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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, July 7, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Supremely capable and hard-working people like you aren't always the best at expressing feelings, but that all changes for you today.
You've got a lot of emotions that you need to get off your chest, and you're determined to express them to those who are closest to you.
Not only are they pleased to hear you let it all out, but they reciprocate in ways that will please you immensely.
Some of our readers today have been in:
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Bangkok, Krung Thep Thailand
London, England, United Kingdom
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Hanoi, Hanoi, Viet Nam
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Gdansk, Pomorskie, Poland
Dartford, England, United Kingdom
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico

as well as France, and the United States in such cities as Baraboo, Worcester, Oakland, Joliet and more

Today is Wednesday, July 7, the 188th day of 2010.
There are 177 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration are:
Chocolate Day
Tell The Truth Day
Father-Daughter Take A Walk Together Day

On Vacation

We the editorial staff here at Carolina Naturally are officially on vacation starting today.

And while we will be kicking back in various locales for the next week the rest of the staff will be compiling items of interest as they do every day for this blog so there will be posts just like there are each day but the number and the timing will be whatever and whenever the mood strikes us.

Act of patriotism mystifies office workers

Employees can't figure out who saved their fallen flag, until they see security footage.  

World Cup Soccer

Giovanni van Bronckhorst makes a powerful case for the World Cup's best goal.  
Bastian Schweinsteiger credits German leader Angela Merkel with reviving his career.  

World's Largest Hedge Maze

Italian publisher Franco Maria Ricci, the man who published some of the world’s most fantastical works  and luxurious volumes  has created its biggest maze. His labyrinth of bamboo hedges at Fontanellato near Parma reportedly covers some seven hectares (17.5 acres), which would make it more than five times larger than the Pineapple Garden Maze on Hawaii, the largest permanent hedge maze in the Guinness Book of Records.
The maze is scheduled to open to the public in 2012. Bring a cell phone with you if you go, just in case you get lost.

Happy Birthday Ringo

Ringo Starr in 70 today

American Top 40 celebrates milestone

'American Top 40,' the countdown show hosted by Casey Kasem and now Ryan Seacrest, turns 40.

Black Betty


AP violates its own content and linking guidelines

The Associated Press, which as early as two years ago objected to sites and blogs using their content, even with accreditation, has been skewered by the site Woot, which was recently acquired by Amazon.com. Despite its opinion about its own content, the AP took some of the content from Woot CEO Matt Rutledge's blog post about the sale.
They also sent AP a bill for $17.50 for the use of the material as well.

Neanderthals were surprisingly muscular

Evidence shows that Neanderthal males were strong, but only one arm was very pumped up.  

Things From History Everyone Pictures Incorrectly

Well six of them at least.
The Great Pyramid, velociraptors, jesus, would you recognize any of them if you traveled back in time? Probably not, because the image we have of those things is shaped by Hollywood -or in the case of the pyramid, by what it looks like now. Take another look at the way they probably appeared in this list from Cracked. Pictured are velociraptors in the movie Jurassic Park and as they may have actually looked -with feathers!

Temples of Malta

Malta is an island south of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. 
Over 5000 years ago the inhabitants built Temple Megaliths which are now the oldest free standing structures in the world.

Wizard of Id

Wizard of Id

Neck size may be better measure of fat

Measuring a child's neck may be a simpler, more accurate way to gauge fat levels, a study finds.  

Man shot after loaded gun kept in stove explodes

Antoine Boutte used to keep a loaded gun at the bottom of his gas stove. That is, until he forgot it was there early on Saturday and he and another man decided to cook some food, Fulton County police said

Boutte fired up the stove at his College Park home at around 3:30 a.m. Saturday -- heating up the .40 caliber Smith & Wesson along with it, a police report said. While the food was cooking, the weapon’s magazine started to melt in the gun well, the police report said.

This caused the spring – and bullets – to come out of the magazine. The bullets started going off like popcorn. Boutte’s friend, Christopher Henderson, opened the stove “to see what was happening,” the police report said.

That’s when part of a bullet casing flew out of the stove, hitting Henderson in the stomach, police said. Boutte and another friend, Lisa Wells, took Henderson to Southern Regional Hospital. He was treated for his injuries, which police said were non life-threatening.

San Francisco bans coke from city vending machines

In a new directive geared towards fighting obesity, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom is banning the sale of Coke, Pepsi, and Fanta Orange in vending machines on city property.

From SFGate:
Newsom's directive, issued in April but whose practical impacts are starting to be felt now, bars calorically sweetened beverages from vending machines on city property. That includes non-diet sodas, sports drinks and artificially sweetened water. Juice must be 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice with no added sweeteners. Diet sodas can be no more than 25 percent of the items offered, the directive says.
There should be "ample choices" of water, "soy milk, rice milk and other similar dairy or non dairy milk," says the directive, which also covers fat and sugar content in vending machine snacks.

Sorry, SF but this won't work. Too many humans will not tolerate their coke being taken from them even the drinkable kind.

Why you aren't losing weight

An expert explains how to overcome splurges and other pitfalls that doom most diets to failure.

Broom Hilda

Broom Hilda

Sun-Times reporter berates little girls for giving away free lemonade at their stand

John Aravosis had this to say:

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Terry Savage is one seriously f'd up human being.
Yes, the little girls, who decided to set up a lemonade stand in the record heat and give the drink away for free, are a sign of what's wrong with America.
Uh huh.
Maybe they should have poured oil all over their lemonade stand and demanded the repugicans give them a tax break.

PS What is with repugicans and their penchant for picking on kids?

Nearly 30,000 abandoned wells lurk under Gulf

A vast, neglected graveyard of oil and gas wells dating back to the '40s reveals a startling pattern.

Soldiers in hot water over dance routine

A viral video of Israeli troops hamming it up to a Ke$ha song sparks controversy and an official rebuke.  

Bad Cops

Bad Cops

British wingnuts now looking at NHS for budget cuts

It didn't take them long to eye the health care system. So far it's only talk but this crowd is only happy when they are destroying the system. It won't be a surprise if their next idea is to privatize the health care system as they're planning to do with the London airports. Because privatizing always works out so well for consumers in terms of higher costs.

The Independent:
The announcement of £1bn of cuts in education on Monday has reignited a simmering debate inside the Conservative Party over whether the health budget should continue to be a "no-go area" at a time when other departments face reductions of up to 40 per cent.

One Tory backbench leader said yesterday: "MPs are getting a reaction in their constituencies about the cuts to the school-building program. They are wondering why the NHS should be protected when the future of our children is apparently not."

Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe 
When dealing with wingnuts ... Remember the rule: 
If they accuse someone of something, then they're already guilty of it.
Liars and Fools
The syphilitic tub of lard Lush Dimbulb lies: President Obama is packing the Supreme Court to repeal the Constitution.
No, that was the shrub who tried that and we would not let him.

Lunatic Michael Savage pushes rumor that Obama will issue "Hitler-like executive order" for amnesty for "illegal alien criminals"..
Damn, Nazis just can't help using Nazi symbolism and rhetoric now can they.

Moron Mark Levin lies: Obama administration has "Soviet-style industrial plan in place" and wants to "kill the economy".
OK, which is it assholes - Nazi or Soviet? Those are two diametrically opposed economic philosophies you know, oh, wait, no you don't know that do you! 

Batshit crazy Pamela Geller illustrates ridiculous attack on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan with image of Kagan in a Nazi uniform.
Again, with the Nazis using Nazi symbolism and rhetoric to accuse everyone else of being what they are.




BP continues to block basic scientific research on spill

Shouldn't knowing the basics of the oil leak be a good place to start? After watching the shrub years push away science it would be a pleasant change to see the Obama team insist on at least knowing information such as how much is leaking. Is it really asking for too much?

More from Dan Froomkin at the Huffington Post:
A group of independent scientists, frustrated and dumbfounded by the continued lack of the most basic data about the 77-day-old BP oil disaster, has put together a crash project intended to definitively measure how much oil has spilled and where and how it is spreading throughout the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

An all-star team of top oceanographers, chemists, engineers and other scientists could be ready to head out to the well site on two fully-equipped research vessels on about a week's notice. But they need to get the go-ahead -- and about $8.4 million -- from BP or the federal government or both. And that does not appear imminent.

The test is designed to provide responders to future deep-sea oil catastrophes with valuable information. But, to be blunt, it would also fill an enormous gap in the response to this one.

A warning to the workers cleaning up BP's Oil Spill

Warning to clean-up workers in BP's Gulf of Mexico disaster: Almost every clean-up worker from the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster is now dead ...

Oil Spill Could Mean Toxic Arsenic Build-Up in Gulf

ocean oil water photo
Photo via John E. Lester
Arsenic is a naturally occurring toxin present in minerals and also introduced into the water by oil spills and the wastewater from oil rigs. Usually, the ocean can filter out arsenic through the sediments on the sea floor. However, researchers from Imperial College London have found that the presence of oil in seawater disrupts the ocean's ability to filter out arsenic, which means it can build up and enter the food chain, causing anything from birth defects to changes in behavior among marine animals. That means the oil spill in the Gulf could be deadly in a whole new way in years to come.

Cleaner Water Helps Corals Combat Climate Change

From the "Duh!" Department:
clear water coral photo
Photo via Paul and Jill
Intuitively, everyone already knows this, but a new study has confirmed that seawater free from pollution helps corals survive the impacts of climate change. Coral reef ecologist Robert van Woesik from the Florida Institute of Technology and his team demonstrated that as the waters around the Florida Keys warmed, the corals living in cleaner water continued to thrive while those in more polluted water suffered. Their findings provide evidence that policies around wastewater discharge and water pollution can help corals survive in warming waters.

Healthier Office Spaces Benefit Everyone

desk plants photo
All Images by B. Alter: The Living Office
Research has shown that a healthy office space with plants and open windows is more conducive to productivity. Somehow we didn't need scientists to tell us that there is a link between flowers, plants and workplace satisfaction. At the Chelsea Flower Show, the Living Office is a conceptual response to the issue.
Designed by Vitra, in association with Indoor Garden Design, an office landscape company, this gives new meaning to the office plant. It's a neat and modern looking desk and work station that looks like a good reason to come to work every day.

On The Job

On The Job
Get on the fast track by boosting your visibility at work in 6 strategic ways.  

Money Laundering

With their economy increasingly reliant on the dollar, Zimbabweans try to keep bills usable.  

Motorists nab $12,580 in coins

Money makes the world go round or in this case brings an Italian highway to a halt.

Dow Jones suggests ...

http://www.drsputnik.com/sputnik/img/12/sput-60648.jpgDow Jones and other indicators suggest we're teetering on the brink of a world-wide depression of 1932 proportions

Hidden expenses of suburban living

It may actually be cheaper to live in New York City than to move to the suburbs.  

Credit card hackers are targeting hotels

Thieves averaged $2,000 to $3,000 on hundreds of card numbers in one recent attack. 



Stick and Stones May Break My Bones

... But Words Will Get You Three Years in France

Having solved the pesky problem of working too hard, France moved to protect its citizens from facing – get this – insults (erhm, "psychological violence"):
This means that couples who insult each other repeatedly could now be charged and face up to three years in prison. [...]
The law defines mental violence as "repeated acts which could be constituted by words or other machinations, to degrade one’s quality of life and cause a change to one’s mental or physical state".
"We have introduced an important measure here, which recognises psychological violence, because it isn’t just blows (that hurt) but also words," Nadine Morano, the minister for family affairs, told the lower house of parliament.
Those found guilty of breaking the new law will face up to three years in jail and a 75,000 euro (£60,840) fine.
"The judge could (also) take into consideration letters, SMSs or repetitive messages, because one knows that psychological violence is made up of insults," Ms Morano said.

French tourists may be billed if high-risk trips go wrong

French tourists who run into trouble after taking unnecessary risks overseas could have to pay for their rescue and repatriation under legislation debated yesterday by MPs in Paris. The proposed law, put forward by a government tired of having to foot the bill, would enable the state to demand reimbursement for "all or part of the costs … of foreign rescue operations" if it deems that travelers had ventured knowingly and without "legitimate motive" into risky territory.

According to the foreign ministry, the bill is an attempt to encourage a "culture of responsibility" among French travelers at a time of frequent kidnappings, hijackings and civil instability across the world. The ministry hopes that the prospect of being saddled with paying costs such as emergency air fares home will make people think twice about venturing into territory classified as dangerous. There is no question of ransoms being included in the cost, unsurprisingly, as France insists it never pays them. Several French-led overseas missions in recent years have sparked debate over who should shoulder the financial burden for holidays gone drastically wrong.

Last year, several French yachts were hijacked by pirates off Somalia, with one of the commando raids culminating in a man, Florent Lemacon, being killed. Officials expressed exasperation that the sailors had been warned repeatedly of the region's dangers but sailed on nonetheless. It is unclear which, if any, of these rescue operations would have been affected by the legislation, which applies to "people who have deliberately exposed themselves, without a legitimate motive stemming from their professional situation or a situation of emergency, to risks of which they could not have been unaware".

But the government insists that neither journalists nor aid workers would be affected by the law, which would be applied "case by case". "Obviously journalists who take risks are protected … They are excluded, aid workers too," said Bernard Kouchner, the foreign minister and co-founder of Médecins sans Frontières. Similar steps have been taken by other countries, including Germany, where last year a court ruled that a German backpacker taken hostage in Colombia in 2003 should pay €12,000 (£10,775) to cover the cost of her helicopter rescue.

Melon sells for £38,000 at auction

A melon rated the sweetest in the world has been sold for a mouth-watering £38,000 at auction. Chinese businessman Yu Lin, 47, bid the astronomical price for the single piece of fruit at an annual melon festival in Turpan, Xinjiang, China.

Experts there gave it an official seal as the world's sweetest. Honeydew melons like this have a sugar content of 20.2g per 100g of fruit.

The award-winning melon was selected for its sweetness, colour and form. And that is a sweet success story for Chinese farmer Lu Tan, who normally earns just over £300 a month.

He said: "I will not be giving up my farm — but I plan to buy more land and next year have an even bigger and better melon to sell."

The Enemy At The Door

Great post on Neatorama by Steven M. Johnson about the safety of our houses.

Every time I read of a home invasion robbery, or an in-the-window abduction of a sleeping child, I feel angry and also frustrated. Why should we be so vulnerable in our homes? I'm annoyed with architects. Why aren’t they designing homes in which we can at least relax and feel safe?