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2.5 McKales of Oil


This seemingly random series of letters is actually the Internet's shortest story on the BP oil spill.

Meanwhile, one of the most-reported, but least-understood things about the story is just how much oil has leaked into the Gulf of Mexico.

Anyone who has seen the pictures from space or has typed "gushing pipe" into a search engine knows that the phrases "a lot" or "crap load" don't even begin to describe how much oil is still being leaked every day. Recent estimates put that number at 25,000 to 30,000 barrels. At that rate, it's equivalent to an Exxon Valdez-sized spill every 10 days. PBS has created a widget that puts the worst-case scenario (100,000 barrels leaked per day) at 233 million gallons so far, with the lowball estimate at 40 million.

That's a lot of numbers, especially considering the fact that most of us can't really comprehend liquid volume beyond a can of soda or a gallon of milk. (For those of you keeping track at home, at worst, the spill is roughly equal to 4.2 million gallons of milk, er, oil per day.)

Instead of incomprehensible numbers of oil barrels or gallons, we found a measure more relatable to our readers: The McKale. By our estimate, you could fill UA's McKale Center with 94 million gallons of oil. That means BP has leaked two and a half McKales so far. Find out how we came up with this number at TucsonWeeklyTV.com.

A bit of trivia: What's the cost of one McKale of oil, you ask? Somewhere in the vicinity of $168 million.


We looked at the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's ban on matching funds for Clean Elections candidates and noted that Gov. Jan Brewer was unsuccessful in her efforts to persuade the Clean Elections Commission to let her raise private funds; explained why Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was giving the Phoenix New Times $40,000; and shared a clip of Yuma Mayor Al Krieger referring to gay soldiers as "lacy-drawered, limp-wristed people."

We started a series of profiles of this year's political candidates, starting with Legislative District 27 Democrats Sami Hamed, Dustin Cox and Bob Gilby. We also let you know that William Wallace, a Democrat running for the House of Representatives in Legislative District 26, was facing a challenge to his nominating petitions.

In the nuttiest political nugget, we let you know that a Rasmussen poll had Gov. Jan Brewer just 5 percentage points behind Barack Obama in a presidential matchup.

We shared a bulletin from the Center for Biological Diversity about a shallow-water well that's also leaking in the Gulf of Mexico—showing that the Interior Department doesn't seem to be able to get a handle on its regulatory responsibilities.

On the Chow beat, we let you know that Jason's Deli would be reopening; suggested you try the Jamaican food at D and D Island Grill JA; and directed you to the Jax Farm Project blog.

We shared a remembrance of local musician Gerry Glombecki, who passed away on May 25; previewed Roger Clyne's Rocky Point concert; and let you know that Hall and Oates are boycotting Arizona as a result of SB 1070.

We also shared photos and multimedia projects from UA journalism students R.J. Young, Raymond Slusarczyk, Nicole O'Shea, Katherine Parchen, Taylor Medeiros, Ryan Sheehy and Joshua Morgan.


"Mr. Pearce must have flunked junior high school civics, as he ought to know the 14th Amendment overruled the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision back in 1868. Also, the Supreme Court already ruled in Afroyim v. Rusk in the late 1960s that an individual cannot have their U.S. citizenship deprived of them involuntarily."

TucsonWeekly.com user "Sponge Bob" in response to a post on The Range about state Sen. Russell Pierce's plan to block U.S. citizenship for children born in this country to illegal immigrants.


We've got our quarterly Pride section in this week's issue, and if there's anything that lends itself well to online video, it's politicians talking about sexual-orientation policy decisions. This week, Jim Nintzel is writing about the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" debate in the CD8 race. Last weekend, we posted a video of Yuma Mayor Al Krieger sounding off on why "lacy-drawered, limp-wristed" soldiers aren't fit to hold a rifle. And if that's not enough, you'll want to watch the TucsonWeeklyTV Classic Clip of state Sen. Jack Harper explaining why he thinks gays shouldn't be allowed in the military. (Harper's logic: This gay soldier I knew smoked pot; therefore, all gays make bad soldiers.)

See a video of what it's like fighting wildfires on the border at http://www.myfirevideos.net/Default.aspx?CategoryID=8&SubCategoryID=23&VideoID=354.


By Nick Smith
The Tucson Weekly has come up with a new way to measure liquids: The McKale. The UA's McKale Center holds about 94 million gallons. In terms of the BP oil spill, that's 2.5 McKales so far.

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