Awesome Slo-Mo Hi-Def Surfing Vid from the BBC

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BOhDaJH0m4]
YouTube – HD: Super Slo-mo Surfer! – South Pacific – BBC Two

Make sure you watch in HD and pop out this video. Man, YouTube has come a long way!

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And you thought global warming is a threat to the planet?

I predict that this “documentary” will rival Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth.

Forget about a bird strike, that nearly happened to me on an airplane once and it was scary.

Opening May 19, 2009.

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“The Big Bitch” and the Little Plane That Couldn’t

Photo by Stephen Mallon via Wired.com

Matthew Schechmeister wrote an interesting story for Wired.com which documents the marine salvage operations undertaken by Weeks Marine after USAir flight 1549 landed in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009.  (The Unlikely Events of a Water Landing: New Photos From Flight 1549)

Accompanying the article are some great images taken by Stephen Mallon, a photographer who specializes in industrial subjects and who was the only photographer who had exclusive access to the marine salvage operations. Interestingly, there’s an editor’s note stating: “Some of these images have been altered by Stephen Mallon to remove the US Airways logo at the company’s request.” Come on USAir, NTSB and AIG, do you really think that we wouldn’t notice?

Photo by Stephen Mallon via Wired.com

Check out Wired.com for this interesting story and some great images and got to Stephen Mallon’s website for more of his work.

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Thar She Blows! Moby-Monday on the Horizon.

Logo illustration by Rockwell Kent copyright 2005 by the Plattsburgh State Art Museum.

You should have read Herman Melville’s classic American novel Moby-Dick in high school but chances are you didn’t. The dog might have eaten it or you might have left it behind on the school bus.  Heck, there’s lots of pages with lots of tricky nautical lingo and arcane whaling info. Who has time or interest for that in high school!

Well, now you’re a little older and a whole lot wiser and reading Moby-Dick, while still daunting, might be more interesting and manageable. But you are still going to encounter those tricky words and that’s where PowerMobyDick.com comes to the rescue.

PowerMobyDick is the work of Meg Guroff, a writer, who decided to tackle Melville’s classic. Meg, like the rest of us, was challenged by the language; however, unlike many of us me, she persevered and ultimately created one of the most impressive resources dedicated to a single work of fiction on the Internet. It’s an amazing project and here’s Meg telling the story in her own words.

Download MP3

I am so excited that Meg will be skippering a new Sea-Fever feature called Moby-Monday which you probably already guessed, is going to appear each Monday.  Meg is going to share some items of interest from the PowerMobyDick’s Cultural Fallout of the Week as well as anything else she chooses.

I’m excited to welcome Meg aboard and look forward to her first post next week. In the meantime, get yourself over to PowerMobyDick and start catching up on your high school homework!

FotoFriday (Part 2): Volvo Ocean Race, Welcome to Boston!

Navigator Jules Salters' (UK) son Fred is eager to tie daddy's boat to the dock as he arrives in Boston harbor. (© Oskar Kihlborg)

Today’s Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog has an amazing series of photos from the Volvo Ocean Race which recently made a port stop in Beantown. The above photo by Oskar Kihlborg show navigator Jules Salters’ (UK) son Fred ready to tie daddy’s boat to the dock as he arrives in Boston harbor. Check out all of the great photos. From  the Boston Globe:

The 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race has arrived in Boston Harbor. Boston is the 6th port city for the eight teams which will race around the globe for nine months over 37,000 nautical miles split into 10 legs. The ships they sail are Volvo Open 70 class racing yachts, 21.5 meters (70.5 feet) long, manned by a crew of 11. While the ships are in port, they hold in-port races as well as hosting events and entertainment for local residents. Tomorrow (Saturday, May 9th), the fleet will hold its in-port race in Boston Harbor, and later, on May 16th, they will depart for leg 7 of the race, to Galway, Ireland, concluding the race in St. Petersburg, Russia in late June. Oskar Kihlborg, team photographer for Ericsson Racing with nearly 15 years experience as a sailing photographer has been kind enough to share the following photos with us.

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Twitter, It’s All About The Whale

Twitter Fail Whale

If you’ve been part of Twitter for any period of time, you have to be familiar with the most famous white Cetacean since Moby-Dick, the Twitter Fail Whale. Even Captain Ahab would have cursed the sight of this dreaded monster of the world wide web.

For Internet eons we’ve believed that the name “Twitter” was derived from something to do with the noise small birds made or something. But leave it to the scholars at the New Bedford Whaling Museum who have the waterfront covered when it comes to whale research to dredge up the following reference on page 197 of the dusty “Report of the Commissioner for the year ending June 30, 1902 : Aquatic products in arts and industries : fish oils, fats, and waxes. Fertilizer from aquatic products” by Charles H. Stevenson.

“The term ‘twitter,’ which has been previously referred to as applied to the thread-like or membranous substance ranging through the contents of the case, is also applied to the lining of that reservior.  This is from 2 to 3 inches thick, glutinous, and extremely tough.  In decapitating the sperm whale, especially in severing near the bunch of the neck, a very sharp spade is required to cut through this tough and elastic formation.  Although it is very difficult to manipulate, an economical whaleman never throws this substance away.  Since it can not be boiled out with the case, for the reason above given, it is saved and run through the pots with the fat-lean after the case and junk have been cooked.” (New Bedford Whaling Museum post)

Eureka! The crack staff of New Bedford Whaling Museum has done it again in discovering another pearl in the world of whaling wisdom (www), and now Twitter. While it all makes much more sense and the Fail Whale has new meaning, it does beg the question of how did they get to page 197 and stay alert enough to notice the word “twitter.”

But all is not calm seas in the www (world of whaling wisdom). It seems that the American Museum of Natural History’s Blue Whale’s tale is a little bent out of shape over this breakthrough as can be seen from its bitter tweet yesterday.

@NatHistoryWhale on Twitter

Whaling has not occurred in this country for over 100 years, so I hope that @NatHistoryWhale can migrate to a happier place and learn to forgive and forget.

Now that you know that “twitter” is not named after bird sounds but rather a “thick, glutinous, and extremely tough thread-like or membranous and elastic formation from a decapitated sperm whale” I’m sure you’ll want to be part of it. If you join make sure you follow @NatHistoryWhale, @whalingmuseum and me.

In case you want some real Internet reporting on this topic, the great Read Write Web had a comprehensive post on The Story of the Fail Whale – How An Unknown Artist’s Work Became a Social Media Brand Thanks To the Power of Community and Caroline McCarthy covered this story yesterday on cnet’s The Social blog in a post titled Oh, the irony: ‘Twitter’ used to be whaling slang.

Finally, if you’re into whale stuff, and you should be if you read this blog, the New Bedford Whaling Museum launched a blog a few months ago which is pretty awesomely educational. Check out this video which they brought to my attention on the important debate underway about whale education.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POi4rvN_Yts]
YouTube – The Onion: Are Our Children Learning Enough About Whales?

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FotoFriday with Bonus Poll: Does Sir Richard Branson have too much fun?

Hitching a ride: Model Denni Parkinson clings to Sir Richard Branson off the coast of his private Caribbean island, Necker

Here’s a recent photo of Sir Richard Branson kiteboarding at his private Nekker Island which begs the question, is Sir Richard having too much fun? Please answer the poll and leave a comment below. (more photos and story)

Vote as often as you like because it ain’t gonna happen!

Please make sure you read my favorite post from 2008 – Richard Branson Answers My Questions About Adventure Sailing and Business

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Silly Pirates!

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji3RiuFRZEA]
YouTube – Somali Pirates Attack French Warship By Mistake

Well, there’s really not much silly or fun about Somali pirates these days. This video does beg one to ask how they get themselves 1,100 km offshore in these lightly provisioned small boats. 1,100 kms = 593 nautical miles which is approximately the distance to Bermuda from the US mainland. Imagine making that trip in a skiff with an outboard and no head! Obviously they are supported by feeder ships which begs the next question of why the multilateral naval forces can’t easily find and capture or destroy these larger vessels.

What an absurd situation professional mariners find themselves in in that part of the world! More 18th century than 21st!

Thanks to AMVER via Twitter

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