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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, November 7, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Over the past few months, you've been trying to be good when it comes to spending.
It's not tough to talk you into that sort of thing since you're ordinarily the very soul of frugality, responsibility and thrift.
But at the moment, you've got a bit of an itch.
You want to go to the mall, and you want to bring along every single piece of plastic you have.
Well, why not?
If you can afford it, you might also want to get a head start on someone's birthday.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Lyon, Rhone-Alpes, France
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Queluz, Lisboa, Portugal
London, England, United Kingdom
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

as well as Singapore, Brazil, India, Slovenia, Poland, Denmark, Kuwait and in cities across the United States such as Broadview Heights, Carson City, Grand Rapids, Terre Haute and more.

Today is:
Today is Sunday, November 7, the 311th day of 2010.
There are 54 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
International Tongue Twisters Day
Zero Tasking Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Philosoraptor says ...


A man and his dog

On The Job

Pursue your passion, set your own hours, and earn a good living, too. 

Sticking to your holiday budget

Gift purchases will be your primary expenditure, but don't overlook hidden costs over the next few weeks.

Sadie Hawkins dance's origin

Yesterday was Sadie Hawkins Day ... but why was that ...
The American folk event can be traced back to a comic strip that ran some 73 years ago.  

Graveyard Groaner

A tourist in Vienna is going through a graveyard and all of a sudden he hears some music. No one is around, so he starts searching for the source.

He finally locates the origin and finds it is coming from a grave with a headstone that reads: Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827. Then he realizes that the music is the Ninth Symphony and it is being played backward! Puzzled, he leaves the graveyard and persuades a friend to return with him.

By the time they arrive back at the grave, the music has changed. This time it is the Seventh Symphony, but like the previous piece, it is being played backward.

Curious, the men agree to consult a music scholar. When they return with the expert, the Fifth Symphony is playing, again backward. The expert notices that the symphonies are being played in the reverse order in which they were composed, the 9th, then the 7th, then the 5th.

By the next day the word has spread and a throng has gathered around the grave. They are all listening to the Second Symphony being played backward.

Just then the graveyard's caretaker ambles up to the group. Someone in the crowd asks him if he has an explanation for the music.

"Oh, it's nothing to worry about" says the caretaker. "He's just decomposing!"

The Wheels of Life


Viewing Stones

Suiseki (or viewing stones) is the Japanese art of stone appreciation and may also refer to the objects of the appreciation.  
Suiseki may take many forms including those that bear a resemblance to human figures, animal figures, landscape forms, and those which are purely abstract.

Big Hole

Two guys are walking through the woods and come across this big hole.
"Wow . . . that looks deep." "Sure does . . . toss a few pebbles in there and see how deep it is."
They pick up a few pebbles and throw them in and wait . . . no noise
"Man. That is REALLY deep . . . here . . . throw one of these great big rocks down there. Those should make a noise."

They pick up a couple football-sized rocks and toss them into the hole and wait . . . and wait. Nothing. They look at each other in amazement.

One gets a determined look on his face and says, "Hey . . . over here in the weeds, there's a railroad tie. Help me carry it over here. When we toss that sucker in, it's GOTTA make some noise".

The two drag the heavy tie over to the hole and heave it in. Not a sound comes from the hole.
Suddenly, out of the nearby woods, a goat appears, running like the wind. It rushes toward the two men, then right past them, running as fast as it's legs will carry it. Suddenly it leaps in the air and into the hole.

The two men are astonished with what they've just seen . . .

Then, out of the woods comes a farmer who spots the men and ambles over. "Hey . . . you two guys seen my goat out here?"

"You bet we did! Craziest thing I ever seen! It came running like crazy and just jumped into this hole!"

"Nah", say the farmer, "That couldn't have been MY goat. My goat was chained to a railroad tie."

How bomb plot unraveled

Even when the world's counterterrorism systems work, preventing an attack is a terrifyingly close ordeal. 

What's not made in the USA

Some of America's most iconic brands are now produced in foreign factories. 

At the Dentist

Patient: "How much to have this tooth filled?"

Dentist: "$90."

Patient: "$90 for just a few minutes work?"

Dentist: "I can work slower if you like."


The Cohens were shown into the dentist's office, where Mr. Cohen made it clear he was in a big hurry.

"No fancy stuff, Doctor," he ordered. "No gas or needles or any of that stuff. Just pull the tooth and get it over with."

"I wish more of my patients were as stoic as you," said the dentist admiringly. "Now, which tooth is it?"

Mr. Cohen turned to his wife...

"Show him your tooth, Honey."

Technically ...


Edward Horsford's Popped Water Balloons

Edward Horsford takes photographs of water balloons being popped. The results create the impression of water hanging in midair:
“My camera is really the least important part of the shots,” Horsford writes in an e-mail. The trick seems to be in the timing of the flash. He sets a timer on his camera to take a long exposure of 1 to 2 seconds, and if the flash fires within that time, he gets an image. He uses a special gizmo with a microphone that triggers the flashes when it picks up a certain level of sound (i.e., the pop of a balloon).

Fingernail Loss Is Astronauts' Biggest Complaint

Did you think drinking your own urine was bad? To truly test whether you have the right stuff, imagine ripping out your own fingernails, on purpose. A couple of astronauts have done this before going into orbit, because they figure it’s better than losing them inside chafing, unwieldy spacesuit gloves, according to Dava Newman, director of MIT’s technology and policy program and director of the university’s Man Vehicle Lab.
Astronauts with large hands are more prone to suffering from this complaint as their gloves are too tight. This cuts off circulation and causes fingernails to fall off. Engineers are currently working on a design for gloves with robotic joints to address the problem. I’ll put off space travel until there is a fix.

Ten Bizarre Weapons of the Allies During World War II

Listverse has pictures and descriptions of ten strange weapons developed by the Allies during World War II. Among them were sound mirrors, some of which still dot the British coast:
They are the long-forgotten acoustic reflectors, dubbed by locals as the “listening ears.” These lonely structures were built to protect harbors and coastal towns from airborne attacks. Serving as an early warning system, microphones placed at the focal point of the reflector enabled it to detect sounds from flying aircraft over the English Channel, at a range of 30 kilometers. Thanks to acoustic pioneer William Tucker, who helped the radar teams pinpoint enemy aircraft and their movements, the system helped a seemingly inferior, and nearly obsolete, radar system effectively detect German bombers and fighters, and to, ultimately, help win the Battle of Britain.

The pros and cons of DST

Does "falling back" and "springing forward" really help save energy?  

Bathroom cleaning tricks

Quick, easy, and low-cost ways to clean grimy shower curtains and grungy grout.  

Ten signs of overexercising

If your muscles still hurt days after a workout, add more time for recovery.  

Fox Scours Capitol Hill for a Fair and Balanced Meal

fox on capitol hill photo
It's easy to liken Washington DC to a jungle, full of donkeys and elephants, hawks and doves, and more than enough pork to feed them all -- but when they head home for recess, that's when the real wildlife comes out to play. On the grounds of Capitol Hill yesterday, folks were treated to an unusual sight: a red fox on the hunt -- and his ambitions were refreshingly unpolitical.
Article continues: Fox Scours Capitol Hill for a Fair and Balanced Meal

Lower-calorie fast food snacks

If you need a quick bite after a workout, these options will satisfy your hunger without busting your diet. 

Sacred cow milk to go on sale at £1.70 a pint

The most expensive milk in Britain, produced by cows living at a Hare Krishna farm set up by Beatle George Harrison, is to go on sale for the first time. Ahimsa Milk, meaning milk produced without harm to any living being, is from cows that are played music and massaged as they are milked by hand. The pasteurized milk will be sold for £3 a liter in shops around Harrow, London, where there is a large Hindu community.

However monks are already in talks with Asda and Sainsbury’s about making the milk available across the country. Bhaktivedanta Manor was gifted to the Hare Krishnas in 1973 and has recently spent £2.5 million to set up the “Hilton of farms”. Sita Rama das, Director of the Lotus Trust that runs the farm, said even organic or free range dairy products are from farms where animals are mistreated and eventually slaughtered.

Ahimsa milk will be the first produce available for Hindus, whose religious beliefs mean they cannot harm any living animal. Also ‘lacto-vegans’, who eat dairy but only from animal treated in a human manner. “This premium milk will offer consumers the chance to avoid buying from an industry which is based around slaughter and suffering, and instead buy from a fresh, new and compassionate alternative,” he said. The dairy has 44 dairy Short Horns and Meuse-Rhine-Yssel cows producing 1,000 liters of milk every week, although they hope to expand as demand is already outstripping supply.

Instead of slaughtering bull calves, the animals live a “full and happy live” drawing the plow across fields or the mill to grind corn. Cows are milked twice a day in a shed where ancient Sanskrit prayers are played over a loud speaker, unless they are suckling calves. Massages are given to calm any skittish heifers. All the animals are given herbal medicine in a special animal hospital when they are ill and a full Hindu burial when they die of natural causes.

Irish government to hand out block of cheddar to every family

Talk about your 'cheesy ideas'.
(Sorry, it was too tempting to pass up the opportunity.)

The Irish government has risked fomenting revolution by trying to solve the country's dire economic problems by handing out a free block of cheese to every family. Brendan Smith, the agriculture minister, announced yesterday that the government would use European Union funding to buy 53 tonnes of fresh Irish cheddar and distribute it for free from 15 November. But Irish citizens responded angrily to the plan, which was likened to the "Let them eat cake" comment by Marie Antoinette that provoked the French revolution.

The cheese will be distributed via collection centers in towns and cities across Ireland. Mr Smith said the plan was "an important means of contributing towards the well-being of the most deprived citizens in the [EU] community". He added: "I am very conscious that many people find themselves in difficult circumstances at present and I want to commend the work of the many charitable organizations who are working on the front line to bring what comfort and relief they can."

But the initiative was immediately attacked by the opposition Fine Gael party, who called it "an insult" to the country, which is suffering the worst financial crisis in its history. The idea was met with fury when it was aired on the country's biggest radio phone-in show yesterday. One caller to RTÉ's Joe Duffy phone-in said: "The fact that Marie Antoinette said 'let them eat cake' was the beginning of the revolution – is that what they want?"

Another caller said: "Have they taken leave of their senses? It's not cheese that people who have lost their jobs that people are worried about, it's about how they're going to tell their children or grandchildren that Santa has very little money. What are they going to tell their children and grandchildren: that Santa has cheese instead?" The initiative is funded by the EU's food aid program, which has been running since 1987 in reaction to a particularly cold winter. One angry Dubliner said last night. "This is just crackers. The scheme is full of holes. This is the last straw - it's really grated on the whole community."

Wizard of Id


Bad Cops

Georgia deputy is fired, arrested for sexual assault

California corrections officer arrested on drug charges

Fired Maryland police officer gets 5-year prison term for 2004 assault

Texas deputy arrested for gun smuggling and bribery

Washington deputy accused of sexual assault still in jail

Woman tries to sell 12-week-old grandson for $30,000

Authorities arrested a Holly Hill woman on Friday on charges that she tried to sell her 12-week-old grandson. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested 45-year-old Patty Bigbee, of Holly Hill, on Friday. Investigators said they arrested her at about 4 p.m., when she met with a buyer in Daytona Beach.

Deputies announced later that they'd arrested a second person connection with the case. Lawrence Works, 42, of Holly Hill, was charged with being a principal to the illegal sale or surrender of a child. It's unclear what his connection is to Bigbee or the child.

The FDLE said the investigation began in October, when they said Bigbee approached an unidentified "third party," offering to sell the baby for $75,000. Investigators say the buyer talked down the price of the infant to $30,000, which Bigbee agreed to accept. FDLE agents said they arrested Bigbee at the scene of the would-be transaction, turning the infant over to the Department of Children and Families.

Officials said the baby's mother is currently incarcerated on unrelated charges. Bigbee was booked into Volusia County Jail on charges of illegal sale or surrender of a child and communication fraud. The FDLE said its investigation is ongoing. Officials described the buyer as a "confidential source." A Department of Children and Families spokesman said the baby showed no outward signs of neglect or abuse and is "doing well."

There's a news video here.

Four foot pot plant in Idaho front yard brings arrest

A southern Idaho woman growing a 4-foot tall pot plant in her front yard has been arrested and faces several felony drug charges.

Masked Man Arrested Over Disguise On Flight

Didn't see that one coming, now did you ...

A young Asian male has been arrested after he donned a strange mask of an elderly white man and boarded a flight from Hong Kong to Canada.





World's Oldest Ax Discovered

caveA 35,500-year-old ax found on sacred Aboriginal land in Australia is the oldest tool of its kind ever found.  

Headless Gladiators Had Exotic Origins

gladiatorThe 1,800-year-old headless skeletons found in York belonged to men who hailed from far-flung places and ate exotic diets, analysis shows.  

Roman Multitool

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, UK, holds a Roman multitool that dates back to the 3rd Century C.E. When unfolded, it has a fork, spatula, pick, spike, and knife blade.



Hearing Loss May Be Responsible For Whale Beachings


Dog Dragged Behind Truck Finally Goes Home From NC Animal Hospital

A dog from our state that made national news after being dragged behind a truck is finally leaving the vet's office for a new home.

Three Ants

Ant Oases Found on NYC Street Medians   
In the most urban of urban environments – medians on three major Manhattan streets – scientists found 13 species of ants, both native and invasive.

The Life of an Ant (Infographic)   
Find out the ant that can carry many times its own body weight and where the pesky invaders have taken over in the U.S.

Leaf-Cutter Ants: Overachievers of the Insect World  
Leaf-cutter ants could be called the overachievers of the insect world. They are farmers, medicine makers, and green energy producers.

Spikes Alive!

This Alaskan king crab is the size of a nickel right now, but ... "After a dozen years, the crustacean will grow to the size of a tractor tire."

(image credit: Brian Skerry, National Geographic)

See the whole "3 Degrees of Japan's Seas" gallery by Brian Skerry -  here.

Zenyatta's shot at history

The horse puts her undefeated record on the line in a highly anticipated race at Churchill Downs. 

Zenyatta didn't win the cup classic ...

Jockey Mike Smith lost it for her.