Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


Divernan's Journal
Divernan's Journal
December 1, 2012

Sea Trial Leaves Shell's Arctic Oil-Spill Gear "Crushed Like a Beer Can."

In an all too rare example of excellent investigative reporting, KUOW (Seattle) radio station's John Ryan used Freedom of Information Requests to crack the tight lipped wall of silence by Shell and its federal regulators on the spectacular failure of oil spill gear last September, which has forced the energy giant to postpone drilling into oil-bearing rocks beneath the Arctic Ocean until next summer, at the earliest.

As one environmentalist observed, The equipment failed under very calm, tranquil conditions in the best time of year in the Pacific Northwest (Puget Sound). "If it can’t handle the best we have here, I really have my doubts it can handle even a little adversity in the Arctic."


“Breached like a whale" and "Crushed like a beer can."

According to BSEE internal emails obtained by KUOW, the containment dome test was supposed to take about a day. That estimate proved to be wildly optimistic.

Day 1: The Arctic Challenger's massive steel dome comes unhooked from some of the winches used to maneuver it underwater. The crew has to recover it and repair it.
Day 2: A remote-controlled submarine gets tangled in some anchor lines. It takes divers about 24 hours to rescue the submarine.
Day 5: The test has its worst accident. On that dead-calm Friday night, Mark Fesmire, the head of BSEE’s Alaska office, is on board the Challenger. He’s watching the underwater video feed from the remote-control submarine when, a little after midnight, the video screen suddenly fills with bubbles. The 20-foot-tall containment dome then shoots to the surface. The massive white dome “breached like a whale,” Fesmire e-mails a colleague at BSEE headquarters.
Then the dome sinks more than 120 feet. A safety buoy, basically a giant balloon, catches it before it hits bottom. About 12 hours later, the crew of the Challenger manages to get the dome back to the surface. “As bad as I thought,” Fesmire writes his BSEE colleague. “Basically the top half is crushed like a beer can.”

November 25, 2012

LOL, Judi - thought the thread was about Lonesome George Gobel!

Talk about a blast from the past! Not to mention, showing my age. So when George the Galapagos Tortoise was discovered in 1972, he might have been named after the comedian. Don't mean to highjack your thread, but older DUers will enjoy remembering George Gobel.

'Lonesome George' Gobel, early TV comic, dies
February 25, 1991|By Los Angeles Times

GEORGE GOBEL, the sad-eyed comic with the flat-top haircut whose battles with his television wife, "Spooky Old Alice," added a dimension to domestic warfare in the 1950s, died yesterday.
Gobel carried several sobriquets throughout his lengthy career, which began when he was 11 and singing as "Little George Gobel" on radio's "The National Barn Dance." He next became "Lonesome George," singer of sad cowboy ballads in which he would pick at his guitar while pining for lost loves, or evenings on the prairie.

But his flair as a short, 5-foot-5 teller of tall tales, kept him at, or near, the top of the ratings throughout the 1954-to-1960 run of "The George Gobel Show." (Later, he was a regular on Hollywood Squares.)

Gobel learned to fly and in 1943 enlisted in the Army Air Corps. Although he wanted to be a fighter pilot, he was assigned as a B-26 pilot instructor to Frederic, Okla. As Gobel recalled: "You might laugh at that, but we must have done a good job down there because not one enemy plane got past Tulsa."

And from Wikipedia:

"Gobel began a comedy show on NBC in 1954.[6] It showcased his quiet, homespun style of humor, a low-key alternative to what audiences had seen on Milton Berle's shows. A huge success, the popular series made the crewcut Gobel one of the biggest comedy stars of the 1950s. The weekly show regularly featured guest artists, and the biggest stars of the day appeared (including Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda and Tennessee Ernie Ford). In 1955, Gobel won an Emmy Award for "most outstanding new personality."[7] Gobel and his business manager David P. O'Malley[8] formed a production company, Gomalco, a composite of their last names Gobel and O'Malley. This company also produced the first four years (1957–61) of the 1957-63 television series Leave It to Beaver.

The centerpiece of Gobel's comedy show was his monologue about his supposed past situations and experiences, with stories and sketches allegedly about his real-life wife, Alice (nicknamed "Spooky Old Alice" and played by actress Jeff Donnell). Gobel's hesitant, almost shy delivery and penchant for tangled digressions were the chief sources of comedy, more important than the actual content of the stories. His monologues popularized several catchphrases, notably "Well, I'll be a dirty bird" (spoken by the Kathy Bates character in the 1990 film Misery), "You don't hardly get those any more" and "Well then there now" (spoken by the James Dean character during a brief imitation of Gobel in the 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause)."

November 24, 2012

A response to sore-loser trolls in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Post-Gazette is blessed with an award winning editorial/political cartoonist, Rob Rogers. His editorial cartoons cover national and international issues. His syndicated work regularly appears in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today and Newsweek, to name a few. Rogers' cartoon "The Gingrich Who Stole Christmas" was the cover for Newsweek's 1994 year-end issue.
His work received the 2000 Thomas Nast Award from the Overseas Press Club and the 1995 National Headliner Award. In 1999 he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He has won 12 Golden Quill Awards.

Rob Rogers is a national advocate for the profession of editorial cartooning. An active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, he served as president in 2006-07. He has hosted two national AAEC conventions, the 2003 event in Pittsburgh and the 50th anniversary convention in Washington, D.C., in 2007.

He regularly speaks to public audiences and school groups about his work and his creative process. Rogers has also curated two national cartoon exhibitions, "Too Hot to Handle: Creating Controversy through Political Cartoons" at The Andy Warhol Museum and "Bush Leaguers: Cartoonists Take on the White House" at the American University Museum. In 2009, Rogers celebrated 25 years as a political cartoonist with the release of No Cartoon Left Behind: The Best of Rob Rogers. For more information go to www.robrogers.com.

In other words, this man is a national treasure. However there is a hard core group of neocon/tea party types who have taken to flooding the PG blogs on Rogers' cartoons with dozens of harangues a la Rush Limbaugh.

Here is the response I posted on the PG/Rogers' blog.

Good golly, Miss Molly! Talk about your nattering nabobs of negativism attempting to breathe life into the still born trickle down theory. Plowing through their endless diatribes on this thread is deja vu of Hitler in his Berlin bunker, screaming at his generals for three straight hours in the dying hours of the Third Reich. One pictures the tsar and tsarina waltzing under Rasputin's benevolent eye in the Winter Palace as the gathering mob howls at the gates. Or perhaps, guys in white robes circled around a burning cross, shouting "Save your confederate money, boys! The South's gonna rise agin!"

Facts are facts, and the tide of history, as evidenced in the scientifically CERTAIN projections of demographic changes, has turned and tolls the knell of parting day on conservatism. Yes, angry little pockets will survive, living in their own world, aptly described as Angryoldwhitemenistan, but majority rules.

Some comments indicate a stubborn refusal to even consider modifying the GOP to reflect the will of the new majority. I like that, because the more they convince themselves their loss is due to a failure to communicate, i.e., style, and not the content of their platform, i.e., substance, the faster their numbers will shrink. For example, from earlier posts:

"In the end, conservatism will win out."
"I often see comments on liberal blogs that include statements about how conservatives must be more moderate to get elected in the future.In fact, the exact opposite is true. If anything, conservatives need to double down"

But it is the holiday season! Time for making merry! In that spirit, let's have a sing-along!
Picture a chorus of the resident conservative/tea party trolls in curly red wigs, little red dresses with white collars, and black belts, singing:

Conservatives will come out, tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
We will whine.

The way that we think about tomorrow
Won’t clear away
our cobwebs and our sorrow
Till there’s none!

When stuck in defeat
All gray and lonely
We stick out our chins
And pout and say,

Conservatives double down,
Stay the course and hang on
‘til tomorrow
Come what may

Tomorrow, tomorrow
Fact free “tomorrow”
It’s only an impossible-reversal-of-demographics away!

November 16, 2012

In PA, Corbett is known as One Term Tom

First he sat on the Sandusky investigation for a couple of years while he was Attorney General and running for Governor, while collecting sizeable campaign checks from board members of Sandusky's foundation/victim pool. Once elected Governor, he incurred the wrath of all graduates and current/future students and their families of the state's public colleges and universities, by slashing state funding 40%. Then he pissed off all the Penn State alumni by bragging how he, Corbett, manipulated the abrupt,over-the-phone firing of Joe Paterno. (Paterno had refused to endorse Corbett in the Governor's race.)

And I haven't even mentioned how he's whored out the state to the fracking industry by refusing to impose extraction fees (even Bush's Texas and Palin's Alaska collect hefty extraction fees) on Big Gas; over-riding local communities zoning restrictions; and gutting the state's Dept. of Environmental Protection to prevent reasonable scientific monitoring/testing of the impact of fracking operations on public health and welfare, and local government's infrastructures.

He doubtless will be appointed to multiple boards of oil and gas companies and make millions, once he leaves public office. I think he should be run out of the state.

Profile Information

Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 15,480
Latest Discussions»Divernan's Journal