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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 26, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Your sign is often associated with royalty, due to your regal, royal bearing and the mantle of authority you wear so easily and so well.
So you have every right to decide who to let into your world and who to banish from it -- and that goes double now.
If there's someone who's been trying to edge their way in, don't hesitate to give them a good shove back out.
If they're this pushy to start with, imagine how they'll be a bit further down the road.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
Edithvale, Victoria, Australia
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Swindon, England, United Kingdom
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
London, England, United Kingdom
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, Germany
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Antofagasta, Antofagasta, Chile
Valladolid, Castilla y Leon, Spain
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

as well as Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Peru and in cities across the United States such as Quakertown, Newington, Madera, New Orleans and more.

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, October 26, the 299th day of 2010.
There are 66 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Mule Day.

While tonight is:
Worldwide Howl at the Moon Night

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

'Most Influential Man'

Barack Obama fails to crack the top 20 on AskMen.com's annual list of cultural leaders. 

Costumes reign at gaming convention

Fans of World of Warcraft and other top games spare no expense in celebrating their favorite characters.  

Spectacular discoveries every 3 days

An anaconda as long as a limo and a poisonous dart frog are some new Amazon finds.

The world's most dazzling caves

One cavern glimmers like Superman's fortress, while another seems to go on forever.  

Technological might of China showcased

A bullet train from Shanghai is the latest engineering mega-project on display.  

Unexpected contender for top TV network

And it has the wingnuts in spams of apoplexy
A major shift in the U.S. population threatens to leave the Big Four networks in the dust.

WikiLeaks ignored

The unveiling of a trove of Iraq files was big news, but the Sunday programs largely ignored it. 

While you were sleeping ...

Obama administration effectively neuters DADT
In a memorandum dated Oct. 21, Mr. Gates said that “until further notice,” only five senior Defense Department officials, all civilians, would have the authority to expel openly gay service members.

What this basically means is that five top officials in the defense department - (people who happen not to agree with Don't Ask, Don't Tell) - now have the sole authority to sign off on any and all DADT discharges.

Essentially that means the policy dies on the vine.

Cholera in Haiti: This isn't bad luck, this is poverty

Maggie Koerth-Baker writes:
Haiti, wrecked by a massive earthquake in January, is now struggling with an epidemic of cholera that has spread through camps of earthquake refugees and into the nation's capital of Port-au-Prince. Dr. Jon LaPook, medical correspondent for CBS News, has probably done the best job I've seen of describing the horrific, disgusting toll this disease takes on the human body and on the societies it moves through.
I spoke to a middle-aged man, Robert Raphael, whose family lives between St. Marc and Gonaives. Over the past week he has lost a brother, niece, nephew, and "five or six" cousins to cholera. Five or six—he'd lost count.
They clearly need more doctors and nurses, but seemed to have enough oral rehydration solution and IV fluids for now. They obviously need specialized supplies like "cholera beds"—cots with holes cut in them for easier defecation. I asked an 8-year-old named Ritchie if it was hard to "faire toilette" in public (it's all out in the open), and he looked embarrassed and said, "Yes." That got to me.
The bug behind this devastation—the bacterium Vibrio cholerae—is a fascinating and frustrating creature. Fascinating, because of its role in the development of epidemiology and what we're still learning from it. Frustrating, because it ought to be relatively simple to treat and prevent infection. We know what to do to help a cholera victim survive. All it takes is access to clean water and the most basic medical supplies. The trouble here isn't science, it's poverty.
Cholera is, essentially, the worst food poisoning you can possibly imagine. In fact, it's related to Vibrio vulnificus, a bacteria that tends to infect people via undercooked seafood.
After you ingest the cholera bacteria, it'll hang out in your gut for a few days before symptoms kick in. Once they do, though, cholera can kill you within hours. How? I'll be blunt: Massive, constant diarrhea that drains the body of fluids and electrolytes and leaves victims looking like glassy-eyed, hollow-cheeked corpses before they actually are.
Nobody knows exactly how old cholera is, but, from a pop-culture perspective, it's inextricably linked to the 19th century, when several pandemic waves took cholera from its roots in the Indian subcontinent to being the first global killer—taking advantage of increased trade and immigration to strike Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.
And it was a complete mystery. At the time, disease was thought to spread via "bad air", a pre-germ theory explanation for the patterns left by person-to-person contact. But cholera didn't seem to fit. The doctor could visit a house riddled with the disease, and walk away unscathed. And, yet, at the same time, cholera swept through whole neighborhoods—usually the poor ones—killing hundreds, or thousands.
You probably know the story of Dr. John Snow. During the 1854 cholera epidemic in London, Snow took the radical and now-laughably-obvious step of mapping cholera deaths throughout the city. He found that the outbreaks centered around nexus points, which lined up with public water pumps—specifically, the pumps that sourced their water from the downstream end of the Thames. And that's how we learned a valuable lesson. Preventing cholera is easy. All you have to do is make sure that people don't have to drink water that's been contaminated with sewage.
Today, cholera is all but non-existent in developed countries. Not because we're immune. Not because we have access to a miracle drug. It's simply about money. Money, and the will to build public sanitation systems that treat the poor and the wealthy to an equal level of separation between what we drink and what we excrete. After all, there were water services in Dr. Snow's time, but they were heavily divided by class. The wealthy drew their drinking water from upstream and dumped their sewage below that point, where it made its way to the public wells used by everybody who couldn't afford the better water.
Malaria is often what we talk about when we talk about diseases of poverty. But simple diarrhea kills more people every year. Cholera is only one part of that.
And it is all about the money. What kills you isn't so much the diarrhea, itself, but the loss of fluids and essential salts and minerals. Replace enough of those, soon enough, and people tend to survive. This is a disease that can be cured with Brawndo. (It's got what cholera victims crave!) In fact, one of the greatest public health inventions of the 20th century—and, perhaps, the most underrated—is the pre-mixed Oral Rehydration Therapy sachet—little packets containing dried mixtures of mostly sodium and glucose. Pour a packet into clean water, and you have an instant treatment for cholera. This is pretty much all that stands between a bout of cholera meaning a really bad, gross week, and a bout of cholera meaning death.
Right now, people are dying in Haiti not because we don't know how to save them, but because of a lack of access, both to clean water and to Oral Rehydration Therapy. In other words, they are dying not because of a disease, but because of poverty.
How You Can Help:
• Donate to Doctors Without Borders and help get Oral Rehydration Therapy to people who need it.
• Donate to World Vision, which does both medical work, and helps bring clean, safe drinking water to communities around the world.
• Donate to Water.Org, a charity devoted to water infrastructure projects.
Some Other, Related Links:
• Fault activity indicates that Haiti is at risk of more, and possibly larger, earthquakes
• Fascinating piece explaining how cholera can hide, dormant in a population for years, waiting for a sanitation crisis to attack
• Cholera at The Bacteria Museum
• The Climate Connection: How warming oceans can influence the spread of cholera
• Interesting information on what the toxin produced by cholera bacteria does in the human body and why it causes diarrhea

Ousted repugican fesses up

Ousted repugican fesses up: repugicans using racism to tar Obama

And this is news, how?

Just so you know ...

Extending the shrub tax cuts would cost $767 million a day for 10 years.

Just a reminder ...

Eight things the public "knows" that aren't true

(Note: The highlighted words that are links that you can click.) 

There are a number things the public "knows" as we head into the election that are just false. If people elect leaders based on false information, the things those leaders do in office will not be what the public expects or needs.

Here are eight of the biggest myths that are out there:

1) President Obama tripled the deficit.
Reality: Bush's last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama's first budget reduced that to $1.29 trillion.

2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.
Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the "stimulus" was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.

3) President Obama bailed out the banks.
Reality: While many people conflate the "stimulus" with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be "non-reviewable by any court or any agency.") The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama.

4) The stimulus didn't work.
Reality: The stimulus worked, but was not enough. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs.

5) Businesses will hire if they get tax cuts.
Reality: A business hires the right number of employees to meet demand. Having extra cash does not cause a business to hire, but a business that has a demand for what it does will find the money to hire. Businesses want customers, not tax cuts.

6) Health care reform costs $1 trillion.
Reality: The health care reform reduces government deficits by $138 billion.

7) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is "going broke," people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.
Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.

8) Government spending takes money out of the economy.
Reality: Government is We, the People and the money it spends is on We, the People. Many people do not know that it is government that builds the roads, airports, ports, courts, schools and other things that are the soil in which business thrives. Many people think that all government spending is on "welfare" and "foreign aid" when that is only a small part of the government's budget.

This stuff really matters.
If the public votes in a new Congress because a majority of voters think this one tripled the deficit, and as a result the new people follow the policies that actually tripled the deficit, the country could go broke.

If the public votes in a new Congress that rejects the idea of helping to create demand in the economy because they think it didn't work, then the new Congress could do things that cause a depression.

If the public votes in a new Congress because they think the health care reform will increase the deficit when it is actually projected to reduce the deficit, then the new Congress could repeal health care reform and thereby make the deficit worse.

And on it goes.

Woman stomped on at Kentucky debate

A woman was wrestled to the ground and had her head stepped on by a Rand Paul (repugican and tea part favorite) goon in Kentucky.

and get this:
Ron Paul goon who beat woman wore "Don't Tread on Me" button
Screen Shot 2010-10-26 At 1.54.38 Pm Mike Pezzano, a member of The Lexington Rand/Ron Paul Mafia (excuse me ... Campaign for Liberty Group), wore an instructive button to remind his pals not to curb stomp *him*.

Five campaign fibs about the economy

Politicians are skirting the truth about the stimulus, the national debt, jobs, and health care.

It's not elitism. She's a witch. (And almost a Hare Krishna.)

The fact that people have issues with Christine O'Donnell's fitness for office is not elitism, it's reality.

The woman is a nutjob.

And the fact that Huckabee, who woos wingnut christians, doesn't have a problem with a woman who had a date on an altar that had some blood on it.... tell that to family values voters, Huck, that it's elitist to oppose witches who have dates on blood-stained altars.

Then see if you get to be President.

The larger problem here is that modern repugicans simply have no standards, other than if you're intelligent, you're not welcome.

Tea Party 'is not so much a movement as a disparate band of vaguely connected gatherings'

Wow, now there's a shocker for you.
[A] new Washington Post canvass of hundreds of local tea party groups reveals a different sort of organization, one that is not so much a movement as a disparate band of vaguely connected gatherings that do surprisingly little to engage in the political process.

The results come from a months-long effort by The Post to contact every tea party group in the nation, an unprecedented attempt to understand the network of individuals and organizations at the heart of the nascent movement.

Seventy percent of the grass-roots groups said they have not participated in any political campaigning this year. As a whole, they have no official candidate slates, have not rallied behind any particular national leader, have little money on hand, and remain ambivalent about their goals and the political process in general.

Worst-ever perception of U.S. corruption

Thanks to the repugicans ...
The United States sinks in a ranking of the least-corrupt countries, behind Chile.



Bond or not to Bond

For the first time ever, people are buying Treasury bonds with a negative interest rate.  

Tax refunds and you

Now is the time to start thinking about ways to maximize the amount that you can get back.

Six hundred-eighty ain't what it used to be

A 680 is no longer good enough to get the best rates on credit cards and loans. 

Seven reasons to lie on your resume

7 reasons to lie on your resume

7 reasons to lie on your resume

Why do women who are heavy earn less?

The "wage penalty" for an obese woman is nearly $5,000 a year, a study shows.  

An Italian city is buried in trash

A strike by garbage workers in Naples leaves 2,400 tons of refuse piled up on city streets.

Ma Nature is pissed and she's showing it

A powerful earthquake triggers a 10-foot tsunami, killing at least 113 people. 
And closer to home ...
Bewildered Illinois residents dig through debris as storms tear roofs off homes. 

The view from the inside

A Texas official captures the chilling scene from his car as a 125-mph storm rips through buildings.  

As Arctic warms, increased shipping likely to accelerate climate change

As the ice-capped Arctic Ocean warms, ship traffic will increase at the top of the world. And if the sea ice continues to decline, a new route connecting international trading partners may emerge — but not without significant repercussions …
northwest passage map
image: Wikipedia
It's likely not long before Arctic ice melt reaches levels where trans-Arctic shipment of goods is no longer headline-making, but commonplace. With that comes more black carbon air pollution from ships--soot to you and me--and, that means already disproportionately high levels of warming will increase and with those, more ice melting. A new report in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics highlights the issue:
Article continues: Increased Arctic Shipping Means Even More Warming & Less Ice

Eight Truly Bizarre Monuments

Most Americans are familiar with the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, and it doesn't take a trip to Paris to know what the Eiffel Tower is.

Charles La Trobe Monument in Melbourne, Australia
Charles La Trobe was the first governor of Victoria, Australia, from 1839 to 1854

Woman knocked out and thrown into grave

Police are probing claims a North council worker was knocked unconscious by two cemetery staff who then dumped her in an open grave. The woman was allegedly left in the 6ft deep burial pit by the gravediggers, and had to call for help on her mobile phone before she could get out. The alleged victim was left so stunned by the suspected morbid prank she had to be taken to hospital to be treated for shock.

Police have confirmed two men, aged 51 and 47, have been arrested on suspicion of causing assault occasioning actual bodily harm following the incident, in Berwick, Northumberland. A woman who has close links to the cemetery, but asked not to be named said: “What we’ve heard is shocking.

“Apparently the woman was stuck in the grave and had to call for help because it was so deep. I heard there had been some sort of ongoing argument with the gravediggers but I don’t know hat it’s about. I’m glad the woman was OK, but I can understand why she was so shaken. It must have been a horrible feeling being stuck in that grave.”

Northumberland County Council refused to give any more details about the incident but said looking after its staff was top of its agenda. The attack is alleged to have taken place at Tweedmouth Cemetery, at 8.10am, on Monday. Police were called and later tracked down the two suspects, who remain on police bail.

Japan's "Suicide Forest"

From VICE:
The Aokigahara Forest is the most popular site for suicides in Japan. After the novel Kuroi Jukai [The Black Forest, written by Seichō Matsumoto in 1960] was published, in which a young lover commits suicide in the forest, people started taking their own lives there at a rate of 50 to 100 deaths a year. The site holds so many bodies that the Yakuza pays homeless people to sneak into the forest and rob the corpses. The authorities sweep for bodies only on an annual basis, as the forest sits at the base of Mt. Fuji and is too dense to patrol more frequently.

Tiny Terror for Biggest City

Tourist anxiety about bedbugs could rattle one of New York's top industries ahead of its peak.


Police said a man using a fake gun in a San Fernando Valley stickup was beaten with the prop weapon when the would-be victim took it from him.

Pennsylvania man complained to police about buying bad pot

From the "They walk among us" Department:

A southwestern Pennsylvania man called 911 to complain about some terrible marijuana he had just purchased, which turned out to be something other than pot.

Wizard of Id


Beware the ghost

... pepper that is ...
This chili is so hot that the Indian military has found uses for it outside the kitchen.

Four killed by celery

A food processing plant in Texas has been shut down after contaminated celery was linked to the deaths of four people.

The victims all died from listeriosis food poisoning after eating chopped celery from the factory in San Antonio. The rare bacterial infection is particularly dangerous for newborn babies, pregnant women and the elderly.

It can be caused by not washing or cooking raw vegetables properly. No details were given about the victims.

Texas health chiefs traced the bacteria to chopped celery from Sangar Produce and Processing. They ordered the plant to stop operations immediately and recall all its products shipped since January.

Culinary Delites

Dipping pork in chopped pecans gives these mini sandwiches a crunchy texture. 
Eating brown instead of white rice can lower your blood pressure and diabetes risk.  
Hold the secret sauce, the sweet tea, and the sausage, and save hundreds of calories. 

Company Offers Marijuana Soda

You'll need a prescription for this soda.

A Colorado soda company has launched a line of drinks with a special ingredient - marijuana.

Eat a Lionfish to Protect Caribbean Reefs

lionfish face photo
Placing invasive species on the menu to curb their expansion has been attempted with everything from squirrels to kangaroo to camel, and now conservationists are asking diners to turn their attention—and appetites—to lionfish in the Caribbean.
Though the idea is far from new—TreeHugger has reported on it several times—the campaign is being intensified with a new PSA.



Modern humans emerged far earlier than previously thought

An international team of researchers based at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing, including a physical anthropology professor at Washington University in St. Louis, has discovered well-dated human fossils in southern China that markedly change anthropologists perceptions of the emergence of modern humans in the eastern Old World.

Asian Neanderthals, Humans Mated
NeanderthalA newly found fossil of a human in Asia some 100,000 years ago reveals distinct Neanderthal features.  

Museum displays of human remains covered up for fear of offending

Human skulls or ancients mummies are being removed from British museums for fear of insulting minority religious groups, academics have warned. Already museums around the country have been forced to close coffin lids, remove skeletons and respectfully replace the shroud on mummies in order to placate protesters. There are fears such artifacts could be banned altogether.

Small groups such as the Pagan Organization Honoring the Ancient Dead claim that it is against the religious beliefs of our ancestors to put bodies on show. Museums are becoming increasingly nervous about displaying human remains. Seventeen have drawn up guidelines advising curators to warn the public and only display photographs of mummies with a shroud.

The Egypt gallery at Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery now has half-closed coffin lids on its display of mummies. Manchester University Museum covered up an unwrapped mummy and removed the head of an Iron Age bog body. The Museum of London removed the skeleton of a boy with rickets. In a new book Dr Tiffany Jenkins, of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), pointed out that mummies, skeletons and skulls are often the most popular display in museums.

Dr Jenkins feared that the guidance will mean that eventually there will be no human remains on display at all for fear of offending any number of small groups. “The profession is overreacting to the claims of small minority groups – such as the Pagan Organization Honoring the Ancient Dead. Curiously, the profession do not take into account the feelings of other Pagan groups who advocate the use of human remains in research and display, such as Pagans for Archaeology. This reflects the unease within the sector with researching and displaying human remains.”

Angry spirits blamed for schoolgirls fainting

Teachers of 10 teenage girls who collapsed one after another at their rural Cambodian school blamed the mysterious ailment on angry spirits on Saturday. The girls, aged between 14 and 18, were treated in hospital after fainting but doctors could not ascertain why the youngsters were struck down, said Ruos Lim Chhee, head of the high school in Pnov, northern Cambodia.

He said that all of the girls were found to be healthy, with no signs of food poisoning, although two were a little low on glucose. "We are afraid we are under a spell because we didn't offer any traditional dancing and music to the spirits on the opening day this year," he said. "But we have just offered fruits, boiled chickens and wine to the spirits today, and we hope the students will get better and the spirits will take care of us."

Mil Khim, a teacher who witnessed the string of incidents on Thursday, said one of his students started to complain of chest pains early in the morning and then suffered convulsions before falling unconscious. "The strange phenomenon lasted only a few hours, as eight seventh graders and two from eighth and ninth grade fainted subsequently," he said.

Cambodians in rural areas often believe supernatural forces are behind unexplained events. "We think that perhaps the spirits are angry because the doctors, teachers and even police found no trace of poison or physical weakness," said district governor, Pech Sophea.

Impaling: Not as deadly as you might think

A recent case-study in the Lancet (heh) revealed that it would, indeed, be possible to survive the kind of injury seen in the horrific and somewhat unbelievable 1550 portrait of unfortunate Hungarian Gregor Baci.

Odds and Sods

Bolivian police said they've detained a woman who tried to mail a mummy to France.

The man who's on a 60-day all-potato diet wishes he would have set a goal of one month instead of two

Bad Cops:
Texans terrified as cops execute no-knock middle-of-the-night raid at wrong address

Florida cop is arrested for bribery

DC cop gets five years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography

Florida cop is charged in boy's accidental shooting

Texas border patrol agent is arrested for child porn

Georgia deputy is charged with killing wife and day laborer

Wild dolphins tail-walk 'just for fun'

Wild dolphins in Australia are naturally learning to "walk" on water. Six dolphins have now been seen mastering the technique - furiously paddling their tail fluke, forcing their body out and across the water. The dolphins seem to walk on water for fun, as it has no other obvious benefit, say scientists working for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.

That makes the behavior a rare example of animals "culturally transmitting" a playful rather than foraging behavior. Only a few species are known to create their own culture - defined as the sharing or transmitting of specific novel behaviors or traditions between a community of animals.

The discovery was made by Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) scientist Dr Mike Bossley, who has spent 24 years studying dolphins living in the Port River in Adelaide, Australia. In past years, Dr Bossley has witnessed two wild adult female dolphins, named Billie and Wave for research purposes, attempting to walk on water. Now four other dolphins, including young infants, have been recorded trying to learn the trick from the two adults, and have been seen practicing, less successfully, in the river.

According to the WDCS, apart from Billie and Wave, only one other adult dolphin had previously been seen tail-walking in the Port River during thousands of hours of scientific observations, and then only once. Billie is thought to have learned the trick during a brief period when she was held captive in a dolphinarium, before being released back into the wild. She passed the behaviour onto Wave, and now Billie and Wave appear to be passing on their knowledge of how to tail-walk to their wider community.

Paul Is Dead

The underwater creature who shot to fame for predicting World Cup outcomes has died.  

Pigzilla stalking horses in Australia

A giant pig on the loose is scaring residents and stalking horses in Darwin's rural area. The massive sow has been wreaking havoc in yards and in horse stables in Virginia, 30km south of Darwin, for more than a week, but has so far successfully escaped all attempts to be caught.

"It's massive, it's a giant," resident Wendy MacKenzie said. The 50-year-old said the pigzilla had been prowling around on properties near Wells Creek, on Virginia Rd. "We tried to catch it plenty of times, and it nosed me quite friendly when I tried to lure it with food.

"But as soon as we tried to catch it, it took off into the creek. I thought I could put it on a lead, but maybe it knows what a lead is and thought 'Nah, we ain't going there'." Ms MacKenzie said the sow had been seen visiting horses on several properties along the creek. "It goes into the horse pens to hang out with the horses- and probably to steal their food," she said.

"That's why it comes on to the properties, too." Another Virginia resident said she knew of a giant pet pig in the area that had been living for years with an old horse. "It's the biggest pig I've ever seen," she said.

Aliens suspected of creating mutant four-legged chicken

The day a four-legged chicken hatched, her owner was traveling through Australia's top alien hotspot. Kevin Horner said it may have just been a coincidence the chicken with two extra legs was born as he was passing through Wycliffe Well, 1100km south of Darwin, last Wednesday. He has dubbed the chirpy little hy-line brown chicken "Drumstick" on account of her unexplained extra limbs.

"I have never seen or heard of a four-legged chicken," he said. "I've bred about 100,000 chickens over the years. I've never seen anything like this. The first thing I saw was it sitting in there and thought it was sitting on a dead chicken.

"I just saw these other extra little feet. I think it formed from a double yolk egg, I don't think it's all that uncommon, but I've never seen it before." Mr Horner, 59, of Noonamah said not everyone believed him when he first revealed his bizarre new pet.

"I said it to my wife and she said, 'what have you been drinking'," he said. "I told a few people down at the pub about her and they said I must have done some good drugs." Drumstick is reportedly not facing any segregation from the other chickens. And the chicken will be spared from becoming a meal and will instead be a prized pet.