The Keystone oil spill is history repeating itself. And it'll happen again. And again.

On Thursday, Nov. 16, around 210,000 gallons of oil escaped from the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota.

The spill happened near the town of Amherst. TransCanada, the company that operates the pipeline, says they were able to shut down the system as soon as they saw a drop in the oil pressure, but by the time the spill was stopped, more than 5,000 barrels of oil had spilled onto the ground.

Locals are worried that contamination could find its way into the local water supply.


This spill is especially notable because it's part of the same Keystone Pipeline System whose planned expansion, the Keystone XL, drew protests from environmentalists and local communities.

A meeting with the Nebraska Public Service Commission to discuss final approval of the project was scheduled for Monday, Nov. 20.

Oil spills can be devastating, and the new leak along the Keystone pipeline should be taken seriously.

But the fact is, this is not the first spill in 2017 nor is it the worst.

On Jan. 30, for instance, a road crew dug into an oil pipeline near Blue Ridge, Texas, spilling about 210,000 gallons. On April 25, a pipeline spilled about 1,050 gallons of oil and saltwater into a tributary of the Little Missouri River. And in October, a cracked pipeline southeast of Venice, Louisiana, spilled about 672,000 gallons into the Gulf of Mexico. These are just a handful of the spills this year.

The funny thing is, pipelines are actually relatively safe compared to transporting oil by train or tanker truck (although critics have pointed out that many pipelines are old, lack modern safety equipment, and are inconsistently inspected), but there are 2.5 million miles of these pipelines in the United States.

And though we are slowly increasing our production of renewable energy, America still runs very much on petroleum. The Keystone spill was not the first pipeline failure. It will probably not be the last.

Heroes
Facebook / Mikhail Galin

Putting your pet in cargo during a flight isn't always safe. In 2016, the Department of Transportation reported a total of 26 pet deaths and 22 injuries on flights. Because conditions in cargo can be uncomfortable for animals, the Humane Society recommends taking your pet aboard when you fly, or just leaving it at home.

It's not surprising that one Russian man didn't want to put his overweight cat in cargo during an eight-hour flight from Moscow to Vladivostok. What is surprising is the great lengths he took to fly with his four-legged friend.

Russian airline Aeroflot allows pets to fly inside the plane's cabin, as long as the cat weighs under 17.6 pounds and stays in its carrier during the flight. When Mikhail Galin went to check in, he was told he couldn't fly with his four-year old cat, Viktor. Viktor weighed in at 22 pounds and would have to be relegated to cargo.

But Viktor was sick from their earlier flight from Riga, Latvia to Moscow. And besides, Viktor had been allowed to fly inside the cabin during that flight. The airline staff didn't even bother to make Viktor sit on the scales. Galin was unable to persuade staff to bring his fur baby on board.

"To all attempts to explain that the cat won't survive there on an 8-hour flight with the baggage and would haunt her in her nightmares for the rest of her life, she (the Aeroflot staff member) replied that there are rules," Galin wrote in a Facebook post translated from Russian.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Photo by Kelvin Octa from Pexels

Newborn babies don't seem to do much beyond eating and pooping and, of course, hiccupping. A lot. Parenting advice on how to cure a baby's hiccups runs the whole gamut. It's recommended parents try everything from nursing to stop feeding the baby so much, from giving the baby gripe water to letting the hiccups play their course. But when your baby hiccups too much, you shouldn't freak out. There's a good reason why.

A new study published in Clinical Neurophysiology found that hiccups play an important role in a baby's development. Researchers from the University College London found 217 babies for their study, but only looked at 13 newborns with persistent hiccups. Ten of those babies hiccupped when they were awake, and three hiccupped during their "wriggly" sleep. We have no idea how the scientists got any work done with all that cuteness lying around.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Actress Kristen Bell and "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon showed off their vocal and comedic chops on Tuesday night when the performed a medley of 17 Disney songs, spanning nine decades, in just five minutes.

The duo started with 1940's "When You Wish Upon a Star" and ended with 2013's "Let it Go" from "Frozen."

Bell will reprise her role as Anna in Disney's upcoming "Frozen 2."

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Ask almost any woman about a time a man said or did something sexually inappropriate to them, and she'll have a story or four to tell. According to a survey NPR published last year, 81% of women report having experienced sexual harassment, with verbal harassment being the most common. (By contrast, 43% of men report being sexually harassed. Naturally harassment toward anyone of any sex or gender is not okay, but women have been putting up with this ish unchecked for centuries.)

One form of verbal sexual harassment is the all too common sexist or sexual "joke." Ha ha ha, I'm going to say something explicit or demeaning about you and then we can all laugh about how hilarious it is. And I'll probably get away with it because you'll be too embarrassed to say anything, and if you do you'll be accused of being overly sensitive. Ha! Won't that be a hoot?

Keep Reading Show less
popular