Sea-Fever blog


The making of the "Deadliest Catch" – Avid Podcasts by Peter A. Mello
April 12, 2007, 12:33 pm
Filed under: Experience, maritime heritage, reality tv, storytelling, work

Check out this interesting interview with one of the executive producers of the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch”  (click here for audio file download or webpage.)

From the Avid website:

Jeff Conroy takes us behind the scenes of the Discovery Channel’s reality show “the Deadliest Catch”.  Jeff shares the trials and tribulations of capturing the worlds most dangerous job, catching Alaskan King Crab in the Bering Sea, on tape and delivering one of the most engaging reality shows on television.

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At Sea Reality TV – “Deadliest Catch” by Peter A. Mello
April 5, 2007, 1:31 pm
Filed under: Experience, life, maritime heritage, reality tv, storytelling, work

Anyone interested in modern maritime culture should check out Discovery Channel’s reality TV show “Deadliest Catch.” The 3rd season started this week. It has a loyal viewership and has developed into a cult hit. Tuesdays at 9 PM EDT and PDT (8 PM CDT). Like most cable channel shows, it repeats often over the weeks following each new episode.

To get flavor of what its about, check out the show’s website where you can watch select “webisodes” and read crew bios and the show’s production diary blog. There is a weekly poll where you can vote for your favorite boat and crew and a game (reported to be coming soon) where you will be able to see if you “have what it takes to skipper a crab boat on the Bering Sea.”

The show’s website also has very active and interesting message board where viewers discuss everything from professionalism and decision-making to who’s the hottest captain. It makes very interesting reading. Here’s a sample of a message that has 77 replies:

“I am slightly disappointed in the Discovery Channel for glorifying some of these “Captains” who by all professional standards are not setting a good example. The Discovery channel would do well to ask other professionals there opinion of some of the things that they are glorifying. Often, “joe blow boater” follows the example of professional Captains. I have seen a few series where my stomach cringed at the statements and decisions made by some of the “Captain’s”.

There are many things these Captains can do to make their occupation safer, there are many decisions these “Captains” can rethink to make sure their crew gets home safe.

Just an opinion from an old salt for what its worth. Many of us (licensed) Captain’s sit around and watch the series together and just shake our head. Not trying to be harsh or derogatory, Captains have a bad habit of just being truthful. We are just telling it like it is.

Capt. Phil – you are well liked and respected here even when your decisions are unpopular where you are.

Captain of the Rolo – all we can say is, well , you might want to go back to school. Not a good idea to go into it here, but hopefully you are aware of how bad you looked as a Captain.

This is all meant in the form of CONSTRUCTIVE critisism.”

On the lighter side, hyannisgirl wrote:

“I have to post this because I am addicted to this show and love to watch Captain Sig! I get all hot and bothered watching him…..Any other fans of Sig out there?”

While I enjoy watching the Amazing Race, The Apprentice and Survivor, these shows cast the characters and manufacture the “reality.” You might get Fired but you won’t die. On the other hand, Deadliest Catch is real Reality TV. The crew members (and production crew) put their lives at risk to make this show. These are real people doing real jobs with the added complication of having cameras recording their real life challenges.

It’s amazing television.  These guys risk their lives to feed (and entertain/educate) us. The least that we can do is watch!

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NY Times – Follow up on Global Warming and Battles over Water by Peter A. Mello
April 4, 2007, 12:46 pm
Filed under: Environment, Leadership

windowslivewriternytimesfoll0wuponglobalwarmingandq-b697j0430849.jpg In a follow up to his Sunday’s NY Times article, Andrew C. Revkin wrote another interesting article in Tuesday April 3rd’s NY Times entitled The Climate Divide – Reports from 4 Fronts In the War of Warming. It includes a great multimedia presentation narrated by the author and some interesting graphics.

On Wednesday the battle over water comes home with a front page article entitled No Longer Waiting for Rain, An Arid West Takes Action – Battles Renewed Over Pipelines and Treaties written by Randall C. Archibold and Kirk Johnson. (Slideshow)

The scramble for water is driven by the realities of population growth, political pressure and the hard truth that the Colorado River, a 1,400-mile-long silver thread of snowmelt and a lifeline for more than 20 million people in seven states, is providing much less water than it had.

Everywhere in the West, along the Colorado and other rivers, as officials search for water to fill current and future needs, tempers are flaring among competing water users, old rivalries are hardening and some states are waging legal fights.

 The impacts of climate change will be disproportionately felt by those who can least afford to do anything about it; however, the entire globe will be effected to one degree or another. Sounds like its time to for some transcendent leadership

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NY Times – Funding and Remedies for Global Warming Challenges Not for the Benefit of Those Most Effected by Peter A. Mello
April 2, 2007, 11:26 am
Filed under: Environment, Values

On the front page of yesterday’s Sunday NY Times there was a very interesting article by Andrew C. Revkin about the costs and exposures associated with climate change. Poor Nations to Bear Brunt as World Warms.

No matter what side of the fence you may sit on (man-made or natural phenomena), the fact of the matter is that global warming will have a disproportionate effect on people who can least afford it and “those in harm’s way are beginning to speak out.”

“We have a message here to tell these countries, that you are causing aggression to us by causing global warming,” President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda said at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in February. “Alaska will probably become good for agriculture, Siberia will probably become good for agriculture, but where does that leave Africa?”

It’s not difficult to see why many believe that the next major war in the world could be fought over water.  

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