Negotiating the future of the deep sea, a new National Marine Sanctuary in the heart of the Potomac, nom-nomming crabs, running subs, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: July 15, 2019.

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Once again, delegates from around the world will gather in Kingston, Jamaica to negotiate the future of the deep sea. It’s Part II of the 25th Session of the International Seabed Authority. Watch, Live!

Need to catch upon the last 25 years of deep-sea mining, exploration, and policy? The Deep-sea Mining Observer has you covered! Read through archives and back-issues, here: Deep-sea Mining Observer.

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

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Alexa, open the pod bay doors; or how I learned to stop worrying and hack the wiretap in my home.

Confession: I have an Amazon Echo. I really like Amazon Echo. I use Amazon Echo almost every day.

Everything about the Amazon Echo is great, except for the primary feature of the Amazon Echo: it is always listening. When I received the Echo nearly five years ago, as a gift, Amazon was not quite the Surveillance Capitalism behemoth that it is now. They packaged their new smart speaker with lots of information about privacy and what Echo can and can’t and won’t do.

Of course, none of that turned out to be true. In just the last year, Echos have been turned into permanent recording devices, listened to a couple’s conversations and then inexplicably sent those conversations to the husband’s employer, and sent 1,700 voice recordings to a totally random stranger. Amazon hasn’t exactly done much to help the image of Echos as Bradburian household horrors, unveiling an Echo Dot for Kids, filling patents for true always-on recording, releasing recordings to outside contractors, and, perhaps most egregious of all, embedding Alexa into a Big Mouth Billy Bass.

It’s reached the point where no one should feel comfortable having an always-on speaker in their home, but damn if these little things aren’t just so convenient. On top of being useful for quick searches, playing Baby Shark on repeat 40 times, checking the weather, and dozens of other little things, the original Echo was a really good speaker. It seems a waste to throw the whole thing away just because one feature is unacceptable.

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Boaty McBoatface triumphs, Narluga ascends, Sharks decline, too many bro-authors, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: June 24, 2019

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

In every issue of the Monday Morning Salvage, we try to highlight 2 to 5 papers from the scientific literature. In doing so, we attempt to provide a broad and diverse cross-section of the diversity of people conducting scientific research. However, our priority is in highlighting papers of particular interest to ocean science, and occasionally that means that we end up recommending papers that are exclusively authored by men. A new paper by Salerno and friends highlights the extreme extent to which papers led by men excludes women co-authors.

To do our small part to push back against this phenomenon, we are adopting a new style guide for paper citations. Conventionally, at Southern Fried Science, we use the colloquial “and friends” instead of “et al.” to make paper citations more approachable and less jargon-y. Going forward, in cases where a paper contains only male co-authors, we will instead replace “et al.” with “and some other dudes“.

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Boaty McBoatface, fresh off of doing science. Photo: NOC
“Plasticrust” sticking to rocks on the shores of Madeira. Photo: Ignacio Gestoso
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After mining a seabed is forever changed, divers do good and bad, eating plastic, a Musk mystery sub, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: June 17, 2019

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Mr Harry Chan (in blue t-shirt) with divers who have joined his cause from Today Online.
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A song of mostly just fire, how to hide a nuclear submarine, toasty anemones, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: May 20, 2019.

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

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I spent 50 days working out in Virtual Reality and everything went better than expected.

For the last several years, I’ve been working off the weight gained and fitness lost from a decade of grad school, post-doctoral research, job hunting, and, ultimately, launching my own company. The gym, to put it mildly, had not been a priority. Running and weight training went a long way towards getting me back to where I wanted to be, but I had hit a plateau. Every spring and summer I’d make incremental improvements, every winter, I’d fall back into old habits. It was a sustainable situation, but not fantastic.

Last summer, I set a goal for myself. While the weather was just on the wrong side of that threshold that makes running something I’m willing to do first thing in the morning, I would instead swap out my sneakers for an Oculus Rift, and spend an hour, four or five days a week, playing fitness-oriented virtual reality games, for fifty sessions. That schedule would get me through the winter and hopefully keep me more active than I otherwise would.

To better illustrate this plan, I made a GIF, just for you:

Yes, it’s me. Yes, we put googly eyes on the Oculus.

Unsurprisingly, the science behind Virtual Reality and exercise is still in its infancy.

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Burning driftwood, new protections for Canada’s oceans, dolphin errant, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: May 13, 2019

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

  • Good news everybody! Canada bans deep-sea mining, oil and gas drilling in marine protected areas.
Nicolas Pilcher (left), from Malaysia’s Marine Research Foundation, shows a fisherman how to install a turtle excluder device (TED). Photo courtesy of Marine Research Foundation Asia
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The Quest for the best tough 3D Printer for under $200: Our final recommendations

You thought we were done, here. You were wrong. After extensively reviewing 5 3D printers for sale under $200 and picking the best from the reviews, we went back to our two favorites and put them through their paces, abusing both for an extra month to make sure that when I say this is the best printer for field work, I mean it.

These printers have been dragged around, beaten up, put in the hands of children and child-like adults, and run through the wringer to ensure that they stand up to the kind of abuse you might expect from the field. Now we’re really ready to make the call and tell you which are the best dirt-cheap, field-ready 3D printers.

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The Global Extinction Vortex, rising regulations for deep-sea mining, biodegradable bags that don’t, Scientology’s measles cruise, and more! The Monday Morning Salvage: May 6, 2019.

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Hope is the knowledge that we can prevent bad things—but also the realization that we might choose not to.

Thinking about Climate on a Dark, Dismal Morning
Three years after being in sea water, this bag could still hold some groceries.
Photo: Lloyd Russell (University of Plymouth)
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