Thursday, February 26, 2009

A little piece of the ocean in your home

What part of your home reminds you of the ocean? If you said the bathroom then you would be right. People decorate their bathrooms with fish, seashells, dolphins and other scenes from the sea all the time. Just go into any major interior decoration store and you will see what I am talking about. There are bathroom vanities with mirrors that have seashells for frames. Towels embroidered with images of sea life.

Our fascination with the ocean is a pleasant one. It also transcends to the bedroom where you can have CD's that have ocean or whale sounds on it to lull you to sleep. Our laundry detergent now has "ocean breeze" as a scent.

The next time you are near the ocean remember your home and how different it is from the real thing. The ocean does not smell like the laundry detergent, it's more like salty fish. The seashells are not perfect and whole but broken and crushed. The sound of the waves is often overshadowed by the sound of the wind.

Yes the ocean is romantic and soothing in our mind's eye but rugged in the real world.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dolphins aided by human help

In Canada last week 3 dolphins became isolated from the ocean in a bay by an ice shelf. The small local community of Seal Cove heard the dolphins calling and thought that they might die. The ice shelf had drifted further into the bay and the small circle of open water in the center of the ice shelf where the dolphins were getting their air was shrinking fast.

The residents called the Canadian Federal government for help with sending an ice breaker ship but the government said there was none available. A local fisherman with his own trawler finally cut a path in the ice from the bay to the open sea. 2 of the dolphins made a dash to the open sea but the 3rd on was too weak from swimming in the open hole for over a week. A 17 year old boy jumped into the water wearing a survival suit and helped the 3rd dolphin.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Beach walking

Taking a walk on the beach is one of the best exercises that I can think of. The walk not only exercises your body but relaxes your mind. A walk on the beach can be done in any weather you just have to dress correctly for the occasion. I always take my camera along as well as a small plastic bag (I tend to clean up other people's trash when I see it). So forget about taking diet pills and go for a walk on the beach instead.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Documenting everything

I am so glad when laptop computers came along. I can take my computer with me to document my studies. I was thinking about a palm type of device but I didn't get one. The laptops are now getting smaller. First there was the notebook and now there are netbooks. The only disadvantage about the netbook is the fact that they don't have a DVD drive and the system used is the old XP Windows. I am debating with myself about getting a smaller computer but I might wait until I see what the next step in technology will be.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Google introduces Google Earth for oceans

Google has just introduced Google Earth 5.0

What makes this Google Earth version different from the older versions? This version now has the latest oceanography of the ocean floor on the maps. One of the amazing features of Google Earth 5.0 is the way it is able to put together layers of images to show the rise and fall of the ocean levels.

You no longer have to go out and do much of the first hand research that many of the older marine scientists had to do. Even armchair amateur marine biologists can have a go at doing their own hypothesis and theories. So get off of your sleep number bed and go check it out.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Getting through college

If you are thinking about a career in marine biology here are a few things to keep in mind. You have to have outstanding grades to get into the college of your choice. College is not cheap.

Becoming a marine biologist will take several years of college. The average cost of tuition will be $15K a year and up. Be prepared to take on several jobs to get you through college. Working at Mickey Dee's won't cut it. You will need more than just a minimum wage to pay for your expenses. Warehouse jobs pay more but you need to put together a few different logistics resumes, depending on your experience and the position you are applying for. Those types of job have the advantage that you can work nights and go to school during the day.

Don't even think about summer vacation as a time to earn more money as the time often taken up by special school projects.

Do yourself a favor and start looking into scholarships before you are in high school. You will be glad you did.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tide pool hopping

A wonderful clear day at the Oregon coast a few days ago. The storms are coming in again but for just a few days we had our annual winter "heat wave". Anything above 50 degrees is a heat wave on the Oregon coast during the winter months.

The tide pools were teaming with life. I had a new colleague with me and she was not the type that was cut out for the rugged outdoors. I caught her popping, what she called the best diet pills money could buy and I just shook my head. I told her that a few hours around the tide pools and she would never again need any kind of pills to get thin. In fact she might need to eat more since our work would require lots of energy.

She found out that marine life study requires more than just cataloging and observation, it also requires you to be physically fit.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Swimsuit shopping time

It's that time of year when I have to go swimsuit shopping again. If you are wondering, yes I do get a new one each year. Since I practically live in the darn thing for about 6 months out of the year they have a tendency to wear out.

I like the one piece suits since I don't need the suit to come off of me while scuba diving. The last type of swim suit I want is something that looks like lingerie. I am documenting sea life not looking for a mate.

Now here is my idea of a nice scuba swim suit.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Huge school of spinner sharks off the coast

Thousands of spinner sharks have been spotted off the coast of Florida today. Beaches have posted signs up and down the coast line to warn people to stay out of the water. The aerial footage of the schools of sharks are impressive. Needless to say, you had better stay out of those coastal waters for a few days or at least until the sharks have quit migrating in that area. You don't want to have your family looking for instant term life insurance quotes while you are dying in the hospital from a shark bite.