Our scientists travel widely for their research, and one of the most important aspects of it is conducting fieldwork. During their trips, they travel to landscapes almost entirely different from that of Singapore. They also meet all kinds of interesting people — enthusiastic groups of children curious about their scientific equipment, locals who regale them with folktales, and even earthquake survivors with amazing stories to tell.
On 8 October 2005, a devastating magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck the Kashmir region in the Himalaya. It killed more than 80,000 people, injured more than 100,000, and left 3 million homeless.
As part of our outreach efforts, the Earth Observatory of Singapore regularly engages both the scientific and non-scientific communities via seminars, guest lectures, media briefings, and exhibitions. Schedules permitting, our scientists sometimes visit schools on request to give talks to students.
Edible vegetable oil, produced from oil palm and soybeans, is a key ingredient in junk food like chips and ice cream. Although these foods have little to no nutritional value, global consumption is on the rise, resulting in an increase in demand for vegetable oil. This has become a serious issue because large areas of land in Southeast Asia and South America have to be cleared to make way for oil palm and soybean crops.
The MIRAGE research team returned from their month-long expedition, almost two months ago on 30 July 2016, with a great deal of data that was collected directly from the seafloor of the Wharton Basin.
The Ratu River Expedition, a documentary on earthquakes in Nepal, has won several awards at film festivals around the world. Most recently, the 25-minute film won a Platinum Remi prize at the WorldFest-Houston International Film and Video Festival held in April 2016. It also been screened in more than 10 film festivals worldwide.
The 1883 eruption of Krakatau (also widely known as Krakatoa) volcano in Indonesia has captured the imagination of many people – from the first Malay account of the eruption by Muhammad Saleh (Syair Lampung Karam – published in Singapore) to the 1969 film Krakatoa, East of Java, starring Maximillian Schnell.
It has been almost a month since we left the port of Colombo to make our way to the Wharton Basin, a place so remote that I can count on one hand the number of container ships and fishing boats I saw during our three weeks there.
Last Saturday was barbecue night on the R/V Marion Dufresne, a chance for passengers and crew to mingle, cook their own dinner, and wear flip-flops on the ship’s main work deck, which is normally a safety-shoes-only zone. But rules relax on barbecue night, when everyone stands happily around a pair of open flames, sparks flying in the night as the ship pitches and rolls.
The first thing you need to know about the R/V Marion Dufresne’s engine room is that it is not a room at all. In fact, the engine — or engines, to be more precise — occupy an entire section of the ship, encompassing numerous decks from starboard to port. These decks are noisy and hot places, packed floor to ceiling, wall to wall, with ton upon ton of heavy machinery.