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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.


Monday, December 6, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Try not to isolate yourself from the folks who make you feel uncomfortable or who challenge you today.
By surrounding yourself with only people who think and act just like you, you may be missing out on some valuable experiences.
Clashing ideas are educational ideas -- they either teach you something new, or teach you a new way of defending your own position.
Don't be afraid of the choices you've made in your life.
Ask questions and learn how to live and let live.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Petaling, Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Padova, Veneto, Italy
London, England, United Kingdom
Tallinn, Harjumaa, Estonia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Daganzo De Arriba, Madrid, Spain
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan

as well as Mexico, Serbia, Bangladesh, Latvia, Greece, Scotland, Hong Kong, Denmark, Wales, Singapore, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan Croatia, Pakistan, Romania, Finland, Korea,  Argentina, Vietnam, Egypt, Russia, Indonesia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates and in cities across the United States such as Alameda, Victoria, Atlanta, Chicago and more.

Today is:
Today is Monday, December 6, the 340th day of 2010.
There are 25 days left in the year.


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

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama Visits NC Today

President Obama Visits Triad Today
A Wake Forest University political communication's professor said he believes the visit to Forsyth Technical Community College is meant to appeal to North Carolina's cross-section of voters.

Christmas Tree Placement

Feng Shui advice: Where Do I Place My Christmas Tree?
xmas tree The ideal location for a Christmas tree is in either the Wealth, Fame or Family area of your home because these are supported by Wood and Fire. The Wealth area is the room in the upper left hand corner of your home, or the upper left hand corner of any room. The Fame area is located at the back of your home across from your front door. Triangular shapes displayed in these areas enhance finances, abundance, and prosperity. The Family area is on the left hand side of your home.
But sometimes, these locations aren't practical. So…
  • If you locate your tree in your Career area, decorate with blue lights and decorations, “icicle” decorations, and a blue/black patterned tree skirt to help bring water energy into balance.
  • If your tree is located in either the Children or Helpful People areas, use metal ornaments, tinsel, white lights, and a silver or gold accented tree skirt.
  • If your tree is in either the Love or the Knowledge areas use lots of ceramic ornaments, yellow and red lights, and red skirt. Skip the tinsel and white lights here, since you don't need more metal.
  • If your tree in the Grounding area of your home, chose a yellow or gold tree skirt and a bright yellow star or angel with golden hair at the top of the tree.
The Christmas tree shown here is incorrectly located in the Failure area of the home.

Hotwicks Candles

Hotwicks Candles come in a variety of great scents. What about a candle with the scent of pizza? Or beer, coffee, pumpkin, pigskin, fresh bread, and even urinal cake?

Say No to drugs, say Yes to candles that smell like drugs! Yes, the Hippie Candle smells like pot, but it won't get you high and it is legal. This is a great gift for your favorite stoner, college student, or one of those wookie looking dudes that wanders around concert parking lots selling bean burritos and hemp necklaces.

Can't Buy Me Love


The Beatles
The frolicking in the field sequence from the film A Hard Day's Night.

Bad Cops

http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/100/police2ns1.gif 
Michigan deputy gets 7-15 years for sexual assault of a female relative and two additional years for committing a felony with a firearm

California sheriff's deputy convicted in killing gets life in prison without parole

Indiana deputy arrested for battery of a child

Texas deputy constable arrested on suspicion of delivering steroids

Pennsylvania cop is charged with assaulting his girlfriend

Massachusetts cop is charged with assault and battery

Arizona detention officer accused of assaulting inmates out on bond

Mosque gets a restraining order against jihadist, turns out he was an FBI spy

Oops.

The undercover FBI informant - a convicted forger named Craig Monteilh - then drove off for 5 a.m. prayers at the Islamic Center of Irvine, where he says he spied on dozens of worshipers in a quest for potential terrorists.

Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, the FBI has used informants successfully as one of many tactics to prevent another strike in the United States. Agency officials say they are careful not to violate civil liberties and do not target Muslims.

But the FBI's approach has come under fire from some Muslims, criticism that surfaced again late last month after agents arrested an Oregon man they said tried to detonate a bomb at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony. FBI technicians had supplied the device.

In the Irvine case, Monteilh's mission as an informant backfired. Muslims were so alarmed by his talk of violent jihad that they obtained a restraining order against him.


A Fundie’s Worst Nightmare

I saw this article about a gay abortion doctor in Canada: A young abortion doctor's dilemma.

That got me thinking.
Describe the worst possible person from the perspective of a fundamentalist christian.
This person, by all normal standards would be a fine upstanding person, but the fundies would hate him.

Here's what I came up with:
A gay Hispanic abortion doctor who's an atheist and teaches evolution on the side. This person never served in the military, doesn't own a gun, and makes a lot of money -- but wouldn't object to having his taxes increased. He voted for Obama, supports national health care, and at the end of the year wishes people a "happy holiday." And he buys beer on Sunday.

The Economy has been found

http://bitsandpieces.us/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/imagesThe_Economy.jpg

Telling it like it is

Ending unemployment benefits for many millions of out of work Americans while there are no jobs to be had is not just mean, it's colossally stupid. It's a hell of a kick in the head for an already battered and beaten economy, and it will trigger desperation for many, crimes and suicides and freezing to death for some.

Blocking the expiration of the rather aggressively bonkers and budget-busting shrub-era tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, and instead extending those tax cuts into perpetuity, is another colossal stupidity. Worries about the deficit are a bit overwrought, but math is math.

It's absolutely impossible to ever make the numbers add up so long as the rich are given an almost free ride, in economic rickshaws pulled by the poor and middle classes.
http://d.yimg.com/a/p/uc/20101204/largeimageta101203.gif

Dirty secret of credit scores

You could pay much more on credit cards and loans if your score is off by one point.  
Also: 

Ziggy

http://d.yimg.com/a/p/uc/20101206/largeimagezi101206.gif

Today's definition of rich

Unfortunately, being worth a million dollars no longer puts you in the ranks of the wealthy.  
Also: 

    Eight ways to fix your resumé

    Experts say turn your resumé upside down and think of it as a letter.
    Also: 

      Snowman 1 - Little Boy 0

      http://4gifs.com/gallery/d/73203-4/Snowman_punch_miss.gif

      Tooth Decay to Be a Thing of the Past?

      Enzyme Responsible for Dental Plaque Sticking to Teeth Deciphered

      The Groningen professors Bauke Dijkstra and Lubbert Dijkhuizen have deciphered the structure and functional mechanism of the glucansucrase enzyme that is responsible for dental plaque sticking to teeth. This knowledge will stimulate the identification of substances that inhibit the enzyme. Just add that substance to toothpaste, or even sweets, and caries will be a thing of the past.
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2010/12/101203101341-large.jpg

      Foods with cult followings

      Legions of fans await the time these beloved items are for sale again.  
      Also: 

        Bacon Drink Tablets

        If you drop one of these magic tablets into a glass of water it will instantly begin to dissolve, creating a cascade of bubbles that will infuse the water with a delicious bacon flavor. These Effervescent Drink Tablets work just as well in milk, juice or soda.

        Salt: The Only Mineral We Eat

         

        Salt. We use it almost everyday without even thinking about it, sprinkling it on fries, eggs, adding a pinch here an there to whatever we find to be a little bland. It is nearly ubiquitious and totally unrearkable. However, salt is a substance with both a rich history and a deep hidden beauty.

        Beyond its gustatory and historical influence, salt has another important property: it can be absolutly beautiful. Occupying huge parts of our earth - both above and below ground - salt forms and creates some of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet.

        Halcyon Days

        http://j-walk.com/images/SundayCaptionContest_ED96/ladywithcake.jpg
        Or should that be Halcyon Daze

        Prison Orange

        Question: When did prisoners start dressing in orange?
        Pretty recently. Back in the 19th century, prisoners commonly wore black-and-white stripes. Prisons started abandoning this design in the early 20th century, citing its association with chain gangs.
        For a while, more demure colors were in vogue. New York state abolished prison stripes in 1904, switching to jackets and caps made of gray cloth. North Carolina kept the stripes until 1958, when it replaced them with a color system based on custody levels: Gray uniforms for high-security prisoners, brown for medium-, and green for low-.
        It wasn't until the 1970s or so that jails started putting some prisoners in orange uniforms—but usually only in special detention situations (like in a temporary facility) or in transit. In California, for example, prisoners must wear orange or red when they're being transported.
        stripes2

        Woman found dead in Peruvian prison cell

        Police have raided a prison in Lima, Peru after a woman's body was found in the cell of a Dutch inmate. Video provided by the police department showed scores of armed officers spreading out across the roof the San Juan de Lurigancho prison and searching cells in bathrooms in the notoriously lawless penitentiary.


        Officers searched cells, bathrooms and shook down inmates, later showing off a cache of knives, machetes, cell phones and other objects they confiscated from the prison. Local news websites report that drugs and weapons enter the prison freely and government officials pledged another 150 officers to get the prison under control.

        Peru's Interior Minister Miguel Hidalgo said the idea was to improve security. "What we have is the presence of two government ministers. The justice minister and the interior minister are involved in the issue. They are involved in the administration of the prisons and we are involved in issues of security. We are here with the police to implement, improve and reinforce security," Hidalgo said.



        The raid was touched off by the discovery of the body of 22-year-old Leslie Paredes, found in the cell of her boyfriend, 32-year-old Dutch inmate Jason Sanford Staling Conquet. Local news outlets reported Staling Conquet, who is doing time for drug trafficking, fought with Paredes in October when she wanted to end the relationship. She went missing until her body was discovered Monday in the Dutch inmate's cell.

        Senior Chinese politburo member ordered Google hacking

        No surprise there, but still interesting to see how America's close business partner treats the US.
        The hacking of Google that forced the search engine to withdraw from mainland China was orchestrated by a senior member of the communist politburo, according to classified information sent by US diplomats to Hillary Clinton's state department in Washington.

        The leading politician became hostile to Google after he searched his own name and found articles criticizing him personally, leaked cables from the US embassy in Beijing say.

        That single act prompted a politically inspired assault on Google, forcing it to "walk away from a potential market of 400 million internet users" in January this year, amid a highly publicized row about internet censorship.

        He ain't right

        http://bitsandpieces.us/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/imagesfunny-face_small.jpg

        Destroying California 'bomb factory'

        The largest stash of amateur explosives in U.S. history leaves officials with only one option.  
        Also: 

        Real Estate up for grabs

        Ted Kaczynski's former property offers a chance to own a piece of "infamous U.S. history."  
        Also: 
        The Corleone Family Mansion Is for Sale

        For a year and a half, the Norton family’s home on Staten Island was used to shoot scenes for the movie The Godfather. It has eight bedrooms, a pub, and an asking price of $2.9 million. The gates featured in the film, however, were put up by the production crew and were never a regular part of the house. You can view a video of the house at the link.

        Lofoten


        Be honest -does this picture of green hills look like it belongs in the Arctic Circle? This is a view of an island in the archipelago known as Lofoten, a part of Norway north of the Arctic Circle. Lofoten experiences the biggest temperature anomaly in the world, thanks to the Gulf Stream that blows in from the southwest. Fish take advantage of the mild temperatures to spawn and the human inhabitants take advantage of the spawning fish. Tourists also enjoy outdoor sports during the time of the midnight sun.

        Awesome Pictures

        http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lcoo84Jyqq1qbiku5o1_500.jpg

        Magnificent Motorcycles


        Cool, fascinating, unusual and utterly weird designs for motorcycles that have appeared for over the last century or so.
        Take a look at the wild and wonderful world of motorcycles.

        Winter

        An Extraordinary Fiberglass Sculpture By Philip Haas
         

        Visitors to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC have been perplexed and astonished by the latest addition there.

        To celebrate an exhibition of the works of sixteenth century artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo - and certainly in homage to the bizarre nature of the Renaissance artist, American artist Philip Haas has created Winter, a 15 feet high fibreglass scultpure.

        Glassblowing: The art of fire

        http://knol.google.com/k/-/-/2bjxt5jcl6pab/gcdh3b/glass-blowing1.jpg
        An art form emerged from an accident over 3500 years ago to become what we know as glassblowing.

        A 3-Barrel Pole Cannon Fired after 500 Years


        The folks at Springfield Arsenal in Lorton, Virginia acquired a 16th Century cannon that would be fitted onto the end of a pole. It has three barrels. Presumably the musket nipple on the side of each barrel would be slapped against a hard surface, causing the gun to fire. At 2:55, they fire it with 75 grains of black power and a .69-caliber musket ball in each barrel.

        Everybody knows one ...

        http://img.ffffound.com/static-data/assets/6/9afd26483bf89e21efa7ad294cadf31e20c8f97b_m.jpg
        Lost Luggage

        Take That, Apple! Mozilla Adopts Baby Firefoxes

        photo firefox cubs mozilla red panda 
        Screenshot from Mozilla FirefoxLive
        Marketing loves wildlife. Consider products like Apple's Safari browser, and the Snow Leopard operating system. There was a call last year for Apple to help save real-life snow leopards. Mozilla, makers of the Firefox browser, must have been listening, because they've adopted real-life firefoxes. There's such a thing? Yeh, and there's even a live stream.

        New Camera Offers 360° Panoramic View in 3D


        The Electrical Engineering Institute at the École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne, Switzerland, has developed a camera that can see 3D images in all directions. The design is based on insect eyes, which are hemispherical and contain many individual photoreceptors. Potential applications include gaming, media production, and robot navigation systems.

        Bungled Russian rocket launch

        A bungled rocket launch that sent three satellites crashing into the sea trips up a big race against the U.S.
        Also: 

        Paper Airplane Released From Space Flutters Back To Earth

        British amateur space buffs have launched a paper airplane from space. The plane, which was made from paper straws and had a 3-foot wingspan, was carried as high as 90,000 feet before the helium balloon that carried it finally popped, releasing the plane to glide elegantly back to Earth.

        The British team (Steve Daniels, John Oates and Lester Haines) that designed it equipped the plane with a camera, and it took some stunning first-person video as it fluttered back to Earth. Although it's a bit dizzying in parts, one segment of the flight can be viewed in a video on the site.

        Glasses for the Myopic Cyclops

        http://img.ffffound.com/static-data/assets/6/1a118f2d1917b6abe384518ec4943e63913fe355_m.jpg
        Glasses for the Myopic Cyclops

        Green Roofs Are Changing Architecture

        bjarke ingels big green roof school denmark image roof
        Images credit BIG
        Green roofs continue to change architecture, as architects blend buildings into the landscape and use the roofs as architectural elements, often to hide the building from view. The Vilhelmsro school in Denmark "focuses on nature and sustainability" so Bjarke Ingels of BIG designed it out of sloping landscaped bands that are integrated into the hillside.
        Article continues: Green Roofs Are Changing Architecture: BIG's New School In Denmark

        Forty Tons of Life in One Acre of Soil

        organic soil life photo
        Image credit: Permaculture Science
        Whether learning that I am only 10% human, 90% bacteria, or musing on the concept of composting as animal husbandry, my life has taken a decidedly microbial turn of late. And not without good reason. As the video below argues in no uncertain terms, we owe our very existence to the tiniest of beings around. You'll be astounded at quite how many there are under your feet—assuming you are standing on some healthy soil, that is.
        Article continues: 40 Tons of Life in One Acre of Soil: Geoff Lawton on the Magic of Soil (Video)

        Philosoraptor Says

        http://bitsandpieces.us/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/imageswrongs-and-rights.jpg

        Rainforest Demise Spurred Reptile Evolution

        rainforest
        Global warming 300,000,000 years ago was a boon for reptiles.
        Rainforest Demise Spurred Reptile Evolution

        Five Little Known Prehistoric Monsters

        terror bird 

        The modern world has a wide selection of carnivorous predatory animals, from the fearsome polar bear to the savage stoat, but these are relatively insignificant when measured against the monster meat-eaters of millions of years ago. In an age where size and savagery ruled, only the strongest and most ruthless survived. T-Rex is one that everyone can instantly recall, but there were other cruel carnivores, like the terror birds pictured above, that deserve to be remembered. We can all think of having seen those evil-looking, birdlike pterodactyls in movies about the age of dinosaurs, but they were only one of many species.

        1. Azhdarchids
          azdarchnids 

        Among them was the truly monstrous beast thought to have been the largest flying creatures ever to exist on earth. With wingspans of 40 to 50 ft, the Azhdarchids were pterosaurs as big as some modern aircraft, with incredibly lop-sided bodies. Hugely long legs, beaks and necks adorned unusually small torsos with wings that were, surprisingly, proportionately short. It is thought that they were not able to hunt in flight, but needed to land and scrabble awkwardly for anything that they could swallow whole. Since one of these terrifying monsters stood as much as 20ft tall, it is easy to imagine that man might well have been a prey animal for them, had they lived alongside each other.

        2. Gorgonopsids 
        gorgonopsis 

        Before dinosaurs ruled the earth, in what is referred to as the late Permian period, there was one species that ruled the roost as a predator. Some may recognize the creature as that which terrorized the cast of TV series ‘Primeval’. Gorgonopsids could be as much as 18 to 20ft long, with powerful jaws and razor-sharp, sabre-like teeth which could easily rip prey apart. Some species even had a double row of these, especially useful for hanging lethally on to prey which at times could be as big and heavy as the rhinoceroses of today. These terrible hunters are thought to have been fast and agile, and could conceivably have had fur hides, because they and mammals were fairly closely related.

        3. Purussaurus

        purussaurusbw   

        One of the most horrifying of sights is the close-up of a crocodile in action, powerful jaws clamping onto some hapless animal before dragging it into the watery depths. Something like 8 million years ago now, the region we know as the rainforests of South America were actually a gigantic inland sea, populated to overflowing with enormous creatures such as turtles, rodents, crocodiles and freshwater whales. Among all of these huge and terrifying creatures was a monstrous crocodilian predator called ‘Purussaurus’. It was the undisputed ruler of this environment, a crocodile somewhere between 40 and 50 ft in length, with appropriately large jaws. Remains of prey creatures bitten cleanly in two have been discovered, lending further weight to the idea that this was the largest monster of its type ever to have existed. A truly terrifying top predator that ought never to be forgotten.

        4. Entelodon
        entelodon 
        When you think about the wild boar, you think about a creature that exudes naked savagery and has absolutely no fear. Pigs today are mainly vegetarian, for which humanity should be grateful, but in prehistoric times this was not the case. The Entelodon was an early porcine beast that existed solely on a meat diet, and as a carnivore was truly ferocious. It also looked the part, being as tall at the shoulder as any human, and equipped with savage teeth set into the gigantically powerful jaws of a massive head. Part of the hunting strategy employed by this fearsome looking monster was quite literally frightening other predators away from their meals, though it is thought that the beast was more than capable of capturing live prey if required. Evidence suggests that these awful creatures also fought a great deal amongst themselves, and were quite happy to eat one another if prey was scarce. They were not at all pretty, but 9 million years of existence prove just how effective these horrid creatures were.

        5. Spinosaurus
          spinosaurus 
        Photo: Bogdanov

        If you imagined that the biggest and scariest prehistoric monster must have been the Tyrannosaurus Rex, think again. Recent paleontological discoveries have revealed that Even T-Rex would have run from the granddaddy of all predatory dinosaurs, the ‘Spinosaurus’. Fossil evidence proves that this majestic and murderous monster would have been between 50 and 60ft long, weighing in at ten tones or more and carrying a sail fin on its back taller than the average human. The long shape of the jaws gives rise to speculation that the creature spent a lot of time in water, eating anything that it came across, ranging from fish to dinosaurs. On land it was probably as quick as the T-Rex but far more deadly. Even though this awesome beast is less well known, Spinosaurus is thought to have been the largest dinosaur ever to hunt prey on the surface of the planet.

        B.C.

        http://d.yimg.com/a/p/uc/20101206/largeimagecrbc101206.gif

        Dog math

        Calculator_dogA farmer is wondering how many sheep he has in his field, so he asks his sheepdog to count them. The dog runs into the field, counts them, and then runs back to his master.
        “So,” says the farmer. “How many sheep were there?”
        “40,” replies the dog.
        “How can there be 40?” exclaims the farmer. “I only bought 38!”
        “I know,” says the dog. “But I rounded them up.”

        Gorilla Baby Tops 2010 Cutest Animals

        gorilla
        These babies aren't just cute; they're also the best hope of keeping endangered populations from dwindling.

        Unicorn cow becomes tourist attraction

        Farmer Jia Kebing noticed a small bump on this cow's forehead when it was born two years ago but didn't expect it to grow into a 20cm (8in) horn.


        'My farm is famous in this region for this cow and people come in here just to see it,' said Mr Jia from Baoding in nothern China's Hebei province.

        Super-Tiny Chameleon Photographed in Madagascar

        tiny chameleon photo  
        In nature, some of the most incredible species come in the tinniest packages. While traveling in Madagascar recently, wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas happened upon this teensy-weensy Brookesia Chameleon walking along the forest floor. Believe it or not, the lizard he found is actually a full-grown adult, measuring about an inch in length -- making it one of the smallest reptiles on the planet.

        Drunk elephants go on deadly rampage

        http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_f98opUNuVXc/TPvWUup4evI/AAAAAAAAUUo/eYDI2TgfE-4/s400/elephantherd.jpgBinge-drinking elephants, drunk on local hooch, have killed three people and destroyed 60 homes in a four-day rampage in east India.

        On Thursday they were reported by local officials to be sleeping off hangovers as shocked communities tried to clear the wreckage left by the 70-strong herd in remote villages. With a local festival approaching, villagers had stockpiled the fermented-rice based drink. The elephants found and drank it.


        Animal Pictures

        http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lcttr550fW1qawkb6o1_500.jpg