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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 18, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
It's not usually easy to part you from your hard-earned pesos, even if you have a good excuse to shop, like a birthday, or anniversary or some such special occasion.
So when you wake up today with the urge to spend some serious cash, if you opt to take a dear one along for the ride, try to at least pretend to think about it before you whip out the plastic.
You know what you want, you're after it, and that's that.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Coquimbo, Coquimbo, Chile
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
London, England, United Kingdom
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Riyadh, Ar Riyad, Saudi Arabia

as well as Italy and in cities across the United States such as New York, Athens, Sparta, Boone and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, September 18, the 261st day of 2010.
There are 104 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Big Whopper Liar Day,
Hug A Greeting Card Writer Day
International Eat An Apple Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
As prepared for delivery
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Washington, DC
Back in January, in my State of the Union Address, I warned of the danger posed by a Supreme Court ruling called Citizens United. This decision overturned decades of law and precedent.  It gave the special interests the power to spend without limit – and without public disclosure – to run ads in order to influence elections. 
Now, as an election approaches, it’s not just a theory.  We can see for ourselves how destructive to our democracy this can become.  We see it in the flood of deceptive attack ads sponsored by special interests using front groups with misleading names.  We don’t know who’s behind these ads or who’s paying for them.  Even foreign-controlled corporations seeking to influence our democracy are able to spend freely in order to swing an election toward a candidate they prefer. 
We’ve tried to fix this with a new law – one that would simply require that you say who you are and who’s paying for your ad.  This way, voters are able to make an informed judgment about a group’s motivations.  Anyone running these ads would have to stand by their claims.  And foreign-controlled corporations would be restricted from spending money to influence elections, just as they were before the Supreme Court opened up this loophole.
This is common sense.  In fact, this is the kind of proposal that Democrats and Republicans have agreed on for decades.  Yet, the Republican leaders in Congress have so far said “no.” They’ve blocked this bill from even coming up for a vote in the Senate.  It’s politics at its worst.  But it’s not hard to understand why. 
Over the past two years, we have fought back against the entrenched special interests – weakening their hold on the levers of power in Washington.  We have taken a stand against the worst abuses of the financial industry and health insurance companies.  We’ve rolled back tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.  And we’ve restored enforcement of common sense rules to protect clean air and clean water.  We have refused to go along with business as usual. 
Now, the special interests want to take Congress back, and return to the days when lobbyists wrote the laws.  And a partisan minority in Congress is hoping their defense of these special interests and the status quo will be rewarded with a flood of negative ads against their opponents.  It’s a power grab, pure and simple.  They’re hoping they can ride this wave of unchecked influence all the way to victory. 
What is clear is that Congress has a responsibility to act.  But the truth is, any law will come too late to prevent the damage that has already been done this election season.  That is why, any time you see an attack ad by one of these shadowy groups, you should ask yourself, who is paying for this ad? Is it the health insurance lobby? The oil industry?  The credit card companies? 
But more than that, you can make sure that the tens of millions of dollars spent on misleading ads do not drown out your voice.  Because no matter how many ads they run – no matter how many elections they try to buy – the power to determine the fate of this country doesn’t lie in their hands.  It lies in yours.  It’s up to all of us to defend that most basic American principle of a government of, by, and for the people.  What’s at stake is not just an election.  It’s our democracy itself. 
Thank you.

Unique redesign ideas for dollar bills

People can select their favorite in a new contest that reimagines the look of U.S. currency.

Thirty Spectacular Examples Of Reflective Photography

Using reflections in photography can lead to some amazing effects and beautiful images.

Lion and Meerkat friendship echoes The Lion King

A lion who was rejected by its mother has stuck up a friendship with a meerkat. The pair have been inseparable since new-born lioness Zinzi was rescued by being taken into the home of zoo and safari ranch owner Marcell Tournier, 33. The friendship echoes the partnership between Simba, the lion cub hero of Disney classic The Lion King and Timon.

Mr Tournier added: "Bob the meerkat seems to have a "Hakuna Matata" problem-free philosophy and taught Zinzi how to relax." Zinzi was brought in at just one day old when Marcell realised her mother was refusing to feed her a harsh reality of nature that could have meant the end of adorable Zinzi.

But almost as soon as the lion had moved in to the home, near Sun City, South Africa, Mr Tournier quickly realised he wasn't Zinzi's only fan. Lively two-year-old Bob instantly took a shine to his new playmate. Amazingly Bob began following his much bigger friend day and night and would even snuggle in at nap time.

Bob likes having anything cute and cuddly around," said Mr Tournier. "If it'll lie down and cuddle him he will love it. The pair quickly formed an unlikely friendship and were soon doing everything together. The pair live on the sprawling Predator World Zoo and Game Farm, which covers 1,000 hectares in the country's north-west.



Cool suburbs worth checking out

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Best places to retire in America

These lively college towns offer cheaper housing, low taxes, and good health care.  

'How I got my six-figure job'

These workers are proof that you don't necessarily need a college degree to earn a high salary.

Astronomical News

Earthlings will soon get an intimate view of Jupiter, while researchers take a closer look at Halley's comet.

Gulf’s Oil-Eating Bacteria Eating People!

Bio-Remediation or Bio-Hazard? Dispersants, Bacteria & Illness in the Gulf, Marine Toxicologist Riki Ott, September 17, 2010:

[A]n outbreak of mysterious persistent rashes from southern Louisiana across to just north of Tampa, Florida, [has occurred] coincident with BP’s oil and chemical release…
(Photo: Sheri Allen)
Sheri Allen in Mobile, Alabama… wrote of red welts and blisters on her legs after “splashing and wading on the shoreline” of Mobile Bay with her two dogs on May 8. … By early July, Allen’s rash had healed, leaving black bruises and scarring. …
Medical doctors are diagnosing skin rashes on Gulf visitors and residents alike as scabies and staph infections, including MRSA… The rashes resist prescribed treatments and often reoccur for months. Normal looking scabies contrasts sharply with the Gulf cases. …
Identity Protected (Riki Ott)
I have heard from Gulf residents and visitors who developed a rash or peeling palms from contact with Gulf water, including such activities as swimming or wading, getting splashed, handling oiled material or dead animals without gloves, and shucking crabs from the recently opened Gulf fisheries. I have also heard from people who developed the same symptoms after contact with Gulf air by wiping an oily film off their airplane’s leading edges after flying over the Gulf (absorbent pad tested positive for oil) or swimming in outdoor pools, or splashing in puddles, after it rained. …
Citing the National Academy of Sciences, a Texas Tech University professor testified in Congress that the chemicals break down cell walls, making organisms (including people) more susceptible to oil. …
I’ve been reading about bacteria, and I now think the Great Gulf Experiment is going very badly for humans. …
[S]ome of the oil-eating bacteria have been genetically modified, or otherwise bio-engineered, to better eat the oil…
Oil-eating bacteria produce bio-films. According to Nurse Schmidt, studies have found that bio-films are rapidly colonized (p. 97) by other Gram-negative bacteria – including those known to infect humans.

…Read the report here.

Man gets 99 years in prison for stealing a carton of cigarettes

A central Texas jury has sentenced a man to 99 years in prison for stealing a carton of cigarettes from a smoke shop.
The McLennan County jury sentenced 55-year-old Leon Willis Wilkerson in Waco on Thursday after finding him guilty of robbery on Wednesday.

Wilkerson was charged as a habitual criminal. He had a record of eight previous felony convictions and 12 misdemeanors.

According to court documents, Wilkerson stole the cigarettes in July 2008, tucked them in his jacket, then shoved to the ground a man who tried to stop him. The fallen man was injured, allowing prosecutors to upgrade the charge against Wilkerson from theft to robbery.

Facebook Blocked

One small college's bold experiment draws praise, criticism, and even a jab on late-night TV.  



Ways a microwave makes cooking easier

This handy appliance can soften brown sugar and toast bread crumbs and nuts.  

Sneaky ways to get more vegetables

Grate zucchini or carrots into a quick bread, or add veggies to mac and cheese.  

Simple ways to speed up your metabolism

Sleeping less than 5 hours and eating a carb-heavy breakfast impede weight loss.

Seven habits that are ruining your diet

Restrict "bad" foods too often, and you could end up packing on more calories, not less.  

Wizard of Id


Woman bags 1,025-pound alligator in SC lake

A Massachusetts woman has a remarkable souvenir from South Carolina. Maryellen Mara-Christian bagged a 13 1/2-foot ,1,025-pound alligator in Lake Moultrie.

Weird Facts

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Weird, Funny and Dumb Laws in the U.S.

Weird, Funny and Dumb Laws in the U.S., and there are some doozies!