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10 things I learned from Pacific: The Ocean of The Future by Simon Winchester

    1. The Marshall Islands have a significant history marked by the use and testing of hazardous weapons, including nuclear bombs and chemical agents like Agent Orange.

    2. The Pacific Ocean served as an atomic weapons testing site for both the United States and Russia, altering the natural balance of carbon isotopes and impacting carbon dating accuracy.

    Atomic bomb tests, including over 1000 by the United States, notably altered the carbon-14 to carbon-12 ratio, with a specific reference date of January 1, 1950, used in scientific contexts.

    3. Castle Bravo was a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb detonated on March 1, 1954 at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands as part of Operation Castle.

    1,300 times more destructive than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


    4. The narrative of failure as a stepping stone to success is embraced in Japan, illustrated by the rigorous training of sushi chefs

    5. Surfing, originating from Hawaii, was popularized in California in 1907, with significant developments in surfboard technology, including the use of polyurethane foam, coinciding with surf culture's boom in the late '50s.

    6. The company that later became Sony made early magnetic tape by hand using paper and painting on the magnetic surface

    That is perseverance!

    7. Cultural practices on some Pacific islands, which include early sexual activity and childbearing, challenge Western perceptions of morality and legal standards, highlighting the complexity of cultural relativism.

    For example, in one culture, sexual activity with people as young as 12 is considered normal. That age is shocking to westerners, but what if we considered it normal as well?

    8. Water can store a lot more heat energy than solid earth because the water will capture the temperature change and bring it below and in three dimensions because of the current tides.

    The amount of energy that can be stored in the pacific ocean is difficult to imagine. Small changes in the surface temperature represent large quantities of stored energy.

    9. Climate change poses a significant threat to the Pacific, with increased storm intensity attributed to the ocean's capacity to store vast amounts of solar energy, challenging both natural ecosystems and human security strategies.

    10. Pacific islanders were able to navigate the open oceans without any equipment, just using the waves and the sky.

    This goes against the theory that all of the islands were populated by shipwrecks or people lost at sea.

    11. Invasions and conquests by European nations restricted travel by the natives and caused a loss of navigational abilities

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