Thoughts

Follow the PCB and Mercury trail in our oceans

Marine biologist Stephen Palumbi gave a talk at TED about the massive problem with pollutants in our oceans, and the disease and death this causes everywhere in the world, throughout the food chain, including us.

Keep in mind what he says, then read this article, where the problem of toxins found in whales is shown in grim detail. Quoting from the article:

“The researchers found mercury as high as 16 parts per million in the whales. Fish high in mercury such as shark and swordfish — the types health experts warn children and pregnant women to avoid — typically have levels of about 1 part per million.”

“Ultimately, he said, the contaminants could jeopardize seafood, a primary source of animal protein for 1 billion people. ‘You could make a fairly tight argument to say that it is the single greatest health threat that has ever faced the human species. I suspect this will shorten lives, if it turns out that this is what’s going on,’ he said.”

“‘The biggest surprise was chromium,’ Payne said. ‘That’s an absolute shocker. Nobody was even looking for it.'”

“He said another surprise was the high concentrations of aluminum, which is used in packaging, cooking pots and water treatment. Its effects are unknown. The consequences of the metals could be horrific for both whale and man, he said.”

“‘I don’t see any future for whale species except extinction,’ Payne said. ‘This is not on anybody’s radar, no government’s radar anywhere, and I think it should be.'”

Guess who is the largest manufacturer of PCBs in the world? Monsanto.

Is the US government doing anything about this? No. They’re too busy blocking the press from seeing and reporting on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Thoughts

A neat talk by Peter Tyack at TED, entitled “The Intriguing Sound of Marine Mammals“, in which he explains the effect of human noise on the sounds made by marine mammals, and what’s being done to correct the situation. A few tidbits:

  • Better propeller designs decrease propeller noise by up to 90%
  • Insulating the engine chamber from the hull reduces engine noise by up to 99%
  • Slowing down the ships by 50% decreases overall noise and reduces fuel consumption by 30%

There’s also a cool cartoon at the end of the talk, called “Good Vibrations”, made by Jeremy Clapin.

Marine mammals, underwater sounds and shipping noise

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Places

On the beach at The Breakers

A couple of weeks ago, we spent a beautiful afternoon at The Breakers hotel and resort in Palm Beach, Florida. This is a 720p HD video I filmed on the beach, with the Olympus PEN E-P2, a camera I am currently testing for an upcoming review.

It was windy, a bit chilly, the surf was good, and the afternoon sun added a beautiful golden hue to everything, particularly to the rocks placed on the beach. The texture of the sand at The Breakers is finer and darker than on other beaches in Florida. This complemented the blue waves quite nicely, as you’ll see below.

Watch video at YouTube | blip.tv

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