Ignacio R. “Nash” Camacho, a Traditions About Seafaring Islands member, and codesigner of the Chamoru Sakman outrigger replica canoe “Tasi,” talks about his creation during a ceremony at the Guam Museum on June 29, 2017.
Fukushima continues to dominate the ocean news cycle, and while no one is denying that it is a real and ongoing tragedy, the woo is strong in the Fukushima fear-mongering community. Fortunately, the scientists are out in force, debunking the bunk and cutting through the crap to keep you informed. Here is a handy collection of detailed links, from trusted source, tackling some of the most egregious pseudoscience coming out of Fukushima.
If you know of any other good articles debunking Fukushima fear-mongering, please leave them in the comments below.
If you feel the need to accuse any of the authors above of being shills for Big Nuclear, The Government, any Secret Board of Shadowy Figures, Tepco, or any combination thereof, I have an experiment for you: This website is ad free and run entirely by volunteers. Head on over the our “Support Southern Fried Science Page” and make a donation help to keep us running. Maybe, if you donate enough, we’ll start shilling for you (disclaimer: we won’t, but we will continue to produce high quality marine science and conservation articles from a diversity of voices).
In The Mass Extinction of Scientists Who Study Species, Dr. Craig McClain argues that we are loosing a fundamental unit of biological science – the Taxonomist. He’s right, of course. Taxonomy is a shrinking field. Entire phyla sit, unstudied, as the expertise necessary to understand them retires and expires. With few to train the next generation of taxonomists, the field could slowly vanish. Molecular tools are supplanting traditional taxonomy (once described to me as “the ability to identify hundreds of species of centimeter-long worms by counting ass-hairs under a microscope”) as the de rigueur method for identifying organisms.
I do not disagree with Craig. Losing skilled taxonomists is tragic for the biological sciences. Unlike many leading the charge in support of taxonomy, I did not benefit from a rigorous taxonomic study in my early career. I fall into the same camp as Dr. Holly Bik, relying primarily on molecules, not morphology, to draw the distinctions between my samples. I never identified species by counting the ass-hairs on a worm, and my education is poorer for it.
Now that Ocean of Pseudoscience Week has come to a close, we thought it would be a good time to talk about our favorite real sea monsters – amazing marine creatures that capture the imagination. For mine, we naturally have to take a trip to the deep sea to find Bathynomous, the giant deep-sea isopod.
Giant isopods are the monster cousins of the terrestrial isopod commonly know as the rolly-polly or pill bug. First discovered in 1879, these deep-sea scavengers can reach over a foot in length, dwarfing the much more minuscule common isopods, found on beaches and docks around the world.
Dr. M from Deep Sea News has done quite a bit of research on why these isopods get so big. Isopocalypse 2010 is a good place to start. IN short, giganticism is not uncommon in the deep sea, and may be a response to a food-limited environment. But you’ll have to check out the Deep Sea News post for more details.