Welcome to ...

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 21, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You hate being told what to do with your finances -- it's easily number one on your list of don'ts.
Just now, though, you've got to deal with it like a grown-up, because someone who cares is just about to tell you that the deal you think is all kinds of perfect may not be what you think it is.
You're bright, so you can wait -- just don't pound your head all the way through the wall while you're waiting!

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, July 21, the 202nd day of 2010.
There are 163 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
There is none.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

A peek inside a Can-O-Whoopass


Lesbian teen wins settlement over prom

A school district will pay $35,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit the ACLU filed on her behalf.

Piano Used By The Beatles For Sale

This beat up piano doesn’t look like much but it was once played by the Beatles and Pink Floyd among others at the Abbey Road’s  Studio 3. It goes on the auction block on August 15 and is expected to fetch £150,000.

“Studio three was the smallest. The Beatles regularly used it, and we know they recorded certain songs there using the piano.

“It was also used by other bands, including Pink Floyd, and without its association with the studios it would be worth a very modest sum. It is a bit battered and is covered in stains and cigarette burns. It has been used and abused – but that gives it character.
“It still plays although it would perhaps benefit from a professional tuner having a listen.”

A Guide To Meditation For The Rest Of Us

Believe it or not, you can improve your concentration and slow down your day-to-day life with meditation without ever uttering the word 'chakra.' Incense, yoga pants, and annoying dinner conversation are also optional. All you need is your breath.

Best little beach towns in the U.S.

These sand-and-sea summer retreats may be small, but they're big on charm.

Eliminate even the worst kitchen odors

Transform your fridge, disposal, and stove from smelly to sweet with these easy tips.

Something you don't see everyday


Scientists find most massive star ever discovered

Scientists in Britain say they're pretty sure they've discovered the heaviest star ever found.

Skull tells tale of the lost primates of the Caribbean

A primate skull found in an underwater cave on Hispaniola is evidence of the primitive and strange fauna that the Caribbean has lost.

Secret to long life found… in a baby dragon

The mysterious olm was once believed to be a juvenile dragon – now it is providing valuable clues in the quest for the elixir of life.

How Do Squirrels and Other Critters Stay Cool?

During the hot summer heatwave, while the rest of us are thinking of swimming pools and ice cream, Brian Palmer of Slate is thinking of squirrels. More specifically, do squirrels and pigeons get sweaty? How do animals beat the heat?
While most animals don't sweat very much, many species rely on the principle behind sweating to keep cool: Moisture on the skin absorbs heat and evaporates, carrying away unwanted warmth. Animals that lack sweat glands just have to find a different way to bring air into contact with moist skin. Many creatures pant, drawing air across their damp tongue. Pigeons employ a variation called gular fluttering, vibrating their throats. Birds and rodents spend a lot of time licking themselves. Squirrels tend to focus the saliva bath on the forearms, where the fur is thin and the blood flow is higher. Some birds even urinate on their legs to evaporate the heat away.
How about squirrels?
Squirrels also use their tails for thermoregulation. Ambient air chills the blood in the thin tail quickly. In the summer, the squirrel pumps the cooled blood directly back into the torso to lower its internal temperature. In the winter, the circulatory route changes slightly, so that the chilled blood coming back from the tail is heated by the warmer outbound blood before contacting the squirrel's organs. (The tail also serves as a pretty good blanket on a frigid night.) You may see squirrels running around with their tails flipped up over their bodies in the summer. This is because the lighter-colored underside of the tail absorbs less heat from the sun than the darker dorsal side, and it shades their bodies like a parasol.



'White farmer' firestorm may not be what it seems

The USDA rethinks its ouster of Shirley Sherrod as the full video of her speech emerges.  

UFO seen in China explained?

An expert examines videos of the object, and his conclusion may disappoint alien theorists.  

English Language Oddities


Bad Cops

Bad Cops

The robber barons are back ...

Consider: in 1928 the richest 1 percent of Americans received 23.9 percent of the nation's total income. After that, the share going to the richest 1 percent steadily declined. New Deal reforms, followed by World War II, the GI Bill and the Great Society expanded the circle of prosperity. By the late 1970s the top 1 percent raked in only 8 to 9 percent of America's total annual income. But after that, inequality began to widen again, and income re-concentrated at the top. By 2007 the richest 1 percent were back to where they were in 1928—with 23.5 percent of the total.
   -- Robert Reich in Unjust Spoils, The Nation, July 19, 2010

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 lies that somehow financial reform legislation will let Obama take over Faux News.
If only that were true ... if only ...

Wingnut Washington Times again runs doctored photo showing Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan in a turban to absurdly claim she will impose Islamic Shariah law on America.
Bad photoshop job as well (a lot of that going on among the wingnuts and their corporate handlers these days).

Wingnut rage machine unloads a frenzy of race-baiting.
And this is news, how?

Faux's Glenn Beck lies: President Obama "is about to have unstoppable power," adds: "You know who did this before? ... Augustus Caesar".
Deluded and does not know history - yep all is as usual in 'Beckistan'.

Wingnut Anti-Family Research Council lies: President Obama is destroying our "Freedom of Religion".
Now, get this straight the use of the word 'of' in 18th century parlance equates to the word 'from' in today's parlance - so the proper reading (of the sentence the relig-o-nuts are overly-fond of misquoting in the first place) ... is to say freedom FROM religion in that NO religion is held in any place within the society of the nation of the United States of America. It is the self said wingnuts who are destroying (or they're trying desperately to anyway) the very foundation of this nation  - we are not, never were, nor ever will ever be a 'christian' nation!

Faux News has hyped phony New Black Panthers scandal at least 95 times.
Are we surprised. Well, actually yes - we thought it'd been more ... a lot more.

Hate radio squawker Jim Quinn lies President Obama is "un-American", a "hater of Western civilization".
Hey, Jim you need to stop yelling into the mirror.


Teabagger racism

From Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post:
Have the rest of the movement's leaders never noticed Williams's rhetoric before now? His most recent obsession, before the NAACP flap, has been a crusade to halt construction of a mosque in lower Manhattan near Ground Zero. He has called the proposed structure a place where Muslims would honor the al-Qaeda hijackers and "worship the terrorists' monkey-god." He has called President Obama an "Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug."

If Williams is now a pariah in Tea Party circles, that's progress. But this episode should prompt the national leadership to look inward and acknowledge -- not just to the rest of us, but also to themselves -- that ugly, racially charged rhetoric has been part of the movement's stock in trade all along. If the Tea Party groundswell is to mature into something important and lasting, it needs to purge itself of this poison.

And if the Republican Party is going to try to harness the Tea Party's passion on behalf of GOP candidates, responsible leaders need to make clear that racism will not be tolerated. Yet Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to talk about the NAACP flap when asked about it Sunday, and Sen. John Cornyn volunteered that accusing the Tea Party of racism is "slanderous."

It's not slander if it's the truth, senator.

House Democrats whack Cheney over oil spill

From The Hill:
Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee traded partisan blows Tuesday over whether the Obama administration or the former Bush administration deserves more blame for the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Senior Democrats on the panel — Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) — used a hearing on the Interior Department’s role to trace the disaster back to former Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy policy task force.

Waxman said that task force — which was assembled early in the Bush administration — set the stage for policies that pushed drilling at the expense of tough safety oversight of rigs and review of environmental risks.

“The cop on the beat was off-duty for nearly a decade and this gave rise to a dangerous culture of permissiveness,” Waxman said. “In many ways this history begins with Vice President Cheney’s secretive energy task force.”

Toxic Spill at Chinese Copper Mine Kills Nearly 1,900 Tons of Fish

china toxic spill image
Photo via PhysOrg
A top mining company in China, the Zijin Mining Group, allowed a toxic waste water to spill into the Ting river, polluting the major water way, killing nearly 1,900 tons of fish, and threatening the fishing industry in the area. The toxic spill wasn't so much a spill, as a result of gross negligence -- worn equipment and some shady activity. Investigators found that the 320,000 cubic feet of "leaked" waste water actually flowed from a sludge point to the Ting river through an "illegally built passage." The pollution has spread down river into the Guangdong province. What's more, the company successfully hid the spill from investors from July 3, when it happened, to July 12, when the story finally hit the press wires.

Huge China oil spill threatens sea life

So little equipment is available to clean the 165-square-mile spill that crews are using chopsticks.  

Town's hopes for cleanup hinge on machine

An unusual rig has residents of Grand Isle, La. — an island plagued by the Gulf oil spill — talking. 

Broom Hilda

Broom Hilda

Savvy teen turns phone into a Porsche

Steven Ortiz used a series of Craigslist trades to turn an ordinary cell phone into a Porsche Boxster.

Ways to make extra cash online

The Internet is a booming business for those with products to sell or expertise to share.

On The Job

On The Job
More than a third of U.S. workers say they've suffered abuse from their boss, with little recourse.  

Doctor's worst paying jobs

Average student loans of $140,000 and relatively low pay make these fields less lucrative.  

Wizard of Id

Wizard of Id

Paraguayan defender tries to strangle referee in Chilean second division match

The Chile Primera B match between ConcepcĂ­on and Rangers on Saturday witnessed one of the craziest incidents ever seen on a football field. While many footballers have thought about it, few have actually attempted it – but Paraguayan defender Jose Pedroso went that extra step at the weekend when he actually tried to strangle the referee.

The incident occurred in a highly charged Chilean second division match between Pedroso's team Rangers and their opponents Deportes ConcepcĂ­on. It took place just after the referee had ordered a penalty against Rangers to be retaken three times.

Pedroso was penalised for a violent challenge on an opponent that was enough to earn him his second yellow card and an early dismissal. But instead of walking back to the dressing room for a lonely early bath, Pedroso saw a different kind of red, grabbing the referee Marcelo Miranda by the throat.

He was quickly separated from the man in black by his team-mates before launching a second desperate attack on Miranda. Finally he was escorted out of the ground by the police. According to the local press, Pedroso has decided to quit Rangers and return to Paraguay.

Its' a bird, it's a plane, it's a donkey?

Para-sailing donkey stunt sparks police inquiry
Police in southern Russia are investigating allegations of animal cruelty after a donkey was made to para-sail as part of an advertising stunt. The donkey was sent up into the sky last week by entrepreneurs hoping to attract people to their private beach.

Witnesses near the beach on the Sea of Azov in the Krasnodar region said the animal had been screaming in fear. It landed in the water and was pulled onto the shore, said police.

"The donkey screamed and children cried," regional police spokeswoman Larisa Tuchkova said. "No-one had the brains to call police." Instead, bystanders took photos and phoned newspapers, she said.

"It was put up so high into the sky that the children on the beach cried and asked their parents: 'Why did they tie a doggy to a parachute?'" Taman newspaper reported last week.

"The donkey landed in an atrocious manner: it was dragged several metres along the water, after which the animal was pulled out half-alive onto the shore," the paper reported.

Police began to investigate after the incident, which occurred at the coastal village of Golubitskaya, was aired on national news on Tuesday. The businessmen responsible may face criminal charges for animal cruelty.