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Entries for January 2010

30

This American syndicate cartoonist is now proud to call himself a marine conservationist, too.  Thanks to the popularity of his syndicated comic strip, Sherman's Lagoon, which features marine animals under the sea trying to get along with each other, Jim Toomey is now educating himself and the rest of the world on the issues facing our marine environment.

In the mean time, his cartoon strip, Sherman's Lagoon, is distributed by King Features Syndicate and now appears in over 250 newspapers in North America and over 30 foreign countries.  That's 250 more newspapers that people will read to get to know more about the dilemmas facing our ocean and marine life (while enjoying a fun cartoon at the same time) and 30 more foreign countries that will be aware of the issues facing our marine world.

In one of our most fun interviews to date, we're proud to have had the chance to interview the creator of this well-recognized comic strip, Jim Toomey, who has plans for scuba diving, is developing a children's book, and is involved in a major grassroots campaign spreading awareness of ocean conservation.

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Posted in The Reef Tank category
27
Often, when I'm cleaning my aquarium, I run into bristle worms. The first time I ever found them in my aquarium, my mind ran wild with the evil things these foreign looking worms could do in my aquarium. They can be kind of freaky to run into if you've never dealt with them before, but before you panic there are a few things to consider.
 
First of all, what is a "bristle worm" exactly?
 
You might have seen pictures or heard of them before, maybe you've even dealt with them directly. "Bristle worm" is a term that casually describes many types of worms in the class of marine worms referred to as Polychaeta. They are segmented and they have bristles. Good stuff.
 
The bristle worms that aquarists need to watch out for, in general, are the ones referred to as Fireworms. These worms usually appear in your aquarium as red, segmented and bristle covered. They can range greatly in size, from being so small that you need a tweezer to handle them, to being several inches or more in length. You might only see them at night, at least that's the only time I see them in my aquarium.

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Posted in The Reef Tank category
26

Humans are fairly fragile organisms. Sure we live just fine on the surface of the Earth, as long as there is enough air and the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold. That means that we cannot explore the more extreme areas of our planet - or any planet - without technical assistance of some kind. Currently it's good old-fashioned engineering that allows us to delve the ocean depths or journey into space.

The science fictional approach is a bit different: instead of building machines to protect fragile human bodies, bioengineer human bodies to live in more extreme environments. While many of them might appear to be the mermaids of sailor lore, most are much stranger. Here are a few of my favorite examples:

James Blish's Microscopic Water Humans

"Webbed extremities, of course, with thumbs and big toes heavy and thornlike for defense until the creature has had a chance ot learn. Book-lungs, like the arachnids, working out of intercostal spiracles - they are gradually adaptable to atmosphere-breathing, if it ever decides to come out of the water. Also I'd suggest sporulation. As an aquatic animal, our colonist is gong to have an indefinite lifespan, but we'll have to give it a breeding cycle of about six weeks to keep its numbers up during the learning period; so there'll have to be a definite break of some duration in its active year. Otherwise it'll hit the population problem before it's learned enough to cope with it."
~ "Surface Tension"

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Posted in The Reef Tank category
25
Did you know there's only one wave and tide power test facility in all of Europe?

Yep, it's true.  The European Marine Energy Centre is the only place in the entire European continent that will prototypes of renewable marine energy devices. 

The Reef Tank wanted to find out all about this amazing feat and had the chance to chat with Eileen Linklater, client relationship and marketing manager for the large scale facility, who has the responsibility of monitoring and managing contracts with developers and ensuring all goals are met. She also deals with public relations and marketing enquiries.

Yes, there's more.  Eileen is also the first person of contact for all prospective developers and visitors to EMEC.  

With all that going on, Eileen still managed to find time to answers our questions all about the Centre. 

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Posted in The Reef Tank category
10
To ring in the new year Oceanpro Aquatics is graciously offering Ocean@Home readers a 10% discount off of everything! I was reading through some comments on the board and found one from Oceanpro President Michael Baker that got stuck in the spam folder (sorry Michael, comment is now live!) with this awesome offer. I guess reading Ocean@Home pays off! Click on the article to get the full scoop and the discount code.

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Posted in OceansAtHome.com category
10
A new study by scientists in the UK provides the first evidence that coral reefs can recover from the devastating effects of climate change. The research shows for the first time that coral reefs located in marine reserves can recover from the impacts of global warming.

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Posted in ScienceDaily.com category
10
Well 2009 came to a close and we have our first week of the new decade in the books so now is the perfect time to take a look back at the year that was Ocean@Home. This past year was very kind to me in the hobby and my friendships, knowledge and skills (or lack thereof at times it seemed) grew tremendously and this blog has been a big part of that. Big thanks to all my friends, family and mentors in the hobby for the encouragement and support.

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Posted in OceansAtHome.com category
06
This is getting ugly and increasingly dangerous: Anti-whaling activists accuse Japan fleet of attack Anti-whaling activists have accused a Japanese vessel of ramming their high-tech speed boat during a confrontation in the Southern Ocean. Video of the incident appeared to show the Japanese ship severely damaging the Ady Gil, but all six crew were rescued. Earlier the campaigners [...]

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Posted in MarineBio.org category
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