As things calm down I have abundant reason to be thankful. There are still wonderful places with amazing living things. And I’m thankful to the people whose words and acts have informed and inspired me. As we saw in Boston and West Texas, there are people who make the world a better place. My family, … Continue reading Save the people
Let’s assume that you’ve had your eyes and ears open these last 20, 40, 60 or 80 years. If that’s true, you’ve probably noticed that the Earth is not doing too well right now. People not only kill other people; we’re killing the Earth. The planet that’s our only environment is in real trouble. And … Continue reading If the Earth were alive, what would she do to us?
The question I used to be asked most often is “What’s the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise?” (Answer: dolphins and porpoises are members of two different but closely related families of toothed whales.) The question I’m most often asked now is “Isn’t all that garbage in the ocean terrible?” (Answer: It’s terrible that … Continue reading The neighborhood that made me a marine biologist
As an observer of the sea and its life, I always want to report on the latest ocean stories while they’re hot. Yesterday the media learned that a fisherman had found a two-headed pre-term bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas). Realizing that it had a most unusual perspective on the world, I managed to obtain the shark’s cell … Continue reading Exclusive interview with the two-headed shark
Riley Anne Mesnick is my new granddaughter, born on March 14, 2013. Riley is unique in a number of ways, including genetically. In a world with more than 7 billion people, there is nobody quite like her. As an aside, 7 billion is an awful lot of big mammals for this Earth to deal with. … Continue reading Protecting my newborn granddaughter
Yesterday I got a vivid reminder about how protecting the Earth is about people. My son Jason Mesnick and his wife Molly became parents with the birth of Riley Anne. My wife Irene and I were with them in the hospital with some family and close friends. I will not publish any photos of the … Continue reading Riley Anne Mesnick and her Grampus
Being a biologist requires me to think differently than most people. Most people are driven by questions such as: “How long will it take me to get downtown in this traffic?” “What do I not pay so I can make my rent this month?” “How’d we do versus our competition last quarter?” “What do I … Continue reading Smart like a rock? Kind like a rock?
At first, it might seem as if humans’ desire to go into outer space is in competition with the idea that we should focus on exploring and benefiting from spaces on our own planet, such as our oceans. That’s probably true in a number of ways that are worth exploring in this blog. But there … Continue reading Outer space and inner space
To a lot of people, heroes are guys with big muscles who carry guns. Think Rambo and his more recent movie and video game look-alikes. Heroes prove themselves in battle. But today I’ve just learned that one of my real-life heroes—Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey—won’t be running for reelection. The Rock is a lot … Continue reading A hero for the oceans
In the field, the lab, the library or the classroom, or a few times on a flower-festooned cliff overlooking the blue Pacific Ocean, I learned about marine biology from professors, colleagues and friends in New York, California, Baja California and Sonora (Mexico), Florida, Jamaica, Panama, Colombia, Curacao, Iowa, Washington DC and the state of Washington. … Continue reading My teachers were real survivors