Friday, July 29, 2016

7/29 Purple blob, oil train safety, rockfish survival

Purple blob (E/V Nautilus, NPR)
If you like to watch: Sea Slug? Disco Ball? Beautiful Deep-Sea Purple Blob Puzzles Scientists
Researchers have found a curious purple orb near California's Channel Islands – and it's left them stumped. To our untrained eye, it looks a little like a really dazzling Christmas ornament. Alternatively, Smithsonian compared it to an unhatched Pokemon. During the recent expedition, unnamed scientists from the Nautilus exploration vessel are recording and chatting about what they're seeing when they come across the mysterious, beautiful blob.  Merrit Kennedy reports. (NPR)

Union Pacific Stands Out For Track-Caused Derailments But Not Oil Spills
After last month’s fiery oil train derailment in the Columbia River Gorge, federal regulators put the blame on Union Pacific Road for failing to maintain its track. Soon questions arose about the railroad’s safety record. Watchdog groups compared Union Pacific’s track maintenance standards to those employed by BNSF Railway, the West’s other major carrier, which also runs oil trains through the Columbia Gorge. (BNSF’s tracks run  along the Washington side of the river.) Comparisons of railroad safety are difficult to come by. Federal accident data is underreported and many factors such as what’s hauled and where can affect the chances of an incident. For one measure, EarthFix matched the federal government’s rail safety data over a 10-year span with overall miles traveled and tons of freight that railroads carried over that same period. That analysis shows Union Pacific had more accidents than BNSF despite fewer miles traveled and a lower overall tonnage. Tony Schick reports. (OPB/EarthFix) See also: Trial-Like Portion Of Vancouver Oil Terminal Review Ends Friday With Public Hearing  Conrad Wilson reports. (OPB/EarthFix)

Soldotna man's invention helps ensure released rockfish survive
Russ Morrison loves rockfish. They're aggressive biters and put up a bouncy, head-shaking fight. With their mohawk spines, sea-monster maws and rainbow of vibrant colors, they're as much fun to look at as they are to catch. And the taste? Some prefer it to halibut — yelloweye in particular. That said, Morrison, of Soldotna, goes out of his way not to kill them. If he keeps three yelloweye a year, it feels extravagant. Jenny Neyman reports. (Alaska Dispatch News)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA-  230 AM PDT FRI JUL 29 2016  

TODAY
 W WIND TO 10 KT...BECOMING 5 TO 15 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.  WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. NW SWELL 4 FT AT 8 SECONDS. PATCHY DRIZZLE  IN THE MORNING.
TONIGHT
 W WIND 15 TO 25 KT...BECOMING SW 5 TO 15 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 1 TO 2 FT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 8 SECONDS...SUBSIDING TO 5 FT AT  9 SECONDS AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SAT
 W WIND 5 TO 15 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON.  WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 2 TO 4 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. W  SWELL 6 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
SAT NIGHT
 W WIND 15 TO 25 KT...EASING TO 5 TO 15 KT AFTER  MIDNIGHT. WIND WAVES 2 TO 4 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 FT OR LESS AFTER  MIDNIGHT. W SWELL 7 FT AT 9 SECONDS.
SUN
 W WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT  9 SECONDS.

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