* Oil Spill: Maybe the cap will hold, but in the meantime the Guardian reports that scientists are confronting growing evidence that BP’s ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico is creating oxygen-depleted “dead zones” where fish and other marine life cannot survive. And for readers who’ve been wondering, “Well, what’s the worst that could happen?”, here’s the BP Doomsday Scenario.
* G20: Your editor has a surprising conversation with the Toronto Police about the G20, and John Allemang writes a wonderful poem about the protests. (Thanks, Mom!)
* World Cup: One last Big Picture feature on the World Cup. We promise, no more. (For four years, anyway.) And here’s a chance to contribute to a South African food bank, to help a few of those who didn’t get helped by FIFA.
* Avaaz reports success: We did it! The proposal to legalise whale killing went down in flames in Morocco — and our campaign helped to tip the balance. In a few short weeks, we built the biggest whale-saving petition in history, signed by an extraordinary 1.2 million of us worldwide, and delivered it directly to key delegates at the International Whaling Commission meeting. In the end, the 24 year old whaling ban was upheld.
* Oil Spill: This cartoon in the current New Yorker sums it up. Painfully.
* World Cup: A strange and wonderful dynamic flash graphic that sums up everything that’s happened at the World Cup. Worth looking at to see how to present a lot of information in a clear way.(Thanks Diana!)
* Oil BP’s ex-bff, Anadarko Petroleum, which owns a quarter of the ruptured Deepwater Horizon well, refused to accept any blame for the explosion that killed 11 workers and led to the US’s worst environmental disaster. The company’s chairman and chief executive, Jim Hackett, said in a statement BP’s actions probably amounted to “gross negligence or wilful misconduct”. We guess that kills Jim’s chances of sailing on Tony’s yacht. The NYer has a fine cartoon of life on the current Gulf foodchain, boingboing links to a brilliant fridge poster of killer oil that should be on every fridge in North America, and Big Picture has another series on the spreading oil, after two months of gush.
* World Cup A fascinating Wikipedia story explains why this week’s world cup has the two final group games played simultaneously. It’s all because of a non-aggression pact between Germany and Austria in 1982. “[German] Commentator Eberhard Stanjek at one point refused to comment on the game any longer. Austrian commentator Robert Seeger bemoaned the spectacle and actually requested that the viewers should switch off their television sets.” And CounterPunch lives up to its name and fights for the French soccer team in “Workers and Players” For one there’s the creepily medieval evocation of ‘dishonor’. There’s the hysterical nationalism implicit and explicit in the outcry, with politicians from Sarkozy on (further) down getting involved. And finally there is the nature of the sin that brought the French debacle to its ignominious conclusion: not so much poor performances, as the fact that players stood up to management and showed solidarity and collective purpose when a comrade was victimized by that management.
Bird’s-Eye: Fine live coverage of all games on CBC, by the way. The most amazing story of the week is that the North Korean fans in the stands are all Chinese, hired to impersonate North Koreans. We’ve got some background on the history, care, and feeding on the vuvuzela, and some wonderful photos from the usual suspects.
*North Korean Soccer Fans Are Actually Chinese “Volunteers” Deadspin
North Korea’s World Cup debut elicited touching stories about the ragtag group of soccer fans “hand-picked” by the Communist regime to support their squad in South Africa. Turns out they were hand-picked for their skill at not being Korean. The UK’s Telegraph reported last month that China had already recruited actors and provided them with tickets to South Africa, so they could go and pretend to root for their sort-of allies. No North Korea citizen could possibly get a visa to leave the country and even if they could, they could never afford the bus trip to Pretoria.
* The Vuvuzela – Legendary Horn! Youtube
* World Cup Viewers Photo Guardian
* Opening Weekend Photos Big Picture