Friday, February 26, 2016

OCEANOGRAPHY: SELECTED EXPLORATORY VIDEOS

FIVE FABULOUS OCEAN VIDEOS :

  PD Image

Below are five videos ranging in length from about 3 minutes to nearly an hour and half. We selected these because of their beautiful photography, educational value, and what we call "infotainment" factor. Right after the title we provide an estimate of the video's running time. Vocational / technical educators say that we retain only about 10% of what we read, 50% of what we see and hear, and about 90% of what we say and do. Well, we can't take you diving, but we suggest that if you watch these videos on some interesting oceanographic topics, and watch again while taking notes, your retention will increase to close to that 90% level for whatever purpose that you might have in learning more about the ocean. These videos after initial appearance on our daily blog post will be permanently featured in our OCEANOGRAPHY SECTION

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EIGHT FACTS ABOUT THE OCEANS  3 Min.


TOP TEN OCEAN PHENOMENA   about 8 minutes


NEVER SEEN CREATURES FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA: about 45 minutes


BLUE HOLES : 1 hr, 28 min


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Monday, February 22, 2016

SHOULD WE SINK THE DAWN LIGHT, AS A FALSE FLAG OPERATION?




IMAGE FROM LINKED WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE< CREDITED TO Turkuaz Yacht & Ship Services via MarineTraffic

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The DAWNLIGHT is a bulk carrier of no remarkable appearance among this class of large ships. There is nothing about its physicality that would distingusih it from any other of the same class of vessels moving in and out of the hub port of Singapore or out on any of the busy shipping lanes of the East , South China, or Yellow seas. The DAWNLIGHT however, is suspected of illegal trading with North Korea. In fact, the ship is blacklisted from trading with the US since it was owned by a company based in Singapore which US intelligence alleges to have assisted Pyongyang with its weapons program. The ship was sold to new owners a few months ago according to the original owner. The ship's movements are relatively easy to track since it enters and clears port as a regular merchant carrier. Its entrance and clearance records indicate that the ship routinely shuttles between Singapore and the Korean Peninsula, with occasional trips to other mainland China ports. The DAWNLIGHT has logged some mysterious meanderings in the last 32 months. On some trips where the officers logged a North Korean port as its' intended port of call, vessel traffic radar and satellite imagery indicates a turn off of the coast of South Korea, and then a return to a Chinese port. In our humble opinion, what that indicates is that the DAWNLIGHT met with a vessel that came out from the coast of either North or South Korea for nefarious purposes. Under international law the South Korean Coast Guard would have the  the legal authority to board and inspect the ship even if this visit with a "hoovering vessel occurred outside of the South Korea's territorial sea. 

 One must keep in mind that the United States and South Korea are still in a legal state of war with North Korea, only a temporary armistice exists which has been broken by North Korea on occasion since it was agreed to in the 1950s. At any moment the United States could exercise the rights of a belligerent and begin to board and inspect inbound ship traffic to North Korea to prevent the entry of contraband. At the moment "contraband"certainly includes any of the makings of nuclear weapons, but could include any weapons, ammunition, or other implements of war. Indeed, ships owned or controlled by North Korean interests but flying open registry flags like those of Panama or Liberia could, given sufficient proof of North Korean actual control, be labeled a "false flag" operation and sunk on site by US or South Korean naval forces. We never seem to mention this to North Korea but continue to whine about their nuclear testing and weapons development. Remember that with a state of war in existence they are legally empowered to resume armed operations and hostility with no notice. Yet we paddy foot around and discuss sanctions far weaker than what we can use given the international legal circumstances. If we don't get tough with North Korea soon we will find ourselves with missiles raining down on Honolulu and Seattle. We have the legal right to instantly resume hostilities and totally destroy North Korea's war making capacity. We need a Commander in Chief who understands and knows how to make use of that fact set. 

Read More In The WASHINGTON POST
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Sunday, February 7, 2016

SPACE AS AN OCEAN: MORE THOUGHTS ON YODA'S WHEREABOUTS

SPACE AS AN OCEAN


                            


LESSONS FROM THE AGE OF EUROPEAN MARINE EXPLORATION FOR THE SPACE AGE.

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YODA, Star of stage , screen, toy manufacturing, action figures, and outer space, photo from Star Wars.com
 Yoda, the Star Wars character that we refer to as our euphemism for extraterrestrial intelligent life might more accurately be referred to as "Yodas", plural. It is highly unlikely that intelligent life on some unknown planet in this galaxy or one "far far away" evolved into a single intelligent individual. But even if on some as yet undiscovered planet intelligent life evolved into an intelligent species, the odds are that the entire species is already dead, or will be before we can discover them. While generating life in the universe may be more uncommon than often thought, sustaining it long enough to evolve into intelligent space faring civilizations is probably exceedingly rare. Indeed in our own case we are far from being able to evacuate a large portion of humanity from the planet should the planet cease to be able to support life as apparently Mars and perhaps Venus did. Without any intervention by an intelligent species based on their industrial processes, the evidence is wide spread that planets with warm wet climates, routinely change to hot and dry or cold and dry, and quickly lose oxygen rich atmospheres. In short the universe is probably pretty friendly towards microbiological life, but not so much for intelligent species or even fair sized mammal like creatures. The jury is still out on us humans. We've made it past a couple of important mile stones but still are not capable of space migration. To evolve and survive intelligent species need billions of years of life sustaining climate. There is mounting evidence that such conditions are rarely even long lasting in geologic terms much less permanent. 

 The visible universe may well be filled with "habitable planets" in terms of what we usually think necessary to support mammalian life. However, increasingly, we've seen evidence that such conditions are temporary, and rarely last long enough for intelligent life forms to evolve, much less to evolve to the point of space faring civilizations. Early life such as microbes, perhaps fish and amphibians is very fragile, so the current line of reasoning is that it evolves fast in order to survive. We have seen examples of earthly sea plankton found surviving on an exterior surface of  of the International Space Station, and found meteor fragments  thought to be from Mars, with evidence of microbial fossils. Some astronomers think they have detected clouds of what may be virus in deep space. So one might already concur that the universe is widely "seeded" for life, but for life to last long enough for civilizations of intelligent life to evolve requires  extraordinary circumstances. A planet where life can evolve all the way to intelligent beings must be extraordinarily stable in terms of its atmosphere. Most aren't.

 While there are billions and billions of planets just in our own galaxy alone, the center of a galaxy is a very violent place. Planets in the spiral heart of our Milky Way Galaxy frequently collide with space objects including other planets. Our planet exists in a relatively quiet outer arm of the galaxy. We enjoy the protection from collision with space objects by way of large gas giants orbiting at the outer entrance to our sun's gravitational influence area, and a small planet like moon circling our planet. Merely being positioned in the "Goldilocks Zone" is not enough. No matter how much microbiological "seed" the center of the galaxy spews out, it must find protected soil. One look at the moon, the surface of Mars, or Venus or our own planet's surface tells us that even in our relatively quiet radial arm over time there are a lot of things crashing into planets. We have encountered some game changers over geological time, but no life extinguishers. The fact is that planets able to sustain the evolution of life to the level of intelligent civilizations need very special locations, and more than a small amount of luck. 

 The folks who are professionals in the search for alien intelligent life sometimes refer to this situation as the "SETI-Fermi paradox." It sort of boils down to the question of "If the universe is so full of life and potentially life sustaining planets....where is everybody?". The mathematical odds  appear to indicate that they are probably dead. The odds of two intelligent civilizations evolving on two different planets and then meeting are astronomical. Where is Yoda? We hope not , but the odds are that if he ever existed he is probably dead.  
 THE LATE GREAT YODA?

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

SEN. JOHN McCAIN, U.S. MERCHANT MARINE ENEMY NUMBER 1

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN  TAKES AIM AT JONES ACT, AGAIN


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     McCain obviously never read either one of these books. Don't repeat his stupidity. 

  Sen. John McCain will once again introduce legislation to repeal sections of the Jones Act. McCain who is to U.S. Merchant Mariners what Jane Fonda once was to Vietnam era naval aviators, announced last week that he plans to offer an amendment on the Senate floor that would eliminate the U.S.-build requirement for tankers engaged in the U.S. coastwise trade.
The Arizona Republican, like Arizona Democrats before him has made repealing the Jones Act a focus of his Congressional career. We always suggest following the money to figure out why arid state Federal legislators of both parties have a history of opposing the U.S. fleet. We think they are free to respond to foreign interest since they have no maritime constituency in their respective states to take offense or understand their treachery. Just because something is legal and you can get away with it doesn't mean its isn't the moral equivalent of treason. Full disclosure here, Republican or not, we don't like McCain . The aging senator now says he plans to attach an anti-Jones Act amendment to S 2012, the “Energy Modernization Act of 2015.”

 The amendment as filed by McCain would change section 12112 of title 46 of the United States Code (46 U.S.C. 12112 – Coastwise Endorsement) by eliminating the U.S.-build requirement for oil and gasoline tankers involved in U.S. coastwise trade. S 2012 is sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Alaska and Hawaii have been joining with the arid states of late to eliminate the Jones Act. They claim that foreign carriers could bring goods from the United States cheaper. They of course are already receiving foreign goods via foreign carriers the same as the rest of the United States. Of course such non contiguous state proponents of scrapping cabotage laws have no idea how they will assure commerce and communications with the mainland if war were to discourage these foreign carriers. Only the American Merchant Marine, a naval auxiliary by law, is committed to keep these sea lines of communication open, even at the risk of mariner lives. Murkowski's  bill may be up for consideration on the Senate floor in the near future, at which point McCain could offer his amendment.

 This is just a continuation of a long history of attempts by McCain to dismantle the Jones Act, which requires that all goods shipped between U.S. ports be carried on vessels built in the United States and owned and operated by Americans, in other words the U.S. Merchant Marine. .The desert air breathing McCain doesn't even just confine his efforts to riders on maritime related bills. Last year, he threatened to attach a similar amendment to a bill to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline, but he ultimately decided not to offer the legislation. One wonders how McCain ever got through the U.S. Naval Academy with such a poor knowledge of the security of water borne transport, but then he did grow up to be a "Zoomie", probably had his brains scrambled.   

 The U.S.-flag fleet, owners and labor, along with Congressional supporters of the American maritime industry, have consistently mounted a unified front in opposition to McCain’s long-running and tiresome anti-Jones Act crusade. but the attacks never stop. Follow the money. 

 How domestic Shipping Has Preserved The U.S. Merchant Marine since colonial times

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

THE SALVAGE OF THE M/V MODERN EXPRESS

Video: Last Ditch Rescue Effort Stops Listing Cargo Ship From Running Aground    

Story & video at BOAT INTERNATIONAL  

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  Photo capture from article linked to

"A final effort to tow the listing cargo ship Modern Express away from the French coast has been successful. The stricken ship had been drifting towards South-West France for over a week, and if the Modern Express had run aground she could have polluted miles of coastline and caused serious damage to marine life." (from  BOAT INTERNATIONAL)

Read the entire story and watch the related video at :BOAT INTERNATIONAL The salvage / rescue effort is not over yet.

Update (Feb. 2, 2016): The tug Centaurus was towing the Modern Express as the tow entered Spanish waters overnight as the convoy approached the port of Bilbao at a speed of 3 knots. The convoy was located 29 nautical miles northeast of Bilbao as of 09:00. Weather in the area was wind of 12-19 km / h) and a swell of 2 to 2.5 meters. Arrival of the convoy in Bilbao was expected as early as Tuesday night. We have no confirmation of arrival as of 1400 US CST 2/3/2016. 

READ MORE @ EURO NEWS 

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http://www.boatinternational.com/yachts/news/video-last-ditch-rescue-effort-stops-cargo-ship-from-running-aground--29263?utm_content=buffer6ffbf&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer















Monday, February 1, 2016

JAPANESE COMPANIES TO BUILD MONORAIL FOR PANAMA CANAL AREA

A MONORAIL SPANNING THE PANAMA CANAL TO EASE TRAFFIC FOR COMMUTERS WILL BE BUILT FOR PANAMA BY JAPANESE INTERESTS

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Image by Governo de São Paulo released under Creative Commons License
Japan and Panama signed a memorandum of understanding in January (2016) to utilize Japanese supplied technology to build a monorail system spanning the canal and easing traffic congestion among commuters into Panama City from the suburbs. The 2 billion dollar, 17 mile long system  would be Central America's first monorail. The project is expected to increase economic ties between Panama and Japan. The U.S. lost the contract for management of the canal system to China's COSCO Shipping years ago. At least improving ties with Japan is far less a security issue for the United States than the growing closeness Panama has been exhibiting with China. Basically, through two administrations since we gave away the canal that we built , our position has become simplified. Relative to the canal we have certain obligations, but we are not winning any opportunities to profit from our investment. In recent decades this seems to be acceptable as "ops normal". The full story with all of the relevant details is in BLOOMBERG BUSINESS


 THE PATH BETWEEN THE SEAS, BUILDING THE PANAMA CANAL Warning to Louisiana Residents: You are personally liable for state and local sales taxes for internet purchases. 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-14/panama-picks-japanese-technology-for-new-2-billion-monorail