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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 30, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You have two choices today: Either focus your energy on communicating more clearly, or suffer through a series of time-consuming misunderstandings.
Being the smart person you are, you will likely choose to work harder on conveying your ideas to others and -- more importantly -- listening more completely to what other people say.
Remember, communication is a two-way street and it's impossible for you to listen while you are talking.
Opt to say less and hear more today.

Some of our readers today have been in:
 Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Pyrmont, New South Wales, Australia
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Copenhagen, Kobenhavn, Denmark
Brtaislava, Bratislava, Slovakia
London, England, United Kingdom
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Barcelona, Catalonia, Australia
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Nizhniy Novgorod, Nizhegorod, Russia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Oslo, Oslo, Norway

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 Greenville, Charleston, Columbia, Rock Hill and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, July 30, the 211th day of 2011.
There are 154 days left in the year.


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

President Obama's Weekly Address


Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Washington, DC
Today, I’d like to speak with you about the ongoing and urgent efforts to avoid a first-ever default and get our fiscal house in order.
Republicans in the House of Representatives just spent precious days trying to pass a plan that a majority of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate had already said they wouldn’t vote for.  It’s a plan that wouldn’t solve our fiscal problems, but would force us to re-live this crisis in just a few short months.  It would hold our economy captive to Washington politics once again.  If anything, the past few weeks have demonstrated that’s unacceptable.
Any solution to avoid default must be bipartisan.  It must have the support of both parties that were sent here to represent the American people – not just one faction of one party.  There are multiple ways to resolve this problem.  Congress must find common ground on a plan that can get support from both parties in the House.  And it’s got to be a plan that I can sign by Tuesday.
Look, the parties are not that far apart here.  We’re in rough agreement on how much spending we need to cut to reduce our deficit.  We agree on a process to tackle tax reform and entitlement reform.  There are plenty of ways out of this mess.  But there is very little time.
We need to reach a compromise by Tuesday so that our country will have the ability to pay its bills on time – bills like Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits, and contracts we’ve signed with thousands of American businesses.  If we don’t, for the first time ever, we could lose our country’s Triple A credit rating.  Not because we didn’t have the capacity to pay our bills – we do – but because we didn’t have a Triple A political system to match it.  And make no mistake – for those who reflexively oppose tax increases on anyone, a lower credit rating would be a tax increase on everyone – we’d pay higher interest rates on mortgages, car loans, and credit cards.
That would be inexcusable, and entirely self-inflicted by Washington.  The power to solve this is in our hands.  All that’s needed is a simple vote that Democrats and Republicans have taken for decades, including all of the leaders in Congress today.  It was done 18 times under President Reagan.  7 times under George W. Bush.  And it must be done again now.  It’s not a vote that allows Congress to spend more money.  Raising the debt ceiling simply gives our country the ability to pay the bills Congress has already racked up.  It gives the United States of America the ability to keep its word.  And it will let businesses and our economy breathe a sigh of relief.
On Monday night, I asked you to make your voice heard in this debate.  And the response was overwhelming.  One of the emails we received was from a woman named Kelly Smith, who wanted to send this message to Washington:
“I keep my home clean, work hard at a full time job, give my parents any monies I can so they can afford their medications, I pay my bills and by all appearances I am a responsible person.  All I’m asking is that you be responsible.  I have my house in order and all I’m asking is that you get yours the same way.”
Here in Washington, we need to get our house in order.  And I have to say, Democrats in Congress and some Senate Republicans have been listening and have shown themselves willing to make compromises to solve this crisis.  Now all of us – including Republicans in the House of Representatives – need to demonstrate the same kind of responsibility that the American people show every day.  The time for putting party first is over.  The time for compromise on behalf of the American people is now.  Thank you.

House passes repugican debt plan

repugicans finally close ranks and support the plan backed by John Boehner.
Also: 

Senate swiftly rejects repugican plan

The standoff continues as Democrats kill the measure adopted earlier by the House.  
Also: 

Apple has more cash than U.S.

While the U.S. government struggles to find a way to pay its bills, Apple is thriving.  
Also: 

Recession risks up amid slow growth, debt standoff

The economy is at risk of slipping into another recession.

It nearly stalled in the first six months of the year, the government reported Friday.

That Time in 1979 When the U.S. Government Defaulted

The August deadline for lifting the debt ceiling is looming. Will the US government default on its loans? Has that ever happened before? Yes it has -in 1979.
In the spring of 1979, Congress was in the midst of a similarly heated debate about raising the debt ceiling, Legislators eventually reached a last-minute deal to raise the debt ceiling and (they thought) save the day, but something went wrong. The Treasury didn’t redeem $120 million worth of securities that matured in April and May.
In other words, the U.S. Treasury defaulted on its securities even though Congress settled the debt-ceiling issue. What happened? It’s not totally clear.
Here’s the short answer: When all else fails, blame the computers.
And as a result we got ronny raygun and the entire world went to shit.

Non Sequitur

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Judge orders release of grand jury testimony of President Richard Nixon

The secret grand jury testimony of President Richard Nixon in the Watergate scandal was ordered to be released on Friday by a federal judge because of its significance in American history.

Why teachers would cheat

Amid a national scandal, one instructor reveals why she helped her students' test scores.
Also: 

Food that helps keep you cool

Ice cream won't do the trick, but a leafy garnish placed on some desserts can work wonders.  
Also: 

'Best' restaurant is closing

A world-renowned eatery in Spain is undergoing a radical transformation led by the head chef.
Also: 

Bad Acting

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Who says only humans can be 'actors'.

America's best campgrounds

You won't believe the sights you can see for less than $50 a night if you don't mind roughing it a bit.
Also: 

Denver bets on a county fair, aiming at hipsters

Denver has an ambitious plan to revive the county fair: blend throwback chic with urban grit to draw crowds celebrating everything weird and crafty.

Optical illusion you'll 'heart'

The background colors have an odd effect on these heart-shaped objects.  
Also: 

Wizard of Id

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Who's the most stressed in U.S.?

Who's the most stressed in U.S.?
It's no surprise that Americans are ultra-stressed these days—but new research shows one group is suffering the most: women age 45 to 64.

Here's why.

Four Back pain myths – debunked!

Woman with back painNo, you didn't accidentally log onto an AARP site.

Back pain is not limited to your twilight years and can, in fact, happen even in your 20s or 30s.

Lifting groceries or just trying a new Zumba class can trigger muscle spasms from your body being tweaked the wrong way.…

Tylenol's lower maximum dose

Concerns about overdoses from the active ingredient in Extra Strength Tylenol fuel the move.  
Also: 

Southern distillery to legally sell Moonshine

photoTwo entrepreneurs are taking advantage of new micro-distillery laws in South Carolina to make and sell traditional moonshine whiskey legally for the first time in the southern state.  

Cop Pulling D.A.R.E. Trailer Charged with DUI

Scott and Tina Robbins called 911 after hearing a crash in the street outside their home in Salem, Indiana. A truck had hit a tree so hard that the vehicle appeared to be wrapped around it. The truck was driven by John Newcomb, a Seymour, Indiana police officer.
“He was sitting on the wall out of the vehicle, holding his head,” said Mrs. Robbins. But that wasn’t the only thing that stood out to the Robbins, it was the trailer Newcomb was pulling.
“It said DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and Seymour Police Department- which made me think he was a police officer,” said Mr. Robbins.
Not only a police officer, but according to the Seymour Police Department website, he is the School Resource Officer, responsible for seven schools, acting as a mentor and providing students with a role model. It even states that he conducts lectures on narcotics and alcohol and their effects on driving.
“He’s not setting a good example for kids that see this,” said Mr. Robbins.
Newcomb said he crashed because a dog in the vehicle distracted him. He was taken to the Washington County Jail.

Two men indicted on murder charge in killing of man returning lost cell phone

Two Shaker Heights men were charged with killing a man who was trying to return a missing cell phone.

Ziggy

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Why Are There Hundreds of Ancient Tunnels in Bavaria?

Why are there secret ancient underground chambers and tunnels connecting old farmhouses, churches and even cemeteries and forests in Bavaria, Germany? Nobody knows - even the experts are baffled:
The vaults could not have served a practical purpose, as dwellings or to store food, for example, if only because the tunnels are so inconveniently narrow in places. Besides, some fill up with water in the winter. Also, the lack of evidence of feces indicates that they were not used to house livestock.
There is not a single written record of the construction of an Erdstall dating from the medieval period. "The tunnels were completely hushed up," says Ahlborn.
Archeologists have also been surprised to find that the tunnels are almost completely empty and appear to be swept clean, as if they were abodes for the spirits. One gallery contained an iron plowshare, while heavy millstones were found in three others. Virtually nothing else has turned up in the vaults.
There's one thing they do know: there are hundreds of these secret underground mazes all over Germany and Austria.

Apollo Mosaic Found in Rome Tunnel

Trajan Bathes
Archaeologists unearth a 2,000-year-old wall mosaic in an underground passageway in Rome.

Giant iceberg blocks harbor

A massive iceberg runs aground off Newfoundland’s Goose Cove before breaking apart.  

Also: 

Ancient Source of Earth's Biggest Eruptions Found

volcano
The magma represents a remnant of the composition of early Earth -- before the crust separated from the mantle as Earth cooled.

Monster Waves Behind Sun's Coronal Heating Mystery?

Monster Waves Behind Sun's Coronal Heating Mystery?
Powerful Alfvén waves have been detected deep inside the sun's atmosphere, possibly explaining why the solar atmosphere is so hot.  

Further proof religion is insane

The relentless christian crusade to prevent our children from learning science.

New Nucleotides Identified in Human DNA

dna
Human DNA includes eight nucleotides instead of the four originally identified.  

Humans Crowded Out Neanderthals

neanderthal
A swell of modern humans outnumbered Neanderthals in Europe nearly 10 to one.

Upping the cute factor

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Everybody loves cake!

Skull of Giant Sea Monster May be Largest In the World

If the presence of Tyrannosaurus Rex isn't enough to make anyone shudder, consider this Pilosaur that might have dined on one of those big fellows for Sunday brunch! The 8-foot long skull and jaws with teeth that belong in the world of nightmares are now on permanent display in an English museum.

Hey, what gives ...

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Prehistoric Dog Domestication Derailed by Ice Age

Samoyed dog
Some dogs were domesticated by 33,000 or more years ago, but the Ice Age disrupted the process. Read more 

Baby Oryxes Born

oryx
Oryxes are extinct in the wild, but this baby is one of three additions to the captive population born this summer.  

A surprising haven for bees

Struggling to thrive in rural areas, bees have found productive homes in some cities.
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Goldfish Have An Incredible Will To Survive

 New Zealand: Goldfish survive 134 days without food.
2goldfish Two goldfish, named Shaggy and Daphne after characters from the animated television show Scooby Doo, have become the smallest and hardiest survivors of the devastating February earthquake in Christchurch that killed 181 people.
The fish spent four and a half months — 134 days — trapped in their tank in the city's off-limits downtown without anyone to feed them or even any electricity to power their tank filter before they were discovered this month and rescued.
"It's certainly an incredible story. I wouldn't have guessed that fish could survive on their own for four months," said Paul Clarkson, curator at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. "Goldfish are very hardy critters."
This suggests the survivors could have been ruthless murderers and cannibals:
There were six goldfish in the tank when the earthquake struck. By the time the survivors were found, no trace remained of three of the fish. A fourth was found floating in the tank.
The image shows two random goldfish, probably not even New Zealand goldfish.

Animal Pictures

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