Friday, October 22News That Matters

Tag: Pacific Ocean

A Swirling Vortex Is No Match for This Deep-Sea Sponge

A Swirling Vortex Is No Match for This Deep-Sea Sponge

Technology
At the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, cylindrical clusters of the glass sponge Euplectella aspergillum jut upward like skyscrapers in the deep sea. Some house tiny shrimp, to whom an 11-inch sponge is essentially a high-rise. And the sponge’s glass skeleton is certainly a feat of architecture, comprising a geometric latticework that gives the sponge the illusion of being wrapped in lace. Yet it is enduringly sturdy, able to stay rooted in the sea floor and weather currents without snapping or splintering.Such structural superpowers leave many scientists eager to unravel whatever secrets this crystalline sponge contains. The answers could solve engineering problems, such as how to design a tall building that will not collapse in harsh winds. A study published Wednesday in the Journal of the R...
On the Water in Alaska, Where Salmon Fishing Dreams Live On

On the Water in Alaska, Where Salmon Fishing Dreams Live On

Travel
My camera lens is pressed against the window of the small floatplane as it flies below a thick ceiling of clouds. The mist clings to the hillsides of a temperate rainforest that descend steeply to the rocky coastline of southeast Alaska.The plane banks, and a tiny village comes into view. A scattering of houses are built on stilts on the water’s edge. We circle and I see fishing boats tied up next to a large dock and a floating post office. The pilot throttles down and the pontoons skim across the glassy water inside the bay. We taxi to the public dock and I step out in front of the Point Baker general store.Life along the Alaska coast is economically and culturally dependent on fishing. Each summer, millions of salmon — after maturing in the ocean — begin their journey back to the rivers ...