Anderson 360 blog comment re Gulf oil spill coverage

I posted the following comment on his CNN blog today, after watching him try to cover the well capping process live, but with little info available to him on what was going on. Little info available from BP, from the Coast Guard, from the White House, even from his own studio.

Comment's waiting on moderation.


I watched - frustrated - last night as Anderson and his guests, faced with very little information on the capping process, speculated on what they were seeing on the screen. Was the cap actually on the well? What was the ROV's  "hand " grabbing? Was it the top of the riser that was sheared off or was that the cap? Why had everyone they called for info already left for the day?

Frustrated because I had been watching both the BP video feed and the CNN live feeds for an hour, and could have added details, as in - yes. the cap went on, there are vent pipes at the top that were open as it was placed on (you could see air and methanol venting through them before), the arm looked like it had tried to close a valve at the top of one of those pipes, and was now just clamped on the pipe, possibly just to anchor the ROV in place for now.

Frustrated because I'm sure someone in the studio had also been watching the feeds and could have given them more information. And could have put together some clips to show the process.

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16% of US science teachers are creationists - being-human - 20 May 2008 - New Scientist

Now this is a scary thought. Link: 16% of US science teachers are creationists - being-human - 20 May 2008 - New Scientist.

US courts have repeatedly decreed that creationism and intelligent design are religion, not science, and have no place in school science classrooms. But no matter what courts and school boards decree, it is up to teachers to put the curriculum into practice.

Avast ye swabs

No, I haven't gone to sea. I'm part of an experiment, The Genographic Project. It will trace the migratory routes of our ancestors, from when they first left Africa 50,000 years ago. They do this using genetic markers that have appeared at various times back in our history, and are passed down through the generations. They started with tracking down isolated pockets of people that have not intermingled a lot with their neighbours, but have now expanded to anyone that applies for a kit. Cost is about $100, which goes towards further filed research.

So I dutifully swabbed the inside of my cheek, put the results in the little vials, and mailed off to the National Geographic Society. In a month, they'll have me in the database and I can use my secret code to see what sort of links I have to the far distant past.

Just to finish on a nautical note - I assume most have read by now of Sean Penn's botched attempt to rescue his career flood victims?

  • boat was already filled with his entourage as they started out, including a photographer
  • they left a plug out, so he had to start bailing
  • the motor wouldn't start, so they had to exit, stage left, with paddles