Monday, October 25, 2010

Skin conditions of sea mammals

A question was brought up in class the other day by a fellow student that got me stumped. He asked if whales or dolphins could get eczema like land mammals do. Eczema is word that covers a very broad condition with a variety of skin irritations. Even dandruff is a form of eczema. While the class pondered the question, the instructor guided us on a discussion to try and figure out the answer.

Since all skin has the potential to become irritated then the answer would be yes whales and dolphins could have eczema. But since eczema was often characterized with dry patchy skin then maybe dolphins and whales could not get it, while seals and sea lions could. We also pondered if the eczema treatment would be salt water but only if the animal lived in the water 100% of the time. So for an animal not to have eczema we figured out that living in water may or may not have a bearing on the condition but the type of skin might. You see, whales and dolphins have a different type of skin than a seal does, so its personal biology would be a huge factor.

Our discussion was interesting but I still came away with more questions than answers.

Think about using non-toxic products first

Did you know that many of our household products are not biodegradable? I am not talking about plastic bottles and grocery bags, but the actual creams, lotions and other chemicals that we use. Take for example prescription pills, did you know that you should NEVER flush them or put them in any waste water system? Antibiotics do not break down but end up as a biological soup in our waterways. Fish and other creatures are exposed to dissolved pills, lotions for acne treatments, shampoos and a whole list of other chemicals that water treatment plants cannot handle.

The results are fish that now have possible genetic problems, people and animals eating fish that have been exposed to those chemicals and the food chain becoming highly unstable.

So think before you flush or pour anything down the drain. You can take back any unused pills to a pharmacy or doctor for disposal.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Colorful coral reef video

I found this video over on YouTube about reefs by the BBC and it is fascinating. It always amazes me to see the similarities between coral reefs and the open fields on land. The wind breezes are the same as ocean currents only a different element is used. Enjoy

Blog stuff

With this big storm coming in, and I just finished getting in the last of the firewood, I now have some time to tidy up the blog. Yes I actually do some dusting out of the spammy comments and the ones that seem to be OK but start to end up being a huge come on for how to learn more about safe diet pills. Come on people (or maybe it is an automated computer bot) but this blog is about sea life, you know fish not fish recipes or what pharmacy products are made out of but living fish, sea mammals, ecology, ocean weather and coastal tide pools.

Well I had better do some more blog work before the storm rolls in and I am without power and the internet.

Storm season begins tonight

The first big North Pacific storm of the season is suppose to roll in tonight. Out local weather casters are saying to expect 50mph winds on the coast and 30mph winds inland. Portland is under warning of local flooding.

This means I have to have the house ready for power outages and watch out for storm damage. Just last week a neighbors' tree came down on my driveway. I ended up removing it because I didn't want the guy making another trip to that payday advance loans place just because he is down on his luck.

At least I have plenty of firewood should I have to cook on my wood stove.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Weird ads showing up

I just changed the layout of the blog and for some odd reason I am getting Google ads for fast food places, travel and hoodia diet pills. I guess the Google ad bot can't figure out that this is a sea life blog, not sea food blog. I guess I had better put the words whales, boats, ocean and aquariums in this post so it gets a better idea.

I finally changed the layout of the blog

After a lengthy battle with myself, I decided to change the layout of the blog. What do you think? I wanted to give the blog more of a "wet" feel to it. I guess I want my visitors to almost drown themselves in oceanography while they are here. I also wanted to add some pages to the blog. Not sure what they will be right now but I do want to have a place where I can list some important resources for visitors.

I only wish I could figure out how to center the photo better in the header. Oh well, maybe blogger will have something in the future for that. I have to find some more photos to dress up the place. Right now it looks more like freshwater habitat than deep sea. Got to find the right fish photos to get the blog that thermogenic feel to it.

Who knows, I might change it again and this blog post will give you that "what the heck is she talking about?" type of feeling.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How the internet has changed everyday people

I cannot begin to tell you how the internet has allowed everyday people....that's you and me, to voice our opinions above the crowd of politicians, big business and paid spokesman for BIG money ventures. If it was not for the internet, we as the general pubic, would not be aware of the many events that go unreported by the main stream media.

I have a really good example of the fact that TV news is now getting the news from us, yes us the people and not from disaster events. A few weeks back in Eugene, Oregon, there was a small riot, a drunken riot but a riot none the less. It involved over 400 people that were having parties in the college section of town. Police were called and arrests were made. None of it showed up in the local news for days. The riot was filmed and put up on YouTube, people were finding out about the event on their PC's, laptop computers, iPhones and other internet connected devices. The local news did not cover the event until............................3 days later. A TV news channel in Portland (almost 150 miles away from Eugene) picked up the news event from YouTube and broadcasted it. I found it really odd that the TV channels did not have the event. The riot was reported on the AP wire (I checked) but apparently nobody reads it at the TV news room.

So private people putting up a news worthy event on YouTube can make a difference. Blogging (writing) about what you have seen or did can make a difference too. Someone, somewhere will read it and it will change how they see something, or react to what you have written, or think how they can make a difference too. It all starts online.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

What I wanted to be when I grew up

I think when I was in junior high school I wanted so badly to be a veterinarian. At the time you had to have straight A's in high school and of course the money to get into the state college that was out. I was not a straight A student. More like a straight B with a few C's and an occasional A thrown in here and there.

Being a pet doctor was out, so what was next? A teacher suggested that I might try for a forestry degree when I got out of high school. My parents would not support that career. I guess the thought of their little girl being a forest ranger was a bit too much for them. I would have loved it. Of course after I got out of high school I went to work for a few years before continuing on with college.

Before I went back to college I tried one career that I hated with a passion. I became a CNA. I thought that healthcare jobs was the way to go. Everyone kept telling me the future lies with taking care of sick and old people. They maybe right but it was not for me.

So then I embarked on my career in marine biology. I take breaks from college and I am not there full time so it will take many years before I get through to my goal. I refuse to take out student loans so my goal is many, many years away yet. It sure beats that CNA career.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Whales beaching themselves

Most people think that whales never intentionally beach themselves, this is not true. Killer whales often beach themselves to grab a seal from off of the beach. Other whales such as the Humpback often visit very shallow bays and inlets that have stones as the bed instead of sand. The whales will rub against the stones to rid their bodies of barnacles, almost like a body acne treatment for whale skin.

While the smaller whales are use to being close to land and using the shoreline to their hunting advantage, they are not immune to rip tides or extreme under currents of the sea. We, as humans, would worry about drowning but the whales have to watch out for being stranded or land locked in a shallow sea.