• A View of America

    The United States of America has lifted more people out of abject poverty, spread more freedom and democracy, and has created more innovation in technology and medicine than any other

    Read more »
  • Facebook, Google – WTH

    I’m no longer using Facebook actively. Updates I make will be here on my website and public.

    Read more »
  • July 4

    #Repost @timkennedymma (Instagram) ・・・ I never thought I would live in a time where some would find this flag to be offensive and abhorrent. This flag held the field to

    Read more »
  • Xavier Commencement 2019 – Dr. Chelsea Esmeier!

    Here’s the festivities cut down from 3 hours to **10 minutes** – all the good parts! DR. CHELSEA ESMEIER Highlights from XU 2019 Commencement1. National Anthem2. Chelsea receiving her doctorate3.

    Read more »

Italy’s First Coral Reef Discovered

A rare type of coral reef has been discovered off Italy’s southern coast. Scientists believe the reef to be about 1.5 miles, it may stretch tens of miles along the coastline.

Why the discovery now? The reef is mesophotic—meaning, it has low levels of light, a condition that isn’t ideal for coral to grow. Various colors of coral are in the reef and official designation of the area as a coral reef is pending. Actions are already in play to protect the find.

Soon, you should be able to add Monopoli’s coral reef to your diving bucket list. 

Source: Conde Nast Traveler

Dive Industry of Victoria wants to sink the Steve Irwin

The Dive Industry of Victoria Association (DIVA) has secured an undertaking from the Sea Shepherd Organisation to donate the MY Steve Irwin to sink as an artificial reef in Melbourne, which will act as a haven for fish life and as a major tourist attraction to divers worldwide.

The ship, shown in the Animal Planet show Whale Wars, was named to honor the late Steve Irwin in 2007. The ship was built in 1975 and was originally commissioned as FPV Westra. In 2006, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society purchased the vessel and renamed it MY Robert Hunter after Canadian Robert Hunter, founder of Greenpeace.

MY Steve Irwin

Sea Shepherd used the ship in attempts to disrupt Japanese whaling. One tactic involved Sea Shepherd members throwing bottles of foul-smelling acid onto the decks of the Japanese whaling ships. These and other tactics such as blocking Japanese whaling ships continued until 2013. Whaling ships often collided with the ship as well as MY Bob Barker, another ship in the Sea Shepherd fleet in attempts to thwart their attacks.

Sea Shepherd announced the ship will be retired, stripped and recycled in China, and the MY Ocean Warrior will be taking its spot as the flagship vessel of the fleet. There is an effort via online petition to sink the ship so it becomes an artificial reef. The price tag is $2.6 million, half of which Sea Shepherd volunteered to pay. The petition is to show the Australian government the level of interest in sinking the ship in Melbourne.

Sign the petition

Melbourne is currently the wreck capital of Australia, where there are already 50 shipwrecks including four British WW1 submarines and an Australian Navy guided missile destroyer to dive on.

Public Speaking Tips from ZeFrank

Public speaking is weird and special. Therefore, you should prepare for it. Here is some advice from one of my favorite public speakers, Ze Frank. I also included video of his funny Ted talk, “The Human Test”.

  • Don’t imagine that the audience is naked. Whoever thought of that has a different reaction to naked than I do.
  • Things to think about when you are creating your talk: don’t imagine what the talk would be like, be yourself.
  • There is no standard format, do what works best for you; you’ve probably been asked to speak because you know something about something. Make your talk center around that something and go from there. If you are going to speak about origami, then do your talk in the style of origami.
  • Don’t be overwhelmed – if you’re afraid, say so in your talk – have an honest talk.
  • If you are struggling to have a point in what you are writing – you may not have a point AND IT’S OK TO SAY THAT.
  • Preparing for your talk: don’t read – that’s public reading, not public speaking.
  • In your day-to-day, benchmark what “exciting” feels like. Try to bottle that up and release it in your talk.
  • When you are ready to practice your talk, do it in an empty room from start to finish without stopping. Only make corrections when you are done with the entire thing. Listening to yourself speak in an empty room will be absolutely horrific. If you can get through that, you can get through speaking on a nice sound system. Not stopping ensures that you don’t over practice the beginning and under practice the end. It also helps you learn to improvise when you forget.
  • Your mind should do two things – one side should keep the talk moving while the other handles distractions, loud noises, sneezes, etc. It really works – but for it to work, you have to practice that start-to-finish process in an empty room at least three times.
  • When it’s time to get on stage, it’s okay to be excited, scared, uncomfortable. Sometimes we confuse excitement with anxiety. Take a temperature of how you are feeling at that moment, and make that your baseline – what is normal. That way you don’t get into a spiral that you’re getting freaked out that you’re getting freaked out, that you’re getting freaked out… and if you start to freak out or freeze up, just tell the audience that. You’re already a badass for being on stage, they will have patience.
  • If you don’t know how to start, just look out at everyone and say “hi”.
  • DO NOT PAUSE after you tell a joke. If people start to talk or laugh loudly, start talking again after the peak. Think of it as a kind of surfing.
  • If you make a mistake, don’t point it out or dwell on it. just keep going. The audience has already had to sit through the mistake once, they don’t need to hear any more about it… and they will forgive you.
  • If you see someone in the audience that doesn’t like you or is giving you evil looks, ignore them. They will try to suck your soul out of your eyeballs.
  • If you need inspiration, watch a video of Spalding Gray.
  • You’ll do great.

Why I want to dive

One of my goals (they’re goals, not resolutions) for 2019, is to get my scuba certification. Here’s why I’m so interested in diving:

  1. I’ve wanted to dive ever since I was nine. I saw it on television, and wanted to do it. Anytime I saw diving in person or in a movie or on television, I was front and center watching. The first time I got to scuba dive was 1987. It was everything I wanted, and I wanted more (still do). When we visited Epcot a couple of years ago, we went to the Coral Reef restaurant. I had my nose pressed up against the glass for over two hours watching the activity in the aquarium.
  2. Atmosphere. It is as close as you can get to truly being weightless like in space (and it’s cheaper). I’ve experienced “weightlessness” (being neutrally buoyant – not floating or sinking) a couple of times in a pool. It intrigues me and I love feeling it.
  3. Lots to explore.  71% of the Earth is water. I’ll never run out of places to go. I wouldn’t with the other 29%, but the 71% that is water is less crowded, doesn’t have traffic, cellphones… you get the idea.

4. Friends. Most of the people I’ve connected with related to scuba diving are pretty interesting, friendly people. From people in my area to some in other parts of the world. I have a large number of divers around the world friend me on Facebook and share their adventures.

5. The environment. This was the year I saw just how horrible we treat our oceans. TONS of plastic winds up underwater, threatening sea life around the globe. As a diver, I can pull this type of plastic when I encounter it and as while on land, I can reduce how much single-use plastic I purchase. I’m sure some in my area (which is landlocked) think reducing their single-use plastic will not make a difference, but it will. Reducing single-use plastic will make companies think of alternatives.  Already, IKEA and Dunkin’ Donuts are eliminating single-use plastic by 2020. Locally, Kroger stores are eliminating plastic bags by 2025. 

6. I’m intrigued by the gear and how it works. When it comes down to it, you’re talking about life support equipment. Innovations in scuba gear bring all kinds of gear enhancements. I remember when there weren’t BCDs and the tank was just strapped on your back (my excursion dive in 1987 was with a tank harness/no BCD). Drysuits are more common, so are full face masks. From unique slate designs and clipping mechanisms to Kirby Morgan’s M-48 full face mask, I think it’s all cool and I already know I’m a complete gear nerd.

« Older Entries Recent Entries »