Flotsametrics and the Floating World

Flotsametrics and the Floating World

How One Man's Obsession With Runaway Sneakers and Rubber Ducks Revolutionized Ocean Science

Book - 2009
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Baker & Taylor
A pioneering oceanographer's assessment of the role of flotsam on world history describes how his volunteer team's efforts to track the ocean's currents revealed surprising discoveries about such subjects as the discovery of America, Japanese trade, and the origins of life; in an account that also makes observations about current environmental threats.


“Ebbesmeyer’s goal is noble and fresh: to show how the flow of ocean debris around the world reveals ‘the music’ of the world’s oceans.”

New York Times Book Review


Through the fascinating stories of flotsam, one of the Earth’s greatest secrets is revealed. In Flotsametrics and the Floating World, maverick scientist Curtis Ebbesmeyer details how his obsession with floating garbage—from rubber ducks to discarded Nike sneakers—helped to revolutionize ocean science. Scientist and environmentalist David Suzuki, host of CBC TV’s “The Nature of Things,” calls Flotsametrics and the Floating World  “Science and storytelling at its very best.” “A very enjoyable, if at times dark, book” (Nature), it is must reading for anyone interested in Oceanography, Environmental Science, and the way our world works.

Book News
In this memoir, Ebbesmeyer, an oceanographer, who is joined by author and editor Scigliano, describes his career studying the ocean. The book begins with his early experiences with the water and his education, and continues with his work studying the ocean and its mysteries, including its currents, icebergs, and garbage that turns up on beaches, and how he used objects to track currents, including sneakers spilled into the ocean in 1990. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

& Taylor

Assesses the role of flotsam in world history, and describes how a volunteer team's efforts to track the ocean's currents revealed surprising discoveries about such subjects as the discovery of America, Japanese trade, the origins of life, and climate change.

Publisher: New York : Smithsonian Books : Collins, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780061558412
Branch Call Number: 551.462 EBB
Characteristics: xvi, 286 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Scigliano, Eric 1953-


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Jul 29, 2015

In and of itself, this is a great book to read, but especially with the finding of MH370 debris, washed up on the shore of an island in the Indian Ocean, the time span from the crash, taken with prevailing ocean currents, would have placed MH370 [assuming 7/28/15 reports are accurate] as going into the ocean in close vicinity to Diego Garcia, the earth station radar site, which would mean it either crashed into the ocean nearby, was placed into the ocean nearby, or was shot down nearby, Diego Garcia. Personally, IMHO, I'm going with crashed nearby until further notice. [Ref. Someone is Hiding Something, by Richard Belzer]

Jan 08, 2010

Just beautiful!!

the world as a finely tuned machine. the ocean currents as interrelated gears.
flotsam and jetsam as the indicators of ocean currents, and microcurrents, eddies---giving us a read on those gears.

and all bets off as to what will happen when the ice melts....

a truely inspired scientist whose life has been one of going where his deep curiousity takes him.


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