Posts in Cool Picks

Late night tunes: Blind Willie Johnson edition

Posted on February 18th, 2009 in Cool Picks, Late night tunes, Video.

I was checking out the very excellent thread on our forums called What are you listening to today? and I saw Lucky Al’s briefest of posts extolling Blind Willie Johnson…

So I went off to have a look-see, an’ heresa whut ah found fo’ y’all…

Dark was the night, cold was the ground…

Trouble soon be over. This looks like a recreation, but I reckon it’s the man’s voice and playing for sure.

Never heard of Keni Lee Burgess before, but man can he play slide! Smooth as silk and a great voice too on his rendition of Blind Willie Johnson’s Nobody’s fault but mine.

Video: the Dolphin stampede

Posted on February 15th, 2009 in Cool Picks, Editor's picks, Vids we like.

Who doesn’t love watching dolphins… a lot of dolphins!

From the YouTube description: This video was shot in the Sea of Cortez between Isla la Guardia and Bajia de los Angeles. While fishing we ran through a pod of several hundred dolphins. This is part of what we saw.

Gallery: Carolines meet the women.

Posted on February 14th, 2009 in Cool Picks, Editor's picks.
Carolines P-Pass makes for perfect cutty condx for Steph Gilmore (pic: Swilly)

Carolines P-Pass makes for perfect cutty condx for Steph Gilmore (pic: Swilly)

Blundering around the net in my ceaseless search for interesting stuff to share with those of you kind enough to add RealSurf to your visited sites, I came across a beautifully photographed gallery of waves from the Caroline Islands. As you’ll see when you follow the link below, these are pics are on American surf site Surfline, but some of them may be familiar because the story the come from ran in local surf mag ASL.

I vaguely recall seeing this one in the mag, but of course it only had a fraction of the images shown here. The standard of the photography is as high as the surfing. Makes you want to shell out the $400 bucks a day it costs for a trip to the surf resort near the break known as P-Pass in Pohnepei.

A real girls’ own adventure yarn by Jessi Miley-Dyer accompanies the pin-sharp snaps from the clearly talented Swilly.

Flash gallery of the pics
Link to the story

Bumpf about the Carolines surf camp

Pohnpei (Federated States of Micronesia) on wikipedia

oooh, controversy too!

Gerry Lopez & Jock Sutherland talkin’ Pipe

Posted on February 13th, 2009 in Cool Picks, Editor's picks, Surf history, Vids we like.

Came across this very interesting video of Gerry Lopez and Jock Sutherland talking about the history and their experiences of Pipeline. It’s part one of six and in this episode they give us brief bios before Gerry talks about trying to surf Pipe the first time in 1962 – and meeting Jock, who already had it wired. Although we see the two champions bantering on a dimly lit stage (they’re actually at the Patagonia surf shop in Cardiff, California) , their chat is liberally illustrated with great stills pictures from Jeff Divine and Surfer magazine.

Discovery credit goes to which looks like a site to add to the bookmarks!

More about Mr Lopez in my post entitled Where’s Gerry

The Mootrix

Posted on February 13th, 2009 in Cool Picks, Editor's picks, Vids we like.

MAN vs. COW See the video.  Someone once told me I had a better chance of being attacked by a cow than a shark. Seems appropriate today given the shark attacks in Sydney.  Those aren’t funny. This video is hilarious.

Google does the Oceans?

Posted on February 2nd, 2009 in Cool Picks, Editor's picks, Environment.

Very interesting project by search engine giant Google is set to be officially debuted on Feb 2, 2009 at  the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco. The Guest list is headed by none other than former vice-president Al Gore, so it could be a big deal.

Here’s what we hear ahead of the launch…

Following on from Google Earth and Google Sky, Google Ocean (the name may not be exactly that) is rumored to be the world’s most comprehensive map of the world below the seas.

But don’t expect the kind of high resolution visualisations offered on Google Earth. While some sea floor regions have been mapped at very high resolution (see the picture below), for the most part our knowledge of the undersea world is still quite limited. It is costly and time consuming to image the subsurface features and as a consequence most of the work that has been done so far has been for purely commercial purposes.

According to a story on CNET Google Ocean will show depths of the sea and may, where the data exists provide high-resolution images.

Additional data will be displayed as overlying layers that depict phenomena like weather patterns, currents, temperatures, shipwrecks, coral reefs, and algae blooms, much like the National Park Service and NASA provide additional data for Google Earth and Google Sky.

“Google will basically just provide the field and then everyone will come flocking to it,” predicted Stephen P. Miller, head of the Geological Data Center at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. “There will be peer pressure to encourage people to get their data out there.”

It may be that Google will show off some clever new way to look at the data. The Guardian’s story on the subject included this intriguing little gem:

At the Macworld Expo in January, Google engineers unveiled a program called EarthSurfer, which combined Google Earth with Nintendo’s Wii Fit to create an exercise game that allows players movement “around the landscape” by way of balancing on a board. “You control it by leaning forward to go forward, and back to go back,” said David Oster, the EarthSurfer programmer on the project at the time. “It’s great stuff.”

(photo credit: This screenshot shows an example of high-resolution imagery above and below sea level. The view is looking eastward at Monterey Bay on the California coast with the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the background. The continental slope is sculpted by submarine canyons with their numerous tributary gullies.
(Credit: GeoMapAppVG/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University)

re: above, that prominent submarine canyon in the left third of the picture has one branch ending just off Ghost Trees and the other off Moss Landing (well known for big waves).

Dolphin Chefs (fun stuff)

Posted on February 1st, 2009 in Cool Picks, Just for fun.

One of this weekend’s hot stories has been the account of female Spencer Gulf Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins prepping their cuttlefish meals.

For any dolphins reading this, here’s the method to use (as was explained in a piece written by Christine Dell’Amore on the National Geographic website:

The female herded a cuttlefish to the seafloor, pinned it with her snout, and thrusted downward, breaking the cuttlefish’s internal shell, or cuttlebone, and instantly killing it.

The dolphin then raised the dead body into the water and beat it with her snout, draining its ink.

Next the prey was returned to the seafloor, where the dolphin scraped it along the sand to strip off its bone.

Human-powered sub across the Atlantic

Posted on January 30th, 2009 in Cool Picks, Editor's picks.

For your amusement!

This must surely rank high on the top ten list of crazy – but not totally improbable – projects.

In an article that appeared on the New Scientist website late in January, one Ted Ciamillo is shown standing next to the pedal-powered submarine he’s building (see pic below). His plan is to pedal it from Cape Verde off Africa to the Barbados over a period of about 50 days.

Ciamillo has a very slick website for what he calls the subhumanproject. There are some videos about the technology he’s going to use, including shots of him swimming about using the Lunocet fin that is the key to his sub’s propulsion system. (Essentially the Lunocet uses the same principle as a dolphin’s tail.)

It all seems pretty crazy, but when you look at how these guys are approaching the challenge, you can almost believe it’ll work. Very cool.

image from subhuman project

image from subhuman project

29.01.09 news and cams of interest

Posted on January 29th, 2009 in Cams today, Cool Picks, Editor's picks.

Hi All

The best of the Australian surf cams I could find this morning was coastalwatch’s Margs cam. Proper waves out west for you lucky pups. Qld, NSW and Vic all look knee to waist high for the most part.

About the best live cam I could find overseas was’s Rocky Point unit on the north shore. Not super clean, but some size at least…

Looks as though today’s high tide spots will be the low tide spots for our kids and grandkids – according to the latest research from the CSIRO. Here’s a taste from the story on the ABC site.

Dr John Church told the committee a sea level rise of 80 to 90 centimetres by 2100 seems likely.

He says strong action now will not stop significant coastal disruption.

“We cannot prevent all sea level rise. We will have to adapt to some sea level rise,” he said.

The scientists say that uncertainty about melting icecaps means it is hard to predict the impact of rising sea levels on the Australian coastline.

I wonder what the rising tide’ll do to surf spots such as the Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare, Ireland? According to this write up in the Santa Barbara Independent, there’s a good new surf movie about Irish surfing making its world debut in my old home town. The doco is called Waveriders and is the work of a guy named Joel Conroy. Here’s a bit of the blurb from the film’s website:

Waveriders is the previously untold story of the unlikely Irish roots of the worldwide surfing phenomenon and today’s pioneers of Irish big wave surfing. The story unfolds through the inspirational and ultimately tragic history of Irish/Hawaiian legendary waterman, George Freeth. Freeth, son of an Irishman, was responsible for the rebirth of this sport of Hawaiian kings in the early twentieth century. With its distinguished cast of world-renowned Irish, British and Irish/American surfers WAVERIDERS journeys full-circle from Hawaii to California and back to Irish shores following Freeth’s wave of influence. This journey reaches a spectacular climax when the surfers conquer the biggest swell ever to have been ridden in Ireland catching monster waves of over fifty feet.

Surfing Lake Superior in Winter

Posted on January 19th, 2009 in Cool Picks, Editor's picks.

2009-01-19 — Icicles hanging from the brim of your 10mm thick wettie hood?? Here are two stories from the NY Times, one’s a slideshow. How cold would it have to be to keep you out of the water? I’m staying in Sydney, thanks muchly. 🙂

Link to NY Times Story: Surfing Lake Superior in Winter

Link to NY Times Story: Hanging 10 (Degrees) on Icy Lake Superior

Believe it or not, the second story is in their Travel/Escape section!!!!!