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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, May 6, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
This is not the right time for hiding out now, regardless of the reason.
You're due for a serious run of luck, including your guaranteed fifteen minutes in the spotlight.
The paparazzi might not actually be on the way, but your talents are sure to be showcased for the world (or some small part of it).
You might be better off deciding which is your better side -- for the photographers or anyone else!
Some of our readers today have been in:
Copenhagen, Kobenhavn, Denmark
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nacka, Stockholms Lan, Sweden
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico
Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Canberra, Australian Capital territory, Australia
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

as well as Japan, Luxembourg, and the United States in such cities such as Pelzer, Galesville, Camp LeJeune, Cape Girardeau, McLean, Boston and more

Today is Thursday, May 6, the 126th day of 2010.
There are 239 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays and celebrations are:
No Diet Day
No Homework Day
National Day of Reason

As The World Turns

As The World Turns
The government faces the possibility of a quandary it hasn’t seen since 1974.  
From meat to wages, economic woes fuel Egypt anger
For the past six weeks, Khulud Mustafa has walked past the butcher near her apartment in Cairo's run-down Ain Shams district, casting wistful looks at the meat hanging outside his shop as the price has steadily risen.
Full story

Drug smokers in Egypt suffer hashish shortage after crackdown

Millions of Egyptians — some of the world’s most enthusiastic consumers of hashish — are suffering withdrawal pangs after an unprecedented shortage of their favourite narcotic. A sudden fall in supply of the concentrated form of marijuana has sent prices spiralling, and left smokers searching for alternative highs.

“This is very weird for Egypt. I’ve never seen it like this,” said Yasser, a former police officer-turned-hash dealer. “My supplier told me he doesn’t know what’s going on. Everybody is going crazy. My friends are telling me they can’t focus at work.”

The crisis began about three months ago, and prices have rocketed. A 150g block, about the size of a large chocolate bar, normally sells for about 1,500 Egyptian pounds (£180). Now the price has doubled. For a nation where smoking hash is ingrained in the culture, the shortage has come as a shock.

The shortage follows triumphant police announcements of a sweeping crackdown. In late March General Mostafa Amer, director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-narcotics bureau, announced that 7.5 tonnes of hashish and 25kg of heroin had been seized in raids over three months.

More than 300 distributors were detained, he said. Few are convinced that the raids could have caused the shortage, however. Many see a darker explanation. “This proves the Government completely controls the hash trade,” said one smoker. “It’s not the result of a few strategic drug busts. They just turned off the tap.”

That belief has spawned a host of theories as to just why the authorities would tighten supplies. Among them: a desire to shift drug smokers to alcohol, heroin or illicit pharmaceuticals, or some internal struggle between large distributors and their “partners” in the police. Yasser’s favourite theory is to blame politicians jockeying for money, power and influence.

India bans leather shoes in schools as 'vestige of colonial rule'

India is to ban schoolchildren from wearing leather shoes because they are seen as a "vestige of British colonial rule." Instead canvas plimsolls will replace uncomfortable and "environmentally hazardous" leather shoes.

The move by the country's school boards follows a campaign by Maneka Gandhi, Indira Gandhi's widowed daughter-in-law, who is now an member of parliament for the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party. She is one of India's leading animal rights campaigners and a fierce opponent of slaughtering cows, which are revered among Hindus.

India's Central Board of School Education and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination has accepted her proposal. Black leather shoes were introduced as mandatory items in Indian school uniforms during British colonial rule and have continued unchallenged ever since. Their widespread use has made schoolchildren the country's largest consumers of leather products, according to the People for Animals (PFA) campaign.

Sixteen schools in Madras have already banned leather footwear in response to their campaign and protesters have since been lobbying schools in Chandigarh, Punjab. Now central government officials have backed the campaign following a series of letters from Mrs Gandhi.

"This decision was forced on Indians by the British. It is a decision that is not just unhealthy for children but environmentally very dangerous," she wrote. Leather shoes do not absorb sweat, force children to change their shoes during the day, and cause schoolchildren to have larger carbon footprint, she said. They are also more expensive for parents.

Gerry Arathoon, Secretary of CISCE, has backed the campaign and said the board believes leather shoes 'stink', gather dust, need regular cleaning with 'toxic' polish, and that the tanneries they come from are a source of disease for their workers. Canvas shoes, by contrast, are easy to clean, comfortable, absorb sweat, kind to cows and without colonial associations.

Boy saved from death fall by his ears

This is the horrifying moment a six-year-old boy was left dangling millimeters from death outside a high rise apartment block - saved only by his ears.

Adventurous Ming Ming managed to get his head stuck in window bars of his home in Yinchang, China.

Crowds gathered after hearing his screams and rescuers moved into save the child from an eight storey drop.

An onlooker said: 'The only thing stopping him from plunging to the ground below was the fact his head was trapped between two window bars.'

Once inside the flat firefighters quickly used a hydraulic pressure expander to force the bars apart and pulled Ming Ming back into the apartment.

Man delivers two severed heads to police in Grenada

A man in Grenada, the island country in the south-eastern Caribbean Sea, has left police in a quandary about how to deal with two severed human heads which he presented to them in a bucket.

Horrified police have detained a 32 year old man who walked into their station to offer himself up for arrest.

The man entered the Grenville station on Tuesday with his haul but was not immediately charged with any offence. After questioning, police later found two hacked-up bodies in a rural area which matched the heads.

Prime Minister Tillman Thomas later said the beheadings were an "indescribable act," and a tragedy for all of Grenada, which has only a small population.

Police find nine-year-old girl's stolen puppy but say she can't have it back

After saving up for months for a pedigree puppy, Leanne Stewart did the sensible thing and had her new pet microchipped.

So when the mother-of-two's Chinese shar pei Millie was stolen from her back garden, she at least had the comfort of hoping she would eventually be returned to them.

It took more than six months but, eventually, the £750 puppy was traced. Miss Stewart - and more importantly her nine-year-old daughter Megan - were expecting an emotional reunion with the pet. But this has been dashed by police.

They have been told that they cannot take Millie off the new owner because the man bought the dog in good faith - despite the microchip proving she is Miss Stewart's.

Now she faces the agonising choice between a lengthy - and potentially expensive - legal battle or accepting she will never see her puppy again.

Yesterday the 31-year-old told how the bitter blow had only added to the heartache caused to Megan and one-year-old Kayden, following the death of their father at Christmas.

The State Of The Nation

The State Of The Nation
After massive property damage and a surprising death toll, the state slowly begins to recover.  
Rep. David Obey's announced departure could deal a major blow to his party's power base.  

It was a Muslim immigrant who saved the day in Times Square by the way

From Alternet:
One fact being ignored in the American media’s sensationalist narrative about the failed bombing is that the man who was responsible for police finding the bomb was Muslim. The UK’s Times Online reports that Aliou Niasse, a Senagalese Muslim immigrant who works as a photograph vendor on Times Square, was the first to bring the smoking car to the police’s attention:
Aliou Niasse, a street vendor selling framed photographs of New York, said that he was the first to spot the car containing the bomb, which pulled up right in front of his cart on the corner of 45th street and Broadway next to the Marriott hotel.

“I didn’t see the car pull up or notice the driver because I was busy with customers. But when I looked up I saw that smoke appeared to be coming from the car. This would have been around 6.30pm.”

“I thought I should call 911, but my English is not very good and I had no credit left on my phone, so I walked over to Lance, who has the T-shirt stall next to mine, and told him. He said we shouldn’t call 911. Immediately he alerted a police officer near by,” said Mr Niasse, who is originally from Senegal and who has been a vendor in Times Square for about eight years.

Taliban role in NYC Times Square car bomb attempt?

You know it might have been nice had we finished these perverts off before going into Iraq.

From the NYT:
American officials said Wednesday that it was very likely that a radical group once thought unable to attack the United States had played a role in the bombing attempt in Times Square, elevating concerns about whether other militant groups could deliver at least a glancing blow on American soil.

Officials said that after two days of intense questioning of the bombing suspect, Faisal Shahzad, evidence was mounting that the group, the Pakistani Taliban, had helped inspire and train Mr. Shahzad in the months before he is alleged to have parked an explosives-filled sport utility vehicle in a busy Manhattan intersection on Saturday night. Officials said Mr. Shahzad had discussed his contacts with the group, and investigators had accumulated other evidence that they would not disclose.



Magnitude 6.4 quake hits southern Peru

Could it be that Ma Nature is trying to tell us something?
A magnitude-6.4 earthquake shook southern Peru near the Chilean border late Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Agencies pledge to curb abuse of child farmworkers

Year after year, to little avail, activist groups have been urging bolder federal action to curtail the health risks and exploitation endured by the legion(s) of children who labor on America's farms.

The longest soccer match ever played

Players break the previous record and raise about $45,000 for charity despite 15 hours of rain. 
Goran Tunjic, a player for Croatian soccer team Mladost FC, suffered a fatal heart attack in his team's match against Hratski Sokola.

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know
The phenomenon that shocked the world 25 years ago is rarely even mentioned today.
New jellyfish species named 'city of gonads'
A new species of jellyfish just discovered by Tasmanian scientist has been named "city of gonads."

Chimps shake their heads to mean 'no' in the same way that people do, a new study reported Wednesday by World Science suggests.

30 photos that changed the world

John Aravosis had this to say
An amazing collection. Look through them, you'll hear yourself saying "oh, that one."

This, however, is one I'd never seen:

Federal Dead on the Field of Battle of First Day, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Mathew Brady, 1863
One of the earliest war photographs, this sobering look at the war ravaging America remains one of the most important war images of all time.
We have seen the photo above numerous times and are not sure it should be on the list in the first place - there are more intense examples to remind us of what war really is and what it really costs.

Apparently calling someone a "teabagger" is as bad as calling someone a nigger

The term "tea-bagger" is like uttering the "n" word, the tea-baggers whine.

To quote the tea-bagging whores at the Washington Post ... "Though he aspires to promote civility, evidence has surfaced that President Obama has added "tea-bagger" to his public lexicon, though it's considered a cheap and tawdry insult by "tea party" activists."
Tea-bagger agitators you mean to say.

This is just another veiled way for them to say they want the 'nigger' out of the White House.

And just for you edification the term nigger applies to a lazy, shiftless, dishonest, and both ignorant and dumb person - (a description of every tea-bagger I have had the unfortunate misery to encounter both in person and via all media sources combined.) So, if the terms tea-bagger and nigger are synonymous, well ...

Or as another put it:

Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe

The Tea Party movement: genuine or not?
Is the Tea Party movement a genuine grassroots backlash at government bailouts for banks, fear of future high taxes and the Obama administration's timid tinkering with Wall Street? Or is it an "Astroturf" campaign sponsored by right-wing ideologues and corporate interests fanned into flames by cable TV?

Twenty repugican members call out their former superstar in an angry public letter.
» What they say he owes 

Students sent home over U.S. flag attire

Students sent home over U.S. flag attire

Boys sporting red, white, and blue on Cinco de Mayo ignite a controversy at a California school.  

Society today is pedophile

Oh, NO He Didn't?!

Monsignor Dadeus Grings, the archbishop of the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, told a Brazilian bishops' annual conference he believed pedophilia was on its way to becoming as accepted as homosexuality in society at large.
"Society today is pedophile, that is the problem. So people easily fall into it. The fact it is being denounced is a positive sign," he told the gathering on Tuesday, according to the O Globo newspaper.
Archbishop Grings, a 73-year-old priest with conservative views, said the gradual acceptance of homosexuality by the public was a precursor to a possible broad acceptance of pedophilia.
"When sexuality is banalized it is clear that that can have an effect on all cases. Homosexuality is one case. Before, no one spoke of the homosexual. He was discriminated against," he said.
"When we start to say that they [homosexuals] have rights, rights to publicly demonstrate, in a short time pedophilia will also have rights."
Archbishop Grings stressed that he condemned the sexual abuse alleged to have been perpetrated by priests against children, saying they were crimes that must be punished.
But he also said the church had difficulty in denouncing such cases.
"For the church to accuse its own, that is a little strange," he said.
Brazil, the country with the biggest Catholic population in the world, has been rocked by several allegations of priests preying on children.

Again the catholic church lowers the bar - bashing gays and lesbians all the while saying pedophiles are normal? And if gays have rights the so do pedophiles? Then out of the other side of their mouth condemn pedophilia at the same time.

OK, get it correct, now ... sex between adults is all fine and dandy providing all parties are agreeable to the sex - no matter the gender(s) involved.
Sex between an adult and a child ain't cool no matter the circumstances, period.

Interesting In General

Interesting In General

How a bear got rescued from a tree

Firefighters pull out all the stops to transport a tranquilized bear safely back to the wild.  

Its Only The Environment After All

Its Only The Environment After All

Misleading size of the Gulf Coast spill

The size of the oil slick has actually shrunk, but that's not necessarily a good sign.
How many gallons so far 
Crews turn to an untested treatment to combat the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. 

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health
Asking the right questions could mean a more accurate diagnosis for you and your family.  
People who snooze less than six hours a night have an increased risk of early death.

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
One chain's "Stay Healthy" smoothie contains the sugar equivalent of 14 glazed doughnuts.
It's easier than you think to grow tasty, low-maintenance foods like asparagus and onions.  

Emotional battle over special license plate

Biff Michaud's tag has been in the family since 1966, but now that may change.   

Dude There's My Car! Owner Spots His Ride, Wrestles Woman Out

A man ran up to the scene of a three-car crash, opened one of the vehicles' doors, took the female driver into a headlock and manhandled her to the ground -- but it was the woman who was eventually taken away in handcuffs, not him.

Teacher Can't Be Fired For Failing English

The Massachusetts state's highest court ruled Tuesday that Lowell school officials couldn't fire a first grade teacher who failed two English fluency tests.

Family finds sea lion pup lounging in backyard chair

A family that lives two blocks inland from the ocean in Hermosa Beach was surprised to find a sea lion pup sound asleep in a backyard chair, a wildlife rescue worker said.

The emaciated year-old pup had waddled up two blocks and then an alley, crossing two busy streets, unlatched a gate and "found his way to a nice comfortable lounge chair," said Peter Wallerstein, a specialist with Marine Animal Rescue in San Pedro.

Things They Won't Tell You

Things They Won't Tell You
Alex Rodriguez violated a rule so obscure that not even he knew of its existence.
The extra fees you're charged for bags, meals, entertainment, and your seat can add up quickly.  

On The Job

On The Job
These seemingly innocent phrases can make you sound undependable or even untrustworthy.
Gary Buslik made a bold career move that few people could even consider. 
It's counterintuitive, but your previous experience may not be as relevant as you think.  

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid

Money squeeze hits 'sandwich generation'

More people find themselves supporting both kids and elderly parents, and their finances are suffering.
Naysayers who predicted another Great Depression were "180 degrees wrong," says one expert.
The crisis in Greece sparked one of the most volatile half-hours in U.S. stock market history.
Never touching a card with zero balance may sound like a really smart move.  

How pinching pennies can backfire

People tend to pick scrimp-and-save methods that make the least difference.  

Planet Earth

Planet Earth

J.Lo, Gaga resurrect fashion trend

Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga bring back a risqué look from the '70s: the catsuit.

Mystery $266 mil lottery winner speaks up

An LA newsroom got the ultimate scoop when one of its own workers revealed she had the winning ticket. 

FCC to propose pro Net Neutrality rules today

From the WSJ:
In a move that will stoke a battle over the future of the Internet, the federal government plans to propose regulating broadband lines under decades-old rules designed for traditional phone networks.

The decision, by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, is likely to trigger a vigorous lobbying battle, arraying big phone and cable companies and their allies on Capitol Hill against Silicon Valley giants and consumer advocates.

Breaking a deadlock within his agency, Mr. Genachowski is expected Thursday to outline his plan for regulating broadband lines. He wants to adopt "net neutrality" rules that require Internet providers like Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc. to treat all traffic equally, and not to slow or block access to websites

Odds and Sods

Odds and Sods
Ashley Jackson's friends were relentless after a bicycle accident left her gravely injured.  

A Russian court has convicted two men of murdering and eating a 16-year-old schoolgirl in January.

First degree murder for porn magazine slaying
A man who admitted that he killed a Newport Beach liquor store owner in a tussle over a stolen porn magazine was convicted today of first-degree murder.

Attorneys for 31-year-old Weston Scott Kruger had maintained their client was guilty of manslaughter, not murder. The defense argued that Kruger had tried to give the magazine back to the store owner, and had not intended to kill the man.

But jurors heard testimony that the robber slammed the diminutive shopkeeper so hard that the victim flew into the air and landed on his head.