She always was the best at costume theater.
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Crowned Jellyfish – Cephea cephea
Cephea cephea is a true jellyfish (Scyphozoa – Rhizostomeae - Cepheidae) found in the Indo-Pacific and East Atlantic. It is a large jellyfish, reaching 50-60 cm in diameter, with multiple wart-like projections on top of the central mound of its bell, which is surrounded by a moat. The thin frilled skirt around the crown is used for swimming. Its main body is blue-purple, its eight oral arms are brown and highly divided into a large, curly-looking surface area resembling a cauliflower (hence this jellyfish’s other common name, Cauliflower Jellyfish). Multiple long colorless filaments with stinging cells for capturing prey trail behind as it swims.
Cephea cephea is targeted by the jellyfish fishing industry, especially during large blooms, and commonly and historically eaten as a delicacy or for medicinal purposes in China and Japan, along with multiple other species.
Photo credit: ©Tanaka Juuyoh | Locality: Mactan Cebu, Central Visayas, Philippines (2005)
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The caption (which I assume was written by the Team SCA OBR Corinna Halloran), reads:
October, 2014. Leg 1 onboard Team SCA. Liz Wardley gets covered in a wave as the girls prepare to gybe near the Cape Verde Islands.
The photo would have been taken yesterday, October 19, probably around 1500, when the tracker showed them sailing south on the port gybe in the stronger winds just west of Santo Antão. You can’t see it in the shot, but the island must be just out of the shot on the boat’s port side.
So far so good. But here’s the mystery: I’m pretty sure that’s “Person in Charge” Sam Davies at the helm. (Team SCA has done this thing where they don’t use a conventional designation like “skipper” or “captain”, and are consciously less hierarchical and more egalitarian in their on-board organization than is typical in the VOR. I assume this is part of the gender dynamic in having an all-woman team. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and probably will write more about it at some point.)
So that’s Sam driving. But then who’s that over on the starboard rail? It looks like whoever it is has “Davies” on the back of her jacket. I can’t be sure, but it looks like it’s the heavy foul-weather gear that has the rubber gasket around the neck (good idea, given the conditions), which explains why there could be a second coat with “Davies” on the back, since Sam’s appears to be the lighter foul-weather gear top.
So who is that? Is it normal for the crews to wear someone else’s jacket? I’ve been assuming I can tell who’s who in the photos and videos by the names on their backs, but maybe I’ll need to reconsider.
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Hi John, I have being following the VOR race throught your posts. Thanks alot for that ! Were can i find the tracking website to see more dtails about that race/race tacktics etc ? CPosted by jbc on October 20th, 2014 at 6:25 am
Below the cut are the sources I’m currently using:
- The official VOR website – Has some good high-level information about the different teams, and a (smallish) amount of condensed daily information. Basically, it publishes a few articles per day on the home page that sort of wrap up everything going on in the fleet. It also publishes a few videos per day that are edited-together versions of all the individual videos from each of the boats. Also has team backgrounders and links to the teams’ individual websites.
- The official tracker app – This is where you can see the every-3-hours position updates from which I’ve been posting screenshots. It has some drawbacks, and I hope they make improvements to it over the course of the race. But I find it pretty compelling even in its current form.
- Mobile apps – There is a free app called “Life at the extreme” that the official site has put out. I use the iOS version, though I believe there is an android version as well. It’s basically a mobile version of the official website and tracker. See your local app store.
Each boat has an “on board reporter” (OBR) who is restricted under the rules from actually helping with sailing the boat. They’re just there to document the race. They upload videos, photos, and blog posts.
For me, the YouTube videos posted by the OBRs are some of the most-compelling content. You can really get a feel for what’s going on on the boats. One of the best ways I’ve found to keep up with that is by subscribing to the teams’ individual Youtube channels:
- Volvo Ocean Race – the official VOR channel
- Team SCA
- Dongfeng Race Team
- Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
- Brunel Sailing
- MAPFRE in the Volvo Ocean Race
- Team Alvimedica
- Team Vestas Wind
All the teams have Twitter accounts, and they’re a good source for pointers to other content elsewhere, if you’re a Twitter person:
- @volvooceanrace – the official organization’s twitter
- Sailing Anarchy forum on Leg 1 – Lots of commentary from experienced sailors on a popular sailing site.
I’m always looking for more VOR-related accounts on Tumblr. I’ll list those in a separate post if and when I’ve collected a good group of them.
Thanks for your interest!
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Oh wow. The four boats that went north of the Cape Verde Islands have gybed south to converge with the boats that went south, and to my eye it looks like the northerly boats have made a big gain.
The tracker is showing a big tightening in the DTL numbers, but I think it goes further than that.
This is a little tricky to explain to a non-sailor. Basically, the tracker computes its “distance to leader” (DTL) number via a straight measurement to the turning mark at Fernando Island, which is mostly south of them. But the reality is that these boats are tacking downwind, gybing back and forth to maintain an optimum VMG to leeward. That means that really, assuming the lead boats are willing to cross downwind of the boats behind them, the real measurement of who’s ahead or behind should be based on who is the farthest downwind.
By that measurement, just eyeballing the angles in the tracker screenshot above, ADOR and Brunel are already ahead of Dongfeng. Even more exciting for me, SCA fanboy that I’ve become: The women have closed up the gap bigtime. It looks like they’re probably still trailing the fleet, but they’re much closer than they were before.
(I keep telling myself I need to back off on the VOR posts. Most of the people who follow me presumably aren’t sailors, and probably aren’t terribly interested in all this stuff. But then I just get more excited by each new development.
I’m trying to remember to tag it all #vor so you can block it with Tumblr savior or Xkit. If you object to all the sailing content lately, please feel free to send me an ask. I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to rein myself in. But at least I’ll have a data point about the pain I’m inflicting. And in the meantime, thank you for your patience with my latest obsession.)
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Just wrapped up another Lebowski Fest.
My husband dresses up as The Dude (with the Pendleton sweater, jelly shoes and bag phone).
The first time I dressed up, I went as a cable repairman. The second time, I dressed up as a golfer. The third time, I wore a Moorhead State University t-shirt. Now I just go as a Special Lady Friend.
Here’s a list of unique costumes I’ve seen recently:
- Lu, the diner waitress
- Nancy Reagan, when she was First Lady of the nation
- the man in the black pajamas
- the cast of Branded
- an amphibious rodent
- Marty the Landlord, in the costume from his dance quintet
- the Corvette + the crowbar used to smash it
- a stranger in the Alps (how meta!)
- Mrs. Jamtoss
- Knox Harrington
- the guys from the Jackie Treehorn beach party who are bouncing the topless woman on the trampoline
- another group costume: Jackie Treehorn + the pencil + the notepad drawing of the huge erection
- citizens of Malibu who don’t like The Dude’s goldbrickin’ ass
- Kenny Rogers’s song “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)”
- human paraquat
- Moses/Sandy Coufax
- Joel Coen
The most popular costume, by far, is Walter. Some people even have a dog carrier as a prop. Less common is someone as Walter dressed not in shorts, vest and boots, but in a suit and carrying Little Larry Sellers’s homework in a ziploc bag. A lot of people also go as The Dude, and Maude is popular for the ladies. It takes a big personality to pull off Jesus Quintana. You can’t do it by halves — no one fucks with The Jesus.
Will usually see a Bunny, Brandt, The Stranger, and Jackie Treehorn.
For group costumes, people like to go as the band Autobahn (from the Nagelbett album cover) or the nihilists from the dream sequence. You will also see a group of the fuckin’ Eagles, man.
It is less common to see someone dressed as Donny or The Big Lebowski himself. As far as minor characters are concerned, you never really see anyone go as the Malibu chief of police, the funeral director, Woo the Rug Pisser and the blond Treehorn thug, Smokey, or Saddam Hussein.
So that’s it until next time.
…Say friend, you got any more of that good sarsaparilla?
My god that sounds like fun.
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Sophie Ciszek appreciation post
You meet certain kinds of people when you race sailboats offshore. One kind in particular you tend to meet at the front of the boat.
Working the bow is a key specialty. An offshore racing sailboat is designed to be run from the cockpit; that’s where the “afterguard” hangs out, the skipper, helmsperson, sheet trimmers and grinders. The cockpit is a relatively benign environment, designed to protect its occupants from the forces around them.
The areas in front of the mast and above the deck are a different story. The motions are violent. It’s a zone of whipping lines and flapping sails, and in rougher conditions of waves that sweep the deck without warning, doing their best to carry any loose items — including humans — over the side. It’s a dangerous, unforgiving place.
But you need people willing to go there, up the mast or out on the bow, in the middle of the night, in storms, when things are breaking and out of control. And not just willing to go there. Excited to go there. To take that risk. To run forward without hesitation, pitting their frail human body against the forces of chaos.
That’s what a good bow person does. I’ve known a few of them in my life. When I was growing up racing offshore they were the sailors I looked up to the most. They were my heroes.
Sophie Ciszek is one of them, and I’m glad she’s on the boat. When the crew of SCA gets into trouble, she’s the one who’s going to get them out of it.
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Draw Well, Orion And Airglow
Taken by György Soponyai on September 28, 2014 @ Kiskőrös, Hungary
The moonless night, the dry skies and the moderate light pollution led me out to this well near Kiskörös at the border of Kiskunság National Park. By inspecting the first photos I quickly realized the faint green background light however the airglow remained invisible to naked eye.
This kind of old draw well is the symbol of the Hungarian Plain, the Puszta.
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What are these weird galls on this Hackberry? Ewwwwww
They look pretty similar to images for hackberry psyllid (genus Pachypsylla).
I understand that amongst psyllids, anthropoid apes are considered kind of disgusting, too. So I guess it’s only fair for you to look askance at them.
Speaking just for myself, though, I think galls are pretty cool.
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