Saturday Night Open Thread

What's going on in your world this weekend?

Update: If you are planning a trip to Jamaica soon, you might want to reschedule.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    (Folks, I hope my preoccupation with this subject isn't altogether unwelcome.)

    So, size does matter -- a lot. Today (5/22/10), four scientists who've been measuring the flow rate of the BP Spill write an Op-ed column for the New York Times, The Measure of a Disaster:

    It is our view that accurate, continuously updated measurements are not only possible, but absolutely essential if we are to respond effectively to this and future disasters. [We have used] two ways to measure the rate of the spill.

    *1)The first method uses computer image analysis of satellite photos and data to measure the spread and thickness of oil on the ocean surface...images examined by two of us have consistently indicated that at least 26,500 barrels of oil have been reaching the surface each day. *2) The second method is to measure flow rates at the main site of discharge [using optical image analysis of BP video]. Working independently, two of us...made estimates with median values of 60,000 to 75,000 barrels per day. [However], there is a second leak point on the top of the failed blow-out preventer. Video of this leak, along with a live feed of the original leak, is under analysis, but will only increase the estimate of the total flow escaping.

    Taking all this into account...the discharge could be as much as 100,000 barrels per day. Certainly, our assessments suggest that BP's stated worst-case estimate of 60,000 barrels has been occurring all along.

    No surgeon in an operating room would neglect an unvarnished assessment of a bleeding patient. In this disaster, an accurate measurement of the oil spill is no less important.

    I find it 'interesting' that we see no estimates of the total size of the spill on any given day. On the safe assumption of at least 60,000 barrels per day, meaning 2.5 million gallons per day, the current size of this spill is nearly 2 million barrels or 81.5 million gallons -- and still going. This has already become the 5th largest spill on record. The Exxon Valdez spill of 250,000 barrels is a trifle by comparison. (All emphasis added.)

    Please be preoccupied with it (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 23, 2010 at 10:31:35 AM EST
    Something interesting that has come to light for me of late is that oil leaks into the gulf on a regular basis even without the drilling rigs.  And apparently we have some deep sea living organisms that have evolved to "eat" that oil.  Some fear that the dispersants that have been used will kill this in essence "good bacteria" of the gulf digestive system bringing even more long term ecodeath.  I guess the initial dispersant that BP chose to use is a nasty piece of work as far as the life in the ecosystem goes.

    More Than Just an Oil Spill (none / 0) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Sun May 23, 2010 at 11:16:58 AM EST
    NYT Herbert OP-ED

    The fact that 11 human beings were killed in the Deepwater Horizon explosion (their bodies never found) has become, at best, an afterthought. BP counts its profits in the billions, and, therefore, it's important. The 11 men working on the rig were no more important in the current American scheme of things than the oystermen losing their livelihoods along the gulf, or the wildlife doomed to die in an environment fouled by BP's oil, or the waters that will be left unfit for ordinary families to swim and boat in.

    This is the bitter reality of the American present, a period in which big business has cemented an unholy alliance with big government against the interests of ordinary Americans, who, of course, are the great majority of Americans. The great majority of Americans no longer matter.

    BP Chose to forgo crucial test (none / 0) (#21)
    by sj on Sun May 23, 2010 at 02:34:51 PM EST
    Repeat:  BP chose to forgo crucial test.  Via Corrente whose post is full of good links.

    Current BP 'explosions' (none / 0) (#22)
    by waldenpond on Sun May 23, 2010 at 06:22:37 PM EST
    May have just increased, something bad occurred.... people are watching the spill and noticed 'explosions' starting this morning.  Sea floor changes, sediment, oil on the ROV, increase in flow possible.  Some belief that the top kill won't matter at this point.


    If anyone else has links that are trying to figure out what is going on down there, that would be great.


    Keep posting (none / 0) (#23)
    by Emma on Sun May 23, 2010 at 10:20:45 PM EST
    I only read the open threads to see if there's anything new here.  I can't find any information about anything through the media.

    American politics (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Sun May 23, 2010 at 09:16:09 AM EST
    Voters dressed in chicken costumes will not be allowed inside Nevada polling places this year, the AP reports.

    State election officials added chicken suits to the list of banned items after weeks of ridicule directed at Sue Lowden (R).

    Dice-K lost his no-hitter (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Sat May 22, 2010 at 09:23:23 PM EST
     with two out in the 8th, i.e., 2/3 inning after (A) the Fox announcers decided they would no longer refrain from calling it a no-hitter and (B) Terry Francona pulled David Ortiz from first base to put Youkilis in (better defense).

    Since I was pulling for the Phils (to at least not get no-hit), I had no qualms with these violations of tradition and superstition.  But I suspect loyal members of Red Sawx Nation were pulling their hair out over it.  

    I was at that game (none / 0) (#24)
    by CST on Mon May 24, 2010 at 09:05:39 AM EST
    I went to Philly for the first time ever to go to that game with some friends.  Of course my mother called me from Boston, right after Dice-K gave up the hit, to congratulate me for being at a no-hitter (short time delay on tv - plus she was watching the Celtics game).

    Oh well, can't really complain, we still shut them out, took 2 out of 3 and it was a great game.

    Plus the Celtics demolished the Magic.


    Nice place to see a game, (none / 0) (#25)
    by scribe on Mon May 24, 2010 at 11:33:52 AM EST
    isn't it?

    it was (none / 0) (#26)
    by CST on Mon May 24, 2010 at 11:41:33 AM EST
    we had standing room only tickets, but the view was one of the better ones I've ever had.  Plus there were a good amount of sox fans there, although I was advised before the game that simply wearing red wasn't gonna cut it.  The phillies are the same exact colors, even the alternate green.  Also, their mascot looked remarkably like wally.  Strange.

    I liked Philly in general a lot.  It felt very... normal.  Must be my east coast bias coming out.


    You got that mascot thing backwards. (none / 0) (#27)
    by scribe on Mon May 24, 2010 at 09:08:21 PM EST
    Wally looks kinda like the Phanatic, who's been patrolling Philly and goofing on umpires since the early 70s.

    Looks like the Celtics are (none / 0) (#2)
    by observed on Sat May 22, 2010 at 09:50:07 PM EST
    going to the NBA finals, where they will have the  job of defeating the LA Yankees.. I mean Lakers.

    Saw an Italian movie about "slow food" (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Sun May 23, 2010 at 12:35:58 AM EST
    tonight.  It is a miss.  "Focaccia blues." Talk about slow!  McDonald's comes to Altamura.  link

    We went to see the new (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 23, 2010 at 10:35:58 AM EST
    'Robin Hood'.  It provided food for thought.  Not an extremely good movie in my opinion, but the cast was exceptional....you could have given them a wet paper bag and they would have pulled something off.  Josh wanted to know if there was anything historically accurate about Longstride.  I have no idea.  Haven't investigated either, but probably should.  On the otherhand, it is probably time Joshua started investigating.  He knows how to use this thing now.

    I do want to see (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 23, 2010 at 10:37:51 AM EST
    'Los Borgias' now, but not available through Netflix.

    A friend who saw Robin says Maid Marian (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Sun May 23, 2010 at 11:03:52 AM EST
    is neither a maid nor a sidekick.  I do enjoy Cate Blanchett's excellent acting and versatility.

    Mets beat the Yankees. Amazing. (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Sun May 23, 2010 at 12:40:20 AM EST

    So the series is tied 1-1? (none / 0) (#7)
    by nycstray on Sun May 23, 2010 at 01:04:09 AM EST
    Yes. (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Sun May 23, 2010 at 01:07:41 AM EST
    I saw that game. (none / 0) (#10)
    by caseyOR on Sun May 23, 2010 at 03:15:10 AM EST
    That kid the Mets have at first base, Ike Davis, was pretty impressive. Great catch to put Texiera out at first.

    I'm not a Mets fan, but they played a good game against the Yankees.

    And the Cubs won today, too.


    Do Case and Hanabusa hate each other? (none / 0) (#11)
    by EL seattle on Sun May 23, 2010 at 04:21:55 AM EST
    Or is there another reason that the democrats would fumble this election in what must seem to be such an embarrassing way?  

    As the Honolulu Advertiser says in their wrap-up: Case and Hanabusa split the Democratic vote, as public and private polls had predicted.

    Just to follow up on that.... (none / 0) (#28)
    by EL seattle on Tue May 25, 2010 at 04:05:21 AM EST
    Maybe there is some bad blood invoved here.  Or maybe it's just a major ego thing?

    ( Link: Politico - Josh Kraushaar - May 24, 2010 ) -
    His (Case's) comments make clear that the bad blood between Case and Hanabusa during the special election has not subsided, and that both are headed towards a repeat of their divisive special election feud, which led to Republican Charles Djou winning Hawaii's traditionally Democratic 1st District this past weekend.


    At least they still allow people to vote... (none / 0) (#13)
    by EL seattle on Sun May 23, 2010 at 10:02:50 AM EST
    ... in person.  Once things eventually shift over to by-mail-voting-only or internet voting, it won't matter what anybody wears.  

    It means next to nothing. The Dem (likely (none / 0) (#19)
    by tigercourse on Sun May 23, 2010 at 12:03:20 PM EST
    Hanabusa I guess) will defeat Djou easily in the November election.

    Jose Lima, former Dodgers pitcher, (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Sun May 23, 2010 at 01:54:03 PM EST
    died in LA of an apparent heart attack.  I think he is the fellow who, when he wasn't pitching, stook on the dugout steps and, in a very animated manner, cheered on his team.  Always interesting to watch.