Wild Wednesday: Watch Two Cuttlefish Fiercely Fight For a Mate

I had meant to create a series of posts for “Wild Wednesday” since I first started my blog. I’m not sure why, but I never have managed to make very many posts. There are so many interesting sea creatures out there, and so much we don’t know about them. I’d like to make this a regular feature and share more about them. 🙂

Let me know how you like the idea.

This is the first time researchers caught the creatures locked in a vicious fight in the wild

Source: Watch Two Cuttlefish Fiercely Battle Over a Mate | Smart News | Smithsonian

The video is cool, the article is really pretty interesting and worth reading. 🙂

Women Rallied Behind Beautiful, Wartless Witches

Women of the Early 1900s Rallied Behind Beautiful, Wartless Witches | History | Smithsonian.

Check out these cool Halloween cards. I thought the history mentioned in the article was pretty interesting.

It’s hard for me to imagine how different life must have been for women in the past. Of course, for most women in the world things are still very different than they are here in the USA (not that we’re perfect yet).

Women in many countries around the world are still treated like second class citizens. They’re still denied the opportunities and options that men have, simply because of their gender.

As an American, growing up as an American girl, I can hardly imagine what it must be like. How does a girl from somewhere like Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, or even India or Africa or South America manage enjoy life, or even to get through it all without the options we have here?

I imagine they must only be able to bear it when they don’t know about any other options. Maybe they just don’t think they can live any other way. I don’t really know. It amazes (and disgusts and infuriates) me that in this day and age we STILL have not managed to create a society where women can live their lives as THEY choose.

It’s hard for me to imagine how I would be able to stand a life like that. That I would not have any choices. I wouldn’t be able to go to school. I wouldn’t be able to LEARN about so many things. I wouldn’t be able to decide what kind of work I would like to do. To choose who I would want to marry or IF I would want to marry at all. To be able to choose when I want to have sex, or with who, or IF I want to have sex at all. To be able to choose to have children, or not to have any.

SO many choices taken away from me, just because I happen to be female. What must that be like?

I read a book- Infidel- by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It really opened my eyes. I have to say I admire her strength and courage to do what she did. She grew up in Somalia, was raised a Muslim, and then grew disillusioned with the life she had. She moved to the Netherlands as a refugee, eventually became a member of Parliament there. Her story is really encouraging. I hope more people (especially young girls) will read it and take hope.

I can see from the Smithsonian article (and even from my own life), that we have made some progress in the USA.

I remember when I was young and I chose to work at sea. I had to fight so hard for every job I ever got. It was ALWAYS a struggle to get hired. Yes, just because I was a woman. No one wanted to have a woman on board. 😦

Now, (30-40 years later), it is not nearly as much as a problem (tho, yes, it IS still a problem). I see more and more women working at sea. I even see other women in positions of authority. They are no longer delegated to the stewards department, they can work at other jobs and be more than just cooks and room stewards!

I happen to be the only woman on board this ship, (1 out of 178) but on my last one there were women working as geologists, mud engineers, fluid engineers, etc. I’ve seen quite a few other women DPOs lately and even a couple of other captains. 🙂

I hope to see more women from other countries able to take advantage of all the opportunities the world offers. I was very encouraged to hear about the Italian livestock carrier who had female master and chief mates.

Hopefully sometime soon women from all over the world will have the same rights and opportunities that men have always had. It would be wonderful if everyone everywhere had the chance to live their lives the way THEY choose to.

We’re Running Out of Whiskey?

We’re Drinking Whiskey Faster Than Distillers Can Make More | Smart News | Smithsonian.

I saw this article and I had to check it out. The headline had me worried. I’m not much of a whisky drinker anymore, but I still do like a good shot every once in a while. 🙂

11th Annual Photo Contest Winners

Announcing Our 11th Annual Photo Contest Winners | Photo Contest | Smithsonian.

I don’t know how the Smithsonian judges ever manage to narrow down their choices. They have so many just stunning images to pick from every year.

This year is no different. I’ve been flipping through their choices for finalists and runners up in the different categories and I would have a really hard time making up my mind.

I think I would pick this one…

Photo by Ken Lee (finalist: travel)

If only because I LOVE the night sky and it’s SO hard to get good photos of it. There’s so much light pollution now. Also, I really love science fiction and the way they’ve set up those giant bugs just really does it for me. Lots of creativity and excellent camera skills. I love it! 🙂

Click the  link and check out all the other photos. It’ll be worth your while. 🙂

The Beautiful Flight Paths of Fireflies

The Beautiful Flight Paths of Fireflies | Smithsonian.

Amazing beautiful photos of fireflies. I wish I could see this!

We do get them here but not that many. I’ve never seen any large groups of them. This guy is so lucky to be able to see and do what he does.

Check out the link!

Best Autumn Photographs from the Last Ten Years of Photo Contests

Best Autumn Photographs from the Last Ten Years of Photo Contests| Smithsonian Magazine.

These are some really beautiful photographs. I wouldn’t expect any less from the Smithsonian. Hard to compare between them and National Geographic. I try to look and learn something about what makes a good photo, at the same time just enjoying the beauty. 🙂

A New App Turns Fractals Into Ornate Art

A New App Turns Fractals Into Ornate Art | Collage of Arts and Sciences.

As a person who appreciates art and a person who’s interested in math, I just LOVE the intersection of both subjects. Fractals are really beautiful examples of both art and mathematics!

You can see examples of fractals in all kinds of places in nature. Tree branches and roots are one. A river delta is another. Spiral shells like a nautilus or conch is another (see my earlier post (https://captjillsjourneys.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/beautiful-spiral-shell/) or the others in that series (corals, sea urchin).

I remember playing with creating very simple basic drawings of fractal equations when I was in jr high school. I would have loved to have been able to continue on with it in later classes, but we had to move on to other things.

I think spending more time on this kind of thing in earlier years in school might help show kids that math is actually a really interesting and useful subject and IS really something we can use in the real world. Its not just something we have to get through in school and will never see again.

I do have to admit, I have personally never used calculus since I got out of school, but if I wanted to, I’m sure I could find a use for it. I’m just busy with other things. 😉

I could definitely find ways to use this app with the fractals, even if just to look at the beauty of it and enjoy it every day. 🙂

I don’t know if this Frax app is free or not, but even if it costs a little bit, it might be worth it. I haven’t had the chance to try it yet since I’ve been offshore since I’ve found out about it. I hope I can try it when I get home. 🙂

This Year’s Best Photographs Taken Through the Lens of a Microscope

This Year’s Best Photographs Taken Through the Lens of a Microscope | Smithsonian Magazine.

These are just some absolutely stunning photographs. These are some of the top 20 entered into the Nikons annual Small World Competition. These are the winners from 2013. I’ll be looking forward to this for 2014!

Franken Berry, the Beloved Halloween Cereal, Was Once Medically Found to Cause Pink Poop

Franken Berry, the Beloved Halloween Cereal, Was Once Medically Found to Cause Pink Poop | Food & Think| Smithsonian.

Another interesting Halloween story from Smithsonian. I dimly remember something about this growing up. I thought it was kind-of cool. I mean really? Pink poop? Sounds pretty cool to most kids I think. Parents panic, but what the heck. Maybe that was part of the fun of the whole experience?

PS- they even managed to find videos of the original commercials 😉

The Haunted and the Haunting: Best Places to Visit on Halloween

The Haunted and the Haunting: Best Places to Visit on Halloween | Off the Road| Smithsonian.

Here’s a good article in honor of it being Halloween tonight. 😉

Smithsonian tells about the best places around the world to get your Halloween chills and thrills. Enjoy reading about the Blair Witch Forest, the mummies of Guanajuato, the Capuchin Catacombs, the hotel from The Shining and more.

It would be cool to do some scary stuff on Halloween. I won’t be home til late and will probably miss all the trick or treaters. 😦

How the Shipping Industry is the Secret Force Driving the World Economy

How the Shipping Industry is the Secret Force Driving the World Economy | Ideas & Innovations | Smithsonian Magazine.

I thought this was pretty good, despite the reservations I have from only seeing this article. It’s an interview with author Rose George about her latest book: Ninety Percent of Everything. She somehow arranged to spend some time sailing around on the container ship Maersk Kendal. I’m going to have to find a copy of this book to read. 🙂

a container ship underway

a container ship underway

She makes a lot of good points. That people who aren’t personally involved with shipping are totally unaware of the industry. That those of us living in ‘first world’ countries don’t know any seafarers personally any more. That the ports have been moved so far away from the cities that most people don’t have any awareness of them anymore. That people on the beach have absolutely no idea what it’s like to be a seafarer.

I do think she got a lot of that correct. She sees how isolating it is out here now. She mentions the lack of communication and that the ships don’t provide internet or phone access to their crews (because of the expense). I do agree that it is an expense. I do not agree that it is an ‘extra’ expense. I don’t think it’s very much to pay a couple of thousand dollars a month when that would be something like 1% of expenses on most ships (if that). Isn’t it worth that for such a HUGE increase in crew morale?

a tank ship underway

a tank ship underway

I don’t really know if she’s right in her assessment of how much or how little sailors have a ‘sense of romanticism’. She mentions that she thinks the captain has more of it then he lets on, that he still secretly loves the sea.

She seems to think that most sailors are only out here for the money. I might agree that most sailors from the poorer parts of the world go to sea for the money. They probably went to sea because it paid better than anything they could find at home.

I would agree that the great majority of seafarers are not in a great position at sea. Some of the conditions sailors work under are just horrible. A lot of shipowners do flag foreign just so they can cut expenses.

They all say that the cost of the crew is their largest expense so they cut it any way they can. They cut the crew size, they lengthen the hitch (2 YEARS or more), they skimp on groceries, they skimp on medical care, they refuse to pay for visas so the crew can’t leave the ship in port, etc.

That’s not even to start on the issue of crew abandonment. Rose George seems to think the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) will help. I’ve seen in the news there have already been 3 ships detained, but I have serious doubts it will actually help the crews.

In spite of conditions like that, I believe most seafarers do still enjoy sailing (at least sometimes). 😉

romanticism of life at sea

romanticism of life at sea

I know I still do. Most of the time. 😉

The Enchanting Sea Monsters on Medieval Maps

The Enchanting Sea Monsters on Medieval Maps | Collage of Arts and Sciences.

Another good one from the Smithsonian this morning. I always thought those old charts were so cool. I really loved the drawings.

Those people really had some great imaginations! 🙂

Where Did the Fear of Poisoned Halloween Candy Come From?

Where Did the Fear of Poisoned Halloween Candy Come From?Smithsonian

I always figured this whole thing of the poisoned candy was some sort of old wives tale. I read this article thinking ‘here’s one more example of how we’ve been scared to death over nothing.’ I was right.

I do remember some scare stories about poisoned Tylenol and bad apples. I seem to remember a pretty big media frenzy over both of those things. I do have to admit that I can’t remember anything specific about poisoned candy or razor blades in apples.

Did all this fear really come about from Dear Abby? WOW! How have we come to let the media manipulate us all like this? I feel sorry for the kids now a days that can’t even enjoy a good time on this holiday without somebody bringing this stuff up. Let them enjoy their treats in peace please.

Reading to the end of the article really makes me wonder about people, WTF are they thinking??? (trying not to give away the story- read it- it’ll get you going!)

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. 😦

This Is Mars in Extremely High Resolution

This Is Mars in Extremely High Resolution | Collage of Arts and Sciences.

Another good article from the Smithsonian this morning. This one is about Mars. The article shows a dozen or so beautiful black and white photographs of Mars. They were taken over the years by various spacecraft. That in itself is pretty fantastic.

Now, a French photographer, editor, designer- Xavier Barral is putting together a book. Called This is Mars, it will showcase about 150 of these gorgeous pictures. I’ll have to look for it at the library. 🙂

This Alkaline African Lake Turns Animals into Stone

This Alkaline African Lake Turns Animals into Stone | Collage of Arts and Sciences.

This is an interesting article (with lots of cool photos) of a deadly lake in Africa. I’ve never been to Africa but I would love to go. I always thought about taking a safari or climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, I didn’t know anything about this lake. It sounds like an interesting place. Just seeing pictures stirs up my wanderlust. 🙂

This Guy’s Stomach Made Its Own Beer

This Guy’s Stomach Made Its Own Beer | Smart News.

This is pretty interesting. I wonder how the law on DWIs is going to treat this. If you did NOT drink anything, but your BAC is over the legal limit, do you get charged and have your life destroyed for not hurting anyone? Just like the people who are in the exact same condition who have had a drink??

I’ve been arguing this for years, that the laws against DWI are just wrong, totally unjust and so should NOT BE laws! If I can drive down the highway, talking on my cell phone (or eating a burger, or falling asleep, or yelling at the kids, etc), get in an accident and kill 15 people and not get charged. Then, I could go home and have a beer to take my nerves off, get pulled over for having a tail light out, and have my entire life destroyed for being “drunk”. How in the HELL does that scenario make sense??? Simple answer, it doesn’t!

Our ‘justice’ system is totally screwed up. This situation with alcohol is just one example.

I wonder how many college kids are going to try and fill their bellies up with these bacteria? Cheap date?? Oh hell yes, I bet this becomes a new fad. 😉

In Defense of the Blobfish

In Defense of the Blobfish: Why the “World’s Ugliest Animal” Isn’t as Ugly as You Think It Is | Smart News.

Interesting article. I wouldn’t have thought about any of the things they mention. I wouldn’t have voted for this being the ugliest animal either. I actually think its not that bad.

After reading the article, all I could think of is ‘looks can be deceiving’.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Migaloo, the Real White Whale

Everything You Wanted to Know About Migaloo, the Real White Whale | Surprising Science.

Smithsonian reporting on the fact that there really are while whales. Moby Dick might have really been based on a true story about someone seeing a while whale.

I thought it was interesting how many of them have been seen around the world. They must not be all THAT rare after all. I’ve never seen one but I haven’t seen all that many whales of any color in all my time at sea.

The white whales aren’t albinos either, which would have been my first thought. They think these whales have something called leucism where pigments are lost in patches of cells.

I think its pretty but its probably harder on it to get by as a whale. It really stands out. Spotted a long way off by predators and all that. But maybe the females like it better?

If I ever make it to Australias’ Great Barrier Reef, I hope I can run into Migaloo, he seems to be OK around people. Jenny Dean got some great shots of him breaching.     🙂

Aerial Views of Our Water World

Aerial Views of Our Water World | Collage of Arts and Sciences.

Smithsonian reports on the latest project from photographer Edward Burtynsky. His focus has always been to capture the impact humans have on the landscape. “Nature transformed by industry” is how he puts it.

I remember reading about one of his earlier projects on the subject of Oil and I thought he did some fantastic work. His photographs of a ‘dirty’ subject were really beautiful. This project on Water is even more exciting. His work is simply stunning!

Burtynsky spent the time from 2007-2013 traveling around the world to investigate the way water is used, how it (or lack of it) effects the land, effects our lives, how we deal with it, how it deals with us. Now, he is coming out with a triple header.

He will be releasing a new documentary film, a book and multiple exhibitions, all on the theme of water.

Watermark, his 92 minute long documentary will premier at the Toronto International Film Festival and continue showing in theaters across Canada afterwards (and hopefully worldwide).

His book, Burtynsky- Water, will feature over 100 of his photographs.

His large scale photographs will be making the rounds of a number of exhibition spaces around the country. In New York at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery and the Howard Greenburg Gallery (September 19- November 2), the show will move on from there.

It will be in New Orleans at the Contemporary Arts Center from October 5- January 19). I’ll be in town for the Workboat Show and will be sure to see it then. I can’t wait to feast my eyes. 😉

Here’s a peek. Enjoy 🙂