It’s Friday and we have a slew of fun, interesting and unusual posts for our Friday Smorgasbord. In this week’s edition we have underwater art, a library that won’t be getting ‘Tanked,’ an interesting take on staycations and we’ll be finding NEEMO. First off we love it when kids opt for the crayons and paper instead of the Wii controller and New York’s Queens Art Express feels the same way sponsoring an undersea-inspired kids art exhibit titled “Octopus’s Garden.” Named after the Beatles’ tune, the exhibit features art from kids aged 5-13 at the Table Wine restaurant in Jackson Heights, where friends, neighbors and fellow artists can have a closer look.
One of our favorite art installations is adding 60 new statues this summer. The Cancun Underwater Museum already has over 400 life-sized sculptures are part of a larger national mainre park and receives around 750,000 visitors each year. Jason deCaires Taylor, the man behind the sculptures, has included intriguing exhibits such as “Phoenix,” depicting a woman with movable wings of purple gorgonian fan coral. Another interesting installation is “The Listener,” a figure assembled entirely from casts of human ears that is equipped with special underwater listening device that records reef sounds.
[via USA Today]
Great news for the Cabo Pulmo Marine Reserve as Mexico’s president has announced the cancellation of provisional permits for an enormous resort planned for the Baja California shoreline in front of a protected coral reef. Brovo to President Felipe Calderon who stated, “The Cabo Pulmo reef is the only coral reef in the Gulf of California, and as such merits special care and protection.” Enough said!
[via Washington Post]
A public library in Wausau, Wisconsin, is adding a coral reef aquarium supplied by ATM, the same company featured on the TV show “Tanked” on Animal Planet, but won’t be featured on the TV show. Logistics proved too tough to get the library featured on the show which is sad, since it may have inspired similar donations for public libraries across the country. The library is still getting a great deal on a 650 gallon custom aquarium from ATM plus support from local businesses to transport the aquarium, build a custom stand and enclosure. We’re hoping the library is contacting our friends at LiveAquaria, since the Rhinelander-based company is only 60 miles away, for input on stocking this centerpiece. Ralph Illick, the library’s director, says the tank will be built between the children’s section and an area devoted to marine biology to serve as a learning tool for students.
[via Wausau Daily Herald]
Last week we featured World Oceans Day here and this week we found this great story from San Francisco Bay Area’s KQED (PBS). Taking the inspiration from World Oceans Day, Helen Taylor built an “Ocean-Friendly “Staycation.” Being near the ocean and a few public aquariums (Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Califoria Academy of Sciences), made it easy to start but also included other unique things to do. The article listed taking an hour-long docent-led tour at the Marine Mammal Center to learn about the dangers local marine mammals face and how the MMC works to rehabilitate injured and sick animals, to visit a local beach and even spend a morning cleaning up a local beach. Don’t have an ocean handy? Make an ocean-themed day of your own: visit a local aquarium or zoo, clean up a local watershed (it all flows to the ocean sooner or later), contact the Audubon Society to restore habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl, or contact a local university to see if there are any marine biology workshops. What are your ocean-themed staycation ideas?
When we hear Nemo, there is no doubt either the captain from Jules Vernes’ “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea” or the Pixar film “Finding Nemo” comes to mind, so maybe it’s no wonder NASA chose the acronym NEEMO ( NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) to describe the underwater training astronauts receive to simulate a space mission. WIRED reporter Brian McLaughlin recently has the privilege to tag along for a run through a simulated full end-to-end space mission at the facility off the coast of Key Largo in Florida. Make sure you go over and read this incredibly informative article.