Monday Morning Salvage: February 6, 2017

UncategorizedFebruary 6, 20170

Bringing you the best of marine science and conservation from the last week.

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Jetsam (what we’re enjoying from around the web) (more…)

New achievement milestones for academic life

Academic lifeFebruary 5, 20170

Overall job satisfaction in academia has been steadily declining for many independent reasons I won’t get into here (see Nature 1 and 2). However, we do need to accept some ownership for this dissatisfaction. Our expectations and goal posts are understandable set very high.  Indeed for many of us, our impossible standards and stubborn determination are the only reasons we got this far, so it can be painful – nigh impossible – for those who are hardwired to overachieve to step back and be happy with the big picture. We need to, because the stakes are as high as health, sanity, and relationships.

This inspired me to develop a new set of milestones to measure our academic careers by. Not only for our sanity, but especially for those younger scientists and students still fighting their way up the ladder.

Here are 12 new milestones of achievement I recommend we measure our career success by:
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Thursday Afternoon Dredging: February 2nd, 2017

Thursday Afternoon DredgingFebruary 3, 20170

Cuttings (short and sweet):

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No, there isn’t a UFO sitting in Antarctica.

Popular CultureFebruary 2, 20170

One of my favorite things to do is browse through google maps looking for weird formations and places of historical curiosity. Apparently I’m not alone, as there are hordes of map hunters searching for the bizarre on this increasingly bizarre world. That’s right! It’s time for yet another installment of “this thing on Google maps is not a sea-monster/alien/UFO/ancient pyramid”.

The Object on Google Earth.

This newest discovery comes from Antarctica, where monster hunters have found what looks like a perfect disc sitting on the ice. Could it be a UFO? The image is surprisingly compelling.

It’s very round for one, and it looks like it’s sitting on top of a glacier, partially covered by rock. The 60-foot-wide object looks remarkably like a classic flying saucer.

SPOILERS: It’s not a UFO.

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Making global conservation conferences accessible in an world of increasingly restrictive travel.

ConservationJanuary 31, 20171

We have a problem in conservation biology (ok, to be fair, we have a lot of problems, but this is one of them). The biggest environmental challenges–climate change, ocean acidification, over-fishing, agricultural runoff, species invasion, and myriad other emergent issues–are global challenges. They respect no borders and require a cohesive, multinational response. Researchers, stakeholders, and conservation managers, on the other hand, are increasingly impeded in their work by more and more restrictive barriers to travel.

This isn’t new. The Global South has often been excluded from major international conferences hosted in European and American cities, which are expensive and hard to get to. Onerous visa restrictions from and to a multitude of countries have been in place for decades, but the events of this week have made it clear that scientific societies need to plan for and provide alternatives to a membership that may not be able to travel to a conference yet still need to participate.

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Monday Morning Salvage: January 30, 2017

Monday Morning SalvageJanuary 30, 20170

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Jetsam (what we’re enjoying from around the web) (more…)

Thursday Afternoon Dredging: January 26, 2017

Thursday Afternoon DredgingJanuary 26, 20170

Cuttings (short and sweet):

  • Watch this angel shark eat a horn shark!

A horn shark is consumed by an angel shark

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Monday Morning Salvage: January 23, 2017

Monday Morning SalvageJanuary 23, 2017

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

  • Come back to the Mariana Trench with me! I’ve taken the almost ten hours of assorted dive footage from our adventures in Saipan, Tinian, Rota, and Guam and edited it down to just the best four minutes. Share, subscribe, and enjoy!

Jetsam (what we’re enjoying from around the web) (more…)

Thursday Afternoon Dredging: January 19th, 2017

Thursday Afternoon DredgingJanuary 19, 2017

Cuttings (short and sweet):

  • Watch this basking shark breach!

Basking shark breaching in Cornwall, UK

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How I talk about science in fiction.

#SciCommJanuary 18, 2017

The science of Aquaman. How deep is Rapture? The ecology of Middle Earth. Here at Southern Fried Science, we love taking a hard-science detour into some of our favorite works of fiction. It’s good practice projecting known phenomena into hypothetical universes and figuring out how the mechanics of those worlds shape and are shaped by the principles of ours. And it’s darn fun, to boot.

But diving into “The Science of…” series comes with some pretty huge pitfalls. Not the least of which is the wet blanket nature of criticizing a work of fiction for scientific inaccuracy. Push too far in one direction and you’re left with a dry dissertation on why an obviously fictional world couldn’t work. It’s like being the kid in the room pointing out that professional wrestling isn’t real. No kidding?

There’s a craft to commenting on the science in fiction. After walking this line for a few years, here the simple set of guidelines I use when constructing a commentary.  (more…)

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