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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, October 5, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
There's a cosmic debate going on at the moment, and if you're not extremely careful, someone who's a bit jealous -- okay, quite a bit jealous -- of what you've accomplished will do their very best to interfere quite suddenly from behind the scenes, in soap-opera style.
Don't let them get away with it.
Anyone who's trying to manipulate you should definitely be put in their place right away, especially since you just so happen to be quite good at picking up on those things before they happen.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, Germany
Salerno, Campania, Italy
Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Montpellier, Languedoc, Rousillon, France
Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
Swindon, England, United kingdom
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Tychy, Salaskie, Poland

as well as Indonesia, Sri Lanka and in cities across the United States such as Solon, Belford, Gaffney, Augusta and more.

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, October 5, the 278th day of 2010.
There are 87 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
There isn't one.
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Microsoft supports National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with pink mouse

http://ts1.mm.bing.net/images/thumbnail.aspx?q=242767300860&id=8221a56046606d4ac7debe06df76874d&index=ch1October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Microsoft is showing its support for the month, by releasing a pink mouse.

Stewart rips Rick Sanchez over 'bigot' flap

The "Daily Show" host answers the fired CNN anchor's tirade with a scathing montage.  

Homeless man and two Kermits perform 'Under Pressure'


Belly dancer wows crowd

Zahra is enjoying a leisurely lunch when she's suddenly offered a chance to win $10,000. 

Culinary DeLites

Culinary DeLites
Subtly smoky grilled eggplant pairs perfectly with fresh mozzarella and basil.  
You'd have to eat 19 bowls of cereal to equal the 2,460 calories in one chain's French toast.  

Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints
Hiring a contractor can be essential, but make sure to keep these 10 things in mind. 

Celebrity homes for sale

Dr. Phil's 11,036-square-foot Hollywood home is going for a cool $16.5 million. 

Prince William aids in daring rescue

The 28-year-old royal plucks a stricken worker from an offshore gas rig on his first mission.  

Venice mayor mocks disappointed tourists

Critics say huge billboards "grotesquely" deface iconic monuments, but Giorgio Orsoni defends them.

Mosque design ideas

Proposed renderings for the controversial center near Ground Zero prompt quick reactions. 


In the country lived a family that made its living weaving cloth. One day, a debt collector knocked on the door.

"Is Jack home?" he asked the woman who answered the door.

"I'm sorry," the woman replied. "Jack's gone for cotton."

A few weeks later the collector tried again.

"Is Jack here today?"

Once again the answer was "No, sir, I'm afraid he has gone for cotton."

When he returned for the third time and Jack was still nowhere to be seen,
he complained, "I suppose Jack is gone for cotton again?"

"No," the woman answered solemnly, "Jack died yesterday."

Suspicious that he was being avoided, the collector decided to wait a week and investigate the cemetery. Sure enough, he found poor Jack's tombstone, with this inscription:

"Gone, But Not for Cotton."

An 18th-century etching of a meteor breaking apart

This detail is from an etching was done by artist Paul Sandby, based on a watercolor by his brother Thomas. Recently acquired by Harvard's Houghton Library, it depicts a meteor watching party at Windsor Castle.
Shortly after 9:00 PM on the evening of August 18th, 1783, a fireball streaked across the night sky, and thanks to the warm and muggy weather, was widely observed. Perhaps the best constituted party of observers was gathered on the terrace at Windsor Castle: their numbers included both the physicist Tiberius Cavallo and the artist Thomas Sandby. Cavallo would go on to publish his account and a diagram of the meteor's progressive breakup in the atmosphere in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society the following year, along with the observations of several other members who also witnessed the event.
You can read excerpts from Cavallo's manuscript at the Houghton Library blog.

Teen drinks her own brain fluid

When teenager Melissa Peacock drinks, she feels light-headed, mainly because she gulps the fluid from her brain.

But unfortunately, the only way she can relieve crippling migraines is by having a tube that siphons fluid from her brain straight into her stomach.

‘I still get a dull ache when I wake up in the morning but as the fluid drains away, I start to feel a bit better,’ said the 17-year-old.

Melissa has a condition that causes her body to produce too much spinal fluid, which collects in her skull and pushes on her brain.

Female crash dummies aid car crash tests

Women finally get represented behind the wheel as government safety ratings get tougher.

UAV That Uses No Wing Flaps

Britain’s new DEMON unmanned aerial drone doesn’t need wing elevators or ailerons to fly:
It is instead maneuvered by hundreds of tiny jets that blast air in order to influence to change the lift, drag and other features of performance.
The result is a more streamlined, aerodynamic craft that cuts down on edges and gaps – features that can increase radar detection.
The end result is an aircraft with fewer moving parts in need of maintenance and a reduced radar signature.

New "Scratched Glasses" Give Perfect Vision

Bifocals and trifocals allow people with limited vision to see objects at varying distances, but only by refocusing on the object from a different vantage. A scientist named Zeev Zalevsky responded to this problem by developing a lens that allows the user to focus on any distance out from 33 centimeters:
It involves engraving the surface of a standard lens with a grid of 25 near-circular structures each 2 millimeters across and containing two concentric rings. The engraved rings are just a few hundred micrometers wide and a micrometer deep. “The exact number and size of the sets will change from one lens to another,” depending on its size and shape, says Zalevsky.
The rings shift the phase of the light waves passing through the lens, leading to patterns of both constructive and destructive interference. Using a computer model to calculate how changes in the diameter and position of the rings alter the pattern, Zalevsky came up with a design that creates a channel of constructive interference perpendicular to the lens through each of the 25 structures. Within these channels, light from both near and distant objects is in perfect focus.
“It results in an axial channel of focused light, not a single focal spot,” Zalevsky says. “If the retina is positioned anywhere along this channel, it will always see objects in focus.”

Scientists Fold DNA into Möbius Strips

A Möbius strip is a ribbon of material that has only one side. A group of nanotechnology researchers experimenting with manipulating tiny objects was able to reshape a DNA strand into a Möbius strip.
The ability to create complex structures on the tiniest of scales is one of the great challenges of nanotechnology. In particular, chemists are looking for particular topological structures, or structures that keep their basic properties no matter how much you stretch or twist them. A Möbius strip is a good example of such a structure, because no matter what you do it (short of tearing it, of course), it will always have only one side.

Tut's Grandpa Dug Up

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/10/03/article-0-0B731240000005DC-632_634x544.jpgStatue of King Tut's grandfather Amenhotep III unearthed in Egypt: 3,400-year-old antiquity discovered near Luxor temple

New language identified in remote corner of India

In the midst of a period of rapid language extinction, with one language estimated to die every two weeks, linguists have found a small ray of hope.

Linguists reporting from a National Geographic expedition to India’s remote northeast corner have identified a language completely new to science. The language, known as Koro, belongs to the Tibeto-Burman language family, a group of some 400 languages that includes Tibetan and Burmese, the linguists said. Although some 150 Tibeto-Burman languages are spoken in India alone, [...]



Druids: Mystery, Faith, and Myth

Druid Boing2
More than 2,000 years after Druids first emerged as a spiritual practice in Britain, the UK government has officially recognized Druidry as a religion. ""It's nice to have that official recognition," Phil Ryder, chairman of the trustees of the Druid Network told the BBC. "It's not why we applied originally. We applied because we were legally obliged to do so." As an appreciation of Druids everywhere, LIFE published a series of photos from their archives in a slideshow titled "Druids: Mystery, Faith, and Myth." Image above, "Druids at the ruins in Stonehenge, 1978, ready to celebrate the summer solstice."

Russia to ban witches, faith healers

Russian lawmakers backed a bill banning faith healers, witches and sorcerers from advertising their services today in a potential blow to the booming business.

Non Sequitur


Mother headbutts woman for telling off her son

All Mary Holland did was to ask a child to stop misbehaving in a Cambridge supermarket. This good deed landed the 86-year-old former teacher in hospital with a broken wrist and a cut face after she was headbutted in the face by the child’s angry mum. Cambridge Crown Court heard mum-of-two Danielle Wilks took offense at the pensioner’s actions. Miss Holland was left flat on the floor after she was headbutted and punched in the attack at Sainsbury’s on Coldham’s Lane. Wilks, of Seymour Street, Cambridge, admitted assault occasioning grievous bodily harm. But the 34-year-old was spared an immediate jail term after her victim asked the court to offer Christian forgiveness and raised concerns about the impact prison would have on Wilks and her young family.

Suspending the custodial term, Judge Gareth Hawkesworth praised Miss Holland’s attitude as “extraordinary”. Sara Walker, prosecuting, said the attack happened at lunchtime on April 10, two days after Wilks’ close friend Penny Taylor had been murdered at her home in Fanshawe Road, Cambridge. She said Miss Holland had asked Wilks’ young son to stop messing around with barriers at the supermarket moments before the crime. The pensioner still suffers pain from the attack after falling on her back but Ms Walker said that while Miss Holland believed Wilks should be punished, she would be “very much against her going to prison”.

Michael Duffy, mitigating, said Wilks had been traumatized by Miss Taylor’s stabbing but was trying to carry on with her normal routine for the sake of her son. He said Wilks believed she had been protecting her son, and added: “A situation arose which ordinarily might have led to a few harsh words on this occasion went much further.” Judge Hawkesworth said he believed Wilks was “prone to feeling sorrier for herself than other people”. He told Wilks: “You lost your temper because you felt affronted that she had complained about the behavior of your child. That sort of conduct is a reflection first of the high standards that Mary Holland has and expects within the community and a reflection of your poor standards of behavior.”

He imposed a six-month prison term, suspended for 18 months, and ordered Wilks to pay her victim £750 compensation. He told Wilks: “You are an extremely lucky woman because of the extraordinary approach to this whole matter that has been taken by Mary Holland: one of Christian forgiveness and an interest in your future.” Miss Holland, now 87, said the court hearing had been very fair. She said: “I’ve seen women in prison, which does them eternal harm. I have to say the judge acted very honorably.”

British couple thrown off Queen Mary 2 after 'anti-semitic' row

A British man and his Broadway producer wife have been ejected from the Queen Mary 2 after she responded angrily to an allegedly anti-Semitic comment made at the dinner table. Frederick Evans, 91, and his wife Gloria Sher, 82, were at a black tie dinner a few days into a five-week, $20,000 (£12,000) cruise when the trouble flared. According to Miss Sher, who is Jewish, another passenger told her to shut up and then said: "There are too many Jews on board."

Sher, admits she got angry, shouting back, "F- - k you!" and "How dare you insult me!" before storming off to her stateroom. She said the following morning the captain came to the room and told the couple, who live in Manhattan, that they had insulted another passenger and would have to leave the ship. Miss Sher said: "He told two seniors we had to get off in Quebec and make our way home. We begged him not to do this."

The couple were eventually allowed to remain on board for another six days until the ship passed through New York but had to stay in their cabin. Miss Sher produced the 1970s musical Shenandoah which won two Tony Awards. She said: "I was treated with no respect and unbelievably rude and shockingly terrible. I've been sick ever since. It has ruined our lives. It's changed us forever."

Mr Evans said the captain had acted like a modern day Captain Bligh. However, the Cunard cruise line disputed the couple's version of events and issued a statement in which it said they had engaged in "multiple incidences of disrespectful and disruptive behavior towards crew members and other guests." The cruise line said it "fully supported" the captain's decision and was refunding the couple $839 (£530).

Burglar stole next door neighbor's curtains for his home

From the "He's a 'Real' Genius" Department:

It was curtains for a burglar who was rumbled after he stole his next door neighbor's nets and put them up in his own window. Jason Williams was caught out when his neighbors spotted the curtains and asked why he had got them. The 38-year-old was jailed for burglary for two years and five months at Reading Crown Court on Friday for the crime, which his own barrister described as 'not very sophisticated'.

The court heard the neighbors had moved out of the property in Cumberland Avenue, Slough and left only a few items inside after a separate burglary incident, which was nothing to do with Williams. He broke down boarding on the home and stole the net curtains, tools, two glass ashtrays and some lamb steaks from the freezer.

Williams initially denied stealing the curtains to neighbors, but later confessed in police interviews and admitted burglary when he appeared before magistrates. Alastair Smith, defending, said it was an 'opportunistic' crime, adding: "The fact that this defendant went on to place the curtains in his own window shows a lack of sophistication and realization of the seriousness of the offense," he said. If he realized it could lead to three years in custody he might have taken more time to consider his actions."

Williams has a history of alcohol and drug addiction and 28 previous convictions for 76 offenses dating back to 1985, the court was told. Judge Gordon Risius jailed Williams for two years and five months under the "three strikes" rule because it was his fourth burglary of a dwelling. He told Williams: "You knew what had been going on there and took advantage of the situation."

Bad Cops

Bad Cops

"I snapped", says Florida cop who shot and strangled his girlfriend

Fired California deputy gets multiple life terms for molesting girl

Colorado sheriff's deputy suspected of sexual assault on a child

Retired Florida police officer is investigated for sex with minor

California deputy is arrested on charges of sex with a minor

Florida deputy is suspended after woman says he cursed, waived gun at traffic stop

Curiously un-named Michigan cop is charged with domestic violence

The truth be told


All you had to say was Mississippi

Dumbness and stupidity can be found at the highest levels of our society.
The law is not exempt from examples of stupidity.

Reality is like that ...


Times Square bomber gets life sentence

Pakistani immigrant Faisal Shahzad smirked before delivering a defiant statement. 

Rogue trader slapped with shocking fine

The man behind one of history's biggest trading frauds says he's "disgusted" by the ruling.



Smart time-management tips and tricks

Making a to-do list is an obvious move, but of greater importance is how you use it.  

America's most expensive colleges

They each cost more than $53,000 this school year, though most offer generous financial aid.

Top 5 habits of the wealthiest people

Boost your finances the same way the world's most successful people do.  

How the credit card ruling may benefit you

Paying with certain cards may soon earn you discounts and incentives at the register.  

The high cost of living without a bank

One woman's month long experiment led to $93 in annoying fees and endless hassles.  

On The Job

On The Job

Fancy fonts or a silly email address can be enough to prevent you from getting the job.

Millionaires on Unemployment?!

Nearly 3,000 of them filed claims in 2008, but they may have had good reasons.  



'World's most desirable' gem hits auction

The Fancy Intense Pink Diamond is 24.78 carats and was last seen on the market about 60 years ago.  



A reminder that winter is coming

Wolf Breath
A reminder that winter is coming. Although Autumn has just begun the howl in the distant obsidian reminds one of the coming Winter. Oh, and you can see a wolf's breath ... you're too close.

Astonishing discovery from marine census

What amazes scientists isn’t so much one odd creature but how all sea life is connected.

The Most Beautiful Starfish In The World

The Most Beautiful Starfish In The World

"Sea angels"

Clione limacina (pelagic marine opisthobranch gastropod molluscs), from a gallery of "Ocean Drifters" photographs by Dr. Richard Kirby.

Rare green fanged spiders found in home

A teenager was left terrified after she found a cluster of spiders – with luminous green fangs. Spooked Jessica Buston, 13, found the rarely-seen segestria florentinas living in a hole in the wall of her home in Exeter, Devon.

She discovered eight of the creatures – which have an inch-long body and can deliver a nasty bite. Jessica said: ”They are black all over and have two green fangs, which make them look really scary. We found them living in holes at the back of our house. I was a bit scared.”

Dad Mark, 40, said he was happy for the spiders to remain at the house because their bite is non-venomous. He added: ”The fangs are really luminous and when they are sitting in their holes, you can just see these two green fangs.”

Experts say the creepy insects originated in the Mediterranean and northern Africa and made their way across to Britain on cargo ships. Naturalist Kelvin Boot said: ”This is one spider that can bite. It bites in defense so if you pick one up, or if it gets caught in your clothing, you are likely to get nipped.”

Wild deer befriends herd of cows

A couple were stunned to see the latest addition to the herd of cows on their farm – a young male deer. The fearless Fallow deer has teamed up with a herd of Hereford Cross bullocks on the vast country estate. The usually wild animal was first spotted mingling with the 50-strong herd – and now refuses to leave their side.

The buck has become a star attraction with holidaymakers on the 70-acre Westley Farm, near Stroud, Glos. Hege Usbourne, 44, who runs the farm with husband Julian, said: “I think he’s having a bit of an identity crisis.

“It was holidaymakers in one of our cottages that first spotted him about 10 days ago. He stands with the herd and has made special friends with one of the other bullocks. He just stays with them all of the time and does not run away – I think he actually blends into the herd quite well.

“We see quite a lot of deer around here – but they usually just flash past before you get the chance to take a proper look at them. It’s lovely to see a wild animal up so close.”