Friday, May 14, 2010

2 cents ... what's 'at worth, anyway?

Before I offer my 2 cents on the topic that you'll discover momentarily, what's 2 cents worth anyway? Less than one percent of a gallon of gas (or milk, for that matter)? You can't even buy a pair of gumballs for two cents anymore. Are we all saying our thoughts are totally worthless? In many cases, that's probably accurate... but even so, maybe we should revise our cliche, increase thought value due to inflation. How long has "two cents" been around (the saying, I mean)? From this site, it started as "two bits" (English version) and "two cents" is the Americanized version. Anyway, it says the first US reference he could find is from 1926.

From this site, $0.02 in 1926 would be equivalent to $0.24 in 2009. So maybe, instead of my two cents worth, I'll offer you my quarter's worth (and maybe it should be a dime and two pennies for your thoughts instead of a penny for your thoughts, although that's quite a mouthful, so I propose we just make it a quarter all the way 'round: my 25-cents worth, and a quarter for your thoughts).

So, on what am I offering my quarter's worth? The BP oil spill. Or is it the Transocean spill? Or the Halliburton spill? Regardless, it's a bunch of oil spilling into the gulf. Well, best I know, it's actually been pressurized and is now venting into the gulf. Regardless, BP has some options; they've discussed the "junk shot" or "top kill" method, which would be firing "junk" into the leaking pipe to plug it up. There's also a possibility of pumping cement into the blowout preventer valve (I don't have all the links right now, and I don't feel like digging them up, as I'm watching TV while writing this, so I'm distracted enough without Googling all the links). Personally, I thought about taking something stiff-yet-expandable, maybe six feet long, shoving it into the leaking pipe, and then inflating it, pressing the expandable "balloon" to the sides of the pipe and stopping the leak. Why haven't they tried these methods (or anything else of this nature)? Why do they keep trying the "let's find a way to funnel the oil back to the top" to "stop" the flow? Well, it's for the 2 cents I haven't quite given you yet. If they can get the oil to the top, they'll hopefully find a way to separate it and refine it and make a profit off it. They've started the "secondary wells" to relieve the pressure to stop the leak (by bringing the oil up through the new wells). They tried the large dome (which clogged with ice-like hydrates) to funnel the oil to the surface (to be collected into a receiver ship for processing). They are now trying to insert a new tube into the leaking riser which will allow bringing the oil to the surface (to be collected & processed).

Why haven't they plugged the leak? 'Cause that would mean the oil is stopped, and they couldn't get it back. Surely you don't think they'll be permitted to drill again immediately after getting the leak stopped? Thus, if they "fail" to stop it, all the while drilling the secondary wells to "relieve the pressure" and stop the leak, well, then they'll end up with functional wells to replace the one that's been damaged.

Am I way off here? I'm thinking it's still about profit for BP and maintaining access to the now-pressurized but leaking-into-the-gulf oil reservoir.

Regarding another 2 cents (or quarter), Tim Horton's is now planning to go global. Tim Horton's is all over Canada (and, I think, some parts of New England), but soon they'll be coming to a corner near you. Anyway, think I'm going to go for a walk now... just the thought of donuts from Tim Horton's (they're really going for coffee globally, I think) has caused my mass and its gravitational force to increase. Later...

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