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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.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Spend the morning delving into those deep, dark, potentially treasure-filled waters of 'why are we here' and 'how can I fulfill my calling as a human being.'
In the late afternoon, you switch gears.
Something comes up that requires pragmatic action.
Since you switch gears as quickly and smoothly as a luxury sports car, you immediately get started taking said pragmatic action.
To your surprise, you might find a few of the answers to the questions you were posing in the morning.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Algiers, Alger, Algeria
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Balikapapn, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Munich, Bayern, Germany
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Delhi, Delhi, India
London, England, United Kingdom
Swindon, England, United Kingdom
Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Alcala De Henares, Madrid, Spain

as well as Scotland, China and in cities across the United States such as Valdez, Foster City, Salem, Charlotte and more.

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, September 15, the 258th day of 2010.
There are 107 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Felt Hat Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Burning Man Ultramarathon

Burning Man ultramarathon
With outfits ranging from skimpy to salacious, some 30 bleary-eyed runners completed the first-ever Burning Man Ultramarathon, proving that arid weather and late-night parties weren’t enough to derail even the most dedicated Burner athletes from slogging 30 miles through sand, sun and dust.
After months of planning, organizer Cherie Yanek and 36 other competitors kicked off the race at 5 am on September 1. Temperatures hovered around 50 degrees and onlookers included party-goers who hadn’t yet called it a night. There were no dust storms — a frequent concern during the annual gathering at Black Rock City — though temperatures did climb roughly 40 degrees by the time the final runner crossed the finish line shortly after 12:30 pm.

Autumn Superfoods

Nutrient-rich cranberries and pumpkins are available well before late November.  

Foodie Nirvana

The top-ranked spot is a fraction of the size of New York or San Francisco.  

Sleep-stealing foods to watch out for

Caffeine isn't the only thing that will keep you from getting a full night's rest.  

We yawn because we care

How contagious is yawning? Enough that I'm yawning right now just from writing about it. Admittedly, I'd never given it much thought, but I always kind of assumed that contagious yawning—that tendency to pick up a yawn from the people around you and pass it on like the evil videotape in The Ring—was something all humans were susceptible to.
But that seems to be over-generalizing a bit. Everybody spontaneously yawns. Even fetuses. And around 40-60% of us will yawn if someone else around us yawns. But that's neurotypical adults.
There's a growing collection of research showing that very young children, and people with autism spectrum disorders, don't succumb to contagious yawning. In fact, contagious yawning is currently thought to be related to the development of empathy and the ability to distinguish our own mental states from those of others. One study, done in 2007, even found that psychology students—who presumably spend a lot more time than average thinking about other people's mental states—were more susceptible to contagious yawning than engineering students.
Oh, and yawning, in general? Yeah, nobody really knows why we do that.

South Carolina erects monument to Hootie and the Blowfish

Hootie & The Blowfish is getting a monument in South Carolina's capital city. 
The State newspaper reported that a large steel and black granite art piece will be unveiled in October.

How to get a college degree debt-free

Zac Bissonnette graduated from a top school without loans, scholarships, or family money.  

What happens to your car at 100,000 miles

It used to be a huge red flag when your automobile's mileage hit six figures.  

Where to buy a home for $800 a month

Housing hasn't been this cheap since the 1970s, especially in these bargain cities. 

Unlikely spot to get fastest Internet

Chattanooga's city-owned electrical utility has started offering an Internet service that is among the fastest in the world, and it is hoping the move will attract businesses looking to relocate.

It has finally happened ...


Ignoring Unemployment


The truth be told

And this is a bad thing, how?
The destruction of the repugican party can only be a good thing for the entire world much less the United States.

Burial at Sea

Authorities suspected foul play when the body of a North Carolina man surfaced near a South Florida beach.

Bad Cops

Bad Cops

Almighty Supremeborn Allah Busted for Cocaine

"Almighty Supremeborn Allah," was busted with $2,000 worth of coke on the aptly named "High Street," police said.

Man accused of using BB gun to force teenager to exercise apologizes

A Leesburg man, who apparently usually wears a hat, accused of using a BB gun to motivate a teenager during football drills in blistering heat said on Monday he's sorry and that the incident was a misunderstanding. Robert Lynn Barker, 41, left his family home and was forced to cut off all contact with his stepson after he was arrested on Saturday on a child-abuse charge. He said that he would never hurt the boy he raised from infancy. "I didn't mean for this to get out of hand," a tearful Barker said. "I'm sorry if I did something wrong. Maybe I was a little over-zealous. I'm sorry."

On Saturday, the teen began to feel numb and dizzy during a Tavares youth football game and was benched to rest, a Lake County sheriff's report said. Barker said he decided to take his stepson home after he complained of side pain and that the boy soon felt better. When they got home, Barker told the teen he needed more conditioning so he set up cones about 20 yards apart in the front yard of their home. He made the boy run sprints in his football gear using the BB gun to signal the beginning of the drill, he said. It was 91 degrees with a heat index of 107 on Saturday, a deputy said in a report.

Barker, a former football player, said the sprints would help alleviate the athlete's pain, which he said was likely caused by a lack of conditioning. An anonymous caller heard the gun and called deputies, who appeared on the scene after the boy already had taken a cold shower. Barker was charged with one count of child abuse and one count of aggravated assault with a weapon. He bonded out of the Lake County jail on Sunday.

As a condition of his release, he cannot have any contact with the youth. "I'm not a perfect father and I don't know anybody who is," Barker said. "I didn't mean to do anything wrong. It all got blown out of proportion." The teenager told deputies he feared Barker would use the weapon on him. His stepfather denied that, saying he never pointed the weapon at the boy. Barker has an upcoming court date in October.



Who was the man behind this amazing Roman mask?

Who was the man behind this amazing Roman mask? Helmet unearthed by metal detector expected to fetch £300,000

A Roman bronze helmet complete with face-mask - thought to be one of only three of its kind to be found in Britain - has been discovered by a metal detector enthusiast in Cumbria.
The helmet, with its enigmatic and virtually intact features, would have been worn, possibly with colorful streamers attached to the object, as a mark of excellence by Roman soldiers at cavalry sport parades.
Described as a 'hugely important discovery', it is now expected to fetch £300,000 at Christie's Antiquities auction in London.

A 'hugely important discovery': The Roman bronze helmet complete with face-mask is reported to have been found at Crosby Garrett in Cumbria by a metal-detectorist
A 'hugely important discovery': The Roman bronze helmet complete with face-mask was found at Crosby Garrett in Cumbria by a metal-detector enthusiast.

Mythical White Ghost Stag spotted in Scotland

A mythical white stag has been seen in Scotland.

The Crab Nebula

Beautiful image of the Crab Nebula in the constellation Taurus, about 5,000 light-years from Earth.

Roughly 12 light-years in diameter, it is the remnant of a supernova, first observed by Chinese and other astronomers in 1054, that was visible in daylight for 23 days and at night for almost two years.

What if the Earth had rings?

Short answer: Bad news for space travel. And this isn't just idle speculation for boozy astrophysicist parties. Space junk—spent rockets, lost astro-screwdrivers, satellite parts—could form rings around our planet as surely as water, ice and dust encircle Saturn. Scientists have been especially concerned about satellite collisions, where debris from one wreck could trigger a futuristic 12-car pileup.
On 10 February 2009 it started to happen. In the first collision between two intact satellites, the defunct Russian craft Kosmos-2251 struck communications satellite Iridium 33 at a speed of 42,100 kilometres per hour. The impact shattered one of Iridium 33's solar panels and sent the satellite into a helpless tumble. Kosmos-2251 was utterly destroyed. The two orbits are now home to clouds of debris that, according to the US military's Space Surveillance Network (SSN), contain more than 2000 fragments larger than 10 centimetres. The collision may also have produced hundreds of thousands of smaller fragments, which cannot currently be tracked from Earth.
Such debris is a serious worry. With satellites travelling at tens of thousands of kilometres per hour, any encounter with debris could be lethal. "Being hit by a 1-centimetre object at orbital velocity is the equivalent of exploding a hand grenade next to a satellite," says Heiner Klinkrad, head of the space debris office at the European Space Agency in Darmstadt, Germany.

Even parasitic worms have a divided society

A fluke that lives in the bodies of marine snails has a caste system like that of social insects – the first such animal known to do so.

Even parasitic worms have a divided society

Stunning NASA infrared imagery of Hurricane Igor reveals a 170 degree temperature difference

NASA satellites provide infrared images to forecasters that show temperature, and today’s imagery of powerful Hurricane Igor showed the storm’s perfect form and the warm ocean waters around it that are keeping it fueled.



Twelve Greek Words You Should Know

Along with Latin, Greek is probably the language that most influenced other languages around the world. Many English words derive directly from Greek ones, and knowing their origin and meaning is important.

Here are 12 Greek words that are commonly used in our society. The next time you hear someone saying 'Kudos to you,' you will know where it comes from.

Six things to never reveal on Facebook

Believe it or not, some people don't think twice about sharing their birth date or home address.

Ten Scene-Stealing Onscreen Pets

There's no denying that adorable animals are often cast in big- and small-screen productions as a sidekick to warm the audience's heart. However, there's a special subset of animal actors that have become fan favorites.

Whether they bark, meow, quack, scratch or dig, these 10 TV and movie pets stole the scene from their two-legged costars.

Ten Fun Facts about 'Bewitched'

Bewitched was an American television series that ran from 1964 to 1972. The premise was that a witch (Samantha Stephens) married an advertising executive (Darrin Stephens), but in order to blend in with “mortals”, Samantha had to keep her supernatural powers secret. However, neither she nor Darrin could control her wacky relatives -particularly Samantha’s magically meddling mother Endora! In most episodes their cover was nearly blown, but the couple explained away the most ridiculous situations as a “demonstration” of a creative new advertising campaign.
1. The biggest controversy on Bewitched was the sudden switch in Darrins. Dick York played Darrin from 1964 to 1969, when Dick Sargent slipped into the role with no explanation. Dick York had suffered a back injury while filming a movie in 1959. Continued pain left him addicted to prescription painkillers, which damaged his health as years went by. By 1969, he was suffering blackouts on the set. In January York was rushed from the set to the hospital and never returned to Bewitched. After he left the show, he was flat on his back for a year. York also suffered financial losses from bad investments and he and his wife cleaned houses for a living at one point. By 1980 he kicked the drugs and began acting again. York died of emphysema in 1992.
(Image source: TV Trivia)
2. Ratings for Bewitched fell in its final three years, which many blamed on the Darrin switch. It wasn’t Dick Sargent’s fault; people just didn’t like the change from a more familiar face. In fact, Dick Sargent could have very well been the original Darrin! He auditioned for the show in 1964 and was actually offered the job, even before Elizabeth Montgomery was cast as Samantha. However, he had to decline as he was under contract to Universal Studios, which wanted him for the series Broadside.
3. A few new phrases were born from Bewitched. Darrin Syndrome is the term for replacing the actor of a main character with no explanation. This situation is sometimes called The Other Darrin. It happens a lot, but in the case of the character Becky in the series Roseanne, there were constant jokes about the switch. In one episode, the family watched Bewitched on TV and actress Lecy Goranson (the second Becky) remarked that she preferred the second Darrin. Of course.

4. Darrin was not the only character played by two actors in Bewitched. Among others, the neighbor Gladys Kravitz was portrayed by Alice Pearce at first, then by Sandra Gould. However, Gladys Kravitz Syndrome has nothing to do with TV casting. It’s a term used when people are just too nosy about the lives of their neighbors.
5. The characters on Bewitched drank so much alcohol that a fan website created a database of the drinking incidents with locations and episode numbers.

6. Elizabeth Montgomery, who played Samantha, also played her deliciously mischievous cousin Serena in several episodes. She was not credited for the role, as producers figured it would be obvious. The role was credited to “Pandora Spocks”, who didn’t exist but received fan mail from viewers who didn’t get the joke. Spocks eventually received her own biography from a fan site.
7. The real house used in the 1959 movie Gidget was copied, but reversed, to build the set for Bewitched. The patio and living rooms were copied from those used in the 1963 movie Gidget Goes to Rome. The exterior set used for the home of nosy neighbor Gladys Kravitz later became the home of The Partridge Family.
8. The Stephens had two children during the run of the series, but they were not ratings gimmicks. Elizabeth Montgomery produced two children, her second and third, as she played Samantha in Bewitched, and both pregnancies were written into the show. Her son Robert Asher was born in 1965 as daughter Tabitha appeared in the series, and daughter Rebecca Asher was born in 1969 as Adam Stephens was born in the series.
9. In the last year of the series, Bewitched was cursed with terrible time slots. Already showing its age, the series’ ratings fell faster than ever in 1971-72 when it was scheduled against the very popular Carol Burnett Show and then moved opposite the powerhouse series All in the Family.
10. Elizabeth Montgomery cherished her privacy, and felt no need to make her vital statistics public. When she died in 1995, her age was published as 57, although she was actually 62. She had married Robert Foxworth a couple of years before her death, but few knew about it, so some obituaries said she was single. Her death certificate said “Elizabeth A. Montgomery”, but her actual middle name was Victoria.

Believe it or not