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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.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Do you wish your town had a Ferris wheel?
Because you'd love to head out to it on autumn evenings, go up in the sky in those brightly colored seats, maybe see the moon rise over a cornfield, perhaps feel a crisp breeze in your hair -- and, once in awhile, take somebody to hold hands with you while you're up there?
Petition the mayor!
And if you're having some other great idea, do what it takes to make that a reality too.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Bangkok, Krung Thep, Thailand
Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
London, England, United Kingdom
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Kallax, Kronobergs Lan, Sweden
Edithvaile, Victoria, Australia

as well as Serbia & Montenegro, Gibraltar, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Russia, Slovenia, India, Colombia, Brazil and in cities across the United States such as Tellico Plains, Gretna, Ephrata, Aberdeen and more.

Today is:
Today is Thursday, November 11, the 315th day of 2010.
There are 50 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Origami Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Today we remember ...

This is Veterans Day in the US, Remembrance Day in Canada.

Man in wheelchair comes to aid of threatened clerk

A man in a wheelchair is being hailed as a hero after he wrestled a would-be thief to the ground for threatening a Vancouver convenience store clerk. Larry Skopnik says he was just doing the right thing when he saw the man charge behind the counter of the Food Stop on Commercial Drive. "Just because I'm in a chair doesn't mean I can't stand up and do what's right," Skopnik said.

Skopnik has been in a wheelchair since an ATV accident 10 years ago in Chetwynd. He was shopping in the Food Stop on Saturday night when a man tried to pass off a suspicious $50 bill. The clerk, Cindy Grewal, said the man became enraged when she wouldn't take the money. "He started using filthy language," said Grewal. "He comes behind the counter and came at me and everything."

Surveillance video shows the man grabbing at some of the counter items and coming at the clerk before she pushes him back. Skopnik rolled towards the counter and put the would-be thief in a headlock. The pair wrestled for a few seconds, and then Skopnik held the man by the torso until both of them fell to the ground. "I'm pretty sure I can defend myself," said Skopnik. "Her not getting hurt was the important thing."

Other store patrons held the man until the police arrived several minutes later. "I didn't know exactly what was going down, but I knew it wasn't right," said one of the patrons, Nick Dubeau. Police officers arrived after a few minutes and arrested the man. "Larry's a hero, honest to God," said Grewal. "I think (the thief) learned the lesson the hard way," said Grewal. "He won't come back. He saw the stars. It's a lesson that no good citizens will tolerate that."

The joke is relative


Paper plane's space pics

British space buffs successfully launch a toy airplane 23 miles above ground using a helium balloon.

Demolition goes awry

No one was hurt after a falling 275-foot smokestack at an Ohio power plant sent spectators scrambling.

Eleven Prisons Turned Into Hotels

Prisons make the perfect hotels?  One wouldn’t think so but here are some examples of hellish old prisons from around the world that have been converted into hotels.  Ranging from your basic hostels to ultra luxurious accommodations.  Talk about your haunted hotel! 

Perilous lives on U.S. border

Living in towns straddling the U.S. and Mexico means coping with growing drug violence.  

The truth be told


Repugican Plans Laid Bare


What did you expect


Debt panel pleases no one

Liberals and wingnuts are finding fault with a bipartisan commission's suggestions.

Plan to delay retirement age

The heads of Obama's deficit-cutting commission also suggest smaller Social Security benefits.

On The Job

These fields are likely to offer good pay and job security in coming years.

Secrets of HR departments

Background checks have gone beyond Web searches on an applicant's name.  

'Free' money from your bank

Some banks are offering up to $300, but before taking the money, be sure you know these traps.

Costly prediction for pensions

A $500 billion funding shortfall for retirement funds may ultimately cost many taxpayers.

Why stores are shrinking

Smaller versions of chains, including Bloomingdale's and Nike, make it easier to shop.

Wizard of Id


Famous West Point applicants

Newly available documents offer a peek into the young lives of Custer, Sherman, and other military figures. 

Army gets 1st Sikh enlisted

Sikhs like Simran Lamba have been unable to enlist since 1984 due to a U.S. Army policy.  

Russian official defects

The man responsible for unmasking the spy ring busted in June changes sides.  

American Woman Becomes African King

Two years ago, Peggielene Bartels, a US citizen and resident of Maryland, received an early morning phone call. Her uncle, the king of a village in Ghana, had died. Bartels was the next in the line of succession, and so she became king of Otuam:
Nana Amuah-Afenyi VI is Bartels’ new title, but she is better known as King Peggy. This straight-talking, 57-year-old is the first woman in her fishing community of 7,000 people in Ghana’s Central Region to be anointed a king, or “nana.”
She now juggles two lives — from the palace in Otuam and from a modest condo outside Washington, D.C. Since the 1970s, Bartels, a naturalized U.S. citizen, has been a secretary at Ghana’s Embassy in Washington where she still spends most of her time, running royal affairs back home in Otuam over the phone and on trips to Ghana.
“So, when they told me, I was a little bit reluctant to accept it, because it comes with responsibilities. And here is a secretary in the United States, I have my own obligations, bills and stuff and becoming a king, you have to be really rich,” she says.

Chinese dad jailed for protest

A man whose child was sickened in one of China's worst safety scandals is sent to prison for speaking out.

Awesome Pictures


Mount Merapi’s eruptions - Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images
Mount Merapi

Gold Olive Branch Left on the Moon

The Apollo 11 astronauts left a variety of items on the moon.  In addition to the flag, the plaque, and the silicon disk with goodwill statements, they left the item shown above.  It is a small replica of an olive branch, described as “less than half a foot in length,” a traditional symbol of peace.   The gesture was intended to serve as “a wish for peace for all mankind.”

African dust caused red soil in southern Europe

Spanish and American researchers have conducted a mineralogical and chemical analysis to ascertain the origin of “terra rossa” soil in the Mediterranean.
The results of the study reveal that mineral dust from the African regions of the Sahara …

Earthquake Twists Railroad Tracks

On September 4th, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand. Pictured above is a railroad track that crossed the fault line near Rolleston. Geographer Dave Petley of the American Geophysical Union writes:
The second image is particularly interesting. Note how the rails show high levels of deformation whilst the surrounding ground shows comparatively little. Notice also how the big kink on the left side has pushed the ballast aside and into the track side ditch This has happened on the right side too, but to a lesser extent. The right side bend nearest the camera has pushed the ballast towards the camera.
My initial hypothesis here (I am no expert on railway track deformation) in order to stimulate discussion is that the buckling may be the result of compressional deformation across a broad zone. The compression on the very strong railway line was accommodated when a weak point was found, leading to a comparatively rapid deformation to form the main buckle on the left. This then concentrated stress on both sides of the buckle, allowing the other (right side) bends to form.

'Healthy' kids' foods that aren't

If you think a PB&J, pretzels, and whole milk is a nutritious lunch for your child, think again.



Newly Discovered Lizard Species is All Female, Survives by Cloning

new lizard clone photo
Though it's been a well-known ingredient to chefs in South East Asia for some time, the lizard is new to science. 
Photo credit: L. Lee Grismer
Though it has been a regular item on menus across the Mekong delta for as long as anyone can remember, the lizard, now known as Leiolepis ngovantrii, has just recently been introduced to science.
The unusual description of the species places it in the one percent of reptiles that reproduce via parthenogenesis—in which embryos are clones of their mothers.
Article continues: Newly Discovered Lizard Species is All Female, Survives by Cloning



World's Oldest Dinosaur Embryos Found

Paleontologists have just identified the world's oldest known dinosaur embryos, which are also the oldest known embryos for any land-dwelling vertebrate.  

Mummified Dogs Unearthed in Peru

Discovered at a major pre-Columbian site, the 15th-century dogs may have been religious offerings.  

Whales' problem highlights ozone

New findings highlight unexpected perils associated with the depletion of the ozone layer.  

Bizarre creature washed up on Australian beach

This bizarre discovery on Diggers Beach, near Coffs Harbor, has given rise to a host of theories explaining what this creature might be and how it washed ashore. The animal, roughly two foot long, was found by surfers on Father’s Day, but only now have the photos surfaced. One of the local men who came across the animal, Peter Atkinson, is at a loss to explain it. Countless others have also been stumped in making a positive identification.

“It was found on the high water mark and we contacted National Parks, but it appears the animal was washed back out to sea on the next tide,” Mr Atkinson said. Suggestions have ranged from the credible to the ridiculous. One strongly supported possibility is that it’s a type of monkey. Others said it could be a South American sloth.

Yet web searches could not help with a positive identification. Even the experts at Taronga Zoo were brought in on the case. Mr Atkinson confirmed the photos were real and taken on a mobile phone, ruling out an email hoax, through several other credible witnesses.

Yesterday a more likely explanation came through the office. Lawrence Orel from the National Parks and Wildlife Service said on first inspection it appeared to be a brush tailed possum. “The bushy fur on the tail gives it away I think. Possums do get that dark in color, and it looks as though the fur may have come away from the face, but we’ll wait for positive confirmation from the zoo.”