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Shell's New Offshore Gas Mining Monstrosity: The Largest Floating Thing Ever

At 1,600 feet, Shell's Prelude facility is longer than four football fields and weighs six times more than the heaviest aircraft carrier.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVs9qjF5Uzo

Don't be fooled by initial appearances. That isn't just another boat. It's Shell's new natural gas mining machine, which just got final investment approval, and it's mind-bogglingly huge. At 1,600 feet, it's longer than four football fields and weighs six times more than the heaviest aircraft carrier. Apparently, it will also be able to withstand a "one-in-10,000-year" category 5 cyclone. It's so big, in fact, that there seems to be some confusion about what to call it—a "facility," a "vessel," a "floating structure"? It's in a category of its own.


Called the Death Star the Prelude, it will float off the coast of Western Australia, getting the hard-to-reach natural gas in the area and processing it on site.

I'm not sure this is what Obama had in mind when he asked for Sputnik-style innovation. I get that humans need energy, and our options are limited right now, but it would be great if we were undertaking projects of this scale and ambition that were designed to harness a source that's truly renewable.

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via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

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The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

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Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

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