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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, February 17, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Thanks to a truly mixed bag of signals, you're not even close to being sure about what's going on between you and a loved one.
It has been difficult, however, and you're not happy about it.
You two may be entering one of those phases that either makes or breaks a relationship.
That means it's time to make a decision -- and that means it's time to have a long talk.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
London, England, United Kingdom
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei and Muara, Brunei Darussalam
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Quezon City, Manila, Philippines
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Auckland, Auckland, new Zealand
Orange, Provence-Aples-Cote D'Azur, France
Reutlingen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Erlangen, Bayern, Germany
Lappeenranta, Southern Finland, Finland
Suwon, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Gengenbach, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany


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 Greensboro, Sheridan, Waxhaw, Silver City and more.

Today is:
Today is Thursday, February 17, the 48th day of 2011.
There are 317 days left in the year.


Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are: 
May Way Day
and
World Human Spirit Day.


Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

The secret bread code

Did you know that bread is delivered fresh to the stores five days a week? 
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  And each day has a different color twist tie.

They are:
Bread tie colors
Actually I did know that, (it's a long story, don't ask).

One fourth of Americans eat McDonald’s every day

One quarter of Americans eat McDonald’s every single day, while most nutritionists recommend you do so only once per month.

Well, not a problem here ... I think the last time we even entered a McDonald's, Kennedy had just been elected president (or it could have been before the actual election) and then it was just to use the bathroom.

Common Sense

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TSA Theft

tsa theft A TSA supervisor stole money from passengers who went through his security checkpoint and accepted bribes and kickbacks from a colleague.
Michael Arato, a supervisor at Newark Liberty Airport, admitted on Monday that he regularly took money from passengers during security screenings and deliberately targeted foreigners who could not speak much English.
The 41-year-old, from Ewing, admitted in federal court that he permitted a worker he supervised to steal $10,000 to $30,000 in cash from traveler's bags over a 13-month period.
During one recorded conversation, the two TSA agents discussed an on-going competition between them that involved stealing from passengers in the presence of their TSA supervisors.
Another time, the pair discussed how they did not feel bad stealing from foreign passengers who were leaving the country with 'our money'.

Odds and Sods

Schizoid personality disorder is listed under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a Cluster A personality disorder, meaning it is defined by odd or eccentric thinking and behavior.


A 32-year-old Siberian man who said he "didn't cope with my feelings" has been arrested on suspicion of hacking off his girlfriend's head with a sword, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Thursday

A Hartford man who said he shot and killed his girlfriend because ghosts had been taunting him will spend 60 years in a mental hospital.

Ten places you can afford

In Istanbul, Turkey, you can negotiate the prices on many goods and services.
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The models for American Gothic

The painting shows a farmer standing beside his spinster daughter (not his wife, as so many parodies and references assume). The figures were modeled by the artist's dentist and sister... The three-pronged hay fork is echoed in the stitching of the man's overalls, the Gothic window of the house and the structure of the man's face. Each element was painted separately; the models sat separately and never stood in front of the house.

The House of Bones

Casa Batlló In Barcelona
 

Casa Batlló is a building in Barcelona, Spain, restored by Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol, built in the year 1877 and remodeled in the years 1904–1906. The local name for the building is Casa del Ossos (House of Bones), and indeed it does have a visceral, skeletal organic quality.

The Beautiful Nature Of Kamchatka


The Kamchatka peninsula is situated in the Russian far east, separating the Sea of Okhotsk in the west from the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean in the east. Kamchatka boasts a diverse and abundant wildlife.

This is due to climates ranging from temperate to subarctic, diverse topography and geography, many free-flowing rivers, proximity to highly productive waters, and to the low human density and minimal development. Here are some beautiful pictures from the Kronotsky Nature Reserve in Kamchatka.

New Goddess For Hindu People

One thing about the Hindu religion, they don't even pretend that their gods aren't fake.

They just make up new ones as needed: An 'English goddess' for India's down-trodden.
new goddess A new goddess has recently been born in India. She's the Dalit Goddess of English.
The Dalit (formerly untouchable) community is building a temple in Banka village in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh to worship the Goddess of the English language, which they believe will help them climb up the social and economic ladder.
About two feet tall, the bronze statue of the goddess is modelled after the Statue of Liberty.
"She is the symbol of Dalit renaissance," says Chandra Bhan Prasad, a Dalit writer who came up with the idea of the Goddess of English.
"She holds a pen in her right hand which shows she is literate. She is dressed well and sports a huge hat - it's a symbol of defiance that she is rejecting the old traditional dress code.

Awesome Pictures

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Obama to make state visit to UK

President Barack Obama is to make a state visit to the UK in May after accepting an invitation from the Queen, Buckingham Palace has announced.

Party Time: 249 days with no government

What would be a humiliation for many turns into a party on Belgium's 249th day without a government.
Also: 

WMD liar breaks silence

The man behind the false reports used to justify overthrowing Saddam Hussein is unapologetic.  
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Predictions for Mideast

Fast-spreading protests set up dramatic changes — and risks — for the region over the next year. 
Also: 
Nervous governments try to stop the spreading protests in the Middle East and North Africa.  
Also: 
The unrest in the Middle East sparks a surge in searches for the locations of key countries.  
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Egypt revolution spreads, Libyan 'day of rage' met with violence

It should come as no surprise that the government in Libya responded with the aggressive use of force. Will that force shut down the protests or will it add to the turmoil? Libya doesn't appear to be a country that is up for change, but Egypt certainly didn't have that appearance either a few weeks ago.

Al Jazeera:
Protesters in Libya have defied a security crackdown and taken to the streets in four cities for a "day of rage," inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, reports say.

Several hundred supporters of Muammar Gaddafi, the country's longtime leader, have also reportedly gathered in the capital on Thursday to counter online calls for anti-government protests.

Their action comes amid reports that at least 14 people have been killed in clashes between pro and anti-government protesters since Wednesday.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said that Libyan authorities had detained 14 activists, writers and protesters who had been preparing the anti-government protests.
***
Bahrain police brutally raid sleeping protest camp, several reported dead
It's no longer only one location in the Bahrain capital as the police move in to crush the protests.

Al Jazeera:
An Al Jazeera correspondent, who cannot be named for security reasons, said on Thursday that "clashes were no longer limited to one place...they are now spread out in different parts of the city".

There were also reports of dozens of armored vehicles moving towards the Pearl Roundabout, the protest site that was raided by the riot police.

Heavily-armed police stormed the traffic circle while the protesters camping overnight were asleep.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from Salmaniya hospital, the main medical facility in Manama, Maryama Alkawaka of Bahrain Center for Human Rights, said that she saw dozens of injured demonstrators being wheeled into emergency rooms early on Thursday morning.

Man in Ireland forced to eat his ear

A man in Ireland was forced to eat part of his ear after it was cut off, police have revealed. The victim is recovering from the assault in Co Kildare which happened in the hours of Monday morning.

The man was attacked by a gang in the town of Newbridge where was dragged down a lane and then beaten with a hammer and a metal bar.

He sustained injuries to his head, jaw and leg, as well as losing part of his ear. Garda spokesman John Joe O'Connell appealed for witnesses to come forward.

"Part of this man's ear was cut off and he was actually forced to eat it," O'Connell said. He said investigators were following a definite line of inquiry but appealed for any members of the public with further information to contact Newbridge garda station.

Famous trees poisoned

An angry Alabama football fan is arrested after committing an odd crime on a rival's campus.  
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Random Celebrity Photo

Gina Lollobrigida
Gina Lollobrigida

Don't Stress Baldness, Cure May Be on the Way

If stress can cause your hair to fall out, can stress medication make it grow back?

Scientists studying the connection between stress and the digestive system may have stumbled upon a cure for baldness.

Coughing fit exposes surgical forceps in French woman's stomach

A French woman, whose coughing fit exposed a pair of surgical forceps left in her stomach five months ago, said she is still waiting for an apology from her doctor. The shocking sight of a metal tip poking out of her belly button last Friday explained the weeks of agony the 31-year-old from Lyon, eastern France - identified only as Anne - had endured following an otherwise successful tummy tuck operation last October.

But far from being sorry about the medical mishap, her surgeon Dr Bernard Dessapt from Lyon's Natecia Clinic tried to make light of the incident, even delaying the removal of the forceps because "another 24 hours would not change her life."


The forceps were finally removed on Monday by Dr Dessapt who kindly pointed out there would be nothing more to pay. "He's still not apologized. He said these things happen and it's just as well I'm at the end of my career, " a disconsolate Anne said. "He said [the removal] was my St. Valentine's present!"

The director of the clinic, Jean-Loup Durousset, offered an apology of sorts on Tuesday on behalf of his surgeon, while declaring: "I've worked for 25 years with this doctor and never had a single concern." He said he was hoping to smooth over relations between doctor and patient, but Anne and her husband were said to be considering their legal options.

More Than 100 Charged With Medicare Fraud in Largest Single-Day Crackdown

Federal agents charged more than 100 suspects in nine cities with Medicare fraud -- the most ever in one day -- in the latest U.S. effort to crack down on schemes to bilk the health-care program for the elderly and disabled, according to the Justice Department.

Impact of key labor bill

Thousands converge on Wisconsin's Capitol to protest a bill that could have a national impact. 
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U.S. cities with top crime rates

Violent crime has risen sharply since 2003 in some of these metro areas.  
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Faux News under fire for video 'gaffe'

The network admits it "made a mistake" after viewers cry foul over suspicious footage.  
Also: 
This was no 'gaffe' it is just the latest in a continual pattern of lies, distortion and all around insanity that makes up Faux's Standard Operating Procedure.

Repugicans Hate The Constitution

You know how the repugicans are really, really into the Constitution, right?

Check this out: 2 House repugicans Vote to Uphold the Bill of Rights.
Today, Democrats offered a motion to recommit on legislation to extend expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act to ensure that PATRIOT Act powers are not used to violate the Constitutional freedoms and protections guaranteed to all Americans.
The motion included two parts:
No Constitutional shortcuts. When investigating American citizens, the government must comply with the Constitution, even in national security investigations
Challenging unconstitutional action. If a citizen challenges the government’s use of PATRIOT Act power in a court of law, the case must be expedited to ensure the individual’s rights are upheld.
You would expect every repugican House member to approve of this, right?
Instead of voting to prevent government from overreaching and trampling over Americans’ Constitutional liberties, only two House repugicans, Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Ron Paul (R-TX), joined all House Democrats in voting for the motion. The motion was defeated with 234 House repugicans voting no.
But they always like that part about bearing arms.

Repeal Child Labor Laws?

Make those kids earn their keep: Missouri Lawmaker Pushes Bill Rolling Back Child Labor Laws.
jane cunningham Missouri State Sen. Jane Cunningham (reptile) is pushing a bill which would dramatically claw back state child labor protections. As the bill’s official summary explains:
This act modifies the child labor laws. It eliminates the prohibition on employment of children under age fourteen. Restrictions on the number of hours and restrictions on when a child may work during the day are also removed. It also repeals the requirement that a child ages fourteen or fifteen obtain a work certificate or work permit in order to be employed.
Children under sixteen will also be allowed to work in any capacity in a motel, resort or hotel where sleeping accommodations are furnished. It also removes the authority of the director of the Division of Labor Standards to inspect employers who employ children and to require them to keep certain records for children they employ. It also repeals the presumption that the presence of a child in a workplace is evidence of employment.
Why?
The current restrictions, Cunningham says, imply “that government can make a better decision than a parent.” Also, Cunningham, who is no fan of public schools, dislikes the provision in state law that says students younger than 16 must obtain signed permission from their school before taking a job.
Take one look at that photo and you'll know she is insane before she opens her mouth and proves it.

Non Sequitur

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Dead Employee Not Noticed

At the L.A. Country Department of Internal Services: County Employee Dead in Cubicle a Day Before Being Noticed.
An L.A. County employee apparently died while working in her cubicle on Friday, but no one noticed for quite some time.
51-year-old Rebecca Wells was found by a security guard on Saturday afternoon.
She was slumped over on her desk in the L.A. County Department of Internal Services.
"I came in Saturday to do a little work, and I saw them when they were taking her out," co-worker Hattie Robertson told KTLA.
The exact time of death is not clear, but detectives say that, at worst, she had been dead for a day before her body was discovered.

On The Job

U.S. companies are increasingly unwilling to hire people who are out of work.
Also: 
Intercity bus drivers have higher injury and illness rates than firefighters or cops. 
Also: 
With the right training program, you can easily switch to one of these seven growth fields.  
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New hidden bank fees

Some customers are surprised to learn they owe multiple overdraft charges.  
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Consumers paid more for most goods in January

Consumers paid more in January for everything from food and gas to airline tickets and clothing.

Shoe

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Will the government shut down — again?

Fifteen years ago the government ran out of money and closed for nearly a month.
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What's Wrong With This $100 Bill?


Photo: Partisan Pictures, Inc.
So, you think you know your Benjamins. Well, take a look at this one above and see if you can find anything wrong with it. It's a bit torn on the side (you can see that the pieces were a bit misaligned when taped back together), but otherwise it looks like a regular ol' $100 bill, right?

Wrong:
A $100 bill that began as $5 dollar bill, was bleached and reprinted illegally. The work of the United States Secret Service New York office extends far beyond the responsibility of protecting the President of the United States and foreign officials. The Electronic Crimes Task Force targets identity thieves, credit card fraudsters and counterfeiters worldwide.

New rules on your tax return

This year's forms have tricky rules for homeowners, car buyers, and the unemployed.  
Also: 

    Middle-class incomes stuck

    Incomes for most Americans have stagnated, yet the wealthiest keep surging ahead.  
    Also: 

    Ziggy

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    Ice Age Cup Made from Human Skull


    It is said that Alboin (d. 572), King of the Lombards, had the skull of his enemy, King Cunimind of the Gepids, turned into a drinking cup. It was the ultimate sign of triumph against a defeated foe. This tradition, however, whether for practical or emotional purposes, now appears to date back almost 15,000 years:
    Ice Age folk who lived in what’s now southwestern England gruesomely went from heads off to bottoms up. Bones excavated at a cave there include the oldest known examples of drinking cups or containers made out of human skulls, says a team led by paleontologist Silvia Bello of the Natural History Museum in London.[...]
    Prehistoric cave denizens cleaned the skulls before using stone tools to shape the upper parts of the brain cases into containers, the researchers say.
    Bello suspects that Ice Age Britons hoisted hollowed-out crania in rituals of some kind. Other human bones found near the skull cups show signs of flesh and marrow removal, a result either of cannibalism or mortuary practices. The striking similarities between the cave finds and historical examples of drinking cups made out of skulls further support a ritual role for the Ice Age receptacles, Bello says.

    Puzzling optical illusions

    These rectangles look tilted, but they're actually perfectly parallel to each other.  
    Also: 

    Hidden codes in famous art

    Some of the world's most famous works of art are thought to boast hidden references.  
    Also: 

    The Eye of the Sahara

    Astronauts were the first to notice this 50-kilometer wide geological formation in Mauritania, in the middle of the Sahara Desert. Read about it and other wonders of nature in the post 13 Most Incredible Geological Wonders on Earth at Environmental Graffiti.

    Solar Flare

    The largest solar flare in four years is driving interest in another celestial event: the Northern Lights.
    Also: 
    The most powerful eruption in years stirs up trouble in China — and NASA warns it isn't done yet.
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    Aurora Borealis to light up sky

    Astronomers have said the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights in Scotland has increased after the sun unleashed a giant solar flare.

    State hit by 700 earthquakes

    A burst of more than 700 unexplained quakes in just six months has locals pointing fingers.
    Also: 
    16 quakes hit Arkansas area in 1 day
    Jim Sutterfield was briefly puzzled by a thumping sound that seemed to slam the back of his office chair.

    Playing through

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    Best golf picture I've ever seen. The bear has the right approach to the game.

    Why Chocolate Is Bad For Dogs

    To most of us, chocolate is a delicious substance. To dogs, chocolate is also delicious, but potentially lethal. Chocolate contains theobromine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in the cocoa bean. It affects the central nervous system as well as heart muscle.

    It's the theobromine that is poisonous to dogs in sufficient quantities. But it takes, on average, a fairly large amount of theobromine to cause a toxic reaction.

    Burglar killed goldfish because he didn’t want any witnesses

    Three goldfish were killed by a 16-year-old burglar because he “didn’t want to leave any witnesses”, police have revealed. The teenager was arrested and charged by police with residential burglary and cruelty to animals following the incident in January.

    According to Arlington Heights Police, Illinois, the youth – along with a 15- and 17-year-old – broke into a house and stole a games console and 30 games, CD player, 30 DVDs,a BB gun, jewellery and a safe.


    The 16-year-old is then alleged to have poured mustard, ketchup and spices into a tank, killing the fish. The police report says the boy looked at the first tank and said “we can’t leave any witnesses,” before carrying out the pointless act of cruelty.

    Sgt. Mike Hernandez of the Arlington Heights Police Department, Illinois, said: “As a matter of fact, it’s a little disturbing.”

    Smiling Coelacanth


    Laurent Ballesta’s job is not easy, but it’s one to die for. The photographer recently spent four weeks diving a total of 95 hours to get pictures of an ancient fish. Ultimately, Ballesta and his team spent a total of 81 minutes swimming beside a “school” (four, that is) of coelacanths. The fish was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1938, and it still resembles its prehistoric ancestors.
    See a gallery of the photos at National Geographic.

    Animal Pictures

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