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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.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
There is giving of yourself and there's giving too much of yourself.
At work, try to find the line between the two.
After all, you don't feel good if you're not able to throw yourself into what you do.
At the same time, you need to make sure that you have enough energy at the end of the day to take care of your needs too.
This could be as basic as making sure you have enough energy to work out and make sure you have a good dinner.
If you don't, something needs to change.

Some of our readers today have been in:
The service is acting all wonky right now so we can not get a listing of our readers today.

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, September 21, the 264th day of 2010.
There are 101 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
There isn't one.

Although today is:
International Day of Peace
World's Alzheimer's Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Awesome Pictures

If all is perfectly aligned in all the Cosmos this will be my retirement home when I finally retire and stay that way.

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
Marinating will tenderize the flank steak in these Mexican-inspired sandwiches.  
A personal pie with 2,300 calories and tons of sodium is the worst offender.  

Eskimo loophole could save Scotland's sporran industry

Eskimos could save the traditional sporran industry thanks to a legal loophole that allows them to export sealskin, it has emerged. An EU-wide ban on the use of sealskin was introduced last month following a long-running campaign from animal welfare groups. High-quality dress sporrans, an essential part of kilt couture, are made of sealskin and kiltmakers all over Scotland objected to the new law.
They have been turning instead to pony hide, cow hide and rabbit skin, but hope they may be able to continue using sealskin if it has been hunted as part of an indigenous culture. EU law allows the Yupik and Inuit people to sell and export items made from sealskin. Ian Chisholm, a founding member of the Scottish Kiltmakers' Association, said: "There's a possibility that we may be able to still use the sealskins if they have been hunted as part of traditional culture."

He and other kiltmakers are now in talks to see if the Eskimos can save the traditional sporran. Mr Chisholm, who runs Chisholm Highland Dress in Inverness, said that if a deal was approved it would be a "lifesaver" for the industry, adding: “Nothing beats sealskin. It has a quality of its own. It has a beautiful luster against the tartans of the kilts. You can dye the other skins but you can still tell the difference. They do not have the same texture and are not as soft to feel."

Supplying sealskin to sporran makers in Scotland would also be a welcome boost to the indigenous people of the Arctic. A spokesman for Canada’s Eskimo tribes said they were keen to supply the Highland dress industry and that sales would help pay for gas, food and snowmobiles. He added: "Our communities have a lot in common and we feel a connection with the people of Scotland who also rely on traditional trades."

Aircraft Crashes Into Four Buildings

Reddit headline: Not for the faint of heart! A pilot at low level has no control. His aircraft narrowly misses a crowd and slams into four buildings. One can only imagine the horror of the occupants of those buildings.

Bridge collapse hurts games

The collapse of a bridge is the latest setback in India's troubled preparations.

Persuading someone to do what you want

You aren't likely to get your way with strong-arm tactics or guilt trips. 

No change of heart

Cancer-ravaged Christopher Hitchens has no use for two types of people who pray for him.

Wanted Dead or Alive

Bon Jovi

Real-life Lynyrd Skynyrd dies

Gym teacher Leonard Skinner clashed with the southern rockers in high school.  

Yes, there really was a Lynard Skynard, but his name was Leonard Skinner. Skinner, a gym teacher in Jacksonville, Florida, was the inspiration for the band’s name. Skinner died yesterday at a nursing home in Florida. He was 77.
Mr. Skinner never asked to become part of rock ’n’ roll lore. He didn’t even like rock ’n’ roll. He was just a by-the-book gym teacher at Robert E. Lee High School, his alma mater, who, in the late 1960s, sent some students to the principal’s office because their hair was too long.
Gene Odom, who worked security for the band and survived the crash of its plane in 1977, said one of the longhairs was Gary Rossington. Rossington was guitarist in a rock band that would later name itself Lynyrd Skynyrd in a smart-aleck tribute to the gym teacher.
Skinner made friends with the band in later years, and took advantage of the name recognition for his business ventures.  

Typewriter repairman is one of the last

Al Stuckey is a dying breed. "I'm absolutely a dinosaur," the Crown Point man said.

Ancient artifacts found

The museum pieces were looted in 2003, returned, then lost "among kitchen supplies."  

All Things Historical

A new book reveals MI6's attempt to impede the postwar Jewish settlement of Palestine. 
Operation sheep drop

When the Italian army invaded East Africa in the mid-1930s, pre-packaged ration technology had not yet reached a point where one could carry a lot of food into a desert and expect it to say edible.
The fascists solved that problem using a little ingenuity, some sheep, and a bunch of little parachutes.
Enter the flying supply column, a new idea in warfare at the time, but one that would be used again in future conflicts. Twenty-five planes carried water, ammunition and rations for the Italians as they advanced on Emperor Haile Selassie's Army of the Ethiopian Empire. As they supposedly refused to eat the standard pre-packaged processed food that accompanied most armies and because fresh meat would spoil in the extreme temperatures of Danakil, the supply planes dropped living animals for the troops to butcher and cook. By the time the army had finished their trek, seventy-two sheep and two bulls had been pushed from planes, parachutes strapped to their backs.

The Last RAF Pilots from the Battle of Britain
Only 79 British Royal Air Force pilots who stood against the Nazi horde in 1940 are still alive. The Daily Mail gathered 17 of them for a group portrait and told biographical sketches of each one. Here’s the tale of Air Commodore John Ellacombe:
Single-handedly took on 12 German planes over the South East coast. ‘I went straight at them and started firing – and didn’t stop.’ He brought his Hurricane down in a field after a bullet hit his engine. ‘As I pulled myself out of the plane I saw a man running towards me, waving a pitchfork and shouting, “I am going to kill you, you bloody German!” He was chasing me around the plane. It was like a scene from Benny Hill.’ Fortunately four British soldiers arrived and disarmed him.



Genocide Wiped Out Native American Population

Physical traces of ethnic cleansing that took place in the early 800s suggest the massacre was an inside job.  

Ancient Egypt May Hold Clues for Climate Change Fix

Ancient EgyptExperts are looking into Egypt's past to try to figure out how we'll deal with climate change in the future.  

Swallowed by a Giant Wall of Sand

National Geographic cameraman Bob Poole was filming elephants in Mali, West Africa, when something quite unusual happened: a giant dust storm rose up and swallowed all the light, turning day into pitch darkness. Naturally, he kept on filming!

Paleontology News

A surprise find in a Calif. canyon offers an intriguing glimpse of ancient species.
I'm only going to say this once: Giant Wombat
You know how Australia's animals are all weird and/or poisonous? Once upon a time, they were also gigantic.

National Geographic: Australia's Lost

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Massive blast 'created Mars moon'Stickney Crater (Nasa/JPL-Caltech/UArizona)

Scientists uncover "firm evidence" that Mars's biggest moon, Phobos, was formed in a catastrophic blast.
NASA discovers brand new force of nature
NASA scientists say they may have discovered a new force of nature, after research showed two of their deep space probes were being inexplicably pulled off course.

Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11, which have been in space for over 40 years, are being steadily pulled towards the sun by an unknown power, according to London’s Telegraph newspaper.

The most detailed photo ever of a sunspot, taken by the solar telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory.

Ozone Layer Could Recover to Pre-1980 Levels by 2045-2060
ozone layer hole image nasa
The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica. Image: NASA, public domain.
But It Will Take Longer for Holes at the Poles
According to a report titled "Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2010" by U.N. scientists, the ozone layer has finally stopped thinning and could recover to pre-1980 levels by 2045-2060, though the annual springtime ozone hole over Antarctica (pictured above) is not expected to recover until 2073. The Montreal Protocol that banned many ozone-depleting chemicals, signed in 1987, is mostly responsible for the recovery.
Article continues: Ozone Layer Could Recover to Pre-1980 Levels by 2045-2060, Says U.N.
Astrological Scene Found on Egyptian Tomb Ceiling
Brightly painted astrological scenes have emerged on the ceiling of an ancient Egyptian tomb.  

Volcano tornado
These volcanic water spouts spun off Kilauea volcano's eruption cloud during a 2008 blast. More than just a pillar of smoke, eruption clouds are, themselves, cyclonic, spinning around a vertical axis and mimicking some behavior patterns usually seen in storm cells, including the ability to give birth to smaller cyclones, water spouts and dust devils.

This photo was taken by Stephen & Donna O'Meara and is part of the Extreme Exposures exhibit running at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, starting October 23.

Science behind the parting of the Red Sea

 Multimedia Pub Web 25819 Web
The National Center for Atmospheric Research scientists suggest a new theory to explain the episode. They used archaeological records and satellite data as the basis for a computer simulation of a powerful overnight wind at the shallow spot where a crossing could have occurred.

From The Telegraph:
The scientists found that an east wind of 63 mph blowing for 12 hours would have driven the shallow waters back, both into the lake and the river channel. For a period of four hours, this would have created a land bridge about two miles long and three miles wide.
The waters really would have been parted, with barriers of water raised on both sides of the newly exposed mud flats.
As soon as the winds dropped, the waters would have rushed back, much like a tidal bore.
Parting of the Red Sea 'could have happened'
Parting the waters: Computer modeling applies physics to Red Sea escape route

In Matters Of Health

Ancient urban living made our ancestors more resistant to tuberculosis, a trait they have passed on to their descendants

The truth be told

Stand up for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights - Oppose every teabagging repugican religo-wingnut there is out there screeching treason at the top of their lungs!

Real Test Answers

1) Classical Studies
Question: Name one of the early Romans' greatest achievements.
Answer: Learning to speak Latin

2) Biology
Question: What is a fibula?
Answer: A little lie

3) General Studies
Question: Jeff has been asked to collect data about the amount of television his friends watch. Think of an appropriate question he could ask them.
Answer: How much TV do you watch?

4) Classical Studies
Question: What were the circumstances of Julius Caesar's death?
Answer: Suspicious ones

5) Biology
Question: Give an example of a smoking-related disease
Answer: Early death

6) Geography
Question: What are the Pyramids?
Answer: The Pyramids are a large mountain range which splits France and Spain

7) Biology
Question: What is a plasmid?
Answer: A high definition television

8) English
Question: In Pride and Prejudice, at what moment does Elizabeth Bennet realise her true feelings for Mr Darcy?
Answer: When she sees him coming out of the lake.

9) Geography
Question: What do we call a person forced to leave their home perhaps by a natural disaster or war, without having another home to go to.
Answer: Homeless

10) Religious Studies
Question: Christians only have one spouse, what is this called?
Answer: Monotony

11) Biology
Question: In the Hawaiian Islands, there are around 500 different species of fruit fly. Give a reason for this
Answer: There are approximately 500 varieties of fruit

12) Physics
Question: Name an environmental side effect of burning fossil fuels
Answer: Fire

13) Geography
Question: Define the term "intensive farming".
Answer: It is when a farmer never has a day off.

14) Maths
Question: Change 7/8 to a decimal
Answer: 7.8

15) Geography
Question: What does the term "lava" mean?
Answer: A pre-pubescent caterpillar

16) General Studies
Question: Redundancy is often an unpleasant and unexpected event in someone's life. Give two examples of unexpected life events.
Answer: 1) death 2) Reincarnation

17) History
Question: What was introduced in the Children's Charter of 1908?
Answer: Children

18) Business Studies
Question: Explain the word "wholesaler".
Answer: Someone who sells you whole items - eg, a whole cake

19) Geography
Question: The race of people known as Malays come from which country?
Answer: Malaria

20) Geography
Question:What artificial waterway runs between the Mediterranean and Red Seas?
Answer: The Sewage Canal

21) Geography
Question: Name one famous Greek landmark
Answer: The most famous Greek landmark is the Apocalypse

22) Maths
Question: Expand 2 (x + y)
Answer: 2 ( x + y )
2 (  x  +  y  )
2 (   x    +    y   )

23) Business Studies
Question: Assess Fashion House pls's choice to locate its factory near Birmingham. Is Birmingham the right location for this type of business?
Answer: No. People from Birmingham aren't very fashionable.

24) History
Question: Where was the American Declaration of Independence signed?
Answer: At the bottom.

25) History
Question: What did Mahatma Gandhi and Genghis Khan have in common?
Answer: Unusual names

You have to wonder sometime ...

The New York Times just figured out that the repugicans are behind the teabagger movement.

Dumb Crooks

Car explodes after couple hides crack cocaine in gas tank
A Brazilian couple's car exploded after they hid crack cocaine in the fuel tank and then tried to fill it with gas.

Spaniard drinks at bar with murdered girlfriend's head in a bag
A Spanish man calmly drank beer with his mates in a bar with his murdered girlfriend's head in a bag, according to newspaper reports.

Boulder to pay $10,000 to man arrested in skivvies

The lawyer for a Colorado man who was arrested for addressing the Boulder City Council in his boxer shorts said the city has agreed to pay $10,000 to settle his civil rights claim.



Buyer Beware

Via Skippy:
Just because a food is recalled ... doesn't mean that it is off the shelves.
Consumers should not rely on inspectors to make sure that expired or recalled foods, like the 500 million eggs recalled last month, are no longer being sold, public health experts said. In most cases, inspectors rarely check grocery shelves for recalled products, and instead rely on the producers of the tainted product to make sure that the recall was effective.
No regulations exist to prevent stores from selling expired food, which inspectors view as a food quality issue rather than a food safety concern. Agencies only intervene when the expired product has been found to cause illness, which public health specialists say is rare.
Food recalls sound official, but actually they are voluntary. Removing the tainted food is up to the stores and restaurants after they receive the recall notice from the company that produced it. Government agencies try to monitor to make sure the recall is happening but they have limited authority or resources to intervene. - Minnesota Public Radio

Keep in mind that repugicans and tea baggers are running for office on platforms of no regulations.  
Does that make you feel safe
Forget Osama bin Laden ... you have more of a chance of dying from bad food than you do from a terrorist attack.

What great entrepreneurs have in common

Having "hypomanic" qualities helped 21-year-old Seth Priebatsch get $750,000 for his startup.

New Business Model

The retail giant's aggressive push into an untapped market reflects its sluggish U.S. sales.  

Blunders that won't hurt your credit score

Some goofs can really slam your number, but not these eight mistakes.  



The Great Recession officially over - Why the recession doesn't feel over

Not that it feels like it for many. Even so, there should be no doubt at all that things would have been much worse if the stimulus wasn't implemented. The repugicans can make all of the jokes they like, but the economic hole that they created could have been much, much deeper.

The U.S. recession ended in June 2009, making it the longest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the National Bureau of Economic Research said Monday.

The NBER, considered the arbiter of U.S. recessions, said it chose that month based on examination of data including gross domestic product, employment and personal income.

The group's business cycle dating committee, composed of academic economists, is notorious for taking its time in declaring the start and end of recessions.
It officially ended more than a year ago, economists say, but many Americans may disagree.

On The Job

On The Job
Patricia Reid hasn't received a single offer since losing her $80,000-a-year job four years ago.
The No. 1 spot is far from the coasts, but boasts low business costs and strong employment prospects.  

Big Insurance drops kids from coverage days before new rules

Being in the health insurance industry really is the way to go. You can pay some of the highest executive salaries in the country even during the worst recession in decades, implement double digit rate increases every year, opt out of paying when you don't want to and drop trouble making customers who dare to have pre-existing conditions. Even better, you have one political party that's dedicated to allowing that to continue and a second who is terrified of confronting you.

It's good to be da' king.
The new healthcare law forbids insurers from turning down children with pre-existing conditions starting Thursday, one of several reforms Democrats are eager to highlight this week as they try to build support for the law ahead of the mid-term elections. But news of insurers dropping their plans as a result of the new law has thrown a damper on that strategy and prompted fierce push-back from the administration's allies at HCAN.

The announcement could lead to higher costs for some parents who are buying separate coverage for themselves and their children at lower cost than the family coverage that's available to them.

"We’re just days away from a new era when insurance companies must stop denying coverage to kids just because they are sick, and now some of the biggest changed their minds and decided to refuse to sell child-only coverage," HCAN Executive Director Ethan Rome said in a statement. "The latest announcement by the insurance companies that they won't cover kids is immoral, and to blame their appalling behavior on the new law is patently dishonest.

Households with $250,000+ strongly support tax increase on themselves

Uh oh, there goes another teabagger screeching point.
As Congress and President Obama fight over the shrub tax cuts, a small number of left-leaning rich people have come out in support of paying higher taxes. The most famous are the members of the Responsible Wealth Project, who say they pay too little in taxes and want to address inequality.

They may be an eccentric minority, or (in the view of the wingnuts- the real lunatic fringe ) a lunatic fringe. But a Quinnipiac University poll this year showed nearly two-thirds of those with household incomes of more than $250,000 a year support raising their own taxes to reduce the federal deficit.

So not all of the wealthy are angry about tax hikes. But that doesn’t mean they just want bigger government. What they want is better government – and investment in growth.

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.

According to repugicans

Bechtel and PriceWaterhouseCooper are "small businesses."
...according to president Obama and the Democrats, 97 percent of small businesses will see their tax rates remain the same.
Repugicans counter that the remaining three percent of small businesses -- about 750,000 of them -- constitute half of all small-business income.
There's only one way both of those statements can be true: many of those 750,000 small businesses aren't small at all. some, like Bechtel corporation, are positively enormous.
- Talking Points Memo

The repugicans do have a plan for America

Starve it to death. Starve people to death.
Eying a potential congressional win in November, house repugicans are planning to chip away at the White House's legislative agenda—in particular the health-care law—by depriving the programs of cash. - Wall Street Journal
Short version:
Sorry...you loser.
Elderly? You're a drain on our American dream...just die.
Public anything? (schools, infrastructure, etc.) If you can't pay for it, you don't get it. ha! ha!
Can't afford healthcare? It's all your fault. Go ahead, die.

Who needs the bogeyman enemy, Osama bin Laden?
The repugicans are planning on destroying America from within.

Bad Cops

Bad Cops

Officials arrested in scandal-plagued city

Up to eight current and former officials of Bell, Calif., are likely to be charged in a corruption probe.  

Wizard of Id


Bedbugs are really biting into the Big Apple

The sneaker kingpin's flagship store joins a growing list of infested businesses.

Arctic bugs may have the longest life-cycle on Earth

With a hibernation period of up to 100 million years, bacteria discovered on the Arctic sea floor may have the longest life cycle of any known organism.

Arctic bugs may have the longest life-cycle on Earth

Talented Animals

Jimmy the painting chimp draws hordes to Rio zoo
A retired circus chimpanzee is the Cezanne of simians, drawing crowds to a Brazilian zoo to watch him paint.
Photo Bear
What does a retired circus bear do for a living? Here’s the sweets-lovin’, beer-guzzlin’ Photo Bear hammin’ it up with his peeps:
13-year-old Tian Tian used to be a performer in the zoo doing acts like the parallel bars, bike riding and so on.
However, it loves sweets so much that it quickly grew into a 150kg obese bear. “No bike can take its weight, as once it sits on a bike, the bike will break,” said the feeder, Wang Qunfa.
The zoo had to give Tian Tian early retirement from the show, and they sent it back to the bear pen.
But Tian Tian has got used to interaction with humans, and can’t adapt to life with other bears. “I have to take her and wander around during the day time outside the bear pen,” said Wang.
Tourist requests to take pictures with Tian Tian inspired the zoo. “Why not make her a full-time picture bear?” said feeder Wang.

Hippie Gorilla is Thinking

Photo: Ian Nichols, National Geographic
National Geographic photographer Ian Nichols captured this image of a seemingly contemplative Silverback gorilla. What do you think it’s thinking about?

Gibbons are the 'forgotten' apes

The world's least known apes, the crested gibbons of southeast Asia, face imminent extinction unless urgent action is taken, say experts.

Put Cameras on a Peregrine Falcon and a Goshawk.

Via Media Caffene:

Prepare to be Amazed.

These are two of the fastest maneuvering birds in the world. Rarely do we get to see them in action, at least to this extent. But, some have decided to take it a step further by attaching cameras on the back of these magnificent creatures. And what was captured on camera for the first time ever, was proof once again, that nature in it’s glory is a sight to behold.

With maneuvers that would make the Blue Angles envious, these animals fly through the air with grace and confidence.

Speeds of nearly 200mph, dives and turns that produce 10Gs+, maneuvering through dense forests at high speed only inches from the ground, and only a fraction of a second from impact.

Sound like a Hollywood chase scene? Although, it has become the inspiration for many scenes in Hollywood, unlike Hollywood, this is real. These are the abilities of two of the fastest maneuvering birds in the world, and two of the most fierce birds of prey: the Peregrine Falcon and the Goshawk.
The fastest one has ever been clocked is 242 MPH. During flight, the change in direction from a 150 mph dive, then to a sudden lift, would make a human lose consciousness, and that’s only at it’s playful speed of 150 mph!
They can dive at unfathomable speeds, and suddenly lift only inches from the ground. Witnessing it in person, you would describe these amazing dives as a bullet. Like an aircraft designer’s dream, once their wings tuck, they become an aeronautical phenomenon.

The split-second maneuvering of the Goshawk during flight is reminiscent of the Speeders in Star Wars. 

However, maneuvering through the dense forests as these birds do, is something that no computer or human invention has been able to duplicate fully. Their precision and accuracy is flawless.
The split-second turns. The speed. It almost makes you dizzy to watch, even in slow motion. How do they do it?

To watch them in flight puts me at a loss for words to be able to fully describe what I am seeing. Other than a physicist, there is no way to emphasize or grasp what’s involved, or how it is possible. You just have to watch for yourself to be able to appreciate it. And even then, you are still left to wonder.

'Lost' Tigers discovered in Bhutan's high altitudes

Sightings by locals in the Himalayan nation of Bhutan led researchers to look for tigers in higher elevations than they’ve ever been known to reside. Dr. Alan Rabinowitz of Panthera, a big cat conservation organization, and BBC wildlife photographer Gordon Buchanan went up in the mountains and set camera traps above 3,000 meters of elevation. They left the cameras for three months, then found that among many other species, tigers indeed came to have their pictures taken.
This is the only place on earth known to have tigers, leopard and snow leopards all sharing the same valley.
It is remarkable to have these three big cats sharing their range.
Most extraordinarily, the cameras took footage of two wild tigers, one male and one female, a discovery that moved Mr Buchanan to tears.
The next step is to create a preserve that would protect the tigers and other animals.

See several videos at BBC News.

A 'lost' population of tigers has been filmed living in the Himalayas. The discovery has stunned experts, as the tigers are living at a higher altitude than any others known and appear to be successfully breeding.

Their presence in the Bhutan highlands has been confirmed by footage taken by a BBC natural history camera crew. Creating a nature reserve around the tigers could connect up fragmented populations across Asia, preventing the extinction of the world's biggest cat.

Croc Rasslin'

An Australian man miraculously survived a crocodile attack after his friend punched and wrestled with the animal, the Northern Territory News reported Tuesday.

The Gator Hunter

A petite woman gains fame for snaring an enormous beast but must defend her methods.