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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.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You probably have the urge to toss things away, even (or especially) stuff you've been emotionally attached to for some time.
Don't stop yourself -- being surrounded by things that once belonged to someone who used to be close, or keeping reminders of your past just holds you back emotionally.
Now is a good time for a new start.
If you can't get rid of the old, you can't add anything new.
You've got nothing but good times ahead once you make room for it all.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Calcutta, West Bengal, India
Anncey, Rhone-Alpes, France
Toulouse, Midi-Pyrenees, France
Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, Germany
Swindon, England, United Kingdom
Luray, Centre, France
Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

as well as Spain and in cities across the United States such as Hixson, Chantilly, Detroit, Oakland and more.

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, August 24, the 236th day of 2010.
There are 129 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Vesuvius Day
National Waffle Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
This delicious classic pizza takes less than a half-hour to make at home.  
Dr Pepper may be the oldest American brand, but the fizz dates back to 1767.  
Vitamin C beats stress hormones, but there are better sources than oranges.

Drink Water Before Eating And Consume Fewer Calories

Drinking two cups of water before eating results in consuming 75 to 90 fewer calories per meal on average, a new study finds.  

Local Farmers See Increase In Egg Sales Since Recall

Local Farmers See Increase In Egg Sales Since Recall

A Rockingham County farmer said that customers want to know exactly where their eggs are coming from.

Strange Lifecycle of the Ladybug

I’m sure you’ve seen ladybugs before, but what do you know of its life cycle? Turns out, the lifecycle of a ladybug is far, far stranger than you’d ever think:
The ladybug larva goes through several stages and is best described as looking something like an insect equivalent of a crocodile, only black and with (occasionally) orange markers. The larvae eat about twenty five aphids (or equivalent!) a day. That’s nothing to what the adult can get through – roughly about fifty. This is why many ladybugs are popular with farmers and gardeners.
In fact their name comes from a time in the Middle Ages when people thought that they were sent as a gift from the Virgin Mary to help with controlling pests.
It is not, as many people believe, a protogynous hermaphrodite. This is when an animal begins its life as a female. So, if you thought they were so named because the vast majority (or as some believe, all of them!) were female, then put that thought out of your mind!

Dr. Seuss Invented the Word "Nerd"

According to the blog Your Mind Blown, the first documented use of the word ‘nerd’ was in the 1950 Dr. Seuss book If I Ran the Zoo.

Here is a synopsis:
[...] a boy named Gerald McGrew made a large number of delightfully extravagant claims as to what he would do, if he were in charge at the zoo. Among these was that he would bring a creature known as a Nerd from the land of Ka-Troo.

The furthur adventues of Little Johnny

Little Johnny and his family were having Sunday dinner at his Grandmother’s house. Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served.
When Little Johnny received his plate, he started eating right away.
“Johnny! Please wait until we say our prayer.” Said his mother
“I don’t have to,” The boy replied.
“Of course, you do,” his mother insisted. “We say a prayer before eating, at our house”
“That’s our house,” Johnny explained. “But this is Grandma’s house and she knows how to cook!

Things teachers wish parents knew

You don't need to be a math whiz to help your child with homework. 

The five hottest cities of the summer

These metro areas sweated through the warmest and second-warmest months on record.  

Secretive 'Fort Knox' of Massachusetts

Mystery surrounds the Metalor refinery, one of the few places making 24-carat gold bars.

Landmark cries foul

A proposed 67-story glass tower would spoil the view for millions, the landmark's owner claims.

Ansel Adams on fire

What started as the tale of an incredible garage-sale find dissolves into a bitter legal tug of war.  

Storm topples chestnut tree that comforted Anne Frank in hiding

The towering chestnut tree that comforted Anne Frank in her Amsterdam attic was toppled yesterday by a heavy storm. High winds and whipping rain downed the 150-year-old tree, which crashed across several neighboring gardens and sheds.

The falling tree missed the nearby Anne Frank House, a museum filled with tourists at the time of the crash. "Someone yelled, 'It's falling. The tree is falling,'" said museum spokeswoman Maatje Mostart. "Luckily, nobody was hurt." The trunk snapped off about three feet above the ground during the storm.

Frank referenced the tree in her diary, including a May 1944 entry just months before she was betrayed and turned over to the Nazis. "Our chestnut tree is in full blossom," wrote the Jewish teen. "It is covered with leaves and is even more beautiful than last year."

But the historic tree was afflicted with a fungus and rot, leading Amsterdam officials to consider its removal in 2007. A worldwide campaign was launched to save the tree, and its trunk was bolstered with a steel frame in 2008 to keep it from tipping. Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945.

There's a photo gallery here.

Sinkhole swallows fast-food joint

A gaping 100-foot-long hole turns a Ga. drive-through into a drive-by attraction.  

A big chunk if ice is now free

Thirty to 50 million tons of ice have broken off the Tasman Glacier, forming around 20 icebergs now floating in the Tasman Lake - adding more drama and spectacle to an already dramatic landscape.

The process began earlier this month when the terminal face rose 20 to 40 meters thanks to a rain downpour which lifted millions of tonnes of ice from the water across the entire 600m width of the face.

The Tasman Glacier, in the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, is New Zealand's longest glacier.

World helium reserves are running out

Physicist Robert Richardson from Cornell University is warning against plans implemented via the Helium Privatization Act to sell off our National Helium Reserve by 2013.

Although cryogenic applications in magnetic resonance imaging, semiconductor processing and basic research consume the largest portion of the helium market presently, this light, inert gas has many other uses. NASA uses it in the pressurizing and purging of its rocket engines while civilian industries use approximately 13 million scm annually in various welding applications. By the time one accounts for helium's role in atmospheric control and leak detection as well as its obvious use as a lifting gas, it is clear that the industry is an important part of the U.S. economy.
Helium is a non-renewable material here on earth. About 80% of global reserves are in the American Southwest, created as a by-product of refining natural gas. Dr. Richardson recommends raising prices drastically, so a helium balloon would run around $100, to reflect the value of the gas inside.

Monkey on a goat


Man died attempting ‘Starsky and Hutch’ style car stunt

A 20-year-old died in a failed ‘Starsky and Hutch’ style stunt after trying to jump 30ft across a harbor – in his car, an inquest heard. Jamie Hocking tried to use his white Rover hatchback to leap across a large gap in the quayside in Porthleven, Cornwall. He had ”regularly” told friends he would ”one day” use a pier as a ramp and leap over the water and land on the other side.

Seconds before the fatal crash he was seen revving his engine before driving through a chain security barrier. Jamie – who was over twice the drink-drive limit – drove off the pier but toppled straight over the edge and plunged into the sea. Eyewitness Helen Sankey told the inquest that Jamie had tried to jump the gap by accelerating ”violently”. She said: ”I could see a car going forwards and backwards into a chain preventing access to the harborside. I ran back into the pub to get help before returning to the scene.

”The car was accelerating violently. It made a final run at the chain and this time made it through. It was so dark.” Jamie, described as a ”happy go lucky” farm worker of Helston, Cornwall, died on December 18 last year after a Christmas party with friends. He had drunk about ten pints of lager and cider during the session and after his death was found to be twice over the legal drink driving limit.

The inquest in Truro heard Jamie regularly told his friends he would take on the stunt and jump 30ft across the harbor. But police officers later said it would have been ”impossible” for him to have successfully completed the stunt. Forensic collision officers later said tire marks on the quay indicated Jamie’s car had hit a bollard before he plunged into the water. Coroner Dr Emma Carlyon recorded an open verdict and drowning as the cause of death.

Student-built car could top 400 mpg

Missouri high schoolers turn an Indy racecar into a superefficient lightweight electric vehicle.  

Epic traffic jam stretches into 9th day

A sprawling logjam leading into Beijing strands thousands of drivers and gives birth to a mini-economy. 

Non Sequitur


Private Company Preparing to Launch Person into Space

A couple of years ago, it was reported that a Danish start-up company was planning to launch a person into space in a cramped capsule. It all seemed rather fanciful, but Copenhagen Suborbitals is really going to do it this weekend:
Over the last year-and-a-half they have led a team of volunteers to create the HEAT1X rocket and the micro spacecraft it will launch, called Tycho Brahe-1.
Tycho Brahe-1 will carry one human passenger, in a half-seated position, into space and back down again.
The seat is designed to minimise the gravitational pull on the passenger’s spine.
Whoever is on board will also have to wear a pressure suit, like those worn by fighter pilots, to make sure they don’t pass out.
At the top of the module is a see-through polymer plexiglass dome, giving the astronaut a once-in-a-lifetime view of their journey.
It’s planned that the spacecraft will travel in an arc, jettisoning the rocket about halfway up and eventually peaking more than 100km above the Earth before coming down.
After it re-enters the atmosphere, parachutes will be deployed to slow it before it hits the water.

Rich exoplanet system discovered

New planetary system 10180 (Image: ESO)
Astronomers discover a planetary system with at least five planets orbiting a star much like our Sun.

Photo Of Earth And Moon Taken From 114 Million Miles Away

It's an image that should put us firmly in our place. Set against the inky blackness of space our Earth can be seen with the smaller Moon orbiting around it from a distance of around 114 million miles. The picture was taken by Nasa's Messenger deep space probe.

Perseid Meteor Shower Over the Skies of Joshua Tree National Park

If you missed the Perseids meteor shower, take heart: Henry Jun Wah Lee captured the event with this amazingly beautiful time lapse of the celestial event against the background of the Milky Way Galaxy, in the skies above Joshua Tree National Park.

What Would Happen if Two Planets Collided?

Binary solar systems — systems consisting of two stars orbiting each other — are quite common. Astronomers using the Spitzer Space Telescope have observed that many of them have a lot of dust and debris, leading to the hypothesis that the dust clouds were originally planets that collided with each other.
Geophysically, what would it be like if two planets hit each other?

Phil Plait of Discover writes:
The energy in such a collision would dwarf the sweatiest nightmares of any Hollywood writer — or religiously-motivated apocalyptic preacher, for that matter. The two planets, each massing sextillions of tons, would ram each other at speeds of 20 or more kilometers per second. The energy released would be trillions of times that of all our nuclear weapons combined.

Helpful Hints

Before washing an ink-stained shirt, try drenching the fabric with hair spray.  
In many situations you can skip the flash, and there are some times you definitely shouldn't use it.  

Choosing to take Social Security early

Five families reveal why they started getting benefit checks now rather than later.  

Gas prices hit eight-month low, and it's apparently a bad sign for the economy

With the end of the summer driving season just around the corner, traders and investors on Monday drove gasoline prices to an eight-month low on U.S. commodities markets, providing the latest sign of pessimism about the economic recovery.
The surge in U.S. consumption that many refiners expected earlier this year has not materialized. Last week, the American Petroleum Institute reported that in July, U.S. gasoline deliveries (a measure of demand) were 9.3 million barrels a day, down slightly compared with July 2009. Except for 2008, it was the lowest July gasoline demand number since 2003.

A lack of consumer confidence and continuing high unemployment have kept people cautious about spending and traveling. "With unemployment high and July regular gasoline prices more than 20 cents a gallon above those a year ago, consumers likely have been shopping and vacationing less and trimmed their gasoline purchases accordingly," said John Felmy, the institute's chief economist.

On The Job

On The Job
Paid internships that could lead to $50,000-a-year jobs are a bright spot in a tough economy.
If a hiring manager says, "You're still in the running," it might be a subtle hint.  

Credit-card traps to avoid before applying

If you don't have this minimum credit score, you should reconsider even trying to get a new card.  

Things that drive consumers nuts

Are you tired of attempts to "upsell" you, or endless requests to take after-call surveys? 

Trader Joe's wild success

The supersecretive upscale grocer finds profit in doing the opposite of many other chains.  

Housing: A lousy investment

Prices will fall far enough that housing will become a very attractive investment again.  
Existing home sales plunge 27% in the largest monthly drop since the late '60s.  



After 40 years, bomber considered 'ghost'

Leo Burt is the last fugitive wanted by the FBI for radical anti-Vietnam War activities. 
One bomber they can't find and one bomber set free and his freedom covered up ...

A secret deal let a prime suspect in a deadly Northern Ireland blast go free — because he was a priest.

Bad Cops

Bad Cops

Boy calls 911 after finding parents passed out

A 42-year-old man and his 39-year-old wife were found passed out in their Southwest Ocala home after their 6-year-old son called 911 from a cell phone, according to Marion County sheriff's officials. The parents, Michael Dean Patrick and his wife, Nicole, were arrested on Friday by sheriff's deputies and charged with child neglect, according to officials.

Sgt. David Hopkins was the first to arrive on scene and said he noticed the juvenile was in front of the home. The boy called the Sheriff's Office and told a dispatcher that his father was asleep on the floor near the bed and his mother was sleeping on the kitchen floor, authorities said. The boy told the dispatcher he could not wake up his parents. Entering the residence, Hopkins said he saw the man, later identified as Patrick, in the master bedroom lying on the bed.

Marion County Fire Rescue personnel were summoned. Officials were able to wake up Patrick, who they say had slurred speech and difficulty standing. Patrick told officials he takes medications and showed them the prescription bottles. Officials say the man told them he drank one alcoholic beverage. Covered with a blanket and lying on the kitchen floor in a puddle of milk was Patrick's wife, Nicole, authorities said. The little boy said he poured milk on his mother in an attempt to wake her up.

Disoriented and her speech slurred, the woman told officials she also took medications, but was unable to provide any proof, deputies said. Officials say she had a hard time staying awake, and when she did, she kept asking her husband why she was on the kitchen floor, how long had been she passed out, and where was her medication. The Department of Children and Families was notified and the child was handed over to a family member, authorities said. The Patricks were then arrested and charged with child neglect. Both were released from the Marion County Jail early Saturday morning on $2,000 bond each.

Three-year-old girl saves father's life

After her dad lost consciousness, little Alesaundra Tafoya ran to a local fire station for help.  

Why Doesn't Batman Just Kill The Joker?

First Joker commits a crime, then Batman catches him and locks him up. Then, Joker invariably escapes and the cycle starts anew. So, wouldn’t it be far easier if Batman just killed his archnemesis? What’s stopping him?
That wasn’t an idle comic store chit-chat – rather it was an example given by philosophy professors to introduce coursework:
William Irwin, a philosophy professor at King’s College in Pennsylvania, edits the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series, which includes titles such as Batman and Philosophy, and X-Men and Philosophy.
He says there’s nothing unusual about using popular references to illustrate complex theories.
"This is what philosophy has tried to do from the very beginning," he says. "Philosophy starts with Socrates in the streets of Athens taking his message to the people and speaking in their language – agricultural analogies and common mythology."
Katie Connolly of BBC News writes about the growing use of comic book characters to teach philosophy: Full Story

Drug war sends bullets whizzing across the border

The first bullets struck El Paso's city hall at the end of a work day. The next ones hit a university building and closed a major highway.Shootouts in the drug war along the U.S.-Mexico border are sending bullets whizzing across the Rio Grande into one of the nation's safest cities, where authorities worry it's only a matter of time before someone

Hungry Bears in Yellowstone Coming into Conflict with People

Image credit: Aaron Villescas/Flickr
Typically, warm winters make life easier for wildlife. In Yellowstone National Park, however, a string of unusually mild winters has allowed a beetle to strip the region of whitebark pine trees—which are an essential source of protein for the park's bears.
Now, as the undernourished bears struggle to prepare for hibernation, their search for food is increasingly leading them into contact with humans, often with devastating results.

Don't Mess With Momma Grizzles

Not what Sarah had in her minuscule mind but she was correct about one thing you don't want to mess with momma grizzles. Too bad she's too stupid to realize she's the moron messing with them.

Daily Show on 'terror funder' & Fox co-owner Prince al-Waleed bin Talal

A stunning segment, not because the news is new, but because it's really well analyzed. Funny is just gravy on this very meaty dish (h/t Blue Texan).

Bottom line (for those of you who want to read the meaty bits):
  1. Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal ("the world's 22nd richest person") is the second-largest owner of Fox News.
  2. Billionaire Prince al-Waleed also funds the Kingdom Foundation.
  3. Faux says that the Kingdom Foundation "funds terror groups."
  4. The Prince also funds Imam Rauf, the man behind the Park 51 Muslim community center.
  5. Bonus: Faux & Friends announces points 2–4 without ever naming al-Waleed.
For Faux, this means Imam Rauf is financed by terror-funders. For Stewart, this means that Faux is either Stupid or Evil.

But for us, this is valuable information, including the part about connections to Bush II. Forget the "mosque"; the Saudi royal family's relationship to right-wing and GOP politics has needed a spotlight for years. Thank you, Daily Show, for shining it.

Just wait till the Saudis start flexing their Citizens United muscles. Mr. Roberts, you are truly a "revolutionary force".

Hitler an African-Jew?

Holy Sammy Davis Jr.
Could Hitler's hatred for the Jewish people have been a case of self-loathing?

The repulsive leader of Nazi Germany may have had Jewish and perhaps African relatives, according to DNA tests conducted on nearly 40 living relatives.

The report comes from the Belgium magazine, Knack, which says it obtained saliva samples after tracking down 39 relatives from throughout Europe, as well as in America.

"One can from this postulate that Hitler was related to people whom he despised," Jean-Paul Mulders, the journalist who wrote the article, stated in his report.

Working with historian Marc Vermeeren, the samples were tested and were found to contain a chromosome called Haplopgroup E1b1b (Y-DNA), which is rarely found in Western Europeans.

"It is most commonly found in the Berbers of Morocco, in Algeria, Libya and Tunisia as well as among Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews," Vermeeren said in the article.

Hitler's heritage has been called into question before, with some suggesting his grandfather was Jewish. But this is the first claim with any scientific data to support it.

Similar reports have been made against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly denied the Holocaust occurred and regularly bashes Israel.

It was suggested in the British press in 2009 that the nuke-hungry leader's name was changed from Sabourjian, a Jewish name meaning "cloth weaver," when it was converted to Islam after his birth.

Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe
Otherwise known 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

Faux's Glenn Beck lies: President Obama's comments show "contempt for the Scriptures".
Looking into the mirror when speaking again, eh, Beck.

repugican national cabal member Kim Lehman lies: President Obama "personally told the Muslims that he IS a Muslim".
Kim, pulling lies out of your ass is no way to go through life.

Faux's Eric Bolling says Islamic community center in Manhattan "may be a meeting place for some of the scariest minds — some of the biggest terrorist minds".
Actually it is those milling about in a ignorant stupor around the building site that has the 'scariest' minds and the biggest terrorist minds are controlling their ignorance by feeding them lies and hate.

New wingnut line: Pastors who vouch for Obama's Christian faith are just like churches that gave cover to Nazis.
So you are saying you vouch for his faith ... being that you are Nazis and all.

Congressional candidate Tom Ganley (reptile-Ohio) can't say whether Obama is a Muslim.
Can't say much can he?

Faux's Glenn Beck stokes Muslim terrorist rumors.
And this is news - how?

“Strict Constitutionalists” call for a "Second Amendment solution" to the Tenth Amendment crisis.
Sedition pure and simple

Evil-religio nutjob Franklin Graham lies: Obama was born Muslim.
He was born a human male beyond that he is what his life has made him and being a Muslim isn't part of that.