Today’s Kid Scoop takes a look at the seafood we eat. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that we’ve managed to catch anything at all in the ocean since it it’s so big.
If you’ve ever been to the beach or out on a ocean-going vessel, it’s actually quite rare to see a fish just by looking at the top of the water.
Sure, at the beach you can find shells. On a boat you might see an occasional fish leap out of the water, but it’s quite amazing to see some of the animals that live down there.
The tuna — the seafood that comes packed in those little cans — isn’t something the size of a goldfish. No, they’re huge animals, often bigger than you are and some can grow up to 15 feet long. They are so strong that they can swim at 70 mph.
How do we eat tuna? According to Wikipedia, 52 percent of all the canned tuna purchased in the United States goes to making sandwiches!
Here’s a video on one traditional tuna “hunt” in Italy. http://youtu.be/7au8lgWYguQ
One of our favorite seafood items are shrimp. We’ll eat them batter fried or raw, in sandwiches or in a soup. Some countries call the same animal a “prawn.” Here in the U.S., most shrimp are fished with nets out of the Gulf of Mexico, and the oil rig explosion and spill two years ago in the gulf created a huge problem for the shrimp-fishing industry.
Shrimp are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal materials. They are even eat “detritus,” which is a fancy term for eating things that have been dead for a long time. Kind of gross, but that’s they way the world works.
In this video, a traveler learns about how “prawn” are raised on an aquaculture farm. http://youtu.be/DFIuBabdeiw
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Image via Flickr.com from MoToMoRead More
Maybe there’s more to blame than human folly and belief in an “unsinkable” ship. Maybe we can fault freak atmospheric conditions that caused a mirage or an even rarer astronomical event that sent icebergs into shipping lanes. Those are two of the newer theories being proposed by a Titanic author and a team of astronomers.
Such theories are important “but at its most basic what happened is they failed to heed warnings and they hit the iceberg because they were going too fast,” said James Delgado at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
With this week’s 100th anniversary of Titanic’s sinking, the interest in all things Titanic is steaming faster than the doomed cruise ship on its maiden voyage.
Mirage? One of the novel new theories says Titanic could have been the victim of a mirage that is similar to what people see in the desert. It’s the brainchild of Tim Maltin, a historian who has written three books about Titanic. The latest, an titled “A Very Deceiving Night” emphasizes how the atmosphere may have tricked the Titanic crew on a cloudless night.
“This was not avoidable human error,” Maltin said in a telephone interview from London. “It’s just about air density difference.”
Reports from the time said it was a beautiful clear night when the Titanic sank. But something else strange was happening, Maltin said. For a couple of days there had been something weird going on in the air over the North Atlantic, and it was reported by all sorts of ships, including the crew on Titanic, Maltin said.
What was so strange? The unusually cold sea air caused light to bend abnormally downward, Maltin said. The Titanic’s first officer, William McMaster Murdoch, saw what he described as a “haze on the horizon, and that iceberg came right out of the haze,” Maltin said, quoting from the surviving second officer’s testimony.
Other ships, including those rescuing survivors, reported similar strange visuals and had trouble navigating around the icebergs, he said.
British meteorologists later monitored the site for those freaky thermal inversions and said 60 percent of the time they checked, the inversions were present, Maltin said.
The same inversions could have made the Titanic’s rescue rockets appear lower in the sky, giving a rescue ship the impression that the Titanic was smaller and farther away, Maltin said.
Blame the moon? Physicists Donald Olson and Russell Doescher at Texas State University have another theory that fits nicely with Maltin’s. Olson — who often comes up with astronomical quirks linked to historical events — said that a few months earlier, the moon, sun and Earth lined up in a way that added extra pull on Earth’s tides. The Earth was closer to the moon than it had been in 1,400 years.
They based their work on historical and astronomical records and research in 1978 by a federal expert in tides.
The unusual tides caused glaciers to break and drop icebergs into the ocean on the coast of Greenland. Those southbound icebergs got stuck near Labrador and Newfoundland but then slowly moved south again, floating into the shipping currents just in time to greet the Titanic, the astronomers theorized. Maltin said the icebergs also added a snaking river of super-cold water that magnified the mirage effect.
Tides and mirages may have happened, but blaming them for Titanic’s sinking “misses the boat,” said Lee Clarke, a Rutgers University disaster expert.
“The basic facts of Titanic are not in dispute: The boat was going too fast in dangerous waters,” Clarke said. If Titanic had stopped for the night because of ice like the British steamship Californian did, “tides and mirages wouldn’t have mattered.”
Warnings issued: On April 14, the day it hit the iceberg, the Titanic received seven heavy ice warnings, including one from the Californian less than an hour before the fateful collision. The message said: “We are stopped and surrounded by ice.” Titanic sent back a message that said “Shut up. We are busy.”
Clarke said people keep looking for additional causes “because if it’s nature or God, then we’re off the hook, morally and practically.”
Reported by Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press from WASHINGTON, D.C. He can be followed at http://twitter.com/borenbearsRead More
Items as small as a hairpin and as big as a chunk of the Titanic’s hull are among 5,000 artifacts from the world’s most famous shipwreck that are to be auctioned in April, close to the 100th anniversary of the disaster.
Nearly a century after the April 15, 1912, sinking of the ocean liner that hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic, a New York City auction is being readied by Guernsey’s Auctioneers & Brokers.
On April 11, all of the salvaged items are to be sold as one lot in what Guernsey’s President Arlan Ettinger describes as the most significant auction ever handled by that house.
“Who on this planet doesn’t know the story of the Titanic and isn’t fascinated by it?” he asked. “Could Hollywood have scripted a more tragic or goose-bump-raising story than what actually happened on that ship?”
“It is as poignant to my 12-year-old son as it is to me and generations before me. There’s no end to the fascination about it.”
The auction will be conducted 100 years plus a day after the Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, embarking on the ill-fated maiden voyage that had New York as its destination.
The collection was appraised in 2007 at $189 million, including some intellectual property alongside the myriad items plucked by remote controlled probes from the pitch-black depths, some 2 and 1/2 miles below the ocean’s surface.
Those artifacts include the massive hull section called “The Big Piece” as well as personal belongings of passengers and crew, such as a mesh purse and eyeglasses. A bronze cherub that once adorned the Grand Staircase is also among the collection, as are fine china, table settings, bottles and ship fittings—even the stand upon which the ship’s wheel stood.
By court order, the items cannot be sold individually and must go to a buyer who agrees to properly maintain the collection and make it available for occasional public viewing. The sale is subject to court approval.
The planned sale also could include a trove of archaeological data and visuals of the wreck, as well as the only detailed map of the vast ocean floor where all the artifacts were scattered after the Titanic’s sinking.
The Titanic’s sinking claimed the lives of more than 1,500 of the 2,228 passengers and crew. An international team led by oceanographer Robert Ballard located the wreckage in 1985, about 400 miles off Newfoundland, Canada.
The research materials could be a road map to future salvage expeditions because of the new information they provide on the wreck site.
“We are opening the door of opportunity for the future of the Titanic,” said Brian Wainger, a spokesman for Atlanta-based Premier Exhibitions Inc., of which RMS Titanic is a division.
But the clock is ticking on thousands of additional artifacts embedded in a 3-by-5-mile section of ocean floor around the wreck, an area subject to a century of extreme ocean conditions such as cold temperatures and treacherous currents.
“I think it’s fair to say that we have only touched the surface,” Wainger said.
The deteriorating hulk of the Titanic is off limits to salvage.
Reported by STEVE SZKOTAK of the Associated Press from RICHMOND, Va. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sszkotakap .
Online: Guernsey’s: http://www.guernseys.com/
Premier Exhibitions Inc.: http://www.prxi.com/prxi.htmlRead More