Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Prosecutors Release Video of West Memphis Cop Shootings

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Prosecutors have released 50 minutes of tape of the incidents surrounding the shooting deaths of West Memphis police officers in May. The dashboard cams clearly show 16-year-old Joseph Kane firing on two officers after being pulled for a traffic stop. The videos make it clear that Joseph Kane did the initial shooting. Both Kanes were gunned down by police officers in a subsequent shoot-out at the West Memphis Walmart.

Let the cops-faked-the-tape-to-hide-the-real-story conpspiracy theorists have at it, but viewing the tapes makes what really happened pretty undeniable. Watch the tapes here on WMC.

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Just for old time's sake, I'll post a sample comment on my initial blog post about this: "I have no doubt that when the full story of this incident comes out, the media will end up with quite a bit of egg on its face." There are lots more fun quotes. And lots of people who ought to be wiping yolk off their face.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Is BP's Dispersant Killing Crops?

Posted By on Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 1:23 PM

This report from Mississippi is suspiciously similar to this report from WREG Channel 3 on crop damage in the river bottoms in Tipton County.

Are we going to see massive inland damage from the BP oil spill and the extensive use of the chemical dispersant Corexit? I am reminded of canaries and coal mines. And I am hoping for the best, but this is scary stuff.

UPDATE: After a closer reading of the infowars.com story, it appears the site is using WREG's footage of crop damage in Shelby County as evidence of crop damage in Mississippi. Which makes this post sort of pointless. Sorry, peeps. Move along. Nothing to see here. Yet.

Corexit being dispursed in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Corexit being dispursed in the Gulf of Mexico

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Footprint of the Oil Spill

Posted By on Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 1:43 PM

I am fairly obsessed with the destruction being wreaked on the habitat and waters of the Gulf by the BP oil spill — for environmental/ecological, economic, and, yes, personal reasons.

I've been going to the coast for years to fish, kayak the surf and marshes, swim, and boat. My family has vacationed there, off and on, for more than 25 years — from Perdido Key to Appalachicola. I love the Gulf Coast and I hate the images of destruction I'm seeing on the news and the Internet.

I have friends who live there year-round, and I've watched them weather hurricanes, the vicious collapse of the housing bubble, and now this crap.

And selfishly, I'm concerned because my family's annual stay in Grayton Beach is threatened. (Don't hate me for being shallow.) We're going the first of July — rain, shine, tarballs, or whatever. We'll hit the beach if we can. We'll bike and hike and kayak the lakes, if the oil has moved in. We'll spend our money where our hopes are.

This days footprint may best visually represent what BP is doing to the Gulf.
  • This day's footprint may best visually represent what BP is doing to the Gulf.

So, every day, I go here: USA Today's daily update of the oil spill's "progress." But I have to admit, I don't really understand it. How do you explain the enormous changes in the spill's footprint from day to day? Clean-up efforts? Tidal surges? Bad mapping? What? I'm somewhat, yes, selfishly, comforted that the spill seems to be shrinking away from the Emerald Coast to the east of Destin (where I'm headed) in recent days. And my friends living in that area say "the coast is [still] clear," at least for now.

If nothing else, I'll post a full, eyewitness report here in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Mississippi River vs. the Oil Leak

Posted By on Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 8:32 PM

The Mississippi River deposits more than 3.3 million gallons of water into the Gulf of Mexico — every second. Figuring out how much water that is in a day is a whole lot of math for my feeble brain, but let me give it a shot. According to my calculator, that's a little more than 285 billion gallons of water a day that are deposited into the Gulf of Mexico.

The BP Deep Horizon oil leak is depositing roughly 1 million gallons of oil into the Gulf every day. In simple terms, the Mississippi River is depositing three times as much water EVERY SECOND as the oil blowout is depositing in a day.

I know this is small comfort, but sometimes perspective is helpful. Nature will overcome — eventually. In the short term, however, the Gulf is screwed. Maybe even this screwed.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sid Selvidge's New Record

Posted By on Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 3:51 PM

"I Should Be Blue" is the title of Sid Selvidge's new album on Archer Records. It's compelling and sweet and full of folksy charm, the best thing this Memphis icon has released in a few years. You can learn more about it here, and you can hear Sid play Sunday night, June 13th, at the Levitt Shell. This one's a must for any Memphis music lover. See you at the Shell.

Chris Herrington has more here.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The BP St. Jude Classic?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 3:34 PM

A reader just sent a link to this BleacherReport.com story, which suggests that planet-destroying oil corporation BP would be smart to step up and sponsor the currently sponsor-less St. Jude Classic golf tournament in Memphis.

The logic is undeniable: a company with the absolute worst PR disaster in the world makes steps toward turning around its image by sponsoring a tournament that benefits the world's most famous children's cancer hospital. Sure, it's cynical in concept, but I can't imagine the good folks out at Southwind turning up their nose a deal that might save the tournament.

After all, what's greener than, well, a green? And no doubt, BP would rather people associate the company with golf than Gulf.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Plugging the BP Leak: What's Your Idea?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 2:40 PM

British Petroleum has reportedly received more than 23,500 suggestions for ways to stop its oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. They range from flash-burning the oil underwater at the release point to nuking the whole thing.

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My idea, which I've tried out on a few colleagues to skeptical looks, is this: The offending blow-out pipe is 20 inches across. Why not create a, say, 40-foot-long cylindrical steel pole that tapers from a point to 20-inches wide, with a flat cap on top. For want of a better image, think of a round pencil. Insert the pointy end into the pipe slowly, until the widening end eventually blocks the flow and caps it. Then weld that sucker in place.

Genius, right? Probably not. There are probably a zillion reasons that wouldn't work. But I swear I woke up thinking about this and it made perfect sense. How about you? Got any ideas?

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