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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.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Keep focusing on alone time -- do not let social expectations drive you out into the world if you're not feeling it.
Your charm doesn't react well to pressure, anyway.
If you really want to have fun, make social decisions based on what would make you happiest.
It sounds simple, of course -- but it's only simple if you remember to do it.
Work pressures will ease, so expect a lot of free weekday nights.
Enjoy them alone or with your favorite person (which could be you too).

Some of our readers today have been in:
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, Germany
Odense, Fyn, Denmark
Edithvale, Victoria, Australia
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Kuwait, Al Kuwayt, Kuwait
Vienna, Wien, Austria
Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden
Taipei. Taipei, Taiwan
London, England, United Kingdom

as well as Italy, France, Israel and in cities across the United States such as Reno, Oakland, Charlotte, Taho and more.

Today is:
Today is Sunday, October 17, the 290th day of 2010.
There are 75 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Mulligan Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

The Statue of Liberty Under Construction

There is always a point in time when famous landmarks weren’t there. One image of America which is fixed in the minds of millions is the Statue of Liberty and the history of its construction is fascinating. Take a trip back in time and see extraordinary behind the scenes images of the creation of this superlative structure.

Man with Kermit puppets rocks the Web

A street performer and his green pals deliver a musical tribute to people living "Under Pressure."  

Pentagon Going Green?

Military brass see fossil fuels as a liability, but not because of the cost of gas.  

Great places to retire in the U.S.

Unique selling qualities like affordability put these towns on various "Top 10" lists.

Peak time for meteor shower

The best time to view the Orionids will be earlier than some stargazers might think.

Culinary DeLites

The breakfast meat inspires as many classic combinations as it does unconventional creations.  
Celery goes red, just in time for the holidays, and farmers hope customers will bite.  
Is America ready for red celery? 
A Florida produce company thinks so and has bet consumers will bite on the colorful crunch of its new product.
The bacon maple bar at Voodoo's and the ice-cream sandwich donut at Peter Pan's are to die for.  

Food-label buzzword reality

Terms such as "natural," "organic," and "local" don't always jibe with shoppers' perceptions.

Make a small kitchen stylish

A mirrored backsplash is a simple fix to give the illusion of more space.

Snowmen in Phoenix

An investment company wants to build a Phoenix theme park where children can build snowmen, have snowball fights and sled down a hill - even when Arizona desert temperatures top 100 degrees.

Mexican Borough Makes World's Biggest Enchilada

A Mexico City borough went for the whole enchilada - and got it!
Residents of Iztapalapa cooked up a 230-foot-long , almost 1yy-ton enchilada Sunday.

El Paso sees its own 'Manhattan-style' UFOs

Although most don't believe in UFOs, the spate of UFO sightings of late, including the recent ones in China and New York City have some people nervous.

Wizard of Id


Karma is a bitch ...

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQPj_PF1HTUGT5jr-PIIk3wGbYSjSYyYPUEdBPDqglammgMosg&t=1&usg=__4JDPzBheO_KVzjNc_ub_s98sgQY=A south Florida police chief who found himself under fire for sending numerous racist and otherwise offensive emails -- including one lamenting that President Obama wasn't shot by his security detail -- has been forced to resign.

But it wasn't Police Chief Richard Perez's abusive emails that cost him his job.

Karma is a real bitch, ain't she.

A New Study Shows that Americans are Idiots

By Jill

"Brilliant at Breakfast" - - Remember how Democrats always refuse to fight back against smears because "The American people are too smart to fall for that"?

No, they aren't. In fact, Americans are no longer capable of arriving at opinions through actual thought:
Americans have a more negative view of government today than they did a decade ago, or even a few years ago. Most say it focuses on the wrong things and lack confidence that it can solve big domestic problems; this general anti-Washington sentiment is helping to fuel a potential Republican takeover of Congress next month.

But ask people what they expect the government to do for themselves and their families, and a more complicated picture emerges.

A new study by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University shows that most Americans who say they want more limited government also call Social Security and Medicare "very important." They want Washington to be involved in schools and to help reduce poverty. Nearly half want the government to maintain a role in regulating health care.
So let's see...they like Social Security and Medicare, but they want spending cut to the bone. They want Washington to be involved in schools, but they want Washington out of their schools. They want Washington to help reduce poverty, but they don't want social programs for "Those People."

Take this woman, for example:
"I think the less the government governs us, the better we do," Norma Osuna, 48, said in a follow-up interview to the survey. A stay-at-home mother, she sees the country as going in a "socialistic" direction.
Did anyone think to ask her what her evidence was for her view that the country is going in a "socialistic" direction? Has she thought about it, or is she just parroting Glenn Beck? Do any of the journalists who talk to these people actually ask them to explain their views or how they got there?

Or how about this nitwit:
For Scottie Church, 39, of Winder, Ga., the answer is simple: "It's time to get back to basics. It's time for [the federal government] to get out of the way and let the private sector do its job."
And what, pray tell, is the private sector's job? Does Scottie Church even know? Has anyone thought to ask? If Scottie Church is talking about "capitalism", well, capitalism's job is to maximize profit. Not create jobs, maximize profit. And if maximizing profit means poisoning an entire community with toxic sludge or crude oil or benzene; if it means sending all the jobs to Asia in a never-ending chase for the most exploitable workers; if it means screwing over every man, woman and child in America, well, that's immaterial to the goals of capitalism. Capitalism is about profit, and ONLY profit. So I'd like someone to ask Scottie Church if that's what he/she means.

We are a profoundly ignorant. People don't know anything about their own religions. We know little of our own history, let alone our history in context with the rest of the world. We worship sports heroes who torture dogs, but we point at scientists and laugh. A profoundly messed-up woman like Christine O'Donnell can run on a platform of "See? I can't manage my finances either. I'm you." We had eight years of a dry drunk as president because people thought he was the guy they'd want to have a beer with -- as if that were ever going to happen. Now there are people who would vote to give the nuclear codes to an aging high school mean girl because they'd like to fuck her -- as if that's ever going to happen. Smart people are regarded with scorn as "elites." Ignorance is regarded as a virtue.

This is how an empire dies. And we are going to be around to see it.

Say NO to Stupid!

Marc Perkel had this to say ...

There seems to be a great effort this year to get voters to vote stupid.
The news media is pushing stupidity. Campaigns are running ads trying to make you stupid.
There are even those who are trying to convince you that stupid is the new smart.
They need you to be stupid because it's easier to take advantage of stupid people.

Don't listen to them! Say NO to stupid! Vote SMART!
I say that we should think things through. I say YES to using good judgment.

America is in a time of crisis and we can no longer afford stupidity when it comes to
making our important decisions. If we vote stupid then politicians in all parties are going
to have to cater to the stupid voter by saying stupid things, promoting stupid ideas, and
voting stupid. That's not what is going to turn this country around.

We need to elect the smart people. Thinking is a good thing!
Think before you vote.

Don't forget how America got screwed up in the first place!

By morons such as these ...

Frank and Ernest


Gold Monopoly set

A jeweler created the 18-karat board — which also boasts 165 gems — for a single tournament.

Top U.S. charities lose billions in donations

The top 400 organizations experience the worst decline in giving in 20 years.  

Easy way to get more income

Oddly, 39% of people who could make this no-brainer money move don't do it.

Man to give $1,000 for each jobless worker hired

A 71-year-old philanthropist from suburban Philadelphia thinks he can solve the country's unemployment woes one charitable donation at a time.

Wells Fargo also using robo-signers to foreclose

Wells Fargo contends that unlike everyone else in the industry with robo-signing problems, their internal checks and balances are fine. It's possible, but at this point, it's not convincing. The banks are always very casual with details when it's someone else's money and life on the line.
The San Francisco-based bank said on Tuesday it was reviewing some pending cases, but it has maintained that it has checks and balances designed to prevent serious procedural lapses.

In a sworn deposition on March 9 seen by the FT, Xee Moua, identified in court documents as a vice-president of loan documentation for Wells, said she signed as many as 500 foreclosure-related papers a day on behalf of the bank.

Ms Moua, who was deposed as part of a foreclosure lawsuit in Palm Beach County, Florida, said that the only information she verified was whether her name and title appeared correctly, according to the document.

Aetna denied insurance for newborn due to 'pre-existing condition'

Only in the American insurance industry could this be possible. It's wonderful that GMA helped resolve this "clerical error" but you have to wonder how widespread these errors are across the country.
She's heartbroken because she has endured what no mother should have to endure. While pregnant with twins, she lost one of them at 30 weeks. The other baby, Kinsleigh, was born with serious heart problems.

But Barnes is angry because her insurance company, Aetna, held up paying thousands of dollars in medical charges. The reason? The insurance company said the newborn might have been suffering from a pre-existing condition.

"I don't know how something could be pre-existing in a baby, so it was very shocking to me to see something like that," Barnes told "Good Morning America." "It's a slap in the face. Her medical bills are the last thing I should be worrying about. I should know that my baby is being taken care of."

Hip Replacement

Two patients limp into two different medical clinics with the same complaint.  Both have trouble walking and appear to require a hip replacement.

The first patient is examined within the hour, is X-rayed the same day and has a time booked for surgery the following week.

The second patient sees his family doctor after waiting three weeks for an appointment.  Then he waits eight weeks to see a specialist.  Then he gets an X-ray, which isn't read for another week.  And finally has his surgery scheduled for a month from then.

Why the different treatment for the two patients?

The FIRST is a Golden Retriever.

The SECOND is a Senior Citizen.

Learn Pharmacy at Home

What could possibly go wrong?

Really, what could possibly go wrong with learning at home?

An alarm clock louder than a chain saw

From the "Just what we all really need (no, seriously)" Department:
For notoriously deep sleepers, some of these new gadgets can shake the bed.  

German "heatball" wheeze outwits EU light bulb ban

A German entrepreneur is bypassing a European Union ban on light bulbs of more than 60 watts by marketing his own brand as mini heaters. Siegfried Rotthaeuser and his brother-in-law have come up with a legal way of importing and distributing 75 and 100 watt light bulbs - by producing them in China, importing them as "small heating devices" and selling them as "heatballs."

To improve energy efficiency, the EU has banned the sale of bulbs of over 60 watts - to the annoyance of the mechanical engineer from the western city of Essen. Rotthaeuser studied EU legislation and realized that because the inefficient old bulbs produce more warmth than light - he calculated heat makes up 95 percent of their output, and light just 5 percent - they could be sold legally as heaters.

On their website, the two engineers describe the heatballs as "action art" and as "resistance against legislation which is implemented without recourse to democratic and parliamentary processes." Costing 1.69 euros each (£1.49), the heatballs are going down well - the first batch of 4,000 sold out in three days.

Rotthaeuser has pledged to donate 30 cents of every heatball sold to saving the rainforest, which the 49-year-old sees as a better way of protecting the environment than investing in energy-saving lamps, which contain toxic mercury.



Spain Holds National Siesta Competition

Hundreds of people in Spain are participating in championship matches in the grueling sport of competitive napping. The National Association of Friends of the Siesta is hosting the event in order to promote the practice of the siesta. Here’s how the event is judged:
Ruz then went to the competition area. A doctor attached a pulse meter to her chest so the judge, sitting in a lifeguard-type chair overlooking the five sofas, could tell whether she’s really asleep.
In this competition, the siesta is limited to 20 minutes, a duration which the organizers and some doctors say is optimal; a quick nap after lunch to get refreshed, without entering a deep sleep cycle.[...]
The intricate rules award points to contestants depending on how long they sleep during the 20-minute competition time, any unusual positions they sleep in, eye-catching pajamas they might be wearing, and yes, a lot of extra points for snoring.

Thief steals laptop, sends victim backup files

A professor at Umea University in northern Sweden had his laptop stolen but was completely surprised when the thief mailed him back the computer's contents on a memory stick.

Police call off man-hunt after tracking down car-wrecking squirrels

Red-faced police in north Swindon have called off their hunt for car-wrecking vandals after tracking down the real culprits – a pack of hungry squirrels. A man-hunt was launched after seven cars had their ABS brake cables cut or damaged and several homes had their phone cables severed. Officers issued a public appeal on October 1 and made house-to-house inquiries urging residents to report anyone seen ”acting suspiciously” in a bid to capture the saboteurs.

But they were forced to abandon the operation after ‘fur-ensic’ tests revealed the culprits were in fact – mischievous squirrels. Police have now admitted the crime was more ”whodun-nut” than a ”whodunit”. A force spokesman said: ”It is now apparent that the damage to the ABS cables and the domestic telephone wires was caused by squirrels and not as the result of deliberate criminal damage.

”High visibility police patrols were carried out, and many local residents spoken to, and those residents have confirmed a recent increase in squirrel activity in those areas.” Officers were also forced to urge angry car drivers not to take matters into their own hands against the ravenous rodents. Insp Pete Chamberlain, from Swindon Police, said: ”We are looking to work with Swindon Borough Council’s Pest Control officers to try and deal with this issue.

”It is not only ABS cables that the Rodents have attacked but several telephone wires in the area so people’s lives have been affected in many ways.” A spokesman for the RSPCA added: ”Squirrels do have a tendency to chew through wires of all sorts. It is important however that members of the public do not try to catch the squirrels and take the law into their own hands. Squirrels may well bite if cornered which may result in a hospital visit or at least a tetanus jab.”

Japanese Banking Crisis

Uncertainty has now hit the Japanese banking sector:

In the last 7 days Origami Bank has folded.

Sumo Bank has gone belly up.

Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some branches.

Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song.

Today shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived.

Samurai Bank has had to cut its staff in half.

Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.

Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop.

And analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal!

Multicultural society 'has failed, totally'

German chancellor Angela Merkel says immigrants without christian values have no place in her country.

Non Sequitur


What Can Squid Hear?

Image: icelight, (cc)
Ears are amazing. They help you keep balance, turn a newborn's face towards its mother's voice, and alert us to escape danger. Increasingly, these wondrous organs are the target of new frontiers in environmental protection. Human irritation from jet engines, lawn mowers, and wind turbines, much less SunChips' loud, crinkly bioplastic bags, stands as a reminder of the importance of the aural environment. Research seeking to understand the impacts of noise pollution in the marine environment document threats to whales and fish. But researchers studying squid hearing hope to learn even more. Can studying squid hearing help us understand how all ears work?
Article continues: What Can Squid Hear?

Blind dog has sight restored by facelift

A blind dog has had her sight miraculously restored - after getting an incredible facelift. Molly, a pedigree Shar Pei, can now see for the first time since she was born a year ago. The poor pup has been blind from birth as a result of entropion. The horrific condition is caused by severe inbreeding where folds of skin rub against the eye causing pain and lead to permanent disability.

But brilliant vet Richard Marks carried out two crucial operations on Molly last week to give her the priceless gift of sight. Thrilled owner Louise Walsh, 30, said he had given her beloved pet a whole new lease of life. Mr Marks, of the Goddard Veterinary Group in Gidea Park, Romford, Essex, said: “What I essentially did was give her an extreme facelift. I removed a large piece of skin and stitched the remaining skin to the back of her head.”

He added: “It may sound extreme but if it had been left much longer she would have been totally blinded.” Louise said she was delighted now that her pet can see for the first time in her short life. When I first got her all she did was sleep because she was in so much pain.

“Now she is so happy all the time - playing and exploring and she loves chasing crows! Molly’s such a wonderful dog - she loves people and is very affectionate. She’s got a whole new life in front of her now thanks to Richard.” The Kennel Club announced new regulations to prevent close family mating last year.

Bird of prey snatches puppy from Lancashire garden

Pet owners in Nelson were warned to be on their guard this week after a young puppy was snatched from the garden of a house in Barkerhouse Road by a bird of prey.

The bird – as yet unidentifed, but with names such as a buzzard, eagle owl or harris hawk being suggested – swooped on the weeks-old dog earlier this week, but dropped it from a few feet off the ground, leaving it with a broken leg. It is thought that it may have been scared by the noise made by poultry also kept in the garden by the householder.

Veterinary examinations in Manchester revealed scratch marks on its back, consistent with it having been held in a bird’s talons, and residents living at the top end of Barkerhouse Road near the golf course have reported seeing the bird.

Eagle owls have been nesting in the Forest of Bowland for the last few years, and harris hawks are the most popular bird used in falconry in western Europe. The diet of all three suggested bird types includes small mammals.

Ireland's homeless horses face mass cull

They are the four-legged victims of Ireland's recession whose plight animal welfare organisations say can only be solved now by a mass national cull.

Bought as trophy-pets during the Celtic Tiger boom years, homeless horses now run wild in their thousands across the Republic, most abandoned by owners who have no money for their upkeep.

Ireland has the highest horse population per capita in the whole of Europe. Although there are no official figures, animal charities estimate that up to 20,000 horses could be owner-less and fending for themselves.

And with the prospect of a harsh winter and no let up in the economic gloom, the Dublin Society for the Protection of Animals now says the only solution to the problem is to cull those animals left to forage for themselves.

Indian leopard rescued from tight spot

A leopard trapped near a private tea estate in southern India's Coimbatore city was rescued by forest officials.
The leopard was struggling for more than four hours; but thanks to rangers and other staff the Leopard was eventually freed.

The manager of the estate was arrested for trapping and keeping the unassuming animal illegally. Rajeev Sreevastava, the chief conservator of forest (CCF) assured the public that there would be strict action against those who are involved in the matter.

Authorities were informed that this was not the first time the tea estate manager had been involved in such acts, he had also trapped many wild pigs.