Although no one has ever used a cofferdam at the 5000-foot depth of the Gulf oil leak, the immense, four-story, 100-ton concrete box arrived this morning at the site of the insane, absurd, horrid disaster. (The current spill area and projections, as of last night, are above.) They will begin to lower the monster critter at noonish. And they "believe" that the mix of oil, gas and water can safely be separated as the cofferdam funnels the leak materials up a pipe to a ship without, you know, exploding all over. Maybe so! Meanwhile, Louisiana residents have gone on an orgy-bender of seafood ingestion, since as of pretty [...]
"But some marriage experts say that taking your disagreements to Facebook, even jokingly, is nothing to LOL about." *THROWS DOWN LAPTOP, STOMPS OUT OF ROOM, GOES OUTSIDE, LIGHTS HOUSE ON FIRE*
A month ago, it was announced that 1 in 6 job-wanting, working age Americans are not working. Now it is closing in on 1 in 5. Who is surprised about this morning's new unemployment numbers? If so, you are a person who does not know anyone, perhaps you have been forced to live in a basement for decades and therefore miss all kinds of wonderful sporting events. Officially, now, unemployment is at 9.8%! The official unemployment rate for Latinos is 12.7%; for black folks, it is 15.4%. Between August and September, 807,000 new people were counted as "not in the labor force." (Also, unemployment rose in the 16 nations [...]
Some big scary thing hit Jupiter and gave it a black eye. Freaky! Freakier: the guy who found this out is some dude in his backyard in Australia. (NASA? Anyone?) He told his hometown paper: "If anything like that had hit the Earth it would have been curtains for us, so we can feel very happy that Jupiter is doing its vacuum-cleaner job and hoovering up all these large pieces before they come for us." Well that's a nice idea, isn't it? But ha ha, um NO.
With every plane incident comes the terrible press. You can understand why: there is a disaster, and a deadline-and hours (or really, months!) before any decent information comes in. Since the missing Air France flight is presumed crashed, and now "probably struck by lightning" is making headlines, it seems a good time to note that "It is estimated that on average, each airplane in the U.S. commercial fleet is struck lightly by lightning more than once each year." The other useful statistic is that there has been no commercial airline disaster caused by lightning since 1967-although that's somewhat misleading!
The West Virginia mine that blew up and killed 25 people racked up some impressive safety violations but escaped better oversight because of a year's worth of improvement… followed by another year's worth of disimprovement. When you read the letter (provided by the Times) that was sent by the Mine Health and Safety Administration-well, I guess "try" to read is more apt? Because it's completely unreadable to anyone not versed in the industry. It reads as the worst sort of legalese, piling up language from regulation after regulation. I mean, it has footnotes? And also, not to be a weird Libertarian, but any highly-regulated industry (such as aviation) or [...]
Seriously.Astro Boy! Is anyone actually going to watch this? Me and a bajillion fandorks saw the extended clip at SD ComicCon and it was so that baroque-ass expensive meh where you HAAAAAATE it for existing (until theyÃ‚Â hire you, tralalala). Hollywood keeps comparing it to that crackish Wachowski shitshow Speed Racer, crunching numbers and talking about the "hella big fanbase" (their words) but still haven't seemed to isolate the real problem behind the source material. It's not that anime adaptations won't work, it's that nobody, beyond metal-lunchbox striped-tights types, gives a shit about this franchise domestically (aaaaand the message boards EXPLODE).
Oh, and, there will be pretty much no tomatoes to be had this year. And the east coast farming industry may crash and burn.
"Ten students on their way to receive government scholarships were killed by gunmen at a checkpoint in the state of Durango," reports the LA Times this morning. Which: Jesus Christ. One could safely assume this was not a military checkpoint? "The checkpoint appeared to be the ad hoc type of roadblock often set up by drug traffickers who control parts of Durango, not a military installation, state prosecutors said." And: "Interior Minister Fernando Gomez Mont… denied that the checkpoint was staffed by soldiers." So… the government had to deny that the military butchered a bunch of teens and pre-teens? That's a lot of denials!
All during our new century's orgy of debt-driven real estate expansion, currency floated nowhere else on Earth the way it did-with pure, gleaming, world-conquering ardor-in Dubai. The island city-state in the Persian Gulf seemed less like an actual spot on the map than a Christo-style performance-art installation, an open-ended meditation on the many sleek surfaces of the monied life. Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the royal patriarch of the place, had a vision-conveniently spelled out in his 2006 autobiography, My Vision-to make Dubai "the world's number one city for commerce, tourism, and services." The trick would be to leverage all the petrodollars and beguiling debt instruments then sluicing around [...]
This is one of those things where the results are actually more horrifying the deeper into the numbers you look: "Thursday's annual Census Bureau report on income, poverty and access to health care-the Bureau's principal report card on the well-being of average Americans-closes the books on the economic record of George W. Bush…. On every major measurement, the Census Bureau report shows that the country lost ground during Bush's two terms. While Bush was in office, the median household income declined, poverty increased, childhood poverty increased even more, and the number of Americans without health insurance spiked."
But at least he wasn't a LYING MUSLIM SOCIALIST, am I [...]
Unemployment is up in the official numbers for May in 48 states! And the winners in top unemployment are: · Michigan: 14.1%. · Oregon: 12.4%. · Rhode Island and South Carolina: 12.1%. · California: 11.5% Thirteen states are in the double digits; New York City is now at 9%-just below the national rate of 9.4%. Congratulations! Also: "The labor market remains weak but it's starting to stabilize," Maxwell Clarke, the chief U.S. economist at IDEAglobal in New York, told Bloomberg News. This is a fucking lie.