Reviews & Revelations

Reviews & Revelations

Browse the below book, film, and equipment reviews – if we took the time to write about it, then it’s probably made a positive impact or influence on our work. Included here are tech how-to’s, philosophical context of films and literature as applied to the life aquatic, and insights into the progressive evolutions of diving technology.

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Read our Reviews & Revelations

10Bar mask with flip frame | a review

Living through years and perhaps decades of stagnation in any real innovation coming out of the underwater world, what’s become increasingly clear is that progress may best be made with the little things – after all, the devil’s in the details and it’s those details that we are all striving to perfect to improve our interaction with and within the sea. I’m one to make an incremental change or adjustment on every dive – be it as an experiment, or an evolution towards an improved configuration or tool set. When many of us make these types of incremental changes in parallel, it can be difficult to arrive at anything standardized and the result is overwhelming confusion with mixed bags of parts and pieces. This is...
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Narwhals – saved through pop-culture conservation

Rewind 30-40 years and we hardly recognized that a narwhal was a real animal. Sure, it may have surfaced in a random kids book about whales, but it was hardly dinner table conversation. My how things have changed…in that short amount of time, the narwhal has emerged as a pop-culture icon, and the species owes a great many thanks to our good friend, Buddy the Elf. Narwhals live in the arctic, largely out of site from the masses, but maintain a threatened status primarily due to human activity.  In 2003, the narwhal’s fate changed entirely given its newly emerged significance with Mr. Narwhal’s appearance in the movie ‘Elf’. This goofy randomness, in true Will Ferrell form, put a spotlight on the narwhal which is now...
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Creatures of Light | a Review

When you’re living it, it’s hard to embrace or even recognize how much staying power any given theme or related product will have, particularly when it’s your job to consistently produce – always on the go, and always on to the next. A few things seem come up routinely in discussion – the deep sea, sharks, taking photos, and so on. Recently, I’ve noticed the topic of bioluminescence and biofluorescence or ‘Creatures of Light’ come up in rather casual conversation and it’s pretty exciting to see that this may have some staying power in the ocean conversation. That’s thanks to a few decades of interesting scientific discoveries being made, some tools developed for amateur light seeking enthusiasts, and a recent media push which includes the...
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In Oceans Deep | a review

Bill Streever’s “In Oceans Deep” hits the nail on the head, referencing from the very beginning that the book tackles “humanity’s presence beneath the waves”, and later concluding that “…a key role remains for manned expeditions…inspiration”. Embodied within those two sentiments is a chronicle of several pivotal moments in human intervention’s history and across various modes of diving – free-diving, manned submersibles, saturation diving, undersea habitation, atmospheric suits, and robotics as human proxies. Albeit unfortunate, the aquatic world is not full to the brim with writers, particularly those who can convey elements of historical fact through storytelling that is interwoven with personal experience. All too often, diving related books recount an experience, expedition, or some harrowing event – while certainly entertaining, they often miss the...
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Don’t Sweat the Cold | X-Core Thermal Protection Review

I like to think I’ve aged well with diving. There have been some grueling periods where I know I wreaked havoc on myself physically and physiologically during arduous working dives, but in hindsight, I was always smart enough to take the little things into consideration that I had a hunch would help me prolong my ability to stay in the game. That said, I have some clear issues that have resulted from diving, despite playing it safe, and much of this comes from prolonged exposure to cold. The first problem is my hands. In a pseudo-arthritic/carpel-tunnel-esque way, I have ongoing problems with strength in my hands and wrists. I’ve had numerous long winter days out there on the water, working hard with my hands, which...
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Oak Island | shedding some light on the value of discovery based science

I am first to admit that I stayed up late last night to take in another new episode of History Channel’s Oak Island. Oak Island itself is fascinating – ranking up there with the Pyramids, crop circles, the Bermuda Triangle, ancient alien theory, Atlantis, ‘the Flood’, and so on. Any of these taboo “science” topics are hot in their ability to capture public attention, but are considered far out there enough to yet justify significant attention from the hard science community – at least their many conspiracy or off-center theories. I certainly cannot sum up the Oak Island mystery here in one Blog post, so am simply going to use the excitement behind the television show as an excuse to shed light on the value of...
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Breathing Underwater | a Review

With 24 hours of travel time, the bulk of which was the trans-arctic flight from New Jersey to Hong Kong, I managed to read Dr. Joe MacInnis’ ‘Breathing Underwater : The Quest to Live in the Sea’ cover to cover. I suppose the flight path over the arctic lent some credence to the reading selection, as MacInnis was among the first to support diving science beneath the North Pole. The book tracks the lineage of the numerous 20th century ‘life in the sea’ programs, principally throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. MacInnis provides his firsthand accounts as a diving medical doctor participating in these many programs. For folks like me who advocate renewing advanced efforts on modern approaches to life in the sea initiatives, the book...
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I Like Diving | a Review

I just turned the last page of Tom Eadie’s ‘I Like Diving’. The 1929 original edition was a Christmas gift from a colleague, so I’m a bit ashamed that it’s taken this long to get to – it proved to be a page turner and I wish I had read it a long time ago. The autobiographical work of Eadie recounts his life as a Navy diver, stationed principally out of Newport, Rhode Island, during an era when submarine rescue and salvage was top priority. Eadie describes in intricate detail his experiences while salvaging both the S-51 and S-4 subs. Perhaps most interestingly was that many of the challenges faced back then, are exactly the same that working divers face today. In practice, all that...
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