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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, January 30, 2010


The Cranberries

Eating 'High Off The Hog' at the theater in Old England

The food selections at the old theaters in London were pretty high end compared to what we often see today at many theaters, cinemas or stadiums.
The preferred snacks for Tudor theater-goers appear to have been oysters, crabs, cockles, mussels, periwinkles and whelks, as well as walnuts, hazelnuts, raisins, plums, cherries, dried figs and peaches.

Some clues even suggest that 16th-century fans of William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe also plowed through vast quantities of elderberry and blackberry pie – and some may even have snacked on sturgeon steaks.

The evidence has emerged from the most detailed study ever carried out on a Tudor or early Stuart playhouse. Archaeologists have been analyzing the thousands of seeds, pips, stones, nutshell fragments, shellfish remains and fish and animal bones found on the site of the Rose Playhouse on London's South Bank.

Americans arrested taking children out of Haiti

Haitian police have arrested 10 U.S. citizens caught trying to take 33 children out of the earthquake-stricken country in a suspected illicit adoption scheme, authorities said on Saturday.

Americans arrested taking children out of Haiti

Chicken plays chicken with drivers on busy street

A chicken playing chicken?

That's what's happening on a busy Glendale street where a black hen has been dodging cars, captors and coyotes for two months.

Low-profile careers with big potential

Low-profile careers with big potential

Many people haven't heard of them, but these jobs have big earnings potential.

Debate over tooth fairy's dollar rate

Debate over tooth fairy's dollar rate

Per tooth, how much cash should a child get? Some ideas may surprise you.

White roofs coming to a city near you?

White roofs coming to a city near you?

Buzz grows for an urban study that blends science, policy, and paint.

Super Bowl prompts HDTV price cuts

Super Bowl prompts HDTV price cuts

Stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart are tempting shoppers to upgrade their sets before the big game.

Two unanswered questions cause a stir

Two unanswered questions cause a stir

J.D. Salinger's secrets and a bizarre Mona Lisa theory excite the Web.

What led to Toyota's corporate nightmare

What led to Toyota's corporate nightmare

The automaker's dramatic comedown can be traced to problems that have been brewing for years.

Ways to lose weight without starving

7 ways to lose weight without starving

Try these simple moves every day to effortlessly drop any unwanted pounds.

Haiti airlifts halted over cost dispute

Haiti airlifts halted over cost dispute

The U.S. military has stopped flying Haitian quake victims to American hospitals.

Best budget-friendly resorts in the U.S.

Best budget-friendly resorts in the U.S.

These escapes offer thrilling activities, plush amenities, and great views, from $119 a night.

And I Quote

Congress, after years of stalling, finally got around to clearing the way for informal discussions that might lead to possible formal talks that could potentially produce some kind of tentative agreements ...

~ Dave Barry

Haitians tire of waiting, start own rebuilding

Defying pleas to wait for Haiti's reconstruction, families lugged heavy bundles of wood and tin up steep hillsides Friday to do the unthinkable: build new homes on top of old ones devastated in the earthquake.

China suspends military exchanges with US

China suspended military exchange visits with the United States on Saturday in protest over $6.4 billion in planned U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and warned the U.S. ambassador that the sales would harm already strained ties.

Weird Beer Facts

Beer production goes back thousands of years, and its been a part of human culture ever since.

10 Weird Beer Facts

Tips for spending more quality time with the family

With kids in school, at daycare or with the nanny ... and with mom at the office while dad is on the road, how can today's family incorporate more family time into their day and spend more quality time with the family?

Michelle LaRowe , the author of A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists, Working Mom's 411 and Nanny to the Rescue, offers some tips.

9 tips for spending more quality time with the family

'Great Recession' Plus High Corn Prices Are Changing The American Diet

From Treehugger:

feedlot beef cattle photo
Beef cattle feedlot. Image credit:WhyFiles, via USDA

I was surprised to read in Business Week, via Bloomberg, that "the U.S. cattle herd may have shrunk to the smallest size since 1958,..." Farmers are culling herds because demand for red meat is down in this Great Recession (thanks Wall Street), while corn prices are way up (thanks Congress for the luxuriant corn-based ethanol incentives).

From the farmer's viewpoint: "Corn, the main ingredient in livestock feed, jumped to a record $7.9925 a bushel in 2008 on the Chicago Board of Trade, and prices averaged about $3.79 last year, the third-highest annual average since at least 1959." With the cited level of herd reduction, corn prices will fall eventually, helping ranchers - unless Congress goes for another round of ethanol incentives first! (Makings of a classic challenge and response scenario that will play out for years more.)

21st Century Tech Meets 15th Century Architecture

From Treehugger:

aya sofya hagia sophia istanbul old city photo
Would solar panels mar Istanbul's historic skyline? Photo by Jennifer Hattam.

Can you imagine the Eiffel Tower with wind turbines? The Taj Mahal with rooftop solar panels? No matter how much you support renewable energy, it's jarring to think about retrofitting such famous and historic structures, but one Turkish architect suggests it can -- and should -- be done.

Question and Answer

Question: What's the difference between a dead snake in the road and a dead lawyer in the road?

Answer: There are skid marks in front of the snake.

Healthy foods for pennies per serving

Healthy foods for pennies per serving

These goodies satisfy your craving for an easy snack and are a cheap way to stretch a meal.

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
As Prepared for Delivery
Weekly Address
January 30, 2010

At this time last year, amidst headlines about banks on the verge of collapse and job losses of 700,000 a month, we received another troubling piece of news about our economy. Our economy was shrinking at an alarming rate – the largest six-month decline in 50 years. Our factories and farms were producing less; our businesses were selling less; and more job losses were on the horizon.

One year later, according to numbers released this past week, this trend has reversed itself. For the past six months, our economy has been growing again. And last quarter, it grew more quickly than at any time in the past six years.

This is a sign of progress. And it’s an affirmation of the difficult decisions we made last year to pull our financial system back from the brink and get our economy moving again.

But when so many people are still struggling – when one in ten Americans still can’t find work, and millions more are working harder and longer for less – our mission isn’t just to grow the economy. It’s to grow jobs for folks who want them, and ensure wages are rising for those who have them. It’s not just about improvements we see in quarterly statistics, but ones people feel in their daily lives – a bigger paycheck; more security; the ability to give your kids a decent shot in life and still have enough to retire one day yourself.

That’s why job creation will be our number one focus in 2010. We’ll put more Americans back to work rebuilding our infrastructure all across the country. And since the true engines of job creation are America’s businesses, I’ve proposed tax credits to help them hire new workers, raise wages, and invest in new plants and equipment. I also want to eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment, and help small businesses get the loans they need to open their doors and expand their operations.

But as we work to create jobs, it is critical that we rein in the budget deficits we’ve been accumulating for far too long – deficits that won’t just burden our children and grandchildren, but could damage our markets, drive up our interest rates, and jeopardize our recovery right now.

There are certain core principles our families and businesses follow when they sit down to do their own budgets. They accept that they can’t get everything they want and focus on what they really need. They make tough decisions and sacrifice for their kids. They don’t spend what they don’t have, and they make do with what they’ve got.

It’s time their government did the same. That’s why I’m pleased that the Senate has just restored the pay-as-you-go law that was in place back in the 1990s. It’s no coincidence that we ended that decade with a $236 billion surplus. But then we did away with PAYGO – and we ended the next decade with a $1.3 trillion deficit. Reinstating this law will help get us back on track, ensuring that every time we spend, we find somewhere else to cut.

I’ve also proposed a spending freeze, so that as we increase investments in things we need, like job creation and middle class tax cuts – we cut spending on those we don’t, like tax cuts for oil companies and investment fund managers, and programs that are redundant, obsolete, or simply ineffective. Spending related to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected – and neither will national security – but all other discretionary government programs will.

Finally, I’ve called for a bi-partisan Fiscal Commission – a panel of Democrats and Republicans who would sit down and hammer out concrete deficit-reduction proposals by a certain deadline. Because we’ve heard plenty of talk and a lot of yelling on TV about deficits, and it’s now time to come together and make the painful choices we need to eliminate those deficits.

This past week, 53 Democrats and Republicans voted for this commission in the Senate. But it failed when seven Republicans who had co-sponsored this idea in the first place suddenly decided to vote against it.

Now, it’s one thing to have an honest difference of opinion about something. I will always respect those who take a principled stand for what they believe, even if I disagree with them.

But what I won’t accept is changing positions because it’s good politics. What I won’t accept is opposition for opposition’s sake. We cannot have a serious discussion and take meaningful action to create jobs and control our deficits if politicians just do what’s necessary to win the next election instead of what’s best for the next generation.

I’m ready and eager to work with anyone who’s serious about solving the real problems facing our people and our country. I welcome anyone who comes to the table in good faith to help get our economy moving again and fulfill this country’s promise. That’s why we were elected in the first place. That’s what the American people expect and deserve. And that’s what we must deliver.

Thank you.

Today is ...

Today is Saturday, January 30, the 30th day of 2010.

There are 335 days left in the year.

Today In History January 30

Today's unusual holidays and celebrations are:

Inane Answering Message Day,

Tu D'Shvat

as well as

Perigean Spring Tides

On this day in 1960, the American Football League awarded a franchise to Oakland, California, and the rest as they say is history.

Our Readers

Some of our readers today have been in:

Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Athens, Attiki, Greece
Zabrze, Slaskie, Poland
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom

as well as Mongolia, and the United States

Daily Horoscope

Today's horoscope says:

Calm, cool and calculated may be your normal MO, but they won't quite be the adjectives that are called for today.
In fact, you may just go right over the edge when it comes to letting someone know that they've raised your interest.
If it's for a good reason, why try to hold back?
Let 'em know.
If you're a bit angry, however, you might want to call on some of that famous reserve, and temper your rhetoric with a bit of consideration.

Kewl Beenz