Plouf! was also a performance art piece by Julien Bismuth and Jean-Pascal Flavien on the Thames River in London for and in front of the Tate Modern on February 21, 2009. This video is part of the great Bloomberg TateShots short video podcasts series. From the website:
On a rare, almost miraculously sunny day in London, TateShots and a group of art lovers boarded a boat and sailed out onto the Thames. We were there to see a work by Jean-Pascal Flavien and Julien Bismuth, the splashily named Plouf!, which was first performed in the sea off Rio de Janeiro. The work consists of Flavien and Bismuth, who are on another, smaller boat, reading through a megaphone, signing semaphore and flashing morse code: a poetic tale of loneliness and loss at sea.
Okay, why exactly do we need $30,000 robotic fish? Fast Company tells us:
It’s a classic example of biomimicry. Fish, and dolphins and sharks, have evolved to the point where their swimming efficiency is extraordinarily high. It’s a vital technique to conserve precious energy reserves in a harsh eco-system, of course, and it puts most human-designed underwater propulsion systems to shame. Hence the interest in developing robot fish, hat can have a higher battery lifespan as a result.
The five-foot long fish in the SHOAL scheme will operate autonomously, swimming at will around selected areas of the ocean, only returning to their base stations every eight hours when they need a charge. They’re going to be equipped with a sophisticated sensor suite that will monitor for ship-and-shore-based chemical spills and oil contamination of the surface and deeper waters off the town of Gijón in Asturias. Their data logs are downloaded wirelessly as they charge, and collated to form a picture of when and where pollution was sourced.
Okay, but I prefer their cool cousins in this video made by Tobias Stretch for the the Aniboom Animation Contest For Radiohead’s In Rainbows.
Marine energy has taken a back seat to its more well-developed and well-funded rival, wind. That’s about to change. Water has several advantages over wind power: marine current turbines (essentially underwater windmills) tend to be smaller and less costly to produce than their terra firma brethren, and wave energy and tidal flows can be predicted with much greater accuracy than wind speeds. The power contained in accessible coastal currents is estimated at about 4,000 TW, or about a quarter of the electricity demand of the entire world. Some recent developments have been especially encouraging. The first 5 projects here have been shortlisted as candidates for the Severn River between England and Wales.
On Tuesday we posted about this historic USCG Boat House being temporarily relocated. (Historic Coast Guard Boat House Gets A Lift) Christiaan saw the post via Twitter and snapped this pic from his room at Mass Maritime at the tug and barge and boat house enter the Cape Cod Canal. Nothing like learning from experience!
This week I interview Nick Jaffe (Twitter @bigoceans) about his solo sailing adventures and sponsorship challenge from the social media / online crusing guide BlueMapia. Please register (for free) for BlueMapia and plot a few points of interest on their online cruising guide to help raise some sponsorship for the remainder of Nick’s adventure
A boathouse, decommissioned by the Coast Guard in the 1980s and the former home of the rescue boat CG36500, which braved terrible conditions in the 1952 sea rescue of 32 men from the SS Pendleton, was placed on a barge last weekend for transit and storage in Quincy, MA. The building had been slated to be demolished before a group of preservationists stepped in. Jay Cashman, Inc. donated the equipment and staff to ship the building, estimating the move cost between $75,000 to $100,000.