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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, April 8, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You may have gained enough confidence in your favorite hobby or other interest to actually integrate it into your career.
It might not be full-time at first, and you may not be paying the bills with it for quite some time.
For now, though, you know that your leisure hours are spent not just doing what you love, but paving the way to making it your full-time vocation.
Not so bad, huh?
Let those thoughts inspire you.
Some of our readers today have been in:
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Uberuba, Minas Gerais, Brazil
A Coruna, Galicia, Spain
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan
London, England, United Kingdom
Copenhagen, Kobenhavn, Denmark
Mainz, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Klang, Selangor, Malaysia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Sao Paulo, Sao, Paulo, Brazil
Danbury, England, United Kingdom

as well as Scotland, and the United States in such cities as Gulfport, Holcombe, Brooklyn, Tuttle and more

Today is Thursday, April 8, the 98th day of 2010. 
There are 267 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays and celebrations are:
Buddha Day
One Day Without Shoes Day

Vietnam Era Songs

All the songs recorded during the Vietnam Era  
- all 1389 of them. 

As The World Turns

As The World Turns

Largest exodus from Iceland since 1887

Destitute and desperate, Icelanders are leaving their country in record numbers.  

Man threatens to down Qantas jet with mind power

Singapore police are questioning a man who threatened to bring down a Qantas flight from Sydney to Singapore.

The man was restrained by flight stewards after he made threats to disrupt QF31 using mind power.

According to reporter Nick Luchinelli, who was onboard the flight, it seemed the middle-aged man was either under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both.

He was suffering some sort of delusion and people sitting close to him said he was threatening to use the power of his mind to bring the flight down.

The stewards had to take the threat seriously so he had his arms and legs cuffed and remained that way for the rest of the flight.

Singaporean police boarded the flight after passengers disembarked.

Stark photos coming out of Brazil

Eyewitnesses are providing the Web with images of "the greatest flooding in the history" of Rio.
The heaviest rains in Rio de Janeiro's history triggered landslides Tuesday that killed at least 95 people as rising water turned roads into rivers and paralyzed Brazil's second-largest city.

Kyrgyzstan in chaos as president flees capital
The opposition is claiming to have control after a day of violence that left many dead. The president - who has fled - previously came to power after a previous revolt though the issues appear to be similar to what brought him to power. Complaints of nepotism, corruption and authoritarianism have been driving the events. From a US perspective this may present challenges as the US uses bases in Kyrgyzstan to supply the effort in Afghanistan.

For now, it's an interim government.
The opposition in Kyrgyzstan says it is setting up a "people's government" after deadly clashes left some 65 dead.

Ex-Foreign Minister Roza Otunbayeva told the BBC that new defence and interior ministers had been appointed.

The opposition says President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has left the capital, Bishkek, to rally support in his home region of Jalalabad. This has not been confirmed.

There has been no word from Mr Bakiyev since violent clashes spread to the capital on Wednesday.

The scene in Bishkek on Thursday morning was calm, with the opposition apparently in control of the government headquarters.
Hollywood producer suspect in wife's death
"Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford-Redman is a suspect in his wife's death days after reporting her missing in the resort city of Cancun, a Mexican official said Thursday.

Loyal guide dog gets owner home before it dies

A loyal guide dog defied death to ensure his owner made it home safely from a 120-mile trip.

Comet the Labrador retriever battled through agonising pain so that David Quarmby, 61, got back from Birmingham to Newsomenear Huddersfield, via Manchester.

Minutes after they arrived at Mr Quarmby’s home on Edale Avenue, Comet collapsed and died from a tumour.

Mr Quarmby said: “He got me off the bus, across the road and up the drive.

“As soon as we got home, I took his harness off, he took a couple of sniffs and collapsed.

“Comet was a brave and marvellous dog who will be missed enormously.”

The State Of The Nation

The State Of The Nation
Diplomat tried to ignite shoes on flight
Federal air marshals have subdued a man who tried to light his shoes on fire aboard a United Airlines flight from Washington, D.C. to Denver on Wednesday night, officials told ABC News.

Officials said Mohammed al Modadi, a diplomat in the Qatar Embassy, attempted to detonate what they believe is a shoe bomb aboard Flight 663 some 40 miles from Denver.

The man was subdued by on-board air marshals, and two jet fighters were scrambled from Buckley Air Force Base to accompany the Boeing 757 jet, which landed without incident in Denver. There are no reports of injuries.

Al Modadi had full diplomatic immunity as the third secretary and vice-consul, the FBI told ABC News.

Colorado judge fired over arrest for overdue DVD
A longtime Colorado judge has been fired after issuing an arrest warrant for a teenager over an overdue library DVD.

Mystery hero in NYC river rescue found

Mystery hero in NYC river rescue found

A Frenchman who plunged into frigid waters to save a 2-year-old girl stirred up a frenzy. 

Iconic American experiences in danger

Iconic American experiences in danger

The future of some of the best-known U.S. vacation destinations is in doubt.  

Worst roads in America

7 worst roads in America

Two highways in Pennsylvania seem like they’ve been under construction forever.  

Local Hospitality

Local Hospitality
Murder Suspect Mistakenly Released From Bertie Prison
The Wake County Sheriff's Office says William Bryant, Jr., also known as "Jabo", was released from the Bertie Correctional Institution on Friday.

Rodney Caverly, who was accused of rigging Bank of America ATMs to disburse cash, has agreed to plead guilty.



April is Poetry Month

by Lewis Carroll
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought –
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
(Number 4 of the 9 weirdest poems you'll ever read)

Extraordinary Tax Deductions

Sometimes, despite objections from the IRS, taxpayers get to write off the darndest things

12 amazing deductions that got approved

A taxpayer was allowed to deduct the cost of installing a swimming pool as a medical expense.  

Tornando Watch

http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2010/04/08/17/040810-Stormy_Uptown.embedded.prod_affiliate.138.jpgWe're under a Tornado Watch ... yippee!
As if the dire Hurricane season report in the next post wasn't enough ... Oh, nooooo!

Storm warning

Above-average hurricane season predicted

Colorado State University'sA hurricane forecast team is predicting an above-average season for the Atlantic basin in 2010, which includes all tropical storms and hurricanes in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

An 'extreme' hurricane season feared

Forecasters predict 2010 will produce an above-average number of major storms.  

Climate Change Causing Bizarre Arctic Bird Deaths

arctic terns flying photo
Image credit: Daníel Örn/Flickr
In the warming Arctic, birds are being plagued by mosquitoes, confused by fog, and driven into the sea by errant winds. These strange challenges—along with avalanches, landslides, and more—have emerged as results of climate change.
Article continues: Climate Change Causing Bizarre Arctic Bird Deaths

Interesting In General

Interesting In General

New architectural wonders of the world

Steel strips wrap around a courtyard and form the lower gallery of Israel's Design Museum.  

Beautiful volcano photography

http://www.boingboing.net/volcanoaurora.jpgPhotographer Albert Jakobsson took this awesome shot of Iceland's Eyjafjajokull (gesundheit) volcano. 
In the full series of photos, you can see Icelanders entertaining themselves by hanging out and roasting hot dogs on the glowing embers of the active, but "lazy", volcano.

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid

Signs the economy is really getting better

The recession is officially over, but many Americans won't feel the recovery until these things happen.  
Nearly half of US households escape fed income tax
About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That's according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization.

Who won't pay federal income taxes

Nearly half of U.S. households will escape paying any federal income taxes.  

Five costly tax blunders to be aware of

Mistakes can be so easy to make that business reporter Ylan Mui almost paid $5,000 extra.

Advice from credit score superstars

People with credit scores above 800 say they save hundreds or thousands of dollars.  

America's biggest real estate busts

In three short years, Stuyvesant Town went from a $3 billion gem to a huge burden. 

The truth about lying on your resumé

What seem like tiny fibs can come back to haunt you even after you get the job.  

Training times for eight top jobs

Training times for eight top jobs

One career change may require just six months of training, and pays an average of $46K a year.  

Daily Comic Relief


In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health

Fresh food's cancer benefits questioned

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables offers only modest cancer protection, a study finds.  

Unhealthiest coffee drinks in America

These chilled beverages have upwards of 1,200 calories and are loaded with fat. 

Natural ways to ease your allergies

Bolster your immune system and bring relief to a runny nose, congestion, and itchy eyes. 

King Tut may have worn orthopedic sandals

King Tut may have worn orthopedic sandals

The Egyptian ruler might have worn shoes designed for his club foot. 

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know
A multicellular organism that lives without oxygen
You're looking at the first multi-cellular, anaerobic organism known to humans. Anaerobic, of course, means this little critter lives entirely without oxygen. We've long known that single-celled organisms could live this way, but this discovery comes as a bit of surprise. This organism is part of a species called Loricifera, has no mitochondria. Anaerobic organisms have an entirely different organelle, called hydrogenosomes, that power their cells.
Scientists Discover Heavy New Element
Synthesis of a new element with atomic number Z=117 
A team of Russian and American scientists has discovered a new element that has long stood as a missing link among the heaviest bits of atomic matter ever produced. The element, still nameless, appears to point the way toward a brew of still more massive elements with chemical properties no one can predict.

Asteroid to pass by Earth this week

The newly discovered space rock will pass within the orbit of the moon on Thursday.  
No one expected it to happen so quickly, and certainly not everywhere – but Homo sapiens is ageing fast. This is no bad thing, argues Fred Pearce

Near death experiences could be caused by something as mundane as raised levels of carbon dioxide, scientists suggest.
The remarkable remains of two ancient human-like creatures (hominids) have been found in South Africa.
Australopithecus sediba skull
Two 1.9 million-year-old skeletons found in a South African cave have added a new and intriguing member to the primate family.
Dubbed Australopithecus sediba, it has many features — including long legs and a protruding nose — common to Homo, the genus that eventually spawned humans. Other features, such as extra-long forearms and flexible feet, date from deep in our primate past.
Paleontologists disagree over whether A. sediba is a direct human ancestor, or just looks like one. But whatever their lineage, the fossils provide rare insight into a period shrouded in paleontological mystery.
“We feel that A. sediba might be a Rosetta Stone for defining for the first time what the genus Homo is,” said paleontologist Lee Berger of the University of Witwatersrand. “They’re going to be a remarkable window, a time machine.”
An archaeological mystery in a half-ton lead coffin
Half ton lead coffin
In the ruins of a city that was once Rome’s neighbor, archaeologists last summer found a 1,000-pound lead coffin.
Who or what is inside is still a mystery, said Nicola Terrenato, the University of Michigan professor of classical studies who leads the project—the largest American dig in Italy in the past 50 years.
The sarcophagus will soon be transported to the American Academy in Rome, where engineers will use heating techniques and tiny cameras in an effort to gain insights about the contents without breaking the coffin itself.
“We’re very excited about this find,” Terrenato said. “Romans as a rule were not buried in coffins to begin with and when they did use coffins, they were mostly wooden. There are only a handful of other examples from Italy of lead coffins from this age—the second, third or fourth century A.D. We know of virtually no others in this region.”

Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe
Gingrich repeats lie about 16,000 IRS agents enforcing health care reform
This is a lie that the repugicans started a while back. That 16,000 new IRS agents were going to be patrolling the land to catch health care reform scofflaws, or something. Factcheck.org already debunked it.

Part of the problem here is that the repugican leadership feels that the only way they can win a policy dispute is by lying. Palin did it with the "death panels," and now they're all doing it with this lie about the IRS. Part of the problem is also that Gingrich continues to feed the kind of anti-govt conspiracy theories that could lead yet another right-wing nut to commit an act of domestic terror. It's a real problem, the degree to which repugicans are fanning the flames of hatred of government, what with the Teabaggers calling a black congressman the n-word, and a gay congressman "faggot," while spitting on another black congressman.

Democrats need to nip these lies in the bud. It's fine to send around the link to Factcheck.org, but at some point I think the President needs to get involved. He can't weigh in on every lie, but when the lies are big, like death panels or this "IRS agent" bs, and when the lie involves a critical part of his agenda - e.g., health care reform - the White House needs to pull out the big guns. No one can get the media's attention like the President. He should call out Gingrich on the IRS lie, just as he should have called out Palin on the death panels. Get in front of the cameras, invite Gingrich to show up tomorrow at the White House gates, at noon, tell him the press will be there, and you'll be glad to watch him explain to the country where the 16,000 IRS agents are in the health care bill. Then get some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the show.

Liars and Fools
Lush Dimbulb lies "Never in my life have I seen a regime like this, governing against the will of the people, purposely".
OK, we knew you lived in a cave for the past 8 years of the shrub cabal, but were unaware you were in a coma the entire time as well

Tea party leaders announce new federation
http://www.lippelions.de/cms/images/stories/rofl.jpgSeveral tea party leaders (now that's a joke), announced plans Thursday to form a national federation to promote the movement's conservative message and to counter the idea that the tea parties are politically unsophisticated and disorganized.

Secret tape reveals militia leader's anger

... that and the depth and severity of his derangement

Secret tape reveals militia leader's anger

In the wake of the FBI's raid on the Hutaree group, audio surfaces from its alleged leader.   

FBI arrests Calif man for alleged Pelosi threats

A California man angry about health care reform allegedly made threatening and harassing phone calls to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, including at least one call in which he got through and spoke to her directly, law enforcement officials said.
It's about time some arrests are being made!

Faux News gets heat from everyone

Typical wingnut - accusing everyone else of being what he is ...

Faux News gets heat from everyone

Criticism from all sides puts TV network owner Rupert Murdoch on the defensive.

Charged with a crime if they follow the law?!

This wingnut is a an idiot
A Wisconsin district attorney has warned schools in his county that if they proceed with new state sex-education courses, teachers could face criminal charges for encouraging minors to have sex, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth said a new state law that requires students learn to use condoms and other contraceptives "promotes the sexualization — and sexual assault — of our children." In his March 24 letter to five school districts, Southworth, a repugican (sort of obvious), said teachers could be charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors. He urged school officials to suspend the program, which takes effect in the fall, and transfer the anatomy curriculum to a science course.
Here are a couple of excerpts from his letter:
"If a teacher instructs any student aged 16 or younger how to utilize contraceptives under circumstances where the teacher knows the child is engaging in sexual activity with another child -- or even where the 'natural and probable consequences' of the teacher's instruction is to cause that child to engage in sexual intercourse with a child -- that teacher can be charged under this statute" of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. ...
"Forcing our schools to instruct children on how to utilize contraceptives encourages our children to engage in sexual behavior, whether as a victim or an offender," he wrote. "It is akin to teaching children about alcohol use, then instructing them on how to make mixed alcoholic drinks."
He said in an interview with the Journal Sentinel that he could not say how likely he would be to file charges, saying it would depend on the specifics of any case.
"I'm not looking to charge any teachers," he said. "I've got enough work to do."
The paper spoke to a co-author of the legislation. She called the DA's letter "irresponsible" and said it was "laughable to think teachers could be charged for telling students how to use contraception."
"Using condoms isn't a crime for anyone," said Rep. Kelda Helen Roys, D-Madison. "This guy is not a credible legal source on this matter, I'm sorry to say. His purpose is to intimidate and create enough panic in the minds of school administrators that they'll turn their backs on young people and their families."
The new law continues to let parents remove their children from sex-ed classes, and schools can also not offer such instruction. One district that received the letter said it had not taught sex ed for years.

Taking photos of your food is a new craze

Taking photos of your food is a new craze

More people are showing the world what they eat by snapping and uploading pics of their meals.  
Good Question!

One in five believe aliens exist and live among us disguised as humans

John Jones Manhunter from Mars
Speaking of aliens:
Aliens exist and they live in our midst disguised as humans — at least, that’s what 20 percent of people polled in a global survey believe.
The Reuters Ipsos poll of 23,000 adults in 22 countries showed that more than 40 percent of people from India and China believe that aliens walk among us disguised as humans, while those least likely to believe in this are from Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands (8 percent each).

Biological brothers find each other across the street after 30 years

Stephen Goosney, 29, and Tommy Larkin, 30, born a year-and-a-half apart, were both adopted and always knew they were missing vital pieces of their lives. But little did they know they have spent the past seven months living almost directly across the street from each other in Corner Brook, in western Newfoundland.

In fact, they've been on the same street for more than two years - Larkin changed residences seven months ago. It had to be one of the easiest unions to arrange in adoption history - Larkin just had to look out his living room window, wait for his brother to come home, make the call and invite him over.

"She gave me his name and asked me four or five times if I knew him," Larkin said, referring to the adoption agency worker who assisted his search. "I said I didn't, and she kept asking me, if I was sure I haven't met him."

Then, as he was pacing the living room, talking on the phone, he was given the address. "I said: 'No ... I am looking at the house right now,'" Larkin said. Unfortunately, Goosney was out of town, and they didn't meet until the next day.

"It was a good feeling, knowing there was actually someone looking for me, too," Goosney said, describing the reunion as "overwhelming." "It's been good. We have been seeing each other pretty much every day, just hanging out and trying to catch up," he said.

Despite living across the street from each other, the two don't remember seeing or speaking to each other. There has been no shortage of conversation ever since though. The brothers say they had an instant connection, facilitated by the fact they have so much in common.

Relax, Scrabble fans: Basic rules aren't changing

The basic rules aren't changing

Scrabble purists can relax. 
News of a new version of the classic word game that Mattel plans to sell in the U.K. allowing proper nouns set off waves of dismay across the Internet.

Nailed to pole, cat clings to life

Authorities in Illinois are looking for the person behind a disturbing animal abuse case.
Even a dog person finds this disgusting and whosoever did this should be treated the same way and the nail(s) used should be proportional to body size in relation to the ones used on this cat ... for a human that most likely means railroad spikes!

'Hungry men ate teenage student with potatoes'

The trial of two Russian men accused of chopping up a 16-year-old girl and eating her with potatoes has been postponed after a juror fell ill looking at prosecution images.

The case was postponed after the juror had to be excused while examining photographs of student Karina Barduchian after her death.

Maxim Golovatskikh and his friend florist Yury Mozhnov, both 20, are accused of drowning Karina Barduchian in a bath and then carving up her body and serving her as meat with potatoes to a lodger.

The two accused are due to give evidence when the case resumes this week.

Father slapped 2-year-old daughter for eating his Pringles

A Birmingham, Alabama man was arrested for child abuse after authorities say he slapped his toddler daughter for eating his Pringles. Justin James Warren Green, 22, was arrested on Friday but bonded out of the county jail this morning, said Jefferson County Chief Deputy Randy Christian.

Investigators said the 2-year-old girl was taken to the emergency room at St. Vincent's East last week with a large hand print and abrasion on the left side of her face. The hospital staff summoned sheriff's deputies and social service workers. Green, Christian said, went to the hospital but was escorted out by hospital staff.

The district attorney's office agreed that the case merited child abuse charges, Christian said. Deputies interviewed Green Friday and he confessed to hitting his daughter because she was eating his barbecue Pringles. He was charged with willful abuse of a child and held on $10,000 bond until today.

"How do you slap a 2-year-old girl over anything?" Christian said, "much less something as silly as she's eating your barbecue Pringles."

Father leaves children in car for two days

Two little boys are safe at home with their mother after sheriff's deputies say their father left them in a car with no food for up to two days while he was out drinking. That father, 27-year-old Richard Labo of Hillsdale, is in the Jackson County Jail after being arraigned on two felony counts of second-degree child abuse.

"He'd picked them up from their mother's house on Thursday, driven around for a couple of days partying, while they were in the back of the vehicle," explained Lt. Brad Piros of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

Piros says Labo's little boys - aged just four and six - were found hungry and upset early on Sunday morning in a 1994 Pontiac Grand Prix. "The kids indicated they'd had a little bit of candy to eat over the period of two days," Piros says.

"There were beer cans located in the vehicle. Six to eight empties, also two half-full beer cans located in between the two front seats," he says.

Deputies don't know where this alleged drinking bender started, but they do know where it ended: Gypsy's in Summit Township. That's where they say someone saw the little guys sleeping in the car all alone and called 911.

Both Labo and his brother, Eric, were arrested at the scene, but Eric will not face charges because he's not legally obligated to the kids. The boys were taken by deputies, given something to eat, then returned to their mother. Authorities say Labo could face eight years in prison for his weekend of mistakes.

The Perfect Lead In

Well someone has too!

Odds and Sods

Odds and Sods
From empty nests to slow wits, there's little evidence for the stereotypes of middle age, says Barbara Strauch in The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain

A Cookeville, Tennessee man who threw gasoline onto his girlfriend and chased her with a cigarette lighter is going to jail for six years.

Just about anything is printed on a T-shirt, but a certain slogan has sparked a fight over free speech at a Nashville, Tennessee high school.

If you want to shell a walnut, it helps to have a nutcracker. And if you want to digest seaweed, it helps to have the right enzymes. Now, a study in the journal Nature shows that Japanese people--but not North Americans--have what it takes to eat their sushi, and digest it, too.

In Cop News