September 6, 2012
Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010.     Photo: lagohsep/Flickr

Hurricane Isaac Dredges Up BP Oil

Beaches closed, fishing restricted in Louisiana

Flooding and waves from Hurricane Isaac have washed up oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. Tar balls have washed up on sections of shore in Alabama, and Louisiana officials have had to close 13 miles of beach in Fourchon and restrict fishing. Test results released Thursday affirmed that the oil on Elmer’s Island and Grand Isle matched the biological fingerprint of that of BP's Macondo well. Scientists said the oil is "weathered" and therefore less toxic, but that it could still harm small creatures like crabs and bait fish. "We don't like to say it, but hurricanes are Mother Nature's way of taking a bath," Louisiana State University chemist Ed Overton said. BP is reportedly working with the Coast Guard to clean up the Fourchon beach.



Jonathan Vaughters.     Photo: Richard Rhee/Flickr

Team Manager Outs Top U.S. Cyclists as Dopers

Vaughters names Vande Velde, Zabriskie, and Danielson

Commenting on the forum, Garmin-Sharp team manager Jonathan Vaughters listed current Garmin riders Christian Vande Velde, David Zabriskie, and Tom Danielson as former dopers. The post stemmed from a conversation about Jorg Jaksche, a rider who served a one-year suspension for his involvement in the Operacion Puerto doping scandal. “CVV [Vande Velde], Zabriskie, Danielson, while all clearly have a past, and from an ethical standpoint are no different from JJ, there is a very pragmatic difference. That difference is performance based. Basically, I knew from what my time at USPS, how ‘inside’ or not those riders were. Based on this, I knew their transgressions, while ethically the same as JJ’s (Jaksche), were much less in terms of enhancing performance. Therefore, I knew they could perform close to their enhanced level, clean,” Vaughters wrote. All three riders were teammates of Lance Armstrong and were unexpectedly excluded from the 2012 Olympic road team. This led to speculation that they may have cooperated with the USADA Armstrong doping investigation.

Via VeloNews


Taos inversion

Taos inversion     Photo: Christian Aslund

Forest Service Approves Taos Expansion

Ski valley's expert terrain to grow 60 percent

The U.S. Forest Service has approved a plan to expand Taos Ski Valley's expert terrain by 60 percent, installing lifts on some of the most challenging runs in New Mexico. The plan, announced Tuesday, includes new gladed areas, a snowshoe trail system, upgrades to three lifts, and new lifts to West Ridge and Kachina Peak, popular hike-to terrain. Diana Trujillo, acting supervisor of the Carson National Forest, said in a statement that while certain aspects of the plan would be controversial, particularly the lift to Kachina, the development was necessary for the ski area to remain economically viable. "I am confident that, collectively, the projects approved will help Taos Ski Valley to reclaim its competitive standing in the Rocky Mountain region," Trujillo said in a statement.

Via CBS News


    Photo: dbking/Flickr

Time May Slow Down for Elite Athletes

New study suggests

Does time actually slow down for high-level athletes? Based on the results of a recent study, scientists speculate that it just might. Researchers at the University College of London have discovered that an individual’s perception of time does appear to slow down as they prepare to complete a physical action. Participants in the study were asked to react to blinking lights on a screen. Some were told to tap the screen, while others just watched the lights. Those who were asked to tap the screen reported feeling as if they had more time to complete the action, compared to those who were asked to do nothing. The team speculates that this phenomenon might be amplified in elite athletes. "John McEnroe has reported that he feels time slows down as he is about to hit the ball," said Dr. Nobuhiro Hagura of UCL, "Our guess is that during the motor preparation, visual information processing in the brain is enhanced. So, maybe, the amount of information coming in is increased. That makes time be perceived longer and slower." The team plans to examine brain activity in high-performing athletes to discover what biological function causes this perception.