SHARK WEEK: See the real thing
Discovery Channel's most popular slate of programming — Shark Week — returns for its 28th year in a series of specials Sunday through July 3. Scientists love to hate Shark Week, or maybe it's that they hate themselves when they love it. It's great that Discovery Channel spends so much time talking about sharks, one of the most threatened species on the planet thanks to overfishing. But it's hard to get people to care about protecting them when they are portrayed as terrifying. Critics are a must-read during Shark Week, like shark biologist David Shiffman's Twitter account @WhySharksMatter when he calls out the nonsense. ("Sharks bend hooks all the time. It doesn't make them mythical Hitler sharks.")
If you want to see the real thing, the Florida Aquarium will be highlighting its sharks 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and throwing in a themed scavenger hunt, interactive shark games, learning activities and shark trivia. Included with regular admission: $24.95, $22.95 seniors, $19.95 ages 3-12, 2 and younger free. Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 273-4000.
Sarasota's Mote Marine Laboratory, founded by late "Shark Lady" Eugenie Clark, who dispelled many myths about sharks, holds its own Shark Days at Mote: Real Sharks, Real Science from Aug. 15-20. In the meantime, you can witness feeding time at Mote's Shark Zone at 11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and take Eco Tours and Mote Research Charters, where you can help measure, weigh and tag species as scientists gather data. Book at mote.org.
GET HITCHED: Tampa Bay Summer RV Show
With summer vacation season upon us, this weekend the Tampa Bay Summer RV Show brings a huge lineup of campers and motor homes for every kind of outdoor lover, from bare-bones pop-up campers to luxury liners that cost more than many houses. From 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today-Sunday, You'll find new and used travel trailers, motor homes, tent campers and conversion vans and lots of booths featuring parts and accessories, insurance, RV repair and financing. Admission is $4, free for 15 and younger at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa.
GEAR: A better water bottle
We live in Florida. It's hot. You need to keep hydrated, preferably in style. Right now the $29.99 Yeti is all the craze, but there's a video going viral that found Walmart's knock-off Ozark tumbler ($7.74) was still full of ice after seven hours, just like the Yeti. But if money is no problem, uncommongoods.com sells the Adventure Filter water bottle for $35-$75. Originally created for humanitarian workers, the bottle's versatility in filtering pollutants from river or lake water has hikers and campers snapping it up. If coolness is a factor, check out the Vapur Flexible Anti-Bottle. It's a nifty water pouch that stands upright when full, but it rolls up for easy storage when you're done drinking. It's freezable, dishwasher safe and BPA free. Find it for about $10 at vapur.us, amazon.com or other online retailers.