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Weekend Recs: The Ocean

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week.

With the missing submersible and the boat-sinking Orcas, the ocean has been getting quite a bit of media attention lately. Plus, with summer vacation and beach weather upon us, now is the perfect time to talk about the ocean and all of its (intriguingly terrifying) wonders. This weekend’s recs will catch you up on the latest ocean-related news and get you ready for the beach.

If you have 3 minutes and 40 seconds…and aren’t afraid of sharks, watch this video of a woman who has befriended a group of sharks by removing hooks from their mouths.

If you have 7 minutes…and want to learn about a newly popular behavior for Orcas, read this article. It might be a game to them, but it sure feels like sweet revenge against humans.

If you have 10 minutes…and are planning on swimming in the ocean, watch this video on what to do if you get caught in a rip current. Although sharks and jellyfish might seem scarier, rips are actually the most probable threat you will face while swimming in the ocean, and knowing how to get out of one could save your life.

Bonus: watch this video to learn how to spot rip currents. Sometimes water that seems “calmer” is actually more dangerous.

If you have 15 minutes…and (somehow) haven’t heard about the submersible tragically lost on an expedition to the Titanic wreckage, read this article. As of now, the submersible has not been found, and its oxygen supply has run out.

If you have 1 hour and 30 minutes…and want to watch the documentary that ruined Sea World, watch Blackfish. As a kid obsessed with Free Willy and Orcas, this documentary was, personally, one of the most infuriating things I’ve ever watched.

My recent trip to Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach in Oregon

If you have 2 hours and 10 minutes…and want to watch the film that made hundreds of kids afraid of the ocean, watch Jaws (available in Falvey’s DVD Collection for those on campus). Despite it being nearly 50 years old, its masterful suspense still holds up today.

If you have 2 hours and 15 minutes…and love Disney, watch The Little Mermaid live action remake in theaters. Even if Disney movies aren’t quite your thing, Halle Bailey’s voice is absolutely breathtaking.

If you have 6 hours…and like memoirs, read James Nestor’s Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves, available through inter-library loan. This book explores the extreme sport of freediving, where people dive (quite deep) into the ocean without any scuba equipment.

Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.


Everything But The Shark Week: Jellyfish, Immortal and Astounding

Everything but the shark week banner


Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.


Your feelings about jellyfish might be classified as “it’s complicated.”

If you have been stung by one, you might call jellyfish frightening and even painful. If you have watched them gliding through the water, in person or films like Finding Nemo, you might label them tranquil and meditative. If you truly know jellyfish, you’d most certainly call them what they are: amazing, astonishing, and (sometimes!) immortal.

Flop aside Shark Week lovers, grab your flippers while we “dive deeper,” and explore these cool jellyfish facts found in the pages of books in Falvey’s collection!

Did you know Jellyfish…

…have no heart, brain, bones, or eyes, and their bodies are mostly water?

…travel and migrate in groups called a smack?

…have bodies, called bells, that are shaped like open umbrellas?

…either swim by floating with the current or squeezing water through their bodies?

…can sometimes revert from the adult (medusa) stage to the polyp stage and back again, effectively becoming immortal?

… come in a variety of sizes, including the largest, the lion’s mane jellyfish, whose bell can be as large as eight feet wide and can possess tentacles up to 100 feet long?

Reading Recommendations for Jelly-fans…

The above facts were drawn from several books available in the Library’s collection:

Bonus podcasts with even more jelly-facts!

Want to read some great jelly-fiction and jelly-poetry?

Keep checking back all week on the blog, where we will be exploring many other incredible creatures of the sea!

Shawn Proctor Head shotShawn Proctor, MFA, is Communications and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library. He was stung by a jellyfish as a child and, naturally, is writing a horror novel about jellyfish now.



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Last Modified: July 12, 2021

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