Today marks the 35th anniversary of one of the most famous shipwrecks in the Great Lakes. n 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald sunk to the bottom of Lake Superior after being caught in an intense storm. Twenty-nine people died in the wreck. To this day, the United States Coast Guard has not figured out why exactly the ship sank, but there were rumors that the crew had not fastened the hatches correctly. Many people believe that it wasn’t because of the rough weather.
However, John Tanner of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy said in a 2005 Associated Press article hat traveling in the Great Lakes is a much easier and safer tasks than it was during the days of the Fitzgerald.
The shipwreck is considered to be the worst maritime disaster in the history of the Great Lakes. But it also became popular through the famous Gordon Lightfoot song as well.
Several events will commemorate the anniversary. The Split Rock Lighthouse in Two Harbors Minnesota will shine its light tonight in memory of those who perished in the wreck. The Great Lake shipwreck Museum on Whitefish Point, just off where the ship sank, will also host a memorial service.
Invasive species issues have been achieving publicity lately with the help of Mike Rowe, the host of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel.
The show profiles the lives of workers around the United States who have particularly “dirty” occupations. For example, host Mike Rowe has worked as a bologna maker, a maple syrup maker and a diaper cleaner. And tomorrow, he will show the public how taking care of invasive species in the Great Lakes can also be a dirty job. In the 34th episode of this season, Rowe acts as a Sea Lamprey Exterminator in Michigan. Airing tomorrow night at 9 p.m. on the Discovery Channel, he is featured with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who is researching different ways to battle this species that threatens the fishing industry of the Great Lakes.
After watching a few of the clips posted on discovery.com, it seems that this will be a pretty interesting episode, with some strange features. Posted below and titled “Spit take” is a clip from the episode. It shows Rowe spitting into a tank of Sea Lamprey, under the recommendation of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife employee. The Lamprey go wild in response to the spit and begin jumping into the air. Some even leap out of their tank. Rowe asks why in the clip, but the official can only say that it is something they are studying. It’s a puzzling attribute of these creatures that certainly has not been well publicized or acknowledged by the scientific community.
This is also not the first time that invasive species have been included in the Dirty Jobs lineup. In fact, a few weeks ago, Rowe took on invasive species in the Florida Everglades. It’s clear that these creatures create sticky situations for both the ecosystems they invade and the people researching them.
Last Saturday a group of University of Michigan students won the American Solar Challenge – a competition where students design and build solar-driven cars and race them across the country. This year’s teams and their vehicles sped 1,200 miles from Oklahoma to Illinois.
Michigan’s 700-pound machine dubbed “Infinium” — which can reach speeds over 100 miles per hour — beat 16 other U.S. and international teams and crossed the finish line in about 28 hours. In second place, University of Minnesota’s car “Centaurus 2,” finished over two hours later. Last place finisher “Mercury III,” Illinois State University’s vehicle, came in 38 hours later. Seven universities from Great Lakes states or provinces participated.
Solar car “raycing” (get it?) events began in North America in 1990. This year marked the 20th anniversary and was hosted by the Innovators Educational Foundation, an organization that encourages “students to think outside the box encouraging innovations that will move our country forward.”