Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sea-Bean Symposium, Day 1, Part 2

Friday afternoon (October 17 - where has this week gone!) of our 13th Annual Sea-Bean Symposium featured Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer and his presentation of What's Floating in our Ocean this Year?! For those of you that aren't familiar with Curt, he's an internationally known expert on tides and flotsam. As such, he is frequently called in to offer his opinion or testimony about all things floating in the ocean. This year, Curt spoke of his work in forensic oceanography, and started his presentation discussing the bizarre case of human feet washing up in British Columbia. Doing an internet search on Curt is always fun, and my recent search resulted in several hits about this story. I missed the Larry King show where he and Larry discussed it - darn! Curt moved on to floating bowling balls and the similarity of a floating 9-pound bowling ball with a floating head. It was certainly interesting, and Curt has the scientist's abstract perspective that allowed the listener to focus more on the issue than the blood, but I still dreamed about floating heads that night. Blair Witherington provided us with this dandy photo of Curt and Ed Perry. Curt is wearing his Bean Squad hat - Sam Burnett came up with the idea of providing sea-bean experts with the hats and pins so that visitors would know who to ask for good information.

Floating heads is a hard act to follow, but somehow Bill Blazak and Alice Lowe managed to do it with their presentations on Polishing your Sea-Beans. Bill polishes by hand, and Alice uses tumblers, and both draw big crowds at their tables. They are so good at what they do, and both love to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with visitors.

This first photo shows some of Bill's beautifully polished beans, and the second shows Alice after her presentation, breathing a sigh of relief and holding a bouquet given to her in appreciation for having enough nerve to get up there and present!

Thanks to Matt and his trusty video camera, we'll have excerpts of these talks up on the website soon.

1 comment:

Cactus Jack Splash said...

For those of us who live inland, what is a sea bean?