Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Afloat in the Ocean, Expanding Islands of Trash"

That's the title of a recent article by Lindsey Hoshaw on the New York Times about the infamous Pacific garbage patch. I hope it will raise awareness amongst the masses for the problem of plastic debris in the oceans. If research will convincingly show that toxic chemicals in the debris enter the chain food and eventually end up in the human body, people will finally realize the magnitude of this ecological disaster. At that point, more strict rules and regulations concerning plastic production, recycling and disposal will be put in place. Global warming alike, this problem is planetary and it can be seriously faced only by defining and adopting international environmental treaties. Frankly, I don't think that asking people to drink less soda or recycle their shopping bags is going to change anything.

"Light bulbs, bottle caps, toothbrushes, Popsicle sticks and tiny pieces of plastic, each the size of a grain of rice, inhabit the Pacific garbage patch, an area of widely dispersed trash that doubles in size every decade and is now believed to be roughly twice the size of Texas." Photo and caption : Lindsey Hoshaw for The New York Times

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What I have been doing lately

What to do when your foot is busted and it's not able to support your body properly?
Well, you can certainly focus more on your work since superfluous outdoors activities such as running, biking and windsurfing are forbidden. However, if you are lucky enough to have to wear a removable cast, you can still practice a sport where gravity is virtually absent so that your feet don't have to support your weight (162 pounds in my case). I'm not talking about going into space or on board of those fancy NASA's parabolic flights even though I admit I'd like to try that.
I'm talking about swimming. I have been swimming regularly in the past month and it really feels good after a 2 X 1/2 mile session. Without a really serious training I shove almost a minute off my previous personal best on the 800 yards freestyle. And my goal is now to shave another minute off.
I also hope that all this upper-body exercise will be beneficial to my first windsurfing session after the injury. And I really want to score some good sessions before my 4/3 wetsuit becomes too thin for the season...

Three STS-114 astronauts give a simultaneous thumbs-up signal during an underwater training session in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston