October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween to 7 Billion People

Today, October 31, 2011, the 7th billion human being will be born. Perhaps it's fitting that this milestone is reached on Halloween... because this is rather terrifying. I hope the zombie apocalypse that will surely result from this rapid population growth also happens on Halloween. That would be killer.

October 11, 2011

Sustainable Seafood Man

In case you haven't heard, we're overfishing our oceans. I blame the common saying that there are "plenty of fish in the sea."

Past generations have considered our oceans an absolutely limitless bounty of seafood. No one could think that we humans could impact an ecosystem as large as the ocean. But the ocean is a closed system just like a pond is. There is indeed a limit, sir.

Just like you may be conscious of what foods are best bought in organic varieties, you also need to keep in mind what seafoods are safe and sustainably fished, as well as what you need to avoid so that you don't eat seafood like a jerkface.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium publishes a list of the best and worst seafood choices. It's called Seafood Watch.

Here is some of the sustainable seafood that awesome people eat:
Alaskan wild salmon
Dungeness crab
Farmed mussels
U.S. pole-fished tuna (albacore, skipjack, and yellowfin)

Here are a few of the horrible choices that only jerkfaces eat:
Imported caviar
Chilean seabass
Imported king crab
Farmed salmon
Imported shrimp
Any kind of shark

If you approach the supermarket seafood counter, read the labels, and ask the guy in the apron. Read frozen seafood packaging. At restaurants, ask where the seafood comes from. Control thine destiny. Know who you're eating. Because until we get a superhero named Sustainable Seafood Man who sucker punches people before they bite into unsustainable seafood, we're going to have to regulate ourselves.

So to make sure you're not eating seafood like a jerkface, print a seafood pocket guide (specific for your region) or download the smart phone app. Seriously. Do it.

Here are all the guides available at Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch:
Sushi Guide
National Guide
West Coast Guide
Southwest Guide
Hawaii Guide
Central U.S. Guide
Southeast Guide
Northeast Guide

If you won't do it for me, do it for him.

And remember. Sustainable Seafood Man might be watching.

October 05, 2011

Dear Evolution: Mola mola?

I'm not one to question the collective judgement of the process of evolution per se, but I may occasionally raise an eyebrow. One such eyebrow-raiser is the Mola mola.

Yes, this is seriously the best drawing I can do of a Mola mola. I bet you think I'm insane, or that I happened across the severed head of a large shark and mistook it for a separate species. No. This is how they look. I swear. Look!

Mola mola at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

No, I did not neglect to rotate the picture. He (or she) actually was floating around pointed down. This is an accurate representation of the random spaciness that is the Mola mola.

Mola mola is the scientific name (as in, Genus species). Someone with a dry sense of humor gave this character the name "sunfish." While sunfish is a cute name, I prefer the scientific name because it's so fun to say.

The Mola mola lives in the Pacific and eats jellies and other small invertebrates--basically, only things that are slower than the lazy Mola mola. While it really looks like evolution phoned it in on this one, the Mola mola is still one of my favorite animals. It's just so gloriously weird.

Mola mola and me. Total BFFs!