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L.A. in Deepwater

Los Angeles has been the backdrop for many disaster movies - volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis destroy the city about once every year. Many enjoy sitting through an hour and a half of Mother Nature bent on bringing every single palm tree down. But an L.A. sized version of the real-life Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf Coast would give Hollywood producers a run for their money.

Over at The Atlantic, columnist James Fallow shares an interesting little utility from Paul Radamarcher's site. The tool shows the Deepwater Horizon oil spill compared to the size of a city. Fallow notes the "surprising power that different visual renderings of reality can have, in changing our ability to understand, or at least begin to envision, what is going on around us."

The size of the oil spill is even more shocking when juxtaposed with a map of L.A. - all of the city is covered. I commute from UC Irvine (zot!zot!) to the KCET studios in Los Feliz by train. The one hour train ride would not get me out of the oil spill zone, only half way through! If this were a Hollywood disaster movie I would probably not be a survivor. The oil spill is that big.

oilspillLA.jpg

The spill can be compared to any city, or state if it is small enough. Try it out here.

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