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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.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You're extra grounded, which is a good place to come from if you have to tell some difficult truths.
Do a little bit more research to make sure you've got all the facts, then position yourself to say it like it is.
Your scrupulous attention to the details of the situation will put you in good stead, and it's likely that your audience will be far more receptive to all this than you'd ever think possible.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Segovia, Castilla y Leon, Spain
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
Edithvale, Victoria, Australia
Boulogne-Billancourt, Ile-De-France, France
Koelin, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

as well as Serbia, Malaysia, Greece, Scotland, Hong Kong, Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, New Zealand, Croatia, Pakistan, Romania, Korea, Netherlands,  Brazil, Vietnam, Egypt, Russia, Indonesia, Czech Republic, Puerto Rico, Ireland, India and in cities across the United States such as Atascadero, Jamaica, Wasilla, Barstow and more.

Today is:
Today is Monday, November 29, the 333rd day of 2010.
There are 32 days left in the year.

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

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Stormy and possibly icy weather is heading to the area

Trouble late Tuesday ... and beyond
Another round of stormy weather is headed for the Carolinas later Tuesday, and the computers hint at more trouble -- possibly of the frozen variety -- late next week and about two weeks from now.

Some rapid and major changes in our weather will take place over the next 24 hours.

A flash flood watch already is in effect for Tuesday and Tuesday night for Burke, Caldwell, McDowell, Rutherford, Watauga and Wilkes counties in the Charlotte region. Additional watches and warnings are likely Tuesday.

Today, we're locked in a chilly pattern, governed by high pressure off the East Coast. But the seeds of change are visible. The cloud cover that thickened overnight is a telltale sign of the moisture surging into the Carolinas from the Gulf of Mexico.

By later today, low pressure will move eastward from the Arkansas-Texas area. Rain gradually will spread into the Carolinas, falling mostly in the mountains initially but reaching the foothills and Piedmont by later this afternoon.

It will be a chilly rain at first, with temperatures staying in the 40s today and dewpoint readings also in the 40s.

But a warm front on the east side of the low pressure system will move northward Tuesday, crossing the Charlotte area sometime in the morning. That will push our temperatures into the 60s, and the dewpoint temperatures will follow suit.

The Carolinas will be in the warm, unstable southeast side of the low pressure system by Tuesday afternoon and night, and that's where severe weather takes place.

Chris Horne, of the National Weather Service's office in Greer, S.C., says strong thunderstorms and heavy rain are forecast across the Carolinas, with the most likely area for severe weather being in the Piedmont.

"Some degree of thunderstorm wind damage threat -- perhaps even a tornado -- should exist into the night," Horne said.

These likely will be those sneaky severe storms -- the kind we experience in the Southeast during the winter. They move extremely fast, sometimes at 50 mph, and often have little or no lightning to herald their arrival.

Let the truth be known

WikiLeaks reveals more sensitive U.S. data

A quarter million diplomatic cables give a candid look at America's backroom bargaining. 

U.S. tries to contain fallout

The Obama administration scrambles to contain fallout after WikiLeaks releases classified data.  

Guess what leaked out today ...

Many Middle Eastern nations are far more concerned about Iran's nuclear program than they've publicly admitted.

Saudi Arabia is lobbying us to attack Iran.

According to one cable, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly asked the U.S. to "cut off the head of the snake" -- meaning, it appears, to bomb Iran's nuclear program.

Leaders of Qatar, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern nations expressed similar views.

Israel is ready to go it alone in such an attack, too, presumably with tacit support from some Arab states.

CIA missed al-Qaida figure

The U.S. has come closer to capturing Osama bin Laden's top deputy than previously known.  

The truth be told

And you have the repugicans to thank for it, too.

The death of American dream

A must read post over at the "Great Orange Satan." it will simultaneously break your heart and get you angry.
Well today for a span of at least this one Daily Kos diary, you will get to see what the American plutocrat owned media never wants you to see, and that is how Europe in particular and the world in general has come to see America as a country in decline, whose people are so badly misinformed by the media, they actually don't realize that America is the only major industrialized nation in the world that by right of law does not offer universal medical access, paid sick leave, paid maternity leave and paid annual leave. It just seems almost impossible to get that word out to the American people. Even diaries on that subject at the Kos top out at just over 2,000 views. Let's please remember the purpose of the plutocrat owned commercial media isn't so much to inform us but rather to sell commercial advertising space.

Therefore this diary today will try to do something different. It will show you what the European media is saying about the American dream and you will be shocked! - Democrats Ramshield's diary at Daily Kos



And I Quote

“Ignorance, the root and the stem of every evil.”
­~ Plato

Thus explaining the repugicans

The repugican propaganda channel ...

... is lying yet again. this time Faux is pawning off a novel (a work of fiction) as non-fiction.
Faux News is helping a former repugican congressman spread the myth that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

Appearing on Faux News Monday, John Leboutillier explained that his new fictional book uses "real things" like Obama's grandmother once claimed she was present for his Kenyan birth.

..."once again, the book is fiction," Doocy pointed out.
"or is it?" Leboutillier added.
"I think it's both," Kilmeade concluded. -

Non Sequitur


Support the magnetic ribbon industry ribbon!

Finally, a magnetic ribbon that actually provides material support for the cause it espouses!

Bad Cops

California police officer charged with hate crime, battery

Details emerge in Oklahoma cops' Tazering of 86-year-old bedridden granny

Judge rules that fired North Carolina trooper who kicked and hoisted police dog by its neck should be rehired

Ohio sheriff denies cover-up, lying about jail death

Wyoming deputy pleads no contest in bar fight

California deputy arrested on spousal abuse charges

Indiana police officer accused of theft, misconduct

Woman set house on fire after being locked out

A woman has been charged with arson after Pittsburgh police said she set her house on fire after locking herself out.

Investigators said the woman was locked out of the house and couldn't get in, so she intentionally set her rear awning on fire and called 911.

Firefighters arrived at the home in the 5200 block of Holmes Street in Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood at about 5 p.m. on Saturday. Police said the woman asked them to let her into her house.

Instead, she was arrested and is charged with arson. 

Without You


No matter how you say it this is a great song sung by Harry Nilsson

Where's Molly: heartbreaking reunion with developmentally disabled sister institutionalized 47 years ago

Jeff Daly's sister Molly was sent away when he was six and she was three; all though his childhood, Jeff pestered his parents with the question, "Where's Molly?" He only got non-answers like "She's not here anymore" in response. 47 years later, after his parents' death, he tracked down Molly -- who was developmentally disabled and institutionalized in accordance with the common medical advice of the day -- and discovered his parents' secret heartbreak.
And at first, Molly's father visited often, until Fairview's staff advised him to stop, because Molly would become inconsolable after he left. But Jack Daly found an ingenious way to continue seeing his daughter . . .
"He did go back," said Jeff. "It was only a way that I suppose my dad could have figured out. He went back as a clown."
Jeff's father - an executive at the Bumblbee Seafood Company - founded a troupe called the Astoria Clowns in 1957, the very year Molly was sent away. The troupe traveled around Oregon, marching in parades and entertaining children wherever they went.
And they visited Fairview.
"He was able to have this relationship with Molly in disguise: Painted face, an orange wig, wearing the clown outfit," said Jeff. "But he was able to still get back there and see his daughter."
By profession, Jeff was a freelance cameraman who sometimes worked for CBS News. Now, he's made a film called "Where's Molly" about the search for his sister. He hopes his story encourages others to reunite with siblings lost because of the wisdom of earlier times.

The year the 'skimpy' bikini was born

1951 the skimpy bikini is born…

1951 the skimpy bikini is born …

What common sayings do people get wrong?

Reddit asks the question

Here are a few answers:
  • I heard a girl says “I’m going out on a limp here”.
  • My wife once said something about the our cats not being able to pick something up because they lacked disposable thumbs.
  • For all intensive purposes
  • Be more Pacific.
  • I returned a call to a claims adjuster, to receive her voicemail greeting that said she was in the office from 8 AM to 5:00 PM, specific time.
  • “I really enjoy your self-defecating humor.”
  • It’s a “mute” point vs “moot”. Drives me insane.
  • I never knew my dad was saying “up and at ‘em” as opposed to “up and atom”.
  • Labtop
  • “I did a complete 360 and turned my life around”
  • “expecially”. Ugh.
  • “ex cetera”
  • “Take it for granite.”
  • Happy Valentime’s
  • irregardless of the facts
  • I said “play it by year” for, well, years.
  • “Li-berry” instead of “library”
  • Fustrated
  • “supposably”
  • A co-worker told me “I am not very computer sassy”.
  • Old timers instead of Alzheimer’s.
  • Or All timers.
  • People using the phrase “I literally” figuratively. Ex: I literally died laughing
  • I had a friend who thought the song was Ducks in the Wind.
  • On accident.
  • nukular
  • I could care less.
  • Wheelbarrel. 30 minute argument at work over barrel/barrow. 4 took the side of barrel, 10 on the side of barrow.
  • “Each one worse than the next,” as opposed to “Each one worse than the last.”
  • Warshington! THERE IS NO ‘R’ IN WASHINGTON!

Odds and Sods

Winemaker Plans to Build Undersea Wine Cellar
Ivan Simonic, a Slovenian winemaker, plans to build a wine cellar beneath the ocean. He states that conditions beneath the ocean produce excellent wines:
A Slovenian winemaker revealed a unique technique for maturing wine when he retrieved 600 bottles that he laid six months ago in clay-made amphoras on the Adriatic seabed.
The sparkling wine, named Poseidon after the Greek god of the sea, was placed at a depth of 30 metres where the temperature is between 12 and 13 degrees Celsius, perfect for storing and maturing wine, Ivan Simonic said.
The constant movement of the sea means the usual techniques used to mature sparkling wine are not necessary, he added.

Bacon Candles
You know what's great about bacon? Everything! Bacon is delicious. It's true that healthwise bacon leaves a lot to be desired, but just smelling bacon is possibly one of the most amazing things in the world.

And how we enjoy that wonderful meaty sweet and smokey aroma without the temptation and subsequent belt-busting and heart-clogging richness of actual cured-pork ingestion?
Bacon scented candles, of course!

Alternate uses for freezer

Putting certain household items in the freezer can help you solve some sticky problems.  

Culinary DeLites

This hearty Italian meal uses nutritious spaghetti squash as a noodle substitute.  



Housing outlook for 2011

The shadow that began falling over real estate four years ago may soon begin to lift.  

Where U.S. incomes are up

In one city with 12.6% unemployment, the median income has jumped $3,700.

Cinnamon can replace harmful chemicals used to create nanoparticles

Gold nanoparticles, tiny pieces of gold so small that they can’t be seen by the naked eye, are used in electronics, healthcare products and as pharmaceuticals to fight cancer.

Despite their positive uses, the process to make the nanoparticles requires dangerous and extremely toxic chemicals.

Doctors more reluctant to treat Medicare-funded patients

Doctors across the country [are] complaining that they've been forced to shift away from Medicare toward higher-paying, privately insured or self-paying patients in response to years of penny-pinching by Congress.

And that's not even taking into account a long-postponed rate-setting method that is on track to slash Medicare's payment rates to doctors by 23 percent Dec. 1... physicians have already been running print ads, passing out fliers to patients and flooding Capitol Hill with phone calls to convince Congress to suspend the 25 percent rate cut that the SGR method will require next year...

...government analysts and independent experts suggest that although doctors could not absorb a 25 percent fee cut, the claim that they have been inadequately compensated by Medicare until now is wildly exaggerated...

...statistics also suggest many doctors have more than made up for the erosion in the value of their Medicare fees by dramatically increasing the volume of services they provide - performing not just a greater number of tests and procedures, but also more complex versions that allow them to charge Medicare more money.

From 2000 to 2008, the volume of services per Medicare patient rose 42 percent. Some of this was because of the increasing availability of sophisticated treatments that undoubtedly save lives. Some was because of doctors practicing "defensive medicine" - ordering every conceivable test to shield themselves from malpractice lawsuits down the line...

"The argument that doctors literally can't afford to feed their kids [if they take Medicare's rates] is absurd," said Berenson. "It's just that doctors have gotten used to a certain income and lifestyle."

Regardless of their motivation, if doctors skew their patient base away from Medicare too drastically seniors' access to medical care could be limited.

Is that happening? Again, opinions vary...
Read the rest of the discussion at the Washington Post.

Health plans targeted again

As both parties get serious about cutting the budget deficit, job-based benefits are under fire. 

On The Job

How to avoid employee depression in a recession
As employees become increasingly anxious about job security and financial worries during an economic recession, satisfaction with the job they have, commitment to their company and engagement with their work are all affected detrimentally.

These degrees will prepare you for well-paying careers almost anyone can work toward.

A 'not-to-do' list for retirement

Even people who have their finances squared away can ruin their golden years with a misstep.  

Quasimodo's Replacement

After Quasimodo's death, the bishop of the cathedral of Notre Dame sent word through the streets of Paris that a new bellringer was needed. The bishop decided that he would conduct the interviews personally and went up into the belfry to begin the screening process. After observing several applicants demonstrate their skills, he decided to call it a day when a lone, armless man approached him and announced that he was there to apply for the bellringers job.

The bishop was incredulous."You have no arms!"

"No matter," said the man, "Observe!" He then began striking the bells with his face, producing a beautiful melody on the carillon.

The bishop listened in astonishment, convinced that he had finally found a suitable replacement for Quasimodo. Suddenly, rushing forward to strike a bell, the armless man tripped, and plunged headlong out of the belfry window to his death in the street below. The stunned bishop rushed to his side. When he reached the street, a crowd had gathered around the fallen figure, drawn by the beautiful music they had heard only moments before. As they silently parted to let the bishop through, one of them asked, "Bishop, who was this man?"

"I don't know his name", the bishop sadly replied, "but his face rings a bell."

(but wait, there's more...)

The following day, despite the sadness that weighed heavily on his heart due to the unfortunate death of the armless campanologist (now there's a trivia question), the bishop continued his interviews for the bellringer of Notre Dame.

The first man to approach him said, "Your excellency, I am the brother of the poor, armless wretch that fell to his death from this very belfry yesterday. I pray that you honor his life by allowing me to replace him in this duty."

The bishop agreed to give the man an audition, and as the armless man's brother stooped to pick up a mallet to strike the first bell, he groaned, clutched at his chest and died on the spot. Two monks, hearing the bishop's cries of grief at this second tragedy, rushed up the stairs to his side. "What has happened?", the first breathlessly asked, "Who is this man?"

"I don't know his name," sighed the distraught bishop, "but he's a dead ringer for his brother."

Khmer Rouge escapee returns

Vannak Khem was only a small boy when he fled the Khmer Rouge's brutal regime.  

Europe OKs Irish bailout plan

Finance ministers also set bailout rules to keep the debt crisis from spreading.  

Nuclear scientist killed in Iran car bomb

It's going to be hard to imagine where to even start looking for the culprit(s).

BBC News:
An Iranian nuclear scientist has been killed and another wounded in two separate, but similar attacks, according to Iranian media reports.

The scientists were targeted in Tehran by attackers who attached bombs to each of their cars, reports said.

The scientist killed has been named as Majid Shahriari of Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, according to the official Irna news agency.

Another scientist was killed in a bomb blast at the beginning of the year.

Copenhagen to build superhighway for bikes

What a cool city. Between the great bike paths and public transportation, there's really no need to have a car in Copenhagen.
"It's a mode of transportation used by all social classes, even politicians ride bikes," he says.

It is on crowded Noerrebrogade -- the busiest bicycle street in Europe, according to the cyclist association -- that city planners have decided to build the first of Copenhagen's environmentally friendly boulevards.

The jammed bike paths will be widened up to four metres (yards) on either side of the road, which will itself will be reserved for buses only.

The idea is to make Noerrebrogade "Europe's great cycling street", says Andreas Roehl, the Copenhagen municipality's bicycle program manager who is also known as "Mister Bike".

Leave it to the Canadians

Two friends lived in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
They were sick of winter, so they went to a travel agent and booked a trip to Australia.
When the two friends got off the plane -still dressed for Canadian winter weather -they wandered into a pub and sat down.
The locals wondered about these strangers, so one of the Aussies walked over to the visitors and said, "G'day, mates. Where're you from?"
"Saskatoon, Saskatchewan," one of the Canadians replied.
"Ahhhh," said the Aussie, returning to his table.
"So where are they from?" the other locals asked.
"Don't know, mate," replied the Aussie.
"They don't speak English."

Native Costume

"Yakut woman wearing festive costume"
From a gallery of about three dozen photos of the people of Siberia at the turn of the last century, from the Collections from The Irkutsk State University, via English Russia.

Roman sextans coin

The sextans was an Ancient Roman bronze coin produced during the Roman Republic valued at one-sixth of an as (2 unciae). The most common design for the sextans was the bust of Mercury and two pellets (indicating two unciae) on the obverse and the prow of a galley on the reverse. Earlier types depicted a scallop shell, a caduceus, or other symbols on the obverse.
Looks like the scallop also has two "pellets" next to it.  This coin from the British Museum collection, where it says the reverse (not shown) displays the inside of the scallop shell.   269-266 BC.

Awesome Pictures

(via fuckyeahisky, reginasworld)
I'll be damned ... there really is a stairway to heaven!

Eyjafjallajokull rocks.

This 1,000-ton rock was spat out by the awesome force of an erupting volcano.

The picture was taken after Iceland's infamous Eyjafjallajokull volcano burst into life this March.

Ash spewing from the eruption grounded flights and left thousands of holidaymakers stranded across Europe.

Icelandic photographer Ragnar Sigurdsson captured the spectacular scenes as he documented the progress of the eruption - even bravely flying over the bubbling crater.

The long winter night comes to Tromsø

In Tromsø, Norway - way north of the Polar Circle - the sun has gone down for the last time this year. To mark the beginning of the ‘Mørketid’ as the period without daylight is called, hundreds of local kindergarten kids each brought a homemade candle to the city square where they were all lit…

The sun is expected to return in early January 2011, as usual…

How Climate Change Threatens the American Farmer

Photo: nosha. Flickr, CC
Too often, the conversation about climate change gets framed as a culturo-political debate: with liberals and scientists calling for action on one side, and conservatives and free market fundamentalists arguing against it on the other. The media is too often tacit in condoning or flat-out grooming this conflict, and as a result, the public loses out on well-rounded coverage on the topic, both from scientific and personal perspectives. So it's refreshing to see a firsthand account like this -- an American farmer's experience with (and fears of) climate change -- published in a leading national paper:
Article continues: How Climate Change Threatens the American Farmer

Russia Investing $2 Billion in Space Debris Removal

space junk image
Image via Keith Fiore
We've seen some crazy ideas for getting rid of space debris, a problem that sounds absurd in itself but is actually a real issue for satellites and even astronauts in the International Space Station. However, Russia is set on a concept that they think is worth serious investment -- about a $2 billion investment. Energia, Russia's space corporation, is planning to build a "pod" that will knock junk out of orbit and back down to earth.
Article continues: Russia Investing $2 Billion in Space Debris Removal

Saturn's moon Rhea has an oxygen atmosphere

Cassini, NASA’s spacecraft, has discovered on Friday a very gossamer atmosphere, filled with oxygen and carbon dioxide around Saturn’s icy moon Rhea.

NASA scientists have first suspected that Rhea has a thin atmosphere with oxygen and carbon dioxide, based on the observations of Jupiter’s icy moons by the Galileo spacecraft and Hubble Space Telescope. It was only now that they proved that their hypothesis was correct. According to the report transmitted by Cassini, the oxygen appeared to occur when Saturn’s magnetic field rotates over Rhea that eventually formed the moon’s water-ice surface.



New photos emerge of the Loch Ness monster

The legend of Nessie has resurfaced with a new sighting and pictures of the Loch Ness monster. Richard Preston, a landscape designer, has been the latest person to spot a mysterious shape that might be the Loch Ness monster and capture a series of images on camera.

While working on Aldourie Castle gardens on the banks of the Loch Ness, 27-year-old Mr Preston spotted a shape on the loch's surface out of the corner of his eye. He said: “I was just walking through the castle gardens and I spotted something in the distance. When I looked closer I could clearly see the four hump-like features. I thought I’d take a picture of it, to see if there was anything in it, to see what others thought.

“I was surprised that it stayed there as long as it did. I took various shots of it before it suddenly disappeared. I literally just turned my back and it was gone.” He showed one of his friends who was also convinced there was certainly some mystery in the pictures.

When asked whether or not he believed in the monster, Mr Preston said: “Well there’s definitely something in the myth.There were no ripples in the water, no boats, nothing around. I have no idea what it was, but it undoubtedly looks like Nessie.” The latest sighting has brought hope to monster enthusiasts, as it had been a relatively quiet spell for spotting any activity in the Loch. Fears had been mounting that Nessie might be dead since reports of any sightings had been diminishing.

Oh, Deer

Killing of Five Endangered Elephants Hints at a Greater Conservation Dilemma

sumatra elephant photo
If trends continue, the Sumatra elephant may soon only survive in captivity. 
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Five endangered Sumatran elephants have been found dead in Indonesia and authorities believe they were poisoned by farmers. With fewer than 3,000 individuals surviving in increasingly fragmented groups, the loss to the species is severe—and the latest example of a trend that threatens the elephant's survival.
Article continues: Killing of Five Endangered Elephants Hints at a Greater Conservation Dilemma

Animal News