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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.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Put the phone down -- you don't need emergency psychological care, and you're not going to give anyone the impression that you do just because they spot a tear in your eye for the first time.
It's okay -- whether it's nostalgia (a likely cause) or frustration, you have every right to let your feelings show.
Just because you have the right, that doesn't mean you're comfortable with it -- but at least try it out.
Some of our readers today have been in:
Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Montpellier, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Steyr, Oberosterreich, Austria
Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Florence, Toscana, Italy
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
London, England, United Kingdom
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan
Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Vitoria, Pais Vasco, Spain
Oldenbirg, Niedersachsen, Germany
New Delhi, Delhi, India
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt
Rio De Janeiro, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Jeddah, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Monchengladbach, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

as well as Scotland, Norway, Poland, Afghanistan, and the United States in such cities as East Longmeadow, Red Bluff, Largo, Henniker and more

Today is Saturday, July 3, the 184th day of 2010.
There are 181 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebration are:
Compliment Your Mirror Day
Stay Out Of The Sun Day

The month of July is:
Blueberries Month
National Grilling Month
National Ice Cream Month
National Hot Dog Month
National Share A Sunset With Your Lover Month

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Weekly Address
Washington, DC
This week, I spent some time in Racine, Wisconsin, talking with folks who are doing their best to cope with the aftermath of a brutal recession.
And while I was there, a young woman asked me a question I hear all the time: “What are we doing as a nation to bring jobs back to this country?”
Well, on Friday, we learned that after 22 straight months of job loss, our economy has now created jobs in the private sector for 6 months in a row.  That’s a positive sign.  But the truth is, the recession from which we’re emerging has left us in a hole that’s about 8 million jobs deep.  And as I’ve said from the day I took office, it’s going to take months, even years, to dig our way out – and it’s going to require an all-hands-on-deck effort.
In the short term, we’re fighting to speed up this recovery and keep the economy growing by all means possible.  That means extending unemployment insurance for workers who lost their job.  That means getting small businesses the loans they need to keep their doors open and hire new workers.  And that means sending relief to states so they don’t have to lay off thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers.
Still, at a time when millions of Americans feel a deep sense of urgency in their own lives, Republican leaders in Washington just don’t get it.  While a majority of Senators support taking these steps to help the American people, some are playing the same old Washington games and using their power to hold this relief hostage – a move that only ends up holding back our recovery.  It doesn’t make sense.
But I promised those folks in Wisconsin – and I promise all of you – that we won’t back down.  We’re going to keep fighting to advance our recovery.  And we’re going to keep competing aggressively to make sure the jobs and industries of the future are taking root right here in America.
That’s one of the reasons why we’re accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy and doubling our use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power – steps that have the potential to create whole new industries and hundreds of thousands of new jobs in America.
In fact, today, I’m announcing that the Department of Energy is awarding nearly $2 billion in conditional commitments to two solar companies.
The first is Abengoa Solar, a company that has agreed to build one of the largest solar plants in the world right here in the United States.  After years of watching companies build things and create jobs overseas, it’s good news that we’ve attracted a company to our shores to build a plant and create jobs right here in America.  In the short term, construction will create approximately 1,600 jobs in Arizona.  What’s more, over 70 percent of the components and products used in construction will be manufactured in the USA, boosting jobs and communities in states up and down the supply chain.  Once completed, this plant will be the first large-scale solar plant in the U.S. to actually store the energy it generates for later use – even at night.  And it will generate enough clean, renewable energy to power 70,000 homes.
The second company is Abound Solar Manufacturing, which will manufacture advanced solar panels at two new plants, creating more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.  A Colorado plant is already underway, and an Indiana plant will be built in what’s now an empty Chrysler factory.  When fully operational, these plants will produce millions of state-of-the-art solar panels each year.
These are just two of the many clean energy investments in the Recovery Act.  Already, I’ve seen the payoff from these investments.  I’ve seen once-shuttered factories humming with new workers who are building solar panels and wind turbines; rolling up their sleeves to help America win the race for the clean energy economy.
So that’s some of what we’re doing.  But the truth is, steps like these won’t replace all the jobs we’ve lost overnight.  I know folks are struggling.  I know this Fourth of July weekend finds many Americans wishing things were a bit easier right now.  I do too.
But what this weekend reminds us, more than any other, is that we are a nation that has always risen to the challenges before it. We are a nation that, 234 years ago, declared our independence from one of the greatest empires the world had ever known.  We are a nation that mustered a sense of common purpose to overcome Depression and fear itself.  We are a nation that embraced a call to greatness and saved the world from tyranny.  That is who we are – a nation that turns times of trial into times of triumph – and I know America will write our own destiny once more.
I wish every American a safe and happy Fourth of July.  And to all our troops serving in harm’s way, I want you to know you have the support of a grateful nation and a proud Commander-in-Chief.  Thank you, God Bless You, and God Bless the United States of America.

In The Woods

Since the next post deals with real life 'fairy tale' castles, why not start off with the young maiden in the woods motif?!

Planet Earth

Planet Earth
Construction of this chateau began with workmen using only 13th-century tools and materials.  

Why Americans call it 'soccer'

Brits who deride us for misnaming the sport might be surprised to learn where the U.S. term came from.  
Frenchman Thierry Henry's arrival in New York will be heralded as a step forward for U.S. soccer.  

World Cup Soccer

Members of Paraguay's World Cup squad bring a unique drink with them wherever they go.  
Brazil's Felipe Melo scores a goal for the other team, but the blunders don't stop there.  
The Japanese player whose missed kick cost his team a World Cup game has an unlikely honor in store.
The former South African president reaches out to Ghana's Asamoah Gyan after his stunning miss.  
Uruguay advances after a defender makes a huge — and illegal — save in the final seconds.
Neither doctors nor wonder drugs fixed an ailing Lionel Messi on the eve of a World Cup showdown.  
The rock star hurts another team's chances by simply showing up to its game, a writer jokes.  

Ironic slip in Declaration of Independence

Thomas Jefferson used a word England might have liked in an early draft of the document. 

Tution Suit

Dana Soderberg sued her father for $47,000 after he reneged on a promise to pay her tuition.

Police search for mischievous leprechaun

Boulder Police are looking for a Leprechaun who caused mischief and mayhem in a King Soopers parking lot.

They received calls from people about a man dressed as a leprechaun outside the store at 30th St. and Arapahoe Ave. at about 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

Boulder Police Sgt. Fred Gerhardt said they responded because the caller said the leprechaun was jumping in and out from between cars, pretending to shoot at people with his fingers. The report also said on top of that, he may have made obscene gestures with his fingers.

"I think that's why they called us," Gerhardt says. "He was acting bizarre." But officers didn't find anyone matching the suspect's description. Boulder Police had not ever received a complaint about a leprechaun before this,Gerhardt said.

Vote for America's Best Restroom

It’s time once again to cast your vote for America’s Best Restroom! 
Will it be the toilets at Bryant Park in New York City, the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, or maybe the Santa Monica Pier in California? 
Ten finalists are going for the title. 
You can take a virtual tour of each convenience facility and rank your picks accordingly. 
Pictured is last year’s winner, the The Shoji Tabuchi Theater in Branson, Missouri.

Going to California

Led Zeppelin  (from the 1977 Destroyer Bootleg album- recorded in Cleveland)

Spent my days with a woman unkind,
Smoked my stuff and drank all my  wine.
Made up my mind to make a new start,
Going to california  with an aching in my heart.
Someone told me theres a girl out there
With  love in her eyes and flowers in her hair.
Took my chances on a big  jet plane,
Never let them tell you that theyre all the same.
The  sea was red and the sky was grey,
Wondered how tomorrow could ever  follow today.
The mountains and the canyons started to tremble and  shake
As the children of the sun began to awake.

Seems that the  wrath of the gods
Got a punch on the nose and it started to flow;
I  think I might be sinking.
Throw me a line if I reach it in time
Ill  meet you up there where the path
Runs straight and high.

To find a  queen without a king;
They say she plays guitar and cries and sings.
La  la la la
Ride a white mare in the footsteps of dawn
Tryin to find  a woman whos never, never, never been born.
Standing on a hill in my  mountain of dreams,
Telling myself its not as hard, hard, hard as it  seems.

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know
The atmosphere is definitely healing, but the resulting climate change may have an unwanted effect. 

Scientists employ the latest imaging techniques to look inside a python that had just swallowed a rat whole.
Scientists discover a common trait in humans and whales that explains why both groups have grandmothers.

Dust blown from the Bodélé depression in Chad provides natural fertiliser for the Amazon and the Atlantic
'Leviathan' ate other whales
A monstrous ancient whale that fed on dolphins, sharks, seals and even other whales has been discovered in Peru.

Dubbed the "leviathan", the 17m beast was around the same size as a sperm whale, but was far more aggressive, British journal Nature reported.

The 12-million-year-old leviathan would have been able to feed on prey up to 8m long, according to Paris Natural History Museum director Christian de Muizon.

"It was a kind of a sea monster," he said.

Digging Starts On Buried Stone Circle That Is Ten Times Bigger Than Stonehenge

Archaeologists have begun a major dig to unearth the hidden mysteries of a buried ancient stone circle site that is ten times bigger than Stonehenge. The enormous 4,000 year old Marden Henge, in Wiltshire, is Britain's largest prehistoric structure stretching for 10.5 hectares.

English Heritage is carrying out a six-week dig hoping to reveal the secrets behind the giant henge which has baffled historians for centuries. Most of the Neolithic Marden Henge has been destroyed over the years due to farming and erosion but minor excavations estimate the site to between 2,000 and 2,400BC.
Fossils Push Back Dawn Of Life By 1.5 Billion Years

Up to now, conventional scientific wisdom held that the planet was populated only by single-celled microbes until the so-called Cambrian explosion, a major surge of biodiversity that began some 600 million years ago. Scientists have unveiled fossils from west Africa that push back the dawn of multicellular life on Earth by at least 1.5 billion years.

Just how complex the newly discovered organisms are is sure to be hotly debated. But there can be no doubt that the creatures unearthed from the hills of Gabon, visible to the naked eye, have upended standard evolutionary timelines.
After the Tsunami in 2004 some strange fish washed ashore:
(the video has German titles)

Ugaritic cracked in hours

The lost language of Ugaritic was last spoken 3,500 years ago. 
It survives on just a few tablets, and linguists could only translate it with years of hard work and plenty of luck. 
A computer deciphered it in hours.

Image of the Only Nuke Ever Detonated in Space

This is a recently-declassified US government photo of a hydrogen bomb detonating in space. The test, called Starfish Prime, set off the nuke 250 miles above the Earth’s surface. NPR explains that the US did so see if the Van Allen radiation belts around the Earth had military uses:
The plan was to send rockets hundreds of miles up, higher than the Earth’s atmosphere, and then detonate nuclear weapons to see: a) If a bomb’s radiation would make it harder to see what was up there (like incoming Russian missiles!); b) If an explosion would do any damage to objects nearby; c) If the Van Allen belts would move a blast down the bands to an earthly target (Moscow! for example); and — most peculiar — d) if a man-made explosion might “alter” the natural shape of the belts.

Livingstone Deciphered

Researchers can finally read David Livingstone's words of despair nearly 140 years after he wrote them.

Saber-toothed Cats Wrestled Prey with Powerful Arms

Saber-toothed cats might be most famous for their oversized fangs, but scientists now find the feisty felines had another exceptional feature — powerful arms stronger than those of any cat alive today.

Commonly known as the "saber-toothed tiger," the extinct cat Smilodon fatalis roamed the Americas until roughly 10,000 years ago, preying on "megafauna" — large animals such as mammoths, bison, camels and mastodons.

Interesting In General

Interesting In General
Transparent Animals

Rumor has it that Japanese scientists photographed the skeletons of small animals through their flesh and then dyed the results with vibrant colors. The result is a set of quite lovely pictures.

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health
Starting in middle age, women who have sleep problems may add more pounds, researchers say.  
Which is more important in a diet: The types of food you eat, or overall calorie intake? 

World's most affordable retirement haven

One expert calls out this beautiful colonial city in Latin America for its ultra-low cost of living.  

Things They Won't Tell You

Things They Won't Tell You
If you think your dog or cat is just extra fluffy or big-boned, you may be ignoring a serious health issue.
10 tips 

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
This low-calorie fruit's shell color and weight help you assess its ripeness.
What's Inside Worcestershire Sauce?

Though Worcestershire sauce was originally developed in India by the English, it takes its name from the fact that it was first bottled in Worcester, England, by two dispensing chemists, John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins. It's a thin, dark, rather piquant sauce used to season meats, gravies, soups and vegetable juices, and as a table condiment.

You may know about the garlic, onions, anchovies, and vinegar but what else is inside Worcestershire sauce?

Clog Your Arteries No Matter What State You Live In

Health.com tracked down an obscenely fatty restaurant meal in each of the 50 states. Some of the choices are eclectic and inspired, such as the pictured Quadruple Bypass Burger at the aptly named Heart Attack Grill near Phoenix.
Others are more phoned in, such as In-N-Out's Double Double, which is the selection from California. Has Health never heard of In-N-Out's 4x4?
Peruse the list and see what sort of heart attack-inducing dining experience is near you.
The 50 Fattiest Foods in the States [Health]

Bohemian Rhapsody


As The World Turns

As The World Turns
Mexico nabs gang leader in US consulate killing
A drug gang leader says he ordered the killing of a U.S. consulate worker because she gave visas to a rival gang in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, federal police said Friday.

21 Dead After Shootout Near Border in Mexico
A shootout near the U.S.-Mexico border between rival groups with ties to organized crime left 21 people dead Thursday, Mexican police officials said.

The State Of The Nation

The State Of The Nation
Bypassing big cities, many newcomers from abroad are settling in these areas instead.  

Why Alleged Russia Spy Vicky Pelaez Was Granted Bail

The El Diario newspaper columnist accused of collaborating with a ring of Russian spies was granted bail in a Manhattan federal courthouse yesterday evening.

Spy suspect's ex: 'I'm not surprised'

Anna Chapman's ex-husband says she was devoted to her KGB-connected dad. 



It's Only The Environment After All

It's Only The Environment After All
Desperate steps are taken to prevent millions of migrating birds from nesting in oil.  
It's Not Like We Don't Have Another One

Nation Building

Ben Sargent

On The Job

On The Job
U.S. job market not growing fast enough
A second straight month of lacklustre hiring by businesses in the United States is sapping strength from the economic rebound.
As many as half of Americans who've lost their jobs will need to find new lines of work.  

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid
It may be a big danger for the fragile U.S. recovery, but few people know what it means.
Despite boosting sales in the recession, Rite Aid has racked up billions of dollars in losses. 
Many customers are getting notices about the "potential embarrassment" of overdrafts.