A top BP worker who was aboard the Deepwater Horizon in the hours leading up to the explosion declined to testify in front of a federal panel investigating the deadly oil rig blowout, telling the U.S Coast Guard he was invoking his constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination.
The move Wednesday by BP’s Robert Kaluza raises the possibility of criminal liability in the April 20 explosion that killed 11 and five weeks later continues to spew hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico each day.
Tony Clement, the Canadian minister who ignored the results of his own consultation on copyright and decided to bring Canadians a restrictive, US-style Canadian DMCA, admits to being a copyright infringer.
First, there’s the matter of his much-vaunted iPod, held out as an example of his technical savvy, which he admits to filling with illegally ripped music. His new law will make it legal to rip CDs and load them onto your iPod, but not if there’s any DRM on the CDs or other digital music files, in which case, all bets are off. Clement’s law makes it illegal to break DRM, even if you’re doing so for a lawful purpose.
Then there’s the video above. As Ben notes, “Tony Clement, was found to have been doing commercials for a company selling chemicals in China. Aside from hilariously poor production values, the video contains blatant copyright violations. This is ironic, as he is one of the Ministers responsible for overhauling Canadian copyright laws.”
In a way, gestural user interfaces are a step back, a throwback to the command line. Gestures are often not obvious and hard to discover; the user interface doesn’t tell you what you can do with an object. Instead, you have to remember which gestures you can use, the same way you had to remember the commands you could use in a command line interface.
An Iron Man movie parody starring my baby girl. The costume was created by her uncle STROB.
Shrimp boats equipped with booms collect oil in Chandeleur Sound, La., on May 5. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Transocean Ltd., the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig leased by BP, has been flying under the radar in the mainstream blame game. The world’s largest offshore drilling contractor, the company is conveniently headquartered in corporate-friendly Switzerland, and it’s no stranger to oil disasters. In 1979, an oil well it was drilling in the very same Gulf of Mexico ignited, sending the drill platform into the sea and causing one of the largest oil spills by the time it was capped… nine months later.
This experience undoubtedly influenced Transocean’s decision to insure the Deepwater Horizon rig for about twice what it was worth. In a conference call to analysts earlier this month, Transocean reported making a $270 million profit from insurance payouts after the disaster. It’s not hard to bet on failure when you know it’s somewhat assured.
This is the result of averaging the colour values at each pixel for every regular (non-Sunday) Garfield strip from 2007. Buried in the blur you can notice some interesting features:
- The absolutely static 3-panel structure with a borderless panel in the middle.
- Jon tends to stand on the left and Garfield on the right.
- The dialogue is always lined up exactly in the same vertical location.
The excommunication of Sister Margaret McBride in Phoenix underscores all that to me feels morally obtuse about the church hierarchy.
The Roman Catholic hierarchy is entitled to its views. But the episode reinforces perceptions of church leaders as rigid, dogmatic, out of touch — and very suspicious of independent-minded American nuns.
Sister Margaret made a difficult judgment in an emergency, saved a life and then was punished and humiliated by a lightning bolt from a bishop who spent 16 years living in Rome and who has devoted far less time to serving the downtrodden than Sister Margaret. Compare their two biographies, and Sister Margaret’s looks much more like Jesus’s than the bishop’s does.
When a hierarchy of mostly aging men pounce on and excommunicate a revered nun who was merely trying to save a mother’s life, the church seems to me almost as out of touch as it was in the cruel and debauched days of the Borgias in the Renaissance.
A Frenchman, while looking at a number of vessels, exclaimed, ‘See what a flock of ships!’ He was told that a flock of ships was called a fleet, but that a fleet of sheep was called a flock. To assist him in mastering the intricacies of the English language, he was told that a flock of girls was called a bevy, that a bevy of wolves is called a pack, but that a pack of cards is never called a bevy, though a pack of thieves is called a gang, and a gang of angels is called a host, while a host of porpoises is termed a shoal. He was told that a host of oxen is termed a herd, and a herd of children is called a troop, and a troop of partridges is termed a covey, and a covey of beauty is called a galaxy, and a galaxy of ruffians is called a horde, and a horde of rubbish is called a heap, and a heap of bullocks is called a drove, and a drove of blackguards is called a mob, and a mob of whales is called a school, and a school of worship is called a congregation, and a congregation of engineers is called a corps, and a corps of robbers is called a band, and a band of locusts is called a crowd, and a crowd of gentlefolks is called the elite. The last word being French, the scholar understood it and asked no more.
– Charles William Bardeen, A System of Rhetoric, 1884
In this video, wooden balls roll up the slopes just as if they are pulled by a magnet. The behavior of the balls seems impossible, because it is against the gravity. The video is not a computer graphic, but a real scene. What is actually happening is that the orientations of the slopes are perceived oppositely, and hence the descending motion is misinterpreted as ascending motion. This illusion is remarkable in that it is generated by a three-dimensional solid object and physical motion, instead of a two-dimensional picture.
(the other finalists are here)
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that would eliminate the use of the words “retarded” and “retardation” in federal health, education and labor law.
Rosa’s Law, introduced by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), had strong bipartisan support.
It would replace the terms “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability” and “mentally retarded individual” to “individual with an intellectual disability.”
How about calling them “Palin-american”?
“My gut instinct said that this would be a great revenue and job generator for the city,” she said. “But after running the numbers, “I went, ‘Wow, that’s really a job generator.'”
Facing some 100 lawsuits after its Gulf of Mexico oil spill killed 11 workers and threatened four coastal states, oil giant BP is asking the courts to place every pre-trial issue in the hands of a single federal judge in Houston.
That judge, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes, has traveled the world giving lectures on ethics for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, a professional association and research group that works with BP and other oil companies. The organization pays his travel expenses.
Hughes has also collected royalties from several energy companies, including ConocoPhillips and Devon Energy, from investments in mineral rights, his financial disclosure forms show.
Hughes, appointed to the bench in 1985 by then-President Ronald Reagan, declined to comment for this article.
Looks like BP’s pipelines aren’t their only parts putting bile out into the universe: their press lines aren’t exactly secure, either, given that a memo leaked today catches BP red-handedly grossly comparing their business to The Three Little Pigs.
It’s basically what a life insurance policy does, except it’s a corporation equating a profit margin in the event they fail to keep you from getting killed, which is their responsibility when you’re working for them. And what does BP say of this?
A BP spokesman tells The Daily Beast that the company has “fundamentally changed the culture of BP” since the previous disaster, an explosion at a Texas refinery five years ago. But given that a $500,000 valve might have prevented the massive spill that is now threatening to devastate the Gulf of Mexico, one has to wonder.
It’s near-impossible to find anyone in Afghanistan who doesn’t believe the US are funding the Taliban: and it’s the highly educated Afghan professionals, those employed by ISAF, USAID, international media organisations – and even advising US diplomats – who seem the most convinced.
One Afghan friend, who speaks flawless English and likes to quote Charles Dickens, Bertolt Brecht and Anton Chekhov, says the reason is clear. “The US has an interest in prolonging the conflict so as to stay in Afghanistan for the long term.”
The continuing violence between coalition forces and the Taliban is simple proof in itself.
“We say in this country, you need two hands to clap,” he says, slapping his hands together in demonstration. “One side can’t do it on its own.”
His arguments are reasoned, although he slightly ruins the effect by explaining to me that no Jews died in the Twin Towers. It’s not just the natural assets of Afghanistan but its strategic position, the logic goes. Commanding this country would give the US power over India, Russia, Pakistan and China, not to mention all the central Asian states.
“The US uses Israel to threaten the Arab states, and they want to make Afghanistan into the same thing,” he says. “Whoever controls Asia in the future, controls the world.”
“Even a child of five knows this,” one Kabuli radio journalist tells me, holding his hand a couple of feet from the ground in illustration. Look at Helmand, he says; how could 15,000 international and Afghan troops fail to crush a couple of thousand of badly equipped Taliban?