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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.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Someone who either stood you up or outright left you in the lurch has decided to pop back into your life, asking for a second shot at the title.
You may be a bit tongue-tied, which is odd, but don't worry about it.
It's the universe's way of insisting that you think before you smile, hug them and ask them to come back for good.
Be smart -- as smart as you are when it comes to business.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Catania, Sicilia, Italy
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Edithvale, Victoria Australia
London, England, United Kingdom
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Gelsenkirchen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Sofia, Sofiya, Bulgaria
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Preston, Victoria, Australia

as well as Argentina, Scotland, Wales, Ukraine, China, Guadeloupe, Bahrain, South Africa and in cities across the United States such as Milaca, Albany, Durham, Yakima and more.

Today is:
Today is Sunday, October 24, the 297th day of 2010.
There are 68 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
There isn't one.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

On brightening dim stars

What's the reason light from distant objects is more visible when not looking directly at them?  
Also: 

A helping hand

The popular English author frequently flubbed her grammar and spelling, new research discovers.  
Also: 

Boredom Defined

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The very definition of boredom

U.S. open-water swimmer dies during race

Fran Crippen, a member of the U.S. national swim team, dies in warm waters south of Dubai.  
Also: 

Refs face punishment for charitable act

High school refs in one state donated paychecks and used pink whistles to help fight breast cancer. 

Top Ten Weirdest Ex-Olympic Sports

OK, if you say so ...

Wizard of Id

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Seven cold and food myths debunked

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7 cold and food myths debunked

Culinary Delites

Cool recipes to make with Halloween candy
Cool recipes to make with Halloween candy
Making our own Halloween candy sounds daunting, but cooking with candy sounds pretty awesome. Peppermint Patty brownies, Sweet Tart shakes, and Twix cheesecake pie seem like good reasons to put some time in the kitchen.

A nonfat way to spice up your tater: yogurt, scallions, salt, and curry powder.  
Also: 

Banana Machine

The food industry is tackling the challenge of delivering fresh produce — from a machine. 
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Murphy Laws For Frequent Flyers

 
1. No flight ever leaves on time unless you are running late and need the delay to make the flight.
2. If you are running late for a flight, it will depart from the farthest gate within the terminal.
3. If you arrive very early for a flight, it inevitably will be delayed.
4. Flights never leave from Gate #1 at any terminal in the world.
5. If you must work on your flight, you will experience turbulence as soon as you touch pen to paper.
6. If you are assigned a middle seat, you can determine who has the seats on the aisle and the window while you are still in the boarding area. Just look for the two largest passengers.
7. Only passengers seated in window seats ever have to get up to go to the lavatory.
8. The crying baby on board your flight is always seated next to you.
9. The best-looking woman on your flight is never seated next to you.
10. The less carry-on luggage space available on an aircraft, the more carry-on luggage passengers will bring aboard.

Why they leaked info

Julian Assange says an ongoing "attack on the truth" made it vital to release the secret documents  
Also: 

'King of Heroin'

The man accused of being Mexico's alleged "King of Heroin" has pleaded not guilty in California to a drug smuggling charge.

The most frightening jobs in America

The scariest professions put workers in close contact with infectious diseases, insects, and explosives.  
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Real-life haunted, historic houses

A New England inn and a New York museum are among the places where ghosts are seen. 
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Police question roadside 'ghost'

A motorist called police after being spooked by an apparent ghost on Thursday along a Brevard County roadway.
Authorities with the Titusville Police Department said a man covered in a sheet was walking along state Road 405 at about 8:45 a.m.


Three officers surrounded the man and asked about his appearance.

Investigators said the man explained that he didn't want to get sunburned and was allowed to continue his walk.

B.C.

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US Air Force Academy: We are ready for The Witches (The Gays, not so much)

Noah Shachtman reports on changes at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where Evangelical Christianity was once so dominant that 55 complaints were filed in 4 years alleging discrimination against non-Christians. But...
Today, the Academy is boasting of its thriving pagan community -- and its friendliness towards spell-casters. In a press release issued Thursday, the Academy features Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier (pictured), "the lay leader for the Academy's Earth-Centered Spirituality community, which includes Wiccans and Pagans from various traditions." (It's part of a larger effort by the school to promote an image of tolerance.)
During an inter-faith discussion group, the release notes, one cadet asked Longcrier "whether Wiccans or Pagans practiced 'black magic.'"
Sergeant Longcrier responded by citing the Wiccan credo, or Rede: "An it harm none, do what ye will." That would seem to preclude harmful spellcraft. However, the Rede "would not apply to a battlefield," according to the Academy release.
For more on the new, pagan-friendly Air Force, and how earth magick can heal you from "pizza poisoning," go read Noah's piece with the best headline of the week: "Air Force Academy Now Welcomes Spell-Casters."

Muslims Wearing Things

The Tumblr blog Muslims Wearing Things was launched as a reaction to former NPR analyst Juan Willams saying he gets nervous when he sees people in Muslim garb on planes. Looking through the pictures of the things Muslims wear, I was reminded of a neat bit of casting I knew about but had forgotten.
Prince Abdullah (now King Abdullah II) of Jordan, wearing a Starfleet uniform in a 1996 episode of Star Trek: Voyager.
Then there’s reality.
US Army Specialist and Muslim Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan wore camouflage, up until the day he was killed in combat in Iraq, fighting for his country.

A wingnut's worst nightmare

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From the Pot calling the Kettle black department

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And here's the reaction that the majority of us have to this 'news'

Council leader who made Nazi salute in Adolf Hitler outfit suspended

The leader of Harrogate Borough Council has been suspended from the Conservative Party after being photographed dressed as Adolf Hitler. Mike Gardner, who was pictured giving a Nazi salute at a fancy dress party, said he had done "nothing wrong". He has vowed to remain as leader of the Conservative-controlled council, serving as an independent.

Conservative Party headquarters said he had been suspended pending an investigation into his conduct. Asked why he had chosen to wear the Nazi-style uniform, Mr Gardner said: "It's one of those situations, you had to be there. There was nothing wrong, it was just good fun. I was at a fancy dress party, it was nothing more."


He said the Conservative Party's decision to suspend him had been "very improper". The images were taken from a Facebook page, which Mr Gardner said was a "total violation of my privacy". He said: "I am a councillor who represents the people, politics is not my thing, serving the people is my game.

"I am disgusted about what the Conservatives have decided to do. I serve the people of Harrogate and serve them very well actually. If I have gone wrong I will apologise now to the people of Harrogate, if I have offended them in any way."
***
Further proof that wingnuts are the same everywhere.

Shoe

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America's Oldest & Michigan's First Net Zero Energy Home

photo americas oldest michigans first net zero home ann arbor
The home this week, fitted with solar panels.  
All photos via Matt Grocoff/Greenovation TV
If you want a super, energy-efficient home, you have to build new, right? Not necessarily. A 110-year-old Victorian home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is being touted as America's oldest net-zero energy house, and the first of its kind in the state.

Article continues: America's Oldest & Michigan's First Net Zero Energy Home (Photos)

Now this is a real woody


This wooden car apparently rides on a 1986 Toyota truck frame and gets power from a Chrysler 318 engine. It is driven by an automatic transmission and has just 1,800 miles on its odometer. The whole body is made of cedar and its interior is just as cool as the exterior.

The Giant Norias Of Hama

 
The Norias of Hama in Syria have been turning for hundreds of years. There are still seventeen of these enormous waterwheels in the city.

At the time that Dante was writing The Inferno, the minds of Islamic engineers turned in this ancient city to a problem which still affects us today - how to provide a burgeoning population and the associated agricultural areas with enough waters. Their solution was and remains magnificent.

Too Funny

In Cthulhu we trust - all others must pay cash
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Five Places Where Land is Free

Some communities need residents. Some need jobs. Some need development. In order to get those things, a few communities will give you free land! These small communities want you to build a house and make yourself at home.
Several small cities in rural Kansas will give you a land lot if you agree to fashion housing of at least 1,000 square feet on it. Mobile homes are welcome, and we’ll be sure to wave as yours flies by in the next tornado. If one lot isn’t large enough and you’d like to garden, the city of Marquette, Kansas  would be pleased as punch to just give you a second lot adjacent to the first, also for free, says its website. These are developed lots, by the way — they already have water, sewer and electricity.
There are opportunities in Nebraska, Iowa, Maine, and Michigan as well.

Fairytale Destinations

 
Is it a dream or is it for real? These places will make you wonder whether you step into the land of magic and fantasy or still firmly stand on the ground. With unearthly nature, unreal landscapes or fairy tale architecture, these destinations will take you far away from your humdrum reality.

The Bizarre Beach of Gulpiyuri


Gulpiyuri beach is near Llanes in Spain. It’s a stunning place to build memories, as pictures don’t do it justice. And there’s one thing very different about it.
Gulpiyuri’s name isn’t its only bizarre facet: this beach is found completely inland, in a gorgeous little cove which looks like something out of a fantasy. I kept expecting to see Christopher Atkins and Brooke Shields  rolling around on the sand, making out. The Cantabrian Sea bored through the earth to create this sandy spot, and though you can’t see the ocean, its waves to lap the shore just like any beach — it’s odd, like a magical wave pool.

Nine of the Strangest Vacations

If a relaxing week at the beach is boring after all these years, there are ways to have the trip that takes the idea of “vacation” to an extreme you’ll never forget! How about a naked vacation? Or one centered around ghosts, or mermaids, or even a vacation in a war zone? They can be arranged, as travel agencies cater to those with an offbeat sense of adventure. There are even vacations to the moon!
Space Adventures provides the opportunity for you to blast off in a Soyuz spacecraft for a circumlunar mission. During the seven-day space flight, which reaches top speeds of 17,000 mph, you’ll see stars, the illuminated far side of the moon, and the Earth from 250,000 miles away. Candidates must train for four months alongside Russian cosmonauts at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. Two seats are available for $100 million each.
Now that’s a way to fund a space program!

Non Sequitur

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The wolf's howl

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'Aw blah es span yol'

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Man, 73, rides lawnmower to spring dog from kennel

An elderly Hydro man landed in jail after springing his prized pooch from the town kennel.

O Sole Mio-whistling parrot at the center of bitter custody battle between ex-owner and council

A man is embroiled in a bitter custody row with a council over an Italian-speaking parrot who can whistle O Sole Mio. Coco the African Grey is a favorite at the council's Pet's Corner facility but Angelo Ferlazzo claims the bird belongs to him and he wants him back. Mr Ferlazzo, 50, said he bought the parrot from a pet shop in Harlow, Essex, in 1984 and spent months training him to make him tame.

He even taught his feathered friend to chatter in Italian and whistle O Sole Mio, made famous by the Wall's Cornetto ice cream ads in the 1980s. But when his marriage broke down a few years later, he moved back to his native Italy briefly he decided not to take Coco due to the quarantine laws. So he left the pet with his former partner to care for and believed the bird was still living happily with her.


However, back in Britain four years ago he visited Pets Corner in Harlow Town Park with new partner Karen Wright and discovered Coco was the main attraction. He said the parrot's distinctive rendition of O Sole Mio shed any doubts from his mind and brought tears to his eyes. Mr Ferlazzo said: "I taught him to say everything - I used to spend a lot of time with him.

"We just want to be reunited together - that bird should be with a family." But despite his pleas to Harlow Council to hand over the bird, even offering to replace him with another legally-sourced African Grey, they have refused. Council officials said that after nine years at Pets' Corner, a move would distress Coco unnecessarily.

Chupacabras are Just Coyotes with Mange

Chupacabras are legendary creatures said to roam North America at night. They’ve been occasionally sighted, but never definitively proven real. Some researchers now think that they’re actually just coyotes with severe cases of mange. Barry O’Connor of the University of Michigan explained:
[...] the mite responsible for the extreme hair loss seen in “chupacabras syndrome” is Sarcoptes scabiei, which also causes the itchy rash known as scabies in people. Human scabies is an annoyance, but not usually a serious health or appearance problem, partly because our bodies are already virtually hairless and partly because the population of mites on a given person usually is relatively small—only 20 or 30 mites.
Humans have likely evolved natural defenses for this mite over the years. When we began to domesticate dogs, we likely spread the mites to them. When the mites then transfer to wild dogs, such as foxes, wolves and coyotes, the victims appear to be less able to fight them off.[...]
In these unfortunate animals, large numbers of mites burrowing under the skin cause inflammation, which results in thickening of the skin. Blood supply to hair follicles is cut off, so the fur falls out. In especially bad cases, the animal’s weakened condition opens the door to bacteria that cause secondary skin infections, sometimes producing a foul odor. Put it all together, and you’ve got an ugly, naked, leathery, smelly monstrosity: the chupacabras.

Ten Hilarious Looking Owls

Suspicious package contained kittens

A scare in Brevard County over a suspicious package in Cocoa - turns out to be not so scary.

A worker arriving to the Social Security Administration office found a duct-taped package outside the front doors on at about 8 a.m. on Friday. A portion of the road, Canaveral Groves Boulevard near U.S. 1., where the office is located, was shut down during the incident.


The bomb squad was called out to the scene to X-ray the package. When they opened the box, two kittens were found inside. The package was about the size of a shoe box. Officials reopened the road at about 9:45 a.m.

Officials said the person who left the kittens, could face animal cruelty charges because there was just a couple small holes in the box. There was no information on what will happen with the kittens.

There's a news video here.