The second week of June I had to go to a PFMC meeting in Spokane, WA. If you're wondering why a body having to do with mostly ocean-going fishing meets occasionally on the eastern side of Washington (and sometimes in Idaho), the answer is "salmon." Which I have nothing to do with, but salmon drags everything after it. My flight had a transfer in Seattle and I had a 2½ hour layover between planes. tikistitch was kind enough to come down and meet me at the airport and chat between planes; we got some dinner and I hope I didn't babble at her too much - I really didn't expect that glass of wine to be so big, especially at an airport, and it turns out I'm really a lightweight lately. I brought her a little Stitch something from Downtown Disney she'd mentioned she couldn't find, just in gratitude for all the fun I've had reading her Mythklok stories. Really great to meet you, Pam, and thanks for putting up with me!
( Boring fisheries shtufs... )
( Geocaching, whee... )
( At the Bowl... )
Avalon found this the other day. Has bad language but this is hysterical. I needed the laugh at the time, so I'm not gonna get after her for it. Besides, her dad is worse.
Plus, Sylvester is mean to the dog...
Between this and The Engineer's Guide to Cats...I think I have to send these to all the people who like to send me cute animal pictures. ;p
Gareth, Angus and I did this today. Twas fun!
Block Walk Flash Freeze!
The Block, Orange, CA
Canon EOS 1000D
27 June 2009
The guy above is arriving before it started and brought some props to use during the freeze (since it took place in an outdoor mall). I don't have any pics of during as I was one of the ones who froze, but a few people who didn't freeze posted some in the gallery on the page linked to above (unfortunately, since the event is over, it was archived and you have to be a logged in Geocaching member (free)to see it. However, most of the photos were used in the little video below.
Avalon and runsamuck were also going to participate but he had to go over to his dad's to do some work at the last minute, and she was invited to go the beach with her friend two doors down as we were walking out the door to head over there.
It was based on this, although not nearly as many geocachers showed:
The Organizers finally edited together a video (the audio is the mp3 we listened to while doing it):
(Gareth is the little boy tying his shoelace; Angus and I aren't really in it much, but I was drinking coffee and checking my phone, while Angus sat down and drew a comic).
I wasn't near enough to hear any comments, but there were a few people freaking out from what I understand.
Pencil urchin, two sponges, and "sexy shrimp"- so named for the way they sway their abdomens back & forth when walking. First time I'd seen these, although they are apparently fairly common home aquarium animals.
Aquarium of the Pacific
Long Beach CA
Casio Exilim EX-Z80A
15 February 2009
( Burdz!...and this camera shoots VIDEO...squee! )
Of course, most scientists are in term of their projects, which take on life as their children.
But some biologists especially, share a commonality with parents of very young children. Pre-potty-training children. In that you develop a fascination with poop. My boss forwarded me and my coworkers the following article:
Whale Shark Poops on Camera - Scientists Rejoice!!!!
If you're not anywhere near mealtime, my coworker found the actual video:
Shark-cam captures ocean motion
I suppose if McCain/Palin had found any similar experiments funded with government money, you can imagine the brouhaha they would have raised. However, studies like this are quite legitimate in terms of fisheries management and looking at the health of entire ecosystems. As the scientist in the second articles says, "One way to work out what is going in one end is to look at what is coming out of the other."
I work on a project that studies what are called Coastal Pelagic Species, that is, species of small fish that form large schools near the coast and are thus a target of fairly large fisheries by humans. The major species in my area are Pacific mackerel, Pacific sardine, northern anchovy, and market squid. Another term for the these species is "Forage Fish," meaning that numerous other animals - larger fish, birds, and mammals - use them for food as well. My agency once did a study of sea lion poo, maybe not as extensive as the articles linked to, but looking through for the undigestible hard parts - squid beaks, otoliths (fish ear bones), scales - that could then be identified to species and the proportion of that species in their diet. This became one variable in a large mathematical model called a biomass assessment, that predicts how much of a particular species is out there swimming around this year, and how it should be divided up to a) keep enough adults out there to spawn for next year, 2) allow enough fish to be eaten by all the other animals that prey on them, 3) provide a percentage of the total to allocate to the people who fish for them for a living. Throw climate change into the mix - the reproduction of many of these species is heavily tied to water temperatures - and it begins to make things pretty complicated.
Something to think about the next time you enjoy a tin of sardines. Or not...* ;)
*Enjoying the sardines that is...it definitely should be thought about...
Here's little portrait I took of one at the Cabrillo Aquarium in San Pedro. He wasn't being particularly cantankerous, and behaved for having his picture taken. By the way, the orange thing in the background is a warty sea cucumber.
Worth redirecting your attention to is what they do with those enormous jaws (click to view video clips).
The other fish was a northern spearnose poacher. Poachers are a family of small fish whose scales are fused together into bony plates. They live on the bottom, sometimes in very deep water, and feed on small crustaceans and worms, pulling themselves around with their pectoral fins. I think you can tell where the name "spearnose" comes from, although "spear" is a bit of an exaggeration.
(Video all the way down at the bottom, last on the list)
I feel a little sorry for this guy, who's having a hard time escaping the persistant diver-with-video-camera!
My boss sent this last week:
It's a bobtail squid, related to the stubby squid I posted about quite awhile ago... (and I can't believe I never put the tag "squid" on that post...)
Oh, and at minute 3:20? Someone actually walking normally, not that legs-only-move-to-the-vertical that irritates me so much... Yes, I'm nuts...
( Meet the Medicine Seller...[video] )
(last in the list of photos)
My boss sent this link to a video posted on Orange County diving listserv.
Wow. Fascinating video - I wasn't sure if they were changing colors that quickly or it was just the flicker of the lights, but I'm assured they really do flash that fast. Unfortunately, one squid seems to be caught on a lure. I'm not sure I'd actually want to be diving with them without a little more protection, and these are only little guys, about two feet long (they get up to two meters, I think). Those suckers have teeth on them.
(The rest of his site has some other pretty neat underwater video as well - http://diver.net/waltermarti
( I lactate geometry... )
edit: I'm still confused though; does Bumblebee=Hotshot or not? And, as a friend of mine said at lunch today, how much did Chevy have to pay to get them to use American cars, considering this was a Japanese show in the first place?
Hmm. Ebert liked it. Sort of.
Brings back memories of my first roommates Beth and Logan; when Logan would get home from work and stand in the front doorway with a wadded up piece of paper in his hand. He'd aim it a the wastebasket across the living room and holler "Ten bucks worth of video games if I miss!" And he usually did - on purpose, I suspect. Off we'd head to the arcade at the miniature golf course in Fountain Valley. This was when most all of them only cost a quarter, so that was plenty for all three of us for awhile.
From my boss:
This is from a news spot on a SD station. This is all occurring in the
La Jolla Reserve and there was an effort to make sure that was known.
Actually in the same location where the guy speared and killed one last
year and was prosecuted for it.
Under the Sci-Tech section, click on "Giants of the Sea"
Or go directly to it, here (in case it falls off the video page).
Shot right across the cove from his office, actually...if the bluffs shown behind the diver speaking were shifted a little to the north, you'd see the building over his shoulder.
I took my mom snorkeling for the first time in the same spot. I'll never forget the "Ooooh!" coming out of her snorkel the first time she saw a garibaldi. ^__^
This video really makes me want to go diving again, although I'd have to get completely recertified now. But that one big fish sure has a lot of parasitic copepods growing out of its face. Ick. I mentioned to my boss how I wanted to scrub all of their faces - he observed how all of the parasites were spaced exactly the same distance apart, and only on their faces. Hmm, sounds like somebody's master's thesis, if it hasn't been done already...