07/12/2010 archive

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 BP deploys new cap to finally seal rogue well

by Mira Oberman, AFP

35 mins ago

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – BP lowered Monday a new cap onto the ruptured Gulf of Mexico oil pipe, hoping to close its valves and cut off the flow of toxic crude once and for all.

Almost 13 weeks after the disaster began with a deadly explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig, the end is finally in sight as engineers place the “Top Hat 10” device over the giant gusher a mile down on the sea floor.

BP chief operating officer said once the cap was connected and its valves closed to shut off the flow, critical pressure tests would be carried out to study the well’s integrity.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Morning Quarterbacking

Meet the Press

This is “Take Two” which is only available on the web. Rachel Maddow discusses her recent trip to Afghanistan and the Republican women and what they have to offer American women. (Sorry, no transcript is available.)

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

“My Tour is over”

Say what you like about Lance, he’s been more right and honest about his Tour than many.  His first ‘crash’ didn’t amount to much, more an off course.  Losing a wheel at the bottom of the Col de la Ramaz is the kind of thing that sets you back 11:45, 13:26 from the lead.

Within 2 minutes of each other are Evans and Schleck and Contador and they’d all have to get hit by a bus which hardly ever happens.

So now’s the time to think about your loyalty to the Islanders and this sport we call Hockey with it’s cups of Stanley.  I contend Le Tour is at least as compelling as curling or golf with the additional benefit of lasting 3 weeks covering the All-Star break.

It has it’s hypnotoad charms, because it’s practically on auto-loop and only the last half hour or so matters (you get plently of repeats of the NASCAR crashes) and you can really loose track of which day you are watching if you don’t pay close attention.

Plus there is that Deadhead vibe from the crowd.

In an ideal world you’d now root for the team of you fallen hero, but because the sponsorship changes are harder to follow than those in Formula 1 it’s hard to develop the kind of UPC driven Ferrari red loyalty that even so hardly makes a dent on the collective conciousness of the US.

Hear about that “football” game?  The score was 1 to nothing.

Relative to the sport, this is a Jordan moment, a sacrifice to the volcano.  I suppose we’ll get used to entropy, we always do.

The Week In Review 7/4 – 11

235 Stories served.  33 per day despite difficulties.

Including being frozen out of the site last night for no particular reason.  Fortunately I was caught up for the most part, but stacked up for today are my ruminations on the world of business and speculations about Le Tour.

All of which I will get to when I do.

This is actually the hardest diary to execute, and yet perhaps the most valuable because it lets you track story trends over time.  It should be a Sunday morning feature.

On This Day in History: July 12

Henry David Thoreau (born David Henry Thoreau; July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862)  was an American author, poet, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, philosopher, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay, Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.

Thoreau’s books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry total over 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions were his writings on natural history and philosophy, where he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern day environmentalism. His literary style interweaves close natural observation, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore; while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerity, and “Yankee” love of practical detail. He was also deeply interested in the idea of survival in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay; at the same time imploring one to abandon waste and illusion in order to discover life’s true essential needs.

He was a lifelong abolitionist, delivering lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law while praising the writings of Wendell Phillips and defending abolitionist John Brown. Thoreau’s philosophy of civil disobedience influenced the political thoughts and actions of such later figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thoreau is sometimes cited as an individualist anarchist. Though Civil Disobedience calls for improving rather than abolishing government – “I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government” the direction of this improvement aims at anarchism: “‘That government is best which governs not at all;’ and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.”

Crank it up


Pique the Geek 20100711: Essential Materials. Zinc (Updated)

Most of us have heard of zinc in passing comments.  Some TeeVee commercials tout the virtues of it in the diet.  Actually, it is an essential trace element, and part of some coenzyme systems, and so is essential for health.  Interestingly, it is more important for men than for women because the prostate gland needs lots of zinc to produce semen and to maintain health.

That does not mean that women do not need zinc, just that they do not lose lots of it in seminal fluid.  The requirements for zinc in the metabolism is the same betwixt the sexes, but, as females lose iron during menstruation, men lose it during ejaculation.  Please follow, and I promise not to be so graphic for a while.

Prime Time

I’d be remiss if I did not highlight a film of note- Harold Lloyd’s last silent, Speedy.  On Turner Classic of course.

(A) young man trying to save New York’s last horse-drawn streetcar line.

You can DVR and watch it later.

Less worthy things-

Eye gougingly bad things (shame on you)-

Toon is having Unnatural History if you’re trying to get into it and then at 10:30 Adult Swim will debut Children’s Hospital.  Disney has a repeat of Phineas and Ferb’s “Hawaiian Vacation” at 10.


New Boondocks @ 11:30.  Dino Stamatopoulos’ new project @ 12:30.

Haiti: 6 Months Later: Up Dated

Emergency response after the Haiti earthquake: Choices, obstacles and finance

Six months after the earthquake that devastated Haiti on 12th January 2010, this report describes the evolution of MSF’s work during what is the organisation’s largest ever rapid emergency response. It attempts to explain the scope of the medical and material aid provided to Haiti by MSF since the catastrophe, but also to set out the considerable challenges and dilemmas faced by the organisation. It acknowledges that whilst the overall relief effort has kept many people alive, it is still not easing some of their greatest suffering.


The earthquake destroyed 60 per cent of the existing health facilities and 10 per cent of medical staff were either killed or left the country. MSF had to relocate services to other facilities, build container hospitals, work under temporary shelters, and even set up an inflatable hospital. With over 3000 Haitian and international staff working in the country, MSF currently manages 19 health facilities and has over 1000 beds available at various locations. The organisation has provided emergency medical care to more than 173,000 patients between January 12th and May 31st.


Six months on, the medical provision for the majority of citizens has been significantly improved in general and some poor people who were unable to access healthcare prior to the disaster are now able to recieve care.