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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Whatever you have planned today is unlikely to turn out quite as you had hoped.
If you spend the free time that opens up planning for your future instead, you should be quite successful.
That's especially true when you consider one of your favorite subjects: money.
Get out the spreadsheet, pull up your budget and start rearranging those numbers.
When you look back on today, you should be quite pleased with all you've accomplished.
Some of our readers today have been in:
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Bad Homburg, Hessen, Germany
Milano, Lombardia, Italy
London, England, United Kingdom
Pris, Ile-De-France, France
Sion, Valais, Switzerland
Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
Hull End, England, United Kingdom
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Mulhouse, Alsace, France
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt
Kingston, Kingston, Jamaica
Prato, Toscana, Italy

as well as Finland, and the United States in such cities as Waterford, Chesapeake, Las Vegas, Shelbyville and more

Today is Tuesday, June 29, the 180th day of 2010.
There are 185 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
There is none.

Speaking of Mottoes

My Personal Motto is: Nunquam Verto
The Family Motto is: Lieber et Audax
The Clan Motto is: Noblis est Ira Leonis
Translated they all mean: "Don't Fuck with me/us!" 
( In a nice and courteous sorta way).
Seriously, though, you don't want to ...

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

 July 8 - 11, 2010
Why do bagpipe players walk while they play?
To get away from the noise.
Video of the Scots band Albannach at Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

The Gael

A view of the Scottish scenery taken from across Scotland.
Accompanied by tune 'The Gael' (better known as the Last of the Mohicans Theme).
Performed by The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

World Cup Soccer

With global criticism mounting, FIFA's Sepp Blatter changes course on instant replay.
One by one, the costars of a high-profile Nike ad are running into bad luck at the World Cup.  
A monitor mistakenly shows World Cup fans a play that officials clearly botched.  
Blond streaks and Mohawks are easy to spot among the offbeat styles of the World Cup. 
Dunga has not lost a game in this World Cup, but many skeptics criticize his coaching style.  
If police are right, a World Cup fan's visit to England's dressing room was an orchestrated hoax. 

Man swam for 14 hours in shark-infested waters to help friends

When Michael Williams swam for help after a fishing trip turned horribly wrong, he didn't know the swim would become a 14-hour struggle through shark-infested waters. But as the hours dragged on, the belief he could save the lives of his friends John Jarrett and Charlie Picton kept the now 41-year-old afloat.

The courage he showed when their vessel capsized 13km off the Byron Bay coast in February 2008 has seen him nominated for this year's Pride of Australia medal in the outstanding bravery category. "You go through so many stages when you're out there," Mr Williams said yesterday. "At first I was re-thinking the decision, but when I looked back I realised it was too late to stop and I had to keep going. I'd see the ripples and start to hallucinate about fins popping up out of the waves."

"Because I had cuts and was bleeding, I was worried that I was leaving a trail for them. Towards the end, there was a low tide going out. It was like hitting a brick wall and I really started to struggle."

Mr Williams made it to shore near Brunswick Heads but by the next morning when rescuers found the vessel, Mr Picton had drowned. "I still think of Charlie all the time, we'd been friends since school," Mr Williams said. "It was very, very hard on all of us." He has remained close to Mr Jarrett and and the pair are now writing a book.

Soldier gets 13 medals, 66 years late

A campaign by strangers helps an ex-POW finally receive the honors he was too modest to claim.

Man Builds 80 Foot Tall Treehouse for Grandchildren

A man's home is his castle, even if it's an eighty-foot high treehouse. For the last few years Linnie Woods has been building the treehouse for his grandchildren on his property in Carter County.

Two important Supreme Court cases were decided yesterday

(One - surprisingly they got right ... the second they predictably got wrong)

1. Supreme Court rules college doesn't have to recognize group that discriminates against gays
The Supreme Court says a law school can legally deny recognition to a Christian student group that won't let gays join.

The court on Monday turned away an appeal from the Christian Legal Society, which sued to get funding and recognition from the University of California's Hastings College of the Law.
2. U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Chicago gun law in key gun rights case
The U.S. Supreme Court today found that the constitutional right to bear arms applies to local and state efforts to regulate guns, a ruling that could place limits on some gun control laws across the country.

Krugman says we're heading for a Depression

And there you have it.

Paul Krugman:
The Third Depression

Recessions are common; depressions are rare. As far as I can tell, there were only two eras in economic history that were widely described as “depressions” at the time: the years of deflation and instability that followed the Panic of 1873 and the years of mass unemployment that followed the financial crisis of 1929-31.

We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost — to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs — will nonetheless be immense.

. . . I don’t think this is really about Greece, or indeed about any realistic appreciation of the tradeoffs between deficits and jobs. It is, instead, the victory of an orthodoxy that has little to do with rational analysis, whose main tenet is that imposing suffering on other people is how you show leadership in tough times.

And who will pay the price for this triumph of orthodoxy? The answer is, tens of millions of unemployed workers, many of whom will go jobless for years, and some of whom will never work again.
Also note that all of the Depressions have been the direct result of repugicans trying to run things.

Herbs you can grow on a windowsill

Five common herbs require little work and add flavor to countless dishes.  

Wildflowers Along NC Roadways To Be Used For Fuel

We had it right back in the 60s! Flower power!
North Carolina's Department of Transportation will begin planting wildflowers along roadways Tuesday, and the vegetation isn't just for decoration. Researchers plan to eventually convert the flowers into biodiesel.
The project is part of a pilot program with North Carolina State University. Researchers are working to determine whether the roadside plots are feasible for producing biofuel crops.
Workers plan to plant the gardens along roadways in Raleigh and Faison on Tuesday, Mount Airy on Wednesday and Rutherford County on Thursday. Officials started the program last year by planting sunflowers and say it's possible to generate about 40 gallons of biodiesel from each acre of sunflower.

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know
Blobs of magma rippling beneath the Earth's surface have a dramatic effect on land. 
Pterosaurs (SPL)
Several prehistoric creatures developed elaborate body traits in order to attract members of the opposite sex, a study says.

Finless porpoises, a rare type of toothed whale living in China, may be even more endangered than previously thought.
THE BIG PICTURE Click to reveal

Cause of mysterious low-pitched hum

If you think the vuvuzelas at the World Cup are annoying, some people hear a constant drone all the time.

The Mystery of the Skeleton Lake

The glacial lake of Roop kund, Himalayas.
The glacial lake of Roop kund, Himalayas.
Tucked into the remote corners of the Himalayas at an altitude of 5,029 meters (16500 feet) ASL in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Roopkund holds a mystery that has intrigued generations of myth busters. Better known as ‘The Skeleton Lake’ ever since a park ranger came across a mass grave containing around 300-600 skeletons. Following this awesome discovery of 1942, the skeleton abode of Roopkund has generated a phenomenal sensation.

Norwegian Wood

The Beatles (very rare footage from 1966)

On The Job

On The Job
Many young job-hunters have what recruiters want, but their resum├ęs and cover letters don't show it.  
Big employers and affordable living make Houston a great place for recent grads to launch a career.

New way to avoid those long waits on hold

A free service calls you back when a customer service agent finally picks up.  

All about rewards

With a healthy score, you can save a bundle on rent, car insurance, and credit cards.  
Learn which cards deserve a place in your wallet and which benefit the credit card companies. 

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid
There are worrisome signals that the recovery is sputtering and the recession lingers on.

Things you should never buy new

Many goods still have plenty of life left in them even years after their original purchase.  

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
Try this Asian-inspired dish for a quick and delicious vegetarian meal.
Raw chicken is good refrigerated for two days while beef is good for up to five.
Double-sized salmon may be the first gene-engineered animal that people would eat.  
It's easy to make healthy, delicious meals this summer without heating up the kitchen.  

Airline food under fire

When hasn't it been?
Meals for many passengers are being prepared in unsanitary conditions, a report finds. 

Silly Putty ingredient found in McNuggets

A recent CNN investigation found that the same chemicals found in Silly Putty can be found in McNuggets:
mcnuggy.pngAmerican McNuggets (190 calories, 12 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat for 4 pieces) contain the chemical preservative tBHQ, tertiary butylhydroquinone, a petroleum-based product. They also contain dimethylpolysiloxane, "an anti-foaming agent" also used in Silly Putty.

 Funny thing is that you won't find the chemical in McNuggets sold in England - Why is that?

Broom Hilda

Broom Hilda

Woman had 14-year-old son drive car because she was too drunk to drive

A 37-year-old woman was accused of putting her 14-year-old behind the wheel because she was too drunk to drive.

Inside a high-end doomsday shelter

Designed like a luxury cruise ship, this secret bunker will offer a hospital and a movie theater.  

Mexican singer Sergio Vega 'El Shaka' murdered hours after denying death

A Mexican singer - famous for his songs about the lives of drug barons - has been shot dead just hours after he denied reports of his murder. Sergio Vega, known as 'El Shaka', was shot in his red Cadillac while driving through Sinaloa state on his way to perform in a concert. The 40-year-old singer recently told a website he had increased security measures after a number of Mexican Grupero - country music - singers were killed.

The Mexican media has reported that unidentified men, traveling in a truck behind El Shaka's Cadillac, shot at the car. When Vega lost control of the vehicle and crashed, the gunmen then "finished Mr Vega off" by shooting him in the chest and head, according to his passenger. Just hours before the shooting, Mr Vega spoke to La Oreja website to deny rumors he had been murdered.

"It's happened to me for years now, someone tells a radio station or a newspaper I've been killed, or suffered an accident," Mr Vega said. "And then I have to call my dear mum, who has heart trouble, to reassure her." Musicians who sing narcocorridos, music which celebrates life as part of the drug industry, are often in danger as they risk being killed by rival gangs.

Several have been killed over the last three years, with Sergio Gomez, the singer of popular Grupero band K-Paz De La Sierra, kidnapped after a concert in 2007 and later found strangled. In a country where the drug trafficking generates around $50bn a year, cultural associations with the industry are common. Mexico even has an unofficial patron saint of drug dealers, a man called Jesus Malverde, who was killed by police in 1909 for reportedly robbing the rich to give to the poor.

Pellet pistol robber scared off by shop worker's real gun

A pistol packing Pizza Pipeline employee discouraged a would-be thief from robbing his store on Wednesday night. Spokane Police say the suspect entered the Pizza Pipeline at 1724 W. Wellesley armed with a pellet gun and wearing a green mask.

What the burglar didn't know is that one of the employees behind the counter happens to have a concealed pistol licence and was carrying his gun during this particular shift.

When the suspect showed his pellet gun and demanded money, the employee pulled out his pistol and told the suspect to drop his weapon. Police say the startled suspect bolted out the door at the sight of the armed employee. Police found parts of the suspect's busted pellet gun in the store's parking lot.

Responding officers set up a perimeter around the store and brought in a K-9 in an attempt to catch the suspect, but the search produced no results.

Odd Pictures

Yep, just about seen it all now.

London cops enforce imaginary law against brave, principled teenaged photographer

Two police officers stopped a teen-aged freelance photographer from taking pictures of police cadets marching in an Armed Forces Day in London. The officers claimed (incorrectly) that it was against the law to photograph minors without parental consent. Then they pushed him down a set of stairs and detained him. The photographer recorded the incident, including the officers claiming that they didn't need any law to detain him.

Jules Mattsson, the 16-year-old photographer, is very, very good in this recording. He knows his rights, he admirably keeps his cool as two lawless goons with badges harass him and detain him. Kids like this give me hope for the future of the human race. On the other hand, cops who invent imaginary laws and demand that the public abide by them -- after the Association of Police Chiefs has made it abundantly clear that the police must not harass amateur and professional photographers.
"I was quickly and aggressively stopped by one of their adult officers asking me who I worked for," he wrote on his blog. "I responded that I was a freelance and upon being told I needed parental permission to photograph them, I explained this was a public event in a public place and that I didn't for editorial use."
The audio recording begins minutes later with an officer initially arguing that it is illegal to take photographs of children. He then claims that it is illegal to take images of army members and police officers.
Under laws that guarantee the freedom of press in Britain, there is no restriction on photography of children, police or armed forces in a public space. There is new legislation to protect the identities of some police officers but only those working undercover or in instances where an officer genuinely believes a photographer is collecting data for terrorist purposes.

Bad Cops

Bad Cops

And I Quote

Truth is incontrovertible, ignorance can deride it, panic may resent it, malice may destroy it, but there it is.

~ Winston Churchill

Good Question


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

Faux's Glenn Beck lies: race relations went astray "in the lead up to the Civil War," "before then we were moving on the right track".
Nurse, where's that Thorazine! This deranged imbecile is into full onset dementia!

Steve King (reptile-Iowa) sarcastically asks about the president's birth certificate on the floor of the House.
Small willfully ignorant minds are not a desirable trait - they go against Nature.

Faux's Glenn Beck defends McCarthy's legacy with show devoted to red-baiting.
Nurse! That Thorazine! NOW! STAT!

Pamela Geller, blogger with Tea Party ties, salivates over coming civil war in America.
Another card carrying member of the stupid bitch club.


Religo-nuts Vanadlize Billboard

Vandals spray-paint two new words on an atheist group's sign quoting the original Pledge of Allegiance. 

China to drop production of chopsticks in environment bid

China plans to curb the production of its traditional eating utensils, chopsticks, in a bid to protect the environment, the country's Ministry of Commerce said on Wednesday.

Milk - It Does Your Lawn Good

If you want thick and beautiful lawn, don’t reach for the fertilizer – go to the fridge and get some milk instead!
David Wetzel, a former steel executive, told a conference of farmers in Linn that when he started a second career as a dairy farmer in 2002, he doused parts of his 320-acre farm with skim milk, which was a byproduct of his farm’s specialty butters and cheeses.
He soon discovered that his cattle preferred those fields. He called in an expert to figure out what was going on, and the result was a bit staggering: His milk-fed land yielded 1,100 more pounds of grass per acre than untreated land. [...]
Wetzel said he began making butters and cheeses that required only the fats from the milk that his cows produced, which left behind large quantities of skim milk as a waste product. To dispose of it, he would drive up and down a portion of his pasture with milk pouring out of a tank. He dumped up to 600 gallons of skim milk on the field every other day.
"I came from a background that has nothing to do with farming," Wetzel said. "So I don’t know the do’s and don’ts. I don’t have any relatives that would say, ‘You can’t do that.’ So I just kind of did what felt right."
One day, he noticed that his cows favored that patch of field. The grass felt more supple and looked healthier and more dense in that area.

Move over fruit, meat-flavored vokdas moving in

Prepare your palate for carnivorous cocktails.

The Alaska Distillery in Wasilla just recently launched its Smoked Salmon Flavored Vodka, about a year after the Seattle-based Black Rock Spirits introduced a bacon-flavored vodka.

Also: Bacon ice cream with a hint of maple - Weird. But in a good way.



Scam stole millions, pennies at a time

A credit card scam defrauded consumers by charging very small amounts.  

Suspected secret agents arrested in U.S.

The 10 alleged Russian spies are thought to have been on "deep cover" assignments for years.  

Woman Says IRS Agent Tried to Strip Her

A woman claim an IRS agent actually tried to take the shirt off her back. She claims IRS agent Ricardo Rio drove her to a Starbucks to discuss "an alleged discrepancy in her tax return," and that as they entered a stairwell in the parking garage, "Rios pinned plaintiff against the wall and tried to rip plaintiff's clothes off."

Parvinder Kaur seeks damages from Rios and the IRS. She is represented in Federal Court by Paul Nathan of San Francisco.

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health
Chemo can age the body up to 10 years, but working out can fight the effects.  
It’s getting increasingly common to hear studies advise one thing, and then later recommend the opposite.