The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Month: December, 2010

Endless Summer; Your Cure from the Blizzard of 2010

endless summer-click to see full size

(left) Vintage United Airlines Postcard via letslookupandsmile – (right) leaping spearfisherman via blue water / black heart(center) Joan Crawford at Waikiki via moewie

<a href=””>Vintage United Airlines Postcard</a>

Tentacle-Inspired Prosthetic Arms

Here’s an unconventional concept for prosthetic arms: instead of an arm with an elbow, hand and five fingers, it has robotic segments that function as an octopus’s arm would. Not sure this would be very useful for anything without suckers. And typing would be hard. But I dig the creative thinking. *bigthink*

How to Make Handplanes

Cyrus Sutton of and Stoked and Broke did up this video on how to make design and shape wooden handplanes.

Christmas at Sea

By Robert Louis Stevenson

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor’-wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day;
But ’twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops’l, and stood by to go about.

All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.

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Miami Monochrome: 1910

Miami, Florida, circa 1910. “Biscayne Bay through the cocoanut trees.” 8×10 inch dry plate glass negative
Detroit Publishing Company – View full size on Shorpy

HMS Friday – Christmas Tree Ships

december 24-2010 HEADER

Have you ever wondered why people chop down trees and drag them into their houses and decorate them in honor of Christmas? It’s definitely a weird tradition, with no certain origin in time, but it’s pretty certain that the concept of Christmas trees comes from Germany.

So when Germans began re-locating to the United States, they brought the tradition of Christmas trees with them, particularly in the early 19th century. The practice was widespread, and most German and Nordic people ended up scattered throughout the Midwest, and so American Christmas tree culture really thrived in areas like Chicago and Milwaukee.

Of course, the trees had to get from the lush midwestern forests to the bustling urban environments somehow. Which brings us to the tale of the Christmas Tree Ships.

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Have a Whale of a Christmas

beluga santa


Vera silhouette; a photo by Paul Cowell

Vera silhouette; a photo by Paul Cowell – click image to see full size