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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 10, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You're often thought of as the family historian, and while sometimes you're not so sure about that, it's a title you richly deserve.
Your memory stores things that no one else can.
Your archives (scrapbooks, videos, CD-ROMs, whatever) are as completely up to date as anyone's could be.
Your mementos could easily bring tears to the eyes of anyone involved.
Now is the time to bring them all out and let the world see how good you are at this job.
Some of our readers today have been in:
For some reason yet to be explained the service we use to track our visitors ceased functioning properly at 4AM on July 8th so the tracking is off for the moment.

Today is Saturday, July 10, the 191st day of 2010.
There are 174 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Clerihew Day
Don't Step On A Bee Day
Hop A Park Day
Teddy Bear's Picnic Day

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
As Prepared for Delivery
Weekly Address
July 10, 2010
Last weekend, on the Fourth of July, Michelle and I welcomed some of our extraordinary military men and women and their families to the White House.
They were just like the thousands of active duty personnel and veterans I’ve met across this country and around the globe.  Proud.  Strong.  Determined.  Men and women with the courage to answer their country’s call, and the character to serve the United States of America.
Because of that service; because of the honor and heroism of our troops around the world; our people are safer, our nation is more secure, and we are poised to end our combat mission in Iraq by the end of August, completing a drawdown of more than 90,000 troops since last January.
Still, we are a nation at war.  For the better part of a decade, our men and women in uniform have endured tour after tour in distant and dangerous places.  Many have risked their lives.  Many have given their lives.  And as a grateful nation, humbled by their service, we can never honor these American heroes or their families enough.
Just as we have a solemn responsibility to train and equip our troops before we send them into harm’s way, we have a solemn responsibility to provide our veterans and wounded warriors with the care and benefits they’ve earned when they come home.
That is our sacred trust with all who serve – and it doesn’t end when their tour of duty does.
To keep that trust, we’re building a 21st century VA, increasing its budget, and ensuring the steady stream of funding it needs to support medical care for our veterans.
To help our veterans and their families pursue a college education, we’re funding and implementing the post-9/11 GI Bill.
To deliver better care in more places, we’re expanding and increasing VA health care, building new wounded warrior facilities, and adapting care to better meet the needs of female veterans.
To stand with those who sacrifice, we’ve dedicated new support for wounded warriors and the caregivers who put their lives on hold for a loved one’s long recovery.
And to do right by our vets, we’re working to prevent and end veteran homelessness – because in the United States of America, no one who served in our uniform should sleep on our streets.
We also know that for many of today’s troops and their families, the war doesn’t end when they come home.
Too many suffer from the signature injuries of today’s wars: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.  And too few receive the screening and treatment they need.
Now, in past wars, this wasn’t something America always talked about.  And as a result, our troops and their families often felt stigmatized or embarrassed when it came to seeking help.
Today, we’ve made it clear up and down the chain of command that folks should seek help if they need it.  In fact, we’ve expanded mental health counseling and services for our vets.
But for years, many veterans with PTSD who have tried to seek benefits – veterans of today’s wars and earlier wars – have often found themselves stymied.  They’ve been required to produce evidence proving that a specific event caused their PTSD.  And that practice has kept the vast majority of those with PTSD who served in non-combat roles, but who still waged war, from getting the care they need.
Well, I don’t think our troops on the battlefield should have to take notes to keep for a claims application.  And I’ve met enough veterans to know that you don’t have to engage in a firefight to endure the trauma of war.
So we’re changing the way things are done.
On Monday, the Department of Veterans Affairs, led by Secretary Ric Shinseki, will begin making it easier for a veteran with PTSD to get the benefits he or she needs.
This is a long-overdue step that will help veterans not just of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, but generations of their brave predecessors who proudly served and sacrificed in all our wars.
It’s a step that proves America will always be here for our veterans, just as they’ve been there for us.  We won’t let them down.  We take care of our own.  And as long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, that’s what we’re going to keep doing.  Thank you.

Obama simplifies military's PTSD rules

A major change eases the way for vets with post-traumatic stress disorder to get help.  

Town named al-Qaeda struggles with curse

An unlucky coincidence causes major headaches for the residents of a once- booming mountain hub.  

Hey Bulldog

The Beatles

World Cup Soccer

Spain and the Netherlands meet on soccer's biggest stage Sunday in South Africa.  
Spain may have more to worry about than just the Netherlands in Sunday's World Cup final.  
A top tournament official says the refs may just be too old to keep up with the game.  
They quite clearly did not watch the same World Cup the rest of us did.
All those controversial calls didn't stop refs from getting a high overall accuracy rating.
Rob Rensenbrink came within inches of winning the 1978 World Cup for the Netherlands.  

'Extremely serious' threat to pink dolphins

Carcasses of the Amazon dolphins are showing up in record numbers on riverbanks.  

Remote island's total solar eclipse problem

A parade of tourists heads to Easter Island to see it plunge into daytime darkness.

Identity of man in iconic photo revealed

A college sophomore donned a gas mask on the first Earth Day in 1970.  

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
The frozen-meal options at your local supermarket aren't as bad for you as they once were.  
Ingredients like bacon and black truffles pop up in the latest creations from chefs and ice cream shops.  
Serve up meals that are rich, creamy, and lower in fat, thanks to these simple substitutions.  
Stock up on cheap, nutrient-packed foods, like a great source of lean protein for 13 cents a serving.

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid
The recovery in home values that began in early 2009 appears to be stalling.  
The rich earn an unenviable place as delinquents in a study of foreclosures.  
Some collection agents cross the line trying to get money from people who don't have it.  

Cheap 'made in China' era coming to an end

Many foreign companies are getting a rude wake-up call on the world's factory floor. 

On The Job

On The Job
British workers who make this amount are even more content than those who make more, a survey finds.  
Some top career picks require only a certificate or a bachelor's degree.  

Fact and fiction about your workout

Despite what you've heard, strength training actually burns more calories than cardio workouts.  

Wingnuts can't even get their fantasies correct

Wingnuts keep insisting on proving and re-proving how stupid they are every time they do anything - even threatening sedition.

Broom Hilda

Broom Hilda

Is Our Electrical Grid Dying?

The Vincent substation along California’s State Route 14 is crucial to bringing wind and solar power to the Los Angeles Basin.  
Photo: Joe McNally
If you think about it, it’s a marvel of modern engineering that most of us aren’t even aware of "The Grid". Yet it is what made modern life possible. When you watch TV, work on the computer, or even turn the light on, you’re using the electricity and that juice comes to your house via the electrical grid.
"The electrical grid is still basically 1960s technology," says physicist Phillip F. Schewe, author of The Grid. "The Internet has passed it by. The meter on the side of your house is 1920s technology." Sometimes that quaintness becomes a problem. On the grid these days, things can go bad very fast.
When you flip a light switch, the electricity that zips into the bulb was created just a fraction of a second earlier, many miles away. Where it was made, you can’t know, because hundreds of power plants spread over many states are all pouring their output into the same communal grid. Electricity can’t be stored on a large scale with today’s technology; it has to be used instantly. At each instant there has to be a precise balance between generation and demand over the whole grid. In control rooms around the grid, engineers constantly monitor the flow of electricity, trying to keep voltage and frequency steady and to avoid surges that could damage both their customers’ equipment and their own.
When I flip a switch at my house in Washington, D.C., I’m dipping into a giant pool of electricity called the PJM Interconnection. PJM is one of several regional operators that make up the Eastern grid; it covers the District of Colum bia and 13 states, from the Mississippi River east to New Jersey and all the way down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It’s an electricity market that keeps supply and demand almost perfectly matched—every day, every minute, every fraction of a second—among hundreds of producers and distributors and 51 million people, via 56,350 miles of high-voltage transmission lines.
So it should worry you that the grid is sick. America’s electrical grid infrastructure is a patchwork of networks built with antiquated equipments. Over decades, this infrastructure has fallen behind the nation’s ever-growing demand for electricity. So, how do we fix it? (And for those of you who shout "no more oil" should know that our "addiction" to foreign oil has nothing to do with electricity – oil is predominantly used for transportation, not electricity).
Joel Achenbach of National Geographic wrote a fascinating article about the Electrical Grid (with fantastic photos by Joe McNally).

It's Only The Environment After All

It's Only The Environment After All
Oil will flow mostly unabated for at least two days as BP tries to put a tighter dome on the well.  
It's Not Like We Don't Have Another One

Return to Roswell


Insurance company revokes policy for leukemia patient over 1 penny

What complete slime!
More from ThinkProgress:
La Rosa Carrington has more than enough to worry about. She’s a single mother with two teenage daughters, she’s fighting a type of leukemia that requires five days of chemo a month for four months, and she lost her job in May. So the last thing she needed was news that her health insurance benefits would be terminated because she hadn’t paid her premium in full. The shortfall? One penny. [...]

Under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, those who meet the eligibility requirements pay just 35 percent of the full COBRA premium. Because Carrington had not yet received a bill showing what her payment would be with the discount, she whipped out a calculator, figured out that she owed $165.15 a month and sent a check for that amount to Discovery Benefits.
She was one cent off so they canceled her policy.

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health
Avandia could get yanked from the market after more criticism from scientists. 

Newly Discovered Antibody Neutralizes 91% of HIV Strains

AIDS researchers discovered an antibody in one patient that is able to defeat 91% of all known strains of HIV:
The HIV antibodies were discovered in the cells of a 60-year-old African-American gay man, known in the scientific literature as Donor 45, whose body made the antibodies naturally. The trick for scientists now is to develop a vaccine or other methods to make anyone’s body produce them as well.[...] HIV is a highly mutable virus, but one place where the virus doesn’t mutate much is where it attaches to a particular molecule on the surface of cells it infects. Building on previous research, researchers created a probe, shaped exactly like that critical site, and used it to attract only those antibodies that efficiently attack it. That is how they fished out of Donor 45 the special antibodies: They screened 25 million of his cells to find 12 that produced the antibodies.
Donor 45’s antibodies didn’t protect him from contracting HIV. That is likely because the virus had already taken hold before his body produced the antibodies. He is still alive, and when his blood was drawn, he had been living with HIV for 20 years.
The researchers hope to use this discovery to develop a vaccine for HIV.

Simple ways to lower your electric bill

You can control energy costs and keep your home cool by following these tips.  

Perks of being an online 'super reviewer'

People who post hundreds of reviews on sites like Amazon and Yelp aren't paid for their work.  

Best summer lake towns in America

Canoe trips, nature hikes, and pancake breakfasts can fill your days in these idyllic spots.  

Unusual coins still fetch top dollar

One of the rarest coins on the collector's market recently sold for $7.6 million.

World's 20 most spectacular roads

Cars must navigate 48 hairpin turns on the highway up to Italy's Stelvio Pass.  

A Horse Worth One Million Dollars?

You gotta be kidding me" - 
What You Are Probably Thinking. 
Well guess what?  

Man admits to 'lurping' in neighborhood

A man was taken into custody for allegedly ‘lurping’ in a Tempe neighborhood. Someone called police just after 1 a.m. on Tuesday reporting a car robbery in progress in the 1900 block of east Hermosa Drive.

The witness told police the suspect, identified as 38-year-old Michael Stout, had unlawfully entered a vehicle in the neighborhood. Stout fled the scene when he saw police in a Chevy Blazer driven by 20-year-old Vanessa Featherston, a Mesa resident.

Tempe police was able to catch up to the suspect vehicle and officers conducted a high-risk stop on the U.S. 60 freeway west of Alma School Road. Stout was taken into custody during the traffic stop. He later told police during an interview that he was out “lurping.” He explained to officers that “lurping” is when you go through vehicles looking for money.

He was booked into Tempe City Jail and faces burglary, possession of burglary tools, possession of marijuana and false reporting to law enforcement. Police determined that Featherston was impaired at the time of the traffic stop and was also arrested. She faces charges of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and driving on a suspended license.