The Spreading Stain

As the oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, more than two months after the Deepwater Horizon sank, scientists have completed detailed models of ocean currents that predict where the oil will go.  It’s not good news for the Atlantic coast of the United States or the Atlantic Ocean generally; the simulation indicates that the oil will move into the “loop current” and then be whisked up the coastline and eventually into the north Atlantic.  It’s not certain, of course, and we may get lucky, but scientists think it is likely that the oil will move out of the Gulf in the next six months.

The recriminations about the original Deepwater Horizon incident and the government’s response to the incident are escalating.  Imagine how heated the political discourse will be if the oil continues to flow and, by Election Day, tar balls and oil plumes are polluting the beaches of the Atlantic coast of Florida and South and North Carolina.

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At The Floating Markets of Can Tho, With The Durian Fruit

Russell’s Vietnam journey continues.  He has left the pristine beaches of Phu Quoc behind and moved on to Can Tho, a city of more than a million people in the middle of the Mekong Delta region in the south of the country.

Can Tho is famous for its floating markets, and when we last heard from Russell he was just getting ready to check them out.  The Mekong Delta region is Vietnam’s breadbasket (rice bowl would be more accurate, actually) and the floating markets offer all manner of food, from vegetables to insects to snakes, as well as flowers and other goods.

The market apparently is a good place to get the fabled Durian fruit, a fruit that is so foul smelling and distasteful that even Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods fame couldn’t choke it down.  When Russell gets back home, I want to know whether he outdid his fellow Vassarite and savored the piquant flavor of the Durian.