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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.


Monday, November 21, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
There is a strong realignment going on among your friends, and parts of your circle may be breaking off into smaller units.
You might not be aware of the magnitude of all the reshuffling, but that's only because it probably won't affect you.
Give these people the space and time they need to figure things out -- you should definitely not get involved or pick sides.
Maintain relationships with the people you want in your life -- that's all you need to do.

 Some of our readers today have been in:
Will be back tomorrow
Hanover, Niedersachsen, 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 Totowa, Sebastopol, Kapolei, Wauchula, Menifee and more!

Today is:
Today is Monday, November 21, the 325th day of 2011.
There are 40 days left in the year.


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

Non Sequitur

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Manic Monday

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The Case for Krampus as an Occupy Mascot

politicalkrampus The Case for Krampus as an Occupy Mascot
While there are many good reasons for members of the Occupy movement to related to the rehabilitated image of Guy Fawkes/”V”, I am personally convinced that the image of Krampus could potentially be a much more effective iconic symbol of the Occupy movement, especially in the coming weeks leading up to Christmas which is arguably one of the biggest and most lucrative times of year for large banking institutions and corporations that have been shown to have connections to less-than-equitable business practices. Krampus represents responsibility and accountability for one’s actions while more than willing to punish those who engage in harmful practices – business and otherwise.
The author lists out five reasons that Krampus would be better than Fawkes:
-Encourages radical community involvement.
-Actually aims to punish wrong-doings.
-Horns are much scarier than a mask and pantaloons.
-Makes reasonable demands.
-Hasn’t been usurped by Time Warner and was never a Papist tool.

Florida Democrat introduces OCCUPIED amendment

OK, that's the type of politician that people want to vote for. The idea that corporations are people is so bizarre yet so few in Congress have bothered to do anything about it.

More from Think Progress:
In one of the greatest signs yet that the 99 Percenters are having an impact, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, today introduced an amendment that would ban corporate money in politics and end corporate personhood once and for all.

Deutch’s amendment, called the Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy (OCCUPIED) Amendment, would overturn the Citizens United decision, re-establishing the right of Congress and the states to regulate campaign finance laws, and to effectively outlaw the ability of for-profit corporations to contribute to campaign spending.

Top 0.1% earned nearly 50% of all capital gains

And to think the repugicans and quite a few Democrats buy into the baloney that we need to keep cutting capital gains taxes. How about seeing a majority in Washington give a damn about everyone else? It hasn't been part of the mainstream policy for decades, but it needs to be. Until someone dedicates themselves to bringing back the middle class and helping Americans other than the richest of the rich, neither party deserves any financial support of votes. Both parties are complete jokes and yes, anti-American.
This disgraceful statistic unfortunately has the fingerprints of both Democrats and repugicans and it has to change.
Capital gains are the key ingredient of income disparity in the US-- and the force behind the winner takes all mantra of our economic system. If you want even out earning power in the U.S, you have to raise the 15% capital gains tax.

Income and wealth disparities become even more absurd if we look at the top 0.1% of the nation's earners-- rather than the more common 1%. The top 0.1%-- about 315,000 individuals out of 315 million-- are making about half of all capital gains on the sale of shares or property after 1 year; and these capital gains make up 60% of the income made by the Forbes 400.

It's crystal clear that the shrub tax reduction on capital gains and dividend income in 2003 was the cutting edge policy that has created the immense increase in net worth of corporate executives, Wall St. professionals and other entrepreneurs.

Dwindling debt deal hopes

On the brink of failure, members of the deficit-cutting panel point fingers at each other. 
Also: 

Fight looms over automatic cuts

A budgetary "booby trap" of automatic spending cuts has lawmakers scrambling. 
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Senate and House repugicans moving to undo Super Commitee’s defense cuts

So when repugicans agreed to the Super Committee, and agreed that if the committee couldn't reach an accord there would be automatic cuts to domestic programs and defense programs, they didn't mean it. The repugicans agreed to the Super Committee as a kind of bluff. They never intended to let the committee cut defense spending or raise taxes (either by design or by default).  They simply wanted to see if they could get the Democrats to cave during the negotiations, and since the didn't cave, the repugicans are pulling out of both deals (both the committee negotiations and the automatic-cuts).

From CBS News:
[T]he same legislators who concocted that budgetary booby trap just four months ago could end up spending the 2012 election year and beyond battling over defusing it.

John McCain, r-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, r-S.C., say they are writing legislation to prevent what they say would be devastating cuts to the military. House repugicans are exploring a similar move. Democrats maintain they won't let domestic programs be the sole source of savings.

Crabby Road

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Thanksgiving horror stories

The most memorable meals sometimes include frozen turkeys, ER visits, and oven fires. 
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The Dinner Party

A businessman had arranged an important formal dinner party at his home where they were going to serve stuffed whole baked fish as the main course. While the guests were eating the appetizer, the cook came to the host and whispered "Please come urgently to the kitchen."

The host went to the kitchen where the cook explained that while she was serving the starter, the cat ate a big chunk of the fish which they were going to serve.

The host said, "Just fill the hole with stuffing and turn the other side up, nobody will notice."

The fish was served and when they were nearly finished eating, the host was again called to the kitchen. The cook said,

"The cat is dead!"

The host rushed back to the dinner party and apologized, "Something was wrong with the fish and everyone must have their stomachs pumped out at the hospital."

When they came back everything was still fine and the host went to ask the cook, "Where is the cat?"

"Oh," said the chef, "The cat is still by the road where the truck ran it down!"

In the news

  1. A worker at a Toledo Big Boy restaurant put pig medication in coffee, but a quick-thinking co-worker stopped him before he could serve it to customers, police said.
  2. Authorities have compensated an Australian man $100,000 after he was wrongly accused of trying to smuggle drugs into the country in bottles of shampoo.

Two U.S. spy rings busted

Iran and Hezbollah round up more than a dozen CIA spies after what some are calling major tactical blunders. 
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Geothermal Energy: Hot Times Ahead

Geothermal Energy: Hot Times Ahead
New technologies and maps of the Earth's crust are making geothermal a renewable energy competitor to fossil fuels.

Question and Answer

Q: How do you know you're a hillbilly?

A: You tell your 12 year old daughter to stop smoking in front of her kids.

Careers for people haters

If being on a team of one sounds appealing, these professions might be the right fit.  
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Workplace myths debunked

Many people assume that the First Amendment protects your ability to say whatever you want at work. 
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If Websites Were Actually Magazines

Remember when magazines were your only option? If you long for those days of old, then you’ll enjoy this gallery of popular websites reimagined as magazines.

Bomb plot suspect nabbed

An "al-Qaida sympathizer" is accused of planning attacks on police officers and postal facilities.  
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Woman could be jailed for feeding squirrels

An Ohio woman could serve jail time for feeding squirrels on her neighbors' property. Annick Richardson of Kettering, Ohio, will appear in court in December for a pretrial hearing on two counts of criminal trespassing.


If convicted, she could serve up to 60 days in jail and pay a fine. She was appointed a public defender on Friday. Neighbors said Richardson went onto their property to leave peanuts for local squirrels. The animals, drawn to the nuts, then ruined gardens, chewed through car wires and clogged air conditioners with peanuts, the report said.

"She won't stop," Don DuBon complained. "She won't listen to police. She won't listen to the animal control officer." One woman said she had to move because her grandson has a severe allergy to peanuts.


"It's the parents' or guardians' responsibility to make sure the child is not going to pick up anything and it's my responsibility not to put any on her side," Richardson said. She admitted that her squirrel feeding was "excessive" and said in the future that she would "feed them mainly on my property, but I will have a few exceptions."

Prisoner sues for $1m over short bed

A Rikers Island inmate is suing the city because his prison bed — which he claims is too short for his 6-foot-1 frame and forces him to curl up in a fetal position every night — is causing “extreme lower-back pain.”

Maxie Leak’s lawsuit in Manhattan federal court alleges that the Department of Corrections refuses to provide longer beds because of cost. “When I lay down straight, my feet hang out the bottom of the bed, so I am forced to lay down in a compromised position,” Leak, 43, wrote in his suit.


“This position, known as fetal, has taken a toll on me and has caused me extreme lower-back pain.” Leak, who has been held at Rikers since August on a third-degree felony burglary charge, insists that he decided to sue only as a last resort.

“I have complained to all I could in order to get a longer bed,” he wrote. “My back really hurts badly.” He’s asking that the city give 6-foot and taller inmates special beds — as well as $1 million in damages.

Man jailed for 80 years after buying hot dog with fake money

A hot dog and popcorn at the movies could cost Charles Nowden the rest of his life. A Tarrant County jury on Friday sentenced Nowden, 48, of Mansfield, to 80 years in prison for passing a counterfeit $20 bill at the concession stand at a Mansfield movie theatre in November 2009. The bill — and another $120 in counterfeit bills that Nowden had tucked inside the hot dog wrapper — were apparently the final straw in a string of crimes that stretched more than 20 years.

“Charles Nowden was a career cargo-thief who needed to be brought to justice,” Assistant District Attorney Dawn Ferguson, who prosecuted the case with Lisa Callaghan, said in a written statement. “The auto theft task force and the district attorney’s office are pleased to see that his lifetime of stealing is over.” A jury in state District Judge Everitt Young’s court convicted Nowden on Wednesday on a felony forgery charge for possessing the counterfeit bills, then took up the issue of punishment.


Nowden had faced up to life in prison because of prior convictions and two pending felony theft cases. He will be eligible for parole after 15 years, when he’s 63. Nowden had maintained that he was innocent of the forgery charge, saying the bills were given to him when he got change for two $100 bills at a gas station. He said prosecutors “railroaded” him on the forgery charge to avoid taking him to trial on the more complicated cases.

But he said after the guilty verdict that he was resigned to the outcome. He said the pending theft cases from 2007 and another arrest in July had made him a target for investigators. “I’m glad it’s over with,” he said. “This has been going on for four years. They would never take me to trial. They were harassing me. They were harassing my family. People I care about wouldn’t come around any more because they were harassing them.”

Ziggy

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The 10 Most Extreme Places On Earth

Our world is filled with extreme climates, peaks and more. If you’ve ever been interested in these record-breaking locations, then don’t miss these ten most extreme places on earth including the largest vertical drop as you can see above.

Woman to cross Antarctica

Once the weather clears, Felicity Aston will attempt a solo crossing of Antarctica on skis.  
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Haenyu

The Indomitable Diving Grandmas Of Jeju Island


The calm of the shoreline is interrupted by a whistling noise. Then, a strange, sleek shape breaks the surface of the Korean Strait, clasping its quarry. Yet there is no need to call David Attenborough just yet - this is no strange new species of seal. In fact, it's an elderly lady; one of the indomitable diving grandmas of Jeju Island.

Declassified Russian bunker

Declassified Russian bunker
Would you like to visit a former secret object of the USSR which is declassified now? In 1960 no Moscovite knew who inhabited the regular house. Sometimes the light was on in the house and figures of people could be seen from the windows. The ground floor looked strange enough as its windows built up. And only a few officials with a corresponding access to secrecy knew what was going on there.

Virtual Tour Of The Elysée Palace

Take a marvelous virtual tour of this elegant tribute to French architecture. Let an art historian show you the cultural treasures of the Elysée. Or take a look at the Elysée's past. Experience the first day of an usher at the palace. Tour the room of your choice. At the bottom of the page you can click for the English language.

A Guide To Communist Mummies

While these dictators and despots held unquestioned power in their lifetimes, they wielded no such control in death. Despite requesting to be buried or cremated, their comrades had other plans and they were turned into mummified waxy icons - each a human-corpse embodiment of the country they once ruled.

Awesome Pictures

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How Paleoartists Create Prehistory

Remember the Neanderthals you see in the museum or on the glossy pages of The National Geographic? Those are the works of paleoartists, a rare breed of people that create the fanciful visuals to accompany the dry data of paleontology.
Meet two such paleoartists, the twin brothers Alfons and Adrie Kennis of the Netherlands:
Do they consider themselves artists? "Noooo. We are no artists," says one or the other — to be honest, they sound identical on tape. Are they rich? "Nooooo," they laugh in unison. "Look," says either Alfons or Adrie, pointing at one of their reconstructions, "We used the hair of a Scottish Highlander." The hair is russet-colored and has been implanted in the head of a silicon-faced Neanderthal. What kind of Scottish men donate their hair to the paleoartistry industry? "A cow, a cow," scream the Kennises: The hair comes from Highland cattle.
The Kennises have caused some ripples in the museum world. Paleoartists are as susceptible as any of us to their own imaginations. "Artists, even scientific professors, can romanticize the past like everyone else," says Alfons. Hence, what you'll see depicted as an early example of Homo erectus, in museums, in books, or on television, is often wildly inaccurate, as influenced by fantasy or fashion as anything in a glossy magazine. You'll see prehistoric humans depicted with gleaming white teeth or smooth pale skin. "People have fantasies about what it's like to live most of your life in the outdoors," says Alfons. "It is a hard life." The Kennises don't do smooth. They don't do expressionless either. If the bones show that a prehistoric human incurred an injury to his jaw that would give him a tooth infection, this is what the Kennises will imply in the face of their reconstruction.

Ice Mummy May Have Smashed Eye in Fall

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CT scans suggest the Iceman may have shattered his eye in a fall after he was wounded by an arrow.  

Alien skull

Alien skull
Behold a giant-headed alien mummy that turned up in Peru. Stare into the all-knowing eye sockets of an alien that somehow wound up on Earth many years ago, and was mummified by the locals. But what was is it doing here?

Website RPP is claiming that Renato Davila Riquelme, an anthropologist working at the Privado Ritos Andinos museum in Cusco, has discovered remains of something that isn't human. Measuring at 20 inches tall, the tiny remains were originally believed to be that of a child, but Spanish and Russian doctors disagree.

B.C.

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When Whales Walked In Egypt

German paleontologist Eberhard Fraas (1862 - 1915) described a peculiar creature that - had it only been slightly more complete - could have quickly closed a gap in our understanding of one of the greatest transitions in evolutionary history. Fraas called the animal Protocetus. It was one of the very earliest whales.

Found in limestone deposits created on the floor of a 45-million-year-old sea where Cairo, Egypt, now sits, the archaic cetacean was represented by a nearly complete skull and a series of vertebrae from the neck down to the hip. No parts of the limbs were found.

Upping the cute factor

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Loyal dog guards the grave of its dead owner

People living in a Chinese village have been so moved by a dog that has been guarding the grave of its deceased owner they plan to build a kennel for him.

The yellow dog belonged to Lao Pan, a single man who died earlier this month aged 68. After his room in Panjiatun village near Qingdao city, Shandong Province, was cleared his dog disappeared.


But villagers later found the dog by the grave of its owner. Reports say that for seven days, the dog stayed there, refusing to leave. Seeing that the dog was going without food, the locals tried to take it back to the village and gave it some buns.

The dog took the buns and returned to the graveyard. Now the villagers are taking food and water to the dog regularly and plan to put up a kennel for it near its owner's grave.

Five Animal Myths You Probably Believe

You know how when you cut a worm in half you’ll get two worms and how mice love cheese? If you said yes, then actually you don’t know much about these creatures. Cracked recently took a look at common animal myths that are actually totally bogus. How many of these did you still believe before you read the article?

Animal Pictures

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