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oil spill

  1. Giant Plastic Maxi Pad Could Clean Up Oil Spills

    While the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is in our collective rearview mirror, the countdown has begun to our next senseless, ecologically shattering oil spill, which is really not an "if" but a "when." In an instance of not quite so cold comfort, though, we may have a better way to clean up the next spill. A team of scientists at Penn State has proposed a new cleanup method -- massive polymer sheets that float on water and can sop up as much as 40 times their own weight in spilled oil.

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  2. You Got Chocolate In My Peanut Butter! And Both of Them In My Oil Spill!

    Fact: There is no situation in life so bleak that it can't be improved, if not entirely solved, by a liberal application of candy. For proof of this statement, look no further than a recently developed chemical that promises to use the ingredients in peanut butter and chocolate to clean up oil spills, like the one that resulted from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Because like the Planeteers, when chocolate and peanut butter combine their powers, there is pretty much nothing they can't do -- including save the environment.

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  3. BP Loses Laptop Containing 13,000 Oil Spill Claimants’ Personal Info

    First the oil leak, now the data dump. British Petroleum disclosed to the press yesterday that one of its employees had lost a laptop containing the personal information on approximately 13,000 people who had filed claims related to last year's disastrous Deepwater Horizon leak. According to CNN, the laptop contained "names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth and Social Security numbers for those who filed claims related to last year's Deepwater Horizon spill." While the laptop was password-protected and capable of being remotely disabled, the data was not encrypted. BP says that the data was lost by an employee during "routine business travel," and that "there is no evidence that the laptop or data was targeted, or that anyone's personal data has in fact been compromised or accessed in any way." BP has offered to pay for credit-monitoring services for the 13,000 people whose personal data was lost, although according to an AP report, some claimants have not yet received the letters BP sent out notifying them of the data breach. (via CNN, WSJ, NPR)

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  4. Aquaman Has Been Pissed About Offshore Oil Drilling Since 2004 [Video]

    We've heard a lot from Aquaman in the months since the beginning of the Deepwater Horizon oil leak, whether it's an anonymous internet photoshop, or the artwork of Kate Beaton (but nothing from the Sub-Mariner, hmm).

    However, (as I realized in a moment of contextual horror while watching my Justice League Unlimited dvds on the train yesterday morning) he's known about the dangers of oil rig destruction for six years now. Or, at least, J. M. DeMatteis, writer of the Justice League Unlimited episode Ultimatum has.

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  5. New Satellite Picture of the Gulf Oil Disaster: It’s Even Worse Now

    Way back in April, we posted some then-alarming satellite photos of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. At the time, we wrote that it was geting worse, and fast; we had no idea what was in store, though. This latest picture from the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite paints a much grimmer picture of the devastation wrought by the oil in the two months since it started leaking. Meanwhile, in a week jammed with political posturing, BP has had little to say about actual progress in containing the spill. (Bad Astronomy via TDW)

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  6. Bill Nye The Science Guy Evaluates Oil Spill Cleanup Solutions

    Bill Nye the Science Guy, by now a bona fide cable news pundit, helped CNN evaluate different oil spill solutions submitted by YouTube users. Some, like one user suggesting further drilling, confused him, and the various items people suggested tossing over the oil-- sand, hay, a ShamWow-like towel-- he seemed to find were on the right track, but some might work better than others.

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  7. BP Oil Spill: Cake Edition

    One Breaux Mart grocery store in Louisiana was spotted carrying this darkly comedic political statement of a cake. (This has got to be the only time anyone has ever written "darkly comedic political statement of a cake." --Ed.) Bearing a sign that reads "Thank You BP!" it depicts dark, shiny oil-frosting encroaching upon shiny blue water-frosting at the shore of the grass-frostinged plain, while clouds of Oreo, whipped cream, and cherry look helplessly on.

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  8. Deepwater Horizon Oil Leak Ten Times Worse than Previously Thought

    Yet more bad news about the Deepwater Horizon oil leak: The amount of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico is more than ten times greater than previously thought, according to a recent analysis.

    Recently, BP succumbed to mounting pressure to release their underwater video of the leak so outside experts could use it to make estimates. NPR took them up on it: they assembled a group of experts to analyze the video. Their conclusion? The oil leak is already far worse than the Exxon Valdez: Whereas the official estimate pegs the BP leak at 5,000 barrels a day, NPR's analysis concludes that 70,000 barrels have been leaking each day, plus or minus 20 percent.

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  9. Sobering Video of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Leak, As Seen Underwater

    To end the day on a somewhat downbeat note: In response to the mounting pressure surrounding their lack of transparency about the Deepwater Horizon oil leak, BP has released the first underwater video of oil and gas gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, 5,000 feet below the surface.

    While we applaud BP for releasing the video, it highlights, in instantly graspable terms, just how bad it is down there:

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  10. Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico May Be Five Times Worse than Thought [Satellite Pictures]

    The oil spill that, for more than a week now, has been growing in the Gulf of Mexico is getting worse and five times faster than originally estimated. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is now saying, after closer investigation, that the spill that started with the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig is leaking oil at a rate of 5000 barrels per day, versus the original estimate of 1000 barrels a day. While that doesn't put the spill on the scale of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, it has already reached and exceeded the size of Rhode Island. That's not some past oil spill that happened in Rhode Island, mind you; that's the actual U.S. state.

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