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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.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
The various elements of your life -- romance, family, career and so on -- are a little out of balance now, making for some wobbly times.
Though romance is at the forefront of your thinking -- you could be ready to make a big announcement, throwing caution to the wind -- you've also got important responsibilities to deal with.
Get some balance instead of getting carried away in just one area.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
London, England, United Kingdom
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Brugge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Roskilde, Roskilde, Denmark
Comox, British Columbia, Canada
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

as well as cities across the United States such as Encino, Tampa, Gowrie, Elnora and more.

Today is:
Today is Thursday, August 26, the 238th day of 2010.
There are 127 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
National Dog Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

19 at 90

Women were guaranteed voting rights 90 years ago, but some states got there even earlier.  

This is not a spider

 The Harvestman (shown above) is not a spider.

Growing up we called these "daddy longlegs" - a name also applied to cellar spiders.  But it was harvestmen we always saw (and tried to avoid stepping on), and which we still see on a routine basis when gardening or working in the woods.

They are not spiders.  They are arachnids, but are of a different order from true spiders.

The legs continue to twitch after they are detached. This is because there are 'pacemakers' located in the ends of the first long segment (femur) of their legs. These pacemakers send signals via the nerves to the muscles to extend the leg and then the leg relaxes between signals. While some harvestman's legs will twitch for a minute, other kinds have been recorded to twitch for up to an hour. The twitching has been hypothesized as a means to keep the attention of a predator while the harvestman escapes.

Rockin' with Ozzy

The Ozzy Osbourne-obsessed Yuto Miyazawa joins the metal icon onstage for a rock classic.  

Ailing dad's grueling trip to see son play

Tom Morrison has incurable cancer, but that didn't stop him from finally seeing his son Logan in the majors.  

Video of cat tossed in trash sparks uproar

And that's putting it mildly!
Security-camera footage of a woman's bizarre act triggers front-page intrigue across the U.K.  
OK, as a dog person it is hard to drum sympathy for a cat. But no animal deserves the treatment this cat received at the hands of this woman. 


A couple of street sweepers made a rare find in Tennessee when they picked up a coin.

A snake slithered into a switch box outside a New York hospital, where it met its maker and caused a 10-hour power outage.

China's epic traffic jam vanishes

A team of reporters ventures into a reported 60-mile bottleneck and makes an unexpected find.

The Prima Donna was a spy?

An ex-ballerina thought to be a top Nazi agent emerges as a central figure in newly declassified files.

Retro Photo

Elizabeth Taylor off set during the filming of Giant

The Tribe That Worships Prince Philip

We all know that Prince Philip is divinely blessed with the ability to come up with the most inappropriate quips for any occasion, but according to the Tanna tribe of Vanuatu, he is simply divine:
The inhabitants of Tanna, in the Vanuatu islands, off the Australian coast, believe the Queen’s husband is divine, the incarnation of a spirit who emerged from a volcano and left to marry a great lady.
It was a cult which emerged from the prince’s visit in 1974, and legend has it that the ’spirit’ will one day return in person.
So, to avoid the villagers’ disappointment that the Duke of Edinburgh couldn’t show for his 89th birthday in June, an anthropology student named Marc Rayner stepped in:
Reporter Amos Roberts said: ‘It was amazing. The locals were waiting with their photographs of the prince, expecting him to appear. ‘The islanders thought the prince’s birthday was the date of a "second coming" and a party was organised in his honour. ‘Instead they got an 18-year-old Scotsman.’

In the wilds of the deep blue sea

Though in actuality the sea is green in color
A glimpse into one of the globe's most intriguing ecosystems reveals up to 40 new species. 

Brazil's Snake Island

The good news: Tired of overcrowded cities? A pristine and uninhabited tropical island is still available.
The bad news: It’s filled with snakes.

Atlas Obscura has more on the intriguing Snake Island of Brazil:
Off the shore of Brazil, almost due south of the heart of São Paulo, is a Ilha de Queimada Grande. The island is untouched by human developers, and for very good reason. Researchers estimate that on the island live between one and five snakes per square meter. The snakes live on the many migratory birds (enough to keep the snake density remarkably high) that use the island as a resting point.
That figure might not be so terrible if the snakes were, say, 2 inches long and nonvenomous. The snakes on Queimada Grande, however, are a unique species of pit viper, the golden lancehead. The lancehead genus of snakes is responsible for 90% of Brazilian snakebite-related fatalities. The golden lanceheads that occupy Snake Island grow to well over half a meter long, and they possess a powerful fast-acting poison that melts the flesh around their bites. Golden lanceheads are so dangerous that, with the exception of some scientific outfits, the Brazilian Navy has expressly forbidden anyone from landing on the island.

The world's most beautiful lakes

A Guatemalan stunner sits at the foot of three massive conical volcanoes.  

Rare ‘fire tornado’ filmed in Brazil

A fire tornado caused by brush fires and strong winds has stopped motorway traffic as drivers in Brazil gawped at the rare phenomenon.

The whirlwind of flames burned through fields beside the road in the northwest city of Aracatuba in Sao Paulo state. But, as quickly as it appeared, the roaring twister fizzled down and just a smoldering line in the land remained.

The firestorm followed a drought which has led to brush fires across Brazil. Fire tornadoes, also known as fire whirls or fire devils, are rare and depend on certain air temperatures and currents to create a vertical, rotating column of air.

In 1923, a fire tornado ignited by the Great Kanto earthquake in Tokyo grew to the size of a large city and killed 38,000 people in 15 minutes. At the time most of the buildings in Japan were made from wood and fire spread from house to house, destroying the city.

Awesome Pictures




sl1m:(via chillednshit)

Drone goes rogue

A routine test flight took a startling turn this month as officials lost control of an unmanned Fire Scout.

Rangers South of the Border

Elite teams have engaged in 10 quiet "missions" to keep Texans safe from Mexican drug violence. 

New Zealander who rode motorbike with barbecue fined $800

A New Zealand man caught riding his motorbike along Melbourne's Eastern Freeway with a barbecue strapped to his body has been fined $800 and lost his license for a month. The Melbourne Magistrates court was told Michael Wiles, 29, spotted the barbecue where it had been left for a rubbish collection and decided to pick it up and take it home.

He threaded his body through the barbecue's frame before setting off on the freeway on January 27, 2008, reaching speeds of up 75kph. But the bargain hunt came unstuck when a stunned passer-by took a photograph, which was subsequently published in the news media and led to Wiles's identity being revealed and a visit from the police.

Magistrate Lionel Winton-Smith told Wiles he has never encountered a case such as this in all his years as a magistrate. "I have seen people with perhaps bits of wood sticking out of the car, but a barbecue?" Winton-Smith said. He settled on describing the case as "ridiculous".

Wiles' lawyer argued the incident was completely out of character for his client, who had emigrated to Australia from New Zealand five months before the event. His lawyer Paul McClure told the court there had been a further setback as the barbecue turned out to be "a dud". "That's probably why it was on the side of the road," McClure said.

Drunk man jailed after arguing with his bicycle

A drunk Stuart man was jailed after deputies say he was engaged in an "obscene argument" with his bicycle, a recently released arrest affidavit states.

Martin County Sheriff's deputies spotted Richard Bialon, 68, at around 4 a.m. on Tuesday "yelling at his bicycle" in the parking lot of a Mobil gas station in the 3900 block of South Kanner Highway.

"Customers were coming to the Mobil and were very disturbed as to the yelling and obscene argument the defendant was having with his bicycle." The affidavit didn't specify what the argument was about or whether Bialon had accused the pedal-powered vehicle of wrongdoing.

Bialon, of the 5500 block of South Kanner Highway, had been imbibing all day and was described as "very intoxicated." He was arrested on a misdemeanor disorderly intoxication charge and taken to jail.

Three Colombian teens dead after targeted on Facebook 'execution list'

Here's a "Facebook group" you don't want to be a part of: a list consisting of the names of 69 young male residents in Puerto Asis, Colombia was published on Facebook, with a warning for them to leave town in less than three days.

Non Sequitur


Self Regluation never works ...

... Regulation does.

Once again, the repugican myth of self-regulation is a key part of the problem. Whether it's food safety, insurance, banking, you name it, the fantasy world that has been a key component of repugican policy since the Reagan years has repeatedly been proven to be a joke. Unfortunately consumers keep having to pay the price for bad policy. In theory the Democrats could and should start running harder against self-regulation but their cooperation over the years was critical for any of this legislation to succeed.

NY Times:
Faced with a crisis more than a decade ago in which thousands of people were sickened from salmonella in infected eggs, farmers in Britain began vaccinating their hens against the bacteria. That simple but decisive step virtually wiped out the health threat.

But when American regulators created new egg safety rules that went into effect last month, they declared that there was not enough evidence to conclude that vaccinating hens against salmonella would prevent people from getting sick. The Food and Drug Administration decided not to mandate vaccination of hens — a precaution that would cost less than a penny per a dozen eggs.

On The Job

On The Job
Despite salaries approaching six figures, companies still can't find enough trade workers. 

All About The Benjamins

Pay your savings account first and make it difficult to touch that cash, they say.  
In any market, these financial decisions will reward you handsomely for years to come.

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid
There's growing evidence that many Americans are stretching just to pay for necessities. 
Sales of new homes sink to their lowest level on record, stoking more fears for the economy.  

Consumers cutting corners on prescriptions to save money

From Consumer Reports:
Consumers, in a turn of the tables, have given their doctors a checkup and the diagnosis looks pretty grim: They think doctors are too cozy with big pharma, according to the 2nd annual prescription drug survey conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center. The survey of more than 1,150 adults who currently take a prescription drug found that the vast majority object to the payments and rewards pharmaceutical companies routinely dole out to doctors because they feel these are negatively influencing how they treat patients.
In the past year, 39 percent reported taking some action to reduce costs. Some of these actions were potentially dangerous. Overall, 27 percent failed to take a drug as prescribed, for example, by not getting a prescription filled (16 percent), taking an expired medication (12 percent), or sharing a prescription with someone else to save money (4 percent).

Hindenburg spooks the market ... the Omen that is

An obscure but sometimes correct predictor of stock market crashes has flashed twice already.

Day trader hit with $172 million back-tax bill

When Marcos Esparza Bofill got the notice, he wondered, "Who's the IRS?"

Still-Life Photos


Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
Add fat-free Greek yogurt to fruit, or use it as a sour cream substitute.  

Wonder Bread makes lighter meatballs, and Altoids mints punch up leg of lamb.  
10 Far-Out Food Festivals

From Georgia's peaches to Maine's lobster, nearly every US state has its own prized food, and a festival to celebrate it. As delicious as these foods are, though, sometimes they can feel a little... boring. The next time you're in a culinary lull, pack your bags and follow this list to find the country's wackiest foodie fests.

These food festivals serve up a terrific sampling of regional cooking - everything from pig intestines to fruitcake - and are guaranteed to give your palate a jumpstart.

Drink water

A new study suggest the true secret to losing weight has been under our noses all the time.

Under your nose, that is, if you're the type who drinks a lot of water.

Scientists at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society this week were told that people who drank two 250ml glasses of water before each main meal ate between 75 and 90 calories during that meal.

It's a fairly simple science, according to study author Brenda Davy.

The "water diet" is most likely effective because it fills the stomach up with a zero-calorie substance.

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health
Hip bursitis is a painful condition that occurs when the bursa, a soft sac that cushions the hip joint, becomes inflamed.

Nightmarish Hospital Visit Capped by Beating

A man who was hurt in a car crash but was misidentified as a cancer patient claims security guards at Prince George's Hospital beat him up when he tried to leave the hospital to avoid chest surgery he didn't need - "to have a potentially cancerous mass removed from his chest." He adds that one guard repeatedly called him "bitch" as he roughed him up.
And this the "OH, so great American Health Care" the wing nuts keep ranting and raving about!?



Bad Cops

Bad Cops

Drunk shouts 'terrorists,' urinates on mosque rugs

In the latest in a spate of anti-Muslim incidents over the last two days, an intoxicated man entered a mosque in Queens on Wednesday evening and proceeded to urinate on prayer rugs, New York police officials said.  

The man, identified as Omar Rivera, reportedly shouted anti-Muslim epithets and called worshippers who had gathered for evening prayer “terrorists.” One witness told the New York Post the man was “very clearly intoxicated” and had a beer bottle in his hand at the time.

“He stuck up his middle finger and cursed at everyone,” Mustapha Sadouki, who was at the mosque at the time, said. “He calls us terrorists, yet he comes into our mosque and terrorizes other people.”

Rivera has been charged with criminal trespassing.

FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko told msnbc.com that New York City has not seen a change in the number of hate crimes reported by Muslims so far this year, but every report is taken seriously.

But recent incidents — including the stabbing of a Muslim cab driver and the desecration of a California mosque — have some members of the Muslim community worried that crimes against Muslims could reach crisis levels.

“Without a significant response by mainstream political leaders, this disturbing trend will only continue to grow,” said Faiza Ali, a New York spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

NY cab driver stabbed by passenger who asks 'are you Muslim?'

Police say the passenger asked the driver, "Are you Muslim?" When the driver said yes the passenger pulled a knife and slashed him in the throat, arm and lip.
Looking forward to ADL's and the Weisenthal Center's statements on this.

As Peter Daou explains, hate breeds violence
Especially wingnut hate.

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.
Former rnc chair Ken Mehlman comes out as gay
This is going over well with the wingnuts ... not

Liars and Fools

Wingnut squawking head Frank Gaffney lies that President Obama "has exhibited a sympathy for the agenda" of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Only in your deluded mind - only in your deluded mind.

Radio hatemonger Michael Savage bizarrely claims Obama "would eliminate the Marine Corps".
Not as long as you keep proving the need for the Corps - to prevent perverts like you and yours from destroying this great nation .

Mitch McConnell (reptile-Kentucky) refuses to state clearly that President Obama is a Christian.
Hell, Mitch can't state anything clearly so what is new about this?

WingNutDaily again lies that President Obama is Muslim.
And I repeat, what is new about this?

Pat Boone offers op-ed at WingNutDaily, claiming that under Obama, the White House is a mosque.
And we are supposed to believe this coming from a no-talent has-been hack, right?

Wingnut Cliff Kincaid again equates homosexuality with treason.
See Above.



Pentagon under attack

A top official says the 2008 incident was "the most significant breach of U.S. military computers ever."  

Marines pour resources into mental health

Even with more health professionals available, Marines are having trouble getting help.

One sign you're getting older