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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.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Once again, you're asked to take charge of a situation that's been left unmanaged.
Fortunately, you enjoy this sort of challenge -- and with recent successes under your belt, you should be even more confident.
You're also in the mood for it, which always helps.
Remind everyone who wants some of your recreational time that you don't have any coming up soon -- they're sure to understand.
Some of our readers today have been in:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Rennes, Bretagne, France
Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Cote D'Azur, France
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa
Murcia, Murcia, Spain
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
Chemnitz, Sachsen, Germany
Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
Bad Vilbel, Hessen, Germany
London, England, United Kingdom
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Stockholm, Stokholms Lan, Sweden
Karlskrona, Blekinge Lan, Sweden
Bremen, Bremen, Germany

as well as Scotland, Indonesia, Wales, and the United States in such cities as Coudersport, Antioch, Edinburg, Los Angeles and more

Today is Saturday, May 22, the 142nd day of 2010.
There are 223 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
National Wig Out Day

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Weekly Address
Washington, DC
One month ago this week, BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded off Louisiana’s coast, killing 11 people and rupturing an underwater pipe. The resulting oil spill has not only dealt an economic blow to Americans across the Gulf Coast, it also represents an environmental disaster.
In response, we are drawing on America’s best minds and using the world’s best technology to stop the leak. We’ve deployed over 1,100 vessels, about 24,000 personnel, and more than 2 million total feet of boom to help contain it. And we’re doing all we can to assist struggling fishermen, and the small businesses and communities that depend on them.
Folks on the Gulf Coast – and across America – are rightly demanding swift action to clean up BP’s mess and end this ordeal. But they’re also demanding to know how this happened in the first place, and how we can make sure it never happens again. That’s what I’d like to spend a few minutes talking with you about.
First and foremost, what led to this disaster was a breakdown of responsibility on the part of BP and perhaps others, including Transocean and Halliburton. And we will continue to hold the relevant companies accountable not only for being forthcoming and transparent about the facts surrounding the leak, but for shutting it down, repairing the damage it does, and repaying Americans who’ve suffered a financial loss.
But even as we continue to hold BP accountable, we also need to hold Washington accountable. Now, this catastrophe is unprecedented in its nature, and it presents a host of new challenges we are working to address. But the question is what lessons we can learn from this disaster to make sure it never happens again.
If the laws on our books are inadequate to prevent such an oil spill, or if we didn’t enforce those laws – I want to know it.  I want to know what worked and what didn’t work in our response to the disaster, and where oversight of the oil and gas industry broke down. We know, for example, that a cozy relationship between oil and gas companies and agencies that regulate them has long been a source of concern.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has taken steps to address this problem; steps that build on reforms he has been implementing since he took office. But we need to do a lot more to protect the health and safety of our people; to safeguard the quality of our air and water; and to preserve the natural beauty and bounty of America.
In recent weeks, we’ve taken a number of immediate measures to prevent another spill.  We’ve ordered inspections of all deepwater operations in the Gulf of Mexico.  We’ve announced that no permits for drilling new wells will go forward until the 30-day safety and environmental review I requested is complete.  And I’ve called on Congress to pass a bill that would provide critical funds and tools to respond to this spill and better prepare us to confront any future spills.
But we also need to take a comprehensive look at how the oil and gas industry operates and how we regulate them. That is why, on Friday, I signed an executive order establishing the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. While there are a number of ongoing investigations, including an independent review by the National Academy of Engineering, the purpose of this Commission is to consider both the root causes of the disaster and offer options on what safety and environmental precautions we need to take to prevent a similar disaster from happening again.  This Commission, I’d note, is similar to one proposed by Congresswoman Capps and Senator Whitehouse.
I’ve asked Democrat Bob Graham and Republican Bill Reilly to co-chair this Commission. Bob served two terms as Florida’s governor, and represented Florida as a United States Senator for almost two decades. During that time, he earned a reputation as a champion of the environment, leading the most extensive environmental protection effort in the state’s history.
Bill Reilly is chairman emeritus of the board of the World Wildlife Fund, and he is also deeply knowledgeable about the oil and gas industry. During the presidency of George H.W. Bush, Bill was Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and his tenure encompassed the Exxon Valdez disaster.
I can’t think of two people who will bring greater experience or better judgment to the task at hand. In the days to come, I’ll appoint 5 other distinguished Americans – including scientists, engineers, and environmental advocates – to join them on the Commission. And I’m directing them to report back in 6 months with recommendations on how we can prevent – and mitigate the impact of – any future spills that result from offshore drilling.
One of the reasons I ran for President was to put America on the path to energy independence, and I have not wavered from that commitment. To achieve that goal, we must pursue clean energy and energy efficiency, and we’ve taken significant steps to do so. And we must also pursue domestic sources of oil and gas. Because it represents 30 percent of our oil production, the Gulf of Mexico can play an important part in securing our energy future. But we can only pursue offshore oil drilling if we have assurances that a disaster like the BP oil spill will not happen again. This Commission will, I hope, help provide those assurances so we can continue to seek a secure energy future for the United States of America.
Thanks so much.



What an idiot ...

What an idiot ...
A student caught taking an antique grenade he found on beach on to a plane told police in Japan it was a rare shellfish.

As The World Turns

As The World Turns
An Air India plane with more than 160 passengers on board overshoots a runway.  

Charlotte Perkins Gilman Addressing Crowd

Early feminists weren't just fighting for the vote a ' they wanted to change the world.

InfoLadies of Bangladesh revolutionize rural life

Bangladesh's Infoladies ride from village to village on bicycles, toting netbooks and mobile phones, and set up infobooths where they use net-gathered info to teach hygiene, help with childbirth, assist with crop problems, and so on. There's an army of them.
"Ask me about the pest that's infecting your crop, common skin diseases, how to seek help if your husband beats you or even how to stop having children, and I may have a solution," says a confident Akhter. "An InfoLady's netbook is loaded with content especially compiled and translated in local Bangla language," says Mohammed Forhad Uddin of D.Net, a not-for-profit research organization that is pioneering access to livelihood information.
"It provides answers and solutions to some of the most common problems faced by people in villages."
In Bangladesh this means nearly three-quarters of the nearly 160 million that live in rural areas. From agriculture to health, sanitation and disaster management, the content follows simple text, pictures and engaging multimedia animations to include all users, many of whom are illiterate.
"I love the cartoon that tells about brushing teeth and hygiene," says 10-year-old Shamshul.
It took a just a brief meeting with an InfoLady for 60-year-old Nahar Hossain to finally identify the pest that destroyed his rice fields year after year. "She matched the picture of my crop with the one on her TV [netbook] and recommended a certain pesticide. I haven't had problems since," says Hossain, who had spent a lot of time and money seeking government help to no avail.

Calling Doctor Frankenstein

Scientists announce that they've produced the first living cell powered by man-made DNA.

Too extreme or fair warning?

 The Guardian:
The UN's biodiversity report – dubbed the Stern for Nature – is expected to say that the value of saving "natural goods and services", such as pollination, medicines, fertile soils, clean air and water, will be even higher – between 10 and 100 times the cost of saving the habitats and species which provide them.

To mark the UN's International Day for Biological Diversity tomorrow, hundreds of British companies, charities and other organizations have backed an open letter from the Natural History Museum's director Michael Dixon warning that "the diversity of life, so crucial to our security, health, wealth and well-being is being eroded".

The UN report's authors go further with their warning on biodiversity, by saying if the goods and services provided by the natural world are not valued and factored into the global economic system, the environment will become more fragile and less resilient to shocks, risking human lives, livelihoods and the global economy.

Non Sequitur


Revolutionary astronomer reburied a hero

The catholic church gives Copernicus his due nearly 500 years after branding him a disgrace.

And I Quote

I am a Marxist--of the Groucho tendency.
~ Anonymous

The most underrated cities in America

You may not know that Kansas City is teeming with fountains and fresh off a downtown renovation.  

Fast cars that don't cost a fortune

One U.S. model gets to 60 mph in under five seconds and costs less than $35K.

Just thought you'd like to know:

The world's longest continuously erupting volcano, which has become a major attraction for scientists and tourists since it became active in 1983, has marked a milestone.

It was 10,000 days ago Friday that Kilauea Volcano began erupting on Hawaii's Big Island.

Pete the Moose escapes death sentence

Vermont lawmakers strike a deal after a campaign to save the state's beloved animal went viral.  

Baby gives the thumbs up in hospital scan

A mother-to-be is in little doubt that her baby boy is doing fine - after he gave her the thumbs-up in a hospital scan.

Marie Boswell, 35, says friends and family have been stunned by her son's distinctive 'ok' sign in the 20-week scan taken at Wythenshawe Hospital.

Marie, of Wythenshawe, Manchester, said: "It's really funny, the thumb is so clear - we can't believe it.

Gerry Jackson, lead sonographer at Wythenshawe Hospital said: "It is very unusual to see a baby's thumbs so clearly. It is lovely we have been able to get such a clear image for this lady."



Sneaky reasons you're overspending

Retailers have all kinds of ways to make you spend more than you want. 

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid
Consumers may see some tantalizing benefits from the tough new reforms.  
The day of reckoning has arrived for some countries who hold massive debts.
Unemployment rates fall in 34 states
Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia reported lower jobless rates in April 

HIRING PICKS UP: Unemployment rates fell in a majority of states last month as better economic conditions spurred employers to step up hiring.

How to fix the Social Security shortfall

Some of the most effective ways to save the endangered trust fund will surely be the most unpopular.  

On The Job

On The Job
People don't get ahead as a reward for doing well, says a top career coach.

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
Stay trim by eating more hot peppers and the right amount of calcium.

Chocolate to fight wrinkles and slow aging?

The world's largest chocolate maker says it may have come up with a chocolate bar that could fight wrinkles and slow the aging process, making it the latest food group to tap the appetite for healthier living.

Eating 20 g (0.755 oz) of specially developed chocolate packed with antioxidants, or flavanols, each day may help prevent wrinkles and make skin more radiant by boosting elasticity and improving hydration, studies carried out by Barry Callebaut showed.

News of strange creatures ignites Web

From mythical beasts to the discovery of new species, it was a critter-filled week.  

Canadian lake spits out strange critter


 lake spits out strange critter</a>
Is it a muskrat? An otter? Or perhaps a monster

Photographs of a strange-looking creature discovered in a remote Northern Ontario aboriginal community are creating a raging Internet debate.

The photos show a brown furry animal with a bald white face and large teeth.

The unsightly critter was spotted in Big Trout Lake by two nurses walking their dog earlier this month. The animal is about 30 centimeters long and has a rat-like tail with “almost a human face,” says the community’s website.
Some residents of Big Trout Lake, an Oji-Cree community of 1,200 south of Hudson Bay, believe the animal is a rare local creature known as an omajinaakoos, which roughly translates to “ugly one”. Band councilor Darryl Sainnawap said his great uncle spotted one about 50 years ago

Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe
When dealing with wingnuts ... Remember the rule: 
If they accuse someone of something, then they're already guilty of it.
Quick recap of last week's simply insane recent complaints about the Obama administration from Newt Gingrich (retard-Georgia).
Lots more on repugican teabagger Rand Paul's racist comments
Lots and lots of stories about Rand Pauls refusal to say he'd vote for the Civil Rights Act.

WSJ: Paul's Civil-Rights Remarks Ignite Row
Wash Post: Rand Paul comments about civil rights stir controversy
Eugene Robinson: GOP's Tea Party invite might still be in the mail
The Hill: Rand Paul causes Civil Rights Act controversy with desegregation remarks
AP: Rand Paul Is 'Kentucky Fried Candidate' Over Civil Rights Comments
Lexington Herald-Leader: Paul's statements on discrimination stir controversy
NYT: Tea Party Pick Causes Uproar on Civil Rights
Salon: More historic legislation Rand Paul wouldn't have supported
PoliticsDaily: Rand Paul: An Anti-Government Conspiracy Theorist?

And his latest idiocy:
What a moron.  Is that really what a teabagger is: just a shill for major corporations?  Why are there no teabagger rallies against Wall Street Bankers or corporate bunglers like BP?

Unlikely new faces of immigration debate

A 2nd-grader's brush with the first lady and a doctored image of Dora add new dimensions to the drama.  

Unusual ways to decide tight elections

Cards, coins, and dice have been used to settle close races across the globe.  

Amazing but unnecessary kitchen gadgets

A one-touch tea maker automatically lowers a basket of tea leaves into hot water like an elevator.

Hailstorm video becomes sensation

The Web goes wild over home video of a swimming pool being pelted by baseball-sized hail.

Fitness facts to know before exercising

Timing your workouts goes a long way toward getting physical results that are visible. 

School bullies 'give boy vulgar tattoo'

A teenage school boy was allegedly tattooed against his will by a group of fellow students who told him they would stop bullying him if he agreed to be inked. The 14-year-old boy, from the US state of New Hampshire, had the words "Poop Dick" and a drawing of a penis tattooed on his backside on May 10 after being enticed to a home in the city of Concord.

The boy, who suffers from learning disabilities and self-esteem issues, allegedly told police he was warned by one of the assailants that "he was going to get the tattoo whether he liked it or not" and that "he would not be picked on anymore if he got it done." The students allegedly threatened to beat him up if he tried to run away.

None of the arrestees knew the victim's name, referring to him in police interviews as "Poop Dick" or "Spiderman", a nickname he was given after wearing a Spiderman hat to school one day. The boy was "frequently targeted for ridicule," investigators said.

A raid on the Concord home led to the seizure of tattoo equipment and the arrest of four out of five of the victim's alleged assailants. The four were charged with a variety of crimes, including assault, endangering the welfare of a minor and tattooing without a license.

'Naked Fridays'


Odds and Sods

Odds and Sods
In Cop News