2.11.05

off the grid

here i am. i'm still here. it has been a while - switching my i.s.p. was quite the drama - and the bummer is that i'm still not up to full speed. but at least right now its up fast enough that i can actually check my email, for example. i also now have a research meeting next week for which i have to do some modifications to a math model. have i started? no. but be sure to watch this space for updates in the next few days as i pretend to work on my research - i know that at least dan likes my travel stories, and andrew likes my pictures.

no travel stories for now - but the nytimes had an article a few days ago about massive underground oil spill in greenpoint. i've actually known about this for a while (a lot of folks who live around here don't) but it was interesting to get more of the backstory. just in case you needed another excuse to hate Exxon Mobil, BP and Chevron.
The spill, the result of a 1950 tank explosion that the Coast Guard estimated leaked 17 million gallons of oil and gasoline into the ground, has been a constant presence, the suspected cause of everything from the oddly persistent stains on Ms. O'Neill's patio furniture to the weird, metallic taste of her neighbor's tomatoes. "We always thought it was something that was just underground," she said.

But a lawsuit that some residents filed on Oct. 21 against three oil companies, charging that toxic fumes from the underground spill may be endangering the health and property of those who live nearby, has left Ms. O'Neill and her neighbors feeling unsettled. Based on soil tests performed by the environmental group Riverkeeper over the summer, the plaintiffs allege that the fumes contain levels of benzene and toluene that have been associated with elevated risks for cancer. The contaminants might be seeping into as many as 100 homes directly above the spill, including Ms. O'Neill's, and affecting neighboring areas.
but it's not just in greenpoint where folks live with yummy environmental toxins every day - williamsburg is home to radiac and several power plants and garbage transfer stations. but hey, somebody has to live near these things.

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