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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.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Relationships are your number one priority at the moment, and you're taking them very seriously.
So don't be surprised if a conversation that starts out casually turns quite confrontational almost as soon as it begins.
Expect fireworks, but know that the astrological inspiration for the mood you're in can also inspire delightful passion.
Given that choice, you'll know what to do.
Some of our readers today have been in:
Rio De Janeiro, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Port-Au-Prince, Ouest, Haiti
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Buenous Aires, Distrito Federal, Argentina
Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, India
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Orange, Provence-Alpes-Cote D'Azur, France
London, England, United Kingdom
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Heilbronn, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

as well as Scotland, Wales, and the United States in such cities as Hillsborough, Buffalo Grove, Lutz, Grinnell, Lake Orion, Rohnert Park, Poway and more

Today is Monday, March 29, the 88th day of 2010.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Texas Loves The Children Day
(after the recent Text book debacle - no they don't)

Caffeine System


As The World Turns

As The World Turns

Obama's demand in Afghanistan

The president slips unannounced into the war zone and presses the nation’s leader.  

Solo world sailor in treacherous waters

A 16-year-old enters a "mariners' graveyard" on her record quest to circle the globe.  
Sri Lankan Tamil refugees spend six months in a leaky boat

Around 240 asylum seekers will pass a sad milestone this week: six months in a leaky boat. It was late September or early October when the Tamils boarded the rickety Jaya Lestari 5 bound for Christmas Island and, they hoped at the time, new lives in Australia.

But then fate - and Kevin Rudd - intervened. Learning the boat was on the way, Mr Rudd phoned Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and asked him to stop it in Indonesian waters. The Indonesian Navy apprehended the boat and took it to the Javan port of Merak on October 11.

But the Sri Lankans - then numbering 254, including 31 children - refused to get off the boat, fearing they'd have to wait years for resettlement if their refugee claims were processed in Indonesia. They vowed to stay put until another country offered to take them in.

Indonesia promised the Tamils it would not force them off the boat. Besides, it didn't (and still doesn't) have anywhere to put them. So the stalemate began. And half a year later, there's no sign it will end anytime soon.

Conditions on the overcrowded boat are deplorable. The Tamils share a single toilet. Dozens have fallen ill, some seriously. One 29-year-old man died from a stomach illness in December.

A handful of the original 254 have left the boat voluntarily and at least two have been arrested after wandering away from the boat. Australia, meanwhile, has washed its hands of the problem, insisting it has no legal obligation to help the Tamils.

Colombia's FARC rebels release captive soldier
Colombian rebels handed over a 23-year-old soldier to the International Red Cross on Sunday in their first release of a captive in more than a year.

Twin subway bombings rock Moscow

Two female suicide bombers strike 45 minutes apart as trains are packed with rush-hour commuters.  

The State Of The Nation

The State Of The Nation

Anger over Florida strawberry destruction

Farmers in the state face mounting criticism for hacking up their strawberry fields.

Shopping ban may get dropped

New Jersey is pressuring its largest county to repeal "blue laws" and open the malls on Sundays. 
Gun charges after FBI raids in Midwest
The FBI said Sunday that agents conducted weekend raids in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio and arrested at least three people, and a militia leader in Michigan said the target of at least one of the raids was a christian militia group. Of course it was ... they're ALL 'christian' militia groups!

Local Hospitality

Local Hospitality

Almost 27 years ago, Charles Sparks disappeared after escaping from a Florida prison. Last week he was arrested in Wilmington using the name of a dead Danville, VA man.

Florida Fugitive Arrested In NC Blames Stupidity For Getting Caught

New Rule: You Can't Use There Will Be No Cooperation as a Threat When There Was Already No Cooperation

From Crooks and Liars:
Bill Maher's New Rules from Real  Time.

Let us be clear

Repugicans are trying to block real financial reform to abet Wall Street and the Big Banks
Paul Krugman explains how the repugicans are going to fight financial reform, despite what the financial services industry did to our nation's economy. They're going to lie about the legislation, which is, of course, a key component of any repugican strategy these days:
Back in January, Frank Luntz, the repugican strategist, circulated a memo on how to oppose financial reform. His key idea was that Republicans should claim that up is down — that reform legislation is a “big bank bailout bill,” rather than a set of restrictions on the banks.

Sure enough, a few days ago Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, in a letter attacking the Dodd bill, claimed that an essential part of reform — tougher oversight of large, systemically important financial companies — is actually a bailout, because “The market will view these firms as being ‘too big to fail’ and implicitly backed by the government.” Um, senator, the market already views those firms as having implicit government backing, because they do: whatever people like Mr. Shelby may say now, in any future crisis those firms will be rescued, whichever party is in power.

The only question is whether we’re going to regulate bankers so that they don’t abuse the privilege of government backing. And it’s that regulation — not future bailouts — that reform opponents are trying to block.

So it’s the punks versus the plutocrats — those who want to rein in runaway banks, and bankers who want the freedom to put the economy at risk, freedom enhanced by the knowledge that taxpayers will bail them out in a crisis. Whatever they say, the fact is that people like Mr. Shelby are on the side of the plutocrats; the American people should be on the side of the punks, who are trying to protect their interests.
Proving Krugman's point, a couple weeks ago, at a gathering of bankers, that same Mr. Shelby told those bankers how to defeat financial reform -- elect more repugicans, starting with Roy Blunt:
Asked what bankers could do to change the agenda, Shelby said, "What you can do is elect more repugicans to the U.S. Senate, that would help immensely." He asked each of the attendees to send $10,000 to Roy Blunt, a former House leader who is now running for Senate as a repugican in Missouri.
Couldn't be any more clear than that.

Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe 
The face of insanity
Typical Wingnut

Another one flying over the Coo Koo's Nest
William K. Wolfrum tells us angry bird craps on blogger’s car – so democrats can just shut up about “death threats” -

In an attempt to show that Democratic politicians aren’t the only ones dealing with threats and violence, wingnut blogger William K. Wolfrum today admitted that a bird crapped on his car, which he called an “obvious attempt to shut me up.”

“You know, democrats are whining and complaining about receiving death threats and whatnot, but really, I’m the victim here,” said Wolfrum, formerly a back-up singer with the band A-ha. “But do you hear me complaining about it? No, death threats and bird crappings are par for the course in today’s world.”

The incident, which happened last march after Wolfrum published a damning column titled “Birds, Fuck ‘em,” cannot be verified by authorities, but Wolfrum insists he was the victim of an attack, despite the fact that he wasn’t actually in the car at the time of the crapping.

They claimed to have video proving no one spit on the congressman but couldn't show it to anyone because it dosen't exist.
However ...
Video of black congressman being spat on by white teabagger
FAUX's Sean Handjob tried to pretend that it didn't happen. 
Huffington Post now has video. 
It's nauseating. 
And listen to the crowd - these people are fucking insane. 
But they're also typical repugicans. 
If you don't do exactly as they say, even when they massively lose an election, you're a socialist dictator who must be stopped. 

Listen to the crowd. 
You wouldn't know that they controlled Congress for 14 years, and controlled the White House for 8 years, just until 14 months ago. 
Now it's suddenly the end of world. 
Nothing but Drama Queens. 
And the world despises Drama Queens.

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid                                                         

Just how good are your finances?

One of the best barometers for figuring out your financial health is also easy to calculate.  

Costly job-hunt errors you can't afford

Today's economy has turned these common job-seeker flaws into deal breakers.

Adding jobs in a bad economy

There's a growing demand for nurses, mechanics, and physical therapists. 

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know
The black truffle of Perigord, the cynosure of every foodie's dreams, is about to yield its most intimate secrets to a team of French and Italian researchers who have decoded its genome.

From Treehugger:
tiny water bubbles photo  
Photo via Flickr
As anyone who has ever left an open can of soda out too long knows, some things are just better with a little fizz, and the world's oceans may be no exception. One physicist from Harvard University thinks that he's found a solution that may help curb the rate of global warming--and it comes in the form of tiny bubbles pumped into our planets water sources. Such microscopic bubbles, says the scientist, act as "mirrors made of air," reflecting sunlight from the water, generating a cooling effect that could be quite dramatic. Although computer models show the method would be effective, implementing it may be another story, so don't crack the champagne just yet--it may go flat before you see it happen. 

amphibious hawaiian caterpillar image 
Amphibious Hyposmocoma larvae on silk line underwater by Patrick Schmitz, Rubinoff Lab
Scientists at the University of Hawaii have discovered the first truly amphibious insect. Daniel Rubinoff and Patrick Schmitz observed larvae from the endemic moth genus Hyposmocoma surviving for weeks in fast moving streams across the Hawaiian archipelago - without coming up for air. Rubinoff and Schmitz say that at least 12 out of 400 species in the genus have the ability to live underwater or on dry land during the insect's larval stage.
We think that's pretty cool, but their research uncovered something else. 
himalayan glacier photo
photo: Karunakar Rayker via flickr.
In the wake of this year's reassessment of the speed with which Himalayan glaciers are melting, and what year most of them might be gone, the Indian Space Research Organisation has released some new data showing that the region's glaciers have retreated 16% in the past 50 years.

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health

A different way to shape up for spring

A move called Swimming Dragon can help speed up metabolism and reduce appetite.  
Too much fatty food raises the threshold for feelings of satisfaction, just like addictive drugs, sparking a cycle of compulsive overeating.

Errol Flynn's son 'remains found'

Forensic tests are to be carried out on what two searchers believe are the remains of photographer Sean Flynn, son of Hollywood star Errol Flynn, who disappeared during the Cambodian War 40 years ago, the US Embassy has said.

Man sentenced to six years for cooking dog in oven

Should have been death and by the same method!

A Wisconsin man will spend six years in prison for killing his former girlfriend's five-month-old puppy, Hulk, by cooking it in an oven. Terry Kleiman was found guilty in February on two felony counts.

They both worked at the Oval Office Gentlemen's Club and one night Kleiman decided to sneak away early.

He broke into former girlfriend Alex Rouse's apartment and decided to get back at her the best way he knew: by cooking her 5-month-old Pekingese poodle in the oven.

When she arrived home that night, she found her house filled with smoke and the dog dead in the oven.

11-year-old girl arrested for throwing toy gun at dad

A father tried to give his 11-year-old daughter a time-out, but she ended up getting charged with a misdemeanor.

At around 9:30 p.m. on March 24, the girl and her 7-year-old brother got into a fight over who got to sit in a certain chair, according to an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrest report. The father ended up escorting the girl to her room.

The man stood in the hallway watching her, making sure she wouldn’t try to run away out her bedroom window, the report said. The girl grabbed a toy gun and threw it, striking her father in the head and causing him to bleed from a laceration on his scalp.

The girl was charged with domestic battery and is due in juvenile court May 5.

Interesting In General

Interesting In General

Do's and don'ts of loading a dishwasher

Putting large items in the wrong spot can block both the water and detergent.

Vacation getaways of the ultrarich

See where billionaires like Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates go to relax.  

Dog saves owner from certain death twice

The heartening tale of Lakota the Akita, who saved sixty-year-old Carol Drymon from a fast-flowing river and then led her to safety.

As for Lakota, instead of hamburger, he gets steak every day now. "He is my hero. He saved me twice that day, and he deserves the best", says Carol.

Full Story

Irish thieves dumped priceless artifacts in trash

A 29-year-old Dublin man who stole what turned out to be priceless golden jewelery from a pharmacy in Co Roscommon has been given a three-year suspended prison sentence. Robert Dempsey of Earl Court, Rueben Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty to the burglary of Sheehan's Pharmacy, Strokestown, on 27 March 2009.

After breaking into the premises at 4am, Dempsey took an envelope from the safe, which included a lunula neck-piece and two gold discs believed to date from 2000 BC.

A second man, 35-year-old Anthony Dowling of Fortlawn Drive, Blanchardstown Drive, who pleaded guilty to possession of stolen goods, was given a two-year suspended prison sentence. Dowling had acted as a lookout at the front door of the pharmacy on the night of the robbery.

Detective Sergeant John Costello of Roscommon gardaí told the court the defendants had no idea of the value of the items within the envelope, but when gardaí informed them of their national significance, they fully assisted them in locating the artifacts.

When gardaí realized the artifacts had been placed in rubbish bins at the flats on Rueben Street, immediate protection was put on all skips on the street as they were due to be collected the following day.

All the rubbish was taken to Kilmainham Garda Station and the stolen artifacts were recovered. Sgt Costello told the court that Dempsey has since traveled to the National Museum to view the artifacts and that both men were full of remorse for what they had done.

Odds and Sods

Odds and Sods
In Cop News

As Shakespeare wrote, 'He that hath no beard is less than a man.' The Bard had a beard, so he was biased, but growing numbers seem to be on the same wavelength.

From Treehugger:
Naked cyclist Nick Lowe wears a helmet photo
Image: Craig Simonox, Dominion Post and TVNZ
Nick Lowe, of Johnsonville, New Zealand, pulls on bike shorts and a t-shirt when he climbs on to pedal away through the city. But as soon as he hits the open road, a "change of clothes" is on the agenda. The t-shirt graces Lowe's handlebars. The bike shorts he carefully arranges on the saddle so that the chamois seat pad still performs as point of contact. "The majority of the public has no issues with it," Lowe told TV New Zealand.
But one person did take offense. And took Lowe to court. Lowe explains the philosophy behind his fight in a YouTube video. And we look at the verdict: does it mean a free-for-all for nudists in New Zealand?