No brakes, all fakes

Look mom, no feet.

Look mom, no feet.

(Come friend Aunt Ruthie on Facebook and let’s hang out.)

Remember all those scenes from Apollo 13 that showed the inside of the control room in Houston? Yeah, well, that Ron Howard flick was cool. BP’s recently released photos from its control room, which showed various balding males in a dark room staring at screen shots of the Deepwater Horizon leak—which at this time finally had been capped off—not so cool.

Turns out, this control-room picture had been Photoshopped by BP’s top-notch arts and design squad—at least according to Grist ( That’s right. Grist called BP out, and the oil behemoth eventually conceded to Photoshopping and publishing the fake photo, which showed experts staring at 10 high-definition, up-to-the-minute streaming video feeds of the capped leak. But in reality, at least four of the screens were blank.

OK, so at the end of the day, it isn’t really a big to-do, you know, BP’s innocuous manipulation to make it appear that they were using every TV screen in their control room. Yet, in principle, there’s a problem, Houston—and America: BP lied to us. Again.

And with that, a confession: Dearest sister and yer Auntie, the one and only Ruth, again finds herself on vacation this week. And so the reins for riffing on eco-news and chatter have been passed to the inferior yet elder and seasoned Uncle Jerry.

And so, a full disclosure: Jerry hates oil. So much so, in fact, that this past week I’ve forgone my car for good in favor of my new Pedego Classic Cruiser, a both manual and battery-powered two-wheel bicycle. Under the hood is a 36-volt lithium-ion battery, which lasts for about a day’s worth of commuting. The bike is manufactured in Irvine, Calif.; find out more at

I know what you’re thinking: How fast is the sucker? Well, let’s just say the e-bike tops out at about 18 to 20 mph, full throttle. But the kicker is you don’t have to pedal a lick. And when you’re knocking on the door of the septuagenarian era, this matters.

I mean, c’mon, I just learned what Photoshop is a few days ago.