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.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
All the thinking and pondering you've been going through should give way to some serious, objective decision-making.
Your next big career move might suddenly become perfectly clear -- if so, jump on it right away.
You could also get organized with something you've been pining for lately, like a fun plan with friends or a date.
It's all up to you today, and your future is definitely in your hands.

Today is:
Today is Monday, August 16, the 228th day of 2010.
There are 137 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Joe Miller's Joke Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Five things humans cannot agree on

Five things humans cannot agree on.

Cthulhu Explained In Under 2 Minutes

Have you ever wondered what The Call of Cthulhu was all about  but didn’t want to go to the bother of reading the H.P. Lovecraft story?  Wonder no more.  This is a cute and concise summary that anyone can  understand.

Trees could be cheap alternative to speed cameras

Trees could provide a cheap alternative to speed cameras after a pilot scheme found that they be used to encourage drivers to slow down. Motorists who travel down French-style avenues feel as though they are going faster and are more likely to slow down. More than 200 trees were planted on the approach roads to four rural villages in north Norfolk which had a history of speeding problems.

The experiment was carried out by Norfolk County Council at a cost of £70,000, funded by the Department for Transport. Provisional results found that drivers reduced their speed on the roads into Martham, Horstead, Mundesley and Overstrand by an average of two miles per hour. "It's a good result for what is a very cheap method," said Stuart Hallett, Norfolk's casualty reduction manager.

Norfolk Country Council had hoped to reduce speeds on the villages' approach roads by two to three miles per hour and to cut accidents by 20 per cent. By strategically planting trees along the roadside the driver's perception of speed can be altered. As the car approaches the village the trees are planted closer and closer together giving the impression that the vehicle is moving faster. This encourages the motorist to slow down. The trees were planted in March this year and are seen as a environmentally friendly alternative to unpopular speed bumps.

Road safety campaigners however, were concerned that the "green" approach to speed control would only affect the behaviour of conscientious drivers. Ellen Booth, campaigns officer for Brake, said: "Although this project is interesting and has some very good points it isn't a match for replacing speed cameras. It doesn't deal with enforcement and is unlikely to influence the driver who is deliberately speeding and only concerned about losing their licence. This type of project is likely to help with people who unintentionally creep above the speed limit. I would argue that speed cameras are much more cost effective and they bring in revenue for central government. They are a deterrent to all drivers rather than just a few."

The most popular things in America

Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, sells more of this one item than any else.

Tug of War Contest Spans Mississippi River

Residents of 2 Mississippi River towns battled it out in an annual Tug of War contest.

Lost dog reunited with family after 4 years in the wilderness

Merri Jo Alford knew what she was looking for. Hidden somewhere at the Outer Banks SPCA among stacks of paperwork buried in long-forgotten cardboard boxes were a few pieces of paper stapled together. On them, Alford knew, would be the names and phone number of a New Bern, N.C., couple with whom she'd spoken so many years ago.

But how much time had passed? Had it been two years, Alford wondered, or three? Could it really have been four years since Greg and Leigh Wilkinson desperately filed a lost-dog report? Alford knew one thing for sure: The skinny dog with matted fur that she had rescued near Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge was the pooch the Wilkinsons had lost on a canoeing trip years ago.

She remembered the distinctive-looking dog from the fliers the Wilkinsons posted. She remembered their persistence in looking for her. Finally, on Wednesday, Alford - an animal-control officer who goes by the nickname "Josie" - found the report.

It was dated Nov. 19, 2006. Reality set in for Alford and her colleagues. Four winters and three summers Teddy Bear survived in a wilderness heavily populated with bears, alligators and wolves. Her owners can only speculate as to how she did it.

More here.

Children force-feed diabetic coma mom sweets to keep her alive

Two young children have been hailed heroes after saving their diabetic mother’s life – after feeding her their sweets. Quick-thinking Guy Hill, aged 10, and sister Olivia, three, leapt into action after mum Georgina fell into a diabetic coma. Georgina, 33, collapsed at home minutes after husband Aaron, 42, went to work leaving her with the two children. Guy found his mum slumped semi-conscious on her bed and with his toddler sister the pair began feeding her their sweets.

Because of her condition she kept trying to spit the sweets out but the two children forced them into her. They then poured sugar into her mouth and as her blood-sugar levels rose Guy used his mum’s mobile to ring his dad who called an ambulance. Georgina, of Exmouth, Devon, recovered and the couple say their two children are ”real heroes”. Aaron said: ”Guy was concerned that his mother had not got up so he sent Olivia upstairs to see if everything was all right.

“She saw that her mother seemed unconscious and came back to tell her brother. He tried to call me but couldn’t get through. He then tried to get my wife to take some sweets to get her sugar levels up. She was in no fit state and kept spitting them out but they kept at it and together managed to get some into her. They are real heroes, lifesavers.” Guy said: “I managed to give her some sugar and Olivia helped too with sweets. I managed to find a phone to call Dad. I suppose we were with mum for about half an hour, I don’t really know how long.

“We stayed with her and managed to get her talking and to behave a little better but I was still pleased to see dad arrive.” Dr Adrian Midgley, the family’s GP, said Georgia could have died if the children hadn’t acted. He said: “Well done, Guy and Olivia. They did exactly the right thing. Children are very good at understanding such situations and it is well worth talking to them about such matters. If mum feels numb and vague, that is the time to act, get something sweet inside her.”

Leave it to the Irish

Festival that combines the weird, the wild and the wonderful
Grown men in tights, a big rickety wheel and a pig on a spit. It can only mean one thing -- it's Lady of the Lake time again! Fermanagh's biggest festival kicked off last week in Irvinestown with a whole host of weird and wonderful activities for all the family.

At likely 1832 mass grave in Pennsylvania unearthed bones show murder of Irish immigrant rail workers

Eamonn Alwell, Ina Immaculata University history department assistant, surveys the remains of an overgrown memorial near the site that researchers believe is a mass grave for immigrant Irish railroad workers in Malvern Pennsylvania.

Mexican founders' bones displayed for bicentennial

Mexico is displaying the bones of 13 of its founding fathers - and one founding mother - at the National Palace as part of its yearlong bicentennial celebrations.

Thousands flock to see asteroid pod

Thousands of people lined up to see a capsule from a space probe that landed on an asteroid.  

Russian Wildfires

Though many have been contained, wildfires continue to rage throughout many parts of Russia. In a new twist to the situation, officials have confirmed that some forests that were contaminated with radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster have now burned, but it was unclear what danger the smoke from such wildfires could pose.

Monitoring stations have not registered any increase in radioactivity as yet. Recent windy conditions have temporarily cleared the smoke from Moscow's skies, but it could possibly return soon. The economic costs of the fires are now estimated at up to 15 billion dollars.

Something Stinks

The gas bill of some Washington residents stinks -- literally -- making the gas company happy, because that's what they say they intended as a safety reminder.

Plane crashes in Colombia

Only one passenger dies after a Boeing 737 rips into 3 pieces while landing on a Colombian island. 

Elderly man with walker robs bank then makes slow getaway

A speedy getaway is usually critical for bank robbers, but perhaps not for an elderly British Columbia man who this week held up a bank - and while using a walker. While no weapon was produced, the 75-year-old told staff at a Prince George Bank of Nova Scotia that he was armed. Staff surrendered a small amount of cash and the robber made his getaway as RCMP were called at around 11:45 a.m. on Friday.

The suspect was described as a Caucasian male weighing about 230 pounds. He was wearing a straw hat, white T-shirt, grey jogging pants and dark glasses - and he was using a walker that many rely on for mobility. Prince George RCMP spokesman Gary Godwin said the man was apprehended approximately 45 minutes later in the same suburban strip mall where the bank is located.

The man is in custody while police investigate the decidedly unusual case. “It’s not every day you get a 75-year-old male on a walker holding up a bank,” Godwin said. “We’re looking at all the circumstances that are involved.” He said the man is known to police. Godwin, who has just retired from the RCMP after 25 years and has 36 years of policing experience, has never seen as elderly a bank robber as in this case.

But he said staff did the right thing in allowing the man to leave the bank even though they never saw a weapon. “You never know what you have on the other side of the counter,” Godwin said. “If he says he has a weapon, the best thing is to give him what we wants. Err on the side of caution is what we teach.”

Grandad banned from supermarket after calling manager Hitler

A shopper has been banned from supermarket Morrisons for life after calling the manager Hitler.

Grandad Peter Jinks, 70, lost his cool over the long queues and moaned about the lack of check-out staff. When the manager told him he should shop elsewhere, he insulted her.

Peter, who said he spends a fortune at the store in Droitwich Spa, Worcs on food for his restaurant, said: "I referred to her as Adolf Hitler."

Morrisons said: "We expect customers to behave responsibly." Peter is appealing.


Not sure of the details but know more than a few 'managers' who deserve the appellation. Not to mention the shitty attitude(s) from the rank and file service workers.
Although, the 'public' at large has a steller image - not - those working with 'the public' have to deal with what they are confronted with, with a cheerful attitude.

Life Behind Bars For Drunk Driver

A 52-year-old man has become the first motorist to be jailed for life for drink-driving. Bobby Stovall was told he will die in prison after receiving his ninth drink-driving conviction.

Prosecutors in Texas had demanded a harsh punishment as they feared the jobless builder would eventually kill someone if he were ever allowed to drive again.

‘This is someone who very deliberately has refused to make changes and continued to get drunk and get in a car – and before he kills someone, we decided to put him away,’ said Williamson County district attorney John Bradley.

Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield agreed and locked Stovall up for life.


Non Sequitur


Bacteria 'have a sense of smell'

Bacteria 'have a sense of smell'B licheniformis bacterium

A common type of bacteria has surprised researchers by demonstrating the ability to "smell" chemicals in the air.

Vibrant coral to illuminate cancer research

A recent oceanic discovery could transform the way scientists study cells — and global warming.

Dragon Fish and Other Fascinatingly Scary Creatures of the Deep

I don’t know about you, but I’m utterly fascinated with weird and scary creatures that troll the deep ocean. Dark Roasted Blend has a fantastic post (as usual) filled with images of such creatures.
This one above is the Dragon Fish:
Light is so rare down there that its uniqueness is an allure, for mating, as well as a lure, for eating. Grammatostomias flagellibarba, ‘dragon fish’ to you and I, uses bioluminescence – biological light – mainly for the latter: EATING. Any deep, deep, deep swimmer that notices and becomes interested in a certain tiny flickering light will end up becoming caught by the dragon fish’s monstrously huge and needle-sharp toothed mouth. The light being a glowing lure at the end of a long, thin filament connected to the underside of the fish’s jaw.

Remote Control of Nematodes

Biophysicists from the State University of New York (S.U.N.Y.) at Buffalo have successfully altered the behavior of a worm by remote control.  They inserted magnetic nanoparticles into nematodes, then used magnetic fields to open temperature-sensitive ion channels.
Within five seconds of applying the magnetic field, 34 out of the 40 worms in the study stopped in place, and 27 of those worms moved backward, as though retreating from a dangerous heat source. The nematodes without magnetic nanoparticles continued to wriggle forward, completely unaffected by the magnetic field.
The ultimate goal is to apply the technology to human physiology.  Ion channels are basic components of virtually all living cells.  The ability to open and close such channels therapeutically might provide new avenues for cancer chemotherapy and treatment of neurological and endocrine diseases.

Bear, Jar, Crisis Averted

A young black bear cub was days away from death when biologists freed it from a plastic jug.

Farmer dowses partially bald cow with factor 50 suncream

A cow which suffers from a skin condition causing partial baldness is being dowsed in factor 50 sun cream twice a day to prevent sunburn. Harriet the heifer was born premature and as a result was left with a condition which leaves large areas of her head and torso bald. Keepers at Ferne Animal Sanctuary near Chard, Somerset, have been lathering the one-year-old cow with sun cream twice daily.

They have issued a desperate plea for donations after going through a bottle of factor 50 every two days to keep the beast protected from the sun. Animal manager Naomi Clarke said: ”Harriet really suffers in the sun due to her condition and we’re doing all we can to protect her.

”But it’s costing us a fortune, we’re plastering lotion on her first thing in the morning and mid afternoon to protect her from the mid-day sun. We’re hoping her skin condition will have cleared up by next year but in the meantime we are desperately in need of any left over sun cream from people’s holidays.”

Harriet was donated to the farm in June after she was bullied by cows at her previous farm because of her skin condition. Since then, keepers have forked out on over 30 bottles of sun cream in a bid to protect her during the blistering summer. Naomi added: ”We think she was probably bullied because she was born premature but we have a lot of misfits here so she fits right in.”

Horses, Coke and Speed

A group of men have been charged with animal cruelty and illegal gambling for operating a clandestine horse-racing circuit in San Joaquin County, California, that involved doping horses with methamphetamine and cocaine.

With the help of confidential informants, undercover investigators from the state's Bureau of Gambling Control infiltrated races at private ranches in California towns Stockton, Lodi, Escalon and Ceres over three years, The Record said. Investigators wore hidden cameras and audio recorders.

A total of nine men have been charged along with the lead defendants, Manuel Monroy and his son, Simon Monroy-Segovia, who both stand charged with more than 30 counts, including animal cruelty, horse doping, bookmaking and holding bets.

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
A taste test finds eight clear winners, including best corn, fruit, and green salsas. 

10 of Yesteryear's Headache Medicines to Avoid

Got a headache? Well, nowadays you pop an ibuprofen or two, but back in the ’30s, your choices of meds were very, very different.
In 1932, the Modern Mechanix magazine published a story that outlined the dangers of 10 patent medicines for headaches:
There are ten drugs often contained in patent headache medicines which are so dangerous that every purchaser should look carefully for them on the label before buying or using the remedy.
Three are opiates, including opium, morphine and heroin. All three may cause the drug habit and should only be used under direct supervision of a competent physician. Three more habit-forming drugs are cocaine, and the similar drugs, alpha eucaine and beta eucaine.
Chloroform, the anesthetic, cannabis indica or Indian hemp, an oriental drug, chloral hydrate, used in the infamous “knock-out drops”, and acetanild, which has a powerful depressant action on the heart and blood circulation, complete the list.

Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints
Sugar has some startling similarities to other addictive substances.  



Extending tax cuts for the rich, in one handy picture

This chart is getting some play, but it deserves to be put everywhere. Obama's $250,000 point is well chosen; that's where the numbers diverge.
From Ezra Klein :

About that bottom circle, as Groucho once said, "Clip me off a piece of that." As to the chart, pass it on.

More illegal immigrants getting licenses

Driver's licenses are being issued more often in three states that don't require proof of legal residency.

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

Lunatic wingnut Hal Turner is convicted of threatening to kill Chicago judges.
One for the good guys!

CNN's Erick Erickson lies "the President of the United States now supports jihad apparently".
Some needs to take Erick's crack pipe away from him - he's smoking way too much crack.

The usual wingnut sources claim Obama administration is trying to promote the spread of AIDS.
Would that they did otherwise ... now, that would be shocking!

Wingnut loudmouth lush Dimbulb lies: Democrats will bring "more of the Trotsky brand of Communism than the Stalinist brand"".
Well, considering how dead set the wingnuts are to bring about the 'Stalinist brand' themselves this should be viewed as progress for the Democrats, but as with anything that spews from Lush's pie hole it is a lie.

Wingnut aggitator and WingNutDaily fantasy writer Larry Klayman lies: the federal judiciary "has broken away from 'We the People' and become a 'renegade' terrorist group".
Were that it were true - then we would have justice in lieu of the joke we have now.

Democratic state legislator in New Hampshire makes "death joke" about Sarah Palin — so he promptly resigns.
Something is wrong with this story, there has to be more that meets the eye here ... because if making a 'death joke' about Sarah Palin is cause for someone to resign then the entire sane population of the planet needs to resign and promptly.


Widespread misdiagnosis hid PTSD

Knowing how the shrub and the cabal hated our troops ... I'd say 'deliberately wrong diagnosis' rather than misdiagnosis.
Hundreds of soldiers diagnosed with another condition wound up ineligible for military health benefits.

Bad Cops

Bad Cops

Believe it or not


Things They Won't Tell You

Things They Won't Tell You
Employers don't want you to know when they pay new hires more than veteran workers.  

Number Two

A new superpower overtakes Germany, Great Britain, and even Japan, as the world's No. 2 economy.

What a double-dip recession would look like

Be prepared for worse news if a second recession sets in before the recovery.  

Persistent myths about millionaires

You may be surprised to learn which car the average rich person drives and how much taxes they pay.  

Wasteful financial products to avoid

Save hundreds of dollars by skipping services like fee-based checking.

Why do some coins have ridges?

U.S. quarters and dimes have rough edges, yet nickels and pennies have smooth ones.



Chair Zaps You If You Slouch

Do you slouch when you work? Got bad posture? Want to get rid of the bad habit?
Forget your mom’s nagging … zap away bad posture with the Posture Feedback Chair by John Morrell and Jean Zheng of Yale University:
The idea though of a nagging, albeit gentle, buzz to ergonomically set you upright is a good one – maybe better for some than others. Figuring that those who don’t want to be reminded would not purchase the chair, the Posture Feedback sitter would likely be motivated to respond to the vibrations by making positive ergonomic changes to their posture. A goal might be to reduce the number of nagging vibrations over a period of time.

How long does it take to get out of shape?

If you take off two months — or two weeks — are you back to square one?