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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.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You're rightly famous for your work ethic, so if you're under pressure to get that big project done soon, don't worry.
The hard part is getting any cranky family members to steer clear of you (and each other) long enough for you to get the job done.
Try closing the door and refraining from answering the phone.
If that doesn't work, you may need to be rude, but try to do so with the promise of future sweetness.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Verona, Veneto, Italy
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Swindon, England, United Kingdom
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Cantu, Lombardia, Italy

as well as Thailand, Ukraine, Hungary and in cities across the United States such as Raceland, South Orange, Twin Falls, Woodstock and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, August 28, the 240th day of 2010.
There are 125 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day
Crackers Over the Keyboard Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
August 28, 2010
On Tuesday, after more than seven years, the United States of America will end its combat mission in Iraq and take an important step forward in responsibly ending the Iraq war.
As a candidate for this office, I pledged I would end this war.  As President, that is what I am doing.  We have brought home more than 90,000 troops since I took office.  We have closed or turned over to Iraq hundreds of bases.  In many parts of the country, Iraqis have already taken the lead for security.
In the months ahead, our troops will continue to support and train Iraqi forces, partner with Iraqis in counterterrorism missions, and protect our civilian and military efforts.  But the bottom line is this: the war is ending.  Like any sovereign, independent nation, Iraq is free to chart its own course.  And by the end of next year, all of our troops will be home.
As we mark the end of America’s combat mission in Iraq, a grateful nation must pay tribute to all who have served there.  Because part of responsibly ending this war is meeting our responsibility to those who have fought it.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan now make up America’s longest continuous combat engagement.  For the better part of a decade, our troops and their families have served tour after tour with honor and heroism, risking and often giving their lives for the defense of our freedom and security.  More than one million Americans in uniform have served in Iraq – far more than any conflict since Vietnam.  And more than one million who have served in both wars have now finished their service and joined the proud ranks of America’s veterans.
What this new generation of veterans must know is this: our nation’s commitment to all who wear its uniform is a sacred trust that is as old as our republic itself.  It is one that, as President, I consider a moral obligation to uphold.
At the same time, these are new wars; with new missions, new methods, and new perils.  And what today’s veterans have earned – what they have every right to expect – is new care, new opportunity, and a new commitment to their service when they come home.
That’s why, from the earliest days of my Administration, we’ve been strengthening that sacred trust with our veterans by making our veterans policy more responsive and ready for this new century.
We’re building a 21st century VA, modernizing and expanding VA hospitals and health care, and adapting care to better meet the unique needs of female veterans.  We’re creating a single electronic health record that our troops and veterans can keep for life.  We’re breaking the claims backlog and reforming the process with new paperless systems.  And we are building new wounded warrior facilities through the Department of Defense
But for many of our troops and their families, the war doesn’t end when they come home.  Too many suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – the signature injuries of today’s wars – and too few receive proper screening or care.  We’re changing that.  We’re directing significant resources to treatment, hiring more mental health professionals, and making major investments in awareness, outreach, and suicide prevention.  And we’re making it easier for a vet with PTSD to get the benefits he or she needs.
To make sure our troops, veterans, and their families have full access to the American Dream they’ve fought to defend, we’re working to extend them new opportunity.  Michelle and Jill Biden have forged a national commitment to support military families while a loved one is away.  We’ve guaranteed new support to caregivers who put their lives on hold for a loved one’s long recovery.  We’re funding and implementing the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which is already helping some 300,000 veterans and their family members pursue their dream of a college education.
And for veterans trying to find work in a very tough economy, we’ve devoted new resources to job training and placement. I’ve directed the federal government to hire more veterans, including disabled veterans, and I encourage every business in America to follow suit. This new generation of veterans has proven itself to be a new generation of leaders.  They have unmatched training and skills; they’re ready to work; and our country is stronger when we tap their extraordinary talents.
New care.  New opportunity.  A new commitment to our veterans.
If you’d like to send our troops and veterans a message of thanks and support, just visit whitehouse.gov.  There, you’ll find an easy way to upload your own text or video.
Let them know that they have the respect and support of a grateful nation.  That when their tour ends; when they see our flag; when they touch our soil; they’ll always be home in an America that is forever here for them – just as they’ve been there for us.  That is the promise our nation makes to those who serve.  And as long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, it’s a promise we’ll keep.  Thank you.

Scotland the Brave

The Scottish Thistle

The truth be told


Chile, a society ripped apart by February's massive earthquake, unites around trapped miners

Just six months ago, one of the largest earthquakes in a century tore Chile apart, physically ripping the ground, triggering a deadly tsunami and leaving in the wreckage a divided society and government trying to decide whom to blame.

As the cookie crumbles

Fortune Cookie Say:
Actually, today the fortune cookie did not have a 'fortune' in it.
I guess that means it's wide open to interpretation.

'SOS' didn't the same thing earlier

It wasn't always an acronym for "Save Our Ship," and it wasn't first used by the Titanic. 

Ghost Train

A man waiting for a "ghost train" has been killed after being hit by a real one early Friday morning.

Christopher Kaiser, 29, was part of a group of a dozen amateur ghost hunters waiting for the phantom train to cross a trestle bridge in a rural county of North Carolina.

According to local legend, a ghost train appears on the tracks every year on August 27th, the anniversary of the Bostian Bridge wreck which killed 22 people in 1891.

The group reportedly did not hear a real train approaching from another direction until it rounded a nearby bend.

Every year the kooks gather looking for a train ... well, this year they found one!

Places Not to See Before You Die

Catherine Price’s new book 101 Places Not to See Before You Die is something like a reverse bucket list. It’s about the world’s most pointless or disgusting tourist traps that you should desperately avoid. One is the Karostas Cietums Prison Hotel in Lativa. It’s a prison that has been minimally converted into a hotel:
“It’s not like they took the prison and tried to like spice it up and turn it into a luxury resort,” Price explains — it really looks like a prison.
The hotel boasts that 150 people were shot there. “Ever since the first years of its existence it has been a place to break people’s lives and suppress their free will,” the hotel’s website explains.
“Guests” of the prison sleep on iron beds or prison bunks. For an extra-special occasion, you can arrange to be abducted at your workplace and delivered to the hotel.
What place would add to such a list?

Awesome Pictures



The greatest Beatle

In Rolling Stone's ranking of the band's top 100 songs, one member comes out ahead.

Its A Long Way To The Top If Ya Wanna Rock And Roll


Places bedbugs love to hide

Bedbug infestations are on the rise across the U.S., and they're not just staying in the bedroom.

Beaver Problem

Beavers are leaving their mark throughout Greensboro and the city is trying to figure out the best way to manage them.

A word to the wise

Trying to look confident in the presence of a skunk won't help.

Water Landing ... Not

A terrifying — and incorrect — message played on an overseas flight adds to a week of air travel intrigue.

Batman Robs a Taco Bell

Poor Batman. The horrible economy must’ve depleted Bruce Wayne’s fortunes, and the Caped Crusader is forced to make ends meet by … robbing Taco Bell!
Where once Batman ruled Taco Bell with promotional movie cups and kid’s meals, it seems the Caped Crusader (or an impersonator) has now turned to crime, taking food from an unsuspecting drive-thru customers like a thief in the night. It’s sort of like the old drive-thru football grab from MTV’s "Jackass," only the gosh-darn Batman leaps from an untold height onto the top of an SUV before grabbing an order and fleeing into the shadows.
Comic Alliance has the video clip (A prank? A viral vid attempt? Can’t be a coincidence though the driver seems genuinely pissed off).

Like Mom, Like Dad

The first is a picture of my mom when she was 16. I remember seeing it for the first time as a teenager and being wowed by how geek-chic my mom looked.
Ze Frank new web project is truly neat: in Like Mom, Like Dad, readers submit photographs of themselves posing like their parents in old photographs.

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
The antioxidants in OJ help protect your heart, while chamomile tea cuts anxiety. 
Is black rice the next hot superfood?
It's definitely tasty but it's not very common so far in the West. Having wider availability and more knowledge about how to prepare it could be good news for those seeking healthy food. The Independent:Black rice – revered in ancient China but overlooked in the West – could be one of the greatest "superfoods", scientists believe.

The cereal is low in sugar but packed with healthy fibre and plant compounds that combat heart disease and cancer. It was known as "forbidden rice" in ancient China because only nobles were allowed to eat it. Today black rice is mainly used in Asia for food decoration, noodles, sushi and desserts.

"Just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health-promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar, and more fibre and vitamin E antioxidants," said Dr Zhimin Xu the food scientist who led the research.
And now the not so good for you ...
Deep Fried Beer
Mark Zable figured out a way to deep fry beer in batter pockets and will debut the results at the next Texas State Fair:
“Someone needs to figure out a way to fry beer,” he thought.
Zable started experimenting. But the beer-and-dough concoction kept exploding once it hit the fryer. He kept getting burned.
So he consulted with a food scientist – still, no luck.
Then, earlier this year, he finally found the recipe for success. Now Zable keeps the process shrouded in secrecy and has applied for a Fried Beer patent and trademark.

Promising breakthrough for restoring vision

In Matters Of Health
Artificial corneas can help damaged eyes naturally regrow cells and nerves, scientists say.  

Frozen fruit bars recalled following typhoid outbreak

Fruiti Pops, Inc. of Santa Fe Springs has recalled its Mamey frozen fruit bars because of a possible link to a rare U.S. outbreak of typhoid fever.

The company said Thursday that the fruit bars were distributed in California, Arizona and Texas since May 2009.

Turning an Empty Backyard Pool into an Urban Greenhouse

Got an old backyard swimming pool that’s sitting empty? Turn it into a self-sustaining garden! That’s what this Arizonan family did:
When we purchased our first home in Mesa, AZ on October of 2009, it came with a large, empty, and run-down pool. Rather than spending thousands of dollars in fixing the pool or having it filled with fill dirt we decided to design an inexpensive & self-sufficient urban greenhouse. Initially, we had anticipated self-sufficiency by 2012 but we achieved our goal by mid-2010. Our family gets about 8 fresh eggs a day, unlimited tilapia fish, organic fruit, veggies, and herbs 365 days a year.

The Northwest Passage is open

And so is the Northeast one:
The Northwest Passage--the legendary shipping route through ice-choked Canadian waters at the top of the world--melted free of ice last week, and is now open for navigation, according to satellite mosaics available from the National Snow and Ice Data Center and The University of Illinois Cryosphere Today. This summer marks the fourth consecutive year--and fourth time in recorded history--that the fabled passage has opened for navigation. Over the past four days, warm temperatures and southerly winds over Siberia have also led to intermittent opening of the Northeast Passage, the shipping route along the north coast of Russia through the Arctic Ocean. It is now possible to completely circumnavigate the Arctic Ocean in ice-free waters, and this will probably be the case for at least a month. This year marks the third consecutive year--and the third time in recorded history--that both the Northwest Passage and Northeast Passage have melted free, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The Northeast Passage opened for the first time in recorded history in 2005, and the Northwest Passage in 2007. It now appears that the opening of one or both of these northern passages is the new norm, and business interests are taking note--commercial shipping in the Arctic is on the increase, and there is increasing interest in oil drilling.

Hawaii 'fire tornado'

Caught on camera
In Hawaii, a terrifying combination of strong winds and brush fires created this "fire tornado." State officials captured this video Sunday of a fire caught up in a swirling twister near Saddle Road on the Big Island.

New Evidence Suggests Dinosaurs Were Wiped Out by Two Meteor Strikes, Not One

Since 1980, paleontologists have suggested that a terrible meteorite impact millions of years ago radically altered the Earth’s climate and killed off the dinosaur population. Now a study led by David Jolley of Aberdeen University proposes that there was a second major impact a few thousand years after the first:
In the current study, scientists examined the “pollen and spores” of fossil plants in the layers of mud that infilled the crater. They found that immediately after the impact, ferns quickly colonized the devastated landscape.
Ferns have an amazing ability to bounce back after catastrophe. Layers full of fern spores – dubbed “fern spikes” – are considered to be a good “markers” of past impact events.
However, there was an unexpected discovery in store for the scientists.
They located a second “fern spike” in a layer one meter above the first, suggesting another later impact event.

Science Headlines

The Indonesian mimic octopusBorneo's got talent - copycat octopus impersonates fish
Cave bear attacks!Early humans blamed for cave bears demise


Cops nab man after finding cocaine in bologna
A Massachusetts man was arrested after a kilogram of cocaine hidden inside a hollowed-out chunk of bologna was delivered to his home.

Flint police said a city resident has taken 'finders, keepers' to a whole new level, by taking in a missing dog that belonged to a neighbor couple and demanding $150 for its return.
A snake slithered into a switch box outside a New York hospital, where it met its maker and caused a 10-hour power outage.

A businessman who tried to pay a property tax bill with 33,000 pennies got turned down by a county treasurer in Washington state, who said she didn't have the staff to count them.
A police bomb squad had to be called to a Philadelphia construction site after someone found an old, inert torpedo.

A three-letter word may cost one of the nation's oldest air ambulance operators a $30,000 fine.

A Washington state man who went to court to face a methamphetamine charge is in more trouble after authorities say he showed up with a bag of meth in his pants.

On The Job

On The Job
Employee paid 12 years for no work
An employee at a Norfolk agency was collecting paychecks and benefits for 12 years without ever showing up for work.

I want their job!

Signs you've made it to the middle class

Most people define the middle class as having most, if not all, of these lifestyle benchmarks.  

Fears of a double-dip recession grow

A noted expert on economic bubbles puts the chances of a relapsed recession at more than 50%.

Non Sequitur


The 'new Dubai'

After renouncing terrorism, the former pariah nation is seeing a construction frenzy.  

Capitalist Cuba?

OK, now you're really messing with the wingnuts world view here!
Cuba issues two rare free-market decrees, one of which could lead to a golfing boom. 

Why Kabul is filled with old Corollas

Ninety percent of cars in Afghanistan's capital are said to be aging Toyotas.  

American Muslims Have Mainstream Values

Yipes! You mean to say they're almost normal! However will the wingnuts react to this? Oh, wait never mind answering that question - how silly of me to even bring it up.
About 9 in 10 American Muslims support progressive policy positions on health care, school funding, the environment, foreign aid and guns. However, smaller majorities take positions on other issues that are very much in line with those of conservatives and religious people. They favor school vouchers (66%), government funding for religious social service groups (70%), making abortion more difficult to obtain (55%), the death penalty (61%), income tax cuts (65%), forcing U.S. citizens to speak English (52%) and even stronger laws to fight terrorism (69%).
So American Muslims tend to be conservative on social and religious issues and liberal on economic and human rights issues, making their attitudes more similar to those of Catholics than to those of conservative Protestants.

It's ugly in wingnut Alaska

The aftermath of the still unresolved repugican Senate primary in Alaska has gotten really ugly.

Sarah Palin's candidate, Joe Miller, compared incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski to a prostitute.

James L. at Swing State Project
caught this tweet from Miller:
What's the difference between selling out your party's values and the oldest profession? http://bit.ly/93kXBr #teaparty #tcot #alaska #ak
And, the Murkowski campaign responded:
"He just basically called Senator Murkowski a prostitute."
Yes sir, he surely did. But then again it is a case of the Pot calling the Kettle black, anyway.
You just got to love it when the deluded morons fight each other.

The Long, Unglamorous History of the Toilet

The toilet is one of those things we take for granted, until it breaks down or we go somewhere without them. How did our modern comfort system come about? Toilet plumbing is older than you think!
Ancient cultures were surprisingly adept at moving water around in a way that kept people from having to walk through pools of their own feces. (That was really more of a Medieval European thing.) Cultures as far back as 3000 BC were flushing away their problems—so who you callin’ primitive? Members of the Harrappa civilization in what is now India had toilets in their homes that drained into subterranean clay chambers. The residents of Skara Brae, a 31st century BC settlement in what’s now Scotland, were even clever enough to use a draining system that exploited a nearby river to automatically sweep out their dirty business.
None of these systems were anything like the flush toilet -that came later. Read all about it here.

"I...have a meme"

Skippy over at Skippy the Bush Kangaroo had this to say today:

"i...have a meme"

Today in Washington, DC, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin held literally millions half a million hundreds of thousands tens of thousands of several dozen people enthralled as they took back their rightful mantle of victimhood.

Claiming the legacy of the nation's founding fathers and repeatedly evoking civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., Beck, Sarah Palin and other speakers at the "restoring honor" rally exhorted a sprawling and overwhelmingly white crowd to concentrate not on the history that has scarred the nation but instead on what makes it "good."

"For too long, this country has wandered in darkness, and we have wandered in darkness in periods from the beginning," Beck said, at times pacing at the memorial. "We have had moments of brilliance and moments of darkness. but this country has spent far too long worried about scars and thinking about the scars and concentrating on the scars.

"Today," he continued, "we are going to concentrate on the good things in America, the things that we have accomplished - and the things that we can do tomorrow. the story of America is the story of humankind."

But Beck's attempt to appropriate the legacy of King, who delivered his famous "I have a dream" speech from the same marbled steps 47 years ago to the day, drew a counter protest from the rev. Al Sharpton and other civil rights leaders. they rallied outside Dunbar high school in northwest Washington and planned to march to the mall, to the site where a memorial to King is being built.

"The 'march on Washington' changed America," Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said at the Sharpton rally, referencing King's 1963 speech. "Our country reached to overcome the low points of our racial history. Glenn Beck's march will change nothing. but you can't blame Glenn Beck for his 'March on Washington' envy. Too bad he doesn't have a message worthy of the place."

Avis Jones DeWeaver, executive director of the national council of negro women also spoke to the crowd at Dunbar high school: "Don't let anyone tell you that they have the right to take their country back. It's our country, too. We will reclaim the dream. It was ours from the beginning."

Beck's rally has been billed as a peaceful and non-political "re-dedication" of the traditional honor and values of the nation. Beck, a Fox News host, has developed a national following by assailing President Obama and Democrats, and he warned Saturday that "our children could be slaves to debt." But he insisted that the rally "has nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do with god, turning our faith back to the values and principles that made us great."
not our joke: "It'll be a million Klan march"

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.
Need we say more?


Just a random photo of a farmhouse.

Australian Catholic school sorry over Hitler costume win

An Australian primary school has apologized after a student was awarded first prize at a costume party for dressing as Adolf Hitler.

The school sent a letter of apology yesterday to parents after several complained about the child's Nazi-inspired getup, which included a swastika emblem.

The school's principal denied allegations that classmates had roared approval with chants of "Hitler, Hitler" explaining that youngsters had simply been calling out the name of the character they thought should win.

Parents at the Catholic school also objected to several more "nasty" costumes, including a vampire outfit and a student dressed as the Grim Reaper, the newspaper said. The school, in Perth, Western Australia, has not been identified.

Years of saved pocket change buys van in China

A man has paid for a van in China with 100,000 yuan ($14,700; £9,500) in pocket change he gathered over years, state television reports. Mr Zhao, a businessman, dropped bundles of notes, none worth more than one yuan - about $0.15 - at the dealership in Jining, in northern Shandong province.

Extra staff had to be brought in to work shifts to count it all, a clerk at the dealership said. Mr Zhao received the notes from customers at his printing business. Finding a dealership to accept the notes, many of them stained and torn, was not easy, he said.

"I held onto the money waiting to see if they would accept it so that I could buy the car. The manager of this dealership decided to accept my cash, so that was really helpful to me," he said. After hours of counting, the staff at the dealership confirmed he had provided exact change.

"Our finance department originally had three or four people counting the money, but that was certainly not enough," said Chen Ying, a cashier with the dealership. "So we added some colleagues from the sales department, they came in the morning and worked all day, and then we added another shift. We finally finished counting all of the money."

Police clerk shoots self after dropping envelope containing bullets

A Sacramento Police Department property clerk was injured on Thursday morning when she dropped an envelope containing ammunition and one of the rounds went off.

The clerk, whose name was not released, was struck in the upper right leg by the fragmented shell casing, according the police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong. The wound did not appear serious as the clerk was wheeled out of the building to a waiting ambulance. She was treated briefly at a hospital and released.

The accident happened at about 9:30 a.m. at the property management warehouse at 555 Sequoia Pacific Blvd.

Leong said the envelope was holding evidence for a criminal case and the round that exploded was a .40 caliber centerfire cartridge. He said he had never heard of such an incident before, describing it as a "one-in-a-million" occurrence.

Man held captive as cleaning slave in Australia for six months

A couple has been arrested after allegedly kidnapping a man that moved into their home, keeping him captive and forcing him to clean for six months. In February this year, the 26-year-old man moved into a house with in Gormans Hill as a lodger. Police say the man was starved, repeatedly attacked and had his mobile phone stolen so he could not make contact with the outside world.

He was forced to do all the cleaning in the house. It will also be alleged on Monday 9 August the man was again assaulted by the man and woman where he was hit several times with a baseball bat. The man was then allegedly locked inside a children’s cubby house in the lounge room and denied any medical treatment before being taken to Bathurst Police Station the next day.

Police confirmed when the man was found, he was extremely dehydrated and in an emaciated state suffering black eyes, a split lip and severe bruising. He was rushed to Bathurst Base Hospital and later transferred to Westmead Hospital where it was discovered he was suffering significant injuries. Police have been told the 26-year-old had sustained old and new rib and spinal fractures as well as a fractured jaw and a punctured lung and weighed 40kg. His normal body weight is 70kg.

As a result of investigations by Chifley Local Area Command Detectives attached to Strike Force Bukari, police arrested a 41-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman and took them to Bathurst Police Station. They have been charged with a total of 27 offenses between them. Both were refused police bail and appeared at Bathurst Local Court this, where they were both remanded into custody to re-appear on Monday 11 October 2010.

Siberia’s dead are on the move

The dead may not be walking the earth yet, but beneath the surface they have been traveling up to 10 meters from their final resting place. However, those fearing it's another apocalyptic sign in a summer of fire and drought should rest assured – there’s nothing unnatural, far less supernatural about these roaming bones.

Instead it’s simply a case of loose soil and water causing turbulence beneath the surface. That’s little comfort to many whose loved ones are buried in cemeteries in the Siberian capital Novosibirsk, however. Recently the city has seen a surge of requests for exhumations, with locals wanting to cremate corpses following the opening of the city’s first crematorium.

But once the digging started, workmen regularly found that the graves on the ground did not match the people buried below. “During the exhumation, relatives identify the body only from the clothes or personal items,” undertaker Rodion Yakushin told the city’s funeral museum. “When it is impossible to identify the body ... the relatives receive the remains found directly under the grave, but some of them may belong to another person.”

Typically Russians have buried their dead, and the Orthodox church has frowned upon cremation as a means of disposing of corpses. But as the population grows there is an increasing need to free up space in overflowing cemeteries, meaning city’s like Novosibirsk (population 1.5 million) have started opening crematoriums.

Teenager gets squeaky dog toy lodged in his lung

Paramedics said it was the first time for them after a Sandy teenager got a dog whistle lodged in his lung. The teen's mother said each time 13-year-old William Robertson took a breath, he squeaked. William was supposed to start school on Tuesday but instead was in surgery to get the whistle removed.

"He coughed on the way and it slipped into his lungs," said William's mother, Laurie Robertson. "They had to do surgery then to get the whistle out." Robertson said William was wrestling with his dog over a squeaky toy.

"I squeezed it just as the dog jumped on me and it fell," said William. "Every time I breathed, it would happen to squeak." William's mother said he has a new nickname from the incident but William said he does not find it funny.

"It's kind of irritating," William said. "It's kind of funny but then again, it's scary cause I just don't see how choking is funny." Williams is taking a couple days off to recover from a sore throat.



U.S. birth rate hits lowest point in a century

The trend spurs new speculation about how the recession affected families last year.  

America's best and worst airports

Airports with poor food and surly employees got the lowest marks from readers.  

Two-moon hoax fools the Web

Searches on “huge Mars” soar after a message claims the moon would have company last night.