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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.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You love to hang out with those who aren't afraid of themselves -- people who stand up and speak before spoken to, say what's on their minds no matter what and let the rest of the world know that they're not afraid to be different.
Expect to cross paths with someone just like that, and when they come along, your only mission is to let them know that you're not just interested -- you're extremely interested.
Some of our readers today have been in:
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
London, England, United Kingdom
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Versailles, Ile-De-France, France
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Marseille, Provenece-Alpes-Cote D'Azur, France
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Klang, Selangor, Malaysia
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
New Delhi, Delhi, India
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico

as well as Brazil, Guatemala, Singapore, and the United States in such cities as Mililani, Maricopa, Cheyenne, Queensbury, Ladysmith and more.

Today is Friday, April 9, the 99th day of 2010.
There are 266 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
National Cherish An Antique Day

Great Scots!

Huntersville’s Scottish festival begins next week!
The Rural Hill Scottish Festival and Loch Norman Highland Games will begin its 17th annual celebration April 16 to exhibit Scottish tradition and heritage, held at the 4431 Neck Road at Rural Hill Farm.

April is Confederate History Month

Bet you never thought of that.

Musical Interlude

Who's Next
All 15 tracks in order ... although the first 9 are what most Americans are familiar with as the US release only had the first 9 when it was originally released in the US unlike in the UK and the rest of the world.

Baba O'Riley
Love Ain't For Keeping
My Wife
The Song Is Over
Getting In Tune
Going Mobile

Behind Blue Eyes
Won't Get Fooled Again

Pure And Easy

Baby Don't You Do It
Naked Eye
Too Much Of Anything
I Don't Even Know Myself

As The World Turns

As The World Turns

Understanding the unrest in Kyrgyzstan

Answers to four key questions about the chaos and the little-known Central Asian nation. 

Thai anti-government protesters stormed into a telecom company compound where authorities had shut down their vital TV channel, as soldiers and riot police failed to hold them back with tear gas and water cannons. The "Red Shirt" protesters then negotiated with police to return People Channel to the air, and the security forces and protesters withdrew from the compound side by side.
The assault was another humiliating blow to the government in monthlong protests aimed at ousting Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and forcing new elections. At least 10 protesters and three security personnel were injured in the brief confrontation in a northern Bangkok suburb.

The State Of The Nation

The State Of The Nation

Supreme Court Justice Stevens to retire

Days before his 90th birthday, the head of the court's liberal bloc gives President Obama a key opportunity.

Stevens retirement sets up high-wire act

Stevens retirement sets up high-wire act

Replacing the Supreme Court's liberal leader poses a tricky challenge for Democrats.  

Census braces for head count debacle

Census braces for head count debacle

The government is concerned its $15 billion program could be endangered by a slew of major risks.  

Adopted boy's return sparks diplomatic flap

Adopted boy's return sparks diplomatic flap

A Tennessee woman who put a 7-year-old alone on a flight back to Russia triggers an international incident.

Local Hospitality

Local Hospitality
Author calls Charlotte a hotbed for human trafficking
Charlotte is a hotbed for human trafficking, according to Aaron Cohen, author of "Slave Hunter."
Cohen spoke at UNC Charlotte Thursday night.

He said Charlotte is a major hub for human trafficking because of its location -- roughly halfway between Houston and New York City. Cohen said young girls are most often the victims.

"People in Charlotte need to open their eyes, because if they don't they're going to have the next great enslavement in the South happening right now in their own hometown," Cohen said.

Cohen said sex trafficking is very common. There was one high profile case in Charlotte in 2008 when police made a prostitution bust at Island Spa in Monroe. Investigators later said the women involved were smuggled illegally into the country.

For more information on Cohen, visit http://www.abolishslavery.org/

Interesting In General

Interesting In General

Unusual treehouses from around the world

One dwelling has sliding doors and a 60-inch TV, all 30 feet above the ground.

Man slashes dog for being racist

A black man who had grown tired of the incessant barking of a dog that reportedly dislikes minorities was arrested on Monday night after he slashed its face, police said.

The German shepherd lost an eye, and the suspect — who worked for an oil delivery business where the dog stood guard — was arrested on a felony aggravated cruelty charge. He also was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor.

Andrew Owens, 58, was arraigned on Tuesday in City Court after spending the night in jail. He admitted to the crime, police said. "The dog reacts to black people, Hispanics, anyone who is not white," owner Paul Tocco said. "She always barked at him. He (Owens) was well aware the dog didn't like him, and he knew to stay away from her."

A detective for the SPCA of Westchester said the slashing was unprovoked. It took place around 7 p.m. as the dog, a 4-year-old named Jenna, was leashed outside Valley Oil at 707 Nepperhan Ave.

Owens, who worked there as a handyman, had threatened to kill the dog in the past and told authorities it had bitten him about a year ago. On Monday night, he "egged on" the barking dog and charged at her, Detective Ken Ross III said. Owens is alleged to have then brandished a 9-inch folding knife.

Owens is accused of taunting the dog with his arm, raising his arm with a knife and slashing the dog across the face, Ross said. The dog was cut "over the right eye, all the way down to the socket bone," he said.
Here's to hoping the man gets the same treatment he gave to the dog while he is imprisoned!

Bye Bye Glaciers

From Treehugger:
usgs glacier national park 2008 photo
Two USGS researchers collect data in Glacier National Park in 2008. Photo courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey.
Guest bloggers Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer are co-founders of NaturallySavvy.com.
We all know warmer temperatures have led to shrinking glaciers, and now two more of Glacier National Park's ice fields are too small to be classified as glaciers, according to a recent article on msnbc.com.
The Shepard Glacier and Miche Wabun Glacier have shrunk to less than 25 acres, bringing the number of glaciers in the Montana park down to 25; the park was once home to some 150 glaciers. And the article paints a grim picture for the future of the Montana park's glaciers.
Article continues: Bye Bye Glaciers: 2 More Gone From Glacier National Park

Ancient pearl necklace smashes record

Ancient pearl necklace smashes record

An 18th century piece commands the highest price ever paid for a Chinese imperial jewel.

Just so you know ...

How to Make Mustard from Scratch

How to slim down this spring

How to slim down this spring

Starting dinner with a vegetable course and ditching caloric drinks can help you drop the pounds.  

Connecting with Nature

The Power of Trees
View Image
Because trees are larger and older than we can ever hope to be; because they provide shade, food, medicines, furniture, wood for musical instruments, fuel, paper, shelter, recreation and space to commune with nature; and because they stretch from Earth to heaven, trees have been revered since before recorded time. Even with today’s technology, we still rely daily upon all of their products and we need trees to help counteract global warming and protect the planet.

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know
cuban crocodile julie larsen maher photo
The Cuban crocodile is among the world's most endangered species. 
Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society.
The world's smallest marine cetacean, the national bird of Grenada, and an island-dwelling fox share a distinction no species would seek out: They are among the rarest animals of them all, according to a new list released this week by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
The organization's recent State of the Wild report highlighted 10 rare species categorized as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), indicating that they "face an 'extremely high risk of extinction in the wild,' often meaning that the species' numbers have been reduced by approximately 80 percent in the last 10 years (or three generations)."
These "rarest of the rare" animals are an eclectic group, comprising birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, and threatened by both environmental changes such as habitat loss and more direct dangers such as hunting and illegal collection for the international pet trade. The endangered species featured on the list include the:
  • Cuban crocodile -- Currently restricted to two small areas of Cuba due largely to illegal hunting, chiefly for meat for restaurants serving the tourist industry, the survival of this species is also due to extensive hybridization with American crocodiles.
  • Florida bonneted bat -- Thought to be extinct until 2002, the small colony discovered in a North Fort Myers suburb suffers from a loss of roosting sites and pesticide spraying of the mosquitoes that they eat.
  • Green-eyed frog -- This once-common species has been decimated by chytrid fungus, as well as agricultural and logging activities.
  • Grenada dove -- Habitat loss and threats from introduced predators have left fewer than 150 of the Caribbean island's national bird alive.
  • Hirola -- One of the most most highly threatened antelopes in Africa, the hirola, or Hunter's hartebeest, is technically protected in Kenya and Somalia, but lack of effective enforcement leaves it vulnerable to poaching.
  • Ploughshare tortoise -- Restricted to five small, unconnected sub-populations in northwestern Madagascar and threatened by illegal collection for the international pet trade, the ploughshare tortoise will be extinct within 30 years if current conditions continue.
  • Island gray fox -- Found only on six of the California Channel Islands, there are likely fewer than 1,000 individuals of this fox species left.
  • Sumatran orangutan -- The Indonesian forest habitat of these primates is seriously threatened by logging and deforestation for palm oil plantations.
  • Vaquita -- The world's smallest marine cetacean at just five feet long, this rare porpoise often gets caught and drowned in fishing gillnets used in the Gulf of California.
  • White-headed langur -- Hunted for "monkey balm," a traditional Chinese medicinal preparation, this species has declined 98 percent over the past 40 years, to perhaps less than 100 individuals.
The news isn't all bad however: The tiny Romer's tree frog in Hong Kong and the Przewalski's horse, the only true living species of wild horse, are both "on the road to recovery" thanks to conservation measures, the WCS reports.
"The Rarest of the Rare provides a global snapshot of some of the world's most endangered animals," said Kent Redford, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society Institute. "While the news is dire for some species, it also shows that conservation measures can and do protect wildlife if given the chance to work."
More about endangered species:

Via: Treehugger

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid

How car dealers make their money

Knowing how the dealer profits on each sale will make you a much better buyer. 

Workers enjoying furlough Fridays

Some employees forced to scale back to a four-day work week don't think it's so bad.  

Strategies for a cheaper family vacation

Booking a suite instead of several standard rooms is one way to save money. 

Flash Delirium

New band we've discovered - sounds good so far.

'Biggest mistake' of trying to de-clutter

'Biggest mistake' of trying to de-clutter

The one thing not to do is load up on new storage bins and other gear, say experts.

Accountants Top Ten

From The Late Show with David Letterman

Modern timesavers that aren't

10 modern timesavers that aren't

Your DVR, your digital camera, even your coffeemaker may be costing you precious time.  

Five products designed not to last

Five products designed not to last

Items like MP3 players and ink cartridges are made to wear down quickly.  

Gingrich vows to shut down government for two years if repugican retake Congress, will repeal 'virtually everything' Obama has done

Virtually everything?

Ban on pre-existing conditions.
Adding kids to parents' health insurance.
Affordable student loans.
Equal pay.


And shutting down the government worked so well in the 1990s when Gingrich shut down the government, and it blew up in his face. How many normal Americans really want to shut down the EPA for two years? This is insane. Democrats need ads on TV right now showing Gingrich talking about shutting down the EPA for two years. So much for safe drinking water. Would you like some botulism with your hamburger little boy?
Here’s my promise: … When we win control of the House and Senate this fall, Stage One of the end of Obamaism will be a new repugican congress in January that simply refuses to fund any of the radical efforts. […]

Once upon a time, I used to be Speaker of the House and I actually understand the legislative process. And the truth is, under our Constitution, the Congress doesn’t have to pass the money. If EPA gets not budget, it can’t enforce cap-and-trade. […]

So Stage One of Obamaism being gone is to simply win this fall and not fund it for two years. Stage Two is…to ensure Obama joins Jimmy Carter in the tradition of one-party presidents (sic). And, that in that context, that we be prepared to commit that a repugican pretrender and a repugican congress in February and March of 2013 will repeal every radical bill passed by this machine.

Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe
Liars and Fools
Faux's Glen Brick says America is "on the eve of destruction" and "will be destroyed if we don't turn our ways".
Barry McGuire said the same thing back in the sixties only thing is he was correct then warning us about people like Glen Brick

Faux's Steve Doozy and  Newt Gingrich (reptile-Georgia) falsely accuse Obama of a "scheme" to seize 401(k) assets.
Well from someone named 'doozy' and someone named after something that crawls under rocks what did you expect?

Fox News on U.S.-Russia nuclear pact: Cue the mushroom cloud.
Oh, that is so kindergarten, morons.

Faux's Glen Brick says Obama "knows how to sell" Marxism "with a happy face".
Learn of what you speak before you speak there Glenny boy - knowledge of what Marxism is would help enormously.

Lush Dimbulb lies: Obama "has done a great job of undermining our national defense".
Oh, really? There hasn't been a successful attack on this nation under President Obama.

Faux's Glen Brick pushes bogus "evidence of socialism" in Obama's policies.
Again learn what socialism is first you demented moron.

Faux's Glen Brick says America is on "the exact same trajectory" as the Soviet Union just before its collapse.
Nope. Not even close -  we were for eight years, but that all ended on the first Tuesday in November of 2008

If by "grassroots" you mean corporate network sponsorship, then, yes

Thers, over @ whiskey fire, says it all about the tea baggers (w/quite a lot of biden-esque language thrown in):

Of course, having an entire fucking news network plugging your bullshit sure does fucking help with the "getting attention" thing, no matter how "talented" you might be otherwise, and I think we all know what that means. shit.

I wax fucking nostalgic.

Back in ought-two & ought-three, I went to antiwar protests in NYC and DC. and there were lots of people there -- six times as many as ever bothered with any fucking tea party bullshit. These protests were sponsored by Answer, a group I still know nothing and give less of a shit about, as did/do 99% of the people who showed up at that shit.

At the risk of generalizing, and fuck you for giving me shit about generalizing, the 99% of us who went to those antiwar protests knew two things, namely, (1) the Iraq war was a fucking stupid idea, and (2) protesting it by marching wouldn't fucking stop it or even fucking slow it down.

But what the hell else was there to do? Or, to be more precise, where the hell else was there the public space to say that the war was fucked? …

And that's what kills me about the tea baggers. They have a major news network behind them. They drive the agenda of one of the major American political parties. They have the infrastructure of, well, this sort of shit:

Specifically in Washington, freedomworks.org, the group founded by former house speaker Dick Armey (r-texas), is holding a 9 a.m. “liberty summit” at the Ronald Reagan building amphitheater and a 6 p.m. rally at the Washington monument. in between, the group plans to lobby members of congress. A promotional bus tour called the tea party express also plans an event on Boston on April 14 — featuring former Alaska gov. Sarah Palin (r) — and is scheduled to be in Washington the next day.

Grass-roots my taut n' perky ass. Say what you want about Answer, and again, who the fuck are they, come on, there is balance here?

And even with all that PR, all that Faux News flogging, all those wingnut celebrity endorsements, they still can't draw more than a sixth of what we got, ordinary Americans who were fed up, only in regards to a pointless and bloody war, and were, you know, proved fucking right.
(via Skippy the Bush Kangaroo)

Repugican leaders meet in New Orleans, no mention of Katrina

And you thought there would be?!
From Ben Smith at Politico:
Five years after shrub's failed response to a natural disaster in New Orleans deeply damaged his party's credibility and helped sweep them from power, top repugicans speaking to supporters in New Orleans tonight made no mention of Hurricane Katrina.

The series of speakers to the southern repugican clan meeting at a Hilton conference center on the Mississippi River paid passing tribute to New Orleans' food, its culture, and its championship football team, but made no reference to the disaster still shadowing what Mary Matalin called a "vibrant city."
Matalin, Louisiana republican party Chairman Roger Villere, Liz Cheney, Former Rep. J.C. Watts, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich all spoke, and their speeches suggested that the Obama Administration is in the process of vindicating wingnut ideals and his predecessor.

'Nothing makes people more convinced of the rightness of wingnut causes than seeing the alternative in action'.
Number of American cities lost by the shrub: 1
Number of American cities lost by President Barack Obama: 0

Any questions?

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health

Monster pollen influx is the worst in years

A perfect storm of factors creates one of the most vicious allergy seasons in recent memory.  
Did you know ...
99,000 people die in the United States each year from infections they contracted in the hospital!
When we start cleaning hospitals for the microbes and not for the eyes that will change. But we won't do that until Americans accept that dingy yellow walls and floors are actually cleaner than bright and so shinny you can see you face in them are - microbial wise speaking that is.

And I Quote

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. 
~ Albert Einstein

Fail Calculus Work For McDonalds

Not exactly the correct approach (and math isn't as vital as it is made out to be) - still it lacks any thing close to 'class' on the teacher's part ... failure in performing Calculus is not going to have any effect or affect on a student outside of Calculus class for any student NOT majoring in math. Sorry math professors but you loose this one the world revolves around the basic principle of 1+1=2 and it is that simple. And students here's a hint for you the function of Delta-x is always 1.

Interesting Stuff

From SportsGeezer:
  • 40 Percent of Boomers Have Mobility Problems  Baby Boomers, people now in their 50s and 60s, are less mobile than people who were in their 50s and 60s a decade ago. That's the bad news from Health Affairs, whose April issue publishes a study ...
  • Healthwise, April Is the Weirdest Month  T.S Eliot said April is the cruelest month. Geezer says it's the weirdest, at least as far as our bodies are concerned. In April, as spring fattens the days, strange things happen to our bodies: Seasonal ...
  • Walking Cuts Stroke Risk By One-Third  Walking, even if it's not perfect, turns out to be a perfectly good way to cut the risk of stroke. The American Heart Association reports that a 12-year-long study conducted in large part at the Harvard ...
  • Experts Say Exercise Should Be Prescribed for Depression  Can exercise chase away the blues? Jasper Smits, director of the Anxiety Research and Treatment Program at Southern Methodist University in Dallas thinks so. So does Michael Otto, psychology professor ...
  • Cola May Weaken Bones of Women Women who are concerned about preserving bone density may want to think about canning the cola, so to speak. The Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter reports that when researchers at Tufts Dietary Assessment ...

Odds and Sods

Odds and Sods
In Cop News

Card counter wants court to end casino ban
A gambler who is so good at counting cards that he may be able to tip the odds in blackjack and other games of skill wants the Indiana Supreme Court to prevent casinos from banning him.