17 May 2010

Basketball, BP, and Brinksmanship

I figure I'll organize this post by topic importance from least to most.

1. NBA Eastern Conference Finals

2. UAW Negotiations Update
...yeah. There's still nothing.

3. Florida Coastline: Now With More Oil!
According to the BBC, the slick from the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico is now about 40-50 miles from the current that would suck it up and take it to the Florida coast. Scientists are now also thinking that there's a lot more oil spilling than BP has admitted.

Scientists said on Sunday they had found vast underwater plumes of oil, one 10 miles (16km) long and a mile wide, lending weight to the fears of those who believe the actual spill could be many times greater than the estimate of 5,000 barrels daily.

Researchers from the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology said they had detected the slicks lurking just beneath the surface of the sea and at depths of 4,000ft (1,200m).

Samantha Joye, a marine science professor at the University of Georgia, said: "It could take years, possibly decades, for the system to recover from an infusion of this quantity of oil and gas.

"We've never seen anything like this before. It's impossible to fathom the impact."

Chemical dispersants BP has been dumping underwater may be preventing the oil from rising to the top of the ocean, the scientists said.

The find suggests the scale of the potential environmental disaster is much worse than previously feared since the rig blew up, killing 11 workers.

Some scientists cast doubt on BP's estimate of the oil flow rate, saying the widely repeated figure of 5,000 barrels per day dramatically understates the real amount.


4. Thai Strife
From the BBC, on the conflict going on in Bangkok right now:

The demonstrators, who want Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to step down, have been occupying large areas of the city since mid-March.

Sporadic outbreaks of unrest have accompanied their protest, including an attempted crackdown by security forces in April that left 25 people dead.

Violence again broke out last Thursday, and soldiers are now openly using live ammunition; sniper fire has been reported.

The authorities say they are targeting "terrorists" who have infiltrated the protesters' ranks, but TV footage has shown unarmed protesters being shot in the streets.

While the majority of the red-shirts are conducting their protest peacefully, some have been building barricades of tyres and setting them alight. Witnesses say others are armed with guns.

Late on Monday, the two sides held what is believed to be their first direct talks since the latest unrest broke out.

The government's chief negotiator Korbsak Sabhavasu said red-shirt leader Nattawut Saikuwa had called him and asked for a ceasefire.

But Mr Korbsak told the Associated Press news agency that nothing had been agreed.

All y'all have a great day. And stuff.

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