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.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
It's weird how casual friend or acquaintances can bump into you suddenly, get to chatting, and suddenly make you realize just how much you have in common beyond the obvious.
How could you never have noticed?
It just wasn't the right time, unlike now, and nothing ever happens until your energies are ready to sync up.
If you're attached, try not to worry -- those sparks are about to blaze up in a big way.

Today is:
Today is Friday, July 23, the 204th day of 2010.
There are 161 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Gorgeous Grandma Day
Hot Enough For Ya Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

And I Quote

You can't see tomorrow for today is standing in the way.

~ Nacktman

'Conan' painting sells for $1.5 million

The price for "Conan the Destroyer" is the highest ever paid for artist Frank Frazetta's work.

Veteran journalist Daniel Schorr dies

He made President Nixon's "enemies list" for his reporting and later worked for NPR.  

Americana before 1950

A photographic journey through American cities, pre-1950.

The Family Vacation

Plan wisely and you could explore a volcanic National Park or enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime RV trip. 

Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Original videoclip of the Beatles-song: "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"



Baseballus Interuptus

Security has an unusual response to a fan jogging on the field at Baltimore's Camden Yards.  

Soccer News

A new French soccer coach has a novel response to the debacle France caused in South Africa.  

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
With flavors like pineapple-chili, these icy treats have as little as 61 calories.
Customers at this nonprofit eatery choose their own prices, or pay nothing at all.  

Cheap Computers

India adds to its string of "world's cheapest" innovations with a prototype that looks like the iPad.

Baby's mummified body found in Texas attic

The district attorney in Amarillo, Texas, arrested Robert Nunez, Miguels' father, and have charged him with aggravated perjury.

Better late than never

Joelle Gomez can't help but wonder if the surprise find in her mailbox could have changed a woman's life.

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Jimmy Cliff

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know
When galaxies collide
Two galaxies are squaring off in Corvus and here are the latest pictures. But when two galaxies collide, the stars that compose them usually do not. That's because galaxies are mostly empty space and, however bright, stars only take up only a small amount of that space. During the slow, hundred million year collision, one galaxy can still rip the other apart gravitationally, and dust and gas common to both galaxies does collide. In this clash of the titans, dark dust pillars mark massive molecular clouds are being compressed during the galactic encounter, causing the rapid birth of millions of stars, some of which are gravitationally bound together in massive star clusters.

Footprint Fossils Analyzed for Ancient Human Gait

Researchers compare the gait and foot structure of modern humans to a collection of 1.5 million year old footprints discovered in Kenya.  

Pre-Inca Remains Found in Peru

Peruvian researchers believe the remains date back more than 1,200 years.

pre inca remains

Carbon Buckyballs found in space

The website for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Cal Tech is reporting the discovery of carbon buckyballs in space.
“We found what are now the largest molecules known to exist in space,” said astronomer Jan Cami of the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif. “We are particularly excited because they have unique properties that make them important players for all sorts of physical and chemical processes going on in space.” Cami has authored a paper about the discovery that will appear online Thursday in the journal Science.
Buckyballs are made of 60 carbon atoms arranged in three-dimensional, spherical structures. Their alternating patterns of hexagons and pentagons match a typical black-and-white soccer ball. The research team also found the more elongated relative of buckyballs, known as C70, for the first time in space. These molecules consist of 70 carbon atoms and are shaped more like an oval rugby ball. Both types of molecules belong to a class known officially as buckminsterfullerenes, or fullerenes.
The extraterrestrial existence of buckyballs has long been predicted, but never previously confirmed.  Nobelist Sir Harry Kroto, discoverer of buckyballs, has said, “All the carbon in your body came from star dust, so at one time some of that carbon may have been in the form of buckyballs.”

Red cage fungus looks like a buckyball
Phallaceae Colus sp (Crabpot Stinkhorn).  Also known as Red Basket or Cage Fungi.  The Phallaceae, or stinkhorns, are a family of basidiomycetes which produce a foul-scented, phallus-shaped mushroom.



Pay czar blasts banks on bonuses

Many bailed-out banks gave lavish, "ill-advised" payments to top execs, Kenneth Feinberg says.

College completion data for the U.S.

The United States has fallen from first to 12th in the share of adults ages 25 to 34 with postsecondary degrees, according to a new report from the College Board.

Canada is now the global leader in higher education among young adults, with 55.8 percent of that population holding an associate degree or better as of 2007, the year of the latest international ranking. The United States sits 11 places back, with 40.4 percent of young adults holding postsecondary credentials...

The United States ranks somewhat higher, sixth, among all nations when older adults are added to the equation, according to the report, which Caperton said would be the first of many annual reports charting progress toward the 2025 goal.

But the report focuses more heavily on younger adults, who are feared to be the first generation in the modern era that will be less well-educated than their parents.
I'm not sure I quite understand the data in the College Board's report.  The "State level pull-out map" (image above) seems to indicate that the national average is 41.6%, but that only 5 states and the District of Columbia are above that level.


Paul McCartney



Wizard of Id

Wizard of Id

Japan leader faces wife's public criticism

The country’s first lady publishes a book doubting her husband's ability to do the job.  

How U.S. got tangled up in island dispute

Hillary Clinton's role in the fight over "200 tiny islands, rocks and spits of sand" is likely to rile China.  

Tropical Storm Bonnie Moving Toward Oil Spill

From the "Oh, Joy" Department:
Tropical Storm Bonnie steamed into the central Bahamas on Thursday night while tracking a course that could take it over the site of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Alan Grayson receiving death threats following Faux News smear

This behavior by Faux News has to end immediately. Murdoch's media empire is always about promoting division and hatred. What makes this even worse is that they hammer away stories to the gun-toting Teabaggers who somehow think the US is poised for a revolution. Congressman Grayson, on DailyKos:
One day, a Republican operative offers $100 to anyone who'll punch me in the nose.

The next day, I get a death threat.

After Fox News spewed its usual clownish hatred about me yesterday, my office received a call. The caller told our receptionist - a young intern - that "10 people are going to kill the Congressman within 24 hours." We gave the information to the Capitol Police; they are investigating.

Fox. You'd think that they would have learned their lesson after Dr. George Tiller was killed. And they did learn a lesson: a lesson in killing.

And why? Because I told the truth: the truth that by stalling on unemployment insurance, right-wingers revealed themselves to be heartless, selfish wretches, who have been taking food out of the mouths of children.

Wal-Mart plans ID tags to track clothing

This is wrong on so many levels ...
Then again it's Wal-Mart so it's par for the course.
The retail giant will put high-tech "smart tags" on individual pairs of jeans and underwear.  

Paranoia Strikes Deep

Paranoia Strikes Deep 
A boy is watching a 9/11 video? Get off the plane!
Two Air Canada passengers were pulled from their Orlando-bound flight before takeoff from Toronto's Pearson Airport after another passenger spotted them watching video of the 9/11 terror attacks...

[A] passenger alerted the flight crew after spotting the young boy watching video on his iPod of the planes smashing into the World Trade Center...

"Other passengers and our crew became concerned," Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick told the Sun Wednesday. "The passengers were deplaned and following an investigation allowed to travel [the next] morning.
Give me a break ...

Brain Comparison


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
Repugicans offer Operation Scared Sh*tless: Obama Hates White People.
Crass folks, that's what you are. Stupid and crass.

Steve King (reptile-Iowa) lies again that Barack Obama's "whole presidency is becoming about race.".
That'd be your reaction to a legitimately elected president in lieu of a illegally placed pretender that is about 'race'.

Wingnut website NewsMax accepts ad from "pro-white" radio show.
Nazis just being Nazis.

Faux's Glenn Beck lies: Weather Underground book is "manifesto for the President, or the people around him".
Nurse - Thorazine! He's hallucinating again!

Faux's Glenn Beck lies: Obama's going to murder Tea Partiers and Ron Paul supporters.
While it would not be a loss of any kind should they be 'murdered' - it will be their own that do it.

Faux's Glenn Beck lies: "The policies that are being enacted in Washington" are "enemies of God".
That was the shrub and cabal junta that did that and those are being overturned and you just don't like the fact your ilk failed to destroy this nation.

Wingnut media is fooled by three-year old Onion parody that "reveals" plans for martial law.
It wasn't hard to do and just further proves how really stupid they are.


Town's officials ousted over giant salaries

One administrator in a poor California suburb raked in nearly twice as much as Pres. Obama. 



Bad Cops

Bad Cops

Chinese police beat official's wife by mistake

Chinese commentators have called for better treatment of petitioners after police beat the wife of a high-ranking law enforcement official, reportedly mistaking her for a complainant. According to Chinese media, the party chief of the local police bureau told her afterward: "This incident is a total misunderstanding. Our police officers never realized that they beat the wife of a senior leader."

The comment sparked outrage, with one person reportedly responding: "Does it mean the police are not supposed to beat leaders' wives, but that the ordinary people can be battered?" Chen Yulian, from Hubei province in central China, was knocked to the ground and beaten for more than 15 minutes by plain-clothed officers, a report in the Southern Metropolis Daily said. The 58-year-old had been trying to enter a provincial office building in Wuhan to meet an official.

The paper said six unidentified men rushed out of the gate and began pummeling her. They were later identified as public security officers who had allegedly been assigned to "subdue" petitioners. According to the newspaper, she was then taken to a police bureau and scolded when she requested medical treatment. Only after she called her husband – who is reportedly in charge of maintaining stability, meaning he would oversee the handling of petitioners – was she taken to hospital, where staff said she had concussion and other injuries.

The petition system is a last resort for thousands of ordinary citizens with grievances. In theory it allows them to seek redress from higher authorities in cases involving issues such as court judgments, land seizures, redundancy or corruption. Chinese media reported today that three officers were reprimanded, one of them being transferred to another job.

Man arrested for breaking into bar and selling drinks

A Placer County man has been arrested after he broke into a shuttered bar, reopened the business and started selling drinks to unwitting customers, according to the Placer County Sheriff's department.

The Placer County Sheriff's department arrested 29-year-old Travis Kevie of Newcastle after his 4-day stint as the barkeep of the historic Valencia Club in Penryn which had been shutdown for more than a year.

Detective Jim Hudson became suspicious after reading about the Valencia Club's re-opening in an Auburn Journal newspaper article that featured a picture of Kevie and identified him as the club's new "owner/operator". Not only had Detective Hudson had previous run-ins with Kevie, he knew the Valencia Club's liquor licence had been surrendered. When Detective Hudson went to the bar to investigate, he found it open for business and customers at the bar. Kevie quickly went from behind the bar to behind bars.

Deputies describe Kevie as a transient. They say he broke into the Valencia Club and put an open sign in the window on July 16th. Kevie kicked off his business with a six-pack of beer he bought and resold at the club. He used his profits to buy more alcohol keeping the club open throughout the weekend serving about 30 customers a day, deputies say. Kevie is being held in the Placer County Jail for burglary and selling alcohol without a licence.

Dumb Crooks

Dumb Crooks
Missouri diners flee without paying, but forget purses
A dine-and-dash escapade went bad when two of the fleeing diners left their purses behind.

Bank robber locked keys in her car

A suspect accused of robbing a bank in downtown Davis on Wednesday allegedly made a critical error in her getaway plans: Locking her keys inside her car. Durham resident Laura Jane Murray, 48, walked into the Union Bank on the 300 block of E Street on Wednesday afternoon and handed a note to a bank teller, according to the Davis Police Department.

The bank teller gave Murray an undisclosed amount of cash and she left the bank and walked to her car, parked in a nearby lot. When she arrived, she discovered her keys were still inside her locked car, police said.

Authorities said Murray stopped a delivery driver at a nearby FedEx store and asked to borrow a crowbar to smash out her car window. She ended up trying to use a tool from a nearby truck to break the window, without success. Davis police arrived to find Murray still trying to break into her own car. Murray was arrested at the scene without further incident.

"A lot of these criminal don't anticipate these types of things and the little screw-ups they make ... we just catch the dumb ones quicker," said Davis Police Lt. Thomas Waltz. Murray is suspected in two other bank robberies in the Central Valley; one in Chico and another in Oroville.

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid
A survey of the wealthiest 10% of U.S. households reveals surprising habits.

Broom Hilda

Broom Hilda

New top college for highest-paid grads

Alums of this prestigious school earn a median mid-career salary of $126,000.  

Undesirable Jobs That Pay Surprisingly Well

While most people gripe about their jobs once in a while, they'd probably agree they could be doing a lot worse. But what if those 'worse' jobs actually paid better? Fortunately, that is exactly the case with some less-than-ideal vocations, which step it up in the wages department to compensate for difficult working conditions.

Based on the 2008 national average income here are 9 undesirable jobs - from embalmer to sewer inspector - that make up in earnings what they lose in desirability.

Important Inventors And Inventions Of All Time

A site full of interesting facts about inventions and their inventors.

Joseph Gayetty invented toilet paper in 1857. His new toilet paper was composed of flat sheets. Before Gayetty's invention, people tore pages out of mail order catalogs and before catalogs were common, leaves were used.

Unfortunately, Gayetty's invention failed. Walter Alcock later developed toilet paper on a roll. Again, the invention failed. In 1867, Thomas, Edward and Clarence Scott were successful at marketing toilet paper that consisted of a small roll of perforated paper.

A turn of a phrase

Grist to the mill

A source of profit or advantage.
Grist to the millGrist is the corn that is brought to a mill to be ground into flour. In the days when farmers took 'grist to the mill' the phrase would have been used literally to denote produce that was a source of profit.
An early figurative use of phrase is found in Arthur Golding's translation of The Sermons of J. Calvin upon Deuteronomie, 1583:
"There is no lykelihoode that those thinges will bring gryst to the mill."
There are many grist mills still in existence and they would have specialised in whatever type of cereal was commonplace in their location - wheat, buckwheat, oats, corn etc. The association between grist and mills is clear and it was also listed as proverbial in William Camden's Remaines of a Greater Worke Concerning Britaine, 1605:
The horse that is next the mill, carries all the grist.
Grist is usually referred to as unground corn. When the phrase was coined, in the UK in the middle ages, corn would have meant wheat, as opposed to what is called corn in many other parts of the world, which is known as maize in the UK.
Oats that have been husked but not ground are known as grit. This is the source of the name the thick maize-based porridge that is widely available in the southern states of the USA - 'grits'. There is clearly both a linguistic and culinary connection between grist and grits, although not as straightforward a one as a simple spelling mistake - they both derive from the verb 'grind'.
'Grist to the mill' is still used, although less commonly than when I was a lad in the 1960s. Were he alive to see it, this would give some satisfaction to George Orwell, who dismissed the phrase as 'a dying metaphor' in his essay Politics and the English Language, 1946:
Dying metaphors ... a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgels for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, ...

Hefty Marmots

Yellow-bellied marmots in Colorado are gaining weight and producing more offspring compared to thirty years ago. The difference is attributed to climate change.
In the Rocky Mountains, these marmots usually hibernate  for seven to eight months of the year, which make the summer months “a very busy time for them,” Arpat Ozgul, of the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial College London and lead author of the new paper, said in a prepared statement. “They have to eat and gain weight, get pregnant, produce offspring and get ready to hibernate again.”
But as the Colorado summers have grown longer, so too has the time the marmots have to do all of these things—and do them better. This extra preparation (and reproduction) time means that “they are more likely to succeed and survive,” said Ozgul, whose results were published online July 21 in the journal Nature (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group).
As the marmots grow bigger, other species are not doing as well. The number of tall bluebells and tenacious wolverines has declined.

Woman kept open gas cans in house 'because she liked the smell'

A Florala woman was jailed on Tuesday on reckless endangerment charges after she allegedly left open gas containers throughout the house “because she liked the smell.” Chief Sonny Bedsole said officer Chris Jackson was responding to a disturbance report at the North Sixth Street home when he noticed the odd smell throughout the home of Juliana Bryant, 33.

“Officer Chris Jackson responded to the home, and inside, found an open container of gas,” Bedsole said. “When questioned, she said she liked the smell of it.” Bedsole said a Department of Human Resources social worker was contacted after Jackson located Bryant’s three children in the home.

Bryant was charged through Florala municipal court with three counts of reckless endangerment and was released on a $1,500 bond; however, Bedsole said the case remains under investigation and that possible felony charges are pending. “The dangers of having an open container of gas inside a home are obvious,” Bedsole said. “Aside from the toxic fumes, there’s the chance a spark could set off an explosion. It’s just dangerous.”

Bedsole said this is the second incident at the home that involved finding a gasoline-like smell inside the home. “I responded there about two months ago with DHR under similar allegations,” he said. “We found it on the carport, but inside the house did have a strong smell (of gasoline).”

Giant sink hole swallows SUV

A Milwaukee driver escapes after floods rip a 20-foot-deep crater in the road beneath his car. 

Bear's head has been stuck in jar for two weeks

A black bear spotted in the Thunder Bay area of Ontario with a plastic jar on its head has had the container stuck for two weeks, wildlife officials say. Just before noon on Tuesday, Amethyst Harbor resident Rob Paterson spotted a young bear passing by his property with a clear jar “jammed right on his head.” The animal briefly came onto his porch, and wandered in and out of the area all day. He immediately called the province’s ministry of natural resources.

“There’s no way to get that off without anesthetizing the animal and cutting it off,” Paterson said. “That’s the frustration, because when you first see it you want to go and rip it off his head but you can’t do that.” The ministry and the OPP have been trying to subdue the bear with a tranquilizer dart since Monday, said Jolanta Kowalski, media spokesperson with the ministry. They are concerned because the bear — 1 ½ to 2 ½ years old and between 27 and 36 kilograms — cannot eat or drink.

Two weeks ago, the ministry received a report of a bear with a jar on its head from a resident in Hurkett, Ont. — more than 30 kilometres northeast of Amethyst Harbour. Officials believe it is the same bear. A radio transmitter is attached to the tranquilizer dart so the animal can be tracked after it is hit. It can take up to eight minutes for the tranquilizer to take effect — plenty of time for the bear to run away, Kowalski said.

A bear trap has also been set up on nearby Lambert Island. Ross Johnston, a conservation officer with the ministry, says dense bush has made spotting the bear difficult. He is concerned about the animal getting enough to drink, and suspects he is surviving off condensation and sweat dripping into the jar. “I’m really surprised he hasn’t just ripped it off. They shred through anything usually, but maybe it has just given up,” Johnston said.