Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Grey whale visit while diving

No, it wasn't me, but I wish it was. Watch this short video from RIPproductions9 and imagine it was you!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Swim (and fly) like a dolphin

Oh my, I want one of these really much!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Dam removal becoming a new possibility

Personal reflection on freeing the White Salmon River in Washington:

"I can't believe I am living long enough to see it actually happen," said Phyllis Clausen, 87, of Vancouver, Wash., who with other citizen activists has fought for restoration of the White Salmon as a free flowing river since joining the "Friends of the White Salmon":http://friendsofthewhitesalmon.org/, a non-profit citizens' conservation group, in 1976. "We kept working on things for the river, and it just became our obsession," she said.

What she centers on as she talks about the long campaign that will be rewarded with a boom on Oct. 26, when the dam is breached, was the power of persistence. It wasn't any one letter or hearing or action that got the job done, she said, but just staying with it, even when it seemed hopeless.


Phyllis Clausen and Friends of the White Salmon fought for restoration and dam removal on the White Salmon for decades, even when it seemed hopeless. Photo courtesy, Phyllis Clausen

"Situations change over many years, and what seemed impossible at early times might become possible, just because situations surrounding the issue change. That occurs slowly, but if you are tuned in to take advantage of those moments, like the moment when the dam came up for re-licensing, then you may be able to accomplish something," Clausen said.

"It took a number of people, and it certainly wasn't just me. I felt, it was that this river was so important to so many people, I think it for a lot of us, it's a home, really, and it has the same beauty to us. I could go down and sit there on a cliff side with my feet dangling and eat a picnic lunch and watch dippers down in the water and birds flying all around there, and I would remember that, long after I left."

Monday, December 05, 2011

Floating cities

People often dream of the perfect tomorrow, and some find satisfaction in floating cities, far from the crowds and free to drift with the wind of the open sea. Sounds nice, getting away from welfare, minimum wage, and stifling laws restricting private weapons.

Wait a minute, whose dream is this?

The latest version comes from the billionaire founder of PayPal, who apparently sees himself as a real-world Atlas, as in Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's ponderous novel of heroic capitalism. I didn't like the book, and this version seems even less appealing.

This week, the Economist considers the realities of governance, engineering, and other mundane difficulties. The dream may still have to wait a while.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Airwatch and the right to breathe

Here's a nice story about a guy in California who started taking pictures of problems that he had noticed, and now he's making a difference in helping clean up California's dirty air.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Fish and the people who look like them

It might be a bit scary for some people to be a subject of New York based photographer Ted Sabarese. Here's an example of his fish-people lookalike series.

To see a series of his fish-people images, visit the Symbiartic blog at Scientific American.

I wonder what he'd do with me?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The least sustainable food on earth

What do you think is the least sustainable food on earth? Panda steaks? Spicy Condor wings?

No, food that doesn't get eaten is the worst. Even if lovingly prepared by happy workers using zero-impact methods, if food ends up in the trash then it ain't sustainable.

Where is the worst place for food waste? Restaurants, and diners are beginning to wonder about the problem. What a shame to buy and cook carefully at home, only to see pounds of food thrown away when you splurge on a dinner out.

How bad is the problem? According to a recent study it's bad and getting worse.
US per capita food waste has progressively increased by ~50% since 1974 reaching more than 1400 kcal per person per day
1400 calories per day, that's just a bit less than I eat in one day.

Food waste, the next frontier in food sustainability?