Friday, June 18, 2010

In Lieu of Friday's TED Talk: TEDxOilSpill Blog

No TED talk this morning -- I am working on another post to put up soon about the "Mitregate" kerfluffle. In lieu of the usual talk, I want to link to the blog of the TEDxOil Spill Expedition, and recommend that you visit it to get an on-the-ground perspective on the scope of the environmental and economic destruction flowing from the Deep Horizon Disaster.

Remember that "TED" stands for "Technology, Entertainment, Design". It is a nonprofit organization that holds a number of conferences throughout the world each year to which leading and innovative speakers are invited to share with everyone, in just eighteen minutes or less, an "idea that will change the world." The "x" in "TEDx" signifies a TED-type event that is independently organized -- not by the TED outfit itself, but usually by persons who have attended one or more TED conferences.

The TEDxOil Spill Expedition is just one such event, created to document and measure the effects of the spill. It will present its results and findings at an all-day conference to be held at the International Trade Center Amphitheater, at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., on June 28, 2010; registration is required. Speakers at the event will include such notables as Sylvia Earle, Philippe Cousteau (yes, the son of Jacques), David Gallo and others whose TED talks I have posted here from time to time; a full list of the speakers is at this link.

If you can't make it to Washington, there are a series of 63 Meetups thus far organized at various locations throughout the U.S. and elsewhere in the world, to focus on the topics documented by the Expedition on its blog. In the meantime, I encourage you to visit that blog, view the comprehensive photos posted thus far by its official photographers Duncan Davidson, Kris Krüg, and Pinar Ozger, and read the daily posts -- such as this one showing the track of the seaplane flight taken by those photographers to view the source, and put it into perspective. You will come away much better informed about the effects of the spill, and about the scope (and frustration!) of local efforts to mitigate them.

Then, if you are not yet motivated enough to fire off some angry letters to the Coast Guard, the Department of Energy and the other federal bureaucrats whose battles over turf, and nitpicking over meaningless regulations, have aggravated the disaster tenfold, I urge you to read this brief post at Six Meat Buffet: "Why Has the Federal Government Declared War on the States"? Why, indeed.

For dessert after that buffet, here is a delightful concluding vignette from that ever-reliable source, Father John Hunwicke, SSC: "Pulped."

Have a nice day. Check back later in the day for the definitive (canonical, of course) analysis of "Mitregate."

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