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Film Review: "The Overnighters"

Mother Jones

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The Overnighters


This engrossing film is set in Williston, North Dakota, where locals are freaking out about the hordes of desperate men in need of cash and a fresh start who pour into their tiny town in search of fracking jobs. A local pastor takes pity on them, converting his Concordia Lutheran Church into an ad hoc shelter. He’s resolute, even as his family reels from the criticism of angry neighbors and congregants who want him to be a little less Christian. But he risks losing everything when the local paper reports that sex offenders are among the visitors. Up through its devastating reveal, The Overnighters questions the motivations behind (and consequences of) our choices and convictions.

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Film Review: "The Overnighters"

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The $400 million plan to unsink a giant cruise ship

The $400 million plan to unsink a giant cruise ship

Nearly a year after it crashed into a very picturesque rock on the coast of Giglio Island in the Mediterranean, the Costa Concordia cruise ship is still lying on its side in the middle of a marine wildlife preserve. The island’s mayor called the ship “an ecological timebomb,” but while it’s not (currently!) leaking oil into the sea, the Concordia is basically a massive amount of pollution still waiting to happen.

Roberto Vongher

There are only two things to do: Chop it up, sink it, and say sorry, or spend $400 million towing the failed monstrosity away from nature.

The latter it is!

Business Insider calls the plan, “the riskiest, most complicated, and most expensive salvage plan ever undertaken,” and no one is entirely sure it will actually work.

The process consists of stabilizing the ship with massive cables (almost complete); drilling an underwater platform into the sea floor; attaching massive floaties to each side of the ship, tipping it upright, and (hopefully!) towing it away from the protected coastline still mostly intact.

Workers had to take a four-day rock climbing course before beginning the work, which will take months.

The (many) companies undertaking this plan say, “it best fulfills the main objectives of the operation: removal of the wreck in one piece, minimal risk, minimal environmental impact, protection of Giglio’s economy and tourism industry, and maximum safety of the work.”

When the only other option is to sink the ship and walk away, it doesn’t really matter if the salvage plan is serious about preserving the Mediterranean ecosystem or just desperate to salvage the tourist dollars on which Giglio’s economy relies. But just think of all the wonderful things we could do with that $400 million if we weren’t building these big dumb toys and crashing them into islands.

Susie Cagle writes and draws news for Grist. She also writes and draws tweets for



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The $400 million plan to unsink a giant cruise ship

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