Sunday, September 24, 2017

Navy Dolphins, 15 Straight Blue Cove Days (no killings or captures), Migrating Family of Risso Dolphins Killed in Cove This Week, Dolphin Outlook, Season Totals & Drive Statistics

Image may contain: text
We had 15 days straight without a killing or a capture off the coast in Taiji, Japan. Then, a family of Risso Dolphins (see the 'on the ground report' below) were killed this week and since then, we have had a few Blue Cove Days. 

After battling with the dolphins for over 3 hours, the banger boats are returning empty handed today/yesterday! Cove monitors will head down to the harbor to confirm when last boat is in. Extra thankful for today's Blue Cove day as a pod was located this morning. The drive formation was first seen at 7am, the hunters struggled to gain control of the pod as the dolphins repeatedly got behind the boats and headed to the open ocean. This battle went on for over 3 hours. Finally, the hunters relented and the dolphins escaped. In the meantime, the 2 captive pilot whales seem to find comfort in each other. 

The connection between the slaughters and the captive dolphin trade is undeniable. 09-24-17 10:30am. #dolphinproject
Image may contain: ocean, sky, boat, outdoor, water and nature
Image may contain: text
TAIJI, 9/21/17: After 15 days where no dolphins were slaughtered or taken captive, today, things changed for the worse. At 5:30 a.m., 12 banger boats left the harbor in search of migrating dolphin pods. Three hours later, at 8:25 a.m. hunters spotted their prey.

It’s always sickening to watch the boats fan out. If the dolphin hunters are lucky, that means the dolphins’ luck has run out. Lately, the pattern has been for the banger boats to start returning to harbor around 8:30 a.m. I was counting on this, but a mere five minutes earlier, my hopes were dashed as I saw the dreaded drive formation. It happened quickly, and as the boats were in direct sunlight, they were hard to spot until they were very close.
Banger boats head to sea in search of migrating dolphin pods, Taiji, Japan
Banger boats head to sea in search of migrating dolphin pods, Taiji, Japan. Credit:
I quickly relocated to Takanabe Hill, setting up for the worst. I had an idea that it might be Risso’s dolphins due to the extreme battle that was going on. Risso’s are a deep diving species, capable of holding their breath for up to 30 minutes. They used this skill to their advantage, getting behind the boats and heading to open water. Yet, over and over, the banger boats would spot them and race to corral the pod. I could see the skiffs heading out to assist, with hunters throwing a slap paddle into the water, in order to scare the dolphins into heading in the desired direction. Between the eight banger boats involved in the drive and the three skiffs that joined them, the dolphins had little chance.

As the pod approached the cove, exhausted from the drive, I could see it was a small group – at most, seven dolphins. When I saw the familiar sickle-shaped dorsal fins, the grey bodies with some scarring present and the bulbous, round heads, I confirmed they were Risso’s dolphins. This species of dolphins suffer greatly in Taiji. In my previous visits here, I have seen many Risso’s slaughters. They are rarely taken for captivity and releases of Risso’s dolphins are very rare. They are a species that is mostly hunted for their meat, along with other body parts. The quota for Risso’s dolphins during the 2017/18 season is 251. Two hundred and fifty-one incredible sentient, intelligent and fiercely social animals can be exterminated this season. And sadly, each season the dolphin hunters nearly fill their quotas. Today, they took their first seven.
Risso’s dolphins swim close together after being driven into The Cove, Taiji, Japan
Risso’s dolphins swim close together after being driven into The Cove, Taiji, Japan
As the dolphins were netted into the cove and the tarps were drawn over the killing beach, I knew their slaughter was imminent. During a short delay, the pod swam tightly together, taking comfort in one another as they awaited their fate. They were a family. The dolphins were darker grey with little scarring, indicative of being either juveniles or young adults. We will never know if this was the entire pod or if there were other pod members who were lost at sea, or managed to escape. These numbers will never be known, will never be counted against the quota but, of course, are equally tragic.

I heard a skiff approaching and saw the reason for the delay – trainers wearing the familiar blue and orange colors of the Taiji Whale Museum had arrived. They went under the tarps, along with the dolphin hunters, to inspect the victims of this drive. Shortly after, I noted a skiff leaving the cove, a sling attached to the left-hand side of the boat. One Risso’s dolphin was chosen for “life” in captivity. For this unfortunate soul, a life of complete dependency on humans was about to begin, their freedom lost forever.

Trainers who supposedly love dolphins are happy to choose the ones they want, yet turn their backs on the others, knowing full well they will be slaughtered. In Taiji, trainers and hunters work hand-in-hand, with both groups under the tarps as the killing commences. This isn’t love. This is business, and cold, hard profit.
Risso’s dolphin guided under tarps for slaughter, Taiji, Japan
Risso’s dolphin guided under tarps for slaughter, Taiji, Japan. Credit:
As the trainers left with their new captive, the dolphin hunters began to slaughter the rest of the pod. A few dolphins had escaped the killing beach and were seen trapped in nets. Yet, instead of continuing to swim towards freedom and safety, they turned towards their family. The devotion Risso’s dolphins have to their families is admirable, and heartbreaking.

As someone who has seen Risso’s dolphins wild and free in the ocean, I cannot understand how anyone could get so close to these animals and not look into their eyes and see the intelligence and comprehension in them. When the last of the dolphins were under the tarps, the sounds of slapping flukes and thrashing filled the cove as they were slaughtered. It is a haunting sound, one that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Although they can cover up the killing, they cannot silence it. Only death brings silence. When the thrashing stopped, I realized those Risso’s dolphins were gone forever, another pod exterminated by the dolphin hunters of Taiji.
Image may contain: text
In Defense of Animals
Navy Dolphins Used In Cruel & Pointless Experiments. As though the US Navy didn’t do enough harm to dolphins already by conducting war games in their habitat, it turns out that it also regularly put its captives through grueling and painful experiments under the guise of "science." READ MORE



Dolphin Project will be on the ground in Taiji during the entire killing season, broadcasting live on social media, blogging and disseminating information for the world to see. Your support has never been more crucial and is greatly appreciated.
Donate to Dolphin Project


Interested in joining us in Taiji? Learn about becoming a volunteer Dolphin Project Cove Monitor.
Interested in becoming a Dolphin Project Cove Monitor?
Interested in becoming a Dolphin Project Cove Monitor?


It’s fast, it’s simple and it’s effective. Take the Pledge now and share with your friends!
Take The Pledge to Not Visit a Dolphin Show!
Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project is a non-profit charitable organization, dedicated to the welfare and protection of dolphins worldwide. Founded by Richard (Ric) O’Barry on Earth Day, April 22, 1970, the mission of the Dolphin Project is to end dolphin exploitation and slaughter, as dolphins are routinely captured, harassed, slaughtered and sold into captivity around the world – all in the name of profit.

Every year from approximately September 1 to March 1, a notoriously cruel hunt of some of the most sentient and sensitive creatures on the planet takes place in Taiji, Japan, made famous by the 2009 Academy award-winning movie “The Cove.” During this period, fisherman, or more appropriately, dolphin hunters, “drive” the mammals to their capture or deaths via means of physical violence and acoustic torture.

Dolphin Project is the only organization to have been on the ground in Taiji since 2003. We have revolutionized live streaming and will broadcast throughout the entire season.
Dolphin Project works not only to halt these slaughters but also to rehabilitate captive dolphins, investigate and advocate for economic alternatives to dolphin slaughter exploitation and to put a permanent end to dolphin captivity.  This work has been chronicled in films such as, ‘A Fall From Freedom,’ the Oscar-winning documentary ‘The Cove,’ and in the Animal Planet mini-series, ‘Blood Dolphin$.’

Friday, September 22, 2017

Rams Lose To Redskins this week and the Rams Hold On to Beat 49ers 41-39 last night, Los Angeles Rams Weekly, Five Takeaways from Rams 27-20 Loss to Washington, Tweets during last night's game

This is an odd week. In one respect, I am glad the Rams play Thursday night because it leaves a few days less to stew about the Sunday loss. 

I am not really sure what to make of the team. I have literally been talked out of thinking the team can compete for the Division title. 

And honestly, if this a top rated team Defense, what the hell is considered to be bad and do not get me wrong for a milisecond,. it seemed like the D dominated. As they allow a 49'er team to score almost forty points which almost led to a loss last night. 

Regardless and overall about the win last night, it was not pretty even though it was in many ways. 

That is what is so hard to deal with because I am so confused right now about this team. 

Goff is unreal. Did you see that 47 or whatever yard bomb and he threw to Sammy Watkins? Holy shit was that a throw. You could not throw a more perfect pass. Watkins had two guys draping him and there was not even a remote chance of them getting at that ball. And, that catch was also ridic. (Sammy) Watkins did have over a hundred yards catching last night but the star WR had to be Robert Woods. Especially coming off that game he had vs. the Skins last week. He was nailed a few times and got right back up to play on the next down. Goff BTW, threw for almost 300 yards (292 total) last night. He went 22 for 28 for god's sakes. He had 6 incomplete passes the entire night on those 28 attempts.

Conversely, our 42 million dollar back up WR fumbled the ball again on a key punt return. That is twice this year. He is fast and he does add a huge element on the Offense. But he needs to not fumble the ball and same goes Todd Gurley
Todd Gurley however, scored 3 TDs last night. He also ran for more than 100 yards (113 total) for the first time since December 2015 (plus, he has already matched his touchdown total from 2016).
Honestly, I need a break. I do not want to think about football until late next week. The team has to play the Cowboys. I wanted to be headed into that game 3-0 but the fact is that if we continue to play this way vs. top rated teams like the Cowboys, Seattle, JAX before having to play in London vs. the Cardinals. Right now from my seat, it is not looking pretty. I mean there is total signs of brilliance. At the same time, the team is not playing on all four cylinders so to speak let alone all at one time. And, they will need to be in order to compete versus the top teams. They will need to be to compete for a Division Championship or even a Playoff spot. The league is filled with so many teams that are mediocre and I thought we got over that after game 1. We will see if the team can prepare better with an extra couple days to practice (setting aside any days off like today).

From what it seems like and considering the IM's that I woke up to today, and considering the tweets I have seen about the game, viewers didn’t expect much (one ticket was being traded for Pretzels (, but they got an exciting shoot out of a game.
Not only was the game close until the final seconds, it also made history – as the highest scoring Thursday Night Football game in history.
What a game!
The Rams beat the 49ers in the highest scoring Thursday Night Football game in history.
Although the Rams came away with the victory, many people (and fans from both sides) were just excited to see a good game.
For a game that wasn't expected to give us much, you just saw the highest scoring half of any game this season. 
 started off as one of those games I was going to watch in between commercials during other TV shows. Boy was I surprised! 
Yooo that was a good game played by both sides...i was on the edge of my seat the whole time 😮😮😮😮
Who would've guessed this would be the NFLs most exciting Thursday night game yet 
Really proud of my Niners tonight!! Came up just short, but what a fun game to watch. Great effort. 

 Five Takeaways from Rams 27-20 Loss to Washington
Los Angeles tied Sunday’s matchup midway through the fourth quarter but could not complete the comeback, as Washington used a 10-play drive to drain the clock and score a game-winning touchdown. With a short turnaround before playing San Francisco for Thursday Night Football, L.A. has much to correct. But there were also some encouraging aspects to Sunday’s game.
With that in mind, here are five takeaways from Week 2.
1) Run defense must improve
Washington rushed for 229 yards on Sunday, receiving significant production from three different running backs. Starter Rob Kelley recorded 78 yards on 12 carries before exiting the game with an injury to his ribs. Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine picked up where Kelley left off, rushing for 77 and 67 yards, respectively.
“It’s frustrating to lose period and it was definitely frustrating giving up that amount of yards in the run game,” middle linebacker Alec Ogletree said. “And when you don’t stop the run, you leave yourself open for a lot of stuff. They executed really well and credit to them for coming in with a good game plan and doing the right things.”
“We’ve got to watch the film, but just got to play better on the run and when run situations come, you’ve got to win your one-on-ones and get off the field,” defensive tackle Aaron Donald said. “That’s what we need to do.”
Overall, Washington averaged 5.9 yards per rushing attempt, with three plays of at least 19 yards.
“I haven’t seen the film yet, so I’ll have to go and watch it and see,” Ogletree said, “but I feel like we just weren’t physical enough at stopping the run and we didn't do our job today.”
Physicality could be one factor, but it’s likely not the only one. This is an area in which the Rams must improve going forward, especially considering their next opponent.
2) Penalties, turnovers hurt offense
Los Angeles had a hard time getting going offensively in the first half in part due to a key penalty on a kickoff and a fumble on the third drive.
After Washington’s first field goal, wide receiver Pharoh Cooper appeared to return the ensuing kickoff to the home team’s 26-yard line. But linebacker Cory Littleton was flagged for holding and Washington was called for a facemask. After some lengthy discussion, the officials determined that because the fouls occurred after the ball was possessed, the Rams’ drive was to start where the kick ended — which was the two-yard line. This had a clear negative effect on the offense, as L.A. went three-and-out.
Then running back Todd Gurley fumbled on the first play on the next drive. He credited Washington cornerback Josh Norman for making the play to jar the ball out, but the sudden change allowed the visitors to add a field goal and take a 13-0 lead.
In the fourth quarter, wide receiver Robert Woods committed a pair of penalties on the Rams’ game-tying drive that contributed to stalling the offense and keeping it out of the end zone. The first foul was unnecessary roughness and the second was offensive pass interference. Woods took responsibility for both mistakes in the locker room postgame.
And when the Rams had a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, quarterback Jared Goff threw an interception on the drive’s first play to effectively end the contest.
Overall, Los Angeles was penalized seven times for 75 yards and turned the ball over twice.
“We can’t hurt ourselves with the penalties, some of the different things that occurred throughout the course of the game,” McVay said. “But, I know that we’ll look at ourselves critically in the mirror — coaches included, starting with me — and make sure that we do a good job with our short week of preparation going into a game against our divisional opponent in the Niners.”
3) Gurley got going 
One positive takeaway from Sunday’s game is Gurley’s production both on the ground and through the air.
The running back finished with 136 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns — one receiving, and one rushing. Gurley recorded 16 carries for 88 yards — 5.5 yards per carry — and three receptions for 48 yards.
After the game, Gurley and Goff both mentioned how they noticed Washington wasn’t necessarily paying much attention to the running back on routes out of the backfield.
“Todd was great,” Goff said. “We talked early on, they weren’t covering him much out of our backfield in the pass game, so we were trying to get him the ball al tilt bit and sure enough we did. He kept jumping over people and making some plays.”
Gurley made as impressive a play as you’ll see for the first touchdown reception of his career in the third quarter. On 1st-and-10 from the Washington 18, Goff hit Gurley in the left flat. From there, the running back hurdled over cornerback Bashaud Breeland at about the 10-yard line, then stayed in bounds as safety Deshazor Everett hit him, extending the ball over the pylon for six points.
With the Rams losing the game, Gurley understandably downplayed the hurdles, saying only it “[j]ust happens. I don't really pay attention to it too much.”
4) Donald returns, but isn’t quite “back”
Defensive tackle Aaron Donald played his first game of 2017 on Sunday, but wan’t pleased with his own performance.
“I didn’t win my one-on-ones,” he said postgame. “When I have one-on-ones I usually win those, — just doing too much thinking. And you can try to say that [it was because] I didn't play. But that’s on me — I need to play better.”
Donald played 48 snaps on Sunday, which works out to 68 percent of the defense’s time on the field. He said he felt fine as far as fatigue, but was adamant that the needed to improve.
“I’ll be good next week,” Donald said. “Just to be out there with live bullets just to get the speed of the game and seeing little things that help me play a little faster. So like I said, breaking down the film and coming back next week a lot better because I didn’t like the way I played today.”
5) Better get right back to work
Any loss is disappointing, but there’s not much time to dwell on it as Los Angeles will head up to the Bay Area to play San Francisco on Thursday Night Football this week.
“Yeah, you’ve got to start that preparation right away because everything is condensed down,” McVay said. “The players will start with the recovery process and ti’ll be more of an above-the-neck approach for the next couple days. But that processed that procedure in terms of getting ready for that game on Thursday starts right now.”
Recovery and preparation can be difficult for a Thursday game, especially when it’s on the road. To that end, the Rams canceled their originally scheduled jog-through for late Monday afternoon. The club will hold a shorter practice on Tuesday afternoon before traveling on Wednesday.
“We’ve got to look at ourselves — I’ve got to do a better job for our team as a whole,” McVay said. “First adversity that we’ve faced — we really get a chance to see how we’ll respond on a short week. So we don’t have much time to feel sorry for ourselves about this game.”
Rams Hold On to Beat 49ers 41-39
Have you caught your breath yet?
The Rams won a wild one on Thursday, defeating the 49ers 41-39. Though Los Angeles was able to move the ball well offensively all night — the club punted only twice — San Francisco battled back the entire game, and had an opportunity to win it late.
After recovering an onside kick with 2:10 left in the fourth quarter, an offensive pass interference penalty pushed the 49ers back to 3rd-and-20 from their own 40. Quarterback Brian Hoyer’s third-down pass was almost intercepted by cornerback Trumaine Johnson, but fell incomplete. And on 4th-and-20, defensive tackle Aaron Donald delivered the needed blow, sacking Hoyer for an eight-yard loss.
“We just knew we needed to make a big stop,” Donald said postgame. “We had given up a lot on defense and their offense was putting up points. So, it felt good to get those three and outs, and come off the field, and close the game out.”
The defense got the stop when it had to, but the offense was the main story for much of the night. L.A. racked up 418 total yards and 26 first downs, benefiting from banner days for many of the unit’s contributors.
Quarterback Jared Gofffinished 22-of-28 passing for 292 yards with three touchdowns and a 145.8 passer rating. Running back Todd Gurley accounted for 149 yards of offense — 113 yards rushing, 36 yards receiving — and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Robert Woods had six receptions for 108 yards. And Sammy Watkins finished with six receptions for 106 yards and his first two touchdowns as a Ram.
“Really pleased with Jared tonight. I thought he made great decisions with the football,” head coach Sean McVay said. “I thought Jared managed the game extremely well, distributed to his playmakers, gave guys a chance down the field — you look at Sammy and Robert coming away with over 100 apiece. And, really, those are the kinds of things we expect from him.”
“I felt like we were just out there playing — like I didn’t know numbers or whatever,” Woods said of his and Watkins’ performances. “We were just going out there and making plays, just doing our assignment and the ball was finding us. Jared put up some nice balls for us to catch and I think we’re doing that.”
While he’s had his share of multi-touchdown games, Gurley had not recorded three in a single game until Thursday’s contest. The running back had two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown — all in the first half.
“We just got in a rhythm,” Gurley said. “Everybody was getting going. We were able to have a little success running the ball and then we opened up the passing game. So it just felt good to be out there and execute as an offense.”
The Rams do have plenty to correct, however, particularly on defense and special teams. The 49ers out-gained the visitors with 421 total yards, and had six plays of at least 20 yards. And the Rams had two special teams giveaways, plus a drive-extending penalty that led to Niners points.
“Anytime that you’re able to come away with a win, those are great opportunities to really teach from,” McVay said. “You can be hard on yourself as a coach and your players with some of the things that we’ve got to do a better job of if we’re going to consistently win football games.”
Nevertheless, L.A. had the lead 12 seconds into Thursday’s game and never trailed. On San Francisco’s first play from scrimmage, cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman— starting for the injured Kayvon Webster — intercepted Hoyer and returned the pick 25 yards to the Niners’ three-yard line.
“Oh the first play? Yeah that was lit,” Robey-Coleman said with a laugh. “The first play was great — broke on the ball, got a good read on the quarterback, the D-line got a good rush, and I came away with an interception. I feel like that set the tempo for the night.”
Gurley did the rest on the next play, taking the ball three yards up the middle for his first touchdown.
“The defense gave me the easiest touchdown ever on the first play,” Gurley said. 
L.A. had forced a punt on San Francisco’s second offensive drive, but an offsides penalty on 4th-and-3 put the Niners’ offense back on the field. The unit took advantage of the miscue, as Hoyer ran in a nine-yard scramble for the 49ers first touchdown of the year.
As they would all night, the visitors responded well, driving down the field in eight plays to score a touchdown. Operating without a huddle, Goff connected with Woods on a 37-yard pass down the right sideline. Then on the next play, the quarterback hit tight end Derek Carrier for a 17-yard pass on a bootleg to the left.
Gurley finished the drive on 3rd-and-4 in the red zone with a seven-yard touchdown reception, putting the Rams back up 14-7.
Defensive lineman Tyrunn Walker forced a fumble on the next drive, which Robey-Coleman recovered. Kicker Greg Zuerlein would hit a 48-yard field goal to start the second quarter, extending the lead to 17-7.
San Francisco kicker Robbie Gould made a pair of field goals in that period, but L.A. tacked on another touchdown to extend its lead to 24-13 heading into halftime. On this drive, Goff connected with Watkins for a 22-yard pass, and wideout Cooper Kuppon 3rd-and-3 for 17 yards. Gurley completed the drive with a two-yard touchdown, bouncing to the outside on the left as the middle was clogged.
The first drive of the third quarter brought the Rams more points and arguably the club’s best offensive play of the night, as Goff completed a 47-yard pass to Watkins on the left sideline. Watkins did an excellent job of tracking the ball in the air, and Goff placed the pass where only his receiver could get it.
But after Gurley was stuffed at the goal line on consecutive runs, McVay opted to kick a field goal, extending the lead by two touchdowns.
Buoyed by a roughing the passer foul called on Los Angeles, San Francisco was able to score with a one-yard touchdown by running back Carlos Hyde to cut the Rams’ lead to seven.
Again the visitors came right back. This time, Goff capped a 10-play drive with a one-yard touchdown pass to Watkins. Goff said the play was a run-pass option, and the unit ran it consecutively.
“We got the look on it on the previous play,” Goff said. “And I didn’t throw it. I wanted to, but I didn’t, and we got stuffed. Sammy came back to the huddle and said, ‘It’s there.’
“Didn’t know we were going to call it again, but we did,” Goff added. “Sammy was right — it was there.”
With Los Angeles up 34-20 heading into the fourth quarter, Hoyer brought the 49ers back to life with a 50-yard completion to Marquise Goodwin to put the club at the L.A. 25. A few plays later, Hoyer hit tight end Garrett Celek with a touchdown pass in the back of the end zone. Gould, however, missed the extra point to keep the score at 34-26.
Gurley began the ensuing drive with a 29-yard run to the left, and extended it with a 27-yard reception on 3rd-and-10 from the San Francisco 46. The running back was the safety valve on the latter play, which Goff called comforting from a QB standpoint.
“He’s a great player,” Goff said. “Just him getting out, open as the check down is huge. It’s almost comforting when I get through my progression and I see him wide open, and I go, ‘OK, here’s 15.’ It’s very comforting knowing that he can make a play after the catch.”
A few plays later, Watkins scored his second touchdown of the night. The wideout found a soft spot in the zone between the hash marks, turned upfield, and fought his way through three defenders to complete a 13-yard scoring strike.
“Sammy felt what I felt on the goal line trying to get in there on his second touchdown,” Gurley joked.
That touchdown made the score 41-26 with 8:43 left, which seemed like it had removed all doubt. But the 49ers kept grinding as Hoyer kept completing deep passes. A 59-yard Pierre Garçon reception got San Francisco to the Rams’ five-yard line. Two plays later, Hoyer hit wideout Trent Taylor for a three-yard touchdown.
Wide receiver Pharoh Cooper fumbled the ensuing kickoff, setting up San Francisco on Los Angeles’ 30-yard line. Carlos Hyde ran it up the middle on 4th-and-goal from the L.A. one for a touchdown, bringing the score to 41-39 with 2:13 left.
The home team went for a two-point conversion, but cornerback Troy Hill batted Hoyer’s pass up, and defensive tackle Michael Brockers came down with it to keep the Rams ahead.
That’s when the 49ers went for their onside kick and got it, before Donald could give the Rams the ball back for the last time.
Gurley put the game on ice with 53 seconds left on 3rd-and-10, when he took a carry 20 yards. The run gave Gurley 100 yards rushing for the first time since his rookie season in 2015.
With the victory, the Rams improve to 2-1 on the season. They’ll have a couple days off before coming back to prepare to face the Cowboys in Dallas for Week 4.
A satirical look at more than 75 years of Football's Rams history, combined with discussions of American Exceptionalism and almost 50 years of personal experience in the life of a Rams Fan. The history parallels and intertwines life to form a humorous, yet serious look at American HistoryWorld History, an American Football team, and Political Science.