Five Things Friday: from Singles’ Day to Keystone Pipeline

Photo by Shannon Patrick , Published February 16, 2013 , Link to license: , Link to original work: , The Keystone Pipeline has suffered from several oil spills since its establishment.


Photo by Shannon Patrick , Published February 16, 2013 , Link to license: , Link to original work: , The Keystone Pipeline has suffered from several oil spills since its establishment.

11/11/17: Alibaba’s Singles’ Day breaks global record

Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company, generated $25 Billion in sales during their annual Singles’ Day sale on 11/11. With shoppers from over 225 countries and regions, the this year’s Singles’ Day showed an increase of 38 percent in sales from that of last year. At the height of the day, the company processed over 256,000 transactions a second. With the shocking number of transactions done, retail companies- such as Nike and Levi- are the real winners, topping 100 million yuans in sales. Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang talks about the company’s goals: “We want to make Singles’ Day a more global event… We could take the gala overseas very soon.”


11/12/17: Iran hit with devastating earthquake

At approximately 9:48 PM Sunday night, an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 struck Iran. The earthquake was so strong that those in Iraq felt it. The epicenter of the earthquake, located in the city of Ezgeleh, is located approximately 135 miles northeast of the capital city of Iran, Baghdad, and the waves from the earthquake could be felt all the way to the Iraqi border- resulting in eight deaths there. Seismologists state that it is the greatest earthquake to sit the western part of Iran. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, delivered a message of urgency shortly after: “The officials should hasten in these first hours with all their might and determination to help the injured, especially those trapped under the rubble.” There are at least 7,460 injured and over 530 casualties in Iran. These numbers are expected to rise.


11/13/17: Scientist get together to sign a warning

On Monday, 15,365 scientists from over 185 different countries signed a letter an article for the scholarly journal Bioscience. The article- title “World Scientists Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice”- a follow-up of the first warning was issued in 1992 when 1,700 members of the Union of Concerned Scientists argued that humans were “on a collision course with nature.” On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first warming, the second warning showed that humans have not done a good job at responding to environmental problems: for example, with the rapid heating increase from fossil fuels, hundreds of species are expected to go extinct by the end of the century. This letter is a reminder that time is running out: “To prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual…We must recognize… that Earth with all its life is our only home.”


11/14/17: Meteor falls over western United States

At approximately 8:30 in the evening Tuesday night, stargazers on the Western side of the United States saw an extremely bright object streak across the sky. Those who initially saw the object fall may have been filled with anxiety, for the arrival of the object was not anticipated. The bright object-later reported by the American Meteor society to be a meteor– fell across the sky and was reportedly seen over Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, and New Mexico. The object, most likely only a few feet wide, provided a spectacle for the audience. Despite having a protective layer, scientist predict that significant amounts of charred debris may remain somewhere between Flagstaff and Phoenix, Arizona. Luckily, no reports of injuries or damages have been reported.


11/15/17: Keystone Pipeline leaks 210,000 gallons of oil

A total of 210,000 gallons of oil has leaked from the Keystone Pipeline in Marshall County, South Dakota. Although the source of the leak was determined and isolated within fifteen minutes due to the drop in pressure, the damage was already done. As of now, there are no reports of oil contaminating waterways, water systems, and wildlife. However, it will take several days before agencies can get to the borings to see if groundwater has been contaminated. This is the largest oil spill to date in South Dakota. The previous oil spill in April 26, was 16,800 gallons of oil and it took two months to clean up. The estimated time for the cleanup to take place has not been announced. TransCanada, the company for the Keystone Pipeline released in a statement assuring their diligence: “The safety of the public and environment are our top priorities and we will continue to provide updates as they become available.”