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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.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
A loved one might be grumpier than usual and determined to pick a fight.
Don't let yourself be bullied.
Just because they're in a bad mood doesn't mean you should have to suffer.
Tell them kindly but firmly that they need to deal with their emotions in an appropriate manner.
It's time to hold people accountable for their behavior.
If you keep getting walked all over, now is the moment to get up and stand up for your rights.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Hengelo, Overissel, Netherlands
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
London, England, United Kingdom
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
As, Akershus, Norway
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Caracas, Distrito Federal, Venezuela
Madrid, Madrid, Spain

as well as Indonesia and in cities across the United States such as Conway, Gaffney, Paradise, Brooklyn and more.

Today is:
Today is Monday, September 6, the 249th day of 2010.
There are 116 days left in the year.
Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
There are none.

However today is Labor Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Today is ...


Obama's Labor Day speech takes aim at the repugican's 'economic philosophy'

http://d.yimg.com/a/p/rids/20100907/i/r1780720751.jpg?x=213&y=143&xc=1&yc=1&wc=410&hc=275&q=85&sig=pYHCZ9T4hxaVyYLW04eUZw--Obama delivered his Labor Day speech in Milwaukee. He announced a $50 billion Infrastructure Bank to fund roads, railways and runways. And, he hammered repugicans.

Here's the meat of the speech, which sets the stage for the next two months:
But there are some folks in Washington who see things differently. When it comes to just about everything we’ve done to strengthen the middle class and rebuild our economy, almost every Republican in Congress said no. Even where we usually agree, they say no. They think it’s better to score political points before an election than actually solve problems. So they said no to help for small businesses. No to middle-class tax cuts. No to unemployment insurance. No to clean energy jobs. No to making college affordable. No to reforming Wall Street. Even as we speak, these guys are saying no to cutting more taxes for small business owners. I mean, come on! Remember when our campaign slogan was “Yes We Can?” These guys are running on “No, We Can’t,” and proud of it. Really inspiring, huh?

To steal a line from our old friend, Ted Kennedy: what is it about working men and women that they find so offensive?

When we passed a bill earlier this summer to help states save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers, nurses, police officers and firefighters that were about to be laid off, they said “no” to that, too. In fact, the Republican who’s already planning to take over as Speaker of the House dismissed them as “government jobs” that weren’t worth saving. Not worth saving? These are the people who teach our kids. Who keep our streets safe. Who put their lives on the line for our own. I don’t know about you, but I think those jobs are worth saving.

We made sure that bill wouldn’t add to the deficit, either. We paid for it by finally closing a ridiculous tax loophole that actually rewarded corporations for shipping jobs and profits overseas. It let them write off the taxes they pay foreign governments – even when they don’t pay taxes here. How do you like that – middle class families footing tax breaks for corporations that create jobs somewhere else! Even a lot of America’s biggest corporations agreed the loophole should be closed, that it wasn’t fair – but the man with the plan to be Speaker is already aiming to open it up again.

Bottom line is, these guys refuse to give up on the economic philosophy they peddled for most of the last decade. You know that philosophy: you cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires; you cut rules for special interests; you cut working folks like you loose to fend for yourselves. They called it the ownership society. What it really boiled down to was: if you couldn’t find a job, or afford college, or got dropped by your insurance company – you’re on your own.

Well, that philosophy didn’t work out so well for working folks. It didn’t work out so well for our country. All it did was rack up record deficits and result in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

I’m not bringing this up to re-litigate the past; I’m bringing it up because I don’t want to re-live the past. It would be one thing if Republicans in Washington had new ideas or policies to offer; if they said, you know, we’ve learned from our mistakes. We’ll do things differently this time. But that’s not what they’re doing. When the leader of their campaign committee was asked on national television what Republicans would do if they took over Congress, he actually said they’d follow “the exact same agenda” as they did before I took office. The exact same agenda.

So basically, they’re betting that between now and November, you’ll come down with a case of amnesia. They think you’ll forget what their agenda did to this country. They think you’ll just believe that they’ve changed. These are the folks whose policies helped devastate our middle class and drive our economy into a ditch. And now they’re asking you for the keys back.

Do you want to give them the keys back? Me neither. And do you know why? Because they don’t know how to drive! At a time when we’re just getting out of the ditch, they’d pop it in reverse, let the special interests ride shotgun, and hit the gas, careening right back into that ditch.

Well, I refuse to go backwards, Milwaukee. And that’s the choice America faces this fall. Do we go back to the policies of the past? Or do we move forward? I say we move forward. America always moves forward. And we are going to keep moving forward today.

Let me just close by saying this. I know these are difficult times. I know folks are worried, and there’s still a lot of hurt out here. I hear about it when I spend time in towns like this; I read about it in your letters at night. And when times are tough, it can be easy to give in to cynicism and fear; doubt and division – to set our sights lower and settle for something less.

But that is not who we are. That is not the country I know. We do not give up. We do not quit. We are a people that faced down war and depression; great challenges and great threats; and lit the way for the rest of the world. Whenever times have seemed at their worst, Americans have been at their best. Because it is in those times when we roll up our sleeves and remember that we will rise or fall together – as one nation, and one people. That’s the spirit that started the labor movement. The idea that alone, we are weak. Divided, we fall. But united, we are strong. That’s why we call them unions. That’s why we call this the United States of America.

This Labor Day


And this is news?

Don't miss this:

"Somehow workers do not need the motivation of good pay, while managers can hardly exist without it."

Wizard of Id


Yeah, Right


Bedtime Stories


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

WingNutDaily runs ad calling for civil war to "save America", "soon".

Tom Tancredo (reptile-Colorado) repeats wingnut lie that First Lady Michelle Obama banned Christmas decorations in the White House.
They sure looked like xmas decorations in the pictures.

Wingnut 'Liberty Council' warns that Obama wants to be ‘Global Dictator’.
Nope, that was the shrub ... he even said so himself.

Tea Party moron 'jokes' about murdering gays and Matthew Shepard.
While staying firmly in the closet, too - I bet.

Whore (Washington) Post contributor questions Obama's "loyalties"; suggests he isn't Christian.
Repeating lies does not make them true no matter how many times you tell them. 

Wingnut agitator Gary Bauer lies: "Progressives and Islamists are indeed on the same side".
Wrong - that would be the wingnuts who 'side' with the 'islamists' they are two peas in the same pod.

Religio-nut Rick Joyner says he's very concerned that Obama might be a treasonous Muslim.
Deluded is no way to go through life, Ricky ol'boy.

Wife of Clarence 'Slappy' Thomas lies: "We are at risk of losing this country."
Wrong, we are not losing this country we almost did but after eight years of destruction and theft of it we reclaimed it in 2008 and ousted the criminals who tried to take it from us.
Need we say more?

Bad Cops

Bad Cops

Just so you're clear ...

ape man evolution
Just so you're clear on how things came to pass.

Insect brains to fight MRSA

American cockroach (Periplaneta americana)  
Cockroach and locust brains are a rich source of antibiotics powerful enough to tackle MRSA, researchers say.

Inset brains could thwart superbug plagues

Native Peoples Of Florida

Hunter-gatherers arrived in Florida close to 12,000 years ago when the Florida land mass was much larger and drier. Meage fauna and mammoths were hunted in great herds and grains, nuts, and berries were gathered during seasonal roving.

Spears were used to hunt and leather bags were used to cook what was captured, using hot stones. You may know these early tribes as the Paleo-Indians. Close to 8000 years later, the ice caps started to melt and Florida became what it is today.

Most expensive new homes

The recession hasn't stopped builders from bringing these superluxe mansions to market.

10 Most Valuable American Coins

The next time you get spare change, take a closer look at the coins. Who knows, you may get very lucky and land yourself an 1873-CC Liberty Seated Dime (valued at $2.5 million) or the 1913 Liberty Nickel (valued at $6 million):
Though it seems only a fool would pay upwards of six million dollars for a five-cent coin, this particular piece of metal is highly unusual because it was somehow produced without the knowledge of its maker–the U.S. Mint. Not much is known about the actual minting of the 1913 Liberty Head Nickels. Since the mints were to start production of the famous Buffalo Nickels that year, no Liberty Head type nickels were to be minted that year. However, the die for the nickel bearing the year 1913 had already been produced and delivered and it is believed that five specimens were struck at the Philadelphia mint before the die could be destroyed.
One theory says that the coins were struck as advance test pieces while another theory proposes that someone illegally struck the five specimens before the dies were destroyed for fun. In either case, it’s clear that the coins left the Mint in some unauthorized fashion, and didn’t surface until 1920, after the statute of limitations for theft had safely run out. Apparently, U.S. Treasury officials have concluded that they were legally struck, making it possible to own one of the five known examples if you can afford the price tag.



Grenade, guns, and marijuana found in Goodwill donation box

Just in case it wasn't clear: Weapons and drugs don't make good charitable donations.

Albuquerque police briefly evacuated a Goodwill store Thursday after someone left a pistol, ammunition, a grenade and some marijuana in a collection box.

Police spokeswoman Nadine Hamby says the police bomb squad took the grenade away for demolition after determining it was a World War II-style inert — or inactive — grenade.

The police report did not list what type of guns were in the box or the quantity of marijuana.

French town's UFO landing pad welcomes first visitors

A village in France that built the country's only council-funded UFO landing pad has received its first craft after a 34 year wait. Arès, near Bordeaux, southwestern France, decided to try and attract Martians to its triangular "UFOport" with its very own fake Martian craft in a celebration of alien enthusiasts.

Made by a local artist, the man-made UFO "landed" on the strip and, it is hoped, will entice any hesitant extraterrestrials in search of a runway. A plaque reads: "Reserved for voyagers of the universe".The UFO port was opened in 1976 after a vote by the local council reportedly amid much laughter. A triangular seafront esplanade was set aside for unidentified flying objects and a marble slab with a message of welcome to "all travellers from the Universe" was put in place.

The council also passed a law exempting aliens from local taxes and authorised them to participate in French boule or mud-skating tournaments. The $1300 it cost to build the UFO port has proved money extremely well-spent. As many as 20,000 tourists now visit Ares every year; some wanting photographs taken near the UFO port while others are sci-fi buffs keen to soak up the atmosphere.

"The reactions are sometimes very serious," said Jean-Guy Perriere, the town's mayor. ”One American wrote in the 1980s to congratulate the council and express his anger at President Reagan for failing to do the same thing. There is an unknown world in this universe whose limits are beyond our comprehension," he added cryptically.

Repressed memories are a Lie

The idea that traumatized people, especially the victims of child sexual abuse, deliberately repress horrific memories goes all the way back to the 19th century and the theories of Sigmund Freud himself.

But now some experts are saying the evidence points the other way.
Professor Grant Devilly, from Griffith University's Psychological Health research unit, says the memory usually works in the opposite way, with traumatized people reliving experiences they would rather forget.

"It's the opposite. They wish they couldn't think about it," he said.
In a briefing to the US Supreme Court, Professor Richard McNally from Harvard University described the theory of repressed memory as "the most pernicious bit of folklore ever to infect psychology and psychiatry".

A turn of a phrase

Salad days

The days of one's youthful inexperience.

From Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra, 1606:
CLEOPATRA: My salad days,
When I was green in judgment: cold in blood,
To say as I said then! But, come, away;
Get me ink and paper:
He shall have every day a several greeting,
Or I'll unpeople Egypt.
'Salad days' is used these days to refer to the days of carefree innocence and pleasure of our youth. It has also been used to refer to the time of material affluence in our more mature years, when the pressures of life have begun to ease - something akin to 'the golden years'. Shakespeare meant the former, and the clue is in the colour. While he used green in other contexts to signify jealousy - 'the green-eyed monster' in Othello and, in Love's Labours Lost "Green indeed is the colour of lovers", it is used here to mean immature. The green of salad leaves, which are invariably short-lived, is an obvious allusion to youthfulness. Green is also used in other expressions to mean unready for use, for example, 'green (unripe) corn', 'green (unseasoned) timber and 'greenhorn' (an inexperienced recruit).
The phrase 'salad days' lay dormant for two hundred years or more but became used widely in the 19th century. For example, this citation from the Oregon newspaper The Morning Oregonian, June 1862:
"What fools men are in their salad days."
Salad DaysSalad Days was later used as the title of a highly successful is a musical, which premiered at the Bristol Old Vic in 1954. The music was written by Julian Slade and the lyrics by Dorothy Reynolds and Julian Slade. This was also the inspiration for the Monty Python spoof sketch Sam Peckinpah's Salad Days, in which the carefree young things featured in the musical were hacked to pieces in a typically gory Sam Peckinpah manner.

Non Sequitur


"I Love Boobies" Bracelets Create Controversy

In an effort to make young people more aware of breast cancer, the Keep-A-Breast organization is marketing wrist bands which proclaim “I [heart] Boobies.”  Middle school and high school students around the country are wearing these to school and finding themselves in conflict with dress codes.
“We have an existing dress code that specifically states clothing, jewelry or accessories with sexually suggestive language or images is not allowed at school, said Avants. A number of other school districts require students to flip the bracelets inside out so the word “boobies” is not visible.
Some critics believe the organization intentionally used edgy language just to draw attention to itself, and that wearing the products at school prompts inappropriate behavior and language.  Other critics argue that the campaign focuses on the breast rather than the person.

The Sun


Scientists develop self-repairing solar cells

What will they think of next at MIT? One of the major problems with solar panels is their limited lifespan. This may help extend that and make it a much more viable solution.

Researchers have demonstrated tiny solar cells just billionths of a metre across that can repair themselves, extending their useful lifetime.

The cells make use of proteins from the machinery of plants, turning sunlight into electric charges that can do work.

The cells simply assemble themselves from a mixture of the proteins, minute tubes of carbon and other materials.

The self-repairing mechanism, reported in Nature Chemistry, could lead to much longer-lasting solar cells.

Amateur gardener grows world's biggest potato

An amateur gardener has grown the world's biggest potato. The prize potato, grown by Peter Glazebrook, tips the scales at a whopping 8lbs 4oz (3.76kg), smashing the previous world record by 9oz.

The vegetable, Peter's Kondor variety, was put on show on Friday at the National Gardening Show in Shepton Mallet, Somerset. It is not the first time Mr Glazebrook, 66, from Northampton, has hit the headlines. The retired chartered surveyor has previously held the world record for the longest carrot, after producing a 17-foot long specimen.

Photo from SWNS.

He has also been the double Guinness World Record holder for the heaviest parsnip, at 13lb, and the longest beetroot at 21ft. Speaking before his latest triumph, he said: ''The secret to success is starting with the right seed.

''It's learning how to grow them and putting a lot of effort in and picking up tips from other growers and reading what you can about it.'' The potato was weighed at the show's Giant Vegetable Competition and Mr Glazebrook is now awaiting verification from Guinness World Records.

Beavers and Bees

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
Classic mac and cheese gets an update with fontina cheese, pesto, and shrimp.  

Upgrades you should probably skip

Seemingly cost-conscious items like membership cards could be a waste of money. 

Famous Unsolved Mysteries (That Have Totally Been Solved)

Six Famous Unsolved Mysteries (That Have Totally Been Solved). 
Because the common, logical, and accepted explanation doesn't make nearly as good a story.

Top ten lost technologies

The list includes Roman concrete, Damascus steel, and a napalm-like weapon called Greek fire.

Amazing Facts Everyone Should Know

The word "queue" is the only word in the English language that is still pronounced the same way when the last four letters are removed.

What is called a "French kiss" in the English speaking world is known as an "English kiss" in France.

"Almost" is the longest word in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order.

"Rhythm" is the longest English word without a vowel.

A cockroach can live several weeks with its head cut off!

Human thigh bones are stronger than concrete.

You can't kill yourself by holding your breath

There is a city called Rome on every continent.

The skeleton of Jeremy Bentham is present at all important meetings of the University of London

Right handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people

The elephant is the only mammal that can't jump!

Like fingerprints, everyone's tongue print is different!

Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails!

Most dust particles in your house are made from dead skin!

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

Honey is the only food that does not spoil. Honey found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs has been tasted by archaeologists and found edible.

Months that begin on a Sunday will always have a "Friday the 13th."

Coca-Cola would be green if coloring weren't added to it.

More people are killed each year from bees than from snakes.

The average lead pencil will draw a line 35 miles long or write approximately 50,000 English words.

More people are allergic to cow's milk than any other food.

Camels have three eyelids to protect themselves from blowing sand.

The placement of a donkey's eyes in its' heads enables it to see all four feet at all times!

It's against the law to burp, or sneeze in a church in Nebraska, USA.

You're born with 300 bones, but by the time you become an adult, you only have 206.

Dolphins sleep with one eye open!

It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

The longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds.

Queen Elizabeth I regarded herself as a paragon of cleanliness. She declared that she bathed once every three months, whether she needed it or not.

Owls are the only birds who can see the color blue.

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

A giraffe can clean its ears with its 21-inch tongue!

The average person laughs 10 times a day!



What's My Line?

Eleanor Roosevelt is the mystery guest on the old game show What's My Line?

Rare footage captures WWII blitz in color

Home movies found in a London attic offer a dramatic new view of a devastating German campaign.

Iconic warship caught in toughest battle yet

A one-of-a-kind vessel that helped change U.S. history in 1898 now faces a more daunting foe.  

Pompeii and Herculaneum

They existed for a thousand years until, in one brief moment, they disappeared. Here’s the story of how they were lost… and found.
(Image credit: Flickr users Simon & Vicki)
Two thousand years ago, the prosperous cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum thrived near Rome, 10 miles from the foot of the volcano Mount Vesuvius. Vesuvius hadn’t exploded for over 1,000 years; no one even knew it was a volcano. Then on August 24 in the year 79 A.D., it erupted, completely burying both cities under mountains of ash-Pompeii and Herculaneum were lost.
Mount Vesuvius continued to erupt sporadically over the centuries that followed, each time adding to the volcanic debris that covered the former town sites; each layer leaving the two cities more hidden than before. Four hundred years later, the Roman Empire collapsed, and legends about the two cities went with it. For 15 centuries, they lay forgotten and undisturbed, their stories untold.  Then clues about their existence began to turn up. For example, around 1594, a Roman architect named Domenico Fontana was digging a canal to supply water to a rich man’s home when workmen uncovered pieces of ruined buildings and a few ancient coins. But nothing much came of the discovery.
(Image credit: Flickr user Bill McIntyre)
In 1707 part of Italy came under Austrian rule, and Prince d’Elboeuf came to command the cavalry. He heard rumors of treasures being brought up from underground, so he promptly purchased a large parcel of land in the immediate vicinity. Over the next 30 year, he had shafts and tunnels dug and uncovered vases, statues, and even a number of polished marble slabs-once the floor of the theater in Herculaneum-all of which he used to decorate his villa.
Word of the prince’s finds spread, and other treasure hunters came looking. When the first skeleton-complete with bronze and silver coins-was unearthed in 1748, treasure fever hit hard. For the next several years, artifacts were continually looted from the area. But it wasn’t until 1763, when workers unearthed an inscription reading “res publica Pompeianorum“-meaning “the commonwealth of Pompeians”-that the ancient city was identified.

(Image credit: Flickr user Melanie Bateman)
The looting of Pompeii and Herculaneum continued for 100 years until a new ruler, King Victor Emmanuel II, became interested in preserving the sites. In 1860 he put archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli in charge of excavations. From that time until the present, the treasures of Pompeii have been treated with the respect they deserve, and in turn, they have taught much about daily life in ancient times.
Image credit: Flickr user carolynconner)
Ironically, the explosion of Vesuvius occurred the day after the celebration of Volcanalia, festival of the Roman god of volcanic fire. When Vesuvius began quaking, spouting ash, and spewing rivers of lava on August 23rd, 79 A.D., most of Pompeii’s 20,000 inhabitants fled the area. For the next 12 hours, ash and pumice rained down on the town, accumulating at the rate of six inches per hour. About 2,000 people remained in the city. Perhaps they refused to abandon their treasures. Or possibly they were slaves ordered to stay behind. Early in the morning of August 24th, Vesuvius really blew its top. By then, it was too late.
Crouching, crawling, and clinging to loved ones, the people were buried by ash, which perfectly preserved their positions at the moment of death. When rain came, the layer of ash turned to concrete, entombing the bodies in an undisturbed environment. The bodies themselves then slowly decayed. When archaeologist Fiorelli found the hollow cavities where the bodies had once been, he realized that by pumping wet plaster into what were essentially molds and letting it harden, he could make perfect casts of the dead.
(Image credit: Flickr user lebovox)
A beggar with a new pair of shoes died at the city gate. Perhaps he had recently swiped the shoes from a corpse. The owners of a house were hiding their valuables in a well when they fell in and died. A dog was still chained to a fence. A woman held an infant in her arms while two young girls clung to the hem of her dress. A man was trying to pull a goat by its halter outside the city wall. Thirty-four people were hiding in a wine vault with food that they never got a chance to eat.
(Image credit: Flickr users Simon & Vicki)
A man, seeking refuge in a tree, died holding a branch. A young girl clutched a statue of a goddess. A man, laying next to a woman seven months pregnant, reached out to cover her face with his robe in the moment before death.  A group of priests were about to sit down to a meal of eggs and fish. One of the priests had a hatchet and chopped his way from room to room as lava rushed after him. He was trapped in the last room, which had walls too thick to chop through. The remains of a woman were found next to a wine vat. Inside the vat were over 100 silver dishes and 1,000 pieces of gold. One of the silver cups bore this inscription: Enjoy life while you have it, for tomorrow is uncertain.
Here was an entire thriving city, caught exactly at the peak of its prosperity and perfectly preserved: eggs unbroken; bread baking in the oven; coins left on a countertop. Pots on cookstoves still contained meat bones. Shops displayed onions, beans, olives, nuts, and figs. A heap of discarded fish scales was uncovered near a fish shop. A meal of bread, salad, cakes, and fruit was set on a table. Ropes and nets used by unknown fishermen were preserved, as was the straw padding recently removed from a shipment of glasswares.
(Image credit: Flickr user boris doesborg)
Papyrus scrolls, charred but still readable, revealed dissertations on music and other subjects. There were taverns, snack shops, gambling halls, a stadium that could hold 20,000 spectators, theaters, public baths, streets with sewer systems and raised sidewalks, homes with plumbing, and thousands of works of art. Everyday objects such as perfume bottles and glass jars, sewing needles and brooms, muffin pans and cooking pots were found in the homes. Also uncovered: glass vases, tile mosaics, painted murals, marble statues, golden jewelry, bronze lanterns, jeweled amulets, religious icons, and exquisite furniture.
(Image credit: Wikipedia user Wknight94)
The excavation of Pompeii continues today-it’s estimated that only about a third of the town has been uncovered. Yet Vesuvius continues to rumble, most recently erupting in 1944.
Will it bury Pompeii again?

Awesome Pictures