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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.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Today, pattern your behavior after some of the children in your life, and let go of some of your self-conscious assumptions about how you 'should' act.
This doesn't mean you should act immature -- no food fights or temper tantrums!
Rather, you should let go of a few hang-ups for good. It's time you realized that life is a crazy ride, and you should ensure that you have at least a few minutes of playtime each day.
Being productive is not important today.

Some of our readers today have been in:
 Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
London, England, United Kingdom
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Selayang Jaya, Selangor, malaysia
Riems, Champagne-Ardenne, France
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Zragoza, Aragon, Spain

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 Sioux Falls, Lubbock, Boise, Hana and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, July 23, the 204th day of 2011.
There are 161 days left in the year.


Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Hot Enough For Ya Day.
 
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama's Weekly Address


Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Washington, DC
For years, the government has spent more money than it takes in.  The result is a lot of debt on our nation’s credit card – debt that unless we act will weaken our economy, cause higher interest rates for families, and force us to scale back things like education and Medicare.
Now, folks in Washington like to blame one another for this problem.  But the truth is, neither party is blameless.  And both parties have a responsibility to do something about it.  Every day, families are figuring out how stretch their paychecks – struggling to cut what they can’t afford so they can pay for what’s really important.  It’s time for Washington to do the same thing.  But for that to happen, it means that Democrats and Republicans have to work together.  It means we need to put aside our differences to do what’s right for the country.  Everyone is going to have to be willing to compromise.  Otherwise, we’ll never get anything done.
That’s why we need a balanced approach to cutting the deficit.  We need an approach that goes after waste in the budget and gets rid of pet projects that cost billions of dollars.  We need an approach that makes some serious cuts to worthy programs – cuts I wouldn’t make under normal circumstances.  And we need an approach that asks everybody to do their part.
So that means, yes, we have to make serious budget cuts; but that it’s not right to ask middle class families to pay more for college before we ask the biggest corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.  It means that before we stop funding clean energy, we should ask oil companies and corporate jet owners to give up the tax breaks that other companies don’t get.  Before we cut medical research, we should ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries.  Before we ask seniors to pay more for Medicare, we should ask the wealthiest taxpayers to give up tax breaks we simply cannot afford under these circumstances.

That’s the heart of this approach: serious cuts, balanced by some new revenues.  And it’s been the position of every Democratic and Republican leader who has worked to reduce the deficit, from Bill Clinton to Ronald Reagan.  In fact, earlier this week, one of the most conservative members of the Senate, Tom Coburn, announced his support for a balanced, bipartisan plan that shows promise.  And then a funny thing happened.  He received a round of applause – from a group of Republican and Democratic senators.  That’s a rare event in Washington.
So there will be plenty of haggling over the details in the days ahead.  But this debate boils down to a simple choice.  We can come together for the good of the country and reach a compromise; we can strengthen our economy and leave for our children a more secure future.  Or we can issue insults and demands and ultimatums at each another, withdraw to our partisan corners, and achieve nothing.  Well, we know the right thing to do.  And we know what the American people expect us to do.

Awesome Pictures

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Bomb, shooting rock Norway

At least two people are dead after a powerful blast tears through buildings in Oslo.  
Also: 
Norwegian police say a homegrown terrorist is behind the two deadly attacks in Oslo.
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NFL players scoff at deal

Players scoffed at the owner-approved agreement, but that doesn't mean the deal is doomed.
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Non Sequitur

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Hot enough to fry an egg?

Sweltering temperatures inspire a journalist to use concrete to cook up a variety of foods.
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Massive heat wave spreads

Excessive heat warnings are in effect for wide sections of the Midwest and East Coast.
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Ain't it the truth ...

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More Than Half of U.S. States Broil in Deadly Heat Wave

splash needed
U.S. weather experts Friday issued heat alerts for more than half of the 50 states as a blanket of hot air and humidity smothered the country.  

How This Latest Heatwave Isn't Like Ones We've Had In The Past: Context & Nature

heatwave photo
Let's take as given that there have always been weather extremes, both hot and cold, throughout history and there is indeed a component of natural variability at play. But that's far from the whole story. If you're wondering what makes the latest heatwave different from those that have occurred before, Weather.com has a pretty good summary (h/t Climate Progress). In short, the nature and context of this summer's situation is what sets it apart.
Article continues: How This Latest Heatwave Isn't Like Ones We've Had In The Past: Context & Nature

Experts say nighttime heat can be dangerous

The days may be hot -- but the nights could also be a killer. According to an expert at the government's National Climatic Data Center, if temperatures overnight don't cool down enough to provide relief, it adds to the stress on people without air conditioning -- as well as on livestock and crops.

The Week's most striking photos

An electron microscope captures a unique perspective of a hydrothermal ocean worm.  
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Tips for fighting bad breath

Most gum flavors only mask odors, but one actually combats them, a study finds. 
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Things your kids won't know

Clunky old televisions, floppy disks, and answering machines are now relics.  
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Fifteen Stunning Modern Ceilings

While the Sistine Chapel is OK, it’s not the only notable ceiling in the world. WebUrbanist has a great collection of stunning modern ceilings for your viewing pleasure.

Sinkhole startles Florida residents

The chasm has devoured everything from an oak tree to part of a beauty salon.  
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The highest state taxes

The heaviest state-tax burdens are clustered around one region of the country.
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The truth be told

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Mass layoffs make comeback

Three companies cut a combined 23,000 jobs this week, a grim sign for U.S. workers.
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Random Celebrity Photo

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Lohan Too Poor To Pay A Psychologist

A lapse in Lindsay Lohan's health insurance -- because she's not been working in the past year -- has prevented her from paying for the psychological counseling ordered as part of her probation, her lawyer revealed in court Thursday.

Solution claimed to Zodiac's last code

PENNS340CIPHER.png
A hobbyist codebreaker believes he's cracked the Zodiac killer's last encoded message (above). It is, he claims, a Caesar cipher with some substitution stuff, though it's not really clear from the article. His solution identifies Arthur Leigh Allen as the killer:
KILLSLFDRHELPMEKI
LLMYSELFGASCHAMBE
RAEIOURDAYSQUESTI
ONSABLEEVERYYWAKI
NGMOMENTIMALIVEMY
PRIDELOSTICASTGOO
NLIVINGINTHISWAYK
ILLINGPEOPLEIHAVK
ILLDSOMANYPEOPLEC
ANTHELPMYSELFIMSO
ANGRYICOULDDOMYTH
INKIMALONEINTHISW
ORLDMYWHOLELIFEFU
LOLIESIMUNABLETOS
TOPBYTHETIMEYOUSO
LVETHISIWILLHAVKI
LLDELEVENPEOPLEPL
EASEHELPMESTOPKIL
LINGPEOPLEPLEASEM
YNAMEISLEIGHALLEN
With spaces, that reads "KILL SLF DR HELP ME KILL MYSELF GAS CHAMBER AEIOUR DAYS QUESTIONSABLE EVERYY WAKING MOMENT IM ALIVE MY PR IDE LOST I CAST GO ON LIVING IN THIS WAY KILLING PEOPLE I HAV KILLD SO MANY PEOPLE CANT HELP MYSELF IM SO AN GRY I COULD DO MY THINK IM ALONE IN THIS WORLD MY W HOLE LIFE FUL O LIES IM UNABLE TO STOP BY THE TIME YOU SOLVE THISI WILL HAV KILLD ELEVEN PEOPLE PLEASE HELP ME STOP KILLING PEOPLE PLEASE MY NAME IS LEIGH ALLEN".
I always assume "multiple keys used for different parts of the ciphertext", "bible codesque frequency shenanigans", etc., with these things. And it contains no new information, just the prime suspect and generic pathos. Cynical, I know! Be sure to drink your ovaltine.

Subterranean sewer mutant caught on CCTV

 Images Sewerrrrr This image was taken by a CCTV camera exploring an underground sewer pipe in Newtonbreda, Northern Ireland. NI Water officials say that "Sewerface," as they've dubbed this character, is most likely "a result of a combination of the bend in the sewer line and variations in light.” But of course we know the Truth.

Two whistleblowers now dead

Nothing suspicious about that - no, not suspicious at all.
<a href=http://www.zgeek.com/content.php/8305-2-whistleblowers-now-dead-not-suspicious-at-all>2 whistleblowers now dead, not suspicious at all</a>

First it was Big George Webley who relayed a fear of the Murdoch machine and wound up dead. Now it’s Sean Hoare. Two British media whistleblowers. Two untimely deaths.

Let’s assume that neither was killed by Rupert Murdoch (toxicology reports haven’t been made available; foul play isn’t suspected by British authorities in either case), but something happened that put the fear of God into both men.

Neither was known as a lunatic before their demise, both simply told the truth to British authorities about what they knew of Mr. Murdoch’s enterprises and died afterward at a relatively young age.


Murdoch paper uses Somalia famine as tool to deflect attention from Murdoch/News Corp

Surprise, surprise surprise!

Murdoch's paper responds to the phone hacking scandal with an incredibly tasteless cartoon.

Where music and foodie culture meet

Covers is an underground dinner club in San Francisco where -- now stay with me here -- "covers" of famous chefs' signature dishes are paired with thematically-appropriate cover songs. Sponsored by Bay Area's Noise Pop music festival, Covers is only one of many recent hipster foodie efforts to connect fine dining with fine tunes. The Bay Citizen gives us a taste:
 Uploaded Images 2011 7 Turntable-Kitchen-02 Original Noisepopcovers Dishingdessert Web “The beef represents Dylan’s leathery exterior — the man is 70, after all — and the seaweed and soy provide heavy notes that pair well with his raspy voice,” said (Covers founder Blair) Warsham, whose events aim to match wide-ranging musical selections with complementary dinner entrees... While restaurants have long had musical accompaniments, and concerts have long had food concessions, the current endeavors exhibit a new level of cross-pollination between music and food obsessives.
Musicians like M. Ward, co-author of a blog dedicated to crème brûlée, and members of the local band Vetiver have given lengthy interviews about their food interests. Summer festivals like Outside Lands, taking place in August at Golden Gate Park, advertise extensive creative food offerings, while the San Francisco Street Food Festival, also in August, boasts a large roster of hip-hop DJs and live bands...
“Obviously, you’ve got the total punk aesthetic of the working kitchen, with the cursing, staying up until 4 a.m., the drugs and everything,” said Dawson Ludwig, marketing director for Noise Pop. “But it’s more than that. Good music and good food are total indulgence, both providing fulfilling sensual experiences.”

Organic foods not to buy

Certain types of produce aren't worth the extra money because they fend off pesticides.  
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Ziggy

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Smelly, Sweaty Knights in Shining Armor

Medieval knighthood sounds like a romantic career in fiction. What a life of chivalry was really like doesn’t seem all that great. A team of scientists tried to replicate the work of a knight clad in up to 110 pounds of metal by dressing up volunteer historical re-enactors from the Royal Armories in London, and putting them on treadmills. Even though they were used to wearing armor, you better believe they worked up a sweat!
Sure enough, the researchers found, armor was exhausting. The men used 2.3 times as much energy to walk while wearing the armor than without it, and 1.9 times as much to run. Being outfitted for battle turned out to be even more tiring than hauling around a backpack of the same weight would’ve been. As it turns out, covering your legs with enormous, heavy metal plates makes moving around a lot harder.

World War II Shipwrecks Pose Oil Spill Threat

USS Arizona
Around the world, governments are taking stock of oil submerged aboard long-sunk, deteriorating vessels.

'The Lost City' Marks 100 Years

machu  pichu
Peruvians will celebrate Machu Picchu's 100th anniversary of the discovery of the archaeological wonder, this Sunday.  

Mass Extinction Caused by Deadly 'Earth Burp'

methane gas
The massive methane release led to an increase in atmospheric temperature around the globe.  

Have You Hugged a Neanderthal Today? Probably!

Amy
Your ancestors probably had sex with Neanderthals -- which makes you part-Neanderthal. Now get over it.

B.C.

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Chimps playing

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Tiger Sharks May Yo-Yo Dive for Food

Tiger Sharks May Yo-Yo Dive for Food
The unique up and down motion of the sharks allows them to access prey at different depths.

Dolphins Have Super-Healing and Regenerative Powers

Are dolphins secretly super heroes? It appears that our aquatic friends have some incredible healing powers not found in other animals.
Dolphins who suffer shark bites seem to feel very little pain, and they’re resistant to infection and hemorrhaging. Plus when they heal, the contours of their bodies return almost to normal, even though other animals would have huge, malformed scars.

Eerily close to a whale shark

A diver avoids harm while swimming just a few feet from the beast's giant mouth in Mexican waters.  
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Animal Pictures

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