July 31, 2006

7/31 - THE NEW SB: Comin' at cha, tomorrow!

Everybody brace yourselves.  Tomorrow, August 1, we're launching the SB Flix Contest with a total makeover on this here website, for the first time since starting the project in March of 2003.  

Rough Xgames smaller.jpg

Posted by Randy Olson at 11:05 AM

July 27, 2006

7/28 - Beautiful Evolution, Destructive Humans:  The shifted baseline of Susquehanna River mussels

One of the most amaaaaaaazing essays I ever read from Stephen Jay Gould (hero of my documentary feature, "Flock of Dodos") was about the freshwater clams who have a microscopic larval stage.  Given the one way flow of a river, why don't the clams end up slowly migrating one way, downstream, since their larvae are too weak to swim against the current?  The answer is the ingenious mechanism they've evolved in which their fleshy mantle tissue looks like a fish and serves as a lure to draw in real fish, onto which they squirt their larvae which attach and then hitch a free ride upstream until they finally fall off.

Great story, but now appearing to be a tale from the past in the Susquehanna River according to this article.  Dams constructed on the river almost 100 years ago destroyed the eel populations.  Eels were probably the major carrier.  There are still some clams left around, but as the article says, when you talk to the old timers, its NOTHING like it used to be.  Same old story -- everyone has shifted their baselines, having no recollection of the massive beds of mussels that once existed.


Dude, check out my mussels

Posted by Randy Olson at 09:12 AM

July 25, 2006

7/25 - Revenge of the Marlin

Yikes.  Its not clear who caught whom off of Bermuda yesterday as a blue marlin speared its fisherman.


The consequences of over-fishing?

Posted by Randy Olson at 02:06 PM

July 21, 2006

7/21 - "Grilled" -  A good movie rental for this weekend, from our SB Ex. Producer Jason Ensler

Looking for a funny movie to rent this weekend?  Take a look at Ray Romano and Kevin James in, ""Grilled"," directed by our own long time Shifting Baselines Executive Producer, Jason Ensler.  Here is an "EXCELLENT" review of the film.  It's Ray and Kevin like you've never seen them (as really good actors), and the middle third of the movie is really hilarious -- especially Juliette Lewis as the drunk wife of a mobster.  Jason's next project is directing the upcoming NBC sitcom, "Andy Barker, P.I.," starring Andy Richter and co-written by his old buddy Conan O'Brian.

Grilled - rent it now, rent it often

Posted by Randy Olson at 12:03 PM

July 20, 2006

7/20 - Sewer Surfing:  1.5 million S. California beach swimmers sick each year

More evidence in the LA Times that Jeremy Jackson's futuristic concept, "Escape from Malibu," (in which the oceans are so filthy that only the poor people who can't afford to move live beside the sea) may some day come true.

Bacteria: they're everywhere!

Posted by Randy Olson at 11:20 AM

July 16, 2006

7/17 - Teed Off: Ocean Super Hero J.M. Cousteau Comes to the Rescue of Guana Cay, Bahamas

After donning his cape and landing in the Oval Office to make an ocean conservationist out of enviro skeptic President Bush, ocean super hero Jean-Michel Cousteau is now coming to the aid of Guana Cay in the Bahamas where pasty skinned golfers in baggy plaid shorts are threatening to make the coral reefs into fairways. Somebody needs to write a comic book starring this guy.


Look, out in the ocean, it's an albatross, no, it's a seaplane, no ... it's ... Ocean Super Hero Jean-Michel Cousteau (seen here without his cape)

Posted by Randy Olson at 10:01 AM

July 07, 2006

7/8 - Something Smelts Fishy: Oregon town has to import smelt for fish fry

Yet another tale of the shifting baseline. Not enough smelts for the the Yachats Lion Club Smelt Fry this year. Gonna have to import them from the south. Times are changin'.

The Annual Seattle "Smelt Run" has more people than Smelts Sands, Oregon has fish

Posted by Randy Olson at 05:01 PM

July 01, 2006

7/2 - OCEAN CHAMPIONS: Holding out carrots for Congress

When it comes to motivating politicians, you can use the carrot or the stick. Lots of environmentalists know how to use the stick by getting everyone to sign petitions complaining about this or that and attacking congressmen who support those who damage the environment. But not so many know how to work the positive reinforcement side. Ocean Champions are the rare group that understands this approach. They are the first and only Political Action Committee (PAC) for the oceans. They pick out the people in congress who do the best job with the oceans and give them a big pat on the back by donating to their campaigns in returns for their hard work on behalf of our oceans.

Here's their PICKS for this November's elections:



Posted by Randy Olson at 07:44 PM