By Christopher Kemp
Journalist and biologist Christopher Kemp discovers, after examining a wierd information file, a hidden international of cash, intrigue and impressive wealth. A lump of whatever turns up on a seashore in NZ, the lump so unusual it could possibly have come from out of area. yet it's now not a lifeless alien, it's ambergris.
Ambergris is a derivative of sperm whales, used for hundreds of years as a fragrance, medication and aphrodisiac. it seems that on shores worldwide and reckoning on what country it's in, will be improper for all demeanour of items. For these within the be aware of, it's an grand resource of wealth — ambergris trades for US$20 a gram, that is approximately up to gold yet it's tougher to discover and it can't be mined.
Christopher Kemp travels from the seashores of NZ, to the Smithsonian and New Nedford Whaling museum; he meets amateurs, specialist hunters, scientists, elusive owners who site visitors ambergris, those who won't confess to have discovered any, and strangers denying what they're trying to find. As he discovers extra approximately ambergris' origins, its makes use of trendy and historical, the outrageous lengths humans have long past to discover it and the interesting efforts humans visit as a way to continue what they learn about ambergris a mystery, the extra his infectious obsession grows.
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Additional info for Floating Gold: A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris
In the PWS Study, experts were expected to make judgments about the likelihood that failures would occur in specific situations. However, the experts were not reliable judges of human factors as causes of specific failures. In Questionnaire IV, for example, experts were asked to compare the likelihood that certain categories of human error would cause incidents. The categories were very broad: poor judgment, poor decision making, poor communications, lack of knowledge. Experts can be expected to give useful opinions about whether certain errors in judgment or communication will increase the likelihood of an accident, but the error categories in this questionnaire were extremely vague.
Data were collected on incidents involving groundings, collisions, allisions, steering and propulsion failures, electrical and mechanical failures, navigation equipment failures, structural failures, and fires and explosions. If local data were available and deemed reliable, they were used. , North Sea) data were used. However, the study does not discuss the effect of using non-PWS data on the results. The PWS Study states that all events in the database were verified by two independent data sources and that filling gaps in the event database usually required the reconciliation of archival data from several sources.
One of the first tasks of the PWS risk assessment team was to develop a process for gathering data on marine accidents for the TAPS oil tankers. Data were collected on incidents involving groundings, collisions, allisions, steering and propulsion failures, electrical and mechanical failures, navigation equipment failures, structural failures, and fires and explosions. If local data were available and deemed reliable, they were used. , North Sea) data were used. However, the study does not discuss the effect of using non-PWS data on the results.