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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, June 4, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Do you feel like an indentured servant?
Are you tired of working for someone or something you don't care about?
Now is the time for you to break the chains.
Unleash your wildest ideas and explore what it is you really want to do with your time on Earth, no matter how insane it might seem at first.
Once you figure it out, you should be quite surprised at how quickly someone new steps into your life to help you get there!
Some of our readers today have been in:
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Nice, Provence-Alpes-Cote D'Azur, France
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Milano, Lombardia, Italy
Dresden, Sachsen, Germany
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Chandigrah, Chandigrah, India
Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
New Delhi, Delhi, India
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Munich, Bayern, Germany
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France

as well as the Scotland, and the United States in such cities as Ypsilanti, Fond Du Lac, Pelzer, Olney, Kanab and more

Today is Thursday, June 4, the 155th day of 2010.
There are 210 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Doughnut Day or Donut Day

McCartney in the House

The ex-Beatle finally gets the chance to play a tune he's been "itching" to sing at the White House. 

As The World Turns

As The World Turns
The Summer Olympics in Athens cost $11 billion, but many of the sites are now empty or barely used. 

The State Of The Nation

The State Of The Nation

Gulf spill hits Florida's famous beaches

Beachgoers are finding sticky tarballs on northwest Florida's sugar-white beaches.

Local Hospitality

Local Hospitality
Charcoal and Pepper
It's not just the picture of beef on a new billboard in North Carolina that tries to catch drivers' attention, it's the aroma coming from the sign.
The billboard on N.C. 150 in central North Carolina emits the smell of black pepper and charcoal to promote a new line of beef available at the Bloom grocery chain.
A Bloom spokeswoman says the billboard will emit scents from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day until June 18.
A high-powered fan at the bottom of the billboard spreads the aroma by blowing air over cartridges loaded with fragrant oil.

Blind photographer's work to be showcased at festival

A blind photographer's exhibition will be one of the highlights of an arts festival in Edinburgh.

Rosita McKenzie, 56, from the city's Portobello, is to have her pictures of Edinburgh people showcased in the Central Library on George IV Bridge as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival.

Completely blind from the age of 12, Mrs McKenzie homes in on "people's personalities" to capture the right shot.

The exhibition begins on 12 August.

Floating House with Deck & Garden

Located on Powell Lake in coastal British Columbia, the floating house sits on a twenty-by-twenty-foot frame and is one and a half stories high. The support structure beneath is giant logs lashed together with inch-thick steel cable, tightened with winches and hydraulic jacks and fastened with railroad spikes.

Gandhi peace symbol made into diesel

A pet elephant that once belonged to Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi and was given as a symbol of peace and friendship to the people of former Yugoslavia has been turned into diesel.

The 42-year-old Indian tusker - called Sony - died two months ago of heart failure and the plan to turn the enormous corpse into bio diesel was agreed on after a special park task force was set up to work out how best to work out what to do with the body of the prized symbol of peace and friendship.

A spokesman said: "We wanted to make sure that we treated the remains with respect, the ivory would have been worth about £200,000 on the open market and we could hardly sell those off. Instead we decided to cut off the tusks - one of which was broken at the tip - on display at the Briujini National Park, Croatia, where he lived his life in a special enclosure. But we will make sure we beef up security - we wouldn't want them stolen."

But the massive tusker's body was not treated with such respect, and shipped to a bio diesel processing plant where the body of the peace symbol was turned into diesel fuel.

Decoding a fresh crop circle

Cropcircccclanck Did the pranksters (or ETs or Gaia or the military, etc.) behind this recent crop circle, known as the Wilton Windmill, encode hidden mathematical messages in the pattern? The Daily Grail's Richard Andrews reveals that the mathematically beautiful Euler's Identity equation is encoded in 8-bit binary within the formation. Not only that, but Andrews posits that a minor error in the encoding could be seen as an (unintentional?) reference to the Planck constant. Of course, that would be very punny as many crop circle artists use a plank to flatten the crops.
"Planck found in 'Euler's Identity' Crop Circle?!"

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know

In 2005, researchers predicted two potential signatures of life on Saturn's moon Titan – now both have been seen.

Organic molecules in the atmosphere may have joined together in fractal patterns, boosting the greenhouse effect and explaining how the infant planet stayed warm.

Mars harbours rocks rich in carbonate minerals, suggesting there was more water there in the past than previously thought.

A fossil foot bone reveals that early humans arrived on the island of Luzon tens of thousands of years earlier than realized.
Yangtze River dated to 45 million years old by looking at rock cut by water.
    Whales evolved shockingly fast into wide array of shapes and sizes.

    The long necks of the largest dinosaurs that ever lived might have been raised high after all, a new study now suggests.

    This fleshed-out artist
    This fleshed-out artist's rendering of the Mexican horned dinosaur Coahuilaceratops, shows its gigantic horns – larger than any member of its group, including the famous Triceratops.  
    Credit: Lukas Panzarin for the Utah Museum of Natural History.

    Ten Mysterious Undeciphered Scripts

    Liber Linteus
    As if a linen book from a long-gone civilization weren’t fascinating enough, the origin of the Liber Linteus makes it even more morbidly amazing: it was once the wrappings on a mummy. Most of the Liber Linteus writings, which were removed from the female Egyptian mummy and later made into a book in the 19th century, can’t be translated because they were written in the little-understood Etruscan language. But what little scholars can understand reveals it to be some sort of ritual calendar.
    Nine more at:

    Meet the Brain

    Man amazes with a superhuman memory

    Daniel Tammet memorizes 22,000 digits in one sitting and learns a new language in blazing speed.

    Three at a glance

    Sky watchers this week will be able to see Saturn, Mars, and Venus at the same time. 

    Rare look at volcanic activity

    Catch a scene inside a Hawaiian volcano usually obscured by fumes.

    The 50 Worst Inventions of All Time

    Time Magazine's 50 Worst Inventions from Hair in a Can to the Baby Cage.

    Cages for babies patented in 1922.

    Now that's Funny

    Now that's Funny
    Andy Capp
    Wizard of Id
    Daddy's Home

    Natalee Holloway suspect detained

    Officials have arrested Dutchman Joran van der Sloot in the recent killing of a woman in Peru. 

    American killed by Israel

    Whether he was American or not, the details of the death are troubling.
    A U.S. citizen who lived in Turkey is among the nine people killed when Israeli commandos stormed a Turkish aid ship heading for the Gaza Strip, officials said today. The victim was identified as Furkan Dogan, 19, a Turkish-American. A forensic report said he was shot at close range, with four bullets in his head and one in his chest, according to the Anatolian news agency.

    News of the positive sort

    News of the positive sort
    It took 69 years, but a World War II veteran from Sandy, Utah, finally has his wallet back

    Just the News

    Just the News
    Report finds that 23 percent of white, 17 percent of Hispanic high school students have done so

    American high school teens are drinking less soda but still avoiding daily exercise, says a national report card on teen health and risk behaviors.

    Bad Cops

    Bad Cops

    Dumb Crooks

    Dumb Crooks
    A burglary suspect in northern Florida was charged after authorities say they found the license plate from his car at the crime scene.

    Authorities say a used car dealer is headed to prison for fraud, despite attempting to place a voodoo hex on prosecutors handling his case in Los Angeles.

    A widow who for decades denied arranging her real estate tycoon husband's slaying admitted it after learning that prosecutors had incriminating tapes of her talking on a jail telephone, her lawyer said.

    Robbery suspect with one lung can’t outrun pursuers

    An elaborate jewelery heist went off without a hitch until the getaway. The would-be robber just couldn’t outrun the law. After he was captured, panting and out of breath, the Kirkland man told police he has only one lung. Edmonds police found Steven Kyle surrounded by good Samaritans not far from Cline Custom Jewelers.

    Kyle went into the store May 5 and said he was shopping for engagement rings. The man inspected ring after ring and asked a lot of questions. Then he told the jewelery designer to pull everything out of the display case. She told him she couldn’t do that. The man then reached into the waistband of his pants, the woman told police. He warned her he was armed and pulled what appeared to be a handgun partially out of his pants.

    Then he went shopping. Kyle picked out rings and demanded the woman hand them over, court papers said. A dozen rings later, he fled the store. The woman alerted other employees that she’d been robbed. A group of people — it’s not clear who — gave chase. Kyle, sensing he was losing ground, threw the gun at his pursuers. Then he ditched the $75,000 in stolen rings.

    No gun, no loot, the heist was losing steam. Then the group caught up with Kyle. They held him until a police officer arrived. The gun was fake. The felony first-degree robbery charge filed against Kyle is real. He is being held on $50,000 bail. Kyle told police he was out of work and desperate, and planned to pawn the rings.

    Helpful Hints

    Helpful Hints
    Your fridge may be working harder and wearing out faster than it should. 

    Interesting In General

    Interesting In General
    A growing trend designed to slash costs has unexpected benefits for some students.

    Flags of Forgotten Countries

    Now that's just Bizarre

    Now that's just Bizarre
    Talk about taking a flight

    Car flies over toll booth
    A driver leaving an airport early on Tuesday morning launched over a tollbooth after hitting a concrete lane divider.

    The female driver, later identified as 22-year-old Yasmine Villasana, hit a protective barrier at the north end of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at a high rate of speed.
    The driver and her vehicle flew over the tollbooth - and another vehicle in the lane paying a toll - and landed on the other side of the booth shortly after 6 a.m. on Tuesday. The driver told police she had been rear-ended as she was approaching the toll plaza and that the collision caused her vehicle to strike the protector barricade.

    After landing, the woman's car burst into flames. She was able to get out safely, but police said she kept trying to get back into the vehicle while it was on fire. The woman walked away with minor injuries, including an injury to her shoulder. The tollbooth attendant and the other driver were not injured

    Planet Earth

    Planet Earth

    Paranoia Strikes Deep

    Paranoia Strikes Deep 
    Patrick Timoney, 9, was playing with Legos at lunch time at Public School 52 on Staten Island, N.Y. He particularly liked the policeman figure, since his father is a retired cop. But the boy was hauled into the principal's office for possession of a gun --
    the tiny plastic one held by the Lego policeman. "They made me sign a statement," the tear-stained fourth-grader said. "She told me to write that I had a gun," he said. "She said, 'A gun is a gun'." The boy's mother had something to say about that. "This principal is a bully and a coward, and needs to be held accountable," said Laura Timoney, 44. "Why didn't anyone step up with an ounce of common sense and put an end to the harassment of my child?"

    Say What?!

    People have got to get a grip - 'A gun is a gun'. Now who is the one in need of help coping here? If you can not tell the difference between ... what a one inch ... piece of molded plastic and a Glock 9mm you need help and quickly! The principal needs to loose her job over this stunt! She has no business being around children not knowing the difference between a toy and a weapon.

    Missouri Trailer Trash

    MissouriTrailerTrash.com is a nauseating collection of trashy trailer home photos from the state of Missouri with amusing commentary on each.

    “While some people express themselves on canvas, others use trailers.”
    Find more gems at:  Great Mobile Homes of the Mississippi and Great Mobile Homes of Indiana and Great Mobile Homes of Alabama.

    AT&T Responds to A Customer's Concerns with a Legal Threat

    If you e-mail Apple’s CEO, there’s a chance you’ll get a personal reply from Steve Jobs himself. But what happens if you write AT&T’s CEO? One inquiring customer received a legal threat.

    “I want to first thank you for the feedback,” said a member of AT&T’s executive response team, in a voicemail recording posted on the recipient’s blog. “Going forward I want to warn you that if you continue sending e-mails to Randall Stephenson a cease-and-desist letter will be sent to you.”

    The voicemail was in response to an e-mail that customer Giorgio Galante sent to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. In his letter (the second sent in two weeks), Galante accused AT&T of squeezing more money out of its customers with its new tiered data structure, which killed off the unlimited data plan.

    “I don’t think even Steve Jobs can spin 2 GB for $25/month as a good thing for the consumer,” Galante wrote.

    AT&T’s notoriety has increased in conjunction with the growing popularity of the iPhone. Ever since the launch of the iPhone 3G in 2008, many customers have quibbled about the carrier’s network performance, listing complaints about dropped calls, spotty coverage and other issues. The latest complaint is related to AT&T’s new data pricing structure, offering customers a choice between a 2-GB plan for $25 per month or 200 MB for $15 per month. The previous all-you-can-eat, unlimited data plan has been removed, though current AT&T customers can continue with that plan.

    An AT&T spokesman on Thursday said the company was apologizing to Galante.

    “We are apologizing to our customer,” the spokesman said in a statement. “We’re working with him today to address his questions and concerns. This is not the way we want to treat customers. From Facebook to significant customer service channels, AT&T strives to provide our customers with easy ways to have their questions addressed.”

    “I can say that because of this incident, we are reviewing our entire process to ensure a situation like this does not happen again,” the spokesman said.

    They have since apologized.
    Big Deal.

    BP battles growing public outrage

    And Loses!
    A series of gaffes by company execs has inflamed anger over the devastating oil spill. 

    Hate in America

    Racists Advertise Land for Whites Only in Boston Area
    Apparently there are certain people in the Boston area town of Fairhaven who are not quite up with the 21st century. The offensive ad read:
    "The said land shall not be sold, leased or rented to any person other than of the Caucasian race or to any entity of which any person other than that of said race shall be a member, stockholder, officer or director."

    Read article

    The Ugly naked underbelly of wingnut racism:
    The shooting death of a black man whose body was dragged for several miles is being investigated as a possible hate crime after the arrest of a white man he worked with, South Carolina's state police chief said.

    Gregory Collins, 19, is charged with murder and made his first court appearance Thursday. No bond was set and he did not yet have an attorney, Newberry County Magistrate Ron Halfacre said.

    ...Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said Collins and Hill spent most of Tuesday together and were at Collins' mobile home late Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning when Hill was shot.

    Foster said Collins then attached a nylon rope around Hill's body and began dragging it behind his truck, apparently until the rope snapped several miles later.

    Repugican Press Release


    Lunatic Fringe

    Lunatic Fringe
    When dealing with wingnuts ... Remember the rule: 
    If they accuse someone of something, then they're already guilty of it.

    Florida GOP chairman arrested
    Turns out he's a dirty crook like the rest of them

    Jim Greer, the big-spending former chairman of the repugican party of Florida, was arrested 
    Wednesday amid a widening probe of corruption connected to the state GOP.
    Greer, 47, is accused of grand theft, money laundering and organized scheme to defraud, officials said. 
    It is the first indictment in a corruption probe ordered by Gov. Charlie Crist, who personally chose Greer to run the state GOP.
    The charges are related to a company Greer created and to which he secretly funneled party money.
    Greer, pressured to resign from the party in February, has been under FDLE investigation since spring after the new 
    party leaders discovered he was profiting from what they said was a clandestine consulting contract he struck with the party.
    While Greer took shots from numerous rank-and-file repugicans, Crist stood firmly by him. 
    Crist picked Greer to lead the party in 2007, despite grumbling by numerous repugicans who didn't know Greer.
    When asked if he could have done anything differently with Greer, Crist would only say this spring: 
    ''I didn't have a crystal ball. Neither did you.''

    Why South Carolina is NOT North Carolina

    A racial remark infuses the state's scandal-plagued governor's race with new controversy.  

    Fauxheads freak out when Rep. Linda Sanchez points out the white supremacists lurking behind Arizona's immigration law

    David Neiwert posted this over at Crooks and Liars:

    All day yesterday on Fox, the talking/shrieking heads were all worked up about some comments from Rep. Linda Sanchez about Arizona's SB1070:
    A California congresswoman is pointing the finger at white supremacist groups, who she says have inspired Arizona's new law cracking down on illegal immigrants.
    Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., told a Democratic Club on Tuesday that white supremacist groups are influencing lawmakers to adopt laws that will lead to discrimination.
    "There's a concerted effort behind promoting these kinds of laws on a state-by-state basis by people who have ties to white supremacy groups," said the lawmaker, who is of Mexican descent. "It's been documented. It's not mainstream politics."
    Oh my God! Somebody tossed a little Baby Ruth of Truth into the swimming pool!
    Rick Folbaum told Jon Scott that Sanchez got her information from those notorious dispensers of inconvenient information, a left-wing blogger. (Hey, it coulda been C&L.) Megyn Kelly demanded of Clarissa Martinez of the National Council of La Raza that she denounce these horrendous words. And Sean Hannity didn't even bother to query into whether what Sanchez said might be accurate -- he just ran a quick segment sneering at her "Liberal Lie".
    The problem they have is that it's in fact perfectly accurate. Sanchez may have gotten the information from a blogger, but it's more than likely the blog got its information from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League -- both of which have, as Sanchez suggested, fully documented that a number of the leading "respectable" anti-immigration organizations are in fact fronts created by white-supremacist ideologues.
    You see, Fox and everyone else has been running commentary from Kris Kobach, a well-paid lackey for the Federation for American Immigration Reform. Kobach has been boasting on Fox and elsewhere that he and his fellows at FAIR are helping to push the Arizona immigration law in other states as well.
    Well, FAIR is exactly what Linda Sanchez described. And it's not exactly news, either. Here's the SPLC's rundown on the three main groups involved in promoting the Arizona law:
    FAIR, which Tanton founded and where he remains on the board, has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Among the reasons are its acceptance of $1.2 million from the Pioneer Fund, a group founded to promote the genes of white colonials that funds studies of race, intelligence and genetics. FAIR has also hired as key officials men who also joined white supremacist groups. It has board members who regularly write for hate publications. It promotes racist conspiracy theories about Latinos. And it has produced television programming featuring white nationalists.
    CIS was conceived by Tanton and began life as a program of FAIR. CIS presents itself as a scholarly think tank that produces serious immigration studies meant to serve "the broad national interest." But the reality is that CIS has never found any aspect of immigration that it liked, and it has frequently manipulated data to achieve the results it seeks. Its executive director last fall posted an item on the conservative National Review Online website about Washington Mutual, a bank that had earlier issued a press release about its inclusion on a list of "Business Diversity Elites" compiled by Hispanic Business magazine. Over a copy of the bank's press release, the CIS leader posted a headline — "Cause and Effect?" — that suggested a link between the bank's opening its ranks to Latinos and its subsequent collapse.
    Like CIS, NumbersUSA bills itself as an organization that operates on its own and rejects racism completely. In fact, NumbersUSA was for the first five years of its existence a program of U.S. Inc., a foundation run by Tanton to fund numerous nativist groups, and its leader was an employee of that foundation for a decade. He helped edit Tanton's racist journal, The Social Contract, and was personally introduced by Tanton to a leader of the Pioneer Fund. He also edited a book by Tanton and another Tanton employee that was banned by the Canadian border officials as hate literature, and on one occasion spoke to the Council of Conservative Citizens, a hate group which has called blacks "a retrograde species of humanity."
    Together, FAIR, CIS and NumbersUSA form the core of the nativist lobby in America. In 2007, they were key players in derailing bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform that had been expected by many observers to pass. Today, these organizations are frequently treated as if they were legitimate, mainstream commentators on immigration. But the truth is that they were all conceived and birthed by a man who sees America under threat by non-white immigrants. And they have never strayed far from their roots.
    The SPLC has further details about John Tanton and about FAIR, notably the accumulated record that induced the SPLC to designate it a hate group:
    Founded by Tanton in 1979, FAIR has long been marked by anti-Latino and anti-Catholic attitudes. It has mixed this bigotry with a fondness for eugenics, the idea of breeding better humans discredited by its Nazi associations. It has accepted $1.2 million from an infamous, racist eugenics foundation. It has employed officials in key positions who are also members of white supremacist groups. Recently, it has promoted racist conspiracy theories about Mexico's secret designs on the American Southwest and an alternative theory alleging secret plans to merge the United States, Mexico and Canada. Just last February, a senior FAIR official sought "advice" from the leaders of a racist Belgian political party.
    It's not just the SPLC that has reached this conclusion. The Anti-Defamation League's assessment falls along similar lines.
    Finally, it's worth remembering that the two people most associated with SB1070 in Arizona -- its coauthor, State Sen. Russell Pearce, and the law-enforcement officer whose immigration obsession inspired the law, Maricopa County's Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- themselves in fact have documented associations with Arizona neo-Nazis.
    Fox may think they can whip this up, bloody shirt style, in favor of the Arizona law's advocates. I'd wager those same people are wishing they'd just let it quietly drop. Because Linda Sanchez told the truth, and they all know it.

    Just Who's Anti-American, Again?

    And you wonder who's Anti-American?
    Rednecks and other assorted weirdos
    Bonfire ends in brawl over religion and demons
    A father and his two sons landed in jail after talk of religion and demons at a Memorial Day weekend bonfire led to a drunken brawl. Prosecutors charged Timothy Neal, 44, of Elk Grove Village, and twin sons, Timothy Wade Neal and Daniel Allan Neal, both 18, with felony mob action on Tuesday. Their bond is set at $30,000 each.

    The Madison County Sheriff’s Department said deputies were called to the 1200 block of Clifton Street near Collinsville at around 4 a.m. on Saturday to respond to a report of battery.

    “The victim had been talking about religion and demons when the other three became upset and started whipping up on him,” said Madison County Sheriff’s Capt. Brad Wells. Wells said he didn’t know what specific religious issue incited the fight, but that talk of demons apparently put the fight over the edge. He said that eyewitnesses support the victim’s claims.

    The victim had injuries to his face and was taken to a hospital. The two twin sons were also charged with illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor.

    American History ... Texas Style


    Things They Won't Tell You

    Things They Won't Tell You
    Pharmaceutical waste is leaking into the environment from wastewater treatment plants.

    It's Only The Environment After All

    It's Only The Environment After All
    Wildlife throughout the Gulf of Mexico is paying a terrible price as the leak continues.

    In Matters Of Health

    In Matters Of Health
    A bedtime treat can help speed your metabolism, says one celebrity diet expert.
    Knowing tell-tale signs of heat rash can keep you safe while you enjoy the sun.
    Diet Debate Obscures Truths About Salt Intake: The salt and food industries have long masked the harmful effects 

    Chili Peppers Might Fight Fat: The stuff that makes chili peppers hot, capsaicin, may cause weight loss

    Burgers linked to asthma in global study
    Why does asthma hate America?
    Children who eat a Mediterranean diet have a lower risk of developing asthma, but eating three or more burgers a week is linked to a higher risk, research suggests.

    Researchers looked at 50,000 children from 20 countries.

    Writing in the journal Thorax, they said eating fruit, vegetables and fish appeared to protect against asthma.

    But they said eating burgers could be linked to other unhealthy habits, which may be the real trigger factor.

    Culinary DeLites

    Culinary DeLites
    Olive grower Dean Griggs holds up olive seedlings in his orchard in Carmel Valley, California.
    Cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg can help your digestion, while thyme can help relax muscles.

    Graduation comes with good news and bad

    Graduation comes with good news and bad

    Celeb speakers turn out to cheer on grads, but there are some reasons not to celebrate.

    On The Job

    On The Job
    Common job-interview questions that seem cliché still reveal key details about you.  
    Instead of advertising openings, more companies are paying big bonuses for staff referrals. 
    Graduates of the top MBA program can earn nearly $4 million over two decades.  
    More and more companies are looking for employees who are experts in social media.