We don't have to worry about the havoc it could wreak on the environment, they said. Everything will be fine, they said. In what is sadly and merely the latest thing about which Trump, his administration, and his supporters have already been wrong (the man has only been "in charge" for a little over three months), the DAPL has already had a leak and a spill. And it hasn't even started actually shipping oil yet.
This solar-powered airplane by Solar Impulse has just completed its trip all the way around our lovely planet, which is quite an impressive feat! The only catch? It took the airplane a year and four months to make the journey.
But...but they're still coming over for Taco Tuesday, right?
LEGO might be hazardous to more than bare feet, and Greenpeace is willing to kill as many teeny-tiny polar bears as necessary to prove it. (See above. L'il guys didn't stand a chance.)
Some people hear an idea and then just can't get it out of their heads. That's apparently what happened to an unidentified Siberian man who read a magazine story explaining that it would be possible to dig a tunnel to an oil pipeline and siphon off the crude oil that flowed from it. After three years of work, the 52-year-old has been arrested for proving that yes, it is possible to do exactly that.
As with many things that are possible, though, it's not exactly advisable.
Researcher Jean Rajchenbach and colleagues from the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in Nice, France, have discovered that if you jiggle a dish just so, silicone oil produces a mesmerizing wave that resembles a star. However, the waves don't behave quite like we understand waves should.
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.
The classic board game of settlement and domination Settlers of Catan
is sliding closer to the modern era with a new expansion which adds oil springs
, 3 victory point settlements called metropolises, and cataclysmic natural disasters. The new version of the game called Catan: Oil Springs
will be hitting shelves soon, but existing players can download the rules and print out the new gamepieces
right now for free.
Here's how it all works: a new resource, oil, is now available on the island of Catan. There are only three oil wells across the map, making it a limited commodity. Once harvested, oil can be exchanged for two of any other resource. Moreover, it can be used to upgrade cities to the new, higher-level metropolises. In practical terms, it means that players can advance more quickly through the game, or possibly allow other players to catch up.
However, using oil comes at a cost.
It's a well-documented point of modern psychology that people tend to have a hard time wrapping their heads around very large numbers -- for instance, really knowing
what a million means versus a billion -- and the vastness of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
tests our comprehension. What, for instance, does it mean that 2500 square miles of ocean surface are currently covered with oil, or that under the worst case scenario, we'll lose 1.8 million barrels? In short, how much oil are we losing, in terms we can understand?
Two people have given us tools to help visualize these vast amounts. Google engineer Paul Rademacher
, who started the Google Earth browser plug-in and currently works as a Google Maps engineering manager, has harnessed the power of Google Maps to illustrate how much oil was lost in terms of familiar cities: In the graphic above, you can see the DC metropolitan area, and other overlays include New York, San Francisco, and London. You can check out his map tool here
Information is Beautiful's David McCandless
has given us another, after the jump, which further underscores what the oil loss means in terms of the world's oil consumption and our remaining oil reserves.