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November 2014    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 29, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the November, 2014 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Need a Cheap Camera Diffuser Underwater? Ken Kurtis, owner of the Reef Seekers dive shop in Beverly Hills, CA and a regular Undercurrent contributor, has this tip. "Underwater photographers, if you're ever in need of an emergency diffuser, the plastic top of a Pringles can makes a really good one. It spreads the light out a bit and costs you maybe half a stop of exposure. When I was shooting with my old Nikon SB-105s, the Pringles top fit perfectly over the front of the flash -- I just added a little duct tape and was good to go." Any flavor of chips will do.

There's a Sea Snake in My Snorkel. No, that's not the title of our followup book to There's a Cockroach in my Regulator, but it could be. That's what New Zealander Gary Furness recently found on his holiday in Fiji at the Castaways. Seems that he and his mates snorkeled in from a boat, left their gear in the sand, then put it back on the boat later. He told the magazine Dive Pacific that it was washed and stored in the shop's locker, but the next day, "imagine our surprise when we discovered that a venomous snake [a krait] had made a snorkel its home. It had entered through the mouthpiece and was quite comfortable doubled over in the tube. Fortunately, with the transparency of the snorkel, its presence was discovered in time." And with that, my favorite old black rubber Scubapro snorkel is going in the trash.

More About Batteries on Flights. In last month's issue, we gave advice about how to pack your cameras' lithium ion batteries aboard airplanes in both checked and carry-on bags. Just bring them aboard, says reader Terri Feinblum (Landsowne, MD). "I stupidly placed my electric toothbrush in my checked baggage, and it was taken without a note. You do get a TSA sticker on the outside of the bag. It doesn't matter whether batteries are removable from the device or not---carry them with you onto the plane."

Are You Eating Cleaner Shrimp? According to DNA analyses conducted by the environmental group Oceana, 35 percent of shrimp sold in U.S. grocery stores and restaurants was improperly labeled by species or type. Most commonly, farmed shrimp is passed off as wild or "Gulf caught. " In New York City, 43 percent of shrimp samples were improperly labeled. Of the 20 species Oceana identified, eight were not previously known to be on the market for consumption. According to National Geographic, these included coral "cleaner" shrimp, "which pick parasites off reefs and are popular in the aquarium trade."

Dive Shows for Divers. Our World-Underwater is putting on three excellent dive-specific shows this winter just for sport divers in Phoenix (December 6-7), Dallas (January 24-25) and Chicago (February 27-March 1). New gear, new travel destinations, demonstrations, film festivals -- they're not-to-be missed get-togethers for sport divers and their friends. More information is at www.ourworldunderwater.com

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