07/11/2010 archive

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

Now with 29 Top Stories.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 BP ‘pleased’ with progress of oil fix mission

by Mira Oberman, AFP

Sun Jul 11, 12:46 pm ET

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) BP reported good progress Sunday in its high-stakes effort to fully contain the Gulf of Mexico oil leak by fixing a tighter cap over the giant gusher, now raging largely unchecked.

Operations have reached a critical phase as engineers race to take advantage of a stretch of fine weather in the midst of the Atlantic hurricane season to install a new system with the potential to capture all the leaking crude.

Expected to take between four and seven days, the round-the-clock work began at midday on Saturday when the old, less efficient cap was ripped off a fractured pipe a mile down on the sea floor by robotic submarines.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Edition

It’s the Sunday morning round up of the usual and unusual. Sports seems to be the popular topic. So pour that cup of whatever you drink when you read and add your opinion to theirs.

In the realm of stranger things,  Carlos Ruiz Zafon looks at sports and a psychic octopus and how it has reshaped a country.

HIS name is Paul, he has eight legs and he flaunts a flexibility that would put to shame the ethics code of any self-respecting investment bank on Wall Street. What’s more, he’s one of the stars of the World Cup blazing on zillions of TV screens around the world. Yet Paul has never set foot on a soccer field, never kicked a ball and to this day most of his running has been devoted to chasing lobsters. Paul, you see, is an octopus.

OctoPaul is, at present, an inmate at the Oberhausen aquarium in Germany, where he has entered the V.I.P. lounge of animal oracle lore due to the uncanny precision in his predictions on the outcome of crucial sports events. He works his magic according to a strict procedure: his caretakers introduce into his tank two boxes containing the flags of the opposing teams (and a mussel in each for him to snack on, post-decision). Then, while the world news media eagerly waits, OctoPaul, cucumber-cool and donning his trademark deep-thinking face, settles on one of them.


What the future will bring, maybe only Paul the Octopus knows. And by the way, Paul predicted Spain will win the final.

Eugene Robinson wonders why everyone is upset with Lebron James

Why is everybody hating on LeBron James? I mean, is this a free country? Or did a couple of important amendments to the Constitution get repealed while nobody was looking?

I understand, of course, why the good people of Cleveland would be disappointed, distraught, even irate. King James is, at the very least, the second-best basketball player in the world. For a city that has seen so many ups and downs — and let’s be honest, the general trend for the past half-century has been down — the departure of a hometown superstar must be a cruel blow. But let’s try to keep things in perspective.

Le Tour: Stage 8

So, everyone is a lot more sanguine about this than I am.

I look at numbers like 3:16 after 2:30 and think- that’s 45 seconds I’ll never get back, but all is good say the analysts.  It was a great ride by Chavanel and he has nearly 2 minutes on everyone else too.

If he keeps this lead through the Alps he could hang on to it for a while (defined as up to 6 days by one commentator) which is quite possible if we get a string of Sprints, but most don’t think it will last.  Armstrong predicts a ‘Selection’ today with the road literally melting under the heat and that things could break up as early as the first 9 mile climb up the Col de la Ramaz and it’s 10% gradients.

The names you’ll get used to hearing after today in addition to Contador will be Cadel Evans (last year’s runner up) and Andy Schleck.

Today’s 118 mile ride between Station des Rousses and Morzine-Avoriaz has climbs of 4, 4, 1, 3, and 1 severity with an overall downhill run through the first 2/3rds of the course.  Tomorrow will be a recovery day so everyone can stiffen up and then another day of Alps on Tuesday.

In other sports the 2010 World Cup Final between Spain and the Netherlands @ 2:30 pm on ABC and Formula 1 @ noon on Fox (Silverstone, should be a Red Bull romp).  Coverage of Le Tour starts at 7:30 am on Vs.

On This Day in History: July 11

Aaron Burr slays Alexander Hamilton in a Duel

On this day in 1804, Aaron Burr, Vice President of the United States slays Alexander Hamilton, former Secretary of the Treasury, in a duel in Weehauken, NJ. There are accounts that Hamilton, who had been involved in several other duels that had been settled without shots, decided at the last minute that the duel was immoral and fired his weapon in the air. Burr, whose seconds said that Hamilton did indeed fire at Burr and missed, shot Hamilton in the abdomen. The bullet lodged near Hamilton’s spine, and he was taken back to New York City where he died the next day.

The irony is that this was the same place that Hamilton’s son, Philip, had died two and a half years prior defending his father’s honor.

Few affairs of honor actually resulted in deaths, and the nation was outraged by the killing of a man as eminent as Alexander Hamilton. Charged with murder in New York and New Jersey, Burr, still vice president, returned to Washington, D.C., where he finished his term immune from prosecution.

In 1805, Burr, thoroughly discredited, concocted a plot with James Wilkinson, commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army, to seize the Louisiana Territory and establish an independent empire, which Burr, presumably, would lead. He contacted the British government and unsuccessfully pleaded for assistance in the scheme. Later, when border trouble with Spanish Mexico heated up, Burr and Wilkinson conspired to seize territory in Spanish America for the same purpose.

In the fall of 1806, Burr led a group of well-armed colonists toward New Orleans, prompting an immediate U.S. investigation. General Wilkinson, in an effort to save himself, turned against Burr and sent dispatches to Washington accusing Burr of treason. In February 1807, Burr was arrested in Louisiana for treason and sent to Virginia to be tried in a U.S. court. In September, he was acquitted on a technicality. Nevertheless, public opinion condemned him as a traitor, and he fled to Europe. He later returned to private life in New York, the murder charges against him forgotten. He died in 1836.

Crank it up

Modern Love is Automatic

Prime Time

Well, since I’m skipping the night when I’d normally be getting dog therapy I thought I’d at least mention America’s Cutest Dog and World’s Ugliest Dog Competition on Animal Planet.  Frankly I’m highly suspicious of the motivations of both, I don’t think animals should be framed by human perceptions of beauty.

They drink out of toilets, how cute can they be?

Scary Movie is hard to get away from but I advise you to try.  History has The Lost Pyramid and Egypt: Engineering an Empire, both really good documentaries if you haven’t already seen them.


Boondocks, 2 Episodes.

SNL from 3/13/10, Jude Law, Pearl Jam.

GitS: SAC 2nd Gig, Fabricate Fog, Embarrassment.