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Winter on Georgian Bay

Winter on Georgian Bay : “Highlights of a four-month time-lapse taken from a cottage overlooking Lake Huron, during an absolutely epic winter.” [via mefi projects]
posted by scruss on May 18, 2014 - 26 comments

Plastic Beads of Fish Food

    "Tiny plastic beads used in hundreds of toiletries like facial scrubs and toothpastes are slipping through water treatment plants and turning up by the tens of millions in the Great Lakes. " (NYT)
This new environmental threat is particularly worrisome because the beads float and look like fish's normal food. The toxins in the beads tend to degrade slowly, so they bioaccumulate and are passed up the food chain. The majority of the beads appear to enter the lakes when storms cause wastewater treatment plants to overflow.
posted by DoubleLune on Dec 20, 2013 - 54 comments

White Hurricane

100 years ago a storm on the Great Lakes sank dozens of ships I found it a riveting story. "It reads like the tale of the Titanic times a factor of at least a dozen. Freighters thought invulnerable to the weather cracked in two. Hundreds of sailors drowned. Sad farewell messages tucked inside glass bottles washed up on Lake Superior beaches. The “White Hurricane,” a cataclysmic storm which pounded Michigan 100 years ago this week, was quite simply the biggest, deadliest natural disaster ever to hit the Great Lakes. It’s also one of Michigan’s most epic tales. "
posted by leslies on Nov 9, 2013 - 20 comments

Lake Erie is sick.

Spring Rain, Then Foul Algae in Ailing Lake Erie: [New York Times]
"A thick and growing coat of toxic algae appears each summer, so vast that in 2011 it covered a sixth of its waters, contributing to an expanding dead zone on its bottom, reducing fish populations, fouling beaches and crippling a tourism industry that generates more than $10 billion in revenue annually."

posted by Fizz on Mar 24, 2013 - 17 comments

The bosses with the antennas on tap.

The Northern Cities Vowel Shift is radically changing the sound of English: Despite fears that the growth of TV and radio would homogenize English dialects in the US, the Great Lakes region (from Syracuse to Milwaukee) has been in fact diverging with respect to how people there pronounce English words. Rob Mifsud writes: Consider the three-letter words that begin with b and end in t: bat, bet, bit, bot, and but. All five of those words contain short vowel sounds. Their long-vowel equivalents—bate, beet, bite, boat, boot, and bout—arrived at their modern pronunciations as a result of the Great Vowel Shift that began around 1400 and established the basic contours of today’s English. But those short vowels have remained pretty much constant since the eighth century—in other words, for more than a thousand years. Until now. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on Aug 24, 2012 - 123 comments

erratic weather damages crops

A catastrophic freeze has wiped out about 80 per cent of Ontario’s apple crop and has the province’s fruit industry looking at losses already estimated at more than $100 million. "Warm temperatures got fruit trees blooming early and when temperatures plummeted Sunday morning it damaged or wiped out much of the $60 million apple crop and 20 to 30 per cent of Ontario’s $48 million tender fruit crop which includes peaches, cherries, pears, plums and nectarines." Also see Michigan (tart & sweet cherries, apples, pears - "what sets this year apart is not just the severity of the damage but the variety of fruits affected") and western NY ("The erratic Rochester weather has taken its toll on local fruit crops... as much as 90 percent of apples, peaches, cherries, and raspberries in the area [are] destroyed").
posted by flex on May 5, 2012 - 78 comments

Still Great?

Waterlife — No matter where we live, the Great Lakes affect us all. And as species of fish disappear and rates of birth defects and cancer rise, it seems one thing is clear: the Great Lakes are changing and something's not quite right with the water. An interactive documentary film from the National Film Board of Canada. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Feb 26, 2011 - 20 comments

Stubby, and other queens of the lakes

One among many interesting pieces of Great Lakes freighter history: This ship is also this ship. The explanation - and everything else you ever wanted to know about the massive, but largely unknown freighters of the Great Lakes - is on Boatnerd. [more inside]
posted by bicyclefish on Feb 14, 2010 - 20 comments

... but then I was like, 'there's no sharks here'

When most people think of the Great Lakes, surfing is the last thing that comes to mind. Unsalted seeks to expose the unique world of Great Lake surfers. [more inside]
posted by The Power Nap on Sep 25, 2008 - 38 comments

30 Years Ago Today

When the Waves Turn the Minutes to Hours It's been 30 years since Lake Superior November gales claimed the Great Lakes ore freighter Edmund Fitzgerald. The sinking immortalized in song by Gordon Lightfoot is also documented at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum on a spit of land in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan a mere squinting distance on a clear day from where the Fitz actually went down. Here in Detroit, of course, the bells will ring at Mariner's Church -- where a lone priest reacted to the sinking by ringing the church's bells 29 times, once for each man lost. (previously discussed (kinda) here (among others)
posted by chandy72 on Nov 10, 2005 - 46 comments

It is the middle of November, better get your boat off the Great Lakes. Nautical fans might wish to purchase this excellent model of the Edmund Fitzgerald, sunk 25 years + 2 days ago today.
posted by thirteen on Nov 13, 2000 - 1 comment

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