Archive for September 22nd, 2007

Caption competition – win decent tea!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Submit your caption entries via the Comments link at the end of this post.

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If ideas are slow to come, put the kettle on, make yourself a cup of tea, sit back, and…

The winner will receive three packs of Equal Exchange, London Tea Company, or Purely Organic (whichever you fancy) tea from this page (click on the link) at the Simply Fair website. The competition will close at midnight this coming All Hallows Eve, otherwise known as Halloween, on October 31st, and the winner will be announced soon thereafter.

You may wonder, why the competition, why here, why now, and why this photo? In response:

  • to spice up the blog;
  • no one followed my lead offering captions to this photo when it was posted a few weeks ago to the excellent Picture Post;
  • nearly the right time of year for a bizarre, slightly ghoulish picture like this; and,
  • used to work for the tea industry and like to support fairtrade-certified and organic tea producers.

The photo was originally uploaded by mohawk at flickr.

The protection of dolphins

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Am currently reading The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane, and came across the story below (one that first requires understanding of something marine biological).

It is now understood that marine phosphorescence is a consequence of the build-up in the water of minute bioluminescent organisms: dinoflagellate algae and plankton. By processes not entirely understood, these simple creatures ignite into light when jostled. They convert the energy of movement into the energy of radiance.

There have been few sightings of marine phosphorescence, and here’s a story of one of those sightings.

In 2004, a father and son were sailing in the Gulf of Mexico when their yacht was capsized by a gust of wind, sixty miles offshore. They clung to the hull, as it was carried on the powerful currents of the Gulf. After night fell, the water became rich with phosphorescence, and the air was filled with a high discordant music, made of many different notes: the siren song of dolphins. The drifting pair also saw that they were at the centre of two rough circles of phosphorescence, one turning within the other. The inner circle of light, they realised, was a ring of dolphins, swimming round the upturned boat, and the outer circle was a ring of sharks, swimming around the dolphins. The dolphins were protecting the father and his son, keeping the sharks from them.

- both quotes from Robert Macfarlane’s The Wild Places (pp.41-2)


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