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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.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fired workers' eligibility for health insurance subsidy may expire this week

The U.S. House on Thursday approved a $10 billion plan to provide a one-month extension of eligibility for unemployment benefits, including federal subsidies to help the jobless buy health insurance.

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North Korea threatens to attack if US and South Korea hold joint military drills next month

Holy Shit, Batman!
The imp is screeching, again.

North Korea threatened a "powerful" attack if the U.S. and South Korea proceed with joint military drills next month, warning Thursday that it could even resort to nuclear means.

Oops ... it's leaking

Water gushed from a leak in a shark-filled aquarium in a ritzy Dubai mall on Thursday, sending startled shoppers scattering and shutting down nearby shops in one of the city's proudest attractions.

Shark-filled aquarium springs leak

'Do it for Mommy'

An Indianapolis woman faces a theft charge for allegedly coaxing her 5-year-old daughter into stealing a woman's purse at a restaurant.

Woman accused of sending daughter to steal purse

Burger change stirs 'discrimination' debate

Burger change stirs 'discrimination' debate

A mayor claims religious prejudice after some French fast-food outlets replace their bacon burger.

9-year-old wows music world

9-year-old wows music world

A boy who started composing his own works at age 5 is now sharing the stage with superstars.

N.C. consumers alarmed by soaring insurance premiums

From the Charlotte Observer:

Blue Cross recently raised monthly rates 50% or more for some, prompting them to drop or switch coverage.

Other insurers are also rushing to increase premiums.


David Swanson and his daughter Terra have breakfast on Wednesday. The Swansons have seen a big rate increase from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, part of it due to Terra turning 17.

SHAWN ROCCO - srocco@newsobserver.com

More Information

  • If you're facing a steep health insurance increase, here are a few tips:

    Shop around: It's a hassle, especially if you have to switch physicians, but there is competition.

    Ask about options: Insurers don't want to lose customers.

    Check out cheaper plans: You can often get a lower rate by reducing benefits or increasing your deductible.

    File a complaint: Contact the N.C. Department at 800-546-5664 or www.ncdoi.com. The agency also publishes a "Consumer's Guide to Health Insurance" with useful information.

Rising Blue Cross bills stun N.C. families

The lil' shrub Says U.S. Leaders Now Must Have "Intellectual Curiosity"


I think my irony meter just redlined:

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (retard) remains something of a powerhouse in Republican circles, so it seemed noteworthy that he doesn't seem to have much respect for a certain former half-term governor of Alaska.

In a recent interview with Newsmax, Bush was asked whether he thought Palin was a viable candidate for president. Though he had some nice things to say about her "charisma," it was clear that Bush thinks Palin doesn't have the intellectual heft to occupy the oval office. He said that Palin's success depends on her willingness to add a "depth of understanding of the complexity of life we're living in today" to her rhetoric.

"That's up to her," he said. "I mean, I don't know what her deal is, but my belief is in 2010 and 2012, public leaders need to have intellectual curiosity."

Seriously? The need for "intellectual curiosity" wasn't necessary in 2000 or 2004, was it, Jeb? The mind boggles.


I haven't stop laughing since I first read this!

Random Thoughts

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was a learning curve really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I know I did not make any changes to.

14. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this -- ever.

15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking great and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste of good hair products and makeup.

17. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

18. My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the hell do I respond to that?

19. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

20. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lights than Kay.

SeaWorld will keep whale despite trainer's death

Despite calls to free or destroy the animal,SeaWorld said Thursday it will keep the killer whale that drowned its trainer, but will suspend all orca shows while it decides whether to change the way handlers work with the behemoths.

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How tomato shortage affects you

How tomato shortage affects you

Pizza and burger lovers may soon notice the absence of their favorite produce.

Organic foods that are worth the splurge

Organic foods that are worth the splurge

These 12 fruits and veggies contain the highest levels of pesticides when grown conventionally.

Trick yourself into saving more cash

Trick yourself into saving more cash

Stretch your paychecks with these stealthy ways to pay yourself first.

The easiest way to shovel snow

Let someone else do it!

The easiest way to shovel snow

The best method of clearing your driveway requires the right technique and some unusual tools.

Tips for getting the best seat on the plane

Tips for getting the best seat on the plane

Exit rows and bulkhead seats offer a more comfortable coach alternative.

Most common cooking mistakes

25 most common cooking mistakes

Make sure to prepare before starting a recipe and taste your food as you go to avoid disaster.


Violent history preceded tragic attack

Violent history preceded tragic attack

The whale that killed a trainer at SeaWorld was involved in deaths before.

Things primary-care doctors won't tell you

Things primary-care doctors won't tell you

A walk-in clinic at the mall can sometimes be a better choice than your main physician.

When to give your Social Security number

When to give your Social Security number

Just because many places ask for this information doesn't mean you have to provide it.

Afghan government claims Taliban stronghold

The Afghan government took official control of the southern Taliban stronghold of Marjah on Thursday, installing an administrator and raising the national flag while U.S.-led troops worked to root out final pockets of militants.

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NC man jailed for 3 days as probation violator for appearing on Jerry Springer show

A North Carolina man was sentenced to three days in jail for violating probation by leaving the state to appear on "The Jerry Springer Show."
The Gaston Gazette reported Thursday that Richard Peterson's probation officer spotted him on the TV program taped in Connecticut.

NC man jailed for 3 days as probation violator for appearing on Jerry Springer show

Always said only idiots are on Springer.

Jail term for 80-year-old burglar

An 80-year-old woman with a criminal record stretching back to 1955 has been sentenced to three years in a US prison for ransacking and stealing cash from a medical office.

Jail term for 80-year-old burglar

Zombies Have Free Speech Rights

If corporations can have free speech rights, why can't zombies?
That's basically the ruling given by an appeals court in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Wednesday.

Bill Nye Schools Bill O'Reilly in Climate Change

From Treehugger:

Photo via InHouse

I thought Bill Nye was awesome when I was a kid, and he's still awesome now. Take this video clip, for example, in which the onetime (and always!) Science Guy keeps a cool head while explaining the science behind global warming to Bill O'Reilly and the frantic TV meteorologist/denier shill Joe Bastardi:

The real Avatar: ocean bacteria act as 'superorganism'

Bacteria in muddy ocean sediments may shuttle energy back and forth via a network of nanowires – a striking parallel with the movie Avatar.

The real Avatar: ocean bacteria act as 'superorganism'

Star fattens planet and then devours it

WASP-12b may disappear in only 10 million years (Illustration: ESA/C Carreau)
WASP-12b may disappear in only 10 million years

A Jupiter-like exoplanet discovered in 2008 is being puffed up by its proximity to the host star and is losing mass in the process.

Star fattens planet and then devours it

'People must learn from Haiti tsunami'

The water swept away some buildings along the coast
The tsunami following January's deadly quake in Haiti was little reported but has implications for future tremor response in the region, say scientists.

Cop News

The Oldest Book from the Americas

The Dresden Codex is an eleven-foot-long Maya manuscript, inscribed on both sides, produced around the beginning of the 13th century. Scholars believe it to be a copy of an earlier book composed between 700 and 900 AD, which would make it the oldest book from the western hemisphere. The contents covers the Maya calendar, mathematics, astronomy, and religious beliefs.

The Oldest Book from the Americas

Bad Business

While customers can and are pains in the ass at times these two examples are not the way to respond.
And a note to all waitstaff and restaurants ... tipping is NOT required regardless of your policy or great service.

Woman complains about theater, gets expletive-ridden reply

A woman who complained about the service she received at a movie theater in Saint Croix Falls, Wisconsin received a shocking email from the vice president of the company laden with expletives.

Customer banned from reataurant for poor tipping

A woman who says Kampai Japanese Steak and Seafood House, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina refused her service has started a petition to boycott the establishment.

SeaWorld Staff Considered Killer Whale Dangerous

Tilikum, the killer whale that took the life of a trainer Wednesday during a show, has always be considered an especially dangerous animal by the staff at SeaWorld Orlando.

SeaWorld Staff Considered Killer Whale Dangerous

SeaWorld Shamu Stadium Orca Attack Premeditated

Richard Ellis, a marine conservationist with the American Museum of Natural History, says killer whales are intelligent creatures. He states that they don't do things accidentally.
As such, he believes the killer whale's actions at SeaWorld Orlando, from earlier on Wednesday, were intentional.

Dawn Brancheau, 40, a veteran trainer at Orlando, FL's SeaWorld, was killed by an orca during a show at Shamu Stadium at the theme park.

Full Story

Bandits rob delivery man of chicken wings

Police in Georgia are searching for a pair of hungry bandits who stole an order of chicken wings from a pizza delivery driver.

College's unique application 'essay'

College's unique application 'essay'

One university is giving hopeful students a more creative option for winning over its admission board.

GM to shut down Hummer after deal fizzles

GM to shut down Hummer after deal fizzles

A last-minute effort to sell the iconic Hummer line to a Chinese company has failed.

Drastic teacher-firing plan unsettles town

Drastic teacher-firing plan unsettles town

The planned firing of all teachers at a poor-performing school has many critics.

Why traffic congestion will soon get worse

Why traffic congestion will soon get worse

The recession has actually eased traffic jams, but the relief isn't going to last.

Simple ways to avoid overspending

11 simple ways to avoid overspending

Little tricks, like purchasing cheap items first, can keep you from buying things you don't need.

New take on controversial character

New take on controversial character

A new Speedy Gonzales film will avoid the 1950s cartoon's stereotypes, producers say.

Most unusual hotels in America

Most unusual hotels in America

You can sleep in the dog house at Dog Bark Park Inn for around $92 a night.

Infighting rattles repugicans

And we and the rest of the world are loving it ... every minute of it.

Infighting rattles repugicans

A sudden backlash against Scott Brown is just the start of eruptions within the party.

Hockey powerhouse sent home early

Hockey powerhouse sent home early

Russia was expected to compete for a gold medal, but instead its team gets embarrassed.

Unusual baby names on the rise

Unusual baby names on the rise

Parents want their children to stand out, but an expert warns that individualism can be taken too far.

The repugicans don't like the truth

'The Republican Party is the wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry.'
And, repugicans did not like it when Rep. Anthony Weiner called them out today during the debate on the antitrust bill. But, he's right. Even if his words had to be stricken from the record, they live on:
Keep telling the truth!

China warns US over future Taiwan arms sales, reaffirms suspension of military exchanges

China warned the U.S. on Thursday against any future arms sales to Taiwan and reaffirmed its decision to suspend military exchanges over Washington's decision last month to sell $6.4 billion in military hardware to the island.

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Cold and Wet

Wednesday was a poster child for the winter of 2009-10 – cold and wet.

A chilly rain fell much of the day, adding to what will go into the books as the coldest and wettest winter in the Charlotte region in decades. Today’s high is forecast to be only 42 degrees – 16 below average.

“It gets dreary after a while,” Cotswold Elementary School Principal Denise Hearne said shortly before 3 p.m., about 20 minutes before staff members donned heavy coats to get students onto buses or into the car pickup line. “These wet, cold days affect everyone’s mood.”

Temperatures in Charlotte are the coldest in 33 years, and the precipitation total is the heaviest in more than 40 years, said John Tomko, a National Weather Service meteorologist who keeps statistics for the office in Greer, S.C.

“It’s been nasty,” Tomko said.

Looking for a scapegoat? Blame it on El Nino.

That weather phenomenon of above-normal sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean is delivering a steady stream of storm systems across California, the Southwest, Texas and the Southeast.

“It’s a typical El Nino winter – a very wet pattern for the Southeast,” Tomko said.

The Carolinas have been spared outbreaks of truly cold air. Instead, the trend has been a stream of days with temperatures 6, 7 or 8 degrees below average.

Strangely, it hasn’t been a particularly snowy winter for Charlotte, with 5.5 inches having fallen. But Asheville has recorded about 30 inches, for its snowiest winter in 38 years. And much of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania are setting records for seasonal snow.

Charlotte has escaped heavy snow because temperatures were a degree or two above freezing during two major storms, on Dec. 18 and Feb. 5.

Of course, not everyone is upset with the winter of 2009-10.

“It’s been great for us – more than 100 inches of snow already,” said Kim Jochl, a spokeswoman for the Sugar Mountain Ski Resort in Avery County.

India/Pakistan delegates meeting in New Delhi

India and Pakistan are holding formal diplomatic talks in New Delhi for the first time since the terrorist attack on Mumbai 15 months ago.

Full Story

Today is ...

Today is Thursday, February 25, the 56th day of 2010.

There are 309 days left in the year.

Today In History February 25

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:

National Chili Day

Our Readers

Some of our readers today have been in:

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Leuven, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium
Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Alberton, Gauteng, South Africa
Huddersfield, England, United Kingdom
Peer, Limburg, Belgium
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
London, England, United Kingdom
Cape Town, Western cape, South Africa
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Zwolle, Overijssel, Netherlands
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands

as well as Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and the United States in cities like - Hilo, Brookings, Beaverton, Absecon, Arroyo Grande, Antioch, Chippewa Falls, Lake Orion and more

Daily Horoscope

Today's horoscope says:

You usually don't have time to mess around with long, involved explanations, detailed descriptions or drawn-out instant replays of who said what to whom.
But at the moment, you just can't get enough of it -- all of it.
So if someone tries to blow you off with just a couple of quick quips, you won't stand for it.
Don't take 'no' for an answer -- get the information you need and don't settle for less.

Oh, I will.