Speaking of marine conservation…

Tom James @ 27-08-2009

garbage_in_ocean…as we were, here is news of the first incursion into the collossal garbage patch that has collected in the Pacific Ocean:

Scientists surveyed plastic distribution and abundance, taking samples for analysis in the lab and assessing the impacts of debris on marine life.

Before this research, little was known about the size of the “garbage patch” and the threats it poses to marine life and the gyre’s biological environment.

On August 11th, the researchers encountered a large net entwined with plastic and various marine organisms; they also recovered several plastic bottles covered with ocean animals, including large barnacles.

“Finding so much plastic there was shocking,” said Goldstein. “How could there be this much plastic floating in a random patch of ocean–a thousand miles from land?”

This reminds me of the great junk armada depicted in Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

[via Physorg][image from Physorg]


Hairy goo invading from the Arctic

Tom James @ 16-07-2009

mysteryAhem. A mysterious browny-black goo with hair in it is drifting southward from the Arctic:

Something big and strange is floating through the Chukchi Sea between Wainwright and Barrow.

Hunters from Wainwright first started noticing the stuff sometime probably early last week. It’s thick and dark and “gooey” and is drifting for miles in the cold Arctic waters, according to Gordon Brower with the North Slope Borough’s Planning and Community Services Department.

Brower and other borough officials, joined by the U.S. Coast Guard, flew out to Wainwright to investigate. The agencies found “globs” of the stuff floating miles offshore Friday and collected samples for testing.

“It’s definitely, by the smell and the makeup of it, it’s some sort of naturally occurring organic or otherwise marine organism.”

Very weird. Cthulhu spawning? Cosy catastrophe? The blob? The larval stage of the World Tree?

[from abn news, via Blood & Treasure][image from Margaret Anne Clarke on flickr]


NEW COLUMN: announcing The Adam Roberts Project

Paul Raven @ 25-01-2009

It is with great pleasure that I can announce that the coming week sees the first instalment of a new monthly column here at Futurismic!

Its creator is no stranger to the site – having been a regular commenter, as well as providing us a review of all of the Arthur C Clarke Award shortlist nominees for 2008 – and may well be no stranger to your bookshelves, whether in the form of his science fiction novels, criticism or histories.

Of whom do I speak? Well, let’s let The Adam Roberts Project explain it for [him/it]self, shall we?

The Adam Roberts Project is an algorithm for observing the world and generating text. It belongs to the future (hence ‘futurismic’) but more specifically to a 1970s future. The future promised us by Prog. The future we have been hitherto denied.

Among Adam Roberts Project’s previous productions are the concept albums Genesil, Land of Head-Yes, 21st Century Swiftly Man and Yellow Blue Tarkus.

Columns will be monthly and will be varied. No refunds will be offered.

The Adam Roberts Project also blogs at europrogovision.blogspot.com

Next Wednesday, we will be told why all genre fiction awards shortlists are rubbish.

Rest assured, I shall be pushing for a future column that explains the ongoing absence of our jetpacks…