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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.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You're not exactly known for indulging yourself -- and that goes for any category.
You're the best example of self-restraint, especially when you're on a mission and your goal is clear.
Right now, though, anything resembling moderation just doesn't work for you.
Don't feel guilty about it, though -- if anyone has earned a break, it's you.
Take advantage of this new opportunity to let go.
Some of our readers today have been in:
Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Bratislava, Bratislava, Slovakia
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Bergamo, Lombardia, Italy
Nice, Provence-Alpes-Cote D'Azur
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Dakar, Kaolack, Senegal
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Brussels, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium

as well as Peru, and the United States in such cities as Wenatchee, Joshua Tree, Antigo, Roscoe and more

Today is Thursday, June 8, the 159th day of 2010.
There are 206 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Upsy Daisy Day
World Ocean Day

Local Hospitality

Local Hospitality
Woman solicits cop to beat up ex-boyfriend
A Huntersville woman is charged with trying to solicit an undercover police officer to attack her former boyfriend.

Killer finally caught?

The man long suspected in Natalee Holloway's disappearance admits to killing a woman in Peru.

Beginning to End

The Beatles

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know
Farmer (AFP)
Anthropologist Dr Spencer Wells on the unforeseen costs that come with human civilization.

US scientists studying a giant impact basin on Mars find further evidence that huge seas once existed on the Red Planet.

1792 Document

A Massachusetts teacher cleaning up her classroom in preparation for a move has discovered a Colonial-era document buried in a pile of outdated textbooks and dusty scraps of papers.

Gladiator Graveyard Discovered In Northern England

From The Guardian:
The results of forensic work, announced today, on more than 80 skeletons of well-built young men, gradually exhumed from the gardens of a York terrace over a decade, suggests that the world's best-preserved gladiator graveyard has been found.

Many of the 1,800-year-old remains indicate much stronger muscles in the right arm, a condition noted by Roman writers in slaves trained from their teens to fight in the arena. Advanced mineral testing of tooth enamel also links the men to a wide variety of Roman provinces, including North Africa, which was another a feature of gladiator recruitment.

The conclusions are consistent with York's importance in the Roman world as a provincial capital and major military base for years of campaigning north of Hadrian's Wall. Many senior generals and politicians held posts in the city and Constantine appointed himself emperor there in 306AD. Such distinguished residents would have required a high standard of social life, according to the York Archaeological Trust, which has supervised the excavations in Driffield Terrace.

Dozens of headless skeletons excavated from a northern English building site appear to be the remains of Roman gladiators, one of whom had bites from a lion, tiger, bear or other large animal, archaeologists said Monday.

A turn of a phrase

Make hay while the sun shines

Meaning: Make the most of one's opportunities while you have the chance.
Origin: This proverb is first recorded in John Heywood's A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue, 1546:
Whan the sunne shinth make hay. Whiche is to say.
Take time whan time cometh, lest time steale away.
Make hay while the sun shinesMany proverbs exist in other languages, but this one doesn't and it's a reasonable surmise that the phrase is of English Tudor origin.
Of course, mediaeval farmers would be as well aware of the wisdom of not leaving it too late to gather one's hay. Modern machinery and weather forecasting make haymaking reasonably quick and stress-free. Tudor farmers would have taken several days to cut, dry and gather their hay and would have had only folk rhymes like 'red sky at night' to guide them. Forecasting the weather two or three says in advance wouldn't have been possible, so all the more reason for them to 'make hay while the sun shines'.
The proverb, like all proverbs, was extended to life in general and it quickly became a cliche. As early as 1673 it was cited in a figurative, i.e. non-farming, context, in Richard Head's glossary of the language of theives and beggers The Canting Academy:
She ... was resolv'd ... to make Hay whilest the Sun shin'd.

Better late than never they say ...

Cyclists receive gold medals 62 years later

Eugene Van Roosbroeck and his two teammates left the 1948 Olympics blissfully unaware of their win. 

Great place to raise the kids

These spots aren't necessarily flashy, but they have affordable housing, good schools, and low crime rates.  

Vacation and the kids

A live volcano and a re-enactment of an Old West showdown could perk up the most jaded kid.  

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health
Technique kills B cell lymphoma, a cancer of immune molecules called B cells.

Indonesian census discovers 157-year-old woman

Estimates of the size and composition of Indonesia's booming population may remain just that despite an ongoing census, if the "discovery" of a 157-year-old woman is anything to go by. Census officials have said they believe the woman's claims to have been born in 1853, when Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata debuted in Venice, the Crimean War erupted and San Francisco got its first street signs at intersections.

"There's no authentic data to prove her age but judging from her statements and the age of her adopted daughter, who's now 108 years old, it's difficult to doubt it," statistics bureau official Jhonny Sardjono said. The only person verified to have lived past 120 years of age was Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122.

South Sumatran villager Turinah would be fully 25 years older than Calment when she died, according to officials. Even more incredible, she still works around the house and has smoked clove cigarettes all her life, Mr Sardjono said.

"Despite her age she still has an incredible memory, clear sight and has no hearing problems. She speaks Dutch quite fluently," he added. Indonesia was a Dutch colony for hundreds of years until 1945. He said Turinah burnt all her identification documents to avoid being linked to an alleged communist coup in 1965.

Cambodia's missing 'jungle woman' found in toilet

A Cambodian woman whose story gripped the nation after she apparently spent 18 years living in the jungle has been found in a dugout toilet 11 days after she disappeared again, her father said on Monday. Rochom P'ngieng, 29, was reported missing late last month by her family, who at the time said they believed she had fled back into the forest.

She was found in an outdoor toilet about 100 meters (300 feet) from her home after a neighbor heard her crying, Sal Lou, the man who says he is her father. "She was discovered in a 10-meter deep toilet. It's an unbelievable story. She spent 11 days there," he said, adding that her body was soaked with excrement up to her chest.

"We are still wondering how she could get into the toilet" which has a small entrance hole covered in wood, he said, adding that she had been admitted to hospital following the incident. Rochom P'ngieng went missing as a little girl in 1989 while herding water buffalo in Ratanakkiri province, around 600 kilometers (400 miles) northeast of Phnom Penh and home to some of the most isolated and wild jungle in Cambodia.

In early 2007 she was brought from the jungle, naked and dirty, after being caught trying to steal food from a farmer. She was hunched over like a monkey, scavenging on the ground for pieces of dried rice. Cambodians described her as "jungle woman" and "half-animal girl" and since rejoining society she has battled bouts of illness after refusing food.



Money mistakes we make every day

These careless financial oversights can add up to big bucks over time.  

Good Question


On The Job

On The Job
Companies with jobs that used to pay $40,000 to $50,000 are offering $28,000 to $38,000.
More firms use computers to screen all submissions, but you can learn how to make it through.

It's Only The Environment After All

It's Only The Environment After All
Restoring the ecosystems of the Southern U.S. coast will take years, officials say. 

Kicking ass

So, I know whose ass to kick!

Arctic Ice Cover at Lowest Point in Past Several 1000 Years + Arctic Autumn Will Be Ice-Free This Decade

arctic ice photo
photo: US Geological Survey via flickr
Two pieces on Arctic ice which are worth paying attention to today: 1) Via Climate Progress, Wieslaw Maslowski of the Naval Postgraduate School has presented some new research showing how autumn in the Arctic is likely to be ice-free by the end of this decade and perhaps much sooner--either option is well ahead of the 2007 IPCC report projections; and, 2) In case you had any doubt about melting ice in the Arctic, a team of scientists led by Leonid Polyak from Ohio State University have re-examined data from past on ongoing studies and have found that Arctic ice cover is at the lowest point for at least several thousand years.
Article continues: Arctic Ice Cover at Lowest Point in Past Several 1000 Years + Arctic Autumn Will Be Ice-Free This Decade

Protestors Strip to Protest Tar Sands

LUSH Staff Bare-All photo
Image courtesy of Lush Cosmetics.
Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is one busy non-profit: This morning we wrote about their success with luxury brand Gucci's switch to FSC-certified paper bags and now they're kicking off a campaign with Lush Cosmetics to protest Canadian tar sands oil. The cosmetic brand has (somehow) persuaded their employees to don only "barrels" of oil printed with the slogan "Time For An Oil Change Or We'll Lose It All", at select Lush Cosmetics stores nation-wide, tomorrow at noon. More on the campaign:

16 Girls Sick in Suspected Poisoning in Afghanistan

At least 16 teenage Afghan girls are recuperating at a hospital after they were poisoned and lost consciousness during school Tuesday, officials said.

Chinese mutiny

A group of young Chinese web addicts staged a mutiny at an internet "boot camp", tying up their instructor and fleeing the facility over its tough military-like techniques, state media says.

Chrysler recalls nearly 700K vehicles

Five models have potential problems, including doors that could catch fire, regulators say.  

Charge Your Gadgets With Your Boots?

orange power wellies photo
Image via Orange
Orange and GotWind is a partnership known for coming up with some interesting new ways of generating power for off-grid charging. They've created everything from solar- and wind-powered tents to foot pumps . But now they want to attach that foot-powered action to boots themselves. Orange and GotWind are unveiling a pair of wellies that generate electricity as you walk.

Life in a Yurt


Interesting Stuff

The mysterious 300 Diquis Spheres of Costa Rica

Wizard of Id


"I'm not a crook"

Straight from the crook's mouth ...
He was a politician so we all knew he was lying ... and history proved us correct.

Glenn Beck's favorite Nazi

Other than himself we mean.

From Joe Conason:
Glenn Beck's latest excursion to the farthest fringes of the old American right, which occurred on his radio show last Friday when he endorsed "The Red Network" by the late Nazi author and activist Elizabeth Dilling, revealed much about his own weird outlook. According to the Fox News star, Dilling's book, a racist and anti-Semitic tract published in 1935 as an "exposé of Communism," strongly resembles the patriotic service that he performs today.

It is of course true that Dilling, and every other Nazi, Silver Shirt, Bundist and fascist of that era, promoted their ideology as "patriotic," "Constitutionalist" and devoutly "Christian," much as Beck does.
What McCarthy was "right" about, Beck didn't say specifically, and in fact "Red Network" has little bearing on McCarthy's later claims concerning Communists in the State Department and the United States Army. But he went on to blurb the Dilling book as "the who's who and handbook of radicalism for patriots, documenting who are the Communists in America ... Who were the overwhelming number of Communists? Labor unions!" Still cackling, he closes with what he clearly considers a note of contemporary relevance. Dilling had discovered that "there's this teachers union thing ... You want to know who the real radical Communists are? The NEA!" Evidently Beck believes that since this woman, a wildly anti-Semitic nutcase, charged that the National Education Association was somehow Communist in the 1930s, we should assume, with Beck, that the NEA is a hotbed of Marxism in 2010.



Hockey player fighting for her life

Mandi Schwartz's battle against leukemia is inspiring thousands of people to help.

Soccer glory

The actor steps up for a game-deciding penalty kick in front of more than 65,000 fans in England.

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
Jalapeno peppers are combined with tomatoes and cilantro to spice up this salmon dish.  

Check these out ...

Unusual and Marvelous Maps 

Unusual and Marvelous Maps, Part 2

Non Sequitur


Elephant causes traffic jam in Zurich

An elephant brought commuter traffic to a halt when she went for a stroll through a Swiss city center.

Sabu the elephant escaped from her circus home when she broke free while being loaded into her trailer. The four tonne animal then went for a dip in Lake Zurich, before walking into the nearby city center.

Startled motorists gave Sabu, 26, a wide berth as she strolled across Zurich's six lane one way system.

She was eventually recaptured by animal welfare experts and keepers from her home at the Circus Knie after two hours on the loose. Circus spokesman Nik Leuenberger, 36, said: "Sabu took a bath in Lake Zurich. We are relieved that nothing happened. She didn't mean any harm."



Discovery leads to speculation of alien life

Repost of an earlier story from a different source:
Scientists find tantalizing hints of what could be very basic life on one of Saturn's moons.  

Uncanny coincidence

A couple looking through old pictures discovers they crossed paths 30 years before they met.  

50 silly signs