• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 02

Icebox with Plums

This is just to say that I might have eaten the marvellous Medaka if you had placed them frozen in the icebox like a fistful of tiny smelts, lying alongside William C Williams' plums, and not on the Soyuz into space

I cannot quarrel with sending a magnificent aquamarine luminosity into some microgravity suspension, especially if is projectiled into the only safe place a Medaka might find if the nukes start falling around casbahs and souks where exotic behaviours and strange fish are as normal as a scimitar or a mirage

I have noted that my Medaka were filmed for abnormal behaviors under microgravity. The movies showed that the fish grew quite accustomed to life under microgravity, perhaps more congenial than spending a day in 3D watching great whites - people or sharks - carving up an ocean of see-through fish

The Medakas - how I love their sheer blue-greeness - have displayed unique behaviours such as upside-down, vertical, and tight-circle swimming

I made a diary notation that the mating behavior at day 33 under microgravity was not different from that on the earth, indicating that the magnificent Medaka have adapted to their new sensorium

I know that spaceflight puts chronic stress on animals, much as it can decrease bone mass density in the human astronaut. This is part of what the Medaka can help us explain

As Stephen Hawking has mutely advised us: now is a good time to consider following the Medaka into space, the sooner the better


Icebox with Plums

I do not know Hawking, but I feel sure he would prefer microgravity and fluorescent fish to life with the plutonium death-cells threatening our osteoblasted heaths

There is much more I could report about the Medaka experiments, but I merely want to assure you that everything is being done to make them comfortable in their orbital water-bubble

They have been drawn from an inbred wild-type strain of the Medaka, also known as Japanese killifish or rice fish (O. latipes). They are called rice fish because they can survive in the rice paddies

Life in space may even seem quite rich and fulfilling to them after the bruising battle in a flooded paddy and as I write this diary note there is unusually heavy flooding from the northeast monsoon

In any event, I am assured that the experiments on the Medaka are performed in accordance with policies and protocols approved by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

I note in my Darwinian diary that our Japanese oceanographic friends are initiating an experiment of their own, to extract more than four hundred whales from the southern oceans

Whether this is an experiment in conservation or consumption I cannot tell


Icebox with Plums

In some future oceanic nirvana, Atlantis redux, I would hope we can build giantesque orbiting cities, with their own large aquaria to host at least a pod of performing killer whales

In their very different way, the orcas are as beautiful as a great glass tank of mating Medaka, suspended far over our heads and watching out for our well-being in their own lascivious and luminescently lovely way

In the year of our lord. Pacem