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May 2002 Vol. 17, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the May, 2002 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

This Month’s Winner of the Dedicated Diver Award: Christine Fiorini wasn’t going to let anything stop her from her Cozumel dive trip. She didn’t, and it cost her big time. Seems that Fiorini, 33, was a juror on a Cincinnati murder case that had recessed Friday for the Presidents’ Day weekend. But when the trial resumed on Tuesday, Fiorini was missing. The judge issued a warrant for her arrest and put the deliberations on hold. After cruising Palancar’s reefs, and presumably downing a margarita or two, she showed up a week late. The irate the judge locked her up for contempt of court, saying “You’ll have to sit there for seven days with all of the other knuckleheads.” Fiorini told the judge that she went to Cozumel hoping that she could change her flights, but when she learned that it would cost her hundreds of dollars, she decided to stay. She figured the jury’s alternate could take her place, but didn’t know the judge had dismissed the alternate at the start of the deliberations. Fiorini was fined $660 and had to do forty hours of janitorial work in the courthouse once her seven days in jail were up. Now that’s a dedicated diver. God love her. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Will the Water Be Wa rm This Weekend?: If you’re looking to go diving in America’s coastal waters, then http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/dsdt/wtg12.html will not only give you the average monthly water temperature, it will also give you “present” water temperature (although it might be a few days old).

Feed the Sharks, Say Goodbye: Want to know another downside of organized shark feeding? Reader Bill Myers tells us that once live-aboard dive operators began feeding sharks at Silvertip Reef in Papua New Guinea, the sharks showed up immediately when they heard boat engines. Local fisherman, who had had a hard time catching sharks because they were always on the move, were no fools. Once they had trained sharks in their waters, all they had to do was motor up and soon they had nailed and finned all nine.

Let Me Put the Toadfish On: If you have ever been on a dive boat and been annoyed when one of your fellow divers pulled out a cell phone to call home and say “Guess where I am,” someday you will be able to tell the jerk to make his call underwater so as not to annoy anyone. France Telecom is developing an underwater phone box that allows divers underw ater to call someone on the surface . While it’s aimed at the military, archaeologists, and oil rig divers, who knows where it will go. Co-inventor Philippe Levasseur told Reuters that while the project is still evolving, he can envision the day when small diving clubs will be keen to have this system for extra safety and to talk with divers without them having to come up to the surface. While the unit itself is wireless, the diver must be attached to it via a cable. The mobile relay system that makes and receives calls is housed inside a float on the surface . There is no speaker or earpiece, but a special mouthpiece with a membrane allows vibrations to be carried through the teeth into the ear channels. The mouthpiece is integrated into the regu lator. A diver who tested it said it’s easy to use and “isn’t much of a change from the usual diving equipment the only thing that is a bit different is an extra keypad panel.”

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