Learning From Nature – Improving LEDs

This is NOT a religious rant so please bear with me.

FireflyTwo Jehovah’s Witnesses dropped by the other day and left after a short time, leaving me with copies of their two publications – Awake! and The Watchtower.

As I deposited them on the kitchen table I noticed on the back page of the February 2014 issue of Awake! a story entitled The Lantern of the Photuris Firefly.

Well naturally the word lantern caught my eye plus the fact that fireflies are prevalent in the Philippines where I am living right now.

Interesting story, and very interesting how scientists adapted it to modern day Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology which is used in your el-cheapo flashlights up to modern high-intensity LEDs for beacons and marker lamps of all sorts used in lighthouses and light beacons. Continue reading

Book – Lighthouses of North America – Beacons from Coast to Coast

Lighthouses of North America – Beacons from Coast to Coast

The majority of lighthouses shown in this book are American, but as a friend of mine wrote:

I received a lighthouse book for Christmas – from an ex -lighthouse keeper and I groaned when I opened the parcel. “Oh yes, forty photos of Portland bloody Head I suppose.”  No, well yes, a couple, but Canadian lights and British Columbia lights –  4 pages on West Vancouver’s Pt. Atkinson, plus photo of Cape Mudge, and for comic relief Brockton Point (Stanley Park). – thanks JDR

So, not all bad news. The book is not coffee table format so it will fit easily on your bookshelf.

9781770852495Lighthouses of North America – Beacons from Coast to Coast

by Sylke Jackson and published by Firefly Books

320 pages, 8 1/2″ X 11″ X 1″
300 color photos, resources, index
EAN: 9781770852495
ISBN: [ 1770852492 ]
plastic-laminated hardcover
$35.00 CDN / $35.00 US Continue reading

Mise Tales Thirty-Four

 

For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One.

Jaw-dropping animated video on overfishing… It’s time for change!

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The Costa Concordia rests on its side on the morning of January 14, 2012.

 The Costa Concordia rests on its side on the morning of January 14, 2012 (click for larger photo)

 Yes, it is a photo of the Costa Concordia, aground on the rocks, but did anyone else notice the lighthouse in the photo under which the lifeboats are all clustered? See my article Lighthouses Visible in the Costa Concordia Disaster.

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Aniva RockAniva rock – A formal penal island used by the Russians, Aniva was once sought after by both the Russia and Japan. This now Russian controlled territory sits uninhabited in the seas between Japan and the eastern coast of Russia.

This photo story appeared on Distractify and was entitled The 38 Most Haunting Abandoned Places On Earth. For Some Reason, I Can’t Look Away… Continue reading

Lighthouses of Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island Lighthouse Society

 Click on the partial map for the website.

From the Prince Edward Island Lighthouse Society comes this beautiful descriptive map of ALL the lighthouses (manned and automated) on Prince Edward Island (aka PEI), the smallest of Canada’s provinces. It consists of the main island and 231 minor islands. Altogether the entire province has a land area of 5,685.73 km2 (2,195.27 sq mi). (Wiki) Continue reading

What a Nice Christmas Present

What a nice surprise! Today on Facebook the lighthouse keeper, Colin Toner, who is residing at my old workplace at McInnes Island posted a fantastic video of the lighthouse. Please watch in full screen to get the full effect.

Watch as the MBB105 helicopter approaches the island in the rain. You can see the rain striking the windscreen on the front of the helicopter.

Later get a tour of the light and a walk around the island in the stormy weather. Take note of the heavy seas. That is life in winter on the west coast of Canada.

Thanks Colin for the memories, and special thanks goes to Tineke Veenhoven for creating the film!

For a larger and higher quality version please go to Youtube. I had trouble getting it to embed here.

Lighthouses Visible in the Costa Concordia Disaster

The Costa Concordia rests on its side on the morning of January 14, 2012. The Costa Concordia rests on its side on the morning of January 14, 2012 (click for larger photo)

Yes, it is a photo of the Costa Concordia aground on the rocks but did anyone notice the lighthouse in the photo under which the lifeboats are all clustered?

It is one of two lights guarding the entrance to the harbour for the town of Giglio Porto (Port of of the island of Giglio) in Italy. One light is red (port-hand light) and the other is green (starboard-hand light) as can be seen in the photo below. Continue reading

Fuels for Pharos

Florida Lighthouses_narrowWhat fuels did/does a lighthouse (pharos – the Greek word for lighthouse) use? I became curious about this when I discovered in an Internet  article the name Colza oil. What the heck is Colza oil? Somebody’s mispelling of Coal oil? I had to find out.

Well that led to this article on lighthouse illumination (more). I enjoyed researching it – I hope you enjoy reading it. Any additions or corrections are welcome. Please contact me.

The principal methods and types of illuminating a lighthouse are below in order of usage. The dates and equipment used are from the photo and webpage on the left. Two other excellent pages on illuminants for lamps are Illumination Sources and the lighthouse page called Pharology.

1. Open fires of wood, charcoal, tar, or coal

2. Candles of wax or tallow dips

3. Fish oil 

4. Whale oil (1720-1864) – also know as Sperm oil or Train oil

5. Vegetable oils – Colza oil used in the Argand lamp; Lard Oil (1864-1884), Olive oil, Rape oil, and Coconut oil. Rice Bran oil is also used in some lands for illumination. today

(vegetable oil vs mineral oil)

6. Mineral oil – non-vegetable oils (hydrocarbon, petroleum or paraffin oils) including white oil, liquid paraffin, and liquid petroleum used as lighting oils.

7. Manufactured fuel gas, Manufactured gas or more commonly known as just Gas – gases with such names as Coal gas, City gas, Oil gas, Illumination gas (1904-1980) derived mostly from coal, but also wood, and oil. Acetylene was another manufactured gas.

8. Kerosene (1884-1955) used as a lighting oil in the vapourized oil burners

9. Electricity (1898-now) carbon-arc lamps up to present day light-emitting diode (LED) lamps

10. Solar Continue reading

Mise Tales Thirty-Three

 

For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One.

 

Tell Tale Productions Inc’s. documentary “Lighthouses” – the film has been completed and has had its world broadcast premiere on CBC Television’s Land and Sea Sunday, November 24, 2013. If you missed it you can see it online on CBC Land and Sea.

Lighthouses Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-eyXSyl0Og&feature=youtu.be
 
Lighthouses Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/580960155309104/

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Another beautiful video called “Salmon Confidential” showing the life cycle of Sockeye Salmon, and the problems they are encountering now with salmon farms, and other unknown fish diseases. Thirty-six minutes long but well-worth the watch because of the beautiful photography of wildlife on the British Columbia coast, both above and below the water. 

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The Canadian Coast Guard HQ at Victoria, BC

 The Canadian Coast Guard HQ at Victoria, British Columbia–what a beautiful building! This view is from the Blackball Ferry deck on approach to the harbor. Those buoys look like Dreidels lined up on the rocks for Hanukkah! – posted on Facebook by author and friend of mine Elinor DeWire 

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Peters & May Commercial ships 30M hovercraft from UK to Canada

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Canada just acquired a new (used) hovercraft from England. It was shipped to Vancouver, British Columbia by the boat shipping company Peters & May. On their Facebook page they posted some wonderful photos of the loading of the hovercraft on one of their ships. Quite a feat! 

 And from the Fisheries & Oceans Canada media website:

Ministers Shea and Wong Announce the Arrival and Name of a New Hovercraft

November 27, 2013

CCGS MoytelVancouver, British Columbia – The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors) and Member of Parliament for Richmond, today announced the arrival in Canada of the new hovercraft to be stationed at Sea Island in Richmond, British Columbia – the CCGS Moytel

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And from a former lighthouse keeper and friend of mine, Chris Mills, comes this wonderful view of a Fresnel lens – photos and a video showing the lens in action.

Chris Mills_2Chris Mills_1

 

 

 

 

 

Mise Tales Thirty-Two

 

For an update on what a Mise Tale is then please see Mise Tales One.

Image11501252_10152119974792708_1578052892_o 

Click the image or use this link to see the National Geographic article If All the Ice Melted.

 

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Navigational Light to be Fixed Atop Marriott Hotel
May 16, 2013 by KNEWS filed under news

Georgetown-Light-House

Georgetown Light-House

Port Georgetown Lighthouse, Guyana
The Marriott Hotel will have a revolving light atop as a navigational aid for vessels leaving and entering Port Georgetown. In fact, even as the hotel is being constructed the contractor is expected to have the light in place and functional.

A source close to the management of the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), said that the Marriott Hotel when completed will be taller than the lighthouse. The structure will obstruct light emanating from the 103-foot lighthouse located at Kingston.

But Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon at his post-Cabinet press briefing last Thursday said, “This revelation has not been brought home to Cabinet about another reason for disparaging this transformative project initiative (Marriott). Now we are interfering with light from the lighthouse.”

Dr. Luncheon jested that a new improved light house would be constructed.
However, according to the source, the lighthouse would not be obsolete since it will still function as a navigational aid for vessels travelling south. Meanwhile, vessels travelling in the northern direction will be guided by light originating from the light affixed to the Marriott Hotel. – . . .  more Continue reading

Ship Movements – It Keeps Getting Better!

On August 08, 2013 I wrote Canadian Firm Tracks Earth’s Ships From Space which also refers to another 2012 article What Ship Is That? Now we have an even better program, free, and online, called Marine Traffic.

Live Ships Map   AIS   Vessel Traffic and Positions   AIS Marine Traffic(1)

The screen shot above of Marine Traffic for 05:30 UTC (Z) for November 30, 2013 shows the freighter Axios (bottom left) off my area, Negros Oriental Island, Philippines, heading for Guam.

With this  free program you can locate ships in your area, determine their destination, speed, nationality, etc., and even see a photo of the ship.

The program shows Vessels, Ports, Lights, and Aerial Photos of the ports. The “Lights” portion lists and shows photos of navigation lights and lighthouses in the areas.

If one is interested in the sea, vessel traffic, ships, lights, or just navigation, this program is for you. Please take a look here at MarineTraffic.com.