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Documentaries and talks from the USC US-China Center

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]
posted by jiawen on Feb 22, 2014 - 2 comments

My Mother's Lover

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]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 10, 2014 - 18 comments

To Save or Serve the GPO

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]
posted by zarq on Oct 17, 2013 - 51 comments

Stephen Fry in America

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, Mississippi [US Edit], Mountains and Plains, True West, and Pacific. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 2, 2012 - 95 comments

Soothing, captivating, fascinating. Underwater live cams.

Fishbowl, live cam at the Blue Cavern, Aquarium of the Pacific. Live cams at explore.org: Moon jellyfish | tropical reef live cam. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Apr 14, 2012 - 8 comments

Megaquake hits the Pacific NorthWest

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.
posted by jontyjago on Aug 26, 2011 - 152 comments

If you see a hundred jellies, keep going. If you see a thousand jellies, keep going. If you see a million jellies, stop - you're there.

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]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 4, 2011 - 20 comments

Large earthquake off coast of Japan

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.
posted by Celsius1414 on Mar 10, 2011 - 3282 comments

Tudei will make you sleep for two days

Kava: "a slightly bitter, slightly frothy, aromatic, resinous brew capable of inducing tranquility and an ultimate sense of wellbeing" [more inside]
posted by Paragon on Jan 4, 2011 - 45 comments

The legacy of Japanese spy Takeo Yoshikawa

This is the Japanese spy who was stationed in Hawaii early in 1941. Here's how scouted the islands in preparation for the attack. These are his memories (Flash interface).
posted by nomadicink on Dec 7, 2010 - 23 comments

Studying the plastic soup

Discovered in 1997 by oceanographer Charles Moore, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is 3.5 million tons of trash, 80% of which is plastic. Moore is the founder of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, which is conducting ongoing research into the patch. Blog from their current expedition on the research vessel Alguita. The Scripp's Institution of Oceanography is also studying the patch. Blog from their SEAPLEX expedition. greatgarbagepatch.org tracks community efforts to stop trashing the ocean. Previously: [1, 2].
posted by kanuck on Aug 4, 2009 - 17 comments

World War II History Reference

"With Germany 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 connects people, events, photographs, and other elements of history in relational db form to tell the story of the 20th century's 2nd great war.
posted by netbros on Mar 13, 2009 - 13 comments

Personal photos from the Pacific (WWII)

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.
posted by zzazazz on Jul 5, 2008 - 10 comments

Clipperton or bust

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 of 1856. 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]
posted by mdonley on Jun 23, 2008 - 11 comments

Typhoon Cobra

WWII. The Pacific. Three destroyers sunk, five carriers and three more destroyers heavily damaged [more inside]
posted by Rafaelloello on Apr 22, 2008 - 8 comments

Avoiding death by plastic

Talk about plastic accumulating in the North Pacific gyre has popped up on and off 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]
posted by TheyCallItPeace on Apr 22, 2008 - 36 comments

Don't shoot him - you'll only make him mad

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 for stings.
posted by Kirth Gerson on Feb 10, 2008 - 75 comments

Whirling Vortex of Stupidity

The North Pacific Trash Vortex - Researchers have discovered a Texas-sized area of (mostly plastic) rubbish floating in the Pacific Ocean. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Sep 24, 2007 - 67 comments

Der Papalagi wohnt wie die Seemuscheln in einem festen Gehäuse

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.'
posted by No-sword on Aug 24, 2007 - 14 comments

"Someone in a Tree" from 1976 Broadway Show, "Pacific Overtures"

"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!
posted by grumblebee on Apr 28, 2007 - 14 comments

James Fee's Peleliu Project

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
posted by matteo on Aug 21, 2005 - 13 comments

Tokyo Rose

"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 documentaries, and as of 2003 she was running a store in Chicago. You can listen to her broadcasts online and apparently even email her.
posted by gottabefunky on Jul 12, 2005 - 10 comments

Tsunami in Pacific

Tsunami warning - 7.4 earthquake in the pacific
posted by gunthersghost on Jun 14, 2005 - 52 comments

Cyclone devastates Niue

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 /.)
posted by PrinceValium on Jan 12, 2004 - 6 comments

Kerguelen: Come for the Cabbage. Stay for the... Urm.

The Kerguelen Islands, you say? This guy wanted to go there. This guy went. Him 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.
posted by ursus_comiter on Jan 28, 2003 - 10 comments

If you are concerned about global warming, you must watch this film

If you are concerned about global warming, you must watch this film
Some Mefi context
posted by rschram on May 3, 2001 - 6 comments

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