Thursday, February 3, 2011

Broken Bones, Broken Hearts and Jellyfish

This is a very long overdue update. Here's what you missed:

1. I broke my right hand, actually it's just the fifth metacarpal (check out the xray!). But no fear, I don't think it has slowed me down too much.
2. My headphones have mysteriously gone missing from our studio. If you know anything about their whereabouts please let me know (Mitch? haha j/k). But seriously, I miss them a lot.

Ok so more importantly, I am no longer looking at the root systems of cliff vegetation (it was overrated) and have moved on to jellyfish, specifically a certain type of jellyfish by the name of Portuguese Man of War. It lingers mostly in the Atlantic near the Carribean, off the South American coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, and also are found as far north as the east coast of Canada. It's actually not a jellyfish, although it looks just like one, but something called a siphonophore. They differ in the fact that they are not a single organism but several combined together and attached via a shared exoskeleton. However, like jellyfish, they have cavities that are filled with gas allowing them to float.

Despite the fact that I've moved on from the cliff vegetation, my site remains essentially the same - the east coast of Newfoundland in the area of Cape Spear (see previous posts for images). Instead of the aforementioned observation bridge/deck, I'm now creating a network of modules that act as a beacon to warn tourists to remain off the rocks and to stay a good distance away from the ocean's waves. These beacons would float in the ocean at high tide and sit upon the rocks at low tide, anchored in position from below. The main body of the module lights up from within and is powered by tidal energy, generated through the currents/tide with a small turbine located under the body. The excess energy from this system would be sent to the existing lighthouse to aid in powering its existing light. The shape of the module itself does somewhat resemble the jellyfish in form but it is the process of how the jellyfish receives its energy (or food) from its tentacles below that mimics the tidal energy to power the light as well as the gas-filled body of the jellyfish that allow it to float. In the same sense, jellyfish are generally not animals that are in any way approachable and once seen in the ocean are generally avoided, especially by anyone swimming. Hopefully, these beacons will have the same warning effect.

Below are a few sketches of some iterations. More to come!

1 comment:

  1. LOL Jess, I've been studying this guy since 3 weeks ago, and if you look at my first blog, I based it off the Man O War.. ;)