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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.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
When it comes to your finances, you cannot let your reputation come before your bank account.
If you are afraid of being called 'cheap,' you need to get over it.
The people who toss those types of terms around are the same people who are deep in debt, so what do they know about money matters?
Being thriftier will help you increase your cash flow -- and decrease your stress level -- so create a tighter budget and ignore what people say about your spending habits.

 Some of our readers today have been in:
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Kindberg, Steiermark, Austria
Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Newbury, England, United Kingdom
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
Morini, Morini, Comoros
Helsinki, Southern Finland, Finland
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Bangkok, Krung Thep, Thailand
Athens, Attiki, Greece
Hamburg, Hamburg, 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 Alstead, North Andover, Boynton Beach, Tacoma and more!

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, November 2, the 306th day of 2011.
There are 59 days left in the year.


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

Non Sequitur

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Wonderous Wednesday

Learning what some children live without brought Ron Rucker around on his wife's plan.
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Georgia militia plot inspired by novel

A Navy vet accused of plotting biological attacks on the U.S. drew ideas from fiction, officials say.  
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An Open Letter to Gun Nuts

This is a couple of years old but still relative: An open letter to gun nuts.

The Mystery Art Patron of the Scottish Poetry Library


Image: chrisdonia/Flickr
Last spring, a librarian saw a little paper sculpture of a tree sitting on a table in the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh. It seems like the library had gotten itself a new anonymous patron ... and thus a wonderful mystery was born:
Gorgeously crafted, it came with a gold-leafed eggshell broken in two, each half filled with little strips of paper with phrases on them. When reassembled properly, the strips became a poem about birds, "A Trace of Wings" by Edwin Morgan.
What was this?
"This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas..." said a note, addressed to the Library by its twitter name "@ByLeavesWeLive". There was no artist signature, no one to thank. The staff, totally nonplussed, asked on their blog if anybody knew who made it. They described the gift as a "poetree" and waited. Nobody claimed authorship.
Then, it happened again.
And again and again ... Who had been leaving these mysterious gifts in the library?
When the Edinburgh Evening News announced that it had cracked the case, the reaction of the public was unimaginable (at least by American standards): people actually preferred that the mysterious patron remain mysterious!
Read more about the fascinating case of this literary mystery over at Robert Krulwich's blog over at NPR: here.

Bad Vibes: Studying Emotional Residue

There are people who claim to be very intuitive about the emotions of former occupants of a place based on the “vibes” they get from hanging out in a house or building. While most people would say aloud that they thought this was a bunch of nonsense, a study done recently to gauge the average person’s response to implied emotional residue shows that most people believe in some sort of emotional vibe… even after the person who left it there is gone.
[Y]ou’re choosing between two apartments. They are identical with one exception: you happen to know that the former tenant in one of the apartments was an extremely happy, joyful person. Would you be more inclined to choose that apartment, based on an expectation that you might experience some lingering good feelings?
Your answers reflect how much you believe in “emotional residue,” which is the idea that emotions can hang around a physical environment, long after their owners have left. New research suggests that at a gut level, most of us believe that emotional residue exists. However, the culture we’ve grown up in determines the extent to which we consciously and openly endorse those beliefs.
He had participants from both countries read scenarios about David, a college freshman who moves into a new dorm room. The previous student who lived in the room was described as having spent a lot of time there feeling either very happy or depressed. Savani asked his participants to predict how David would feel a couple of weeks after living in his new room. Both Indians and Americans predicted that David would feel similarly to the student who had lived there before. In other words, he’d feel happy if the previous student had been happy and sad if the previous student had been sad.
There were two other trials, detailed in the Scientific American post and the original study report, which gave similar results: People believe, even subconsciously, that how a person feels will leave lingering emotional markers in a room or building. So is that the case or is this, in fact, a bunch of nonsense?
The question of whether emotional residue actually exists remains to be answered, but intriguing new research suggests that it may have biological underpinnings. A well-publicized study from earlier this year demonstrated that human tears emit a chemical that other people detect and respond to. Specifically, women’s tears were shown to reduce testosterone and sexual arousal in men. Research by Wen Zhou and Denise Chen of Rice University have demonstrated that human sweat glands emit distinct chemicals when people experience different emotions. In addition, they showed evidence that other people can sense those chemicals at a later point in time. Taken together, these new findings suggest that our intuitive beliefs in emotional residue may be more than just superstition.

Your brain's DNA changes over time

This fascinating new study raises whole new realms of possibilities for potential treatments for mental health and brain disorders.
A team of researchers have discovered that brain cells are capable of altering their genetic make-up over time. They found that specific parts of genes, called retrotransposons, cause lots of small changes in the DNA of brain tissue – particularly in areas associated with learning and memory.
Also, for the first time, the researchers have shown that brain cells are genetically different to other cells in the body and are also different from each other. This is contrary to the belief that the genetic make-up of brain cells stays the same throughout life.

Crabby Road

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Culinary DeLites

Burgers, pasta, and "healthy" entrĂ©es that pack more sodium than 600 potato chips. 
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Healthy Living

Hidden dangers of gum disease

People with gingivitis are more prone to have strokes and heart attacks, one expert says.  
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Dangers of licorice

Eating too much licorice can lead to irregular heartbeat or even heart failure due to its glycyrrhetinic acid content. If you tend to overchew, you might be advised to seek out DGL (de-glycyrrhizinated) licorice. Stawberry Twizzler fiends need not worry. About this anyway. From Smithsonian (Wikipedia image):
 Wikipedia Commons 8 85 Liquorice Wheels When consumed in large quantities, (glycyrrhetinic acid) can cause your body’s potassium levels to fall to the point that some people experience arrhythmia, a rise in blood pressure, swelling and even congestive heart failure. People taking diuretics or medications for high blood pressure should be especially wary as the licorice may inhibit the effectiveness of the drugs. How much is too much? According to the FDA, a diet including 2 ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks might merit a trip to the hospital to have an irregular heart beat checked out. And consuming one to two pounds of licorice candy in one go may cause the blood vessels in your eyes to spasm, causing temporarily impaired vision. Though predominately a concern for persons over 40, it is recommended that everyone should moderate a high licorice intake.

Cancer Found in 2,000-Year-Old Mummy

mummyThe man known today only as M1 died a slow, painful death and is further proof that cancer existed in antiquity.

Ziggy

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Awesome Pictures

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UFOs over football game?

Coaches and fans at a game in Arizona are distracted by curious lights in the sky.
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Mimi and Eunice

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Thirteen Hyper Vintage Pieces Of Furniture

Check out these 13 iconic pieces of furniture from the stone age to the American antebellum.

Field of Dreams Sold

If they build it, will they come? Mike and Denise Stillman are betting on it: the couple, longtime fans of the movie "Field of Dreams," have just bought the Iowa farm where movie was shot and plan to turn it into baseball fields.
The Stillmans said they plan to preserve the iconic diamond while building about a dozen other fields and an indoor training dome on the 193-acre property, turning the land into a Midwestern hub for youth baseball and softball practice and tournaments.
"It's the right time for this," said Denise Stillman, 39, a healthcare business consultant. "We just know that it's going to be a huge success."
The Stillmans said about 65,000 people visit the site near Dyersville every year, playing catch or running the bases on the same field where the ghosts of past ballplayers emerged from the cornstalks to play ball in the movie, which starred Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones.

American Hotels That Shaped History: Then Vs Now

Did you know Mark Twain wrote two of his books in The Willard Washington D.C. hotel? Or that The Plaza in New York City was the setting for Barefoot in the Park, with a young Jane Fonda and Robert Redford? Some of the coolest, most historic hotels still stand today. While some of them have undergone drastic cosmetic alteration, many, surprisingly, have hardly changed at all.

Like, Back to School

It was the first day of school after summer vacation. The kids had all arrived in the high school sophomore English class, and were chatting away, making new friends.
THEN…In walked a very stern looking English teacher and a hush fell over the room as the kids scurried to their seats.

The stern teacher silently panned his gaze across all the kids. After about a minute or so, he spoke...
"From the outset, I want you all to know that there are two words that are absolutely unacceptable in this classroom. You cannot use them as you recite, or in any of your papers, tests, or homework. Using these words even once, will get you a failing grade for that quarter.

The first one is "gross." And the other one is "cool." Are there any questions?"

After a few moments of silence, this gawky teen at the back of the room raises his hand, and the teacher calls upon him. In a pubescent croaking voice, the kid asks...

"So, what are they?"

Journey into the MicroWorld

Here’s an intriguing idea: a fictional tale crafted around a set of microphotographs. The images of things you wouldn’t recognize at that scale became fantastic landscapes for the story! Alan Jaras is the artist who makes images he calls “refractographs” by scanning electron photography, and he wrote the science fiction story inspired by them. Get a taste of the strange planet called MicroWorld, where our laws of physics do not apply, at Dark Roasted Blend.

Daily Comic Relief

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Death And Gravestone Symbolism

Death is life's ending. Because everyone who is born eventually dies, it is the center of many traditions and organizations. Customs relating to death are a feature of every culture around the world. Part of those customs are symbols, which signify or try to make sense of the phenomena.

Master Splinter, What Happened To The Ninja Turtles?

Was a spell cast upon the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which turned them into trees, or is this tree just a really big fan of the series? This tree with a face would have fit in quite well on the set of the Dark Crystal.

B.C.

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Climate Change Bulks Up Birds

Climate Change Bulks Up Birds
California birds are flying against the trend toward smaller animals and getting bigger with climate change.  

Invasive, Fragrant Ants Crash Hawaii

Invasive, Fragrant Ants Crash Hawaii
House ants, that smell like fresh coconut when smashed, are invading coconut-filled Hawaii.  

Animal Pictures

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