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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, July 19, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Ordinarily, today's energy would inspire you to plan a crazy day -- and maybe a romantic evening.
With the mood you're in, though, focus may not be at the top of your list of assets.
Your best bet is to spend time with someone you love.
Even worker bees like you get to eat some honey now and then.
Take the whole day off and enjoy it, free of guilt.

Today is:
Today is Monday, July 19, the 200th day of 2010.
There are 165 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
National Get Out Of The Doghouse Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

World Cup Schmerld Cup

Swamp Soccer: Match In Mud Defeats Spaniards
Spain may have taken home the World Cup, but they lost out on an equally prestigious title at the 2010 Swamp Soccer World Championships.

Traits of world's happiest countries

A high level of prosperity is key, but a new poll reveals another element that matters.  

The Apaches of Paris

The Apaches were street gangs that roamed eastern Paris prior to World War 1. They adopted their name after Buffalo Bill brought his Wild West Show to Paris in 1905. They lived wild, criminal lives and could be recognized by the distinctive clothes they wore. The Apaches took their clothes very seriously and were reputedly willing to kill for the right pair of shoes.The shop on Rue du Faubourg du Temple, above, where they bought their distinctive fashions still bears the original Tailleur sign.
Each gang was dressed slightly differently, often wearing something such as a red scarf that would be both a sign of belonging and a means of identification in other territories. However, certain elements were the same in all gangs. All wore a certain type of trouser, tight at the knees and flared at the bottom, known as a Bénard. These were named after the tailor who made them, a certain Auguste Bénard, and the word is still used in Parisian slang today to designate a pair of trousers (bénard, ben’ or bénouze).
On their heads there was always a hat of some description, generally something flat in the form of a sailor’s cap, but it was what was put on the feet that was the most important. Claude Dubois in his depiction of the Bastille area of Paris (La Bastoche, 1997) describes the ideal pair:
Le comble de la coquetterie apache étant les bottines jaunes à bouts pointus cirées de frais avec des boutons dorés”. (The height of Apache vanity was a pair of freshly polished
pointed yellow boots with golden buttons).

Sweden's Redneck Greaser Subculture

The Faster Times and The Guardian report on a thriving youth subculture in Sweden called “raggare” that Katie Natopolis describes as:
[...]a delightful mix of the style of a’50s greaser, the corpulence and bad hygiene of a biker, the love of the Confederate flag of a southern redneck, and the enthusiasm for drinking of a British soccer hooligan. Basically, every stereotype about poor white trash spanning both time and globe, rolled into one.
The Faster Times then presents a gallery of fourteen photos of raggae folk. Conor Creighton of The Guardian further describes the subculture:
The raggare have always tended to be drawn from country folk: farmers, petrol station owners, low-skilled workers. The growth in their numbers is the result of the differing fortunes of the US and Swedish economies over the decades: successive oil crises and a poor exchange rate saw Americans trading in gas-guzzlers for more economical models; the Swedes, relatively rich in comparison, bought their cars for a song.
For young Swedes, these giant American cars, which contrasted with the safe, boxy Volvos their parents drove, were the ultimate symbols of rebellion. And they were dirt-cheap. “They were stupid,” Georg says about the Americans. “Some of the cars were limited edition. They built maybe 70 of them and they were selling them to us for a few thousand when they were collector pieces.”

Ode To Billy Joe

Bobbie Gentry 

Flight of the Dreamliner

The highly anticipated fuel-efficient plane touches down in England amid big buzz.  

Sign Post Forest

Sign Post Forest is a collection of signs at Watson Lake, Yukon, and is one of the most famous of the landmarks along the Alaska Highway. It was started by a homesick GI in 1942. Visitors may add their own signs to the 65,000 already present.

In 1942, a simple signpost pointing out the distances to various points along the tote road being built was damaged by a bulldozer. Private Carl K. Lindley, a US Army Engineer, was ordered to repair the sign, and decided to personalize the job by adding a sign pointing to his home town, Danville, Illinois.

Wal-Marting of Weed

California's medical marijuana growers see a new threat to their tenuous existence: the "Wal-Marting" of weed.

Broom Hilda

Broom Hilda

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
Indulging in these hot-weather treats will cost you plenty in calories and fat.
Feeding a crowd of 10 or more is easy and affordable with these menu ideas.  
Put together satisfying morning meals with these easy supermarket finds.  

Chocolate Prices to Rise

Cocoa bean prices are on the rise, and some say a hedge fund is to blame. 

Cheeseburgers With Cheese

Oh my God! 
At Checkers Restaurants they sell cheeseburgers with cheese. 
What will they come up with next.

Owe less than a C-Note ... Go to Jail

Senator Franken is pissed that this is happening...and, he's good enough and smart enough to voice up his concerns...and, you know, people are going to like him even more.
Federal regulators are looking into the growing use of arrest warrants in Minnesota over unpaid debts, following a star tribune investigation and a letter calling attention to the practice from sen. Al Franken.
A staff attorney with the federal trade commission said Thursday the agency is trying to determine why debtors are being jailed in this state, and if they have been notified properly of any debt collection claims made against them in court. The agency said it was responding to a letter sent by Franken, which accused Minnesota debt collection firms of “abusing the state court system to reap profits.” Franken urged FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz to take “immediate enforcement action.”

Couple beat up woman to stop her attending her brother's funeral

A brutal couple beat up a woman and left her fighting for life – to stop her attending her brother's funeral. Paul Jenkinson, 47, and Linzi Hughes, 43, carried out a three-hour attack on Eileen White in May last year, only days after her brother, Alex Hughes, died from cancer. Hughes had been married to Alex until two years before his death and Jenkinson had been best man at their wedding.

Both defendants had also been close friends of Ms White for years – but had fallen out shortly before his death over Alex's care. The violent pair decided that grieving Eileen should not be allowed to attend her brother's funeral – and carried out the vicious attack to make sure she would be fighting for her life in hospital as her brother was buried.

The attack happened at Mr Hughes' house at Elm Park Court, Parker Street, Derby, where Ms White had cared for him until his death. Birmingham Crown Court heard that the pair had even discussed killing Ms White as she lay in a heap in her own home – but Jenkinson decided she "wasn't worth doing life for".

They carried out a brutal and prolonged attack, leaving Ms White with all of her ribs broken, a collapsed lung, and serious bruising to her face and body. Jenkinson, of Morleston Street, Derby, who pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent in March, and Hughes, of Leytonstone Drive, Mackworth, who was found guilty at a trial on June 9, were both sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.

Bangladesh police arrest 'cough syrup smuggler'

Police in northern Bangladesh have arrested an army major for allegedly carrying hundreds of bottles of a cough syrup which is illegal there.

Millions of drug addicts use Phensedyl, which contains codeine and is said to relax the nerves. It is also used as an alternative to alcohol, which is forbidden to the mainly Muslim population.

If abused, Phensedyl can damage the liver and central nervous system, and may kill in the long run. But thousands of bottles are smuggled across the border from India where it is legal and can be bought over the counter.

The syrup sells for around $2 (£1.3) a bottle across the border but the price goes up six- or seven-fold once it reaches Bangladeshi territory.

How clipping coupons can cost you

Sometimes couponing is worthwhile, but often it has you spending more on things you don't need or want.  

On The Job

On The Job
Simply sending in a resumé without a personal connection isn't enough to get you hired these days. 

HIV study gives hope for slowing spread

Provocative new research shows treating people with the AIDS virus lowers their risk of infecting others.

Tea party leader expelled

Don't you just love it when the Nazis fight amongst themselves
Internal strife erupts when Mark Williams posts an imaginary letter to Abraham Lincoln.  

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
WingNutDaily lies: "Comrade Obama" is "a godless Marxist" and "moral degenerate".
Spoken like the true godless Marxists and moral degenerates they are.

Faux's Glenn Beck lies: "My tax dollars, your tax dollars" are "going to fund the murder of children".
OK, when are we going to lock this insane madman away for ever?!

John Culberson (reptile-Texas) lies that President Obama is intentionally killing jobs in repugican areas.
Nope, you've done that all on your own - now reap what you've sown.

Mark Davis, guest host for hate radio liar Lush Dimbulb, lies that White House is disappointed by halting of Gulf oil leak.
No, that would be you and your ilk - you moron.

CNS News lies: the "Obama administration is racist ... using that racism to let black criminals off the hook" and "continues to ramp up the anti-white rhetoric".
The only 'anti' anything rhetoric is spewing out your pie holes and at a prodigious rate to boot.

Mark Davis, guest host for hate radio liar Lush Dimbulb, hypes the lie that "if you're white, you have no civil rights" according to the Obama administration's Justice Dept.
You can thank the shrub and the cabal and the over-reaction after the tower bombings for the erosion of your civil rights not the color of your skin.

Faux's Glenn Beck fearmongers about "civil unrest" in November elections because of "groups like the Black Panthers, like ACORN".
 Nope, Glen ol'boy, it'll be the Aryan Brotherhood groups, the religi-o-militias, and the other assorted wingnuts on the lunatic fringe that will cause any 'unrest' in November if there is any.


Bad Cops

Bad Cops

Patient has eyes ripped out by roommate

A Queens man being treated for depression at a group residence was blinded by a racist behemoth who gouged out his eyes, a lawsuit alleges.
Full story
Ten to five he's a wingnut repugican

Exploding water in the Gulf

Exploding water in the Gulf

Seep on the sea floor

Anomalies near the capped well stoked a weekend clash between BP and government officials.  

Future uncertain after the oil spill

Many Gulf residents say they've had enough already — but "already" has just begun.



Bacteria may deposit gold on hair

...scientists now find that bacteria can sprinkle gold dust onto the hair of corpses, which suggests microbes could deposit arsenic and other poisonous metals on bodies as well, potentially complicating criminal and archaeological investigations.

Appenzeller and his colleagues incubated samples of Appenzeller's hair for up to six months in soil from an Australian gold mine. In some experiments, this soil contained the bacterium Cupriavidus metallidurans, which thrives in environments loaded with heavy metals and can help form grains of gold.

The researchers found gold levels did not increase in the hair to any statistically significant degree when it was incubated without the microbes in naturally gold-laden soils. However, gold levels rose dramatically in the hair if the bacterium was there.

Did Toxic Bacteria Kill Alexander the Great?

According to Greek mythology, the water of the Styx River is toxic (indeed, it’s bandied about for ages as one of the things that could’ve killed Alexander the Great).
But what made the water of Styx so poisonous? A new toxicological study have uncovered the reason:
"Indeed, no ancient writer ever casts doubt on the existence of a deadly poison from the Styx River," Mayor, author of the Mithradates biography "The Poison King," said.
The researchers believe this mythic poison must be calicheamicin. "This is an extremely toxic, gram-positive soil bacterium and has only recently come to the attention of modern science. It was discovered in the 1980s in caliche, crusty deposits of calcium carbonate that form on limestone and is common in Greece," author Antoinette Hayes, toxicologist at Pfizer Research, told Discovery News.
And could calicheamicin be the poison that killed Alexander the Great?
Retrodiagnoses for his mysterious death have included poisoning, heavy drinking, septicemia, pancreatitis, malaria, West Nile fever, typhoid, and accidental or deliberate poisoning (hellebore, arsenic, aconite, strychnine).
"Notably, some of Alexander’s symptoms and course of illness seem to match ancient Greek myths associated with the Styx. He even lost his voice, like the gods who fell into a coma-like state after drinking from the river," Mayor said.
The poisoning diagnoses were rejected by many experts because few poisons induce fever. Furthermore, even fewer such poisons were available in Alexander’s time.
However, naturally occurring calicheamicin, which is extremely cytotoxic, could still be the culprit.
"Cytotoxins cause cell death and induce high fever, chills, and severe muscle and neurological pain. Therefore, this toxin could have caused the fever and pain that Alexander suffered," Hayes said.

Chateau Jiahu

Neolithic Beer Made From 9,000-Year-Old Recipe
If you love exotic beer, this may just be the beer for you. No, it doesn’t have fancy ingredients outside of grapes and flowers, but Chateau Jiahu by Dogfish Head Brewery is quite unique: it’s made from 9,000-year-old recipe found in a Neolithic burial site in China.
It all started with biomolecular archaeology:
McGovern is a biomolecular archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. He studies fermented beverages — otherwise known as booze — by analyzing the ancient pots that once held them.
"We use techniques like infrared spectrometry, gas chromatography and so forth," he explains. McGovern helps Dogfish Head revive long-dead brews by figuring out what used to be inside the ancient pottery he comes across.
About 10 years ago, he set out to find some of this primordial crockery on a trip to China. In one town, he found pottery from an early Neolithic burial site. The pieces were about 9,000 years old — as were the skeletons they were found with.
The Neolithic period, which began about 12,000 years ago, is thought to be about the time when humans started settling down, raising crops — and apparently getting a little tipsy. McGovern suspects that once humans stayed put, it didn’t take them long to discover the fermentation process that led to the world’s first alcohol.
The molecular evidence told McGovern the vessels from China once contained an alcoholic beverage made of rice, grapes, hawthorn berries, honey and chrysanthemum flowers.
"What we found is something that was turning up all over the world from these early periods," he says. "We don’t have just a wine or a beer or a mead, but we have like a combination of all three."

Khroma, the Baby Woolly Mammoth

Photo: Henri Vuillet / Puy en Velay townhall
After being buried for tens of thousands of years in the Siberian permafrost, a baby woolly mammoth named Khroma is going on display in Musee Crozatier in Puy-en-Velay, France.
The good news is that scientists are pretty sure that it’s free of the anthrax bacteria that killed it:
The mammoth was delayed by three weeks after concerns surfaced about the transfer of an animal that might contain lethal bacteria. Russia’s chief epidemiologist, Gennady Onishchenko, said the mammoth died of anthrax, according to Russian news reports. Russian scientists carried out further study of the risks involved, and the trip was given the go-ahead, Gorbunov said.
After arriving in France, Khroma went to a special conservation facility in Grenoble, where it underwent gamma ray treatment for eliminating any potentially lethal bacteria. The presence of anthrax could not be totally confirmed from the first studies, but the treatment was used as a precaution, said the museum’s paleontologist, Frederic Lacombat.

Bahamian Caves

They are beautiful, otherworldly, full of secrets, and can kill you. It takes bravery and special training to venture into the hydrogen sulfide atmosphere of the Bahama caves known as inland blue holes. Those who dare are looking for the chemistry of how our earth supports evolving life.
Offshore flooded caves, so-called ocean blue holes, are extensions of the sea, subject to the same heavy tides and host to many of the same species found in the surrounding waters. Inland blue holes, however, are unlike any other environment on Earth, thanks largely to their geology and water chemistry. In these flooded caves, such as Stargate on Andros Island, the reduced tidal flow results in a sharp stratification of water chemistry. A thin lens of fresh water—supplied by rainfall—lies atop a denser layer of salt water. The freshwater lens acts as a lid, isolating the salt water from atmospheric oxygen and inhibiting bacteria from causing organic matter to decay. Bacteria in the zone just below the fresh water survive by exploiting sulfate (one of the salts in the water), generating hydrogen sulfide as a by-product. Known on land as swamp or sewer gas, hydrogen sulfide in higher doses can cause delirium and death.
These strange but natural environments are threatened by both rising sea levels and people who use them for garbage dumps.
Could "blue holes" offer clues about the biology of extraterrestrials?
In the Bahamas' submerged inland caverns, or "blue holes," a thin layer of fresh water separates oxygen from salt water. This creates a submerged, oxygen-free environment that could resemble underground water pockets on Mars or the seas of Europa.

In the blue holes of the Bahamas, the anoxic salt waters supports ecosystems that are completely unique to individual caverns. This diversity and ability to thrive in aquatic, oxygen-free environments could offer insights into both Earth's early conditions and the anatomy of extraterrestrial life that could exist within our solar system. Says astrobiologist Jenn Macalady of Penn State's Department of Geosciences:

"The universe is made of the same elements and habitable planets are likely to share many of the same characteristics, like a temperature range conducive to life and the presence of water [...] We analyzed the DNA of microbes from five inland blue holes and didn't find any shared species [...] Some of these organisms use tricks we used to think were chemically impossible [...] If we can understand precisely how these microbes are making a living, we know what to look for on oxygen-free worlds."

Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

Elegant grasshopper - Zonocerus elegans 
Read more about this colorful guy here.



Snarling dogs may merely be depressed

Dogs that growl and bite people may not be hostile by nature - merely depressed, according to new research. Scientists who studied badly-behaved pets concluded that they had low levels of the "feel good" hormone serotonin. In humans, low serotonin levels are known to be linked to depression and anxiety.

The researchers hope their findings will lead to new ways of treating canine aggression, which is the most frequent behavior problem seen by vets. In the study, reported in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science, blood sample were taken from 80 dogs which had been referred to veterinary teaching hospitals after their owners reported that they had behaved aggressively towards humans. Samples from normally-behaved dogs were also taken. Tests showed that the aggressive dogs had significantly lower concentrations of serotonin in their blood – 278 units compared to 387.

The lowest readings of all were from a group of dogs whose bad behavior appeared to be an attempt at self-defense. The aggressive pets also had significantly higher levels of a second blood chemical, the "stress hormone" cortisol – 21 units compared to 10. Just what had caused the dogs to have different levels of the hormones in their blood is not known, but the findings could open the door to news ways of diagnosing and treating aggression.

The researchers, from Zaragoza university in Spain, said the results suggested that antidepressant drugs, which can raise serotonin levels in depressed humans, may be of help in treating aggressive dogs, in conjunction with other techniques to change their behavior. Mark Johnston, spokesman for the British Small Animals Veterinary Association, said, "The ability to identify dogs with lower levels of serotonin may help in identifying those dogs who could benefit from the use of pharmacology."

Caught on camera for the first time

Scientists finally track down a primate so rare and elusive it was thought to be extinct.

Animal Pictures That Will Make You Smile

Animal pictures are sometimes both strange and funny. The photographers have to choose the right moments to capture their action.
Here are 20 funny animal pictures that will make you smile.

Technological Advances Your Children Will Laugh At

You may have felt cool with your Sony Walkman as a teenager but contemporary teens can fit more music onto a device smaller than a box of matches. And they don't have to flip the tape over halfway through an album.

There can be little doubt: yesterday's cutting edge technology looks silly to today's children and much of today's technology will look silly to tomorrow's children.

Here's a list of 50 technological advances, past and present, that will have young people asking: 'you used to have to do what?'

40 Things You Need to Know About the Next 40 Years

mud buildings
1. Sophisticated Buildings Will Be Made Of Mud
2. Coral Reefs Will Be Devastated
3. The Catch of the Day? Jellyfish
4. New Cars Will Be Given Away, Free
5. Industry Will Generate Energy In Space
6. Oysters Will Save Wolves From Climate Change
7. 2,000 New Mammal Species Will Be Discovered
8. It’s Curtains For The World’s Rarest Dolphin
9. Farmers Will Plant Spinach In Tall Buildings
10. The Nation Will Meet The Tests Of The Century Ahead
11. The Heartland Will Rise Again
12. The Top U.S. Social Problem? Upward Mobility
13. By 2050, One Out Of Three U.S. Kids Will Be Latino
14. World War III Will Begin. In Space
15. Most Americans Fear For The Planet’s Health
16. Unless We Conserve, More People Will Go Hungry
17. An Ancient Grain, Fonio, Will Fight Starvation
18. Afghanistan Risks Turmoil For 40 Years
19. Glowing Squid Will Lead To New Antibiotics
20. Health Workers Will Eradicate Malaria
21. Science Could Enable A Person To Regrow A Limb
22. Astronomers Will Discover Life Beyond Earth
23. How Will We Avert The Dinosaurs’ Fate? Telescopes
24. Brain Scans Will Illuminate The Infant Mind
25. Artists Will Run The World
26. Novelists Will Need A New Plot Device
27. Everyone Will Make His Own Music
28. Secrets Will Reveal If Young JFK Was “Vacuous”
29. James Cameron Will Still Be Making Movies At 96
30. Stand-up Comedy Will No Longer Kill
31. Native American Youths Will Revive Their Culture
32. U.S.-Muslim Relations Will Improve
33. Evolution Will Continue In Reverse, Humorist Says
34. A Medical Lab Will Fit On A Postage Stamp
35. Viruses Will Help Build Machines
36. Goodbye, Stereo; Hello, Hyper-Real Acoustics
37. Electricity Will Be Harvested From Your Skin
38. Crucial Energy Will Be Generated With Mirrors
39. Your Refrigerator Will Talk To You
40. Reading Will Become An Athletic Activity