Welcome to ...

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.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Everyone who knows and loves you expects your absence every now and then -- even when you've made plans -- when duty calls.
It does so today, and your job is to do the right thing and make a call of your own: an apologetic, polite call to the person you've got to disappoint, letting them know that you're just as sad about all this as they are.
A rain check that's set in stone doesn't hurt.
Some of our readers today have been in:
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Worthing, England, United Kingdom
London, England, United Kingdom
Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Kiev, Kyyiv, Ukraine
Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Karlskrona, Blekinge Lan, Sweden
New Delhi, Delhi, India
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Rio De Janiero, Rio De Janiero, Brazil
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Naestved, Storstrom, Denmark

as well as Scotland, and the United States in such cities as Cambridge, Terre Haute, Kokomo, Los Angeles and more

Today is Wednesday, June 9, the 160th day of 2010.
There are 205 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Donald Duck Day

Border Patrol Agent Shoots Mexican Teen Dead at Border

A U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed a 14-year-old boy after a confrontation at an international bridge near downtown El Paso, Mexican authorities said Tuesday.

The child's mother. 

According to the NPR News piece, the union rep for Border Patrol agents says it is alright for agents to shoot Mexican children who throw rocks at them.

Wrong! It is never 'alright' to shoot a child for throwing rocks at you.

And get this ...
The child's body was found on the Ciudad Juarez side of the fence.
By all accounts, he never crossed over on to the US side, and was not attempting to do so.
He was unarmed, and he was shot in the head.
Sergio Adrian Hernández was his name.

What were they thinking ...

There are some strange laws in these United States.
Here is a list (alphabetically listed I might add) from the individual states and the District of Columbia highlighting just one weird, strange, odd, offbeat, etc., law in each one:
It’s illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.
Whispering in someone’s ear while he’s moose hunting is prohibited.
Cutting down a cactus may earn you a twenty-five-year prison term.
It’s illegal to mispronounce the name of the state of Arkansas.
You may not eat an orange in your bathtub.
It’s unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor (Denver).
A pickle cannot actually be a pickle unless it bounces.
It’s illegal to get married on a dare.
Washington, D.C.
It’s against the law to post a public notice calling someone a coward for refusing to accept a challenge to duel.
If you tie an elephant to a parking meter, you must pay the same parking fee as you would for a vehicle.
It’s illegal to change the clothes on a storefront mannequin unless you draw the shades first.
All residents may be fined for not owning a boat.
A man must not give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing fewer than fifty pounds.
It’s illegal to take a French poodle to the opera (Chicago).
The value of pi is 4, and not 3.1415.
One-armed piano players must perform for free.
It’s illegal to throw knives at men wearing striped suits. Kentucky
Every citizen is required to take a shower once a year.
Biting someone with your natural teeth constitutes simple assault, but biting someone with your false teeth classifies as aggravated assault.
If you keep your Christmas decorations on display after January 14, you’ll be fined.
It’s against the law to wash or scrub a sink, no matter how dirty it is (Baltimore).
No gorilla is allowed in the backseat of any car.
A woman may not cut her own hair without her husband’s permission.
It’s illegal to paint a sparrow with the intent of selling it as a parakeet (Harper Woods).
Walking a dog without dressing it in diapers is forbidden (Temperance).
Children may buy shotguns in Kansas City, but not toy cap guns.
It’s a felony for a wife to open her husband’s mail.
Bar owners may not sell beer unless they brew a kettle of soup simultaneously.
It’s illegal for men with mustaches to kiss women.
New Hampshire
It’s forbidden to sell the clothes you’re wearing to pay off a gambling debt.
New Jersey
It’s against the law for a man to knit during the fishing season.
New Mexico
Females may not appear unshaven in public.
New York
While riding in an elevator, you must talk to no one, fold your hands, and look toward the door.
North Carolina
It’s against the law to sing off-key.
North Dakota
It’s illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.
You must honk the horn whenever you pass another car, according to the state’s driver’s education manual.
It’s forbidden to take a bite out of another person’s hamburger.
State law requires dishes to be drip-dried.
It’s illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors.
Rhode Island
You may not bite off another person’s leg. South Carolina
If a man promises to marry an unmarried woman, he is required by law to keep his promise.
South Dakota
It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep in a cheese factory.
Selling hollow logs is strictly forbidden.
You may not shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.
It is illegal not to drink milk.
Women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.
Tickling a woman is unlawful.
It’s illegal to pretend that one’s parents are wealthy.
West Virginia
If you make fun of someone who does not accept a challenge, you risk a six-month prison sentence.
Unless a customer specifically requests it, margarine may not be substituted for butter in a restaurant.
Unless you have an official permit, you may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April.

Unemployed vet Greene wins Democratic nomination to face Jim DeMint in South Carolina

An unemployed military veteran has stunned South Carolina Democratic Party leaders by winning the nomination to challenge the repugican asshole.

Retire cheap

Americans are looking to retire outside the U.S. for a more relaxed pace and low-cost living.  

Take it for a spin ...

With the press of one button, this 500,000-pound home will rotate to follow the sunset. 

Alienate the kids from your Ex ... go to jail

Maybe this will teach a lesson to some mothers out there!
A judge has sentenced a woman to six summer weekends in jail because she purposely alienated her ex-husband to the couples' daughters.

Sip your way to a slimmer you

Drinking a few smoothies a day can help you lose weight, but another beverage is even better.

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
Luscious in-season fruits transform a boring salad into something spectacular. 

Hot-Dog Makeover

A patented new design for hot dogs changes the food's tubular shape as it cooks.  

Mystery ends in the library

A Web search leads to a philosopher's historic letter that was stolen decades ago.

Unreal Dive ... was exactly that

Despite reports, Guillaume Nery never reached the bottom on this breathtaking underwater jump.

Jack Russell glues jaws together after feasting on morning post

Mac Duff should read this ... he's always getting into things and I don't think he'd be too happy if he ended up like his 'cousin' here:

Dogs are usually keen to get their teeth into some tasty treats. But it was a very different story for this Jack Russell who managed to glue his mouth shut after chewing on an envelope. Toby ripped open the post when it arrived on the doormat one morning. And when owner Gill Bird returned to her home, she was stunned to find the dog was unable to open his mouth. After she realized she wouldn't be able to pry it open herself, she drove to Alver Vets in Stubbington, where he was sedated so the vet could clear the paper and open his mouth.

Gill, 41, from Megson Drive in Lee-on-the-Solent, said: 'Toby likes to attack the post. 'When we hear the letter box go we have to run and get to the post before he does. I came home with some fish and chips for lunch. I went to give him a chip and wondered why he wouldn't take it. He was drooling. I thought it was strange. All this paper was mashed around his teeth. It was absolutely stuck to it. I tried to stick my finger in his mouth but he couldn't open it.

'He had bubbles and saliva coming out of his mouth and he had a strange look on his face. It's just really bizarre. I can't help but laugh. He is the most fantastic dog. He's very lively. He's loved by everyone, he's so much fun.' Ian Wooding, a veterinary surgeon at Alver Vets, described it as a 'very unusual case'. 'I couldn't believe it until I saw it,' he said. 'His mouth was stuck together.

'He had chewed on an envelope and he chewed it up to the point where the paper and the glue had gone all sticky. We tried to scrape some of it out when he was conscious but he was quite worked up so we ended up sedating him. We had to pick away at it and get rid of all the paper so we could pry his jaw open again.' Toby, who turns six next week, is now well and is back at home.



Blind man survives flight hanging on plane's landing gear

A blind Romanian man survived an approximately 750-mile flight from Vienna to London Sunday by clinging on to the landing gear of a plane.

New Zealand preservationists unearth "time capsule" of long-lost US silent films

(Image: Clara Bow (left) and Ethel Shannon in 1923's "Maytime," directed by Louis J. Gasnier / courtesy National Film Preservation Foundation )

Some 75 American movies previously believed to have been lost forever, including a 1927 John Ford film, another by an early female director, and others dating back as far as 1898, have been uncovered in New Zealand.
The New Zealand Film Archive and the National Film Preservation Foundation will work to preserve the films over the next few years in partnership with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, George Eastman House, Library of Congress, Museum of Modern Art and UCLA Film and Television Archive.
Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox are also helping to restore titles from their libraries.

From Variety:
The NFPF called the collection "a time capsule of American film production in the 1910s and 1920s" and said that about 70% of the nitrate prints were complete. The pics were found in a remote storage vault held by the New Zealand Film Archive. The Ford pic is "Upstream," described as a backstage romance between an aspiring actor and a girl from a knife-throwing act. It was released in early 1927 by Fox. According to the NFPF, only about 15% of the helmer's silent films are believed to have survived. Also uncovered in the collection is a trailer for another lost Ford feature, 1929's "Strong Boy" starring Victor McLaglen.
Other titles in the collection include the 1923 Clara Bow feature "Maytime"; "Won in a Closet," directed by and starring Mabel Normand; plus numerous Westerns, shorts, docus and newsreels. There's even an industrial film about the making of Stetson hats.

Visiting the Great Trees of London One by One

richmond tree photo
Images from The Great Trees of London: Richmond Plane Tree
As a city, London is considered to be green and leafy, with lovely squares and parks filled with large and graceful trees. But the shocking truth is that there are only 56 great trees left in the larger area of London and only 10 in the central part.
A great tree is an old and statuesque one, exceptional for its height and size of trunk and age. And they are disappearing quickly. Time Out, along with Trees for Cities has put out a new little book that lists them all. An energetic and enlightening summer challenge would be to visit each one--on the Barclays Cycle Hire bicycles, as the new rental bike scheme is now being called...



Elephants versus Humans

AN increasing number of humans are being killed by wild elephants each year in Bangladesh – with many of the fatalities occurring because people settle in the animals’ migration corridors.
Bangladesh is home to only an estimated 227 wild Asian elephants, but up to 100 more migrate through the country each year, mostly through the north and northeast, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
As more people in Bangladesh, one of the world’s most densely populated nations, settle in the elephant corridor areas, they are more likely to be attacked by confused, angry pachyderms. [...]
“I’ve seen an elephant snatch a torch from a man with its trunk while we were driving away a herd, and throw the flame on a house, setting it on fire,” said Luise, 51.”

India to patent yoga postures

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has prepared patent formats of nearly 900 yoga asanas (postures), to prevent European and American companies involved in fitness-related activities from claiming them as their own. These asanas will all be included in the digitized Traditional Knowledge Library (TKDL), set up by the council to collect and record traditional treatment therapy knowledge. Medicines and yoga asanas registered with it enjoy the status of being patented.

"Video recordings of the asanas are also being made and recorded to prevent them from being stolen," said TKDL director Dr VK Gupta. The CSIR began the project in 2006. These 900 asanas have been collected from Patanjali's classic work on yoga, as well as other ancient classics like the Bhagwat Gita.

Gupta said a number of countries had already laid claim to around 250 of these postures. Some foreign companies have even patented some of them. Foreign companies have been selling some of the yoga postures as therapies to relieve stress or backaches. "How can someone else patent these asanas which are a part of our traditional treatment therapy knowledge? They should not be allowed to use them for commercial purposes," Dr Gupta said.

The CSIR's next step will be to move against the yoga patents already registered abroad. The United States patent office alone has issued around 3000 patents on yoga postures and their variations.

Chinese farmer declares war on property developers with homemade wheelbarrow cannon

A Chinese farmer is fighting off property developers who want his land, firing rockets from a homemade cannon made out of a wheelbarrow and pipes. Yang Youde, who lives on the outskirts of the bustling city of Wuhan, in central Hubei province, said he had fended off two eviction attempts with his improvised weapon, which uses ammunition made from locally sold fireworks.

"I shot only over their heads to frighten them," he told the China Daily of his attacks on demolition workers sent to move him off his land. "I didn't want to cause any injuries."

The rockets, which can travel over 100 yards, exploded with a deafening bang, the official paper added. It did not say if anyone had been injured. His approach is more aggressive than most, but Mr Yang's problem is a common one.

Anger over property confiscation is one of the leading causes of unrest in China, with many people forced to give up homes and land to make way for anything from roads to luxury villas.

Mr Yang said the local government had offered him 130,000 yuan (£13,000) for his fields, on which they want to erect "department buildings". He said the land is worth five times that amount.

Construction ditches have already been dug across the land of less obstinate neighbours. A first eviction team attacked Mr Yang in February after his rockets ran out, but local police came to his rescue. In May he held off 100 people by firing from a makeshift watchtower.

After Burning for 50 Years, Chinese Coal Fires May Finally Be Extinguished

coal seam fire china photo
Fire in Rujigou coalfield in China. Photo: Anupma Prakash
The Coal, The Coal is on Fire, Let the...
China has the worst underground coal fires on Earth. These fires, which have sometimes been raging out-of-control for decades, destroy as much as 20-200 million tons of coal each year (nobody knows the exact number), which is more than Germany's entire annual coal production. Inner Mongolia, which is a part of China and not to be confused with Mongolia, is China's biggest coal-producing region (637 million tonnes of coal just last year), and it's also #1 when it comes to massive coal fires. What can be done?

Broom Hilda


Cane Toads Ascending

Cane toad
One of the most destructive invasive species threatens wildlife outside of Australia.

Snakes Descending

Gaboon viper
Snakes may be declining across the world, according to a global study that found numbers falling steeply in the last two decades.

BP Could Go Bankrupt Over Gulf Spill

Photo via Autoblog Green
So far in its coverage of the BP Gulf spill, the media has made much of the fact that the company's daily profits are higher than its daily cleanup costs, and that after raking in $17 billion in profits last year alone, such costs are but a drop in the bucket. But that's changing fast -- and if a few other factors come to pass, it's possible that the Gulf spill will end up bankrupting the oil giant. Speculators are calling this possible outcome the "Texaco scenario." Here's how it would work.

Oil and Water

New dive footage captures unusual phenomena deep below the Gulf's surface.  

Non Sequitur


Man put on trial for murder for sixth time

Curtis Flowers has stood before five juries in the past 13 years on capital murder charges, accused of killing four people in a Mississippi furniture store.

This week, prosecutors are hoping his sixth trial will be the last. Flowers, 40, is believed to be the only person in recent US history to be tried six times on the same capital murder charges.

Flowers has been convicted three times and sentenced to death twice, but the Mississippi Supreme Court reversed those verdicts and ordered a new trial each time. His two most recent trials ended in hung juries, leading his supporters to question why the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office continues to seek a conviction.

The prosecution's case is based largely on circumstantial evidence. There is no DNA, the alleged murder weapon has not been found and eyewitnesses who say they saw Flowers the day of the shooting have provided conflicting accounts.

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
Mississippi repugican Congressional candidate Alan Nunnelee lies: Democratic policies are ‘more dangerous’ than 9/11 or Pearl Harbor.
Batshit crazy is no way to go through life, asshole.

Relig-o-nut Scott Lively stupidly claims that repealing "Don't Ask Don't Tell" will outrage Muslims and lead to more terrorism.
Nope, but the 'christians' seem to had problems dealing with reality.

Radio hate spewer Jim Quinn lies: Obama is "trying to destroy the country".
Wrong, that was the shrub and the cabal who tried and failed to do just that.

Bad Cops

Bad Cops