Welcome to ...

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.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
As if you weren't already feeling so romantic you can hardly recognize yourself, you've also decided to pick up roses, champagne and videos on your way home -- one of which may definitely fall under the category of an honest-to-goodness 'chick-flick.'
Oh, it's okay.
If you trusted them enough to do all this for them to start with, you can trust that they won't tell anyone about it, so your reputation will be safe.
Not even to bribe you in the future.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Swindon, England, United Kingdom
Edithvale, Victoria, Australia
Caen, Basse-Normandie, France
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Venice, Veneto, Italy
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Oberhausen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Enna, Sicilia, Italy
Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar
Queenstown, Queenstown, Singapore

as well as Portugal, Iran, Slovenia, Pakistan, Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Vietnam and in cities across the United States such as Winchester, Ponchatoula, Benkelman, Wooster and more.

Today is:
Today is Thursday, October 28, the 301st day of 2010.
There are 64 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
National Chocolates Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama on The Daily Show

The historic sit-down with Jon Stewart is no laugh riot due to loaded exchanges.  

The best American cities to move to

These metro areas boast a winning combination of cheap living, low crime, and stability.  

Swimming with the Pigs and Other Strange Vacation Ideas

Forget swimming with the dolphins! Here’s the better (stranger) vacation idea: swimming with pigs!
Swimming with dolphins? You can go one better! Visit the paddling porcines in Big Major Cay and jump in for a dip if you’re brave enough. They won’t bite—well, as long as you don’t whisper "BLT" within earshot.
Read more strange vacation ideas from Oddee.

Eight toothpastes that get the job done

In a test of 44 tubes, Colgate Total Enamel Strength took "best overall." 

Awesome Pictures


Corruption Perceptions Index 2010

With governments committing huge sums to tackle the world's most pressing problems, from the instability of financial markets to climate change and poverty, corruption remains an obstacle to achieving much needed progress.

The 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index shows that nearly three quarters of the 178 countries in the index score below five, on a scale from 10 (highly clean) to 0 (highly corrupt). The most corrupted country is Somalia. The least corrupted countries are Denmark, New Zealand, and Singapore.

Rand Paul head-stomper wants woman he threw down to apologize to him

He is a twisted, sick asshole ...
From ThinkProgress:
Tim Profitt, the former Bourbon County campaign coordinator for Kentucky repugican Senate nominee Rand Paul’s campaign, gave the AP a non-apology apology yesterday for stomping on the head of a MoveOn.org activist outside a Senate debate Monday night, saying, “I apologize if it appeared overly forceful.” But apparently his pseudo-remorse was short-lived, as Profitt told local CBS affiliate WKYT today, “I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.” (The Lexington Police think otherwise, issuing Profitt with a criminal summons).

And astonishingly, asked if he planned to apologize directly the activist Lauren Valle whose head he stomped on, Profitt said, “I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you.”

So in the 'Ginny Thomas' mode the lunatic fringe goes ...

Teabaggers doing more harm than good to repugicans

And this is a bad thing, how?

Washington Post:
The tea party's volatile influence on this election year appears to be doing more harm than good for repugicans' chances in some of the closest races in the nation, in which little-known candidates who upset the establishment with primary wins are now stumbling in the campaign's final days.

In Kentucky, a volunteer for tea-party-backed Senate candidate Rand Paul was videotaped stepping on the head of a liberal protester. In Delaware and Colorado, Senate hopefuls Christine O'Donnell and Ken Buck, respectively, are under fire for denying that the First Amendment's establishment clause dictates a separation of church and state. In Nevada, GOP Senate nominee Sharron Angle is drawing rebuke for running TV ads that portray Latino immigrants as criminals and gang members.

Perhaps the most dramatic tea party problems are in Alaska, where repugican Senate candidate Joe Miller is suffering another round of unfavorable headlines after it was revealed late Tuesday that he had admitted lying about his misconduct while working as a government lawyer in Fairbanks.
Anything that will damage or destroy the repugican party will be good for America. For far too long they have tried to claim legitimacy as a political party but now their true colors are bleeding through the whitewash.

The Tea Party Constitution Versus the Thomas Jefferson Constitution

The default position for Tea Party candidates such as Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, Joe Miller in Alaska, Sharon Angle in Nevada, Ken Buck in Colorado and Ron Johnson in Wisconsin is to declare that if elected -- they will follow the dictates of the Constitution.
Only they neglect to tell you it is not the Constitution of the United States whose dictates they will be following ...

MI6 Head Spook Speaks

The figure known by the code name "C" becomes the first director of MI6 to give a public speech.  

Two Teenage Girls Executed by Somali Militants

A Somali militant group publicly executed two teenage girls Wednesday after accusing them of being spies for the Somali government, according to the group, eyewitnesses and a relative of one of the girls.

Bad Cops

North Carolina school cop is fired for giving "inappropriate photographs" of himself to a student

Alabama police officer, girlfriend charged with domestic violence

Texas sheriff's deputy arrested, charged with taking bribes

West Virginia corrections officer gets six years for child pornography

Deputy U.S. marshal violates protective order, is arrested again

Idaho school cop gets 3-10 years for felony injury to a child

Ex-deputy director of Colorado Bureau of Investigation is charged with embezzlement, misdemeanor theft, computer crime

Pennsylvania cop sweet gets plea bargain, won't face charges for road rage incident

Massachusetts cop is charged with beating his wife

They walk among us ...

30-year-old Larry Garza of Corpus Christi, Texas was arrested this week for placing his beer in a child safety car-seat instead of the two- and four-year old children riding with him.

What a freaking moron!

Non Sequitur


On The Job

Whether you sit at a desk or run around after kids, your daily grind can ruin your health.  
In today's economy, nobody should assume his or her job is guaranteed.  

Students being taught to cook roadkill for dinner to stave off debts

With university fees set to rocket, even humble beans on toast might be a stretch for hard-up students. Perhaps one group of young scholars has the answer – roadkill.

As part of a degree course, they are scraping up the remains of pheasants, rabbits and even, in one case, a deer, off the roads and learning how to butcher them. What’s left over, they take home to eat. A staff member who has worked at their university for almost ten years said: ‘The group would find all sorts of animals at the side of the road.

‘They were used for class demonstrations to show how butchering methods have developed throughout history. But, after the lesson, we’d be left with piles of meat – so we’d have a barbecue.’ Students at Bournemouth University said the sessions left them scrambling to find more roadkill in their own time.

One, a 23-year-old studying forensic archaeology, said: ‘After a few bites, I forgot I was eating an animal that had its brains smashed in by a car.’ Steve Stone, environmental health officer for the New Forest District Council, said anyone eating roadkill should make sure they were aware of the risks they were taking, adding: ‘I don’t think it’s something that people should experiment with unless they are aware of the health of the animal and the condition of it.’

Wells Fargo finally admits it has a paperwork problem

It took them too long to admit the problem existed so why should anyone believe them now when they say it's still not a problem?

Who really believes what the banks have to say?
Wells Fargo, the nation's largest U.S. home lender, on Wednesday acknowledged mistakes in the preparation of documents for foreclosures, after denying for weeks that it was affected by the problems that forced other major lenders to temporarily freeze foreclosures.

The company said in a statement that in some cases foreclosure affidavits "did not strictly adhere to the required procedures." It said that it has begun submitting supplemental affidavits for 55,000 foreclosures that are pending in 23 states. Wells Fargo said it expects the process to be completed by mid-November.

"The issues the company has identified do not relate in any way to the quality of the customer and loan data; nor does the company believe that any of these instances led to foreclosures which should not have otherwise occurred," the company said in a statement.

Thirty who matter to your money

You may not have heard of some, but they’ll matter to your finances in the year ahead.  

Ways you can save $3,000 a year on food

Packing your lunch every day — and making your own pizza — can reap huge savings.  

The Ghost Talks

The Three Stooges, from 1949.

Supercomputer Down

A new warp-speed beast from overseas "blows away" the current champion, experts say.  

Broadband reaches Mt. Everest's base camp

High-speed Internet service has reached the base camp at Mt. Everest.

Energy boom mints instant millionaires

Natural gas production turned mechanic Chris Sutton into a millionaire almost overnight.  

Baby miraculously survives tsunami

An 18-month-old boy is found alive days after quake-triggered waves destroyed his village.  

James Bond's Aston Martin to be sold

For the discerning driver, it's got an ejector seat, machine guns, and a world-class pedigree.

A doll with a secret

X-rays show that 150-year-old Nina and Lucy Ann were likely more than just playthings.  

How to carve an awesome jack-o'-lantern

Forget about triangle eyes and a jagged smile — see how to make your pumpkin stand out this Halloween.  

A tube-free roll of toilet paper

A major manufacturer is testing out rolls that feature "tubeless technology."  

Outrage over blog sparks apology

A Marie Claire blog post referring to overweight TV characters as "fatties" draws 28,000 emails.



What's up with ...

The Sun
This is the Sun, as photographed October 20th by Alan Friedman.

See those little plumes, rising like steam off the top and sides? That is not steam, says astronomy blogger Phil Plait.

Instead, it's ...
the gas that follows magnetic loops piercing the Sun's surface. When we see them against the Sun's surface they're called filaments, and when they arc against the background sky on the edge of the Sun's disk they're called prominences.
They look so delicate, probably because they make the Sun look fuzzy, like a comfy blanket... but have no doubts on the fury and scale of what you're seeing here. See that little bright spot on the plume on the left, just above the Sun's edge? That spot is the same size as the Earth. Our planet is about 13,000 km (8000 miles) in diameter, so that one minor prominence is roughly 50,000 km high. That's 30,000 miles. And it's positively dwarfed by the Sun itself. A million Earths could fit inside the Sun.

Masterpieces Of Ancient Building

The Pont Du Gard Aqueduct Bridge

The question 'what have the Romans ever done for us' was famously asked in the Monty Python film Life of Brian and certainly you might think that a few thousand years later that question is potentially redundant.

However, one look at the Pont du Gard aqueduct bridge may put paid to that idea.

Humans Crafted Complex Tools Earlier Than Thought

Once thought to have originated in Europe, a tool-making technique was in fact used by prehistoric Africans some 75,000 years ago.



Shape-Shifting Octopuses Endangered by Blog Stardom?

Photo: Stephen Childs Flickr, Creative Commons
Today, a link soared to the top of the popular news aggregator Reddit, with the text "This is, by far, the world's coolest animal. Behold: The Mimic Octopus. It's hardly an exaggeration -- the mimic octopus is a cephalopod found in the waters around Southeast Asia, and it can literally shift its shape to mimic a number of other sea creatures, as you'll see in the video below. All this attention, however, has some biologists worried -- there's already a steep bounty placed on the mimic octopus from private collectors, and increased demand could endanger the rare animal. You can't blame folks for forwarding this link, though. I mean, seriously, look at this thing:

Longest snake living in captivity dies in Ohio zoo

This undated photo released by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010, shows Fluffy, a reticulated python at the zoo.

Russian bears treat graveyards as 'giant refrigerators'

From a distance it resembled a rather large man in a fur coat, leaning tenderly over the grave of a loved one. But when the two women in the Russian village of Vezhnya Tchova came closer they realized there was a bear in the cemetery eating a body. Russian bears have grown so desperate after a scorching summer they have started digging up and eating corpses in municipal cemeteries, alarmed officials have said. Bears' traditional food – mushrooms, berries and the odd frog – has disappeared, they added.

The Vezhnya Tchova incident took place on Saturday in the northern republic of Komi, near the Arctic Circle. The shocked women cried in panic, frightening the bear back into the woods, before they discovered a ghoulish scene with the clothes of the bear's already-dead victim chucked over adjacent tombstones, the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomelets reported. Local people said that bears had resorted to scavenging in towns and villages - rummaging through bins, stealing garden carrots and raiding tips. A young man had been mauled in the center of Syktyvkar, Komi's capital. "They are really hungry this year. It's a big problem. Many of them are not going to survive," said Simion Razmislov, the vice-president of Komi's hunting and fishing society.

World Wildlife Fund Russia said there had been a similar case two years ago in the town of Kandalaksha, in the northern Karelia republic. "You have to remember that bears are natural scavengers. In the US and Canada you can't leave any food in tents in national parks," said Masha Vorontsova, Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in Russia. "In Karelia one bear learned how to do it [open a coffin]. He then taught the others," she added, suggesting: "They are pretty quick learners."

The only way to get rid of the bears would be to frighten them with something noisy like a firework or shoot them, she said. According to Vorontsova, the omnivorous bears had "plenty to eat" this autumn, with foods such as fish and ants at normal levels. The bears raided graveyards because they offered a supply of easy food, she said, a bit like a giant refrigerator. "The story is horrible. Nobody wants to think about having a much loved member of their family eaten by a bear."

New species of monkey sneezes when it rains

A new species of snub-nosed monkey that sneezes when it rains has been discovered in the remote Himalayan forests of Burma. The monkey, measuring almost two feet high with a tail even longer than its body size, has an extraordinary upturned nose and full lips. It is the largest snub-nosed monkey species in the world.

Little is known about the habits of the black monkey with a white beard, but locals say it is easy to find the animals because it sneezes when it rains. To avoid getting rainwater in their noses they spend rainy days sitting with their heads tucked between their knees, according to locals.

Rhinopithecus Strykeri, that is known in the local dialect as monkey with an upturned face, was found by scientists from Flora and Fauna International investigating gibbons populations in forests up to 10,000ft above sea level. Villagers talked about a monkey that was well known for making a lot of noise when it rained and showed the researchers bodies hunted for meat.

Further investigation revealed an estimated population of 260-330 individuals, meaning that it is classified as critically endangered by the United Nations. The area where the monkeys were found has been closed to the world for decades, which is why the monkey has not been discovered. It is under threat from illegal logging, as well as hunting for food and Chinese medicines.

Close encounters of the shark kind

Scott MacNichol escapes uninjured after coming face to face with a 300-pound shark.