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Superior, Nebraska
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September 23, 2010     The Superior Express
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September 23, 2010
 

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Innovative Wide-Area Shopping and Feature News This Leader is published the week of September 20, 2010, as part of the Jewell County Record, Hebron Journal-Register, Clay County News, Nebraska Signal, Blue Hill Leader and The Superior Express. The next Leader will be published the week of October 4. Adams : :Clay: :i :Fillmore Saline ::: | :-:4: .: t: . :::: Webste ~Rolk~::; :~y~e~: Jefferson More Than 30,000 Readers By Dorothy Rosby Theres a new woman in my husband's life. We met her on our recent vacation to Colorado Springs and he tell for her immediately. Her name is Garmin Nuvi. I know she sounds kind of exotic, buther . nickname is Jill. She's pe- tite, attractive. and. unlike me, good with directions. Jill is a glo- bal lx)sitioning system device. and I can't say I blame my husband for his interest in her. I wouldn't call her a cheap date, but she is very low maintenance. She doesn' t fiddle with the radio or complain atxmt She's not nmch of a conversa-time in Tokyo. La-de-da! it's not "You can't miss it!" People who the air conditioning. She never has tionalist either. But he forgives her like we'll be driving to Tokyo. say that were never riding with me to stop to use the restroom. She for that too. maybe because, while And Jill isn't perfect by a long when I drove by the turn to my doesn't sleep across entire states-- she may not indulge him in a con- shot. She frequently mispronounces house, unless we want her to. And she versalion about professional base- words, and more than once during And best of all, her directions doesn't get grumpy when she ball. she also never says. "Slow our vacation, she took us to busi- never take longer than the actual doesn't eat. but only because she down.'" or"Are we there yet'?' And nesses that no longer exist. At her trip: "Turn north where the old ser- doesn't eat -- or get grumpy, if he drives a different way than she best, she's a calm reassuring voice vice station used to be. You prob- Besides her navigational skills, told him to, she says "recalculat- in the midst of contusion. At her ably weren't around when it was one of Jill's most endearing quali- ing" in a gentle, non-judgmental, if worst, she's a backseat driver with- there, were you? The Johnsons ties is her cahn. patient voice. Alter slightly annoying way. If she feels out the anxiety, owned that station when it was a few hours, it's also one of her like saying,"I told you so" or"Why But I have tO admit, she's win- there. Head northeast past the spot most irritating qualities. It sounds don't you ever listen to me," she ning me over. Jill gives directions where all the dandelions bloomed vaguely familiartoo. She nmst have keeps it to herself, calmly and in a way I can follow, last spring. Of course, they're not worked somewhere else before. Jill doesn't have much in theThat is, she doesn't say "go east. blooming now. You'll come to a because I think she put me on hold way of a personality, but then some west, north, and south," which I've big blue house on your left. But once. would say the same of me. Andnever fi)und very useful. Instead, that's not it. Keep going...and go- She'severybit asbossy aslam, she's a bit of a show-off. She can she says, "Turn right" and "'turn ing.'" ordering my husband to go this way speak more than 50 languages and left." Even I can handle that. thanks That's why I think I'm going to or that way. something I can never do a variety of different voices and to the hint I've used since I was a likeGarminNuviJill. She'sfriendly get away with. 1 think he tolerates it accents. She can also do math cal- child: "I write with my right.'" and helpful, and she beats folding a from her because she usually knows culations, convert Celsius to Fahr- She never uses my least favorite map. Besides that, she can be Jack what she's talking about, enheit instantly, and tell me the phrase in the world of navigation: too. S mess By Dr, E, Kirsten Peters The disaster in the Gulf has been plenty grim. I don't envy paymaster Kenneth Feinberg who has now taken over BP's $20 billion com- pensation fund. Feinberg is no stranger to try- mg to compen- sate those ~ho have lost much. includ- ing the fami- lies affected by Sept. I 1 and a somewhat lower-profile project to com- pensate vic- tuns of the shootings at Virginia Tech. But the magnitude and complex- ity of the Gulf disaster is second to none. From what I can see. there's just no good way to distribute the money to those who have lost so nmch in different ways in various places. Still. there's some good news, Since petroleum stopped floWing Mearns said. from the Deepwater Horizon site. The bacteria in question con- oil at the surface has been harder sume hydrocarbons and oxygen, and harder to find. And microor- producing carbon dioxide as waste. ganisms look to some scientists as The most recent study is based on if they may be poised to eat up a lot samples of ocean water from a depth of the underwater oil quite quickly, of more than 3.000 feet. both in an According to ScienceNOW. the oil plume and outside it. The good first peer-reviewed study to come news is that the study reports the out of the Gulf indicated the natural concentration of the bugs inside the oil-loving "bugs" weren't doing as plume is twice as dense in the water much as might be hoped. But the as outside it. And the bugs in the second one published last week plume have more of the genes looked at the microbes themselves needed to eat up the oil. and found much more reason to be It's still an open question ex- optimistic, actly at what rate the bugs are con- Some bacteria m the seas have suming the oil in the underwater evolved over time to make a living plumes.Crudeoilisacomplex soup, on the seepage ofoil that has always made of many different types of occurred naturally on the sea floor, molecules. The encouraging study The ScienceNOW website quotes concentrated on the alkanes, a type NOAA marine ecologist Alan ofmolecule that's generally among Mearns on the matter. "Whh all of the first to naturally degrade. the seepage, including the 40 to 50 Another factor is that the petro- million gallonsa yearthat seepnatu- leum mixes with water m complex rallyintotheGulf, we'dhaveoceans ways. The term for the globs ofoil covered with oil slicks if they inthewateryou'veseeninthenews werent naturally degrading," is "emulsion." Emulsions are what U asaw It began as a whispered threat. this latest storm of ours. There was something in the air. a cleansing tonic, a murnmr of sharpness. The trees on the hills looked different, then, seeming to stand out in sharper locus, in cleaner profile. it was the magical paintbrush of a gentle sun brushing the fronl of them. against an ominous, creeping black background. And the black- ness grew higher yet. until the west- ern sky was a massive wall of black and swirling gray. People stood outside and looked. and tried to find a u emher report on the radio, and called in the children fi'om play. ;rod made sure the win- dows were rolled up in the cars. and let the dogs come m. In the fields. the cattle and horses-trotted around. snorting softly as the dark sky swal- lowed our world. And then it came. gently at first as a remntder to get in the house. By Slim Rand[es then the wind brought buckets of . rain. drenching the deep grass and slashing at our homes. Cars in town slowed to a crawl under the on- slaught. People parked and then dashed tothe nearest building, won- dering as they did, just what was so important that they had to be out this afternoon. We flinched with every flash of lightning, every smashing thunder. In the cafes, patrons looked out at the parking lots now turned into waterfalls and nodded as though in wisdom. "Think it'll rain'?" "If it don't, it'll miss a good chance." We listened for something else. too. hoping it wouldn't come. As the storm shut us down to tiny worlds inside, we kept one ear cocked for the tornado siren. Nothing. Good The storm lasted for two rinses down at the Curl tip 'N Dye beauty parlor, through a light trim at Kelley's Barber Shop. and half a chicken-fi-ied steak at the Mule Barn truck stop. Then it was over except for the gutters running like trout streams, the new sun con- O trastin= with the blackness of the rest of the sk2r. and the dripping of our world. We won't h ave to water the lawn today. Sponsored I)~': wu'w.pear,s'o/l ranch.com. Farm direct, delicious. California navel and Valencia oranges results when two liquids that won't too much fertilizer escape into wa- mix in chemical terms are physi- ters with resultant algal blooms. cally blended together. You make Dead zones in the Gulf would be anemulsioneachtimeyoushakeup disastrous tbr fish that blundered vmaigrettesaladdressing, blending into them. But the two scientific the oil and vinegar. Homogenized reports to date don't show that the milk is a mix of fat and water so oxygen has fallen to dangerous Icy- thoroughly emulsified that it's per- els. manently mixed together, with no Considering the magnitude of separation down the road as in the the spill, the current scientific news vinaigrette case. from the Gulf is really quite good. In the Gulf of Mexico. crude oil Marine ecologist Mearns is hopeful and seawater have been mixed to- that the oil plumes will be gone gether in a messy emulsion in the quickly weeks following the disaster. What "We' re talking days to months.'" we don't know is how readily the he said. globsoftheemulsionwillnowbreak But I suspect Feinberg's head- apart. We should keep our fingers aches are only beginning. crossed that they do so. because Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of smaller and smaller bits of oil will the rural Northwest, was trained as gi ve the bacteria a greater chance of a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. being able to quickly eat up the Questions about smence or energy crude, for future Rock Docs Can be sent to One worry has been that. as the epeters@wsu.edu.Thiscolumn isa microbes in the Gulf go to work, service of the College of Agricul- they might use up the oxygen in the rural. Human. and Natural Resource waters around them. That would Sciences at Washington State Uni- create a "dead zone," like having versity. Buyer Driver/Animal Care position &&~r Drteedke:irna~ C~.re r~sili~ Lam~i~J l~c, r,d trip, ask& H lth anew. hie nstzasc;e,.,. ten,e.f:i s. E , tI I safety ram . No coL ce ,Jir d. : St 21 e{ wi# dean record. 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