Skip to content

Flotsametrics and the Floating World How One Man's Obsession with Runaway Sneakers and Rubber Ducks Revolutionized Ocean Science

Spend $50 to get a free movie!

ISBN-10: 0061558419

ISBN-13: 9780061558412

Edition: 2009

Authors: Curtis Ebbesmeyer, Eric Scigliano, Curtis C. Ebbesmeyer

List price: $26.99
Blue ribbon 30 day, 100% satisfaction guarantee!
what's this?
Rush Rewards U
Members Receive:
Carrot Coin icon
XP icon
You have reached 400 XP and carrot coins. That is the daily max!

The authors tell one of the Earth's great secrets - a previously hidden system of ocean currents - revealed through fascinating stories of flotsam. Using all kinds of stuff that ends up in the ocean, maverick scientist Ebbesmeyer solved a profound mystery and changed everything we know about our environment.
Customers also bought

Book details

List price: $26.99
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 3/24/2009
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 304
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 0.990

Preface: A New World
Chasing Water
The shoe drops and a quest begins.
Growing up near the sea but not on it.
Chocolate and ducklings, Flotsam and Jetsam.
An educational detour.
Dance class and lifelong love.
Escaping the draft and working for Big Oil.
Hearing the oceanographic call.
A boost from John D. Rockefeller.
A mentor with a holistic approach to the sea.
An aquatic snark hunt.
Deadheads and Trident subs.
Eulerian and Lagrangian viewpoints.
Water bodies as granular and dynamic.
Dabob Bay as oceanic microcosm.
Oil and Icebergs
Jim Ingraham creates the Ocean Surface Current Simulator.
The UW gang fans out.
Mobil Oil's first oceanographer.
Conspiring to make Big Oil prepare for big waves.
Cliff Barnes's war with icebergs and U-boats.
Riders on the icy sea.
Life on ice islands.
North Sea perils.
Goodbye, Dallas; hello, Seattle.
Knocking on doors.
Sewage grease balls and a devil's staircase.
Akira Okubo, master of swarm mathematics.
Daredevil drift reading on the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Chasing snarks with the Russians.
An ocean full of eddies.
Messages in Bottles
My father's many illnesses.
Our family is reunited in Seattle.
Oil bust and near bankruptcy.
Chasing the Gulf Stream's frontal eddies.
The frustrations of environmental consulting.
Low-tech drift sticks on Port Ludlow.
The Vikings release the first ocean drifters and find new harbors.
Yasuyori's wave-borne verse.
The science of determinate drifters and the mystique of message bottles.
Edgar Allan Poe, oceanographic seer.
Guinness rules the waves.
The czar's bottle.
Gospel bombs and bottled salvation.
I dedicate myself to drifters.
Eureka, a Sneaker!
The Great Sneaker Spill.
Shippers stonewall, but Nike shares its secrets.
The joy of beachcombing.
OSCURS predicts the sneakers' path.
Another spill: beavers, frogs, turtles, and ducks.
Ducky mania.
OSCURS aces another blind test.
The tub toys round the Aleut Gyre.
Pacific Pathways comes to Sitka.
Oceanic wheels within wheels.
An epic freedom drifter.
Hockey gloves outrace sneakers.
Wind and waves sort left from right.
Why nature is two-sided.
Coffins, Castaways, and Cadavers
Four right feet.
The float-away corpse.
Ignoring the oil-spill omens.
Dad's passing and the Beachcombers' Alert.
Isis, Osiris, Moses, and Genghis.
Freedom floaters and the Loop Current.
Nelson Eddy strikes. Freedom's price.
Floaters and sinkers.
Follow the shark.
The mystery of Barnacle Bill.
The dead don't stay down.
I lose my sea legs.
The Admiral of the Floating World
Far-flung flotsam in the Mediterranean catch basin.
Awakening to Columbus.
How sea beans conquered the sea.
The first flotsamologist.
The Azores dumping ground.
Messengers from "Cathay."
Invasion of the Finnmen.
Reading the waters, not the maps.
Phantom islands.
Cross Creek's floating archipelago.
Columbus's message in a barrel.
Borne on a Black Current
Ancient volcanic emigrants.
The mighty Kuroshio sweeps them away.
Asian infusions in America.
Castaways from the hermit shogunate.
Ranald MacDonald's bold mission to Japan.
Wrecked junks at Malarrimo.
The American Coastal Pathway.
The Great Conveyor
Ban beans, brick beads, and buoyant urns.
One mystery leads to another.
The forgotten gyres, rediscovered and renamed.
Amos Wood follows the fishing floats.
Buzzy's board rounds the gyre.
Tracking water by standing still.
Orbital periods.
Handoffs between gyres.
Wheels within watery wheels.
The global conveyor belt.
Ashes to Ashes, Life from the Sea
Akira and Keiko, apart but inseparable.
A young planet covered in floating rock.
Pumice as primordial incubator.
Akira and I broach our new theory of life's beginnings.
Akira's end.
A farewell feast.
We flush Keiko out to sea.
My parents join Akira and Keiko in the Turtle Gyre.
Junk Beach and Garbage Patch
Growing official and corporate indifference to marine environmental threats.
Deaf ears and cold shoulders.
Frustration and early retirement.
How a garbage patch forms: Hadley cells and reverse hurricanes.
Huxley and Mann on Rubber Beach.
St. Paul's suffering fur seals.
Collector beaches.
Hawaiian convergence.
How the islanders used the currents.
We reach Junk Beach.
Cleanups, pileups, and an unending washup.
Charlie Moore's war on marine dumping.
Turtle beach and plastic sea.
The Synthetic Sea
Plastic, born in mimicry.
Pool balls and piano keys: seeking an ivory substitute.
Plastic-packed albatrosses.
Molecular mimicry.
Endocrine disruptors and feminization.
Nurdles sponge up greasy pollutants.
Petroleum, plastic, lead, and mercury: which is worse?
Rat poison canisters at the Fun Fair.
The Music of the Gyres
The gyre orbits add up.
Oceanic octaves, a global harmonic series.
Melting the Arctic and speeding the gyres.
Farewell, fundamental tone.
Finding hope.
Urban Legends of the Sea
The cold truth about Theophrastus's bottles, Queen Elizabeth's uncorker, the Octavius's drift, the Sydney's globe-circling lifebelt, Daisy Alexander's $6 million bottle, and Clyde Pangborn's missing wheel.
A Million Drifting Messages
The Oceanic Gyres
Ocean Memory
Harmonics of the Gyres
Gyres and other orbiting currents classified by tone-length of orbital period-from longest to shortest.
Ilustration Credits
Further Reading