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2010 April 30 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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What’s The Problem?

Gulf Gusher flagYou fabricate a large funnel and attach it to pipe larger than is used for the well casing. Everything from stainless steel because it’s going into salt water and carrying petroleum. You bolt the thing together so when the emergency is over it can be used for other blow outs. You add flotation collars to reduce the weight, control the descent with support cables, and use flexible joints near the top to prevent it from becoming a large pry bar and snap off the well pipe. At the top you have a ship to keep position, and other ships to store the oil when it comes up the pipe. Oil is lighter than water, so it will come up the pipe without pumps. The pipe is open, so pressure isn’t a problem.

You have an explosives guy construct a shaped-charge collar to cut the well pipe above the well where it is undamaged, and attach cables to the damaged sections to haul them out of the way. This reduces the number of leaks to one, and that one will be shooting the oil up the funnel pipe to be collected.

While the system is being stabilized you have a saddle clamp union constructed by a machine shop that will be used to add an new length of pipe and shut off valve. Tools will need to be modified or built to install the saddle clamp because they will have to tighten bolts under pressures of a ton per square inch, but that is definitely doable. There are all kinds of people in the area who can build this stuff, and the military can supply the cutting collar.

The Remotely Operated Vehicles are already on station, so what’s the delay?

April 30, 2010   6 Comments

The Tar Cometh

Gulf Gusher flagThis is not a “leak” or a “spill”, this is a “gusher”. That oil is shooting out at about 145.83 gallons per minute, which is the flow rate for a 2½-inch fire hose, and it is non-stop. This gusher is releasing enough oil to fill a 2800 square foot house every day.

CNN reports that Florida declares state of emergency in 6 counties

(CNN) — Florida Gov. Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency in six counties Friday as a result of the Gulf Coast oil spill, the governor’s office said.

Crist joins Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who declared a state of emergency in his state Thursday.

Crist said the oil spill “threatens the state of Florida with a major disaster.” He declared an emergency in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay and Gulf counties.

That the Florida coast from the Alabama border east to Port St. Joe [the tip of the “bump”, the Apalachicola River, or the start of the Eastern Time zone].

Dr. Jeff Masters looks at the winds and currents that will be affecting the spread of the oil, and the weather that is making containment of the slick a problem at this time.

April 30, 2010   2 Comments

Yep, They’re Gamblers

Here’s the transcript of an interview with Lloyd Blankfein,the CEO and chairman of Goldman Sachs, by Michele Norris on NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday. This was Blankfein’s most revealing response:

“Without liquid markets, nobody would buy debt or equity in companies, which by the way is what finances companies, unless they thought they could sell them and move into and out of their positions.”

According to this philosophy, you don’t buy a house to live in, you buy it to sell it for a profit; you buy stock to sell it it for a profit; you don’t buy anything you can’t sell for a profit. This is short-term next quarter thinking. They aren’t interested in the survival of a business, only that the stock will rise so they can sell it. These aren’t investors, at best they are retailers.

This guy believes that companies are financed by their stock and debt, not by their profits,and that’s the kind of thinking behind most major bankruptcies. This is the kind of thinking that is destroying the print media, which is profitable, but not profitable enough to service all the debt accumulated during leveraged take-overs. Corporations are no longer concerned with shareholders, only with share-sellers.

I happened to have a deep-seated moral objection to Wall Street gamblers being taxed at a lower rate than enlisted military personnel being shot at in this country’s wars. The 15% capital gains tax is the same as the bottom income tax bracket and less than the Self-Employment tax paid by entrepreneurs. Why should people who actually work pay higher taxes than gamblers?

April 30, 2010   Comments Off on Yep, They’re Gamblers

Friday Cat Blogging

Just A Member of Her Staff

Friday Cat Blogging

Where’s the food?

[Editor: Ringo doesn’t spend all of her time on the roof as the “Velveteen Gargoyle”, but she has come to expect food whenever she sees me.]

Friday Ark

April 30, 2010   5 Comments


It’s Hexennacht and the moon is waning from full, but there is no Blocksberg available for dancing down here and local fire officials frown on bonfires.

Of course the Church grabbed this holiday too and called it Walpurgisnacht in honor of one of their Anglo-Saxon saints, rather than good German witches [Hexen].

The Celts celebrate Beltaine at this time of the year, May 5th according to Archæoastronomy, which is considered the start of Summer by their reckoning. It is the midpoint between the Vernal Equinox and the Summer Solstice.

April 30, 2010   Comments Off on Hexennacht