The Panama Canal, faster than usual

Courtesy of Old Salt Blog, here’s a time-lapse video of a passage through the Panama Canal.  The trip lasts 11 hours, but the video takes less than 7 minutes – much more palatable in our high-speed world!  Note the “locomotives” on either side of the ship, hauling it through the locks.  They’re partly visible from time to time, as in the video ‘cover image’ below, on the right of the ship’s bow. The digging of the Panama Canal remains one of the great adventure stories of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  It advanced not only navigation, but also medicine,

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Fascinating!

A friend sent me this photograph of octopus eggs, with the baby octopii clearly visible inside the egg sac.  I don’t know where it first appeared.  Click the image for a larger view. I’ve never seen so clear a view of those baby critters, although I’ve run (or swum) into them on the coast of South Africa many times.  One variety used to inhabit tidal rock pools, and if you stuck your foot in the water, clad in a tennis shoe, they’d zoom out from their hiding-places in crevices in the rocks and try to tackle your foot, thinking it

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Sneaky – but it paid off

The Miami Dolphins seem to make a habit of bringing off tricky plays that fool their opposition.  They did it again last weekend, with this fake kick at goal that turned into a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles.  Miami won the game 37-31. It came almost exactly a year after the Dolphins’ famous “Miracle in Miami” touchdown against the New England Patriots, which still draws admiring and disbelieving comment from fans across the spectrum.  The play took place with only 7 seconds remaining in the match.  Talk about a nail-biter! Full marks to the Dolphins for both scores.  They aren’t in contention

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The Tetris Challenge – military edition

The so-called “Tetris Challenge” appears to be sweeping through the Twitterverse.  In it, military, first-responder and other units and organizations display their equipment, laid out in a tight pattern as if to fill up every space (as in the video game Tetris), and photographed from above.  A quick Internet search on “Tetris challenge” produces dozens of links, and “Military Tetris challenge” focuses in on that aspect of it.  A lot of people appear to be having a lot of fun. I’ve been browsing through military-related Tetris Challenge pictures.  Here are a few examples (click each image for a larger view).  First,

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It’s time for the annual Broadway Bomb again

The Broadway Bomb is a skateboarding event held every year in New York City.  It’s been declared illegal since 2012, but that hasn’t stopped enthusiasts from staging it.  (The Wikipedia page for the event appears to have been hacked by people with an axe to grind – at least at the time of writing.) Back in 2013, the police deployed in force to stop the riders.  Did it work?  Like hell it did!  Here’s a video clip that I posted that year, showing the results. I’m told that police haven’t bothered to intervene like that in subsequent years.  I can see why! Peter

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An historic way of life to a different, slower drumbeat

Courtesy of Old Salt Blog, I was interested to come across a novel, centuries-old method of shrimp fishing – on horseback. Intrigued, I looked for more information, and found this longer, more detailed view of the same “industry” in Belgium.  I found it equally interesting. It’s fascinating to think that such an ancient method of fishing has survived so long;  and it’s good to know that the number of mounted fishermen in training has actually increased in recent years.  I imagine the occupation is a lot less stressful than much of modern living, which is an attraction in itself. Peter

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On the road again

Miss D. and I are headed for the Texas Panhandle, to spend time with our friend Alma Boykin and take in a little local culture at the Tri-State Fair and Rodeo.  (Yeeeeeee-haw!)  We’ll be back home tomorrow evening.  Please say a prayer for traveling mercies for us, if you’re so inclined. I’ve queued up a post for tomorrow morning.  For more reading matter, please visit the bloggers listed in my sidebar.  They do good work, too! Peter

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Tough tuggers

Old Salt Blog informs us that the 27th Annual Great North River Tugboat Race was held in New York City last weekend.  Here are three video clips filmed from Vinik No. 6, the 49-year-old winner of the tug race this year. First, the opening parade of tugboats old and new: Next, the tugboat race: And finally, the pushing contest, where the tugs take on each other head-to-head: Looks like a good time was had by all, with lots of friends, family and tourists riding along on the boats for the day. Peter

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A waffle iron stove???

I was intrigued to read that the humble waffle iron can be used as a makeshift stove, with surprisingly interesting results. We were not waffle traditionalists—just a family without an oven, desperate for new ways to heat food. After that first encounter with gridded cornbread, we grabbed the cheapest waffle maker we could find and began to experiment. We started by replicating the cornbread waffles. After some tinkering, we had the recipe down. Our first homegrown success was chocolate waffle cake. The brilliance of cake as a waffle is that all those dents fill up with frosting. To this day, despite access to

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