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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.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
As usual, you're seeking the truth, the whole truth and nothing but.
Keep in mind, though, that truth can be subjective and might depend on who's talking.
Focus on digging up the facts, all the facts and nothing but.
Once you can see everything that you know is for real, you're able to figure out what everyone else has been right and wrong about lately.

Today is:
Today is Thursday, July 15, the 196th day of 2010.
There are 169 days left in the year.
Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Gummi Worm Day
Get To Know Your Customers Day

Just checking in ...

Just checking in - Yep, all is normal ... carry on.

Jewel dons disguise to dupe karaoke bar

Patrons don't realize that the "amateur" belting out Jewel's hits is the singer herself.  

Stand-up Paddling Reaches America's Lakes and Rivers

A relatively new form of recreation that originated in Hawaii is now spreading to the lakes of mid-America.  At ocean beaches, the stand-up position offers the participant a better view of incoming swells, and on lakes and rivers it allows a modified surfboard to be propelled across relatively calm water.
Equipment-wise, the paddle is similar to those used for a canoe but much longer, about the length of a person’s height plus a fully extended arm. The specially designed boards are wide, very stable and equipped with a rear fin. The trick is finding the sweet spot in the middle where one can stand comfortably, with weight evenly distributed on both feet.  [SUP board] prices range from $800 to $1,500 with styles varying by materials and weight. Paddles cost from $100 to $400.
The SUP joins a long line of inflated shoes, modified bicycles, and other devices designed to allow a person to “walk on water.”   Local regulations may require a personal flotation device to be worn or carried on the board.

America's best island paradises

Find white beaches and pristine waters without the expense of a flight abroad.  

A Village With No Roads

Can you imagine a village with no roads?

There is such an unique place in the Netherlands called Giethoorn (pronounced 'geethorn'). There are no roads, and cars have to remain outside the village.

The only access to the stunningly lovely houses in Giethoorn is by water, or on foot over tiny individual wooden bridges.

Why Facebook friends are worth keeping

Tired of status updates from people you hardly know? Pay attention and you might find those weak ties more useful than you think.

Why Facebook friends are worth keeping

Original Parts - Original Owner

Rachel Veitch's 1964 Comet Caliente still has original parts — and its original owner. 

An 18th-Century ship found at WTC site

Workers excavating the area make a stunning find 30 feet below the street.  

Human Creations Attributed To Aliens

Since the beginning of humanity, people have invented explanations for things they don't understand. The culprits for the unexplained have evolved from gods and demons, to ghosts and spirits, to extraterrestrials.

Many people believe space aliens have visited Earth in the past. Of course the vast majority of 'evidence' of extraterrestrials have simple explanations.

Here are 10 man-made things falsely attributed to extraterrestrial influence.

Hidden details discovered in Da Vinci piece

Restoration reveals that Da Vinci's assistants didn't help paint "Virgin of the Rocks." 

Battle at the Alamo

Caretakers squabble over whether the Texas landmark is being properly maintained.  

Actress plays 'Tomb Raider' as she puts her foot in it - and discovers secret church vault

An amateur actress has been nicknamed the Tomb Raider by friends after she helped find a long-lost church vault  - by literally putting her foot in it.
Kathy Mills uncovered the entrance to the secret chamber, which had been hidden for centuries, when she accidentally stamped her shoe through one of the floor tiles at St Mary's Church, in Redgrave, Suffolk.
Mrs Mills was rehearsing a scene from an upcoming amateur musical production of Quasimodo when the real drama unfolded.

Secrets of Grand Central Station

Grand Central Terminal in New York City is the largest train station in the world, processing 700,000 visitors a day. It’s an impressive demonstration of technology and logistics, and Daniel Terdiman at cnet has written an article about its many hidden secrets. Among them is a train station within it that was built to hide President Roosevelt’s use of a wheelchair:
FDR was from New York state and often returned to New York City. Because his physical condition was not understood by a public that likely would have been unsympathetic to seeing the commander-in-chief in a wheelchair, the president would arrive in New York on a special private train.
But instead of pulling into a normal platform and having a normal train car, FDR arrived on a custom car that contained his 1932 armor-plated Pierce-Arrow limousine. By the time the train would get into the secret tunnels, the president would be inside the limo, and when it hit the platform, the car would be driven out through special, wide doors and then into a special wide elevator. He would then alight into the ballroom at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel above.
The secret train car was armor-clad, and had bullet-proof glass, which in those days meant little more than many, many layers of glass, Brucker said. In addition, a series of vents along the top of the train car were actually gun ports, and it featured unique wheel assemblies that allowed no lateral movement. That was because any such movement would have shaken FDR out of his wheelchair.

Dispute ends in disappointment for Iroquois

Britain refuses to allow the high-ranked lacrosse team to enter the country on Iroquois passports.  

"A Degree is a Degree, Whether it is Fake or Genuine"

An investigation has revealed that dozens of Members of Parliament in Pakistan have fake university degrees.
The scandal has triggered fears of early elections and has inflamed a bitter dispute between journalists and members of parliament.
An investigation has found some MPs never finished their studies while others bought their qualifications from dodgy colleges…
The chief minister of Balochistan Province, Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani, told the press: “A degree is a degree, whether it is fake or genuine.”

Spy games move east

The Russian arrests were a sideshow compared to the dark struggles playing out overseas.  

Asian Floods

Work crews blow holes in dams to drain fast-rising water levels in China.
900-year-old Song dynasty drains save Chinese city from deadly floods

A 900-year-old drainage system has saved a city in south China from severe floods that have left over one hundred people dead and a million homeless across the region.
The drainage system uses the natural camber of the city to quickly channel water outward.

German policeman wins extra week of vacation for time spent getting dressed

A German policeman has won an extra week's holiday each year thanks to the 15 minutes it takes him to get dressed for duty each day. Martin Schauder, 44, calculated to the second how long it took to don his regulation undershirt, trousers, thruncheon-holding belt, handcuffs, weapon and gas canister, overshirt, tunic, boots, protective kneepads (when on riot control), hat and gloves.

He claimed it took 15 minutes each morning outside his paid shift hours to get dressed, and 15 minutes at the end of each shift to undress, which a Münster administrative court agreed constituted overtime. The officer in the north-west German city had argued with his superiors for months, demanding either getting a pay rise or time off in lieu for what he said amounted to 45 hours of his time he was giving to his employers each year. They refused on both counts, saying it was part of his duties as a policeman.

So he took the force to the city's administrative court - and won. The decision has prompted fears that German courts may face a raft of similar lawsuits. "We could, in theory, have judges arguing for extra time off because of the amount of time it takes them to robe up, or receptionists claiming overtime for lipstick application as they have to look good for clients," said Joachim Wulfmeyer, legal expert.

Officer Schauder's case was a test complaint representing over 120 other officers; granting them all the extra paid week's leave that he is entitled to would seriously challenge the city's police budget at a time of rigid cutbacks. His employers will have a chance to appeal the ruling in a higher court.

Tricks that ATM thieves use to skim money

Skimming is a hard-to-detect, high-tech art often done by sophisticated crime rings. 

Katrina's Ghosts

The shooting of six civilians is just one of the storm-related cases that has yet to find closure.  

Indianapolis Public Schools Banning Non-christian Websites

According to a Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) press release, Indianapolis public schools are illegally discriminating against certain religious views, banning students from seeing sites containing what they term as "mysticism", which apparently includes atheism. Here are some key quotes from a pdf copy provided by FFRF of the offending (and offensive) guide... "Blocked" categories include:
"Sites that promote and provide information on religions such as Wicca, Witchcraft or Satanism. Occult Practices, atheistic views, voodoo rituals or other forms of mysticism, [...] the use of spells, incantations, curses, and magic powers. This category includes sites which discuss or deal with paranormal or unexplained events."

Bad Cops

Bad Cops

Obama-Hitler billboard yanked after outcry

An Iowa tea party group's provocative sign is quietly replaced after sparking outrage on all sides.

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
Faux's Glenn Beck predicts that "out of control" Democrats are going to take to streets as "revolutionaries" this fall.
It will be the 'out of control' wingnuts that will be taking to the streets as traitors this fall, moron.

Faux's Bill O'Reilly absurdly lies that Obama "is the furthest left president in the history of our republic".
Trying to reclaim your demented delusional crown back from Glenn I see.

Colorado repugicans bicker over whether Obama is the biggest threat to the United States, or merely one of the biggest threats.
Far from it - you guys, however ARE the biggest threat to this nation.

Faux's Glenn Beck wants his mewling mendicants to monitor left-leaning websites for revolutionary activity.
Not going to happen you idiot - your 'followers' are even stupider than you are (I know folks, 'how is that possible' you say ... Not sure how, but they are) besides all the traitorous activity is on and among wingnut websites.

Ed Martin, repugican challenger to Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-Missouri), says President Obama and Carnahan are trying to "take away" the freedom to be a Christian.
They aren't, but they should be - the world would be better off if there were no christains at all.


Agitators split over list 'outing' immigrants

Some anti-immigration groups call the list of 1,300 names "not helpful," while others say it's heroic. 



Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
You can eat it to control acne or apply it to your face to cool and tone skin.  
These meals may be fast, but they're packed with hidden fat and sodium.  

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health
U.S. News & World Report names its "honor roll" of 14, eliminating 99.7% of all centers.  
Lip balms can be drying, while applying multiple creams may cause breakouts.  
A half-hour workout releases "soothing" chemicals that can improve your well-being.  
The belief that the substance is a stimulant that gets you wired is wrong.  
The more a postmenopausal woman weighs, the worse her memory is, researchers report.

On The Job

On The Job
Don’t do any of these things that recruiters say will get your resumé thrown out. 
Becoming a special agent can start with five types of jobs many people already have.

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid
Four straight weeks of record-low rates are tempting many homeowners to seek new loans.  
New rules that capped overdraft fees are causing banks to make up lost income in other ways.  
You could threaten your retirement by focusing too much on saving for college.   
Fears are growing over the impact of millions losing their unemployment checks.  
These cities not only offer a high quality of life, but opportunities for big salaries.  

It's Only The Environment After All

It's Only The Environment After All
A crucial breakthrough cuts off the flow of oil in the Gulf of Mexico for the first time in months.  
It's Not Like We Don't Have Another One

Doomsday 'mega-bubble' theory debunked

Apocalyptic methane eruption reports have swept the Web, but one Gulf expert says not to worry.  

Broom Hilda

Broom Hilda

Solar eclipse at Easter Island

There was a total eclipse of the Sun on July 11. Don't feel bad if you missed it. It was really only visible over the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. Easter Island is one of the few spots of dry land that got a peek. This shot was taken by photographer Stephane Guisard and was featured on Astronomy Photo of the Day.


Photo: Agnes Milowka, Wes/Karst Productions
National Geographic has launched a very neat TV series and companion book called Nat Geo AMAZING! The series and book are jam-packed (you guessed it) amazing facts and even more amazing photos and video clips.
Take, for instance, the one above, an exploration of underwater caves:
Blue holes can run extremely deep underground, with one Bahamian blue hole exceeding 600 feet (180 meters) below sea level, and contain a series of mazelike passageways going miles in many directions. These cave systems can transition from giant rooms to tiny holes that divers must remove all of their gear in order to squeeze through. To add to the challenge, currents reverse in the ocean caves, making timing of dives critical. All in all, a difficult place to explore and even more challenging to achieve the range of scientific and filming goals that the team has on their agenda.

California state rock sparks legal battle

To some, serpentine symbolizes the state's Gold Rush years — to others, a deadly hazard. 

Which came first ...

British scientists believe they have cracked the answer to the age-old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Researchers have found that a protein called ovocleidin (OC-17) is crucial in the formulation of eggshells, and it is produced in the pregnant hen's ovaries, the Daily Express reports.

Therefore, the answer to the conundrum must be that the chicken came first.

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientists analyzing data from NASA's Messenger spacecraft say they have located some of Mercury's most recent volcanic activity.
Mercury (NASA/JHU/Carnegie Institution)

Billy the 5-lb. Goldfish

When 16-year-old Nick Richards went fishing for carp, little did he know that he’d come home with what just could be the largest goldfish ever caught in Britain:
Richards, from Camberley, Surrey, was fishing for carp close to his parents’ holiday home when he noticed a flash of orange under the water.
He positioned his rod and bread bait close to the spot and seconds later began reeling in the mystery fish. He said: "I’d heard rumors there might be some big carp there and thought I’d see for myself. I was there for two days running and caught some big common carp.
"Then suddenly I saw this big orange fish cruising along the top of the lake. At first I thought it must be a really fat koi carp, but when I saw it properly I realized it was a common goldfish – just like one you might keep as a pet.
"It looked like it was healthy and in good condition. The lake is sheltered with plenty of food, so it’s doing pretty well. Earlier in the day I’d joked that if I caught a big fish I’d call it Billy, so of course the goldfish got the name."
Billy the goldfish clocked in at 5 lb (2 kg) and 16-inch (40 cm) long. Oh, and Nick did the right thing by tossing it back to live (and not to mention grow) another day.

Shining new light on bizarre creatures of the deep

Australian deep sea creatures filmed A research team films prehistoric fish at Osprey Reef in Queensland, 1400 meters below sea level.
Scientists peering deep below the Great Barrier Reef stumble across some big surprises.