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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, September 4, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Sometimes people speak without thinking.
It happens to everyone, and even the people we're closest to can commit errors of carelessness.
So if someone who's dear to you says something that makes you fret and worry, don't assume anything.
Especially avoid any tendency to read into the statement and reinterpret it.
If it's really bothering you, ask them what they meant directly.
You'll find that they probably just weren't thinking.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Perth, Western, Australia, Australia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Katowice, Salaskie, Poland

as well as Singapore and in cities across the United States such as Gilman, Doylestown, Sandy, Walnut and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, September 4, the 247th day of 2010.
There are 118 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
International Drive Your Studebaker Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Weekly Address
Washington DC
On Monday, we celebrate Labor Day. It’s a chance to get together with family and friends, to throw some food on the grill, and have a good time.  But it’s also a day to honor the American worker – to reaffirm our commitment to the great American middle class that has, for generations, made our economy the envy of the world.
That is especially important now.  I don’t have to tell you that this is a very tough time for our country.  Millions of our neighbors have been swept up in the worst recession in our lifetimes.  And long before this recession hit, the middle class had been taking some hard shots.  Long before this recession, the values of hard work and responsibility that built this country had been given short shrift.
For a decade, middle class families felt the sting of stagnant incomes and declining economic security.  Companies were rewarded with tax breaks for creating jobs overseas.  Wall Street firms turned huge profits by taking, in some cases, reckless risks and cutting corners.  All of this came at the expense of working Americans, who were fighting harder and harder just to stay afloat – often borrowing against inflated home values to pay their bills.  Ultimately, the house of cards collapsed.
So this Labor Day, we should recommit ourselves to our time-honored values and to this fundamental truth: to heal our economy, we need more than a healthy stock market; we need bustling main streets and a growing, thriving middle class.  That’s why I will keep working day-by-day to restore opportunity, economic security, and that basic American Dream for our families and future generations.
First, that means doing everything we can to accelerate job creation. The steps we have taken to date have stopped the bleeding: investments in roads and bridges and high-speed railroads that will lead to hundreds of thousands of jobs in the private sector; emergency steps to prevent the layoffs of hundreds of thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers; and tax cuts and loans for small business owners who create most of the jobs in America. We also ended a tax loophole that encouraged companies to create jobs overseas. Instead, I’m fighting to pass a law to provide tax breaks to the folks who create jobs right here in America.
But strengthening our economy means more than that.  We’re fighting to build an economy in which middle class families can afford to send their kids to college, buy a home, save for retirement, and achieve some measure of economic security when their working days are done.  And over the last two years, that has meant taking on some powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in Washington for far too long.
That’s why we’ve put an end to the wasteful subsidies to big banks that provide student loans.  We’re going to use that money to make college more affordable for students instead.
That’s why we’re making it easier for workers to save for retirement, with new ways of saving their tax refunds and a simpler system for enrolling in retirement plans like 401(k)s.  And we’re going to keep up the fight to protect Social Security for generations to come.
That’s why we stopped insurance companies from refusing to cover people with pre-existing conditions and dropping folks who become seriously ill.
And that’s why we cut taxes for 95 percent of working families, and passed a law to help make sure women earn equal pay for equal work in the United States of America.
This Labor Day, we are reminded that we didn’t become the most prosperous country in the world by rewarding greed and recklessness.  We did it by rewarding hard work and responsibility.  We did it by recognizing that we rise or we fall together as one nation – one people – all of us vested in one another.  That is how we have succeeded in the past. And that is how we will not only rebuild this economy, but rebuild it stronger than ever before.
Thank you. And I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend.

Our Readers

We came upon a few neat facts about our readers here at Carolina Naturally recently. (actually we just started looking at our tracking stats on a different service)
While we have readers in 9/10ths of the world's nations most of or readers are from the following countries.
The Top 20
(in descending order)
The United States
The United Kingdom
Saudi Arabia
South Africa

Remember when ...

Remember when ... This pair were the hottest thing on the dance floor?

Butts arrested in Boob murder case

Sorry, with a Title like that you can't pass on it ...

Police have arrested a third person in connection with the murder of Samuel Boob. Boob was shot and killed at his home in Potter Township, Center County, on the morning of August 23rd, 2009.

Kermit Butts, 26, of Madisonburg, is accused of driving the suspected killer to and from the crime scene on the morning of the killing. He was charged with aggravated assault and assisting a murder suspect and placed in the Center County Prison.

Police believe that Butts drove Ronald Heichel to the Boob home and picked him up later in the day on August 23rd, 2009. Police believe Heichel shot Sam Boob twice with a shotgun and killed him. Heichel was charged with 1st degree murder.

The victim's wife, Mirinda Boob, is accused of working with Heichel to have her husband killed. Police say they have text messages that were sent between her and Heichel, proving that the two were working together to kill Samuel. She has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

Nine Websites We Can't Believe Actually Exist

For the most part, we've come to terms with the fact that pretty much anything goes on the Internet. But there are still some websites that we can't believe anyone actually had the audacity to create.

From a site that enables married people to cheat on their spouses to a database of made-up companies that allows job applicants to falsify their resumes, check out these outlandish websites that we can't believe actually exist.

Not asking directions costs you

A new study shows that men who don't ask for directions are paying a price for their stubborn habit.

Nevada candidate touts 90 mph fix to budget crisis

One Nevada gubernatorial hopeful sees a speedy fix to Nevada's budget crisis. Nonpartisan candidate "Gino" DiSimone believes people would pay for the privilege to drive up to 90 mph on designated highways - and fill the state's depleted coffers.

New Zealand Digs Out

Many buildings were reduced to rubble on the South Island, but no fatalities have been reported.  

And here I thought Canada was a sovereign nation

A bill introduced in Canada's House of Commons would give US Department of Homeland Security officials "final say over who may board aircraft in Canada if they are to fly over the United States en route to a third country."



On The Job

On The Job
For every available job, there are 3.4 unemployed people looking for one.  

Executive at troubled hedge fund busted for operating "complex" weed farm in her home

Teri Buhl at Forbes reports on a sign of the times:
"An executive at a billion-dollar Connecticut hedge fund was arrested on felony charges of allegedly running a huge year-round pot farm inside her home. But her boyfriend says the cops have it wrong, that they're goat farmers, not dope farmers."

Doomsday for the economy

It's been a brutal summer for the U.S. economy, but things could get even worse.  

Private islands you can buy

One comes with a mansion and another offers a turquoise lagoon with amazing snorkeling.

Crocodile Skin Umbrella and Other Ridiculously Expensive Every Day Items

When it rains cats and dogs, do bazillionaires reach for regular boring ol’ umbrella?
No, my friends.
They use this: the $5,000 crocodile skin umbrella.
Because they can.
Here’s a list of 24 ridiculously expensive every day items over at Cool Material.


It was a bittersweet and unlikely reunion. A nurse at a Bronx hospice went to greet her new patient last week and was stunned to find that it was her estranged father, who she hadn't seen in 41 years.

Jeanne D'Arc

Also known as The Maid of Orléans, Joan of Arc (in French, Jeanne D'Arc), a hero of the Hundred Years War, Joan of Arc remains a French national hero six centuries later. As a teenager she heard voices from on high urging her to save France from English domination.

Despite being a young woman, she was placed at the head of an army; she attacked the English and forced them to retreat from Orléans. Later she was captured by the English, tried for heresy, and burned at the stake.



Hair provides proof of the link between chronic stress and heart attack

Researchers at The University of Western Ontario have provided the first direct evidence using a biological marker, to show chronic stress plays an important role in heart attacks. Stressors such as job, marital and financial problems have been linked …

Top nighttime sights to see before autumn

Draco the Dragon sits close to the Big Dipper, whereas the Dumbbell nebula is visible with binoculars.

The problem with time travel


Why geese fly in a 'V' formation

The birds' regimented behavior during their migration serves two important purposes.

First-Ever Baby Seahorse Spotted in British Waters

baby seahorse dorset england photo
A tiny baby seahorse was measured off the coast of Dorset, England.
Image via the Seahorse Trust.
It must have been like finding a needle in a haystack, but somehow, in murky water conditions, diver Neil Garrick-Maidment, the executive director of the Seahorse Trust, spotted a single 1.5-inch-long female baby seahorse "clinging onto a piece of seagrass" off the coast of Studland, Dorset -- a finding so rare he said it was "akin to seeing a yeti in the wild."
Article continues: First-Ever Baby Seahorse Spotted in British Waters

Asian Elephants Get a New Home at the Smithsonian National Zoo

smithsonian-zoo-2 photo
Image Credit: Mehgan Murphy, National Zoo
If you've been to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. lately, you may have noticed that they've been working on the first stage of their "Elephant Trails" project- a bold initiative to build a complex of indoor and outdoor habitats for the zoo's Asian elephants that will allow the endangered animals to thrive. Phase I, which opened to the public yesterday, includes two new outdoor yards and an elephant barn, which is LEED certified and includes 5,700 square feet of livable space, and will be the elephants' future home.
Article continues: Asian Elephants Get a New Home at the Smithsonian National Zoo

Unicorn cow becomes tourist attraction

Farmer Jia Kebing noticed a small bump on this cow's forehead when it was born two years ago but didn't expect it to grow into a 20cm (8in) horn.

Dolphin hunting continues

A remote village in Japan continues a controversial tradition that has sparked public outrage. 

Man planned to eat washed-up whale tail

A man was taken into custody for cutting the tail off a dead, beached whale in Florida. Chris Hogan was reportedly fishing for blue crab when a passerby told him about the whale.

He found it and used his fishing knife to cut off the tail. A state wildlife official says it appears to be a young pygmy sperm whale - which is a protected species.

It is illegal to possess even parts of an endangered animal... and Hogan says he didn't know that. He said he planned to broil or fry it - considering it safe since the carcass was still warm and had only one fly on it.

The wildlife spokesman says Hogan and another man who allegedly helped him cut up the whale were taken into police custody.

Full story with photos and news video here.

Ancient Nubians Drank Antibiotic-Laced Beer

People who lived nearly 2,000 years ago in Sudanese Nubia took doses of tetracycline -- through their beer. Full Story

Russians urged to drink and smoke more

Russia's finance minister has urged his countrymen and women to support the country - by drinking and smoking more. Alexei Kudrin called for increased consumption of tobacco and alcohol in a bid to boost the state's revenues.

"If you smoke a pack of cigarettes, that means you are giving more to help solve social problems," commented Kudrin. "People should understand: Those who drink, those who smoke are doing more to help the state."

Russia, noted for its high consumptions of both cigarettes and alcohol, has among the lowest duties on cigarettes in Europe. In June, plans to double the excise duty on cigarettes from 250 roubles, roughly £5 per 1,000 cigarettes, to 590 roubles (£12.49) by 2013 were outlined.

The comments by the minister seem to contradict recent government moves to control Russia's excessive nature and improve its life expectancy rates.

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
Start the party with Mediterranean Pita appetizers and end it with Berry Tiramisu.  

Non Sequitur


Happy International Bacon Day!

International Bacon Day or Bacon Day is an unofficial observance, often celebrated on the Saturday before US Labor Day  (the first Monday of September). Some cultures, however, celebrate on December 30th, while others celebrate the day on the first Saturday in January after the new year.
Bacon day celebrations typically include social gatherings during which participants create and consume dishes containing bacon, including bacon-themed breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, and drinks. Bacon Day gatherings may also include the consumption of soy bacon or turkey bacon.

A Huge Spatula And Bacon Skates

A photo of a young woman with bacon tied to her feet standing in a giant skillet holding a huge spatula. This photo was taken in November 1931 in Chehalis, Washington, USA, at the town's Egg Festival.

The occasion was a try to break the world record for largest omelette. Two women tied bacon to their feet and skated around the warming skillet to grease it. Then a team of chefs cracked and beat 7,200 eggs and made a breakfast delight.

They're back

And just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, too!

Two of the Most Mysterious Sites in the U.S.

There are ancient mysteries all over the world that have perplexed scientists, historians and archaeologists for ages: Stonehenge, the Pyramids and the Nazca Lines among them. They might not be as well known, but we have at least a couple of pretty intriguing mysteries of our own here in the U.S.


It’s hard to believe there was a city in the U.S. that outnumbered any other in population, that was larger than even London at one point, that served as the biggest urban center north of Mexico – and that lots of us have never even heard of.
It’s Cahokia, Illinois, about 15 minutes away from St. Louis, Missouri. It was inhabited for about 700 years and was home to up to 20,000 people when it peaked from 1050-1200. More than 120 “mounds” were built for ceremonial purposes and to provide a prestigious spot for temples and the homes of chiefs.
Lots of interesting things have been discovered in excavations at Cahokia over the years. It even had its own Stonehenge – in fact, maybe up to five of them. Dubbed “Woodhenge,” archaeologists think the early residents of Cahokia used red cedar posts stuck in deep pits to mark days and events. One of them has been reconstructed for tourists to the Cahokia area.
Other advancements found include a copper workshop and watchtowers.
A slightly more disturbing discovery was hundreds of skeletons, including a mass grave of more than 50 women who were about the same age. Another mass grave was found containing both men and women, some of whom where apparently buried alive. It’s believed that they were sacrificial victims.
All of these signs of thriving civilization have to make you wonder: what the heck happened? How does a city go from being one of the largest in the world to being practically nonexistent in less than 200 years? Well… we don’t really know. There are plenty of theories, from widespread disease to political collapse. But since the people who lived there left absolutely no written record, we have no idea what actually happened. We also don’t know who these early people were – although we know all about the French missionaries who settled in the area in 1699 and the monks who made the mounds their home in 1809, it’s still not known what Native American tribes might be descendants of those early people.


If you think it’s a little eerie that an entire city could slowly dwindle to nothingness like Cahokia did, consider that the Roanoke Colony of present-day North Carolina dwindled to nothingness seemingly overnight. More than 20 years before Jamestown was founded, the English Colony of Roanoke was set up with about 100 households. But the colony wasn’t thriving and leader Sir Richard Grenville shipped back to England with the promise of returning with more supplies to sustain the colony. When he came back, he discovered that the majority of the town had abandoned it, heading back to England with Sir Francis Drake when he offered to take them back with him after a brief visit.
In 1587, a second attempt was made to settle at Roanoke. Nearly 120 colonists settled in at the island and tried to establish friendly relations with the nearby tribe, but to no avail. The tribe had bad experiences with the original group of colonists and refused to meet with the new batch. After one of the settlers was killed while out hunting for crabs alone, the settlers began to fear for their lives and sent their governor back to England to ask for supplies and assistance. Due to various circumstances, Governor White didn’t make it back to Roanoke until three years later. When he finally did make it back, he discovered that the entire town was essentially gone – people, houses and all. Knowing that relations with the Native Americans in the area were pretty hostile, White told the colonists that they should leave him a sign if they had to relocate against their will or were under distress. The sign was supposed to be a Maltese cross carved on a certain tree. There was no Maltese cross on the tree, but there was something: the word “Croatoan” carved into what was left of the fort and “Cro” carved into a tree.
Governor White never found his Lost Colony, nor did any trace of them ever show up anywhere. But there’s no shortage of theories as to what may have happened to the settlers, but here are the five most popular:
  • The colonists simply left and settled elsewhere. And took all of their houses with them. And left no word on where they had moved to. And were never found by anyone ever again. Hmm.
  • Disease swept the island and killed everyone off. It also ravaged the buildings and apparently left no bodies.
  • A hurricane did away with the whole colony. The trouble with this theory is that the fence surrounding the settlement was perfectly intact even though the houses were gone, and if a hurricane was powerful enough to wipe out the whole village without a trace, it surely would have claimed the fence as well.
  • The colonists became friendly with a Native American tribe called the Croatans and moved to Croatoan Island to live with them, theorizing that they had a better chance of survival that way. Some historians think this is probable since there is some evidence of a friendly relationship between the Croatans and the colonists. It does, however, seem odd that the colonists were so cryptic with their “Croatoan” message instead of leaving a more detailed explanation.
  • Another tribe of Native Americans (not the Croatans) annihilated the entire colony to serve as a warning to others. This is a pretty strong contender in the list of plausible explanations, but this theory has its problems too. If the entire colony was being mass murdered by a vengeful group of Native Americans, why wasn’t the distress signal carved into a tree? And who would have taken the time to carve “Croatoan” into a tree during this melee?

Obscure Monsters

You’ve heard of Bigfoot, Nessie, and the Abominable Snowman. Here are a few of their more obscure (but just as fascinating) cousins.
Monster: Sciopod
Where it lived: Ethiopia
Legend: Latin for “shade foot”, these relatively peaceful creatures were first recorded in around A.D. 77 by the Roman historian Pliny the Elder. They were said to live in the wilds of what is now Ethiopia and were described as small, pale, humanlike creatures-but with only one leg and a giant foot. They hopped around on that giant foot, but they also used it as sun shade: Sciopods supposedly spent several hours a day lying on their backs with their giant feet in the air to block the harsh North African sun. Sciopods were extremely powerful, too. They could kill a large game animal (or a human) with a single jumping kick. But never fear-the strange creatures didn’t eat meat. Or plants. Or anything. They existed solely on the aroma of living fruit, with they always carried with them. Sciopods are mentioned in numerous writings over several centuries, ending sometime in the Middle Ages.
Gowrow drawing 2
(Image credit: Flickr user Miss Cellania)
Monster: Gowrow
Where it lived: Arkansas
Legend: This monster was first heard of in the 1880s, when Arkansas farmers reported being terrorized by a huge lizard. In 1897 Fred Allsopp, a reporter for the Arkansas Gazette, wrote about an encounter with the beast. The monster, which Allsopp named a “gowrow” after the sound it made, had been eating livestock in the Ozark Mountains in the northwest of the state. A local business man named William Miller formed a posse to hunt and kill it. They found its lair, which was littered with animal (and human) bones, and waited for it. It surprised them by emerging from a nearby lake and attacking them-but they were able to kill it with several gunshots. Miller described the gowrow as being 20 feet long, with huge tusks, webbed and clawed feet, a row of horns along its spine, and a knifelike end to a long tail. He said he sent the body to the Smithsonian Institute-but it mysteriously never made it. Allsopp finished the article by saying he believed it was a “great fake”, but sightings of a similar lizardlike creature were reported in the Ozarks for many years.
(Image credit: Flickr user Luciana Christante)
Monster: Encantado
Where it lives: The Amazon River
Legend: Encantado means “enchanted one” in Portuguese and refers to a special kind of boto, or long-beaked river dolphin native to the Amazon-that can take human form. Encantados are curious about humans and are especially attracted to big, noisy festivals, which they often attend as musicians, staying in human form for years. How can you recognize one? Look under its hat: They always have bald spots that are actually disguised blowholes. Encantados are usually friendly, but they occasionally hypnotize and kidnap young women and take them back to the Encante, their underground city. Sometimes the women escape and return…pregnant with an Encantado baby.
Monster: Kappa
Where it lives: Japan
Legend: Kappas are said to inhabit lakes and rivers throughout the Japanese islands. They look like frogs, but with tortoiselike shells on their backs. They can leave the water-carrying their shells with them-because they have shallow depressions in their heads in which they keep a bit of water that not only allows them to walk around on land but also makes them incredibly strong. If you encounter one, bow to it. They’re very polite, so they’ll have to bow back to you…and the water will spill out of their head-bowls, weakening them. Their favorite food: the blood of small children. Their second-favorite: cucumbers. That’s why you can still see people in Japan throwing fresh cucumbers into lakes and rivers-with the names of their children carved into them. This, the legend says, will protect their little ones from the kappa’s clutches.