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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, November 2, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You're grounded, you're focused and you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
How about setting your mind to something a little more unusual, for a bit of a change of pace?
When was the last time you talked to your college roommate, or better yet, your date for your senior prom?
Maybe it's time to reconnect.
If you don't have their contact info, do a bit of research and see what you can find.
An email from a long lost friend could make anyone's day.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
London, England, United Kingdom
Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan. Malaysia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Stirling, Ontario, Canada
Edithvale, Victoria, Australia
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Coventry, England, United Kingdom
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Linz, Oberosterreich, Austria
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

as well as Egypt, Denmark, Israel, Puerto, Rico, Brazil, Czech Republic, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Pakistan, Russia and in cities across the United States such as Berkeley, Rochester, Denver, New Orleans and more.

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, November 2, the 306th day of 2010.
There are 59 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Cookie Monster Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

If you love America

Vote Democrat!


The reports of extremely high voter turnout from around the country does not bode well for the repugicans.
The more people that vote the less likely they will be able to steal an election.

The polls are open so VOTE or they will steal the election.

Elections not just about anger

But all the talk about "voter anger" this year masks a more complicated reality. 

Hostile environments encourage political action in immigrant communities

A new study from North Carolina State University finds that anti-immigrant practices — such as anti-immigrant legislation or protests — are likely to backfire, and spur increased political action from immigrant communities.



Anger makes people want things more

Anger is an interesting emotion for psychologists.
On the one hand, it’s negative, but then it also has some of the features of positive emotions.

Culinary DeLites

It takes 50 pounds of meat and almost as much flour to make this "8th wonder of the world."  
Leave off the extra slice of cheese and sub in mustard for mayo on a sandwich.  
Tangy cranberry sauce gives this healthy chicken dish a fruity flavor.  

From Farm to Fridge to Garbage Can

How much food does your family waste?

A lot, if you are typical.

By most estimates, a quarter to half of all food produced in the United States goes uneaten — left in fields, spoiled in transport, thrown out at the grocery store, scraped into the garbage or forgotten until it spoils.

Vending Machine Grows 20,000 Heads of Lettuce a Year Without Sunlight

Photos: Dentu
This is how we shall grow produce in the post-apocalyptic future

Finally -- a device that will guarantee we can still grow vegetables in the dark, after a nuclear holocaust has blocked out the sun or rampaging zombies have taken over our farmland. This Japanese lettuce-growing vending machine has been making the blog-rounds over the last few months, both because it doesn't require sunlight (it uses fluorescent bulbs) and because of the surprising yield it can churn out: 60 heads a day, or over 20,000 a year.
Article continues: Vending Machine Grows 20,000 Heads of Lettuce a Year Without Sunlight

Everything You Need To Know About Fast Food

The term fast food denotes speed in both food preparation and customer service, as well as speed in customer eating habits. The restaurant industry, however, has traditionally preferred the designation 'quick service.'

Did you know that one fast food hamburger may contain meat from hundreds of different cows or that McDonald’s fries are flavored with unspecified 'animal products?' Here are some other facts you might not know about the fast food industry.



Hockey Puck


Bad Cops

Tennessee police officers in trouble for drinking, taking squad car on joyride

Utah cop is charged for pulling a gun on his common-law wife

Florida cop arrested for domestic violence

California prison guard is arrested for smuggling drugs and cell phones to inmates

Delaware jail guard caught selling drugs

Florida deputy is suspended after his arrest on grand theft charge

Kentucky police officer suspended for racial statement during roll call

She was sitting in a car when police pulled her out of the vehicle, threw her to the ground, cursed at her, dumped out her pocketbook, then arrested her and took her to police headquarters, where she threw up after police ignored her complaints that she was feeling sick

Big Trees May Make Communities Safer

tree with eyes photo  
Original photo: this lyre lark / CC
They might not be too effective when it comes chasing down vandals or spooking away would-be burglars -- but it turns out that our humble city trees may be apt crime-fighters, nonetheless. According to the findings of a new report, data suggests that there's a relationship between the size and presence of trees in a neighborhood and a lower rate of criminal activity. Not bad for such a stationary life-form that's literally all bark and no bite.

Article continues: Big Trees May Make Communities Safer, Says Study

Five questions about cancer risk

The constant flood of new research can seem confusing, but some facts are clear.  

Fifteen Ways Smoking Ruins Your Looks

If you smoke, you already know you need to quit. 
It's bad for your heart, lungs, brain, and even your sex life.

Odds and Sods

Stowaway survives flight in landing gear
A 17-year-old boy endured temperatures of -30C on 50-minute flight through Siberia.

School built cage for autistic student
A local authority in Scotland has apologized for building a "cage" to contain an autistic student at his high school.

A 15-month-old baby girl survived a fall from a seventh-floor apartment in Paris almost unscathed after bouncing off a cafe awning and into the arms of a passer-by, police said on Tuesday

Photos from Life

Life magazine was a bit risque back in the day.
Today's level of prudery would not allow this photo to appear in a 'general audiences' publication.
The photo is most likely from an article/ad, ('infomercial' in today's parlance), for a new style shower cap that supposedly kept your whole head dry.

Home upgrades to consider

Contractors and designers around the country reveal what's hot in home renovations.  

Building Supplies

A man with a nagging secret couldn't keep it any longer. In the confessional he admitted that for years he had been stealing building supplies from the lumber yard where he worked.

"How much material did you take?" his priest asked.

"Enough to build my own house, and enough for my son's house, and houses for our two daughters and our cottage at the lake."

"This is very serious," the priest said. "I shall have to think of a far-reaching penance. Have you ever done a retreat?"

"No, Father, I haven't," the man replied,

"But if you can get the plans, I can get the lumber."

Easy ways to save each month

These creative strategies are easy and don't require sacrifices.

Retailers' 15 Most Annoying Habits

As the economy limps out of recession, retailers need to fight for every dollar. But the tactics they use to get customers to spend extra are clearly wearing thin.

Up-selling at the register, mispriced items, putting items coveted by children near the checkout, promoting Christmas items before thanksgiving, it's time shoppers get wise to the sneaky ways stores get you to buy more.

Here are the 15 sales-boosting techniques shoppers hate most.

Credit score confusion

Scores can be computed differently, but there are two free ways to compare them.  

Credit card nightmares you could face

The key to handling a lost card or a missed payment is to promptly contact the bank.  

Fixing cargo security could cost billions

Swabbing packages is impractical and too expensive, experts say.  

Happiest companies in America

Paid sabbaticals, flextime, and free meals are among the perks they offer.  

Something you don't see everyday


University Offers Class on Lady Gaga

Mathieu Deflem, a professor of sociology at the University of South Carolina, is offering a class on Lady Gaga:
The synopsis for the course reads: “The central objective is to unravel some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga”.
Prof Deflem, 48, who has met the singer, real name Stefani Germanotta, on a number of occasions, said: “We’re going to look at Lady Gaga as a social event. Other people say that Gaga’s the new Madonna. I see it more like there’s people who have this very individual thing. Frank Zappa had it. Prince had it. Miles Davis had it. Jimi Hendrix had it. And Lady Gaga has it.”

The 15 Strangest College Courses In America
Some really bizarre classes that are honestly offered at colleges include "Underwater Basket Weaving", "The Joy Of Garbage", and "Far Side Entomology". The professor who teaches the class "Arguing With Judge Judy" wants us to know,
…this class is “NOT a course about law or “legal reasoning.” It is instead an exploration of logical fallacies that are often presented by defendants and plaintiffs on court television shows like Judge Judy and The People’s Court. Seems right up the alley of most college students, as they are squarely in the demographic of afternoon television programming (which also targets the elderly and unemployed).

Girl's name is 'Boo!'

The parents of an 8-year-old New York girl say they named her Boo! because she was due on Halloween. Boo! came a day late, but the name stuck anyway. "We didn't want to call her 'it' while she was in utero, so we called her 'Boo' because of Halloween," said Drew Elliott, Boo!'s father.

The exclamation mark was added to Boo!'s name later to make sure people knew her name was related to Halloween. "It was the joke that became reality," Boo!'s mother, Erika, said. "I love the exclamation mark. 'Boo' is wimpy without it ... and Halloween now is extra fun."

The child's name wasn't too popular at the beginning, the parents said. Erika Elliott's mother "hated it," and Drew Elliott's father accused him of condemning his daughter to years of abuse at school. But the name did have some unexpected benefits.

"Nobody ever forgets her name, and all of her (preschool) classmates learned what an exclamation mark is," said Boo!'s father. And Boo!, who removed the exclamation mark for a few months during the first grade, likes her name. "I took it off in first grade because I was embarrassed about it, but now I like it," said Boo!. "It's something to show off."

Boy punished for farting on school bus

11-year-old Christian Summers thinks playing video games is fun. According to his school bus driver, he also thinks passing gas is fun. She didn't find his flatulence so funny. "She's like, 'I'm gonna sign you up. I'm gonna sign you up'. I'm like, 'It was an accident," said Summers. For letting it rip on the ride home, Christian was slapped with an hour of detention at Thoreau Park Elementary.

"I thought it was pretty dumb," said Summers. It seems breaking wind is now breaking the rules. The detention slip reads, quote "Thinks it's funny to pass gas while on the van. I've told him it's not funny, nor polite to the others in the van. While others scream, he laughs."

"The normal reaction is to giggle about it and everyone else is going ewww," said Jodi Hochevar, a family friend. "But, I don't think it was definitely not worth being disciplined over." "We laugh when it happens," said Christian's father. Christian now fears his flatulence. If he's caught passing gas on the bus again, he could get four or five days of detention.

"Depends on how much more gas he has," said his father. Now he's secretive when letting one slip on his small school bus. "When I have to pass gas, I have to cover myself because it won't stink up the bus," said Christian.

The Great Wall Of Croatia


Ask any one to name a great wall and the chances are that the word China will appear somewhere in their answer.

However, a small under visited town in Croatia has a well kept secret - a wall hundreds of years old which is the longest fortified wall in Europe - and the second in the world after you know what.

Yet very few seem to have heard of the Walls of Ston.

Cruise Ship Squeezes under Bridge with 20 Inches to Spare

Piece of cake!

The Allure of the Seas, a new $1 billion cruise liner built in Finland, passed under a bridge in Denmark with only 20 inches of clearance:
Hans Nilsen, an official at the Korsoer Naval Station, said the passage at 2.20pm went well after the Allure had lowered its telescopic smokestacks.
He said there was about 20in (50cm) clearance between the bridge and the top of the ship – but swell and weather conditions brought that margin of error down to 1.5in (4cm).
Any sudden movement and it would have been a very different story.
He said traffic on the bridge did not have to be stopped during the passage because the voyage was made during daytime, reducing any risks.

Perpetually Capsizing Boat Sculpture

Artist Julian Berthier made this sculpture. It looks like a capsizing boat, but there’s no hull beneath the waterline:
the floating sculpture is made from a large sailboat that has been modified to appear as if it is capsizing. despite its battered appearance the boat is fully functional and able to move around thanks to a built-in motor. to create the piece a 6.5 meter yacht was cut in half and a new keel was added to allow the boat to remain upright in the sinking position. since its construction berthier has taken the boat out on numerous trips inside harbours like canary wharf in london and in normandy, france.

Giant Clothespin Sculpture

Mehmet Ali Uysal, a professor of art at Middle East Technical University created this giant clothespin sculpture. It was built for the Festival of the Five Seasons in Chaudfontaine Park, which appears to be in a town on the outskirts of Li├Ęge, Belgium.

Toilet colors through the ages

Ed Del Grande, a plumber, has an advice column in The Seattle Times. He responded to one query about home toilets by describing how the color of a toilet may indicate its vintage:
1920s: Rich pastels like autumn brown reflected fashion trends, and the surplus of beige left over from World War I found its way into our homes.
1930s: As the home became the focus of more activities, cozy neutrals like peach blow gave way to rich colors like dark green and maroon.
1940s: During the war years, the fashion and plumbing industries restricted the number of new colors. Some soil-hiding colors like olive green did appear.



Swiss Family Robinson Tree Found

Illustrator Kevin Kidney once reminisced about the wonderful tree that was the center of the Disney film The Swiss Family Robinson. One of his readers responded by not only tracking down the location of the tree, but taking several pictures of it as well!
“Kevin, I stumbled upon your post of March this year “Some Really Big Roots” which mentioned the original Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse from the movie of 1960. I live on the island of Tobago in the Caribbean and did research on the tree and actually found it still very much alive in Goldsborough!

Eerie photos of a volcano's eruption

The eruption of Indonesia's most volatile volcano threatens residents still reeling from twin disasters. 

Giant sinkhole opens up

A crater wreaks havoc in a residential neighborhood of Schmalkalden, but causes no injuries.  

Awesome Pictures


Upping the cute factor


Did Early Primate Ancestors Migrate from Asia?

http://news.discovery.com/archaeology/2010/10/27/primates-278x225.jpgA new fossil find seems to suggest so, and it's throwing a monkey wrench into our evolutionary time-line.  

Earliest Predator Wasn't So Fierce

http://news.discovery.com/animals/2010/11/01/shrimp-278x225.jpgA carnivorous shrimp that was thought to have ruled the seas of Earth a half billion years ago had a mouth with rubbery teeth.

Spooked Baby Dinosaur Ran on Two Legs


Footprints left behind by a running baby sauropod capture a moment when the dinosaur may have been so scared that it reared up on its hind legs and bolted.

'Balloon head' dolphin discovered

Dutch researchers indentify a new genus and species of dolphin that appears to have had a broad snout and balloon-like forehead.


The Elelphant Man

Quick thinking by an unsung British hero led to one of the war's most unusual rescue missions.  

Bear Chases Bison In Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park, MT -- A man who saw a grizzly bear chasing a bison in Yellowstone National Park, Montana has published his photos.
Alex Wypyszinski had just dropped off his wife at work and had a few hours to kill one morning in April, 2009.
He was driving in the Fountain Flats area when he heard an unusual sound; he turned around and saw two fuzzy brown images racing quickly toward him.
Wypyszinski pulled out his camera thinking he was going to catch two moose racing down the highway.
It was a bison, badly burned from an encounter with one of the numerous hot spots in Yellowstone National Park.
A grizzly was chasing the buffalo and gaining quickly. He stopped his car and started snapping pictures of the two beast.
Wypiszinski says once in the safety of the woods the bison out maneuvered the grizzly, but park rangers had to put the bison down due to the injuries it sustained.

The Brutal Truth Behind Boxing Kangaroos

Photo: Julian Robinson [Flickr]
The term “Boxing kangaroo” brought to my mind a cartoon image of a kangaroo with boxing gloves, but in the wild, these roo fights are less like boxing and more like brutal knife fights.

Photographer Julian Robinson (aaardvaark on Flickr) observed:
Bouncing nimbly on powerful hind legs, sizing each other up, the two opponents launch sudden combinations, jabbing and grappling with lightning forelegs to gain the advantage, then lashing out with raking kicks – haymakers far more devastating than any man’s. Each razor-sharp hind claw has the potential to disembowel the other animal. [...] Although far from unfamiliar with Australia’s Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Julian Robinson was quite unprepared for the spectacle that was to unravel before his eyes. He stumbled upon the slugfest in 2006 [...]
The dangerous forepaw claws are clearly visible in the first two shots above. “They keep their heads out of range as far as they can, with good reason,” explains Julian, adding: “You don’t see many roos standing up tall. These guys sure got as high as they could get.”
Environmental Graffiti has more: here.

Cheeky monkey cannot help showing ‘the finger’ to visitors at zoo

Jackson the mandrill appears to be giving visitors to the zoo 'the finger' but he cannot help being rude. He has a form of arthritis that causes him to raise his central digit when bring watched having his picture taken at his zoo.

‘I was there photographing him, and a father and sons were watching him,’ said Mark Rogers, who captured the finger in full flight. Jackson’s a bit grumpy and really doesn’t like being photographed, but what he likes even less is people shouting at him.

'The father tried to make fake ape sounds and Jackson raised his hand with the finger extended. The entire crowd watching him then laughed out loud and the father quickly stopped making the noise.’ Mr Rogers added: ‘I did find out later that the mandrill had arthritis in that finger. I can’t help but wonder if he used that to his advantage.’

A spokesman for San Francisco Zoo, where Jackson lives, said the baboon does not intend to offend. ‘He doesn’t usually swear at our visitors but at least he made people laugh as usually he hates the attention,’ he added.