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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 28, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Mood swings are one thing, but yours aren't just going back and forth -- they're zigging and zagging wildly.
If you think it's nutty, just imagine what it's like for those around you who're used to your usually steady state.
You may have a tendency to talk on and on about something now, or say things in fits of passion that you may not really mean.
Try to set aside the extraneous stuff, quiet down and see where all this is coming from.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Edithvale, Victoria, Australia
Kuwait, Al Kuwayt, Kuwait
Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Perth, Western Australia, Australia

as well as Philippines, Russia, Spain, France and in cities across the United States such as Show Low, Gretna, River Edge, Everett and more.

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, September 28, the 271st day of 2010.
There are 94 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Fish Tank Floorshow Night
Ask A Stupid Question Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

NFL legend George Blanda dies at 83

The Hall of Famer played until he was 48, setting a record for football longevity.  

Reality sets in

And we thought we were old then ...

Crystals and Geodes

Stonehenge boy 'was from the Med'

Chemical tests on teeth from an ancient burial near Stonehenge indicate that the person in the grave grew up around the Mediterranean Sea.

Living Bridges in India Have Grown for 500 Years

Images via Atlas Obscura
Some of the smartest, most sustainable engineering feats were discovered hundreds of years ago, and many have gone unacknowledged. For evidence, take the bridge growers of northeastern India. Planning 10-15 years in advance, they build what may be the most sustainable foot bridges in the world -- by literally growing them out of living tree roots. These bridges are extremely sturdy, reach up to 100 feet long, and many are at least 500 years old.

Civilization's Steadily Eroding Foundation

soil erosion grooves photo
Image credit: daveynin/Flickr
The thin layer of topsoil that covers the planet's land surface is the foundation of civilization. This soil, typically 6 inches or so deep, was formed over long stretches of geological time as new soil formation exceeded the natural rate of erosion. But sometime within the last century, as human and livestock populations expanded, soil erosion began to exceed new soil formation over large areas.

Mexican Landslide

A hillside collapse triggered by heavy rains buries 300 homes in Santa Maria de Tlahuitoltepec.  

Ask A Stupid Question Day

Today is 'Ask a Stupid Question Day.' It's your opportunity to speak up, and to ask all those questions you were afraid to ask. Today is the day to unload them.

The roots of this special day goes back to the 1980's. At the time, there was a movement by teachers to try to get kids to ask more questions in the classroom. Kids sometimes hold back, fearing their question is stupid, and asking it will result in ridicule.Teachers created this day on September 28.

Malaysian astrophysicist appointed as United Nations 'Alien Ambassador'

Malaysia’s first astrophysicist will soon become Earth’s first official point-of-contact with aliens if they come a-calling. Datuk Dr Mazlan Othman, who heads the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa), would be the nearest thing that we have to a “take me to your leader” person when she takes on the new role. Allegedly the United Nations made the appointment over the weekend.

Dr Mazlan was reported to have told fellow scientists recently of an increased likelihood in the meeting with extraterrestrial life after a discovery of hundreds of planets around other stars. The portal quoted the 59-year-old former director-general of the Space Science Studies Division in the Science, Technology and Environ­ment Ministry as suggesting that the United Nations “must be ready to co-ordinate humanity’s response to any first contact”.

“The continued search for extraterrestrial communication, by several entities, sustains the hope that some day humankind will receive signals from extraterrestrials. When we do, we should have in place a co-ordinated response that takes into account all the sensitivities related to the subject. The UN is a ready-made mechanism for such co-ordination,” she was quoted as saying.

Dr Mazlan is set to talk about her new role at a scientific conference at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre in Buckinghamshire next week. Unoosa, based in Vienna, is charged with implementing the United Nation’s outer space-related policies. The office implements a program on space applications and maintains a register of objects launched into outer space. It also provides support to developing nations in using space technology for economic development.

Retirement cities with bargain homes

Monthly mortgage payments are under $600 in these 10 places with fun and culture.  

Man performs with dangerous crocodile

Chito, a Costa Rican fisherman, found a crocodile near death 20 years ago. He nursed him back to health and now the pair performs shows for tourists.

NYC forced to move oft-stolen Joey Ramone sign

Officials say a metal homage to the late punk legend Joey Ramone may be New York City's most-stolen street sign.

"Brace for impact"

Cell phone cameras capture the scene aboard a Delta flight as passengers are told to "brace for impact."  

Long-lost footage of moon landing found

NASA's images of the historic 1969 moonwalk weren’t the clearest captured of the event.  

Fastest Chopper

The European X3 incorporates aspects of airplane design in an effort to break a speed record. 

Offshore Wind Power Can Electrify Half of East Coast

offshore wind farm photo
Great blog title swindle via New York Times
Photo: Ingy the Wingy via flickr.
A new report by Oceana outlines, as previous studies have done, just how bountiful the offshore wind power potential of the Atlantic coast of the United States is. While it varies from state to state, a handful of states could generate more electricity than they need, and more could supply a large part of their demand. Overall, offshore wind could generate more power than than the economically recoverable oil and gas reserves in the same locations.
Article continues: Never Mind the Atlantic Oil ... Offshore Wind Power Can Electrify Half of East Coast

Wizard of Id



Investigators find major abuses by agents on a key security exam related to surveillance.

Wiretap charges dropped against motorcyclist who videotaped cop

A judge in Harford County, MD, threw out felony charges against motorcyclist Anthony Graber for taping a policeman who stopped him using a helmet-mounted camera. Graber admits he was speeding and may have been riding recklessly when an officer in plain clothes and an unmarked car pulled in front of him, drew a gun and ordered him off his bike before identifying himself as police.
However, under Maryland's law which makes it illegal to videotape a police officer, he faced 16 years in prison.

Bad Cops

Bad Cops

Clown heads for political office in Brazil

Hey we've been doing it for years ... sending clowns to Congress that is.
And their reading and writing abilities have been and are in question to say the least ...
Brazilians seem eager to put a clown in parliament - but the courts are not laughing about a new report that he does not meet a legal requirement to be able to read and write.

Big gaps in Americans' religious knowledge

And that's putting it mildly ...
About half of Catholics and Protestants flubbed key questions about their own faiths in a survey.
Who scored best
(Hint: Does the term Atheism mean anything to you?) 

No farming for me!

Even in tough economic times, it's hard to lure U.S. citizens to farm jobs, new data shows. 

Debt Collectors, the N-Word and Bank of America

Bank of America taunts debtors with insults, racial slurs.

They foreclose on homes they have NO interest in ... and this as well.

It is way past time to but these hooligans and the others like them at the other financial institutions in their place!
(In most cases that is behind prison bars - and off their 'high horse' in all cases.)

Most Americans still feel country is in a recession

Seventy-four percent of Americans believe the economy is still in a recession, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll. Only 25 percent think the downturn is over.

One-third of Americans say the recession is serious, while another 29 percent characterize it as moderate.

One small cause for optimism: the percentage of Americans who say the country is in a recession has dropped 13 points since August.

Influence Lost

If current trends continue, the U.S. may no longer be the dominant force in the Western Hemisphere.  

Boner Pick-Up Line

Some never learn ...

Teabaggers not thrilled with repugican 'pledge'

“It’s a mealy-mouthed sop to the tea party movement that is rife with platitudes and little on substance,” e-mailed Andrew Ian Dodge, the Maine state coordinator for the tea party patriots national coalition of local groups. “I have yet to see one person who is wholly impressed with it.”

Judson Phillips, founder of the tea party nation online social network, called it “a nice PR piece, but I don't think it is even showing up on our radar.” Most tea partiers, he said, “are skeptical.”
So the repugican 'Contract ON America' is too soft for them, eh? And they wonder why they're laughed at ...

Taliban Dan Webster, the repugican running against Alan Grayson

Rep. Alan Grayson isn't messing around. He plays to win. (Other Democrats should take lessons from  him.)
Finally someone telling the truth!

In Wisconsin, repugican Ron Johnson publicly opposed bill to help child sex abuse victims

Recent polls  have shown political newcomer, Ron Johnson, the repugican Senate candidate in  Wisconsin, ahead of solid progressive Russ Feingold. Johnson is  spending millions of his own money to basically buy the seat. People in  Wisconsin don't know much about him. But, they're going to know more  after today. Video has emerged of Johnson testifying at the Wisconsin  legislature against victims of child sexual abuse:

Oshkosh  businessman Ron Johnson, the repugican nominee for U.S. Senate, made  his first foray into politics in January when he testified against  legislation aimed at making it easier for victims of childhood sexual  abuse to sue their abusers.

Seriously, who sides with child sex abusers over victims?
This is stunning. Watch out for your kids, Wisconsin. Ron Johnson is not on their side.

The truth be told


Ways to beat sleep deprivation

Most adults are so busy that they don't sleep enough, but experts offer some easy remedies.  

How to solve 11 awkward money problems

Lending cash to friends or deciding how to split a restaurant check makes many people uncomfortable.  

What's in a name?

When you're job hunting, which school you attended matters far more for some majors than others.   

Daily Funny

College Seniors vs. Freshmen
Freshman: Is never in bed past noon.
Senior: Is never out of bed before noon.

Freshman: Reads the syllabus to find out what classes he can cut.
Senior: Reads the syllabus to find out what classes he needs to attend.

Freshman: Brings a can of soda into a lecture hall.
Senior: Brings a jumbo hoagie and six-pack of Mtn. Dew into a recitation class.

Freshman: Calls the professor "Teacher."
Senior: Calls the professor "Bob."

Freshman: Would walk ten miles to get to class.
Senior: Drives to class if it's more than three blocks away.

Freshman: Memorizes the course material to get a good grade.
Senior: Memorizes the professor's habits to get a good grade.

Freshman: Knows a book-full of useless trivia about the university.
Senior: Knows where the next class is. Usually.

Freshman: Shows up at a morning exam clean, perky, and fed.
Senior: Shows up at a morning exam in sweats with a cap on and a box of pop tarts in hand.

Freshman: Has to ask where the computer labs are.
Senior: Has 'own' personal workstation.

Freshman: Lines up for an hour to buy his textbooks in the first week.
Senior: Starts to think about buying textbooks in October... maybe.

Freshman: Looks forward to first classes of the year
Senior: Looks forward to first beer garden of the year

Freshman: Is proud of his A+ on Calculus I midterm
Senior: Is proud of not *quite* failing his Complex Analysis midterm

Freshman: Calls his girlfriend back home every other night
Senior: Calls Domino's every other night

Freshman: Is appalled at the class size and callousness of profs
Senior: Is appalled that the campus 'Subway' burned down over the summer

Freshman: Conscientiously completes all homework, including optional questions
Senior: Offers to 'tutor' conscientious frosh of opposite sex...

Freshman: Goes on grocery-shopping trip with Mom before moving onto campus
Senior: Has a beer with Mom before moving into group house

Freshman: Is excited about the world of possibilities that awaits him, the unlimited vista of educational opportunities, the chance to expand one's horizons and really make a contribution to society
Senior: Is excited about new dryers in laundry room

Freshman: Takes meticulous four-color notes in class
Senior: Occasionally stays awake for all of class

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
BBQ chicken tenders are a healthy alternative to drive-through nuggets and just as flavorful.  
A chewy "monster-sized" cookie and a skillet-made confection rate high.  

'The Roach Coach'

Maximus/Minimus in Seattle is a pig-shaped truck serving up tasty pork sandwiches.

Food and Health

Garlic and dark chocolate boost levels of serotonin, a feel-good brain chemical. 
Pumpkin seeds and almonds are great sources of skin-enhancing zinc.



Rednecks and other assorted weirdos

Rednecks and other assorted weirdos
Redneck Fire Alarm

Walk Like an Egyptian

The Cleverlys are a quintet of Bluegrass performers from Arkansas. Here they are with their cover of the 80s hit “Walk Like an Egyptian” by The Bangles.

Full Moon Beer

It won’t turn you into a werewolf (we don’t think), but you might find a real difference in beer brewed by the light of a full moon. A Belgian brewery is producing a beer called Paix-Dieu in just that way.
“We made several tests and noticed that the fermentation was more vigorous, more active,” explained Roger Caulier, the owner of Brewery Caulier, which began in the 1930s when his grandfather started selling homemade beer from a handcart.
“The end product was completely different, stronger, with a taste lasting longer in the mouth,” he said.
The full moon speeds up the fermentation process, shortening it to five days from seven, which adds extra punch to the beer without making it harsh, according to connoisseurs.
The resulting beer is 10% alcohol, which is not unusual in Belgium.



Awesome Pictures


Bugs creating a stinky situation

They're called stink bugs for a reason.
Smelly little bugs are invading homes across the Mid-Atlantic from Virginia to New York.

Look at these eyes ...

"...the complex eyes of the Peacock Mantis Shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus) perceive more colors than you can imagine."
That probably refers to the fact that these creatures can see ultraviolet and infrared.   
(Wonder if that is why at least this one seems to have asymmetric eyes and curious stomata in the globe?)

Drug-filled Mice Airdropped Over Guam to Kill Snakes

OK, the snakes are not supposed to be there, and the mice are not suffering from or enjoying the drugs because it’s Tylenol and they’re dead anyway. The brown tree snake is native to Australia, but hitched a ride to Guam after World War II and became so invasive that some native wildlife species were driven to extinction. The government has tried many methods to control the snake population, but nothing has worked well so far. Now they are planting dead mice with 80 milligrams of acetaminophen stuffed inside in the jungle areas of Guam. Brown tree snakes will scavenge dead animals, unlike most snakes, and even a child’s dose of acetaminophen will kill one.
In the U.S. government-funded project, tablets of concentrated acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, are placed in dead thumb-size mice, which are then used as bait for brown tree snakes.
In humans, acetaminophen helps soothe aches, pains, and fevers. But when ingested by brown tree snakes, the drug disrupts the oxygen-carrying ability of the snakes’ hemoglobin blood proteins.
“They go into a coma, and then death,” said Peter Savarie, a researcher with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services, which has been developing the technique since 1995 through grants from the U.S. Departments of Defense and Interior.
Some of the mice are equipped with radio transmitters, so the success of the program can be tracked.

Rare American Bird Gets Lost, Winds Up in England

yellow bellied flycatcher photo 
Photos via The Mirror
One tiny American bird has achieved celebrity status among birdwatchers after being spotted for the very first time -- all the way in Europe. Hundreds of folks gathered on a remote field to catch a glimpse of the rare Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, native to the north-eastern US, which apparent got a bit turned-around during its annual migration to Central America. But despite being some three-thousand miles off course, the little bird seems no worse for the wear -- just a little jet-lagged, perhaps.
Article continues: Rare American Bird Gets Lost, Winds Up in England