Before a rapt audience in Science Center D on Tuesday night (Feb. 22), two experts in the science of well blowouts told an inside story about the worst oil spill disaster in United States history — starting with the catastrophic fire that engulfed an offshore rig owned by Transocean, who was leased by BP, the energy company formerly known as British Petroleum, to provide drilling services.Eleven men died, and the uncapped wellhead poured 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the equivalent of five Exxon Valdez tankers. The spill cast a web of brown petroleum onto hundreds of square miles of ocean, smothering the spawning grounds for one-half of U.S. fisheries and fouling beaches and wetlands in five states.There’s still a dispute about exactly how much oil spilled, said Cherry A. Murray, dean of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, who was the lead speaker. “It will be in litigation for 30 years,” and in the meantime as much as $30 billion will be required to restore the Gulf.Arguments about exactly what happened will go on for a long time too, but the root cause is clear, she said: “management failure.”Murray, an experimental physicist and Harvard’s John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, was one of seven members of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. The commission, sworn in last June, released its final report in January.The other speaker was geophysicist Richard Sears, a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the commission’s senior science and engineering adviser. He is also the former vice president for Deepwater Services at Shell Oil Co.The disaster had an immediate mechanical cause, said Sears — the failure of the foamed cement pumped into the exploratory underground well.But he agreed with Murray on the fundamental cause of the well blowout and consequent spill — a management style that addressed one problem at a time, but failed to see the big picture. Sears called this flaw “hyper-linear thinking.”The consequences, as outlined in a novel-like first chapter of the commission report, were dramatic. Murray used a PowerPoint presentation to illustrate.Just before 10 p.m. on April 20, 2010, the offshore oil rig “Deepwater Horizon” — 400 feet high, with a main deck that spanned 12 acres — hovered mightily over calm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, nearly 50 miles from the Louisiana coast.Steadied by eight GPS-guided thrusters on massive pontoons, the rig was poised over the Macondo lease site. A single pipeline — tapering from 21 inches to just 7.5 inches in diameter — penetrated 5,000 feet to the ocean floor, and then to the wellhead beneath a 50-foot blowout preventer stacked with massive valves. From there, the ever more slender pipeline penetrated another 13,000 feet into a seabed layered with “yellow zones” — deposits of oil and natural gas.Sears showed an animated film of the “Deepwater Horizon” rig, with pictures that swept beneath its massive superstructure and followed the slender pipeline that connected it to the oil and gas reserves 3.5 miles beneath.In oil rig parlance, he explained, “deep water” ocean drilling is any that takes place at 1,000 feet down or more — and some Gulf wells go as deep as 10,000 feet before striking the ocean floor.The BP rig was nothing special, added Sears. There are about 4,000 offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico — and the technology remains a “huge part” of the oil business, used by more than a dozen countries worldwide.Blowouts on these water-sited oil rigs, most of them minor, are “a standard event,” he said — but this one was not.That night, a sudden column of gas and oil raced to the surface, shooting undetected through the blowout preventer, and gathering pressure and heat as it surged upward. Deepwater Horizon was punched from beneath with a pressurized jet of volatile oil and gas that witnesses said sounded like a freight train.In minutes, the $350 million rig, the pride of the Transocean fleet, transformed into a cauldron of yellow fire and black smoke. The 11 men who died were trapped on the drilling floor, a deck midway up the structure.Murray, who visited a sister rig in the Gulf of Mexico in July, marveled at the force of the blaze required to consume the massive steel structure. “There’s nothing burnable on those rigs,” she said — “maybe paint.”The isolation of the rigs struck her too. “They are in the middle of nowhere,” said Murray. “You look in all directions and you can’t see a thing.”Pumping cement into a tapering pipeline deep into the sea and the ocean floor is challenging, and so is monitoring flow and pressure from trapped hydrocarbons, said Sears. “But it’s a challenge oil companies meet all the time.”The blowout preventer hooked to the Deepwater Horizon is being forensically investigated at a secure NASA facility in New Orleans, he said — but the results “almost don’t matter.” It was the cement that failed, mechanically, but more fundamentally it was the BP and Halliburton and Transocean managers that failed. “They completely forgot they had before them a very complex system,” said Sears.There’s still a dispute about exactly how much oil spilled, said Cherry A. Murray, dean of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, who was the lead speaker. “It will be in litigation for 30 years,” and in the meantime as much as $30 billion will be required to restore the Gulf.Compounding the failure, said Murray, was the lack of a “change management” procedure — a system of making rapid changes as the reality of a situation changes. (In this case, there were trial failures of the foam cement slurry meant to secure undersea pipe casing — yet nothing changed.)Beyond management of drilling from the Deepwater Horizon, the commission’s report revealed systemic regulatory and safety flaws, said Murray. The longtime Minerals Management Service (now reorganized) had for decades been charged with competing missions: oil rig safety and environmental protection, but also selling drilling leases that are so lucrative that they are the federal government’s second-largest source of cash after the Internal Revenue Service. “They were paying more attention to bringing in the money,” she said.At the same time, the incident response plans “for the entire industry,” said Murray, “were laughable. No one ever looked at them.”Science needs to catch up too, she said — with a better understanding of deep-water drilling and better technologies to contain wells. Advances are critical. America’s future oil reserves won’t be found on land, the report pointed out, but underwater.Murray and others on the seven-member commission took heat early on for having little science expertise (except for Murray) and for having no oil exploration expertise (including Murray).So she praised the 60 experts — many of them from federal agencies — who did the technical work.And the commission’s 380-page report is vivid and readable, said Murray. One secret weapon there: Harvard Magazine’s John S. Rosenberg was the chief editor.
The development of tourism, in addition to numerous benefits, necessarily brings with it certain consequences such as a significantly increased volume of waste left by tourists to hosts, increased consumption of water, detergents, spatial usurpation and a number of other undesirable consequences. Tourism in Croatia generates almost 20 percent of GDP and in this respect represents a significant economic branch. With higher sales of domestic food in tourism, furniture and other inputs, tourism would generate the development of certain industries that certainly have room for growth. When we talk about tourism in protected areas, we must expect strong growth with great caution. With its 8 national parks and 11 nature parks, Croatia is an “oasis” of Europe. Plitvice Lakes National Park is, along with Dubrovnik, the strongest Croatian brand. However, there are other national parks such as NP Krka, NP Brijuni and NP Mljet, which indicate the number of visitors from year to year that Croatia, except for the beautiful sea and beaches, is widely recognized for its protected areas. Continental parks each year show a growing interest in visiting, both locals and world visitors. After the introduction, a presentation on the topic of protection of natural areas through responsible tourism development is planned, which will be held by Izidora Marković Vukadin from the Institute of Tourism. Such points are the basis for the development of continental tourism, and since for some Parks this is just the beginning, it is the right time to point out the necessary model of sustainable tourism development that includes environmental care, cooperation with local producers and promotion of natural and cultural heritage. Plitvice Lakes National Park on Tuesday, May 14.05.2019, XNUMX. at the Hotel Jezero, organizes the Conference “Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas of the Republic of Croatia”, which will host experts in the field of sustainable tourism. Two panel discussions will follow the conference. Gari Cappelli, Tomislav Ćorić, Tomislav Kovačević and Assistant Minister of Culture Davor Trupković will take part in the first panel discussion entitled “Framework for the Development of Sustainable Tourism”. The second panel discussion “Sustainable tourism in practice” will be attended by Assistant Minister of Environment and Energy Igor Kreitmeyer, Dean of the Faculty of Management in Tourism and Hospitality from Opatija Dora Smolčić Jurdana, FEEL IQM owner Đurđica Šimičić and Deana Stipanović, Corporate Affairs Director Valamar Rilamar dd Applications for the conference are still open for a short time via email.
The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), a non-profit organisation which governs college esports in North America, has announced that it is partnering up with Gamer Sensei.Partnering with Gamer Sensei will enable colleges and universities who are thinking of creating an esports team a better way to find the right coach for the team. Gamer Sensei is a competitive coaching platform that allows players to connect with professional players worldwide. The NACE will be educating member institutions about how the coaching platform from Gamer Sensei works all while providing NACE members preferred access and rates.Michael Brooks, Executive Director, NACE said in a following statement: “NACE is constantly looking for ways to streamline and accelerate the growth of varsity esports programs on college campuses across North America. One major area of struggle for our member colleges, and certainly those institutions looking to start an esports program, has been finding individuals with the skill and background to lead teams. The geographic growth of varsity esports has complicated staffing further as much of our growth is in the Midwest and East Coast of the U.S., though much of the professional expertise needed tends to be centralized on the West Coast. “This is partly why our partnership with Gamer Sensei is so exciting, in that it removes the geographical barriers separating individuals with the desire and ability to lead and grow teams with the institutions that are making the investment into esports for their students.”Ankith Harathi, Head of Growth, Gamer Sensei commented on the partnership between Gamer Sensei and NACE: “As more colleges look to get serious about esports, the timing could not be better for us to join forces with NACE. We’re excited to work closely with NACE and its member institutions with the goal of not just connecting more schools with our pool of the best esports coaches, but to also help them succeed in creating truly world-class esports programs at every level.” Esports Insider says: A perfect step for NACE to take up this partnership with Gamer Sensei. By allowing collegiate teams to handpick professional players as coaches will surely bring victory to many esports teams.
There’s evidence to suggest the Billikens have become the kind of force they were expected to be from the beginning of the season. They shortened their rotation down the stretch, leaning even more heavily on Javon Bess, Hasahn French, Jordan Goodwin and Isabell than before. D.J. Foreman, Fred Thatch Jr. and Maryl and transfer Dion Wiley split time for the final spot on the floor. Concentrated minutes for top contributors has helped boost overall production.Every regular but Wiley is considered at least an average defender, and French and Goodwin grade as elite defenders. The question will be whether Saint Louis can shoot well enough for its defensive muscle to matter. After all, it ranked 296th in the nation in field goal percentage (42 percent) during the regular season and did not improve much in that respect in the A-10 Tournament. Bess in particular will need to get hot for the team to beat Virginia Tech on Friday.The Hokies are adept at both ends of the floor and have gone toe-to-toe with powerhouse ACC foes in recent months. But they are also one of the slowest-tempo teams in the country, and a defensive rock fight could bode well for Saint Louis’ hopes of an upset. SN’s MARCH MADNESS HQPredictor tool | Best bracket names | TicketsAs a result, many picked Oregon and Saint Louis to win their respective conferences. But by January, they were long-shots to make the NCAA Tournament at all, having lost core pieces of their rosters to injury and transfer in the middle of the season.After winning their conference tournaments to book unlikely tickets to March Madness — and potentially discovering their identities in the process — they’ll be popular picks to continue those late-season surges in the NCAA Tournament.Oregon is the No. 12 seed in the South Region and will play Wisconsin in the first round. Saint Louis, meanwhile, is the No. 13 seed in the East Region and will play Virginia Tech in the first round.Could the Ducks or Billikens spring an upset? Let’s explore what makes them so intriguing this March.MARCH MADNESS: Get your printable NCAA Tournament bracketOregon (23-12, 10-8)In truth, the trouble for Oregon started before Bol suffered a season-ending foot injury in mid-December. The Ducks lost nonconference games to Iowa (NET: 43), Texas Southern (NET: 230) and Houston (NET: 4) with their star 7-2 big man in the lineup producing consistent double-doubles. Once the projected NBA lottery pick went down, though, early-season warning signs became a midseason free fall.The Ducks went 4-4 in January, essentially knocking them out of at-large contention given the weakness of the Pac-12. Three straight losses in late-February made things even worse for coach Dana Altman.REGIONAL PREVIEWS: East | West | Midwest | SouthThen something funny happened. Oregon finished the season on an eight-game winning streak, beating Washington and Arizona State twice each en route to a Pac-12 Tournament triumph. It averaged 18 points more than its opponents over that span. It held teams to 35 percent shooting overall and 23 percent from three.Defense, of course, was expected to be Oregon’s biggest strength entering the campaign, and while Bol’s injury might have eaten away the unit’s ceiling, it did not keep the Ducks from morphing into an elite guarding team late. Wooten is a monster at that end of the floor, averaging more than two blocks per game for the second straight year while effectively switching onto multiple positions. Miles Norris, Francis Okoro and Louis King are also long and capable of securing the paint for stretches. Even Pritchard, the experienced guard known more for his offensive skill set, has performed well defensively.Wisconsin and Kansas State are each mediocre offensive teams, ranking 52nd and 102nd in KenPom’s defensive rating. That means Oregon’s defense will have a real shot at powering a Sweet 16 trip if it can continue to play with the same collective intensity it’s showed in recent weeks.SN’s 2018-19 AWARDS:Player of the Year | Coach of the Year | All-American teamsSaint Louis (22-12, 10-8)Saint Louis was already reeling when Gordon, its star freshman, announced he would transfer to DePaul in January. It had lost four times in nonconference play, including a letdown to Southern Illinois (NET: 143).Without Gordon, its chances of reaching the NCAA Tournament appeared shot.But Saint Louis found its defensive identity late, much like Oregon, and stormed through the A-10 Tournament to earn an auto-bid to March Madness despite the loss of one of its top contributors. It won six of its last seven games, thumping Davidson in the A-10 semifinal, 67-44, in the process. Oregon and Saint Louis were considered among the most well-rounded dark horse programs entering the 2018-19 college basketball season.Oregon boasted the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class, headlined by Bol Bol, and returned standout guard Payton Pritchard and forward Kenny Wooten. Saint Louis was supposed to be lifted by incoming freshman Carte’Are Gordon (No. 78 ranked recruit) and highly-touted transfers Tramaine Isabell and Dion Wiley. The Billikens returned four regulars from the previous campaign.
A 30-year-0ld Donegal man is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty at Derry Crown Court to injuring a child and a woman in a hit-and-run incident on a Co Derry beach last year.Paul John Doherty, of Ballynahone, Fahan in Co. Donegal, pleaded guilty to seven charges relating to an incident in which a mother and her child were injured when struck by a red BMW on Benone Beach on 21 July.Doherty admitted two charges of dangerous driving on the beach and at Seacoast Road, Limavady. He also pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop at, report and remain at an accident in which injury had occurred.Defence barrister Joe Brolly told the court Doherty had expressed “deep regret” about the incident.Adjourning sentencing to 31 March next for pre-sentence reports, Judge Phillip Babington released Doherty on continuing bail.DONEGAL MAN ‘DEEPLY REGRETS’ HIT-AND-RUN BEACH INCIDENT, BARRISTER TELLS COURT was last modified: February 25th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)