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Best Positions in Bed

July 21, 2010

Molly the Barn Owl – The Owl Box 7/20/2010 Update!

July 20, 2010

Molly is back at it — laying eggs and starting family #2 – a new clutch!!  Four eggs as of 7/20!!!

Ustream is also “on the air” and live!!!

Molly’s blog can be found at http://mollysbox.wordpress.com/blog

Welcome back Owl Lovers!!!!!

And thank you Carlos and Donna!

Gulf Oil Disaster: Oil Outrage Online – By the Numbers (and my thoughts)

July 20, 2010

I found this article by Catherine Chomiak, NBC News, last night.  This is a great article, as it gives the websites and numbers of all online efforts that focus on the Gulf Oil Disaster.  A great, albeit mind-full, writing.  I’ve linked all of the sites that are given in the article.

As the world now knows, A Whale oil skimmer was given the order to go back home — negating the thought that largest is always best. 

The world waits on the oil well cap containment, as well as the speculation that there are seeping issues.  Now there are scrambles to begin assessing the amount of oil that has been spilled to compute the amount of fines for BP’s violation of the Clean Water Act which can be up to $4,300 per barrel of oil released if the company is found negligent in causing the disaster.  I enjoyed (sarcasm) the following excerpt from CNNMoney.com release:   

“I am concerned that without such a monitored collection effort we may never be able to provide a definitive answer to the question of how much oil has actually been released,” said Markey, a vocal critic of BP’s response to the spill, in a statement.

Whatever number is ultimately arrived at, others say it’s unlikely BP will pay anything close to $18 billion.

Dick Watt, a Houston-based oil and gas attorney, said $18 billion might be possible in theory but not practice, given the extent politics will play into the decision. Ultimately, it will be a judge or jury that decides how much BP must pay, not the U.S. government.

“The fines will be very large,” said Watt, “but nowhere near that range.”

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By the numbers: Oil outrage online

Catherine Chomiak, NBC News

— From the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command Ongoing Response statistics (last updated July 18, 2010)

• More than 6,490 vessels are currently responding on site
• More than 3.4 million feet of containment boom and 7.2 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 852,000 feet of containment boom and 3 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
• More than 34.2 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
• Approximately 1.82 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—1.07 million on the surface and 771,000 sub-sea. Approximately 574,000 gallons are available.
• Approximately 615 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently oiled—approximately 352 miles in Louisiana, 112 miles in Mississippi, 69 miles in Alabama, and 82 miles in Florida.
• Approximately 83,927 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns.

Despite the abundance of information provided by the Deepwater Horizon Response team, as the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico surpasses three months without a permanent solution, public anger against BP continues to overflow online. Web sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Flickr have become active platforms for people to express their frustration with the oil giant and the current environmental crisis.

The “flow rate” of rising anger can be measured online almost as precisely as the gushing oil that incited it on: “Boycott BP.”   The site, one of more than 500 Facebook pages related to the oil disaster, is dedicated to boycotting “BP stations until the spill is cleaned up,” and has 827,164 fans and counting. There are at least 164,000 YouTube videos capturing various protests; more than 36,606 Flickr photos related to the spill; and approximately 78 new tweets per minute continue to keep the oil spill ranking among Twitter’s top trending topics.

A search for “BP” on YouTube typically yields clips like one posted by someone going by the name “annebonnylives” of a protest outside a local BP station. “The Raging Grannies,” a group of elderly activists, have been staging their singing protests against Halliburton and BP in southern Florida.

Their song “BP’s Friggin’ Drillin’ Rigs,” which is sung to the tune of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” recommends the two companies “take your friggin’ drillin’ rigs ‘cause we don’t want your oil! / Halliburton and BP – you suck!” The video has gone viral, with more than 50,516 views.

Another Floridian, Stan Morton, is “real mad” at BP— so mad, in fact, that he has posted 49 videos, all critical of BP. In one five-minute video, he rants against the company and spills his yard debris in the parking lot of a BP gas station.

There are at least 36,606 photos associated with the Gulf of Mexico disaster on Flickr. User Starflyer2012, posted 88 photos from a May 28th protest at a Manhattan BP station, where hundreds of activists showed up looking as if they were covered in oil.

In addition to posting protest pictures, many people online have doctored BP’s green and yellow logo to reflect the leak. Flickr member BWJ, combined BP’s logo with Sherwin Williams’ to “cover the earth” with black paint. Edited logos, like BWJ’s, can even be submitted in a contest sponsored by Greenpeace, who used Flickr to create a “Behind the Logo group.”   There have been 1,111 entries so far.

To combat the growing body of negative content online, BP’s own social media team has ramped up their online presence and is in the process of migrating their DeepwaterHorizonresponse.com site to RestoreTheGulf.gov

They have set up their own accounts and pages on YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter, where BP’s Twitter handle BP_America  has more than 18,338 followers. The company has also purchased search terms on Google and Yahoo, so their sponsored pages are at the top of the results.

BP’s YouTube channel includes a video gallery of clips about the company’s oil spill cleanup efforts, the release of clean, oil-free birds and presentations by BP officials about ongoing strategies to contain and clean up the crude.

As of Monday, July 19, the Making it Right commercial has been viewed 319, 482 times.

Mooning Amtrak … Altogether – Crack a Smile!!

July 12, 2010

As I needed to take a break from the Gulf Oil Disaster – waiting to see what happens with the new cap, I came across an article from msnbc.com which actually made me laugh. 

People of California have been mooning Amtrak for years.  Literally mooning!  It actually looks like fun — perhaps a large number of “mooners” helps tame the shyness a bit?

Enjoy this!  And we watch, and wait while the robots work.  Let’s hope that the new containment cap really works.

Mooning of Amtrak.. California Crowds Crack a Smile!

Gulf Oil Disaster: A Quick Scan from the AP

July 8, 2010

As today has gone by faster than anticipated, I’ve embedded current Gulf news from Reuters “Factbox.”  Actually, what I was truly hoping to see today were results from A Whales oil skimmer’s testing.  Judging from current news stories, it is as if we are all waiting / hoping for some good news.  And as that is not possible with the continued disaster, perhaps no news is good news.

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Factbox: Developments in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

TOP DEVELOPMENTS

* BP boss Tony Hayward met officials from an Abu Dhabi state investment fund on Wednesday, the latest stop on a global quest for money by the British-based energy giant to ward off takeovers and help pay the huge costs of the spill.

* The oil drilling industry goes head-to-head with the Obama administration in court on Thursday over the White House effort to suspend deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico for six months while the blowout is investigated.

* Energy traders are watching a tropical weather system in the southern Gulf of Mexico that has the potential to disrupt BP’s clean-up. A tropical depression could form before slamming into the coast near the Texas-Mexico border on Thursday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center forecast.

MARKET IMPACT/COMPANIES

* A Gulf of Mexico deepwater drilling ban has already cost offshore jobs in a nascent U.S. economic recovery and a lengthy moratorium will put the industry at peril, sector executives said on Wednesday.

* BP shares traded in New York closed up 3.8 percent on Wednesday, while its shares in London rose 4.8 percent.

* BP shares had lost around half of their value since the spill started after an oil rig exploded in the Gulf in late April.

POLITICS/POLICY

* The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted to eliminate limits on liability oil companies would face for oil spill damages. The measure now goes before the full Senate. It would also need to win passage in the House of Representatives before becoming law.

ENVIRONMENT

* Initial tests of the dispersant BP is using to break up oil in the Gulf of Mexico show it does not harm endocrine systems in aquatic life, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said.

* Environmental groups, BP and the U.S. Coast Guard reached tentative agreement on a plan allowing biologists or other trained wildlife observers to accompany oil-incineration vessels at sea to remove as many turtles as possible from designated areas before burning starts.

CAPTURE/CONTAINMENT/CLEANUP

* Drilling of a relief well to halt the spill is a week ahead of schedule, the U.S. official overseeing the response to the disaster said on Tuesday.

* Summer storms are pushing oil from the spill deeper into Louisiana’s wetlands and temporarily slowing efforts to contain damage.

* Tests on a supertanker adapted to skim large quantities of oily water from the Gulf are inconclusive because of high seas, ship owner TMT Shipping Offshore said on Monday.

* BP said on Wednesday its oil-capture systems at the leak collected or burned off 24,760 barrels of oil on Tuesday.

(Compiled by Alyson Zepeda in Houston)

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Giant skimmer gets another shot at Gulf oil spill

Published: Thursday, July 08, 2010, 12:08 PM     Updated: Thursday, July 08, 2010, 12:12 PM

NEW ORLEANS — The giant Taiwanese oil skimmer known as ‘A Whale’ is getting another chance to prove its value in the Gulf of Mexico.

Bob Grantham, spokesman for TMT Shipping, said Thursday the U.S. Coast Guard has approved another week of testing for the vessel, which is 10 stories high and as long as 3 1/2 football fields.

The ship is supposed to suck up to 21 million gallons of oily water per day.

It was tested last weekend, but bad weather led to inconclusive results.

Grantham says the vessel has already made significant changes, including a new conduit system for directing oily water from the ship’s intake vents to its storage tanks.

Gulf Oil Disaster: Globally Important Bird Areas Most At Risk

July 7, 2010
American Bird Conservancy List – Globally Important Bird Areas Most at Risk

Thank you, http://dendroica.blogspot.com/!

The Gulf Oil Disaster: Diverting Gulf-bound Birds Away from the Oil

July 7, 2010

Gerald Herbert / AP

In a prior post, The Gulf Oil Disaster:  Bird Migration Map, I wrote that strategies were being developed and implemented in an attempt to divert over 50,000,000 migrating birds – migrating to roost in the wetland areas, or stopping to rest before continuing to Latin America or the Caribbean –  away from the death traps of the oil spill.  “Gulf-bound Birds Could Fly into a Death Trap” (msnbc.com) examines what is currently being done to divert migrating birds.  USDA’s Natural Resources Conversation Service has launched efforts to turn crop land into “bird sanctuaries.”  Currently, there are approximately 1,400 land owners that have signed up for this program.   (USDA’s Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative

The New York Times article,  “Scientists Scramble to Steer Migrating Birds Away From Gulf Oil Sill” states “USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service on Monday Launched a $20 million program to pay landowners to idle land, restore wetlands and enhance habitat.  The agency hopes to affect up to 150,000 acres in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.”  

USDA is working with Ducks Unlimited to increase cash to include Texas and Louisiana in the program.  

A method I was hoping would be used (YES YES YES!)  may be employed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, is to use noise and other measures in the oiled areas to audibly and visually discourage birds’ from the oiled areas.  

Let’s hope that many birds and waterfowl will be spared due to these efforts.  The egrets are currently arriving in the Gulf area.