to bury this whale this time...

I can't wait to see what digs it up.

How could you not love a state like Oregon?

Yours in BI and whale exploding success.

Claudia


Posted June 7, 2007 2:27 PM
Permalink | 1 Comment |

1 Comment

Breaking news on the recent dead whale in Oregon. The officials there did indeed bury the 40 foot female whale -- but she just wouldn't stay buried. She "popped" up again the next morning a bit worse for wear and smell...

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1180747584303260.xml&coll=7

Ya just gotta love these guys...

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