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Could you bomb the gulf oil well?

Gosh I got a lot of ideas that never quite make print. Good ideas, bad ideas, ideas that make your skin crawl -- they run the gamut. The other night I had a notion, and this may have come after a cocktail or two, that we should stop dithering with this BP oil well in the gulf and just bomb the living daylights of it.

That's what the Soviets would have done. Apparently they liked to nuke their oil wells when they got out of line. Usually worked.

Now, you're probably having some knee-jerk, turtle-hugging response along the lines of That Would Be Wrong, as if we're all staring at a lot of good options that are ecologically sublime. Let me just remind you that in the South, my native land, the act of dropping explosives into water is rather common and is generically known as "fishing."

It's so much easier than trying to persuade a fish to take a baited hook. If you did this with nuclear weapons, you'd also save all the fuss and bother of actually cooking the fish.

I'm not saying go nuclear, though. That might divert precious nuclear weapons from their important job of sitting in silos to deter the Soviet attack that may come at any minute. But what about conventional explosives? Let's just think this through! Bear with me here.

It's just a hole that you need to close. How big is it? I'm not entirely sure, but the drill pipe is nine inches. The hole telescopes as it goes deeper into the earth and eventually reaches the reservoir below. This narrow hole is threatening an environmental calamity that could potentially send oil all the way to England and possibly -- I haven't looked at the maps lately, but I'm pulling this from memory -- San Francisco. If this wellhead fails completely, we're looking at Tarball Earth, from what people say.

And I guess that's the reason they're not going to blow it to smithereens (can you hear the gears clicking and grinding in my head as I write this? It's scary, isn't it.) [My mental blowout preventer has been on the fritz since 1991.) The BP blowout preventer didn't prevent the blowout, but whatever they got sitting on top of that wellhead is doing SOMETHING, because it's not gushing at 40,000 or 60,000 or 100,000 barrels of oil a day, which it would do if completely out of control.

But if the situation degrades, I wonder if the Commandant will get impatient and at least considers Plan Z. It's just a little hole in the bottom of the gulf!

--

Here's our story this morning on the situation in the gulf. Excerpt:

The mile-deep plumbing fix did not diminish the amount of oil flowing from the blown-out well, but it simplified the next step in the emergency response.

That step involves what has been called a containment dome. It's not a dome at all, but a boxy, four-story-tall, 100-ton metal structure used in shallow water after Hurricane Katrina. Refurbished and equipped with mud flaps, the dome on Wednesday was to take a 12-hour journey by barge from an industrial port to the open gulf, where it was scheduled to arrive by early Thursday above the blown-out well.

If all goes as planned, a crane mounted on a second barge will lower the dome 5,000 feet to cover the largest and most worrisome leak, a break in a 21-inch pipe known as the riser. That leak is 460 feet from the wellhead and is the source of the overwhelming majority of the oil escaping the well. The dome is supposed to capture the oil and pump it through pipes to a barge at the surface.

This will take several days to get up and running, but by Monday a significant amount of the oil gushing into the gulf may start to wind up instead in the barge, said BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles. At a news conference, Suttles and other officials tried to manage expectations, noting that such a recovery operation has never been attempted at such a great depth.

--

The AP reports that the ship carrying the containment dome has arrived at the spot above the uncapped well. Some good details here on the challenges facing the engineers and technicians:

First, crews need to properly position the four-story structure above the well as it sinks deep into the mud at the bottom of the Gulf with the help of a remote-controlled robotic submarine. A steel pipe will be attached to a tanker at the surface and connected to the top of the dome to move the oil.

"It's very dark down there ... and we will have lights on the (submersibles), and we know exactly where to put this and guide it into place," said David Clarkson, BP's vice president for project execution.

That process presents several challenges because of the frigid water temperature - about 42 degrees Fahrenheit - and exceptionally high pressure at those depths. Those conditions could cause the pipe to clog with what are known in the drilling industry as "ice plugs." To combat that problem, crews plan to continuously pump warm water and methanol down the pipe to dissolve the clogging.

They are also worried about volatile cocktail of oil, gas and water when it arrives on the ship above. Engineers believe the liquids can be safely separated without an explosion.

--

I think we're all going to be learning a lot about the MMS. Not the MSM, the MMS. Read this column by Bill Galston, the former Clinton WH domestic policy adviser, and a U-Md. professor blogging for TNR (via Ezra Klein's Wonkbook). Excerpt:

"So here's my question: what is responsible for MMS's change of heart between 2000 and 2003 on the crucial issue of requiring a remote control switch for offshore rigs? What we do know is that unfettered oil drilling was to Dick Cheney's domestic concerns what the invasion of Iraq was to his foreign policy--a core objective, implacably pursued regardless of the risks. Is there a connection between his infamous secret energy task force and the corrupt mindset that came to dominate a key program within MMS? Would $500,000 per rig have been regarded as an unacceptably expensive insurance policy if a drill-baby-drill administration hadn't placed its thumb so heavily on the scale?"

Bobby Kennedy Jr. has also been on the case.

--

The Houston Chronicle has a lot of good coverage of the spill. Here's a report on crabbers fearing for their livelihoods.

By Joel Achenbach  |  May 6, 2010; 8:04 AM ET
 
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Next: No magic bullet in gulf spill

Comments

May this be the day we turn the corner on this disaster.

Posted by: slyness | May 6, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I had one thought when reading the title of the Kit...

Tsunami. :-O

But yes, slyness, let us hope this is the light at the end of the tunnel. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 6, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Here is the paragraph I noted from this morning explaining why capping one of the three leaks didn't reduce the overall flow:

"Now, the same amount of oil will flow from the two remaining leaks as previously flowed from all three. It's like a garden hose: Put your thumb over one leak, and the water will come out stronger from the others."

And why doesn't this guy have a Pulitzer yet?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Dynamite is the one lure that ALL the fish rise to.

Posted by: wiredog | May 6, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Thanks yellojkt, but as it happens, that line was written by my colleague Steve Mufson. But I'll take the credit anytime!!!

Posted by: joelache | May 6, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Front Page Alert, BTW...

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 6, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I just hope there's no light (i.e., open flame) at the end of the funnel.

'Morning, Boodle.

I simply had no idea whatsoever the Russians had set off so many underground nukes for all those projects and uses. Five times to stop oil leaks, and 169 times (approx. or thereabouts) to build underground storage space, mining, whatever. Now, I was well aware they did underground *testing,* as we did, too. But I didn't know they liked to blowed 'em up so much to make stuff.

Meanwhile, in the WaPo's neverending quest to give Karl Rove a forum, he's one of 12 people asked to contribute ideas to America's spring cleaning. No, I haven't read it, and won't, just on general principles that it is Karl Rove, and I'm not going to validate the editors' decision to seek him out.

Now the one idea I really do like is Donna Brazile's: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/opinions/outlook/spring-cleaning/pundits.html

And of course this one simply makes too much sense: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/opinions/outlook/spring-cleaning/virginity.html

I'm also still trying to figure out what "volatile cocktail of oil, gas and water" means. Oil and gas, sure. But how is water a factor? I'd have thought oil, gas and air. Normally water doesn't burn real good, as I recollect. I mean, I never heard of a swimming pool or a skating rink suddenly bursting into flame. But I dunno, I ain't a pointy-headed scientist.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 6, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Joel, your desperation is showing. As for the rest of you, get a hotel room for Christ's sake.

Posted by: Dawny_Chambers | May 6, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Dawny,
Only if you'll join the key party.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Dawny, if you don't like it here, take a hike.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 6, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

At this point I think BP is suffering from a lack of gumption and that if a big enough ram were attached, the well could be squeezed off, tapped, and then mudded up. However, my thoughts are diluted by the dispersant of being in a sea of crazy.

The nuke option would be a fine fracking technique for the Bakken field, however.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 6, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Very witty Mr. Auchenbach. A touch of humor in an otherwise melancholy time. However, as silly as you mean to be did not Mr. Limbaugh claim it was liberal terrorists who blew up the Deepwater Horizon? Jeez. What an idiot.

Posted by: citizen4truth1 | May 6, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Watch your frakkin' language. We don't tolerate that kind of talk on this battlestar.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Dawny, your inability to articulate whatever point you have is showing. And please recall you've joined a room that this community has shaped over the past five years.

Posted by: Scottynuke | May 6, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. I am amazed, and a little nervous, at the thought of a 100-ton four-story structure being brought out to deep sea by barge, and that's before they try to install the thing down below. Coming from a landlocked state (though blessed with abundant waterways) I admit I am ignorant of ocean skills. However, I've always thought a basic qualification for big boats, ships etc. to be seaworthy was that they are light enough to float. How do the containment dome do that? After all, they are going to lower it and presumably it will stay on the bottom. Obviously I accept that it does float, or sit on something else that floats without sinking it, since it has. I just find it amazing and a little disturbing.

The idea of blowing the thing up has undeniable simplicity. That may be its charm.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 6, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

And if you do your nuke fishing at night, not only does the catch float right to the surface, but it glows to facilitate recovery.

Posted by: kguy1 | May 6, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

And, kguy, the fish are already "cooked" -- beats the microwave, eh?

Posted by: -ftb- | May 6, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom - You just need a big enough boat. 100 tons of water wouldn't fill a cube fifteen feet on a side, so a boat with that much space below the waterline can weigh up to 100 tons and still float.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 6, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

It was a terrorist surface-to-surface missile that caused the rig to explode. Then the well beneath it began to gush oil. Trouble is, we don't know how the terrorists learned which well was the gusher.

Posted by: blasmaic | May 6, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I will continue my policy of not commenting on the oil leak. Is it too soon to go off topic?

*waving back at Scotty's last-kit wave*

Posted by: Raysmom | May 6, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I just keep picturing those three-eyed fish in the river by the Springfield Nuclear Plant on The Simpsons.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

That nuke report from Soviet days is somehow not surprising. I think the US planned to build an unneeded harbor somewhere in Alaska by using nuclear explosions, just to show it could be done.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 6, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all. Even you, Dawny.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

Dustin Byfuglien 3, Vamcouver Canucks 2. Dustin being a Blackhawk forward that the Canucks couldn't control last evening. There were two other Blackhawk goals, making the final score 5-2. Blackhawks lead the series 2-1.

Yes, the first thought I had when reading the kit title was how much of the Gulf coast would disappear in the resulting tsunami.

I have a question. Does anyone know how the coordination between the lowering of the containment hut and the hooking up of the pipes that will carry the gunk to the surface will work?

I'm assuming that having the containment hut over the leak without the pipes to siphon the gunk away will create pressure on the hut to tip over, leaving us with a useless 100-ton hut lying on its side at the bottom of the Gulf.

Anyhoo, if someone's found a link showing how this is supposed to play out, I'd be interested.

Posted by: MsJS | May 6, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I'll take it from the other direction.... could they FREEZE the well head? Put the dome over it and then freeze the water surrounding it. Eventually the oil would congeal and perhaps solidify? Works in my garden hose every time.

Please discuss. Too much thermal input from the oil below?

Posted by: steveboyington | May 6, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Don't tell Dawny we already HAVE a room. Or how it's decorated.
Here's an off-topic video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSh12MIG2i0

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 6, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2010/05/while_oil_leaked_interior_dept.html

This article is so truly asinine I had to comment. Sheesh!

Posted by: Raysmom | May 6, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

If they froze it, would they sing this song?

I'm Mister White Christmas

I'm Mister Snow

I'm Mister Icicle

I'm Mister Ten Below

Friends call me Snow Miser

What ever I touch

Turns to snow in my clutch

I'm too much!

Posted by: steveboyington | May 6, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I hear a typical barge can carry 1500 tons.

Another tidbit concerning heavy boats, er ships: The Nimitz class supercarrier (the US Navy has ten of them) weighs 101,000 tons.

Yep, thats one hundred and one thousand tons.

Posted by: omni3 | May 6, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Nonsense, omni. You just can't convince me that something weighing 100,000 tons can float.

Why, it is like saying that a big metal and plastic tube full of freight and people can fly through the air without falling out of the sky.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 6, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Of topic but boodle-perennial lovefest, albeit local:

9:30 club video paen

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/artsandliving/930-club-turns-30/

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | May 6, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

The little irony of the containment dome is that, if it actually works, BP will pump the oil to the surface, separate the water from it, and sell it--as it's perfectly good crude.

"Shop at BP, where you can have Deepwater Horizon gasoline in your own car!!!" (how's that for a marketing slogan).

Assuming that the leak is somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 bbls per day, they will gross somewhere between $400K and $800K each day. Probably a rounding error compared to their liabilities, but a nice little chunk of change nonetheless.

Also, I've never heard it addressed, but this was obviously a pretty significant find (and now they have proven reserves). I'm assuming that the "relief" well is, in fact, just a new production well and not something designed to plug up this hole for good?

Posted by: Awal | May 6, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

steveb,
Using my newly acquired mastery of all things deep sea, I would posit that the oil is under such great pressure that it's temperature would be high enough to melt any ice around it. And that would require a constant refrigeration source to keep it from melting in the surrounding seawater.

The dome/coffer/pyramid thing has a hole in the top to keep the oil from popping it off. The key is to then attach a pipe to the d/c/p and pipe the oil up to a ship or a barge.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

The largest supertanker ever built (the Seawise Giant) had a DWT of over 560,000. It was so big it couldn't pass through the English Channel.

DWT is Deadweight tonnage (tonne is a 1,000 kilograms

Posted by: omni3 | May 6, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

yello, in a previous career path I worked on nuclear system piping. One way to fix said pipes without cutting into them and plugging them used the freeze method. Constant freezing temperatures had to be maintained, but it often worked like a charm.

Posted by: steveboyington | May 6, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Whence 'teabagger?' WaPo gets to the bottom of this:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/2010/05/a_peoples_history_of_teabag.html

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

steveb,
It's the 'constant' part that is difficult. You would have to maintain the cold until a more permanent fix was in place. I can see either a self contained refrigeration unit doing the job, but it would need power from somewhere.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

RPD, check this out:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2010/05/03/DI2010050303223.html?hpid=artslot

A Molly Ringwald chat

Posted by: omni3 | May 6, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

On kit comment and glory-hogging-shamelessly-by-association:

Bill Galston is a former prof of mine. He is a student and protegee of the most excellent neo-Kantian and phenomenologist political philospher Leo Strauss (escaped Germany in time). Strauss was taught by Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger.

Paul Tillich turned down Strauss's application to study theology with him. (Paul, Paul, what were you thinking? (NOT!) )

Strauss believe that Plato and Aristotle remain relevant to modern discussions of the good, what ought to be, and political life and discourse.

So too, Galston; and me.

Galston's cautionary take regarding drilling is worth a read. Thanks JA.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | May 6, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Raysmom -- I took a look at that article. Unbelievably shameless! I scanned some of the comments, though, and most of them think like we do about it. For the WaPo to get rid of copy editors and keep the tabloid headline writers (not to mention the so-called "journalists" themselves) is beyond stupidity at its worst.

Bleah.

Might be a good thing to make a stampede to the Ombudsman's office, eh?

Posted by: -ftb- | May 6, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

And a bear stuck in a tree:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2010/05/06/VI2010050602624.html?hpid=artslot

Posted by: omni3 | May 6, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

It isn't clear what portion of the leakage is oil, versus natural gas. Natural gas rapidly expanding might well chill the pipe enough to cause ice. A question for the news gatherers, I think. I'm seeing some not-well-referenced sources claiming the well is producing a mixture. It was of course gas which ignited the rig.

A relief well used as a production well later? Another interesting question I don't know the answer to.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 6, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I find this odd obsession to tar Obama's administration as being as clueless and useless as Bush's was during Katrina oddly puzzling and hopefully counter-productive.

Did anything not get done because a second (or third or lower) level official went on vacation? Since at that stage BP was still in denial and obfuscation, the timeline just doesn't hold up. This is serious straw-grasping.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Well, sorta, omni. The problem with the Seawise Giant (renamed the "Knock Nevis" wasn't exactly that she is "so big," but rather than her draft is so deep (81) feet when loaded. She *can* transit the English Channel when empty. (Not that there's much call for it. She doesn't make local deliveries, and nobody wants to run her up the Thames or pop into Calais.) She can't due the Suez or Panama canals, either.

Fully laden, she displaced 646,642, the all-time record.

A couple months ago, she was sold for scrap and was sent to a breaker's yard in India. For some reason, somebody re-named her "Mont." I have no idea why anyone would rename a ship being sent to the knacker.

She's 1,500 feet long and 226 feet wide, about the same width as the Deepwater Horizon that sank, although almost four times longer (and a completely different configuration).

The reason she couldn't transit the English Channel is the EC is pretty shallow, and is at its shallowest point at a place called "the Broad Fourteens" where the water depth is about 85 feet; this was where the old land bridge between the continent and England was located. And you can't pass a boat drawing 81 feet in 85 feet of water. (That's probably how the Edmund Fitzgerald sank: grounded out in a rogue [non-military] wave.)

Now, about lowering this here gizmo. Think of it as lower a diver's hard hat, with the hose attached to the top of it. If the hose is open at the top, the helmet will fill with water, which will come up the hose. If the hose is capped, the air in the helmet and hose will stay inside, although as it gets deeper and deeper, it will compress more and more, until water starts to fill the helmet and come up the line. (They will want the gizmo to sink and don't want air inside it.)

As long as the hose (pipe) is open at the top, the pressure inside it won't be a problem.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 6, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Phenomenologist. It is a lot of fun to say.

Posted by: Yoki | May 6, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Nuking the spill at the bottom of the Gulf is better than the worst-case scenario:

Should the current reach the spill, oil would begin to flow down past Florida's western coast, which would be largely spared due to its wide coastal shelf, and into the Florida Strait. There, the chemical dispersants used to break up the oil could turn on vulnerable wildlife ...

If the worst comes to pass, Florida's eastern shores would be particularly vulnerable ... The narrow shelf of the Florida Keys could cause the current to break apart, delivering oil and dispersants to the shore ...

Everglades researchers are already expressing fear that the oil could run into Florida Bay and potentially devastate its fisheries, sea grasses and shallows. More water evaporates from the bay than flows into it from the Everglades this time of year, creating a sink-like effect that leaves the delicate ecosystem at some risk of attracting oil flows, said James Fourqurean, a sea-grass ecologist at Florida International University.

Don't forget that the Florida Keys have the only coral reef in the continental US. If this spill kills the coral reef it will be a terrible calamity. Nuke it now with a small tactical nuke weapon.

Posted by: alance | May 6, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Yes, a relief well is mainly designed to reduce the pressure (hence the name "relief" -- that's what it relieves). But in so doing, yes, they also take oil out that way, but just not as much as the main line.

Think of it as the reverse of the hose analogy: if a hose has three leaks and you stop one of them, the other two increase in pressure. The revers is if the hose has no leaks, and the pressure at the nozzle is too high, you can reduce the pressure by deliberately making a leak (a relief hole), and the pressure at the nozzle drops. Or in Kguy's analogy, remove your hand from the shower head.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 6, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Nukes: not just for when your Van Allen Belt catches on fire anymore.

The idea of cauterizing the Deepwater Horizon gusher with a nuke is -- interesting, but can you imagine the ruckus from all sides if Obama were to authorize such a thing?

Given what I know of the President's position on nuclear weapons, I don't see this happening.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | May 6, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Mudge is a phenomenologist of all things nautical.

Omni --Phenomni?

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | May 6, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

CQP, you've reminded me that I have Strauss's Introduction to Political Philosophy on a bookshelf somewhere. Finding the book will be the easy part. Finding the time though . . .

As to nuking or otherwise bombing the damaged well, all I can say is that if they do it then someone better post it to Youtube.

Posted by: cowhand214 | May 6, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Normally if you hit a spigot with a sledgehammer it won't turn the water off; and often makes things worse.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 6, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Man, I had forgotten how fair skinned Molly Ringwald is. The woman ain't just white, she's darn near transparent.

Posted by: kguy1 | May 6, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Detonate a nuclear weapon on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. Seriously. Can you say ... TSUNAMI?

Posted by: kguy1 | May 6, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Fun with math: The 'dome' weighs 125 tons give or take (250,000 pounds), and four stories tall. But how big around is it? I ask because there's presumably a pressure difference between the oil and the water.

Let's say for arguments sake the dome is only 2 stories square (4 high, 2 wide , 2 long). So 4 stories square (2x2) is about 400 square feet or 57600 square inches. That roof is going to get pushed on by the oil building up underneath. At my speculative size, once the oil builds up under there, if the pressure difference wrt the water gets somewhere over 4psi it will start lifting the dome (which means oil will escape from below, and pressure will drop, but I don't think they want this thing jiggling around on the sea bed). That's not particularly large difference (like sealevel to a medium sized mountain). If the upper surface of the dome is bigger, it takes much less oil pressure.

So I presume, one of two things has to happen, either they pump the oil out fast enough to keep tight control of the pressure differential, or they have to keep spilling some of it to stay on the seafloor. This continously until and if they secure this thing to the ground, which I have not yet heard anything about.

Posted by: qgaliana | May 6, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I once saw Jamie Lee Curtis on the side of A1A filming 'True Lies'.

SPOILER ALERT:
I only mention that because that is my only point of reference when it come to detonating nukes in the Gulf of Mexico.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Glossary of various rams. Not sheepish.
http://oilgasglossary.com/blind-ram.html

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 6, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

No, I don't think so, qgaliana. There is no significant pressure differential between oil and water in the free ocean (gulf) because both are "loose." Think of it as a giant batch of vinaigrette, oil and water. As it begins to separate, the oil comes to the top, because it is lighter and more buoyant. But bouyancy, one thing floating atop another, is not the same thing as "pressure." We have this oil spill not because any pressure is causing the oil to come to the surface, but because it floats.

Pressure only enters the equation after the dome is placed over the leak. The "pressure" exists only inside the pipe, and basically stops at the rupture point--the same way the "pressure" pretty much stops once the water comes out of the hose. The pressure propells it a certain distance, but once that force is dissipated,the water just drops to the ground (there is no more force).

So lowering the dome won't have any pressure on it ontil it gets pretty much almost exactly in place. When it finally drops down the last few inches or maybe a foot or two off the bottom, only then would the force from the leak start to act upon the interior of the dome.

All the engineering here is designed to make sure that dome can contain the pressure. And remember, the whole point is to have a pipe (hose) coming out the top of it, which is what relieves the pressure inside the dome.

I don't know what the pressure is inside that pipe, but Jumper might know. But think of all the movies you've seen when an oil rig blows or they hit a gusher. The pressure is enough to drive the oil maybe a hundred feet in the air, but what you are looking at is momentum. If one thinks of a basic oil well gusher, it doesn't seem to be a big deal to pressure wise to place a dome over it.

I would take a wild-ass guess off the top of my head that the oil coming from the leak doesn't squirt out much above 20 or 30 feet, like any other oil well gusher. After that it is just "free" oil and floats to the surface. The problem isn't pressure, per se, the problem is it never stops.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 6, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Gak! Must refresh more often. Sorry for the longwinded rehash of the dome being able to fall over.

But I'm still wondering if they can actually pipe it out fast enough or will still need to spill some to keep control.

Posted by: qgaliana | May 6, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Ack! Sorry about the longwinded rehash of the dome falling over. I gotta remember to refresh.

But I still wonder if they will be able to pump fast enough with this arrangement or might they need to spill oil deliberately to control the buildup.

Posted by: qgaliana | May 6, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Just my envelope scratching:

125 tons is 250,000 pounds. Normal concrete is about 145 pounds per cubic foot so in water (density about 62.4 pounds per cubic foot), the net weight of the dome is only 107,500 pounds when submerged (Archimedes' Principle). If the top of the dome is 10' by 10 foot (14,400 square inches) then a differential pressure of 7.5 psi is needed to lift the dome. The big parameters that can vary are the density of concrete and the net plan area of the dome. The height is irrelevant except as it adds to the weight of the dome.

Since the whole assembly is under 5000 feet of water, the pressure at the ocean floor is over 2000 psi. That sure seems like a mighty small difference to count on.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

*sigh* the blogbot is messing with me today.

Mudge, I was talking about the pressure within the dome after it is dropped. As long as there is more inflow to the dome than outflow, the pressure underneath will increase. In theory, an equilibrium is reached because as the dome pressure climbs, the inflow reduces and eventually equals outflow. I assume the outflow is controlled. The thing is that equilibrium pressure could be at a high enough difference from the surrounding water to move the dome. That's why I wonder whether they might need to discharge some oil from the dome.

On the other hand if they can pump faster than the leak at the old wellhead then all is fine barring giant undersea octopi.

Posted by: qgaliana | May 6, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I may moderate my position on the subject of explosives -- slightly. In general, explosives make new holes and I don't think of them as being so good for closing old ones. However, I guess I can see how an explosion off to the side might succeed in pinching off an opening. I still prefer Jumper's suggestion of corking it from above.

The situation pains me greatly, as I really am quite fond of the notion of blowing things up. With nukes. Come see my talk at the Balticon this month, and you'll see (I really need to get to work on writing that thing).

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 6, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Well, it is all pretty basic Bernoulli's Principle. If the diameter of the pipe coming out of the dome is the same as the diameter of the pipe on the sea floor that is ruptured, the pressure will be the same. If the pipe in the dome is smaller, the pressure will rise somewhat, as a function of the decrease. If the pipe is larger, the pressure inside it will be less than the broken line. But even a first-year phsyics major can work this stuff out.

I mean, think about it: had the drilling been successful, they were gonna have a pipe bring the oil to the surface anyway, right? So why is this pipe any harder to install than that pipe? It isn't. The only difference will be that the vertical riser is attached to the dome, not directly to the pipe.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 6, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Now I'm having an "uh oh" moment. They aren't actually going to have a way, technically, to pump the oil out if they don't install a pump directly on the dome, which I sure hope they do. One can only pump by suction a certain amount, by removing the 14.7 lbs from the top...

I'm still visualizing a massive hinged set of rams that could close over the pipe above the BOP and ram closed everything. Then stab into the side with a high-pressure mud pipe and slowly kill the thing. All that, remotely. A tough thing to accomplish.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 6, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The 'head' of a fluid is it's density divided into the pressure it's under. That is a measure of how high you could spout the fluid. To use the garden hose analogy, it's how high the water would spray if you point it straight up. For water 1 psi = 2.3 feet. For oil, it's just a little less, but not much.

A nozzle is just a way of converting static pressure into velocity pressure. So a well geyser is just pressurized oil spouting like mudge described. In played out wells, they now inject steam into the oil layers to pressurize the rock and push the oil out.

When you start playing with compressible fluids (gases), all bets are off and you have to start dealing with compressibility factors and mach numbers and I missed that day in class.

Lots of RV air conditioners work on compressed propane which is expanded and thus freezes (the frost on the gas grill effect). I'm sure there are a lot of chemical engineers out there that have worked all this stuff out.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, the relief well that BP is talking about isn't intended for pressure relief, but rather as a way of injecting a mud and concrete plug into the original well. This is apparently a much trickier proposition.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/03/us/03montara.html

Posted by: rashomon | May 6, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

mudge has the concept down.

The residual pressure in the dome has to be enough to push the oil up through the new pipe. The amount of oil will depend on the pressure in the dome and the diameter of the pipe. The weak link is that the dome has to stay anchored on the seabed or the oil will leak out around the base.

If you need to, you can add the pump at the top of the pipe or wellhead. I think that is how all those see-saw things you see in Oklahoma and on the shoreline of Orange County work, but if the cause of this leak is too much pressure, that shouldn't be a problem.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I thought this would be a nice opportunity for the Air Force to test their non-nuclear Bunker Buster Bomb (which sound strangely like a Dairy Queen confection).

However, the lovely spouse heard something on a obscure news report that there was some worry that the geology was fragile; some experts were worried that fractures might appear any number of places above this oil reservoir. That would seem to militate against the use of explosives.

Does anyone else know aught about it?

Posted by: j3hess | May 6, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

True, yello -- except that in the case at hand the Mach numbers are very low, and for all intents and purposes the fluids are not compressible, and Bernoulli's Principle assumes low Mach and minimal or no compressibility, which is why water and oil are very different from what you guys do with gases and very high compressibility. Completely different ballgame to compair water or oil to propane or refrigerant. (I know you know this.) Now, where you *do* have a concern is with the natural gas that's mixed in. So yes, that's where compressibility does confound things.

The compressibility factor is going to be a constant at 5,000 feet below sea level. Yes, it will vary as the oil gets closer to the surface, but over that distance not by much. But, yes, it will be very different for the gaseous component.

The Bernoulli stuff is right here: "Bernoulli developed his principle from his observations on liquids, and his equation is applicable only to incompressible fluids, and compressible fluids at very low speeds (perhaps up to 1/3 of the sound speed in the fluid). It is possible to use the fundamental principles of physics to develop similar equations applicable to compressible fluids. There are numerous equations, each tailored for a particular application, but all are analogous to Bernoulli's equation and all rely on nothing more than the fundamental principles of physics such as Newton's laws of motion or the first law of thermodynamics." (Wiki)

So you see he's talking about roughly Mach .3 or Mach .35, which is probably gonna be what? 200 miles an hour? 250? That oil isn't coming out of that pipe anywhere near close to that speed. All well within standard Bernoulli parameters.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 6, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, rasomon, that's interesting. But then of course, it really isn't a relief well. It's just a way to introduce a plug. Typically a relief well relieves pressure.

I suppose they use the terminology either way, since it is the same technique: insert a small line into the side of a bigger one. Then you either let pressure out, or you pump something in.

Kind of like inserting an IV line. Sometimes they pump some stuff into ya, sometimes they pump it out.

Did you ever install a new refrigerator that had an icemaker, and you had to run the line to the line under the sink, and then tap into that line? Same thing. They make a cool tool that does it for you. Not too difficult under a sink. But i would think doing the same basic chore to a 9-inch pipe would be a whole nother ball of wax. And then doing it a mile underwater -- that exceeds even my honey-do skills.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 6, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you on most of it Mudge but I don't think it's obvious where the equilibrium pressure will lie. Even with equal sized openings, it will be a function of the pipe lengths, well depths, head pressure at the oil field, and may depend on the barge's ability to receive oil and what kind of pumping equipment can be deployed. The key point is how different is it from the surrounding seawater. Actually the more I think about it, I'd be kind of surprised if the dome doesn't have pressure relief valves to release oil if it starts to build up too much underneath.

This is an emergency arrangement so I think it's fair to ask if they can actually get all that oil up to the barge and shipped out 24/7. It's not going to stop welling up. This isn't a setup that allows them to stop the leak, it just lets them direct it. Hopefully all, but most would be an improvement.

One other point: once they slam this thing down, it sounds like they have given up on ever controlling the old wellhead until they get the relief well dug. I'm not sure if they will be able to go messing around underneath once it is setup.

Posted by: qgaliana | May 6, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Here's a couple of examples of noncompressible water and pressure.

First, efforts to surf an intimidating locality in Tasmania. Lovely photography, but these people seem somewhat crazy:
http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/how-big-is-too-big--aussies-thwarted-at-50-foot-plus-tasmanian-super-slab_43153/1/

Second, smaller waves. A swimming race from one Sydney beach to the next one, last month. Yikes!
http://wentworth-courier.whereilive.com.au/photos/gallery/shark-sighting-cancel/

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 6, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, yello, "dealing with compressibility factors and mach numbers" - I missed that day in class too. And Mudge, I also missed the day they did "Mach and minimal or no compressibility". In fact I may have missed the whole darn class. I strongly suspect it. I'm so glad y'all, including jumper, qg..., rashomon etc are posting this stuff. It is really interesting and I am clueless.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 6, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

OK, here's two factoids from the NYT story rasomon linked: "BP intends to drill a similar relief well close to the site where the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig blew up and sank in the gulf nearly two weeks ago. The company says the well could take months to complete."

and

"The [Australian] drilling team was trying to hit a well casing less than 10 inches in diameter at a depth 1.6 miles below the seabed, .... The BP well has an even skinnier casing, reportedly measuring seven inches in diameter."

So now we know: It's basically a 7-inch pipe.

The take-away I get from all this is that fixing these things isn't very difficult on land, or even in shallow water, and they appear to do it all the time. It is doing it a mile underwater that makes everything so hard. It means doing it with robots.

SciTim, do you see any useful application of this lesson in the debate over whether to use manned space exploration versus using robots? Is this argument that it is better to have a human standing there with a wrench in his hand to fix something, versus having a robot do it?


Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 6, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Since it was the natural gas that caused the initial boom that blew up and sank the original rig, that is the stuff I'd worry about the most.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

CqP, Plato's politics worries me, although his later work suggesting that government should be a rule of laws, not men, is good.

I just can't get it out of my head how close the Third Reich came to duplicating the ideals of the Republic. While Plato was right in saying women and men should be educated alike, the eugenics goals behind that idea disturb me greatly.

The Greeks also were a society that practiced infanticide, especially female infanticide and that of the disabled, and slavery. Only free males of a certain age were citizens.
All of that drives the particular political worldview found in both Plato and Aristotle, which is not founded on any concept of human rights as I understand them.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 6, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Ain't gonna let no Bunker Busting Bomb exfoliate and obliterate our Boodle Bunker!

Now, where was I?

I'm with you, Imom -- we've got a huge team of Boodle experts here, who definitely know what they're doing. I just wish I could understand it. I keep reading their posts over and over (and over and over) and don't understand much of it. But, then, I've got a lot of other stuff on my mind, too.

Posted by: -ftb- | May 6, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

The discussion here is far more technical than the Guardian's little video with an aquarium.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2010/may/06/cofferdams-bp-solution-deepwater-horizon

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 6, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Well, a bomb(s) could seal the leaks, but then again a bomb(s) could make the leaks bigger. I'm seeing too many sci-fi movie solutions being thrown out, as if they were real and possible/probable. As far as nukes, the Russians have never cared about nuking anything because they don't care about creating radioactive fallout and sites -- they just spread the bad product around the country to dilute the effect (remember Chernobyl?).

Posted by: ccs53 | May 6, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Totally Off Topic- Obscure would-be rock musician and sometime Weinermoblie driver Dave Barry is in town tonight to talk if anyone will listen and sign books if anyone will buy them at 7pm at the Barnes and Noble on Bethesda Avenue in Bethesda. Daniel Bernoulli and the Fluid Dynamics will be the opening act.

Posted by: kguy1 | May 6, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey, all.
Over the last week I've learned so much on the technical/scientific aspects of this spill, in particular from the boodlers-in-the-know. It's expanded the lens through which I view these catastrophes in general.

But for me the photo (wapo's slide show) of the seaturtle feeding on man-o-war covered in sludge is the bottom line. I just breaks my heart to imagine what we may be in for ecologically. And that's leaving the economics and politics out of the equation.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 6, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

ccs, some numbers for you:

U.S. nuclear detonations: 1,054 (underground nuke tests: about 700 (yes, seven hundred)

USSR: 715 detonations (169 for construction purposes)

France: 210

Britain and China: 45 each

India and Pakistan: 6 each

N. Korea: 2

Chernobyl had nothing to do with nuclear testing and detonations.

Did anyone know we detonated nuclear bomb tests in Mississippi and Colorado? I didn't.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 6, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Bernoulli And The Dynamics? They're almost as good as Isaac Newton And The Figs.

Gotta pick my son at the airport at 6 so I have to pass. Heck, he can wait.

Nah. I got Dave Barry to sign some books in 1993 at Liberties in Mizner Park. That was a great Boca Raton bookstore. I wonder if his hairstyle has changed since then. Probably not.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, Mudge, that might explain quite a lot about Mississippi. Colorado? Not so much. . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | May 6, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking that, too, ftb.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 6, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

BP would be very much against the use of explosives, nukular or old-fashioned, aroung its well. The pressure wave could compressed the precious Macondo oil-bearing structure and make exploitation more difficult or even impossible, at least locally. That would be revenues lost for the rightful "owner" of those mineral rights...

I've often watched Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC), say in the 260 000 tonnes range unload at the Ultramar terminal. The VLCCs come in as quasi-submarines. Only the island sticks out a bit, the main deck is barely above water. When they unload they pop up like fishing floats. They show so much side when they are empty it's ridiculous. The beasts are slow-maneuvering and hard to drive because of all the hull underwater when they are loaded and hard to drive in windy condidions when they are empty because of all the exposed flat sides. But the economy of scale make the transport of one barrel of oil half-around the world cost less than a dollar.

There are plenty of stupid convention in describing the size of ships. For crude and bulk carrier the number represents the maximum cargo, fuel and ballast the ship can carry. For the 260 000 tonnes VLCC you have to add maybe maybe another 50-75 000 tonnes for the mass of the structure, engine, marine systems, loading/unloading hardware, etc. I'm not mentioning the 10 guys onboard with their food and drink, it's less than a drop in a bucket.

Mount Sanitation is slowly rising in the North. But it makes for hectic days.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 6, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

So often when it comes to science issues, I can follow the bouncing ball, but only in the 'if you say so' kind of way. The ball's been bouncing all over this page, and so far, so good.

But market forces I've got a better handle on, and my guess is the alternate energy companies have their advertising departments working hard pulling together footage, and that solar panels are going to become a much more common sight on new home construction.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 6, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

You're right, LiT. Free publicity is free publicity, but it has a short shelf life.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 6, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

God willing, LiT. We need something to light a fire under us in that direction (pun definitely intended).

Posted by: Gomer144 | May 6, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Shriek, you're dead right about the absurdity of measurment terminology and parameters. I had to study all that stuff in detail in naval architecture school, and it is/was a pain. It even applies down to small craft measurements. It's crazy.

Vast oversimplification: you don't measure living quarter space. Sometimes you also don't measure engine room space. It's all about the cargo. Blame Lloyd's of London. I told Lloyd one day, "Look, Lloyd," I said, "this is nuts the way you and your guys are rigging these numbers. Oh, and can I have a Vente double mocha latte, no foam?" (He ran a coffee house, yanno. It was strange, like Starbucks Meets Prudential of Omaha.) Actually, blame Edward I: he started it.

Ya got yer Thames Measurement, ya got yer Panama rules, ya got yer BOM (Builder's Old Measurement), ya got yer Moorsom's Rules. Ya got yer Gross registered Tonnage and yer Deadweight Tonnage. (I run into a lot of deadweight tonnage here at work actually. You'd be shocked.) Ya got yer Aframax, yer Capesize max, yer Chinamax, yer Handymax and Supramax, yer Malaccamax, yer Seawaymax (that one's up yer way, shriek, for the St. Lawrence), and yer Suezmax. Fortunately, I never had to mess with them max fellers.

And then ya got yer TEUs, wot stands fer "twenty-foot equivalent unit." Ya know all them cargo containers on ship nowadays? Them's each 20 foot long and 8 feet wide, which constitutes the aforesaid TEU. Trouble is, while a TEU has a uniform and universal length and width, there's no standard on height. And grab this: there are double size units that are 45 feet long. Now, mathetmatically, they'd be equal to 2.25 TEUs, right? Nope. They be 2 TEUs, and never mind the extry 5 feet.

Don't ask, cuz I dunno. I already told ya I tol' Lloyd he was bats. Probably over-caffeinated, that's my guess.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 6, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Managed to read the AP report more closely. They're putting the first dome over the leak in the fallen riser, not the wellhead. That sounds then like the dome doesn't seal to the ground (the pipe has to come in somewhere). I guess they rely on the less dense oil drifting upwards into the funnel where it can be piped out. If the dome is open at the bottom then there shouldn't be any problem with the differential pressure. If they have to stop pumping for some reason, the oil would spill out from underneath the edges.

Posted by: qgaliana | May 6, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

This just in: looks like we've got Neanderthal ancestors after all.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/06/AR2010050604423.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: rashomon | May 6, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, yes, I am pretty sure a relatively small tactical nuke could seal this up. This is a dark art in which I am not well versed, but I do know that controlled and highly-focused tactical nuclear explosions have been well-studied.

But such an explosion would, I assert, be quite ill-advised. For extensive monte-carlo simulations strongly imply the inevitable awakening of an ill-tempered reptilian monster.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 6, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

OFFTOPIC
Community service announcement, because lawn mower season is about to begin:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%22kevin+shea%22+orthpedics&aq=f

Neighbor up the street last week ran over a kindle of feral kitties in his yard. I was home. When I heard him scream and I ran out and saw the splatter, I first thought that 1) he ran over part of himself and then 2) that he ran over a toddler and 3) was relieved and horrified that the kitties were the sad, sad, story of the day.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | May 6, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

My concern, if explosives were really an option, is that the detonation might fracture the rock substrate. Then, instead of having 2 or 3 holes to cap, you'd have this large seep area to deal with instead. It might not pour out as fast, but could be there for generations with little or no way to contain it.

Posted by: ebtnut | May 6, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The actual oil pool is another 18000 feet below the sea bottom, so all they need to do is seal the portion of rock with the well shaft running through it. A nuke sounds like the proverbial gnat and elephant gun hunting expedition.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Rashomon -- somehow, I simply can't stop laughing. I know *so* many Neanderthals, and some of them have even frequented the Boodle from time to time. No surprises, eh?

The mere notion of a "tactical nuclear option" simply scares the bejesus out of me! I mean, it's simply breathtaking that someone would come up with it.

*gimping back into my cave and sure hoping it's air conditioned*

I'm keeping my eye on the clock, as I'm trying to remember to call Singapore this evening (my time). It's currently almost 5:35 in the morning tomorrow there. It's hard enough to stay in telephone touch with my friend in California. We note that whenever we think of each other, it's either too early or too late to call. Sometimes email just isn't good enough.

Posted by: -ftb- | May 6, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

If memory serves, the Colorado nuke test was actually in the service of the oil industry. The theory was that blowing up the nuke would fracture the rock holding the natural gas and allow more of it to be captured. Within the past year, they have been talking about reopening that well, so there has been lots of discussion about the residual radioactivity in the Denver Post and (I assume) papers in Grand Junction.

Yep, the Wiki proves my memory mostly correct
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rulison

Posted by: Awal | May 6, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

The polls have closed in the UK. The first MP seat to be declared goes to Labour.

The exit polls indicate the Tories will fall 19 seats short of a majority. They also indicate the Lib Dems will actually lose a few seats, despite the party leader's recent surge in popularity.

Some caution the polls may be "rogue."

Posted by: MsJS | May 6, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I just want to offer a gentle warning to the month of May that if it doesn't start getting a lot better I might organize a boycott.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 6, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I've got no bear to offer but if we can convince those beavers to move to Louisiana they might help protect the coast.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/prairies/giant-beaver-dam-in-alberta-visible-from-space/article1558436/

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 6, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to give RD a big shout-out for mentioning the elephant in the room, the thorn in the nuclear side, the consequence nobody wants to talk about: Godzillaaaaaa!

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 6, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Which, considering he/it is coming out of the Gulf of Mexico, would be pronounced, God-zee-yah.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | May 6, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if a consensus on the physics has been reached, but here goes.

Since this thing is open on the bottom, the net change in the upward force on the structure when the oil enters from below is equal to the weight of the water displaced by the incoming oil. So long as the submerged weight of the structure exceeds the weight of this displaced water, it will stay down. The depth is actually irrelevant. The additional upward force caused by the oil's velocity out of the well is also pretty negligible compared to its buoyancy.

The oil doesn't need to be "pumped" to the surface because the pressure of the water below the oil bubble will push the oil all the way to the surface. (And perhaps a little bit above depending on the pipe diameter.) Once at the surface, a small pump will be needed to lift the oil above the water's surface and to the storage ship.

Think of an upside-down funnel with a long plastic tube attached to the small end. If you put your finger over the end of the tube, hold the funnel on the bottom of the bathtub, and then remove your finger the air trapped in the funnel will be pushed up to the surface by the pressure of the water coming in through the bottom of the funnel.

Same process here, except the oil that is pushed up will be replaced by new oil from the leak.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 6, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

More on Neandertals and us:

http://sciencemag.org/special/neandertal/

They look quite proud to be publishing and publicizing the genome and its implications for, apparently, a majority of present-day people.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 6, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Thank you RD_Padouk. *That* I understood.

Posted by: Yoki | May 6, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh my GAWD... what is it with you people? You've been on topic For Days! Come on... there are gardens, poems, books, movies, gardening poem and gardening movies to talk about.

Raysmom and I can't wait forever, you know.

Posted by: -TBG- | May 6, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Well, TBG, the Habs are up on the Penguins, and now we have a power play.

Posted by: Yoki | May 6, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

My tomatoes are coming along pretty good, TBG. Got three buds on one plant, and two on the other. Nothing on the other four yet.

And hey, I asked about Glee last night and nobody responded.

So there.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | May 6, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Tanks of liquid nitrogen are a heck of a lot easier to handle than a giant concrete condom. I'm not sure why they didn't try to freeze the oil in the pipe.

Posted by: Nymous | May 6, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I just learned of the bizarre market behavior so logged onto Krugman's site, and he's asking HIS READERS what happened?

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 6, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Thre is a hockey game on?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 6, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

And that is why I linked to all the 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart' videos, but if you don't follow links you miss out.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I am hoping your Habs get a chance to knock off my Bruins. Again. The Bruins have a better chance than if they play the Penguins. All assuming they finish off the Flyers. That is not a given.

Posted by: steveboyington | May 6, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Yes, more halakery!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 6, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Habs win! :-)

Mudge my daughter watch Glee online as she was busy Tues with baseball. Last night she came down in tears after the scene with Sue and her sister - she just had to share that with me.

Posted by: dmd3 | May 6, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I saw the links, yello, but what did they have to do with Glee? Why would anybody want to listen to two or three cover versions, when Glee and the original were better?

I simply don't understand why you posted them.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | May 6, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

He's a star!

Posted by: Yoki | May 6, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

I love all the market people rushing to say that there was absolutely nothing to the rumors that the silly computer trading algorithms screwed up the market and nobody knows why. No, that didn't happen at all. The market trading system is fine. Perfectly fine. Nothing to see here.

Posted by: steveboyington | May 6, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Then I'll move along! ; ]

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 6, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I am kind of hurt TBG, I haven't posted much over the last three days, but I am sure none of what I posted was on topic.

Earned my mom stripes today, took lunch at 9:00 am to attend younger daughters recorder/dance concert at school (30 children - 30 recorders) and then tonight school pasta supper/raffle.

Posted by: dmd3 | May 6, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I want some pajamaralls.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

So Son of G calls me last night to say, "I'm going over to W's party tonight. It'll be the last time I see him before he leaves for Vietnam."

Yup. 'Nam. W's leaving for his junior year study trip abroad. But it sure did sound jarring for a moment.

Posted by: -TBG- | May 6, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Me, too, yello. I can't wear these pajamas fishing!

Posted by: -TBG- | May 6, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Nymous, a trailerized cargo tank of liquid N cost upward of 1 million dollars. You can get at least 5 cement truck for that kind of money and maybe 200 cement blocks of equivalent volume... Concrete is impervious to pressure, it's a porous material and the bell design means there are no pressure on the structure itself. Liquid N pressure vessels are designed for low pressure (they vent like crazy when they are overdue) and high insulation, they would have to be seriously built up for deepsea service. Existing designs would be crushed by deepsea pressures.
So, what's easiest: carrying solid concrete or liquid N?

And the Oil-Catching Funnel/cofferdam (the BP Dunce Cap?) is made of steel, I believe.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 6, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Garanimals, bunny print in light cotton plisse because tis hottish. At this point I really need nice pjs to counter the bad newes of the day. And, yes, I mean

new-es.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | May 6, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Here are some pretty bold accusations of negligence on the part of BP:

http://www.truthout.org/slick-operator-the-bp-ive-known-too-well59178

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

OMG!!!!! The Red Wings are up 7-1 at about 10 minutes to go in the third period.

FINALLY!!!

*wishing they wouldn't do that to my tender fan feelings, but grateful anyway*

Geez. Happy Geez.

Yanno?

Posted by: -ftb- | May 6, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mudge... I think yello posts things because they amuse him and he wants to share. Amusing others is entirely optional.

I say this because it's why I post things, too!

Posted by: -TBG- | May 6, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Just jumping in to say I talked war movies with some of the guys here yesterday. Not exactly on kit.

I'm too tired from gardening all day to talk about it tonight. The roses are lovely though.

Nite all.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 6, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

My tomato plants have 3 sets of leaves and are about 6-7cm/2.5in. high. Just about right for this time of year on normal years. A little late for this warm year.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 6, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

OK... sorry folks. I was mainly scanning, since I haven't had time to Boodle From Work this week.

But now it's time for bed. G'night all!

Posted by: -TBG- | May 6, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Didn't garden today, but there is a lovely aroma of lilacs everywhere you go outside (lilacs are everywhere here).

Posted by: dmd3 | May 6, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

My lilacs opened today as well dmd. Their lovely smell was mixed with the exhaust of the Cat excavator this afternoon. We had high winds around dinner time; it was snowing apple blooms.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 6, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey, my smellovision is working. Thanks to you too I can relive the lilac season.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | May 6, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

My wife asked me how long basketball season goes on. I said "Just as long as hockey: forever."

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh, do watch this video -- a tribute to Ernie Harwell.

http://www.freep.com/article/20100506/SPORTS02/100506035/1322/Detroiter-sings-a-heartfelt-tribute-to-Ernie-Harwell

Posted by: -ftb- | May 6, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

yello, just back to say thanks for the link to Truthout. Forwarded to several folks that I know will find it 'very' interesting.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 6, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

To comment on the garden thread, I just want to report that I have a new pergola planted with wisteria that I have dearly wanted for ages, and now that it is growing like hot cakes and blooming (the first year!) I cannot abide the smell!

Whatever is a girl to do?

Posted by: rickoshea11 | May 6, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear rickoshea, is this a case of 'be careful what you wish for'. I'm not familiar with wisteria so I'm no help, sorry. I did uproot the last of the pesky little rose bushes today and planted one very nice cotoneaster in their place. Tomorrow I'll plant my little seedlings of cosmos and morning glory. I also have some moon flower seedlings and knowing how excited people were last year when theirs bloomed, I now wonder if mine will. Are they really that difficult?

Posted by: badsneakers | May 6, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

And I am very easily amused. Perhaps too easily. If you missed Glee, Gawker every week does a synopsis and has clips of each of the musical numbers.

http://gawker.com/5531701/glee-stop-collaborate-and-listen/gallery/

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I am an aficionado of bad music from the 70s and 80s but I was pretty unfamiliar with 'Run Joey Run', so here is a fan video of the original:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxcVNwuTbt4&annotation_id=annotation_351962&feature=iv

I'm more familiar with the Saturday morning live action show:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FM3Z2NEowo

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I found the moonflowers easy badsneaks, water, sun, something to climb on.

My wisteria has a subtle fragrance not unlike lilac but not as strong. My 'Heaven scent' Jacobs Ladder is also in bloom, love that smell.

Posted by: dmd3 | May 6, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Good evening everyone....
I was fortunate to be on the river on tuesday and at one point thousands of helicopters were floating around in the breeze,it was awesome.

Did someone mention GODZILLA?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T65rW_SIzg0

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 6, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

But clearly this was a seminal song that influenced everybody from Julie (not Downtown) Brown:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nonVj7odbmU&feature=related

Sample lyrics:
"An hour later the cops arrived
By then the entire glee club had died"
(how prophetic)

To Waren Zevon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrWK6jHbPW4

And perhaps even Madonna:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N6KqgMj8o8

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

gwe,
Excellent. Raymond Burr approves.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Gamera is gonna choke on the oil like that poor turtle on today's WaPo front page.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 6, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I am off to bed but just noticed this, and except from Stieg Larsson's book, "The Girl Who Tripped over the Hornet's Nest". New here but available in US?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/books/that-poor-girl-an-exclusive-excerpt-from-the-first-chapter-of-stieg-larssons-latest-thriller/article1557935/

Posted by: dmd3 | May 6, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Good evening, all.

If BP engineers are putting two domes on to cover leaks, I guess they're working their way back down the broken riser on the sea floor to the source at the blowout preventer. Makes sense to me.

On another note, I'm not suprised that there's Neanderdal genetic code in modern human DNA. I mean, have you seen my hair?
And my handwriting? Yeesh.

Plus, I bought azeleas for my Mom for Mother's Day.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | May 6, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I received a remarkable piece of mail today from my very good friend, Mr. Michael Steele, Chariman, Republican National Committee. Mr. Steele (ours is a warmly cordial but rather formal relationship) ensured that the liberal Postal Service would not dispose of this mail by marking the envelope DO NOT DESTROY. OFFICIAL DOCUMENT." Furthermore, a window indicated the importance to me of the enclosed message, with the legend "SPECIAL NOTICE: You have been selected to represent Republican Voters in Maryland's 7th Congressional District. This is not a US Government document." I certainly feel reassured that it is not a document from that lying US Government (I know it is so, because it said so), otherwise I might have reacted negatively to the heading revealed upon opening the envelope: "2010 CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CENSUS." after all, we've all heard the stories about the "Census" and Obama's Numerology Panels.

Anyway, Mr. Steele understands that Strengthening Our Party will take a massive grassroots effort, one which he is attempting to formally organize from the standpoint of leadership of one of our nation's two largest political parties. I tell you, only a man with real gumption would dare to wage such an uphill battle.

Anyway, Mr. Steele has gone to such lengths to learn my opinions and given me a chance to be counted, on behalf of the greatness of the Party. And, um, the nation. That, too. I think I owe it to him to let my voice and my thoughts be known.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 6, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

well done, bc. hopefully, the large leaved kind similar to that in the understory found throughout SNP. mix some sand, peat and cow poo to the right consistency, kind of like you'd do meatballs, when you plant. don't put them in the direct sun. and enjoy this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhVLiHPUOIM&feature=related

Posted by: -jack- | May 6, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I do observe that Mr. Steele's funds must be extremely strapped. He is attempting to save money on printing ink by consistently withholding the suffix "ic" from the end of the word "Democratic". I appreciate that he is being cost-conscious and frugal by using convenient shorthand to refer to the principal opposing party, but I fear that this move towards increased economy may be perceived by "some" (and you know who they are) as a childish and petty attempt to convert the good name of an opposing political party into a harsh slur and an undignified label. I shouldn't like to see anyone draw such a negative conclusion about my cordial correspondent, Mr. Steal. I mean, Steele. Golly, this frugality can be infectious!

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 6, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

have at it, SciTim. be voiciferous. win!

Posted by: -jack- | May 6, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Someone contacted me recently on on Mr. Steele's behalf. Apparently, he doesn't feel quite as close to me as he does to Tim. I'll mention Tim's name, maybe that will give me a good "in".

As RD beautifully & simply explained earlier, as long as there's a chimney going from any sort of dome container at the leak up to the surface, the oil will find its way to the top of the pipe by a combination of water pressure from below and the fact the the oil floats on the water. They probably don't need or want a perfect seal down at the leak site. Managing the chimney (vent pipe) diameter ought to take care of handling the volume of oil flow down below. As long as the oil is being removed from the top of that pipe about as quickly as it's arriving, the setup will work just fine.

The devil, alas, is in the details.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 7, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

For a slightly more vivid example, imagine that a vast horde of crazed clowns had invaded the big top, each possessing a really large helium canister and a big ole stash o'balloons. And started filling and releasing the balloons as fast as they could.

If there was no way out, eventually something would have to give. Either the place would fill up with tightly packed balloons and the clowns wouldn't be able to reach the canisters to refill any more balloons (this is what the cut off valves were supposed to accomplish! No more oil flow.), or the tent would burst, and balloons would be heading mostly upward, but in a willy-nilly kinda way. Unfortunately, that's what we got instead.

But if the bigtop tent held up, and a hole were cut in the top, then the balloons would head out of the hole. No need to pump them out, no need to seal the edges of the tent. That's where they want to go.

Let's assume that the circus was set up on the Mall at the foot of the Washington Monument. If you ran a duct from the top of the tent to the top of the Monument, then that's where the balloons would go, with no need of pumps or traffic signals. The only thing necessary for that flow to take place on its own is to ensure that the balloons have somewhere to go once they get to the top of duct work. Otherwise, they'll back up into the tent.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 7, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

This is normally the part of the discussion where I launch into my physics mini-lecture:

"Nothing Floats: There's No Such Thing As Anti-Gravity
[If you see something going up, then something else is pushing it that way]"

But I'll spare you.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 7, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

I guess Steele is with the Republic Party.

Economist has a good editorial on US energy policy. Also an enthusiastic review of a new bio of Custer.

Science has an editorial and a letter signed by a herd of National Academy of Sciences members denouncing persecution of climate scientists.

Also, a long book review by evolutionary biologist Douglas Futuyma on "What Darwin Got Wrong." His conclusion: "Because they [the two authors] are prominent in their own fields, some readers may suppose that they are authorities on evolution who have written a profound and important book. They aren't, and it isn't." Ouch.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 7, 2010 1:52 AM | Report abuse

"What Darwin Got Wrong" was a genuinely interesting book for me to read. It combined a noticeable lack of Wilberforce's genuine earnestness (earnestity?) with a total absence of William Jennings Bryan's refreshing honesty about his own lack of knowledge of any underlying science underpinning the discussion of evolutionary theory.

Instead, there was a lukewarm rehashing of disproved and not-proved minutiae, sprinkled generously with dense academic obfuscation seldom observed outside literary criticism.

I liked it in a, "Please mistress, beat me harder!" kinda way.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 7, 2010 2:10 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot to mention that just because I think Klown Cuccinelli is an over-grasping lightweight doesn't mean that any of a number of climate researchers don't deserve a spanking.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 7, 2010 2:19 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I have had this tune cootie in my head since driving to a friends house last Monday.Back in the 70's I saw Yes several times,once in the round at Painters Mills Music fair for 98 cents.But I believe the 90125 concerts were the best Yes shows I have seen.

For your listening pleasure Changes from 90125
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqNI47CaYpc

Posted by: greenwithenvy | May 7, 2010 3:52 AM | Report abuse

I like the clowns and balloons analogy. Because a DC mall over-run by clowns is nearly as scary as the Gulf of Mexico turned into a tub of goo.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 7, 2010 5:44 AM | Report abuse

Yup - as other were noting, since the dome is open at the bottom, water pressure and lower oil density should take care of getting the oil through piping at the top.

But it also answers my other question, which is if they slow down receiving it uptop it will spill out the bottom again.

Posted by: qgaliana | May 7, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. A beautiful day again today. There is hope the excavator and its attendants will leave the premises by the end of the day...

Yuck. "Held in the hand, it (the floating crude) has the consistency of warm axle grease, and is at least as hard to remove, given that we are far from the nearest tub of Go-Jo."

http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/fishing/2010/05/oil-spill-live-how-much-damage-will-dispersants-cause

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | May 7, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Happy Friday, all, hi Cassandra! I gather yesterday wasn't the day we turned the corner on the oil disaster. Today, I hope? And I have to check in on the election in the U.K. to understand what happened. The Tories can't make a government, is that what I'm reading?

Cassandra, I hope you had a productive visit with the doctor and are on your way to feeling better.

I suppose it's only right that my major task for the day is to take the Elderdottir to the eye doctor. $85 for 5 ml of eye drops outraged her, but she bought them anyway. Her car is in the shop, so that's why she asked me to do this for her. I'm happy to be needed.

Posted by: slyness | May 7, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

SciTim,

I've been getting several of these mock-censuses from Mr. Steele and have noted before that the questions tend not to have my preferred response as one of the choices so I'm not sure he is getting a truly representative sample for the proper action concerning the 'government take-over of health care."

Also, the use of the word 'census' was confusing which resulting in a unanimous law from Congress outlawing the more egregious and deceptive portions of the mailers while still allowing the practice to continue.

But if the Republics (I'm just latching on to the practice of dropping superfluous 'ans') want to waste their money with these sort of direct mail idiocies rather than build a constituency of literate involved thinking voters, who am I to argue?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 7, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Here's a nice article that explains some of the subtleties of the design.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6454WN20100506

And here is a pdf from the info site

http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/posted/2931/factsheet_subsea_oil_recovery_system_050210a_3_536819.537715.pdf


Note that they are actually pumping warm water and methanol into the dome, instead of just letting the water seep in from the outside.


Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 7, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Let's go Hawks!!!

Posted by: teddymzuri | May 7, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

The more I think about this, the more the whole system resembles an aquarium air-lift with the oil taking the place of the air bubbles.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 7, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Hello beautiful Friday to all!

Bob-S, woke to your image of clowns on the Mall. Haven't we recently witnessed this?
But the clowns wore tricorns and dangled teabags. I much prefer balloons.

YES, greenwithenvy. I've now got "Changes" stuck in my head.

I truly hope for good news from the Gulf today. My mother is in the line of fire and I don't want her lovely beach spoiled for Mother's Day.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 7, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Another beautiful spring day here, which is weird because we rarely get any spring at all. I also want to thank the 'experts' here for all the explanations regarding the oil spill/leak. Talitha, I send good thoughts for your mom's beach.

We're having the 'kids' for a mother's day brunch on Sunday so I have to get some supplies and do some prep work. I also want to get into the garden a bit. The lettuce we planted last week is sprouting, can't wait for fresh leaves for salad.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 7, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. I am jealous of ScienceTim & yellojkt getting Non-Gummint Census forms from Mr. Steele and the Republics. We got nothin'. Ivansdad did recently get a solicitation from the Heritage Foundation, which has clearly mixed up mailing lists.

As one who finds the charm of numerous clowns dubious at best, I find the image of a Big Top full of them on the Mall disturbing. Initially I thought the problem in yello's example would be the multiplicity of clowns rather than balloons, and wondered what kind of pressure would be required to get them to move up out of the tent.

dmd, you say you attended a concert with thirty children and thirty recorders? That deserves more than mom stripes. You should get hazardous duty pay.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 7, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

If the well gets bombed, will it do something stupid, or just stagger home and fall asleep on the sofa? How much aspirin will it take to relieve the hangover? Will his friends take advantage of his inebriation?

http://killsometime.com/pictures/1593/Beer-Bottle-Outline

Don't forget...someone should arrange for a designated driver *before* the well gets bombed.

Posted by: LostInThought | May 7, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Morning,friends. I hope everything works out with the solution for the oil spill. It's past nerve wracking! Ah, our men folks, got to love them, and I do. They make messes, then they clean them up. Is there a woman on the scene? We're usually good at cleaning up messes. Just might be some good input there.

Slyness, I got there about seven thirty, and did not leave until eleven. They ran electrical currents up my arms and legs, which was slightly painful. I asked the doctor is this going to hurt, and she said she didn't know, yet she's been doing this for twenty years. I asked, well in that time frame have any of your patients attempted to throttled you. I think she said two tried.

After leaving there, went to another doctor for the hip. And he used a long needle to give me relief for pain, and I thought that would never end. And all these folks smile while doing this work. God is good.

Summer is here! Hot, hot, and more hot. I'm still riding without air conditioning. I'm sure there's some virtue in that, although right now, I can't think of any. Oh, I know, I'm riding, not walking.(smile)

Have a wonderful day, folks. Love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | May 7, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

That Reuters article had a lot of good information including stuff on how they freeze-proof the pipe and transport the oil they collect.

My son came home last night and I started asking him about his thermodynamics class and he spouted all sorts of stuff about reduced critical pressures that I swear I used to know.

After spending the requisite time with the 'rents, he took off with his friends to see the midnight showing of Ironman 2.

I think he came home around 2 but he might not have gone to bed. I think we hotswapped on the computer because when I went to check my e-mail this morning the mouse was still warm.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 7, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

That Reuters article had a lot of good information including stuff on how they freeze-proof the pipe and transport the oil they collect.

My son came home last night and I started asking him about his thermodynamics class and he spouted all sorts of stuff about reduced critical pressures that I swear I used to know.

After spending the requisite time with the 'rents, he took off with his friends to see the midnight showing of Ironman 2.

I think he came home around 2 but he might not have gone to bed. I think we hotswapped on the computer because when I went to check my e-mail this morning the mouse was still warm.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 7, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Of course I double posted. My apologies.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 7, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I am contrarily assuming the oil is spewing turbulently from the leak, not drifting gently upwards, and that the pumping rate needs to be quite fast to ensure an upflow towards the top of the dome.

Read of an alternate procedure to directly tap the wellhead with a cement line and kill it that way. Don't know much more about that.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 7, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra I hear you loud and clear. I worked in a med school and its allied hospitals for nine years and I never once heard any doc tell a patient "Here comes the pain." They always said, "You may experience some discomfort during this procedure." I mean, they could be amputating your leg and they'd say, "You may experience some discomfort during this procedure."

Posted by: kguy1 | May 7, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

After I posted about my mother's beach I felt very selfish. I hope for clean water and shorelines for everyone's mothers and fathers and kideroos too! Hard not to be subjective sometimes.

Cassandra, I'm glad your day of trials is over. I'm surprised one of those patients hasn't delivered a swift kick to the . . . youknows.

mmmm, yello, warm mice.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 7, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Blame the technology, yello. I always do.

I changed my work email signature to 1 horizontal line which contained all the info my previous 5 line one had. Sent out a few emails before I left early yesterday and came in to 2 emails sent just to tell me how cool the sig looked and a different 3 copycats who changed theirs to mimic mine. We're such geeks! At least I still have the best laptop.

This weekend I have a reiki 2 class and will also decide if I need another raised garden bed. What am I saying? Of course I do!

Have a good day, all. Let's do lunch.

Oh, deliberately went looking for glee the other night and watched about 10 minutes worth. They say you can get hooked on crack the very first time you try it too.

Posted by: -dbG- | May 7, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

If they were amputating my leg and I experienced any discomfort, kguy, I might be tempted to sue. I don't want to be awake for that type of thing.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 7, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Amen, Ivansmom. BTW, how is the wounded Boy healing?

Still have a sore arm from the tetanus shot. They did warn me about that.

Posted by: slyness | May 7, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I like the whole 1-10 pain scale. If ten is the most pain you can possibly endure, how do you know when you've hit it?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 7, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

When I had my quadruple bypass, I don't recollect anyone telling me I'd experience any discomfort when they sawed me in half. But then again, I wasn't paying a lot of attention, because I was fascinated watching them shave both hairs off my chest.

Also, the drugs had me pretty mellow, so maybe they did tell me, I dunno.

And believe it or not, when they crack your chest, saw the sternum in half, then staple it up when they are done, it really doesn't hurt much afterward at all. Truthfully. Somebody explained it is because people don't have much muscle across the sternum, and that's usually what causes pain: cutting through muscle, not bone.

Which is why my leg hurt like blazes for weeks afterward. +And I know for a fact nobody told me I'd experience "some discomfort" in me leg. They didn't tell me squat about my leg, and it's been a problem ever since.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 7, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

dbG,
And another Gleek gets added to the zombie army. I linked to a video of Madonna's 'Papa Don't Preach' last night having forgotten that Glee had already covered it well before their all-Madonna episode:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Ee4sjySiQ

I predict a future where all previously recorded songs have been Glee-ified.

In last night's 'Community' episode there is a gag where the main characters take on the community college glee club in paintball and the Joel McHale character screams "Write some original songs, dammit!"

Posted by: yellojkt | May 7, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I haven't seen an amputation without benefit of anesthesia, Imom, but I have seen a colonoscopy without sedation and that is exactly what the attending said to the patient- "You may experience some discomfort during this procedure."

Posted by: kguy1 | May 7, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Here's a picture of an airlift pump. The oil recovery dome is using the same principle except the air is replaced by oil, and the water isn't sucked in from the bottom as much as injected at the base.

http://www.fao.org/docrep/field/003/AB772E/AB772E127.gif

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 7, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

Yesterday MrJS got a phone call from Steve Forbes wanting to deliver an urgent message. Since the caller's voice was distinctly female and southern, I politely told her she shouldn't lie about who she was and hung up.

Blackhawks play the Canucks in game 4 of their series tonight. So glad to see the Habs and Red Wings win yesterday.

We got a good rain last night. Just what the local allotment garden needed.

The front page of the BBC website has a very funny pic of David Cameron (Conservative) in bed with Nick Clegg (Lib Dem). Probably won't be up for long so do it out soon at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/

Posted by: MsJS | May 7, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, ye Boodlers!

So the earth has an oil leak that failed to smooth out wave action to auto-help stop the aformentione oil leak, which is still leaking. Since I don't have a solution, I will ignore the bloated problem and take you to Brag's Police Bloater.

Yesterday, Carabineros (Chile's uniformed national police) together with the PDI (criminal investigations police)ran a vast, country wide operation that netted 1600 arrests for drug traffiking.

This has bloated court hearings and has ruined many a judge's weekend.

Carabineros Fail to Wreck a Family Tradition.

In a separate operation last night, Carabineros raided a home and found a large cache of high grade cocaine. They arrested all family members, which included: Great grnadfather, Grandfather, father, a number of sons, grandsons and great grandsons. The whole family was hauled off to see a judge.

Since they all have a criminal record, this time the family will not be separated and will do time together.

This proves that the family who sins together stays together.

Brag :)

Posted by: Braguine | May 7, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Funny, Ms.JS

Posted by: Braguine | May 7, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Funny back at you, Brag.

Posted by: MsJS | May 7, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Brag!

I'm so tickled that the Red Wings won last night and won BIG! That being said, they have to win three more in a row, and the next one is in San Jose, waaaaaaaaay across the country. I hope that they are in "the zone" now, and Franzen seems to have awakened -- he's always been good in the playoffs.

MsJS, unless and until our teams meet, good luck to your Blackhawks. Really. I mean it. But when they meet, we'll just remain cordial, k?

Posted by: -ftb- | May 7, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Brag, is that a trick? Four generations, or six?

Posted by: LostInThought | May 7, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Lostinthought,

That's six generations of family tradition

Posted by: Braguine | May 7, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

The temperature is forecast to reach 90 today, and they're still playing hockey. Crazy world. At least there's no local pro team here. The university has a club team that has to drive a couple of hours any time they want to practice on actual ice. That's dedication. The coach was pleasantly surprised when they started up the club that he didn't have to teach anyone to skate. I guess there are some Yankees at this school after all.

Posted by: -bia- | May 7, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Franzen? When did the author of The Corrections become a pro-hockey player? Is this some sort of Rock Bottom Remainders sporting event?

LiT,
It does sound like some sort of going-to-St. Ives brain teaser. I count four generations total.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 7, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Aw, okay yello. His name is really spelled Franzén, Murrikans can't deal with the accents, yanno. His nickname over here is Mule, but in Sweden it's Frasse (where the e at the end of the name is pronounced "eh" -- but not how the Canukistanies do it).

And that's the truthththththth.

Posted by: -ftb- | May 7, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

ftb, our frozen teams will play each other in the next round should they both win this round.

Friends and boodlers always come before the local hired entertainment as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: MsJS | May 7, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

You're right, MsJS. And if our respective teams win the series between us, we can always back the winning team ... that is, after the appropriate grieving and expletive-casting period. Really. We can do that.

Mebbe.

Posted by: -ftb- | May 7, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...if they each became at father at 15, and the youngest is currently 14, the oldest would be 89. Right?

Now, if a train leaves Boston at 9 am, and travels at 60 mph and another train leaves Chicago at 10 am at 100 mph....


Posted by: LostInThought | May 7, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Here's a generational going-to-St.Ives brain teaser: My son's great-greatgrandfather commanded (at age 43) my great-greatgrandfather (at age 19) during the Civil War.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 7, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Hi y'all... good morning to you. I'm off today (yay for Fridays!) and looking forward to my semi-annual sisters' getaway tonight. This is when the four of us cram into one hotel room and sleep paired up in beds like we did in our childhood. Tonight's adventure is in Old Town Alexandria.

I'm also preparing for my Route 58 road trip with Dr G next week (we leave next Friday). I found this cool travel tip for next time I fly: how to get 10 days' worth of clothes etc into a carry-on bag...

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/05/06/business/businessspecial/20100506-pack-ss.html

Posted by: -TBG- | May 7, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Um, you're your own second cousin once removed?

Posted by: yellojkt | May 7, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"German researchers studied what happens in accidents involving robots using sharp tools alongside humans."

This will probably be my favorite paragraph read today.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/10102398.stm

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 7, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Bumping into large heavy robots is certainly preferable to 1.5m robotic arms holding steak knives, but I wouldn't want to meet either in a dark alley.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 7, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I can just hear the German asking the robot how the accident happened: "Ve haff vays of making you download. And yes, Herr Robot, ve haff a shop manual on you, too, you know. Ve haff shop manuals on efferyone."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 7, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

yello, it's really just a matter of my son's paternal side having long gaps between generations and mine having short ones. (son's great greatgrandfather was an interesting fellow, John Cabell Breckinridge. wiki, if interested)

Posted by: talitha1 | May 7, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I certainly hope that they were covered by Old Glory Insurance!

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/old-glory-insurance/229049/

Posted by: Bob-S | May 7, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Jumper: Autonomous machinery wielding blades in the most crowded room in my house. What could possibly go wrong?

Note to self: start business of magnetic fridge boards reading "Number of days since last accident:"

Posted by: qgaliana | May 7, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

if a nuke would work on the BP oil gusher, would a nuke work on wall street bankers?

Posted by: butlerguy | May 7, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

qg, that is really brilliant. I'd buy one in a heartbeat. Go for it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 7, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

butlerguy, I'd be worried about collateral damage. But in principle I see nothing wrong with it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 7, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Those tests have already been performed-

http://videosift.com/video/Aliens-Bishops-Knife-Trick

Posted by: kguy1 | May 7, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

mr. curmudgeon, sir: i thought those wall street thieves operated without collateral and that stuff, and that's why we all had to give them a gazillion bucks.

and while we're thinking deep thoughts, would the same technology work on michael steele, the NRA, the tea baggers, jeff sessions, and the rest of them geniuses?

Posted by: butlerguy | May 7, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

bg, if you can corral all them [expletives deleted] in the same room, or even in the same neighborhood, go for it.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 7, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Here's another thing about this containment vessel dome-like thingie that is interesting. This captures the oil without producing, ideally, much back-pressure on the pipe. This means it won't simply force more oil out of the other existing leak the way a clamp would have.

And about that MMS. NYT has an article discussing who was really in charge:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/08/us/08agency.html?hp

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 7, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Butlerguy, the folks you just mentioned at 12:47 might consider a first strike on you if they could.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | May 7, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

BG, if you can get the women and children out of the way, have at it.

Thanks for that link, TBG! I'm planning to take only my rollaboard to Europe and Mr. T is skeptical that it can be done. That, and my backpack with the netbook. Priorities, yanno.

Posted by: slyness | May 7, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I had a second cousin who was quite an arse. Once removed, the family reunion was always much more enjoyable.

Posted by: steveboyington | May 7, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

*Snort*

Posted by: Yoki | May 7, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Butlerguy, I am hereby faxing an abundance of Nobel Prizes to you for your *brilliant* idea of nuking Wall Street (or at least the guys ('cause you know that don't like women in the clubhouse) responsible for everything related to it).

*snorting in Swedish*

Posted by: -ftb- | May 7, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Padouk, that linked article is something. Some key grafs:

"Agency records show that from 2001 to 2007, there were 1,443 serious drilling accidents in offshore operations, leading to 41 deaths, 302 injuries and 356 oil spills. Yet the federal agency continues to allow the oil industry largely to police itself, saying that the best technical experts work for industry, not for the government.

"Critics say that, then and now, the minerals service has been crippled by this dependence on industry and by a climate of regulatory indulgence.

“Everything that’s done by the oil industry is done for profit,” said Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, who demanded this week that the Interior Department investigate these backup safety systems. “Throw in the fact that regulators have taken a lax attitude toward overseeing their operations, and you have a recipe for catastrophe.”

--------

Well, okay. This is what happens when you de-regulate. This is what happens when you let business (especially big, rich powerfuls ones) do whatever they want. This is what happens when you "get government off our back." This is what happens when you elect oilmen to the White House. This is what happens when the vice president works for Halliburton.

I hope Conservatives are happy. Well done, Conservs, well done.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 7, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

steveb and yello, etal - I'm convinced that any straight line I throw out there one of y'all will start punnin'and funnin' with it. (greatgrandpas and cousins)

RD-Padouk, the NYT article has good info, and the facts of Australia and Britain separating the production oversight from the safety oversight agencies makes sense.
I'm sure no one on K Street or in oil exec offices have any influence on our regulatory lapses, ya know.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 7, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

The story of the Bush years- reward is privatized, risk is socialized.

Posted by: kguy1 | May 7, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

From that NYT article:

"[The Minerals Management Service] has been rocked with regular scandals, including disclosures in 2008 that agency officials took bribes and engaged in drug use and sex with oil industry officials."

How do I get that job?

I remember that scandal well. Here was the WaPo take on it:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/10/AR2008091001829_2.html?sid=ST2008091002738

And the more detailed and mildly more salacious account from NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/11/washington/11royalty.html

Posted by: yellojkt | May 7, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

About Brag's generational story, maybe it's possible that some of these people might be the same person?

For example, depending on how you look at it, I've been a great-grandson and a grandson, and am a son and a father. All me, depending on one's perspective.

And I wouldn't arrest myself though I am all about the self-castgation.

LiT, I ran out of appendages to count to do that math - had to close the door over here. This issue invariably got me into trouble at school.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | May 7, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"...the best technical experts work for industry, not for the government."

That's also what happens when you "make government smaller."

Posted by: -TBG- | May 7, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Yes. And what happens when you have many members of an administration who want to "abolish the EPA" altogther, and when you have an administration that spends 8 years dismantling the EPA piece by piece.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 7, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

If that "nuke the basterds" thing doesn't work out, you might want to try legislation-

http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-law-forces-ceos-to-humbly-shrug-before-receivi,17380/

Posted by: kguy1 | May 7, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

i know one thing--if i went to the BP refinery and caused a coupla hundred millions worth of damage somebody would insist on arresting me and ensuring that justice was done on me (to me?), according to a strictly constitutional proceeding, as approved in advance by their buds on the supreme court. same thing would happen if i waltzed off with a coupla hundred million of funds liberated from wall street.

do you suppose the BP guy in charge of this fiasco will get a bonus this year?

Posted by: butlerguy | May 7, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The writing in this thing is simply brilliant. I am chartreuse with envy.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/pickup-truck-stoled,17337/

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 7, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Not to change the subject too much, and Mudge referred to this from Wapo yesterday - 'The 12 things to toss in spring cleaning' is running on the slide show on the home page. If someone thinks I'm tossing my keyboard (quirty _or_ musical) they've got anuther think to thunk.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 7, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The stoled truck reminds me a bit of Twain in Connecticut Yankee-

"However, take the paper by and large, I was vastly pleased with it. Little crudities of a mechanical sort were observable here and there, but there were not enough of them to amount to anything, and it was good enough Arkansas proof-reading, anyhow, and better than was needed in Arthur`s day and realm. As a rule, the grammar was leaky and the construction more or less lame; but I did not much mind these things. They are common defects of my own, and one mustn`t criticise other people on grounds where he can`t stand perpendicular himself."

Posted by: kguy1 | May 7, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

G*d Mudge, thanks for the pickup story.
I ain't laughed that good in a right long speck a days.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 7, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Me nuther.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 7, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

From yello: "From that NYT article:

"[The Minerals Management Service] has been rocked with regular scandals, including disclosures in 2008 that agency officials took bribes and engaged in drug use and sex with oil industry officials."

How do I get that job?"

Yello... have you SEEN oil industry officials? Be careful what you wish for.

Posted by: steveboyington | May 7, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I *have* seen oil industry executives. And I must say that, as a group, they are singularly lacking in charm.

Posted by: Yoki | May 7, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm outa heah...

Yoki, Tim Dorsey is hilarious.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | May 7, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

That's what I think! Not for everybody, though, is he? Glad you're enjoying.

Posted by: Yoki | May 7, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I had a friend way back when who would pose brain teasers, then reuse them on others, never giving the answer.

One was spell Ticonderoga backwards. I know not really a brainteaser but still it stumped everyone because no one was even willing to try.

He tried it on me once but I was ready for him (ago red no city with out the y). He was visibly pissed, We stared at each other for about five seconds before he turned and walked off mumbling curses under his breath.

One time He used that St. Ives ponder on another friend, and I piped in "one to nine". He turrned on me and ask "what, how do you figure that?" I replied "You said on 'YOUR way...'." You didn't say whether the man you met or his wives were going or not. It's all very ambiguous. He glared at me and said they're all going. I said then the answer is nine. He said what about the cats and kittens. I said they don't count, besides their going to St. Kitts. That got a laugh out of a few others but just upset him a little more.

Then I turned away from him and pretended to act like I was counting on my fingers while saying 1 plus 1 plus 7 plus 7 times 7 times 7 plus 7 times 7 times 7 times 7. is um... carry the... then I turned around and said 2,753.

You see I had actually already done the math and had just memorized the number.

Someone else asked is that right, and brainteaser dude said "how the F should I know"

He never told a brainteaser again, or at least not around me.

Posted by: omni3 | May 7, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

German robots in the kitchen, yeah right haven't we learned anything from Terminator. GERMAN robots, sheesh. Those weren't accidental lethal wounds, it was practice.

On the other hand I'd have no problem with French robots. I think you alll know where I'm going with this and it ain't the kitchen

Posted by: omni3 | May 7, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Just finished reading the Molly Ringwald chat. It's good. Here's a little op-ed tribute to John Hughes she wrote, it's very good:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/12/opinion/12ringwald.html?_r=1

Posted by: omni3 | May 7, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

And here's a wonderful time suck for a Friday evening - A color acuity test, as forwarded to me by my son.

http://www.xrite.com/custom_page.aspx?PageID=77


BTW - the lower the score the better. The score to beat is 7.

Of course, that was before I had a glass of wine.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 7, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

*blushing*
yello, I realize now that my generational brain teaser wasn't a 'St.Ives' one . . . so the joke's on me, and it wouldn't be the first time. But I do know my Chaucer, so I'm not sure how I let that one get by me.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 7, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Lurking and not able to post. Off by bike to happy hour at the local water hole. Take care all. I will bike as I drive: with care about the substance and with care about the drivers.

Will wear my nifty construction-type yellow vest and will turn the three flashing lights on.

Enjoy the evening! Slainte.

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | May 7, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I scored *zero* !!!
Holy Hues, Batman.

Actually, since I dye my yarn in shaded gradations for my work, I'd have been really *blushing* if I'd messed that up.
Go ahead and tell jokes over my head all you want.

Thanks for that RD.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 7, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice if it showed which hues I got wrong instead of just telling me I need new glasses. Stupid test

Also the tiles seem to get fuzzy at the tops and bottoms after staring at them for awhile, which didn't help.

Posted by: omni3 | May 7, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

110 on the hues. Maybe I better stop adjusting the color of my pictures in Photoshop.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 7, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

You're right, omni. There was a light-to-dark, almost fuzziness at the top of the boxes. I was sure I had at least three pairs switched because the values were darker than they should have been to match the hue gradation.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 7, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Swamped with oil spill. But hey, did anyone yet link to this site?

http://paulrademacher.com/oilspill/


it's cool -- but horrifying too.

Posted by: joelache | May 7, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Just for fun I scored a 1416. I just know I can do better if I tried, but everey thng isn gttin blrrey no

Posted by: omni3 | May 7, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

My first two attempts I scored a 22 then an 8. I only went back to see if it really was blurry or maybe my eyes were just tired. They all looked fine at first and only got blurry as I moved them around into place. but before I clicked for my score the second time around I got up and away from my monitor for five minutes. When I came back the tops and bottoms still looked a little blurry to me.

And trying to score high I noticed a flaw in the scoring: You can't get high numbers on the end points because they are fixed.

Posted by: omni3 | May 7, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Howdy. Seven on the color hue test. Two glassees of wine (while cooking, one doesn't count) and I ascribed somewhat to the bar exam maxim: choose your answer, don't look back.

The Boy is doing much better. Thanks for asking, slyness. Having visited the orthopedist he appears to have decided that it is okay to resume somewhat normal activity. Today he had neither Ace bandage nor crutches, no painkiller, and foolishly played a little basketball in gym (doctor note specifically says do not participate in gym). No break, no bad ligament, maybe growth plate separation. Maybe not. Next week may be the only physical therapy appointments he needs.

The Boy wanted to see Ironman2 today. I think later in the weekend, less traffic and crowds, is a better plan. I bribed him with lasagna. Spinach & Italian sausage, courtesy of leftovers in the freezer. Thank goodness for no-boil noodles.

My weekend goal is to get the raised bed made, filled & maybe planted. I planned on making the bed myself. When I asked Ivansdad about the power tools he graciously offered to build it for me.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 7, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

You may be swamped, Joel, but please keep your head above water (mousse?) and keep reporting. So important that it be got right; you're our go-to guy for this.

Posted by: Yoki | May 7, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

That is a way-cool link Joel. Well worth installing the plug-in. I compared the size to Washington DC. Which is when the horror became clear.


Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 7, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

talitha - wow! I am impressed. I found the blue/green one the most difficult.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 7, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I didn't even try that test. I have a hard enough time reading black fonts on white background on the computer. Now, if you presented me with real tiles to move around, I'd have a chance of scoring, oh, 130 or so.

Posted by: Yoki | May 7, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

On my second try all my high points shifted right. I wonder what that means?

Posted by: omni3 | May 7, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

That you are in deep, deep political doodoo?

Posted by: Yoki | May 7, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I improved my score to 48 but I can't do better.

And Joel's link to the oil spill map is fun. Put the slick over DC and it covers Baltimore and PG County and then stretches all the way to the Delaware River.

Posted by: yellojkt | May 7, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I scored a 19 on the test, talitha and RD I am seriously impressed. That was fun.

Posted by: dmd3 | May 7, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

OK, third try I got a zero, but I cheated.

Posted by: omni3 | May 7, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Somewhere in my backboodle skimming I missed the boy's injury, hope he has a speedy recovery. Well done Ivansmom on the test as well.

Nasty weather moving in here for the weekend, high winds, rain, thunder, lightning, possible frost at night, with snow in cottage country - just as my wisteria is really beginning to bloom and my small leaf Rhodo decided it will put out buds this year, if they don't survive it will be worse than when the rabbits/skunks/squirrels ate my tulip plants and blossoms. Getting very dark here now.

Once again I would like to petition to switch Mother's Day and Father's Day - weather always seems to be crappy for Mother's Day here, you guys wouldn't mind would you :-)?

Posted by: dmd3 | May 7, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

RD, for me it was the top one. The murky olive greens were so greyed out as they progressed left into the ochre to rust. That was really fun for me. I've always had the ability of color-memory, not needing paintchips or swatches for shopping. This obscure talent makes up for my doofusness on many other things, like jokes!

Posted by: talitha1 | May 7, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Don't call that weather nasty, just call it "Albertan."

Posted by: Yoki | May 7, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Those who score well, I salute you.

I don't have the dexterity to do that much drag and drop. Nice way to avoid embarrassing myself.

Off to root for the Blackhawks tonight.

Enjoy the evening.

Posted by: MsJS | May 7, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Somewhere in my backboodle skimming I missed the boy's injury, hope he has a speedy recovery. Well done Ivansmom on the test as well.

Nasty weather moving in here for the weekend, high winds, rain, thunder, lightning, possible frost at night, with snow in cottage country - just as my wisteria is really beginning to bloom and my small leaf Rhodo decided it will put out buds this year, if they don't survive it will be worse than when the rabbits/skunks/squirrels ate my tulip plants and blossoms. Getting very dark here now.

Once again I would like to petition to switch Mother's Day and Father's Day - weather always seems to be crappy for Mother's Day here, you guys wouldn't mind would you :-)?

Posted by: dmd3 | May 7, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Ouch Yoki, I suppose the cheating doesn't help me much.

I think I'll quit before falling further.

Something that might redeem me a little: I watched Flicka 2 the other day. I loved it. The first was better I think but still a great movie. It's not a sequel, just another movie about a Mustang and a Girl who falls in Love with a Horse.

Posted by: omni3 | May 7, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post, for some reason my comments box doesn't always clear anymore, along with the Wapo refresh problems - I have issues, well I have "lots" of issues anyways this is just another.

Great link Joel, when I placed the blob over Toronto I was astounded at the size, putting it locally really adds perspective.

Posted by: dmd3 | May 7, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I thought the test was a timed test so I went very quick. 33

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 7, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Public service announcement for those who might be interested, new Friday Night Lights - thought that show had been cancelled what a nice surprise, will flip between it and the hockey game.

Posted by: dmd3 | May 7, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Brag, if you see this, I am amazed, but I did want to say that cocaine is nothing to sniff at.

Posted by: russianthistle | May 7, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I have a new idea. Couldn't we just let it be known that the Democrats in the Senate are hoping to have the oil continue to spew forever? My guess is Tom Coburn would then put a hold on the leak?

In a twisted way, I kind of LIKE Tom Coburn. I can at least understand what he is trying to do... with the weapons that he has been given.

Posted by: steveboyington | May 7, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

True weed, but a lot safer than poking

Posted by: omni3 | May 7, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Steveboyington, as one who is "represented" by Coburn - using the word very loosely indeed - I don't agree with him but I do respect him: he does exactly what he said he would (except for leaving after his first Senate term). It is rare to see such consistency in a politician. I think he is a bad Senator by the usual standards because he neither passes legislation nor materially helps his district.

Posted by: Ivansmom | May 7, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I just caught this link in another story. Folks in the know: does this make sense as the cause... and if it is, how negligent if at all are the actions?

http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/safety_fluid_was_removed_befor.html

Posted by: steveboyington | May 7, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom: I agree completely. He is a true rarity in the Senate, in that he is not a weasel. He does what he feels is right. I think that a lot of his aims are good aims. He has to be frustrated that so few other Senators seem to think like he does. His methods are not the ones that I would use. In instances where he is correct... like in deficit spending.... he could make a much better argument... by making an argument. Instead he just obstructs to make his point.

I'd probably vote for him if I was an OK voter. You know what you are going to get, and he thinks big picture rather than locally.

Posted by: steveboyington | May 7, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

steveboyington, the Time-Picayune story was written for a layman like me. I could actually visualize the set-up in ways I hadn't been able from prior reports. Will be interested to see what those of you with experience say. The last statement about quicker backup systems needed certainly states the obvious and echoes the
one from Truth Out we linked to yesterday.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 7, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I should have followed Ivansmom's example, but can never leave well enough alone. 8.

I ordered new raised beds, which will bring my count to 3 16" tall, 4' x 8' ones. I'm sure it still won't seem like enough. Snaps to Ivansdad!

I bought Rutgers (old fashioned Jersey tomatoes) and Brandywine (heirlooms I love) tonight, maybe I'll get them in this weekend. I'll still have to go to Jersey to get Ramapo and Moreton (other old fashioned Jersey tomatoes).

May I propose an August tomato contest BPH?

Posted by: -dbG- | May 7, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Steve, that's the best reporting I've seen since this whole affair began. My best guess is that, yes, negligence is clear.

Once my boss (recently, in a different industry) said, when I indicated I didn't want to do something that was dangerous to the extent that it was not standard practice, asked me if I was "afraid" and I said, actually I wasn't feeling fear but a knowledge that if I keep taking 1000-to-one chances, then in about a thousand days, I would be dead.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 7, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Just to give more people a fair chance :)

Priapi Gardens
P.O. Box 4
5996 Augustine Herman Hwy.
Cecilton, Maryland 21913
Cecil County
www.priapigardens.com
vic@priapigardens.com
Ramapo and Moreton transplants available in April (organic)
Ramapo and Moreton tomatoes available in July/August

Posted by: -dbG- | May 7, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

'tupid marlins.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 7, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I liked Joel's link to
http://paulrademacher.com/oilspill/
but it might be interesting to combine the oil slick with the "dead zone" off the Louisiana coast.
http://www.gulfhypoxia.net/

A search for "gulf hypoxia" will turn up links to USGS and NOAA.

I wonder whether the Cumberland River floods that devastated downtown Nashville (destroying lots of musical instruments and ruining venues, according to the NYT) will contribute to a large dead zone this year.

Over the long term, nitrogen entering estuaries from our rivers may be a larger concern than the occasional huge oil spill.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | May 7, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

DofC, I'm glad you brought up the Cumberland River flood. My brother graduated from Belmont in Nashville and made his home there for many years. He was both a touring and studio upright bass player for numerous folks. He is dismayed that coverage of the devastation there has been overshadowed by the oil spill and the NYC bomb case.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 7, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Should have added that numerous top name musicians have been holding fundraisers in the old Ryland Hall (original Opry) for flood victims. The new hall is underwater along with much of the historic downtown.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 7, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

32

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 8, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Finally, someone wrote an article about how efficiently nature breaks down oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/05/100507-science-environment-gulf-mexico-oil-spill-cleanup-bacteria/

No more A-1 worst-case scenarios. Tell people the truth.

Posted by: jbmindc | May 8, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

The oil companies just like the financial institutions have gotten so big and powerful that they can pretty much tell regulators, “I don’t have to listen to you if I don’t want to.”

Posted by: rainforest1 | May 8, 2010 3:04 AM | Report abuse

Hi Boodle.
I just had one of those wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night moments:

RYMAN Hall, you idiot.
I didn't even backboodle to see where you all corrected me. I will now.

Miss Malaprop strikes again.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 8, 2010 4:20 AM | Report abuse

jbmindc, I just read the National Geographic link (and it's links). I'm no marine biologist but it seems to me that you're reading through your own rosier-tinted glasses. Those microbes' appetites may be ravenous but even the author concludes this spill is beyond nature's ability to recover rapidly. As the 'dead zone' link states at the end, "when oil collides with wildlife . . . oil always wins."

Posted by: talitha1 | May 8, 2010 4:45 AM | Report abuse

I guess I'm the only one up so early. By the time you all start reading this may be a bigger headline - but note the small sub-headline "methane bubble" under the oil spill reports on Wapo's national page. It's AP coverage. Pretty interesting stuff, especially the first-person accounts.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 8, 2010 5:40 AM | Report abuse

jbmindc,
The Nat Geo article doesn't say what you want it to say. These lines are not exactly good news:

"The sad thing is that much of the Gulf is already severely degraded, and resilience is not what it used to be."

"Many of these light molecules are volatile chemicals known as aromatic hydrocarbons, and if they don't evaporate, they can dissolve into the water and be toxic to marine life."

"If oil sinks into the soils of the Gulf's breadbasket—the marshes—there's nothing nature or humans can do to stop it, experts say—and that could present a toxic nightmare for small animals that live in the sediments and the larger creatures that eat them."

Posted by: yellojkt | May 8, 2010 6:09 AM | Report abuse

But this is truly good news:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/07/AR2010050704936.html

Posted by: yellojkt | May 8, 2010 6:24 AM | Report abuse

mellow, yello!

Posted by: talitha1 | May 8, 2010 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Yello, that's 'cos they don't have to use weasel testicles anymore:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/08/opinion/08collins.html?hp

Posted by: DNA_Girl | May 8, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Nice graphic on that containment device! It really highlights the resemblance to a big airlift pump.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2010/05/07/GR2010050705186.html?sid=ST2010050800010

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 8, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Talitha, we try not to correct each other because too often we will correct ourselves anyway.

SCC:= self-castigation club.

As for the Ole Opry, no clue whether it would be Ryland,Ryman, Rywater, Rywoman, or Rydog.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | May 8, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I've been thinking some more about Joel's notion of using conventional explosives to seal the well.

I wonder if burying six shaped charges around the pipe as it comes out of the ground and setting them off at the same time would do the trick.

I say this because some time ago I saw a presentation on precision munitions that suggested some truly remarkable capabilities. Like essentially "cutting" a clean hole through a concrete wall with a minimum of damage to anything inside the building.

Really, these folks are like surgeons with shaped explosives.

Unfortunately, although munitions people can do startlingly precise things with explosives, they get a lot this expertise from experimentation combined with a precise understanding of the specific scenario.

The problem, as I see it, is that we really don't understand the environment down there that well. Figuring out how much charge and at what distance would doubtless involve a whole lot of guesswork.

And given the fact that the existing equipment on the well seems to be restricting the flow, making everything go boom could simply make things a whole lot worse.

But it is worth thinking about as a plan Z.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 8, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Wilbrod. I'm learning.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 8, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

Blackhawks won last night and now lead the series 3-1 over the Canucks. Game 5 is in TWC Sunday evening.

The Iceland volcano ash cloud (remember that thing?) has now drifted south to the Iberian peninsula and shut down 15 airports in northern Spain.

The Conservatives and Lib Dems are trying to nail down the details of their coalition government in the UK this weekend. If all goes smoothly an announcement could come late Monday or Tuesday.

Got nothing to add to the Gulf story.

Posted by: MsJS | May 8, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

10 on the hue test.
And more proof that I haven't gone blind, depsite my mother's repeated suggestions to the contrary. I think I'll leave that out of the inscription on her Mothers' Day card, though.

Good news about the dome over the wellhead in the Gulf. When that guy (not Joel, the dude spewing all caps and exclamation points) Boodled last week about bombing the well, I'd thought the same thing -- the effects of shaped charges or explosions in general at sea level in ambient air is one thing - a mile undersea at 2,000+ psi, that's something quite different IMO. And something I don't think we understand well enough to take that kind of a risk yet. Plan Z, indeed.

And oy, that story about the initial explosion on from a methane gas bubble while there was a celebration on the rig as it changed over from an exploratory well to a production site. Awful.

And a failed seal due to excess heat from concrete as it set? (A long-running Boodle thread about the exothermal properties of setting concrete rears its head again...)

bc

Posted by: -bc- | May 8, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Scrabble quiz:

What eight-letter bingo word can one make by combining the letters OELCBAD with an O on the board?

Answer: CABOODLE

I was quite tickled to make that play yesterday. Probably wouldn't have realized that word was buried in those letters if not for the A-blog. Thank y'all so much.

Posted by: MsJS | May 8, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately you can't stop a leak by blowing holes in the pipe. Also, since a picture is worth 1000 words check out the rover photo. (scroll down)
http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/safety_fluid_was_removed_befor.html

The riser is bent quite close to the wellhead, forestalling any idea I had to slip special rams around it.

Here's an article about already-existing stresses on Gulf marine life:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/07/31/ST2008073100349.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 8, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I didn't know "caboodle" was regular but it is
http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-who2.htm

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 8, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I often eschew Cramer but his rant yesterday was entertaining. And a bit Skynet. Can't find it on YouTube but here's the gist:
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/top-stocks/blog.aspx?post=1752478

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 8, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations - a who new level of impatience.

Of course they should have had the containment structure on a boat ready to go. But that is just planning and once a mistake is made, we can correct it.

But your idea is wholly insane. But it has its points.

Once you nuke you can blame BP for all sorts of faults. Never give them a chance to win.

It is "Got to leave Iraq now" to another order of magnitude.

Really I am appalled.

Bombs over reason.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 8, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"noting that such a recovery operation has never been attempted at such a great depth."

Should have told the Moon landers that they had never landed that far from the Earth. If we have never done a thing - certaintly we should not try now.

Is this the new mantra of the post Boomer generation?

"Nothing new."

Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 8, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

" No, I haven't read it, and won't, just on general principles that it is Karl Rove, and I'm not going to validate the editors' decision to seek him out."

So much for an age of enlightenment.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 8, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

This from a guy who probably thinks Obama was born in Kenya and that the Health Care bill calls for death panels.

Also, your reading skills are defective. It was about not validating the editors, Gary. And you are the last person on the Boodle to be talking about enlightenment.

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | May 8, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I should write a poem about setting a straw man aright in a cornfield after wind knocked it over.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 8, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

GEM: I hear a lot of displeasure in your rants, but what precisely is your point?

Posted by: MsJS | May 8, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Two more folks forced out at the RNC.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/07/AR2010050704968.html

According to the now-infamous RNC PowerPoint presentation, these two were to be key players in the RNC's fundraising strategy.

Posted by: MsJS | May 8, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm not generally a fan of our pal Gary Masters, but he's not a total loon. He is, however, often guilty of humorlessness, and that's a hard thing for me to overlook.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 8, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Interesting rant from Gary. But it reminds me of a time, several (thankfully) years ago when I served (reluctantly) on my condo Board. There were two women, paired at the hip (one a control freak of the highest order and the other her reliable slave). I don't recall exactly what it was I offered up as a suggestion (as I have forcefully repressed that entire experience), but both Master and Slave said in unison: "But nobody's ever don't that before!"

I kept my tongue, but had the *best* response to it: "You must have been a pleasure to toilet train. 'No, mommy. Can't do it! Never done it before, can't do it now!'"

*sigh*

Need some extra boodle karma for the Red Wings tonight. Got any????

Posted by: -ftb- | May 8, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Diagram of temperature drop in ocean.
http://www.destinydeepseawater.com/ocean_temp_info.html

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 8, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting that in two successive post separated by only moments, Gary chastises Joel for entertaining the idea of trying something outside the box, and then chastises the 'Mudge for not entertaining the idea of doing something he wouldn't normally do.

I think he's just cranky with us for some reason.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 8, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

bolt a shut off valve to steel rectangular box. The box would have two halves with a hing attaching them (like a chest) each end of the box has a half round hole with radius slightly larger than dia of pipe that is leaking oil. lower the box around the pipe close to the hole (not over the leak) . The containment box can be closed around pipe then slid over the leak. The pressure can be overcome by sliding over leak instead of lowering onto the leak. The shut off valve would have a hose going to surface it can be opened and oil pumped to tanker above. Or it can be closed to seal off the leak. This is preferable to a dome because it will have a better seal around pipe, two of these can be made, one for each leak. This can replace the dome by simply lowering this device onto pipe next to dome. Lift and remove dome. then slide containment sleave over leak. liquid nitrogen can be piped into the containment sleave to cool the oil and reduce leakage. This box can be build to accommodate whatever will be contained in box. Or a relatively small box no bigger than the size of a shut off valve. It just needs to clamp shut around pipe and slid over leak, open valve and pipe oil to surface. Any questions email me info@sandlutions.com john

Posted by: jbrownproductdev | May 8, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I see that Ed Begley shares my distaste for growing green lawns in places where green lawns don't wanna grow.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/opinions/outlook/spring-cleaning/lawns.html?hpid=artslot

Posted by: Bob-S | May 8, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, my post on Marquette's oops moment didn't make it.
http://www.examiner.com/x-5445-Politics-in-Education-Examiner~y2010m5d7-Marquette-University-rescinds-gay-professors-deanship-offer

Posted by: MsJS | May 8, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown and Notre Dame probably aren't viable alternatives, eh?

Posted by: Bob-S | May 8, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Bob-S, I read that Ed Begley article and really liked it. But here's the thing about this kind of outside the box thinking. You have to get by-in from everyone else it affects.

In other words, if I were to suddenly declare that I wanted to tear out my lawn and, instead, install a lovely rain garden bordered by indigenous local flora, my wife would likely object. And by "object" I mean she would insist I leave an isolated spot where she could easily dispose of my body.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 8, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I know, I know. My attempted reintroduction of the formerly indigenous bobcats & panthers to help cut down on the local squirrels & deer hasn't been received kindly.

But we must struggle through these little roadblocks if we wish to effect real change.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 8, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

That pesky buy-in thing'll get you every time, RD.

Posted by: MsJS | May 8, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

RD, I was thinking that folks who live in communities that don't even allow a clothesline or B-ball hoop might also object to the greenswardless lawn. I like the cottage garden effect myself. A few steppingstones here and there, a bench, a pergola. Would your wife erect a small plaque in your isolated spot? ;)

Posted by: talitha1 | May 8, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Years ago at the summer house two neighbors did that lawn alternate thing. One of them planted wild flowers without much thought and it grew into an awful weed patch that never looked good. The other spent big bucks on landscaping a beach-like yard - it just looked stupid. Not that I'm against alternatives to grass, but they need to be carefully done.

We are finally finished with a six-hour-long line of t-storms which have soaked us. (I have no idea if those dashes belong or not, but it looked even funnier without them.) I am done prepping for tomorrow's brunch so I guess I'll go rest before getting ready to go dancing tonight.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 8, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I think that the dashes were tastefully done, and added to readability.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 8, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey Sneaks!

So, are you going dancing tonight to practice for SYTYCD? *I'll* vote for you fer shur ....

Have you started book #3 yet? I must say (and I've told my Swedish friends recently) that when I saw the movie and saw the scenes of Stockholm and the countryside, I felt several twinges of what might be described as "homesickness" even though I really wouldn't want to live there again.

I just read through some of the comments connected with Sally Jenkins column today about the murder of Yeardley Love. So many of them were adamant about blaming the victim. Nuttin' ever changes, eh?

*sigh*

Posted by: -ftb- | May 8, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

re: Marquette - In the instance, I can certainly understand why a university with a Catholic Church attachment embedded in its charter would feel the need to shy away from hiring a staff member whose writings are often at odds with Church policy. I'm not so sure I understand why the position was offered at all, but I'll bet there was some old-school vs new-school subtext.

In the long run, it probably doesn't matter all that much. The fifteen or so million college students in the US don't make policy, and their deans matter even less. Ellen DeGeneres has had a much greater impact on US attitudes & policy toward gay rights than any Marquette University functionary could ever hope to do.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 8, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

You lot are in fine form, by gum.

I had a lovely dinner of fire roasted trout, fingerling potatoes and green beans last night. My judgement of its deliciousness may, along with my assessment of my companion's extreme good looks, have been slightly influenced by three glasses of wine, but no matter.

Tonight is hockey and pub food at my place. Habs! Go Les Gars!

Posted by: Yoki | May 8, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, Bob-S. It probably won't matter much in the long run.

FYI, Jodi O'Brien is currently a department chair at Seattle University which, like Marquette, is a Catholic institution of higher learning.

The stated missions and anti-discrimination statements of the two schools are nearly identical. So if she can fit in at Seattle U., why not at Marquette?

Marquette is claiming there were holes in the search process. However, information is now coming from those on or connected to the Marquette search committees that they were fully diligent in their duties and recommended O'Brien not be hired unless the school was fully prepared to defend the move.

Given what I've heard and read, I'm surmising some person or persons got to the University after the offer was made and accepted to make it worth Marquette's while to rescind it.

Disclosure: Niece#3 is a student at Marquette and is very upset about the school's decision.

Posted by: MsJS | May 8, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Heck, I'm not a student at either college, but I'm deeply upset that Seattle was willing to let her go. A natural resource, I tell you. And they were just gonna give her up to the highest bidder?

Posted by: Bob-S | May 8, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Throwing some good karma in favo(u)r of your Habs, Yoki. Wanna do same for my Red Wings?

Posted by: -ftb- | May 8, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey ftb, no, haven't read the third yet, is it out in paperback? I've been avoiding bookstores lately as I am trying to be very careful with my money.

No SYTYCD for me, we'll be happy if we just don't look too clunky. I did finally buy real dancing shoes which make turning and twirling much easier.

Posted by: badsneakers | May 8, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Stupid lawns. Is there any food plant I can run around barefoot on?

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 8, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

The front-page photo on today's dead-tree is three players on the Georgetown women's lacrosse team headed toward the funeral home to a memorial for Yeardley Love.

I wanted to muster some indignation about the fact that one or two of them were wearing footwear (flip-flops were prominent) that I'd probably consider inappropriate for the occasion, but realized that it's only my incipient curmudgeonity peeping out.

Firstly, it's certainly possible that a change of gear was in the offing. But even if not, piss on cranky farts like me! If she and her friends were in the habit of wearing flip-flops whenever possible, then they should wear them to her remembrance. Vive le flip-flop!

Posted by: Bob-S | May 8, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Just call them thong sandals, Bob-S. They'll still make that flip-floppy sound but you'll feel less curmudgeonly.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 8, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Let us bear in mind the possible unintended consequences of increased security measures:

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local-beat/TSA-Fracas-After-Body-Scanner-Reveals-TMI-92971929.html

Posted by: Bob-S | May 8, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I might just make flip-flops mandatory at my funeral. Unless it's, like, January or something.

Posted by: MsJS | May 8, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, if I hear correctly, I bet the fans of unrestricted legalization of hemp would argue that not only does it make the best lawns, but it alone would solve the world's pollution problems. I believe they claim it can cure cancer and act as a miracle biomass fuel source as well.

Posted by: steveboyington | May 8, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Plus, I hear that wads of hemp make dandy pipe-stoppers and oil-absorbers.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 8, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Bad news regarding the containment vessel.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/08/AR2010050800455.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 8, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Does this news fall into the category of "well, they tried" or "we should have known"? I feel like crying, dangit.

Posted by: talitha1 | May 8, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I'll bet a small explosive device would clear away the slush.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 8, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and the Nationals rock!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/08/AR2010050802662.html?hpid=artslot

Posted by: Bob-S | May 8, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Now I'm off to go dancing.

Or something.

Posted by: Bob-S | May 8, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

talitha - from what I have read BP knew that hydrates were going to be a problem, which is why they were going to pump in warm water and methanol. They just didn't anticipate the hydrates forming so quickly that they couldn't get the flow started at all.

Perhaps they will figure out a way to defeat the hydrates long enough to get the thing started. I don't know. It makes me fairly ill.

The notion of keeping up the present program of boons and in-situ burning for about 8 more weeks until they cane get the relief valve in place just seems insane. There must be other options to be explored that don't risk making things worse.

I keep thinking about piping down huge quantities of epoxy or something to seal the thing up.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | May 8, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Defeat the Hydrates!

Posted by: -TBG- | May 8, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Sending good thoughts to your Red Wings, ftb. I'll be checking on them from time to time.

Posted by: Yoki | May 8, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

ding-ding-ding-ding-ding

New (albeit related) kit!

Thanks, Yoki -- it's gonna start at 10:00 eastern, so I'll be in bed. I'll be able to exult or be cranky in the morning. Do see what you can do, my dear Yoki.

Posted by: -ftb- | May 8, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

*directing CasaJS mojo gun at the Habs and Red Wings*

A bit about natural gas hydrates from the U.S. Geological Survey.
http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs021-01/

I get the distinct impression that "fishing" (to use Mr. A's colorful word) to clear the slush is not going to be BP's next move.

Posted by: MsJS | May 8, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

There are no grown ups at BP working on this now.

Posted by: Jumper1 | May 8, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I see that Joel was a contributor to that containment vessel story Padouk posted at 4:28.

Yoki, I need some edumacation. What zackly constitutes "pub food"?

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | May 8, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

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