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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.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Communication goes far beyond mere words, you know.
There are innumerable other ways to get across what's in your heart, if that's what you really want.
If you give yourself enough time and space, you can think of a few new means of communication that bear your unique style.
Try them out now on your nearest and dearest -- the universe is pushing you to try new things, and they need to hear from you anyway.
Some of our readers today have been in:
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
London, Ontario, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Douglas, Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Glenhausen, Hessen, germany
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt
Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal, Argentina
Bucharest, Bucuresti, Romania
Kortijk, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Metz, Lorraine, France
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Tarnow, Malopolskie, Poland
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Watford, England, United Kingdom

as well as Italy, Norway, Brazil, Singapore, and the United States in such cities as Owasso, Hollywood, Pine Bluff, Hiawassee, Seagrove and more

Today is Sunday, April 11, the 101st day of 2010.
There are 264 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays and celebrations are:
Barbershop Quartet Day
International "Louie Louie" Day

As The World Turns

As The World Turns

Plane crash decimates Polish government

Poland sinks into mourning following the crash that killed 97 people, including the president. 

Thailand in turmoil
At least 18 people are now known to have died in clashes between Thai troops and opposition supporters in Bangkok, and more than 800 were hurt.
The army were firing live rounds on civilians. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself
Paul, British teacher

The Great Barrier Reef
Australia will press charges after a Chinese ship ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef after straying off its permitted route.

Strong quake off Solomon Islands

A powerful earthquake has struck off the Solomon Islands but a monitoring agency said a tsunami was not expected.

The State Of The Nation

The State Of The Nation
Magnitude-4.5 quake, others shake San Diego area
A moderate earthquake near the U.S.-Mexico border rattled parts of Imperial and San Diego counties as a swarm of seismic activity continues nearly a week after a magnitude-7.2 quake slammed the area.

Sixteen Percent of the World's Mangrove Forests Threatened with Extinction

One of the fondest memories of my honeymoon was kayaking through the mangrove forests on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. The trees were mystical, something out of a fairy tale. That's why I was more than a little saddened to learn that forests of this kind all over the world are in serious decline. In fact, many of them are threatened with extinction.
Article continues: Sixteen Percent of the World's Mangrove Forests Threatened with Extinction

Navy in High Seas Pirate Battle

A U.S. warship captured six suspected pirates Saturday after a battle off the Horn of Africa. This was the Navy's third direct encounter with seafaring bandits in less than two weeks.

Couple told they were 'too old' to sit in emergency seats

A couple were told by airport check-in staff that they could not sit in the emergency exit seats they had paid extra for because they were too old and might not be able to operate the door. Marion Webb, 77, and husband Derek, 79, forked out an extra £100 for seats with extra leg room on top of the £2,360 they paid for a trip to Egypt with Thomson Airways.

But when they arrived at Bristol International Airport check-in staff said they were ''too old'' to have exit seats and would be unable to operate the door in an emergency. The couple, from Stockwood, Bristol, said they felt ''hurt, humiliated and angry'' by the way they were treated.

Civil Aviation Authority rules say passengers must be fit and able to operate emergency exit doors but do not set an age limit on the seats. But the Webbs say they are perfectly fit enough to operate the doors and that they were discriminated against due to their age and left embarrassed by airport staff. Staff eventually relented and allowed the couple to sit in their previously booked seats on the March 15 flight to Sharm El Sheik.

But on the return flight the airline allocated the couple seats which were not together and not in the emergency exit as they expected, despite a Thomson representative assuring them they would not have the same problem again. Mrs Webb said: ''Thomson must adopt a clear and cohesive policy about selling extra leg room seats. Being elderly does not automatically make one frail. People can be frail at any age. I do not want this to happen to us or to any one else in future.''

Hotels with the most beautiful views

Hotels with the most beautiful views

One resort overlooks the Aegean and offers panoramic vistas of the Santorini caldera. 

Greek man sues over being 'Turkish yoghurt model'

A Greek man is suing a dairy in Sweden for 50 million kronor ($6.9m; £4.5m) for using his image on pots of Turkish-style yoghurt. The man only found out his moustachioed face featured on the containers of Turkish Yoghurt made by Lindahls when a friend living in Stockholm told him.

Athanasios Varzanakos said his friend "was annoyed and asked how it was possible" when informed. The dairy said it bought the photograph in good faith from an image library.

Chief executive Anders Lindahl said it had come as a shock when the Greek man lodged a 40-page legal complaint saying that the company had used a misleading image because he had no links with Turkey.

"We bought it from a photo agency so we assumed that everything was in order," Mr Lindahl said. The image remains on the Lindahls website despite the legal action. Relations between Greece and Turkey have long been strained and at times have turned into outright hostility.

Swastika soap tested for human remains

A bar of soap that its owner claims was made from Jewish corpses during the Holocaust has been seized by police for tests. Montreal police last week took possession of the soap from Jewish shop owner Abraham Botines after he tried to sell the alleged World War II relic from his curiosity shop on the city's trendy St. Laurent Boulevard.

The police will conduct an in-house chemical analysis of the bar of soap, which has a swastika stamped on it, to determine whether it was made from the corpses of Holocaust victims.

Botines was willing to sell the bar for $300. The store owner claims he bought the bar of soap from a retired Canadian soldier who found it in a concentration camp. Botines' son Ivan, who co-owns the store, said its ingredients are a mystery. "I can only tell you what [Abraham] told me, which is it was probably made from human fat or grease," he said.

Botines said he tried to sell the item to a Holocaust museum, which refused the offer. He said he has long been collecting memorabilia from the Nazi era. He has also been criticized in the past for selling Nazi memorabilia.

Facebook faux pas that doom your career

Facebook faux pas that doom your career

Your friends' posts on your profile could be costing you that dream opportunity.  

Do you recognize this man?

A mother returning home from work was attacked by a man who Missouri City police say either followed the victim home or was just waiting here for the right opportunity.

The victim says she was returning home from work to her Missouri City apartment at about 11:30pm on Easter when a masked man attacked her as she was trying to get out of her car. She says he demanded her purse.

She says the man dragged her out of the car and beat her before grabbing her purse and running to a truck waiting with a getaway driver nearby.

Detectives have released this sketch made from details the victim provided.

She says it was dark, but she could tell he is heavy set, dark skinned and about 5 feet 10 inches tall. He was wearing a mask.

Investigators hope someone can take a good look at the mouth and the eyes and identify the suspect.

Do adults need recess, too?

Do adults need recess, too?

A doctor draws laughter and praise for an exercise plan at Michelle Obama's obesity summit. 

Dog rescued from well after paddled for over an hour

Lucy the dog has given new meaning to doggy paddling. She paddled and paddled for at least an hour on Wednesday before Forysth County firefighters could pull her out of a deep country well, which was no longer in use.

"We don't know how long she had been down there," said Fire Captain Jason R. Shivers. "Her owners heard her barking and went looking for her." They found her 35 feet down in 55-degree water. "When we first got to the scene, her voice was raspy. You can tell she was gasping for air," Captain Shivers said. "That far down you're going to have a reduced oxygen environment and other gases like methane, which is a very common gas in the North Georgia area. It's a very dangerous situation."

That's why they took no chances. About 20 firefighters came to the hound's rescue including "our technical rescue team, two engine companies, one [ladder] truck company, one heavy rescue company, a battalion chief, and EMS on standby for our firefighters safety," he said.

"This kind of operation is extremely manpower intensive," said Captain Shivers. "It doesn't matter if we rescue a dog or a cat or person or a fellow firefighter. We must have rescuers in place to rescue the rescuers should an accident occur or one of us becomes incapacitated. We must have those things in place before we begin putting personnel in danger."

One of those things included potentially protecting firefighter Keith Pertschi from Lucy. "You never know how an animal is going to be react," Captain Shivers said. "She did not act aggressively in the least. She was very calm. While we were setting up the operation, she was barking as if she was trying to communicate with us. [But] once our firefighter began to descend the well, she quit barking completely, as if she knew we were going to come get her."

When Pertschi pulled her up, Captain Shivers said "her paws were cut up and bleeding where she had been trying to use the sides of the well to hold herself up as best as she could. She was nearing the point of total exhaustion as we reached her." She was so tired that, for at least a few hours afterwards, she couldn't stand on her own. But she was happy. She was glad to be rescued," said Captain Shivers. "You could see it in her face."

Should orangutans be boxing?

At a theme park called Safari World on the outskirts of Bangkok in Thailand.

Odds and Sods

Odds and Sods

Toilet paper to match your mood

A toilet paper firm says it's on a roll after beating the recession with the world's first mood-matching toilet tissue boutique.

Paper makers Renova say their psychologically trained counselors can match colors, textures and even the thickness of various loo rolls to individual clients.

Now customers are flocking to their first shop in Cascais, Portugal, for the ultimate in personal service.

"People can express their true personality with the type of paper they use and different family members have different needs," said a spokesman.