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.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Future uncertain for unlucky Mars rover

Future uncertain for unlucky Mars rover

As one rover marks its sixth year on Mars, it finds itself stuck in a sand trap, perhaps forever.

Steps to decluttering your house

5 steps to decluttering your house

Start small, focusing on the area that bothers you most, and you'll be inspired to keep going.

Corporate Welfare is over

As the recession drags on, municipalities struggling to fix roads, fund schools and pay bills increasingly are rescinding tax abatements to companies that don't hire enough workers, lay them off or close up shop. At the same time, they're sharpening new incentive deals, leaving no doubt what is expected of companies and what will happen if they don't deliver.

"We will roll out the red carpet as much as we can (but) they are going to honor the contract," said Brendon Gallagher, an alderman in DeKalb, Ill., where Target Corp. got abatements from the city, county, school district and other taxing bodies after promising at least 500 jobs at a local distribution center.

So when the company came up 66 workers short in 2009, Target got word its next tax bill would be jumping almost $600,000 — more than half of which go to the local school district, where teachers and programs have been cut as coffers dried up.

TSA announces new screening procedures

The TSA issued a security directive today which states that starting tomorrow, anyone flying into the US "traveling from or through nations that are state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest will be required to go through enhanced screening."

The NYT reports the 14 countries are: Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Algeria, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Yemen.

Question and Answer

Question: Who has the right of way when four cars approach a four-way stop at the same time?

Answer: The pickup truck with the gun rack and the bumper sticker saying, "Guns don't kill people. I do."

Iran Video: Gunman opens fire on demonstrators, crowd fights back

iran green fist Iran Video: Gunman opens fire on demonstrators, crowd fights backAn amateur video apparently taken with a cell phone has surfaced on YouTube that appears to contradict the Iranian government’s claim that its security forces didn't shoot at protesters last Sunday during demonstrations that left at least eight people dead, including the nephew of opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

As first reported by The Los Angeles Times on Saturday, the video not only shows a gunman opening fire on demonstrators - it also gives an eye-opening look at a growing air of defiance by Iranian opposition.

A man in plain clothes is seen and heard opening fire on the crowd as another man can be heard shouting out "Dishonorable Basiji!" blaming a member of Iran's Basij militia for firing the shots.

With shots fired, you would expect the demonstrators to flee and seek cover, but instead, they decide to fight back.

"Attack!" someone in the crowd calls out, and the crowd runs off in pursuit of the gunman as the video, less than a minute in length comes to an end.

One of the earliest casualties in Iran's post-election violence in 2009 was a young woman named Neda Agha-Soltan, who was named 'Woman of the Year' by a British newspaper recently.

The following YouTube video was uploaded on January 1, 2010:

Via: Raw Story

Living on nothing but food stamps

From Raw Story:

Over 6 million Americans report their only income is government food aid.

Thank your local treacherous repugican for this.

The area braces for two weeks of sub freezing tempuratues

The rack that held window insulation is empty, and the bin that was overflowing with faucet covers Saturday morning was nearly empty by afternoon.

The prospect of below-freezing temperatures for the next two weeks across the Carolinas has homeowners rushing to hardware stores for quick and easy fixes to the leaky gaps in their doors and windows.

"My kitchen off the patio had air coming in around the doors, and it was very cold," said Susie Barnhardt, as she clutched her second roll of insulating tape and headed for the cash register at Blackhawk Hardware in Park Road Shopping Center.

She knew she had to do something about the leaks, or face some very cold mornings in her condo.

The roll of weather stripping seemed like just the thing.

“It’s very effective and very inexpensive, and something even I can do,” she said.

Pete McHale has been helping customers find just what they need all afternoon.

"A lot of people today have been coming in looking for weather stripping to put around doors and windows," said McHale. “A lot of people have been asking about faucet covers -- just sealing those drafts.”

The items are inexpensive and easy to install – most don’t require tools, and can make winters more comfortable in a drafty house. They can also save money – especially on repairs, like broken pipes.

"If you had a pipe freeze and break, that would be an expensive repair," said McHale. That’s why faucet covers are popular. They are nothing more than a Styrofoam-lined, plastic cup with a hook and tie, but they can prevent a lot of headaches.

"It will insulate this water opening to prevent water from freezing here and going back into your house," said McHale, as he demonstrated how to attach one to a faucet.

He also recommends shrink-wrapping windows and insulating pipes and water heaters.

“You’re sitting on the couch and you’ve got your back door there and you feel the breeze,” said McHale about the insulation, “You’re gonna be a lot more comfortable doing that.”

Then he added the part most customers appreciate: “It's not going to break the bank either.”

4th Circuit judge denies poultry workers compensation for - donning and doffing'

A judge held last week that poultry workers are not entitled to wages for the 15 minutes each day spent changing gear.

4th Circuit judge denies poultry workers compensation for - donning and doffing'

Nazi resister Freya von Moltke dies in Vermont

Freya von Moltke, a prominent member of the anti-Nazi resistance in World War II, has died at the age of 98, her son said.

Nazi resister Freya von Moltke dies in Vermont

Observations and such

  • Men and women will act rationally when all other possibilities have been exhausted.
  • Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans.
  • People will accept your idea more readily, if you tell them that Benjamin Franklin said it first.
  • Never go to bed with anyone crazier than you.
  • A person is as big as the things that make him angry.
  • In every organization there will be one person who knows what is going on....This person must be fired.
  • Everything depends.
  • For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.
  • All things being equal, a fat person uses more soap than a thin person.
  • Remember, pain is nature's way of reminding you who's in charge.
  • You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.
  • If you love what you do you'll never work another day in your life.
  • The best angle from which to approach any problem is the try-angle.
  • Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.
  • Common sense is not that common.
  • When all else fails, read the instructions.
  • Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays, it insists on it.
  • If the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be discarded.
  • Observation: It is a mistake to allow any mechanical object to realize that you are in a hurry.
  • Observation: I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.
  • Observation: The user does not know what he wants until he sees what he gets.
  • Observation: Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.
  • Observation: Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.
  • Observation: When you are over the hill, you begin to pick up speed.
  • Observation: A carelessly planned project will take three times longer to complete than expected; a carefully planned project will take only twice as long.
  • Budgets help you worry before you spend money, as well as, afterward.

Got Credit (cards)?

Ain't that a bitch!

Earthquake hits near Solomon Islands, no tsunami

A moderate magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit near the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific on Monday, but there were no immediate reports of damage, local police and media said.

The quake struck at 2148 GMT and was centered 55 miles south-southeast of the small island of Gizo, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake occurred at a depth of 33 kilometers (20.5) miles.

"No tsunami threat exists to coastlines in the Pacific," the Hawaii-based center said.

A large 8.1 magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami struck Gizo in 2007, killing 52 people and leaving thousands homeless.

The Solomons are part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire," where colliding continental plates frequently causes seismic activity.

Iranian journalist gets prison term, desert exile

An Iranian journalist lost an appeal Sunday against his conviction on charges of spreading propaganda against the ruling Islamic establishment and was sentenced to six years in prison and five years of internal exile in a remote desert town.

The court also confirmed a lifelong ban on political activity for the prominent reporter, Ahmad Zeidabadi, who was also once a student activist.

Full Story

15-year-old becomes the first murderer of the new year

A 15-year-old has been arrested and charged with shooting a 14-year-old to death in Concord on Friday, according to police.

Because the suspect is younger than 16, Concord police have declined to release a name and other details. They said the suspect was arrested about 4:30 p.m. Saturday and was being held at a juvenile detention center.

The victim was 14-year-old Oscar Martinez, of Melrose Drive Southwest in Concord.

Police said he was shot Friday afternoon in the parking lot at Dover's Supermarket on Cabarrus Avenue West.

Officers said Martinez was dead when they arrived. It was Concord's first homicide of the new year.

Cars that lost their star power

Cars that lost their star power

Sales of these once-hot models are just a fraction of what they were earlier this decade.

Million-dollar missing cattle mystery

Million-dollar missing cattle mystery

A large-scale criminal enterprise is rattling ranchers' business and their trust.

Who Says The Climate's Not Changing?

From Treehugger:


Two local blogs show two very different views of people using Toronto's waterfront. A hundred years ago, the biggest winter sport in town was iceboating; Torontoist shows wonderful pictures spanning 50 years of the sport.

"For over one hundred years the glistening varnished bodies, black-enamelled skates, gleaming white sails and many-coloured flags flying from the stays and yards was an unforgettable sight against the blue ice and dazzling snow."

Over at BlogTO, they show waterfront activities from two days ago:

Keys to boost your willpower

Keys to boost your willpower

To accomplish what you really want in life, these qualities have been shown to help.

Shed pounds gained over the holidays

Shed pounds gained over the holidays

The most effective plan to drop holiday weight gain involves setting goals and committing to cardio.

The 10 fastest-growing career fields

The 10 fastest-growing career fields

These recession-proof careers will continue to explode in the next decade.

Apple Refuses To Return Stolen iPhone To Owner

From the "This makes as much sense as a cow jumping over the moon " Department:

Consumerist reader Alisa Finkelstein recently was robbed on a Brooklyn subway, losing her iPhone in the process as well. While police came on-scene to investigate, she never went down to the station to file a police report, and that's why she's not going to get her iPhone back, apparently.

Full Story

Playing Chicken, Teenager Runs Over Brother

A 16-year-old teenage girl, playing a variety of chicken with her 17-year-old brother, accidentally ran over and killed him in an Arizona shopping mall parking lot, police said.

Full Story

The world's most surreal landscapes

The world's most surreal landscapes Purnululu National Park


Until the release of aerial photos in the early 1980s, this remote area in Western Australia was all but unknown to the outside world. Traditionally used by Kija Aborigines during the wet season, the rugged web of gullies, cliffs, gorges, domes and ridges hold aboriginal works of art and burial sites.

See the rest here.

AIG Chief Counsel Resigns, Will Collect $2.8 Million in Severance

Poor baby ... waaah!
A month ago, I was reading one of those websites where people post their modest wishes and ask readers for help. One man in particular struck me: He'd lost his job, his wife was working to keep the family afloat and his wish was for someone to replace his wife's single ratty bra. He'd scraped together $10 and they bought a new one from Walmart, but it didn't really fit and hurt her to wear it.

Volcano erupts in Colombia

The Galeras volcano in southeastern Colombia erupted Saturday night, but there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries, authorities said.

Full Story

Stupid People

From the "They don't call it DOPE for nothing you know" Department:

Driver Passes Out, Meth lab in Back Seat

Police say a driver passed out in his car at a Tennessee gas station while a batch of methamphetamine was cooking in the back seat.

South Dakota Woman Blood Alcohol Record

Police in South Dakota say a woman is accused of not only driving drunk, but also had a record blood alcohol content of .708, nearly nine times the legal limit and double the amount that is potentially lethal.

It is amazing these type of 'humans' survive long enough to wreck so much havoc on normal humans.

The Maine Tree Creature ... What Is It?

Full Story

A history of walking on water

How did the world's pre-eminent "aquatic pedestrian" stroll over the surface of the Mississippi river in 1907?

A history of walking on water

Oddball Says ...

Why don't you knock it off with those negative waves?

Muslims, Hindus crank up volume in stereotype-smashing 'Taqwacore' punk rock bands

A small but growing South Asian and Middle Eastern punk rock movement is attracting children of Muslim and Hindu immigrants and sparking new bands across America.

Yes, we have bananas and heroin today

Spanish police have uncovered at least 25 kilos of heroin hidden in boxes of plantains destined for the shelves of Madrid supermarkets, local media reported on Sunday.

Yes, we have bananas and heroin today

Bizarre breakdown service requests

Breakdown services receive bizarre calls for help - including getting clothes for a nudist

Providing clothes for a nudist and removing a spider from a car dashboard are just some of the unusual calls made by motorists to breakdown services in the last 12 months.

Rose of Cimarron


Mexico announces capture of drug lord

Mexican police have captured drug lord Carlos Beltran Leyva, just two weeks after his even more powerful brother was killed in a shootout with troops - back-to-back victories in President Felipe Calderon's drug war.

Today is ...

Today is Sunday, Jan. 3, the 3rd day of 2010.

There are 362 days left in the year.

Today In History January 3

Today's unusual holidays and celebrations are:

J.R.R. Tolkien Day,
Memento Mori "Remember You Die" Day,
National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day

Our Readers

Some of our readers today have been in:

Trivandrum, Kerala, India
Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal
Pune, Maharashtra, India
Chandigrah, Chandigrah, India
Manama, Al Manamah, Bahrain
Bangkok, Krung Thep, Thailand
Vicenza, Veneto, Italy
London, England, United Kingdom
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Vienna, Wien, Austria
Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Gurgaon, Haryana, India
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

as well as Scotland, and the United States

Daily Horoscope

Today's horoscope says:

The stars are all about long-distance friends and lovers right now, urging you to get out there and mingle with folks who are totally unlike anyone you currently associate with.
Hey, why not?
So why not take advantage of the fact that you're in the mood to start the year off with something -- or someone -- new and interesting?
Get dressed and get out there.

Do I have to get dressed?
The Tux is at the cleaners!