A Lesson Not Learned: It’s been a year now since Deepwater Horizon burned into the sea and released the largest oil spill in history, but are we any safer now than we were then? The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement recently started approving permits again, but according to an article by the Press-Register, some companies have been allowed to start drilling again without even getting a spill response plan completed or approved. A spill response plan for a well issued jointly by Noble Energy Inc. and BP forbids officials from promising that “anything else will be restored to normal after a spill.” After an ecological disaster of that scale, one might expect oil companies to clean up their act (so to speak) and either create more realistic spill responses or enforce higher standards though. No such luck. It looks like we’ll have to wait for another spill before we get some real change.
That’s so Bogie: Even today, more than 50 years after his death, Humphrey Bogart remains a high water mark for cool. We’re well aware of that here at the Weekly (See Allen Barra’s cover story “Being Bogie” in the March 24 issue) but it seems to be catching. The Black Eyed Peas made a reference to the King of Cool in their most recent album. Director Woody Allen recently told French weekly Journal du Dimanche, when discussing French President Nicolas Sarkozy, “I could no doubt find him work.
I could see him in a Bogart type role.” Not that a couple of references from Fergie and Woody Allen are a new social edict, but one can really only dream that the word “cool” will be replaced with “Bogie” in the next few years. That would be pretty Bogie.
Crisis Level Extreme: After what’s happened over the last ten years, really even the last five, I’m sure a lot of us are just a step away from being huddled over in a makeshift shelter nervously awaiting the apocalypse. Two (arguably three) wars, a recession, the threat of terrorism, turmoil in the Middle East and a new generation of blood feuds in Washington have all served to make these strange times. But according to World Bank President Robert Zoellick in an article by BBC News, the world is “one shock away from a fullblown crisis.” He cited rising food prices, turmoil in the Middle East, and unemployment as some of the biggest threats to global security. I’m not sure what you’d call what we’re experiencing now if we’re still not quite at “full-blown crisis” but I’d really rather not find out what the difference is.
Jumping for Joy: The University of Alabama gymnastics team won its fifth national championship this past Saturday. According to The Tuscaloosa News, UA was ranked No. 2 in the nation, behind UCLA. The two teams were neck and neck for most of the night with Alabama barely maintaining a lead. In fact, the competition came down to the last turn, when senior Kayla Hoffman capped off the night with a floor routine scoring 9.925, securing the win for UA. Head coach Sarah Patterson took home her fifth nation championship, and her first since 2002, with a team dominated by underclassmen, including eight freshmen. When asked about the fact that the team was ranked No. 2 in the coaches poll at the beginning of the season, Patterson said, “I guess my peers were off by one.”