Friday, March 23, 2012

Turning Whalesong into Rainbows - Exceptional blog by an HIMB researcher

Sometimes it is just better if you all read someone else's blog rather than mine.
From Fishpond Fever

I have introduced other HIMB researcher's blogs in the past, such as Megsie's Fishpond Fever, always a good read. This week, I would like you to take a look at Alexis' Sounding the Sea - Bioacoustics . . . the Sound of Life.

From the HIMB Marine Mammal Research Program
Now I should be right up front here and say that this is a blog that relates to dolphins and whales. The ULTIMATE charismatic megafauna. These are the animals that drive many marine biologists nuts as they take all the attention, while having only a modest impact on the marine environment.

There I will be, talking about the amazing sea cucumbers, about how important they are in the ecology of the ocean, about how they can split into half, use vomit as a kung fu defense, leap tall buildings (well maybe not leap, but crawl a few meters a day processing the nutrients in the sand - very important stuff). I have all of my group's attention, they are following my every word. A dolphin jumps in the pen way off behind me and I have lost not only the immediate attention of my audience, but they have forgotten anything I previously said as well.

Little wonder that some marine biologists do not appreciate dolphins. See my previous blog on Zombie worms or check out the “I’m a marine biologist and, to be honest, I kind of hate dolphins”  science scout badge (image from site below) 
Of course, it is not the dolphins' fault that humans react in such a sociobiologically stereotypic fashion to these mega-neonatal creatures. They are actually fascinating animals and there is a group of very serious scientists who study them - which brings us to this week's focus, a blog by Alexis titled, "Turning Whalesong into Rainbows: 1000 Numbers into 1000 Words." 

Art by Casey Roberts
In this entry, Alexis lures the unwary reader in with simple and smiley sounding words like, "whalesong" and "rainbows," then proceeds to quite brilliantly explain some rather serious math and science before it even occurs to the reader to try and escape.

Aah if I could only get her to turn her attention to sea cucumbers -  in the mean time, check out 
"Turning Whalesong into Rainbows: 1000 Numbers into 1000 Words," a wonderful read.

For parents, please note, not all of her blog entries are intended for youngsters, many are personal musings, and any blog or link that leads off of this page does just that - we are no longer responsible - there be dragons out there. . .



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