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.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Big projects are generally pretty easy for you, but don't forget that even you need to get out and play (for real) now and then.
This is even more true if you're stuck behind a desk or have to sit anywhere for more than an hour or two.
Prioritize getting outside in some way -- go for a walk around the block, take a hike in the park or just sit under a tree and eat your lunch.
It should recharge your batteries.

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, August 10, the 222th day of 2010.
There are 143 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Smithsonian Day
S'mores Day

It is also Perigean Spring Tides Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Cute and ... Hey, wait a minute

Our preference for cute, furry creatures may be ingrained in us by nature.  



Something you don't see everyday


Home Sweet Stone-age Home

Britain's first house at 10,500 years old is uncovered by archaeologists

It is cramped, drafty and unlikely to win any design awards. But, according to archaeologists, this wooden hut is one of the most important buildings ever created in Britain.

The newly discovered circular structure is the country’s oldest known home.

Built more than 6,000 years before Stonehenge, it provided shelter from the icy winds and storms that battered the nomadic hunters roaming Britain at the end of the last ice age.

Perseid Meteor Shower

The Perseid meteor shower announces its arrival with a fireball over Alabama.  
The thing to do this week: look at the night sky, and enjoy the Perseid meteor shower

No matter where on Earth you're reading this blog post, you should be able to look up into the night sky this week and see some beautiful meteor action:
According to the best estimates, in 2010 the Earth is predicted to cut through the densest part of the Perseid stream sometime around 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday. The best window of opportunity to see the shower will be the late-night hours of Wednesday on through the first light of dawn on the morning of Thursday, and then again during the late-night hours of Aug. 12 into the predawn hours of Aug. 13. The Moon, whose bright light almost totally wrecked last year's shower, will have zero impact this year; unlike last year when it was just a few days past full, this year it will be new on Monday, Aug. 9, meaning that there will be absolutely no interference from it at all.

Beautiful aurora borealis pictures

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know

After a long solar minimum, the Sun is no longer so quiet. On August 1, this extreme ultraviolet snapshot of the Sun from the Solar Dynamics Observatory captured a complex burst of activity playing across the Sun's northern hemisphere. The false-color image shows the hot solar plasma at temperatures ranging from 1 to 2 million kelvins. Along with the erupting filaments and prominences, a small(!) solar flare spawned in the active region at the left was accompanied by a coronal mass ejection, a billion-ton cloud of energetic particles headed for planet Earth.

The Mystery Of The Baigong Pipes

The Baigong Pipes are a series of pipe-like features found on and near Mount Baigong, southwest of the city of Delingha, in the Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Their origin is disputed. Although they may be natural, the pipes are cited by various web sites as an example of an out-of-place artifact. The Baigong Pipes are reported to be associated with a pyramid about 160 to 200 feet high built on Mount Baigong.

The pipes were first discovered by a group of scientists from the United States who were seeking dinosaur fossils. They reported the Baigong pipes to local authorities in Delingha. However, the pipes were ignored until 2002. The local government now promotes the pipe-like features as a tourist attraction, with road signs and tourist guides.

Brain connections in conceptual artwork
Mammal brains are like highly interconnected networks, rather than a chain of command, a study suggests.

Scientists make new Haiti quake discovery

A previously unmapped fault was responsible for the deadly temblor that struck the country.  

Massive ice island poses collision risk

The chunk is four times the size of Manhattan and may be heading toward shipping lanes. 

A whole new meaning to 'dumpster diving'

A design firm turns garbage containers into portable pools for residents to swim in. 

US Heat Waves Causing Trees to Change Colors

Man, it's hot out there. How hot is it? Don't worry, I'm not going to talk about climate change. I'm just trotting out some ideas for a Bob Hope-style comedy routine. And climate change would've probably been too edgy for Hope, anyway. So how hot is it? So hot that trees can't decide what season it is. Okay, needs some work. But it's true. CNN has this video about how the heat has confused the hell out of trees in the South:

All-time heat records keep falling ...

... this is not a good thing folks!
sun in pakistan photo
photo: Umair Mohsin via flickr
If Russia's current heatwave being the worst in 1000 years and doubling the daily death rate in Moscow wasn't enough, check out this sweaty stat: According to Wunder Blog (via Mongabay), already this summer 17 nations have set or matched their all-time heat records. Not to mention an all-time hottest temperature for Pakistan, and possibly all of Asia.

Too Fast


Shark Washes Onshore At Carolina Beach

Beach goers are use to hearing and sometimes seeing sharks in the water. 
However, Monday night a shark took beaching to another level at Carolina Beach.

Acanthocaris caeca

A wild deep sea creature, Acanthocaris caeca
Photographed at 2540 feet below sea level.

Ant Invasion

An article about ants:

There are billions of humans on earth, and trillions upon trillions of ants - an estimated 1.6 million for every human being.
If the earth were a scale, and all the humans were placed on one side and all the ants on the other, it would not budge. Ants have answered the ever-expanding human biomass with an ever-expanding biomass of their own, so that the planet is poised, teetering between its two most successful civilizations - each of which is social, aggressive, expansionist, and well suited for war.

And that's when the fight started ...


A word to the wise

Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.


A customer at a North Carolina Krispy Kreme got something even sweeter than a dozen hot glazed doughnuts: $5,000 in cash.

Idaho farmer unknowingly tends to 300 pot plants

Authorities say a southern Idaho farmer unknowingly watered and fertilized more than 300 marijuana plants while tending to his corn fields.

Those were the days ...

Once there was a little boy that lived in the country. They had to use an outhouse, and the little boy hated it because it was hot in the summer and cold in the winter and stank all the time.

The outhouse was sitting on the bank of a creek and the boy determined that one day he would push that outhouse into the creek.

One day after a spring rain, the creek was swollen so the little boy decided today was the day to push the outhouse into the creek. So he got a large stick and started pushing.

Finally, the outhouse toppled into the creek and floated away. That night his dad told him they were going to the woodshed after supper. Knowing that meant a spanking, the little boy asked why.

The dad replied, "Someone pushed the outhouse into the creek today. It was you, wasn't it son?"

The boy answered yes. Then he thought a moment and said, "Dad, I read in school today that George Washington chopped down a cherry tree and didn't get into trouble because he told the truth."

The dad replied, "Well, son, George Washington's father wasn't in the cherry tree."

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health
A new study suggests men and women with big waistlines have twice the risk of dying. 



How To Walk

A Step By Step Guide

You've been doing it all your life, but are you getting it right? The average person takes between 3,000 and 4,000 steps a day and has been walking since their first birthday but, frighteningly, most of us are still doing it incorrectly.

From the correct posture to walking in heels, everything you need to know about walking.

Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints
Setting the unit fan to automatic and moving furniture can cut the cost of keeping cool.  
These dorm-room picks will help any student feel at home, without breaking the bank.

Home improvements to reconsider

Some of these expensive "upgrades" may actually prove to be a liability.

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
Delicious but low-fat, this saucy beef stir-fry makes for a super-easy, savory meal.  
Loaded with dressing and cheese, these so-called salads could cost an entire day's calories.  

Oil in the Food Chain

Specks of oil found in crab larvae stoke fears that crude has begun to infiltrate the food chain. 

On The Job

On The Job
Why do some people feel compelled to follow up an email with an instant message?
Jobs that pay more than $40,000 a year go unfilled despite the slow economy. 

Happy with less

Tammy Strobel and her husband got off the "work-spend treadmill," and escaped $30,000 of debt along the way.

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid
Unemployed and desperate, some are turning to early benefit checks to stay afloat.  
Some store promos are a ploy to lure you into spending more than you would otherwise.  
There aren't many ways to increase your credit rating easily and legitimately.  
The Federal Reserve moves to prop up the markets as the recovery appears to stumble.  

Non Sequitur


One less wingnut ...

One less wingnut ...
Breaking news: Ted Stevens among 5 dead in plane crash in southwest Alaska
The convicted felon was believed to be aboard a small aircraft that went down in southwest Alaska.
The convicted felon is confirmed among the dead after a small plane goes down in southwest Alaska. 

The truth be told ...


Fingerprints and deportations

A program designed to snare the "worst of the worst" criminal immigrants has critics crying foul.  

Bad Cops

Bad Cops

Same-sex ruling proves tricky for repugicans

Repugican leaders have largely sidestepped this potential wedge issue.

Nutjobs in the news

Pastor arrested protesting 'Demon' mascot
Police have arrested a pastor in Georgia for protesting outside a high school against its demon mascot.

Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe
Otherwise know as the Seditionists
When dealing with wingnuts ... Remember the rule: 
If they accuse someone of something, then they're already guilty of it.

Liars and Fools
Breitbart blogger (and ex-Law & Order actor) Michael Moriarty writes that he'll feel "comfort" when President Obama is killed.
And you wonder why you were dumped from the show?

Faux's Glenn Beck lies: Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan is "a destroyer of the Constitution".
No, that was the shrub and the cabal. Shall I paraphrase - 'That goddamn piece of paper' ... that's what he called it (and again, it's not written on paper in the first place ... you can't even get that correct can you?)

Hate radio's Jordan Sekulow lies: supporters of so-called Ground Zero mosque are terrorists.
First off the proposed Mosque is NOT located at Ground Zero ... But why bother with the rest of the truth you won't hear it anyway.

Hate radio loudmouth Lush Dimbulb lies: media thinks Michelle Obama ‘deserves’ vacation due to our "slave past".
Wrong, she deserves a vacation like anyone else, period.

Faux's Glenn Beck lies: mosque near Ground Zero is "Allah tells me to blow up America mosque".
That does not make any sense whatsoever, but then again it is Glenn yelling into the mirror again

John Birch Society praises Faux's Glenn Beck for promoting their 'ideas'.
Nazis always praise each other - no one else will.

Faux's Glenn Beck lies: that "violence is coming" and complains that "the left will blame it on me".
No, the truth will place the blame on you.

♦  Caller on Lush Dimbulb's  hate radio travesty suggests "looking at secession, maybe another Civil War", and Dimbulb replies that this is "reasonable", and "not the rantings of extreme kookism any more".
Wrong. It was and still remains unreasonable and the ranting of 'extreme kookism', asshole


The State Of The Nation

The State Of The Nation
Devolving America — the Reagan Revolution

Gaius Pubius writes:

Paul Krugman, "America Goes Dark" (my emphasis):
The lights are going out all over America — literally. Colorado Springs has made headlines with its desperate attempt to save money by turning off a third of its streetlights, but similar things are either happening or being contemplated across the nation, from Philadelphia to Fresno.

Meanwhile, a country that once amazed the world with its visionary investments in transportation, from the Erie Canal to the Interstate Highway System, is now in the process of unpaving itself: in a number of states, local governments are breaking up roads they can no longer afford to maintain, and returning them to gravel.

And a nation that once prized education — that was among the first to provide basic schooling to all its children — is now cutting back. Teachers are being laid off; programs are being canceled; in Hawaii, the school year itself is being drastically shortened. And all signs point to even more cuts ahead.

We’re told that we have no choice, that basic government functions . . . are no longer affordable.
This is the Reagan Revolution. I hate to be blunt, but anyone who voted twice for Reagan voted for this — the devolution of America.

It was always an ugly trade — Lee Atwater and his ilk shouting code at angry America, blissfully stoned on Dirty Harry and Death Wish fantasies. And America, tubed out on Judge Hardass, awash in happy congratulatory dreams, thinking itself bullet-proof (it still does), thinking it would never find itself cutting down the last tree on the island.

Those trees are being cut as we watch . . . and commandeered as escape pods by the only people with means to escape, the real beneficiaries of the Reagan Revolution. (I'm looking at you, Bob Rubin. You've got ilk too.)

The Professor again:
So the end result of the long campaign against government is that we’ve taken a disastrously wrong turn. America is now on the unlit, unpaved road to nowhere.
I wish I had something more positive to say this morning. We've written about this before, so it shouldn't be news.

Oh, and this is not the Professor's most depressing column in the last few weeks. That honor belongs to this one: "Who Cooked the Planet?".

Team Buddy Can You Spare Some Change?, you were put there to stop this stuff. Time to start stopping this stuff. It matters.

America In Color From 1939-1943

These images, by photographers of the Farm Security Administration of War Information, are some of the only color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America's rural and small town populations. America in Color.

As The World Turns

As The World Turns
Russia is burning

Collision in Mumbai
Containers tumble into the ocean as a cargo ship that ran aground lists sharply off Mumbai.
Mud and Flood in China
Relatives and rescuers in China look for signs of life as hundreds remain missing.
More than 700 Die in Landslides in China
The death toll from mudslides in northwestern China rose to 702, state-run media reported Tuesday.

Flood Misery Rises: 1,100 Missing In China
Rescuers in three countries across Asia struggled Tuesday to reach survivors from massive flooding that has afflicted millions of people, as the death toll climbed in a remote Chinese town where hundreds died and more than 1,100 were missing from landslides.