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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.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You're not a mind reader, but you do have a strong sense of what motivates people.
This helps you greatly today.
You'll be placed in some very interesting situations with strangers or people you don't know very well -- most will be entertaining, but a few could be frustrating or time consuming.
Therefore, if you can anticipate the actions of the people around you, you'll be one step ahead of everyone else -- and you'll end the day in leisure.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Stavanger, Rogaland, Norway
Acca, Greater Acca, Ghana
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan
London, England, United Kingdom
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

as well as Bulgaria, Israel, Finland, Austria, Norway, Georgia, Mexico, Peru, Kuwait, Serbia, Bangladesh, Latvia, Greece, Scotland, Hong Kong, Denmark, Wales, Iran, Singapore, Poland, Taiwan, Sweden, Afghanistan, Belgium, Tibet, Croatia, Pakistan, Romania, Paraguay, Sudan, Vietnam, Argentina, Cambodia, Egypt, France, Estonia, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Brazil, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, Slovenia, China, Iraq, Ecuador, Nigeria, Colombia, Chile, Honduras, Paupa New Guinea, Moldova, Venezuela, Germany, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Vietnam, Norway, Finland and in cities across the United States such as Tampa, Oakland, Surrey, Eau claire and more.

Today is:
Today is Thursday, December 30, the 364th day of 2010.
There are 1 day left in the year.

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

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Trips to start your new year

Kite surfing in the Turks and Caicos will help you re-discover the pleasures of play.  
Also: 

    Random Celebrity Photo

    Ann Margaret
    Ann Margaret

    Astrology predictions for 2011

    Find out what the stars have planned for your career and romantic relationships.
    Also: 

    Bizarre news events of 2010

    Social media helped stories like a rogue flight attendant and a happy mine rescue go viral.  
    Also: 

    Real life 'Frogger' game injures man

    From the "They walk among us" Department:

    A man has been hospitalized after police in South Carolina say he was hit by an SUV while playing a real-life version of the video game "Frogger." Authorities said the 23-year-old man was taken to a hospital in Anderson after he was struck at around 9 p.m. Monday.
    Please note: this is in SOUTH Carolina - the land where the motto is 'Morons are us'

    Pilot's joke

    A C-130 freight airplane was lumbering along when a cocky F-16 pilot flashed by. The jet jockey decided to show off.
    The fighter jock told the C-130 pilot, "Watch this!" -- and he promptly went into a barrel role, followed by a steep climb. He then finished with a sonic boom as he broke the sound barrier. The F-16 pilot asked the C-130 pilot what he thought of that.

    The C-130 pilot said, "That was impressive. But watch this!"

    The C-130 droned on for about 5 minutes and then the C-130 pilot came back on the radio and said, "What did you think of that?"

    Puzzled, the F-16 pilot asked, "What the hell did you do?"

    The C-130 pilot chuckled and said, "I stood up, stretched my legs, walked to the back, went to the bathroom, then got a cup of coffee and a cinnamon bun."

    When you're young and foolish, speed and flash may seem a good thing. When you get older and smarter, comfort and dull is not such a bad thing!

    Odds and Sods

    A Wisconsin man has earned bragging rights as the champion liar of 2010 with this line: "I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met."David Milz, 49, told The Associated Press he came up with the one-liner over the summer when he was joking around with colleagues.

    Think gas prices are high now? Just wait. A former oil company president is predicting gas prices could reach $5 a gallon by 2012.

    Nigeria's deal to drop Cheney bribery charges 'illegal'

    Sounds like more deal-making could be ahead in Nigeria.
    In a letter to Nigeria’s anti-corruption watchdog, Osuagwu Ugochukwu, a prominent lawyer in Abuja, said the withdrawal of charges against Cheney was a breach of the law.

    “We know as a point of law that once a criminal charge has been filed in a competent court, issue of penalty of fine is for the courts to impose and not parties,” he wrote. “Hence, we are shocked to hear that EFCC imposed a fine on an accused person. We also know as a point of law that criminal matters cannot be settled out of court as in civil matters in Nigeria.”

    “The outcome of the deal with Halliburton tends to suggest a smart way of making quick money while leaving the culprits unpunished,” an editorial in Nigeria’s Daily Sun argues. “This method invariably has its own drawbacks that could encourage similar criminal acts in future.”

    The truth be told

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    The Neuron


    A colorized scanning EM of a nerve broken open to reveal the vesicles containing the neurotransmitters.

    The Story Of The Maya

    Recording The Mysteries
     

    In the late 1560s Diego de Landa wrote of how Maya books, or codices, of 'ancient matters and sciences' had been burned because they contained 'superstition.' Just four codices survived, only one of which, the Grolier Codex, has remained in the Americas.

    Maya codices consist of long strips of paper made from the bark of the fig tree, and are several feet long. Codices are folded in concertina fashion, much like a modern map, allowing much of the book to be viewed at any one time as required. The paper was prepared with a layer of limewash on which the scribe painted.

    Greek things


    Hades
    darksilenceinsuburbia:

Emil Alzamora
    Minotaur

    The IceCube Observatory Beneath The Antarctic Ice


    Deep beneath the ice of Antarctica, the world's strangest observatory has finally reached completion. The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is a gigantic telescope at the South Pole that is designed to detect elusive subatomic particles called neutrinos that travel through Earth at the speed of light.

    Construction of the telescope ended last weekend although it has already been collecting data for several years. Very little is known about neutrinos, but they are believed to carry information about the birth of our galaxy and the mystery of black holes.

    Take That

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    And that ...
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    Home buying can still pay off

    Despite the slump, housing remains a good long-term investment if you choose carefully. 
    Also: 

    Foreclosures up ... again

    Just because the bankers are doing well doesn't mean the rest of the economy has moved forward.
    The housing problem continues to look bad and looking ahead isn't much better.

    Reuters:
    The regulators said one reason for the increase in foreclosures is that banks have "exhausted" options for keeping many delinquent borrowers in their homes through programs such as loan modifications.

    Newly initiated foreclosures increased to 382,000 in the third quarter, a 31.2 percent jump over the previous quarter and a 3.7 percent rise from a year ago, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision said in their quarterly mortgage report.

    The number of foreclosures in process increased to 1.2 million, a 4.5 percent increase from the second quarter and a 10.1 percent increase from a year ago, according to the regulators.

    False debts hurt homeowners

    Jeanne White was shocked to learn that two erroneous $11 doctor bills stopped her refinancing. 
    Also: 

      Wall Street bankers splurge

      After a good year, they’re buying $8,500 watches, deluxe sports cars, and more. 
      Also: 

      Why being thrifty is hot again

      Cutting back on spending isn't new or glamorous, but it's a start for curing money woes.  
      Also: 

      Minimum wage bump in 2011

      States that tie salaries to the cost of living will increase pay between 9 and 12 cents per hour.
      Also: 

      Jobs you can do anywhere

      Many careers don't require an office — just a laptop and wireless Internet access.  
      Also: 

      US businesses continue to hire

       But  the jobs are overseas

      CEOs care much more about their own bottom line than what is good for the US. It's naive to think otherwise.

      The tax breaks are going for new jobs but don't expect to see many of them in the US for quite a while.
      More than half of the 15,000 people that Caterpillar Inc. has hired this year were outside the U.S. UPS is also hiring at a faster clip overseas. For both companies, sales in international markets are growing at least twice as fast as domestically.

      The trend helps explain why unemployment remains high in the United States, edging up to 9.8 percent last month, even though companies are performing well: All but 4 percent of the top 500 U.S. corporations reported profits this year, and the stock market is close to its highest point since the 2008 financial meltdown.

      But the jobs are going elsewhere. The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, says American companies have created 1.4 million jobs overseas this year, compared with less than 1 million in the U.S. The additional 1.4 million jobs would have lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to 8.9 percent, says Robert Scott, the institute's senior international economist.

      Non Sequitur

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      Feuds put China in hot seat

      High-profile feuds with the U.S., Vatican, and more put one of Beijing's top promises in question.  
      Also: 

      Residents flee border city

      Continuing drug violence in Juarez, Mexico, sparks an unprecedented exodus.  
      Also: 

        'Cancer cluster' baffles experts

        A "cancer cluster" that developed in Ohio terrifies parents and confounds investigators.  
        Also: 

        What remains of BP spill

        Tar balls are gone from many beaches, but in some places, the cleanup seems far from over.  
        Also: 

        Costly result for snow promotion

        A jeweler makes a bet on the weather – and winds up refunding about $500,000.  
        Also: 

        Airlines blamed for bad service

        Travelers stranded by the East Coast blizzard struggle to rebook and to get answers from agents.
        Also: 

        Man gets on US plane with bullet components, that go off on landing

        Simple question ...

        Believe it or not

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        The Laconia Incident

        What happens in war when an enemy rescues endangered civilians? In 1942, a German U-boat sunk a ship carrying 400 Allied troops, dozens of civilians, and (unknown to the Germans) 1800 Italian POWs. The attack left a couple of thousand survivors floating in lifeboats or treading water in the ocean.
        The survivors faced a certain and protracted watery death.
        Then, the U-Boat commander Werner Hartenstein (left), made an extraordinary decision that went beyond all protocol.
        He ordered the U-boat to surface he ordered his submariners to save as many of the marooned survivors as possible.
        This act of humanity would save the lives of many hundreds of people.  Yet the tragedy of the Laconia was not over yet.
        A U-boat cannot accommodate so many people. What happened to the survivors of the RMS Laconia is the subject of discussion even today.

        Read the entire story at Kuriositas.
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        Face behind iconic image dies

        It took decades for an ex-factory worker to learn she'd inspired one of WWII's most famous images.
        Also: 
        R.I.P. Rosie the Riveter full story here
She was a local girl from Michigan too…
        R.I.P.

        'Sound of Music' family death

        Agathe von Trapp was a real-life member of the singing clan that inspired the classic film.
        Also: 

          The Carjacking

          An elderly Florida lady did her shopping, and upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle.

          She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at the top of her voice, "I have a gun, and I know how to use it! Get out of the car!"

          The four men didn't wait for a second invitation. They got out and ran like mad.

          The lady, somewhat shaken, then to load her shopping bags into the back of the car and got into the driver's seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition.

          She tried and tried and then it dawned on her why.

          A few minutes later she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down.

          She loaded her bags into her car and then drove to the police station.

          The sergeant to whom she told the story...nearly tore himself in two with laughter. He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale men were reporting...a car jacking by a mad, elderly woman described as white, less than five feet tall, glasses, curly white hair, and carrying a large handgun.

          No charges were filed.

          Just a little off the top, please

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          Bangladeshi TV station told not to show hangman series

          A television channel in Bangladesh has been ordered to stop broadcasting interviews with the country's most famous hangman, officials say. They say that the government has ordered the three-part show off air because it could frighten children. The hangman, who has hanged nine people in his 21 years in prison, has requested anonymity. But he said that the programs on the private channel, Banglavision, were mainly about his lifestyle.

          The prison authorities wrote to Banglavision requesting them not to broadcast the program, which "might affect the tenderness of the children and the mentality of the mass people of the country". So far only one part of the series has been broadcast. The letter written to the TV station from the prison authorities said that it was in the public interest for the programs not to be broadcast.


          "The motive of our program was not a campaign against capital punishment or in favor of capital punishment," said Banglavision Head of News Mostofa Feroz. "A released man cannot be stopped from talking to the media - it is against the freedom of media and his freedom of rights," he said. The hangman started working as an executioner seven years ago and was trained for the job while serving a 30-year murder sentence - passed down when he was aged only 16 - for murder.

          He was released early in August after getting 18 months' time off for working as a hangman. Bangladesh has executed 411 people since the country gained independence in 1971. All hangmen are prisoners or former convicts who have trained in jail for the job. The unnamed hangman said that he carried out the hangings to reduce his time in jail. "Although I did not like to hang anyone in the gallows, I did it to decrease the span of my jail term. For each hanging, I got two months' exemption from my 30-year jail term," he said.

          Indian man becomes 'world's oldest father' aged 94

          A 94-year-old Indian farmer is claiming to be the world's oldest dad. Ramajit Raghav claims his wife Shakuntala, 59, gave birth to their son Karamjit just last month. The couple have described the boy as "god's gift" — and aren't ruling out having more. Ramajit said: "It is great that I have become the world's oldest dad.

          "I am a strong follower of Lord Shiva. I wanted to have an offspring and prayed for him. This child is god's gift to me." The proud father, who was a wrestler in his youth, puts his virility down to his high-calorie diet. He added: "My daily diet comprises of three liters of milk, half a kilo of almonds and half a kilo ghee (clarified butter). I had visited a quack in the village and he gave me some tablets but I didn't take them and threw them away."


          When asked whether he was worried about his child's future, Ramajit said he would still be playing with his son in a decade. He added: "Nothing will happen to my child as I will die only if a black snake bites me and that is very far. Visit me after 10 years and you will find me in the same appearance." It is unknown how many children Ramajit has.

          The farmer lives in the village of Kharkhoda in Haryana, northern India. If his claim is true Ramajit would take the title of the world's oldest dad from another Indian Nanu Ram Jogi. Nanu fathered his 22nd child at the age of 90 in 2007. Doctors have, however, questioned the validity of Ramajit's claim.

          Couple accused of using pliers to pull child's teeth and toenails

          Authorities believe a Southern Indiana woman and her boyfriend used a pair of pliers to pull out a three-year-old boy's teeth and toenails. Andrew Richards, 27, was charged with child battery and confinement. The boy's mother, 22-year-old Jessica Carder, was charged with aiding child battery and neglect. Both were held on a $50,000 cash bond in the Jefferson County Jail in Madison on Tuesday.

          Richards admitted to pulling the boy's teeth but did not say how. "I just pulled a tooth. My dad pulls my teeth all the time. I ain't traumatized," Richards said to reporters as he was escorted back to jail. Prosecutors said they know how Richards pulled those teeth.



          "There's evidence, supported by their interviews that pliers were used to extract the teeth. There is also damage to the gum line," Jefferson County Prosecutor Chad Lewis said. He also said there was evidence Richards had been taking and abusing Oxycontin that night. Richards denied those allegations. Carder did not have anything to say about the charges.

          The boy's grandfather, Karl Andersen, said he sought custody for the boy after incidents that happened earlier in the year. The boy is currently in custody of his biological father's parents. "It's kind of hard to understand him talking because he's got all them teeth missing on the top," Andersen said. "He's doing really good." Richards and Carder each face a maximum of 20 years behind bars for the charges.

          The road to ruin

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          Ziggy

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          Best & worst food trends

          Outrageous foods like the mega-calorie Denny's Fried Cheese Melt were a low. 
          Also: 

          Possible fix for lionfish invasion

          The prickly lionfish is swarming Florida's coral reefs, but conservationists have a recipe for fighting back. » 'Very buttery' 
          Also: 

          A 20-Shot Revolver

          This is a unique single-action revolver patented by Henry S. Josselyn in 1866. Information on this gun is scarce, but it would appear to fire twenty rounds without reloading simply by cycling a new round on the flexible chain after each discharge. At least one example of this firearm is retained by the Smithsonian Institution.

          The Stringbike


          The 'Stringbike' totally rethinks the traditional drivetrain of a bicycle. According to the Stringbike creators, the placement of the chain and gears on one side of the frame on a traditional bike causes a subtle, although not unnoticeable, asymmetrical pedaling experience.

          The Stringbike virtually eliminates these subtle toque differences by creating a totally symmetrical drivetrain. It's essentially like having two chains on each side, both connected to the rear hub - only it's high-strength cord, not chain. Better yet, there's no grease.

          B.C.

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          Bison become hot commodity

          The hardy beast has become a hot commodity as consumers scramble for its healthy meat. 
          Also: 

          Cute Creatures That Will Knock You Dead

          No matter what the species, it seems we all have this innate feature built in us to just adore cute, cuddly, and sweet looking creatures. Perhaps it's a nurturing factor, an aesthetic factor, or just the fact that cute animals look so innocent and lovable that we want to reach out and embrace them or simply smile at their fun behavior.

          Some animals, however, even as endearing and sweet as they may seem can do much more harm than you might ever imagine. In fact they could even kill you. Check out some of the cutest creatures on the planet that truly can knock you dead.

          Dog has a nose for trouble

          Rescuers are called in after a German shepherd named Rebel gets himself in a tough situation. 
          Also: