A sense of scale

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As with any truly massive disaster, finding the terms to describe the scale of the destruction is a feat rarely accomplished. Perhaps our inability to describe is really what qualifies an event as a catastrophe.

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you can now put the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in your backyard. Or, more precisely everybody's backyard.

Paul Rademacher plotted the oil spill and with some Google Earth magic, you can plop the spill right on to your neighborhood, or, rather, your state. (You'll need a modern browser and the Google Earth plugin to view it.)

As it stands now, the spill would extend from Duluth-Superior to Isle Royale in Lake Superior. Or on land, all the way from Faribault to Pine City.

By the way, it appears that officials estimates of the amount of oil gushing from the sea floor could be 10 times too small.

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