Sunday, May 30, 2010

All The King's Men and All the King's Horses

The catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico is not only an environmental catastrophe, it's an economic catastrophe for that region of the United States.

I know they've been consulting an army of experts, but I still don't understand why this has been going on so long. I'm reminded of a story I heard long ago about a tractor-trailer that the driver tried to get under a bridge that was too low. Traffic was snarled for hours as they tried using tow trucks and other means to pull it out, all to no avail. All the experts were stumped, until a little boy who had been in one of the cars that got stuck in traffic and was now in the group on onlookers said, "Why don't you just let some air out of the tires?" Problem solved.

Maybe there's something I'm missing, but it seems to me like all the solutions I've heard about involve experts trying sophisticated techniques of some kind or another, when a brute-force attack would be a better approach.

Instead of focusing all efforts such things as trying to calculate just the right density and adhesive qualities of slurry to pump into the well head, why not build a huge concrete dome with more than enough mass to counter the oil pressure, tow it out to sea and sink it over the well head?

Yes, I'm aware of the box idea they tried that failed. That was too small, with too little mass, because that wasn't an attempt to stop the leak, that was an attempt to cap it with an outlet that would still allow them to pipe up the oil to the surface. Forget all that. Just smother the thing.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Greatest Ice Hockey Goal of All Time?

I thought I had posted a link to this clip here before, but I wanted to watch it again, and discovered it wasn't here after all. So I hunted it up and I'm posting it anyway, even though it's 3 1/2 years old now. Maybe someone else will see it here who's never seen it before, and wow, is it worth watching.

This is Alex Ovechkin playing for the Washington Capitals, against the Phoenix Coyotes in November 2006. The announcers are Coyotes' announcers, and one of the says during several replays from different angles, "...we can't see this enough. I mean, we can, because it's against the Phoenix Coyotes, but that is something spectacular."

Alex the Great, on his back, rolling over, moving away from the goal, which he can't see but knows about where it is, three opponents between him and the goal, only one hand on his stick, next-to-impossible absolutely-minimum angle left to get a shot in, but...

Link for when it gets copied into Facebook (on accounta FB hasn't been copying embeds):

What a shot!