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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Slice of Philosophy

What is a weed?
A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

US income gap widens as poor take hit in recession

The recession has hit middle-income and poor families hardest, widening the economic gap between the richest and poorest Americans as rippling job layoffs ravaged household budgets.

The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans — those making more than $138,000 each year — earned 11.4 times the roughly $12,000 made by those living near or below the poverty line in 2008, according to newly released census figures.

Obama to travel to Copenhagen for Chicago's bid for 2016 Olympics

U.S. President Barack Obama will travel to Copenhagen, Denmark, to support Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Obama to travel to Copenhagen for Chicago's bid for 2016 Olympics

Opposition to Wilson at Rally

Opponents of Congressman Joe Wilson gathered at a town rally over the weekend in South Carolina.

Hitler Mystery: DNA Casts Doubt on Suicide Story

New tests show that a skull long thought to be Adolf Hitler 's is not the Nazi dictator's, casting doubt on the long-held notion that he committed suicide in his bunker as Allied forces closed in on him, according to scientists.

Hitler Mystery

Economy forces college grads back home

Economy forces college grads back home

When jobless college graduates move back in with their parents, everyone has a lot of adjusting to do.

Dimbulb Spews

You have to be brainwashed or mentally deranged to think
that that nigger in the White House is good for America.
~ the vulgar, racist Pigboy, Lush Dimbulb

Well, let's see - as I am not brainwashed (unlike you and your fellow mendicants) nor am I deranged (as you have continuously proven yourself to be), also I am not given to using a contrived expletive when speaking of the president, therefore you are incorrect in your assertion, Lush.

Activists protest Virginia strip club's Obama banner

Activists gathered outside a downtown strip club Monday to denounce as racist a banner depicting President Obama as the Joker from Batman.

"Not only is it an attack on the president, but also on all men and people of African descent," King Salim Khalfani, president of the Virginia NAACP, said of what he called "the abomination that's on the wall" outside Club Velvet.

The banner, unfurled within the past few days, depicts Obama as Heath Ledger's grotesque Joker character from "The Dark Knight." The president is shown with smeared red lipstick, a white face and darkened eyes. The word "socialism" is spelled out below the caricature.

Dancer Kaitlyn McGee handed out a statement from club owner Sam Moore, who did not appear. The statement described him as a "staunch libertarian" and said the banner was intended to show his displeasure with Obama's policies. McGee walked through the crowd with a sign that read "Strippers 4 Obama" to show that Moore is not opposed to the president himself.

"Mr. Moore would like to say that anyone who believes that his banner is racist is an ignoramus," it read.

But the activists said the Joker banner was typical of what they called escalating attacks on the president — from depictions of Obama as Hitler at rallies to South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" outburst during Obama's recent nationally televised address to Congress.

"Racism is as American as apple pie," Khalfani said. "The presence of a president that as African blood is very, very troublesome to many in this country."

McGee, who described herself as a waitress and dancer, said customers had not complained since the banner was unfurled at the busy intersection in Shockoe Bottom, a historic entertainment and residential district.

"As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't really bother me," she said. "You could say a lot worse things about him."

Unique power of senator from Maine

Unique power of senator from Maine

Republican Olympia Snowe could give Democrats a landmark health care win with a yes vote.

Bargain homes near the best schools

Bargain homes near the best schools

These affordable neighborhoods also boast some of the country's top-rated school districts.

Top 10

Most overpaid CEOs

Best paid CEOs with worst performances

These chief execs made at least $30 million each in 2008 while their company stocks tanked.

Statues spied beneath 'magical' waters

Statues spied beneath 'magical' waters

Archaeologists make an exciting find at the bottom of a Roman emperor's prized swimming hole.


Unique creation from 1 million spiders

Unique creation from 1 million spiders

When Nicholas Godley began to assemble this tapestry, many said he was insane.

Photo op goes wrong for Spain's first family

Photo op goes wrong for Spain's first family

A picture with the Obamas turned into a nightmare for the teenage daughters of P.M. Zapatero.

Thoughts on Life

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.

~ George Bernard Shaw

And I Quote

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heal that has crushed it.

~ Mark Twain

Facebook Pulls "Obama Death Poll"

From the "Well, Duh?!" Department:

Facebook has pulled, for obvious reasons, a poll asking users to vote on the question "Should Obama be killed?"

Full Story

Also from the "Well, Duh?!" Department:

Secret Service probing Facebook poll on Obama

The U.S. Secret Service is investigating an online survey that asked whether people thought President Barack Obama should be assassinated.


And, you still wonder about the wing-nuts?
This is the kind of crap they are all about and they are insane enough to actually try to do just that ... kill the president.

Man jumps into grizzly bear exhibit

From the "I should say, so" Department:

A 21-year-old man is undergoing a mental evaluation after climbing into the grizzly bear exhibit at the San Francisco Zoo.

Man jumps into grizzly bear exhibit

A chicken lays an egg

From the "That's interesting" Department:

Scrambled eggs anyone?

That's the question a farmer in upstate New York may be asking his neighbors after finding an enormous egg.

A Rochester farmer's chicken passed an egg equal in size to a 25-pound baby

Nazi officer's estate to go to village where he was POW

A former Nazi SS officer who was imprisoned in Scotland during World War II reportedly plans to leave the bulk of his estate to villagers who befriended him.

Nazi officer's estate to go to village where he was POW

Man's face set on fire during fight over beer

From the "That stuff will make up stupid" Department:

A homeless Florida man was hospitalized after his face was set on fire by another homeless man during a fight over beer.

Full Story

Grandmother Arrested for Buying Cold Medication

From the "This is absurd" Department:

Last March, Sally Harpold, an Indiana grandmother of triplets, bought two boxes of cold medication in less than a week. Together, the two boxes contained 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine, putting her in violation of the state's methamphetamine-fighting law, which forbids the purchase of more than three grams by one person in a seven-day period.

Police came to Harpold's home, arrested and handcuffed her, and booked her in a Vermillion County jail. No one believes Harpold was making meth or aiding anyone who was. But local authorities aren't apologizing for her arrest.

“I don’t want to go there again,” [Vermillion County Prosecutor Nina] Alexander told the Tribune-Star, recalling how the manufacture and abuse of methamphetamine ravaged the tiny county and its families.

While the law was written with the intent of stopping people from purchasing large quantities of drugs to make methamphetamine, the law does not say the purchase must be made with the intent to make meth.

“The law does not make this distinction,” Alexander said...

Just as with any law, the public has the responsibility to know what is legal and what is not, and ignorance of the law is no excuse, the prosecutor said.

“I’m simply enforcing the law as it was written,” Alexander said...

It is up to customers to pay attention to their purchase amounts, and to check medication labels, Alexander said.

“If you take these products, you ought to know what’s in them,” she said.

Harpold's photo was put on the front page of the local paper as part of an article about the arrest of 17 people in a "drug sweep." Alexander has generously allowed Harpold to enter a deferral program. If she commits no crimes in the next 30 days, her arrest will be wiped from her record. She'll still have to pay court costs and attorney fees.

Leave it to Vigo County Sheriff Jon Marvel to (unintentionally) put an exclamation point on the absurdity.

“Sometimes mistakes happen,” Marvel said. “It’s unfortunate. But for the good of everyone, the law was put into effect.

“I feel for her, but if she could go to one of the area hospitals and see a baby born to a meth-addicted mother …”

Because clearly the best way to prevent meth-addicted babies is to arrest women who buy cold medication for their grandchildren.


This is why we need intelligence in those making and enforcing our laws. Something to this point we have been sorely lacking. And idiotic instances like this will keep occurring until someone with a functioning brain that has made it past the seventh grade says, whoa there buddy we need to think this one through. In the meantime real criminals are plying their trade with those charged with interrupting and ending their trade preoccupied with granny and her cold medicine.

850 New Species Discovered Underground in Australia

From Treehugger:

new species in australia photo
This new species is Phreatomerus latipes, from Coward Springs, South Australia. Photo credit: University of Adelaide via Eurekalert

Scientists have discovered 850 new species of invertebrates living in underground water, caves and micro-caverns across arid and semi-arid Australia. Over the course of a four-year study, the team found whole communities of previously undiscovered insects, small crustaceans, spiders, worms and many other creatures...and they say it is all evidence of past climate change.

Here come the airport rectal exams!

More TSA anal retentativeness ...

Cory Doctorow had this to say over at Boing Boing, today:

Uh-oh. Now that a terrorist has tried unsuccessfully to blow up a Saudi prince with a bomb shoved up his ass, the TSA is obliged to perform rectal exams on every flier for the rest of time. After all, once a jihadi failed to blow up a plane with his shoe, we all needed to start taking our shoes off. Then some knuckleheads believed they could blow up a plane with energy beverages and hair gel, so now we have to limit ourselves to 100ml of all liquids and gels, unless they're for babies or are prescription (because no mass-murderer would be so evil as to forge a doctor's note, which, as every junkie knows, cannot possibly be forged).

Now we found someone who was made to believe he could kill people with an asshole bomb, and so it follows that the TSA will have to ban -- or at least inspect -- our assholes. They're like opinions, you know, everybody's got one. Except, of course, most of us got to keep our assholes to ourselves. Not anymore.

Let's just be thankful that no one has yet convinced a suicidal murderer that he could blow up a plane with his mind, because once that happens, we're all in for mandatory airport trepannations. Because, you know, you can't be too safe. Every little bit helps. If an unhinged suicide bomber believes it's possible, we must take it seriously. To do less would be irresponsible.

For years, I have made the joke about Richard Reid: "Just be glad that he wasn't the underwear bomber." Now, sadly, we have an example of one.

Lewis Page, an "improvised-device disposal operator tasked in support of the UK mainland police from 2001-2004," pointed out that this isn't much of a threat for three reasons: 1) you can't stuff a lot of explosives into a body cavity, 2) detonation is, um, problematic, and 3) the human body can stifle an explosion pretty effectively (think of someone throwing himself on a grenade to save his friends).

But who ever accused the TSA of being rational?

Better World

There are some corners of the world where communities, city officials and governments are changing the environment for the better – here are some of them.

Better world: Global green heroes

Monster insect mimic lures prey with siren song

Male cicadas can't resist the katydid's sweet songs – unfortunately for them.

Monster insect mimic lures prey with siren song

Strange but clever economic indicators

Strange but clever economic indicators

These quirky signs might be better signals of the economy than stocks.

Seven easy dinners

Seven easy dinners

Minimize your cooking time with these quick menus for every day of the week.

'Lucy' from iconic Beatles song dies

'Lucy' from iconic Beatles song dies

The real-life Lucy who inspired "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" has died after a long battle with lupus.

Job cuts deal a blow to Social Security

Job cuts deal a blow to Social Security

For the first time in over 20 years, the agency will pay out more in benefits than it collects from workers.


Reasons companies don't call back

6 reasons companies don't call back

Recruiters reveal why they don't even bother to contact many job applicants.

Unusual Holidays and Celebrations

Today is
Fish Tank Floorshow Day
World Maritime Day

as well as

Yom Kippur

Daily Almanac

Today is Monday, Sept. 28, the 271st day of 2009.

There are 94 days left in the year.

Today In History September 28, 2009

Our Readers

Some of our readers today have been in:

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Brescia, Lombardia, Italy
Zagreb, Grad Zagreb, Croatia
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Nanaim, British Columbia, Canada
Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
London, England, United Kingdom
Bristol, England, United Kingdom

Daily Horoscope

Today's horoscope says:

Sharing your life can be tricky, but you're handling the balancing act quite well -- especially now.
The only thing you may want to watch out for is spreading yourself too thin.
Unless you get enough time to yourself, you may lose focus on what it takes to make yourself truly happy.
Feel free to back off on social plans or reschedule social events to get the downtime you need.
Clear communication is essential -- let your loved ones know what's going on with you.

That's just what I am doing.