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## Cecil strays into Mythbusters territory.

How much flatulence would it take to become airborne?

Assuming a robust 375 milliliters of flatus per emission, we computed the necessary exit pressure at 3,680 pounds per square inch. Problem is, your gut will rupture somewhere north of four pounds per square inch. Alternatively, if we took four PSI as our limit and instead ramped up the propellant volume, we discovered we needed 500,000 liters of gas. The observed volume of the human intestine is on the order of five liters.

"I don't think he's got it in him," Una concluded sadly.

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## "A volcano of oil"

I see the Reptoid Terraforming Initiative is going according to plan.

Rising through 5000 feet of water, the oil is going through a process that the oil men call Fractioning. Literally the tremendous pressure and temperature issue are the equivalent of taking the oil and boiling it in a cracking tower 5000 feet high. The oil and Natural Gas change on their way up. The very light, easy-to-evaporate parts are all that is rising to the surface. [...] Because of this fractioning, what you see from the air on the surface of the water represents maybe just 20% of the volume of the various types of oil in that area. And we're talking an area the size of Maryland (10,000+ square miles) that is on the surface. The remaining 80% is under the surface; and all of it is highly toxic to the living organisms encountered. [...]

Having just seen (as I write) the film of the larger of the two leaks under sea, I can say with my trained eye that the volume coming out of the hole is in the order of 4 barrels per second (around 350,000 barrels per day). As you look at this, it might seem like a small hole, and a small amount of oil. But bear in mind that the diameter of the pipe is 5 feet!

This is not a system in stasis. This is an out of control volcano of oil spewing up with 70,000 psi behind it, from a reservoir nearly the size of the Gulf, with an estimated trillions of barrels of oil and gas tucked away. What we are seeing now could be small compared to what may yet unfold if things break apart, as they can do under such circumstances. If this thing blew, it could be like the Yellowstone Caldera, except from below a mile of sea, with a 1/4-mile opening, with up to 150,000 psi of oil and natural gas behind it.

That would be an extinction event.

In less than three weeks, a new, unpredictable and potentially ruinous variable will be added to that field when hurricane season officially begins June 1. Texas Tech's Kendall puts it plainly: "If a hurricane rolls up the gulf, we'll be sweeping oil out of downtown New Orleans."

[...] "If we get a storm surge -- it doesn't have to be a hurricane -- this oil is going to go over the marsh and go way inland. Once it gets up into Shell Beach on Lake Borgne, we're done."

Scene missing! A video that used to be embedded in this post has disappeared. If you know of a copy of this video that is still accessible, please mail me so that I can update the link.

## I would like to revise and extend my previous statement.

To my eternal horror, I made a ridiculous oversight in mixtape 089, in that I somehow managed to leave off the the most important new song with which I had been fully intending to lead it off. You may recall my recent unseemly fanboy squee at the notion that there might soon be new Cabaret Voltaire material from one Richard Kirk.

Well, on the heels of that news comes (arguably) new (arguably) Cabaret Voltaire material involving one Stephen Mallinder.

Is the world really ready for Dueling Cabs?

So. I've updated the mixtape.

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Current Music: as noted

## mixtape 089

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## Magnetically-Induced Hallucinations Explain Ball Lighting, Say Physicists

Also, presumably, fairies.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an extraordinary technique pioneered by neuroscientists to explore the workings of the brain. The idea is to place a human in a rapidly changing magnetic field that is powerful enough to induce currents in neurons in the brain. Then sit back and see what happens. [...] Focus the field in the visual cortex, for example, and the induced eddys cause the subject to 'see' lights that appear as discs and lines. Move the the field within the cortex and the subject sees the lights move too.

But if this happens in the lab, then why not in the real world too, say Joseph Peer and Alexander Kendl at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. They calculate that the rapidly changing fields associated with repeated lightning strikes are powerful enough to cause a similar phenomenon in humans within 200 metres. [...] It turns out, of course, that there are numerous reports of these types of observations during thunder storms. "An observer reporting this experience is likely to classify the event under the preconcepted term of 'ball lightning'," say Kendl and Peer.

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