Finally, this guy is involved with an invention that doesn’t suck!

You are probably aware of James Dyson, the vacuum cleaner inventor/innovator. There’s even an award named after him and this year’s winner, Samuel Adeloju, is an industrial design student that submitted his LONGREACH Buoyancy Deployment System, “a man-portable system for rapid conveyance of temporary, water-activated buoyancy devices to a drowning victims location.”

Here’s what it might look like in action.

The third place vote getter was also a marine invention: SeaKettle: a life raft with an incorporated desalination process.

Moby-Monday: Herman Melville’s Pew

Herman Melville's Pew by kodachromeslides on Flickr

Ever go somewhere and “feel” that you are really experiencing history. Well, the historic Seamen’s Bethel in New Bedford, Massachusetts is one of those special places. If you haven’t been there, make a plan to and when you do make sure you sit in Herman Melville’s pew. Who knows. maybe some of his inspiration will rub off on you.

I’m a member of the board of managers of the New Bedford Port Society and we own and operate the Seamen’s Bethel and I recently wrote Please Help Me Help the Seamen’s Bethel.

If you live anywhere in the area, I invite you to join me for a very special fundraising evening with Dylan Bustin and the Rum-Soaked Crooks on Thursday, October 21st in the historic Seamen’s Bethel.  You can buy tickets at http://bit.ly/bethelconcerts and 100% of the proceeds go to Seamen’s Bethel Restoration Project Fund.

We are well underway with the work to make sure that future generations will be able to experience history at the Bethel and Mariner Home too. Hope you can join us and support the effort too!

Photo credit: Herman Melville’s Pew by Patrick Mont (kodachromeslides on Flickr.com)

Class, meet your new substitute teacher, Captain Sparrow

Substitute Teacher Captain Sparrow Just in time to stop a mutiny at the Meridian primary school in Greenwich, England, Captain Jack Sparrow responded to a plea for help from a 9th grade student. She wrote a letter and like every good mariner, he responded. Here’s the rest of the story from the London Evening Standard.

Anything is possible when you smell like a monster (Old Spice Parody)

Wow, who would have thought that you could parody an Old Spice commercial. Leave it to Grover!

In case you missed it, here’s a link to our post where Leo Laporte discussed the making of the original Old Spice commercial.

Flag dip to Open Culture on Twitter

TEDx Woods Hole: xPlorations (Oct. 16th)

I love TED Talks and we’ve featured a bunch of them here on the Sea-Fever blog. Next Saturday, October 16, 2010 is TEDx Woods Hole: xPlorations so Luke and I are planning to head over and check it out. Check out their website and Facebook page. It’s a free event open to the public so if you’re floating around Cape Cod, you might want to check it out. Here’s the awesome line up:

MBL Director and CEO Gary Borisy will host the afternoon event, which will feature the following speakers and performers:

    • Dan Ariely – New York Times bestselling author and professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University will speak on “Temptations and Self-Control.”
    • David Bolinsky – The founder of XVIVO Scientific Animation will show some of his cinematic-quality visualizations of topics on the edge of medical and scientific discovery.
    • Amy Bower –Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) senior scientist who, despite being legally blind, has traveled the world to study ocean currents and their interaction with climate, will discuss “Science Without Sight.”
    • Tamara Clark – Designer and illustrator who, with her collaborators, will present a visual and musical tour focusing on “Patterns in Nature.”
    • A.M. Dolan – Falmouth-based actor and playwright will perform selections from the writings of visionary designer, architect, poet, and inventor R. Buckminster Fuller, whose Woods Hole geodesic dome is one of the oldest remaining.
    • Glenway Fripp – Jazz virtuoso, composer, and accompanist on piano.
    • Roy Gould – Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics education researcher will explore “Other Worlds: Searching for Earthlike Planets from the Classroom.”
    • Adam Lazarus –Ant expert Lazarus will share some of his colorful adventures in species collection—and what he’s learned about people along the way.
    • Bill Mebane – The MBL’s superintendent of aquaculture engineering and director of the Sustainable Aquaculture Initiative in Haiti will discuss the challenging choreography of “A Dance of Two Cultures: Science in Rural Haiti.”
    • Beth Murphy – Documentary filmmaker will reflect on making her new film “The Promise of Freedom,” which focuses on Iraqis who risked everything to work for U.S. soldiers and diplomats as translators, drivers, civil engineers and cultural liaisons.
    • Christopher Neill – MBL senior scientist will introduce “Arctic Thrills”—a rare display of polar dancing.
    • Arthur Newhall – This WHOI ocean acoustics engineer (by day) and musician and composer (by night) will perform island-rhythm-inspired “Rhythms of the Ocean”.
    • Hanumant Singh – WHOI Deep Submergence Laboratory chief engineer will reveal “A Robot’s Vision of the Ocean Depths.”
    • Jonathan Todd –President of the pioneering John Todd Ecological Design company in Woods Hole will address sustainable design.

TEDx is a new program that enables local communities such as schools, businesses, libraries, neighborhoods or just groups of friends to organize, design and host their own independent, TED-like events.

Please Help Me Help the Seamen’s Bethel

New Bedford Port Society's Seamen's Bethel and Mariner Home

I’m on the board of managers of one of the most amazing maritime nonprofit organizations anywhere. It’s called the New Bedford Port Society and this paragraph from our website explains how we got started:

In the  late 1820′s, when New Bedford’s whaling industry was at its peak , several of the city’s leading citizens gave their deep consideration to the “character building” of nearly five thousand seamen employed out of this port.  On June 2, 1830 they organized under the title of the New Bedford Port Society, for the moral improvement of seamen and later became incorporated under the following act: An Act To Incorporate The New Bedford Port Society For The Moral Improvement Of Seamen.

One result of successfully discharging our mission for 130 years is that now we own two of the oldest and most important historic buildings in New Bedford, Massachusetts: the Seamen’s Bethel and the Mariners Home. In fact, from a maritime history/heritage perspective, it could be argued that we have two of the most important buildings anywhere.

Beautiful historic buildings like ours require constant TLC and this can be is extremely expensive.  We are currently underway with major restoration/preservation projects on both the Mariners’ Home and the Seamen’s Bethel and a result of this we have begun planning a major capital campaign so that future generations will be able to experience these historic treasures.

We recently announced a series of events called The Concert Series for the Seamen’s Bethel Restoration Project (simple, unambiguous name) and from which all of the proceeds will go to a special fund designated for Bethel repairs. The first concert is Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 7 pm and it will feature the storytelling and singing of Dillon Bustin and the Rum-Soaked Crooks. It’s sure to be a great time for a great cause.

I hope that you will join us but if you can’t, I still invite you to participate in supporting one of America’s most important maritime treasures. If the concert doesn’t fit your schedule or is too far away, please consider purchasing a ticket and donating it back to the Port Society so that we can sell it again. It’s a powerful way to leverage your gift.

If you want to contribute funds, products, services or ideas, please don’t hesitate to email me or leave a comment below.  Every little bit makes a real difference.

Thanks for putting up with this plug for a nonprofit that is very important to me and hopefully to many other Sea-Fever readers.

Register for The Concert Series for the Seamen's Bethel Restoration Project in New Bedford, MA  on Eventbrite