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 26, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You're famous for your work ethic, so if you're under extra pressure right now to get a big job done quickly, not to worry -- nobody else is!
The tricky part might be getting others to work with you -- or at least, it would be tricky for anyone else.
For you, it's all in a day's work with energy like this.
The best part is that the loyalty you inspire means that your colleagues will love and respect you even more when it's all over.
Some of our readers today have been in:
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Zwolle, Overijssel, Netherlands
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
London, England, United Kingdom
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Shrewsbury, England, United Kingdom
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
New Delhi, Delhi, India

as well as Singapore, Haiti, Sweden, and the United States in such cities such as Knoxville, Reedsburg, Belle Chasse, Kirkland and more

Today is Monday, April 26, the 116th day of 2010.
There are 249 days left in the year.
Today's unusual holidays and celebrations are:
Bob Willis Day
Hug An Australian Day
International Marconi Day
Richter Scale Day

Armed man arrested at airport as Obama departs

Asheville Regional Airport police arrested a 23-year-old Ohio man who was carrying a handgun and listening to police radio scanners near the runway around the time President Barack Obama’s flight was leaving Asheville, according to investigators.
McVey's car had strobe lights like a police car might, but the suspect is not in law enforcement.
While searching his Pontiac Grand Prix, investigators heard police department radio traffic “indicating he was monitoring our frequency when he arrived,” according to the summary.

Officers also found a siren box under his steering wheel, several pieces of paper with agency frequencies written on them and a sticky note in the cup holder with rifle scope formulas on them.

Reverse Evolution


As The World Turns

As The World Turns
Slum clearance, South African-style
Waving iron bars and pickaxes, the Red Ants, a rented mob of thugs in bright red overalls and crimson helmets, used the half-light of dawn for cover as they marched into the slum. Stamping out the first cooking fires of the day with heavy boots, they spread out in a long line. Then they attacked. Bleary immigrant women dropped plastic water containers and ran in panic towards their corrugated iron homes. “Grab the children,” they screamed. By sunrise their shacks on the outskirts of Johannesburg had been razed. They were forced to watch as their few possessions were burnt.

The Red Ants, described as state-sponsored mercenaries by their critics, have become a growing force in the past few months as South African cities have begun a campaign of “beautification” before the World Cup begins in June. This means clearing away unsightly immigrant squatter camps. This month, more than 100 Zimbabweans were beaten and evicted by Red Ants from a derelict building on the main road to Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg, one of the football tournament’s main venues.

It followed a series of Red Ant evictions ordered by the provincial department of public transport along main roads within a mile of the stadium, which will host five matches. Hundreds more Zimbabweans were forcibly evicted from properties in central Johannesburg. Red Ants also flattened more than 100 shacks within a two-mile radius of the Mbombela stadium, near the Kruger national park. Most of those evicted were Zimbabwean.

Human rights groups are warning of a return to xenophobic violence that led to the deaths of scores of immigrants during township riots in 2008. According to Braam Hanekom, chairman of Passop, a refugee rights charity based in Cape Town, the Red Ants are doing the government’s dirty work. “They are essentially a militia that ruthlessly and forcefully displaces people from their shelters under government instructions,” he said. “They are notorious for their brutal and violent approach towards the poor.”

Japanese authorities reject man's request for allowance for 554 adopted children

A city government in Hyogo Prefecture has rejected a resident’s application to obtain newly instituted benefits designed to aid families with children after the man, a South Korean national, attempted to apply for 554 children who he said were adopted in Thailand, a city official said on Saturday. The Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry issued earlier this month a notice detailing some conditions for children residing abroad and others to be eligible for the benefit such as being in the same household and individually approved by the local municipal government.

In it, the ministry cites a case of a foreign national who has adopted 50 orphans in their home country as an example of being ineligible. The monthly allowance, to be disbursed from June, is set at 13,000 yen per child, which would come to just over 86 million yen per year for the 554 children.

The ministry said this is the first time that someone has tried to file an application for several hundred children at one time. The child benefit law enacted in March does not require residency in Japan for eligible children, generating concerns in some quarters about abuse. According to the Amagasaki municipal government, the man, who appeared to be in his 50s, visited the city office on Thursday and applied for the child benefit by showing documents that he said were certified by Thai authorities, along with translations, that showed the names of the children and their birth dates.

The man said the children he adopted include those in a monastery in Thailand, where his wife comes from, according to the city. The applicant also carried records showing that he has been sending money to the children, the necessary documents by a foreign resident to make an application, and his passport to prove that he visited the children. The ministry requires at least two child visits per year, supported by passport records, for foreigners who have children abroad.

Kyrgyz ex-interior minister arrested
Kyrgyzstan's security service says it has taken the former interior minister into custody on unspecified charges.

Kaczynski twin running for Polish president
The elections were called for June 20, after President Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria and 94 others were killed April 10 in Smolensk, Russia, en route to World War II observances.

The State Of The Nation

The State Of The Nation
Man Stole Dozens Of Fire Hydrants
A man suspected of stealing dozens of fire hydrants to sell for scrap metal has been arrested in San Bernardino, CA, say authorities.
Full story
Why Fire Hydrants? They're a bitch to move?! The weight for scrap I get but the hassle of getting a hydrant?!

Arizona's "immigration" law

Just a question mind you, but ... will Hopi and Navajo police officers be able to stop anyone they think is in Arizona illegally?

American-born truck driver handcuffed in Arizona for driving without his birth certificate

It's all ready starting!

What's really disturbing is that the feds claimed that this is standard procedure.
A Valley man says he was pulled over Wednesday morning and questioned when he arrived at a weigh station for his commercial vehicle along Val Vista and the 202 freeway.
Abdon was told he did not have enough paperwork on him when he pulled into a weigh station to have his commercial truck checked. He provided his commercial driver’s license and a social security number but ended up handcuffed.
Both were born in the United States and say they are now both infuriated that keeping important documents safely at home is no longer an option.

Jackie says, “It doesn't feel like it's a good way of life, to live with fear, even though we are okay, we are legal…still have to carry documents around.”

A representative at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) returned 3TV’s calls after researching the incident and she said this was standard operating procedure.

The agents needed to verify Abdon was in the country legally and it is not uncommon to ask for someone's birth certificate.
Sieg Heil

Andy Capp


Fish Ladders

Controversial 'fish ladders' under fire

Even some conservationists oppose a plan to lure endangered trout into the Calif. mountains.  

Orphaned bear cubs hopefully find new mother aided by Vicks VapoRub

The future of two orphaned bear cubs depends on the Vicks VapoRub. Unable to find the mother of the tiny cubs that turned up this week in Plainfield Township, the state Game Commission on Thursday used the smelly ointment in an attempt to trick another mama bear into adopting them as her own.

''If this is successful, it will be the best possible outcome,'' said Kathy Uhler, director of the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, which cared two days for the male and female cubs. Game Commission officers on Thursday located a mother bear in the Poconos for a possible adoption. This mama already had two cubs, but could handle four cubs easily, Uhler said.

The biggest obstacle to the adoption is that a mother bear normally rejects unrelated cubs, primarily because they smell like someone else's. That's where the VapoRub comes in. When the Vicks is rubbed on a stranger's cub, the camphor, eucalyptus oil and menthol vapors disorient a mother bear's senses so thoroughly that she won't notice the cub isn't her own. ''It covers the scent of the natural mother,'' Uhler explained. ''This is something that was pioneered in Pennsylvania, and we think this could be a happy ending to this story.''

On Tuesday afternoon, Game Commission officers tranquilized the big bear and collected the orphans from Uhler. Then they VapoRubbed the cubs and slipped them in with the mother's own cubs while mama slept. ''They want her to wake up and not see that the cubs are being pushed in,'' Uhler said. ''If she wakes up and the cubs are there, she might forget how many were there. It has worked in the past.'' The Game Commission will know within a few days whether the trick worked.

British grandmother 'treated as asylum seeker' on return from Spain

Lorraine Marsland, 52, moved to Spain with her parents 23 years ago with her parents and when they died she inherited their two bedroom maisonette in Torrevieja, Costa Blanca.

But the home, where she lived with her daughter Lisa, 30, and grandsons Dylan, 10 and Bradley, 4, was repossessed after she discovered her parents had taken out a second mortgage that she could not afford to repay.

The family moved into a rented home but when her daughter lost her job as an assistant in a furniture shop they decided to move back to their home country for a fresh start.

But Lorraine Marsland was shocked when she applied for help starting afresh to be told by a council she had no entitlement to housing benefit despite being a British citizen.

She said: "The letter said I was classified as a person from abroad and I wasn't entitled to housing benefits. They said I was a person from abroad with dependents. I looked up the law that they quoted and it included asylum seekers. I was just stunned. I'm a British citizen, I've got a British passport, I've paid taxes.

"I rang up the Asylum Seekers Association to see if they could help me but they just laughed down the phone at me."

Interesting In General

Interesting In General
Officer claimed existence of Loch Ness monster was 'beyond doubt'
A senior police officer claimed that the existence of Loch Ness Monster was "beyond doubt", in letter to a Government minister that has come to light after 70 years.

Colonial era disagreement finally settled

A 250-year-old border fight is resolved

A Colonial-era dispute between two Vermont towns is settled by old maps, not GPS.  

Auld Lang Syne

Meaning: The Anglicized version of 'auld lang syne', which means old long-since or old long-ago.
auld lang syneThe phrase has been a commonplace in Scots for centuries and isn't far removed from the English 'once upon a time'. Of course, the best-known use of the phrase is Robert Burns' poem Auld lang syne, the words of which are sung in English-speaking countries around the world each New Year's Eve, to a tune that Burns said he transcribed from an old man's singing of it.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gies a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
for auld lang syne.

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health

Cut through the health care confusion

The sweeping reforms will add coverage for millions, but you could be fined $695 a year for not signing up.

Anonymous's picture
Chokeberry bushes have for centuries been residents of eastern deciduous forests where their bright red and dark purple fruits continue to be favorite snacks of local bird species. Native Americans have also traditionally eaten dried chokeberries and prepared teas from parts of the plant, and several domesticated varieties now grace contemporary lawns and gardens from coast to coast.

Public wants stricter financial reform

Polls are all well and good, but the public was on our side on health care reform as well, then the repugicans lied about it, a lot.
At least on financial reform the Democrats are hitting back hard.

Washington Post:
About two-thirds of Americans support stricter regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Majorities also back two main components of legislation congressional Democrats plan to bring to a vote in the Senate this week: greater federal oversight of consumer loans and a company-paid fund that would cover the costs of dismantling failed firms that put the broader economy at risk.

A third pillar of the reform effort draws a more even split: 43 percent support federal regulation of the derivatives market; 41 percent are opposed. Nearly one in five - 17 percent - express no opinion on this complicated topic.

GE: 7,000 tax returns, $0 U.S. tax bill

$10.8 BILLION profits, $ Zero tax due  
General Electric filed more than 7,000 income tax returns in hundreds of global jurisdictions last year, but when push came to shove, the company owed the U.S. government a whopping bill of $0.
How'd it pull off that trick?
By losing lots of money.
Full story



Got Post-it Notes

The unexpected endurance of Post-it Notes

Many inventions from the '80s have vanished, but the adhesive note is going strong at 30.  

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid

What 'below invoice' really means

Don't go car shopping without knowing how dealers play around with the invoice price.  
Companies in U.S. Plan to Increase Employment, Survey Shows
More U.S. companies plan to boost payrolls as sales strengthen and the outlook for economic growth brightens, a quarterly survey of economists showed.

The town obliterated by a tornado

The town obliterated by a tornado

As many as 54 tornadoes swept across the South. 
People in Yazoo City, Miss., got the worst of it.  

The most stressful jobs in America

The most stressful jobs in America

Workers in these careers face erratic hours and even life-or-death situations.  

The largest earthquakes on record

The largest earthquakes on record

One state has been jarred by 12 of the 15 biggest earthquakes to strike the U.S.  

Major earthquake hits off Taiwan coast

The quake hit at 10:59 a.m. local time Monday, 195 miles off the southern Taiwan city of Taitung.
Full story

Tornado dashes pair's wedding-day plans

Tornado dashes pair's wedding-day plans

Joe Moton and Morgan Hayden were to marry today, but now are trying to save their Miss. home.



14-year-old girl competes in NASCAR race

14-year-old girl competes in NASCAR race

Katie Brice isn't allowed to drive herself to the mall or school, but she can race in NASCAR.  

Busted dreams behind a billion-dollar bet

Busted dreams behind a billion-dollar bet

One owner lost her home after her mortgage rate jumped to 13.55%.  

Interview blunders

How to make a terrible job impression

One sure way to annoy a potential boss is to bring your own coffee to the interview. 

Prettiest small towns in America

Prettiest small towns in America

Cape May has beautiful old hotels, many Victorian homes, and an inviting beach.  

Odds and Sods

Odds and Sods
Harry Potter tops list of books Americans wanted to ban over the past 10 years
Jk Rowling's Harry Potter novels top a list of books Americans wanted to ban over the past 10 years.

Stagger Lee

Wilbert Harrison