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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, October 6, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
An elder relative or authority figure who's had their eye on you for awhile now is just about ready to let you know how well you've done, especially based on stressful situations you've solved recently, with an ease they've found impressive.
Just don't ignore someone new and interesting who's due to come along basically as a 'bonus prize' from the heavens, to entirely take your mind off of this situation -- and any other situation that's even remotely unpleasant.

Some of our readers today have been in:
London, England, United Kingdom
Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Edithvale, Victoria, Australia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Swindon, England, United Kingdom
Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, Germany
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Uberlandia, Minas Gerias, Brazil

as well as Sweden, Spain, Bosnia & Herzegovina, China, Switzerland, Russia, France, Namibia, Kuwait and in cities across the United States such as Gaylord, Valdosta, Salt Lake City, Mountain View and more.

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, October 6, the 279th day of 2010.
There are 86 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Balloons Around The World Day
and
Mad Hatter Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Awesome Pictures

Seal The Deal

The president gets big laughs after his remarks are upstaged by a prop malfunction. 
Also: 

The Wisdom of Groucho Marx

Great Stuff!

Fear of the Day

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia- Fear of long words.

Non Sequitur

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Art riches revealed in apartment that was abandoned for 70 years

Opening that door must have been an amazing experience. Even more incredible is that a Parisian flat - in the 9th no less, not the 7th or 8th - was not burgled over that period of time.
Entering the untouched, cobweb-filled flat in Paris' 9th arrondissement, one expert said it was like stumbling into the castle of Sleeping Beauty, where time had stood still since 1900.

"There was a smell of old dust," said Olivier Choppin-Janvry, who made the discovery. Walking under high wooden ceilings, past an old wood stove and stone sink in the kitchen, he spotted a stuffed ostrich and a Mickey Mouse toy dating from before the war, as well as an exquisite dressing table.

But he said his heart missed a beat when he caught sight of a stunning tableau of a woman in a pink muslin evening dress.

The painting was by Boldini and the subject a beautiful Frenchwoman who turned out to be the artist's former muse and whose granddaughter it was who had left the flat uninhabited for more than half a century.

Disoriented superhero arrested


Police who responded to a report of a prowler at a motorhome in Washington state found a "superhero" inside.

Random Celebrity Photo

zenlavie:

ANN-MARGRET…
Ann-Margret

Grunting in Tennis Improves Your Game

Researchers have found that it may be advantageous for tennis players to grunt as they swing because the grunt may confuse opposing players about in which direction the ball is moving:
For those clips that included a grunt, respondents had a slower response and were less accurate about the location of the forthcoming shot. The authors, while concluding that future on-court study needs to be conducted, posit one possible explanation, that “the interfering auditory stimulus masks the sound of the ball being struck by the racket or it distracts an opponent’s attention away from the sound of the ball.”

Concussions in the NFL

More players are leaving the field with head injuries despite wearing new high-tech helmets.
Also: 

Shoe

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Large sinkhole at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Charlotte Motor Speedway is dealing with an unusual problem just 10 days before a big race.  
Also: 

Toxic Mud

Triggered by an industrial accident, a flood of sludge overwhelms a town in rural Hungary.  
Also: 

Burnin' Down The House

The crew members in Tennessee were following the rules when they stood by as a man's house burned.  
Also: 

Billionaire Bailout Card

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The truth be told

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Fafnir - a symbol of greed

In Norse mythology, Fáfnir (Old Norse and Icelandic) or Frænir was a son of the dwarf king Hreidmar and brother of Regin and Ótr. In the Volsunga saga, Fáfnir was a dwarf gifted with a powerful arm and fearless soul. He guarded his father's house of glittering gold and flashing gems. He was the strongest and most aggressive of the three brothers.

After Ótr was killed by Loki, Hreidmar received the cursed gold of Andvari's as repayment for the loss of his son. Fáfnir and Regin then killed their father to get the gold, but Fáfnir decided he wanted it all, turning into a dragon (symbol of greed). Regin then sent his foster-son, Sigurd, to kill the dragon. Sigurd succeeded by digging a pit under the trail Fáfnir used to walk to a stream and plunging his sword Gram into his heart as he walked past. Regin, however, corrupted by the curse on Andvari's gold, planned to kill Sigurd to take the treasure for himself, but Sigurd, having eaten part of Fáfnir's cooked heart, was warned by birds of Regin's attack and ended up killing him.
Illustration by Arthur Rackham, from Siegfried & The twilight of the gods, by Richard Wagner, London, 1911.  Source, via Old Book Illustrations Scrapbook Blog.

Ptolemy's locations in Germania identified

A group of classical philologists, mathematical historians and surveying experts at Berlin Technical University's Department for Geodesy and Geoinformation Science has produced an astonishing map of central Europe as it was 2,000 years ago.

The map shows that both the North and Baltic Seas were known as the "Germanic Ocean" and the Franconian Forest in northern Bavaria was "Sudeti Montes." The map indicates three "Saxons' islands" off the Frisian coast in northwestern Germany -- known today as Amrum, Föhr and Sylt...

This unusual map draws on information from the mathematician and astronomer Ptolemy, who, in 150 AD, embarked on a project to depict the entire known world. Living in Alexandria, in the shadow of its monumental lighthouse, the ancient scholar drew 26 maps in colored ink on dried animal skins -- a Google Earth of the ancient world, if you will...

Ptolemy demonstrated extensive knowledge of this remote area, indicating the locations of mountains, rivers and islands. An index lists 94 "poleis," or cities, noting their latitude and longitude accurately to within a few minutes...

Yet the data the ancient geographer used is distorted. Errors of scale crept in as he transcribed the Earth's sphere to the flat plane of a map. Ptolemy believed the northern lands to be narrower and more elongated than they are and bent Jutland in Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein in Germany too far to the east.

Ptolemy also failed to accurately connect the different parts of his map. Mistakes worked their way in despite his attempts to locate calibration points to tie together his patchwork of geographical information. The inevitable result was confusion.

Linguists and historians have tried repeatedly to decode the yellowed document -- in vain. Among researchers, it came to be known as an "enchanted castle," a mystery no one could crack. Access to Germany's prehistory was believed closed off forever...

The Berlin-based team pored over the recalcitrant data for six years, working together to develop a so-called "geodetic deformation analysis" that would help to correct the map's mistakes...

But the team of experts in Berlin had the great fortune to be able to refer to a parchment tracked down at Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, the former residence of the Ottoman sultans. The document, consisting of unbound sheepskin pages with writing in Roman capital letters, is the oldest edition of Ptolemy's work ever discovered. A reproduction of this version is due to be published next year...

The new map suggests that minor German towns such as Salzkotten or Lalendorf have existed for at least 2,000 years. "Treva," located at the confluence of the Elbe and Alster Rivers, was the precursor to Hamburg; Leipzig was known as "Aregelia."

All this offers up rather exciting prospects, since it makes half the cities in Germany suddenly 1,000 years older than previously believed... Archaeological interest in the map will likely be correspondingly large...
The rest of the story is at Der Spiegel.

Stonehenge Drew Prehistoric Tourists

Analysis of ancient remains found near Stonehenge suggest that prehistoric people traveled long distances to see the circle of stones.  

Oldest High-Altitude Settlements Discovered

http://news.discovery.com/archaeology/2010/10/01/new-guinea-278x225.jpgThe remains of fires, stone tools and food surface at six campsites dating back up to 49,000 years.

Neanderthals had feelings too

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Pioneering new research by archaeologists at the University of York suggests that Neanderthals belied their primitive reputation and had a deep seated sense of compassion.

Bricks made with wool

Spanish and Scottish researchers have added wool fibres to the clay material used to make bricks and combined these with an alginate, a natural polymer extracted from seaweed. The result is bricks that are stronger and more environmentally-friendly …

School is Full of Fax

Another edition of "kids say the darndest things" ...especially when they haven't studied for the test!
Q: Name the four seasons.
A: Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

Q: Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.
A: Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.

Q: How is dew formed?
A: The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.

Q: What is a planet?
A: A body of earth surrounded by sky.

Q: In a democratic society, how important are elections?
A: Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election.

Q: What are steroids?
A: Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs.

Q: What happens to your body as you age?
A: When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental.

Q: What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
A: He says good-bye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery.

Q: Name a major disease associated with cigarettes.
A: Premature death.

Q: How can you delay milk turning sour?
A: Keep it in the cow.

Q: How are the main parts of the body categorized? (E.g., abdomen.) A: The body is consisted into three parts -- the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels, A, E, I, O, and U.

Q: What is the Fibula?
A: A small lie.

Q: What does "varicose" mean?
A: Nearby.

Q: What is the most common form of birth control?
A: Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium.

Q: Give the meaning of the term "Caesarian Section."
A: The caesarian section is a district in Rome.

Q: What is a seizure?
A: A Roman emperor.

Q: What is a terminal illness?
A: When you are sick at the airport.

Q: Give an example of a fungus. What is a characteristic feature?
A: Mushrooms. They always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas.

Q: What does the word "benign" mean?
A: Benign is what you will be after you be eight.

Q: What is a turbine?
A: Something an Arab wears on his head.

Q: What is a Hindu?
A: It lays eggs.

Cops raid Montessori School greenhouse for pot, find tomatoes

New Mexico state cops swooped in for a daring raid on a Montessori School greenhouse, where they were growing tomatoes, not pot.
"We were all as a group eating outside as we usually do, and this unmarked drab-green helicopter kept flying over and dropping lower," she said. "Of course, the kids got all excited. They were telling me that they could see gun barrels outside the helicopter. I was telling them they were exaggerating." After 15 minutes, Pantano said, the helicopter left, then five minutes later a state police officer parked a van in the school's driveway. Pantano said she asked the officer what was happening, but he only would say he was there as a law-enforcement representative.
Then other vehicles arrived and four men wearing bullet-proof vests, but without any visible insignias or uniforms, got out and said they wanted to inspect the school's greenhouses. Pantano said she then turned the men over to the farm director, Greg Nussbaum.
"As we have nothing to hide, you know, they did the tour and they went in the greenhouses and they found it was tomato plants and so that was the story," she said.

Dumb Crooks

Dumb Crooks
Authorities said sleeping behind the wheel wasn't the only problem for a western Illinois man they caught napping at a gas station.

On The Job

On The Job
These hot professions combine new technology with some tried-and-true skills. 
Also: 

Seven ways to save big on car insurance

You might lower your premiums by $500 in one hour by making these smart moves. 
Also: 

Evening Chores

More than half of British women do not finish their domestic chores until 10.30pm, a new survey found. 

Can I Freeze That

Most fruits and vegetables can be stored for 8 to 12 months, but other items won't keep as long.
Also: 

Ziggy

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Six Weird Health Things That Are Actually Harmless

The next time you’re freaking out about your eye-lid twitching, remember this list from Health.com. It’s six “scary” symptoms that are actually harmless…
#1.) RED SKIN SPOTS. They’re little, round, and bright-red, and more common in people with light skin over the age of 40. But a lot of people get them. Technically they’re called “cherry angiomas” (–pronounced an-jee-OH-mahs).
They’re just old blood vessels that weren’t reabsorbed into your skin. If you can’t stand looking at them, they can be removed. But unless you find one that’s asymmetrical or starts getting bigger, you’re fine.

#2.) SKIN TAGS. They’re little rubbery bumps that you can actually pinch between your fingers. And it SEEMS like you should be able to pull them right off. But if you try, it hurts.
They’re usually flesh-toned, and most of the time, they’re found in spots where your skin rubs against something . . . like clothing or other skin.
A few common spots are under the arms, around the neck, and even on the EYELIDS. But they’re almost never cancerous, and a dermatologist can just snip them off if they’re bothering you.

#3.) HAND TREMORS. If your hands shake sometimes, don’t worry. It’s usually because you’re stressed out or your blood sugar is low . . . which just means you need to eat something.
Drinking too much coffee can do it too, but you don’t have to worry about Parkinson’s disease . . . unless the shaking ONLY happens on one side of your body.

#4.) EYE FLOATERS. These are just pieces of collagen inside your eyeball that clump together and cast shadows on your retina. They look like little dots or squiggly lines, and they’re annoying, but they’re nothing to worry about.
But go to the doctor if you’re also seeing flashes of light, or your vision is blurred. They’re both early warning signs of a detached retina.

#5.) TWITCHY EYES. It’s usually just a muscle spasm in your eyelid, which can be caused by stress, fatigue, excess caffeine, too much alcohol, or just staring at your computer for too long.
Eye twitches usually go away on their own, but if it really starts to bother you, use eye drops and a warm compress to help relax the muscles. And see a doctor if the twitching lasts more than a few weeks.

#6.) HEART PALPITATIONS. If you have shortness of breath at the same time, it COULD be a sign that something’s wrong with your heart.
But a lot of things can cause heart palpitations, including allergy medication, decongestants, antidepressants, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. And it’s usually not a big deal.

Loud workplaces may increase heart problems

What's bad for your ears may also be bad for your heart. According to a new study, people who work in noisy places for at least a year and a half could have triple the risk of a serious heart problem compared to those who work in quiet environments, a new study says.

A thirst for excitement is hidden in your genes

Sensation seeking—the urge to do exciting things—has been linked to dopamine, a chemical that carries messages in your brain. For a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, scientists analyzed genes in the dopamine system and found a group of mutations that help predict whether someone is inclined [...]

The Life

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Scientific Minds What To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know

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The first dinosaur-like creatures emerged up to nine million years earlier than previously thought.

Brightly coloured frogs, spiny ants and a katydid with pink eyes were among finds from the remote rainforests of Papua New Guinea's mountain ranges.

The Truth About Dinosaurs

What really killed the dinosaurs?
This funny animation uncovers the truth about why the dinosaurs became extinct.
Good Stuff

On a more serious note:
New fossil suggests dinosaurs not so fierce after all
A new species of dinosaur discovered in Arizona suggests dinosaurs did not spread throughout the world by overpowering other species, but by taking advantage of a natural catastrophe that wiped out their competitors.

Fight!

 

Sometimes it is simply play, at others it is in deadly earnest. Yet when animals fight there is something that draws us to watch despite the potential fatal outcome.

Perhaps it appears to something visceral and basic in our instincts - or perhaps we just like to watch a good old fashioned tooth and claw fight.

No Charges for Puppy Thrower

http://www.iinet.net.au/customers/news/images/full/8099941.jpgA Bosnian girl who gained worldwide notoriety after footage of her gleefully throwing puppies into a river was posted online has escaped punishment.

 



Police in her home town of Bugojno have said the girl, who is believed to be 12 years old, is too young to be prosecuted. They also claim the puppies were saved by an elderly woman who fished them out of the river, and was later photographed with them.

The 44-second video shows a blonde girl in a red jumper casually taking the squealing black-and-white puppies out of a white bucket and tossing them into the fast-moving river one by one. Animal rights group PETA has condemned the decision not to prosecute the girl.

"This is outrageous," the group was quoted as saying in German newspaper Bild.

"The puppies that the old woman was with were completely different ones to those thrown into the river in the video. The puppies would never have survived in the river. "


That's the bad news

When Cats Attack

Angry lions turn on tamer during circus act

A tourist's video has caught the moment two lions turned on their trainer in front of hundreds of spectators in a savage attack at an Ukrainian circus. The video, made by an American family visiting the town of Lviv in western Ukraine, shows one angered lion brushing past attempts by Oleksie Pinko, the trainer, to keep it at bay with a metal rod to bite him in the leg.

A second lion then joined in on the mauling, seizing the Mr Pinko's left arm in its jaws. As children in the audience, some of whom were just 10 feet away from the lions, screamed in terror, circus workers used high-pressure hoses and blows from metal bars in a desperate attempt to save Mr Pinko.


"I was just grabbing my daughter and trying to run because I thought they were going to get out," Masha Shepherd, the wife of Douglas Shepherd, the video maker, said. After a brief struggle the lions were driven off but they then attacked again knocking the trainer to the floor.

He eventually managed to escape, and was seen limping from the ring with blood dripping from his left arm. Mr Pinko later underwent emergency surgery in hospital, where his condition was described as "stable".

 

Tiger attack in India

At least six people have been injured by a tiger in India's northern Uttar Pradesh state after it strayed into a village in the Mathura district.

The locals living in the outskirts of Fatiha village, armed with batons, rushed to the spot to drive the beast away, but the tiger was elusive and remained hidden in the fields. The locals had been attacked when they went into the fields early in the morning.


"It injured four people at once. Then at 7 O'clock, it injured a child. After that it injured the child's father or his relative, who had gone to see the child. It is a fully grown tiger. Sometime back, it ran from one field to another," said Chetan Singh, a villager.

Forest officials rushed to the spot to try to capture the big cat. Many wild animals such as tigers, leopards and elephants have strayed in villages due to loss of habitat.