Maps go underwater now as Google has added panoramic imagery of Hawaii, Australia, and the Philippines. From the Google Maps Blog:
Find a sea turtle swimming among a school of fish, follow a manta ray and experience the reef at sunset. in the Great Barrier Reed. At Apo Island, a volcanic island and marine reserve in the Philippines, you can see an ancient boulder coral, which may be several hundred years old. And in the middle of the Pacific, in Hawaii, you can join snorkelers in Oahu’s Hanauma Bay and drift over the vast coral reef at Maui’s Molokini crater.
The images are stunning as seen in this video.
The feature works like Street View in Google Maps. And the images were captured using an SVII specialized camera while traveling at 4 kilometers an hour.
According to Wegener, this historical Hawaiian surfcraft – which appears to be little more than a flat piece of wood in the shape of an ironing board – may not only be the most enviro friendly surfboard available today, it might be part of one of surfing’s next big leaps in modern board design.
It is also a much-needed design, since the foam boards of today are nearly as toxic as you can make something. The recent movie, ‘Manufacturing Stoke’, discusses this strange development, as well as a detailed post I wrote on Green Surfboards.
The next step is finding the right type of wood that can match the ultra-high performance of the industrial-era poly/resin/chemical boards used by professional surfers today.
Phil Joske introduced him (Tom) to a sustainable board building material called Paulownia wood. With a much greater strength-to-weight ratio than balsa, an easy-to-work-with nature, and an imperviousness to saltwater, Tom used this unique wood and his innovative longboard designs to help revolutionize the genre of hollow wood surfboards.
Many in the industry are taking note of these designs, there is a certain beauty to a glossy wooden board. Especially, knowing that it is handcrafted and great for the environment.
Learn more at Patagonia’s – Wood is Good series (featuring videos, interviews, and lots of links to surf films and designers).
This little guy is called Glaucus Atlanticus. It is a species of sea slug that grows to around 35 mm. They float partially by means of an air bubble, which they swallow and store in their gastric cavity. They also have a rather unique defence mechanism – they store the nematocysts produced by jellyfish (their prey) in their own tissues to protect against predators.
Two teams of astronomers have discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe. The water, equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the world’s ocean, surrounds a huge, feeding black hole, called a quasar, more than 12 billion light-years away.
“The environment around this quasar is very unique in that it’s producing this huge mass of water,” said Matt Bradford, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “It’s another demonstration that water is pervasive throughout the universe, even at the very earliest times.”
A quasar is powered by an enormous black hole that steadily consumes a surrounding disk of gas and dust. As it eats, the quasar spews out huge amounts of energy. Both groups of astronomers studied a particular quasar called APM 08279+5255, which harbors a black hole 20 billion times more massive than the sun and produces as much energy as a thousand trillion suns.
Astronomers expected water vapor to be present even in the early, distant universe, but had not detected it this far away before. There’s water vapor in the Milky Way, although the total amount is 4,000 times less than in the quasar, because most of the Milky Way’s water is frozen in ice.
And, the instruments they used:
Bradford’s team made their observations starting in 2008, using an instrument called “Z-Spec” at the California Institute of Technology’s Submillimeter Observatory, a 33-foot (10-meter) telescope near the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Follow-up observations were made with the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-Wave Astronomy (CARMA), an array of radio dishes in the Inyo Mountains of Southern California.
The second group, led by Dariusz Lis, senior research associate in physics at Caltech and deputy director of the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, used the Plateau de Bure Interferometer in the French Alps to find water.
Making a third try at sailing handmade sailboats on a course for Hawaii, students from Regional Occupational Program model-making classes at San Clemente High School launched three new vessels into the Pacific from Capistrano Beach on Tuesday afternoon.
Under the supervision of Malcolm Wilson, an instructor in the Capistrano-Laguna Beach ROP, about 75 students in three teams designed and built the one-fifth-scale model boats out of surfboard foam and fiberglass. Then they rigged them to sail on westerly and trade winds toward the Hawaiian Islands. Their progress will be monitored via onboard GPS devices.
After signing their names on the hulls and inserting their contact information into watertight containers in each of the boats, the students stood back and watched with friends and relatives as volunteer swimmers guided the boats over breaking waves on their way out to sea.
On his first official trip to Waikiki in April he was taken out in an outrigger canoe, then later in the day was coaxed into standing up on a surfboard to ride the waves for the first time by the great Olympian and father of modern surfing Duke Kahanamoku.
However, the future King Edward VIII was so stoked on surfing that he ordered the royal ship HMS Renown to return for 3 days in September just to surf! On this secret surf trip he hooked up with Duke’s brother David Kahanamoku, and along with his great friend Lord Louis Mountbatten, they went surfing every day. The photos were signed by the Edward and Louis as a thank you to their hosts.
Mountbatten was taught to surf by Prince Kalakaua Kawananakoa, the only son of Prince David Kawananakoa who had surfed in Bridlington on England’s east coast in 1890. One of the photos in the gallery below shows the foursome taking a break from surfing and resting on their surfboard.
HMS Renown was even late leaving… because the prince was still out in the surf! As you can see he got quite good in a short time – and remember the surfboard he was riding was a finless, solid wooden plank of native Hawaiian koa weighing around 100 pounds.
You make the world tour, have 11 stops around the world and some cash to be made…. so, did ya ever wonder how much it would cost to travel the world tour?
Stop 1 – Gold Coast for the Quikkie Pro – roundtrip airfare, food, lodging, transportation: $2000
Stop 2 – LAX to Melbourne for the Rip Curl Pro: $1500
Stop 3 – Rio, Brazil for the Billabong Pro: $1500
Stop 11 – Hawaii for Pipe Masters $1500
Total cost – $27,000
It’s safe to say, no one is stressed about the costs of travel. Just $27000 to compete…. considering these guys make no less than $77K per year for just showing up and placing =25th, it’s no brainer… they can place last in every event and still show a net profit of 50K …. throw in their endorsements, if any, and they’re all making over a hundred K no matter how bad they surf….