US Creates Largest Protected Area in the World.
Over 3x larger than California, the Obama
administration has enlarged the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Fishing, dumping, and removal of coral are now prohibited.
Unknown orange/red glow over Pacific Ocean
"Then, very far in the distance ahead of us, just over the horizon an intense lightflash shot up from the ground. It looked like a lightning bolt, but way more intense and directed vertically up in the air. I have never seen anything like this, and there were no flashes before or after this single explosion of light." [more inside]
is an English electronic group that formed in 1987, and take their name from the Roland TR-808 drum machine and their shared state of mind
. As a trio, they produced their iconic track, Pacific
, which fused influences of house music, jazz fusion and exotica
. The group changed membership a bit over the years, but one way or another 808 State have released six albums
* to date, and a number of singles, EPs, and promotional discs
. 808state.com has a ton of information
, including an extensive visual discography
, a list of other productions and remixes
, and over a gig of demos, live tracks, and other non-album audio to download
. Given the group's 27 year-long history, there's a lot more to see and hear. [more inside]
The University of Southern California
's US-China Institute
has a huge number of videos on YouTube
regarding China, Taiwan, history, global diplomacy, etc. [more inside]
What we knew of Angus was this: Angus—the only name we had for him—was a flight surgeon our mother had fallen in love with during World War II, planned to marry after the war, but lost when the Japanese shot him down over the Pacific. Once, long ago, she had mentioned to me that he was part of the reason she decided to be a doctor. That was all we knew. She had confided those things in the 1970s, in the years just after she and my father divorced. I can remember sitting in a big easy chair my dad had left behind in her bedroom, listening to her reminisce about Angus as she sat with her knitting. I remember being embarrassed, and not terribly interested.
I was interested now. Even 30 years before, her affair with Angus had been three decades old. Now, 60 years after he had fallen into the sea, she wanted to follow him. [more inside]
This August, Washington state's Fish and Wildlife Commission banned
giant Pacific octopus hunting (recreational harvesting) across seven popular scuba sites in the Puget Sound -- not because the species is endangered, but simply because the sea creature is revered by the Seattle community. The law went into effect on October 6. What triggered the ban? Therein lies a story
. [more inside]
Stephen Fry in America
is a six part BBC television series of one hour shows in which Stephen Fry travels across the United States of America. He travels, mostly in a London cab, through all 50 U.S. states and offers his unique variety of insight as well as his infectious optimism and genuine love for many things American. New World
, Deep South
], Mountains and Plains
, True West
, and Pacific
. [more inside]
This is how it will happen. Let’s pick a day: June 22, 2012. It’s a gorgeous Friday afternoon in the Pacific Northwest, 75 degrees and sunny. It’s been raining for weeks, and in Seattle the freeways are jammed with people fleeing the city to enjoy the rare sunshine. Same story in Portland. Out on the coast, the beach towns are thrumming with tourists.
How a monster earthquake and resulting tsunami would affect the coast and cities of the Pacific NW.
Head some 500 miles (800 km) east of the Philippines or 2,000 miles (3,200 km) south of Tokyo, and you'll find Palau
, an island nation
in the Pacific Ocean
. Amongst the Rock Islands of Palau
is a vaguely Y-shaped uninhabited island, called Mecherchar
or Eil Malk
, which includes a number of marine lakes. One of the more astounding lakes is Ongeim'l Tketau
or Jellyfish Lake
, home to millions of jellyfish
that make daily migrations, tracking the sun
. [more inside]
Preliminary magnitude 7.9 off Honshu at 05:46 UTC
The Pacific Ring of Fire has been living up to its name lately. BBC flash reporting a Tsunami Alert has been issued.
: "a slightly bitter, slightly frothy, aromatic, resinous brew capable of inducing tranquility and an ultimate sense of wellbeing" [more inside]
arming at breakneck speed, England
lost in a pacifist dream, France
corrupt and torn by dissension, America
remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?" ― Winston Churchill
, 1935. The World War II Database
, and other elements of history
in relational db form to tell the story of the 20th century's 2nd great war.
According to the photographer's daughter, "All photos in this collection were taken by then Lt. and later Capt. George S. White
, my Father, while he was serving in the Pacific
as a pilot
. They are generally between 1945 and 1948 from what is documented."
My favorites? The barmaid
or postwar Tokyo
or wrecked planes and airplane graveyards
1200 kilometers southwest of Acapulco lies the only atoll in the eastern Pacific: one of France's most isolated overseas possessions
. First named for an English pirate/buccaneer/privateer, written about here by one John Harris in 1744
, the island has changed hands numerous times: claimed by France as part of Tahiti, claimed by the US under the Guano Islands Act
. The island remained uninhabited until 1906, when a British and Mexican mission began mining guano (still in demand today
, though sources can now be found a little closer to home
). The atoll was thought to have been polished off entirely by an earthquake rumored to have sunk the islands outright in August of 1909
. [more inside]
Talk about plastic accumulating in the North Pacific gyre has popped up on
for quite a while now. Vice is running a series on the state of the gyre
, as part of their "Toxic Series"
Given the fact that most plastics are not biodegradable, we need to start looking more carefully at how much damage we are doing to ourselves through our use of plastic, and what we can do about it
. [more inside]
Invasion of the Jellyfish
The box jellyfish
[AKA Sea Wasp
] is so packed with venom that the briefest of touches can bring agonising death within 180 seconds. And if comes under sustained attack it responds by sending its compatriots into a super-breeding frenzy in which millions of replacements are created. The really bad news is that the box jellyfish and another equally poisonous species, Irukandji, are on the move. Scientists are warning that their populations are exploding and will pose a monumental problem unless they are stopped. First aid
The Papalagi. "Then many of these thought-mats are tied into bunches and pressed together ('books' the Papalagi calls them) and sent to every part of that great country. Very soon, everyone who takes these thoughts into themselves is infected. They devour these thought-mats as if they were sweet bananas ... [Y]oung and old gnaw at them like rats gnawing at sugar cane. That is the reason why so few of them are still able to think reasonable, natural thoughts, like those that every honest Samoan has.'
"Someone in a Tree" -- an incedibly rare video from the original, 1976 production of "Pacific Overtures."
I grew up listening to an L.P. of these same people perform this same song, but I've never before seen them perform it. I grew up in Southern Indiana, so actually seeing a Broadway show was out of the question. But I loved this song, and -- years later -- I read that it was Stephen Sondheim's favorite of all the songs he ever wrote. Today, I found this video on YouTube and it was like finally seeing someone after being blind for years. I still have chills running up and down my spine. Also: Sondheim forum
, online journal
, and various gems (and bombs) on youtube
-- including the man
himself teaching a master class and this
12-year-old's spirited performance!
The Peleliu Project.
The tiny Micronesian island of Peleliu
was the site of one of the bloodiest battles
of World War II. The U.S. invasion
of the Japanese occupied island began in September of 1944
, and was expected to last only a matter of days. Casualties
on this 5 square mile island
reached 20,000 by the end of the two-month struggle
. U.S. soldiers were forced to pour aviation fuel into caves and ignite them in order to end the standoff of those who refused to surrender
. One determined group of 34 Japanese soldiers remained in hiding until they were discovered in April of 1947.
Pharmacist Mate 3rd Class Russell Fee
returned from Peleliu with a fierce, uncompromising vision of America which would have a profound impact
on the life and work of his son. Fifty-three years later, armed with his father's snapshots and diary which he had just uncovered, James Fee
went to Peleliu to see with his own eyes the place where his father's vision had taken shape. The result
of his five year quest is The Peleliu Project
. more inside
"Now you fellows have lost all your ships. Now you really are orphans of the Pacific. How do you think you will ever get home?" Tokyo Rose
was the name given to any female propaganda broadcaster for the Japanese during WWII’s battle for the Pacific, but it has stuck most tightly to Iva Toguri D'Aquino
, an American who studied zoology at Berkeley and unwisely went to visit a relative in Japan in 1941 without a passport.
Her sultry voice was heard across the Pacific during her radio show “The Zero Hour,” which earned her about $7 per month. After the war, "Orphan Annie
" returned to the U.S., where she was tried for treason in the most expensive trial in history. Her story has been made into movies
, and as of 2003 she was running a store in Chicago. You can listen to her broadcasts
online and apparently even email her
A cyclone has essentially flattened
the tiny Pacific island nation of Niue. Although only one of the island's 1200 inhabitants has died, the infrastructure is so battered that the government may simply call it quits,
ceding control to New Zealand. Although suffering from sharp population declines over the years, Niue had been one of the most technologically advanced microstates, being the first country to install free Wi-Fi
accessible to all of its residents and visitors. And they control the top-level domain .nu
- or do they? The recent natural disaster may highlight the fact that the story of the .nu domain is one of economic and legal exploitation.
And if Niue folds, can you run a website from a domain attributed to a deleted country?
A fascinating sidebar to this fascinating story. (Via /.
The Kerguelen Islands
, you say? This guy
wanted to go there
. This guy
too. And this poor fellow
just wants to be a part of it all. What's the attraction? Though not much
may have happened there, there are some stunning views
. But I think it's the cabbage