19 September 2009 • 11:39 am

Tortoise Stories Everywhere!

Tortoise rescuer John Formby holds Freeway the tortoise Saturday, September 19 in Worthing, England. (photo by Billy Elliott)

Tortoise rescuer John Formby holds Freeway the tortoise Saturday, September 19 in Worthing, England. (photo by Billy Elliott)

From colleague and occasional Tenacious Blog contributor Heather Stagl comes a link today to a story out of London, where a motorist rescued a Hermann’s tortoise while it was crossing five lanes of the M25, the loop road around London.

Although it is likely that “Freeway” the tortoise, as he is now known, is someone’s pet, (since he has an embedded microchip), it is not yet known where he came from (since the chip is blank). Motorist John Formby spotted what he originally thought was a rock on the road, but when he saw it was moving, pulled off to effect the heroic rescue. Despite the fact that cars had been passing right over it, Freeway was unfazed. According to Formby, “it seemed very determined just to get where it was going.”Freeway is now living comfortably at an animal rescue center in Worthing, along England’s south coast, while staff try to find his owner.

Branding as the Tenacious Tortoise seems to be working. According to Heather, “I see tortoise stories everywhere now.”

Do you see tortoise stories everywhere? Please send links to

14 September 2009 • 7:00 am

At Loggerheads

Loggerhead turtle, about one meter long

Loggerhead turtle, about one meter long

I don’t remember exactly when, how, or even why I first became enamored with turtles and tortoises. It’s probably been at least 25 years since I bought my first carved wooden turtle, and my collection of small handmade keepsake turtles grows by one or two every time my wife and I travel together. I’ve probably got over 50 of them now. But it’s less than an obsession for me, and I don’t have any live turtles as pets.

A video on Facebook caught my eye a couple of weeks ago. Shot at night in infrared light on Big Pine Key near our second home in Key West, Florida, it shows a “boil” – the nearly all-at-once hatching of baby loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and their immediate and frantic scramble to the sea. The first few minutes after hatching are especially perilous for the little guys (who would easily fit in the palm of your hand) – they rely on star- and moon-light glinting off the ocean’s edge to find their way to the water before seabirds and other predators pick off these tasty morsels. Human development has threatened the loggerhead in multiple ways, including the presence of artificial light at nesting areas causing the hatchlings to lose their way to the ocean, along with entanglement in fishing lines and nets.


9 July 2009 • 9:30 am

Just for Fun: Turtles at Kennedy Airport

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Several news reports yesterday described flight delays at New York’s Kennedy Airport when dozens of diamondback terrapins crawled out onto a runway from nearby Jamaica Bay. Airport officials said that the turtles were seeking a place to breed.

Diamondback Terrapin (image from Western Connecticut State University)

Diamondback Terrapin (image from Western Connecticut State University)

Everybody had a good attitude considering it was turtles going off to hatch more turtles,” said Port Authority spokesman John Kelly. The animals were piled onto the back of a Port Authority pickup truck and were moved “back into Jamaica Bay.” 

Since I am humor impaired, please submit your own punchlines below.

20 June 2009 • 10:00 am

Just for Fun: Predictions from The Nose

Whew. After all this heavy writing this week about cascading and other topics, it’s time for me to lighten up a little. Although I am told that I am significantly humor impaired, hope has arrived in the form of a link from an old high-school buddy of mine, J.J. Sedelmaier, an artist, illustrator, animator, and all-around talented guy. You may have already seen his work on Saturday Night Live (TV Funhouse, and others).  

Strategic management is all about measuring drivers to anticipate future outcomes. In other words, predictions. For an amusing take on predictions, turn on the sound on your computer, and click here. Have a great weekend.