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Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Talley

Oh the shark has pretty teeth, dear / And he shows them pearly white…

George Burgess and a momento mori

Bank robberies, for sale signs, and store closings are up, even as the household wealth of the average America family is down by 40%– the economic crisis has, as one knows, had wide and deep effects.  But lest we think think that the downturn has had no positive impact, this, from the University of Florida and the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File:

The recession may be responsible for a slump of a different sort: an unexpected dive in shark attacks, says a University of Florida researcher.

Shark attacks worldwide in 2008 dipped to their lowest level in five years, a sign that Americans may be forgoing vacation trips to the beach, said George Burgess, ichthyologist and director of the International Shark Attack File, which is housed at UF.

According to the latest statistics released today, the total number of shark attacks declined from 71 in 2007 to 59 in 2008, the fewest since 2003, when there were 57, said Burgess, who works at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus.

“I can’t help but think that contributing to that reduction may have been the reticence of some people to take holidays and go to the beach for economic reasons,” Burgess said.

Read the entire story here.

As we scan the surface for fins, we might recall that this is the anniversary of another traditional beneficiary of downturns: it was on this date in 1902 that “Talley’s Electric Theater,” the first American venue devoted exclusively to movies, opened in (of course) Los Angeles. The theater charged 10 cents for a one-reel show.

Thomas Talley’s Phonograph Parlor was opened in 1896 (this photo was taken in 1898); patrons could could see “moving pictures” through a device which flipped through a series of still photographs on cards.  Then, in 1902, he opened “The Electric Theater” in the back of the building.

Written by LW

April 5, 2009 at 1:01 am

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