"...by persisting in the false belief that coral reefs have a future, we grossly misallocate the funds needed to cope with the fallout from their collapse."
In the New York Times, ecologist Roger Bradbury
argues that it's too late to save a big chunk of the Earth's environment, and that we should instead spend our resources getting ready for the challenges we'll face once that part of the world is destroyed. Marine scientists offer varying opinions
on how doomed the reefs are, ranging from "Yep, they're doomed" to "If we stopped increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere today, they would probably stick around in some more or less degraded form" to "it’s clear to me that corals as a group of living things will almost assuredly* construct glorious reefs in millenniums to come of unimaginable richness."
is a small uninhabited Caribbean island
74 km off the coast of Haiti. Both the US and Haiti claim sovereignty
over the island, though Haiti claims it in it's constitution
. Discovered in 1498 and explored in 1504 as part of Columbus's expedition when he became stranded on Jamaica and sent a canoe to Hispaniola
; the canoes ran into the island on the way and two Spaniards and several Indians who arrived on the island drank contaminated water killing most of the group
. The island was avoided until 1857 when it was claimed by the US as part of the Guano Islands Act
despite an earlier Haitian claim. Working conditions were very harsh on the island, manually moving over a ton guano from mines via rail cars to the landing point at Lulu Bay
which sacked the guano for transport on the S.S. Romance
. In 1889 the workers started a rebellion that killed several supervisors
and lead to a series of court cases
that affirmed the constitutionality
of the Guano Act. The island was abandoned in 1898 during the Spanish-American war forced the operator, Navassa Phosphate Company of Baltimore to file for bankruptcy
. In 1917 a lighthouse
was built since the island posed a hazard for ships entering the newly built Panama Canal. The island has remained uninhabited, save a few Haitian fishermen
that camp now and again, though it is highly coveted by amateur radio operators
seeking a DX
call-sign of KP1
. The island has been bounced around several federal
agencies until 1999
when the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
cataloged it as a National Wildlife Refuge
. In 2009 NOAA's Southeast Fisheries Science launched an expedition
to catalog the flora
and fauna of the reefs of the island, including a few feral cats roaming
on the island.
In 1967, Ken Nordine (previ
) did a themed album of his "Word Jazz" titled "Colors" that consisted of over 30 short poems/riffs about specific colors. Recently, cuts from that album have become popular soundtracks for exercises in animation...
A lot of them use the currently-trendy "kinetic typography" -
Brown (with a Brown Owl)
while others use paper cut-outs -
Coral (starts at 1:00)
Maroon (a rhyming Cartoon)
Plus three versions of Yellow, with J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs
, with a character resembling PacMan
with blobby cut-outs and a cut-off ending
Finally Flesh, but without animation
The camera comes upon an artificial coral reef of human bodies, surrounded by fish
Jason deCaires Taylor is an artist who makes life size sculptures of people out of materials designed to encourage the growth of coral reefs. Then he sinks them. Then the fish arrive.
His project "La Evolucion Silenciosa"
, located off of Isla Mujeres, Mexico is a striking combination of the eerie with the serene.
How much life could you find in one cubic foot?
With a 12-inch green metal-framed cube, photographer David Liittschwager (of the Endangered Species Project)
surveyed biodiversity in land, water, tropical and temperate environments around the globe for National Geographic. At each locale he set down the cube and started watching, counting, and photographing with the help of his assistant and many biologists. The goal: to represent the creatures that lived in or moved through that space. The team then sorted through their habitat cubes and tallied every inhabitant, down to a size of about a millimeter
. [more inside]
features stunning time-lapse photography. From the strange colorings of the Cnidarian
coral species, to summer cloud transformations
in and around San Francisco. Couldn't make it to Burning Man 2009? See it... in just two minutes (2008, 2007)
: A WWII juggernaut. It decrypted German Enigma
) and Japanese
messages on an industrial scale in huts
, had an outpost in Mombasa
, and built one of the first modern computers
(it helped that Alan Turing
was on staff). Now a diverse museum
with or without a funding problem
, it generated yet more intrigue in 2000 when an Enigma was stolen
, and hosts a rebuilt, working Colossus
that launched a cipher challenge
. Beating it wasn't easy
! [more inside]
The Institute for Figuring presents the Crocheted Hyperbolic Coral Reef Project
and Hyperbolic Crocheted Cacti and Kelp
(more at this flickr gallery
). If you secretly spend your evenings crocheting mathematical models, help build the coral reef or send a photo of your other creations to The People's Hyperbolic Gallery
. (via Wonderland)
The great Caribbean coral die-off
. "The 2005 die-off is bigger than all the previous 20 years combined".. magnitude never before-seen.. sea surface temps worst in the 21 years of satellite monitoring. NOAA preliminary reports
with cool graphs to left.
The Coral Calcium scam. Coral Calcium
products are on fire right now, with infomercials and brochures claiming that the miracle supplements can cure everything from fatigue to cancer. Of course there is no scientific evidence
supporting any of these claims and one of the two men featured in the infomercials is a convicted felon named Kevin Trudeau
actions are ongoing and The Mayo Clinic
has just sent out a letter to patients warning that the broad range of benefits claimed by those marketing some Coral Calcium products are simply too good to be true and that if the calcium indeed comes form the Okinawa area as claimed, it could be contaminated with lead.
is the largest coral atoll
in the world
with an area of 248 square miles of which 125 square miles is land
and the remainder lagoon
is the amazing labor of love built solely by Ed Leedskalnin
, a man who claimed to have discovered the "secrets of the pyramids". Did he? We may never know, but this frail, tubercular, 100-pound man managed to quarry, transport, shape, and erect chunks of coral weighing up to 28 tons
by himself, using only the simplest of tools. The castle also includes a nine-ton gate
that is so perfectly balanced it can be opened by a child, and the world's largest valentine
, which weighs in at an incredible 5,000 pounds.