A roundup of misleading, deceptive, and dangerous shows produced by Discovery Communications

BloggingAugust 12, 2014 • < 1 min read • 1

It’s no secret that we’ve produced quite a bit of critical commentary regarding Discovery Communications (whose properties include Shark Week, Animal Planet, TLC, and many others) over the years. This Shark Week, we’re seeing a massive spike in interest around their less-than-factual productions. Here, for your convenience, is a quick roundup of articles we’ve written about […]

About those lionfish

BloggingJuly 28, 2014 • < 1 min read • 3

We’ve been monitoring the situation surrounding a south Florida lionfish study that’s been blowing up the headlines thanks to a feel-good story about a young student’s science fair project and a subsequent controversy surrounding a former grad student who feels slighted for having his name left out of the research. We decided not to comment […]

Busting Ocean Myths: How many containers are really lost at sea?

Focus on NuanceJuly 27, 2014 • 2~3 min read • 0

The Claim: 10,000 containers are lost at sea every year. Who said it: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Slashdot, Yahoo News, NOAA, me, and many others. Status: False. 10,000 is one of those numbers that’s big enough to be surprising, but not so huge to inspire immediate incredulity. The worldwide shipping industry is enormous and […]

Beyond the Edge of the Plume: understanding environmental impacts of deep-sea mining

biology, Conservation, deep sea, Environmentalism, evolution, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceJuly 21, 2014 • 2~2 min read

The mining of deep-sea hydrothermal vents for gold, copper, and other precious metals, is imminent. Over the last seven years I’ve worked with industry, academia, and international regulatory agencies to help craft guidelines for conducting environmental impact studies and assess the connectivity and resilience of deep-sea ecosystems. Deep-sea mining, particularly at hydrothermal vents, is a […]

These things are related.

Blogging, ScienceJuly 16, 2014 • < 1 min read

Exhibit A. At Boing Boing, Maggie Koerth-Baker publishes an article talking about her disenchantment with Richard Feynman after learning that he was a gigantic womanizing creeper. Matthew Francis follows up with more information about Feyman’s inexcusable behavior. Armies of Feyman supporters rush to his defense, arguing that we should judge him as a product of […]

Charm City’s Water Wheel: The first truly feasible ocean cleaning array is already afloat

Conservation, EnvironmentalismJuly 14, 2014 • 2~4 min read

Ocean plastic is bad news. Last week we were learned that not only did every ocean have its own, personal garbage gyre, but that a huge amount of plastic is “missing” from the ocean–that is, it has been incorporated into the ecosystem in ways we don’t yet understand. While there is plenty of misinformation floating around out […]

10 ways drones can save the ocean

Conservation, ScienceJune 27, 2014 • 1~2 min read

Over the last few months, I’ve been digging into the confusing tangle of laws that protect marine mammals and regulate the use of drones–small, semi-autonomous vehicles used by both researchers and hobbyists to observe whales and other marine mammals. You can check out the outcome of my findings over at Motherboard, where I just published Drones […]

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