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From: Wesley Parsons (7065) <WRP@adorno.com>
Subject: (whorl) Oosik
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 16:32:22 

[Posted from Whorl, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

>>FWIW, yesterday I finally found scleroderma the puffball.  Yep.
On the zoological front I'm still looking for Oosik and Mattak,
though.  And Mamelta, presumably botanical, is still a puzzler.


You may already know this, but "Oosik" is described by people who
are fans of walruses as an Inuit word for the penis bone of a walrus.  I

"For a popular update on the impact of anthropogenic estrogenic
chemicals on marine and terrestrial animals have a look at "Hormone Hell"
by Catherine Dold, Discover, September 1996, pg 53.  A broad class of
chemicals that includes the polychloro-dioxins are produced by
incineration of chlorinated organic polymers like polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
or "Saran" (plastic food wrap).  These chemicals bind estrogen (female
hormone) receptors and decrease fertility for both males and females. 
Ms. Dold recounts the evidence regarding the decrease in size of
Columbia River otter bacalums, penis bones.  The walrus penis bone is
called an oosik by Inuits.  It might be informative about estrogenic chemical
contamination of the Bering Sea to evaluate the time progression in the
size of oosiks.  There are 72 fresh ones at Cape Peirce right now just
waiting to be measured.  The oosik from the old guy
who died at the end of July from an abscessed tooth was 22" long."

Perhaps this means Oosik was fromthe East or West Pole <g>.

See http://www.faraday.chem.fsu.edu/walrus/walrus3.html

Questions or problems to whorl-owner@lists.best.com

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