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.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Sometimes you just push as hard as you can, but the social result you were hoping for doesn't click in the right way.
Don't beat yourself up over this -- in fact, try viewing it as an opportunity.
More importantly, don't force the situation to take on the qualities you think it needs, as that rarely works out the way you want.
Just chill out and go with the situation.

Today is:
Today is Thursday, August 12, the 224th day of 2010.
There are 141 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Sewing Machine Day
Vinyl Record Day

It is also International Youth Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Chunk of Original Earth Found

A piece of pristine, hot rock from the earliest years of Earth's formation is found in northern Canada.
Imagine you suddenly discovered part of your umbilical cord was still attached. Scientists just did that for the planet Earth. What's been found is a clear sign that beneath the crust in northern Canada there is a chunk of pristine, undisturbed rock from the time when Earth was nothing but molten rock.
The evidence comes in the form of lava rocks that, themselves, are a mere 60 million years old. But these rocks contain an early Earth mixture of helium, lead and neodymium isotopes which suggest the mantle rock beneath the crust that yielded them is a virgin pocket of Earth's original material.
A view of Baffin Island's flood basalt lava cliffs in northern Canada. 
The cliffs are made from the oldest material on Earth.
That pocket had survived for 4.5 billion years under Baffin Island without being mixed by plate tectonics or erupted onto the surface.

Rare 2,200-year-old gold coin found

Archaeologists say they have uncovered the heaviest and most valuable gold coin ever found in Israel.

Students stumble upon ancient complex

One of the best-known archeological sites in Britain yields something "totally unexpected." 

New Archaeological Find Pushes Back First Tool Use 1 Million Years

Archaeologists working in Ethiopia have discovered grooves in animal bones indicating that they had been subjected to work with stone tools. If this conclusion is accurate, the earliest tool use by hominids dates back to 3.4 million years — almost a million years before previous estimates:
Primordial butchers using sharp stones to fillet a carcass in ancient East Africa made the marks, the researchers said.
“It pushes back tool use almost a million years,” said archaeologist Shannon McPherron at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who discovered the bones last year at Dikika, Ethiopia, about 300 miles from Addis Ababa.[...]
Until now, the oldest known stone tools dated to about 2.5 million years ago. Those implements, of which thousands were found in East Africa, are thought to be the work of an early human species. The older find announced Wednesday, however, would predate the evolution of the human family, known as the genus Homo, and raises new questions about the role of tools in spurring human evolution. They may have initiated a shift in pre-humans’ diet, which in turn may have aided the development of larger brains.

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know
Scientists discover life forms thriving in uniquely harsh, Mars-like conditions.  
Newly discovered planet has ability to make grown adults snicker like 10-year-olds
24 Sextanis is a subgiant star, located in the constellation Sextans, orbited by two recently identified planets. They are called Sex b and Sex c. One of the discoverers of planet Sex c is a Caltech professor named John Johnson.
National Geographic has a thing or two to say about this cheeky little coincidence as part of a discussion on wide, un-standardized variety of naming conventions for newly discovered planets and planetoids.
Sometimes newer stars get named after the instruments or techniques used to find them, giving us exoplanets with names such as OGLE-TR-56b.That's thanks to the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE), which was designed to study variability in starlight.
The issue has led some people to suggest we should formalize a naming convention for exoplanets based on mythology, although at 473 planets and counting, we could run out of Greco-Roman names real fast. Still others have said to save the proper names for habitable, Earthlike worlds.

Orangutans use mime to make themselves understood

Just like humans, orangutans will resort to mime to get their message across, scientists report. A team from Canada found the great apes would sometimes use elaborate gestures to explain what they meant. They mimed the action of being scratched to get an itch attended to, and enacted opening a termite nest to prompt a partner to do just that.

The study, published in Biology Letters, suggests ape communication is more complex than was thought. The researchers uncovered the primates' propensity for mime by looking through 20 years of observational studies that had been carried out on orangutans in Borneo. These animals had all previously been captive, but were now living free or partly free in the forests. The team found 18 cases where orangutans had been spotted performing mimes.

Professor Anne Russon, from Glendon College at York University in Ontario, Canada, said: "When I observed the events, yes, I was surprised - in the sense that it was very unusual and in one case their behaviour seemed, at the time, entirely bizarre and way out of character." Some of these gestures were quite complicated. One orangutan, Kikan, had injured her foot, and had been helped by a conservationist who dug out a small stone and then dripped latex from the stem of a fig leaf on to the wound to seal it.

A week later, Kikan attracted the same conservationist's attention and then picked up a leaf and re-enacted her treatment. Professor Russon said: "She's not asking for anything, which is the most common aim observed of great ape communication, but appears simply to be sharing a memory with the person who helped her when she hurt her foot. "It shows her understanding of how events had unfolded in a particular situation, which was very complex."

New Bearded Monkey Discovered

Titi Monkey Photo 

Scientists Thomas Defler, Marta Bueno and Javier García have discovered a new species of monkey in the Caquetá region of southern Colombia. The region, which is part of the Amazon rainforest, had been inaccessible for years due to a violent insurgence.
The violence subsided three years ago, allowing García--a native of Caquetá--to explore the Colombian Amazon. Using a GPS to traverse the upper Caquetá River, García found 13 different groups of titi monkeys, which have a very complex call.

The Pygmy Marmoset

The Pygmy Marmoset (Cebuella pygmaea) is a monkey native to the rainforest canopies of South America.

It is one of the smallest primates, and the smallest true monkey, with its body length ranging from 5.5 to 6.3. Males weigh around 4.9 oz, and females only 4.2 oz.

Meteor shower's peak offers rare bonus

A cluster of planets joins the Perseid shower, where a shooting star could be spotted every minute.  

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
Denny's Wants to Kill You As Much As KFC
If you thought KFC’s Double Down was bad, just wait until you get your hands on the new Fried Cheese Melt from Denny’s. The heart-stopping monstrosity combines 4 fried mozzarella sticks and a grilled cheese sandwich. At only $4 with a  an included side of fries, it’s a lot more filling for the price tag than the Double Down. I have to admit, while I found the Double Down to be seriously nasty looking, I am a sucker for cheese, so this actually looks pretty good to me.
Would you eat it?

Strange Foods That can Kill You
Take, for instance, the Jamaican ackee fruit above:
The ackee is highly nutritious as well as incredibly poisonous, a sick joke played by a cruel and unloving god. The only section of the fruit that is safe for consumption is the white innards, and only after it is ripe. Everything else is brimming with the exotic alkaloid toxins, resulting in a combination of seizures, vomiting and fatal hypoglycemia known as Jamaican Vomiting Sickness. If you’re envisioning this properly then you are now terrified of Jamaicans and their vomit.

It's the truth ...

Americans detest all lies except lies spoken in public or printed lies.
~ Edgar Watson Howe

Ever seen a $100,000 bill?

The largest denomination in America was used only for special transactions. 

Camping sites that actually pamper you

"Glampers" can sleep in safari-style tents equipped with king-size beds.  

The Case for Nuclear Power

When you think of nuclear reactors, do you think of the Chernobyl disaster or the Three Mile Island accident?
Nuclear power has gotten a lot of bad rap (deservedly, actually) but given the advances in safety and the ever-growing need for energy, should we reconsider nukes? Dan Hinge of Environmental Graffiti writes:
The WHO at the time estimated that the blast caused less than 50 direct deaths. About 600,000 people were deemed to have been seriously exposed to radiation, of whom it was estimated that 4,000 would die of cancer over the course of their lives as a result of the explosion at Chernobyl. The figures are horrific. However, to put them in perspective, based on UN estimates from 2001-2004, during this period one person would die of starvation every second. That’s nearly 4,000 an hour [2].
Worryingly, with an urgent need for carbon emissions to be cut and a sustainable and cost-effective source of energy desperately needing to be found, Chernobyl is still cited as a reason not to invest in nuclear power. It is true that Chernobyl is not the only accident that has occurred at nuclear power plants: accidents at Three Mile Island in the US and Windscale in the UK both caused small releases of radioactive material, but no deaths resulted. As one commenter pointed out, TMI was the worst nuclear disaster in US history; and yet it led to no injury or death and almost no environmental damage. That was 30 years ago [3].

One Day On A Desert Island


Freaky Storm Clouds Terrify Beachgoers

The above video was recently shot at Hietaniemi Beach in southern  Finland.  It shows dark storm clouds gathering so quickly that people on  the beach start screaming in terror (1:04).  The last twenty seconds  are particularly impressive.
A longer video of the same storm.

Close Encounters of the Shark Kind

A man on his paddleboard has a wild experience just off the coast of Southern California. 

Fishing Stories

George Levasseur and three partners hook a fish that puts them in the record books.  

Fishermen hook 115 pound catfish
Here's a story about a big fish that didn't get away. Rick Hastings says he and a friend were fishing on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River Sunday night when a big catfish grabbed his line and took them for a ride.

Non Sequitur


Bad Cops

Bad Cops

DYI Health for Men

These do-it-yourself checkups can help sort trivial issues from troubling ones.  

Something New for that Flesh Wound

From crabs to geckos, when it comes to repairing skin, scientists are finding inspiration in the oddest places. Even sound and electricity are being used to help the human body heal faster. Popular Mechanics has a list of 7 bandages that are on the cutting (or is it healing?) edge of biotechnology.
Their work has lead to wound dressings that dramatically speed clotting, prevent scar formation or encourage healing, as well as new interventions that don’t look anything like your childhood Band-Aids. In many cases, the new bandages look deceptively low-tech. Some of them are already in use, but the incredible new technologies may not even be visible to the patients who wear them.

Health News

A new study aims to find the cause and effects of finicky eating in adults.
Research shows that dieters who keep an online diary are more likely to keep pounds off.

Grocery store secrets you should know

Stores are designed to make you wander many aisles before finding the milk. 

New immigrant child count adds fuel to fire

A report that one in 15 kids is born to illegal immigrants revives thorny questions.  

This summer was foretold

A 2007 report foresaw catastrophic fires in Russia and increased Asian flooding.  

Oiled Gulf marshes are healing themselves

Flora and fauna are rapidly returning to areas that were recently covered in oil. 

The National State of Disrepair

crumbling bridge
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has released its 2009 Report Card for American Infrastructure, and the results are grim. The association gave the most powerful nation in the world an overall grade of D, and stated that it would take a five-year investment of $2.2 trillion to bring the U.S. up to par with the rest of its class—the world’s major postindustrial nations.

The 20 worst-paying college degrees

College majors that involve children or food are among the worst choices if you want to be well paid. 

And I Quote

"If you have a car and you want to go forward, you put it in 'D'.
When you want to go backwards, you put it in 'R.'

That's no coincidence.
They are trying to move us backwards, and we need to move us forward."

          ~ President Obama

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid
An economic expert says stagflation is the "worst of all possible worlds."

What's positive about the recession

For people who still have jobs, the deep downturn has brought some unexpected benefits.

Fight over $1 trillion pension shortfall

Gary Justus is suing to protect his pension as similar battles loom across the U.S. 

Wells Fargo must pay back $203 million

There is "no doubt" that the bank is profiteering from its fee policy, a U.S. district judge says.

Who's the Alarmist?


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

Trent Franks (reptile-Arizona) lies: President Obama is the greatest threat to the United States Constitution, and one the nation's worst enemies.
Spoken like the true Nazi he is.

Radio hatemonger Michael Savage lies: "The left will not stop until the country goes up in flames ... they want insurrection".
Wrong, that is what you wingnuts want an what you have always wanted.

Lush Dimbulb lies: "Secession" is "not the rantings of extreme kookism anymore," "some might say the civil war is already on".
Syphilis warps the mind and Lush is the proof.

Talk of secession, a second civil war, and nullification increasingly common among wingnuts.
Hard to imagine such talk 'increasing' as it is all they talk and have talked about for years.

Hate radio's Lush Dimbulb: "This is tyranny".
This from a tyrant is just too funny.

Faux's Glenn Beck lies: The "patterns" of the Weimar Republic "are repeating".
The Nazis are getting more brazen aren't they.

Wingnut media repeatedly and absurdly compare Michelle Obama to Marie Antoinette.
'Clutching at straws' is the appropriate phrase to use here.

Wingnut squawking head Chuck Colson begs people to "understand the severity of the threats to our first freedom" which are coming from all sides and "realize the kind of fight we're in and be prepared for what we may face in the coming months".
Quite correct you are a serious threat you are to our freedom but we are prepared to defend our freedom from you.

Faux's Glenn Beck compares President Obama to Lucifer.
At least Lush has syphilis to blame, but Glenn you're just stark raving mad dog bat shit crazy.

White supremacist site Stormfront promotes Glenn Beck's deleted white power "fave" on Twitter.
 Ah, don't you just love it when Nazis show the love for one another.




Little 7-year-old girl refused ice lolly because she only had pennies to pay for it

This ice cream vendor needs to be whipped in public - Pennies are coin of the realm as well!

A young girl from Gloucester was left in "floods of tears" after an ice cream man turned her away for only having pennies rather than pound coins to pay for her 40p lolly. Seven-year-old Cordelle Hanson had been saving up her pocket money and decided to use it to buy an ice cream from the van when it stopped by her house in West Lodge Drive, Coney Hill last Tuesday.

But when she asked for her treat she was turned away because she only had coppers. Cordelle's mum Lisa Betts said: "I was sat in my car talking to my friend while Cordelle went to get an ice cream from the ice cream man.

"She came back a minute later and was in floods of tears saying that the ice cream man wouldn't give her a lolly because she only had pennies. It was pocket money that she had worked for. She does odd jobs around the house and I give her a penny or two in return.

"She was feeling independent having earned it herself and going to ask for it and she was just turned away. Cordelle is only seven, how can they refuse her when she has the money?"

Farmer creates first ever banana-shaped shallots

A farmer has created the first-ever shallot to be on British soil – shaped like a banana. Dedicated John Rowswell has invested ten years and thousands of pounds into engineering the popular vegetable by painstakingly cross-pollinating plants. But finally the bendy bulb – named the ‘Barrington Banana’ after the village where he lives near Ilminster, Somerset – is ready to hit the shelves.

John, 50, said: ”I love shallots and wanted to create something that was totally unique for British horticulture. There are 32 listed types of shallot and there’s not one like this one. Only two types are grown from seeds, including mine, and ours is female while the other is male. It’s such a useful vegetable – as well as being sweet to taste and really is delicious to eat.

”I want this creation to be something I will be remembered for long into the future.” After cross-pollinating three plants he finally crafted his recipe for the vegetable – a relative of the onion – and created seeds to grow the four-inch golden-brown bulbs, which are said to be sweeter than traditional shallots. He has remortgaged his home and estimated he has spent £7,500 getting the product prepared.

They now need to be given final approval by the final Food and Environmental Research Agency (FERA) before they can be listed on the European Seed Register. And John is hoping someone will help him out with the £1,500 fee. He said: ”I have put so much into this, putting a mortgage on the house, as well as using most of the money in our business. We now can’t afford the final test.”

Sheep Take Over The Lord of The Rings Movie Set

The movie set that was once the Shire in The Lord of The Rings trilogy, has since been taken over by sheep. Although still a tourist attraction, those visiting the former Hobbit homes in New Zealand must take precaution of the new residents.

U.K. etiquette guide

Tips warn Britons how to handle hugs, eye contact, and weight insults with foreign Olympics visitors. 

Odds and Sods

Odds and Sods
Exterminators say dry weather is driving sewer rats up through toilets

More stingray attacks reported at South Padre Island due to warm weather and calm water