About "Catch & Research"

Welcome. I found my passion in ecological economics and fishing. They are all about pursuit of unknown and uncertain objects. I always enjoy the seemingly reckless pursuit itself. This blog is a record of my long journey in research and fishing. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Green MBA?

I have believed that one of the hidden causes of financial crisis is MBA. MBA educated "financial and management experts" drove economies too far and to wrong way. I found an article at Guardian.co.uk, "MBA course: 'blind pursuit of profit is destroying the planet.'" This title is exactly what I want to say. I am sorry to my MBA earned friends, but unfortunately, what you learn at the course is the way eventually to ruin human economies and the environment.

I welcome the efforts to install alternative MBA program, namely 'green MBA.' Not fully sure, how much the program can make difference. But curriculum and spirit of current MBA program should be changed immediately. I believe 'blind pursuit of profit' should never be taught at school.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What to do with nuclear...

Nuclear option seems totally dead. Well, not yet. Ironically, some environmentalists claim that nuclear is the certain bridge option to mitigate climate change. Here, the bridge option means that we need nuclear gerneratioin before renewable energy are fully available for commercial generation.

But, safety issues of nucelar plants are hard to swallow. I read one article about safety of nuclear plants at the Washington Post. Its title is "Nuclear power is safest way to make electricity, according to study." It shows safety record data of nuclear plants and compare them with other fossil fuel generation. When we compare numbers, nuclear generation is safe and cheap enough, for sure. As the article points out at the end, however, the problem is the dire image of nuclear generation in people's mind. The conception.

Very well organized article. I recommend to read it if you are concerned about nuclear and other energy options.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Can 'peak oil' help slow climate change?

This is a title of a news article at the Guardian.co.uk. Peak oil raises many questions about the future of civilization. Economic and social stability is # 1 of them. Impact on climate change has not been received much attention yet: Climate change can be finally tamed down by decreased supply of fossil fuel? At a glance, it seems to be. But it is not that easy question. The article concludes that peak oil will worsen climate change because economies probably  move to cheap but dirty fossil fuels such as tar sands and shale oil. What do you think? Here is a part of the article:

indeed the longer-term impact of the oil peak could be to accelerate rather than decelerate global warming. That's because falling availability of crude oil could boost the production of even more carbon-intensive alternatives such as oil extracted from tar sands or "synfuel" produced from coal.

Monday, March 28, 2011

[News Clip] CO2 to Fossil Fule

Interesting article at Science Daily. Researchers made a seemingly critical finding which could be a key step to make man-made fossil fuel. Don't be so excited, though. Reporters are always exerating. Read this first, how does it sound? Can it be commercially available in the future?
The University of Minnesota team is using Synechococcus, a bacterium that fixes carbon dioxide in sunlight and converts CO2 to sugars. Next, they feed the sugars to Shewanella, a bacterium that produces hydrocarbons. This turns CO2, a greenhouse gas produced by combustion of fossil fuel petroleum, into hydrocarbons.
If we can make fuel out of CO2, that will be awesome. Especially, on these nuclearly screwed days. Closing cricle, that is the goal!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Climate fight without nuclear generation?

Japanese earthquake turned many things upside down. Nuclear power is one thing, the hot potato. Governments are reviewing their nuclear policy. German government is planning to fade out their nuclear power plants.

Surprisingly, strong support for nuclear power is coming from some environmental groups. They claim that it is almost impossible to achieve cliamte goal without nuclear generation. Climate benefit from nuclear generation is bigger than potential danger of it. It is hard to tell when we see the horrible pictures of Fukushima nuclear plants.

For your reference, Emmanuel Fages, head of power, gas, carbon and coal research group, at French bank Societe Generale provides estimates of potential GHG emissions:
A global freeze on nuclear expansion projects would mean an additional 280 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in annual average emissions over the next 20 years. And if existing plants are retired and replaced with fossil-fuel burning generation and some renewables, then annual emissions could increase by as much as 860 million tonnes on average over the period 2010-2030.
(from Carbon Market News by Point Carbon, Published: 18 Mar 2011 01:01 PM CET)
What do you think? Keep going with nuclear power in order to achieve climate goal? Or, find and promote alternative energy risking climate future? We all are facing tough decisions.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Droughts, Floods and Food by Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman wrote a column about current food price crisis at New York Times. He is pointing out that there exist food crisis possibly caused by climate change behind the scene of current social and political turmoil in the middle east. I strongly recommend it. Prof. Krugman says,
As always, you can’t attribute any one weather event to greenhouse gases. But the pattern we’re seeing, with extreme highs and extreme weather in general becoming much more common, is just what you’d expect from climate change.
That's right. What righties and lefties have to urgently agree on is not the cause of climate change but the consequences of climate change. Personally, I think that we don't have much time to mitigate climate change. We need to focus on adaptation to climate change.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

James Howard Kunstler talks about Peak Oil and Financial Decline

Kunstler is clearly one of the most unique thinkers of our time. I do not agree with him in some points, but his idea about post-oil era urban design is worth to listen. At least, he is entertaining.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ice Fishing

I went ice fishing with Capt. M this afternoon. We had slow start, but at the last hole we hit the home run. It was "the" sweet spot.

I caught a small Pickerel. Big eyes were kinda cute.

Capt. M caught 12.5" yellow perch which had fat belly. All perches were released because Capt. M insisted that the lake need stronger perch population. I was surprised because the deadliest fisherman Capt. M suddenly started  fishery management.

Capt. M is showing off his catch. It was windy and snowy, but enjoyable.

Capt M. caught more than 20 sunnies at the last hole.

(In my defense)because I didn't have a fish finder, I could not beat Capt. M. I caught 5 sunnies and brought some catches home to make fish fry.

Capt. M is fishing with his fish finder, which shows activity of fish right below. You lower your lure above fish then jig it. It was fun to watch your bait and fish school moving up and down. We used Spikes and Moucies(?).

It was a productive three and half hour trip.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ice Watching

Have you heard about ice watching? It is not a kind of hobby. I am volunteering for Ice Watch USA. It is a simple job to collect basic water and wildlife data once or twice a week. In particular, I observe how much the water is frozen. Here are list of observations: (1) Date and time of observation, (2) ice coverage (ice-on, ice-off or partial ice w/percentage), (3) air temperature, (4) snow depth, and (5) wildlife seen or heard (including tracks).

To be honest, taking records of ice and temperature is quick and easy (and boring). I found observing wildlife is rewarding. It is fun to look for waterfowls and tracks of deer. Today, I saw a pair of Peregrine Falcon. They looked gorgeous at sunset. Sorry, not a good pic with my everyday digital camera.

This picture is much better. A couple years ago, I found this falcon perched down near my fishing spot. So cool!

If you live close to any water body or go fishing year-round, this must be a good volunteering opportunity. You can feel that you do something meaningful. Or, you can use it as a good excuse to go fishing. ;-)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Noam Chomsky's Comment on Climate Change Deniers

The Nation is releasing a new video series, “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate.” Here is introductory twenty minute video. New segments will be released every Wednesday (release schedule can be found here).

To some of visitors, most interviews look very familiar. I recommend to watch interview with Noam Chomsky (starting at 8:22) especially to climate skeptics. Prof. Chomsky is commenting on and analyzing the attitude and mentality of climate change denial groups. It is worth while to listen to him because he is believed as "one of the most respected and influential intellectuals in the world."

Blue Fish Bite

Three years ago, there was a conference in Manhattan. I stayed at a dorm in downtown. Oh, boy, I could not hold my fishing instinct and brought my fishing reel and rod with me. I put the rod in a document tube which I carried to bring my poster. It was a perfect disguise!

The dorm was close to the Brooklyn bridge and Pier 17. So, every morning, I woke up really early and went fishing to pier 17 on the East river and the Battery park. Make long story short, I didn't catch any. Who cares? I did have such a great break from the nonsense of academic discussions. But on the second day, I got a strong bite although I failed in hook-setting. When I reeled in my swimbait, I was totally shocked. See the pictures below.


You can imagine my immediate reaction, "holy %$#&!!! Is there shark or something?" I showed the half-cut lure to a biologist, and he told me that it might be Blue fish. Later, I found out that blues are notorious for its razor sharp teeth, and they are abundant in the East river. I think that I was lucky enough not to hook one. It was so close... At that time, I didn't have any equipment to land and handle blues. I could be really screwed.

After that, I have had a couple of chances to fight with blue fish, but I didn't land any. They are good fighters, although people say that they are not good eaters. Well, well, I hope to taste the nasty Blue fish someday.

For your information:
Fishing at Manhattan piers is allowed from sunset to 7am. That's what I heard from an officer when I went there three years ago. In the morning, many elderlies came to exercise to the pier 17. You need to watch.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

300 Years of FOSSIL FUELS in 300 Seconds

Very succinct and entertaining presentation. You will like it.

Fried Bass with Chinese-Style Spicy Sauce

Believe it or not, bass is considered as junk fish in Korea, as carp is treated as junk fish in the US. Carp is delicacy in Asia. The other day, I saw a news that Illinois would export Asian carp from its Mississippi river to China . I believe that this business will be successful.

Anyway, bass is an invasive species and is not considered as a food fish in Korea. While staying in the US, I tried different recipes to cook my catch. I smoked, steamed, deep fried, grilled and so on. Among them, I found frying is the best. When it is coupled with Chinese style spicy sauce, it is even better.

Bass (gutted and scaled), flour or corn meal, onion half, green onion 1/2 head, Jalapino pepper 1, garlic 1/4 clove, Sauce(Sugar 1T, black pepper 1/3t, Korean or Japanese soy sauce 1T, Oyster sauce 1T, rice vinegar 1T, rice wine 1T, sesame oil 1/2T).

(1) Make the sauce first. Mix up all ingredients well.
(2) Clean and rinse the fish.
(3) Pat down the fish with paper tower to get rid of extra moisture. If desirable, make cuts on the fish (see the picture above)
(4) Roll the fish on flour.
(5) Put enough amount vegetable oil on a frying pan and warm it up.
(6) Pan-fry the fish fully and put it on paper tower covered dish. We need to cool it.
(7) Now, vegetables. Chopped up vegetables to small pieces.
(8) On another frying pan, stir fry chopped vegetables at high heat.
(9) When vegetables are almost cooked, pour the sauce on the pan. Wait till boiling.
(10) Move the fish to a serving dish and pour the sauce over the fish.
(11) Enjoy!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Silly bandz for Two Piece Rod

It is sometimes annoying to carry two piece fishing rod. Much easier than one piece rod, though. If the upper part is loose, its tip part could be broken. I did it one time. Good way to carry two piece rod is to tie them up using band.

I have used grocery rubber band. One problem of rubber band is that it sticks on rod and leaves residue especially when it contacts with sunscreen. Sunscreen chemically reacts to rubber. Rubber band could damage your tackles. It may not be a big deal. But here is an alternative: silicon band. Silicon is very stable material and does not react to sunscreen. If you have used rubber bands for your rods or tackles, you may want to try silicon bands.

Here I put pictures on how to tie up two piece rod using silicon band.

Step 1. Put two parts together.

Step 2. Wrap the rod around the largest guide.

Step 3. Wrap two times (you can adjust according the length of band). Don't make it too tight. It could damage your guide.

While fishing, you can put the band on your wrist. Fashionable fisherman, huh. If you find your kids or nephews playing with silly bandz, you may want to borrow a couple of them for your use. Ah, I found that a local sporting goods store is selling silicon bands shaped in MLB team logos. These must be cooler than cow or horse shape.

Warming causes cooling?

Recent weather pattern in the mid-Atlantic region is just like roller coaster ride. A week of extreme coldness and snow, and a week of spring-like warmness and rain. Last couple of days were really warm, and last month heavy snow were almost melted away here in upstate New York. I was even considering to go fishing (well, it didn't happen). What's going on?

Climate change is suspected to be behind the roller coaster weather. Sounds like non-sense? Let's assume that you agree on that the average temperature of atmosphere is going up, then here are some brief explanations which I summarized from various sources:
  • Higher surface temperature increases total amount of vapor in atmosphere. More vapor ends up with higher precipitation.
  • Higher surface temperature increases the power of low pressure system. Surface air rises more easily. Stronger low pressure system in the middle altitude pulls down arctic cold air or up equatorial hot air.
I overly simplified explanations to provoke interest. Climate is so complex that there are still many things that we cannot understand.  Although we agree on the large amount of uncertainty, it seems evident that climate change took a certain role in this roller coaster weather.