Today marks the last day of Craig McClain week for our friends over at Deep Sea News. We’ve celebrated his science, his outreach, and his tremendous spirit. Over the last decade, I’ve been lucky enough to co-author two papers with Craig: Digital environmentalism: tools and strategies for the evolving online ecosystem and Sizing ocean giants: patterns of intraspecific size variation in marine megafauna, both of which have quickly become seminal in their related fields. Craig is a titan, and my one regret is that I didn’t try hard enough to convince him to determine the author order for Sizing Ocean Giants by our respective sizes.
One time, in New Zealand, he tried to impersonate a Sasquatch. Read More
There’s been some amazing things happening around the oceanosphere, none of which are particularly related. All of which are pretty awesome (or super bogus). Here we go!
1. Robots to save the ocean. Last weekend I was in Miami at We Robot 2016, a meeting about the future of robotics and the law, repping for OpenROV and talking about the wide, wild world of underwater robotics. Joining me was Polk State College’s Joey Maier, presenting his awesome and innovative STEAM outreach program with OpenROV. You can watch the whole talk here (talk begins at about 10:25):
2. Celebrating Craig McClain. Dr. M has been overlord of the venerable Deep Sea News for over a decade. His loyal school of cuttlefish have secretly declared this to be Dr. Craig McClain Week, a tribute to the man and the living legend. Craig spawned Kevin Zelnio, who ultimately inspired the creation of Southern Fried Science, which makes Craig McClain the Grand Nagus of the ocean blogosphere.
3. Triton gills, definitely a scam. The sketchy Triton gills project refunded all of its donor last week, then promptly relaunched with a new, equally tenuous bit of psuedo-technology. At this point, the internet is lousy with due diligence, so really, it’s on you whether or not to back this obviously non-functional product.
4. The worst/best Tinder date in the history of What the Farm?! My *other* project, a podcast about farming just published its 14th episode. The entire last 7 months have been leading up to this incredible, ridiculous, episode, in which my co-host goes on a tinder date and ends up processing his surprise rooster. It’s the best/worst Tinder date ever!
5. Revisiting seaQuest DSV. Remember seaQuest? That amazing, Star Trekkie ocean show from the 90’s? I do. I’m over on the Mary Sue rewatching old episodes of seaQuest DSV and analyzing their science. Enjoy!
Progress to date.
Location: West of Lexington, KY
Distance traveled: 645 miles
Distance remaining: 2355 miles
Last night we checked in to the delightful Sunday Stables, where Luna and Hermione shared a barn (but not a stall) with horses, cats, chickens, and a llama. Susan Sunday was a fabulous host and the goats were glad of solid ground and some room to roam.
We crossed the border into Kentucky earlier this morning, and we greeted with the sight of massive oil refineries as well as an Amazon.com warehouse, very different from the mountains and coal plants of West Virginia.
Following Southern Fried Scientist’s sustainable pets movement, two Nigerian Dwarf goats have recently joined my life. While they have garnered traffic-stopping attention in town upon their arrival, goats are not such a foreign idea to the old-timers in the neighborhood. Goats used to be fairly common in the urban homestead back when the line between city and rural was a little less clear.
Happy New Year to all our readers! 2010 was a big year for Southern Fried Science. We added a new blogger, moved to our own server, and launched The Gam. Along the way we’ve won a few awards, hosted the first Ocean of Pseudoscience week, cooked a whole pig, exposed some blatant greenwashing, challenged conventional wisdom, laid out the shark ultimatum, crunched the numbers on mercury (twice!), and had some fun along the way. After 365 days, Charlie completed his epic adventure, which spanned three continents and an ocean. I’d like to thank all our readers and commenters for participating last year, and I look forward to hearing from you in 2011.
In the spirit of the pseudoscience of astrology here are our top ten predictions for 2011, based partially on informed guesswork and mostly on Yuengling.
- Largely ignored by the mainstream media, the impact of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill will continue to be felt across the Gulf Coast. BP and NOAA will continue to make it difficult for scientists to get access to sediment cores. The first developmental effects of oil and dispersant exposure to fetuses and young children will be reported.
- Science will be more frequently put on trial, as politicians attempt to supplant peer-review by suing climate scientists and challenging NSF and NIH grants. This approach will backfire as more Americans come to accept global climate change and a new generation of Monkey Trials makes a mockery of anti-science politicians. Both sides will frequently pat themselves on the back and declare victory.
- The Southern Fried Scientist will start raising chickens, Bluegrass Blue Crab will start raising goats, WhySharksMatter will raise some sort of ruckus.
- The economy will improve, just in time for everyone to start campaigning for the 2012 election. All sides will claim responsibility for the recovery and all side will blame the opposition for the collapse. Despite almost every politician claiming responsibility for a now successful economy, most Americans won’t notice any change.
- Sea Shepherd will claim their best year ever in the Southern Ocean whale campaign, despite there being no significant difference in the average number of whales killed since 2005 – 450 (+ or – 50). Theatrics will ensue.
- Several large mammal species will make a comeback, as populations begin to rebound after years of conservation initiatives.
- As the world population continues to grow, people will slowly begin to realize that Malthus was wrong, and that in cases such as India, demographic momentum will have massive positive benefits for quality of life, food availability, and environmental consciousness.
- Every piece of plastic you used last year will still exist this year.
- Sales of hybrid and electric cars will reach an all time high. I will continue to drive the same truck I’ve driven for 10 years until it won’t run, then replace it with something used.
- WhySharksMatter will finish his book – Why Sharks Matter: Using New Environmentalism to Show The Economic And Ecological Importance of Sharks, The Threats They Face, and How You Can Help. He will decide to use a shorter title.
What are your predictions for 2011?
~Southern Fried Scientist