23 Comments

If you had been my science teacher in elementary school my path might have taken a completely different direction. Thanks for a great read and a few new rabbit holes to go down.

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That is the nicest of nice comments. Thank you, Kate. :)

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Mike, this is damn fascinating. It’s reminding me of all the Jacques Cousteau and a particular Sci-fi book, Dolphin Island, I loved as a teen. Thanks mate.

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My pleasure, Michael! (Dolphin Island - Clarke's novel? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolphin_Island_(novel))

I'm kinda the same - I used to obsess as a kid over the copies of National Geographic with Rob Ballard's expeditions to the Titanic and elsewhere - and my favourite of all the Willard Price adventure stories I read as a kid was this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwater_Adventure And I only remembered all these things when I chose this topic for the newsletter & started throwing myself into the reading.

The mind has a way of bringing us full circle to the things we find most interesting, if we just let it (and encourage it)...

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Apr 28, 2022Β·edited May 1, 2022Liked by Mike Sowden

Thanks for such a well told story. That's what's awesome about your writing: you take difficult to understand ideas and make them fun and relatable.

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Aw. That's lovely of you to say, Diana - thank you. And also: it's the only way *I* can understand them, by doing this kind of rambling untangling. We're both learning as we go along here!

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founding

The low percentage of sea floor mapping is almost like its own background static -- something I kind of knew but never really thought about the implications of? I'm with Kate! My high school physics teacher had a talent for evoking an "Isn't this neat?!" kind of response from us, but that kind of science enthusiasm was rare. It's so fun to be able to discovery the delight of learning again here!

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Same! I sorta-kinda knew that many ocean depths were poorly mapped, but I never really stopped and thought about what "poorly mapped" meant. Does it mean there are big empty spaces - or what's been put on the map is wrong? Or is it that you can't zoom in, digital-map-style, to a useful level? And - considering the problems with map projections, how Mercator maps distort terrain near the poles so Greenland looks bigger than South America (when the latter is 8x larger), isn't that another form of "poorly mapped"?

What a rabbit-hole. And I want to do some more reading, because the topic of how maps mess around with our perception of the world is a deep one with, I'm betting, some pretty interesting (and alarming?) implications for how we come to think of the rest of the world. Particularly saying this as a Brit, when those of us from my tiny, tiny island seem to have a tendency to be shocked at how much bigger the rest of the world is, perhaps because we're always inflating the geographic importance of Britain inside our heads?

And - thank you. :) You're all being far too nice to me, and it's bound to turn me into a raging ego-monster. That will, tragically, be YOUR fault. Yours. Not mine. (Thank you. 😊)

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founding

I will totally take the L on that ;)

That's exactly it, though: I never really stoped and thought about what "poorly mapped" means. Like in general I know about the Mercator map effect, but why is it that those misleading maps are still the main ones we see? Why is it still surprising every time I see a more true-to-reality map and the U.S. is so teeny tiny compared to Africa? That's awful! (Awful that it continues to surprise me when I see it, I mean, showing my own continued distorted perception of the world.)

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Apr 28, 2022Liked by Mike Sowden

That story about the USS San Francisco running into a sea mount is crazy, you'd have to think that whoever forgot to switch the radar on that morning had some explaining to do.

Errata: "Scottosh" = "Scottish", and "less dense rock" = "more dense rock". Proof, if it were needed, that less is more.

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Apr 28, 2022Β·edited Apr 28, 2022Author

Yes indeed! My first thought was "well, maybe they were going so fast and the mountain appeared so quickly out of nowhere that they had too much momentum to change course in time." But according to Wikipedia, the Navy didn't agree:

>>"San Francisco's captain Commander Kevin Mooney was reassigned to a shore unit in Guam during the investigation of the collision. The Navy concluded that "several critical navigational and voyage planning procedures" were not being implemented aboard San Francisco, despite Mooney's otherwise remarkably good record. Consequently, the Navy relieved Mooney of his command and issued him a letter of reprimand.

Six crewmen received non-judicial punishment hearings for hazarding a vessel and dereliction of duty, and they were reduced in rank and given letters of reprimand. "<<

Thank you for spotting the typos! The less dense/more dense one is *exactly* why writers need proofreaders that aren't themselves, because I'd written it as "less" and was reading it as "more" - complete blindspot. Anyway - corrected. Cheers, Neil. :)

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Apr 29, 2022Liked by Mike Sowden

Best yet Mr S, my mind is boggling all over the place! Please post part 2 without delay. x

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Coming next week, I promise! And thank you, Cathy. :)

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Wow, this is great and I agree with Kate!

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Thank you!

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Definitely learned something today -- thanks!

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Cheers for reading, Tad!

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I could TOTALLY filter out the waves if I put my mind to it. I just don't want to. :-)

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I hear you! I would also like to know how to filter waves *in*, so I could apply the soothing sounds of a high sea to anything I'm doing.

(But I don't think either of us is really advancing the science here in a fruitful way...)

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Exremely interesting. Thank you.

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So fascinating as usual! Thank you!

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