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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Startling coral discovery, Newfoundland beats B.C., and more

Hola amigos. It's been a few days. You've likely been wondering "What's happened to John? Has the law finally caught up with him?" And the answer to that is no, it hasn't: thanks to convenient loopholes in Canada's extradition agreements, the government of Guatemala can't touch me.

Actually, I've been traveling a bit for work lately and I feel a bit out of the loop when it comes to the latest oceans-related developments. So grab an oil-black coffee - it should almost have a slick on top, but not quite - put some tunes on, and let's take a spin.

- Caught on camera! A head-on collision between a freighter and a rainbow, in the wild waters of Queen Charlotte Strait. Latest reports are that all 20 crew succumbed to the effects of exposure to extreme beauty.
Enchantedness at 12 o'clock! Hard to starboard! Hard to starboard!
Photo credit: Emma Point
- In a startling finding, researchers report that over 70% of black coral specimens found near Hawaii have symbiotic algae. See, coral species that tend to live in shallow waters contain photosynthetic algae, from which they get much of their energy. However, deep-sea corals, such as black corals, tend to live at depths beyond the reach of sunlight - which is why it's long been thought that deep-sea corals lacked photosynthetic algae. So, this newest finding just goes to show that we know very little about these particular beasts.

- Not oceans, but still awesome: a fascinating account of rapid evolution on the island of Minorca. 

- Yeah, and you know what else is "all natural"? Deep Sea News riffs on greenwashing. If you don't know what greenwashing is, you're probably falling for it. It includes, among other things, the use of meaningless 'green' claims, such as "All Natural", to promote a product or a company. One claim that I personally cannot stand is "Carbon Neutral". That claim, my friends, will be the subject of a lengthy and expletive-filled blog post one day soon.

- Congrats, Toronto.

Newfoundland in the spotlight. In National Geographic Traveler magazine's ranking of famous coastal areas based upon their "authenticity and stewardship", B.C.'s Gulf Islands come in seventh place overall - with Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula coming in first. Now, while I love the Gulf Islands - I just spent a great weekend on one of the islands with some friends, in fact - I think it's only fitting that Newfoundland wins in an assessment largely based on authenticity. One need only look at their respective initiation ceremonies to see that the Gulf Islands lack a the same, shall we say, rustic maritime feel:  

All right team. Until later.

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