Showing posts from January 22, 2023

Salute to Nellie Bly on January 25, 2023

  Last night, January 25, 2023 we in the JPL/Caltech Toastmasters Club celebrated the century-and-a-third anniversary of Nellie Bly’s most famous reporter’s feat.   It wasn’t the most important.   That might have been when she traveled thru Mexico in 1886–1887 and reported on conditions of the poor, which got her fleeing the country, one step ahead of the federales, out of the country—but those stories were compiled in the book Six Months in Mexico .   The stories brought important world support when the peasants eventually rose up against President Porfirio Diaz. The most important story might have come from Nellie acting strangely to herself committed to the asylum on Blackwell’s (now Roosevelt) Island by feigning insanity. Her exposés of conditions—later compiled as Ten Days in a Mad House (1887)—precipitated a grand-jury investigation of the asylum and helped bring about needed improvements in patient care.   The most important story might have been her stories as one of t

Deep-Sea Aquaculture Begins—Update

Near-shore fish-growing aquaculture (fish farms) has been a growing industry for several decades, but the industry has problems.   There have been buildups of pollution from feed, fish wastes, and chemicals.   A more immediate expensive problem for operators is that dense populations of cultured fish in polluted waters often fall prey to parasites such as sea lice.   One way to reduce these problems is to move fish-farm operations from the shallow near-shore waters out to the deep sea.   An additional clean-water benefit would be derived from moving steadily to different waters as done by a moving ship. A Chinese enterprise is doing just those things. The world’s first giant floating fish farm (the “Guoxin 1”) sailed from the eastern port city of Qingdao in China on May 20, 2022 to begin its sea trials. The ship holds 15 fish-culturing tanks, each tank bigger than two standard swimming pools.   The ship is expected to produce up to 3,700 tons (3,400 metric tons) of fish per year.