Posted by: bkivey | 9 June 2010

Carpe Carp

While watching a tv show (River Monsters) recently I was reminded of the silver carp invasion of waterways in the U.S., particularly in the Mississippi River basin. Besides their fecundity these fish are known for their behavior when disturbed by water traffic. They, along with some of their cousins, have been declared an invasive species and massive government programs have been implemented to control them, with no noticable result. While watching video of this fish several thoughts occurred to me:

  • That’s a lot of fish
  • Carp are edible
  • If they’re from Asia, I bet that that Asians eat them
  • There are a lot of hungry people in Asia

It didn’t take long to find that there is a company out of Illinois that is exploiting this set of circumstances. Big River Fish signed a deal to ship 30 million pounds of carp to China this year and expects to make 20 million dollars doing it. So instead of spending millions of dollars to fight a hopeless battle, private enterprise is going to make millions of dollars and provide hundreds of jobs, not to mention enriching state and federal coffers, by taking the capitalist approach of turning a problem into an opportunity. Sources indicate that the immigrant carp is superior to native Chinese carp, primarily because rivers in China are too polluted to produce quality fish.

While there are some that decry capitalist exploitation of natural resources, on principle if not on merit, the best solution to most problems is to let creative people figure out a way to make money from the situation. Capitalism works because it harnesses natural human proclivities for the public good. A need is satisfied, jobs are created, tax money is generated. In this case people are fed while bringing a fish population closer to a reasonable level, although I’m sure that there are some people who will become upset over the mass piscicide. Perhaps those folks would like to provide 30 million pounds of food to China.

Jekyll del Doctor y Senor Hyde

In the first game of a four game stand at Ranger Stadium (game time temp 93F, about 30 degrees warmer than the Portland metro area) Cliff Lee threw 8 innings of shutout ball on fewer than 100 pitches and was allowed to pitch in the ninth. That’s what I’m talking about! However, he suffered from Commentator’s Curse because right after Mariner announcers finished praising his performance he allowed two runs. He did close out the inning for a complete game but it was a tad more exciting than was perhaps strictly necessary. Congratulations to him for going the distance and to Don Wakamatsu for giving him the opportunity.

 Given his performance last Thursday I was expecting great things from starter Felix Hernandez in Tuesday’s game. Apparently his evil twin took the mound instead, allowing seven runs in 6 innings, all earned. Rangers pitching led by starter Colby Lewis held seven Mariner hitters to 0-for-ballgame. Maybe it’s the heat: yeah, that’s the ticket.


I noticed that the site has a graph in each game summary that tracks Twitter activity during the game and features selected tweets in each half-inning. There is a ‘what is this’ link at the bottom of the graph, which mirrors my thoughts exactly.


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