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The Sweet Pursuit

Former Associate editor Margret Aldrich on the hunt for happiness, community, and how humans thrive


Bringing Home the BP Oil Spill, Visually

 by Julie Hanus


Tags: digital culture, bullshit economy, British Petroleum, oil spill, If It Was My Home, Toronto Star,

Twin Cities Oil Spill

A day or two ago, I read a comment chiding a news outlet’s coverage of the BP spill for its seeming fixation on numbers—that is, how much oil, exactly, is leaking. Obviously, figures matter. Gallons matter. But the commenter’s sentiment also rang true; making numbers into the news distracts from what we already know: This spill is enormous. And can the average person visualize the difference between 10,000 and 100,000 gallons anyhow?

I can’t. But Andy Lintner, a Michigan-based software developer, has made an interactive website that (quite literally) brings the BP oil spill home. At If It Was My Home, type in a location—and with a little help from Google Maps—you can see the sprawling BP oil slick overlaid on your hometown or anywhere else in the world. The image above is a screenshot of the Twin Cities.

I was shocked at how big it actually was,” Lintner told the Tornoto Star. “People can’t comprehend the size.”

Source: If It Was My Home, Toronto Star

paul scallan
6/4/2010 6:37:19 PM

I was determined to live high above the poison air, the plumes from the chemical palaces, the stain in the fields from the constant burning of synthetic sugarcane to be far from the molasses colored sun So I flew and looking down along the city surrounded by velvet algae, people were living in candy colored houses and though the maze of paisley shores, I saw the city was filling up with poison air, smoke from the chemical fires was rising in men’s-lungs ment for calling their sons, the always rain bowed-oiled water was now tar and the white shoe democracy was blaming foreigners and the workers were stacking up crab-traps as barricades to the world and each other. People were living themselves out in slow motion, boiled down to a thick honey, fighting fear,trying to stand up in the yellow molasses light, fighting it by drinking and driving drunk across the white-shelled parking lots . Duck callers falling on one knee calling out like at a mosque were taking turns at wildness and Morganza spillway girls in bee-hived hair and painted eyelids sit smoking in lawn chairs, sucking lemon drops with red lips , lips in colors never seen anywhere in the world of man nor in nature, only here in the City Down River. The older women with see-through moustaches whom usually spoke non stop of the expense of saffron strings from Spain and why now they shamefully but to use tomatoes instead were restless and even they paused to reflect. The wifeless raccoon-eyed men with sparkling