Monday, 24 January 2022

iwows

Via Slashdot, astronomers are forwarding the conjecture that like the other Saturnine satellites Titan and Enceladus, the mysterious and icy Mimas—heretofore most well known for being an actual moon despite its resemblance to the Death Star (formally ♄ I and named after the Giant, at the suggestion of William Hershel's son John like the others in this complex system after the Giant born of the blood of castrated Uranus and killed by Hephaestus during the Gigantomachy) may possibly harbour a vast liquid ocean several kilometres beneath its frozen crust. Going by the above initialism “interior water ocean worlds.” More at the links above.

Thursday, 6 January 2022

soylent green is people!

With the environment ravaged by dead oceans, pollution, poverty and scarcity, the 1973 film with Charlton Heston, Joseph Cotten based on Make Room! Make Room! the science-fiction novel on resource-hoarding and over-population by Harry Harrison is set in the milieu of 2022. The titular foodstuff is reportedly harvested from plankton and in short-supply due to popularity. During investigations, however, it is determined that the seas are no longer viable and the protein is sourced to human remains gathered during protests by “scoops” and state-sanctioned euthanasia.

Saturday, 1 January 2022

rogue waves

Distinct from tsunamis, killer waves—defined as reaching twice the height of waves in a wave record—occur in open-water as a convergence of constructive interference and other conditions but were considered at best anecdotal, tall-tales and the stuff of maritime myth until quite recently when one was detected on New Year’s Day in 1995 and measured by instruments housed on the Draupner gas pipeline support platform in the North Sea. Subsequent research has shown the phenomenon to be a common one, occurring in multiple media, including finance and has been retroactively used to account for shipping accidents, including the 1975 sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald and the iconic titular wave portrayed in The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai.

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

under the waves or government in exile

Soberingly and with an eye to a bleak future of runaway climate change, as Slashdot reports, the island nation of Tuvalu exploring its legal options to retain its statehood in the worst-case scenario that sees all land submerged and its population of eleven thousand relocated. With sea-levels rising, the land will eventually disappear and the government hopes to retain international recognition for its maritime zones and territorial sovereignty as well as compel domestically and internationally what the cultural impacts and losses of such uprooting will be for this and other coastal communities.  More at the links above.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

field camp

Via Messy Messy Chic, we enjoyed learning about Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs whose mission is to promote efficient and collaborative operations among the seventy permanent research stations scattered across the continent from nearly thirty countries and
reduce redundancies that might further jeopardise this more pristine environment through the profiles of the facilities of its constituent members. We especially liked the more veteran stations whose architecture and style dates them, like the Belgian Federal Science Policy and Polar Secretariat’s Princess Elisabeth Base research centre or the Taishan lab of China. Much more to explore at the links above.

Friday, 22 October 2021

distinguished hydrography

Hosted by Washington, DC, delegates gathered from twenty-six countries for the International Meridian Conference adopted the resolution on this day in 1884 that made the Royal Observatory in Greenwich (see previously here and here) the prime “meridian to be employed as a common zero of longitude and standard of time reckoning throughout the world.The resolution was passed but not without some abstentions and serious objections—foremost being France, which until settling on the compromise term Coordinated Universal Time in 1978, did not refer to the selection as GMT but rather “Paris mean time, retarded by nine minutes and twenty-one seconds.” Contrary to popular belief, the meeting did not establish time zones.  Also making it a universal convention to begin astronomical and nautical days at the stroke of midnight, the summit coincided with the enactment of the Longitude Act of 1714 from Queen Anne, establishing a board of judges and prize monies for anyone coming up with a practical way to accurately measure whereabouts on the y-axis while at sea.

Friday, 1 October 2021

7x7

cultured: beautiful Petri dish art (see also) from Dasha Plesen  

tax centinels: protesting college students conspired to create “penny famines” across the US in the late 1930s 

rediffusion: the Thames Television archives—via Things magazine  

fat bear bracket: follow the celebration of survival and success with Katmai’s nature preserve ursine residents—via Hyperalleric’s Required Reading 

the thing on the fourble board: a 1948 episode of the radio programme Quiet, Please! is considered to be one of the scariest broadcasts ever 

bisection: the spiralling figural sculpture of Isabel Miramontes  

frustule: the rich diversity of diatoms illustrated in an 1890 volume

Friday, 10 September 2021

bi-valve or blast me barnacles

Even more threatened than their beleaguered colonial cousin the corals reefs, we learn that over eighty-five percent of coastal oyster beds, living shorelines, have been destroyed by human activity over the last two centuries through dredging, development, pollution and overfishing. Recent efforts to restore the habitat of this indicator species, however, are demonstrating that oysters are keystones of their ecosystem, purifying, filtering waters, recycling organic materials and preventing algal blooms, building a sheltering environment for various fishes and crustaceans, sustenance for water fowl, carbon sequestration in their shells, and acting as a breakwater structure to reduce the impact of storm surges and runaway erosion. Learn more at Kottke at the link above.

Friday, 13 August 2021

6x6

clink clink: a snappy little animated short of guests at cocktail hour 

samarkand: an East German couple’s tour of Uzbekistan fifty years ago with photography from 1971 and 2021  

expectation management: a comprehensive look into how the Delta variant changes the pandemic endgame—via Kottke  

noah’s violin: the twelve metre long wooden stringed instrument is a floating stage, inaugurated along with Project Moses to protect Venice from flooding  

the rural juror: a spoof streaming service (see also)—via JWZ  

the effect is shattering: a vodka advertising campaign that became a snow clone

Monday, 2 August 2021

6x6

roll for perception: the official video for the 1987 Rick Astley hit (previously) surpasses one billion views   

until proven safe: EURIDICE, the eponym from the mythological Eurydice who Orpheus failed to retrieve from the Underworld, is the acronym for European Underground Research Infrastructure for the Disposal of Nuclear Waste in a Clay Environment  

a clokey production: a bot scours Gumbasia for random screen-grabs

pelagic waters: exploring the oceans’ midnight zone beyond the reach of the sun’s rays

portrait of a teenage alcoholic: a 1975 after school special starring The Exorcist’s Linda Blair and Star Wars’ Mark Hamill  

an eternal golden braid: some crib-notes and a course on the 1987 classic Gรถdel, Escher, Bach

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

7x7

imprint and intaglio: a treasury of antique book illustrations—via Swiss Miss  

antipodes: find the furthest populated place away from your home town—via ibฤซdem  

endless loop: a superb collection of vintage Japanese cassette tapes and related accessories  

dolce come il sale: an Italian town furnishes the Pope with an annual delivery of gourmet salt  

full-house: the Guardian profiles the outdoor venue in Cornwall, the Minack Theatre, as it welcomes back audiences  

down periscope: the Viewfinder installation affords visitors to Sydney’s coast a look at the roiling ocean below  

etidorhpa: John Uri Lloyd’s 1895 pharmacologically inspired science fantasy novel

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

6x6

scream real loud: The 1954 “Pinky Lee Show” that prefigures in a way Pee-Wee’s Playhouse 

7/10: promoting health for the high seas on World Oceans Day—previously  

avian aftershave: crows treat themselves to ant baths  

squirrels under the hood: an AI researchers illustrates how algorithms are dangerously regressive reflections of the worst of us (previously) and are far from artificial or intelligent  

###: a short from Optical Arts repeats a range of actions with different objects in the key of A  

that’s my name—don’t wear it out: do yourself a favour and check out the blog of Pee-Wee Herman

Friday, 21 May 2021

watershed moment

Via Web Curios, we are directed towards an application for our fans in the continental United States of America (for the present) called River Runner that allows one to drop a raindrop anywhere and trace its path to the sea through run-offs, watercourses, creeks and rivers and explore the precipitation cycle drip by drip, navigating their path over the terrain and residence times through reservoir, adjacent table and flow.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

moraines and drumlins

Via Maps Mania, we are confronted with the profound and consequential loss of the world’s glacial cover visualised with an animated comparison of ninety of the planet’s largest and best surveyed moving, dense bodies of ice (see previously) on the march and on the retreat. Scientists project that the rate of melting will double by the next decade and will contribute some twenty percent to sea-level rise rather than being the natural water towers and frozen reservoirs that they were meant to be.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

under the sea

Informed by the futuristic pavilions constructed for the World Expo in Osaka (previously here, here and here), we were delighted to pay a virtual visit to the Ashizuri Underwater Observation Tower (see also) built in 1971 by architect Yoshikatsu Tsuboi (ๅชไบ•ๅ–„ๅ‹). Seven metres under the waves, submerged guests can view fish, coral and other marine life in this reserve along the Tatsukushi coast in Kochi prefecture. More at Design Boom at the link up top.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

we have met the enemy and he is us

First observed on this day fifty years ago and now celebrated in every polity around the globe as the largest secular holiday of them all, organisers in colleges and universities brought out roughly twenty million individuals into the spring sunshine to peaceful demonstrate for environmental reform.
The original impetus was a devastating oil spill of the coast of Santa Barbara, California that was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of marine creatures during the previous winter with city solemnly marking the one-year anniversary of that disaster in January with an Environmental Rights Day, further advancing the idea for a day of action generally for ecological responsibility and justice. For the occasion, illustrator Walt Kelly created an anti-pollution poster with his comic strip character declaiming the above quotation, parodying a missive sent by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry (older brother of Commodore Matthew Perry) to General William Harrison on his victory, more confident and less contrite, in the Battle of Lake Erie—another environmental mess we are trying to remediate—“We have met the enemy, and they are ours.”

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

ๆฒข็™ปใ‚Š

Via tmn, we learn about a particular subset of mountaineering called sawanobori—literally stream-climbing that involves ascending a tributary to its source be that up and over ravines and waterfalls and always against the current. Although speciality gear is usually now employed—as the video advertises—traditionally climbers wore straw-rope shoes called waraji (่‰้ž‹), differentiated from other sandals by how the toes protruded over the edge to help one gain a purchase whilst hiking up an incline.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

downspout

Researchers from the City University of Hong Kong are developing a new technique to harness the power of falling rainwater and convert it into electricity for passive applications and battery recharging.
One water drop alone under this novel way of converting and redistributing its kinetic energy can generate enough of a spark to light up a matrix of one LED bulbs. While the rain may not be appropriate for energy-intensive scenarios, the project leader believes that the field effect transistor method could be overlaid with other energy harvesters to multiply their efficacy—on rooftop solar panels, for instance, to ensure a steadier power-supply even when the conditions aren’t so sunny, or even one’s own umbrella whose cane would become a power-wand. Learn more at the link above.

Friday, 28 June 2019

saturn vi

Though exploration of the Cronian satellite cannot begin before 2034 (distant-seeming but only fifteen years hence), NASA has committed, choosing among twelve contending proposals, to send a fleet of aerial drones to survey Titan, more planet than moon-like with a dense atmosphere, complex terrain, weather and methane driven precipitation similar to the water cycle on Earth, only sustainable at much lower temperatures, to seek out alien life.

Extra special care and precautions are being factored into the Dragonfly mission so as to not disturb the primordial conditions of the surface as the craft take samples of the moon’s chemistry. Under this frozen substrate (see also), which while having the necessary building blocks for life as we conceive it, scientists believe there is a water-ammonia lies a panthalassic ocean where abiogenesis is suspected to have occurred.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

ะณะพะปะพั ะฒะพะดะธ

Commissioned for the 23 March annual observance of World Water Day (previously), a group of one hundred sound engineers and musicians—including the group DakhaBrakha—teamed up to create a tone poem from the waters of Ukraine, designing special accompanying instruments to capture the character of currents coursing down the Carpathians. More to explore at Calvert Journal at the link above and for those of you who missed the commemoration like we did, it’s your cue to appreciate and collect the music of your local body of water.