Song to the Sea


Resting weightless in this salty womb,
I am a raft of thought and spume.
Born of energy and lights
it’s sentience the sea incites.
This water’s wet and rife with life
like newly man and wife.
Bed of energy and being
this is conception I am seeing.

The gods on earth are breeding
wanton to moon’s cyclic bleeding
The sea, her rhythmic agitation
is a constant copulation
in the fecund soup eternal
of world’s womb maternal.

Did we all came from nothing,
made of the energy from loving,
the sea both bride and groom?
Was her orgasm our big boom?



You change yourself, not by declaring war on your current self, but by making a treaty with your future self. That way you define a lasting peace as your goal rather than requiring yourself to recover from a battle in which, either way, a part of you was the loser.

New science informs what we know about the boxfish as an icon of drag.

Boxfish photo by Adrian Moody from Flickr.
Boxfish photo by Adrian Moody from Flickr.

In 2005 Mercedes released a concept car based on the boxfish. You can read more about it here, here, or here. The boxfish was chosen for several reasons, but one of the main ones were claims of extremely low drag (for a fish shaped like a square box). At the time this was a revolutionary concept – to base the shape of a car on something in nature. For years, this has been one of THE early examples of biomimicry.

Fast forward to today. A new paper from The Royal Society entitled Boxfish swimming paradox resolved: forces by the flow of water around the body promote manoeuvrability adds layers of new information about the mechanisms of the boxfish and actually highlights that many of the original assumptions were incorrect.

This Slate article does a pretty good job of discussing both the update to the science and what might have been missed originally. I feel like a lot of people will leap on this example to lampoon the original designers of the Boxfish concept car, which would be a shame. There are two real lessons here. First, it is so important that you take the time to delve deeply into the science before you base your design on a natural mechanism. This highlights the need to be connected to experts in the natural sciences. At some point, you’re going to have to go deep. If you neglect to, you might get lucky and have your initial assumptions line up with reality, or you might get the opportunity to learn from your missteps like the Boxfish car designers. Secondly, we have to remain open to learning as an evolution. The nature of science itself is that new tools, techniques, and breakthroughs will continue to open up new layers for discovery. These leaps forward should be lauded, not lampooned.

This is one of the most exciting articles I’ve read so far this year. It means that there is always room to get better, there is always room to learn, and the benefits of cross-disciplinary collaboration will only continue to grow. Who knows, maybe 15 years from now we’ll be able to deconstruct yet another layer in the mystery of the Boxfish. I’ll be excited to be there.