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.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
An older, wiser friend or relative is eager to help you out of today's troubles, and regardless of how conflicted you may feel about accepting their help, let them take care of you this time.
You've certainly earned it the assistance, as they tell you, and it's definitely your turn to be spoiled rotten, so grit your teeth and let them take care of you.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, August 14, the 226th day of 2010.
There are 139 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
National Garage Sale Day
Sandcastle & Sculpture Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama's Weekly Address

Transcript unavailable at this time.

The President supports the Constitution

Now that's a novel concept
After the last 'president' viewed the constitution with utter disdain and called it a "goddamn piece of paper".
President Obama endorses the building of the controversial mosque, citing religious freedom. 
Although modern misreading of the word 'of' as it relates to the way it was used in 18th century lexicon to mean what it means today this is the correct position. The Constitution of the United States clearly states that this nation is to be free of religion and it's deleterious effects on society as a nation but that individuals may have the religion of their choice and no one may impose their religion on another - that means you, christians ... and any other group attempting to place their religion over all!

Non Sequitur


Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know
Changes in the way that plasma circulates in the Sun may help explain prolonged period of weak solar activity.

A meteor streaks past stars in the night sky over Stonehenge in Salisbury PlainMeteor shower reaches second peak Skywatchers across Europe enjoy another dazzling display as the annual Perseid meteor shower reached the second day of its peak.

Shark Smarts

Sharks are not the big, dumb, bullies of the sea that you might suspect. Over the last 20 years, research into shark behavior has gotten more sophisticated and it's turned up some surprising findings about what's going on in the brains of these "mindless death fish from hell". To wit:
"There's a clear line between the higher and lower vertebrates in terms of brain-to-body weight," Gruber [Samuel Gruber from the University of Miami] explains. "Birds and mammals have a higher ratio; fish, amphibians and reptiles are lower. But sharks land above the line associated with these lower vertebrates. They've been independently evolving for half a billion years, and they have brains that are comparable to [those of] mammals in some ways."
His research showed that lemon sharks were able to remember a visual discrimination task for at least a year without retraining, and Gruber says they also showed spatial preferences akin to "handedness" in mammals.
That's pretty cool, especially given the fact that I just spent the past two weeks delving into the cognition and complex behavior of another underestimated class of sea creatures—cephalopods. It's enough to make me wish that Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus had been more heavily grounded in science. Instead of jumping up and biting a 747 in half, Mega Shark could have challenged Giant Octopus to a run through a Ginormous Maze in the laboratory of a Massive Psychology Researcher. I don't know about you, but I'd have watched that.

Dinosaurs Alive


Two Dinosaurs FOUND ALIVE in Papua, New Guinea!
An exploration team has detailed eyewitness accounts and VIDEO of two living dinosaurs previously considered extinct -- horrible FLYING DINOSAURS with razor sharp teeth! Not only that, but the team has physical evidence of gigantic nesting sites found in some of the mountainous cliff areas.
Also see the website Pterosaurs Still Living in South Pacific for more on the research team's findings.

Read more about research team here.

When To Use i.e. In A Sentence

i.e. Is an abbreviation for 'id est,' a Latin phrase meaning 'that is.' It indicates that an explanation or paraphrase is about to follow. But many people use it the wrong way. When To Use i.e. In A Sentence.

Learn from your elders

A lawyer and a senior citizen are sitting next to each other on a long flight.  The lawyer is thinking that seniors are so dumb that he could get one over on them easy.  So the lawyer asks if the senior would like to play a fun game.

The senior is tired and just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and tries to catch a few winks.

The lawyer persists saying that the game is a lot of fun.  I ask you a question, and if you don’t know the answer, you pay me only $5.  Then you ask me one, and if I don’t know the answer, I will pay you $500, he says.  This catches the senior’s attention and to keep the lawyer quiet, he agrees to play the game.

The lawyer asks the first question.  ‘What’s the distance from the Earth to the Moon?’

The senior doesn’t say a word, but reaches into his pocket, pulls out a five-dollar bill, and hands it to the lawyer.

Now it’s the senior’s turn.  He asks the lawyer, ‘What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down with four?’

The lawyer uses his laptop and searches all references he could find on the Net.  He sends e-mails to all the smart friends he knows; all to no avail.  After an hour of searching, he finally gives up.  He wakes the senior and hands him $500.  The senior pockets the $500 and goes right back to sleep.

The lawyer is going nuts not knowing the answer.  He wakes the senior up and asks, ‘Well, so what goes up a hill
with three legs and comes down with four?’

The senior reaches into his pocket, hands the lawyer $5 and goes back to sleep.

Czech debt could be 'repaid with ginseng root'

http://www.bouncingbearbotanicals.com/images/ginseng_root.jpgThe Czech Republic has considered allowing North Korea to repay debts with tonnes of aphrodisiac ginseng roots, it has been revealed.

North Korea owes $10m (£6.4m) for trams and heavy machinery it received during eastern Europe's Soviet era.

The offer of ginseng, said to combat lethargy, arthritis and impotence, was said to have been for 5% of the debt.

But other reports say the Czech Republic is asking for the debt to be repaid in metal instead.

Twenty tons of the root was reportedly on offer as a down payment.

That would have been far in excess of the Czech Republic's annual consumption of ginseng, said to be just under 1.5 tons.

New ways to safeguard your money

In this era of high unemployment and flat home prices, some old rules don't apply.  

Woman sentenced to 21 years house arrest

An office manager who admitted stealing $475,000 from her employer has been sentenced to 21 years of house arrest so she can work to repay it. Lanette Sansoni's unusual sentence came after her ex-boss said he was more interested in restitution than jail time, her lawyer said. "This was just a creative compromise," defense attorney A. Charles Peruto Jr. said Thursday. "I think it will encourage her to pay it off, so the judge was pretty smart about it."

Peruto, a veteran defense lawyer in the region, guessed the two-decade term may be a record for house arrest in Pennsylvania. State officials could not immediately confirm that. Sansoni, 40, has repaid about $275,000 after selling her home in Warminster, just north of Philadelphia, and moving in with her mother. She will remain on house arrest until the remaining $200,000 is repaid to Kenneth Slomine, who owned JRS Settlement Services, a title company in Lower Moreland Township.

Montgomery County Judge Joseph A. Smyth on Wednesday set a payment schedule of $750 a month, which works out to about 21 years. Sansoni can leave home to work but could go to jail if the payments stop. She has a job paying $700 a week, Peruto said, but he wouldn't disclose what it is.

Prosecutors had argued for incarceration for Sansoni, who also served as a title clerk at JRS before it went bust because of her theft. "This is a case that just cried out for jail time," said Assistant District Attorney Steven Bunn, who called Sansoni's crimes "egregious." "She's not stealing to make ends meet," Bunn said. "She was buying luxury vacations, designer handbags, designer jewelry, and basically living the high life while this company went under."

Alito refers birther's appeal to entire Supreme Court

Wingnut Guilty

Wingnut internet hate spewer Hal Turner is convicted of death threats against federal judges.

The Stats on Slacking

Surprise, surprise! The average American worker slacks off about 1.7 hours per work day. Almost half of them spent this time unproductively on the Internet (sorry, guys! I know Neatorama’s not helping your productivity!), 1/5th socialized instead of worked, and the rest … Oh, I’lllet you figure that one out for yourselves.



Medicare rebate checks in the mail

A check from Uncle Sam gets your attention, even if the money doesn't help that much with the bills.

The Cancer Healing Tree

This could be truly amazing ...

Depression dulls sense of smell

People who suffer depression are less sensitive to odors and the parts of their brains responsible for smelling are smaller.

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health
The day may be coming where antibiotics no longer work

Really disturbing article from the Guardian:
Just 65 years ago, David Livermore's paternal grandmother died following an operation to remove her appendix. It didn't go well, but it was not the surgery that killed her. She succumbed to a series of infections that the pre-penicillin world had no drugs to treat. Welcome to the future.

The era of antibiotics is coming to a close. In just a couple of generations, what once appeared to be miracle medicines have been beaten into ineffectiveness by the bacteria they were designed to knock out. Once, scientists hailed the end of infectious diseases. Now, the post-antibiotic apocalypse is within sight.

Hyperbole? Unfortunately not. The highly serious journal Lancet Infectious Diseases yesterday posed the question itself over a paper revealing the rapid spread of multi-drug-resistant bacteria. "Is this the end of antibiotics?" it asked.
"In many ways, this is it," Walsh tells me. "This is potentially the end. There are no antibiotics in the pipeline that have activity against NDM 1-producing enterobacteriaceae. We have a bleak window of maybe 10 years, where we are going to have to use the antibiotics we have very wisely, but also grapple with the reality that we have nothing to treat these infections with."

And this is the optimistic view – based on the assumption that drug companies can and will get moving on discovering new antibiotics to throw at the bacterial enemy. Since the 1990s, when pharma found itself twisting and turning down blind alleys, it has not shown a great deal of enthusiasm for difficult antibiotic research. And besides, because, unlike with heart medicines, people take the drugs for a week rather than life, and because resistance means the drugs become useless after a while, there is just not much money in it.



Egg found inside egg

Farmer's wife Maria Baldescu thought she was cracking up when she peeled the shell off this egg fresh from her barn - and found another one inside.

Maria has put the bizarre egg on show on her home in Iasi, Romania, after a local vet warned her it could have been caused by nuclear fall out from the nearby Chernobyl reactor disaster.

"When I first saw it I thought good, two eggs for me. Then I thought about it and asked my vet who warned me off," said Maria, 68.

"I don't want to eat a mutant egg and that radioactive material is still causing many strange births and freaks of nature here," she added.

Cow's underground adventure

A Chinese farmer spent four days searching for his missing cow - only to discover she'd somehow made her way into the sewers under his village.

Locals in Fujian province, eastern China, had been mystified by the sound of mooing coming up from the ground.

But they didn't realise what had happened until the beast popped her head through an open manhole. Animal lovers kept her busy with handfuls of grass until owner Sheng Hsueh could set up a makeshift winch to haul her back to the surface.

"She didn't seem upset by her ordeal." said local Wang Hsia, 48, "As soon as they cut her free she found a patch of grass and started grazing."

Peru battles rabid vampire bats

Peru's health ministry has sent emergency teams to a remote Amazon region to battle an outbreak of rabies spread by vampire bats. Four children in the Awajun indigenous tribe died after being bitten by the bloodsucking mammals.

Health workers have given rabies vaccine to more than 500 people who have also been attacked. Some experts have linked mass vampire bat attacks on people in the Amazon to deforestation. The rabies outbreak is focused on the community of Urakusa in the north-eastern Peruvian Amazon, close to the border with Ecuador.

The indigenous community appealed for help after being unable to explain the illness that had killed the children. The health ministry said it had sent three medical teams to treat and vaccinate people who had been bitten.

Most of the affected population had now been vaccinated, it said, although a few had refused treatment. Vampire bats usually feed on wildlife or livestock, but are sometimes known to turn to humans for food, particularly in areas where their rainforest habitat has been destroyed. Some local people have suggested this latest outbreak of attacks may be linked to the unusually low temperatures the Peruvian Amazon in recent years.

This is wrong

Is it just me or does anyone else see the pink elephant too!

Champagne Tastes Better When Poured Like Beer

French scientists say they have settled a question that has long divided champagne lovers: How best to pour the bubbly? At an angle, not straight down.

The scientists at the University of Reims say pouring bubbly at a slant, as you would a beer, preserves more of the tiny gas bubbles that improve the drink's flavor and aromas.

Four Men Go on Pub Crawl for 24 Years

Four men from West Bromwich, UK got bored with their local pub and decided to check out the competition. 24 years later, they’re still going:
The four men have just visited their 14,000th pub across the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.
They have spent 24 years travelling to every corner of the country and have downed and estimated 84,000 pints of real ale, working out at 21,000 pints each.[...]
They started out determined to conquer the 250 pubs in Worcestershire and Herefordshire, but quickly revised their plans to a grander scale.
This week they called in at the Stags Leap, Rugeley, Staffs, their 14,000th pub. It also means they have now drunk in every pub across 11 English counties.
They entered the Guinness Book of Records for drinking in every English county, but remain determined to have a pint in every pub in every pub in the UK and Ireland.