Won't. Stop. Raining.

Meanwhile, in other news...

In 17 months in office, President Obama has already outdone every previous president in pursuing leak prosecutions. His administration has taken actions that might have provoked sharp political criticism for his predecessor, George W. Bush, who was often in public fights with the press.

link: Administration Hardens Stance Against Leaks to Press - NYTimes.com


Justice for legumes!

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Federal regulators are considering a snack attack on the nation's airlines that would restrict or even completely ban serving peanuts on commercial flights.

Advocates say the move would ease fears and potential harm to an estimated 1.8 million Americans who suffer from peanut allergies. Peanut farmers and food packagers, however, see it as overreaching and unfair to their legume.

link: Ban peanuts on planes? It's not nutty to allergics - Yahoo! News

Yeah, right, that'll work

Tree Hugger - TreeHugger previously suggested six good reasons for lowering the speed limit; now, Wired points us to a new Dutch study that adds a seventh: Lowering the speed limit to 50 MPH can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 30%.


Finally, a way to get rid of that Christmas fruitcake

You can get BP to chuck it into the oil gusher! At least you can if you can give good form.

"We'd like you to share your ideas on how to stop or contain the oil spill and mitigate the impact on the environment," Valdez [yes! Bill Valdez is the acting director of the Department of Energy's small-business office, and what an incredibly outstanding name is that?] wrote. "The Deepwater Horizon Response has an online form available to collect suggestions here: http://www.horizonedocs.com/artform.php.

(Read more)

I was thinking about all this (yes, I was) when I went out for a walk this morning (breaking all the rules today) and that got me wondering just how many automobiles there are in the U.S. so I asked Bing (yeah, you just talk into the phone - and Google works the same way) and Bing turned up a Wikipedia page, which explains as follows:

According to the US Bureau of Transit Statistics for 2006 there are 250,844,644 registered passenger vehicles in the US. Out of these roughly 251 million vehicles, 135,399,945 were classified as automobiles, while 99,124,775 were classified as "Other 2 axle, 4 tire vehicles," presumably SUVs and pick-up trucks. Yet another 6,649,337 were classified as vehicles with 2 axles and 6 tires and 2,169,670 were classified as "Truck, combination." There were approximately 6,686,147 motorcycles in the US in 2006.

(...and so forth)

I don't know what part of oil consumption motor vehicles account for but it's got to be quite a bit. So imagine what would happen if everybody in the U.S. went one day - ideally, all the same day - just one day without driving.

What, I sound like some kind of hippie now? Well don't worry, it won't last. And anyway, it would never happen.

Still...if it did...you'd probably be able to hear your iPod on the street.

woot woot

Good news, kiddies

Lawyers across the nation have filed nearly 200 lawsuits so far related to the April 20 oil disaster, including death and injury claims for those aboard the rig, claims of damage and economic loss for people whose livelihoods are threatened by the slick, and shareholder suits over BP’s plunging stock. Cases have even been filed on behalf of the oil-coated fish and birds. Lawyers also plan to file a civil racketeering action alleging a corporate conspiracy with the Bush administration.

link: First the Spill, Then the Lawsuits - NYTimes.com

If you can get into law school sometime in the next few years you can spend your entire career on this: full employment, forever. Or at least for a very long time.

For the wired, no escape

Bereaved friends and relatives in this city of seven million people [Hong Kong] gained access on Thursday to a new way of honoring and commemorating their departed loved ones: a Web site that enables them to set up online profiles for the dead, memorial.gov.hk....

The site, according to the Hong Kong department that conceived it, “is not meant to replace traditional practices of paying tribute to the deceased.” Instead, it will allow people to pay tribute to their loved ones “anytime and anywhere online, in a warm, personalized yet solemn manner.”

link: A Well-Wired Hong Kong Offers a Link to the Dead - NYTimes.com



It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle upon the highways of this state when such person has in his or her embrace another person...

link: RCW 46.61.665: Embracing another while driving.

An article in the State of Washington motor vehicle code, noted by Lynn C Dot at CCM.

And...wait. It's OK to talk on a cell phone while driving if you're wearing a hearing aid? Woohoo! Geezers rule!

Maybe they're not so wimpy there after all.

So if you're wearing bifocals can you watch YouTube on your phone? Now, that would be cool.

Blue Moth

Photo: Phil Compton

Makes my head hurt

National Headache Awareness Week Is June 6–12

link: National Headache Awareness Week Is June 6-12 [NCCAM News and Events]

Is it that we have too many people who are not aware of headaches? Not enough aware? Should we all go out and get one just to be sure? Do we need to get a bigger one than we already have from reading about National Headache Awareness Week?

And now that you mention it, have you ever noticed how many feet of drugstore shelf space is devoted to headache remedies?


BP takes a page from Saddam

Kent Wells, BP's senior vice president of exploration and production, said a semi-submersible drilling rig would capture and burn about 420,000 gallons of oil daily. Once on board, the oil and gas collected from the well will be sent down a boom and burned at sea.

link: BP to start burning captured Gulf oil at sea - Yahoo! News

Also: What slick?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- BP, in a statement issued Thursday, said it "is not aware of any reason" for its shares' 16% plunge in U.S. trading the day before.

link: BP 'not aware' of reason for company's stock loss - Jun. 10, 2010

Go ahead...guess

...At the same time, the tally of laid-off workers continuing to claim jobless benefits fell by the largest amount in almost a year. That could be because more people are finding work. But it may simply mean that they have exhausted their initial state benefits.

link: Jobless benefit rolls tumble; new claims dip - Stocks & economy- msnbc.com

Good times, good times

We have been entertaining ourselves with theories about how this election year is going to be all about voter anger. Or Washington insiders. Or health care. Or TARP. But, really, it’s going to be about money. Gobs of cash falling on campaigns like tar balls on a beach.

link: Op-Ed Columnist - The Rise of the Richies - NYTimes.com

Tar balls from space

It's difficult to fathom the size of the ongoing Gulf oil spill, but NASA can help put things in perspective thanks to this image captured by their MODIS Rapid Response System, which was "developed to provide near realtime imagery from the MODIS instrument for users who require an immediate view of a specific phenomenon from satellites."

In other words, here's what this mess looks like from space.

link: Gulf Oil Spill From Space: NASA Satellite Image Shows Extent Of Spill (PHOTO)

A whole lot more photos of oil on the Gulf are available from NASA's own site, here.


BP figures, why stop with the water?

NEW ORLEANS – Now that crews are collecting more and more oil from the sea-bottom spill, the question is where to put it.

How about burning it?

link: BP plans to burn some oil pumping up to surface - Yahoo! News

Why not screw up the air too?

True to form, they're considering a method of burning the oil that does not create "visible smoke."


Those Canadians...

...have lost control of their weather again and some of it leaked across the border and would up here. I'm going to have to put a blanket on the bed tonight. Of course it's not officially summer yet so there's no point in complaining, but this cold air had better be cleaned up before it is summer or I am going to just kick ass. Like Obama. (Is he starting to sound like Michael Dukakis to you?)

Speaking of cleaning things up, here's an experiment you can be part of yourself. Ask a cop - or better yet, someone from the EPA - to observe while you crack open a quart of motor oil and pour it into a storm sewer where you live. Let me know how that works out.

Extra points if you tell the EPA guy not to worry because some bacteria will eat the oil.

Sounds like overstatement...

The oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico is a final onslaught launched from the grave of colonialism, perpetrated by a corporation that can compete with Goldman Sachs when it comes to creating misery around the world....

link: BP's Long History Of Destroying The World

...but, if you read the story you'll see, not by much.

I keep telling myself I'm going to quit talking about this BP thing.


I just wonder if it's a good thing...

...when the cashier at the drug store hands you - OK, hands me - a discount coupon for deodorant.

It was a weird day.


Why I went back to bed

The biggest problem facing Mississippi in the wake of a massive oil spill in the Gulf isn't tarred beaches or ecological waste, the state's governor Haley Barbour said on Sunday. It's the national press corps, which, he asserted, is inflating the disaster's current impact and, as a result, decimating the state's tourism industry.

link: Haley Barbour: Oil? What Oil? Press Should Stop Scaring Tourists

Also, it's a rainy day here. We've had rainy nights more or less regularly but this is the first rainy day in quite a while. It's dark and muggy, and the forecasters say it might still get a whole lot worse (high winds, hail).

So why not?

Yeah, sounds like just the company I'd want to work for

"...we try to minimize the amount of time we spent on [interviewing job applicants who are currently unemployed (no kidding)] and try to rifle-shoot the folks we're interested in."

link: Disturbing Job Ads: 'The Unemployed Will Not Be Considered'

OK, I put the boldface in the quote. But still. Bang bang, you're hired.

The linked article notes what appears to be a trend in employment advertising: Companies looking for employees specifically refusing to consider the unemployed. No kidding. The rationale seems to be that if they allow unemployed people to apply for jobs they wind up with too many to shoot.