Tag Archives: pacific

China launches its first aircraft carrier

But it’s used and has no planes. China bought the vessel in 1998 from Ukraine and had it refurbished – few details of its capabilities are known. But, from Reuters, “defense experts say it lacks the strike aircraft, weapons, electronics, training and logistical support it needs to become a fighting warship.” And so it will stay in the training fleet until they figure out how to land a plane on it.

The response has largely been mocking, from the Brisbane Times, ”if it is used against America, it has no survivability. If it is used against China’s neighbours, it’s a sign of bullying.” And those neighbors are the ones in the crossfire. Japan has disputed territory with China in the East China Sea and the Philippines are arguing over a shoal in the South China Sea.

Still, it is a sign of the rising military power of the Chinese – after all, only 9 countries have an aircraft carrier. Seven of them only have one, Italy has two, and the United Kingdom only uses theirs for helicopters. So the launch could be a symbol of pride, that the Chinese are equal to the other powers. But they have a long journey ahead to challenge the United States and our 11 aircraft carriers.

 

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Have you tried opah? A sustainable, locally caught fish

My new favorite locally caught fish, the opah (also called moonfish), is a mystery. We know they weight 100+ pounds, are beautiful, and are becoming very popular. From Mike Lee:

Opah have something of a cult following partly because of their tasty meat and partly because of their odd appearance.

But, they are such a rare catch for fishermen that little is known about them, again from Mike Lee:

What little scientists know about opah suggests they are a highly migratory species that can quickly travel long distances. Research also shows opah dive hundreds of meters deep during the day, then come closer to the surface at night. Various opah species are found in the world’s oceans, and Owyn Snodgrass said they may live off California’s coast year round.

They are fascinating and, for now, a sustainable source of seafood. To try it stop by your local sustainable seafood store.

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Amazing overhead shots of the U.S. open of Surfing in Huntington Beach

Surfer magazine has posted 16 amazingly large overhead shots of the U.S. Open of Surfing and the Orange County coastline.

Here is one of them, mightily shrunk:

 

 

See the rest – Above the Open – an oddly serene look at the U.S. Open

PAC-12 network launches on August 15, 2012 – UCLA already has 39 games scheduled for the fall

I’m super excited that the PAC-12 is getting its own network. I love watching all sorts of college sports on TV and hopefully this channel will give me all I can eat.

 

 

More fans will see more UCLA sports on more channels than ever before when the Pac-12 Networks launches on August 15. So far, there are 39 UCLA fall games scheduled to be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks – one so far in football, 12 in men’s soccer, nine in women’s soccer, 14 in women’s volleyball and three in men’s water polo.

Watch the video to get a taste of what will be on the network. To learn if you will get Pac-12 Networks from your TV provider visit the Pac-12 Networks Channel Finder.

 

Source: UCLABruins.com

Maps of Southern California’s – Marine Protected Areas

A map of all the Southern California MPA’s (marine protected areas), defined as:

A space in the ocean where human activities are more strictly regulated than the surrounding waters – similar to parks we have on land.

They are supposed to form a network of safe areas for marine life ro repopulate and bring back big populations to our oceans. You can see that they aren’t that large, nor extensive, but serve as a good starting point.

 

 

Here are maps for each of the regions: San Diego, Los Angeles (Santa Monica Bay), Orange County, Santa Barbara, Catalina Island.

**Full-size graphics are available at Cal Oceans – Maps

 

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Southern California ends rainy season in a drought – El Niño possibly coming

The 2011-12 rainy season — which ran from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 — has come to an end with less than impressive numbers, according to figures compiled by the National Weather Service. None of the six key sights where the weather service records long term precipitation reported above average rainfall.

  • San Diego – 8.03″ (avg. – 10.34″)
  • Orange County – 6.32″ (avg. – 13.33″)
  • Riverside – 5.53″ (avg. – 12.04″)
  • Los Angeles – 8.69″ (avg. – 14.93″)

The season that starts today could be different. The U.S. Climate Prediction Center says that an El Nino appears to be developing in the eastern equatorial Pacific. If the periodic climate change system continues to strengthen, it could lead to above average rainfall this winter in Southern California.

SourceGary Robbins, U-T San Diego

 

 

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SeaWorld Rescue returns 2 more seals to the wild – that’s 88 this year!

A pair of male fur seals rescued and nursed back to health by SeaWorld San Diego’s animal care team was returned to the ocean. Both animals were rescued in May emaciated, malnourished and dehydrated. The first of these mammals, a Guadalupe fur seal, was rescued off Imperial Beach weighing almost 15.5 pounds May 13, 2012. The other, a hybrid (mixed breed species), was rescued May 29 with a swollen rear flipper and weighing 16.5 pounds. SeaWorld veterinarians were able to treat the bulging flipper with antibiotics.

 

 

The estimated 1- and 2-year-old juveniles returned to the sea weighing 42 and 23 pounds respectively. SeaWorld animal care specialists and veterinarians treated the animals with hydration fluids and a nutrient-rich diet of capelin, sardines and herring. The seals are now healthy and able to forage for food on their own.

Research scientists from Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute outfitted each seal with a satellite transmitter. Scientists hope to track the animals’ movements at sea to learn more about where the species travels in the ocean along with perhaps why. The transmitters will likely dislodge from the fur seals when they molt in about two months. An adult male fur seal can grow to 6 feet and weigh up to 350 pounds, while females reach 4.5 feet and weigh up to 100 pounds.

 

ViaInside SeaWorld

 

“So far this year, SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Program has saved 88 marine mammals.” - Eight Sea Lions Returned to the Wild

High school students create model boats that sail from California to Hawaii

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.

read moreThe Orange County Register

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Verizon is bringing 10x speed increase to cities – 100Gbps networks

Verizon already has 100Gbps (gigabit-per-second) connections over its optical core networks across continents. Now the carrier is bringing that speed to its metro networks, which enterprises tap into for high-speed data connections. The metro networks so far have been limited to 10Gbps or 40Gbps.

Though the carrier doesn’t expect many customers to start ordering 100Gbps connections soon, it is preparing for the future.

Verizon’s 100-gigabit U.S. backbone technology forms the basis of a high-speed, low-latency network for financial trades that was inaugurated between Chicago and New York last month. It can complete a stock trade in as little as 14.5 milliseconds, according to the carrier.

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Verizon said it has begun to use the same general architecture for high-speed land-based networks that it already uses for its connections across oceans. That architecture, based on a mesh of cables, gives traffic across its core network more alternate routes to take if one cable breaks. This is a step up from a ring architecture, in which the network recovers by sending bits the other way around the ring if one spot on it is damaged.

Verizon already has mesh networks across the Pacific and across the Atlantic, each with eight alternate paths.

via Network World

 

// Photo – sz.u.

China’s military continues to grow – spending tops $100 billion for the first time

China announced an 11.2% increase in its defense budget for 2012.

For the first time, China’s defense spending will top $100 billion

At a news conference Sunday, Li Zhaoxing, a spokesman for the congress, announced the $110-billion budget, while stating that the spending “constitutes no threat to other countries.’’

“You can see that we have 1.3 billion people with a large land areas and a long coastline, but our outlays on defense are quite low compared to other major countries,” said Li.

By way of comparison, the U.S. Congress has approved $662 billion in Pentagon spending for next year.

Last year at this time, Beijing announced a 12.7% increase in military spending, resuming double-digit expansion after a more modest 7.5% increase in 2010.

Adm. Robert Willard, U.S. commander for the Asia-Pacific region, told the Senate Arms Services Committee last week: “They continue to advance their capabilities and capacities in all areas.”

via LA Times