Texas oilsters frack themselves

fracking
Fracking takes your basic livable boring hometown and creates some real interesting water, air and moving earth. More or less permanently. Why would the flipping oil millionaires do that to themselves? oh, wait, it’s the poor part of town:

“Fort Worth has been fracked to capacity,” resident Don Young told DeSmog Blog. “There is no turning back. Some days the air is so bad you can’t see downtown.”

Chesapeake Energy began offering $300 and a pizza party for owners of mineral rights in predominantly poor and working class African American neighborhoods in 2003 and encountered little resistance, DeSmog Blog reported. Now Fort Worth has around 2,000 wells.

Residents have been sickened by vapors from drilling operations, found their neighborhoods suddenly ruined by noise and fumes, and had their water sucked up by drilling operations in the middle of severe drought. Five sites were found in 2011 to be emitting pollution above state limits, according to a study commissioned by the Fort Worth City Council, and most of the 388 sites studied released visible emissions.

Right next door to Fort Worth, the Dallas city council is considering letting fracking start up in town with a vote likely to come next week, capping a three-year fight over the future of fracking in the city. Until recently, Dallas had rejected attempts to frack in town, but that stance seems to be over. Current debate is over the distance required between wells and homes or wells and other wells: 1,500 feet or 1,000.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Book review: Target Tirpitz. A great read

tirp

Target Tirpitz: X-Craft, Agents and Dambusters – The Epic Quest to Destroy Hitler’s Mightiest Warship, by Patrick Bishop

A story of war, espionage, sabotage, battleships, Churchill, naval fights, crazy schemes, heroism, resistance, German naval tactics, confusion, stiff upper lip, and yes, death. First class story of the British obsession with the sister ship of the Bismarck.  Interesting details  about the Allied efforts to supply Russia via the Arctic Ocean, and German efforts to interdict the convoys there. Plus, learn about remote corners of Norway.
Get this book.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Dude arrested for assaulting man who peed on his rug

CHINESE MAN aka Woo:      Ever thus to deadbeats, Lebowski.    “The Big Lebowski”, 1998

woo1

SAN FRANCISCO — A man was arrested on Saturday after allegedly attacking and seriously injuring another man who had apparently urinated on his carpet in San Francisco’s Bayview District, police said.

rug1

The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for injuries that were initially considered life-threatening. However, he was later upgraded to stable condition, police spokesman Officer Gordon Shyy said.

happens1

Demarea Barnes, 23, of San Francisco, admitted to knowing the victim and said the fight stemmed from the victim urinating on his carpet instead of in the bathroom, police said.

Barnes was booked into custody on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon….

fascism1
No mention of whether or not the dude was employed.

h/t to oddculture.com for the images.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Body language 101: Hands on hips, per California football coaches

“Cal,” he said, “should be better than this.” —Harry Edwards

Cal coaching staff "hands-on-hips" body language

Cal coaching staff demo’s the “en mass”  or “cluster” version of the “hands-on-hips” body language during a shellacking by Southern Cal, 63-28

OTL,S! surmises that the Cal coaching staff was looking to get aggressive with their own players. We are glad that didn’t happen. Well, let’s rephrase…at least it didn’t happen during the game. More on that later.

body language:

To appear bigger for fighting or courting rituals, birds will fluff their feathers, fish can expand their body size by sucking in water and cats or dogs make their fur stand on end. The hairless human, however, no longer has a thick pelt to expand to make himself look more imposing when he is fearful or angry….Modern humans, however, have invented a gesture to help them achieve a bigger physical presence – the Hands-on-Hips gesture.

California’s largely inept football team reached a historic landmark on Saturday, when they were torched by traditional rival Stanford, 63-13, allowing two touchdowns in the last 8 minutes by the Cardinal reserves. This was the most points ever allowed in the “Big Game”, and the largest margin of defeat. Cal finished the season 1-11, the single win being a squeaker against lower classification Portland State. Cal gave up 30 points or more in every game, which is some sort of record.
ship
Furthermore, Cal had just last year fired their football coach for dismal performance, and the University is up to its eyeballs in debt from an ill-advised massive upgrade of the athletic facilities. Lastly, Cal has the worst football-player graduation rate of any major school in the country.

Hands-on-Hips is used by the child arguing with its parent, the athlete waiting for his event to begin,… males who want to issue a non-verbal challenge to other males who enter their territory. In each instance the person takes the Hands-on-Hips pose and this is a universal gesture used to communicate that a person is ready for assertive action. It lets the person take up more space and has the threat value of the pointed elbows that act as weapons, preventing others from approaching or passing… It’s used everywhere and in the Philippines and Malaysia it carries the even stronger message of anger or outrage.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the data show that it is the black male athlete at Cal who is (and has been forever) exploited. In these days of multimillion dollar revenues and coaching salaries, the black football player is likely to leave Cal with nothing but memories, chronic injuries, an empty wallet and a dim future.

most black male athletes who entered Cal between 1998 and 2006 failed to graduate in six years, with just 40 percent able to do so….fewer than 2 percent of all NCAA basketball and football players are drafted by the NBA and NFL, studies show. And of those, only a small number last more than one or two years in professional sports.

Coach Dykes is promising assertive action on all fronts:

Also known as the ‘readiness’ gesture, that is, the person is ready for assertive action, its basic meaning carries a subtly aggressive attitude everywhere. It has also been called the achiever stance, related to the goal-directed person who is ready to tackle their objectives or is ready to take action on something. Men often use this gesture around women to display an assertive male attitude.

The Cal athletic director during this shipwreck has been Sandy Barbour, shown here in her “I’m not going to answer that question” body language.  She’s adopted the “I’m calling together a task force” tactic to “address” this problem, aka: kick the can down the road while continuing to recruit underqualified “student athletes.”bar

These aggressive-readiness clusters are used by professional models to give the impression that their clothing is for the modern, assertive, forward-thinking woman. Occasionally the gesture may be done with only one hand on the hip and the other displaying another gesture and this is commonly used by women who want to draw attention to themselves by using this cluster with a pelvic tilt to emphasize their hips-to-waist ratio, which indicates fertility. Hands-on-Hips is regularly used by both men and women in courtship to draw attention to themselves.

So how is Coach Dykes channeling his aggressive, action oriented mindset that informs his body language:

“We’re going to recruit better. We’re going to recruit kids that deserve to be at Cal and want to be at Cal,” he said. “We’re going to learn how to go to class. We’re going to fix our graduation rates; we’re going to graduate. We are going to appreciate being a Cal student, be supportive of other Cal students.”

That sounds like some pretty good generalities, though there are hints of  some hidden agendas.

But this disturbing quote from another Chronicle article  suggests Dykes will try to boot some players off scholarship or otherwise allow/induce them to leave, thus reinforcing the idea that they have been exploited, and now cast aside in order that the mighty football machine can sell more tickets (emphasis added):

Not all players on the roster in 2013 will be asked back in 2014, the coach said, adding, “There are going to be players who leave. There’re players you encourage to leave and others who leave on their own.”

To us, it sounds like the wrong people are going to get “fired.” Cal has an obligation to the current football players to see that they graduate with sufficient skills to succeed in life. Allowing or encouraging players to leave school or removing their scholarships is exactly the wrong thing to do.
The Chronicle nails it:

At the Athletic Study Center, Van Rheenen is working with a group of successful black men to set up a mentoring program – but whether athletes will have time to participate is another question. They’re already stretched by the full-time demands of their academic work and playing a Division I sport.

“We don’t want to overload them even more,” Van Rheenen said.

The graduation rates are one of the many problems facing Cal athletics. At a recent meeting on campus, where Cummins and Hextrum presented their findings, some faculty members wondered whether the pressure to succeed on the field has been intensified by the need to pay off the debt on newly renovated Memorial Stadium.

Hextrum called it “an ethical dilemma.”

“Are we going to say we will continue to have these students – mostly men of color – who don’t graduate, and that it is worth it to pay off the debt?” she asked.

“Cal,” he said, “should be better than this.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The McRib sandwich: available on and offal.

mcrib2

Offal

Ian Bogost in the Atlantic provides a psychoanalytic perspective on the yearly appearance of McDonalds McRib sandwich. Here’s the intro; for the intellectual analysis, read the piece:

Each year, the McRib makes a brief visit to Earth. Its arrival elicits reactions ranging from horror to awe. And for good reason: this would-be rib sandwich is really a restructured pork patty pressed into the rough shape of a slab of ribs, its slathering of barbecue sauce acting as camouflage as much as coating.

“Pork” is a generous term, since the McRib has traditionally been fashioned from otherwise unmarketable pig parts like tripe, heart, and stomach, material that is not only cheap but also easier to mold and bind into a coherent, predetermined shape. McDonald’s accurately lists the patty’s primary ingredient as “boneless pork,” although even that’s a fairly strong euphemism. Presumably few of the restaurant’s patrons would line up for a Pressed McTripe.

Despite its abhorrence, the McRib bears remarkable similarity to another, more widely accepted McDonald’s product, the Chicken McNugget. In fact, the McRib was first introduced in 1982, shortly after the company had designed the McNugget. Chicken McNuggets are fashioned by the same method as is the McRib, namely by grinding factory-farmed chicken meat into a mash and then reconstituting them into a preservative-stabilized solid, aka a “nugget.” And both products are bound and preserved by a petrochemical preservative called tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ. According to the Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, one gram of TBHQ can cause “nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse.” In a 2003 lawsuit accusing McDonald’s of consumer deception, federal district court judge Robert W. Sweet called Chicken McNuggets a “McFrankenstein creation.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

New research using arctic temperature data shows “warming pause” is/was not real

A newly published study indicates that the recently claimed “pause” or “slowdown” in global warming is simply an artifact of inadequate sampling of arctic temperatures. Correction of this deficiency in data shows that warming has not paused.

Coverage bias in the HadCRUT4 temperature series and its impact on recent temperature trends
by Kevin Cowtan and Robert G. Way

A learned discussion of the paper and its implications can be seen at Real Climate:

Cowtan and Way apply their method to the HadCRUT4 data, which are state-of-the-art except for their treatment of data gaps. For 1997-2012 these data show a relatively small warming trend of only 0.05 °C per decade – which has often been misleadingly called a “warming pause”. The new IPCC report writes:

Due to natural variability, trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in general reflect long-term climate trends. As one example, the rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012; 0.05 [–0.05 to +0.15] °C per decade), which begins with a strong El Niño, is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 (1951–2012; 0.12 [0.08 to 0.14] °C per decade).

But after filling the data gaps this trend is 0.12 °C per decade and thus exactly equal to the long-term trend mentioned by the IPCC.

Cowtan

The corrected data (bold lines) are shown in the graph compared to the uncorrected ones (thin lines). The temperatures of the last three years have become a little warmer, the year 1998 a little cooler.

The authors write in their introduction:

While short term trends are generally treated with a suitable level of caution by specialists in the field, they feature significantly in the public discourse on climate change.

This is all too true. A media analysis has shown that at least in the U.S., about half of all reports about the new IPCC report mention the issue of a “warming pause”….
The public debate about the alleged “warming pause” was misguided from the outset, because far too much was read into a cherry-picked short-term trend. Now this debate has become completely baseless, because the trend of the last 15 or 16 years is nothing unusual – even despite the record El Niño year at the beginning of the period. It is still a quarter less than the warming trend since 1980, which is 0.16 °C per decade. But that’s not surprising when one starts with an extreme El Niño and ends with persistent La Niña conditions, and is also running through a particularly deep and prolonged solar minimum in the second half.

The physics and the math aren’t changing. The ice in our cold drink is melting. We can see it.
But we keep plunging towards catastrophe.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Is killing bicyclists legal?

Daniel Duane in today’s New York Times cites San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Leah Shahum, who says that no motorist has ever been prosecuted for killing a bicyclist, assuming the motorist was not intoxicated and did not leave the scene.  We don’t know how many of the hundreds (677 in 2011) involve motorists, and how many involve bicyclist fault. But surely something is going on here.  We are aware of the ongoing hostility between some bicyclists and motorists, a feeling that Duane suggests is shared by law enforcement. This is creepy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized