Welcome to ...

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 26, 2009

Suit over Van Gogh work imperils other art

The ownership of tens of billions of dollars of art and other goods could be thrown into doubt if a lawsuit seeking the return of a famous Vincent Van Gogh painting is successful, according to a court filing by Yale University.

Full Story

Couple sues Gene Simmons over alleged attack at mall

A couple who said they were assaulted by Gene Simmons sued the KISS bassist for unspecified damages Thursday, court records show.

Full Story

Secure careers for the next decade

Secure careers for the next decade

These jobs not only pay well but they also offer considerable stability.

Father of plane bomb suspect warned U.S.

Father of plane bomb suspect warned U.S.

The Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a U.S. airliner popped up in intelligence reports last month.


Explosion rocks Hezbollah stronghold near Beirut

Three bombs planted under a car exploded south of Beirut on Saturday, wounding two people in an attack that apparently targeted an official from the Palestinian militant group Hamas, the state-run news agency said.

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Beware the Seniors

Two young businessmen in Florida were sitting down for a break in their soon-to-be new store.

As yet, the store wasn't ready, with only a few shelves set up. One said to the other, 'I bet any minute now some idiot is going to walk by, put his face to the window, and ask what we're selling.'

No sooner were the words out of his mouth when, sure enough, a curious senior walked to the window, had a peek, and in a soft accent asked 'What are you sellin' here?'

One of the men replied sarcastically, 'We're selling assholes.'

Without skipping a beat, the old timer said, 'You're doing well, only two left.'

Seniors - don't mess with them.

Pols on the dole

Pols on the dole ... and all of them rant and rave about government handouts being 'socialism'?!

Jobs and raises may suffer for years

Jobs and raises may suffer for years

The recession is easing, but there's bad news for those needing work or wanting higher salaries.

Secrets to eating out without filling out

Secrets to eating out without filling out

Complimentary bread sticks or chips can add up to 500 calories before the entrée.

Half a billion dollars in tsunami aid vanishes

Half a billion dollars in tsunami aid vanishes

Another $600 million has been wrongly spent in Sri Lanka since the 2004 disaster, a watchdog says.


China claims world's fastest train

China claims world's fastest train

A railway between the cities Guangzhou and Wuhan may blow away previous train-speed records.

Why Americans are leaving some states

Why Americans are leaving some states

Despite lower unemployment, the decade's biggest loser shrank by more than 1.6 million residents.


Airlines begin adopting stricter rules

Airlines begin adopting stricter rules

Friday's failed plane bombing prompts a move to limit passengers' activities on flights.

And I Quote

I have a simple philosophy.
Fill what's empty.
Empty what's full.
And scratch where it itches.

~ Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Ironic isn't it!

What trivial fact about Mel Blanc (voice of Bugs Bunny) is the most ironic?

He was allergic to carrots.

Health News

From BBC-Science:
A family of "limpet-like" proteins play a crucial role in repairing DNA damage which can lead to cancer, two studies show.

Science News

From BBC-Science:
Artist's impression of Mammalodon (Carl Buell)
An ancient "dwarf" whale fed by sucking small animals out of the seafloor mud with its short snout and tongue.

China jails Liu Xiaobo for 11 years

China's most prominent dissident, Liu Xiaobo, was jailed on Friday for 11 years for campaigning for political freedoms, with the stiff sentence on a subversion charge swiftly condemned by rights groups and Washington.

How the decade shaped our lives

Was it only a decade ago that a blackberry was a mere fruit?
That green was, well, a color, and reality TV was that one show sandwiched between music videos on MTV?
There were, of course, huge political and social upheavals that roiled the world in the past decade, but there also were the gradual lifestyle changes that people do not always notice ...

How the decade shaped our lives

Magma building up in Philippines' Mayon volcano

Fewer earthquakes have been recorded in the Philippines' lava-spilling Mayon volcano, but magma continues to build up inside and any lull in activity could be followed by a bigger eruption, scientists said Saturday.

Magma building up in Philippines' Mayon volcano


Man Uses Hatchet On Vehicle In Rage Case

Maryland State police have arrested a man they say struck a vehicle with a hatchet in what they called a road rage incident.

Full Story

How dare you bring peppermint oil to school?

A 10-year-old girl in New York has been suspended for bringing peppermint oil to her middle school and distributing it to other students.

Full Story

Passengers helped thwart air disaster

Passengers helped thwart air disaster

At least one Detroit-bound passenger scrambled to subdue a man trying to ignite an explosive device.

Democrats see repugican hypocrisy

Repugican senators attacking the cost of a Democratic health care bill showed far different concerns six years ago, when they approved a major Medicare expansion that has added tens of billions of dollars to federal deficits.

Full Story

Chuck was thinking

Over at Acerbic Politics, Chuck had this to say today:

I'm always looking for ways to try to understand right-wingers since their positions on many political issues are simply beyond my comprehension. While reading something the other day, the following crossed my mind...

Among Democrats, we view the government and the economic engine of the nation as entities designed to serve the people of the world .

Among Republicans, they view the people as servants of the government and the economic engine.
I could elaborate on this, and might at some point, but for now I'll just leave this for you to ruminate on. Feel free to comment.


Saturday Jam

Today's Saturday Jam gets Kinky!

Low Budget
The Kinks

President Obama's Weekly Address

This week the President is joined by the First Lady.

Remarks of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama
Weekly Address
December 24, 2009

PRESIDENT: Hello everyone, and Merry Christmas. As you and your families gather to celebrate the holidays, we wanted to take a moment to send greetings from our family—from me, from Michelle, from Malia and Sasha—and from Bo.

FIRST LADY: This is our first Christmas in the White House, and we are so grateful for this extraordinary experience. Not far from here, in the Blue Room, is the official White House Christmas Tree. It’s an 18-foot tall Douglas-fir from West Virginia and it’s decorated with hundreds of ornaments designed by people and children from all over the country. Each one is a reminder of the traditions we cherish as Americans and the blessings we’re thankful for this holiday season.

PRESIDENT: That’s right, especially as we continue to recover from an extraordinary recession that still has so many Americans hurting: parents without a job who struggled to put presents under the Christmas tree; families and neighbors who’ve seen their home foreclosed; folks wondering what the new year will bring.

But even in these tough times, there’s still so much to celebrate this Christmas. A message of peace and brotherhood that continues to inspire more than 2,000 after Jesus’ birth. The love of family and friends. The bonds of community and country. And the character and courage of our men and women in uniform who are far from home for the holidays, away from their families, risking their lives to protect ours.

To all our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen—I have no greater honor than serving as your Commander in Chief. I’ve been awed by your selfless spirit, your eagerness to serve—at the Naval Academy and West Point. I’ve been energized by your dedication to duty—from Baghdad to the Korean Peninsula. Michelle and I have been moved by your determination—wounded warriors at Walter Reed and Bethesda, fighting to recover, to get back to your units.

And I’ve been humbled, profoundly, by patriots who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. In flag-draped caskets coming home at Dover. In the quiet solitude of Arlington. And after years of multiple tours of duty, as you carry on with our missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, your service, your readiness to make that same sacrifice, is an inspiration to us and to every American.

FIRST LADY: And so are your families. As First Lady, one of my greatest privileges is to visit with military families across the country. I’ve met military spouses doing the parenting of two—keeping the household together, juggling play dates and soccer games, helping with homework, doing everything they can to make the kids feel OK even as they try to hide their own fears and worries.

I’ve met kids who wonder when mom or dad is coming home; grandparents and relatives who step in to care for our wounded warriors; and folks trying to carry on after losing the person they loved most in the world.

And through it all, these families somehow still find the time and energy to serve their communities as well—coaching Little League, running the PTA, raising money to help those less fortunate than they are, and more.

But even these strong military families can use a hand, especially during the holidays. If you live near a military base, you can reach out through your workplaces, your schools, your churches. There are so many ways to help—with child care, with errands, or by just bringing over a home-cooked meal. Even if you don’t know a military family nearby, your family can still help by donating or volunteering at organizations that support military families.

PRESIDENT: You can also reach out directly to our forces around the world. Kids can make a card that will bring a smile to an American far from home. Adults can send a care package or a pre-paid phone card that makes the tour at little easier. Every American can do something to support our troops, even if it’s as simple as just saying thank you. For more ways to let our troops know you care, go to www.whitehouse.gov

So to all our men and women in uniform spending the holidays far from home—whether it’s at a base here in the states, a mess hall in Iraq or a remote outpost in Afghanistan, know that you are in our thoughts and our prayers. And this holiday season—and every Holiday season—know that we are doing everything in our power to make sure you can succeed in your missions and come home safe to your families.

FIRST LADY: And to all Americans, from our family to yours, Merry Christmas.

PRESIDENT: Merry Christmas, everybody.

Unusual Holidays and Celebrations

Today is

Boxing Day,
National Candy Cane Day


National Whiner's Day

Daily Almanac

Today is Saturday, Dec. 26, the 360th day of 2009.

There are five days left in the year.

Our Readers

Some of our readers today have been in:

Laval, Qubec, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Pune, Maharashtra, India
Colchester, England, United Kingdom

Daily Horoscope

Today's horoscope says:

Your faith in humanity is restored today.
You are relieved to see that the good guys still win every once in a while.
You come out on top when you realize that your truth is worth more than all the hype your rivals hurl at you.
Throw a little party for the people who've helped you to get where you are.
Tonight romance is alive as your partner, or a potential one, does something unexpected but completely endearing.

All Right!