‘Captain Phillips’ Torn From the Headlines, But Tells an Old Story

‘Captain Phillips’ Torn From the Headlines, But Tells an Old Story | gCaptain

I did go see this movie the other day. I thought it was pretty good. Maybe its because I’m a sailor but I REALLY don’t appreciate the way the article tries to make excuses for the pirates. Yeah, they’re poor, so are a lot of other people around the world. That does NOT in any way excuse the violence, kidnappings, beatings, theft, etc of the pirates!

I thought the crew of the Alabama deserved more credit for their actions. It seems Captain Phillips got all the recognition. The crew actually managed to capture the pirate leader and traded him off for their captain. Good job!!

Remember, in the Merchant Marine, we are not allowed to defend ourselves with anything but fire hoses against these thugs with machine guns and RPGs! They still managed to take down a couple of the pirates! Good! I salute them!

I am REALLY sick and tired of hearing about how we can’t be trusted to defend ourselves, we somehow don’t deserve any kind of REAL protection when our companies send us to work in these dangerous waters!

The bigwigs sit in their penthouse air conditioned offices and debate how much we’re worth to them. Can they ‘afford’ to pay our ransom? The ransom payment is just another cost of doing business to them. It’s our LIVES on the line! We’re just out there trying to earn a living and should NOT have to put up with pirate attacks!

Seamen from all over the world are suffering severely from pirate attacks, even for YEARS AFTER they return home! There are HUNDREDS of them being held at this moment! According to the ICC International Maritime Bureau (http://www.icc-ccs.org/piracy-reporting-centre/piracynewsafigures), there have been 176 REPORTED incidents including 10 hijackings in 2013 alone!

No one is helping them. No one cares. The world depends on shipping. Over 90% of the worlds trade moves by sea, in the USA its over 95%! Yet, we mariners get a bare minimum of help from the worlds navies. 😦

Where are the convoys like they had during WWII? Where are the marines who might be assigned to a ship to protect it? Where are the security companies and their trained armed guards??? WHY is there such an issue about giving us the protection we should have before we go anywhere near any pirate infested waters???

The ONLY reason the world even knows (or cares) about Captain Phillips and the Maersk Alabama is because it happened to be an American ship! There have been dozens of ships and HUNDREDS of sailors held in captivity by various pirate groups worldwide.

The pirates holding these mariners are NOT like Johnny Depp! They are mean, abusive, dangerous, desperate men! They have nothing to lose and they mean business!

WHY can’t we get some REAL protection? WHY can’t we at least arm our ships? It’s hard to believe but the powers that be expects us to be able to run away! If that doesn’t work (which it won’t most of the time since most ships are not very fast), then we are supposed to fight off the machine gun toting pirates with nothing but FIRE HOSES! If that doesn’t work (which it doesn’t), then we are supposed to run away and hide (again). The movie did a great job of showing just how effective those tactics are! (Totally useless! But they are the industrys’ ‘best management practice’).

I recommend the movie. It’s good entertainment if nothing else. I hope it’ll be more than that for the people who watch it. I hope it will help get people involved in trying to solve the problems of piracy. I hope it will give people ashore some idea of the things that are still going on out there in our world.

VIDEO: Animation Shows Float-On of Costa Concordia Onboard Dockwise Vanguard

VIDEO: Animation Shows Float-On of Costa Concordia Onboard Dockwise Vanguard | gCaptain

Here’s an update from gcaptain on the Costa Concordia. They have a neat little animation showing how they plan to put the Costa Concordia on the heavy lift vessel Dockwise Vanguard.

They won’t be doing any of this til the weather settles down in the Spring. For now, they’re working on prepping it for winter and getting it ready for the move in the Spring. They make it look easy. 😉

Giant Catamaran ‘Pieter Schelte’ to Carry Worn Out North Sea Platforms Ashore

Giant Catamaran ‘Pieter Schelte’ to Carry Worn Out North Sea Platforms Ashore | gCaptain

What an interesting ship!It looks pretty impressive from the picture. I wonder, what kind of crew they’ll have on there to work it? I hope they do get it built. It looks like it would have plenty of work to last for a while.

If they have 500 rigs in the North Sea to eventually decommission, we have thousands of them here in the Gulf of Mexico. I’ve been involved with doing some of that work already, tho not on anywhere near as advanced a vessel as the Pieter Schelte.

That sort of work is a lot more interesting then drilling, at least from a mariners perspective. I’d love to get back to doing something more challenging like that. 😉

Is This Chemical a Cure For Marijuana Addiction?

Is This Chemical a Cure For Marijuana Addiction? | Surprising Science.

Oh boy! Let the ‘authorities’ get ahold of this stuff and it’ll be all over. We’ll all be doped into shambling zombies with no ounce of joy left to our lives. All for our own good (of course). 😦

I’m pretty damn sure marijuana is NOT addicting! It just does not fit the definition of addiction. It’s been around forever and there would probably be ZERO negative results if we weren’t on a prohibitionist rampage against it!

Remember, it WAS legal here and anyone who wanted to could and DID use it up until the congress fraudulently banned it starting in the late 1930s. There was NO problem with it until Nixon ramped up the War on (some) Drugs in the 1970s.

Throwing people out of schools, jobs, their homes, etc because a drug test found a few NANOGRAMS of THC is NOT proof of addiction!!! It’s a circular argument, ‘they’re addicted because they have a problem with pot (they lost their jobs, etc)’, NOT!! They do NOT have a problem with pot, they have a problem with the LAW!

I don’t doubt that some people are addicted to some things. Some people are actually even harmed by their addictions. Most people are NOT addicted physically to anything really, but it suits the people in charge to say so. Once again, they take away OUR responsibility and OUR choices.

But lots of people do have emotional/psychological addictions to all kinds of things. Love, sex, adrenaline junkies like skydiving or race car driving, food addicts, drug addicts, alcoholics, smokers, etc.

There are always so many people out there who just can’t stand to see anyone else having fun! WHY? Why the hell can’t I smoke some weed if I feel like it? What the hell is wrong if I choose pot over booze? We already had a hell of a fight over alcohol prohibition and we FINALLY came to our senses and ‘let’ people drink again.

WHY can’t we come to the proper conclusion that we need to do the same thing with all the other drugs that people choose to use? WHY do so many people think THEY know best?

Most of the people who are supposedly addicted are only classed that way because something ‘interfered with their life’. I’ve seen the AA questionnaire on ‘you may be an alcoholic’, yeah, we ALL may be alcoholics if that’s the standard!

I remember thinking about one question, do you ever drink alone? My aunt drank a glass of wine with her dinner every night, she lived alone, according to AA that meant she was an alcoholic!

I have been arrested for DWI. According to the standards, that means I’m an alcoholic. I have a ‘problem with alcohol’, well NO I don’t have a problem with alcohol, I DO have a problem with COPS!

Because of that supposed “problem” with alcohol, I have been held back from many promotions, even my ability to travel has been cut off! I was recently informed by the CBP that because of my conviction, I can not be considered “low-risk”. Now what the HELL does a conviction for DWI have to do with being able to travel through the fast lane at the airport?????

Now, those controlling type people will have one more tool to use against those of us who would LIKE to be able to enjoy our lives without puritanical interference. Scientists have found that ‘kynurenic acid’ can be used to basically negate the effects of dopamine.

Dopamine is associated with the ‘pleasure center’ of the brain. When you are enjoying yourself, your dopamine levels increase. They also increase when you are using alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, etc. They also increase while you enjoy a good meal, when you have sex, when you do ANYTHING pleasurable.

I don’t know about you all, but I think we should all be able to take our pleasures any way we can! As long as you don’t hurt anybody else, you should be able to do ANYTHING you want! That DOES include getting high, on WHATEVER you choose to do the trick!

I can just imagine the horror stories to come if/(when) they start using this stuff on people. We’ll all be doped up like a bunch of zombies to treat our ‘addictions’, this stuff will be used to block any pleasure from our brains. Tone us down just enough so we can keep on being good little workers, but we’ll never be able to go out and have a good time on Friday night again, we just don’t know what’s good for us (and THEY do).

WOW! 😦 And I thought Brave New World was only science fiction. 😦

Photography 101: A Primer on Color Photography, Part II

This is a continuation from the last post. This one is on hue, saturation, lightness and contrast. She uses some fantastic photos to illustrate. 🙂

The Daily Post

Yesterday, Ming Gullo, the photographer at A View with Ming, introduced the basics of color photography. Today, she continues her discussion and talks about hue, saturation, lightness, and contrast.

A look at hue, saturation, and lightness

Hue

Hue is what we usually define as color. The images below illustrate shifts in hue:

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Photography 101: A Primer on Color Photography, Part I

I thought this was a very good post, lots of good information on how different lighting effects your photography. She uses beautiful photos to illustrate. 🙂

The Daily Post

Our next stop in our Photography 101 series focuses on yet another essential element of photography: color. In this two-part post, talented WordPress.com photographer, Ming Gullo of A View with Ming, introduces us to the fundamentals of color, from temperature and white balance to hue, saturation, lightness, and contrast. The images on her blog, and below, are vibrant and stunning. Enjoy!

How a camera looks at color

To understand how our cameras recognize colors, let’s first talk about how our eyes recognize colors.

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