Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rare megamouth shark caught

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Oliver Teves in his article "Rare megamouth shark caught, eaten in
Philippines" goes on to tell us that the megamouth shark is one of the
rarest fishes in the world. In fact, this megamouth shark was just the
41st documented capture. Only 40 others had been reported in such
areas as Japan, California, Taiwan, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa
and Mexico as well as other places.

As Teves goes on to report, the megamouth shark died while struggling
in the fishermen's net. It weighed 1,100 pounds and was 13 feet long.

The project manager of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Elson Aca, took
pictures and further tried to dissuade the fishermen from eating the
rare beast to no avail.

I can understand that. Apparently the megamouth shark is the main
ingredient in a delicacy that I'm guessing these guys don't get to eat
too often. It would be like someone wanting to study a thousand-dollar
bill I had just found; yeah take a picture but I'm going to "eat" it.

Believe it or not the megamouth shark is only 33-years-old with
respect to our knowledge of its existence. That was when it was first
discovered and it was so completely new that scientists started a new
family and genus.

The shark was found in 660 feet of water 185 miles from Manila. It is
a "filter-feeder." Filter-feeders" are fish that take food out of the
water by passing it through their mouth.

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This is very important in a
ecosystem because it helps keep the water pure.

There are other filter-feeders in the area where the megamouth was
found. One is the world's largest fish the whale shark.

The existence of these animals suggests that the water is in good
shape and the area should continue to be guarded.

I have linked to the picture of a megamouth shark.

I used to have a tropical fish aquarium. There was a terrible problem
with algae. I had a friend who had me add a catfish as a bottom-feeder
and snails and shrimp as filter-feeders. The water became much

Still, the fish all died.

Friday, April 3, 2009

G20 Protestors Attempt to Shut Down London

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On Tuesday, April 1, as a reaction to the G20 summit and the world's economic crisis, thousands of people converged upon London to protest economic policies, the environment, unemployment, and dissatisfaction with world leadership. As I walked up Bishopsgate Road toward work this morning, the beginnings of the protest, which started about 11 a.m., were already visible. A large number of businessmen and women were dressed down in an effort to detract attention, a huge surge of cyclists pedaled in for the protests and police officers stood prepared to manage the demonstrations.

As the morning progressed, we heard snippets of news throughout the office. The more violent events were taking place at the Royal Bank of Scotland near the Bank of England. Glass was broken and protesters conflicted with police. All of this news made us wonder what sort of chaos was going on elsewhere. At lunch, around 2 p.m., two colleagues and I walked down Bishopsgate to see what all the fuss was about.

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What we found was not a violent riot, but a peaceful demonstration called Climate Camp. A huge section of one of the City's major streets was closed off because a huge number of people had pitched tents in their protest of global climate policy. One group of people sat near a tree on the sidewalk meditating, a few protestors played a rhythmic drum number, and others did yoga in the middle of the street. The protestors had drawn chalk designs and protests on the sidewalk, and many carried signs protesting climate change, such as "Nature doesn't offer a bailout." The protest was peaceful and meaningful, unlike the meaningless window smashing that we had seen on the news.

The Climate Camp has pitched tents because it means to stay throughout the G20 Summit to ensure that its voice is heard.Further down the street, where the larger and less stable protest was happening in front of the Bank of England and the Royal Bank of Scotland, was more difficult to access.

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We made it as far as the square before the Bank before we hit a barrier of police
officers. Above the heads of the small crowd that had gathered around, we could see riot police mounted on horseback, so it was clear that law enforcement wasn't taking any chances.

The area was still an unusual sight. In an effort to see better, several people had climbed on top of statues, and sat drinking beers and enjoying the view.

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Across the street, four people sat perched atop the ledge above the doorway of a stone building, a sight that completely undermined the usual formality of the area. Though a number of people were hoping for riots and violence, the demonstrations today remained mostly peaceful. The face of the City seemed different with so many intruders. The streets, usually packed with cars, were silent. Business people and protesters alike walked freely down Bishopsgate as though it were a sidewalk. The air was tense, but passionate. Though we cannot tell whether or not the voices will be heard, they were certainly speaking loudly.