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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.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Expect to raise some eyebrows at work now, and a few more tonight, too.
You're in a very rare mood -- so rare that your coworkers and friends are willing to bet they've never seen you like this.
Rather than exercising caution, playing it safe or avoiding confrontation, you're ready to rock.
If it's reckless, you're in.
If it's slightly scary, you're in.
Better warn anyone you expect to be spending any amount of time around.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Quezon City, Manila, Philippines
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
London, England, United Kingdom
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Edithvale, Victoria, Australia
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel
Franfurt, Hessen, Germany
Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada

as well as Italy, Serbia, Greece, Scotland, Singapore, Sweden, Croatia, Pakistan, Romania, Korea, Brazil, Vietnam, Egypt, Indonesia, Czech Republic and in cities across the United States such as Walnut Creek, Nashua, Kissimmiee, Los Lunas and more.

Today is:
Today is Friday, November 26, the 330th day of 2010.
There are 35 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
International Aura Awareness Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama Appears on 'Mythbusters'

President Barack Obama makes an appearance on  Discovery's Mythbusters on December 8th, and it might be the biggest  request ever made on the show.

TSA Perversions

'They were staring me up and down': Woman claimed U.S. airport security staff singled her out for her breasts

A woman has complained that new US airport security measures saw her picked out for further screening because of her breasts.

And some beat them at their own game ...
Who need body scans? 
Passengers beat the TSA by stripping off BEFORE they go through airport security

And remember they're not that 'defined' of an image (or so they say) ...
Menstruating woman subjected to TSA grope because panty-liner obscured her vulva on pornoscanner
A self-described "rule follower" went through an airport pornoscanner wearing a panty-liner (she was menstruating). Because the hygienic item obscured the screener's view of her vagina vulva, she was made to endure a humiliating fondling, "so invasive that I was left crying and dealing with memories that I thought had been dealt with years ago of prior sexual assaults."
These new scans are so horrible that if you are wearing something unusual (like a piece of cloth on your panties) then you will be subjected to a search where a woman repeatedly has to check your "groin" while another woman watches on (two in my case - they were training in a new girl - awesome). So please, please, tell the ladies not to wear their liners at the airport (I didn't even have an insert in). I'm a strong, confident woman; I'm an Army vet (which is why those camo liners crack me up), I work full-time and go to graduate school full-time, I have a wonderful husband, and I don't take any nonsense from anyone. I don't dramatize, and I don't exaggerate. I'm trying to give you a sense of who I am so you won't think that this is a plea for attention, or a jumping on the bandwagon about the recent TSA proposed boycott. I just don't want another woman to have to go through the "patting down" because she didn't know that her glad-rag would be a matter of national security."
There are plenty of TSA apologists who say that objections to the TSA's invasive "pat-downs" are just whining from people don't want to go through the backscatter radiation machines -- we bring it on ourselves. But as we've seen, anything out of the ordinary -- wearing a fabric pad during menstruation, artificial limbs, medical prostheses, etc -- can send you off for a date with Doctor Jellyfinger, Junior G-Man extraordinaire. By declaring war on the unexpected, the TSA has set in motion a policy that makes the lives of cancer sufferers, disabled people, people who've had major surgery, and many others who're already having a hard time even harder.

A Security Issue At The Office


Bad Cops

Fired Ohio cop gets community service for evidence tampering

Probation revoked for fired Alabama cop after he's arrested again on felony drug charges

Pennsylvania cop is charged with criminal trespass, official oppression and possessing instruments of crime

Video shows un-named Seattle cop kicking 17-year-old boy in the groin even though his hands were up

Maryland police officer given $185 ticket after paralyzing 14-year-old boy

Judge orders Los Angeles cops to stop harassing superheroes

Non Sequitur


"Hate Groups" List Released

The Southern Poverty Law Center this week labeled as "hate groups" several political and religious organizations that campaign against same-sex marriage and, the center says, engage in "repeated, groundless name-calling" against gays and lesbians.

And right at the top of the list is the 'Family Research Council' and they don't like being called for what they are either.

But obviously, we've got to stand with our North Korean allies

She's so stupid, it's scary!

Transcript excerpt from Glenn Beck's radio show:

CO-HOST: How would you handle a situation like the one that just developed in North Korea?
PALIN: But obviously, we've got to stand with our North Korean allies. We're bound to by treaty—
CO-HOST: South Korean.
PALIN: Eh, Yeah. And we're also bound by prudence to stand with our South Korean allies, yes.

So, where's that repugican mandate?

Poll shows majority of Americans want health care kept and/or expanded

Ten of the shrub's innumerable failures

10 epic failures of the shrub's tax cuts

The truth be told


Tom DeLay found guilty

The former U.S. House majority leader is convicted of money laundering and conspiracy.  



Best customer service

From refunds to baggage fees, see which companies do and don't treat you well.

B-movie horror queen dies at 73

Ingrid Pitt survived a Nazi concentration camp as a girl and became a low-budget film star.

Stranded man 'embarrassed' to use mobile phone

A California man who spent five days stranded on a deserted island said he was too embarrassed to use his cellphone to call for help.

Brian "Goat Man" Hopper, 54, of Encino, who was rescued by the Coast Guard Monday after spending five days nibbling on vitamins and native plants and fashioning a crude "SOS" sign until the U.S. Coast Guard rescued him from Roe Island, north of Concord in Suisun Bay, said he was too embarrassed to use his cellphone to call for help while trying to repair his inflatable raft, which had sprung a leak during his excursion.

"I was embarrassed to be stranded on an island," Hopper said. "I thought I could fix my boat and make it to land ... I didn't want to spend the taxpayers' money to have the Coast Guard come rescue some stupid guy."

However, Hopper finally called a cousin on Monday morning who contacted the Coast Guard. Hopper said he now admits he should have called 911 in the first place. "It was the right thing to do," he said.

Man tricked into wrecking motel room in search for trapped midget

Pranksters tricked a motel guest into smashing up his room in a search for hidden cameras and a trapped midget. The 73-year-old man wrecked the television, mirrors, the toilet and a wall before realizing he had been duped.

Joseph Jones was staying at a Motel 6 in Spartanburg, South Carolina, when he received a late night telephone call, reports local media. The caller claimed to be the motel manager and asked Mr Jones to help him get rid of highly sophisticated cameras installed by the previous guest. He told the pensioner to unplug the television and use the toilet cover to smash it open. When the TV didn't break, Mr Jones was told to throw it out of the window.

The man then said more cameras were hidden behind the mirrors and ordered Mr Jones to smash them with a wrench he found in his room. The caller then claimed a 4ft 3ins midget was barricaded in the next room and asked him to try to break through the internal wall to help police free him. Mr Jones managed to break through to the next room before his rampage of destruction was ended following complaints from other motel guests.

Police said the incident was similar to a number of similar pranks played on hotel and motel guests throughout the US. No charges were filed. A Motel 6 spokesman said: "We are grateful that, although the room and its contents suffered damage, none of our guests or team members were injured as a result of this incident."

Getting lost in buildings: Architecture can bias your cognitive map

Some people always know which way is north and how to get out of a building. Others can live in an apartment for years without knowing which side faces the street. Differences among people that include spatial skills, experience, and preferred ...

Better than retail

This Lincoln Penny Just Sold for $1,700,000
This is a one-of-a-kind penny, resulting from a production error at the U.S. mint in Denver.  It was struck in bronze rather than the zinc-coated steel normally used during the WWII era. About 20 such errors are known from the Philadelphia and San Francisco mints, but this is the only one known from the Denver mint.
The anonymous collector who formerly owned the coin “donated it to a charitable organization so they could sell it with all of the proceeds going to the charity,” according to Andy Skrabalak of Angel Dee’s Coins and Collectibles in Woodbridge, Virginia who acted as agent on behalf of the former owner.
The new owner is an anonymous businessman who plans to exhibit the penny at various venues around the country.


Half a rare German postage stamp which dates back to 1872 has fetched some 261,000 euros at auction in the southern German town of Bietigheim-Bissingen, a spokeswoman for the auction house told Reuters on Thursday.

As The World Turns

The country slashes state jobs, benefits, and pension payments in a bid to avoid bankruptcy.  
Economic fixes are working in America, but belt-tightening moves abroad face problems.  

'Lucky' Australian woman run over by own car - twice

Paramedics have treated a woman in Melbourne's south-east after she was run over by her own car - twice. Advanced life support and intensive care paramedics were called to Noble Park North just before 5.30pm yesterday.

Paramedic Craig Brooks said the woman was incredibly lucky despite the unlucky chain of events. "We were told that the 37-year-old thought she had put the handbrake on as she got out of her car, but it started to roll backwards down the driveway and knocked her over," Mr Brooks said.

"She said that the car ran over her lower abdomen and legs before crossing the street, hitting a fence on the other side of the road, bouncing back and running over her again." He said ambulance officers were concerned that she might have been bleeding internally.

"The woman said she couldn't move after being crushed the first time," he said. "She had pain through her hips, her right leg and ankle. We had concerns that, while there were no major open wounds, she may have been bleeding internally." Intensive care paramedics took her to The Alfred hospital in a serious but stable condition, he said.

Teens lost at sea rescued

The trio had been presumed dead after rowing out in the Pacific almost two months ago.  

Burglars turned off 90-year-old woman's oxygen supply

Police are hunting burglars who broke into a 90-year-old woman's home and turned off the oxygen supply she needed to help her breathe at night. Eva Parsons, who has hearing difficulties, woke up gasping for breath and managed to wake her neighbors by banging on the wall with her walking stick. They dashed in and turned her supply back on. Parsons sobbed as she said: "It was a horrible, horrible thing for someone to do. I just don't know why anyone would want to do that. It doesn't make any sense.

"I am quite deaf and I was in bed when they broke in but I didn't wake up until they'd gone. I remember struggling to breathe and wheezing. I didn't know what was happening but knew my oxygen wasn't working. I could have died. Lucky for me my neighbors were in and helped me. The police were wonderful as well, they promised to do their best to find the people who did this to me."

Photo from SWNS.

The burglars rummaged through her purse, stole £50 in cash and ate sweets and chocolates she had been given for Christmas. A family friend, Ken Whitehead, 61, said: "Eva relies on the oxygen to keep her going and I am still fuming to think people could do such a thing. I'd love to get my hands on them. I was seething when I heard about it and I still am. We would be dealing with a tragedy as well as a burglary. There was no reason for them to switch off Eva's oxygen supply.

"That was just callous. Eva is deaf and turns off her hearing aid, so she wouldn't have heard anything. Eva has chest and breathing problems and needs the oxygen to enrich her blood so she has it switched on at night. She really needs it to stay alive. The police have told me that it was teenagers who burgled the house. Why they turned off the oxygen supply nobody knows," he said. The thieves struck at the ground floor flat in Bedworth, Warwickshire, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

German DIY enthusiast walls himself into cellar

A DIY enthusiast in Gumperda, eastern Germany, walled himself into his own cellar, but managed to drill his way out - through a neighbor's wall. The unnamed pensioner, 64, went into the cellar with bricks and mortar, as well as food and drink, and ended up being trapped there all weekend.

It is unclear why he wanted to block up the entrance. "He was on the wrong side of the wall when his work was finished," local police said in a statement.

After spending the weekend immured underground, the man went into action on Monday, attacking his neighbors' firewall with a hammer drill. The neighbors, with whom the man had already been quarreling for months, called the police when they heard the loud drilling.

When he finally broke through to the other side and saw his neighbors, the pensioner began insulting them. Police officers were also waiting for the DIY enthusiast and he is now under investigation for criminal damage and trespassing.

Zimbabwean man appeared in court with his bowels in his hand

A suspected motorcycle thief spent two months in remand prison with his bowels protruding from his stomach after detectives shot him as he allegedly tried to disarm them. Harare High Court was shocked on Monday when Boas Chiwanza, who was visibly in pain, limped into the courtroom with his bowels hanging out. As he held them in his palm, Justice Yunus Omerjee ordered prison authorities to immediately take Chiwanza to hospital. Chiwanza had come to apply for bail before the judge.

Detectives reportedly shot Chiwanza on his arrest on September 27, 2010 as he tried to disarm them. Chiwanza, who struggled to speak, told the court that he had not received appropriate treatment since his arrest and most of his doctors’ appointments had failed due to circumstances beyond his control. The Zimbabwe Prison Service confirmed Chiwanza was on November 2 and 9 this year taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital, but failed to see a doctor.

It was also confirmed that on October 25, there was no ambulance to take Chiwanza to the hospital. But the ZPS maintained Chiwanza was admitted at Parirenyatwa Hospital on September 30 and discharged into custody on October 11. In its papers, ZPS stated that Chiwanza was getting painkillers and colostomy bags from the prison clinic.

Justice Omerjee immediately directed the officer-in-charge of Harare Remand Prison, Chief Superintendent Billiot Chibaya, to ensure Chiwanza was immediately taken to hospital. "He should be urgently treated for his protruding intestines and to be held at such hospital for that purpose. This court should be advised as to compliance with the form of this court order by relevant authorities," ordered Justice Omerjee.

Witch doctor and his family arrested over child sacrifices in India

Police in India have arrested an alleged witch doctor accused of killing two children. The man was arrested after a two-year-old boy's body was found in his home in Durg district, 45km (30 miles) from the Chhattisgarh state capital, Raipur.

Raids also revealed the skeletal remains of an eight-year-old girl from the house, police said. They say that the accused man confessed to killing both children to acquire "occult power and good fortune". Witchcraft and occult beliefs persist in remote areas. Some think that child sacrifices will improve their lives.

Parents of two-year-old Chirag lodged a complaint after the toddler went missing while playing on the street, police said. The house of the alleged witch doctor was raided and the body was found hidden under a statue, senior police officer Amit Kumar said.

The second body was thought to be a girl who was abducted nearby in March. Her body was found buried inside the house beneath a trident symbol. Mr Kumar said seven people, including the alleged witch doctor and his wife, have been arrested on suspicion of taking part in child sacrifices. Police say that they suspect more children may have been killed by the alleged witch doctor and that digging work is going on at the house.

Wizard of Id


Culinary DeLites

Make this classic Thanksgiving side dish fluffy without relying on tons of butter and milk.  
Ask for a big piece of the Thanksgiving turkey, but pass on the gravy boat to keep the meal healthy.  
You've got to be quick, strategic, and competitive to run a virtual pizzeria.  
Lemon balm and ginger can help combat the bloated discomfort of overeating.  
The cupcake craze has swept the nation, but there's evidence of a new trend afoot.  

Just because


What teeth say about health

A look in your mouth can reveal signs of big-time stress, stomach problems, and even cancer.

A Proposal to Classify Happiness as a Psychiatric Disorder

In 1992, psychiatrist Richard Bentall wrote an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics proposing that happiness be classified as a psychiatric disorder.

Here’s his abstract:
It is proposed that happiness be classified as a psychiatric disorder and be included in future editions of the major diagnostic manuals under the new name: major affective disorder, pleasant type. In a review of the relevant literature it is shown that happiness is statistically abnormal, consists of a discrete cluster of symptoms, is associated with a range of cognitive abnormalities, and probably reflects the abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. One possible objection to this proposal remains–that happiness is not negatively valued. However, this objection is dismissed as scientifically irrelevant.

Tonsil Stones - Weird Rocks Or Health Problem?

A health condition that's becoming increasingly well known and linked to many mouth, throat and ear disorders, and goes undetected in a huge population of people not only in the U.S. but even around the world is commonly known as Tonsil Stones.

Cholera and vaccine experts urge United States to stockpile vaccine

As the cholera epidemic in Haiti continues to rage, public health workers are focusing their efforts on treating the tens of thousands who have already been hospitalized with cholera-like symptoms and providing clean water and adequate sanitation to…

Chinese villagers may have descended from Roman army

It will be interesting to see what they discover as the tests and digs progress.
Archeologists plan to conduct digs in the region, along the ancient Silk Route, to search for remains of forts or other structures built by the fabled army.

"We hope to prove the legend by digging and discovering more evidence of China's early contacts with the Roman Empire," Yuan Honggeng, the head of a newly-established Italian Studies Center at Lanzhou University in Gansu province, told the China Daily newspaper.

The genetic tests have lent weight to the theory that Roman legionaries settled in the area in the first century BC after fleeing a disastrous battle.

The clash took place in 53BC between an army led by Marcus Crassus, a Roman general, and a larger force of Parthians, from what is now Iran, bringing to an abrupt halt the Roman Empire's eastwards expansion.



Lake Baikal

From a gallery of 24 photos at English Russia.

Scientists Are Creating A Star On Earth

Behind closed doors could lie the answer to safe renewable energy of the future. At the National Ignition Facility in Livermore, USA, scientists are aiming to build the world's first sustainable fusion reactor by 'creating a miniature star on Earth'.

The $3.5 billion project has inched a little closer to its goal of igniting a workable fusion reaction by 2012. On November 2 they fired up the 192 lasers beams at the centre of the reactor and aimed them at a glass target containing tritium and deuterium gas.

The resulting release of energy was of a magnitude of 1.3 million mega joules, which was a world record and the peak radiation temperature measure at the core was approximately six million degrees Fahrenheit.

‘Russian doll’ galaxy reveals black holes’ true power

Following a study of what is in effect a miniature galaxy buried inside a normal-sized one — like a Russian doll — astronomers using a CSIRO telescope have concluded that massive black holes are more powerful than we thought.

Massive galaxies formed when universe was young

Some of the universe’s most massive galaxies may have formed billions of years earlier than current scientific models predict, according to surprising new research led by Tufts University.

Believe it or not


Paleolithic News

Without dinosaurs, some mammals evolved larger than several elephants put together.
The Quetzalcoatlus Pterosaur Could Probably Fly for 7-10 Days at a Time
The Quetzalcoatlus, a dinosaur with a wingspan of 35 feet, is thought to be the largest flying animal in Earth history. Some paleontologists think that it was so big that it wouldn’t have been able to get off the ground. Mike Habib, a scholar of biomechanics at Chatham University decided to investigate this claim. He and his colleague, paleontologist Mark Witton, concluded that this dinosaur could probably fly enormous distances:
So Habib teamed up with Mark Witton, a British paleontologist, to plug in factors like wingspan, weight and aerodynamics into a computer model.
The results, which they presented at a conference last month, were staggering: They revealed an animal that could fly up to 80 miles an hour for 7 to 10 days at altitudes of 15,000 feet. The maximum range, Habib says, was probably between 8,000 and 12,000 miles.
A new species of crocodile that lived 100 million years ago has been identified from a fossil found in Thailand, researchers said Thursday.

Biologists report more bad news for polar bears

Will polar bears survive in a warmer world?
UCLA life scientists present new evidence that their numbers are likely to dwindle.
As polar bears lose habitat due to global warming, these biologists say, they will be forced southward in search of a…



Upping the cute factor

A baby squirrel adopted by cat and fellow kittens.

OK, if you say so.

Recent Footage of a Thylacine?

The thylacine, or “Tasmanian tiger” is considered to have gone extinct in 1936, when the last known specimen died at a zoo. But occasional sightings are reported, if not confirmed. Last year, Murray McAllister caught this nine seconds of footage among hours of recordings in the Australian wilderness. Could this be a thylacine? Read his story of searching for the creature on his blog.

Agoraphobic dog helps save diabetic man

Two dogs saved their owner’s life when he collapsed into a diabetic coma during a country walk – by launching a real-life Lassie rescue operation. Stricken Les Parsons, 54, collapsed due to low sugar levels while out walking German Shepherds Ellie and Jones. His plucky pooches immediately sprung into action, with one-year-old Ellie licking his face to try and keep him conscious while two-year-old Jones ran for help. He sprinted a quarter-of-a-mile home to alert Les’ wife Jo and stepdaughter Fiona and then led them back to the spot where he was lying.

They rushed him to hospital and Les – a type one diabetic – was released later that day after treatment. Jo, 46, who is also a type one diabetic, said: ”Jones alerted me and my daughter that something was seriously wrong. He comes from a rescue home and we’ve had him for over a year. He is a recovering agoraphobic so to come back alone we knew it was for a good reason. I ran out and found Les collapsed on the floor with Ellie by his side. I think the dogs saved his life. The dogs mean the world to me and I’m so proud of them. If Jones hadn’t have come home, Les could have died.”

Les, a care home supervisor, had suffered severe hypoglycemia, which is caused by low blood sugar and can be fatal if left untreated. He toppled over during a walk near his home in Bridgwater, Somerset, on November 17 after taking the dogs to his local park without his vital hypoglycemia kit. Ellie stayed with Les, licking him and nudging him with his paws, while Jones went for help. His stunned family heard the large hound clawing at the back door and immediately realized something was wrong when they saw he was not with his owner.

Jones then bounded back round to where Les was lying, showing them where he had fallen. He was swiftly taken to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, and released later that day. Les said: ”I was totally overwhelmed when I pieced it all together. What they did took teamwork and courage and it brought a tear to my eye. We’ve been giving them extra treats and fussing since.”

In the deep - Spindly ocean species found

Scientists reveal a spindly creature discovered near the deepest part of the ocean floor.

A new species of “squid worm” has been found 3,000 meters below sea level in the Celebes Sea east of Borneo. Not only is it is previously unknown species, it has its own newly coined genus as well.
Researchers, from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in California named it Teuthidodrilus samae – a new genus and species. They said: “This illustrates how much we have to learn about even the large, common inhabitants of deep pelagic communities.”
In a series of exploration dives, researchers spotted the worm, slowly rising and falling in the water around 100m above the seafloor, where it feeds on passing plankton. The worm swims or treads water by waving hundreds of bristles that run along the length of its body on either side.
The 10 slender arm-like appendages that give the worm its unusual appearance are a combination of elongated gills and sensory organs. They are probably used to pick scraps of food from the “marine snow” of organic detritus that constantly falls to the seabed from above. Each is as long or longer than the whole of the worm’s body.
Watch the creature swim in a video at the Guardian.

Tea in the morning

Cute video