the gulf coast

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Thousands of oil spills are devastating the Gulf Coast — and no one seems to care

  • The Gulf Coast is being devastated, and there’s no end in sight for the massive problem.
  • That’s the takeaway from a new investigative report released Friday by Wired.
  • The report sheds light on the tens of thousands of oil spills each year that oil companies under-report and misrepresent as smaller than they actually are.
  • The Wired report highlights Taylor Energy, which owns more than two dozen undersea oil wells damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
  • Those wells, Wired reports, have been slowly leaking for the past 12 years — and they may keep leaking for the next century. Read more

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Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge encompasses some of Alabama’s last remaining undisturbed coastal barrier habitat. The name Bon Secour is French for “safe harbor,” very appropriate considering the sanctuary it provides for native flora and fauna. This refuge is a natural oasis of wildlands, where wildlife can exist without harm. It may be too cold to go in the water, but even in winter, a walk on the beach can be a beautiful experience. Photo by Stephanie Pluscht, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A mother Bryde’s whale and her calf feed on anchovies in the Gulf of Thailand, off the coast of Samut Sakhon province

Photograph: Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Getty Images

Gulf Coast Gothic
  • “Its a beautiful day” someone tells you. You look up at the blinding sky. You can feel yourself melting. Sweat pours off you both. If it stays this hot you might die. “Yes,” you echo “A beautiful day”
  • You’ve lived in the south for a few years now. One day without warning it possesses you. The “y’all” grabs your tongue and doesn’t let go. You are one of Them now.
  • You and your friends go to the beach. You take pictures for Instagram. “I love the beach” the caption reads. Your eyes are hollow. You do not love the beach. You have no feelings towards the beach.
  • You attend a Mardi Gras Parade. Everyone reaches their hands to the sky, trying to catch something that will complete them. A man in a hoodie comes out of nowhere and snatches something from right in front of you. You feel anger towards this man. You have no idea he was trying to protect you.
  • Every year like a bizarre ritual people begin cutting thick boards to fit their windows. There hasn’t been a hurricane in years. Why do they do this? No one can remember.
  • Your neighbor waves. You take notice that his lack of shirt signifies the plague has affected him. Every overweight man over the age of 60 catches this plague which seems to rid men of their ability to put on a shirt. You smile uncomfortably and wave back but say nothing. No one mentions the plague.
  • “Its not the same since the oil spill.” says your uncle. You’ve scrubbed your kitchen floor until your hands bled but he won’t let your forget that time you dropped a bottle of vegetable oil. “Never again will I let a family member put in a floor for me no matter how little they charge” you think. Your brother hollers from where he’s fixing the roof. Better bring him some more water.
  • You go over a bridge. “Look to see if there’s any dolphins!” the driver tells you. There are never any dolphins. You look anyway.
  • It is blackberry season again. You have your secret spot to find them, and your family wades through the brambles to find as many as possible. Thorns tear at your clothes and skin. You don’t feel the pain, just taste those sweet, sweet blackberries. Later you will make a pie.
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Cantona, Puebla

Most likely founded by Olmec-Xicalanca peoples towards the end of the Classic period, Cantona is situated about an hour from the city of Puebla and an hour and a half from Xalapa, Veracruz. Cantona sits along an old trading route that connected the Gulf Coast to the Central Highlands. The city was abandoned sometime around 1050 AD.

College Confession #33

There is this one kid that lives in my dorm who calls himself The Vanilla Coke Man. He goes around the entire housing giving out free vanilla coke. It started off as a joke, but now his entire dorm room is filled with cans of vanilla Coke. 

He takes his role very seriously. He is pretty much a campus celebrity now.

- Florida Gulf Coast University