Welcome to ...

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 25, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
While none of your best-laid plans over the next couple of days will probably work out the way you want them to, knowing that it's coming should help, right?
Don't be mad at anyone who's late or absent, especially since you may have a turn at that yourself in the future.
Be patient.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, Germany
Kristiansand, Vest-Agder, Norway
London, England, United Kingdom
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Bucharest, Bucuresti, Romania
Asti, Piedmonte, Italy
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Swindon, England, United Kingdom
Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan

as well as Scotland and in cities across the United States such as Fullerton, Spartanburg, Holcombe, Laredo and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, September 25, the 268th day of 2010.
There are 97 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Fish Amnesty Day
National One-Hit Wonder Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
September 25, 2010
This week, the economists who officially decide when recessions start and end declared the recession of 2008 to be over.  But if you’re one of the millions of Americans who lost your home, your job, or your savings as a consequence of the recession, this news is of little comfort or value.

Yes, the economy is growing instead of shrinking, as it was in 2008 and the beginning of 2009.  We’re gaining private sector jobs each month instead of losing 800,000, as we did the month I took office.

But we have to keep pushing to promote growth that will generate the jobs we need, and repair the terrible damage the recession has done.  That’s why I’ve proposed a series of additional steps: accelerated tax breaks for businesses who buy equipment now; a permanent research and development tax break to promote innovation by American companies; and a new initiative to rebuild America’s roads, rails, and runways that will put folks to work and make our country more competitive.

Taken together with the small business tax cut and lending plan we passed through Congress last week, these steps will help spur jobs in the short run, and strengthen our economy for the long run.

Now, the Republicans who want to take over Congress offered their own ideas the other day.  Many were the very same policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place, which isn’t surprising, since many of their leaders were among the architects of that failed policy.

It is grounded in same worn out philosophy: cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires; cut the rules for Wall Street and the special interests; and cut the middle class loose to fend for itself.  That’s not a prescription for a better future.  It’s an echo of a disastrous decade we can’t afford to relive.
The Republicans in Washington claimed to draw their ideas from a website called “America Speaking Out.” It turns out that one of the ideas that’s drawn the most interest on their website is ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

Funny thing is, when we recently closed one of the most egregious loopholes for companies creating jobs overseas, Republicans in Congress were almost unanimously opposed. The Republican leader John Boehner attacked us for it, and stood up for outsourcing, instead of American workers.

So, America may be speaking out, but Republicans in Congress sure aren’t listening. They want to put special interests back in the driver’s seat in Washington. They want to roll back the law that will finally stop health insurance companies from denying you coverage on the basis of a preexisting condition. They want to repeal reforms that will finally protect hardworking families from hidden rates and penalties every time they use a credit card, make a mortgage payment, or take out a student loan.

And for all their talk about reining in spending and getting our deficits under control, they want to borrow another $700 billion, and use it to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. On average, that’s a tax cut of about $100,000 for millionaires.

Instead of cutting taxes for the wealthiest few – tax breaks we cannot afford – I’ve called for tax cuts for middle class families who saw their incomes shrink by five percent during the last, lost decade. We’ve already cut 8 different taxes for small business owners to help them hire and grow, and we’re going to cut 8 more. We’re challenging our states and schools to do a better job educating our kids and making college more affordable so America can once more lead the world in the proportion of our kids graduating from college. And we’re putting an end to the days of taxpayer-funded bailouts so Main Street never again has to pay for Wall Street’s mistakes.

America is a great country. Our democracy is vibrant, our economy is dynamic, and our workers can out-compete the best of them. But the way for us to remain the greatest country on Earth isn’t to turn back the clock and put the special interests in charge. It’s to make sure all our people are getting a fair shake. It’s to make sure everyone who’s willing to work for it still has a chance to reach for the American dream. And that will remain my mission every single day so long as I have the honor of serving as President.

Have a nice weekend, everybody.

Baba O'Riley

The Blue Man Group performs the Who's "Baba O'Riley (Teen Age Wasteland)" - from America's Got Talent

Why Certain Colors Touch Your Soul

Does your soul light up when you see or wear a particular color? All of us gravitate toward a certain hue -- from violet to orange -- but did you know that astrology can directly influence your color choice? Learn more about which colors are most closely associated with your Sun sign.

Self-Massage: The Secret to Better Health

As if we needed another reason besides pure bliss to love massages, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles have discovered that a single rubdown causes positive biological changes ...

Signs you really are happy

9 signs you really are happy

Calling all worrywarts

Worry less, live more
From the economy to that upcoming deadline at work, there's plenty to fret about every day.
Here's how to let go of the things you can't control and bring some calm back to your life.

Why Are Perfectionists Unhappy?

I will not argue the fact that perfectionists can be widely successful.  However, I also know the hidden, inside secret turmoil that many perfectionists go through on a daily basis that causes them anxiety, stress, discomfort and problems with their relationships. 
Here are some of the common …  

A Slice of Philosophy

Life is full of haters. If no one is complaining about what you're doing, then you're not doing anything noteworthy.


A pair of Shoe(s)

"Why don't monkeys evolve into humans?"

 Christine O'Donnell is a moron!
Be afraid - Be very afraid

The "New" repugican pledge (same as the old one)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Postcards From the Pledge
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party
Once again Jon Stewart shows us exactly how it is ...

Bill Maher's rant about rich people who feel vilified about their tax stance

Bill Maher's latest rant, about the tax bracket for the wealthy, is really funny.
And let's be clear: that's 3.6% only on income above 250 grand -- your first 250, that's still on the house. Now, this week we got some horrible news: that one in seven Americans are now living below the poverty line. But I want to point you to an American who is truly suffering: Ben Stein. You know Ben Stein, the guy who got rich because when he talks it sounds so boring it's actually funny. He had a game show on Comedy Central, does eye drop commercials, doesn't believe in evolution? Yeah, that asshole. I kid Ben -- so, the other day Ben wrote an article about his struggle. His struggle as a wealthy person facing the prospect of a slightly higher marginal tax rate. Specifically, Ben said that when he was finished paying taxes and his agents, he was left with only 35 cents for every dollar he earned. Which is shocking, Ben Stein has an agent? I didn't know Broadway Danny Rose was still working. Ben whines in his article about how he's worked for every dollar he has -- if by work you mean saying the word "Bueller" in a movie 25 years ago. Which doesn't bother me in the slightest, it's just that at a time when people in America are desperate and you're raking in the bucks promoting some sleazy Free Credit Score dot-com... maybe you shouldn't be asking us for sympathy. Instead, you should be down on your knees thanking God and/or Ronald Reagan that you were lucky enough to be born in a country where a useless schmuck who contributes absolutely nothing to society can somehow manage to find himself in the top marginal tax bracket.

Bailed out banks piling on new bank fees

As always, they get away with it because they're allowed to get away with it. Until Washington decides to get tough with the bankers, we should expect nothing else. The problem is that if the Democrats would (heaven forbid) criticize these fees, the repugicans would be there to defend the bank fees. Then they would again accuse the Democrats of being anti-business. At that point the Democrats would then choose to ignore consumers and reach out to someone more business friendly in the hopes that this time, the repugicans might start to play nice. Welcome to Groundhog Day, the Washington edition.

In August, the Card Act banned a variety of fees -- including certain overdraft and excessive late charges. But one month later, banks are increasing existing fees and finding creative new ways to charge customers more for credit cards, so-called "free" checking accounts and banking services.

Already this year cash-advance fees and balance transfer fees have risen to 4%, up from 3% in July last year, according to a study conducted by the Pew Health Group's Safe Credit Cards Project.

"It's like you've got a sinking boat, where you plug one hole and another one springs up," said Curtis Arnold, founder of CreditRatings.com. "You can shut down one egregious fee, but that doesn't mean other fees aren't just going to start popping up elsewhere."

The truth be told


Female Footballer

Jaline DeJesus takes the field for one of Florida's top-ranked high school teams.  

Two leaving ...

CNN's struggles and NBC's merger force the exits of top execs, and could mean big changes for the media. 

Twenty-three gets you two

A western Michigan man accused of fathering 23 children with 14 women and has been sent to prison for at least two years for failing to pay tens of thousands of dollars in child support.

Woman kills rabid fox with bare hands

More on the story we posted yesterday:

A woman in Eastern Pennsylvania had to think fast after being attacked by a fox. Rachel Cohen went to a friend's house so the two of them could go for a walk. A fox emerged from a drain spout, and the animal immediately started trying to bite Cohen's ankles.

Not only did Cohen need to defend herself, but she also wanted to kill it. "I was just focused on, 'Must, must keep the animal so they can test it for rabies,' and, you know, obviously, you don't keep a wild animal. It had to be dead," said Cohen.

"It felt like a life-and-death battle with the forces of good and evil," added witness Karen de Balbian Verster. Cohen eventually smothered the fox with a plastic bag.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission says the fox tested positive for rabies, and Cohen is now getting rabies shots. She was not bitten during the attack, but she did get scratched.

Man faints with head in museum noose

A visitor to Boot Hill Museum thought he'd found a photo opportunity Wednesday, but he wound up in the hospital instead. A 69-year-old man from Parks, Ark., discovered that a noose attached to the museum's "Boot Hill Hanging" Tree had slipped out of position Wednesday afternoon, according to Dodge City Police Chief Robin James. The man put his head into the noose and crouched down, increasing tension on the rope.
He was posing for a photo when he passed out and slumped into the noose. The man's wife and another woman were with him, but they were unable to remove him from the noose. They summoned help from others at the museum — including an off-duty police officer from out of town — who were able to get him out of the noose. "If there hadn't been somebody there within a minute or two, there would have been a different result," James said.

The police department learned about the incident shortly before 1 p.m., and an emergency crew was on the scene within minutes after receiving the call. When the police arrived at the scene, the man had just been removed from the noose and was being treated by emergency medical personnel. He was revived and taken to Western Plains Medical Complex, where he was in stable condition.

"It sounds like an oxymoron, but he's probably the luckiest man in Dodge today," James said. "The man was hung from a tree at Boot Hill, Dodge City, Kansas, and he walked away from the hospital without significant injury." He declined to release the man's name since no crime had been committed.

There's a news video here.

Wizard of Id


The Ten Filthiest Cities

Ahhh, urban living. Everything nearby, convenient public services, lots of great places to eat... and legions of people, throwing out tons of garbage, every day.

Most cities can stay on top of their garbage piles... but some, not so much. Here are ten of the filthiest cities germophobes and neat freaks should avoid.

Electricity collected from the air could become the newest alternative energy source

Imagine devices that capture electricity from the air — much like solar cells capture sunlight — and using them to light a house or recharge an electric car. Imagine using similar panels on the rooftops of buildings to prevent lightning before it forms. Strange as it may sound, scientists already are in the early stages [...]

The Scale Of The Universe

An amazing interactive animation where you can zoom from the edge of the universe to the quantum foam of space-time and learn the scale of things along the way.

Impressive gold "nugget"

"German prospector Bernhard Otto Holtermann with a mass of nearly all solid gold, Hill End, New South Wales, 1872.  The gold weighed 630lb & valued at 12,000 pounds."

Good Idea - Bad Idea


Eight instant energizers -- any time of day!

Having a low-energy day? Sometimes the problem is lack of sleep, but even if you’re well rested, certain diet or exercise habits or other lifestyle choices can bring on a slump. And surprisingly little things—like the size of your Starbucks order—can hurt or help your energy levels. Make some …

Culinary Delites

Culinary DeLites
Twenty adorable ideas help celebrate your child's special day with a dash of imagination.  

Daily Serving of Vegetables: You Won't Believe What It Looks Like

Move over picky toddlers -- parents hate eating their vegetables, too. At least that's the gist of a recent report by the CDC about how close we come to eating the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables.
Only about a third of American …



Munkiana Devil Rays

Today's photo won the top prize in the CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2010 awards.
The group of Munkiana Devil Rays were spotted in Baja California Sur, Mexico, by German conservation photographer Florian Schulz. He described how he was able to capture his jaw-dropping image named Flight of the Rays: "During an aerial expedition I came across something I had never seen before. Not even my pilot, who has surveyed this area for 20 years, had seen anything like it. As we got closer we started to discover its nature: an unprecedented congregation of rays. The group was as thick as it was wide, all heading towards the same direction.

Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs Widespread on British Farms

photo: Sara Novak
At first these salmonella and e coli superbugs were found at a handful of British farms, but according to the Soil Association, the nearly untreatable superbugs are running rampant across the country. Find out what's causing the frightening outbreak.
Article continues: Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs Widespread on British Farms

Deodorant May Help Save Stinky Endangered Birds

new zealand kiwi photo  
Photo via Flickr
For most of history, life on New Zealand was pretty easy for the island's native bird species -- until the arrival of humans and the invasive species they brought with them, that is. These birds had no natural predators on land to worry about, which may have caused some of them, like the kiwi, to develop a peculiar foul-smelling quality not found in their continental counterparts. Nowadays, this musk makes it quite easy for animals, like cats, to track them down for an easy meal -- which has inspired one biologist to think of a novel solution that may help give endangered birds a fighting chance: deodorant to mask their body odor.
Article continues: Deodorant May Help Save Stinky Endangered Birds

Where Sleep Resides in the Brain

Researchers have identified a mechanism crucial to the transition from wakefulness into dream land.

Water buffalo, goats can distort Stone Age sites

Archaeologists who interpret Stone Age culture from discoveries of ancient tools and artifacts may need to reanalyze some of their conclusions. That’s the finding suggested by a new study that for the first time looked at the impact of water buffalo and goats trampling artifacts into mud. In seeking to understand how much artifacts can [...]



Karaoke singers compete for one million Russian dumplings

From the "OK - if you say so?" Department:

Contestants from around the world have been taking part in the Karaoke World Championship in Moscow. The competition, which is taking place in a banqueting hall in the Russian capital, lasts three days.

Judges will decide on two finalists, one from each gender, before the audience votes for the overall winner, who will walk away with the unusual prize of one million Russian dumplings.


Now that's just Bizarre

Now that's just Bizarre
Britain plays host to what could be called as a nail-biting competition for the last six years - the Nailympics - the self-styled - Olympic Games of fake nails', where nail artists and manicurists from around the world gather to showcase their skills in various categories.

Old News

103-year-old papers found inside wall
Construction workers at a suburban Kansas City college have made a special discovery.

Aye Carumba!

Aye Carumba! 
A Bart Simpson statue has been stolen from outside of a Massachusetts restaurant.
Oh, the humanity