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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.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Emails show climate science not faked

Emails show climate science not faked

A review of messages stolen from global warming scientists finds no evidence they falsified data.

What is uncovered

U.S. cities experiencing a rebirth

U.S. cities experiencing a rebirth

Cool events and new attractions are breathing fresh life into these overlooked towns.

The cheapest days for buying a car

The cheapest days for buying a car

You can get a big discount on a car if you buy on certain days of the week, the month, and the year.

Cities with best and worst tap water

Cities with best and worst tap water

Residents of this Florida town may be unhappy to learn they have the worst tap water in the U.S.

Who has the best

NY Judge Declares Mistrial in NJ Blogger Trial

A judge declared a mistrial Monday in the case against a New Jersey blogger accused of making death threats against three federal judges in Chicago because they wrote a ruling supporting gun control.

The mistrial came after the jury sent two notes - one during its first day of deliberation on Friday and another on Monday - saying it was hopelessly deadlocked over charges Hal Turner threatened to kill or assault a federal judge.

A retrial was scheduled for March 1 in Brooklyn, where the case was moved based on a change-of-venue request.

Prosecutors had argued that Turner knew his Internet tirade, which insisted the judges "must die," could provoke violence by members of his radical audience.
The defense likened Turner to a "shock jock" and argued he was expressing an opinion protected by the First Amendment.

The only juror to speak to reporters afterward, truck driver Richard Gardiner, said the jury voted 9 to 3 in favor of acquittal, with the majority seeing the government's case as weak.
He said he held out for a conviction because he "did think it was a threat."

Full Story

Tons of weapons seized from plane at Thai airport

Air Force spokesman Capt. Montol Suchookorn said the chartered cargo plane originated in North Korea's capital Pyongyang and requested to land at Bangkok's Don Muang airport to refuel.

Pakistan army ends offensive, mulls next attack

Pakistan has wrapped up its army offensive against the Taliban in South Waziristan, but now may send its soldiers after militants in another part of the lawless tribal belt along the Afghan border, the prime minister said Saturday.

Poor being turned away from free cancer screenings

As the economy falters and more people go without health insurance, low-income women in at least 20 states are being turned away or put on long waiting lists for free cancer screenings, according to the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network.

Poor being turned away from free cancer screenings

Grinch Steals Rare Tree To Use For xmas

It wasn't even a very good-looking xmas tree.
As described, this particular tree would not have the typical conical shape of a fir tree.
Yet someone chopped down and stole an extremely rare tree from the University of Washington Botanical Gardens arboretum, because stealing it made it free.

Flying Through Thunderstorm Equivalent to Getting 400 Chest X-rays?

From Treehugger:

Photo via: D'Arcy Norman/Flickr

Here's one that motivates me, Miss Wanderlust, to pack away my passport and more seriously consider that staycation.

Recent findings from scientists at the Florida Institute of Technology, UC Santa Cruz and the University of Florida are estimating that airplane passengers and crews traveling through just one thunderstorm of lightening-emitted X-rays, gamma rays and high-energy electrons could be exposed to radiation amounts equal to 400 chest X-rays--the maximum safe radiation exposure over a person's lifetime. Ouch.

New shopping theory has old roots

New shopping theory has old roots

Women's shopping habits are thousands of years in the making, a study reports.

Most promising companies in 2010

Most promising companies in 2010

Even if the economy doesn't recover, these businesses should keep growing.

Cute Overload

Adorable puppy tries to whistle

This little dog doesn't let the fact that he can't pucker his lips stop him from attempting to whistle.


And I Quote

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life.

~ Theodore Roosevelt

In other words - repugicans in a nutshell.

Now, before you go off on your tangent Teddy Roosevelt was a Democrat at heart just like his cousin Franklin though unlike Franklin he played lip service to the other political party to be elected in his district.

Lord Mockton Calls Youth Climate Activists "Hitler Youth"

From Treehugger:

The temperature is rising at COP15.

Famous climate change denier and hereditary third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley Lord Christopher Monckton is in the news for calling green protestors "Hitler youth." He followed that up by saying those who want action on global warming have killed more people than Hitler.

Article continues: Lord Mockton Calls Youth Climate Activists "Hitler Youth"
It didn't help Mockton's case when the 'Hitler Youth' he was speaking to turned out to be jewish either.

... such are the moron deniers.

Health Insurers Caught Paying Facebook Gamers Virtual Currency To Oppose Reform Bill

Health insurance industry trade groups opposed to President Obama’s health care reform bill are paying Facebook users fake money — called “virtual currency” — to send letters to Congress protesting the bill. [...]

Instead of asking the gamers to try a product the way Netflix would, “Get Health Reform Right” requires gamers to take a survey, which, upon completion, automatically sends the following email to their Congressional Rep:

“I am concerned a new government plan could cause me to lose the employer coverage I have today. More government bureaucracy will only create more problems, not solve the ones we have.”

Health Insurers Caught Paying Facebook Gamers Virtual Currency To Oppose Reform Bill

SEC widens probe of BofA, Merrill deal

The Securities and Exchange Commission has expanded its probe of Bank of America to include possible failure by the bank to disclose mounting losses at Merrill Lynch, a top agency official said Friday.

SEC widens probe of BofA, Merrill deal

Move to cut ACORN funding ruled unconstitutional

The U.S. government's move this fall to cut off funding to ACORN was unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Friday, handing the embattled group a legal victory.

Move to cut ACORN funding ruled unconstitutional

Judges told to 'unfriend' attorneys on Facebook

Florida's judges and lawyers should no longer "friend" each other on Facebook, the social networking site, the state Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee ruled.

Judges told to 'unfriend' attorneys on Facebook

Saudi Arabia Running out of Sand

From Treehugger:

saudi arabia peak sand crisis photo
al shaybah oil field, via heatingoil.com

Sounds crazy, that's what the place is made of. Who would think that Saudi Arabia could be running out of sand? Yet the Kingdom has halted exports of the stuff, a major component of concrete, and it is causing problems in Bahrain and other countries that depend on imports of high quality Saudi sand.

Evidently the stuff is in the wrong place; Stuart Burns in MetalMiner reports that "Saudi Arabia has more sand than oil but unlike it's oil, the sand and gravel are predominantly in rather inaccessible areas and the cost of transport for such a comparatively low value product is uneconomically high." So the Saudis are keeping what they've got to themselves.

Who knows, might they do the same for oil when the time comes?

End-of-the-year sky show coming

End-of-the-year sky show coming

The meteor shower NASA says is the best of 2009 will peak on Sunday night.

Saturday Jam

Today's Saturday Jam gets the Led out!

Whole Lotta Love


Stairway to Heaven

Over The Hills And Far Away

Misty Mountain Hop

Led Zeppelin

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
As Prepared for Delivery
Weekly Address
Saturday, December 12, 2009

Over the past two years, more than seven million Americans have lost their jobs, and factories and businesses across our country have been shuttered. In one way or another, we’ve all been touched by the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

The difficult steps we’ve taken since January have helped to break our fall, and begin to get us back on our feet. Our economy is growing again. The flood of job loss we saw at the beginning of this year slowed to a relative trickle last month. These are good signs for the future, but little comfort to all of our neighbors who remain out of a job. And my solemn commitment is to work every day, in every way I can, to push this recovery forward and build a new foundation for our lasting growth and prosperity.

That’s why I announced some additional steps this week to spur private sector hiring. We’ll give an added boost to small businesses across our nation through additional tax cuts and access to lending they desperately need to grow. We’ll rebuild more of our vital infrastructure and promote advanced manufacturing in clean energy to put Americans to work doing the work we need done. And I have called for the extension of unemployment insurance and health benefits to help those who have lost their jobs weather these storms until we reach that brighter day.

But even as we dig our way out of this deep hole, it’s important that we address the irresponsibility and recklessness that got us into this mess in the first place.

Some of it was the result of an era of easy credit, when millions of Americans borrowed beyond their means, bought homes they couldn’t afford, and assumed that housing prices would always rise and the day of reckoning would never come.

But much of it was due to the irresponsibility of large financial institutions on Wall Street that gambled on risky loans and complex financial products, seeking short-term profits and big bonuses with little regard for long-term consequences. It was, as some have put it, risk management without the management. And their actions, in the absence of strong oversight, intensified the cycle of bubble-and-bust and led to a financial crisis that threatened to bring down the entire economy.

It was a disaster that could have been avoided if we’d had clearer rules of the road for Wall Street and actually enforced them.

We can’t change that history. But we have an absolute responsibility to learn from it, and take steps to prevent a repeat of the crisis from which we are still recovering.

That’s why I’ve proposed a series of financial reforms that would target the abuses we have seen and leave us less exposed to the kind of breakdown we just experienced.

They would bring new transparency and accountability to the financial markets, so that the kind of risky dealings that sparked the crisis would be fully disclosed and properly regulated.

They would give us the tools to ensure that the failure of one large bank or financial institution won’t spread like a virus through the entire financial system. Because we should never again find ourselves in the position in which our only choices are bailing out banks or letting our economy collapse.

And they would consolidate the consumer protection functions currently spread across half a dozen agencies and vest them in a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency. This agency would have the authority to put an end to misleading and dishonest practices of banks and institutions that market financial products like credit and debit cards; mortgage, auto and payday loans.

These are commonsense reforms that respond to the obvious problems exposed by the financial crisis.

But, as we’ve learned so many times before, common sense doesn’t always prevail in Washington.

Just last week, Republican leaders in the House summoned more than 100 key lobbyists for the financial industry to a “pep rally,” and urged them to redouble their efforts to block meaningful financial reform. Not that they needed the encouragement. These industry lobbyists have already spent more than $300 million on lobbying the debate this year.

The special interests and their agents in Congress claim that reforms like the Consumer Financial Protection Agency will stifle consumer choice and that updated rules and oversight will frustrate innovation in the financial markets. But Americans don’t choose to be victimized by mysterious fees, changing terms, and pages and pages of fine print. And while innovation should be encouraged, risky schemes that threaten our entire economy should not.

We can’t afford to let the same phony arguments and bad habits of Washington kill financial reform and leave American consumers and our economy vulnerable to another meltdown.

Yesterday, the House passed comprehensive reform legislation that incorporates some of the essential changes we need, and the Senate Banking Committee is working on its own package of reforms. I urge both houses to act as quickly as possible to pass real reform that restores free and fair markets in which recklessness and greed are thwarted; and hard work, responsibility, and competition are rewarded – reform that works for businesses, investors, and consumers alike.

That’s how we’ll keep our economy and our institutions strong. That’s how we’ll restore a sense of responsibility and accountability to both Wall Street and Washington. And that’s how we’ll safeguard everything the American people are working so hard to build – a broad-based recovery; lasting prosperity; and a renewed American Dream. Thank you.

Unusual Holidays and Celebrations

Today is the Day Of The Horse.

Daily Almanac

Today is Saturday, Dec. 12, the 346th day of 2009.

There are 19 days left in the year.

Today In History December 12

Our Readers

Some of our readers today have been in:

Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei & Muara, Brunei Barussalam
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Wiesbaden, Hessen, Germany
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico

as well as Scotland, and the United States

Daily Horoscope

Today's horoscope says:

No matter who you associate with or how long you've actually been part of a group, ever notice that you just can't seem to avoid being put in charge of something?
You're probably used to it by now -- and at least half of you actually enjoys it.
But that doesn't mean you wouldn't enjoy a day off every now and then to relax and let someone else take charge.
Well, here's your chance. Just say no!

A day off ...