May 8, 2010 archive

Already Passed The Exxon Valdez?

This guy thinks the Exxon Valdez has already been eclipsed:…

Ian McDonald, a biological oceanographer, strongly believes that the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill could have already surpassed the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He has categorically denied the estimates of NOAA and BP, which stands at 5000 barrels per day. According to his study and analysis, we are looking at a spill of around 25,000 barrels per day, rather than the 5,000 barrels estimated by BP. If his estimates are accurate, then we are facing a much bigger economical and threat than is currently being predicted.…

I could f’ing cry.

No surprise to anyone here I suppose, but – the attempt to put a box or dome over the first leak has apparently failed–ice crystals have blocked the whole mess up, and they’ve dropped the thing on the bottom, while they ‘re-assess’.    

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 BP dealt setback in oil containment bid


23 mins ago

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – BP was dealt a setback Saturday to capping a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico after a containment dome encountered flammable hydrate formations as it was lowered onto the leak site.

The gas hydrates, similar to ice crystals, formed on the inside of the 100-ton (90-tonne) chamber as it neared the seabed nearly a mile (1,500 meters below the surface, making it too buoyant and clogging it up, BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles told reporters.

Workers have moved the concrete and steel box some 650 feet (200 meters) to the side on the seabed while they evaluate their options.

This Week in Health and Fitness

Welcome to this week’s Health and Fitness. This is an Open Thread.

These are great for breakfast or a late afternoon snack. I had the Kiwi-Strawberry late this morning, far better than my usual slap together poached egg on a muffin or instant oatmeal.

Substantial Smoothies


Oatmeal Spice Smoothie

Orange Date Shake

Banana Peanut Butter or Banana Almond Smoothie

Kiwi Strawberry Smoothie

Carrot and Sesame Date Shake

As is now custom, I’ll try to include the more interesting and pertinent articles that will help the community awareness of their health and bodies. This essay will not be posted anywhere else due to constraints on my time. Please feel free to make suggestions for improvement and ask questions, I’ll answer as best I can.  

WIN! Sen. Franken takes on TBTF Crooked Credit Rating agencies!

    Remember how crooked accountants like Arthur Anderson helped create the Enron disaster? Well the credit rating oligopoly of the Big Three (Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s) is doing almost the same thing, and Senator Al Franken wants to put a stop to it.

    As Senator Franken told ABC news

    “If a failing student paid their teacher to turn their F into an A, everyone would agree that what the teacher had done was unethical … But right now, investors are being sold a phony bill of goods. We need to protect consumers from the pay-to-play system that rewards Wall Street players at the expense of Main Street.”

h/t to Kossack DDay at

   Al Franken has an Amendment to the Wall St reform bill that will bring this to an end.

More below the fold


Mothers’ Day In Stir


Albion Correctional Facility

Almost three quarters of the 2,422 women in New York state prisons are mothers.

So City Limits reminds us.

Women in New York State are imprisoned primarily at Bedford Hills and Albion.

Maybe we can pause for a second this weekend and think about some of these families– and families in similar circumstances wherever you live– in which the mother is behind bars and the children would like to visit.  This is particularly hard in big states, like New York, when the children are in, say, Brooklyn, and the mom is in Albion, some 400 miles away, a distance Google says you can drive in under 7 hours.  One way.

Mothers’ Day had some of its origins in the U.S. in the mid-19th century as a day to bring together families that had been on opposite sides of the civil war.  Not surprisingly, it doesn’t seem to have focused since then on re-connecting families separated by prison walls.

Maybe this would be a time to begin envisioning precisely that.


cross-posted at The Dream Antilles and dailyKos

Open Rhetoric


Could the Stock Market ‘Bungee Jump’ … to Zero, Next Time?

In case you missed it the stock market lost about a 1000 points a few days ago — all in a matter of minutes.

It was in “free fall” — market traders were bailing left and right.

With the Greek Euro Debt crisis, serving as a back-drop — Stock Prices in rapid decline, was the last thing Institutional Fund managers wanted to see.  Kind of makes you want to sell ‘before it’s too late’ too.

Many of them did.  

But then almost magically, the stock market fall slowed, paused, and then begun a similarly rapid return.  The bungee chord dynamic, reached its limit — and thankful — rebounded.

But what if next time, the Market gets spooked like that, and goes into a cascade of frenzied selling … what if the next time …

It just keeps falling ?    say goodbye to those 401k and Pension funds     [if you haven’t already, that is].

On This Day in History: May 8

1973A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and the American Indian Movement members occupying the Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, site of the infamous massacre of 300 Sioux by the U.S. 7th Cavalry in 1890, ends with the surrender of the militants.

AIM was founded in 1968 by Russell Means, Dennis Banks, and other Native-American leaders as a militant political and civil rights organization.


Their actions were acclaimed by many Native Americans, but on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Oglala Sioux Tribal President Dick Wilson had banned all AIM activities. AIM considered his government corrupt and dictatorial, and planned the occupation of Wounded Knee as a means of forcing a federal investigation of his administration. By taking Wounded Knee, The AIM leaders also hoped to force an investigation of other reservations, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and broken Indian treaties.


The Wounded Knee occupation lasted for a total of 71 days, during which time two Sioux men were shot to death by federal agents. One federal agent was paralyzed after being shot. On May 8, the AIM leaders and their supporters surrendered after White House officials promised to investigate their complaints.


In 1975, two FBI agents and a Native-American man were killed in a massive shoot-out between federal agents and AIM members and local residents. In a controversial trial, AIM member Leonard Peltier was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to two consecutive life terms.


The U.S. government took no steps to honor broken Indian treaties, but in the courts some tribes won major settlements from federal and state governments in cases involving tribal land claims.

The Pine Ridge and other Reservations remain incredibly poor. This past winter was especially devastating with record cold, snow and ice. Residents ran out of food, heating fuel and water became an even bigger problem when water mains froze and broke.  

‘afraid to deploy’

As we are once again watching and listening to the rabid language of hate about those like most of the rest of us, immigrants, illegal, while companies and individuals readily employ, and legal, though they resemble the illegal so one state is forcing all to carry papers of identification, Question: what about white european illegals?, many have always served in our armed forces while those condemning haven’t!

GIs ‘afraid to deploy’ over spouses’ illegal status

Birthday Boys

May 7, Johannes Brahms (1833) & Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840).

This piece, Hungarian Dance #1, was actually recorded on Edison Cylinder by Brahms himself in 1889 (YouTube below the fold).  It’s a horrible recording, barely recognizable, and the voice is almost certainly not Brahms.  It’s one of 21 Hungarian Dances of which the most famous is probably #5.  They’re great favorites of piano teachers, this one is usually performed as a duet or a 4 hander.

In his capacity as director of the Moscow branch of the Russian Musical Society, Tchaikovsky invited Brahms, who was quite a celebrity, in as a guest conductor.  March of the Slavs was composed in commemoration of a crushing defeat of the Serbian Army in 1876 by the Turks.  It was written in 5 days and includes some familiar themes later used in his more well known 1812 Overture.

TGIF: Who is Your Favorite Movie Actor of All Time?

Crossposted at Daily Kos

How does one answer such a subjective question?  Is it the performance, commercial success and popularity of the particular movie, or the number of prominent awards won that endears an actor to his or her audiences?

Some actors like Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro are capable of turning in one superb acting performance after another over the years and establishing a particular bond and connection to the audience.  Others are applauded for a once-in-a-lifetime movie role — such as Ben Kingsley’s masterful portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in Gandhi for which he won universal acclaim and the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1982.

Meryl Streep as Sophie Zawistowski in Sophie’s Choice and Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone in Godfather Part II in two of the finest movie roles ever by an actor


Tonight although I`ve spent a bit of time on another essay, I wanted to not distract you so much as impress upon you the importance of what a human error can cost. I shall only do so with images & no further commentary except to strongly suggest you click on the last long shot & go to “original” size.

It is a composite of 10 shots covering the 14 foot long reef tank in my friend`s shop.

14 feet is nothing on the scale of the real wild reefs out there, but you surely get the implication.

By human error, I mean the collective who decided it was OK to cause this



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