Dream of the Dragon

Tag: gigaflare

Gulf Spill Rollercoaster

by Justin

In the past few days as BP launched its ‘Top Kill’ plan to plug up the oil billowing into the Gulf of Mexico, the news has reversed from high hopes in the morning to despair again at sunset. Both BP engineers and officials on the scene get optimistic about the chances for success, issue reports to that effect, and then eat their words. I don’t have a sense of the science involved so these errors in judgment may be excusable, maybe all signs did point toward success early on. But seriously, why not hold out for some concrete news on the efficacy on your mud? I can’t imagine how frustrating those reversals are to the people along the Gulf coast whose livelihoods are immediately effected.

The latest accounts from the Times distilled the week’s desperate attempts pretty well:

The failure of the top kill procedure, which was thought to be the company’s best option for stopping the leak, was announced after about 30,000 barrels of mud was injected into the well and three attempts were made at what is termed the “junk shot,” a procedure that involves pumping odds and ends like plastic cubes, knotted rope, and golf balls into the blowout preventer, the five-story safety device atop the well.

That’s right, golf balls. Read the rest of this entry »

Watchdog Wonder

by Justin

I love this. In a time when journalism is on its deathbed and simultaneously in its infancy on emerging medias, MoJo’s Twitter alerted me to this little watchdog wonder.

People generally get less analysis, they spend less time consuming information, partisanship and propaganda are rising almost as high as during the days of Yellow Journalism. To combat this decline in depth and understanding jobs are being lost and papers fold under the pressure of the internet. Everybody knows how strange these days are. But what I appreciate most about the evolution of the blogosphere is the heightened degree of accountability. A number of sources, not just ProPublica, drew attention to the questionable allegiance of a source in this NY Times article. Read the rest of this entry »


by Justin

Images cranked out by Hubble or other impossible pieces of space technology tend to set the bar for mind-blowing. NASA just released images from one of its latest, and maybe most practical initiatives:

SDO: The Solar Dynamics Observatory is the first mission to be launched for NASA’s Living With a Star (LWS) Program, a program designed to understand the causes of solar variability and its impacts on Earth. SDO is designed to help us understand the Sun’s influence on Earth and Near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously. Read the rest of this entry »