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, April 5, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You're getting so many congratulatory pats on the back today that you might start to feel a little sore!
Some people (jealous or unobservant) might call it luck, but you know better.
In your case, 'luck' was composed of equal parts talent, perseverance, hard work and opportunity.
So go ahead and show off how happy you are, because you deserve it, no matter what.
How sweet it is!
Some of our readers today have been in:
Rome Lazio, Italy
Port-Au-Prince, Oest, Haiti
North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Soul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
London, England, United Kingdom
Strasbourg, Alsace, France
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Lublin, Lubelskie, Poland
Hanoi, Hanoi, Vietnam
Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, Germany
Dulin, Dublin, Ireland
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
Essen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Copenhagen, Kobenhavn, Denmark
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Koeln, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
London, Ontario, Canada
Airdie, Alberta, Canada
Athens, Attiki, Greece
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

as well as Brazil, and the United States in such cities as Houma, Conway, Weaverville, Reston, Seattle and more

Today is Monday, April 5, the 95th day of 2010.
There are 270 days left in the year.

There are no unusual holidays or celebrations today.

The Lion Awakes

Jimmy Cliff

Carolina Gopher Frogs

Carolina gopher frogs like their habitat, where soldiers train and practice bombs explode

Love People

Blue Riddim Band

As The World Turns

As The World Turns

Thai protesters occupy commercial center

Pro-democracy demonstrators paralyze Bangkok's commercial heart for a second day.  
The observation deck of the world's tallest skyscraper reopened Sunday in Dubai, two months after an elevator malfunction that left visitors trapped more than 120 stories above the ground forced it to close.
Senegal unveils expensive, eyesore statue
Besides looking as ugly as just about every statue around the world by a communist country artist, it's ridiculously sexist. At a minimum, let's hope the proceeds actually make it to the children. 

Six-year-old twins caught smuggling cocaine in underwear

A mother and her two six-year-old twins were found with cocaine stuffed down their underwear as they tried to board a plane bound for London, Nigerian police said on Saturday.

A spokesman for Nigeria's Drug Law Enforcement Agency said the woman and her husband were arrested after the find.

"Although the man was not found with any drugs, his wife and two children, who are twins aged six years, were found with cocaine hidden in their underwear," the spokesman said.

The woman was carrying more than 3kg of cocaine while her children carried a total of around 700 grams, he said.

Narcotics agents detained the family as they were about to board a London-bound jet at Lagos's Murtala Mohammed International airport on March 28.

"We have released the twins to other family members because they are minors and innocent while their parents will soon be taken to court for drug trafficking," the spokesman said.

Iraqi artists denied entry to Britain for their own exhibition

It was to be Britain's first comprehensive exhibition of contemporary art from Iraq since the first Gulf War, with a guest list including the Iraqi ambassador, the Foreign Secretary David Miliband MP and five of the war-torn country's most promising artists flown over for the occasion.

So it was dismaying for all parties to learn, less than a month before "Contemporary Art Iraq" was to open at Manchester's Cornerhouse Art Gallery, that the UK Border Agency had denied all five artists entry into the country.

The reason? They could provide no valid bank statements. Proof of financial stability and a bank account in the applicant's home country is a bureaucratic requirement for British visa authorities, but it is also, according to Iraqi experts, a very tall order in an occupied country with no banking infrastructure.

The exhibition, showcasing works by 19 artists from Iraq who have created pieces through both wars, Saddam Hussein's downfall, the occupation and subsequent upheavals, will still open on Friday 16 April, but organisers are bitter about the absence of the artists – and the taxpayers' money wasted on the effort to bring them here.

Return flights and hotels had been booked and the artists flew to Beirut in an effort to make their passage to obtaining a visa easier. The cost of remaining in Lebanon while they tried to sort out visas added to the £10,000 bill.

For campaigners opposed to the visa restrictions for artists entering Britain on a temporary basis, this is the latest example of a pointlessly bureaucratic and obstructive "points system". A host of headlining artists at the annual WOMAD world music festival have been prevented from performing in past years as well as poets at the Ledbury Poetry Festival.

White supremacist leader killed in South Africa

South Africa's white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanche was bludgeoned to death by two of his farm workers Saturday in an apparent dispute over wages, police said, amid growing racial tensions in the once white-led country.
Eugene Terre'Blanche, the notorious far-right South African politician, has been murdered at his farm by two of his own employees, according to reports. He was killed with pipes and 'panga' machetes while sleeping, according to a spokesman for his Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (Afrikaner Resistance Movement) party.

Terre'Blanche was one of the most divisive figures in South African politics, believing firmly in white supremacy and the separation of the races and bitterly opposing the anti-apartheid movement. He recently declared of post-apartheid South Africa: "Our country is being run by criminals who murder and rob. This land was the best, and they ruined it all. We are being oppressed again. We will rise again."

AWB spokesman André Visagie said Terre'Blanche, who was apparently alone on the farm at the time of the attack, was beaten so badly "he didn't look like Eugene anymore". Visagie said that Terre'Blanche's only security were his dogs which were "neutralized".

A 15-year-old and 28-year-old who worked for Terre'Blanche were arrested, according to police spokesperson Captain Adele Myburgh. Captain Myburgh said: "Mr Terre'Blanche's body was found on the bed with facial and head injuries. There was a panga on him and knobkerrie next to the bed.

China refuses Bob Dylan

From The Guardian:
Aged 68 and almost half a century past the zenith of his angry, protest-song youth, Bob Dylan must almost have forgotten what it was like to be deemed a threat to society. But it seems at least one place still sees him as a dangerous radical.

Dylan's planned tour of east Asia later this month has been called off after Chinese officials refused permission for him to play in Beijing and Shanghai, his local promoters said. China's ministry of culture, which vets planned concerts by overseas artists, appeared wary of Dylan's past as an icon of the counterculture movement, said Jeffrey Wu, of the Taiwan-based promoters Brokers Brothers Herald.

Dylan fans denied the chance to see their hero might also blame Björk, who caused consternation among Chinese officials two years ago by shouting pro-Tibet slogans at a concert in Shanghai, Wu told Hong Kong's South China Morning Post.
Do they not realize how silly and stupid they appear to the rest of the world when they make decisions like this?

Indian woman kept husband hostage for a year

The wife of a 30-year-old man in Gandhinagar tormented him for a year by allegedly locking him up in a small room, starving him and frequently hitting him. This disturbing case of incarceration came to light when the police rescued the man, Dalbir Singh Gill, from his rented house near InfoCity on Friday.

Cops are yet to find out why Dalbir’s wife, Rajvinder Kaur, subjected him to such cruelty. His mother, however, claims Rajvinder tortured him to coerce him into demanding a share of family wealth. Dalbir, who cannot move without a walking frame, used to play cricket in domestic leagues before a road mishap left him with head and leg injuries in 2002.

On Friday when the Gandhinagar mahila police — prodded by Dalbir’s mother — entered his home in Meghdhanush Society III near Info City to rescue him, they found him in a horrifying condition. He was alarmingly frail because of days of starvation; his skin was pale; he smelt terrible and had a thick beard. Worse, months of captivity had left him disoriented.

The room in which he was allegedly held hostage was dark and unkempt. Cobwebs and termites could be seen all over the place, which had an unmistakable odour of fetid air. “The room and the house’s condition was terrible. There was hardly any food in the kitchen. Dalbir could hardly move and his clothes stank,” a sub-inspector with the Gandhinagar mahila police, A M Brahmbhatt, said.

The State Of The Nation

The State Of The Nation
Colorado fire captain arrested during emergency call
Prosecutors in Colorado are deciding whether to file charges against a fire captain who was arrested and handcuffed during an emergency call.
It's the latest twist in a dispute between city officials in Leadville and the Lake County sheriff.City officials say Dailey went to the sheriff's office to help after someone called an ambulance for a woman ...

Earthquake strikes Baja California

7.2 earthquake strikes Baja California

A strong earthquake south of the U.S.-Mexico border shakes high-rises in downtown LA and San Diego.

Aftershocks from 7.3 quake rock Southern California

Aftershocks from 7.3 quake rock Southern California

Sunday's quake near the Mexico border was the strongest to hit the region in decades.

Local Hospitality

Local Hospitality

Answers Sought In Increase Of Rockslides, Landslides In WNC

In the last six months, landslides, mudslides and rock slides have destroyed parts of three major highways and damaged at least five houses.

Talk About Zoo Expansion

The North Carolina Zoo is the largest public zoo in the county thanks to the purchase of hundreds of additional acres in Randolph County. 

Credit card companies change tactics

Credit card companies change tactics

Faced with new rules, the industry is making changes to every credit card that you own.

Wacky claims job-seekers use on resumes

Wacky claims job-seekers use on resumes

Some candidates cross the line when trying to make their resumes stand out.

Trapped miners saved in 'miracle' rescue

Trapped miners saved in 'miracle' rescue

More than 100 Chinese workers are pulled out alive after spending over a week in a flooded coal mine.

Hundreds of thousands lose unemployment benefits today due to obstructionist repugicans

We saw last week that there had been an increase in job creation, but the unemployment rate held at 9.7%, which shows the U.S. is still in a bad job situation. Yet, hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose their unemployment benefits today because Senate repugicans blocked passage of an extension of those benefits:
Nearly 400,000 jobless Americans are going to see their long-term unemployment benefits cut off. Congress failed to pass a short-term extension before taking a two-week break.

Members of the House already had voted to extend jobless benefits and went home for the spring break. Everyone knew those benefits would be running out Monday should the Senate fail to act.

On the Senate's last day in session, Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin pleaded with his repugican colleagues on the Senate floor: "Let's have a little heart. Let's have a little compassion. Let's have a little understanding of what these people are going through every day in their lives, the stress that they have. Let's do the right thing, and extend the unemployment benefits for one month."

Oklahoma repugican Tom Coburn objected. He said he was all for extending unemployment benefits as long as they were paid for, which they were not in the measure the House passed.
I'm sure Tom Coburn and the rest of the repugicans are living well during their Easter vacation. None of them are worried about losing their homes or not having money to pay for food. But, that's the situation the repugicans have foisted upon almost 400,000 Americans who are already suffering from the economic crisis caused by repugican policies.

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid

To save big, stop thinking small

Instead of cutting back on lattes, try to save money on these big-ticket items.

Census providing boost to job market

With 700,000 new jobs in the coming months, many are thankful for the short-term work.  

Simple tips to reduce your electric bill

These cost-cutting tricks are painless and can help you avoid wasting cash. 

America's fastest-growing counties

Warm weather and a booming housing market have drawn hordes to this Florida enclave.  

Disco Duck

Rick Dees and his cast of idiots. Has it been 34 years already?

Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe
Florida doctor who posted sign about not wanting Obama supporters has no idea what's in health reform bill
Further proof that teabaggers are stupid
Audio of the interview at Alan Colmes:
Cassell: Hospice cuts in 2012…Does the government want people to die slowly?
Colmes: Do you really think the government wants people dead?
Cassell: Well I think that they’re cutting all supportive care, like nursing homes, ambulance services…
Colmes: What to you mean they’re cutting nursing homes?
Cassell: They’re cutting nursing home reimbursements
Colmes: Isn’t what they’re cutting under the Medicare plan what was really double dipping; they were getting credits and they were getting to deduct them at the same time.
Cassell: Well you know, I can’t tell you exactly what the deal is.
Colmes: If you can’t tell us exactly what the deal is, why are you opposing it and fighting against it?
Cassell: I’m not the guy who wrote the plan.
Colmes: But if you don’t know what the deal is why are you speaking out against something you don’t know what the deal is?
Cassell: What I get online, just like any other American. What I’m supposed to understand about the bill should be available to me.
Colmes: It is; it’s been online for a long time; it’s also been all over the media…
Teabaggers will be teabaggers no matter what.

Uh eah uh ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang

Girl sues for $1m over arrest for desk scribble

A 12-year-old schoolgirl is suing the New York City authorities for $1m (£650,000) in damages after she was arrested for writing on her desk.

Alexa Gonzalez was led out of her school in handcuffs by police after she was caught scribbling a message to her friends with an erasable, green marker.

Miss Gonzalez and her mother are suing the police and education departments in New York City.

They are claiming for excessive use of force and violation of her rights.

The shocking disaster of vanishing sea

The shocking disaster of vanishing sea

Once the world's fourth-largest lake, Central Asia's Aral Sea has shrunk by 90 percent.  

Interesting In General

Interesting In General

Man who won £9m on lottery dies penniless, five years on

A former baker who claimed that winning £9m on the lottery ruined his life, leaving him penniless, alone and alcoholic, has died of a suspected heart attack.

Keith Gough, 58, won the jackpot with his wife Louise in June 2005, but spent much of his winnings on racehorses, fast cars and an executive box at Aston Villa. He died at the Princess Royal hospital in Telford, Shropshire. It is believed he suffered a heart attack.

Two years after his win, Gough split from his wife of 25 years and began drinking heavily. He then reportedly checked into the Priory rehabilitation clinic in Birmingham for treatment.

He said he slept in the spare room of his nephew's house and spent most of his time indoors, only venturing out for long walks alone in the Shropshire countryside. "My life was brilliant. But the lottery has ruined everything. What's the point of having money when it sends you to bed crying?" he said last year. "Now when I see someone going in to a newsagent I advise them not to buy a lottery ticket."

14-year-old dies after exorcism

A 14-year-old girl has died after neighbors and a local pastor tried to treat her convulsions with an exorcism at a church. Sangeeta Persaud began to have convulsions as she was drinking tea for breakfast at her grandmother's home in Canal Number Two, a farming village west of the capital of Guyana, her grandmother said.

The woman said neighbours arrived to help, and a local pastor, Ewart Cummings, convinced them she was suffering from demonic possession. After trying to cast out the demons at her home neighbours carried her to a church, where the pastor and aides rubbed or pounded on her stomach and had her drink lime juice.

She was finally taken to a hospital, where she died, Police Commander Colin West said Friday. Results from a preliminary autopsy were inconclusive and no one has been charged, but West said police were continuing to investigate. It was not clear why the girl was not taken to a doctor earlier.

The pastor presided over the girl's funeral on Thursday as the child's mother, father and other relatives shouted accusations at one another and at the preacher. The pastor has disputed accounts of what had occurred, but did not say which parts he felt were inaccurate.

Billionaires who live cheaply

5 billionaires who live cheaply

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim may be the richest man in the world, but he still lives frugally. 

UFO Tourists in Spain Film Multiple UFOs Next to 3/4 Moon

Have a look at this footage from tourists in Spain taken  against a  night sky with a spectacular shot of a 3/4 moon.  About mid way into the  clip the light show begins, small bright orb-like spheres begin to  create a formation adjacent to the moon in an arrow fashion with two  separate spheres on the opposite side of the 3/4 as well.  Not clear  however if these objects were lanterns or flares.  The flight pattern  does not suggest either lantern or flares could stabilize this  accurately.
That's about it folks.

Moment of Zen

You can cheat an honest man but you can't make a fool out of him.

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health

Easy ways to cut calories and fight fat

Eating protein at every meal helps you feel full longer and uses more calories during digestion.  

Heather Graham and Kristen Bell to go barefoot for campaign

Hollywood - from movies.ndtv.com - Hollywood beauties Heather Graham and Kristen Bell are planning to walk barefoot for a day to raise awareness about poverty-stricken children who don't have the luxury of wearing shoes.

The two stars are teaming up with American footwear firm TOMS Shoes and ditching their stilettos on 8 April to prove how difficult it is to live without shoes, Contactmusic reported.

They're also urging fans to come forward and participate generously to the cause.

"I'm going barefoot for one day without shoes to raise awareness about the impact a simple pair of shoes can have on a child's life. So join me on April 8. Take off your shoes and spread the word,"
Bell said.

However Graham admits she is not very comfortable about the prospect of walking barefoot.

"I'm pretty nervous about it because I live in New York City and it's really, really gross here," Graham said.

Hairspray star Brittany Snow and documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock are the other Hollywood A-listers who have decided to be a part of this endeavor.

Doctors perform Cesarean on non-pregnant woman

The North Carolina Medical Board recently reviewed a case where doctors and interns tried to induce labor on a patient, and then performed a Cesarean section, but found there was no baby inside the woman's womb. Dr. Gerianne Geszler, who was in charge at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center the night of the incident, said that several doctors examined the woman before the attempted C-section.

"They did an epidural on her, and when they opened up and made the incision, they saw a non-pregnant uterus," Geszler said. Doctors quickly closed the woman's incision.

The North Carolina Medical Board issued the doctors a letter of concern, stating, "you attempted to perform a Caesarean section delivery on Patient A after a failed attempt at induction of labour ... and at the time of surgery, it was discovered the patient was not pregnant." Geszler said an intern did an ultrasound before the surgery and could not find a heartbeat, and it was at this time that the patient convinced doctors to induce her.

The medical board said the intern did not have enough experience to make the "appropriate diagnosis." It was determined that the patient suffered from pseudocyesis, which is the medical term for "false pregnancy." A person suffering from pseudocyesis may often have all the same signs and symptoms as a person who is actually pregnant, but there is no foetus.

There's a news video here.

Odds and Sods

Odds and Sods

Book-balancing girl dazzles the Web

This student balances 15 books on her head and solves a Rubik's Cube while reciting pi.
An errant text message is costing three New York drug-dealing suspects dearly. Police say the suspects made a mistake when trying to text a potential buyer and instead reached a task force agent in Dutchess County, about 50 miles north of New York City.

In Cop News
Nebraska "CSI" chief, fired a week after being convicted of planting evidence, says he'll fight dismissal

Illinois jail guard charged in murder plot

12-year-old arrested and hauled off in handcuffs for doodling sues NYPD

"I don't need a warrant, ma'am, under federal law"

Third New Orleans police officer in Danziger probe will plead guilty, attorney says

Oklahoma sheriff's deputy arrested, accused of pawning property

Officials say they're "probing" the lack of drunk driving charges against Maryland cop who failed a field sobriety test after driving car into ditch

New York cop-turned-robber gets five years in prison