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June 13, 2010

Chevron pipeline bursts spilling tens of thousands of gallons of oil in Salt Lake City

Think Progress -- Chevron Spills More Than 400 Barrels Of Oil In Utah, Just Days After Governor Called For More Domestic Production
Yesterday, Chevron discovered a leaking pipeline that was spewing 50 gallons of crude oil per minute into Red Butte Creek in Salt Lake City, UT. By the time crews capped the leak, more than 21,000 gallons — between 400-500 barrels — of oil had spilled out, “coating geese and ducks” and closing the city’s largest park. The Salt Lake City Tribune writes: Chevron pledged to clean up the 6-mile mess, but the company could not quantify the damage. As of late Saturday, Chevron said the leak had been stopped. But company representatives could not say when it began, how much oil spilled into city waterways and why — despite pipeline monitors — it apparently took hours to learn of the accident. [...] By then [just before 8 a.m., when Chevron shut down the pipe], oil had reached Liberty Park’s pond, drenching Canada geese and Mallard ducks. At least 150 birds were rescued from the pond and taken to Hogle Zoo to be cleaned. Some were goslings and chicks as young as a week old. [...]

June 09, 2010

The Seventeen Magazine Project

Ambitious, opinionated, sharp and smart. This project rules. The Seventeen Magazine Project
The Seventeen Magazine Project is an attempt to spend one month living according to the gospel of Seventeen Magazine. This blog will serve as documentation of this endeavor, as well as commentary on the adolescent experience. . . . Jamie Keiles is an 18-year-old high school senior from Pennsylvania. Her interests include sociology, reading periodicals, and urban cycling. She will be studying economics and gender studies at the University of Chicago in the fall of 2010.

June 04, 2010

Waves of oil hit Florida beaches

Waves of oil tar mount on Fla. Panhandle beaches
Waves of gooey tar blobs were washing ashore in growing numbers on the white sand of the Florida Panhandle and nearby Alabama beaches Friday as a slick from the BP spill drifted closer to shore. Spotters who had been seeing a few tar balls in recent days found a substantially larger number starting before dawn on the beaches of the Gulf Islands National Seashore and nearby areas, a county emergency official said. The park is a long string of connected barrier islands near Pensacola.

In the South, black people are routinely barred from juries

Post-racial my white ass. Study Finds Blacks Blocked From Southern Juries - NYTimes.com
In late April in a courthouse in Madison County, Ala., a prosecutor was asked to explain why he had struck 11 of 14 black potential jurors in a capital murder case. The district attorney, Robert Broussard, said one had seemed “arrogant” and “pretty vocal.” In another woman, he said he “detected hostility.” Mr. Broussard also questioned the “sophistication” of a former Army sergeant, a forklift operator with three years of college, a cafeteria manager, an assembly-line worker and a retired Department of Defense program analyst. The analyst, he said, “did not appear to be sophisticated to us in her questionnaire, in that she spelled Wal-Mart, as one of her previous employers, as Wal-marts.” Arguments like these were used for years to keep blacks off juries in the segregationist South, systematically denying justice to black defendants and victims. But today, the practice of excluding blacks and other minorities from Southern juries remains widespread and, according to defense lawyers and a new study by the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit human rights and legal services organization in Montgomery, Ala., largely unchecked.

June 01, 2010

Google tells employees to stop using Windows

Google to employees: 'Mac or Linux, but no more Windows'
Google is phasing out the use of Windows internally, as employees are migrated to either Linux or Mac OS X on machine turnovers or new hires. The policy change was precipitated in large part by the security breach attributed to Chinese hackers; Google's IT leaders apparently feel that Microsoft's OS represents too great a risk across the enterprise to leave it in place. The story says that in January, subsequent to the security breaches, Windows installations on desktop computers were no longer allowed, although laptops were still eligible for Windows at the employee's discretion. Many Google staffers, however, were already heading for the Mac as a security measure, and at this point things have been pretty well laid down in stone: "Getting a new Windows machine now requires CIO approval," according to one anonymous Googler quoted by the FT. Google has long offered employees a choice of OS for their primary workstation, and some dissatisfaction with the new rules has been registered; however, the sentiment is apparently not that negative, considering the alternative possibilities. "It would have made more people upset if they banned Macs rather than Windows," says an unnamed employee. No doubt.