Saturday, May 8, 2010

Deepwater Public Relations

Using images and language to corrupt thought.

"The inflated style is itself a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outlines and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns, as it were instinctively, to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink. In our age there is no such thing as "keeping out of politics." All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer. I should expect to find--this is a guess which I have not sufficient knowledge to verify--that the German, Russian and Italian languages have all deteriorated in the last ten or fifteen years as a result of dictatorship.

"But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation, even among people who should and do know better. The debased language that I have been discussing is in some ways very convenient."

George Orwell
Politics and the English Language

Interesting facts from the Deepwater Horizon Unified Response Command Official Website:

By the Numbers to Date:
Personnel were quickly deployed and more than 10,000 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.

More than 270 vessels are responding on site, including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup efforts—in addition to dozens of aircraft, remotely operated vehicles, and multiple mobile offshore drilling units.

Approximately 923,000 of feet of boom (regular and sorbent) have been deployed to contain the spill—and 1.3 million feet are available.

Nearly 2.1 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.

More than 290,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed. More than 185,000 gallons are available.

10 staging areas have been set up to protect vital shoreline in all potentially affected Gulf Coast states (Biloxi, Miss., Panama City, Fla., Pensacola, Fla., Pascagoula, Miss., Dauphin Island, Ala., Port Sulphur, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., Port Fourchon, La., Venice, La.).

Interesting Facts Completely Absent from the Deepwater Horizon Unified Response Command Official Website:

Upper limit of oil discharged from Deepwater Horizon explosion and leak.

Identity of "dispersant". Is it a detergent, like Tide? What happens to "dispersed" oil?

Tests of blowout preventers conducted at depths equivalent to Deepwater Horizon.