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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.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
If you've been trying to finish a project but have been unable to find the free time you need for that last mile before the finish line, the universe has good news: You will find the time you need today! 
A surprise cancellation will open up a big block of time that is free for you to use in any way you see fit. 
Avoid the temptation to just go out and have fun with friends. 
Gifts like this don't come along too often -- make the most of it, and finish up your work once and for all!

Some of our readers today have been in: 
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Morini, Morini, Comoros
Newbury, England, United Kingdom
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
London, England, United Kingdom
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia
Gengenbach, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Athens, Attiki, Greece


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 Charlotte, Boone, Columbia, Aiken and more.

Today is:
Today is Sunday, September 11, the 254th day of 2011.
There are 111 days left in the year.


Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
National Grandparent's Day
and
National Hug Your Hound Day.
  
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Non Sequitur

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Subtle Sunday

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That about sums it up ...

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Thanks to the repugicans

On eve of 9/11 anniversary, repugicans want to cut money for first-responders

The repugicans always manage to be crazier than they were the day before.
President Obama requested $5.1 billion to provide disaster relief to communities struggling to recover from recent hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and wildfires. The request includes $500 million in emergency funds FEMA needs to continue to operate effectively through the end of September.

Eric Cantor, whose home state of Virginia was hit by an earthquake and Hurricane Irene, is demanding more partisan spending cuts in exchange for approving the request.
From Politico:

But a spokesperson for Eric Cantor (reptile-Va.) signaled late Friday that the repugicans are likely to insist on offsets for the $500 million in emergency funds Obama requested for 2011…

“The House has passed $1 billion in disaster relief funds that is fully offset, which we will look to move as quickly as possible.”

Disagree with Paul Ryan ...

Get handcuffed ... get arrested.
A few weeks ago, several of Ryan's unemployed constituents staged a peaceful sit-in at his Kenosha, Wisconsin office to protest his unpopular decision not to hold any free public town halls during the august recess. These constituents didn’t think they should have to pay to ask their elected representative a question. Instead of meeting with them, Ryan’s staff called the police.

So it should come as no surprise that this week, three people who paid to see Ryan speak were arrested and charged with trespassing for protesting the event. One constituent, a 71-year-old retired plumber from Kenosha, Wisconsin, was handcuffed and pushed to the ground by security: - think progress
What do you expect when you're dealing with a raging asshole like Ryan?

The arrogance of authority

Dea agentA Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officer stopped at a ranch in Texas , and talked with an old rancher. He told the rancher, “I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs.”
The rancher said, “Okay, but don’t go in that field over there…..”, as he pointed out the location.
The DEA officer verbally exploded saying, ” Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me!” Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removed his badge and proudly displayed it to the rancher. “See this badge?!  This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish. On any land!!   No questions asked or answers given!  Have I made myself clear?…do you understand!!”
The rancher nodded politely, apologized, and went about his chores.
A short time later, the old rancher heard loud screams, looked up, and saw the DEA officer running for his life, being chased by the rancher’s big Santa Gertrudis bull……
With every step the bull was gaining ground on the officer, and it seemed likely that he’d sure enough get gored before he reached safety. The officer was clearly terrified. The rancher threw down his tools, ran to the fence and yelled at the top of his lungs…..              
“Your badge, show him your BADGE……..!!”

Israel, Egypt try to stem damage from embassy riot

Israel and Egypt's leadership tried Saturday to limit the damage in ties after protesters stormed Israel's embassy in Cairo, trashing offices and prompting the evacuation of nearly the entire staff from Egypt in the worst crisis between the countries since their 1979 peace treaty.

Beyond Irene

Future hurricanes will get worse.

Farmers in 42 NC Counties Can Receive Federal Aid

Governor Beverly Perdue says farmers in 42 counties are eligible for federal disaster assistance for damage caused by Hurricane Irene .

Masterpiece Theater

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Frans van Mieris the Elder, Dutch
Young Leonardo da Vinci Inventing the Bong, 1663
Oil on panel

Why religion is bad for the human race

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And still more proof religion is insane

Cupid Table Cloth And Sin
A question from one of those Islamic sites.
I purchased a table cover having cupid motifs on it. When I bought the cover I didn't see the design clearly; it looked like flowers. After I used it once or twice, I looked at it closely and saw that it had hidden angel/cupid motifs on it. Should I continue to use this cover or throw it away? Will I be sinning if I keep this cloth in my house?
cupid-t9824 The answer:
According to Microsoft Bookshelf dictionary (2000 Edition), “cupid” means Roman Mythology: The god of love; the son of Venus.
As for your question, it’s impermissible for a Muslim to display pictures that show theological deviations and shirk.
“You are only allowed to use this one as a cloth for the floor where you may be stepping on it or using it to wipe dust or filth. To use it in any other dignified way would be condoning shirk (associating partners with Allah), which is the most heinous of all sins in Islam.
You may, however, cut or disfigure the pictures and then use it as a tablecloth. In this way, the shirk question does not arise. If any of these cannot be done, please return it to the store and try to get a refund or exchange.”

Random Photos

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In The Summertime

Mungo Jerry

There’s Not An App For That

If you think a phone app can cure acne, the FTC has some news for you: No, your smartphone can't heal acne.
acneapp The makers of two mobile applications claiming to treat acne have settled FTC complaints that the developers sold the apps without proof that they work as advertised. Under a proposed settlement, the sellers Acne Pwner and AcneApp -- including a dermatologist involved with AcneApp -- are prohibited from making acne treatment claims without scientific evidence, the FTC said Thursday.
"Smartphones make our lives easier in countless ways, but unfortunately when it comes to curing acne, there's no app for that," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement.
Both apps promised treatment for acne through colored lights emitted from mobile device screens. The app marketers instructed users to hold the screen next to the area of affected skin for a few minutes each day.
The cases are the first complaints the FTC has brought against makers of health-related apps in the mobile phone market.
About 3,300 people paid US$0.99 for Acne Pwner on Google's Android Marketplace and about 11,600 people paid $1.99 for AcneApp through Apple's iTunes store, according to the FTC.

Strange Noise

Taxiing down the tarmac, the jetliner abruptly stopped, turned around and returned to the gate. After an hour long wait, it finally took off.

A concerned passenger asked the flight attendant, "What was the problem?"

"The pilot was bothered by a strange noise he heard in the engine," she explained.

"Oh, and it took a while to fix it," said the passenger.

"Not exactly." replied the stewardess, "It just took us a bit to find a deaf pilot."

Wit of the World

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Art

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It's a Blond World

The $99 Cruise
This blonde (of course!) walks by a travel agency and notices a sign in the window, "Cruise Special -- $99!" She goes inside, lays her money on the counter and says, "I'd like the $99 cruise special, please."

The agent grabs her, drags her into the back room, ties her to a large inner tube, then drags her out the back door and downhill to the river, where he pushes her in and sends her floating.

Another blonde comes by a few minutes later, sees the sign, goes inside, lays her money on the counter, and asks for the $99 special cruise. She, too, is tied to an inner tube and sent floating down the river.

Drifting into a stronger current, she eventually catches up with the first blonde. They float side by side for a while before the first student asks, "Do they serve refreshments on this cruise?"

The second blonde replies, "They didn't last year."

Funny Pictures

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Time Travel is Real

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Here's Proof!

Ziggy

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Living Rock

Massive Monuments Carved In Situ
 

Most buildings and sculptures are made out of stone which is quarried and then taken somewhere else to be carved or used in construction. Not so these places, where the sculpting took place on site to give us some of the most remarkable sites in the world.

War Between the States doll Nina stars in detective story

A War Between the States-era doll suspected of carrying medicines to wounded and malaria-stricken Confederate troops has been X-rayed, taken a trip to Virginia's crime lab and starred in a nationally televised investigation.

Tabula Peutingeriana

 
OmnesViae offers a reconstruction of the Tabula Peutingeriana with internet technology. The Tabula Peutingeriana is a medieval copy of a Roman roadmap from about the year 300 CE.
The map was made by René Voorburg, webarchivist of the National Library of the Netherlands.

Top 10 Possible Authors For The Works Of Shakespeare

Despite William Shakespeare's status as a literary giant, a small but vocal group of scholars, playwrights, actors, and conspiracy theorists have long argued that he is not the true author of his plays. Adherents of the alternate author theory point to Shakespeare's humble origins, lack of formal education, and the murkiness of his historical record as evidence that the Bard was incapable of the genius that can be found in his work.

Not only that, but they frequently nominate candidates - some of them quite famous - as the true author. Here are ten of the most notable possible authors of the works of Shakespeare, along with explanations of why some think they might be the greatest writer you've never heard of.

Open Wide

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Degrees to go back to school

One of these bachelor's, master's, or associate's programs could help you move into a growth field.
Also: 

Unusual uses for a hair dryer

If your cake is stuck in the pan or you've got crayon marks on the walls, a blast of hot air can help. 
Also: 

IKEA Redesigns Iconic Bookcase

Because No One Buys Books Anymore
The demise of books has been foretold by many pundits, but perhaps the writing is now on the wall ... or in this case, the bookshelf. Specifically, the IKEA bookshelf.
John Biggs of TechCrunch wrote:
If you needed any more proof that the age of dead-tree books is over take a look at these alarming style changes at Ikea: the furniture manufacturer’s iconic BILLY bookcase – the bookcase that everyone put together when they got their first apartment and, inevitably, pounded the nails wrong into – is becoming deeper and more of a curio cabinet. Why? Because Ikea is noticing that customers no longer buy them for books.
This isn’t quite the canary in the coal mine – think of it as a slight tickle in the mine foreman’s throat – but all signs are pointing to the end of the physical book. There are plenty of analogs to this situation. When’s the last time you saw a casette tape rack sold outside of Odd Lots? What about the formal “stereo cabinet” with plenty of room for records? What about Virgin Megastores?
As much as it pains me to say this and as horrible as it sounds, the book is leaving us.

Ten Hackers Who Made History

 
The computer world has a rich history of hackers who steered the progress of computer science and gave shape to computers, the internet, and networking as we see it today - in some cases single-handedly. While the term 'hacker' today carries a negative connotation of an ill-intentioned computer genius, that's only a small portion of what the word really means.

There are hackers behind internet mayhem, thievery, and chaos, but there are also hackers who use their computer savvy for good. There's also a different kind of hacker entirely: the tinkerer. They all played parts, big and small, in creating the computer world as it exists today.

B.C.

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Prince Charles Warns of Human Extinction

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Photo: Getty Images
In his first speech as the head of the Worldwide Wildlife Fund UK, Prince Charles warned of a mass human extinction if dramatic steps aren't taken to reduce the world's consumption of natural resources. According to an article in The Telegraph, the Prince of Wales said, somewhat jokingly, that he too was an endangered species.

Virus Turns Caterpillars Into Zombies Using a Single Gene

Think that zombies are just fiction? Not for caterpillars, it isn't: there's actually a virus that can turn healthy caterpillars into zombies.
The biology of the disease is quite fascinating as researchers found that all the virus had to do is modify a single gene in the caterpillar's genome to turn it into a zombie:
"When gypsy moth caterpillars are healthy and happy, they go up into the trees at night to feed on leaves, and then climb back down in the morning to hide [in bark crevices or soil] from predators during the day," said study co-author Kelli Hoover, an entomologist at Penn State University.
But caterpillars infected with a baculovirus—a type of virus that infects invertebrates—are driven to the treetops and reprogrammed to stay there until they meet a doom worthy of a horror film.

"When they are infected, as they get sicker they stay up in the trees and die up there," Hoover explained.

The virus "ends up using just about all of the caterpillar to make more virus, and there are other genes in the virus that then make the caterpillar melt. So it becomes a pool of millions of virus particles that end up dropping onto the foliage below where it can infect other moths that eat those leaves."

Dugongs, Turtles Face Mass Starvation After Storm

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A dugong in the Sydney Aquarium.  
Northeastern Australia may have dried out after devastating floods hit the area early this year, but for dugongs and turtles off the Queensland coast, the natural disaster's effects seem to be just beginning: Hundreds of the animals have been washing up dead onshore near the Great Barrier Reef.
Article continues: Dugongs, Turtles Face Mass Starvation After Storm

Animal Pictures

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