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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.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Every day offers a bounty of new experiences, but you don't usually have the time or energy to explore them all.
Luckily you'll have both now!
Pick a new adventure to go on, and go at it with everything you can.
Do whatever fits your mood -- if you're feeling mellow, start an ambitious book that's been on your list way too long.
If you're feeling active, take a jog through a park you don't visit often enough.
Act on whatever's been in the back of your mind for a long while.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Edithvale, Victoria, Australia
Dortmund, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

as well as Italy, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Slovenia and in cities across the United States such as Bolingbrook, Laconia, Peabody, Sunol and more.

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, November 10, the 314th day of 2010.
There are 51 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
There are none.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

It's our birthday!

Today is the Marine Corps 235th birthday.

Free As A Bird

The Beatles


Free as a bird
It's the next best thing to be
Free as a bird

Home, home and dry
Like a homing bird I'll fly
As a bird on wings

Whatever happened to
The life that we once knew?
Can we really live without each other?

Where did we lose the touch
That seemed to mean so much?
It always made me feel so...

Free as a bird
Like the next best thing to be
Free as a bird

Home, home and dry
Like a homing bird I'll fly
As a bird on wings

Whatever happened to
The life that we once knew?
Always made me feel so free


Free as a bird
It's the next best thing to be
Free as a bird
Free as a bird
Free as a bird



Everything old is new again

The beloved bear's next adventure won't be computer-generated or shown in 3D.

Goodbye, Mr. Goodwrench

The friendly face has symbolized service at the company's auto dealerships for decades. 

The truth be told


Odds and Sods

Statistically, proven voter fraud happens about as often as death by lightning strike: Details

Welcome to the plutocracy! The average American earned $303 more in 2008 than 1980

Federal judge blocks Oklahoma's ban on sharia law

Coral reefs are under siege from acidic oceans

A New York father may have thought he was teaching his daughter a lesson. But police are calling it assault.

Pink diamond sale should set new record
Sotheby's says it expects a rare pink diamond to set a new world record price next week for a jewel sold at auction.

Scammers raid Holocaust funds

An elaborate 10-year scheme by corrupt insiders targeted unsuspecting Jewish families, FBI says.  

'Brockovich' town's worry

The toxic groundwater issue made famous by the movie may not be over for residents.  

And I Quote


What's the repucigan plan for the 59 million Americans who didn't have health insurance?

Or is it unfair to ask for details since their only goal is to destroy?

Somehow repugicans view people in need as a cost or a problem as opposed to Americans.
There is a complete lack of compassion in repugicans, not to mention spirit of community, but that's what the public voted for and will receive.

For now, at least.
Nearly 59 million Americans went without health insurance coverage for at least part of 2010, many of them with conditions or diseases that needed treatment, federal health officials said on Tuesday.

They said 4 million more Americans went without insurance in the first part of 2010 than during the same time in 2008.

"Both adults and kids lost private coverage over the past decade," Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a news briefing.

Commence Tea Party Head Explosions

In a Wall Street Journal profile this weekend, Paul signaled an about-face on his earmark position, committing to “fight for Kentucky’s share of earmarks and federal pork.”
They're getting what they 'voted' for, but they are too stupid and lazy to care.

Wizard of Id


Mobility scooter towed away by parking wardens

A mobility scooter is towed away by parking wardens after outstaying its welcome in a bay. Officials scooped up the four-wheeled ride - top speed just 8mph - when it exceeded the one-hour time limit in Thorpe Bay, Essex.

Bank worker Adam Vanderveken, 25, who took the photo, said: "I looked out the window and saw them taking it away. It just shows nobody gets away with parking too long here."

Left on 'Smuggle Island'

Traffickers are dumping migrants on a deserted island near San Diego, a news station reports.  

Bad Cops

Utah cop charged with aggravated assault and obstruction of justice

West Virginia deputy pleads not guilty to sex charges

New Mexico cop is arrested for domestic assault with car door

Oklahoma police officer arrested for assault and battery

Curiously un-named Louisiana police officer resigns amidst allegations of malfeasance

Ohio police dep't pays $100K to settle lawsuit over civil rights violations

Colorado cop is accused of sex assault

New Torture Methods In Gitmo


British say the shrub's 'torture saved lives in UK' is nonsense

Much like other ridiculous claims that the shrub has made, this one also appears to be fiction. Add it to WMD and 9/11 was linked to Saddam stories that were garbage. The shrub and his crowd are serial liars, but we knew that already.
British officials said today there was no evidence to support claims by the shrub, that information extracted by "waterboarding" saved British lives by foiling attacks on Heathrow airport and Canary Wharf. In his memoirs, the shrub said the practice – condemned by Downing Street as torture – was used in CIA interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the US.

He said Mohammed, below, was one of three al-Qaida suspects subjected to waterboarding. "Their interrogations helped break up plots to attack American diplomatic facilities abroad, Heathrow airport, and Canary Wharf in London, and multiple targets in the United States," he wrote.

It is not the first time information extracted from Mohammed has been claimed as helping to prevent al-Qaida attacks on British targets. Mohammed cited attacks on Heathrow, Big Ben and Canary Wharf in a list of 31 plots he described at Guantánamo Bay after he was subjected to waterboarding 183 times following his capture in Pakistan in March 2003. The Heathrow alert in fact happened a month before his arrest, with army tanks parked around the airport, in what was widely regarded as an overreaction.

Non Sequitur


What Would a No Growth Economy Actually Look Like?

Argentinian pesos photos
Image credit: Alex E. Proimos, used under Creative Commons license.
Whether we're talking about the economics of happiness, exploring living simply as an alternative American dream, or worrying about the potential impact of peak oil on the Global economy, more and more people seem attuned to the idea that the growth-at-all-costs model of economic development is not as robust as it once appeared. But what are the alternatives? If we abandon the idea of ever rising GDP, does that mean we need to turn our back on material prosperity and well-being too? Thankfully, some forward thinking economists are grappling with just these questions. What would a no-growth economy actually look like?
Article continues: What Would a No Growth Economy Actually Look Like?

Wall Street cashing in on taxpayer money for billions more ... again

Isn't it interesting to see how bad financial engineering has worked out for everyone besides Wall Street? To them, there's no such thing as a win-win. Why is this legal and who keeps allowing this to happen? Once again Wall Street proves that they believe in wealth re-distribution as long as it's a one way street, to their own pockets. If nobody is going to fight back and stand up for the rest of the country, it's not realistic to expect different results. It's pathetic to see that neither party shows any interest in real reform. The repugicans are cashing in on the Wall Street money and the Democrats are afraid that they will be labeled socialists.

Oh the profiles in courage that are our defenders of democracy.
For more than a decade, banks and insurance companies convinced governments and nonprofits that financial engineering would lower interest rates on bonds sold for public projects such as roads, bridges and schools. That failed promise has cost more than $4 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as hundreds of borrowers from the Bay Area Toll Authority in Oakland, California, to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, quietly paid Wall Street to end agreements since 2008.

California’s water resources department this year spent $305 million unwinding interest-rate bets that backfired, handing over the money to banks led by New York-based Morgan Stanley. North Carolina paid $59.8 million in August, enough to cover the annual salaries of about 1,400 full-time state employees. Reading, Pennsylvania, which sought protection in the state’s fiscally distressed communities program, got caught on the wrong end of the deals, costing it $21 million, equal to more than a year’s worth of real-estate taxes.

“It was brilliant, and it all blew up on me,” said Brian Mayhew, chief financial officer of the Bay Area Toll Authority, the state agency that gave Ambac Financial Group Inc., the New York-based bond insurer that filed for bankruptcy this week, $105 million to end $1.1 billion of interest-rate agreements. The payments equal more than two months of revenue on seven bridges the authority oversees around San Francisco.

States that tax retirees the most

Expect higher-than-average taxes across the board and few exemptions for retirement income.  

Fix your budget blunders

If your filing system is a mess, these tips will help get your finances in order.

Houses under $100,000

Plummeting real estate prices present a great opportunity to buy a spacious home cheaply.

Dream jobs in dream locations

Leaving your job to start a business in a remote paradise may seem impossible.  

How to get a raise today

Prove your case by learning key facts about your employer and salaries. 

Michigan asst. AG fired for harassing student

http://d.yimg.com/a/p/ap/20101108/capt.5c638eb14c7d4006bc159582c615016b-5c638eb14c7d4006bc159582c615016b-0.jpg?x=213&y=243&xc=1&yc=1&wc=358&hc=408&q=85&sig=cHjPaJRiQAzi6MGhCTsjEg--An assistant state attorney general accused of harassing the gay student assembly president at the University of Michigan was fired Monday.
Andrew Shirvell, 30, went on leave about a month ago after national criticism erupted over a blog he wrote characterizing student leader Chris Armstrong as a "racist" and a "liar" who promoted a "radical homosexual agenda."



All about stress urinary incontinence

Irrespective of whether the amount of urine leaked is small or large, incontinence can be distressing and embarrassing.

What's making your pain worse

Don't try to tough it out — waiting to seek treatment can hurt body and mind.  

Top 10 Unusual Cemeteries

If you were to be buried in one of the unusual cemeteries in this list, people would visit your grave whether they cared about you or not! Some are beautiful, some scary, and some are just plain weird. One that I would really like to see is the Bridge to Paradise.
The Bridge to Paradise, in the Xcaret Nature and Cultural Park, is quite an intriguing Mexican cemetery. Its structure is based on the Gregorian calendar: the cemetery simulates a hill with seven levels representing the days of the week and 365 colorful tombs on the outside depicting the days of the year. The main entrance is a stairway with 52 steps that represent the weeks of the year.
Each grave is different from the others in design and building materials. One might look like a replica of a famous cathedral, while the next one looks like a sofa or a bed with headboard and pillows.

Cocaine Facts

Strongest material on Earth

Pencil lead may break easily, but it contains a remarkably thin, powerful material.  

World's newest natural wonder

The China Danxia region features lush valleys as well as striking red sandstone pillars. 

Bhootbilli on the prowl in India

Lohegaon residents say at 7 pm every day, an elusive cat-dog-mongoose creature comes to eat their pigeons and goats. A "weird, scary creature" has been giving residents of Sanjay Park area sleepless nights. Those staying near the airport in Lohegaon are complaining about a bhootbilli (ghost cat), which they say has been feeding on domestic animals and birds the past 10 days.

"The bhootbilli has been coming everyday the past 10 days around 7 pm. We had set up a lot of traps, but all turned into a flop show because whenever we would try to catch it, it would jump on the tree and sneak out somewhere," said Feroz Dilawar Khan, a driver and resident of the area. "It's fat and broad with a long tail, black in color, has a face like a dog and back like a mongoose." The bhootbilli, as it is called by the residents, has eaten around 45 pigeons and one goat within a span of 10 days which all belonged to Feroz.

Fed-up of the creature, Feroz called the police, fire brigade and forest officials on November 3 around 10 pm, but the effort went in vain. "We arrived at the spot around 10 pm, but the animal had already escaped and hid somewhere in the trees," said one of the fire officials from Yerawada, who was at the spot. The residents have again set a trap and are expecting to catch the mischief-maker this time. Hrishikesh Sutar, chairman of the Sanjay Park Society in Maharashtra said: "The residents came complaining to me around four days ago and we haven't yet identified the creature. It's smaller than a lion but bigger than a hyena and I doubt if it's a wild cat."

Shekhar Nanajkar, president of a Wild, a wildlife organisation, said: "It's a rare case but according to the description given to me it can be a civet cat who attacks only small animals and birds. But if a goat has been eaten then it's either a leopard or human being." Anil Avchite, an animal lover, who had gone to the area around midnight on Wednesday, said: "I climbed up a 40-feet coconut tree as soon as the locals contacted me. I am sure it's a civet cat. I have asked locals to get in touch with me if they see the creature again."

Kent State geology professors study oldest fossil shrimp preserved with muscles

One of America’s favorite seafood is shrimp. Did you know that they fossilize as well? Rodney Feldmann, professor emeritus, and Carrie Schweitzer, associate professor, from Kent State University’s Department of Geology report on the oldest fossilized shrimp …

A Bank That Lends Goats

In Korawan, a remote area of India, there’s a bank that allows people to deposit goats as savings, or borrow goats on credit. Local coordinator Subedar Singh explained how it works:
“Wives of these people help them in crushing stones and breed two-three goats for additional income,” Singh said.
“Though the area is best suited for goat breeding, no effort was made to establish it as a full fledged business activity,” he said.
“We provide goats to women having interest in taking up breeding as a full-time activity as loan. When a goat gives birth to kids, generally two to three in numbers, one of them is deposited with the bank again,” Prema explained.
Goats in the bank are medically examined every week.
“In case a goat dies, then it is either replaced from the market or from the bank depending upon the availability,” Prema said.

Beautiful Animal Photography

Beautiful African animal photography in black and white by Nick Brandt.

Five Animals That Use Their Own Language

Animals communicate with each other in ways we can’t imagine, but there are a few we’ve figured out. Oh, we can’t translate everything yet, but we know how some do it. Environmental Graffiti looks at five animals that have their own languages. For example, some frogs chatter away in a language we can’t even hear!
The frogs’ calls have to compete with other animals’ loud signals. These calls are perceived as very loud to humans. However, there are frogs that communicate only through ultrasound. Their frequency is too high for the human ear to hear. The Huia cavitympanum species that lives in Borneo is the only species known to man that communicates only through high-pitched sounds.