What is this mystery object that washed up on a South Carolina beach?

This mysterious large object washed up last week on Seabrook Island in Charleston County, South Carolina. Apparently it has the consistency of foam and does not seem to contain any metal. Read the rest

Supreme Court tells "beach villain" Vinod Khosla to get lost

Good news from the U.S. Supreme Court! It decided not to weigh in on the fight over Martin's Beach in California. Vinod Khosla, a Silicon Valley billionaire, bought land surrounding the popular beach, intermittently closed the only access route to the public, and has fought a long, losing battle over his "property rights" since. In California, beaches are public up to the high tide line—and established paths to them come with legal baggage, even when they run over your land.

“The most conservative and divided Supreme Court in my lifetime confirmed that even a billionaire, who refuses to acknowledge that the law applies to him, and retains the most expensive attorneys he can find, cannot create a private beach,” said attorney Joe Cotchett of Burlingame, who represents the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit group that has won lower cases forcing Khosla to keep the beach open.

“Beaches are public in California, and the immensely wealthy must comply with the Coastal Act just like everyone else.”

Attorneys for Khosla said Khosla will now seek a permit from the Coastal Commission, which surfers and environmental groups, and the commission itself, said was required under the law, to close the gate to the beach, something he had not done. ... The beach, used by families back to the 1920s, is flanked on both sides by steep cliffs and is only accessible by boat or by a road that runs through 89 acres Khosla bought in 2008 from a local family. The case has gained national attention.

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What is this strange metal artifact that washed up in North Carolina?

A mysterious metal object washed up on a beach in Corolla on the Outer Banks in North Carolina and nobody seems to know its origin. Is it part of a Russian nuclear sub? An ocean buoy? Advanced alien technology? Or something far stranger? From the Charlotte Observer:

Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which controls much of the land along the Outer Banks, says the object is outside its jurisdiction. "I don't know what the object is," said Mike Barber, a spokesman for the National Park Service.

Sam Walker, news director at Max Radio of the Carolinas in Nags Head, is the one who first started asking questions about the object. He says it's sitting far from any beach access ramp, making it tough for heavy equipment to remove it. "Stuff washes up all the time, and if it's not bothering anything, it just stays," he told the Observer. "There's no telling how deep this thing is in the sand."

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Surfer hotel in a modded truck

The Truck Surf Hotel is a modded Mercedes Actros outfitted with a hydraulically-expanding two-story inn. Inside is a living room, kitchen, four double rooms with bunk bed, one double room with a single larger bed, bathroom, and shower. Over the course of a week vacation package, the hotel travels to surf destinations in Portugal and Morocco. The trip is around $700-$900 depending on the destination and season; airfare not included.

Truck Surf Hotel (via Uncrate)

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Why peeing on a jellyfish sting is actually a terrible idea

Acidic solutions can help neutralize the toxins from a jellyfish sting so why shouldn't you try to piss the pain away? (Reactions)

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Bioluminescent beaches

Alarm predators by releasing luminescent phytoplankton from your pores.

(Vids from Loghan Call, Joel Puckett, Peter Kragh and Avrilia Anggraeni)

A passage from Lord of the Flies, by William Golding.

"Along the shoreward edge of the shallows the advancing clearness was full of strange, moonbeam-bodied creatures with fiery eyes. Here and there a larger pebble clung to its own air and was covered with a coat of pearls. The tide swelled in over the rain-pitted sand and smoothed everything with a layer of silver. Now it touched the first of the stains that seeped from the broken body and the creatures made a moving patch of light as they gathered at the edge. The water rose farther and dressed Simon’s coarse hair with brightness. The line of his cheek silvered and the turn of his shoulder became sculptured marble. The strange attendant creatures, with their fiery eyes and trailing vapors, busied themselves round his head. The body lifted a fraction of an inch from the sand and a bubble of air escaped from the mouth with a wet plop. Then it turned gently in the water.

Somewhere over the darkened curve of the world the sun and moon were pulling, and the film of water on the earth planet was held, bulging slightly on one side while the solid core turned. The great wave of the tide moved farther along the island and the water lifted. Softly, surrounded by a fringe of inquisitive bright creatures, itself a silver shape beneath the steadfast constellations, Simon’s dead body moved out toward the open sea"

Bonus bioluminescent squid:

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Tripoli beach trip, Sept. 6, 2011

Mannequin parts, seen at the beach in Tripoli, Libya, on September 6, 2011. Photo: Anis Mili/Reuters. Read the rest