Wednesday, May 24, 2017

History: The Year is 2010

I've uploaded year 2010 to the TSP Wiki...

As always, Alex Shrugged's opinions are his own. Other people's work are their own. I include them here for the sake of completeness and to provide a second method of access to the material for the TSP history segment.

* The Road to Deep Water Oil Drilling is Paved with Good Intentions -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* Missile Launch! Missile Launch! -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* Notable Births -- See below.

* This Year in Film -- See below.

* This Year in Music -- See below.

* In Other News -- See below.


The Road to Deep Water Oil Drilling is Paved with Good Intentions

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
Something has gone terribly wrong in the Gulf of Mexico. BP's DeepWater Horizon oil rig has suffered a blowout, killing 11. The oil rig sinks, dragging the riser (or pipeline) along with it. The pipe is leaking like crazy, and after 86 days, it will become the largest oil spill in history (to date). The blowout is in deep water, so capping the well is no easy task. It all boils down to closing off the "blowout preventer" valve at the base of the riser. (That is not a joke.) They finally lower a large chamber that bolts to the top of the "blowout preventer" with a value that they can close. Meanwhile gobs of black tarry mess reach the coasts of Louisiana. Containment booms that look like large inflatable pool toys try to keep the mess away from the coasts. Environmentalists complain that this is an ill-conceived plan. (True enough, but what is the alternative? A 5-year environmental study?) Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) complains that politics are interfering with the clean up effort. Eventually Jindal starts his own coastal protection plan by building barrier islands which are large berms of sand. Chemical dispersants are sprayed over the water. Many see the cure as worse than the disease. Four years later the cleanup effort will be ongoing. BP will make the largest settlement in US history, over $18 billion. Total costs to BP as of 2015 (including clean up) will be over $54 billion. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
It was a real disaster, but politics played a large part. A blowout like that could have been corrected more quickly if the rig had been closer to shore, but environmentalists don't like ugly oil rigs that mar the natural beauty of the horizon. I can sympathize, but that creates the circumstance where oil rigs are placed in deep water... thus DeepWater Horizon. Secondly, the chemical dispersants broke up the surface oil, but added deadly chemicals to the water. One could argue that the chemicals were no worse than the oil, and I agree. The purpose of the dispersants was largely cosmetic. In fact, the ocean is constantly absorbing natural oil leaks. Eventually it would have absorbed this one after the well was capped. (FYI, the darn thing is still leaking a little.) Clean up in Louisiana was hindered by presidential politics. At the time, Jindal was a clear presidential rival for Obama in the next election. It was politically expedient for Obama to make Jindal look ineffective. Would President Obama really do something like that? You better believe it.


Contributed by Southpaw Ben
My Take by Southpaw Ben

Missile Launch! Missile Launch!

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
Well... maybe not. Southern Californians are used to seeing strange contrails in the sky. Vandenberg Air Force Base has a spaceport where they launch rockets regularly. Occasionally, these launches go bad, and make some spectacularly beautiful contrails in the evening sky. However, this evening the contrail is moving in the wrong direction. It appears to have launched from somewhere off the coast. One wonders if a missile submarine is missing one of its nuclear bombs. A local traffic helicopter captures video of the event. Whatever it is, it is clearly moving and soon disappears. Did we just dodge a bullet, or was it an optical illusion? [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Speculation abounds. Remember that the world was in the midst of an economic meltdown due to the subprime mortgage crisis. There was a currency war going on between the USA and China (and still is), so some speculate that China launched a missile in order to intimidate the United States. But the missile hypothesis has flaws. For one thing, where did the missile land? It was going in the wrong direction for an orbital launch. Even if you blow up one of these things, this isn't the movies. The debris keeps going, and eventually hits something. Others say that it was a contrail from an airplane. After all, it was moving too slowly to be a rocket, and from the way the contrail spread from the bottom, it gave the impression of a launch when in fact it could have been coming over the horizon. The spreading contrail could have been further away that the video might suggest. No radar detection was reported, and the Defense Department (the source of all truth and knowledge) says it was a plane. Which plane? No one is saying. Occam's Razor says it was an airplane, because when messages as dangerous as a missile launch from a foreign nation is delivered, it should be made clear what the message means. Otherwise mistakes are made. Big mistakes. Know what I mean? [20]

Notable Births

None that I can find.--alexshrugged

Notable Deaths

  • Leslie Nielsen (age 84, Pneumonia): Forbidden Planet and The Naked Gun. His tombstone epitaph reads "Let 'er rip". [21] [22]
  • Robert Byrd (age 92, natural causes): Senator and former KKK recruiter. (Although he disavowed the KKK, he continued to use racist language in public.--alexshrugged) [21]
  • Howard Zinn (age 87, heart attack): American historian. (His history had a point of view... as does mine.--alexshrugged) [21]

This Year in Film

  • Toy Story 3: Introduces the cowgirl character: Jessie. [23]
  • Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland: (Weird, but I liked it.--alexshrugged). [23]
  • And the animated...: Shrek Forever After, Tangled, Despicable Me, and How to Train Your Dragon. [23]

This Year in TV

  • Discovery Channel's Dual Survival: Cody Lundin and Dave Canterbury use their different survival philosophies in various environments. (I stopped watching after Canterbury left the show.--alexshrugged) [24]
  • Bravo's The Real Housewives of D.C.: Michaele and Tareq Salahi breech the (apparent lack of) White House security to attend a state dinner. (Thus begins a long series of Secret Service screw-ups.--alexshrugged) [24] [25]
  • AMC's The Walking Dead: Zombies. (As I recall, the first episode begins with blowing the brains out of a little kid.--alexshrugged) [24]
  • TLC's Sister Wives: Kody Brown and his multiple wives ignore centuries of experience with this practice. (I've seen clips. It's painful to watch.--alexshrugged) [24]

This Year in Music

  • Need You Now: Lady Antebellum (The band). "It's a quarter after 1 / I'm all alone / And I need you now." [26]
  • Bobby Brown severely beats his Only Girl in the World, Rihanna: She cancels her appearance at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards. (And she actually goes back to him.--alexshrugged) [26] [27]
  • The Hope for Haiti Now telethon raises $61 million for earthquake relief: (How much of it actually made it to Haiti is a different question.--alexshrugged) [26]

This Year in Video Games

  • Halo: Reach: It is called the best Halo yet. [28]
  • God of War III: Adam Sessler of X-Play liked it. (Who am I to argue?--alexshrugged) [28]
  • The "Humble Bundle" is "pay-what-you-want" video games from Wolfire: They make millions simply offering value-for-value. [28]
  • Microsoft Kinect can see your gestures and hear your commands: (What could go wrong with that?--alexshrugged) [28]

In Other News

  • The jobs market hits bottom at 129,655,000 employees on the payroll: This is down over 8 million from 3 years ago. [29]
  • President Barack Obama signs the Democrat "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" into law: Not a single Republican voted for it. (FYI, an earlier version of the bill was supported by 1 Republican, but that bill was replaced with a new bill using the same name.--alexshrugged) [30][31][32] [29][33]
  • Greece's credit rating is downgraded to junk status 4 days after the EU bailout: Stock markets worldwide take a nose dive. [34][35][36] and furthering a 2010 European sovereign debt crisis|European sovereign debt crisis. [29][37]
  • Within 36 minutes, the Dow Jones plummets 998.5 points: This is attributed to a feedback loop in computer trading programs. (In other words, you set a condition to sell a stock if it reaches a certain price, but selling usually pushes the stock price even lower. This triggers further computer selling, and so forth.--alexshrugged) [38] [29][39]
  • A fizzling car bomb is found in Times Square, New York City: The Islamic terrorist is a nationalized citizen who is reacting to President Obama's expanded drone attacks in Pakistan. [29][40]
  • A enviromentalist terrorist takes hostages at the Discovery Channel: He is eventually shot. (As I recall, he was reacting to overpopulation, and the poor ratings for Whale Wars on the Discovery Channel's Animal Planet.--alexshrugged) [41] [29][42]
  • WikiLeaks publishes classified material including 90,000 internal reports on US involvement in the War in Afghanistan: A transgender service man/woman will be arrested for the leak. [43] [29][44]
  • The last US combat troops leave Iraq: President Obama steps up "the good war" in Afghaistan. [45] [29]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 2010, Wikipedia.

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