Inspired by the Oceans, theBlu is a socially-connected, global interactive app. Each time you participate, your interactions and connections impact the flow of life in theBlu and everyone’s experience of it.
TheBlu is created and curated Academy Award-winning leaders and world-class artists and developers – we call them Makers. Each time you purchase beautiful species and habitats to add to the globally-connected Ocean, you support oceanic conservation.
Once you install theBlu app, you can:
Explore and experience a beautiful online 3D underwater world as easily as browsing the Web.
Connect and interact with your friends via Facebook and go diving together in theBlu.
Have fun learning about the Oceans because theBlu is both entertaining and educational.
Support oceanic conservation each time you purchase 3D species and habitat art work.
Since 2006, U.S. honey bee populations have been in precipitous decline, with some estimates suggesting losses as high as 30% per year.1 While that’s terrible, the problem is far greater than just the destruction of a species. Without bees, a big piece of our food supply is in serious danger. Pollination by honey bees is key in cultivating the crops that produce a full one-third of our food.
Scientists have been scrambling to understand the crisis — termed Colony Collapse Disorder — but have yet to find a single, definitive cause. There are likely multiple interacting causes, and mounting evidence suggests that one widely used class of pesticides may be a critical factor. Click here to find out more.
OHHHH NATURRRRE… you came and you gave without takinnnnng… sort of.
No, but seriously, read the article linked below.Â This is some James Cameron Avatar shit.
“This is a great study that, for the first time, exposes the mutualistic link between a small woolly bat and its pitcher plant host,” Struebig told Discovery News. “There have been anecdotal reports of this bat species being found in pitchers, but most people considered this to be only a temporary arrangement.”
Struebig explained that bat experts consider such temporary spots to be a “day roost” or a “satellite roost,” “a convenient stop-over on the way to the bat’s main home after a night of busy foraging.” In this case, though, the pitchers appear to serve as the bat’s primary home.
Both he and Grafe now wonder if other carnivorous plants in the region enjoy beneficial relationships with bats and different animals. (source)
Apparently, it ain’t easy being green.Â This has less to do with “green” and more to do with the fact that we unanimously like frogs here at MNP.
It is the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs. Population by population, species by species, amphibians are vanishing off the face of the Earth. Despite international alarm and a decade and a half of scientists scrambling for answers, the steady hemorrhaging of amphibians continues like a leaky faucet that cannot be fixed or a wound that will not heal. Large scale die-offs of frogs around the world have prompted scientists to take desperate measures to try to save those frogs they can, even bathing frogs in Clorox solutions and keeping them in Tupperware boxes under carefully controlled conditions to prevent the spread of a deadly fungus. Will it ever be safe to return the frogs back to the ecosystem from which they were taken? [Original Source]
You wanna know what’s terrifying?Â Pseudoscorpions.Â They have the body of a spider with the pincers of a scorpion. Why?! Luckily, these ones are harmless.
If they weren’t all out dying, we could learn a lot from the bees.Â For instance, they’re awesome at math.Â Who knew?Â Read on…
The insects learn to fly the shortest route between flowers discovered in random order, effectively solving the “travelling salesman problem” , said scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London.
The conundrum involves finding the shortest route that allows a travelling salesman to call at all the locations he has to visit. Computers solve the problem by comparing the length of all possible routes and choosing the one that is shortest.
Bees manage to reach the same solution using a brain the size of a grass seed.
photograph (Rex Features) and original text can be found here
Recent events – including my own brewing exploits – have forced me to reconsider how much trash/pollution that we dump into the ocean on a daily basis. I mean, just today I drank 4 cans of soda, ate two meals out of Styrofoam containers (with three sets of plastic silverware and a stack of napkins). One you start to add things together, it’s a pretty staggering picture how much trash an average North American produces, just living a normal life. Now imagine that you actually produce something useful to society in any way, and you start to enter into a quagmire of epic proportions. I mean, I brew my own beer, which has got to be environmentally friendly in some way. However, in brewing, the cleaner your materials are the less chance you have of your beer being infected by wild yeasts. That, generally, ends up in a few teaspoons of iodine dissolved in a few gallons of water being dumped down the drain. Epic, mostly because it’s pretty clear that if and when we destroy our environment, the picnic’s over. Everything adds up.
Rant ended, I saw this article over at The Oyster’s Garter about the supposed “North Pacific Trash Gyre,” which is what it sounds like: a huge floating pile of Trash in the Pacific. Because our earth is some 75% water, it’s not a big deal that you don’t particularly notice this “trash gyre,” an effing whirpool of muck south of Cali, but it damn sure is a big deal that it’s there. And it’s the size of Texas.
The Pacific is not big enough, however, to hide all the plastic crap that comes pouring off North American and Asia. Many of the broken flipflops, lost plastic bags, abandoned waterbottles, and so forth collect in the North Pacific Gyre, which is essentially a big slow gentle whirlpool. But instead of sucking the trash down, it just collects at the center, forming a floating trash heap the size of Texas. LINK
Although the articles I quoted are old, The Oyster’s Garter, apparently run by a Miriam Goldstein, is probably the best continuing blog I’ve read on this subject in my short week of research.Â Another article over there deals with the lack of images relevant to the story:
To really get a sense of how much plastic is in there, you have to do a trawl, which entails dragging a net with a bucket on the end behind your boat. Hereâ€™s a photo of a bongo trawl taken off of southern California. (Credit: Barbeau Lab, SIO) And hereâ€™s a photo of what a normal bongo trawl should produce â€“ lots of zooplankton, a few invertebrates, and the occasional small fish.
Now, contrast this with the results of a trawl from the North Pacific Gyre. Hereâ€™s the bongo net being hauled up â€“ see how the ocean looks normal? But the contents â€“ plastic, plastic, and more plastic.* (Credit: Algalita Marine Research Foundation).Â When all that plastic collects somewhere, you get beaches like this one in the NW Hawaiian Islands. LINK.
One dude was so struck by (what basically amounts to) the huge pile o’ shit in the ocean that he went on to found an organization dedicated to studying this situation.Â Some of their pictures are used in this post.Â You can find their page here: http://www.algalita.org/
An adventure in vermicomposting…round two.
It has been just over a year since the unfortunate death of our Savage Worms and the mourning period is over.Â Now that our apartment has begun to thaw from the winter chill, I have had a hankering for a new herd of worms.Â I know that Pear Tree Worms does not have quite the same ring to it as Savage Worms, but I feel like calling the project Savage Worms II is a little like naming a new pet after a recently deceased one.Â Fido II?Â Sad!Â Besides which, Andrea, founder of the original vermicomposting adventure, has moved across the globe to Papua New Guinea (and has also been on a mission to find a Melanesian breed of food-loving worms!).Â Feeding the worms will not be quite the same with out A though.Â Remember this?
First things first, I had to gather the equipment.Â I couldn’t find a bin quite as good as our original (A, where the heck did you find that bin?), but I settled for a standard Rubermaid.Â I spent a couple frustrating hours drilling holes – lots on the top and upper sides, fewer and smaller on the lower sides and bottom.Â Several stuck-in-plastic drill bits and one snapped-in-two drill bit later, I finished (obviously, I am a novice with the power drill).
Next, order worms!Â After perusing a couple vermicomposting sites and not feeling strongly about any of them, I remembered having read and referenced Red Worm Composting several times during the Savage Worms days.Â Vermiculture enthusiast & blogger Bentley has oodles of great vermicomposting advice on his site, so I figured I might find some worm-buying recommendations.Â Well, as it turns out, Bentley actually sells worms!Â And at a cheaper rate than the other two sites I was considering!Â So that made my choice easy.Â So far, the choice has proven to be an excellent one – great customer attention and a nice full sack of healthy worms.
Step 3, food & bedding.Â I started collecting food scraps & setting up the worm bin about a week and a half before the worms were to arrive.Â For bedding I used a mix of shredded newspaper, egg carton and trimmings off one dead & one dying branch from one of our palm plants.Â I mixed the materials together and wet them so they were damp but not dripping.Â By the time I got all of that in order it was Tuesday.Â Then I waited for the post!Â The worms arrived, as promised, on Thursday.Â I was a little concerned that I had not given the bin enough time to equilibrate, and i wanted to give the worms some time to settle after their cross-border journey (Red Worm is located in Canada), so i left the worms in their sack, left the sack in the opened box, and left the box sitting in the worm bin over night.Â Overcautious, perhaps, but so far there have been no casualties.Â I had wondered if any of the worms might crawl out of the sack during the night – it was tightly sealed, but there were a few worms peeking out when I opened the box.Â Sure enough, Friday morning as I parted some bedding to leave a pile of food, there was a lone worm squirming around in the bedding.Â Anyway, I opened the sack and burrowed it into the bedding, with the opening facing a nice pile of ripe food scraps so that the worms could venture out at their leisure.
Can you spot the adventuresome wiggler?
So far, so good.Â I have checked on the worms a couple times, trying not to be over-disruptive.Â They seem to be adjusting well and have a healthy appetite.Â Not one left in the sack, a few wanderers crawling up the sides, but no escapees.Â I’ll do a full-on check up and feeding later this week, so stay tuned.