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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, October 31, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You don't suffer fools gladly -- so your forbearance may be tested today. 
It may seem as though you've been transported to a kindergarten classroom -- everyone is whining and screaming about something or other, and you will be the only competent adult in the room. 
Just let them argue with one another about things that really don't matter. 
If you work around these petty complainers, you'll be able to stay happy and calm throughout the day.

 Some of our readers today have been in:
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Lille, Nord-Pas-De-Calais, France
Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India
Khartoum, AL Khartum, Sudan
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Crawley, England, United Kingdom
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Valencia, Comunidad Valencia, Spain
Brussels, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Rio De Janiero, Rio De Janiero, Brazil
Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
As, Askershus, Norway
Athens, Attiki, Greece
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Karlstad, Varmlands Lan, Sweden
London, England, United Kingdom
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Chandigarh, Punjab, India
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei and Muara, Brunei Darussalam
Versailles, Ile-De-France, France

as well as Slovakia, Malta, 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, Maldives, 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, Czech Republic, Vietnam, Norway, Finland

and in cities across the United States such as Honolulu, Kingstree, Muscatine, Norco and more!

Today is:
Today is Monday, October 31, the 304th day of 2011.
There are 61 days left in the year.


Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
National Carmel Apple Day
  
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Non Sequitur

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Manic Monday


The global population is expected to reach 7 billion today, just 12 years after hitting 6 billion.

Seven billion seconds ago, the year was 1789. That was the year George Washington was inaugurated as the first U.S. president and Congress met for the very first time. If you took 7 billion steps along the Earth's equator - at 2 feet per step - you could walk around the world at least 106 times.

I think ...

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It's Samhain

Samhain marks the last of the harvest festivals. It was one of the four great "fire festivals" which marked the turning points of the Celtic year. Great bonfires would light the sky during the celebrations. It’s the night best suited for calling upon the spirits, seeing fairies or encountering a ghost. Sunset on Samhain is the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The old year has passed, the harvest has been gathered, cattle and sheep have been brought in from the fields, and the leaves have fallen from the trees. The earth slowly begins to die around us. The Crone Goddess is alone and the God has journeyed down to the Underworld. Prepare for the Dark time of the Year. We now honor our ancestors, and if a loved one has died during the past year, this is the night to celebrate their memory. Time to communicate with spirits from beyond the veil, who offer advice, protection and guidance for the upcoming year.
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Eliade's Encyclopedia of Religion states: "The Eve and day of Samhain were characterized as a time when the barriers between the human and supernatural worlds were broken... Not a festival honoring any particular Celtic deity, Samhain acknowledged the entire spectrum of nonhuman forces that roamed the earth during that period." The Celts believed that when people died, they went to a land of eternal youth and happiness called Tir nan Og. The dead were sometimes believed to be dwelling with the Fairy Folk, who lived in the numerous mounds, or sidhe, (pronounced "shee") that dotted the Irish and Scottish countryside. Spirits and Fairies roam the lands creating mischief. This night belongs to neither, one year nor the other, Celtic folk believed that chaos reigned, and the people would engage in practical jokes. This was the time to "cull" the herds of animals that weren’t needed for breeding next spring, and were used as sacrifice for Harvest Feasts, or winter food supplies.

Elvira Noir

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Signs That You Are Too Old to Trick-or-Treat

10. You get winded from knocking on the door.

9. You have to have another kid chew the candy for you.

8. You ask for high fiber candy only.

7. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag, you lose your balance and fall over.

6. People say, "Great Keith Richards mask!" and you're not wearing a mask.

5. When the door opens you yell, "Trick or..." and can't remember the rest.

4. By the end of the night, you have a bag full of restraining orders.

3. You have to carefully choose a costume that won't dislodge your hairpiece.

2. You're the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood with a walker.

1. You avoid going to houses where your ex-wives live.

Daily Comic Relief

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Culinary DeLites

These short ribs get a long braise to create fall-off-the-bone tender meat.  
Also: 

What's in the McRib Sandwich?

The McRib sandwich is back, and with it, the horde of cult-like fans of the McDonald's pork sandwich.
Despite its name, the McRib sandwich actually contains no rib meat. But what exactly is it made of?
The Week explains some of the 70 ingredients of the McRib (which you may want to skip if you're a fan of the sandwich):
How many ingredients are there?
At face value, the sandwich contains just pork, onions, and pickle slices slathered in barbecue sauce and laid out on a bun. But the truth is, there are roughly 70 ingredients. The bun alone contains 34, says TIME's Melnick. In addition to chemicals like ammonium sulfate and polysorbate 80, the most egregious may be azodicarbonamide — "a flour-bleaching agent most commonly used in the manufactur[ing] of foamed plastics like gym mats the and soles of shoes." According to McDonald's own ingredient list, the bun also includes calcium sulfate and ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides, among other chemicals.
What you were expecting actual food?!

Autumn

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Last Master of Martial Art Seeks Apprentice

Why don’t you apply? You’re not getting paid for that office clerk internship anyway.

Nidar Singh of Wolverhampton, UK, may be the last living master of the Sikh martial art shastar vidya, which means the “science of weapons”. He himself was taught by an octogenarian in Punjab who thought that he was the last serious practitioner. Singh remembered the first day of his training:
On his first day of training, the frail old man handed him a stick and instructed Mr Singh to hit him. When he tried, the master threw him around like a rag doll.
“He was a frail old man chucking me about and I couldn’t touch him,” he says. “That definitely impressed me.”

Ten of the coolest jobs

Rock climbing in scenic locales beats the normal drudgery of reporting to an office or cube.  
Also: 

Awesome Pictures

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The warning signs of a mini-stroke

Sore head / Fotolia
A mini-stroke is an emergency and can lead to a full blown stroke, but many of us can't detect one. Weakness 
Also: 

Children Are Spending More Time With Screen Media Than Books

What's happening to the bedtime story? A study carried out by Common Sense Media has found that children aged between 0 and 8 now spend more than triple the amount of time watching television than reading books, or having stories read to them. The research also looked at the growing use of mobile devices by children.

Anyone with a young child, niece or nephew will know the ease with which they take to devices like smartphones and tablets. Within minutes they seem to have the hang of it, swiping, pinching, and possibly even purchasing a few things they shouldn't be.

Stranded 7 hours on tarmac

Fliers on at least three JetBlue planes and one American Airlines plane face a travel nightmare.  
Also: 

Fans rip apart concert stage

Video shows Metallica ticket holders storming the dais after a performance is canceled.
Also: 

Police seek pink bikini burglar

On the night of Oct. 20, surveillance at Kidscape Daycare on West Washington Street, Indianapolis, caught a disturbing burglary.

The video shows a man breaking in, completely undressing and then putting on a child's pink bikini that he found in one of the rooms. The man then walks around the building in the bathing suit and triggers an alarm. After the alarm went off, he leaves.


Indianapolis police responded to the alarm that night, but said they didn't find anything suspicious. The surveillance video was viewed the following morning when employees arrived at work.

They called police back to the daycare center where police said they found an open window on the backside of the building. Police said they also found a beer bottle in the same room where the man picked up the bathing suit. Police said there are no suspects and no arrests have been made. The crime is considered a burglary because the man left with the pink bikini.

US northern border checks scaled back

The U.S. Border Patrol has quietly stopped its controversial practice of routinely searching buses, trains and airports for illegal immigrants at transportation hubs along the northern border and in the nation's interior.

The Wisdom of Maxine

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An oldie but a goodie

Fact Check: repugican lawmakers spin funding tall tales

It's an outrageous tale: The federal government spends one out of every $10 in transportation aid on wasteful projects such as refurbishing a giant roadside coffee pot and constructing turtle tunnels.That's what repugican lawmakers have said repeatedly in recent weeks in the Senate, in public appearances and in news releases.

They're the same ... Oh, really?

The teapartiers are all claiming #occupywallstreet is just like they are.
Well, let's just see about that shall we:
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Yep, they're the same all right! And the moon is made of green cheese!

Get a load of this ...

#occupywallst is in its second month; meanwhile people at Goldman Sachs get $10 billion in bonuses.

Just so you know ...

... another huge problem in this recessionary economy: wage theft.

States with most millionaires

Nearly every state in the nation has seen an increase in its total number of millionaires.
Also: 

Tax Rates

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Ziggy

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OK, that was different

Iron Man (the Bluegrass version)

The Hidden Haunted History Of 7 American Landmarks

The stories of presidential ghosts in the White House are pretty well known. But plenty of other landmarks have their own ghost stories. What about the haunted Hollywood sign, or the ghostly curators of the Smithsonian Institution?

World's amazing mountain towns

These famously charming locales offer historic downtowns amid jaw-dropping views in every season.
Also:

Abandoned Grain Silo in France Is Now an Opera House

Overlooking the port of Marseille, one of largest cities in France, used to sit an abandoned grain silo. Situated in a neighborhood slated for renovation, the emblematic and highly visible Arenc Silo, built in 1926-7, faced demolition. But rather than destroy the building and start from scratch with new materials, the City decided to transform it. For the last year, the old silo has been in service as a fully renovated opera house and theater.
Article continues: Abandoned Grain Silo in France Is Now an Opera House

Trees are the Winners in the Landscape Photography of the Year Prize

Trees are the winner in the Landscape Photographer of the Year 2011 prize. And what a stunning stand of trees they are.
Article continues: Trees are the Winners in the Landscape Photography of the Year Prize

East Coast faces recovery

The East Coast storm that dropped over two feet of snow in spots has left millions without power.
Also: 

Skeptic's global warming switch

After years of research, a doubting physicist agrees that the Earth is rapidly heating up.  
Also: 

Did you know ...

Nothing is ever actually thrown "away."  As arctic ice melts, it is releasing toxins from previous eras, including pesticides such as DDT.

B.C.

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Pachyrhinosaurus

The Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas said Friday that museum paleontologists will announce the discovery of the new species of the ceratopsid dinosaur Pachyrhinosaurus next week at a Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in Las Vegas.

Bella The Dog Is Dead: Tara The Elephant Mourns Her Best Pal

Sad news from the elephant sanctuary for abandoned, runaway, inspiring and wayward elephants inA Hohenwald, Tennessee: Tarra's friend Bella has died.

Sad end to friendship between dog and elephant
Officials at The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, said on Friday that Bella, a rescue dog whose longtime companion had been Tarra the Asian elephant, was killed earlier this week. In an announcement, sanctuary CEO Robert Atkinson said: "Tarra's little dog Bella has died. We found her body on Wednesday and have been dealing with the aftermath ever since, trying to work out what happened while we look after Tarra and each other.


"We noticed Bella was not with Tarra at breakfast on Tuesday and later that morning she still had not appeared. Tarra and Bella have always spent short periods apart as one goes off exploring briefly on their own, but this longer absence worried us deeply and a search of the property was started which continued into the next day. The search ended tragically when Bella's body was found close to the Asia barn that had long been home to Tarra, her five sisters and Bella. During the time of the search our usually social Tarra chose to remain alone, watched over by concerned caregivers. Dr. Scott, our vet of sixteen years, examined Bella for the last time and, with advice from the experts from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, determined the probable cause of death was an attack by animals, most likely coyotes.

"Having carefully examined Bella's wounds and the place where she was found, we concluded that Bella had not been attacked near where she was found and neither could she have walked there. As these investigations were taking place observant Caregivers, even more watchful of Tarra than usual, noticed blood on the underside of her trunk, evidence that pointed us in the direction of what likely happened that fateful night. The most probable scenario is that during the night Bella strayed from Tarra briefly and was set upon. Tarra arrived too late to save her but was able to stop further damage being done to Bella's body. With deep sadness and deeper wonder we come to comprehend what likely happened next—that Tarra picked Bella up and carried her home.

Tarra and Bella last year.

"Further evidence in support of our belief for what happened comes from Tarra herself. After Bella had been found, Caregivers ensured Tarra had every chance to inspect Bella's body before it was buried and to come to terms with her death, as this is an important part of the grieving process for elephants. But Tarra was not interested in either Bella or the group of Caregivers who would normally have drawn our inquisitive girl to see what was happening. It was only later when we had pieced together the whole picture that Tarra's behaviour at Bella's grave made sense. Our poor, brave, loving girl knew what had happened to her beloved Bella and, in the dark hours of the night as she carried her body home, had come to terms with her death."

Animal Pictures

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
To get better results with a puzzling person, you might want to think about changing your approach. 
If you've been friendly, try being a bit cooler. 
Keep the chitchat to a minimum -- don't give the impression that you're trying too hard. 
If you've been playing hard to get, then it may be time to warm up. 
Smile a bit more, initiate conversations and share a personal secret or two. 
A new tactic will definitely get you noticed today.

 Some of our readers today have been in:
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Athens, Attiki, Greece
Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Bath, England, United Kingdom
Turku, Western Finland, Finland
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei and Muara, Brunei Darussalam
Canberra, Australian Capital, Territory, Australia
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India
Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Khartoum, Al Khartum, Sudan
Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Crawley, England, United Kingdom
Valencia, Comunidad Valencia, Spain
Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
Brussels, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium
Hanoi, Hanoi, Vietnam
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
As, Askershus, Norway
London, England, United Kingdom
as well as Slovakia, Malta, 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, Maldives, 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, Czech Republic, Vietnam, Norway, Finland

and in cities across the United States such as Carolina Beach, Holly Springs, Asheville, Charlotte and more!

Today is:
Today is Sunday, October 30, the 303rd day of 2011.
There are 62 days left in the year.


Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
National Candy Corn Day
  
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Non Sequitur

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Subtle Sunday

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Want to know why, do you?

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A lot of Marines are plenty ticked off about Scott Olson being shot in the head by the police

It's interesting to read the reactions from Marines to the news of a fellow Marine, Scott Olson, being critically injured by a police attack during the OccupyWallStreet protests in Oakland, CA. 

Oakland police chief visited Scott Olsen and parents in hospital

The Occupy protesters are taking back the plaza, which requires a lot of courage in light of the recent excessive actions by the Oakland police. Whether or not the Oakland police have had a change in policy is still not clear. The interim police chief made an encouraging first move by meeting the injured vet Olsen in the hospital, but this issue is hardly behind us.

San Francisco Chronicle:
"I expressed my sorrow for what happened to their son," Jordan said at a City Hall news conference. "They were very receptive. ... I also expressed to them the process that's involved in terms of this incident, in terms of a full review and internal investigation."
Olsen's skull was fractured when he was hit by a projectile that apparently came from police lines. Olsen, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, was standing at the front of the crowd at 14th Street and Broadway when he fell to the ground.

As other protesters came to Olsen's aid, an officer tossed another canister at the group, video of the incident

Tennessee arrests Occupy protesters despite no legal authority for arrests

Democracy is all fine and good until people actually want to use it. Can't they just make a t-shirt that calls the president a Marxist-Fascist or carry a gun to a speech by the president and be done with it? Clearly that's much more American than demanding a system that is open to everyone and not just the 1%. And as for that pesky detail of having nothing in the books that allows state police to enforce a curfew that doesn't exist, details, details. What red-blooded American doesn't like a governor who acts like he's royalty as he ignores the law and sends in the police to arrest the dirty masses?
Tennessee state troopers for the second straight night arrested Wall Street protesters for defying a new nighttime curfew imposed by repugican Gov. Bill Haslam in an effort to disband an encampment near the state Capitol.

And for a second time, a Nashville night judge dismissed the protesters' arrest warrants.

Early Saturday morning, Magistrate Tom Nelson told troopers delivering the protesters to jail that he could "find no authority anywhere for anyone to authorize a curfew anywhere on Legislative Plaza."

Seven Democratic congressional candidates march on Boehner’s office in support of #OccupyWallStreet

Good for them.  I'm sure the OccupyWallStreet folks are leery of politicians trying to usurp their movement, but I do think it's helpful overall, and to OccupyWallStreet, to have politicians embrace their cause.  And, honestly, anything that gives John Boehner heartburn is never a bad idea.
Here's a CNN segment about the candidates marching to Boehner's office, and here's more from Adam Green and company at the PCCC:
Wednesday, seven congressional candidates brought the energy of the Occupy movement straight to Capitol Hill.

They marched on Speaker John Boehner's office with 35,000 petitions saying "We stand with the 99%" -- and demanded that Congress pass jobs legislation now.

With news cameras from CNN, NBC, and CBS in tow, a fascinating clash with Boehner's staff occurred.

Click here to see the amazing video -- and help their "We stand with the 99%" petition continue to grow.

As you can see from the video, they were stopped at the door of Speaker Boehner's office. Marko Liias, a candidate in Washington's First District, joked that Boehner's "Welcome, please come in" sign should actually read, "Welcome 1%, please come in."

The other bold progressive candidates delivering the petition were Eric Griego (NM-1), Lori Saldana (CA-52), Ilya Sheyman (IL-10), Lois Frankel (FL-22), Franke Wilmer (MT-AL), and Wenona Benally Baldenegro (AZ-1).

These candidates were definitely heard -- and they will bring the fight to the halls of Congress if they are elected. We need more Democrats willing to take the fight straight to the Republicans.

The truth be told

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Rare storm hits East Coast

An unusually early and powerful nor'easter leaves more than 2 million people without electricity. 
Also: 

The Truth Hurts

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Boo: More Than Trees Falling in the Forests

Boo: More Than Trees Falling in the Forests
Best places to tell ghost stories on Halloween?
In America's haunted forests.

Daily Comic Relief

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Festival Costume Ideas

Need a costume Idea?
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How about Wendy from Peter Pan?
Buzzfeed has 13 more.

Great Pictures From The 2011 Blizzcon

If you missed the 2011 Blizzcon, but are a huge fan of WOW and other Blizzard games, you won’t want to miss Geeks Are Sexy’s wonderful collection of the greatest costumes from the event. Some of the outfits are seriously impressive.

Crabby Road

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Syrian president warns West

Bashar al-Assad tells the West to mind its own business or risk an "earthquake" across the Middle East.
Also: 

Odds and Sods

Late for work, officer accused of going 120 mph
A Miami police officer is accused of driving 120 mph on a turnpike because he was late for his off-duty job working security at a school.

A western Wisconsin landlord has agreed to pay $15,000 to a single mother after denying her a rental property because she didn't have a man to help shovel the snow.

Ramp up for career change

These education programs can prepare you to switch fields in two years or less.
Also: 

Culinary DeLites

Easy 3-ingredient dinnersHungry Girl Lisa Lillien throws these fast, healthy meals together when she doesn't feel like cooking.

We think they're the perfect on-the-fly dinners for busy weekends or time-pressed weeknights.

Kitchen Tales