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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.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
It may feel as if you've got the whole world on your shoulders.
You are pretty strong, but it's still time to do something about your burden.
You could end up with a serious crick in your neck -- and who could possibly take on your load if that happens?
Not everyone can be quite so competent and on the ball as you, but someone could certainly help you shift your responsibilities somewhat so they don't drag you down.  
Some of our readers today have been in:
New Delhi, Delhi, India
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Chatswood New South wales Australia
Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
Nice, Provence-Alpes-Cote D'Azur, France
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Copenhagen, Kobenhavn, Denmark
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Toulouse, Midi-Pyrenees, France
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
London, England, United Kingdom
Watford, England, United Kingdom
Poznan, Wielkopolskie, Poland

as well as Brazil, Scotland, and the United States in such cities such as Homer, Reno, Clovis, Lone Grove, Shelburne and more

Today is Wednesday, April 28, the 118th day of 2010.
There are 247 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Workers Memorial Day

While tonight is 31 Cent Scoop Night

It is the Pink Full Moon as well

Daily Zen

There is more to life than increasing its speed.

As The World Turns

As The World Turns
Unpaid Somali soldiers desert to insurgency
Hundreds of Somali soldiers trained with U.S. tax dollars have deserted because they are not being paid their $100 monthly wage, and some have even joined the al-Qaida-linked militants they are supposed to be fighting, The Associated Press has learned.

Ukraine parliament fills with smoke as members throw eggs

Fighting has broken out and smoke bombs been thrown inside Ukraine's parliament amid massive public protests in Kiev. Thousands furious at a recent naval deal with neighbours Russia stormed the capital's streets, blocking roads and setting up tents around the Verkhovna Rada building.

Clashes then erupted inside after the parliament's speaker was egged from an unknown assailant during a session ratifying the controversial deal. Volodymr Lytvyn took cover behind two black umbrellas after the pelting, before smoke from two hurled bombs billowed inside the chamber.

Parliament cameras showed representatives punching, shoving and pulling each others' hair as the white haze descended. A scramble then emerged for ownership of a giant yellow and blue national flag in the middle of the room as alarms sounded.

Remarkably, order in the notoriously fractious parliament was restored, although some disquiet could still be heard.

The State Of The Nation

The State Of The Nation
Texas executes man who murdered illegal immigrant
A Texas inmate was executed Tuesday evening for fatally stabbing an illegal immigrant during an attempted robbery a dozen years ago.Samuel Bustamante, 40, said nothing, shaking his head when asked by the warden if he wanted to make a final statement.
In Arizona he would have been given a medal.


San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced today a moratorium on official city travel to Arizona after the state enacted a controversial new immigration law that directs local police to arrest those suspected of being in the country illegally.

Inside Arizona's controversial new law

Beefed-up police powers are stoking fears and accusations from both sides of the immigration debate.  

Greg Palast - Is the Arizona Immigration issue really Republican voter suppression tactics?
Heather over at Crooks and Liars posted this nice piece.
Thom Hartmann talks to Greg Palast about what the real agenda behind the new Arizona "show me your papers" law might be.
Our investigation in Arizona discovered the real intent of the show-me-your-papers law.
by Greg Palast for Truthout.org
[Phoenix, AZ.] Don't be fooled. The way the media plays the story, it was a wave of racist, anti-immigrant hysteria that moved Arizona Republicans to pass a sick little law, signed last week, requiring every person in the state to carry papers proving they are US citizens.
I don't buy it. Anti-Hispanic hysteria has always been as much a part of Arizona as the Saguaro cactus and excessive air-conditioning.
What's new here is not the politicians' fear of a xenophobic "Teabag" uprising.
What moved GOP Governor Jan Brewer to sign the Soviet-style show-me-your-papers law is the exploding number of legal Hispanics, US citizens all, who are daring to vote -- and daring to vote Democratic by more than two-to-one. Unless this demographic locomotive is halted, Arizona Republicans know their party will soon be electoral toast. Or, if you like, tortillas.
In 2008, working for Rolling Stone with civil rights attorney Bobby Kennedy, our team flew to Arizona to investigate what smelled like an electoral pogrom against Chicano voters ... directed by one Jan Brewer.
Brewer, then Secretary of State, had organized a racially loaded purge of the voter rolls that would have made Katherine Harris blush. Beginning after the 2004 election, under Brewer's command, no less than 100,000 voters, overwhelmingly Hispanics, were blocked from registering to vote. In 2005, the first year of the Great Brown-Out, one in three Phoenix residents found their registration applications rejected.
That statistic caught my attention. Voting or registering to vote if you're not a citizen is a felony, a big-time jail-time crime. And arresting such criminal voters is easy: after all, they give their names and addresses.
So I asked Brewer's office, had she busted a single one of these thousands of allegedly illegal voters? Did she turn over even one name to the feds for prosecution?
No, not one.
Which raises the question: were these disenfranchised voters the criminal, non-citizens Brewer tagged them, or just not-quite-white voters given the José Crow treatment, entrapped in document-chase trickery?
The answer was provided by a federal prosecutor who was sent on a crazy hunt all over the Western mesas looking for these illegal voters. "We took over 100 complaints, we investigated for almost 2 years, I didn’t find one prosecutable voter fraud case."
This prosecutor, David Iglesias, is a prosecutor no more. When he refused to fabricate charges of illegal voting among immigrants, his firing was personally ordered by the President of the United States, George W. Bush, under orders from his boss, Karl Rove.
Iglesias' jurisdiction was next door, in New Mexico, but he told me that Rove and the Republican chieftains were working nationwide to whip up anti-immigrant hysteria with public busts of illegal voters, even though there were none.

Blast from the past

Blast from the past
Manuel Noriega finishes US prison sentence, extradited to France
Talk about a blast from the past.

If he is convicted and jailed in France he would still have to be sent back to Panama to face even more charges.
Manuel Noriega, the former drug-running dictator of Panama ousted by a US invasion in 1989, was flown out of America last night en route to Paris where he will face trial on fresh money laundering charges.

Noriega's extradition brings to an end his 21-year spell in a Miami jail, where he held a unique status. He was the first head of a foreign country to be convicted of crimes in the US courts, and he became America's only official prisoner of war.

Crayola Thanks the Tea Partiers


License plate with coded racist message recalled

The Virginia DMV recalled the license plate on this truck for containing a coded racist message.
[T]he DMV agreed that the plate contains a coded message: The number 88 stands for the eighth letter of the alphabet, H, doubled to signify "Heil Hitler," said CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper. "CV" stands for "Confederate veteran" -- the plate was a special model embossed with a Confederate flag, which Virginia makes available for a $10 fee to card-carrying members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. And 14 is code for imprisoned white supremacist David Lane's 14-word motto: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."

Bankers caught in Capitol Hill cross hairs

Bankers caught in Capitol Hill cross hairs

In a rare show of unity, senators from both sides take shots at Goldman Sachs execs.

And the winner is ...


Spot hidden problems in dream homes

Spot hidden problems in dream homes

Sweeping staircases and soaring ceilings can actually be reasons not to buy.

Good Reasons To Save Old Schools

In Owen Sound, Ontario, they just voted to permit the demolition of this historic 1891 school, but promise a "greening" of their site plan. We learn about this on, yes, Historic Schools Day. We go on and on about how the greenest brick is the one already in the wall, but there are more reasons than just that. Renee Kuhman of The National Trust For Historic Preservation puts together a list of ten reasons that old schools are worth saving.
Article continues: 15 Good Reasons To Save Old Schools

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health
Refined carbs are bad for the heart, not fat
Scientific American reports that a meta-analysis of a couple of dozen dietary health studies reveals that processed carbs are more to blame for obesity, diabetes and heart disease than saturated fats.
In 2008 Stampfer co-authored a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that followed 322 moderately obese individuals for two years as they adopted one of three diets: a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet based on American Heart Association guidelines; a Mediterranean, restricted-calorie diet rich in vegetables and low in red meat; and a low-carbohydrate, nonrestricted-calorie diet. Although the subjects on the low-carb diet ate the most saturated fat, they ended up with the healthiest ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol and lost twice as much weight as their low-fat-eating counterparts.

16 Tons

Tennessee Ernie Ford

And I Quote

When ideas fail, words come in very handy. 
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know
A team of Irish archaeologists is puzzled by the "bizarre" discovery of a 1,150-year-old Viking necklace in a cave in the Burren, Ireland.
mountains ice patches photo
Image credit: T. Andrews/GNWT
As temperatures rise in the Yukon's Mackenzie Mountains, veritable treasure troves of ancient artifacts have been uncovered by melting ice. Now, high in the mountains of northern Canada, archeologists are racing to recover items from these sites that have been entombed in ice for thousands of years.
But the ice, unfortunately, may be melting too fast. Lacking manpower and funding, the research teams are struggling to recover the ancient hunting implements before they are destroyed by migrating animals and harsh weather.
Article continues: Melting Ice Uncovering Ancient Artifacts Faster than They Can Be Recovered
green horsefly photo  
This species of green horsefly was discovered by researchers on their first insect quest into the Amazon. 
Photo via artour_a
To date, around 1 million insect species have been identified throughout the world. But, while that may be a mind-boggling number, biologists estimate that there remains at least 4 million more left undiscovered--many of which may lie deep in the heart of the world's largest rainforest. With that in mind, soon a team of researchers will travel 20 days, by boat, into remote regions of the Amazon in hopes of collecting around 100 thousand insect specimens.
Article continues: Amazon Expedition Aims to Collect 100,000 Bugs

Undersea mounds could have spewed enough methane to cause prehistoric dead zones
There's something strange living on lobster mouths – an animal unlike any other, with an astonishingly complex way of reproducing itself

Things human resources won't tell you

10 things human resources won't tell you

Before you sit through another interview, you should know these HR department secrets.  

Random Thoughts

The generation of random numbers is too important to leave to chance!

Knife throwing Momma

 Knife throwing momma from the 1950s
Just think of the ruckus that would be made of her 'act' today.

Rare photo of a living Ocelot

live ocelot 
Though the range of the ocelot is believed to extend from southern Arizona into Argentina, no living specimen had been seen or photographed farther north than Texas—until now.
Released on Earth Day, a photo captured with a camera trap seems to show a live ocelot roaming in the state.
Audubon writes:
The recent photograph, captured in November 2009, suggests that Arizona still provides suitable habitat for the cat, which is endangered throughout its range.

Twice as Many Grizzlies As Thought!

grizzly bear female photo
Photo via Alan Vernon.
The high tech way of monitoring Montana's grizzly bear populations is proving to be old fashioned. Instead of expensive radio collars and difficult-to-maintain traps, researchers are turning to simpler, cheaper methods - picking grizzly hairs off trees. Turns out, the hair that grizzlies leave behind when they rub up against tree trunks and branches works as a genetic name tag, allowing researchers to count bears and track trends in the populations. It also turns out, that the new method is showing there are about 2.5 times more grizzlies than thought, which brings into question its status as endangered.
Article continues: Twice as Many Grizzlies As Thought! Cheap Hair Collection Technique for Counting Grizzlies Yields Larger Population Estimates

A cool $175million for Charlie

It's your payday, Charlie Brown

The $175 million sale of the rights to the iconic cartoon series has the Web buzzing.  

Please, Mister Custer

Larry Verne (the sound quality is rough but it is the original singer performing 'live' on 'live TV' in 1960)

Odds and Sods

Odds and Sods
llamas recruited for wildlife bouncers
Image: nao-cha via Flickr
Already used as livestock guards for lambs and sheep (including by the Prince of Wales), llamas are now being called on to protect the eggs and chicks of wading birds at a nature park in the UK—in particular, lapwing and redshank birds, which are both threatened species in England.
Article continues: Llamas Recruited as Bouncers for Threatened Wildlife