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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.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Just when you thought you were all done, at least for now, you're asked once again to go way above and beyond the call of duty.
It doesn't mean you have to trash your plans for tonight, though.
If you play your cards right -- as you so often do -- you're easily able to tend to both your professional and personal lives, and maybe even sneak in a long nap in the middle.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Paris, Ile De France, France
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Padova, Veneto, Italy
Roskilde, Roskilde, Denmark

as well as Ukraine, Nigeria and in cities across the United States such as Mio, San Luis Obispo, Elmhurst, Scottsville and more.

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, August 25, the 237th day of 2010.
There are 128 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Kiss and Make Up Day
and
National Second Hand Wardrobe Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

How the 33 Chile miners survived

The trapped men stretched two days of food for more than two weeks with extreme rationing.
Also: 

Non Sequitur

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Things you might be saying wrong

Whole Wide World

Wreckless Eric

Upping the cute factor

Tinkerbell taking a bath is upping the cute factor for us today. 
Oh, did I mention she's a rat.

56-year-old chimp gives birth at Manhattan zoo

Officials at the Sunset Zoo in Manhattan say a 56-year-old chimpanzee who gave birth might be the oldest chimp in captivity to have a baby. Sunset Zoo officials announced on Monday that the chimp, Suzie, gave birth to a female on Aug. 18.

Zoo officials say the mother and baby are in good health. The zoo's curator, Mark Ryan, says the zoo hasn't found an older chimpanzee at any zoo who's given birth in the United States.


Suzie is the third oldest chimpanzee among zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

Zoo director Scott Shoemaker said Suzie had been taken off birth control because of medical concerns and because zoo officials didn't think she would get pregnant at her age. The zoo is conducting a public competition to name the baby.

Micro Frog Found in Search for World's Lost Amphibians

Micro frog found in Borneo is one of the tiniest frogs in the world photo
Pea-Sized Frog is Old World's Smallest
The smallest frog known on the Asian, European or African continents - and one of the world's tiniest frogs - was found by a group of scientists searching for "lost amphibians." This pea-sized micro frog belongs to the species of microhylid, which, as the name suggests, is composed of miniature frogs under 15 millimeters. So why was it "lost"? And, excepting the "awww, cute!" factor, why is it important that this tiny frog has been found?

Rogue alligator sightings

From North Dakota to Indiana, alligators are showing up far from their true habitats.  
Also: 

Spiderman

 
The Ramones

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
These flapjack houses get creative with recipes, toppings, and fillings. 
Also:
 

Herman

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The New 'Normal'

As the jobless rate remains near 10 percent, some wonder if it's going to be a long-term fixture.  
Also: 

Besides adding 3.3 million jobs and boosting growth by 4.5%, what else did the stimulus do?

Maybe John Boehner could tell us more since he's criticizing the stimulus so much.

Washington Post:
President Obama's much-maligned economic stimulus package added as many as 3.3 million jobs to the economy during the second quarter of this year, and may have prevented the nation from lapsing back into recession, according to a report released Tuesday by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

In its latest quarterly assessment of the act, the CBO said the stimulus lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 and 1.8 percentage points during the quarter ending in June and increased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million. The higher figure would come close to making good on Obama's pledge that the act would save or create as many as 3.5 million jobs by the end of this year.

CNBC: tax cuts *do* add to deficit

Of course they do but who wants to get in the way of a good rant by the repugicans? As you can read inside the link, even many top repugican economic advisers going back to the Reagan years admit tax cuts add to the deficit. CNBC:
I was very encouraged to read an article last Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Voters Back Tough Steps to Reduce Budget Deficit.” What is discouraging is that some people, mostly repugican politicians, are trying to convince people that tax cuts do not contribute to the deficit. This is not only misinformation, it is dangerous misinformation.

The misinformers’ claim is that tax cuts pay for themselves and thus do not impact the deficit negatively. They claim that lower tax rates stimulate the economy and job growth so much that you wind up with more tax revenues at lower rates than you do at higher rates. While the shrub was telling the public that tax cuts pay for themselves, his 2003 Economic Report of the President, pages 57-58, told a very different story...
Yes, the repugican politicians are dangerous.

The truth be told

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UK austerity programs hit the poor the most

Surely no one thought the rich bankers who caused the financial meltdown would foot the bill, did they? Besides, poor families with kids are already too busy making ends meet to find time to voice their opposition and it's not as though they have the spare cash to throw at political parties to plead their case. If the repugicans ever steal another election we should expect to see a lot more out of them that will look much like this. Wall Street has been sending cash to the repugicans who are revving up their engines, preparing to throw more handouts and tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans.

So does anyone still like Nick Clegg? Somehow he makes Blair sound honest and sincere and that's no easy task.

The Guardian:
In a direct challenge to Treasury claims that the package of spending cuts and tax increases announced in June was fair, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said welfare cuts meant working families on the lowest incomes – particularly those with children – were the biggest losers.

The IFS said it had always been skeptical about Osborne's claim that the budget was "progressive" but added that this instant judgment had been reinforced by a study of proposed changes to housing benefit, disability allowances and tax credits due to come in between now and 2015.

Passing judgment that is likely to make uncomfortable reading for the Liberal Democrats, the IFS concluded: "Once all of the benefit cuts are considered, the tax and benefit changes announced in the emergency budget are clearly regressive as, on average, they hit the poorest households more than those in the upper middle of the income distribution in cash, let alone percentage, terms."

Ziggy

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An Irish Ghost Story

John Bradford, a Dublin University student, was on the side of the road hitchhiking on a very dark night and in the midst of a big storm.

The night was rolling on and no car went by. The storm was so strong he could hardly see a few feet ahead of him.

Suddenly, he saw a car slowly coming towards him and
stopped.

John, desperate for shelter and without thinking about it, got into the car and closed the door.... only to realize there was nobody behind the wheel and the engine wasn't on.

The car started moving slowly. John looked at the road ahead and saw a curve approaching. Scared, he started to pray, begging for his life. Then, just before the car hit the curve, a hand appeared out of nowhere through the window, and turned the wheel. John, paralyzed with terror, watched as the hand came through the window, but never touched or harmed him.


Shortly thereafter, John saw the lights of a pub appear down the road, so, gathering strength; he jumped out of the car and ran to it. Wet and out of breath, he rushed inside and started telling everybody about the horrible experience he had just had.

A silence enveloped the pub when everybody realized he was crying... and wasn't drunk.

Suddenly, the door opened, and two other people walked in from the dark and stormy night. They, like John , were also soaked and out of breath. Looking around, and seeing John Bradford sobbing at the bar, one said to the
other....

Look Paddy....there's that fecking eejit that got in the car while we were pushing it!!!!'

Swedish schoolgirls fined for bugging teachers' staff room

Two Stockholm schoolgirls have been taken to court for trying to bug their teachers during a grading conference. They were found out after one of them revealed all on Facebook.

The pair, who are in their mid-teens, came up with the idea after finding a key to the staff common room. They bought basic bugging equipment in a gadget shop, waited until the end of the school day, and planted the device in the staff room.

The girls, who attend a middle school in the capital, planned to listen in on a meeting the following day at which teachers would decide their grades. They were hoping to glean information that would enable them to get their grades improved.

The plan might have gone off without a hitch if one of the girls in her enthusiasm had not revealed all on Facebook. The girls were prosecuted for trespass and arbitrary conduct and fined 2,000 kronor ($270) each by Stockholm District Court.

'Fire Tornado' in Brazil

An extreme drought affecting the state of Sao Paulo, fires and strong dry winds caused a fire tornado in the Brazilian municipality of Aracatuba on Tuesday.

Drunk Briton tries to row from Minorca to Majorca in stolen dinghy

A British tourist was rescued after 24 hours adrift at sea following the apparently drunken man's failed attempt to sail in a stolen dinghy from Minorca to Majorca to see a friend. The tourist, who has not been named, drifted on the waves without food and water for a day after allegedly stealing the inflatable Zodiac outside a restaurant in the port of Ciutadella, in the west of the island, on Friday.

Josep Anglada, a local fisherman, spotted him eight miles out to sea the following day - sunbathing in a pair of shorts with a makeshift sail made out of an oar and a piece of cloth. He demanded to be left alone and said in broken Spanish that he was heading to Majorca, another 35 miles away, to visit a friend, the fisherman said. Nonetheless, the fisherman raised the alarm, and coast guards rescued the castaway Briton. Authorities said on Monday that changing winds could have sent the amateur sailor the wrong way.


"He was lucky he was spotted when he was," said a spokesman for the rescue service. "The winds were changing and, without food and water, he could have come to a very sticky end. The direction he was heading when we picked him up, he'd have missed Majorca and ended up somewhere on the Spanish mainland near to Barcelona. "But, of course, the winds change constantly and, more likely than not, he'd have drifted aimlessly around the Mediterranean."

A worker at the marine club in Ciutadella, who asked not to be named, said: "We've heard the man had a few too many drinks in the port at lunchtime, saw the mountains of Majorca across the water with the clear skies, and decided to take someone else's boat to get him there. He apparently rowed out of the port. The Zodiac has a small engine but we're not sure if he didn't know how to start it or simply ran out of petrol."

Natural Selection

Regardless to what the fundies want you to believe Natural Selection does work.