Monday, May 31, 2010

Oil, Baby

There have, not surprisingly, been any number of editorial cartoons offering takes on the ongoing BP Gulf Oil Spill disaster. Many of them are funny, some of them are angry, some of them are silly, and so on.

Signe Wilkinson really got at the whole picture with this one though...

Friday, May 28, 2010

It Ain't My Fault

We got to stop the oil spilling out and ruining the Gulf too, but for now if the Spill has you down but you just can't get away from hit let Mos Def drive for a bit...

Plus that's just good music people.

(via NCCN)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Another Last Chance For Bluefin

When Bluefin Tuna failed to gain listing as a protected species at the CITES convention earlier this year, most Bluefin advocates took it as a pretty solid nail in the majestic (and oh so tasty) fish's coffin.

Throw in the fact that the BP Gulf Spill has been dumping enormous amounts of oil into the Bluefin's spawning grounds during spawning season and that'll just about do it most folks would say.

The Center for Biological Diversity isn't throwing in the towel just yet, however. They've just announced the filing of a formal petition to grant the Bluefin Endagered status here in the US. If successful the tactic might help to slow the Bluefin's demise. Unfortunately, too much of the catch takes place beyond US jurisdiction and too much of the market goes to Japan for it to really save the species.

Greenpeace is also refusing to go quietly on the Bluefin front, last week it deployed its flagship to the Med to effect tuna fleets in the same style in which it used to interfere with whaling ships.

I hope we manage to save some tuna, I'm in this fight largely because I don't want to have to stop eating fish.

Goodbye Productivity

So the Google Doodle for the Pac-man anniversary was awesome, and now it has a permanent home on the web, kiss your free time goodbye. At least for a little while, without extra levels it will get old soon enough.

Anyone remember how to play snake in your gmail?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

World Cup Fever

Catch It!

(this video originally appeared in a Vimeo format which is no longer available)

World Cup commercials continue to be the best sports ads out there.

Who can forget this one...

(via Joe Posnanski for the new one)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Read This Now - About That Spill

I was going to but together a little rundown on all the shenanigans surrounding the huge amounts of oil that continue to pour into the Gulf of Mexico with no expectations of being brought under control for another month still. But then I realized that Amy Davidson at the New Yorker had already done a really good job of it.

So go see what she has to say already...

That easily surpasses Nixon’s “I think that you would have to conclude that this is a Great Wall” in the category of unhelpful quasi-metaphysical politico-babble. He should save thoughts like that for whenever they remake “Cosmos.” Meanwhile, Hayward met with Charlie Crist, the governor of Florida, and promised to help pay for a tourism advertising campaign. It might take a bit more than that if, as a computer model indicates it may be, the oil is caught in the Loop Current, which would carry it through the Florida Keys and up the East Coast. The ocean is big and the ocean is wide—but that doesn’t mean it’s a bottomless box we can stuff things into.

Brighten Your Day

Color me impressed! These guys are managing to paint entire blocks of favelas in Rio, and are hoping to paint an entire one some day. Very crazy, but very cool, and apparently amazingly successful.

There's more info on their website, and a lot more pictures on their facebook page.

(via MF on fb)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Read This Now - Ah Econ...

Gotta love that supply and demand works everywhere. NPR has an interesting story on how the legalized medical marijuana market in California is drastically reducing whole sale prices and threatening a way of life in Northern California.

California's pot economy is transforming, and it's starting to resemble a real commodities market where only big players can compete. It's a shift that could leave some growers in the dust.
Which, perhaps ironically, came into existence as a result of Regan's push for the war on drugs.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Yep, That's Our President

Only now when I say it I'm totally psyched...

You gotta enjoy the guy, and the fact the he manages to enjoy himself despite the ridiculous predicament that is being the President.

(via JW)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Read This Now - Fishing For The Future

So the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) is busy implementing a bunch of changes in the way we manage fisheries in the US, and while some folks think this is a pretty good idea seeing as how poorly we've done to this point and how we'd all like for there to be seafood to eat and jobs for fishermen well into the future, others have been bitterly complaining.

The Maine Sunday Telegram this weekend had one of the best reasoned calls for calm and perseverance in support of finding a new management structure that actually works.

A new set of fishing rules promises to use the best available science to determine how many pounds of fish from each species can be caught allowing the populations to rebuild.

It also creates a new method of sharing the catch that gives fishermen the flexibility they need to maximize their earnings by controlling when and how they fish.

The biggest threat to the new system, however, is not biology or economics. It's politics.

Pressure to increase the amount of fish that can be caught or to cut back on the monitoring necessary to make the system work will mean that this effort, like those in the past, is doomed.

These new rules, which went into effect Saturday, have a chance to work, but they will need time and resources. Fishermen, environmentalists, regulators and people who care about saving a traditional industry in coastal Maine all have an interest in this effort's success.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Evoluntionary Word

Baba Brinkman lays it down...

Go check out his website for more.

(via a whole bunch of places and fb pages)

Facebook, The Spread of Info and Growth of the Behemoth

That's a really long title for a post that's going to be quite short.

Matt McKeon put together this interactive info-graphic on the evolution of privacy (of your info) on Facebook. It's pretty much all over the internets by now, but I thought it was pretty neat and that you might like to see it.

There's some other interesting stuff going on, in terms of looking at how rapidly Facebook is growing and in it's drive to become more interwoven with the fabric of the internets in general. Arguably making itself a more useful and valuable resource, albeit improvements that may well come at the cost of your privacy...

Read This Now - Disturbing Anonymity Demanded By EPA

CJR has a report up on the EPA's extremely disturbing recent tendency to demand anonymity for senior officials during conference calls, the EPA has gone so far as to refuse to identify the officials while they're answering questions.

As several reporters point out, the EPA could effectively be having horribly unqualified individuals commenting in theses cases (it doesn't appear that they have though). Bottom line is that perhaps more so than any other agency the public deserves transparency from the EPA. This is the agency that oversees and protects the environments in which we live, the very air and water that we breathe and drink.

Cut the crap EPA, you shouldn't have anything to hide, and you should be telling the public whats happening by name.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

So What's Plan C?

With oil still gushing out of the BP Gulf Leak and the latest zany plan, lowering a big box over the leak and sucking the oil up to a ship, having failed, what's next?

Dumping toxic dispersant on the oil didn't go so well, same with burning it off, maybe the Soviets had the right idea after all and we should just nuke the sucker...

The AP coverage coming through on Yahoo News has been pretty good of late, this piece has a run down on what seems to have happened and the BP execs who were out on the rig celebrating that it hadn't screwed up yet when the shit hit the fan.

Google also has this page set up to help folks get a grasp on the size of the spill. It's worth checking out, and noting that the post links to sources estimating the spill as much larger, up to 2 million gallons a day (yikes).

Old News On A Former Luddite

Well the term Luddite probably isn't very accurate for Conan O'Brien without the modifier Web. Seems that despite 16 years on TV Conan had pretty much zero web presence until the late night brouhaha broke out.

Now he's all over the place and doing pretty well on the internets as this interesting NYT piece from a month or so ago details.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Read This Now - You're Only Parnoid

If You're on Facebook this NYT article about some of the latest changes and the seems to good to be true because it probably is integration of everything on the interwebs with Facebook.

It seems that even if you opt out of Facebook sharing your info automatically with third party sites, if your friends don't they can end up sharing quite a bit of your info. The article tells you haow to fully opt out.

But at least you don't have to worry about Facebook suddenly charging money, that group is a scam (so you might need a shower, or virus check if you've been clicking around any of those sites).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Give Me Your Tired...

If you don't know what it says on the Statue of Liberty, you should check it out. If you don't think that the new Arizona immigration law is a travesty and a mockery of all that embodies America you should have paid more attention in middle school.

There are a variety of movements against the law, many centering around boycotts inspired at least in part by the boycotts and removal of the Super Bowl from Arizona when the state refused to recognize MLK Jr Day (yes that's a slightly more complicated story but we're not getting into that here).

The Major League Baseball Players Association has come out in opposition to the law, Think Progress has the statement which includes this nugget which seems to hint at the possibility of a spring training boycott by the players...

The Major League Baseball Players Association opposes this law as written. We hope that the law is repealed or modified promptly. If the current law goes into effect, the MLBPA will consider additional steps necessary to protect the rights and interests of our members.
Some players and managers are speaking out as well, saying that they'll boycott next years All-Star Game in Phoenix if the law remains in place.

The Phoenix Suns and there owner are pretty lived as well and will be wearing their Los Suns jerseys tonight in a nationally televised NBA playoff game. GM Steve Kerr says what everyone's thinking...
"It's hard to imagine in this country that we have to produce papers," Kerr said. "It rings up images of Nazi Germany. We understand that the intentions of the law are not for that to happen, but you have to be very, very careful. . . . It's important that everyone in our state and nation understands this is an issue that needs to be explored. So, we're trying to expose it."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Read This Now - The Green Washes Off

So BP had one of the most successful ad campaigns ever with its Beyond Petroleum spots a few years back. Since then it has become clear that while BP was talking a good game they weren't even close to walking the walk. At least it's pretty clear if you bother to take a good look, which admittedly took me much longer than it should have.

Nothing like the cleansing oil-choked waters of the Gulf of Mexico to help hose off BP's greenwash and open peoples eyes.

Kate Sheppard has the rundown...

The spill has wiped out years of ad spending for the company -- but it has also highlighted how disingenuous much of that advertising was. Despite all BP has spent on rebranding, the company hasn't done nearly as much to move "beyond petroleum" as its campaign implies. In fact, BP has been turning away from investments in nonfossil energy, last year cutting investment in alternative sources from $1.4 billion to $1 billion. Weeks before the spill, BP announced that it was shuttering its solar manufacturing plant in Maryland. The company brought in $73 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2010, but only about $700 million of its business was alternative energy sources like wind and solar.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

(via WR, where Alex Pareene has been turning up the heat of late)

So Long Ernie Harwell

I don't know much about Ernie Harwell, just that he was an old school broadcaster. Ernie passed away today and I learned that he called Tigers games, many folks have stories about him, and that Ernie knew exactly what Baseball is...

(via Rob Neyer)

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Gulf Coast Is Screwed

200,000 plus gallons of oil a day are spilling out into the Gulf of Mexico. It's only a matter of time until this oil spill surpasses the Valdez and takes its place of infamy in our collective conscience (coincidence that spellchecker knows how to spell Valdez? I think not).

The NYT continues to impress with its interactive info-graphics and you should be sure to check out the one it has set up for this spill.

The EPA has a good site up about their response with links to other government information as well.

I guess the only question now is what we'll end up calling this one. I think that Deepwater Horizon is probably to lengthy and that it'll end up being the Gulf spill, or maybe the Louisiana spill, the BP spill is also in the running.