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Archive for June, 2010

Obama Golfs While the Gulf Bleeds Oil

Posted by Nancy on June 13, 2010

Obama spent another four hours on the golf course today while news on the oil spill gusher in the Gulf of Mexico keeps getting worse.

Did you wonder, like I did, why BP cut off the top of the pipe and let the oil flow out faster?  Doesn’t seem to make sense.  But then, I don’t know anything about drilling oil wells.  On the other hand, dougr at The Oil Drum seems to understand a lot and writes an article that can only be described as frightening.

It is his opinion that BP cut the top of the pipe off to take pressure off damaged pipes under the sea floor.  He calls that kind of underground damage a worst case scenario, which will lead to total collapse of the well and very little chance of sealing it off.

All of these things lead to only one place, a fully wide open well bore directly to the oil deposit…after that, it goes into the realm of “the worst things you can think of” The well may come completely apart as the inner liners fail. There is still a very long drill string in the well, that could literally come flying out…as I said…all the worst things you can think of are a possibility, but the very least damaging outcome as bad as it is, is that we are stuck with a wide open gusher blowing out 150,000 barrels a day of raw oil or more. There isn’t any “cap dome” or any other suck fixer device on earth that exists or could be built that will stop it from gushing out and doing more and more damage to the gulf. While at the same time also doing more damage to the well, making the chance of halting it with a kill from the bottom up less and less likely to work, which as it stands now?….is the only real chance we have left to stop it all.

It’s a race now…a race to drill the relief wells and take our last chance at killing this monster before the whole weakened, wore out, blown out, leaking and failing system gives up it’s last gasp in a horrific crescendo…

We can only hope the race against that eventuality is one we can win, but my assessment I am sad to say is that we will not.

The system will collapse or fail substantially before we reach the finish line ahead of the well and the worst is yet to come.

Meanwhile, BP is doing a “seabed integrity scan” amid speculation the entire underground oil reservoir of over 2 billion gallons of oil will bleed out, taking years to do so and causing the seabed to collapse in that area.  

If he’s right………. No, just pray he’s wrong.   Read the article here.

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Batting Practice

Posted by Nancy on June 7, 2010

Read Casey at the Bat (below) first to refresh your memory, then enjoy this wonderful sendup by PJTV.  

Casey at the Bat   by Ernest Lawrence Thayer ©
Published: The Examiner (06-03-1888)

The Outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

 A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that –
We’d put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey’s getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despis-ed, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;
And its likely they’d a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.

“Phin”

And now the back story (there’s always a back story, isn’t there?).

In 1885 George Hearst decided to run for state senator in California.  He purchased the San Francisco Examiner in order to self-promote his political views, and after the election gave the newspaper to his son, William Randolph Hearst.  Thus began the Hearst publishing empire. 

William Randolph Hearst had some experience editing the Harvard Lampoon while at Harvard, and took three Lampoon staff members with him when he went to California.  One was Ernest L. Thayer, who signed his humorous Lampoon articles with the pen name “Phin”.  Thayer wrote Casey at the Bat and it was first published in the San Francisco Examiner on June 3, 1888.  Baseball Almanac

And now you know the rest of the story.

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