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School of Black Margate


Good afternoon friends, I’m back!! I had another three day weekend and stayed far away from the computer, I love being out of touch! Aimee and I like to turn off all our mobile devices on our days off, we only carry our antique Nokia disposable phones that have zero access to the internet, so no texting or surfing on the go for us. My three days off went by super fast but they sure were fun, just ask the dogs! Each day I took them on a 2-3 hour adventure and brought them back worn out and dirty. And after their baths, these two lucky dogs snoozed the afternoons away in air conditioned comfort. MORE

Seahorse-Inspired Engineering

3-D printed seahorse tailA team of engineers at Clemson University, led by Michael M. Porter, have created a 3-D printed model of a seahorse’s tail in the hopes of finding out if the tail’s unique shape – an organization of square prisms surrounded by bony plates that are connected by joints – has a functional advantage over the cylindrical tails that most animals possess. After the scientists created 3-D models of a square prism and a cylindrical tail, they whacked the models with a rubber mallet and twisted and bent them. The findings?  The square was stiffer and more resilient when crushed, and was half as able to twist, a feature which could help prevent damage and supply greater control. MORE

Happy 4th of July!

am flag beachHappy 4th, everyone!  I hope you all have a great holiday, and remember to drink responsibly, drive carefully, and wear plenty of sunscreen!

Adidas Sneakers made from Ocean Waste

image copyright: Adidas/Parley

image copyright: Adidas/Parley

 The Adidas Group has just partnered with Parley for the Ocean, an initiative dedicated to raising awareness about the beauty and fragility of the oceans and to collaborating on projects that can end their destruction, to design and produce a sneaker whose shoe upper is made entirely of yarns and filaments reclaimed and recycled from ocean waste and illegal deep-sea gillnets. Gillnets are a type of mesh net that’s designed to only let a fish’s head pass through, but not the rest of its body. As the fish struggles, the net slips behind its gills and prevents it from escaping. The nets were confiscated by the conservation group Sea Shepherd, from a poaching vessel off the coast of West Africa. MORE

Coral Letters

coral lettersTwo years ago, Barry and Aimee Brown began photographing “hidden” letters in the brain coral colonies around Curacao, the Caribbean island where they live. Their hunt, which sometimes took them as deep as 100 feet, gave them an even better understanding of the devastation shallow-growing brain coral have experienced from bleaching and recent strong storms. You can download the full set of letters for free here as a zip file. The photographers only ask that you give them credit and that you don’t use the work commercially.

Mapping the Intrinsic Risk of Marine Species

The Journal of Science recently published a paper from the University of California at Berkeley where fossils were studied to help predict which marine species were now at the greatest risk for extinction.”Marine species are under threat from human impacts, but knowledge of their vulnerabilities is limited,” says study co-author, Professor John Pandolfi from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at the University of Queensland. Using fossils to better understand the inherent risk some species have to coastal threats such as human presence, the team was able to map the extinction patterns of marine species. 150430144955_1_540x360“We used these estimates to map natural extinction risk in modern oceans, and compare it with recent human pressures on the ocean such as fishing, and climate change to identify the areas most at risk,” says Professor Pandolfi. Protecting modern species from extinction is the number one goal yet some species have an intrinsic risk of extinction so the teams goal “was to diagnose which species are vulnerable in the modern world, using the past as a guide” says study lead author, Assistant Professor Seth Finnegan from the University of California Berkeley. “We believe the past can inform the way we plan our conservation efforts. However there is a lot more work that needs to be done to understand the causes underlying these patterns and their policy implications,” says Asst. Professor, Seth Finnegan Read more here!

Buying ich vaccinated fish?

fish_vaccination_close_homepageCould ich free fish be the wave of the future? Imagine if you were shopping for a new addition to your marine aquarium, and in addition to choosing between captive bred and wild caught, you could also choose between ich vaccinated and non-ich vaccinated. Vaccination of companion animals is common, and most of us protect our pets from fatal diseases like rabies and distemper, simply by getting them a common vaccine. So why hasn’t this taken place for marine fish?  MORE

Castaway Bathroom

octopus bath artRelease the Kracken!

A few simple touches can liven up the bath. How about a desert-island theme to give morning routines a taste of high-seas adventure?

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