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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.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Okay, so if any sign is, it's yours that's ordinarily the very soul of discretion, self-control and discipline.
Still, it won't take much arm-twisting to talk you into a little recreation at this particular moment in time.
It will take even less persuasion if you just so happen to be at the mercy of someone you've been dying to spend a few quality hours alone with for a long, long time.
Oh, go ahead.
But lose the guilt first.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Edithvale, Victoria, Australia
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Rome, Lazio, Italy
San Isidro, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Rio De Janeiro, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
London, England, United Kingdom
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, Israel
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Prague, Hlavni Mesto Praha, Czech Republic

as well as Germany, Taiwan, South Africa, Singapore, Switzerland, India, Romania, Japan and in cities across the United States such as Reno, Boise, San Angelo, Temperance and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, November 20, the 324th day of 2010.
There are 41 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
There isn't one.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
November 20, 2010
Today, I’d like to speak with you about an issue that is fundamental to America’s national security: the need for the Senate to approve the New START Treaty this year.
This Treaty is rooted in a practice that dates back to Ronald Reagan. The idea is simple – as the two nations with over 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons, the United States and Russia have a responsibility to work together to reduce our arsenals. And to ensure that our national security is protected, the United States has an interest in tracking Russia’s nuclear arsenal through a verification effort that puts U.S. inspectors on the ground. As President Reagan said when he signed a nuclear arms treaty with the Soviet Union in 1987, “Trust, but verify.”
That is precisely what the New START Treaty does. After nearly a full year of negotiations, we completed an agreement earlier this year that cuts by a third the number of long-range nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles that the United States and Russia can deploy, while ensuring that America retains a strong nuclear deterrent, and can put inspectors back on the ground in Russia.
The Treaty also helped us reset our relations with Russia, which led to concrete benefits. For instance, Russia has been indispensable to our efforts to enforce strong sanctions on Iran, to secure loose nuclear material from terrorists, and to equip our troops in Afghanistan.
All of this will be put to risk if the Senate does not pass the New START Treaty.
Without ratification this year, the United States will have no inspectors on the ground, and no ability to verify Russian nuclear activities. So those who would block this treaty are breaking President Reagan’s rule – they want to trust, but not verify.
Without ratification, we put at risk the coalition that we have built to put pressure on Iran, and the transit route through Russia that we use to equip our troops in Afghanistan. And without ratification, we risk undoing decades of American leadership on nuclear security, and decades of bipartisanship on this issue. Our security and our position in the world are at stake.
Indeed, since the Reagan years, every President has pursued a negotiated, verified, arms reduction treaty. And every time that these treaties have been reviewed by the Senate, they have passed with over 85 votes. Bipartisan support for New START could not be stronger. It has been endorsed by Republicans from the Reagan Administration and both Bush Administrations – including Colin Powell, George Shultz, Jim Baker, and Henry Kissinger. And it was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by a strong bipartisan vote of 14-4.
Over the last several months, several questions have been asked about New START, and we have answered every single one. Some have asked whether it will limit our missile defense – it will not. Some, including Senator Jon Kyl, have asked that we modernize our nuclear infrastructure for the 21st century – we are doing so, and plan to invest at least $85 billion in that effort over the next ten years – a significant increase from the Bush Administration.
Finally, some make no argument against the Treaty – they just ask for more time. But remember this: it has already been 11 months since we’ve had inspectors in Russia, and every day that goes by without ratification is a day that we lose confidence in our understanding of Russia’s nuclear weapons. If the Senate doesn’t act this year – after six months, 18 hearings, and nearly a thousand questions answered – it would have to start over from scratch in January.
The choice is clear: a failure to ratify New START would be a dangerous gamble with America’s national security, setting back our understanding of Russia’s nuclear weapons, as well as our leadership in the world. That is not what the American people sent us to Washington to do.
There is enough gridlock, enough bickering. If there is one issue that should unite us – as Republicans and Democrats – it should be our national security.
Some things are bigger than politics. As Republican Dick Lugar said the other day, “Every Senator has an obligation in the national security interest to take a stand, to do his or her duty.”
Senator Lugar is right. And if the Senate passes this treaty, it will not be an achievement for Democrats or Republicans – it will be a win for America.

No. 1 thing you need to survive

Water and shelter are essentials, but there's something else you need above all.  

Rethink how to beat stress

If deep breathing and yoga aren't helping you relax, you aren't alone.  



Cancer surviving flight attendant forced to remove prosthetic breast during pat-down

Maybe things are going just a bit too far, no?
In early August Cathy Bossi was walking through security when she says she was asked to go through the new full body-scanners at Concourse "D" at Charlotte Douglas International.

She reluctantly agreed. As a 3-year breast cancer survivor she says she didn't want the added radiation through her body. But, Bossi says she did agree.

"The T.S.A. Agent told me to put my I.D. on my back," she said. "When I got out of there she said because my I.D. was on my back, I had to go to a personal screening area."

She says two female Charlotte T.S.A. agents took her to a private room and began what she calls an aggressive pat down. She says they stopped when they got around to feeling her right breast… the one where she'd had surgery.

"She put her full hand on my breast and said, 'What is this?'. And I said, 'It's my prosthesis because I've had breast cancer.' And she said, 'Well, you'll need to show me that'."

Cathy Bossi, from South Charlotte, has been a flight attendant for over 30 years and has worked for U.S. Airways for the past 28 years.

TSA exempts pilots from porno-scan or gropes at airports

Hey, it's a first step.
The Transportation Security Administration agreed Friday to let uniformed airline pilots skip the body scans and aggressive pat-downs at the heart of a national uproar. The pilots must pass through a metal detector at airport checkpoints and present photo IDs that prove their identity.

The victory for pilots followed a 2-year lobbying campaign by their union leaders that reached a fever pitch in the past two weeks. Their bid was boosted by hero pilot Chesley Sullenberger, who said pilots should be treated as "trusted partners" in the fight against terrorism.

But just days before the hectic Thanksgiving holiday travel period, TSA chief John Pistole offered little hope of a similar reprieve for regular passengers, who have complained more loudly about the new measures. Some are urging travelers to refuse to go through full-body scanners, which produce a virtually naked image.

It Takes One to Know One

Castro Sees Tea Party as "Fascism"
In the ultimate pot calling the kettle black, former Cuban dictator and President Fidel Castro recognized the Tea Party but not in very favorable terms.

The truth be told


Swiss political party issues image of naked models

A wingnut political party in Switzerland has produced a provocative anti-immigration campaign in which a photograph of naked young models wading into Lake Zurich is contrasted with an image of headscarf-wearing Muslim women bathing in filthy water. The campaign is meant to warn the Swiss of what could happen to the country if it allows greater immigration. It comes as the Alpine nation prepares to vote on whether immigrants who commit serious crimes should be automatically expelled.

The online campaign was produced by a regional branch of the Swiss People's Party (SVP), the largest in parliament and the country's biggest political force. The first image shows a rear view of four young women holding hands and standing in the shallows of Lake Zurich. The second shows a group of elderly women, possibly Albanians or Bosnians, wearing headscarves and smoking as they immerse themselves in muddy water. It is supposed to represent a vision of Switzerland 20 years from now.

A spokeswoman for the SVP said that the controversial images had been created by party activists in Wohlen, west of Zurich, and would not be adopted nationally. Switzerland will hold a referendum next week in which voters can decide whether foreigners who have been found guilty of murder, rape, drugs trafficking and other serious offenses should be deported.

The expulsion initiative was put forward by the SVP, which has won support by capitalizing on fears about foreigners, who currently make up more than a fifth of Switzerland's population of 7.7 million. Recent polls show that 54 per cent of Swiss voters would vote in favor of the measure while 43 per cent are against it. The federal Justice Ministry has warned that a "yes" vote on Nov 28 could bring Switzerland into conflict with international obligations such as the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or nationality.

Odds and Sods

Denmark's Little Mermaid received applause and trumpet fanfares on Saturday as the famous statue was reinstalled at its home perch in Copenhagen harbor after spending six months in China.

India's Hindus have revered the cow for centuries. Now they can signal their faith with an aftershave made with bovine urine, a substance finding its way into a plethora of products, from toilet cleaners to soft drinks and lip balms, it emerged Saturday.

A man who bought a foreclosed Florida home discovered a body in the garage, and it may be that of the former owner, authorities said Friday

'Legally dead' man pleads not guilty

Mississippi man suspected in disappearance of girl, mother

A Mississippi man who was declared legally dead in 1994 pleaded not guilty Friday to a federal kidnapping charge in the abduction of a 12-year-old girl who was found dead in remote Louisiana woods. Thomas Steven Sanders, suspected of shooting Lexis Roberts of Las Vegas before dumping her body, said little Friday while in federal court in Louisiana. Shackled and wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, he spent much of the time reading documents with his lawyer.
http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/49986000/jpg/_49986932_49986930.jpgSanders, also is a suspect in the disappearance of the girl's mother, Suellen Roberts. Authorities believe a body found Monday in Arizona may be hers. Authorities are trying to positively identify the body with dental records.
Sanders, who drifted through several states after he was declared dead, was arrested Sunday in Gulfport, Miss.

Two beggars

Two beggars in Rome are sitting side by side on a street. One has a cross in front of him; the other one the Star of David. Many people go by and look at both beggars, but only put money into the bowl of the beggar sitting behind the cross.

A priest comes by and stops and watches the throngs of people giving money to the beggar behind the cross, but none give to the beggar behind the Star of David.

Finally, the priest goes over to the beggar behind the Star of David and says, "my poor fellow, don't you understand? This is a Catholic country; this city is the seat of Catholicism. People aren't going to give money if you sit there with a Star of David in front of you, especially when you're sitting beside a beggar who has a cross. In fact, they would probably give to him just out of spite."

The beggar behind the Star of David listened to the priest, turned to the other beggar with the cross and said, "You hear that Avi, look who's trying to teach the Goldstein brothers about marketing."

Black Friday myths busted

Shoppers will brave long lines and overcrowded stores, but are the bargains worth it? 

Worst cities for finding jobs

Bad interviews or a lack of experience may not be the reason you can't land a job.  

Insider trading rings targeted

Authorities expect the three-year probe to have an unprecedented impact on the financial world.



Dutch may ban foreigners from marijuana 'coffee' shops

 I'm sensing a major rush in tourism in the near future from the UK and Germany. So which cash strapped country will want to take a chance and offer up the new Amsterdam?
For those seeking high-grade, low-cost marijuana, free from the attentions of "the man", Amsterdam has long been the weekend destination of choice. But all that could be about to change.

A million British tourists visit Amsterdam each year, but a big draw for a considerable number will vanish if the Dutch justice minister goes ahead with plans to ban foreigners from buying cannabis in the country's famous coffee shops.

"Of course tourists are welcome to visit the Netherlands but not only to visit the coffee shops," said the justice minister, Ivo Opstelten. "In the near future, if we work out the processes, the coffee shops will not be accessible to tourists."

Five bizarre U.S. restaurants

Denver's Casa Bonita is "a Mexican restaurant crossed with Disneyland."  

Non Sequitur


Comic book sells for almost $500K in Texas


84-year old man paid a dime when he was a teen

 A rare comic book an 84-year-old California man bought for a dime when he was a teen has been sold in Texas for $492,937. The copy of Detective Comics No. 27 featured the debut of "The Batman."
Robert Irwin said he bought the May 1939 issue from a Sacramento, Calif., newsstand when he was 13, and it's the only comic book he kept from his youth.
The winning bid came from a collector who wished to remain anonymous. He placed the bid by phone Thursday in an auction by Heritage Auctions in Dallas.
Irwin, who attended the auction, said he is elated and wishes he had another book.
Heritage sold a rare copy of that same comic in better condition for $1,075,500 in February.

Creative Signage


The Origin of Familiar Symbols



Now that's scary!
And to think we actually lived through the 'Beehive Era' ... who would have thought it possible at the time.

Leave it to Scotland

Scottish scientists discover how to run cars on whiskey.

Lithium in 7-Up

Everyone knows that Coca-Cola was originally formulated to contain cocaine.  I didn't know that 7-Up contained lithium.
... lithium was widely marketed as one of a number of patent medicine products popular in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, and was the medicinal ingredient of a refreshment beverage, 7 Up. Charles Leiper Grigg, who launched his St. Louis-based company The Howdy Corporation in 1920, invented a formula for a lemon-lime soft drink in 1929. The product, originally named "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda", was launched two weeks before the Wall Street Crash of 1929.  It contained the mood stabiliser lithium citrate and was one of a number of patent medicine products popular in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. The beverage was marketed specifically as a hangover cure. Its name was soon changed to 7 Up.
More about 7-Up and the history of its name at Snopes.



Cute Baby Animals


Drunk Monkeys

From BBC

Confused African Pelicans End Up in Siberia: Thanks, Global Warming.

pink-pelican siberia
Russia's been having a record breaking autumn weather-wise, with temperatures in Altai, in southwestern Siberia, remaining as high as 41° Fahrenheit. And it looks like the balmy weather has attracted some new residents: on Tuesday, a flock of seven African pink pelicans landed in the village of Suslovo, reported Reuters. The birds, which had spend the summer in Kazakhstan, should have been flying south to winter in Africa. But that's where global warming stepped in. Confused by the unnaturally high temperatures to the north, the pelicans, all barely a year old, flew in the wrong direction.
Article continues: Confused African Pelicans End Up in Siberia: Thanks, Global Warming.

Into the wolf's eyes

Feeling sheepish are we?

What Does Your Dog Think?

Sit! Shake! Quit barking! Get off the couch! Go find your toy!

Ever wonder what your dog is thinking as it gazes at you while you are giving it commands?

Duke University's Canine Cognition Center in Durham, North Carolina, is one of the few labs in the country focused on how dogs think.

Faithful dog waits for owner near Shanghai fire without eating

A Golden Retriever puppy has deeply moved citizens in the aftermath of the huge fire that broke out on Jiaozhou Road in Shanghai killing 53 people on Nov. 15. The puppy laid and wept on the ground beside the fire site without eating and drinking waiting for its owner to return.

The puppy kept walking back and forth near the fire site in the wake of the fire disaster and looked very worried. Several hours later, it was so tired that it laid still at a crossing and was trembling. Nearby residents estimated that the dog's owner was likely trapped in the huge fire, and firefighters covered the dog with a blanket and provided it with some rice, vegetables, bread and water.

However, the dog neither ate nor drank, and had tears running down its face. A resident wanted to temporarily adopt the dog and touched it, but the dog immediately growled and glared at the resident. After resting, the dog stood up and walked around the burning building again. After the dog became a little more relaxed, a firefighter at the site temporarily adopted the dog.

The firefighter from then Shanghai Jing'an Fire Fighting Squadron said the dog's name is Jingjing and had waited for its owner near the fire site before becoming so tired that it nearly passed out on the ground while watching the burning building. Jingjing was very dismayed and ate nothing after it was temporally adopted by the firefighter. At noon on Nov. 17, Jingjing's owner went to the fire fighting squadron base, and Jingjing immediately ran toward its owner. The firefighter who adopted the dog said, "This man must be the dog's owner." Jingjing did not eat anything for 40 hours until it was reunited with its owner.

Peach the Chihuahua is Japan's newest police dog

In what is a first for Japan and perhaps the world, a long-haired Chihuahua named "Momo" - "Peach" - passed exams to become a police dog in the western Japanese prefecture of Nara.

The brown-and-white, perky Momo was one of 32 successful candidates out of 70 dogs, passing a search and rescue test by finding a person in five minutes after merely sniffing their cap. "Any breed of dog can be entered to become a police dog in the search and rescue division," said a Nara police spokesman.

But he admitted that news a Chihuahua had been entered may still come as a surprise to many. "It's quite unusual," he said.

Momo will be used for rescue operations in case of disasters such as earthquakes, in the hope that she may be able to squeeze her tiny frame into places too narrow for more usual rescue dogs, which tend to be German Shepherds. The public response to the news of Momo's selection took police by surprise, the spokesman said, adding: "The phone's been ringing all afternoon."

Last chance to save tigers?

The population has plummeted so sharply that it's near the point of no return.