Skate saunas, clone armies, deep news from deep-sea mining, an ocean of plastic, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: February 12, 2018.

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Ranja Andriantsoa/The Atlantic

ROV framegrab of Pacific white skate egg sacs near a black smoker in the Galapagos. Photo Courtesy Ocean Exploration Trust

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Science as graphic novel, baby eels, anglerfish emoji, drone ocean rescue, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: January 22, 2018.

Fog Horn (A Call to Action)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Nan Shepherd. (Wikimedia Commons)

Nan Shepherd. (Wikimedia Commons)

Managing marine socio-ecological systems: picturing the future

Managing marine socio-ecological systems: picturing the future.

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Bone-eating zombie worms, octopus overlords, old wooden ships and new woes for deep-sea mining. It’s the Monday Morning Salvage! January 1, 2018.

Fog Horn (A Call to Action)

  • Stop. Breathe. Take a step back. This can all be incredibly overwhelming. Pick the fight that matters most to you and take a few days deciding what success looks like, what strategies will work, and what tactics are available to you. And then hoist your flag and get to work.

  • And when you meet someone fighting a different fight, remember to support them. There are already enough fronts to advance without taking friendly fire from our flanks.

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

The frilled giant Pacific octopus. Photo Courtesy D. Scheel

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Climate change denial, open-science hardware, some missing pink dolphins, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: May 1, 2017

Fog Horn (A Call to Action)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)
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Sifting the fact from the false in an internet full of fake ‘news’

Southern Fried Science has at the forefront of trying to debunk fake news, such as faux documentaries about mermaids or giant sharks. In their article “Fish tales: combating fake science in the popular media” Andrew Thaler and David Shiffman asked that:

“scientists familiarize themselves with common sources of misinformation within their field, so that they can be better able to respond quickly when factually inaccurate content begins to spread”

morpheus

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Fish tales: Combating fake science in popular media

Yesterday, after months of waiting, David and my magnum opus on our efforts to stem the tide of fake documentaries was, at last, made available online: Fish tales: Combating fake science in popular media.

What role should scientist play in correcting bad science, fake science, and pseudoscience presented in popular media? Here, we present a case study based on fake documentaries and discuss effective social media strategies for scientists who want to engage with the public on issues of bad science, pseudoscience, and fake science. We identify two tracks that scientists can use to maximize the broad dissemination of corrective and educational content: that of an audience builder or an expert resource. Finally, we suggests that scientists familiarize themselves with common sources of misinformation within their field, so that they can be better able to respond quickly when factually inaccurate content begins to spread.

The entire paper is published open access and written for a non-specialist audience. Please read, share, and enjoy.

This, incidentally, is the first of two papers this year that were funded, in part, through contributions from my Patreon patrons. To those who have contributed, an extra special Thank You!

Breaching Blue Chapter 5: The Hunters

breakingblueAll week I’m posting the first five chapters from my absurd work-in-progress, Breaching Blue. Check out Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4. This concludes our week long mermaid adventure. Enjoy. And, if you don’t enjoy, blame Shiffman.


The reef made them strong. Janthina no longer hesitated to swim above the sunbreak, to explore the illuminated waters above. Each morning, as the sunlight penetrated the twilight waters of the reef, Janthina would rise into the realm of light. The animals that lived in the sun were new. They were active, vibrant, powerful. They moved as if the whole ocean was theirs to command.

Janthina spied Tornus below. The arch of her back was unmistakable. She had grown into a powerful, confident mermaid, broad across the shoulders and strong. Resting on the seafloor, she look like nothing so much as a massive boulder. Tornus sat in a circle with Simnia, Luidia, and several others, fashioning spearheads from a pile of discarded stingray carcasses, their meal from the previous day. The long, jagged barbs were perfect for hunting. They could puncture the toughest scales and would remain lodged until their prey went limp.

The barbs were cheap. The spears, though, required great effort to prepare. The instructions for their manufacture were scattered across the reef. It took nearly a full lunar cycle for Tornus and her compatriots to find enough driftwood, another cycle to grind them down into long, sturdy shafts.  They were solid and  stout. There were none to spare.

Janthina swam down to greet her sisters.

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Breaching Blue Chapter 4: Over the Edge

breakingblueAll week I’m posting the first five chapters from my absurd work-in-progress, Breaching Blue. Check out Chapters 1, 2, and 3. Enjoy. And, if you don’t enjoy, blame Shiffman.


Clymene swam just below the sunbreak, testing the limits of her own courage. The reef was behind her, its unexplored pinnacles rising into sunlit waters. She cut a lazy circle around the coralline towers as she drifted upwards with each circuit. Luidia watched from a distance.

Clymene cast an elegant profile as Luidia looked up from her sentry. Her tail was long and graceful, slimmer than Janthina’s, with a broader fluke. Her arms were long and limber; her fingers reached nearly to her peduncle, where there powerful muscles of her tail met the wide blades of her fluke. Luidia admired her sister. Her own stumpy hands barely reached past her waist, and hers was a bulkier build. Luidia had one advantage over her more streamlined sister. The massive pelvic fins that sprung from the base of her tail were fantastically versatile, she could to pivot and turn with exceptional precision. Where Clymene was constantly frustrated by the tight narrow corridors they continued to discover within the reef, Luidia could traverse them with ease.

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Breaching Blue Chapter 2: Sisters of the Reef

breakingblueSo, after thinking about it for the last 24 hours, I’ve decided to release the a chapter of Breaching Blue every day this week. Enjoy. And, if you don’t enjoy, blame Shiffman.


Tornus examined her new home. She had claimed the highest vantage, the last cavern below the sunbreak, so she could watch her sisters moving across the reef. The mountainous coral atoll continued, transecting the sunbreak and climbing into the illuminated ocean. She could see traces of even more caverns extending towards the surface, caverns that opened into the sunlit waters. She felt dizzy, staring up at the radiant corals above. Her eyes prefered the darkness. The reef offered protection, but only so much. The darkness, where she could sense danger as a wave through her body, where her massive eyes could see what others could not,  where she could darken the pigments of her skin until she vanished into the abyssal backdrop, those offered her the greater protection. The fiercest hunters–blackfish, pilot whales, and beast much larger–waited beyond the sunbreak.

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