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Mike Schilling

Mike has been a software engineer far longer than he would like to admit. He has strong opinions on baseball, software, science fiction, comedy, contract bridge, and European history, any of which he's willing to share with almost no prompting whatsoever.

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  1. Avatar Christopher Carr
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    says:

    I was thinking of writing a post on this myself.

    Apparently it’s Negligent Corporations Behaving Badly Week.

    MMA (Lac Megantic disaster railway company) CEO Edward Burkhardt defended cost-cutting by actually claiming that single-person overnight “crews” were SAFER than having multiple crew members because there are “fewer distractions”. One-person lab groups doesn’t fly for intro chemistry where students work with 0.00001 molar NaCl solutions, so why does Burkhardt think this is appropriate for trains carrying thousands of barrels of crude with a well-known history of catching on fire? He also apparently tried a photo-op with some of the townspeople right after the disaster happened and got viciously heckled. The man is a low-life scumbag who should go to prison.

    BP takes the cake for this week though (and possibly the decade as well, although many executives at Tokyo Electric deserve public executions). For several weeks now, I’ve been changing the radio station every time I hear a man with a thick faux-Louisiana accent imply that things have been cleaned up in the Gulf thanks to the benevolence of British Petroleum. Starting last week – and I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this – BP launched a massive blame-the-victim campaign where the company claims it is being ravaged by spurious lawsuits and the unyielding greed of Gulf Coast residents whose lives were destroyed by its own negligence. At the same time, BP has gone over the head of the federal judge who has been presiding over the settlement (that BP agreed to in order to avoid trial) to appeal that very same settlement.

    Wow. Just wow.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Christopher Carr
      Ignored
      says:

      Given that the settlement was imposed by the moral equivalent of You Know Who, BP is actually supporting democracy by trying to weasel out of it.

      Anyway, why wouldn’t BP appeal the settlement? Exxon’s repeated appeals got the Valdez settlement reduced from 5.5 billion to 1 billion, as well as keeping the suit tied up in the courts for almost 15 years.Report

      • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to Mike Schilling
        Ignored
        says:

        My favorite IBD moment is when some columnist unequivocally stated that brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking would get the death panels if he were living under British socialized medicine. IBD refused to retract the story even after Hawking himself informed them that he is, in fact, British, and that he receives excellent care under the British national health care system.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Christopher Carr
          Ignored
          says:

          That would be this one which now contains the brilliant disclaimer:

          Editor’s Note: This version corrects the original editorial which implied that physicist Stephen Hawking, a professor at the University of Cambridge, did not live in the UK.

          “As God is my witness, I thought he lived in L. A. and commuted to Cambridge in that fancy wheelchair.”Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Christopher Carr
          Ignored
          says:

          Um, Hawking is a professor at Cambridge, you know, home of Harvard and MIT? Besides, he’s been on The Big Bang Theory, which is purely an American sitcom, which means he must be American. ^_^

          I’m still laughing at the KTVU screw up. As the NTSB has found, most failures of that magnitude aren’t the result of just one mistake, but a series of mistakes, mis-communications, and unwarranted assumptions. They should interview the entire news crew and try to recreate the events that led to the epic segment.Report

  2. Avatar George Turner
    Ignored
    says:

    In related news, This story from WXIA 11 News on people’s reactions to the Zimmerman verdict originally had a quote from a person named “Howie Felterbush.” They deleted it, but it lives on in the comments. My favorite was:

    Do you have a photo of Howie Felterbush?
    Because I’d be interested in seeing that.

    But “Sum Ting Wong with article” was pretty good too.Report

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