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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.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cold, then light snow, then colder

From the "Oh, Joy" Department:

Road crews are spreading brine on highways across the Charlotte metro region today, preparing for a chance of light snow Thursday night and early Friday.

Forecasters don't expect much, if any, snow to accumulate in the Charlotte area, but they say the precipitation will herald the arrival of another cold air mass -- producing temperatures this weekend that might be even colder than those we experienced so far this week.

By some standards, this week's cold snap in Charlotte is the worst in 33 years.

The N.C. Department of Transportation began sending trucks onto state and U.S. highways Wednesday morning to spread the salt-water brine mixture. That compound prevents ice from forming on highway surfaces when sleet or snow falls, and transportation officials hope the brine will keep roads safe when precipitation arrives late Thursday.

Crews in a number of area cities, such as Concord, also are pre-treating major routes today with brine.

Computer models indicate a dusting of snow will fall in Charlotte, although some areas could receive up to an inch. In the Piedmont, a mix of rain and snow is expected to arrive Thursday afternoon, changing to snow later in the evening and ending early Friday morning.

Forecasters emphasize that snow won't be the major story, however.

Another arctic air mass is posed to follow the snow into the region, producing bitterly cold weather through Sunday. High temperatures Saturday might not climb above 32 degrees in much of the Charlotte area, with morning lows Sunday in the low teens. Dangerously cold wind chills are expected Friday and Saturday in the mountains, where a winter storm watch also is in effect. Forecasters say heavy snow is possible late Thursday and Friday in an area from northern Buncombe County up to Avery and Watauga counties.

There is some light in this cold tunnel, however. Forecasters say they see an end to the cold snap by early next week, with temperatures approaching normal by the middle of next week.

In the meantime, bundle up.

The unofficial low temperature this morning at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport was 18 degrees -- the fifth consecutive day of sub 20-degree lows. The last time Charlotte recorded five or more days of lows below 20 degrees was in mid-January 1977.

More is on the way. Forecasters say temperatures will climb only into the upper 30s today, then fall to about 20 Thursday morning.

On Thursday, as the front approaches, clouds are expected to increase and thicken.

In the mountains, from north of Asheville up to Watauga County, a winter storm warning has been posted. That area already has received from 2 to 12 inches of snow this week, and another 4 to 6 inches could fall late Thursday and Friday.

The National Weather Service's Blair Holloway says that by Monday, temperatures will begin climbing in the region. Highs are forecast to reach the low to mid 40s, with even milder readings Tuesday and Wednesday.

Food calorie counts are often wrong

Food calorie counts are often wrong

A new study reports an alarming difference between what's listed on many food labels and reality.

And I Quote

Dare to be yourself.

~ Andre Gide

Holocaust museum gunman dies in hospital

The 89-year-old white supremacist charged in a deadly shooting at Washington's Holocaust museum died Wednesday in North Carolina, where he'd been held while awaiting trial, authorities said.

Full Story

California nudists steamed over burial of rotting sea lion carcass on a beach

Some Orange County nudists are fuming over the burial of a rotting sea lion carcass on a San Onofre beach.

California nudists steamed over burial of rotting sea lion carcass on a beach

Brain sent home in bag

A New Mexico family is suing after making a gruesome discovery - a bag of personal effects given to them after their mother's death contained her brain.

Funeral home sued

Teen Dies of Asphyxiation after Inhaling Helium

A 17-year-old boy apparently died from asphyxiation while inhaling helium. Micah David, who bought a tank of the lighter-than-air gas at a Wal-Mart, was found dead last month.

Teen Dies of Asphyxiation after Inhaling Helium

More Methane Discovered Bubbling From Arctic Sea Floor - 1000 Times Background Levels in Places

From Treehugger:

arctic sea photo
photo: Ville Miettinen via flickr.

While the scientists involved say there is no current reason for alarm, and that more study is needed to determine exact causes, pay attention to this one: Following up on a story that emerged back in August, BBC News reports that methane bubbling up from the Arctic sea floor appears to be stronger than first believed:

New York's Stonehenge

little stone henge

Yep, it’s all just an art installation, inspired by artist Joseph Beuys as an extension of his “7000 Oaks” project. Over the course of five years beginning in 1982, Beuys planted 7,000 trees in the city of Kassel, Germany, each with an accompanying basalt stone column (intended to illustrate the opposing characteristics and yet harmonious co-existence of tree and rock, apparently). After his death, the concept was brought to West 22nd Street.

The Mysterious Stonehenge on West 22nd Street

littlestonehenge2 New Yorks Little Stonehenge

Scots Power

Scotland looks to profit from green energy era

Oldest to walk on land

From BBC-Science:
Fossil trackway (Per Ahlberg et al)
The earliest evidence of a four-legged animal walking on land is discovered in a disused Polish quarry. New evidence that vertebrates walked on Earth some 10 million years earlier than previously believed could change our ideas of where they evolved.

Death in America

That last line is funny.
The rest is atrocious.

Dumb Laws

In Texas

A recently passed anti-crime law requires criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed.

OK, that that is going to happen.

European Central Bank says 'we will not bailout Greece'

Poor economic budgeting by Greece, led to collapse and the European Union sees no reason to help get them out of it.
The European Union would not help bail out Greece, European Central Bank Executive Board member Juergen Stark was reported as saying on Wednesday.

"The markets are deluding themselves when they think at a certain point the other member states will put their hands on their wallets to save Greece," Stark said in an interview with Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.

Stark said in recent years Greece had not controlled its public accounts or worked to help improve the country's competitiveness.

Contract jobs with surprisingly high salaries

Contract jobs with surprisingly high salaries

Contract workers in these fields can earn more per hour than their full-time counterparts.

The real story of General Tso's chicken

The real story of General Tso's chicken

The Chinese-food favorite is named for a real person, but that's only where the story begins.

Restaurant trends chefs are glad to see go

Restaurant trends chefs are glad to see go

Fried onion blossoms, foam as food, and overpriced entrees make the list of the decade's worst.

What a refrigerator reveals about its owner

What a refrigerator reveals about its owner

A project tests the idea that you can tell a lot about a person from the contents of their fridge.


Explorers find signs of a real El Dorado

Explorers find signs of a real El Dorado

Legends of an ancient empire hidden in the Amazon jungle have lured people for centuries.

Holiday hoax stuns Salvation Army

Serves the wingnuts right ... it's about time someone swindled the swindlers!

Holiday hoax stuns Salvation Army

A grand Christmas gift that turned out to be fake could force the charity to cut back on aid for the needy.

Although, considering how little they actually do to aid the needy any cut backs won't be missed.


Want IRS tax help? Expect a busy signal

Want IRS tax help? Expect a busy signal

Calling the Internal Revenue Service this year will mean long waits, if the call even gets through.

Foods that can help you lose weight

9 foods that can help you lose weight

You might be surprised at some of the tasty foods that can help trim your waistline.

Repugicans have a new legislative strategy: Lawsuits

All those years of stacking the courts with wingnut judges may finally pay off for the repugicans. They're new legislative strategy is to sue:
Repugicans and allied groups say they will spend millions to oppose healthcare reform and other Democratic initiatives in the courts, which they see as a last line of defense against President Barack Obama’s agenda.

Repugicans claim that healthcare reform is subject to challenge on various constitutional grounds, and conservative activists say they are willing to raise millions to wage that battle.
So, repugicans now love suing.
They've tried to limit access to the legal system for decades.


One more example of ... It's Okay if You're a repugican (IOIYAR).

White House cries foul over PETA ad

White House cries foul over PETA ad

An ad featuring Michelle Obama without her permission reignites the struggle over the first family's image.


Habits that save you money

5 habits that save you money

You can save money in unexpected ways with these simple changes this year.

Double atomic bomb survivor dies

Double atomic bomb survivor dies

Tsutomu Yamaguchi was the only officially recognized survivor of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Oil companies hit pay dirt deep at sea

Oil companies hit pay dirt deep at sea

A massive oil reservoir stretches from Africa to South America, experts say.

Cars that could save Detroit

10 cars that could save Detroit

U.S. automakers are betting on a mix of bold redesigns and new models to jump-start sales.

The new reality of credit scores

The new reality of credit scores

Just a few years ago, a score of 620 or higher would get you the best mortgage, but times have changed.

Town buried in 55 inches — and counting

Town buried in 55 inches — and counting

What started as a typical winter storm has turned into an epic onslaught of snow.

LA workers suffer more wage violations

A UCLA study reports that low-wage workers in the greater Los Angeles area are more likely to suffer wage and labor violations than those in New York or Chicago.

LA workers suffer more wage violations

Woman Goes Berserk Over Hamburger

Police in Kansas City, Mo., are looking for a woman who went on a rampage at a McDonald's because she didn't like her hamburger.

Police are seeking the woman shown in a surveillance video who caused thousands of dollars in damage when she became irate at a McDonald's because she didn't like the way her sandwich was made.


Elephant tramples U.S. mother, baby in Kenya

An American woman and her baby daughter were trampled to death by an elephant while on a forest hike in Kenya, a spokeswoman for the Kenya Wildlife Service said Wednesday.

Full Story

Amazing cloud roll captured on camera

Photographer Daniela Eberl took this snap at Las Olas Beach in Maldonado, Uruguay.

Full Story

Darwin's Finches are Evolving Again

From Treehugger:

darwins finch photo
Image credit: lightmatter/Flickr

When the Beagle reached the Galapagos Islands in 1835, Charles Darwin famously set out to survey the unique species that called the isolated archipelago home. Noticing that finches, which shared a common ancestor, had developed adaptations to thrive in different niches helped lay the foundation for his later description of the process of evolution.

Now, Darwin's finches are evolving again. This time, it's not in response to their place in the ecosystem but rather in defense against two invasive parasites that threaten their survival as a species.

Real Life Flintstones House Lures Tourists in Portugal

From Treehugger:

a casa do penedo photo

The 'House of Stone' stands on a remote hillside in northern Portugal. Photo via flickr

It's a bit of a shame that the easiest way to describe this magnificent structure requires reference to a cartoon from the 1960s, but the way in which it incorporates its natural setting defies most conventional description. Located in the Fafa mountains of northern Portugal, A Casa do Penedo, or "the House of Stone," was built between four large boulders found on the site. Although the house may seem rustic, it is not lacking in amenities, which include a fireplace and a swimming pool--carved out of one of the large rocks. But, as word has spread, the sleepy little house has had visitors venturing to see it in droves.

Ningen: humanoid sea creatures of the Antarctic


Pink Tentacle has a bunch of photos, videos, and artists' renderings of "ningen."

Reportedly observed on multiple occasions by crew members of government-operated “whale research” ships, these so-called “Ningen” (lit. “humans”) are said to be completely white in color with an estimated length of 20 to 30 meters. Eyewitnesses describe them as having a human-like shape, often with legs, arms, and even five-fingered hands. Sometimes they are described as having fins or a large mermaid-like tail instead of legs. The only visible facial features are the eyes and mouth.

Chimp's dance suggests a mental grasp of fire

The chimp danced before a raging Savannah fire, while others stayed calm a safe distance away, suggesting that the animals understood how fire behaves.

Chimp's dance suggests a mental grasp of fire

News From Space

The cloud of comets that enshrouds the solar system may not be as diffuse or as massive as previously believed.

Solar system may be more compact than thought

The halo of dark matter around our galaxy may be shaped like a squashed beach ball and sit at an odd angle – but why is a mystery.

Boats collide in anti-whaling conflict

Anti-whaling activists accuse a Japanese whaling ship of a ramming attack on one of their boats in Antarctic waters.

Boats collide in anti-whaling conflict

A conservation group claims a Japanese whaling ship deliberately rammed into its speedboat.

Cop News


DEJA MOO: the feeling you've heard this bull before.

The Battle of New Orleans

Jimmy Driftwood

I know you've heard this song before, but how long has it been since you heard ALL the verses?

(Oh, and just so you know, this isn't a hip hop song, either)

Just A Friend

Biz Markie

Now you can never say we don't post hip hop here again.

Skull and Bones Skull Auction

A human skull that once apparently belonged to Yale's mysterious Skull and Bones society is now for sale.

Skull and Bones Skull Auction

Slovak man takes hidden explosive on Dublin flight

A Slovak man unwittingly carried hidden explosives on board a weekend flight to Dublin after a Slovakian airport-security test went awry, Irish officials announced Tuesday.

Slovak man takes hidden explosive on Dublin flight

New year brings new killer whale to B.C. waters

A 12-year-old female has given birth to a calf in J-pod, one of three families that comprise the southern resident whales sharing the habitat of B.C.'s Strait of Georgia and Washington state's Puget Sound.

New year brings new killer whale to B.C. waters

Snow, Ice Shuts Down Grandfather Mountain, Other State Parks

Snow, Ice Shuts Down Grandfather Mountain, Other State Parks

Some state parks have been closed indefinitely due to heavy snow and ice accumulation and downed trees.

Snow, Ice Shuts Down Grandfather Mountain, Other State Parks

Hurricane warning system improved

Hurricane warning system improved

U.S. forecasters can now issue storm warnings about half a day earlier than previously.

Earliest photo of the universe snapped

Earliest photo of the universe snapped

The Hubble telescope sends back the most complete image of our universe in its infancy.

A huge piece of Pi

From BBC-Science:
The mathematical constant pi is calculated to a record 2.7 trillion digits using a desktop computer, a researcher claims.

Today is ...

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 6, the 6th day of 2010.

There are 359 days left in the year.

Today In History January 6

There are no unusual holidays or celebrations for today.
Why not make up a few ... we can't have too many days without a reason to party!

Our Readers

Some of our readers today have been in:

Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Lodz, Lodzkie, Poland
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Vilnius, Vilniaus Apskritis, Lithuania
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel
Bielefeld, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Santa Cruz De Tenerife, Canarias, Spain
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Pozuelo De Alarcon, Madrid, Spain

Daily Horoscope

Today's horoscope says:

If you've been waiting for an auspicious moment to begin something new, now is the time.
You're better at closings than openings, but right now, you've got free rein to do as you please.