Watson and the Shark, by John Singleton Copley, 1778.

Watson and the Shark, by John Singleton Copley, 1778. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

The Sea

Volume VI, Number 3 | summer 2013

Map

Water World

From radioactive waste to underwater cables, the world under the sea.

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Miscellany

On May 2, 2011, Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette emailed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen to report on the traditional Islamic procedures that were followed in the burial of Osama bin Laden. “The deceased’s body was washed (ablution) then placed in a white sheet. The body was placed in a weighted bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up, whereupon the deceased’s body slid into the sea.”

But look, our seas are what we make of them, full of fish or not, opaque or transparent, red or black, high or smooth, narrow or bankless—and we are ourselves sea, sand, coral, seaweed, beaches, tides, swimmers, children, waves.

—Hélène Cixous, 1976

Lapham’sDaily

A telescopic image of the formalhault solar system. A bright dot is surrounded by a cloud of smaller red dots. An inset shows a close-up of what looks like a planet, labeled Formalhault b.

DÉjÀ Vu

Space Oddities

2020:

Exoplanet revealed to be nothing but a large cloud of dust.

1903:

Supposed irrigation canals on Mars are merely optical illusions.

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The World in Time

Peter Fritzsche

Lewis H. Lapham speaks with the author of Hitler’s First Hundred Days: When Germans Embraced the Third Reich. More