A few nice Hard Water issues images I found:
Massive Coral Bleaching at Planet Rock
Image by Boogies with Fish
On Saturday I had my last dive in Madang for several months. We went out to Planet Rock in Astrolabe Bay. I had not been there since October of last year. Fortunately I’m feeling much better than I was then. I distinctly remember feeling suicidal on that dive. Things are greatly improved since then. Life could get interesting, so I’m happy to stick around for a while. I still have important work which provides me with a living and I have many other good things in my life. I’m coming around. I’m on my way to adventure for several months starting in two more days. All this is good news.
What is definitely not good news is the massive coral bleaching that is happening all up and down the coast near Madang. I’m not an expert on anything, but I think that I can safely say that the episode is caused by the rise of local water temperature.
I can remember when the average water temperature on a dive to twenty metres was about 27 or 28 ° C. Now it is more like 30 or 31. This is certainly enough to trigger coral bleaching on a long-term basis. If bleaching episodes last long enough, the coral dies completely and the reef becomes broken rubble in short order. New coral growths have a hard time establishing themselves on rubble, because it is not a solid foundation. As soon as a new colony begins to grow, the bit of rubble is disturbed by wave action caused by storms and the colony is dislodged.
Nearly this entire colony is affected to some extent.
Here is a close up of another type of coral which will most likely not recover. It’s difficult to tell without specialised knowledge whether or not the coral polyps will survive. To me, it appears that these are empty shells.
It looks bad enough up close.
This patch of dead or dying coral is about a hundred metres long.
All around the top of the rock we saw hundreds of patches of bleached coral during a forty-five minute dive. I would say that this is an increase of about fifty times as much dying coral over any cases which I have seen before. It is very worrisome.
It is devilishly difficult to photograph something back in a hole. You simply cannot jam in enough light for a decent exposure back in the hole without overexposing the coral which is surrounding it. In the shot above you can see one of the legs and the eye.
Then I was faced with an ethical dilemma. Do I turn the hermit crab back over to the tender mercies of the octopus to suffer its natural fate and allow the octopus to enjoy its rightful meal or do I carry the shell a few metres away and drop it, giving the hermit crab a new lease on life, but leaving the octopus hungry?
I decided to put things back the way we found them and let nature take its course.
But I did feel bad for the hermit crab.
East African Coalition Logistics Conference, January 2011
Image by US Army Africa
Delegates of the East African Coalition Logistics Conference pose for a group photo in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Jan. 6, 2011. The conference, hosted by Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, brought representatives from U.S. Africa Command and more than 10 African partner nations together to exchange ideas and discuss solutions to transportation and logistics issues in their countries.
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kathrine McDowell
Military logistics officers gathered in Djibouti in early January to participate in the first East African Coalition Logistics Conference, hosted by Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa. The conference brought together logistics officers from U.S. Africa Command, its sub component commands for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and CJTF-HOA, as well as partner nations from more than 10 African countries, and South Korea.
The conference expanded understanding between partner-nation logistics operations, conducted international logistics orientations, established cooperative partner-nation relationships and built on these relationships for the future. African nation participants included Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania and Mauritius. Delegates from the African Union were also in attendance.
CJTF-HOA’s director of logistics and master of ceremonies, U.S. Navy Capt. Stephen LeBlanc, opened the conference with welcoming remarks followed by keynote addresses from U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti, James Swan; Air Force Brig. Gen. Barbara Faulkenberry, director of logistics for U.S. Africa Command; and Rear Adm. Brian Losey, CJTF-HOA commander.
“As logisticians, we know that when you look at the ability to accomplish a mission, whether that’s peacekeeping, responding to a national crisis, the defense of a nation, or the humanitarian response to a catastrophe, we think of the mission,” said Faulkenberry. Logistics provides the framework and connectivity in order for a mission to succeed, she said.
Following the formal presentations, logistics officers from each partner nation gave presentations to illustrate their individual logistical situations and unique opportunities to contribute to the over-arching partnerships among the countries.
Each country, represented by two officers, dove into their logistical processes, expounding on the issues and challenges they face operating within their country as well as across East Africa. Many countries experience similar challenges stemming from poor or emerging economies, recent rebellions, lack of proper infrastructure and challenges based on geographical terrain.
“Dealing with maintenance issues is not always easy,” said Lt. Col. Ali Aden Houmed of the Djiboutian National Army. “We also have some difficulty having qualified specialists for maintenance issues, so these issues give us a hard time. We have equipment coming from various countries for different projects. It’s good to have gifts from friends, but at the end of the day, it is difficult to keep that equipment working.”
The second day of the conference opened with additional presentations by partner-nation officers. LeBlanc also personally thanked all the participants. The conference culminated in an orientation and demonstration of the Pre-positional Expeditionary Assistance Kit (PEAK) system, which converts and purifies local water sources to potable water. The equipment can deliver benefits in a variety of medical, military and industrial situations, and does not adversely affect the environment.
The conference was hailed as a success in that it was a unique opportunity for U.S. military logisticians to share best practices with their military counterparts in East African countries, enabling them to have a stronger understanding and appreciation for logistical issues and solutions.
“There are major infrastructure programs in virtually every country in this region,” said Swan.
“New roads, new railway networks and new ports will clearly improve capabilities for logistics in the region in the future. Partner nations here in the region are heavily involved in efforts to improve the logistics base here in East Africa,” he said.
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sky day 186/mornin’
Image by maureen_sill
ok so if you are vegan or vegetarian and you eat soup in an all night diner where the waitress tells you that a soup you are about to order is vegan and you are pretty sure it’s not vegan when she brings it to the table because it tastes like it has chicken stock in it but you eat it anyway because you trust people and she told you it was so it must be, but you end up feeling really sick at six in the morning on the only day you do not have to deliver newspapers but you are not upset with the waitress because it’s really okay and her life is probably hard enough as it is because she is a waitress, but you still feel sick, this is a therapy i have invented for this circumstance:
you will need:
1 camera (optional)
precursor to experimenting with this therapy: when completing steps 1-9, as they are sensitive steps, make sure there is no one who would intentionally harm or disturb you around to interrupt these steps, because it is a situation in which you could easily be induced into panic, (if you are doing this correctly) and you do not want to be in a panic otherwise why would you be interested in this therapy, so double check this to avoid further, and certain discomfort. also be sure to never, never turn on artificial lights.
1. turn on hot, hot water in the bathtub, get inside of it (you can be naked or wearing a swimsuit, it is your choice. you could probably even be wearing a sweater, if you feel like cleaning up your sweater later.)
2. turn on the shower head, to hot hot water
3. hold your breath, with your face facing upwards towards the shower head, for as long as you possibly can
4. do not stop holding your breath, just calm down and relax
5. seriously, do not give in, just relax, but be careful not to pass out. pay attention to your lungs and your brain. pay attention to what they want.
6. when you decide that you want to breathe again, the water hitting your face from the showerhead will induce the sensation that you are possibly going to drown. do not panic, this is highly unlikely in a bathtub if you are an adult, unless you are extremely out of tune with your body. if this is perhaps an issue for you, do not attempt this!
7. breath extremely slowly, do not be greedy with the air because the air is not greedy with you! focus.
8. continue to breathe very shallowly and then turn off the water from the showerhead with your toes, then let all the water out of the bathtub with your toes, try to move as little as possible
9. you will be able to feel the water line that surrounds your body getting lowr and lower, it will feel as though your body is sinking your body is sinking your body is sinking deeper into the bathtub. this is perhaps an illusion created by phsyics, or it could be real. your choice.
10. do not take a shower for several days now because you have used your water quota. or, if you really want to take a shower, you could recycle a lot of people’s things that they don’t normally recycle, or plant a tree, or ride your bike or take the bus if you usually drive, in order to cash in some karma chips so you don’t feel too guilty about using this water to make you feel better. or, if you are vegetarian, you could eat vegan for a few days. or, if you personally don’t care about this sort of thing, i guess that is okay too, but you should probably tell people that you do in order to preserve yourself excess anxiety in social situations.
11. get dressed (optional)
12. get on your bike as the sun is now rising as it is probably around 6:30 am
13. ride to a place where you can look at the sun whole, it is not blocked by buildings or wires or trees or houses or skyscrapers. this is possible everywhere, even in new york city. you can find it. doing this is especially nice on saturday mornings at 6:30am, as the road is completely fucking deserted and you might feel as though you are completely alone on planet earth and if you are not the only person alive then you are most certainly the only person awake, and that is the same thing sometimes
14. take a picture of the sun, if you feel like it, with your optional camera
15. ride bike back home
16. drink water, take holistic medicine, if you want
17. you, my vegan or vegetarian friend, will feel completely better