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.

Monday, March 22, 2010

We Have Health Care

We Have Health Care
Congress gave final approval on Sunday to legislation that would provide medical coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans and remake the nation’s health care system.

Obama hails landmark health care vote

The president calls the House action a historic victory for working Americans.  

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Back from the half-day vacation and here we go ...

Today's horoscope says:
Regardless of what your more serious friends have advised, you're in the mood to take a chance and let your intuition guide you -- and that's an approach that's never failed to be your best bet, especially in relationship matters.
So if your antennae tell you that a talkative new acquaintance will be around for a while, listen up.
This person will help to point you in a whole new direction -- the one you've been thinking about for quite some time.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Copenhagen, Kobenhavn, Denmark
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, Germany
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Emden, Neidersachsen, Germany
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
Leipzig, Sachsen, Germany
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Paramaribo, Paramaribo, Suriname
Surat, Gujarat, India
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
London, England, United Kingdom

as well as Chile, Brazil, and the United States in such cities as Reno, Sparta, Longwood, Raleigh, Gilbert, Lanham, Wallkill and more

Today is Monday, March 22, the 81st day of 2010.
There are 284 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays and celebrations are:
As Young As You Feel Day
International Goof-Off Day

As The World Turns

As The World Turns
Mexican police ask spirits to guard them in drug war
Police running scared from drug gangs in one of Mexico's deadliest cities are using bizarre rituals involving animal sacrifice and spirit tattoos to seek protection from raging violence on the U.S. border.

In secret meetings that draw on elements of Haitian Voodoo, Cuban Santeria and Mexican witchcraft, priests are slaughtering chickens on full moon nights on beaches, smearing police with the blood and using prayers to evoke spirits to guard them as drug cartels battle over smuggling routes into California.

Other police in the city of Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, tattoo their bodies with Voodoo symbols, believing they can repel bullets.

"Sometimes a man needs another type of faith," said former Tijuana policeman Marcos, who left the city force a year ago after surviving a drug gang attack. "I was saved when they killed two of my mates. I know why I didn't die."

Sceptic challenges Indian guru to kill him live on TV

When a famous tantric guru boasted on television that he could kill another man using only his mystical powers, most viewers either gasped in awe or merely nodded unquestioningly. Sanal Edamaruku’s response was different. “Go on then — kill me,” he said.

Mr Edamaruku had been invited to the same talk show as head of the Indian Rationalists’ Association — the country’s self-appointed sceptic-in-chief. At first the holy man, Pandit Surender Sharma, was reluctant, but eventually he agreed to perform a series of rituals designed to kill Mr Edamaruku live on television.

Millions tuned in as the channel cancelled scheduled programming to continue broadcasting the showdown.

First, the master chanted mantras, then he sprinkled water on his intended victim. He brandished a knife, ruffled the sceptic’s hair and pressed his temples. But after several hours of similar antics, Mr Edamaruku was still very much alive — smiling for the cameras and taunting the furious holy man.

You can see video of the 'incident' here and here.

An Australian executive and three other employees of mining giant Rio Tinto face charges of stealing secrets and offering bribes in a Shanghai trial beginning Monday that is viewed as a barometer of China's handling of foreign business.

Volcano Erupts In Iceland, Hundreds Evacuated

Authorities evacuated hundreds of people after a volcano erupted beneath a glacier in southern Iceland, Iceland's civil protection agency said Sunday.

The eruption occurred around 11:30 p.m. Saturday (1930 EDT) beneath the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, the fifth largest glacier in Iceland.The volcano is covered by an ice cap.

Fearing flooding from the glacier melt, authorities evacuated some 400 people in the area 100 miles southeast of the capital, Reykjavik, said Vidir Reynisson, the department manager for the Icelandic Civil Protection Department.

The last time the volcano erupted was in the 1820s.

"We do not at this moment know the full extent of the eruption but a team is flying over the site now to evaluate the situation," said Reynisson.

US doctor charged in deaths pleads not guilty 

In Brisbane, Australia an American doctor accused of repeatedly botching operations and performing surgeries he was not capable of handling pleaded not guilty Monday to three manslaughter charges and one of grievous bodily harm. Jayant Patel, an Indian-born doctor, replied "not guilty, your honor" when the charges were read to him in a crowded courtroom just before jury selection began in the trial that is expected to take four to six weeks and hear some 90 witnesses.

The trial comes more than 25 years after questions were first raised about his competency, and five years after a government inquiry found he may have directly contributed to patient deaths because of an unacceptable level of care at the hospital.
Patel, 59, has not spoken publicly about the charges. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Southern Taiwan carpet bombed with bee droppings

Swarms of bees have showered parts of southern Taiwan with their droppings, leading locals to believe plane toilets were being emptied over their homes, authorities said.

"Bee droppings are harmless to human health but it's very difficult to wash off," Kaohsiung city's environmental protection bureau said. "The bureau can't doing anything about the bees so we urge the public to be careful."

The bureau said it had received many calls complaining about strange yellow "flakes" left on cars and laundry, and angry requests that airline companies clean up their act.

However, a lab analysis found the flakes were in fact bee droppings while airlines explained that all in-flight toilets are only emptied on the ground, it added.

German baby food giant hails hungry adult market

Can't be bothered to chew your food? Too tired to cook and looking for a quick meal? It seems that in such circumstances a growing number of adults may consider opening a jar of baby food.

The world's largest baby food manufacturer, Hipp, has said an increasing number of adults are turning to its pre-cooked, pureed meals because they find them easier to swallow and digest.

About a quarter of those who eat the Bavaria-based firm's 100 varieties of pulped meals – from apple and cranberry breakfast to vegetable and beef hotpot – are adults, it says.

Claus Hipp said in recent years his firm's products had grown in popularity, particularly among elderly people, with stewed apple said to be a favorite.

He said the 50-year-old company – the world's largest producer of baby food, with 46% of the market – was increasingly turning its attention to the adult market rather than babies as Europe's population ages.

"Not so long ago, we had twice as many births as now, and that, of course, has a knock-on effect. As our society gets ever older, baby food is showing that it has a future in the adult market."

The State Of The Nation

The State Of The Nation
US to start testing organic products for pesticides
They have discovered gaps in regulation. Imagine that. Business was allowed to do whatever they wanted during the shrub years. Self-regulation and all that horseshit failed yet another industry.
Spot testing is required by a 1990 law that established the basis for national organic standards, but in a report released on Thursday by the office of Phyllis K. Fong, the inspector general of agriculture, investigators wrote that regulators never made sure the testing was being carried out.

The report pointed to numerous shortcomings at the agriculture department’s National Organic Program, which regulates the industry, including poor oversight of some organic operations overseas and a lack of urgency in cracking down on marketers of bogus organic products.

The audit did not name growers or processors that marketed products falsely labeled organic or say where any such products had been sold.

Arrest made in Walmart case

A 16-year-old customer is charged with making a racially intimidating comment over an intercom.
Burglar uses MySpace to capture himself
Just going to show that thieves aren't the brightest people in the world, a burglar in Kenniwick, WA, logged into his MySpace account at a store computer at Bella Office Furniture.
Full story

Local Hospitality

Local Hospitality

Officials in a North Carolina coastal town hope a former strip club can find new life as a branch campus of a community college.

Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe
Teabagger protester on the Hill threatens gun violence if HCR isn't stopped
So does the White House still think these folks epitomize a long tradition of American free speech? Remember when Nancy Pelosi criticized the Teabaggers last summer the White House threw her under the bus for it. Since that time, Democrats have been loathe to attack back against the Teabaggers.  

Note to teabaggers: HCR is a reality ... Deal with it.
Teabagger agitator yells 'faggot' at gay Rep. Barney Frank in US House bldg, another calls black congressman a 'nigger'
Holy crap, Teabagger agitators  called African-American Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights hero, the n-word.

Let's see if the media bothers to cover this. They should be demanding the Teabaggers apologize, and any member of Congress and movie star who supports them!

Update: in lieu of apologizing the teabaggers are denying that they yelled out the insulting slur in the first place and they have the 'video' to prove it.
OK, like we're going to believe anything they have on 'video'.
Instead we'll believe this from CSpan:
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) rips 'teabagger agitators' for calling gay congressman 'faggot', black congressman 'nigger', and spitting on another
One hell of a statement from Rep. Tim Ryan about the Teabagger protesters in Washington on Saturday calling gay congressman Barney Frank a "faggot" (the crowd of teabagger onlookers reportedly laughed), called African-American congressman, and civil rights hero, John Lewis a "nigger," and then spitting on a second black congressman, Emanuel Cleaver. Or maybe this:
Steny Hoyer condemns racist and homophobic attack by Teabagger protesters
Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is the number two Democrat in the House:
Hoyer Condemns Inflammatory Behavior at Health Reform Protest

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement tonight after learning that Members of Congress were subjected to racist and inflammatory behavior at today's health reform protest:

"Today's protests against health insurance reform saw a rash of despicable, inflammatory behavior, much of it directed at minority Members of Congress. According to reports, anti-reform protestors spat on Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, yelled a sexual slur at Rep. Barney Frank, and addressed my dear friend, Rep. John Lewis, with a racial slur that he has sadly heard far too many times. On the one hand, I am saddened that America's debate on health care--which could have been a national conversation of substance and respect--has degenerated to the point of such anger and incivility. But on the other, I know that every step toward a more just America has aroused similar hate in its own time; and I know that John Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement, has learned to wear the worst slurs as a badge of honor.

"America always has room for open and spirited debate, and the hateful actions of some should not cast doubt on the good motives of the majority, on both sides of this argument. But Members of Congress and opinion leaders ought to come to terms with their responsibility for inciting the tone and actions we saw today. A debate that began with false fears of forced euthanasia has ended in a truly ugly scene. It is incumbent on all of us to do better next time."
Then there's this repugican saying it is the Democrats fault the teabaggers have no couth

It's sad how Democratic totalitarianism turns Republicans into bigots.
Boehner tells repugicans to act like grownups

Scientific Minds What To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know
From BBC-Science:

We are finally pinning down how much differences in non-coding DNA, which doesn't produce proteins, shape our individual traits and disease risks
They normally avoid water, so it was a surprise when orphan apes found all sorts of reasons to jump in – our gallery reveals what they get up to
Why teenagers find learning a drag

The brain molecules behind a learning deficit that sets in during puberty have been identified in mice – and blocked
Sulphur in silence 
(Image: NASA/SPL)
The sulfur compounds that litter the surface of Mars may contain the signature of life.
Evidence for life on Mars may be staring us in the face

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid                                                         
Repugicans are still blocking Treasury appointees and increase risk to US financial system
Do they ever do anything besides obstruct? For more than a year, the Treasury Department has grappled with a monumental global economic crisis while many of its most senior people have had to walk out of internal meetings at critical moments and have been barred from joining in-depth exchanges with foreign governments. That's because the appointments of these officials have been blocked at times by various Republican senators. Until now, their reasons for thwarting the Treasury have been largely unknown beyond the halls of Congress.
 It turns out the sources of discontent apparently were not the appointments themselves. In one case, it was a tax penalty on small businesses. In another, the passage of an anti-tobacco plan in Canada. Yet another involved a tussle over online gambling.

10 places not to use your debit card

In certain situations, you risk draining your bank account or getting your cash stolen. 

Customers loyal to pulled brands

When Wal-Mart tried to cut out some favorite consumer goods, it learned a hard lesson.

7 worries holding back the middle class

Many middle-class Americans say it's getting harder to maintain their standard of living.  

How to decide if you should rent or buy

Home prices are down sharply, but in many areas buying now may be a costly mistake. 

$1 million isn't enough anymore

A majority of experts now say $1 million is not nearly enough for a truly secure retirement.  

The hot career for these tough times

The economy is putting one of the most old-fashioned finance jobs back in favor.

Easy steps that build job satisfaction

A little creativity can help you combat feeling overworked or underpaid at your job.  

In Matters of Health

In Matters Of Health

5 'miracle' diets that don't actually work

So-called "magic" weight-loss plans, such as the juice-only diet, can backfire. 
Those socialist doctors did it again
The teabaggers are spot on that socialized health care never produces anything good and is a complete failure. Every good teabagger knows that the US health care system is the best in the world and nothing else is even close. 
Provided you ignore all of the advances, of course. 
When faced with examples of advances, the key is to simply re-state "the US has the greatest health care system in the world" louder or maybe write that on a poster with a picture of Obama as some evil character. Yep, that will win them over every time.
British and Italian doctors have carried out groundbreaking surgery to rebuild the windpipe of a 10-year-old British boy using stem cells developed within his own body, they said.

In an operation Monday lasting nearly nine hours, doctors at London's Great Ormond Street children's hospital implanted the boy with a donor trachea, or windpipe, that had been stripped of its cells and injected with his own.

Over the next month, doctors expect the boy's bone marrow stem cells to begin transforming themselves within his body into tracheal cells -- a process that, if successful, could lead to a revolution in regenerative medicine.

FDA warns against misleading food claims

Be wary of food packages trumpeting immunity-boosting powers or "real fruit" content.  

odds and Sods

Odds and Sods
In Cop News

Article Preview

As revealed last summer, Futurama will be returning this year, and while there were conflicts about the cast of the show in the late summer of 2009, a deal was eventually secured. Last week, Comedy Central confirmed the airing of the first episode, 'Rebirth,' will be 24 June 2010. Several other details related to plot and production have surfaced over the months, and for those interested, a full article is available on the subject.
Nannycam Puts Babysitter Behind Bars The video shows the 53-year-old babysitter allegedly pushing the boy, smacking him and throwing at ball at his head.

Nannycam Puts Babysitter Behind Bars

The US military is developing an remote-controlled airborne detection system that bounces radar off buildings to follow vehicles though a city

Tug-of-war has become a staple at a variety of recreational excursions: family picnics, team-building exercises, and reality television shows like Survivor .

World's fastest roller coaster by Ferrari

The Italian automaker is building an amusement park inspired by its superfast luxury cars.

Interesting In General

Interesting In General
Mysterious 'crop circles' appear on ice in Norway

77-year -old Ole Johan Hansen from Arna, outside Bergen in the west of Norway, saw a mystic light out on the lake one evening, about 6ft wide, unlike anything he had seen before.

He could see no one with his binoculars, and due to the risk of falling through the ice, did not investigate until the next day.

The following day, a strange, symmetric pattern covered the lake.

Town uses geothermal energy to stay warm

Downtown buildings and snow-free sidewalks are all heated by underground wells.

America's great wilderness spots

The John Muir Wilderness has 590 miles of trails along canyons, river valleys, and snow-capped peaks.  

chitwan national park photo  
Photo via Nepal4
Authorities at Nepal's Chitwan National Park are sweating over an unlikely menace which threatens to overrun the 230,000 acre nature reserve, home to some of the world's most endangered species. The culprit is a fast growing plant, called Mikenia micrantha, native to Brazil, which has already succeeded in covering 20 percent of the park--and it shows no signs of slowing. Park officials have taken to uprooting the weed after seeing realizing the potentially dire threat it could have on native species, but that may not be enough. "If uncontrolled, it will spread over half of the park's entire area."