Gas-price angst, tsunami-stricken fishermen, and "psycho krillers"

A few new stories for your Thursday-morning reading pleasure. (Hey, it's technically still morning here in Montana.):

From Jeff Brady with NPR, a look at gas prices. I posted this story in part because it's a good story, but also because there's a fantastic sidebar with links to loads of stories in NPR's Climate Change Archive. Check 'em out! Also, there's a great graphic explaining how gas prices work.

Surging gas prices have drivers fuming

Gasoline prices are up almost 80 cents a gallon since January. The national average for regular gas stands at just above $3.80 per gallon.

Pity the drivers on the West Coast. Prices there have been much higher. At a Chevron station in Culver City, Calif., the price on Tuesday was $4.45 a gallon.

"I do building maintenance," Ursula Matthews said as she filled her tank. "I do a lot of driving from place to place. It's hurting me. I cannot raise the prices [of my services] with the economy what it is."

Lindon Dawson, another customer at the same station, wondered, "How long is this going to last? Because this is kind of making me broke."... Read more or Listen here.


From freelancer Sam Eaton, part of a series on PRI's The World looking at Japan after the tsunami. Lots of fantastic multi-media reporting here. (Also, we like this photo of Sam with a chicken. We don't know who took it, but we like it.)

Japan's tsunami-stricken fishermen chart new course

Last March 11, Hiromitsu Ito stood on a rocky hillside and watched a wave more than a hundred feet tall swallow the shore below, lift his house off its foundation, and slam it into a nearby bridge. When the massive wave pulled back out to sea, Ito says, it dragged everything with it—the house, his boat, his fishing gear, his entire aquaculture business, and pretty much everything else in the small fishing village of Ogatsu.

Hundreds here died that day. And since then even more have left for good. A year later, less than a quarter of Ogatsu’s four-thousand residents remain.... Read and see more. Or, listen here. Also, see a slideshow of photos from the story.


And from Susan Moran, writing for The New York Times,  a chat with those biologists who are just crazy for the Southern Ocean's tiniest critters:

Tracking Antarctic krill as more is harvested for Omega-3 pills

One recent morning at the bottom of the world, Kim Bernard spotted two humpback whales gorging in the Southern Ocean not far offshore. Dr. Bernard, a biological oceanographer, was spending the austral summer at Palmer Station, the United States research outpost on an outcropping off the western Antarctic Peninsula.

Dr. Bernard and her team, known at Palmer as “The Psycho Krillers,” are studying the feeding patterns ofAntarctic krill, the small, bug-eyed shrimplike crustaceans that are the central diet for whales, penguins, seals and seabirds. She is one of a growing number of scientists concerned about the effects of a kind of gold rush, as fishing companies race to the Southern Ocean to catch krill and turn it into animal feed and lucrative omega-3 dietary supplements... Read more.