Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Crater Lake Seems Like the Top of the World

 McBrooklyn is still on the road: After traveling along winding mountain roads with terrifying hairpin turns, we've finally made it to Crater Lake, at the very top (7,700 feet) of Mount Mazama, Oregon. It's one of the most awesome sights in the world. Crater Lake was formed when a massive volcano exploded about 7,700 years ago, leaving the mountain and the deepest lake in the United States.

It may be 100 degrees in the valley but the top of the mountain is covered with snow. So after you drive to the summit in your shorts and T-shirt you get quite a surprise.

The mountaintop gets about 44 feet of snow a year. (If you go, check the Parks Department web site to see if they've finished plowing Rim Road. It is expected to be cleared by early July.) There's a lodge and a cafe at Rim Village near the summit, but the lodge is buried in snow during the winter. There's also camping in Mazama Village nearby.

 Scientists say the water in Crater Lake (filled with trout and salmon, which were introduced years ago and now sustain themselves) may be the cleanest in North America. The Klamath Tribe has always considered the lake to be a sacred place. (See Wikipedia for more about their lake legends.) The tribe has lived in the area for more than 13,000 years, so they are familiar with the creation event.

That's Wizard Island in the lake, at the right of the photo above.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pumice Desert, Oregon

 On our way to Crater Lake in Oregon, which was formed when Mt. Mazama exploded 7,700 years ago, we drove through the Pumice Desert, also the result of that massive explosion. Even after thousands of years the pumice inhibits the growth of plant life.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Diamond Lake, Oregon

 McBrooklyn is still on the road. We've reached beautiful Diamond Lake, in the Umpqua National Forest in Oregon. (That's Mount Thielsen rising in the distance.) The water is crystal clear, cold and is literally jumping with huge rainbow trout (two feet long is not unusual). The trout and whole tribes of bats are going after swarms of bugs called midges that have started hatching along the shoreline. Meanwhile, bald eagles swoop down to grab the trout.

More from the next Internet outpost.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

McBrooklyn Wishes You Were Here

 We've been hiking our way through the Rockies and this is our first chance to send back some photos. These were taken on a Blackfeet reservation in Montana. It's glorious beyond words so we'll just post a few photos. (The trading post has the only Internet signal for hundreds of miles. Cell phones connected via Verizon work around the trading post; AT&T does not.)

 A few days of rain has swollen the streams. Elk, bears and free-range cattle coexist on this land, which runs all the way up to Canada.

Eventually we'll figure out what kind of tree this is, which grows all over the place here.

More at the next trading post.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, June 14, 2010

McBrooklyn Has Stepped Out

Hi folks. We're taking a trip right now but we hope to start blogging again when we get there, if there's a wi-fi connection near our cabin. Catch up to you soon!


Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Watching the World Cup, Gay Pride and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Here's a list of "football" bars in Brooklyn where you can watch the soccer World Cup.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Heather Quinlan visited the Brooklyn Farmacy and loved their egg creams so much she filmed a tutorial about them. Cobble Hill Blog

- Brooklyn’s LGBT Pride Parade taking place Saturday has moved to "fabulous" Fifth Avenue in Park Slope. Brooklyn Eagle

- Where to learn Photoshop and other graphic software, cheap.  Brokelyn 

- An arrest has been made in the Coney Island shootout. NY1 

- A dig is planned for Battle of Brooklyn artifacts.  Gothamist 

- Smoking, drinking babies coming out of the woodwork now.  Village Voice 

- A Connecticut man nearly chops off arm to free himself from furnace. Gothamist 

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sunset Park Brownfield Hybrid Bus Tour

Get on the hybrid bus!

On Thursday,June 17, 4 - 6 p.m. a Sunset Park Brownfield Tour will be highlighting the work that UPROSE is doing with the Brownfield Opportunity Areas program.

Brownfield is land previously used for industrial purposes that may be contaminated by hazardous waste or pollution, and has the potential to be reused once it is cleaned up. This tour will show UPROSE's brownfield priority sites and will talk about the community's vision and comprehensive plan for remediation and redevelopment strategies.

UPROSE is dedicated to the development of Southwest Brooklyn and the empowerment of its residents primarily through broad and converging environmental, sustainable development, and youth justice campaigns. Founded in 1966, UPROSE is Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community-based organization.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

BP Gulf Oil Spill, Update June 11

UPDATE: June 11, 2:30 a.m.

BP said Thursday evening that the containment cap installed on the leaking deep sea well June 3 continues to collect oil and gas and transport them to the Discoverer Enterprise drillship on the surface.

According to BP, in the first 12 hours of June 9, approximately 7,920 barrels of oil were collected. On June 8, a total of approximately 15,000 barrels of oil were collected.

According to the Wall Street Journal, on Thursday the director of the U.S. Geological Survey said the oil well was likely spewing out between 20,000 and 40,000 barrels a day before BP partially contained the flow -- double the previous estimate.

Oil is now being transferred from the Discoverer Enterprise to the barge Massachusetts, which will transport the oil for discharge at an onshore terminal.

BP is working on making improvements to the containment cap as well. According to Oil and Gas Journal, BP expects to install another collection system that will supplement the cap system on the well.  The oil it collects will be burned off.

Almost 3,600 vessels are now involved topside, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels. More than 24,000 people are working on the disaster.

UPDATE: June 7, 2:19 a.m.

BP said this morning that the containment cap, installed on June 3, continues to collect oil and gas flowing from the well and transport them to the Discoverer Enterprise drillship on the surface.  Improvement in oil collection is expected over the next several days, but they are still not sure how successful the containment effort has been. 

Oil continues to billow out of the cap; the vents are slowly being closed, but if they're closed too fast the whole thing might blow.

*  *  *

UPDATE: June 4, 3 p.m.
BP announced today that oil and gas are being funneled to the Discoverer Enterprise following the successful placement of a containment cap on top of the Deepwater Horizon's failed blow-out preventer (BOP). This follows the cutting and removal of the riser pipe from the top of the BOP's lower marine riser package (LMRP).

BP says it is expected to take one or more days for flow rates of oil and gas to stabilize and it is not possible at this stage to estimate how much oil and gas will be captured by this containment system.

UPDATE: June 4, 4 a.m.

The Enterprise has picked up the cap and has placed it on the cut pipe, which is still billowing oil. 

(As you can see from the second photo to the left, it's impossible to see anything on top of the pipe with all that oil gushing out.)

According to BP, the oil won't stop gushing until it is flowing up to the ship. Only then will it be possible to see how tight the seal is, given the jagged nature of the cut made by the super shears.

Live feed here.  

*  *  *
UPDATE: June 3, 12:20 p.m.
The New York Times reports that attempts to cut the pipe with the diamond wire saw were abandoned but the pipe was cut with the "super shears," shown to the left. (We grabbed the image from the Gulf Live Feed.) Adm. Thad W. Allen said, however, that the shear produced a more jagged cut that will result in a less snug fit for the containment cap. 

*  *  *

UPDATE: June 2, 10 p.m.
The diamond wire saw cutting the pipe close to the LMRP (lower marine riser package) got stuck in the pipe today but was freed after about 12 hours. No word yet on if the final damaged piece of riser was removed or if a smooth cut was achieved -- or even if cutting has resumed. 

The live feed shows robot "hands" doing lots of work with tubes and metal pieces (left) but does not show the diamond saw (see yesterday's post below). We grabbed a photo of the robot hands picking up a piece of tube, probably attached to the cap.

The next action, once the damaged riser is removed, is to seal the LMRP Cap on top of the riser stub, as seen in the diagram to the left.

Lines carrying methanol also are connected to the cap (those little black lines at the very top of the diagram) to help stop hydrate formation, according to BP.

*  *  *

UPDATE: June 1, 9 p.m.: 
The super shears shown above were used to cut off the extended riser, as can be seen in this diagram supplied by BP via a Kent Wells Technical Update.  The shears are shown cutting the riser to the left. The riser is supported so it won't go swinging around. The super shears actually weight about 46,000 lbs.

Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are now engaged in operations to cut through and separate the damaged riser (the "kinked hose") at the top of the Deepwater Horizon's failed blow-out preventer (the yellow structure to the right of the diagram), according to BP. The kink is actually holding back much of the oil. Once it's cut free, the oil can be expected to gush out faster until it's capped.

The photo to the left, which we grabbed from the live feed, shows the damaged riser (with oil pouring out of the top), being held by a ROV, which is using diamond wire to cut through the riser. Once a smooth cut is made, attempts will be made to cap the LMRP, probably towards the end of this week.

This final photo shows the diamond wire saw (circled) cutting through the riser.

All of the action -- the cutting, the attempts at capping -- can be seen on the live feed here.

BP says that over 1,600 vessels are now involved in the response effort, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels.

*  *  *
UPDATE: May 31

This claw-shaped device -- "super shears" -- was seen this morning in the Live Feed hovering over the leaking oil spill in the Gulf.

Last week's attempted "top kill" of the gushing well didn't work. BP now says it plans to saw off the top of the leaking pipe, according to the Washington Post. BP will then lower a containment cap onto the riser in an attempt to capture the leaking oil.

White House officials claim that after the pipe is cut, about 20 percent more oil would probably escape before the new cap is in place. BP officials disagree with that.

See the action at the Gulf Live Feed here.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Old Lamp Post Down In Columbus Park, Brooklyn

 We came across this downed lamp post in Brooklyn's Columbus Park near the Supreme Court building yesterday. According to the Brooklyn Eagle, a delivery truck related to the construction at 360 Adams Street knocked it down -- and the driver tried to flee the scene.

The lamp post and several others in the area are the double-headed type and appear to be quite old. If you click on the photo and blow it up, you'll see years worth of rust on the bottom and inside the lamp post. Anyone know when they came into the park?

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Gulf Oil Spill Has Spread to Google. We Are Doomed.

You know how soothing the Google search page is, with it's minimalist white, non-cluttered background? Imagine our surprise tonight when this truly disturbing background image appeared when we visited the Google search page! OMG, has the oil spill invaded Google, too?

We couldn't get rid of the damn thing. Yes, we could substitute another disturbing photo for this one but why the hell can't we have the original Google search page back? If we wanted annoying images to disrupt our thought process we could use Bing.

The problem is there's no "Google Classic" option. We are just stuck with whatever experiment Google's focus-group adherents decide to try next. We are still having a hard time coping with the HUGE search box and kindergarten-sized type fonts Google foisted on us months ago. It took us hours to disengage from Google Buzz after it attacked us with followers from the Middle East who wanted to sell us things.

Google's eager beavers seem to have a hard time believing the old crew actually got the interface right. How about a radical idea -- let the users decide if they want to muck up the Google experience with photos.

How can we do searches in the middle of what looks like the Gulf oil mess, insidiously creeping across our computer screen?

We. Are. Doomed.

UPDATE: A glimmer of hope. A user on a Google help forum claims that this is temporary -- a publicity for the photo background roll out.

WELL GOOGLE YOU GOT PUBLICITY. Now please change the page back.

UPDATE 2: Relief at last. Serenity has returned. We can all get back to work now, people. 

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cancer Cluster Map, and What Lies Under Brooklyn

While we're all thinking about the oil spill, CORD reminds us that New York State recently unveiled a cancer cluster map. CORD says:

"In our humble opinions, we all need to keep a careful eye on this map (though it is slow to upload on some computers) especially those of us along the Gowanus Canal Corridors AND Public Place areas as many more residences are ultimately planned for those sites.   That will obviously expose us all to even more risks of varying kinds due to all the toxic chemicals planned to be moved around under the plan of 'residential development!'"

So naturally we looked up our neighborhood. Not bad -- about 20 cancers per a thousand residents. Other neighborhoods might have double this; a few have less. Some areas lean more towards one type of cancer than another. (Demographics probably explains some of these differences: more seniors, more Asians, etc.)

What Lies Under Your Building

What's also interesting is what type of potential hazards lie under (or inside) buildings near you:

The NYCTA at 40 Sands Street has a "hazardous waste generator," as does Con Ed on Hudson Ave. and some but not all dry cleaners. Con Ed is also an "air emission source."

The Brooklyn Supreme Court is an "air emission source" (but we knew that!). So is Poly Tech.

There's an "active solid waste site" at Chamber Paper Fibers, 139 Plymouth Street in DUMBO. There are several state superfund sites near the Brooklyn Navy Yard and in trendy Vinegar Hill. Also in Gowanus (surprise!).

There's a brownfield site at 166-180 Myrtle Avenue near the Flatbush Ave. Extension, and several in Gowanus. Gowanus also boasts Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Corrective Action Sites at 102 Third Street, active solid waste sites, voluntary cleanup sites, etc. A state superfund site is across the street from Thomas Greene Playground.

Have fun checking out your own neighborhood for hazardous waste sites and other hazards!
The New York Times has an article about the map.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Sad Lion Wanders Though NYC Devoid of Cultural Institutions

The Wildlife Conservation Society yesterday released a home-made video called “Nobody Likes a Sad Lion” to inspire New Yorkers to send a message to City Hall to restore proposed cuts to New York City’s cultural institutions.

The video shows a sad lion solemnly wandering in front of some of the city’s most notable cultural institutions only to find them deserted.

The Wildlife Conservation Society has initiated a petition campaign to save the Bronx Zoo, the New York Aquarium and the other New York City cultural institutions from cuts to their city funding.

View the full video and sign the petition at:

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Video Tour of Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6 Playground

 Have you been to Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6 yet? If not, take a look at Karl Junkersfeld's excellent video tour of Brooklyn Heights' newest attraction. Karl is a frequent contributor to the Brooklyn Heights Blog.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Vigil Tonight in Brooklyn - Tuesday, June 8

MoveOn members are gathering today, the 50th day since the start of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, to "stand in solidarity with those affected by the BP disaster and call for an end to America's addiction to oil."

The vigil takes place at Garfield Place and Prospect Park West at 7 p.m.

The message from MoveOn says: "The initiative the President has taken to stop this massive catastrophe in the Gulf is non-existent. Right now as you read this invite the US Coast Guard is literally standing guard against US citizens to protect BP. This is an outrage . . . We need to make ourselves heard and demand our Government stop our dependence on fossil fuels."

Photo courtesy of MoveOn

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Hot Jazz In the Heart of Brooklyn

What the heck was going on at Prospect Park Zoo this past Saturday?

Turns out there was some hot samba-ing happening -- called "Samba with the Sea Lions" -- featuring Samba New York.

The crowd learned to samba along with the Zoo’s sea lions, Beebe and Stella. The samba party kicked off Jazz: Brooklyn’s Beat, a month-long celebration of world-class jazz at the cultural institutions in the Heart of Brooklyn.

The next event takes place at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The full schedule for the month of jazz is available online at www.heartofbrooklyn.org/jazz.

Photo by Yuri-Guanilo

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sideways Smart Cars At the Brooklyn International Film Festival

A couple of cute little Smart Cars were parked with their noses pointing towards Henry Street in front of the Brooklyn Heights Cinema Friday. It was part of a promotion for the opening night of the Brooklyn International Film Festival running through June 13.

The idea was to show how the critters were so little you could park them sideways. But the Smart Car people ran into a little friction from local cops who saw . . .  cars parked sideways.

But officers! They don't stick out any further than your average SUV! Who cares what way they're pointed?

A discussion was held and points were made. Finally the police said they'd look the other way this time, but their commanding officers would take a dim view of the sideways parking.

The cars remained where they were till 11:30 p.m. Then off they drove, over to Williamsburg for the rest of the weekend, for the Kent Ave. film festival screenings.

Have you seen the poster for the film festival, by the way? It's really excellent:

The film festival lineup includes over 100 films from 24 countries (16 were made by Brooklyn filmmakers). According to the No Land Grab blog, one of the films being shown this year is Freddy's, which tells the story of the historic bar in Prospect Heights that was recently closed by the Atlantic Yards development (showing Wednesday in Brooklyn Heights, Friday in Williamsburg).

The festival takes place at Brooklyn Heights Cinema (70 Henry St. between Cranberry and Orange streets in Brooklyn Heights (718) 596-7070) and indieScreen (285 Kent Ave. between S. First and S. Second streets in Williamsburg (718) 388-4306).

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, there's also a kidsfilmfest. (Details here.)

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

The Strawberries Are In. So Are the Snails.

 We picked the strawberries this weekend. They were delicious but we lost many that were resting on the ground. We just realized that the berries that touch the ground don't do nearly as well as berries with mulch -- i.e. straw -- under them. (Wonder if that's where they got their name?) Without the straw, they tend to rot.

 Then come the snails! It's astounding -- you plant some strawberries in the middle of Brownstone Brooklyn where no snail has lived for 50 years, and one day you find snails the size of golf balls hiding under your strawberry leaves, munching away. Where the heck did they come from?

Guess it's a good thing. If we all left Brooklyn for a year, we'd come back to find bears, beavers, foxes, maybe saber tooth tigers.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Brooklyn Headhunter: Find a Job in Brooklyn

From time to time, McBrooklyn puts on its Headhunting gear and scouts out a handful of Brooklyn employment opportunities.

Here's the latest batch:

- A Cook's Companion is looking for a full time foodie.  Craigslist

Red Bull seeks "Musketeers" to work with restaurants, night clubs, hotels and bars to integrate Red Bull into the local scene. Monster

-The Flatlands branch of the Brooklyn Public Library is looking for an Outreach Associate for The Child’s Place for Children with Special Needs. $31,813 / year, grant-funded. BPL

- Macy's in Downtown Brooklyn needs a loss prevention security assistant. (They are also looking for salespeople.)  HotJobs 

- NY Life Insurance is holding a career night on June 21 at MetroTech. Yahoo HotJobs 

- A law firm in Brooklyn Heights wants a full-time bilingual (English / Spanish) receptionist.  Craigslist 

GlobalOptions Group is seeking experienced surveillance/​claims investigators to conduct video surveillance for insurance related investigations in Brooklyn. Monster 

- An event marketing agency is seeking a full time event coordinator. $16-$20/hour depending on experience. Craigslist

- Morton's is still hiring servers. Yahoo HotJobs 

- The City of New York seeks swimming instructors and aides.  HotJobs 

- A small Williamsburg jewelry/craft studio is looking for full time jewelry painter to start immediately.  Craigslist

- Watty and Meg, "an upscale restaurant on Court Street" in Cobble Hill is hiring for several positions. Craigslist

- Eastern Athletic is seeking an experienced instructor for kids ballet and or tennis this summer.  Craigslist

- Spring Creek Towers is looking for a Teen Central recreation leader with some sports experience. Monster

- Trader Joe's Brooklyn is accepting applications for entry level supervisory positions. Apply at store.

- Pearson seeks a part-time test administrator, just till October.  Yahoo HotJobs

- City Chemist, opening soon on Montague Street in Brooklyn heights, is hiring for several positions. Apply at store.


Find all Brooklyn Headhunter posts here.
Top photo by MikeColvin82, Creative Commons license
Bottom photo by MK Metz

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Danny's Is Over, a New Yoga Place and More Brooklyn Briefs

- Danny’s on Court and State Streets closed already -- after being open only about 10 days.  BHB

- Biking, Brooklyn and coffee fuse to become perfect hipster wave. Gothamist

- Gov. Paterson announced that he is submitting legislation that will require everyone convicted of a crime to provide a DNA sample. Brooklyn Eagle  

- Consumer Reports trashes Wal-Mart. Huff Post

- A new by-donation yoga class has stared on Atlantic Ave. in Boerum Hill.  Brooklyn Eagle 

Cocaine abusers -- already at risk for an abnormal heartbeat, high blood pressure, hallucinations, convulsions and stroke -- can add another potential health complication: rotting flesh. Yahoo News

- Federal officials are hoping film director James Cameron can help them come up with ideas on how to stop the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.CBS News

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Blood Drive at Brooklyn Borough Hall Thursday, June 3

Yesterday Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz joined the New York Blood Center for a press conference to announce the annual blood drive to be held at Borough Hall this Thursday, June 3 (10 A.M. – 4 P.M.). Every day patients need 2,000 pints of blood in the Greater New York area, yet only two percent of Brooklynites donate blood each year (compared with five percent nationwide).

One single blood donation can potentially help to save the lives of three people. If you can't make Borough Hall, call 800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.

In photo (left to right): Keith Hudson, regional communications, New York Blood Center; Michele Lariviere, director of donor recruitment, New York Blood Center; Robert Janicke, donor campaign manager, Brooklyn/Staten Island Blood Services.

Photo by Kathryn Kirk

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Deck Collapses in Mill Island, Brooklyn Musician Impaled, and More Brooklyn Briefs

- A family who moved into a rental house in Mill Island / Mill Basin, Brooklyn one week ago was celebrating Memorial Day out on their deck. The deck suddenly collapsed and the family fell into the water. Two of the kids, including a 4-year-old and a 9-year-old were injured but are lucky to be alive. The landlord, it turns out, has at least 12 violations. The above video is from Fox News.

- Layoff notices have gone out to hundreds of employees of the city’s three library systems – including about 350 to employees of the Brooklyn Public Library.  Brooklyn Eagle

- Surgeons at Bellevue Hospital removed a metal rod from a young Brooklyn musician whose head was impaled on a steel fence after he fell from a balcony. Gothamist and NY Daily News

- What's going on at Lief Erickson Park?  Bay Ridge Blog

- Hidden Brooklyn Heights Walking Tour coming up June 6.  BHB

- Families sue after daughters die from lap-band surgery. Gothamist

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.