May 28th, 2010
10:58 AM ET

Man takes cue from 'UP,' floats across English Channel

The movie "UP" has sparked a renewed interest in the sport of cluster ballooning.

Remember "UP," the Pixar movie in which good ol’ cranky Carl hooks 20,000 helium-filled balloons to his house and floats away to South America?

It’s not as impossible as it looks.

American adventurer Jonathan R. Trappe strapped himself to a wicker chair – sans house – that was strung with 55 multicolored “chloroprene cloudbuster” balloons and successfully floated himself across the English Channel Friday morning.

Snipping off one eight-foot helium filled balloon at a time, Trappe, descended into a field in Dunkirk, northern France, after more than three hours in the air, according the UK’s Times newspaper.


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Filed under: Air travel • United Kingdom
May 27th, 2010
01:38 PM ET

Gulf oil spill: The blame game widens

As patience runs low and pressure mounts for a federal takeover of the the Gulf Coast oil spill response, the finger pointing is spreading further and wider. We look at who’s getting the flak from commentators and editorials.

Who’s to blame: President Obama?
Being commander in chief, to some, means President Obama should also be chief blame-taker. Many, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, accuse him and his administration of not properly responding to the oil spill. A story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune highlights how some say Obama needs to take charge.

"Where is the President? Does he not understand the magnitude of what is probably the worst environmental disaster in the country? And then we get mixed messages from his various Cabinet secretaries who come down and they say, looks like they are satisfied with the coordination going on," said Rep. Steve Scalise in remarks on the House floor Tuesday just around the time the White House was letting it be known that the president would be visiting the Gulf on Friday.


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Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
May 25th, 2010
04:00 PM ET

Gulf Coast oil spill demystified: A glossary

"Top hats." "Top kills." Berms. Booms. As the attempts to plug the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico become more complex, so do the terms. We break down the jargon that you might come across as you follow the story.

1. Berms: A wall or barrier of sand usually used to protect against flooding along coasts, but now it's being considered to stop oil from washing up on Gulf Coast beaches.

Context: For nearly two weeks [Louisiana Gov. Bobby] Jindal has asked the [U.S. Army] Corps [of Engineers] to approve a plan to dredge sand berms off the coast in an attempt to keep oil from reaching inland marshes.

The Christian Science Monitor: BP oil spill pushes Louisiana to desperate, massive 'berm' plan


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