Posts Tagged ‘Ocean’

Changing Waters Art Exhibition

// February 16th, 2011 // Comments Off on Changing Waters Art Exhibition // Science Art

These amazing sculptures are the creation of Nathalie Miebach, a visual exploration of scientific data collected at the Gulf of Maine.

Here’s a quote from her website: “Changing Waters” looks at the meteorological and oceanic interactions within the Gulf of Maine. Using data from NOAA and GOMOSS buoys within the Gulf of Maine, as well as weather stations along the coast, I am translating data that explores the seasonal variations of marine life by looking at the interactions of atmospheric and marine data…

…Elements of the rich New England fishing history are also included. This large-scale installation consists of a large wall installation (33 feet wide) that plots information through the geographic anchors of a map of the Gulf of Maine, as well as a series of large, hanging structures (10 feet high) that look at more specific biological, chemical or geophysical relationships between marine ecosystems and weather patterns.

The Changing Waters Exhibition is open from January 15th till September 25th 2011 at the Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA, USA.

Hat tip from SaCrit

Avatar sequel to film deep sea in 3D

// September 27th, 2010 // 2 Comments » // Science in the Movies

Say wha-?

There’s gonna be a sequel to Avatar?

Why?

I mean, I think the movie was awesome and all, but when it finished it finished. Finito. No more. No dramatic suspense music to imply the indignity of a sequel. No sudden return of a villain. Nada.

The story was just Pocahontas, after all. And Pocahontas didn’t have a dumb sequel (did it?)

This whole “every successful movie must have a sequel” really pisses me off. It just DETRACTS from the awesomeness of the original. The one exception is Ace Venture.

The good part about this (silver lining Captain, focus on the sliver of silver) is that part of the movie is set in the deep sea. And to make that part of the movie, James Cameron is going to film the deep sea in the Mariana Trench (south of Japan.) 11,000 metres down. Humans have only been down there once, in a hardcore sub that can withstand the excessive water pressure which is 1000 times stronger than atmospheric pressure.

If he can do it, the footage could be supercool scientific data for the abyss that is the deep sea. We know more about the moon than we know about the deep sea, and there’s probably stacks more sweet stuff down there. And James Cameron can do ANYTHING. Where science has so far faltered, James Cameron and his trusty checkbook will succeed. Aw yeah.

Hat tip to Dr M at Deep Sea News, who amazingly did not like the first movie. *blink*

St Elmo’s Fire

// January 31st, 2010 // 5 Comments » // How Things Work

Some sailors regard it with fear and amazement, others see it as an omen of things to come, but when I see St Elmo’s Fire burning on the masts above I am struck with curiousity for this most bizarre natural phenomenon.

St Elmo’s Fire appears as a blueish glow gracing the tips of masts and other pointy objects (lightning rods, swords, staffs, unusually long noses) during thunderstorms. You may have heard of it before, it’s been mentioned in such classics as Tintin in Tibet, Terry Pratchett’s Nation, and Moby Dick.

Despite the name, it’s not fire. It’s actually plasma, just like lightning – except instead of travelling from a cloud to the ground it just… well.. glows. It works a bit like neon lights do – energy from stormy weather (rather than a powerpoint) collect on an object and discharge. When the discharge is strong enough, it ionises gasses in the air which makes them glow. It mostly happens on pointy objects because electric fields are strongest on curves – the curvier the object, the stronger the field.

The colour is blue simply because oxygen and nitrogen glow blue when they ionise (how’s that for a circular argument? I’m sure it’s got more to do with molecular spectroscopy *shudder* more than I want to go into tonight, but if you’re curious drop me a comment.) If our air was full of neon it would be all orange, and how cool would that be?!

St Elmo’s Fire was originally named for St Erasmus – the patron saint of sailors – but whoever came up with the name should get a prize because it sounds great. Off the top of my head I can think of three fantastic things which have stolen the name. It was the title of one of the Teen Power Inc books of my childhood. As a teenager I saw the awesome 80’s movie about the twenty-somethings who tackle life and relationships after leaving college. And lately I have been listening to the old song by John Parr… I can never pick up the words except for the titular line “in St Elmo’s Fi-yar!”… I have no idea what it means in this context but for some reason (probably the science) it really resonates with me. Click through to the lyrics.

I can see a new horizon
Underneath the blazin’ sky
I’ll be where the eagle’s
Flyin’ higher and higher
Gonna be your man in motion
All I need is a pair of wheels
Take me where my future’s lyin’
St. Elmo’s Fire

Ohhhhh YEAH! St Elmo’s Fi-yah!






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