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June 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 28, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the June, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

"Like" Us on Facebook. Yes, we now have a Facebook page too ( www.facebook.com/Undercurrent.org ). If you're a Facebook user, "Like" us. We'll be posting dive-related news articles, alert you when our latest blog posts and monthly issue is available, and asking for your stories, suggestions, tips and feedback. We promise not to clog your Facebook news feed with multiple posts -- only the best and most relevant stuff. We're just starting the page so bear with us if there are technical difficulties to start, but we hope our new page is another good way to give you what you like to get from us.

$25,000 to Hire Jean-Michel Cousteau for a Speech? Keppler Speakers is a booking agent for high-profile people to get paid speaking to everyone from college students to corporate executives. They list fees for each of their celebrities on its website, so we took a gander to see what celebrities in the marine field are charging. Jean Michel Cousteau gets between $20,000 and $30,000 for every speech, while his son, Fabien, and daughter, Celine, both charge under $10,000. Robert Ballard, known for discovering the Titanic, also charges in the $25,000 range, while Joseph MacInnis, just a consultant on the Titanic discovery team but the first to dive under the North Pole, charges between $10,000 and $20,000. It's nice to know that a diving career can earn the big bucks.

Travel like an Ivy Leaguer on Your Next Dive Trip. Meaning wear shoes but no socks. Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that mosquitoes infected with the malaria parasite are significantly more attracted to human odors -- in this case smelly socks -- than are uninfected mosquitoes. They collected human odor on nylon socks -- by having someone wear them for 20 hours -- and put them, along with clean socks, into an enclosure with mosquitoes. The bugs infected with P. falciparum showed more landings and more probing of the smelly socks. None of the mosquitoes, infected or not, were especially drawn to the socks with no human odor.

Dolphin as Midwife? A pregnant woman and her husband have traveled to Hawaii where they plan on having a "dolphin-assisted birth." Heather Barrington, 27, and her husband Adam, 29, of South Carolina, are preparing for the July arrival of their first child through a series of prenatal and postnatal swims with a pod of dolphins at the Sirius Institute in Pohoa, HI. The institute recently set up the Dolphin Attended, Water, Natural and Gentle Birth Center due to what they claim is an increasing demand on its website for people looking to give birth near dolphins. It claims that giving birth with dolphins is part of an ancient Hawaiian practice. Dolphin-assisted therapy has been used for more than 25 years in people with mental and physical disabilities and autism, according to Medical Daily, although there's little research showing that it's therapeutically effective. Still, water births have shown benefits -- less pain for the mom, more oxygen for the baby -- so we'll have to see how it goes for Barrington when dolphins are added to the mix.

Why Do We Call Them Jellyfish? After reading our book There's a Cockroach in my Regulator, Robert Goodman (Pittsburgh, PA) wrote in to say he enjoyed it, but he also had this question. Why do you always use the term 'jellyfish'? They are not fish. Fish are chordates, and sea jellies belong to the phylum cteophora and cnidaria. Do you just dislike using the terms 'sea jellies' or 'jellies'?" Robert, you are indeed right. "Jellyfish" is considered a misnomer, and "jellies" and "sea jellies" are listed quite often in public aquariums and scientific literature. We're probably going along with jellyfish because it has been the most "popular " name for the creatures since the late 18th century. Or maybe we can refer to them, like some scientists do, as "gelatinous zooplankton."

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