Earlier this week, several New York state beaches were closed due to shark sightings. Fox News’ Rick Leventhal, speaking as part of Bill Hemmer’s “America’s Newsroom” show, reported on this story, claiming that “some onlookers ID’ed them as thresher sharks, they’re estimated to be about 18 feet long”. A half-eaten seal also washed up on shore nearby.
To his credit, Mr. Leventhal attempted to play down fears about these animals, saying that “Let’s not forget that sharks live in the ocean…as long as there’s food, they’re likely to keep hanging around”. However, I was immediately skeptical of the claim that a group of 18 foot long thresher sharks were swimming slowly just a few yards offshore. A cursory review of the known biology and ecology of thresher sharks will explain my skepticism.
Tomorrow is Earth Day, and unlike years past, we don’t have anything big planned (though something major in the Southern Fried Science World is happening tomorrow). In the mean time, please enjoy this playlist of ocean songs to inspire and remind:
Just a reminder that one year ago today, the Deep Water Horizon exploded and sunk into the Gulf of Mexico, taking 11 lives with it and starting a chain of event that resulted in the largest oil blowout in history.
Last month the Nicholas School of the Environment held its annual Green in 3 video competition. This year they asked participants to submit a 30 second clip that illuminates their personal sustainable practices. Six winner were selected. You may recognize some of you favorite Fry-entists (and their flock of now much larger chickens) among the winners. Enjoy.
Expedition Week 2011 starts tonight on the National Geographic Channel. This year, there are 13 premieres on seven straight nights, and they promise “extreme treks, new discoveries, and bold investigations” featuring topics as diverse as conservation, exotic human cultures, archaeology, geology, and maritime history. In other words, there’s plenty for science geeks like us to enjoy.
This 2011 Beneath the Waves Film Festival entry comes from students of Dr. Jeremy Long, the creator of “What Invert You Like“. If you have a question for the filmmakers, please leave it as a comment below and I’ll make sure they get it. This entry won “best student film”.
Earlier this month, a video of fishermen shooting a rifle at sharks appeared on YouTube and caused quite a stir. The video has since been removed, but not before shark conservation activists made copies (warning: the videos are extremely graphic and have inappropriate language). Apparently some computers can access the site with the videos and others can’t, if you can’t access the site and want a copy of the videos just let me know. All images in this post are screenshots from the video.
I’ve found that I enjoy certain types of music more when I don’t listen to the words too closely. However, a mild addiction to karaoke and a lifelong inability to “just let it go” has made it impossible for me to avoid knowing the lyrics.
We’ve been known to criticize how science is portrayed in movies and television shows here on Southern Fried Science. Pop music is far from innocent when it comes to scientific misunderstandings, and it seems only fair that I criticize that genre as well. Here are some recent examples that have been driving me crazy.