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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 23, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
That secret you've been holding onto forever?
The one you've been lugging around for what feels like most of your adult life?
Someone has made it more difficult for you to keep that secret any longer.
Besides, it's your secret, and only your secret -- which makes it perfectly fair game for you to tell anyone and everyone.
So when the questions come about, don't feel as if the paparazzi are following you, and don't feel bad about openly disclosing everything.
Why hide what you're not ashamed of?

Some of our readers today have been in:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Edithvale, Victoria, Australia
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
San Juan, San, Juan, Puerto Rico
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
La Libertad, La Libertad, El Salvador
Manila, Manila, Philippines
London, England, United Kingdom
Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

as well as Czech Republic, Singapore, Japan, Scotland, Italy, Romania, Korea, Vietnam and in cities across the United States such as Galion, Inver Grove Heights, Livingston, Villa Park and more.

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, November 23, the 327th day of 2010.
There are 38 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Culinary DeLites

A sweet-potato, red onion, and fontina tart is a perfect holiday entree for non-meat eaters. 
To avoid over-handling the dough, roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper.  

Five myths about Thanksgiving

The turkey probably won't be to blame for making you sleepy after Thursday's big meal.  

Losing weight with water

Dieters have been encouraged to try this trick for ages, but many wonder if it works.  

Sporting Chance

A middle management executive has to take on some sport by his doctor’s orders, so he decides to play tennis.

After a couple of weeks his secretary asks him how he’s doing.

“It’s going fine,” the manager says. “When I’m on the court and I see the ball speeding toward me, my brain immediately says, ‘To the corner! Back hand! To the net! Smash! Go back!’”

“Really? What happens then?” the secretary asks.

“Then my body says, ‘Who? Me? You must be kidding!’”

Non Sequitur


Gridlock's effect on 2012

Repugican support for gridlock will cost them a voting bloc that proved crucial in the midterms.  

Repugicans don't want to protect consumers

They certainly don't want a new bureau making sure that consumers are protected.
Repugican Spencer Bachus of Alabama, the leading contender to take the reins of the house financial services committee, and Illinois' Judy Biggert, the top repugican on the panel's oversight and investigations subcommittee, sent letters to the inspectors general of both the treasury department and the federal reserve, directing them to conduct an investigation into the work being done to establish the new bureau.

Scientist: X-ray scanners deliver “20 times the average dose that is typically quoted by TSA.”

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, a scientist and the Chairman of the House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel, says the "TSA's current obsession with fielding body imaging technology is misguided, counterproductive, and potentially dangerous."
In March, the Congressional Biomedical Caucus (of which I am a co-chair) hosted a presentation on this technology by TSA, as well as a briefing by Dr. David Brenner of Columbia University on the potential health effects of “back scatter” x-ray devices. As Dr. Brenner noted in his presentation and in subsequent media interviews, the devices currently in use and proposed for wider deployment this year currently deliver to the scalp “20 times the average dose that is typically quoted by TSA and throughout the industry.” Dr. Brenner has pointed out that the majority of the radiation from X-ray backscatter machines strikes the top of the head, which is where 85 percent of the 800,000 cases of basal cell carcinoma diagnosed in the United States each year develop. According to Dr. Brenner, excessive x-ray exposure can act as a cancer rate multiplier, which is why our government should investigate thoroughly the potential health risks associated with this technology.
U.S. Rep. Rush Holt Continues to Question Science, Effectiveness of TSA Full Body Scanners

More TSA

Stories and videos of TSA screenings gone wrong are going viral ahead of a planned protest. 
Know where the full-body scanners are located and how to navigate the new airport security policies.  

Another Canadian take on the TSA porno-scanners

If only the similarity was strictly limited to this issue. Good one by the Ottawa Citizen.

Danger bubbles up through ice

Some experts fear a substance oozing out of Siberia's frozen surfaces will soon redefine the climate fight.  

Guilty Verdict in Chandra Levy Murder Trial

Is He the Scapegoat?

After deliberating over parts of four days, the jury in the Chandra Levy murder trial found Ingmar Guandiqu of guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Washington intern Chandra Levy nearly a decade ago.

The verdict came shortly after noon on Monday.

Guandique, a Salvadoran immigrant, was accused of killing Levy in 2001 while she exercised in Washington's Rock Creek Park. Her remains were found in the park roughly a year after she went missing. Levy's disappearance made headlines when she was romantically linked to Gary Condit, then a congressman representing central California as a Democrat, but police no longer think he was involved.

In her closing Tuesday, Public defender Santha Sonenberg said there is powerful evidence of Guandique's innocence, including male DNA from an unknown source that was found on Levy's black running tights. The DNA matches neither Guandique nor Condit, and Guandique's DNA was never found on anything connected to Levy.

Prosecutors said Levy's death fits a pattern of attacks by Guandique in 2001 in Washington's Rock Creek Park. That's where her remains were found.

Defense lawyers say the Salvadoran immigrant has become a scapegoat for a botched investigation.

Israeli military uses Facebook to rein in draft dodgers

We wrote earlier about debt collectors who were using Facebook as a tool. Here we have a further example of why not to use social networking sites: the Israeli military has used Facebook to catch approximately 1,000 draft dodgers. 

Koreas trade fire near border

Pyongyang's attack left buildings ablaze and at least two South Koreans dead.  

City's extreme trash crisis

Health experts warn of serious disease risks as uncollected garbage overruns the Italian city.

Taliban impostor bilks officials

A key figure in secret Afghan peace talks wasn't who he claimed, sources say.  

Secrets of flight attendants

“I hate working flights to destinations like Vail and West Palm Beach," says one.  

Dealt a bad hand

Pathological gamblers are also at risk for mental health disorders
Pathological gamblers are risking more than their money, they are also three times more likely to commit suicide than non-betters. A new Montreal inter-university study has shown these gamblers are also plagued by…

Disney to break from fairy tales

"Tangled" may be the studio's last film for a while that's based on an age-old fable.  

Note from School

Wall Street scandal's lesson

The government's massive investigation of Wall Street should be a warning to every American.

How bad credit scores can hurt

Your credit rating is more important than you think, even if you're not looking for a loan.

How remarriage affects finances

Delaying or avoiding tying the knot again makes good economic sense in some situations.

Gen Y's money habits differ

Young adults are mirroring an older generation's investing habits instead of their parents'.

Tips to avoid holiday debts

Drawing names or buying gifts only for children will help you stay within your budget.  



Rare 'Star-Spangled Banner' on sale

An 1814 first edition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" is heading for the auction block in New York City. It's estimated to go for $200,000 to $300,000 at the sale early next month.

The World's Most Amazing And Fascinating Buildings In Early Civilizations

Some examples of fascinating buildings in early civilizations.



And I Quote

"Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. we all breathe the same air. we all cherish our children's future. and we are all mortal." -JFK

Unpublished JFK photos released

Unpublished photos commemorate the 50th anniversary of his presidential election.  

Ghosts of Amsterdam: combining WWII photos with contemporary images

Jo Teeuwisse combined found WWII-era photos of Amsterdam with contemporary shots of the same places to create a series called "The Ghosts of Amsterdam": "In the picture above, you can see a group of young factory workers posing probably outside the factory during the war. I cheated a little bit by removing some pots of flowers which are on the steps today!"


Jack Klobnak writes in: "I took this pix in the 1970's. It is on Choteau Ave. in St. Louis, which was famous in the early 20th Century for Brain Sandwiches (use a lot of mustard). It was not uncommon for dolts to be told to take a quarter down to Choteau to get some brains. Sadly, the building is no longer standing."
The location appears to have since been completely redeveloped as a hospital.

The Most Colorful Cities in the World

I live in a bright yellow house in a mostly brown or brick neighborhood, so I am drawn to these colorful neighborhoods around the world. This picture is from Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa. See all 20 colorful cities at Buzzfeed.



Breathtaking Satellite Photos Showcase the Fragile Earth as Art

ganges river delta satellite photo
The Ganges River Delta. Photo credit: Image courtesy of USGS National Center for EROS and NASA Landsat Project Science Office
High above the earth hover satellites; their eyes trained on the surface, capturing images from a perspective few humans will ever experience.
Besides their unique position, these satellites are capable of discerning details the human eye misses. The intense detail captured by the Landsat-7 satellite—and the thermal gradients illustrated by NASA's Terra Satellite's Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer—show earth for what it is: A fragile work of art.
Breathtaking Satellite Photos Showcase the Fragile Earth as Art Slideshow

The Golden Spine of Autumn

Or maybe, the Resting Golden Dragon? Wonderful colors in Namego Valley, Japan (Tenkawa Mountain):
(image credit: , via)

The Supercell

National Geographic's Photo Contest includes this stunning image: a supercell thunderstorm rolls across the Montana prairie at sunset. (Photo by Sean Heavey)

(photo by Sean Heavey, National Geographic)

Incredible Pictures From ISS By NASA Astronaut Wheelock

On September 22, 2010, with the departure of the Expedition 23 crew, Colonel Douglas Wheelock assumed command of the International Space Station and the Expedition 25 crew.

He is also known as @Astro_Wheels on Twitter, where he has been tweeting pictures to his followers since he arrived at the space station. The images bring breathtaking views from our only off planet Vista point.

Pluto planetary debate

The tiny icy body gets renewed attention after an important recalculation by astronomers.  

Seeing inside the cell

A human hair is somewhere between 60,000 and 120,000 nanometers wide. The new microscope that took this image of a mouse cell can capture 3-D images at a resolution of 30 nanometers.
Other microscopes have achieved higher resolutions, but not without a lot of work. It can take up to two weeks to get this kind of image via electron microscopy, as you take sliver after sliver of the cell and piece the images back together. This system, called X-ray nanotomography, can capture the entire cell in one step.
The smallest of details were visible: the double membrane of the cell nucleus, nuclear pores in the nuclear envelope, membrane channels in the nucleus, numerous invaginations of the inner mitochondrial membrane and inclusions in cell organelles such as lysosomes. Such insights will be crucial for shedding light on inner-cellular processes: such as how viruses or nanoparticles penetrate into cells or into the nucleus, for example.

Top-secret satellite debuts

The U.S. launches a mysterious payload touted as the "largest satellite in the world."

Diagrams That Changed The World

A picture, the old adage goes, is worth 1,000 words. But in science a diagram can describe things that transcend the written word. A single image can convey the simple underlying pattern hidden by words or equations.

Draw the right picture and you can literally transform the way we see the world. But a diagram is more than just a physical representation of what we see with our eyes.

Roman Swimming Pool Found

Archaeologists discover a swimming pool in which a legion of Roman soldiers bathed after sacking Jerusalem.  

Wizard of Id


Pets make trips more enjoyable

Looking for an enjoyable vacation? Take your dog. In an Associated Press-Petside.com poll, 75 percent of pet owners who have vacationed with their animals in the last two years said their pets made the trip more enjoyable.

Dogs Smarter Than Cats

Dog owners, this will confirm what you always thought.
And cat owners, prepare to extend your claws: scientists at Oxford University say canines are smarter than felines.

Wooden sticks “too dangerous” for dogs

Health and safety went barking mad yesterday when these rubber sticks were launched for dogs – because real wood is too dangerous. Vets say the traditional game of throwing sticks found on the ground could lead to serious injuries from splinters and sharp points. So now rubber Safestix – which are approved by the Royal Veterinary College and The Dogs Trust – are hitting the shelves of some of Britain’s biggest pet retailers. The 70cm flexible sticks were designed by Army sergeant Paul Blair, 39, after his beloved four-year-old Jack Russel Razzle was badly hurt chasing a stick.

He spent 18 months working with vets, designers and air hostess wife Helen, 29, to create Safestix after failing to find a product that replicated a large stick. Sgt Blair, who is with the Parachute Regiment at Netheravon, Salisbury, Wilts., said he hoped the sticks would become a hit with pet owners. He said: ”I’m not trying to be the fun police but I do want to get the safety message out to educate dog owners about the dangers of throwing sticks. I was just throwing a normal stick for my Jack Russell. He ran on to it in an awkward way and a splinter came off and punctured the inside of his mouth.

”I started researching similar injuries online and found that they are very common so I decided to do something about it. The Safestix is one of the biggest dog toys on the market so it really replicates playing with a stick for dogs, which they love.” Professor Dan Brockman from the Royal Veterinary College praised Safestix as ”perfect”.

He said: ”This product would seem like the perfect alternative to a piece of wood. It has been carefully designed with no rough ends or edges and is made of material that is tough enough to withstand even my terriers teeth.” The Safestix are designed to be long-lasting and are made from tough rubber, which has twists in it to make it ”more interesting” for dogs to chew and catch. Three new Safestix versions – a shorter 50cm stick, an ”extra tough” one and a teeth cleaning mint stick – will go on the market next year.