Lawn Dude, a cartoon character invented to convey a
water-conservation message, has appeared on billboards in Southern
California, where he has become known for his frank but witty
When first introduced in the summer of 2014, Lawn Dude had this
to say: “I’d be the first to admit that I love using lots of water,
but I’m cutting back on my drinking because, take it from me,
nobody likes a drunk lawn.” Read the
press release issued on July 31, 2014.
Lawn Dude was launched as a cooperative effort between the
Southern California Water Committee, a nonprofit educational
partnership, and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, one of the world’s
largest outdoor advertising companies.
Appearing as a personified lawn, this unique cartoon character
can offer a unique perspective that might incite human action. He
can encourage people by saying things in ways that governments,
utilities and even conservation groups cannot.
“I’m fresh off a water cleanse and have never looked better,
thanks to that H2O diet Governor Brown put me on,” Lawn Dude said
upon his return in 2015. “I know people thought I might be all
dried up, but I’m back and ready to kick some grass.”
In addition to appearing on billboards the past two summers,
Lawn Dude continues to provide comments on his Twitter feed, and I would not
be surprised if he came back next year.
California remains in a serious drought. Gov. Jerry Brown and
the California Water Resources Control Board have imposed a series
of water conservation measures to protect the remaining water
supplies. For specifics, check out this
fact sheet (PDF 507 kb).
Charles Wilson, chairman of the nonregulatory Southern
California Water Committee, said the donation of billboards by
Clear Channel has made it possible to reach many people with a
reminder about water conservation.
“The Lawn Dude campaign has been a valuable way for the Southern
California Water Committee to grab the public’s attention when it
comes to outdoor water conservation, going beyond the limitations
typically placed on what public agencies and water districts can
say,” Wilson noted in a
One aspect of the campaign has been to encourage Californians to
remove their lawns. That’s when Lawn Dude got a new hairdo
featuring succulent plants, and he discussed it on Twitter:
“It’s time to take it all off, California!”
“Lawn Dude stripped nude. Now won’t you take it off?”
“Keeping me thirsty isn’t enough. I need a new look and I’m
loving the succulent style.”
“My trainer has been kicking my grass. It’s a good thing I lost
that water weight.”
The following video from KCAL-TV in Los Angeles is a news story
posted last year when the Lawn Dude campaign was launched.
Ashanti, the singer, songwriter and record producer, has come up
with an interesting way to release her latest single while urging
people to drink water instead of sweet drinks.
The single, called “Let’s Go,” was released in a “dehydrated”
form, stripped of lively elements, clear images, colorful lighting
and dynamic sound. Ashanti has asked her fans to “hydrate” the
music and video by using the hashtag “#DrinkUpAshanti” on social
media, such as Twitter and Instgram.
As of this morning, I believe the “Let’s Go” video has reached
the third of four levels and should soon reach its full
entertainment potential. At that point, the song will be for sale
on iTunes and other music outlets. The first video on this page
describes the making of the video and demonstrates the four phases
I’ve never heard of a promotion like this, but Ashanti is using
this approach to support First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign
called Partnership for a
Healthier America and its Drink Up effort, which
encourages people to drink more water to support their health.
The video player at DrinkUpAshanti.com is clever, because one
can pause it when graphic elements, such as flowers and stars, come
into view. Click on the white circles that appear, and you’ll see
the Twitter handles that helped to “hydrate” it. Add your own
Twitter handle, and you will be assigned a flower and can see who
is sharing that graphic element with you.
The Genius.com website
shows the four levels of hydration and provides lyrics to the new
song for anyone who wants them.
“I love that my song is being used to encourage people to make a
really easy choice: drinking more water every day,” Ashanti said in
news release. “It’s even more rewarding when it’s being done in
a creative, positive way.
“Drinking water is in … it’s just cool and sexy. You are what
you drink, so drink up. It’s also a pleasure to work with the First
Lady again to help make the healthy choice the easy choice.”
Ashanti explains her involvement in the campaign in an interview
shown on the Valder Beebe Show, an Internet video blog. See the
second video above.
Measuring the progress of Puget Sound restoration is a very
difficult thing to do.
Millions of dollars have been spent to restore streams,
wetlands, estuaries and shorelines. Millions more have been spent
to improve stormwater systems and to clean up contaminated
At the same time, billions of dollars have been spent by
commercial and residential developers in the Puget Sound region.
The results are ongoing changes to the landscape and unknown
alterations to ecosystems.
In the overall scheme of things, are we taking two steps forward
and one step back, or is it two steps back and one step
Puget Sound Partnership’s biennial “State of the Sound Report,”
released this week, attempts to tell us how things are going in the
effort to restore Puget Sound to a healthy condition. Progress is
being made in restoring habitat, according to a
news release about the report, but “measures for chinook
salmon, Southern Resident Killer Whales, herring and other native
species show a decline, and local improvements in water quality
still don’t add up to improvements at the regional scale.”
“These mixed results are the reality of working in a complex
ecosystem that is under tremendous pressures right now,” said
Sheida Sahandy, the partnership’s executive director. “It’s why we
need to make smart, timely investments in our partners’ hard work
to restore and protect habitat, prevent stormwater pollution and
reopen shellfish beds,”
Puget Sound Partnership has developed 37 ecosystem indicators
for tracking progress. They are organized under 21 categories
called the Puget Sound “vital signs.” If you want understand the
latest information, you must look to the new “Report on the
Puget Sound Vital Signs (PDF 9.9 mb).
Four indicators are meeting — or nearly meeting — regionally
identified targets, including those related to inventorying septic
systems, slowing forest loss, and two measurements showing
improvements in the quality of marine sediment.
All indicators for habitat restoration are making incremental
None of the indicators for species or food-web health are
While there has been local-level progress in some indicators,
the results do not add up to regional progress. For example, while
marine water quality is relatively good in some bays (making them
safe for harvesting shellfish and for swimming), other bays have
very poor water quality and are not meeting standards.
I believe these vital signs can help us understand the functions
of the Puget Sound ecosystem and give us an idea about the progress
in restoration. I even used them as a broad outline for my two-year
investigation into the health of Puget Sound and the species found
in the region. If you haven’t done so, I urge you to take a look at
the series, “Taking
the Pulse of Puget Sound.”
At the same time, these 37 indicators often fail to capture many
of the nuances of Puget Sound health, such as species distribution,
population dynamics and primary productivity — all aspects of
Southern Resident killer whales, for example, are now fewer than
when the ecosystem indicators were approved. That could be related
to the number of chinook salmon — the orca’s primary prey — which
also are in decline. But what are the problems facing the chinook?
Lack of spawning habitat? Increased predation by seals and other
marine mammals? Not enough forage fish, such as herring, surf smelt
and sand lance? In turn, what is limiting the growth of the forage
fish populations? The amount or right type of plankton to eat,
spawning habitat, predation, or something else?
It is often said that the ongoing development of Puget Sound is
damaging the ecosystem faster than it is being restored. But I have
not seen convincing evidence to show which way things are going.
The vital signs indicators are not adequate to answer this
question. Lagging indicators — especially population counts — don’t
tell the whole story. But one thing is certain: Without the
investment we have all made in Puget Sound restoration, conditions
would be far worse than they are today.
Over the past few years, the Puget Sound Partnership is getting
better at establishing priorities that will make the most
difference. But it is still mind-boggling to think of the number of
places that have been degraded over 150 years of development, all
needing work to bring things back to a functioning part of the
Puget Sound ecosystem.
Getting the priorities right and getting everyone working
together is an enormous challenge. Coordination must involve
federal, state, tribal and local governments, private businesses
and conservation groups. That was why the Legislature created the
Puget Sound Partnership and issued a special mandate. It seems to
me that the people leading the restoration effort understand their
It was nice to see a recognition of this coordination problem by
U.S. Reps. Derek Kilmer and Denny Heck, who introduced the Save Our
Sound Act, designed to coordinate federal actions with those of the
Puget Sound Partnership, which tries to involve all segments of
society. This SOS bill is now supported by all of Washington
state’s congressional delegation. Check out a
summary of the bill on Heck’s congressional website; read the
story by Tristan Baurick in the
Kitsap Sun; or review the op-ed
piece by Heck and Kilmer in The News Tribune.
The role of local governments in the restoration effort cannot
be over-stated. As restoration continues, damage from ongoing
development must be limited. Concepts of “no net loss” and
“best-management practices” are important — but the key is to
locate development where it will do the least ecosystem damage,
then use construction techniques that will cause the least
disruption of ecological functions.
Breakthroughs in scientific understanding and new solutions to
old problems can make a big difference. Jen McIntyre of Washington
State University finally published her findings about the effects
of stormwater on coho salmon. More importantly, she and her
colleagues revealed how to solve the problem by filtering the
stormwater through compost — or essentially the natural material
found on the forest floor. The study was published in the Journal
of Applied Ecology (PDF 338 kb).
Development regulations by local government have always been a
weak link in the effort to restore Puget Sound. I have been
discouraged by the lack of progress in some cities and counties. In
the face of uncertain science, it has been too easy for local
officials to do the minimum required by state government then turn
around and blame the state when local residents complain about the
higher costs of development.
On the other hand, I am encouraged that more and more local
officials are taking scientific studies to heart, learning how to
judge scientific uncertainty and taking actions to help save the
ecosystem. Stormwater regulations have been a bitter pill to
swallow for many local officials, but creative approaches, such as
I described in the
“Pulse” series could be one of the best things that local
government can do. Another major role of local government is to
protect and restore shorelines, about which I will have more to say
in the near future. (“Water
Ways, Aug. 15, 20115.)
Overall, when I see the beauty of Puget Sound and consider the
combined energy of thousands of people who really care about this
waterway, I can’t help but remain optimistic that the effort to
save Puget Sound is on the right track.
Killer whales were back in Puget Sound today, spotted early this
morning near Vashon Island, in the afternoon near Seattle and after
dark near Point No Point in North Kitsap. Reports can be seen on
Network’s Facebook page.
It’s a reminder that chum salmon are now running in Puget Sound,
and the whales are close behind. The chum also are entering our
local streams. So this is the time to visit your nearest salmon
stream to see if the fish have arrived. Tristan Baurick wrote about
recent conditions for the
As always, if you wish to see chum swimming upstream and
possibly spawning, one of the best places to go is Chico Salmon
Park next to Kitsap Golf and Country Club. For the latest
information about the park, read the story in the
Kitsap Sun by Terri Gleich.
With a couple of updates, my Salmon Viewing
Map and videos still offer a guide to the best public spots to
watch salmon on the Kitsap Peninsula. Click on the map at right to
access the videos and other information, including viewing
If you would like to learn about salmon from the experts, make a
note of these events:
Saturday, Nov. 7, Poulsbo Fish Park, 288
Lindvig Way. Children’s activities included, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. No
Salmon Viewing Saturday
Saturday, Nov. 14, Chico Salmon Park, Chico
Way at Golf Club Road, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No charge. Kitsap
Saturday, Nov. 14, Mountaineers Rhododendron
Preserve, 3153 Seabeck Highway. Tours, involving a hike of about
1.5 miles, begin at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Nov. 14.
Kitsap Salmon Tours.
The Southern Resident killer whales appear to be making their
annual excursion into Central and South Puget Sound — up to a month
later than normal.
As I write this, a group of whales — believed to be J pod — is
heading south along the eastern shoreline of the Kitsap Peninsula.
The video was shot yesterday morning by Alisa Lemire Brooks.
So far, nobody seems to have a good idea why the whales are
late. Typically, they spend their summers in the San Juan Islands,
then begin checking out the rest of Puget Sound in September.
Presumably, they are looking for salmon to eat. We know their
preference is for chinook, but they will eat coho and chum if
that’s all they can find.
In the fall, chum salmon are abundant throughout much of Puget
Sound, and they often become the main food source for all three
pods of killer whales. J pod, however, is the one that spends the
most time in the Salish Sea (the inland waterway that includes
Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia).
On a stormy Sunday night, the first day of November, all three
pods headed south past Port Townsend and into Puget Sound, as
reported by Orca
“All of October, we waited patiently as we followed the reports
of Js, Ks, and Ls following chum salmon runs far to the north when
typically they follow the chum into Puget Sound,” states Orca
Network’s sighting report from Sunday.
“We have been compiling these Sighting Reports since 2001, and
this was the first October to come and go without the Southern
Residents,” the report continues. “Come morning, many joyous people
will perch themselves atop favored viewpoints, on nearby bluffs,
and along the many shorelines in hopes of seeing the beloved J, K
and L pod members-including perhaps their first glimpse of any of
the new calves who might here. We do hope they find plenty of
On Monday, whale researchers — including Ken Balcomb of the
Center for Whale Research and Brad Hanson of the NOAA’s Northwest
Fisheries Science Center — met up with the whales heading north
from Seattle. Late in the afternoon, the orcas split up. K and L
pods continued north, and J pod headed south.
Brad told me that he was as surprised as anyone that the whales
did not venture south before November. “I’ve been scratching my
head over that one, too,” he said. “It was very strange.”
The whales did stay around the San Juan Islands longer this
year, he noted, which might mean they were getting enough chinook
to eat. Then they moved north into Canada, perhaps finding salmon
in other areas besides Puget Sound.
Yesterday, the first whale sightings came from Maury and Vashon
islands in South Puget Sound, where the whales — believed to be J
pod — turned around without heading up through Colvos Passage, as
they often do. By nightfall, they were between Kingston and
Edmonds, where Alisa Brooks shot the video on this page.
This morning, they were headed south again from Whidbey Island,
passing Point No Point. As I post this about 3 p.m., they are
somewhere around Kingston.
Howard Garrett of Orca Network saw the whales go past Whidbey
Island. “They were traveling fast with lots of porpoising,” he told
me, referring to the high-speed maneuver that shoots them along
above and below the surface.
We can expect the whales to stay around these waters as long as
December. But, as orca experts always tell me, if you expect killer
whales to do something, they are just as likely to do something
Here’s a population update, if you missed the recent news:
The orca baby boom continues with the birth of a sixth calf
since last December. The baby, designated J-53, was spotted off the
west side of San Juan Island on Oct. 17. The mother is J-17, a
38-year-old female named Princess Angeline. The calf has two
sisters, J-28 named Polaris, and J-35 named Tahlequah, and a
brother, J-44 named Moby. The newest whale in J pod also has a
6-year-old niece named Star (J-46), born to Polaris, and a
5-year-old nephew named Notch (J-47), born to Tahlequah.
While the birth of new orcas is encouraging, I also need to
mention that 50-year-old Ophelia (L-27) has been missing since
August and is presumed dead by most people. She outlived all four
of her offspring.
The total number of whales in the three pods now stands at 82:
28 in J pod, 19 in K pod and 35 in L pod. This count, maintained by
the Center for Whale Research, does not include Lolita, the orca
taken from Puget Sound and now living in Miami Seaquarium.
Beards Cove Community Organization and Newberry Hill Heritage
Park Stewards are this year’s winners of the Hood Canal
Environmental Achievement Awards.
The awards, sponsored by the Hood Canal Coordinating Council,
recognize people and groups that have taken actions and fostered
relationships to improve the health of the Hood Canal
The 500 property owners in the Beards Cove community were
credited with developing relationships with Great Peninsula
Conservancy and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to
restore an estuary near the Union River on the North Shore of Hood
The Beards Cove Restoration Project completes the final segment
of 1.7 miles of unbroken saltmarsh along the shoreline. The project
removed 45,000 cubic yards of fill, derelict structures and a
septic system. The work included reconfiguring the shoreline and
planting the area with native vegetation, all to enhance salmon
The Beards Cove project was described in a
Kitsap Sun story by Arla Shepherd Bull and in a
Water Ways blog entry I wrote about the history of the Beards
Cove development leading to the need for restoration.
Stewards working to improve Newberry Hill Heritage Park are
protecting fish and wildlife in the area, which includes the
Anderson Creek watershed, which drains to Hood Canal. The group
built a fence to protect a beaver dam, which provides habitat for
coho and other fish, along with a foot bridge that maintains access
to a flooded trail. The group helped develop a forest-management
plan to restore ecological health to the park. Members are known
for expanding their knowledge about forests, streams and
The awards will be presented Friday at a conference that will
celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Hood Canal Coordinating
Council. Speakers will include Donna Simmons, one of the council’s
founders who will describe the history of the organization. U.S.
Rep. Derek Kilmer will discuss his Save Our Sound legislation and
how to move forward with ecosystem restoration. I will contribute
to the discussion by talking about my reporting career as it
relates to Hood Canal.
The event will be held at Lucky Dog Casino Event Center. Those
who would like to attend should contact Robin Lawlis at the
coordinating council, (360) 394-0046 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For
information, check the fact
sheet on the HCCC’s website.
The Hood Canal Coordinating
Council was established in 1985 to improve the water quality of
Hood Canal. It has expanded its mission to include improving the
ecological health of the canal. The group is made up of the county
commissioners in Kitsap, Mason and Jefferson counties along with
the Port Gamble S’Klallam and Skokomish tribes.
Those interested in the creatures that inhabit our local
waterways may find themselves enthralled by two recent publications
— one describing the many species of fish found in the Salish Sea
and the other examining the lifestyles of crabs and shrimps living
along the Pacific Coast.
new fish report (PDF 9.2 mb), published by NOAA Fisheries,
documents 253 species found in the Salish Sea, including 37
additional species not listed in the previous comprehensive fish
catalog, now 35 years old.
What caught my immediate attention in the report were the
beautiful illustrations by Joe Tomelleri, who has spent the past 30
years capturing the fine features of fish from throughout the
world. Check out the ornate fins on the fourhorn poacher and the
muted colors of the spotted ratfish. I never realized that common
ratfish wwere so beautiful.
The new report offers a preview of a much-anticipated book by
Ted Pietsch, retired fish curator at the University of Washington’s
Burke Museum, and Jay Orr, a biologist at NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries
Science Center. The book, “Fishes of the Salish Sea,” will provide
extensive descriptions as well as illustrations of all known
species — including some early discoveries that came to light after
publication of the new NOAA report. The book could be 600 pages or
I interviewed author Ted Pietsch of Seattle and illustrator Joe
Tomelleri of Leawood, Kans., for a piece incorporated into the
The other book, “Crabs and
Shrimps of the Pacific Coast” by Greg Jensen of Bremerton,
pulls together information about 300 of these various crustaceans.
The book, which has been on my review list for more than year, has
won acclaim from experts in the field as well as casual observers
of nature. The book comes with an associated computer disc of the
book’s text, which allows one to link to other articles and
reports. One can also load much of the book onto a smart phone,
which can be taken to the shoreline and used as a field guide.
“My goal was to make a book that would appeal to someone who
just wants to learn about this stuff and would also be valuable to
someone, like myself, who is a specialist in the field,” Greg told
I enjoy Greg’s light writing style, as he tells little stories
in sidebars, shares brief biographies of key scientists and clears
up myths and confusion. One sidebar, for example, tells us that the
lines between shrimp and prawns have become blurred.
In Great Britain, he said, Crangonids, “with their stout,
somewhat flattened form, were called ‘shrimp,’ while palaemonids
were known as prawns.” In other places, prawns are considered
larger than shrimp. Sometimes prawns refer to freshwater versus
“Bottom line: There is no formal definition separating the two.
Like the Queen’s English, once they left home for America and
Australia, they became bastardized beyond recognition,” he
Greg, a scuba diver, shot about 90 percent of the pictures shown
in the 240-page book. If nothing else, he told me, the book
provided an excuse for him to dive in waters all along the
“It was like a big scavenger hunt,” he said. “You look through
the literature and you have this list (of crabs and shrimps). You
dig up anything and everything about where to find them.”
Like Ted Pietsch has done for fish, Greg has gone back to the
original references about crabs and shrimp, taking pains to correct
mistakes passed down through scientific literature. It has taken
years to track down the many references to ensure accuracy and give
credit to the right people, he said.
Greg, who grew up in Bremerton, was in grade school when a field
trip took him to Agate Passage on a low tide, where he became
intrigued by crabs. He soon started an extensive collection of
dried crab shells. Looking back, Greg credits marine biology
instructors Ted Berney at East High School and Don Seavy at Olympic
College for helping him pursue his interests, eventually launching
his career at the University of Washington.
Today, Greg still lives in Bremerton, researching, writing and
teaching at the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Science.
Nudibranchs, soft-bodied mollusks often called “sea slugs,” are
among the most ornately decorated creatures in the sea. With about
3,000 species of nudibranchs coming in all shapes and colors, I
thought it might be fun to track down some of these animals.
Nudibranchs are found in all the world’s oceans, but you don’t
need to go beyond Puget Sound to find some of the most beautiful
ones. I’m grateful to Dan Hershman, a retired Seattle teacher,
part-time musician and underwater naturalist, who shared some of
his best photos of sea slugs from this region. Check out Dan’s
The word nudibranch (pronounced nude-eh-brank) comes from the
Latin word nudus, meaning naked, and brankhia, meaning gills. So
these are animals with naked gills, which often grow out of their
backs and sides. These creatures can be as small as a quarter-inch
or as long as a foot or more.
Nudibranchs are carnivores, eating things ranging from algae to
anemones, barnacles and even other nudibranchs. They can pick up
coloring for camouflage and even poisons from the prey they eat,
using the chemicals in defense against predators.
Hermaphrodites with reproductive organs of both sexes, these
animals don’t normally self-fertilize. But they are prepared to
mate with any mature individual of the same species. Eventually,
they will lay masses of spiral-shaped or coiled eggs.
A new publication called “Puget Sound Fact Book” has been
released online by the
Puget Sound Institute, an affiliation of the University of
Washington, Environmental Protection Agency and Puget Sound
Like its name suggests, the fact book contains detailed
information about Puget Sound — from the geology that created the
waterway to creatures that roam through the region, including
humans. The fact book has been incorporated into the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound.
Working for the Puget Sound Institute, I became part of a team
of about 25 researchers and writers who compiled the facts and
produced essays about various aspects of Puget Sound. I wrote an
introductory piece titled “Overview: Puget Sound as an Estuary” and
a conclusion called “A healthy ecosystem supports human
One can download
a copy of the fact book from the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound
Just for fun, I thought I would offer a multiple-choice quiz
from the book. Answers and scoring are at the bottom.
1. Chesapeake Bay on the East Coast covers about four
times the area of Puget Sound. The total volume of water in
Chesapeake Bay is roughly how much compared to Puget
A. Twice the volume of Puget Sound
B. Equal to the volume of Puget Sound
C. Half the volume of Puget Sound
D. One-fourth the volume of Puget Sound
2. Puget Sound was named by Capt. George Vancouver,
honoring one of his officers, Lt. Peter Puget. Where was the
northernmost boundary of the original Puget Sound?
A. The Canadian border
B. The northern edge of Admiralty Inlet near present-day Port
C. The southern edge Whidbey Island
D. The Tacoma Narrows
3. How deep is the deepest part of Puget
A. 86 meters = 282 feet
B. 186 meters = 610 feet
C. 286 meters = 938 feet
D. 386 meters – 1,266 feet
4. Washington State Department of Health has classified
190,000 acres of tidelands in Puget Sound as shellfish growing
areas. How much of that area is classified as “prohibited,” meaning
shellfish can never be harvested there without a change in
A. 36,000 acres
B. 52,000 acres
C. 84,000 acres
D. 110,0000 acres
5. In the late 1800s, experts estimate that Puget Sound
contained 166 square kilometers (64 square miles) of mud flats.
Development has reduced that total to how much today?
A. 79 square kilometers = 30 square miles
B. 95 square kilometers = 36 square miles
C. 126 square kilometers = 49 square miles
D. 151 square kilometers – 58 square miles
6. How many bird species depend on the Salish Sea,
according to a 2011 study?
7. Resident killer whales eat mainly chinook salmon.
What do transient killer whales mainly eat?
A. Pink salmon
B. Marine mammals
8. Most fish populations in Puget Sound have been on the
decline over the past 40 years. What type of marine creature has
increased its numbers 9 times since 1975?
A. Rock crabs
D. Dogfish sharks
9. Rockfish are among the longest-lived fish in Puget
Sound. How many species of rockfish can be found in Puget
10. Puget Sound’s giant Pacific octopus is the largest
octopus in the world. The record size has been reported at what
A. 200 pounds
B. 400 pounds
C. 500 pounds
D. 600 pounds
– ANSWERS 1. C. Chesapeake Bay contains about half the
volume of Puget Sound, some 18 cubic miles compared to 40 cubic
miles. 2. D. Tacoma Narrows. 3. C. The deepest spot in Puget Sound — offshore
of Point Jefferson near Kingston — is 286 m, although one spot in
the larger Salish Sea (Strait of Georgia) reaches a depth of 650 m.
or 2,132 feet. 4. A. 36,000 acres are prohibited shellfish
beds 5. C. Total mudflats today total 126 square
kilometers 6. D. 172 bird species 7. B. Transients eat marine mammals. 8. B. Jellyfish 9. C. 28 10. D. 600 pounds is said to be the record,
although more typical weights are 50 to 100 pounds.
Most of these questions are pretty tough. If you got five right, I
would say you know Puget Sound pretty well. Six or seven right
suggests you have special knowledge about the waterway. More than
seven correct answers means you could have helped compile the facts
for this new book.
Elements — the basic building blocks of chemistry — come alive
in cartoon characters created by Kaycie Dunlap, who created 112
individual illustrations for her senior project at Milwaukee
Institute of Art and Design.
Kaycie, whose website is KcD Studios, got the idea for her
elemental characters in high school chemistry class while watching
a video, according to a profile of Kaycie in the online magazine
“Women You Should Know.” In the video, the narrator acted out a
few of the elements.
“High school chemistry class used to be confusing at best,”
Kaycie said. “Then I imagined what the elements would be like as
characters. Suddenly everything became a lot more interesting.”
Kaycie’s characters fall into one of three themes. My favorites
are those in which the properties of the element are embodied in
the cartoon figure. For example, fluorine, a highly reactive
element, is depicted as an angry woman with fiery hair. Hydrogen,
being the lightest element, floats in the air and has the ability
to control water.
Some characters describe how they are used. Aluminum is a strong
and lightweight female drinking a lot of soft drinks. Other
characters simply depict the person for whom the element is named.
It is impressive how Kaycie is able to convey a truly unique
personality for each character.
Her original exhibit, “Elements — Experiments in Character
Design,” was first shown at the 2011 MIAD Thesis Expedition, where
observers could press a key on a touchscreen to call up any of 72
elements and see the cartoon character with a sample of the
material. She later completed another 50 characters. (See MIAD
Kaycie, who now creates illustrations for a game company in San
Francisco, has developed a set of flashcards to help students
remember the elements. Each card features a cartoon character on
one side and basic information about the element on the other side.
her shop at Etsy. In her spare time, she is also working on a
story in which she hopes to bring the elemental characters