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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 27, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
How about letting a few of those sweet feelings slip out?
Put your reserve aside and get a little mushy.
If you're coupled up, renew and reinvigorate the romance by reiterating why it is you're involved.
If you've got a crush, well, they're not going to realize you're interested by sheer intuition.
Ask some in-depth questions about them, and express how fascinated you are by the answers -- and by them in general.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Edithvale, Victoria, Australia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Tallinn, Harjumaa, Estonia
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Colonge, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

as well as Belgium, Sweden and in cities across the United States such as North Easton, Carnation, Chambersburg, Oakland and more.

Today is:
Today is Monday, September 27, the 270th day of 2010.
There are 95 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
There are none.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

The wrong way

The country's flag is displayed upside down at a summit hosted by President Obama. 

Having it both ways

Stanford's Owen Marecic needed just 13 seconds to accomplish something that hasn't been done in years.  

Surprising ways you're ruining your skin

Old glasses and steam room detoxes can actually age the skin on your face.  

Working In The Coal Mine

Lee Dorsey  (1967)

When the levee breaks

The gushing overflow from a swollen river stuns an area that's used to dealing with high water.

Awesome Pictures

Yuto Miyawaza, 10 Year-Old Guitar Prodigy

Yuto Miyawaza started playing guitar since he was three and loves Ozzy Ozbourne, so naturally he’s a rock star at the tender age of 10.
Here’s his rendition of Ozzy’s Crazy Train at Ellen Show (taken when he was 9). Watch his face at the end, when he got a nice surprise.

Whale Rider

A teenager reportedly seen hitching a ride on the back of a whale off the West Australian coast was courting death, say environmental authorities.

Australian police car in spelling mishap

It was one 'L' of a bad day for the signwriter who took care of this "pollice" car. A sharp-eyed photographer noticed the patrol car, based at Brisbane's city division, had an extra 'L' in the "police" sign written across the driver's side.
The Commodore was spotted on Wednesday before disappearing from view later in the week. The back driver's side door was damaged and replaced recently, which is when the transfer with the extra 'L' was added by mistake.

A Queensland Police spokeswoman said the car was delivered back to the city centre police station, where the spelling error was spotted by officers.

But because the car was needed for operational duties, it was used that day before being sent back to the police garage, where the offending extra letter was subsequently removed.

Computer worm in Iran raises questions

The worm has been disrupting Iranian industrial sites. So far, no group or country has claimed ownership though experts believe the list of possible sources is very limited.

The Guardian:
Creating the malicious code required a team of as many as five to 10 highly educated and well-funded hackers. Government experts and outside analysts say they haven't been able to determine who developed it or why.

The malware has infected as many as 45,000 computer systems around the world. Siemens AG, the company that designed the system targeted by the worm, said it has infected 15 of the industrial control plants it was apparently intended to infiltrate. It is not clear what sites were infected, but they could include water filtration, oil delivery, electrical and nuclear plants.

None of those infections has adversely affected the industrial systems, according to Siemens.

US officials said last month that the Stuxnet was the first malicious computer code specifically created to take over systems that control the inner workings of industrial plants.

Plague breaks out in Tibet

China has issued a health alert in its south-western region of Tibet after five people were diagnosed with the plague, an often fatal infectious disease. One of the five has already died from a severe lung infection attributed to the pneumonic plague, while one other patient was in a critical condition, the Tibet health department said in a statement on its website.
The outbreak was first detected on Thursday last week in Latok village in Tibet's Nyingchi Prefecture, the department said. The four patients, all of whom had contact with the deceased, have been quarantined, it said.

Disease control experts have been dispatched to the area in an effort to control the further spread of the disease, it said. The department also issued a warning to anyone who has visited the region near the outbreak to seek immediate medical attention should they develop fever, cough or other flu-like symptoms common to the plague.

Pneumonic plague is spread by rodents like marmots, which are numerous in Tibet. An outbreak of the disease last year killed three people in Ziketan, a town in a Tibetan area in neighbouring Qinghai province. The World Health Organisation says pneumonic plague is the most virulent but least common form of plague. The mortality rate can be high, but prompt antibiotic treatment is effective.

Polish neo-Nazi skinhead couple discovered they are Jewish

From the "OOPS" Department:

A married couple have revealed how they turned their backs on their violent neo-Nazi past – after discovering they were both Jewish.

The one-time skinheads grew up as part of a hate-filled white power gang in Warsaw, the capital of Poland and once the site of the largest Jewish ghetto in Nazi-occupied Europe.

But now they are devout members of an Orthodox Jewish synagogue.

The truth about their roots had been buried by their parents to escape persecution from first the Germans and then the Soviet-controlled post-war government.

A scene from ‘The Last of the Mohicans’

This painting by Thomas Cole.

Seven places to sleep under the stars

Suites at the 600-acre Amangiri Resort in Utah showcase twinkling night skies.  

Up-and-coming cities

Early signs of a healthy economy are in these areas with growing jobs, incomes, and population.  

Ten best places to buy a starter house

Find out where homes go for less than $150,000 and living costs are low.

On The Job

On The Job
A spike in want ads for some careers could mean the economic outlook is brightening.

Why Taxing The Rich Promotes Economic Growth

With high taxes, the only way to retain the bulk of the wealth created by a business is by reinvesting it in the business -- in plants, equipment, staff, research and development, new products and all the rest.
Low taxes create an incentive for profit taking.
The real-world effects of tax policy are counter-intuitive.
They run exactly opposite the conventional wisdom.
They defy what the Heritage Foundation calls common sense and what the American Enterprise Institute calls logic.
Reality laughs at the Laffer curve, calls Ronald Reagan wrong and says George W. Bush is a loon.

Businessman furious at banks' refusal to lend bricks up Barclays branch in protest

A businessman angry at the reluctance of banks to lend money to small firms yesterday bricked up the front door of a Barclays in protest. Cameron Hope, a property developer, used breeze-blocks to build an 8ft by 4ft wall directly in front of the entrance to the bank. Mr Hope, 59, was joined by other local business owners who say they have had trouble getting money out of banks in order to run their companies.

The protesters waved placards and banners proclaiming 'robbed by the banks we own' and 'make the banks lend' during the stunt at Barclays in Bournemouth, Dorset. Members of the public voiced their support along with passing motorists who sounding their horns. Mr Hope, a father-of-four from Bournemouth, said: 'We blocked the doorway as a way of saying that the banks are open but the safe is shut.

'The banks are stifling the recovery from the recession by not lending businesses any money. I wanted to borrow some money for a new development but was told 'no, maybe next year. I wanted to borrow 40,000 pounds on a property that I already own but the bank tried to charge me a 7,000 pounds arrangement fee. It is outrageous and they are doing it because they can get away with it. Savers are getting nothing, borrowers are getting nothing and the banks are doing what ever they like.

'Some of the banks are even owned by the taxpayer and still they won't lend. The recovery will come from the private sector and if businesses can't borrow money then the recovery won't happen. This protest is saying enough is enough and the government needs to step in and make the banks lend.' The brick wall was taken down two hours into the protest after police threatened them with arrest.

Five quick ways to bankrupt yourself

Reckless credit card charging and these other common money mistakes can destroy your finances.  

Solution to Stolen Street Signs: Give Streets Boring Names

McIntosh County, Georgia is spending $17,000 a year replacing about 550 street signs that are repeatedly stolen. So County Commissioner Mark Douglas proposes that the county government give streets boring names to discourage this activity:
He says signs marking Green Acres, Boone’s Farm and Mary Jane Lane are frequently stolen.
He suspects the thieves are targeting those signs because they share names with a popular TV series, a low-cost wine or, in the third case, a slang term for marijuana.

Bad Cops

Bad Cops

Wizard of Id


Chocolate boat sets sail in France

A French chocolatier launched a 3.5m chocolate and sugar boat in front of a crowd of hundreds of onlookers in the port of Concarneau.

Chocolate creator Georges Larnicol, who owns a dozen shops across western France, won a bet by successfully building a seaworthy boat from chocolate.

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
Find out if an egg yolk a day is bad for your heart, and how corn syrup compares to sugar. 

The Limburger Cheese War

From the “Dustbin of History” files, here’s the pungent tale of two midwest states whose pride and honor were once challenged…by a slab of stinky cheese.
It began in the winter of 1935 when a doctor in Independence, Iowa, prescribed an odd medicine to an ailing farm wife: Limburger cheese. The doctor figured the heavily aromatic cheese would help clear the woman’s clogged sinuses. (If you don’t know what Limburger smells like, give it a whiff the next time you’re at the supermarket.) So the order was put through to Monroe, Wisconsin, to send some Limburger cheese-post haste.
Why Monroe? Swiss cheesemakers first arrived there in 1845. At the time, Wisconsin was in the depths of an economic depression and cheese helped pull them out of it.By 1910, Wisconsin had become the cheese-making capital of the United States, producing more cheese than any other state. And Monroe was the Limburger capital of Wisconsin.
Monroe’s postmaster, John Burkhard, approved the delivery and sent it on its way. But the mail carrier in Independence, Iowa, who delivered the Limburger was so offended by the stench wafting through his roadster that he refused to deliver it. Citing a postal rule that said mail would only be delivered if it “did not smell objectionable,” Independence’s postmaster, Warren Miller, concurred without examining or even smelling the cheese. He had it sent back to Monroe on the grounds that it could “fell an ox twenty paces.”
Burkhard took it personally; to insult Limburger is to insult not just Monroe, but all of Wisconsin and its proud cheese heritage. So Burkhard rewrapped the package and sent it back to Iowa. Miller promptly returned it to Wisconsin. War was brewing.
Burkhard took his gripe all the way to the United States Postmaster General in Washington, D.C. At first, he couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. So Burkhard sent him some Limburger.  The Postmaster general then decided that, yes, the cheese smelled bad, but no, it wasn’t hazardous. And the war was over, right? Wrong.
By this time the press had sniffed out the story. At a time when the nation was mired in the Great Depression and Hitler was rising to power in Germany, a story about smelly cheese was a breath of fresh air. And unwilling to give in, postmaster Burkhard challenged postmaster Miller to a “cheese-smelling duel”-if Miller could sit at a table and not wretch from the stench of freshly-cut Limburger, then he would never again raise a stink about Wisconsin and its cheese. Miller accepted. Dozens of people from each town-as well as a throng of reporters-showed up at the Julien Hotel in Dubuque, Iowa, on the cold afternoon of March 8, 1935, to witness the standoff.
A Duel to the Breath
The two sat across from each other at a table. While flashbulbs flickered and onlookers whispered, Burkhard placed a box on the table, unwrapped it, and produced a very strong sample of his state’s pride and joy, praising not only its medicinal qualities, but boasting that nothing on Earth tasted better with beer. The tension was so thick that you could cut it with a knife. Famed Milwaukee Journal reporter Richard S. Davis sent out a dispatch, calling it a “duel to the breath.”
As Burkhard prepared to push the slab of cheese over to Miller, he offered Miller a clothespin and a gas mask. But Miller just shook his head and meekly surrendered. “I won’t need that clothespin,” he lamented, “I haven’t any sense of smell.”
The crowd gasped. The battle was over before it began. Burkhard was immediately declared the winner, and Miller had to agree to allow any and all Wisconsin cheese safe passage through Iowa’s postal routes. The next day newspapers in 30 states ran a picture of the olfactorily-challenged Miller looking bewildered next to a piece of steaming Limburger. And now the war was over, right? Wrong. The final battle was yet to come.
While Burkhard was basking in victory, something he’d said about Limburger at that table in Dubuque-that nothing tasted better with beer-was churning through Miller’s head. Every good Iowan knew that the best food to eat with beer was smoked whitefish, not some stinky piece of cheese. Miller just couldn’t let it go. So he challenged Burkhard with another contest: a fight for the title of “Best Snack in the World.” Once again the press got whiff of the food feud, and they convened at the neutral site chosen for the contest: the American Legion Hall in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.
This confrontation was even more serious than the first-now there were judges. And with so much at stake, both sides used underhanded tactics; they bribed the judges with beer. The fish-heads bought a round, then the cheese-heads. And once all palates were properly whetted, the showdown began.
First came the sliced Limburger with beer. Then the Iowans gave the judges smoked whitefish…and more beer. The battle raged on: Limburger and beer, whitefish and beer. Limburger and beer, whitefish and beer. Finally, when the judges could eat or drink no more, they sent the least-inebriated member of their panel to the podium: “The judgeth have reached a dethision. It was unamus… unans… they all said the same darn thing! Cheese’n beer s’wunnerful. Fishes’n beer s’wunnerful, too. But when you have Limburger cheese and smoked whitefish and beer, heck, it don’t get no better than that!”
Both sides were declared victorious, Burkhard and Miller retained their respective states’ honor, and Limburger cheese had risen from  being referred to as “hazardous material” to holding the co-title of “Best Snack in the World.”
That October, Monroe, Wisconsin, held its annual Cheese Day parade. All the press coverage from the Limburger cheese war made it the biggest Cheese Day ever. Fifty thousand people showed up to bask in the glory-including the farmer’s wife (who had healed quite nicely). Warren Miller came all the way from Iowa and was given a place of honor in the parade-right next to his friend John Burkhard.

Inflatable Meatloaf

Surely one of the finest examples of inflatable comfort food on the market today. This realistic Inflatable Meatloaf looks just like one of those glistening meat masterpieces that were found on countless American dinner tables in the 50's.

Perfect for when you just can't go home to visit... send an inflatable meatloaf.

Indoor Fishing

Indoor fishing at a restaurant in Phuket, Thailand. Symen, a Dutchmen who calls himself an i-nomad, saw this at a beach on Phuket's west coast.
Read more about Symen's travels.



Pinpointing where volcanic eruptions could strike

A better way to pinpoint where volcanic eruptions are likely to occur has been produced by an international team of geophysicists. Scientists from the universities of Leeds, Purdue, Indiana and Addis Ababa, investigated volcanic activity occurring in the remote Afar desert of Northern Ethiopia between 2005 and 2009.

New Map Shows Air Pollution Throughout the World

global air pollution map photo
Scientists have long known about the life-threatening impact of air pollution -- but up until now, tracking it globally with any accuracy had been out of reach. With new satellite-based imaging, however, researchers are getting their first peek at how particulate matter is distributed around the world, and in places where air pollution had been difficult to measure with any accuracy before -- an important step towards better understanding of a problem that epidemiologists say contribute to millions of premature deaths every year.
Article continues: New Map Shows Air Pollution Throughout the World

The Dunmore Pineapple

The Dunmore Pineapple, Dunmore Park, Scotland  
The Dunmore Pineapple, Dunmore Park, Scotland

Take Me To Your Leader

If an alien ever lands in your back yard and says, 'Take me to your leader,' the United Nations is giving you someone to call. Mazlan Othman, an obscure Malaysian scientist and head of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, will be named as the Earth's official alien-spacecraft greeter.

The recent discovery of hundreds of planets around other stars has made the detection of extraterrestrial life more likely than ever before - and that means the United Nations must be ready to coordinate humanity's response to any first contact.

Lucky for us ...

We wouldn't be here without a chain of coincidences that's led from the big bang to our big brains – taking in Martian attack and dino doom along the way.

Real-life suspended animation to enter human trials

It's not the stuff of science fiction, meaning the Hypersleep capsules seen in the Alien series, but it is actual suspended animation nonetheless.

Which is Better: Virtual Reality or Actual Reality?

Pixelated Geek blog posed an intriguing question: if you could live in a Virtual Reality world, would you be better off than living in the real one?
He was under the opinion that a VR (Virtual Reality) world would be far better than an actual world. We talked under the conditions that in the VR world: you would be medically fine and taken care of, you had enough information about the world to shape it as you wished, you
had potentially unlimited amount of time to be in the VR world.

His argument was that he could do anything he wanted to, So why not live in that space? You could learn in this space via online classes, which are popular for the busy and the reclusive. You could go on adventures like in your favorite video games. You could also be a god to some measure, with the space around you bending to your will.
Sounds like a solid gig. You could be who you want, do what you want, and be with who you wanted to.

Star Trek Tech in the Real World

Portable devices with painless laser beams could soon replace X-rays as a non-invasive way to diagnose disease.

Eleven Astounding Sci-Fi Predictions That Came True

Many literary forecasts of our technological future have already come to pass: the atomic bomb, the submarine, and even the iPad. Discovering passages of science fiction that turned out to be eerily accurate predictions is certainly quite entertaining.

The Procrastinator's Creed

* 1. I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.

* 2. I shall never move quickly, except to avoid more work or find excuses.

* 3. I will never rush into a job without a lifetime of consideration.

* 4. I shall meet all of my deadlines directly in proportion to the amount of bodily injury I could expect to receive from missing them.

* 5. I firmly believe that tomorrow holds the possibility for new technologies, astounding discoveries, and a reprieve from my obligations.

* 6. I truly believe that all deadlines are unreasonable regardless of the amount of time given.

* 7. I shall never forget that the probability of a miracle, though infinitesmally small, is not exactly zero.

* 8. If at first I don't succeed, there is always next year.

* 9. I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.

* 10. I shall always begin, start, initiate, take the first step, and/or write the first word, when I get around to it.

* 11. I obey the law of inverse excuses which demands that the greater the task to be done, the more insignificant the work that must be done prior to beginning the greater task.

* 12. I know that the work cycle is not plan/start/finish, but is wait/plan/plan.

* 13. I will never put off until tomorrow, what I can forget about forever.

* 14. I will become a member of the ancient Order of Two-Headed Turtles (the Procrastinator's Society) if they ever get it organized.