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   Undertoad  Wednesday Sep 6 12:35 PM

September 6, 2006: Oil spill in Philippines



This oil spill in the Philippines is a disaster, but that doesn't stop us from appreciating one thing about it: the color. Its rainbow-like sheen is unlike anything else, the beauty in this bad thing.



And the oddity in this bad thing: in this WaPo day in pics image caught by xoB, a prison inmate is donating his hair so that it can be used in an effort to clean the spill.

This full story explains that, along with the inmates, 500 hair salons are donating hair to this cause. It's kind of experimental; apparently a researcher found that when hair is dragged through the oil in permeable bags, some oil will cling to it, making for a low-tech cleanup approach.

No word on how well that's going. Off-hand, it sounds like a feel-good public effort that may be more effective at rallying the people than actually cleaning the spill. Others aren't waiting for the hair treatment; this story about prosecuting the captain of the oil tanker mentions (at the bottom):

Quote:
Science and Technology Secretary Estrella Alabastro, for her part, said a Coast Guard boat is also set to arrive in Guimaras to bring in more coconut husks from Romblon to help absorb the oil slick.

Alabastro also said the coconut husks are better than human hair, which would be more difficult to contain.

Cruz defended the use of chemical sprayers or dispersants to stop the oil sleek, saying it was ensured to be safe before it was used.

He said the Japanese Coast Guard, in its initial report, said the use of dispersants is effective and safe and without any side effects to marine life.



Flint  Wednesday Sep 6 01:36 PM

I'm confused about the forehead tattoo... Is that how you spell "bitch" in their language?



glatt  Wednesday Sep 6 01:41 PM

He sold it as advertising space to Nestle. At first they thought it was a great deal, until he went to jail for kiddi porn.



The 42  Wednesday Sep 6 02:01 PM

My god, did they shave all those heads with a dull razor!? Hasn't anyone heard of electricity?



glatt  Wednesday Sep 6 02:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by The 42
My god, did they shave all those heads with a dull razor!? Hasn't anyone heard of electricity?
Well, you can't allow inmates near sharp objects.


barefoot serpent  Wednesday Sep 6 02:45 PM

so did he shave any time off his sentence by this donation?



Tomtheman5  Wednesday Sep 6 03:38 PM

Quote:
so did he shave any time off his sentence by this donation?
I've been lurking here for about a year now, but that joke was so wonderful, that I can no longer hold my tongue... :p congrats!

On a sidenote, do you think the prisoners actually volunteered for this? Or was it more like a "shave your head or else clean the floors with your toothbrush" sort of thing? (I'm scared of how much power prison guards potentially possess...)


Spexxvet  Wednesday Sep 6 03:43 PM

I wonder if they accept donations of "other" body hair.



maninthebox  Wednesday Sep 6 06:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spexxvet
I wonder if they accept donations of "other" body hair.
hahahaha In the name of science, I'm sure they would.




Oh nevermind, that's just disgusting!


xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Sep 6 08:43 PM

Welcome to the Cellar, Tomtheman5

OK, one free lunch in the commissary to barefoot serpent, for flushing a lurker out into the open.



Elspode  Wednesday Sep 6 10:03 PM

I would have expected the person doing the shaving to be wearing gloves for this procedure. I mean, seems like a good chance someone is going to get nicked, and God knows what diseases this lot might have. Philippine jail? Ick!



zippyt  Wednesday Sep 6 11:16 PM

I would have expected the person doing the shaving to be wearing gloves for this procedure.

My friend you know LITTLE about the PI ,
if it is logical and makes sence and costs a penny or two ,,,,
it don't happen .



tulzscha  Wednesday Sep 6 11:28 PM

I'm skeptical of the rainbow effect. Seeing as the photo was taken from a jetliner (wing and engine in evidence), my argument would be thus: Airliner windows are plexiglass, and any picture shot through plexi with a polarizer will give you a nifty rainbow (it reveals the internal stresses of the window plastic).

Like this guy ( http://cinemazement.com/blog/?p=1028 ) found out...

The dense bits (say, the lower-right-central smear) looks more like i'd expect oil slick to appear -- small swirly rainbows, rippled and wavy like water. The large swathes of even rainbow colors (like the extreme lower-right) I'd argue are not because of the oil, but some other, more benign, influence.



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Sep 7 12:18 AM

Tulzscha, the photographer in your link was on a pressurized commercial airliner at considerable altitude.
Didn't you see the pictures of New Orleans with the oil slicks on the water? Alaska's prince William sound when the Exxon tanker ran aground? Those types of pictures are in the news all the time.



capnhowdy  Thursday Sep 7 04:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint
I'm confused about the forehead tattoo... Is that how you spell "bitch" in their language?
Even if it is how you spell it, wouldn't it be on the back of the head?


tulzscha  Thursday Sep 7 07:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
Tulzscha, the photographer in your link was on a pressurized commercial airliner at considerable altitude.
Yeah, and the dude/dudette/automaton who took *this* picture was on a pressurized airliner at a lower altitude. And pressure has nothing to do with it - Plexiglas does. *shrug*

Dunno why my first thought is "plexiglas rainbow", but it is.

Plus, are those blurry fingers along the right side of the photo?


xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Sep 7 08:12 PM

How do you know it was a pressurized airliner and not a private or military plane?
Pressure has everything to do with it, the pressure differential between the inside and outside causes strain in the widow and produces the color patterns. Ever see that effect through a plane window on the ground? I don't think so, unless the window has been permanently distorted by a twist in the airframe.

People take pictures through Plexiglas all the time. I take them through my storm doors frequently, without color patterns.



tulzscha  Thursday Sep 7 10:44 PM

Of course, my argument hinges on the somewhat dubious notion that someone had a polarizer on their snapshot camera, so, well, hmm...



RodinPat  Friday Sep 8 05:56 AM

Quick experiment:
Drive a car with tinted windows down to the beach.
Put on a pair of polaroid sunglasses.
Watch the rainbows sparkle on the sea.
Try it in your own time, no pressure.

I think it must be some form of refraction of the reflected sunlight through the two different films.

Do you think that our photographer used a polaroid lense?



xoxoxoBruce  Friday Sep 8 04:19 PM

Another Aussie! Welcome to the Cellar, RodinPat.
We're getting a formidable contingent from down under....that's great.

tulzscha, you may be right. The IOtD picture could be picking up some color from the window combined with the photographic technique. I was just pointing out the other oil slicks we've seen in the news, and in person, show color, so it can't be the total cause.

The effect shown in the website you linked is an extreme case and exactly what we do in the lab to show strain. Attaching Plexiglas to a part and subjecting the part to stress, the strain will show up in the Plexiglas clearly enough to photograph it.



tulzscha  Friday Sep 8 05:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
tulzscha, you may be right. The IOtD picture could be picking up some color from the window combined with the photographic technique. I was just pointing out the other oil slicks we've seen in the news, and in person, show color, so it can't be the total cause.
Looking at the Yahoo gallery yields the following slick pix:

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/ss/even...l/&curPhoto=21
http://news.yahoo.com/photos/ss/even...l/&curPhoto=24

21 is a similar up-sun shot, at sort of a similar angle (?), and it shows only the pancake and sheen, without the overall rainbows. But, then, aerial observation of oil spills is, um, kind of tricky?

"Because lighting conditions are highly variable during an actual spill, oil thickness observations based on the color of the slick are generally not reliable. Glare due to very low sun angles and sunlight directly overhead can make observations particularly difficult due to poor contrast between the oil sheen and water. Additionally, observations of the oil slick can be hampered by viewing in an up-sun direction, wearing sun glasses or face shields, or looking through Plexiglas windows."
http://response.restoration.noaa.gov...2_OilatSea.pdf

Dunno. It's a neat picture at any rate... Which I guess is, um, the point of the thing. =]


xoxoxoBruce  Friday Sep 8 06:18 PM

And......

Quote:
Oil that is known to be close to the coastline is best viewed from a helicopter. Ideally, a door or window is removed so that the main observer can view the oil looking straight down, without the finer details of the oil slick being obscured by Plexiglas.



tulzscha  Saturday Sep 9 03:03 AM

We just need Filipino Cellarites to do some on-the-spot testing and reportage!

Or, alternatively, I *do* need a vacation....



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