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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, August 2, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Everything smooths out when you just relax and trust in the universe.
It's difficult to believe, but you don't actually have the last word on how things turn out -- this time.
That ought to be welcome news, since it means you can actually live your life instead of trying to steer it.
That should release a pile of stress, but also improve your willingness to try new things.

Today is:
Today is Monday, August 2, the 214th day of 2010.
There are 151 days left in the year.

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

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Last Carnegie Hall residents forced out

The 119-year-old landmark is getting a controversial $200 million renovation.  

The Sea Family 'Robinson'

The Craftons come ashore after a 30,000-mile journey around the world.  

Batman for sale

The 70-year-old edition, originally found in a garage-sale dresser, is in excellent condition. 

Replacing Warren Buffett

Li Lu started his remarkable rise at a Buffett lecture and now could succeed the legendary investor.

Gorilla Glass could be worth billions

Scientists working for Corning Inc. invented Gorilla glass nearly 50 years ago, but had few uses for it.

Shift in Iraq

President Obama sets a course for the United States' changing mission in Iraq. 

Blackberry ... nope

Blackberry mobile devices are blocked in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, after Research In Motion refuses to cooperate with governments' surveillance demands.

Research shows what you say about others says a lot about you

How positively you see others is linked to how happy, kind-hearted and emotionally stable you are, according to new research by a Wake Forest University psychology professor.

"Your perceptions of others reveal so much about your own personality"
In other words ... when we happy, kind-hearted, emotionally stable people say someone is an idiot - take it to the bank ... they are.

'Smell Tests' reek

Fishermen are skeptical of sniffing as the method for detecting chemical dispersants. 

Garbage islands threaten huge China dam

Torrential rains create a nightmare scene at the world's largest hydropower dam.

Local Hospitality

Wi-Fi, movies, popcorn among enticements for those called for jury duty in Mecklenburg County.
http://www.intellivisiongames.com/makingit/archive/mi030921.gifMakes you look forward to jury duty ... not!

ID theft before there's even an ID

A new form of identity theft steals kids' Social Security numbers before they're ever even used.

You have the right to remain silent ... but only if you don't remain silent

Suspects still have the right to remain silent, but only if they tell police specific things.  

Oregon Wind Farm Neighbors Offered $5000 Not to Complain About Noise

wind turbine photo
photo: John Davey via flickr
I suppose it was only a matter of time... According to a new article in The New York Times some residents near the Shepherd's Flat wind farm in Oregon have been offered $5000 to not complain about the whooshing noise from the planned 338 wind turbines--apparently it's a preemptive effort to avoid the brouhaha about noise at the nearby Willow Creek wind farm, which has been found to be in violation of state noise pollution laws.



The psychology of healing

Mind over matter?
People suffering from diabetes-related foot ulcers show different rates of healing according to the way they cope and their psychological state of mind, according to new research by a health psychologist at The University of Nottingham.

People reject popular opinions if they already hold opposing views

What would happen if you developed a strong opinion on an issue, and later found that the majority of people disagreed with you?
You might think that such a revelation would encourage you to rethink your beliefs. …

The True Face of Faith Healing

faith healing
The image above was taken by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. In it, Rebecca Wyland is holding Alayna, who has a massive growth completely covering her left eye. The growth, a hemangioma, is a mass of blood vessels. Some infants are born with them, and they are typically corrected while very small. In this case, the Wylands chose not to take their daughter to a doctor. Instead, Rebecca Wyland anointed her daughter with oil and wiped off the discharge from Alayna’s eye each time she changed the child’s diaper.
At this point, the growth has begun to erode Alayna’s eye socket, and may have caused permanent damage to her eye.
Both parents have been charged with first-degree criminal mistreatment, a Class C felony which may earn them each five years in prison.
Meanwhile, the Wylands are trying desperately to regain custody, even offering a plan to ensure the child gets medical care, including such ideas as a live-in supervisor of sorts, or regular visits from state employees to check up on them.

Is Your Mattress And Bed-frame Killing You With EMF?

robinsons family pyjamas
The Robinsons model the latest in tinfoil pajamas
Forget the tinfoil hat, it is time for tinfoil pajamas. Scientific American tells us that the bed frames and box springs in most American beds are half the wavelength of TV and FM signals and are acting as antennae, causing skin and breast cancers on victims' left sides, which are usually right were the maximum strength of the EMF would be.

The trail of the pristine mansions

Huguette Clark owns sprawling estates across the country but hasn't visited them in decades. 

Home cheaper than a car

One unit in Deerfield Beach, Fla., that once sold for $115,000 now lists for $25,000. 

The least expensive U.S. cities to live in

The South is home to some of the most affordable places in America to settle down.

Helpful Hints

A car trip can be a great way to trim travel costs, and with extra planning, you can pocket more savings.  
Don't take clothes to the dry cleaner just because the label says to do so.  

On The Job

On The Job
One degree comes out on top in terms of career opportunities and starting pay.

Generation gaps at work not just about age

Businesses that look only at age to bridge generational gaps among workers risk losing knowledge to retirements, higher turnover and other productivity-clogging problems, new University of Illinois research has found.
The study says firms often misfire when when trying to mend generational divides, relying on broad stereotypes associated with Baby Boomers or Generation X’ers ...

With Asian Industry Astir, More Job-Seekers Go East

Hong Kong Central
In Hong Kong, the recruiting firm Ambition estimates that the number of résumés arriving from the United States and Europe has risen 20 to 30 percent since 2008. These now make up about two-thirds of the more than 600 résumés its Hong Kong office gets every month, said Matthew Hill, Ambition’s managing director for the city. Similarly, at eFinancialCareers, an online job site, applications for positions based in Singapore and Hong Kong have jumped nearly 50 percent in the last year, its Asia-Pacific chief, George McFerran, said.
Landing a position in Asia, though, is not just a matter of being willing to make a new life halfway around the world. Many employers prefer candidates who have track records in the region and who bring language skills and local contacts to the job.
Mike Game, chief executive in Asia for Hudson, an international recruitment agency, said the number of Westerners actually making the move was still fairly small. Many employers, he said, are more demanding than they were during the economic peak of 2007 and are “setting the bar very high in terms of what they want.”

The Astronaut of Salamanca

Astronaut Carving in a 16th Century Cathedral
Catedral Nueva in Salamanca, Spain, was constructed between the 16th and 18th century – so how did an unmistakable carving of an astronaut end up amongst the baroque curlicue carvings and Gothic monsters on the cathedral wall?

Find out here.

The Strange Circular Suburbs of Copenhagen

A strange crop circle? 
A screenshot from the latest SimCity computer game? 
Nope, take a look at the larger pic over at Clear Perspectives and you’ll see one of the strangest suburbs ever.

The Monastery Under the Lake

Take a trip up the Volga river in Russia and when you get to the small town of Kalyazin keep your eyes peeled for something unusual.

There, in the middle of an artificial lake stands something a little perplexing. Is it a weird Russian form of lighthouse? Some weird folly built on an island?

No! It's a monastery.

Non Sequitur

Non Sequitur

Family farm up for sale after 378 years

After 11 generations, dating back to 1632, the Tuttle farm in New Hampshire is being sold. 

Edwardian Life

A New York tenement in 1910

Despite the connotations of the word, a "tenement" does not have to be a dark, dirty, and cheerless place.

This photo and the one below both come from Edwardian Era, a tumblr with hundreds of photos of this era. 

A photo of Corsham, Hudswell (in the Cotswolds) in 1907. 
That's in England, by the way.

The first color photographs of England

Anyone who has watched "Masterpiece Theater" or BBC programming has "seen" Edwardian and Victorian (and for that matter, Celtic) England in color/colour. But the Daily Mail has assembled a selection from the famous Alfred Kahn collection that is worth peeking at. The colors are somewhat muted by today's standards, probably reflecting the intrinsic properties of the autochrome process rather than any blandness of England per se.

The Origin of the Supermarket

We take it for granted today, but less than 100 years ago, the supermarket seemed like some sort of bizarre fantasy. Wait a minute-that’s what it seems like today, too. Well, anyway, here are some historical highlights.
At the end of the 19th century, a typical food-shopping trip wasn’t as easy as it is today. Buying groceries would have included, for example:
* Stop at the butcher for meat. (You could also choose from a small selection of canned goods and bread.)
* A stop at the fruit store for fresh produce.
* Stopping on the street to buy from milk wagons, and from horse-and-wagon peddlers hawking their specialties-anything from baked goods to fish or ice.
* A final stop at the local grocer, who sold canned goods, potatoes, and sugar in 100-pound sacks, molasses, and sauerkraut in barrels, bacon in slabs, and butter in tubs. But strolling through the aisles was out of the question. At the counter, customers told the grocer what they wanted and a clerk would fill their order.

Then, in 1916 Clarence Saunders opened the Piggly Wiggly store in Memphis, Tennessee. “Astonished customers,” write the Sterns in their Encyclopedia of Pop Culture, “were given baskets (shopping carts weren’t invented) and sent through the store to pick what they needed-a job formerly reserved for clerks.” Although customers were a little bewildered by the dozens of stocked aisles at first, Piggly Wigglyy was an immediate success. It grossed $114,000 in the first six months-with expenses of only $3,400. Before long, there were over 1,000 of them in 40 states. The self-serve grocery store began to spread.
Amazingly, one of the biggest factors in the growth of the supermarket was the invention of the automobile ignition switch. Previously, housewives had to limit their shopping to store within walking distance; it was too difficult and dangerous to turn the starter crank to get the car started. But once their was an easy way to start the car, housewives were set to travel miles to get a bargain.
This led to another significant innovation: the free parking lot. For the first time, parking was available right in front of the store, customers didn’t have to look for a space on crowded streets. The attractiveness of this concept was demonstrated when the Kroger Grocery and Bakery Company opened in Indianapolis, surrounded on four sides by free parking lots. The store performed 40% above initial predictions, and a whopping 80% of customers arrived by car.

When the Depression hit in 1929, families found themselves struggling to buy food. Michael Cullen, manager of a Kroger grocery store, suggested opening a huge self-serve store far from high-rent districts, selling everything a shopper needed under one roof. Kroger executives thought the idea was crazy. So Cullen did it on his own, using his life savings. King Kullen, the Price Wrecker, opened in March 1930 in an abandoned warehouse in Jamaica, Long Island.
Cullen knew the grocery business inside and out, which allowed him to buy drastically reduced merchandise from the surplus stocks of food manufacturers. Plus, his store’s size gave him great buying power; he he bought massive quantities at lower prices than his competitors could. Success came quickly. Two years later, Cullen was operating seven more stores, and the super store concept was widely imitated. A few years later, in 1933, Cincinnati’s Albers Supermarket became the first store to actually use the term “supermarket”.
When Sylvan Goldman invented the shopping cart in 1937, supermarkets had everything they needed for long-term success.
As chain stores became more powerful, both the media and independent grocers began campaigns against them. Even Time magazine referred to them as “cheapies”, assuring the American public that these giant disgraces were only due to bad times and would disappear soon. Independent grocers launched campaigns to boycott supermarkets because they used “unfair” methods to overcome their competition-such as staying open at night and selling items at or near cost. But customers were thrilled to be paying significantly less for food and continued to patronize them. In New Jersey a law making it illegal to sell food at or below cost was passed… and then quickly withdrawn when consumers raged that it was making them pay more for no good reason.
But the real explosion in new supermarkets came in the baby boom years. In 1951, Collier’s magazine reported that more than three new supermarkets were opening a day in the United States, a pace that only increased in the 1960s. In 1950, supermarkets accounted for 35% of all food sales in America; by 1960, that figure was 70%. Small groceries began to thin out.
Now the media reversed itself. Supermarkets were no longer a national disgrace-they were a unique symbol of American ingenuity. Beginning in 1956, the U.S. government even began using supermarkets as a propaganda tool to promote “the American Way.” Soviet premier Nikita Kruschev and Queen Elizabeth both paid rapt attention as guides at supermarkets demonstrated how a steak was wrapped in cellophane. The U.S. Information Agency even arranged for the Pope to come and  bless an American supermarket.
The government set up demo stores in several European cities, where people were amazed at the variety of food under one roof. Italians in particular were astonished by certain aspects of American supermarkets, such as pet food, which didn’t exist in Italy. It drew such a large crowd that the pet food section had to be removed. Another was the concept of self-service. Italians were amazed that they could actually touch food before they bought it. Some even suggested that the United States had devious motives in introducing the supermarket. Left-wing newspapers were full of conspiracy theories.
Supermarkets are widespread in many countries today, but they remain an international symbol of American culture and know-how.

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
A simple panini sandwich with eggplant and fresh mozzarella is the perfect light meal.  
"Boot camps" are introducing school cafeteria workers to new ways of preparing food.  

The BBQ Song

Rhett and Link and The Homestead Pickers take you on a musical tour of  what barbecue is like in different southern states.

Learn more about regional differences in barbecue here.

Tomorrow's Kitchen

The 1943 edition:

The July 16, 1943 Morning Herald (Uniontown, PA) ran this piece about the kitchen of the future, complete with built-in pots and pans. The kitchen was designed by the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass company, which may be the same company that imagined the glass house of the year 2008.

A special thanks to Warren for pointing me in the direction of these photos from Life magazine, which inspired me to track down this story. The photo featured at the top of the piece comes from the newspaper article. The rest of the photos are from Life.

It's interesting to compare this vision of the future kitchen with that of 1967. Both are messages from companies wishing to sell a lifestyle of post-war consumerism as much as the products themselves, it seems.

TOLEDO, O. - The "Kitchen of Tomorrow" that does everything but put out the cat at night now makes its debut.

It eliminates pots and pans.

It does away with stooping and squatting.

Sore feet will be only a memory of the sad past—because in this kitchen three-quarters of the "little woman's" work can be done while comfortably seated.

Dishwashing becomes a pleasure and burnt fingers practically impossible to acquire.

And, in the vernacular—that is not the half of it!

Between meal times and without the help of a magic wand the kitchen can almost instantly be transformed into a gaily-decorated play-room for the children.

In the evening, it changes into a buffet bar.

With a minimum of effort it converts to extra living space—with all of the familiar kitchen '"gadgets" and appliances buried from sight.

Designed by the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company to help point the way toward more practical and gracious living in the post-war era, the kitchen has an "all this and heaven, too" theme developed by the use of easily obtained and familiar materials worked into new shapes and forms.

Sliding panels cover the sink, cooking unit and automatic food mixer, so when not in use these units become part of a long buffet—ready for use as a study bench for the children or a bar for dad.

An "out of this world" refrigerator of glass construction has four times the capacity of today's model. Built on the principle of the cold storage locker, it is separated into compartments, each with an individual temperature control. One compartment shelf revolves—so that salads and often-used foods can be placed in it from the kitchen side and removed from the adjoining dining alcove.

The oven has a sliding, heat-tempered glass hood. When the roast is revolving on the motor-driven spit mother can look at it from all angles—and without opening the oven door as of old.

Most of the cooking is done in evolutionary unit one-third the size of the average stove and with built-in pots and pans which double as serving dishes.

All of the kitchen equipment has been raised to an easy working level and the space ordinarily cluttered with storage bins and cabinets has been left free to provide room for the housewife's knees.

Storage cabinets gain a new grace by being hung on the wall and equipped with sliding glass doors-no bumped heads!

And not overlooking a thing, H. Creston Doner, designer of the kitchen, turned out a model dining alcove, as a "running mate" for the kitchen. He pointed out that, other than making the ideas of his department available to other designers and manufacturers, his firm's sole interest is to demonstrate some of the decorative and utilitarian advantages of glass.

So that it, too, may be used for extra living space, the dining room sports a plate glass-topped table that folds back against the wall and becomes a mural-—the folding legs forming a frame to the sand-blasted design in the glass.

Pancake-Flavored Milkshake In A Can

A Japanese food manufacturer called Morinaga produces canned milkshakes that are flavored like pancakes:
Morinaga, on the other hand, simply strives to imitate the taste of breakfast (and a Morinaga Hotcake breakfast at that) without worrying overly much about vitamins and so forth. They’re not seeking to provide a substitute for brekky, ion other words, just a reminder of its glorious, soothing flavor.
Each can of Morinaga Hotcake Milkshake contains 280 grams (10 oz) and costs 120 yen or about $1.40 when it goes on sale September 8th.


Two starving cannibals, a father and son, were out trying to get
something to eat. They walked deep into the jungle and waited by
a path. Before long, along came a little old man. The son said,

"Oh Dad, there's one."

"No", said the father. "There's not enough meat on that one to
even feed the dogs. We'll just wait."

A little while later, along came a really fat man. The son said,

"Hey dad, he's big enough."

"No", the father said. "We'd all die of a heart attack from the
fat in that one. We'll just wait."

About an hour later, there came this absolutely gorgeous woman.
The son said,

"Now there's nothing wrong with that one Dad, let's eat her."

"No", said the father. "Were not going to eat her either."

"Why not?" asked the son.

"Because, we're going to take her back alive, and eat your

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