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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.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You need to pay strict attention to the input that you're receiving, instead of just hearing what you want to hear.
If you can just remove your ego from today's situation, you should find it surprisingly helpful -- and not nearly as distasteful or difficult as you had imagined.
You should also see immediate ways to improve your life and the way you live it.
Improved finances and a somewhat more public role at work may lie ahead.
Some of our readers today have been in:
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Quebec, Quebec, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Coffs Harbor, New South wales, Australia
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Zwolle, Overijssel, Netherlands
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Harpenden, England, United Kingdom
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Como, Lombardia, Italy
Osaka, Osaka, Japan
Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

as well as Mexico, Scotland, Hong Kong Wales, and the United States in such cities as Miliani, Moorpark, Monahans, El Sobrante and more

Today is Friday, May 28, the 148th day of 2010.
There are 217 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Slugs Return From Capistrano Day

As The World Turns

As The World Turns
Thanks to enticing ads and aging water systems, locals now heed "don't drink the tap water" advice. 

Coast Guard Grounds Ships Involved in Spill Cleanup After 7 Fall Ill

At least seven fishermen involved in the cleanup of the BP oil spill were hospitalized on Wednesday after reporting nausea, dizziness, headaches and chest pains. The fishermen were likely exposed to both the leaked oil and chemical dispersants. As a precautionary measure, the Coast Guard has ordered all 125 commercial ships helping with the cleanup to return to land. For weeks, cleanup crews hired by BP have been reporting health issues, but their complaints have largely been ignored.

Harsh Hurricane Season Ahead

Storms could match the record numbers of 2005, when Katrina hit, according to experts.

Katla is rumbling in Iceland

You know the other one ... the BIG one.

Here we go again.
An initial research paper by the University College of London Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction said: "Analysis of the seismic energy released around Katla over the last decade or so is interpreted as providing evidence of a rising ... intrusive magma body on the western flank of the volcano."

"Earlier seismic energy release at Katla is associated with the inflation of the volcano, which indicates it is close to failure, although this does not appear to be linked to seismicity around Eyjafjallajökull," it added.

"We conclude that given the high frequency of Katla activity, an eruption in the short term is a strong possibility," the report said. "It is likely to be preceded by new earthquake activity. Presently there is no unusual seismicity under Katla."

Big volcanic eruptions in Guatemala, Ecuador

Rocks spewing from a volcano overlooking the Guatemalan capital killed a television reporter and crushed roofs in villages near the peak, authorities said Friday.

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
Easy meat and cheese variations create surprising flavors for a summer standard.  

Come Together

Come Together from the film Across The Universe

Bagpipes scare off sewer rats

Tour bosses have come up with a way of frightening off rats on their trips round the historic drains of the Austrian capital Vienna - bagpipes.

The Third Man tours - which walk the sewers made famous in Orson Welles' cult film - were closed down after health and safety chiefs said the risk of rat bites was too great.

Now they're back on after organizers proved how the squeal of Scottish bagpipes from a kilted piper send the rats scurrying for cover.

Tour boss Peter Ryborz explained: "We get rid of the rats by taking a bagpipe player down with us, and they sound really great in the catacombs that tunnel all under the city. You can hear them coming out of drains as the tours walk around under the city."

Invisible Drum Kit

Invisible Drum Kit

America's best beach a 'well-kept secret'

The top beach in the U.S. features sand "like baby powder," a concession stand, and easy parking.
One of our beautiful North Carolina beaches made the list.

Non Sequitur


Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know
siphonophore image\
Image via KQED
Jellyfish are weird, cool, and scary all at once. But what might be even more weird, cool, and...well not all that scary? Siphonophores, jellies' glow-in-the-dark cousins, are being studied more as researchers look to uncover the mystery of how and why they use light and iridescence as part of their survival strategy. Dozens of species exist off the California coast and scientists at Monterey Bay Aquarium are hard at work figuring out what makes them tick, and even how they can be used for medicine for humans. Check out a fascinating short video about jellies and their strange cousins after the jump.

"Space Jam" and Mayan mythology

The Popol Vuh is the creation story of the ancient Maya. One of the main plot threads involves hero twins who are summoned to the underworld to take on the gods in a high-stakes ball game.

In a 2001 paper, linguist Michal Brody points out some surprising similarities between the Popol Vuh and ... yes ... the Michael Jordan/Bugs Bunny team-up, Space Jam.
Never saw the connection before, but Brody makes a pretty good case for the Mayan influence on Warner Brothers.

Drunker than a nine-eyed cooter.

We Southerners have a way with descriptive language:

1. Drunker than a nine-eyed cooter.
2. Colder than a witch's teat in a brass bra.
3. Harder than day old fruitcake.
4. As useful as teats on a bull.
5. Easy as pushing a rope.
6. More stubborn than a Missouri mule.
7. Crazier than a loon.
8. Like a frog on a June bug.
9. Interesting as yesterday's news.

That's nine.
Colorful turns and twists in the language that are still in use in the gentile climes of the South but that are becoming used less and less.
There are more and as time goes by they are less.

Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe
When dealing with wingnuts ... Remember the rule: 
If they accuse someone of something, then they're already guilty of it.
Liars and Fools
Only from one of their own which would be a pity now wouldn't it.

Wingnut Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment website lies: Obama "doesn't really want to plug the oil leak in the Gulf"
That would be the Dick (as in Satan aka Cheney) - it is his fault in the first place and now that it is loose he's making even more money from it

Nope, there is no need ... you Bozos are doing a mighty fine job of that all by yourselves.

Wrong, that'd be you morons and you are trying to use it and failing miserably - just as you always do.

Erick Erickson's baseless lies Obama "doesn't like the military"
Nope that'd be the shrub and the cabal and their ilk who keep proving it over and over and over ...

In rant on "evil," "crypto-fascist" Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, wingnut loudmouth Michael Savage lies: she would "stop certain speech and certain talk"
Unfortunately she would not - even though she should

Remember kiddies, if a wingnut claims it is a lie, it is the truth ... Our president has a great deal of respect for our troops whereas the aforementioned wingnut(s) continually prove they do not.

Not only did he have the honor and the right to do so - he did, so tough. You on the other hand do not have any right much less honor to speak to or about our troops - we don't appreciate loud mouth fools.
Bryan Fischer, director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the Un-American Anti-Family Association said:
So Hitler himself was an active homosexual. And some people wonder, didn’t the Germans, didn’t the Nazis, persecute homosexuals? And it is true they did; they persecuted effeminate homosexuals. But Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Stormtroopers, they were his enforcers, they were his thugs. And Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual solders basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after. So he surrounded himself, virtually all of the Stormtroopers, the Brownshirts, were male homosexuals.
TPMMuckraker’s Zachary Roth writes:
There is very little hard evidence that Hitler himself was gay — though a bevy of historians has examined the question. The iota of truth behind Fischer’s view is that several leaders of the SA — the tightly organized band of street brawlers hat helped Hitler rise to power — were gay. That included Ernst Rohm, the unit’s founder and leader. But after Hitler began to doubt the SA’s loyalty, Rohm was arrested on the “Night of Long Knives” in 1934, and executed soon after. The SA subsequently took a backseat in the movement to Heinrich Himmler’s SS, whose allegiance to the Fuhrer was unquestioned.
And, if it needs pointing out, straight Nazis showed plenty of savagery and brutality
File under: Examples of fascists of the present trying to paint fascists of the past as “liberals.”

Ha! Sarah Palin's Neighbors Sought Out McGinniss, Rented Him House Because Palin Stiffed Them.

Susie Madrak posted this over at Crooks and Liars:
I thought this was pretty funny and hey, we can all use a good laugh these days, right? 

Sarah Palin has been whining all over the place about author Joe McGinniss, calling him a stalker for renting the house next door while he's writing a book about her. And of course Fox hacks like Steve Doocy have been whipping themselves into a self-righteous frenzy, while ABCNews breathlessly regurgitates Palin's "stalker" narrative.

Turns out there's a little more to the story.

From Gawker:
Earlier this year, Palin used her clout with Alaska State Police to get 16-year-old Willow Palin off the hook after she and some high school buddies trashed a vacant home during a bender. The other kids were hung out to dry, and Alaska's Mat-Su Valley boiled at the injustice of Willow's preferential treatment. We warned that Palin should watch her back lest small-town high school drama explode in national scandal.
So, another instance of the Lamestream Media trying to ruin Sarah Palin's life, right? Actually, it appears this whole situation was orchestrated by a vengeful neighbor. McGinniss' son said in an email reprinted by Politico that his dad was offered the spot by Palin's neighbor because the Palins owed her money:
"A woman was renting her house and sought out the author because the Palins had crossed her (owed her money for renovations she had done at their request and never paid her for). So she knew McGinniss was writing the book and found him and offered him the house."
The Palins apparently tried renting the place all winter to head off any Liberals. Not only did her neighbor refuse, she called up McGinniss and was like, "Hey, got this awesome house right across from Sarah Palin. Want?" There's no purer form of small-town drama than the stiffed contractor out for non-monetary revenge. Unlike those in New York or LA, where the elitists settle their labor disputes with fancy lawyers, small-town builders have the means to hit back in way more satisfying ways. (Momof3wildkids points out that the email may actually be saying that Palin asked her neighbor to fix up her own house, promised to pay for it, then stiffed her in the end. Nervy!)
Palin's rise was based on a creation myth that had her springing from a fantasy Real America that loves guns and embryos and hates immigrants and socialists. But the Real America Palin really inhabits just wants her to stop acting like a diva and to cough up the 1500 bucks or whatever she owes them for building her deck. Do not cross your people, Sarah Palin! Your speaking career and presidential prospects don't stand a chance against their hard-won sense of frontier justice. Installing a sworn enemy in your own backyard is just the beginning. They will destroy you.


Truer words have not been spoken!

Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints
Chocolate is commonly known to pose serious risks to animals, but avocados and grapes can, too.  
Avoid bites from the pesky insects by using items you may already have at home.  

Talkin' Deep

Men with a deep voices are seen as more dominant by other men. 
They also rate rivals in a surprising way.

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health
photo kid dirt camping scientist
Getting some outdoor time is not only good for the soul, it's probably good for the mind. Research from The Sage Colleges in Troy, New York, suggests that exposure to a natural soil bacterium called Mycobacterium vaccae can increase learning behavior. Another reason to enjoy, and protect, the great outdoors. And a potential reason to eat a little dirt here and there.

What smart patients do to get great care

The least expensive, most accessible health resource you have may not be your doctor.  

Stem cells can repair heart damage

A new and non-controversial source of stem cells can form heart muscle cells and help repair heart damage.



Two LA Residents Arrested In Craigslist Software Piracy Probe ‎

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, today announced that its efforts led to the arrest of two California residents who allegedly manufactured and sold pirated software using Craigslist. Duong Tran, 29, and Huy Nguyen, 27, (also known as Kevin Tran and Sam Lou) were arrested May 25 by the Los Angeles Police Department.

The LAPD, working in conjunction with the SIIA and other software companies, undertook a nine-month investigation into the sellers' activity. Tran and Nguyen allegedly manufactured and distributed thousands of counterfeit Adobe, Rosetta Stone, Autodesk, Solidworks, and other software products.

"Tran and Nguyen probably thought Craigslist was an easy way to sell their illegal software, but now they're in jail and facing huge financial penalties," said Keith Kupferschmid, Senior Vice President for Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement for SIIA. "As part of the industry's most aggressive anti-piracy program, SIIA is actively working to stop software pirates operating on Craigslist and other online marketplaces. These arrests should serve as a warning to anyone distributing software on Craigslist – the next person you sell to could be a police officer or one of our investigators."

As part of the arrest, the LAPD seized illegal software valued at more than $30,000 and hardware valued at more than $6,000. According to investigators, the pirates had three PayPal accounts. The scheme collected more than $40,000 through PayPal alone, at an average cost of $30 to $40 dollars per program, in addition to any cash transactions.

Kupferschmid continued, "As an open and unregulated marketplace, Craigslist is fertile ground for software pirates looking to make quick money. Craigslist has become an avenue for software pirates to corroborate their scheme. Consumers need to be aware that much of the software being sold on Craigslist is illegal, and they are likely getting ripped off with unsupported and possibly non-working products. They are also contributing to a problem that has the potential to raise software costs, cut into new product development and lead to job losses."

Tran and Nguyen operated out of an apartment near Chinatown in Los Angeles, where they had a very organized piracy lab and categorized thousands of software titles for easy distribution. In addition, Tran and Nguyen marketed their counterfeit software with frequent customer coupons and specially designed CD sleeves.

Tran and Nguyen downloaded thousands of software programs from Demonoid.com, a website and BitTorrent tracker. They then created cracked serial keys and burned the software onto Memorex recordable CDs. Through Craigslist, the pirates would then distribute a burned CD in a case, the cracked key, along with very detailed installation instructions.

Myths about gas mileage debunked

Does it take more fuel to start a car than to let it idle, and should you warm it up before driving?

'Sack tapping' prank costs boy a testicle

Pain is the operative word in the unfortunate story of 14-year-old David Gibbons. It is a pain he has endured both physically and emotionally after being punched in the groin by another student as he changed classes at Crosby Ironton High School.

"One o'clock in the morning he woke me up and told me he was in excruciating pain," recalls Christy Gibbons, David's mom. Not long after, David was in surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital in Brainerd having his right testicle removed.

"This may be called a game, but it's not a game. It's dangerous and it needs to stop," said Christy.

It's a notion seconded by Dr. Scott Wheeler, a Brainerd urologist.

"It's just gotten way out of control," said Wheeler, who now performs "three to four surgeries a year" on boys with ruptured testicles and other complications of being groin punched - with dozens more coming in with less severe injuries. "It's high school, junior high, elementary school," said Wheeler.

Dubbed "sack tapping" by some students, the practice is now featured in dozens of homemade videos on YouTube.

Bad Cops

Bad Cops

Chinese man forced to choose between wives

A Chinese man is being forced to choose between his two wives after his first wife was found 13 years after going missing. Ren Shushao, 52, a barber in Qijiang, Chongqing, will face bigamy charges unless he divorces either Xiong Jinzhen or Cai Chengrong. Xiong disappeared from home in 1997 and Ren never saw her again until she was rescued this year.

It turned out she had been kidnapped by a neighbor who sold her on to a man in another town who in turn sold her on to another man. Earlier this year, a friend of Ren's spotted Xiong in Shijiao town and told the barber who immediately launched a successful rescue attempt. "When we finally saw each other again, we hugged together for a long time, crying," he admitted.

He brought Xiong back to the home he shares with new wife Cai Chengrong who he married in 2002, thinking he would never see Xiong again. Ren said the three had managed to agree new domestic arrangements: "Each of my wives has their own room but I sleep more with my old wife, Xiong Jinzhen," he said. The two wives got along well together and his second wife, Cai, would even cook and wash clothes for Xiong, he added.

However, Li Yusheng, a local senior lawyer, said Ren had to divorce one of his wives, otherwise he would be sued for bigamy. Ren said: "I plan to divorce Cai Chengrong. However, she can continue to live with us, and we will take care of her."

Random, Abstract, Whimsical, Frivolous and Other Profound Thoughts

1. Red Dye (number) 2
2. Disco still SUCKS.
3. Ambidextrous
4. Large Print
5. Has anyone ever been lost in the middle of a meadow?
6. Wisdom is found between the lines.
7. What if the moon was made of Bleu Cheese instead of Green Cheese?
8. Lemongrass, Rosemary and Thyme
9. Research shows sexual pleasure is enhanced with more experienced hookers.
10. Smoke filled lungs are no fun.
11. A vibration is a motion that cannot make up its mind which way to go.
12. Peanuts
13. Heat good, cold bad.
14. Always maintain a healthy level of insanity.
15. Eat A Peach!
16. Dulcenea is Aldonza.
17. Dora the Explorer and the one-eyed undertaker.
18. A decorated pig is still a pig.
19. Sex isn't dirty ... unless you are doing it right.
20. Is there a history of Hemophilia in your family?
21. Logic and reason play a poor second fiddle to passion.
22. Moments are precious gems.
23. Life is like a quarter ... spend it how you wish but spend it wisely.
24. Escape reality every once and a while.
25. Justice League Unlimited



Odds and Sods

Odds and Sods
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is asking residents what the city needs, and many are warming to the idea of a nude beach.
Man dies of uterine cancer
Vincent Liew waited five years for the kidney that was supposed to change his life.

A Swiss man fined for nude hiking has won an appeal of the 100-franc penalty because a court decided that the charge of "indecent behavior" did not apply.

A woman dubbed the "jungle woman" after emerging naked and unable to speak from the wilds of northeastern Cambodia three years ago has apparently fled back to the forest, her presumed father and police said Friday.
An Oregon woman accused of leaving her 3-year-old son alone in an SUV for more than nine hours while she gambled was deemed an "unfit" parent by a judge Thursday.

Gaming Addicts Guilty of Starving Baby to Death
A South Korean couple were convicted Friday of abandoning their newborn daughter, who starved to death while they addictively played an online game raising a virtual child.