Google Catches Sea-Fever, Too

First it was Microsoft with the launch of it’s half billion $ new advertising campaign and now it appears that rival Google has also caught a case of Sea-Fever.

Ashlee Vance recently wrote in the NY Times Bits blog:

The search and advertising company has filed for a patent that describes a “water-based data center.” The idea is that Google would create mobile data center platforms out at sea by stacking containers filled with servers, storage systems and networking gear on barges or other platforms.

This would let Google push computing centers closer to people in some regions where it’s not feasible, cost-effective or as efficient to build a data center on land. In short, Google brings the data closer to you, and then the data arrives at a quicker clip.

Perhaps even more intriguing to some, Google has theorized about powering these ocean data centers with energy gained just from water splashing against the side of the barges.


The great BLDGBLOG had an excerpt from the patent application:

In general, computing centers are located on a ship or ships, which are then anchored in a water body from which energy from natural motion of the water may be captured, and turned into electricity and/or pumping power for cooling pumps to carry heat away from computers in the data center.

Pelamis Wave Power Ltd is an industry leader in wave energy and here’s how their generator/converter works:

YouTube – Wave power: how it works

In action:

YouTube – Pelamis Wave – Seatrials

Other articles

Google makes waves and may have solved the data center conundrum – ZD Net – September 8, 2008

Google files patent for wave-powered floating data center – CNET News – September 8, 2008

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Not too surprising – Wooden Submarines Never Really Caught On


Low-tech Magazine has a really interesting post about the Ictíneo, a series of two wooden submarines built by Narcís Monturiol i Estarrol in the second half of the nineteenth century. (A steam powered fish: the Ictíneo, August 24, 2008)

When I was in high school sailing aboard the SSV Tabor Boy, we once transported an American version of the Ictíneo. Affectionately known as the Turtle, it was built in Connecticut in 1775 by American Patriot David Bushnell with the goal of silently placing bombs/mines on the side of unsuspecting vessels. Wikipedia claims that it was the world’s first submarine used in battle but in fact it was a bit of a dud.

My shipmate and friend, Captain Bob Glover found some great pen drawings that were made during the delivery trip from Connecticut to Boston and posted them on The Tabor Boy Project. Below is a sample with the rest here.

In 2003, Handshouse Studio, “a not-for-profit innovative educational organization, initiates adventurous hands-on projects as a way to explore history, understand science, and perpetuate the arts” built a replica of the Turtle.



In more recent years replica Turtle submarines have made the news with a splash!


HT to Dark Roasted Blend.

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Sunday VOWs (Videos of the Week) – Oktapodi

Here’s an award winning short video that demonstrates the best of storytelling. Enjoy!


Oktapodi website. Make sure you watch “the making of“.

Via Neatorama.

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Foto Friday – Maritime Compass and Maritime Flickr

Thomas Smillie was the Smithsonian's first photographer and curator of photography. He and his studio staff re-shot many of the photographs collected by the institution's scientists, including documentation of Smithsonian-sponsored expeditions as well as images of scientific phenomena.

Heather at Maritime Compass put up a interesting post yesterday entitled Maritime Flickr where in addition to mentioning one of my favorite maritime photographers, OneEighteen, she gave us a run down of lots of historical photo resources on Flickr. Check out her post.

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Waypoints – 500 and 99 days at Sea, respectively

2s008_09-3-Day-500-053 Today marks the 1/2 waypoint for Reid Stowe on his 1000 Days at Sea – Mars Ocean Odyssey. I’ve previously written about this adventure here. Friends were invited to a party tonight at Pier 66 in Manhattan to celebrate this major milestone. I bet it was an interesting event. Hopefully somebody will report back to us via a comment. Thanks to Bonnie at frogma for bringing this to our attention.

waikiki_roz Roz Savage arrived in Hawaii completing her first leg in rowing across the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, September 1st. There were times when it seemed like she may never lose sight of the California coast but she is nothing if not determined. I’ve written about her adventures here.

And determination seems to be something that Stowe is not short of either!

It’s easy to sit back and think that both of these individuals, and others who undertake similar gargantuan challenges are bit crazy but the fact of the matter is that they are pushing human endurance to points that are incomprehensible to the average person. 500 days at sea, the majority alone; 99 days rowing alone across the Pacific. Eccentric and amazing accomplishments to both of these modern maritime adventurers.

Godspeed for the next 500+ days and 5,000+/- nautical miles!

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“The Hottest Dance Floor on the Baltic Sea”

Saturday night fever

Looking for a hot night out on the high seas?

Check out Dance Match on the MS Cinderella of the Viking Line.

It’s easy. Fill out a profile about your dancing abilities, upload a short video of your talents and then get matched up with one of the other video profiles.

So get high steppin’ on the high seas!


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