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Friday Finds: BP Blows Its Alaska Test


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View Jessica Knoblauch's blog posts
05 November 2010, 1:49 PM
Compostable Canadians, childish owl snatchers, mainframe mind games
Owls are being targeted by Harry Potter fans in India. Photo courtesy of stock.xchng

BP's negligence could prove to be explosive, again
Maintenance of BP's Alaska operations is woefully neglected, according to an internal maintenance document reported on by ProPublica. The document shows that almost 150 BP pipelines on Alaska's North Slope got an F from the company and that many of the pipes are "worn to within a few thousandths of an inch of bursting." Based on this most recent report, it's not hard to see why Earthjustice is working to keep BP and others from drilling even more in the Arctic.

FritoLay Canada bites back at complaining consumers
Last month, amid consumer backlash and 50,000 plus Facebook fans who couldn't hear anything over a noisy SunChips compostable bag, SunChips owner Frito Lay buried its compostable chip bag, replacing it with the original, everlasting bag. But Frito Lay Canada stood its ground, according to Grist, launching a consumer awareness program that includes an offer for free earplugs, which is good news for those who can't hear the environmental concerns of an unrecyclable bag over their own self-interest.

BPA breaks the skin barrier
Bisphenol A, an estrogen-mimicking chemical found in hard plastics and receipts, can easily pass through the skin, according to ScienceNews. That's bad news for consumers and cashiers, which handle BPA-laden receipts regularly. It's unclear how much BPA people get on their hands from holding receipts, but in the meantime there's just one more reason not to participate in the day of frantic consumerism known as Black Friday.

Computer program shuts down climate skeptics
A software developer recently created a "chatbot" program for Twitter that tracks down climate skeptic tweets and refutes their arguments, according to Physorg.com. Some climate deniers will spend hours or even days arguing their points, not realizing that they're competing with a computer. With any luck the new program will help to pull the plug on climate denialism.

Hogwart wannabees set their sights on India's owls
Harry Potter fans are targeting India's wild owls, a highly endangered species in the country, claims a report by the conservation group Traffic. According to the BBC, the author of the report, ornithologist Abrar Ahmed, became suspicious of mere muggles taking the threatened creatures after a friend asked him to get a white owl for a child's Harry Potter-themed birthday party. 

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