Monday, July 23, 2012

Mystery of Ocean Currents, BP Spill Edition

credit: NOAA

"In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill it became clear that understanding the various scales of oceanic currents and flows lies at the very heart of being able to improve our understanding and prediction of oil spills," explained Dr. Tamay Ӧzgökmen, University of Miami (UM) Professor and Director of the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbons in the Environment (CARTHE), a project funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). "In this case we are like detectives uncovering clues and following the 'trail' to find out exactly where pollutants might go."
Full story here. (Via Craig Pittman.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Home Remedies for Rabies

Bill Wasik and his veterinarian wife, Monica Murphy, have published a book, Rabid, that I read and blurbed--enthusiastically--and will recommend again here. N+1 has a tasty review. A spoonful:
Wasik and Murphy’s subject might seem like a deliberately strange one, but they exercise nothing but user-friendly restraint when it comes to historical detail and medical explanation. It’s a rare pleasure to read a nonfiction book by authors who research like academics but write like journalists. They have mined centuries’ worth of primary sources and come bearing only the gems. My favorites were the archaic cures, some of which were reasonable (lancing, cauterization), while others were plain perverted. The Sushruta Samhita recommends pouring clarified butter into the infected wound and then drinking it; Pliny the Elder suggests a linen tourniquet soaked with the menstrual fluid of a dog.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Professor Diablo's True Review: The Video

There's now a snazzy video of the performance (music, video, Moby-Duck) that I posted about here last April.

Professor Diablo’s True Revue I: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea from Center for Documentary Studies on Vimeo.

Good-Bye (For Now) to All That

I've neglected this blog since last April mostly because I learned then that I will be heading to Ann Arbor in September on a Knight-Wallace Journalism fellowship, which will give me eight months to begin work on a second book--a project bearing little resemblance to Moby-Duck, at least so far as subject matter goes. (No more seafaring for me. I've had my seaward peep, and now will be trying to peep both eastward and into the past. More on this later--much later.)

The last few months I've been preoccupied with the logistics of leaving New York. The date of the move swiftly approaches. An Ann Arbor lease has been signed. A truck big as a boat has been reserved. Many boxes have been packed. We've built a ziggurat out of them in the living room. We've been trying to reassure M. & B. about the move by describing the delights awaiting them in their new home. We're in a transition, in other words, and my preoccupations are not the same ones that preoccupied me when I created this blog. They're still fatherly and bookish, but not as watery as they once were.

There are a few items that have collected in my file of things to post about. I'll try to get to them before September 1. Thereafter, the terms of the Knight-Wallace Fellowship (an eight-month sabbatical for journalists) wisely prohibit publication of any sort, including blogging.