Please donate to help Japanese earthquake/tsunami victims Photo

Please donate to help Japanese earthquake/tsunami victims

With about 13,000 dead or missing, half a million people homeless and entire towns wiped off the map, Japan is facing a serious crisis, especially with the people dislodged by the nuclear power station situation.  The American Red Cross is taking donations to aid their Red Cross Japanese counterpart with disaster relief efforts in Japan. Please help the victims by donating to the Red Cross either directly or via iTunes.

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Japanese underwater photographers launch appeal Photo

Japanese underwater photographers launch appeal

Japanese underwater photographer Kyu Furumi has launched a project called “Smile for All” with the aim of raising funds to help alleviate the situation in Japan. They have launched an appeal via a Facebook page, and are asking their fellow underwater photographers worldwide to donate their images to it.

They plan to use these pictures to organize exhibitions and to sell postcards, the profits of which will be donated to charitable causes in the regions affected by the tsunami and earthquakes.

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Manta ray conservation benefit Photo

Manta ray conservation benefit

On Thursday 24 March 2011 at 7.30pm there will be an exclusive private screening for 200 people of the ITV documentary Man to Manta, complete with an introduction from the show’s presenter, Martin Clunes (Doc Martin, Reggie Perrin, Men Behaving Badly), at London’s prestigious May Fair Hotel. The film follows Clunes as he seeks to fulfil a burning ambition to swim with the rays. It is amongst the first to highlight the growing problems mantas face from fishing pressure for the Chinese medicine trade.

The event will help raise important funds for three conservation organizations, Bite-Back, The Pacific Elasmobranch Foundation and The Marine Megafauna Foundation. Tickets are available now at a cost is £24.00 per ticket and after the screening, there will be an auction of lots donated to help the causes.

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Report suggests sperm whales have unique identifiers in calls Photo

Report suggests sperm whales have unique identifiers in calls

Wired Science reports that in the journal Animal Behavior, a study suggests individual sperm whales may have discrete individual identifiers within their call. In non-technical terms this means they can identify each other by their calls. Luke Rendell of St. Andrew’s University, Scotland said:

“The findings are preliminary, based on observations of just three whales, so talk of names is still speculation. But it’s very suggestive,” and he goes on to say, “they seem to make that coda in a way that’s individually distinctive.”

The study looked at the click sequences, or codas, used by sperm whales to communicate across miles of deep ocean. In these sequences is a group of five consecutive clicks called 5R, and these seem superficially to be identical in each whale. Analyzed closely, however, variations in click timing emerge and in the study group, each of the researchers’ whales had its own personal 5R riff. (Image by Tony Wu)

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Hands-on with Red Epic-M Photo

Hands-on with Red Epic-M

Louisiana based post-production company Digital FX has posted close-ups of RED EPIC-M number 98 filmed with a RED ONE camera, on Vimeo. These $58,000 cameras have drawn a lot of interest, in part due to their long time in development and limited availability. They have a native dynamic range of over 13 stops (which can be further extended to 18 stops using extended dynamic range technology) and a resolution that exceeds 35 mm motion picture film. In addition, they are designed for multi-camera synchronization, ideal for 3D capture.

Also featured in the film are the Bomb electronic viewfinder and a 5-inch touchscreen LCD.

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Job opportunity at Gates Underwater Products Photo

Job opportunity at Gates Underwater Products

Job opportunity: Gates Underwater Products are seeking a CNC machinist to join the company. The successful applicant will be machining housings and parts for Gates underwater housings. They are looking for someone skilled in the CNC machining process, and that has the ability to solve problems creatively. Full job specifications are on the next page.

If you are interested, please contact Gates directly.

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Beneath the Sea results announced Photo

Beneath the Sea results announced

Full results of the 2011 Beneath the Sea photo and video competition have been announced. The David Doubilet grand prize for best in show in photography was awarded to Keri Wilk, for his image Flying Fish. In the Jim Church creative category, Heru Suryoko received first place for Bait Attack, and Edward Snijders was awarded the Stan Waterman award for his video, Dutch Estuary.

All the winners images and videos are or will be available shortly on the Beneath the Sea website. As always, many congratulations to all the winners, and especially to the many Wetpixel members in the placings. The show is being held at Meadowlands Exposition Center,  Secaucus, New Jersey from March 25 to 27, 2011.

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Canon to use new MPEG2 50mbps rather than H264 Photo

Canon to use new MPEG2 50mbps rather than H264

In an interview, Tim Smith from Canon has hinted that Canon may use its propriety MPEG2 50mbps codec in the new SLR models they plan to release this year, rather than the industry standard H264. Similarly, it is reported on Canon Rumours that the new codec will be based on the one used by the XF305, will have a 4-2-2 color space and that bitrates will be variable up to 50mbit.

The reason for the change is being cited as an unwillingness to pay the licensing fees for the AVCHD/H264 formats. Adobe and Apple have already taken up the new format, so compatibility should not be a problem. There are also lots of rumours that Canon are looking into Apples new Thunderbolt high-speed peripheral connection technology and that they will release the much-awaited 5D MkIII SLR sometime in the early part of this year.

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Chilean senators call for shark finning ban Photo

Chilean senators call for shark finning ban

Fish Information and Services (FIS) reports that several Chilean senators have filed a motion to ban shark finning. The senators demand that the practice of forcing fishermen to land sharks with their fins attached to every body be implemented, as indicated by the National Action Plan for the Conservation of Sharks, which was adopted by the Government of Chile in 2006.

This bill is driven by the organization Oceana, whose executive director, Alex Munoz said:

“Chile has become a major exporter of shark fins, this practice is severely affecting the conservation of these animals, so we hope that this country will introduce a law banning shark finning as soon as possible.”

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Tsunami hits Northern Japan and is threatening Pacific Photo

Tsunami hits Northern Japan and is threatening Pacific

As many of you will know now, Japan was hit by an earthquake of 8.8 magnitude at 2.46 local time today (Friday). It has triggered a tsunami, that has already hit Northern Japan and is now travelling out across the Pacific.  Officials warn of the potential for a 6 meter (18 feet) wave.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been or are in the path of this cataclysm, we hope you and your loved ones are holed up somewhere safe and that the waters do not cause devastation to your homes and property.

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