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Who was it that once said, "Live every week like it's Shark Week?" Ah yes, it was 30 Rock character Tracy Jordan, by way of Kenneth the Page quoting him. Never have we heard a more inspirational saying. Even better would be adding that it's never too early to start planning for the real Shark Week, the blessed period of seven days when The Discovery Channel airs episodes of "Air Jaws Apocalypse" and any ocean-related episode of Mythbusters.
Shark Week 2012 is planned for the week of August 12 and it'll be celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Begin issuing those BBQ e-vites and set up your Facebook Event for a viewing party of "25 Best Shark Bites," because The Discovery Channel always seems to pick that time of the year when we've had just about enough of the summer, and just want to sit inside with the A/C blasting and the TV on. Suffice it to say that we cannot wait.
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On the latest episode of An Idiot Abroad 2: The Bucket List, Karl was sent off to swim with dolphins in Australia, but we know it's never that easy.
Before getting to Australia, Karl had an extended layover in Bangkok, Thailand, where he unknowingly walked into the traditional New Year Water Festival on his way to the hotel. Surprising, Karl doesn't seem completely miserable to be in Bangkok and played along nicely with local "Ladyboys", even as they outfitted him with a bedazzled gown, make-up and wig at the Mambo Cabaret. Has Karl grown fond of international travel or is it getting more difficult to keep up the ruse?
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Remember the summer of 2008? It's okay, we don't either. Regardless, some are finding that summer hard to forget as it was Shark Attack Fest '08 or something; climate change and swimmer naivete meant record numbers of shark attacks were reported, and we even mapped all the most dangerous beaches for you.
Then 2009's jellyfish invasion happened, and 2010 had that whole Gulf Coast oil issue...but the sharks are back with a vengeance in 2011. Make no doubt about it. Here are the three latest shark attack hotspots:
· Zheltukhina Island, Russia
Who the heck goes swimming off Russia's east cost, near North Korea? Well, Russian vacationers...and sharks. In the last few days, two men have been attacked in separate incidents, the first losing his arms after doing hand-to-fin combat with the maneater, and the second suffering series bites all over his legs. Both survived, but that hasn't stopped Russian authorities from posting signs at the beach with tips for fighting back (like you can fight back with a determined shark).
Deep breaths. Deeeep breaths. This is your warning that this Sunday begins the period of TV that pretty much beats all other TV specials all year: the Discovery Channel's Shark Week. Seriously, is there anything better than sitting back with just relaxing while watching shows titled "Top 10 Weird Sharks," "Ultimate Air Jaws" and "Jaws Comes Home?" The correct answer is no, obviously.
Next year we're totally throwing a Shark Week party, like so many others this weekend. We would this year but we're traveling (duh) and the bulk of our Shark Week action is going to come over the internetz, thanks to the brilliance of the Discovery Channel uploading many half-hour programs straight the their website.
Shark Week (hosted by SNL's Andy Samberg) starts at 9pm EST on Sunday, July 31. Now for the Funny or Die quickies to get you in the mood:
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OMG. Be prepared to drop productivity for the day and instead zone out to the cool blue hues and occasionally scary confrontations that comprise Shark Week's special "Ocean Voyager" Ustream of a shark tank at the Georgia Aquarium.
In the span of about 10 minutes, we were pointing and shouting at our computer screen: "Whale shark! Stingray! Shark with a long, saw-thing sticking out of its face! Bull shark! About 15 more sharks we can't name without Googling their characteristics!"
Consider this a warning. Shark Week begins on the Discovery Channel on July 31, and this is just a preview. We may just sit here watching it until the promised shark feedings happen.
To view it larger, head HERE.
Travel TV Shows / TV Travel / Animals / Andy Samberg / Comedy Travel / Sharks / Shark Week / → All Tags
Who was it that once said, "Live every week like it's Shark Week?" Ah yes, it was 30 Rock character Tracy Jordan, by way of Kenneth the Page quoting him. Never have we heard a more inspirational saying. Even better would be adding that it's never too early to start planning for the real Shark Week, the blessed period of seven days when The Discovery Channel airs episodes of "Ultimate Air Jaws" and any ocean-based "Dirty jobs."
This year, Shark Week is being taken to a whole new level. SNL comedian Andy Samberg is hosting as "Chief Shark Officer," and his feelings on this opportunity mirror our own: "Everyone loves Shark Week. I love Shark Week." Fun fact: Shark Week first began in 1987. Samberg was born in 1978. That would have made him nine years old and the ideal age at which to form a healthy obsession with and fear of...SHARKS.
Whale-watching season in Southern California doesn't start till December, but shark-diving season is coming to a close and you still have a chance to swim with the deadly big fishes. A San Diego company will put you front and center with great whites in what it calls "safe and sane shark diving." Funny, because shark diving sounds unsafe and insane.
Horizon Charters brings you to Guadalupe Island, 215 miles south of San Diego, a hot spot for great whites. Don't worry, you won't get tossed off the side of the ship to fend for yourself. Instead, you'll be put in a big cage with four other shark divers so that you can safely watch the creatures from behind bars.
Since summer is over, we naturally assume that shark season is over. But of course not, since these beautiful beasts of the sea frolic and hunt close to some coasts throughout the year, and southern California is just as pleasant a vacation for them as it is for those of us who head to warmer climes in winter.
Thank to an excellent photo capture by Randy Wright on Surfline, of a white shark (not a Great White, just a white) breaching along an LA beach, we realize that it's not only visor-wearing tourists who flock to Sunset Boulevard; this shark jumped near the end of Sunsert Boulevard, at Sunset Beach. The road goes from the sharks of Hollywood to actual sharks, it seems.
If you find yourself tempted to swim in the waters here, but are deathly scared of seeing a fin emerge from the water near you, then we might suggest a little activity on dry land, like the nearby Getty Villa. Once you turn on the Pacific Coast Highway from Sunset and head north, it's only one mile further up in Malibu. Keep in mind that the museum is closed on Tuesdays and requires advance ticket reservations, which you can make here. Tickets are free!
After a quiet summer, the sharks are taking their revenge: The normally bucolic beaches of Cape Cod have been cruised by up to 20 sharks looking for a delicious seal dinner and scaring the living daylights out of the last summer's swimmers.
There has not been a fatal, unprovoked shark attack in U.S. waters since last year, and no attacks recorded this year in Massachusetts at all. But a seal colony in the town of Chatham, Mass. has caused the city to close their beaches indefinitely since Labor Day because great whites can't resist those baby sealsand both species are protected, so they can't be moved from their habitats anyway.
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For those planning to splish splash with their flippy floppies this weekend in Santa Cruz, the plans have changed. Apparently Shark Week just doesn't want to end, but instead of it being in high definition, it’s being played out for real off the coast of the Golden State.
This week, a hungry shark proceeded to nom nom nom on a porpoise. The poor porpoise washed ashore, and researchers are trying to figure out what kind of finned critter exactly was responsible for the attack. Obviously with beach visitors spotting sharks off shore, people are being kept out of the water.
If so, UnrealDive has an extreme summer vacation for you. The South African expeditions company offers a series of one day outings and extended shark diving expeditions for adrenaline junkies and ecotourists alike. Great Whites are surface feeders so simple boat watching is always an option, but UnrealDive puts customers inside cages for eye-to-eye viewing.
The company boasts a 12 year track record without a single incident; no small achievement given that South Africa has some of the densest shark waters on the planet.
We're sorry, sharks. It turns out we've been misunderstanding you all this time. You don't want to attack us – you just want a big hug.
At least that's the theory the keepers at British aquarium Sea Life are working on at the moment. They believe that sharks can be trained to feed one by one when the keeper tells them, and even to roll over and have their belly tickled. With a Pavlov's-dog-style repetitive training system, they say the smarter sharks will get the idea within three months.
There are quite a few advantages of such a system, not least that the keepers are less likely to be gobbled up by the sharks they're meant to be taking care of. Experts also say that it should improve "shark welfare" and make them happier in captivity.
And it could even make feeding time a whole lot cuter for us aquarium visitors. They plan to try banging a gong as a sign for the sharks to queue up for dinner time. We'd pay a bit extra to bang the gong ourselves.