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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.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
If anyone loves the ritual of making something official by gathering around a long glass conference table on the 87th floor to set down signatures on reams of paper with all parties concerned and their legal representatives in attendance ... well, let's face it, that would be you.
So when that circumstance comes along, you'll be so darned tickled, you'll hardly be able to contain yourself. Try to stay calm enough to finish each and every last John/Joan Hancock legibly.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Munich, Bayern, Germany
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Bad Homburg, Hessen, Germany
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
London, England, United Kingdom
Edithvale, Victoria, Australia
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, Germany
Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Helsinki, Southern Finland, Finland
Randburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Swindon, England, United kingdom
Basel, Basel-Stadt, Switzerland

as well as Qatar, Vietnam, Nigeria, Russia, Pakistan, Taiwan, Bulgaria, Moldova, Brazil, Portugal and in cities across the United States such as Athens, Sparta, Thebes, Cairo and more.

Today is:
Today is Friday, October 29, the 302nd day of 2010.
There are 63 days left in the year.

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

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Non Sequitur


Avoid these repair scams

These rip-offs are more common in tough times, so be on guard when hiring a contractor.

Florida mom pleads guilty to killing baby over interrupted Farmville game

A baby's interruption of a game of Farmville led to his death, after his mother, 22 year-old Alexandra Tobias shook him to death.

The truth be told


Jon Stewart rally stirs questions

The comedian's answer to Glenn Beck's event sparks curiosity and more than a few uncanny similarities.

Hypocrisy, Lies and the repugican way


Krugman says we're screwed if the repugicans take the House

NYT, Krugman:
Another recent interview by National Journal, this one with Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, has received a lot of attention thanks to a headline-grabbing quote: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

If you read the full interview, what Mr. McConnell was saying was that, in 1995, Republicans erred by focusing too much on their policy agenda and not enough on destroying the president: “We suffered from some degree of hubris and acted as if the president was irrelevant and we would roll over him. By the summer of 1995, he was already on the way to being re-elected, and we were hanging on for our lives.” So this time around, he implied, they’ll stay focused on bringing down Mr. Obama.

True, Mr. McConnell did say that he might be willing to work with Mr. Obama in certain circumstances — namely, if he’s willing to do a “Clintonian back flip,” taking positions that would find more support among Republicans than in his own party. Of course, this would actually hurt Mr. Obama’s chances of re-election — but that’s the point.
But we won’t get those policies if Republicans control the House. In fact, if they get their way, we’ll get the worst of both worlds: They’ll refuse to do anything to boost the economy now, claiming to be worried about the deficit, while simultaneously increasing long-run deficits with irresponsible tax cuts — cuts they have already announced won’t have to be offset with spending cuts.
To which John Aravosis adds:

I think that's the biggest danger, what I bolded above. Obama "leading from the middle" by caving even more on his promises in order to get something, anything, passed by a Republican House.  His goal?  To be seen as "truly" bipartisan by independents come election time.

In order for Obama to pull a Clinton circa 94, Obama has have Clinton's testicular fortitude.  So far, we've seen nothing to suggest that President Obama, as compared to candidate Obama, knows how to pick (and win) a fight.

The truth be told (Part Deux)


Avoiding political fights at work

As elections near, here's how to avoid heated arguments over them at work.  

University's huge blunder

A blunder that put sensitive info about 40,000 former students online isn't the school's first mishap.  

Most Dangerous Jobs In America

In 2009, 4,340 workers lost their lives due to fatal occupational injuries in the USA.
Which jobs are the most dangerous, what are the risks of each occupation and what can you expect to get paid for potentially putting yourself in harm's way.

Mystery D.C. Shootings

Several incidents at military-related buildings appear to be linked, prompting a tense investigation.  

Explosive News

Authorities uncover a "credible terrorist threat" involving packages aboard cargo jets.  

Hole in plane found midair

Passengers were hysterical before the flight returned to Miami for a safe landing. 

BP knew of well instability

BP may have known the cement used to seal the Gulf oil well was unstable before the deadly accident.  



Brit invents underwater scooter

A British inventor has created a new underwater scooter that allows tourists to explore coral reefs without learning to scuba dive - or even swim.

Betty White gets personal

The 88-year-old actress likes Cadillacs, French fries, and poker — but she's not a fan of Facebook. 

Biggest, priciest party ever

A group of hedge-fund managers is planning a lavish, record-breaking charity event.  

World's largest cruise liner gets a twin

The floating behemoth features a 3-D movie theater, an open-air park and room for 8,300 guests. 

Wartime treasures returned to family

For years, Franklin Hobbs III tried not to think about the faded photograph on his wall.  

Hells Angels sue Alexander McQueen over trademark infringement

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club is suing the Alexander McQueen fashion house claiming it infringed the club's trademark. It is also suing Saks Fifth Avenue, the luxury store, and online retailer Zappos for selling what the Hells Angels regard as offending merchandise.

According to Fritz Clapp, an intellectual property lawyer for the Hells Angels, the items in question included a four finger ring that used the club's winged skull logo. He said the phrase "Hells Angels" was also used on a pashmina scarf.

Other items with Hells Angels motifs included a $2,329 handbag and a $1,595 dress, the club claimed. Its legal complaint said trademarks associated with the Hells Angels had "great commercial value" and the fashion house and stores were trying to "exploit that value for their own gain." The motorcycle club is seeking the removal of the items from sale immediately. Representatives for the fashion house and Saks Fifth Avenue did not comment.

The fashion house was founded by British designer Alexander McQueen who committed suicide in February. In 2006 the Hells Angels sued a division of Walt Disney Buena Vista Motion Pictures, claiming its trademark was being infringed in the making of a comedy film called "Wild Hogs" about middle-aged bikers.

Can You Sue a 4-Year-Old for Negligence?

Apparently you can, according to a New York judge:
The suit that Justice Wooten allowed to proceed claims that in April 2009, Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn, who were both 4, were racing their bicycles, under the supervision of their mothers, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn, on the sidewalk of a building on East 52nd Street.
At some point in the race, they struck an 87-year-old woman named Claire Menagh, who was walking in front of the building and, according to the complaint, was “seriously and severely injured,” suffering a hip fracture that required surgery. She died three weeks later.
Her estate sued the children and their mothers, claiming they had acted negligently during the accident. [...]
In legal papers, Mr. Tyrie added, “Courts have held that an infant under the age of 4 is conclusively presumed to be incapable of negligence.” (Rachel and Jacob Kohn did not seek to dismiss the case against them.)
But Justice Wooten declined to stretch that rule to children over 4. On Oct. 1, he rejected a motion to dismiss the case because of Juliet’s age, noting that she was three months shy of turning 5 when Ms. Menagh was struck, and thus old enough to be sued.

Believe it or not


All-potato diet's odd results

A stunt to eat only spuds for 60 days spurs a physical change — and some questionable meals.  

Ten Of The Best Smells On Earth

Smell is one of the most powerful of our senses and it's also our most sensual. In all we can pick out a massive nine thousand different odors. Here are a few of the more stranger odors.

Healthy pick-me-ups

A good laugh helps open your arteries and releases feel-good brain chemicals.  



The Mad Doctor

Mickey Mouse and Pluto have a scary encounter! From 1933.

Top 10 haunted hotels in the U.S.

Rumor has it that three ex-residents of Atlanta's Beverly Hills Inn still haunt it. 

Dead Man's Party

Oingo Boingo

Entombment Technologies to Protect You from Being Buried Alive

The fear of being buried alive is an old one, and is even the origin of the phrase “saved by the bell”. Annalee Newitz of io9 has a roundup of technologies developed over the years, right up to the present day, to prevent a person from meeting this fate. Pictured above is Thomas Pursell’s 1930s-era tomb that featured doors that could be opened from the inside.

Mind-bending optical illusions

These fun visual tricks will show you that things aren't always how they seem.  

Awesome Pictures


Detonating Nitroglycerine In Slow Motion

This is Science - Don't try this at home, kids.

First Photograph Of A Human Being

This is a Daguerreotype taken by the inventor of the process, Louis Daguerre, in 1838. It is a view of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris, France, and is believed to be the first ever photograph of a human being. To achieve this image he exposed a chemically treated metal plate for ten minutes.

Others were walking or riding in carriages down that busy street that day, but because they moved, they didn't show up. Only this guy stood still getting his boots polished long enough to show up in the picture.

Trick behind 19th-century 'ghost' photos

Long before Photoshop, an enterprising huckster found his own way to create spine-chilling effects.

Phosphorus identified as the missing link in evolution of animals

A University of Alberta geomicrobiologist and his PhD student are part of a research team that has identified phosphorus as the mystery ingredient that pushed oxygen levels in the oceans high enough to establish the first animals on Earth 750 million years ago …

First complete remains of early sauropod dinosaur found

Scientists have discovered in China the first complete skeleton of a pivotal ancestor of Earth’s largest land animals — the sauropod dinosaurs. The new species, tentatively dubbed Yizhousaurus sunae, lived on the flood plain …

The first complete skeleton of a pivotal ancestor of Earth's largest land animals has been found.

Firefighters frees snake trapped in woman's bracelet

Firefighters got a shock when a 40-year-old mum wandered into their Amersham station with a 4ft royal python stuck in her bracelet. Crew manager Kieron Hall managed to release the snake using a ring-cutter and said: "The first question I asked was, is the snake venomous? The answer was no. I also asked if he was likely to bite me, and again the answer was no."

Samantha Brooks, of Hundred Acres Lane, had been showing her pet snake, called Prince, to her nephew and niece when he got caught in her silver bangles on her wrist. She said: “He got himself well and truly wedged. I wasn't scared but it was getting tighter and tighter and my hand started going numb and blue.

“I knew the fire station would have some bolt cutters and it was only about three minutes drive away. My friend gave me a lift to the fire station and we just walked straight in. I think we made the man jump a bit, but fortunately he didn't have a fear of snakes.” Miss Brooks lives with son Connor, seven, and daughter Kaitlyn, 11.

The family have had Prince for about four years and Miss Brooks added: “He's usually very lovely and placid and doesn't tend to do a lot”. Prince, who was unharmed, was stuck for about 40 minutes in total, though firefighter Hall took just two minutes to free him. He added: "I was very pleased that both the snake and its owner were unscathed."

Animal News

lion cub swimming opener photo
Credit: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
What happened in the animal world this week? Ants got closeups, birds got snapped with bees (well, technically a wasp), and baby tigers hit the water for their first swimming lesson -- plus a nearly-invincible black rhino, a hippo celebrating Halloween, and wild dolphins teaching each other new tricks.
The Week in Animal News: Lion Cubs Swimming, Halloween with Hippos, and More Slideshow

The snake and the grape box

A poisonous adder was discovered in a box of grapes in a factory in Northern IrelandA poisonous adder was discovered in a box of grapes in a factory in Northern Ireland

Kipling Tale Photographed in South Africa

In the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling, the explanation for how the elephant got its trunk involved a crocodile that pulled on a baby elephant’s nose until it stretched out. That same scene was photographed recently in South Africa. A baby elephant was taking a drink when a crocodile, hidden under the surface of the water, clamped down on the juvenile’s trunk!
Hearing the baby’s calls of distress, the herd of elephants immediately went to its rescue, scaring off the crocodile by trumpeting and stamping the ground. After the attack the herd stayed with the youngster.
When the baby had recovered the herd crossed the waterhole together in safety, only yards from where the crocodile had been hiding.
These pictures were taken by amateur photographer Johan Opperman in the Kruger National Park in South Africa.
Experts said crocodiles don’t normally attack elephants.