The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: A Worst Case Scenario

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Jun 152010
 
oil gushes out of damaged wellhead on the floor of the gulf

The Deepwater Horizon’s damaged wellhead may be on the verge of a catastrophic failure, according to an editorial that’s lately been making the rounds on the internet. On June 13, a forum post by “dougr” painted a bleak picture of the situation on “The Oil Well,” a site frequented by many professionals in the oil industry.
BP, with the help of the US government, has kept a tight lid on information regarding the catastrophe, even going so far as to restrict access to journalists and keep unauthorized aircraft away from the area. However, based on BP’s actions to control the spill, dougr believes the situation may be far worse than has been publically disclosed, and presents an ominous possibility: the pipes beneath the sea floor are broken and leaking.
If this is true, the wellhead cannot be plugged or capped from the top, and the only possible solution is clogging the well bore from the bottom via a relief well that is months away from completion. Worse still, as the oil pushes up around the damaged casing, its incredible pressure could cause massive erosion around the casing. If this surrounding layer of cement and rock is sufficiently compromised, the entire well could collapse, leaving simply a “big hole” in the sea floor through; the ensuing geyser of crude oil would dwarf the current flow from the broken wellhead.

Scary stuff. But for now it’s merely speculation. Until we learn more, all we can do is watch and wait.

Picture source: CNN

Paignton Ice Skating for Cars – The Original

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May 202010
 

At first I was like, “meh.”  Then I was like “OMG LOLZ!”

This couple were warned by neighbours not to venture out that day and they were the only people to attempt to drive on that road. There were numerous pedestrians around who could barely walk on the black ice so a car really stood no chance.

Thankfully, no pedestrians or children were hit by the shamelessly abandoned car.

Learn to Let Go: How Success Killed Duke Nukem

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May 202010
 
promo art of Duke Nukem

Gary referred me to this excellent article from Wired Magazine about the life and death of a game notorious for delays.  The eagerly-awaited sequel to the 1996 hit “Duke Nukem 3D” was delayed time after time as the lead designer repeatedly tossed the graphics engine and started anew, until the company finally ran out of money.  The resulting story is a cautionary tale that will no doubt be covered in project management courses for years to come.