Welcome to ...

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, December 7, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
If you haven't been feeling it already, today you should really start to sense that there's a new beginning right around the corner.
New ideas, new situations and -- most importantly -- new people are going to start influencing your life in some challenging, but wonderful ways.
You'll be asked to reach deep down and gather up the best of what you have to offer.
It's time to grow in a new direction, so be open to suggestions and recommendations.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Daganzo De Arriba, Madrid, Spain
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

as well as England, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Serbia, Bangladesh, Latvia, Greece, Scotland, Hong Kong, Denmark, Wales, Iran, Singapore, Taiwan, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Belgium, India, Croatia, Pakistan, Romania, Finland, Korea,  Argentina, Vietnam, Egypt, Russia, South Korea, Indonesia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, China, Iraq, Ecuador, Nigeria, Morocco, Chile, Honduras and in cities across the United States such as Fargo, Bronx, Mesa, Irving and more.

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, December 7, the 341st day of 2010.
There are 24 days left in the year.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Imperial Japanese warplanes attacked the US Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, as well as other American and British bases in the Pacific; the raids prompted the United States to enter World War II.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
National Cotton Candy Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Wingnut (ill)Logic

The amazing ability to not see that both of the above scenarios are wrong is just another 'skill' the wingnuts possess.

Island nation vanishing

Rising seas threaten the economy, homes, and very existence of an island nation.  

    Look out

    Someone just got punk'd.

    Legendary QB, announcer dies

    Don Meredith starred for Dallas and brought a folksy charm to the original Monday Night Football.  

      World's priciest book sold

      Wealthy collectors from the literary world have been anticipating the rare treasure's sale for months.  

      Awesome Pictures


      Photos of Pearl Harbor attacks

      Scenes of burning battleships and circling bombers reveal the infamous attacks' destruction.

      RMS Titanic Only Existing Footage

      Here is a rare video of  the Titanic under construction at the Harland and Wolff shipyards in Belfast. Construction, funded by J.P. Morgan’s International Mercantile Marine Co., began in March, 1909.

      The Last Full Measure

      The Liljenquist family collected thousands of photographs of Civil War soldiers over the years. Brandon Liljenquist saw a collection of war photographs from Iraq and Afghanistan and was inspired to make the Civil War photos public. This year, the family donated 400 of those pictures to the Library of Congress for a collection called The Last Full Measure.
      Laying out the photographs at home for the last time, and thinking about the collection in a whole new light, I couldn’t help but notice how similar the faces of these boys were to those we’d seen in The Washington Post. Here were the young men who did most of the fighting and dying. In their eyes and the eyes of their loved ones, I could see the full range of human emotion. It was all here: the bravado, the fear, the readiness, the weariness, the pride and the anguish. The loneliness in their long, distant stares overwhelmed me.
      The original photographs will be on display next year in Washington, but are available now online.



      Cyberbullies use fake profile

      One mom was shocked to learn other kids had forged a fake online identity for her child.  

      U.S. education rank tumbles

      A precipitous slide in teens' performance could cost a lot more than national pride.  

      The very essense of a politician


      The 25-year foreclosure fight

      Patsy Campbell hasn’t made a mortgage payment on her house since 1985.  

        Flaws found in new $100 bills

        Officials are forced to quarantine a tenth of the U.S. cash supply after printing goes "drastically wrong."  

          Tax cuts and your money

          Look for ways to grab deductions and defer income as a result of Obama’s deal.  

          New Financial Term Definitions

          CEO -- Chief Embezzlement Officer.

          CFO -- Corporate Fraud Officer.

          BULL MARKET -- A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.

          VALUE INVESTING -- The art of buying low and selling lower.

          P/E RATIO -- The percentage of investors wetting their pants as the market keeps crashing.

          BROKER -- What my broker has made me.

          STANDARD & POOR -- Your life in a nutshell.

          STOCK ANALYST -- Idiot who just downgraded your stock.

          STOCK SPLIT -- When your ex-wife and her lawyer split your assets equally between themselves.

          FINANCIAL PLANNER -- A guy whose phone has been disconnected.

          MARKET CORRECTION -- The day after you buy stocks.

          CASH FLOW-- The movement your money makes as it disappears down the toilet.

          YAHOO -- What you yell after selling it to some poor sucker for $240 per share.

          WINDOWS -- What you jump out of when you're the sucker who bought Yahoo @ $240 per share.

          INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR -- Past year investor who's now locked up in a nuthouse.

          PROFIT -- An archaic word no longer in use.

          On The Job

          Technology and health care jobs score high for growth, pay, and satisfaction.  
            Lying about your last salary is unwise, but experts say there's a more effective strategy. 



            Pizza Hut accused of racism after demanding black footballers pay up front

            (Note to our American readers: the 'football' this piece is referring to is what you call soccer.)

            Restaurant giant Pizza Hut apologized to five professional soccer players after they were asked to pay for their food before it arrived because of the way they looked.”The three black and two white players went to a Pizza Hut restaurant in Bournemouth, southern England, for lunch when their AFC Bournemouth club training session was canceled. It was only when they ordered their food that they were told they would have to settle the bill in advance.

            The players, who said they were shocked by the request, which was not made to a group of white customers, refused to pay upfront - and the restaurant manager called the police, who escorted them from the premises. The fast-food chain apologized but claimed that it was following police advice to ask customers to pay in advance because of the number of people leaving without settling the bill.

            It said the request was not racist but that the acting manager at the branch was wrong to ask only the group containing black customers for payment upfront. The players, including first-team regulars Anton Robinson, Liam Feeney and Marvin Bartley, went to the restaurant for lunch after their training session was canceled due to the bad weather. “We ordered the food, and the next thing, the manager came up with the bill and said, ‘Would you mind paying first?’ We asked if that was the policy, and he said ‘no.’

            "When we asked why he had asked us, he said, ‘It’s the way you look,’" said Robinson, 24. “We had a good idea what he was trying to get at. A group of white kids came in straight after us, and they weren’t asked to pay before they had their food. The only thing that was different was the color of our skins." A spokesman for Pizza Hut said it recently introduced a policy of asking certain customers to pay in advance but that this was left to the discretion of staff.

            Cluniary DeLites

            A deep-dish chicken pot pie will keep everyone warm and satisfied.  

              Why you think you're hungry

              Lack of sleep triggers two hormones to stimulate appetite, making it easier to overeat. 

                Cops poisoned with tuna sandwiches

                A former British cafe owner has been ordered to wear an electronic tag as punishment for poisoning 47 police officers with contaminated chicken and tuna sandwiches.

                Aspirin may cut cancer risk

                A large study links aspirin to a sizable drop in the odds of dying from many cancers.  

                  What fights colds and flu

                  Green tea has potent antioxidants that seem to boost immunity and help kill viruses.  

                  Diabetes in America

                  Slate has an interactive map showing when and where cases of diabetes are soaring. At the link, you can adjust the year with a slider and mouseover the counties to find yours.

                  Two Feet Of Snow


                  Fifteen Bizarre Methods To See Your Future

                  Science does not validate the possibility of foreseeing the future. That however doesn't stop human perseverance to uncover some type of supernatural phenomena that transcends both time and space to peek through the window of time.

                  Until we build time machines, we sift through a series of spells, mediation's and charts to find what is waiting for us around the corner.

                  Amusement can increase Problem-Solving skills

                  In a just completed study, researchers at Northwestern University found that people were more likely to solve word puzzles with sudden insight when they were amused, having just seen a short comedy routine.
                  “What we think is happening,” said Mark Beeman, a neuroscientist who conducted the study with Karuna Subramaniam, a graduate student, “is that the humor, this positive mood, is lowering the brain’s threshold for detecting weaker or more remote connections” to solve puzzles.
                  This and other recent research suggest that the appeal of puzzles goes far deeper than the dopamine-reward rush of finding a solution. The very idea of doing a crossword or a Sudoku puzzle typically shifts the brain into an open, playful state that is itself a pleasing escape, captivating to people as different as Bill Clinton, a puzzle addict, and the famous amnesiac Henry Molaison, or H.M., whose damaged brain craved crosswords.

                  Mispronounced in Your Head

                  The question at reddit is:
                  Which words did you mispronounce for years because you’d only seen it in writing?

                  Some of the answers include
                  Hors d’œuvre
                  Are you sure you know how to pronounce these words aloud? Do you have any other examples of words you were surprised to hear pronounced for the first time?

                  Walk places, meet people and build social capital

                  People who live in walkable communities are more civically involved and have greater levels of trust than those who live in less walkable neighborhoods. And this increase in so-called ‘social capital’ is associated with higher quality of life …

                  Imitating someone’s accent makes it easier to understand them

                  In conversation, we often imitate each other’s speech style and may even change our accent to fit that of the person we’re talking to.

                  Sensational Inca Find In Andes

                  A British team of archaeologists on expedition in the Peruvian Andes has hailed as 'sensational' the discovery of some of the most sacred objects in the Inca civilisation - three 'ancestor stones,' which were once believed to form a precious link between the heavens and the underworld.

                  The find, which was made on an isolated Andean mountainside, provoked joy among local specialists and the experts present from, among others, the British Museum, Reading University and Royal Holloway, University of London. No examples of the ancestor stones were thought to have survived until now.

                  The Roles Of Folklore In Primitive Societies

                  For decades, anthropologists have studied the folklore of various cultures to learn how different populations view the world and their place in it. Folklore consists of myths and legends, tall tales, epics and sagas, nursery rhymes, lullabies and other literature of the people.

                  Anthropologists turn to folklore because, within every society folklore provides critical information about the people who make up societies. Folklore is, in many cases, the foundation of a unified society. So what roles does folklore play in defining a cohesive group of people?

                  "Telling the Bees"

                  Traditional folklore says that when a beekeeper dies, the bees must be told of the death promptly, or else they will either weaken and quit working, or they will flee the hive. This custom is found in far-flung locations around the world.
                  In China, Beehives are turned a different direction after the death of their keeper, hinting at a superstition that harkens back to a more ancient custom. Details vary, but the essence remains the same – tell the Bees, and quickly. In England circa 1840, a woman inquired if the Bees had been informed of the death of their keeper and upon learning they had not, proceeded to prepare a dish of spice cake and sugar and presented it to the hive while jingling her keys and reciting the following rhyme;
                  “Honey bees, Honey bees, hear what I say!
                  Your Master J.A. has passed away.
                  But his wife now begs you will freely stay,
                  And still gather honey for many a day.
                  Bonny bees, Bonny bees, hear what I say.”
                  The story is but a small part of Andrew Gough’s fascinating three-part post on the history of bees and beekeeping.
                  You can read the rest here.



                  "Peak Fertilizer" To Make Manure A Valuable Commodity

                  alpaca manure photo
                  Manure, runny. Image credit:USDA
                  Synthetic fertilizer is likely to become significantly more costly for US farmers. This trend will make manure a valuable commodity once again (as it was prior to the 1950s). There are two main reasons for the anticipated cost rise. 1.) Traditional US natural gas production has already gone 'past peak,' while natural gas is increasingly needed for producing electricity.* (Ammonia fertilizer is made from natural gas, remember.)
                  If a Federal climate bill is ever passed, the transition from coal- to gas-fired electricity will further increase the demand for natural gas. Regardless of climate action, however, cheap synthetic nitrogen fertilizer - something cash crop farmers in North America have counted on for over a half century - will gradually become less of a given in coming years. More on the closely related fertilizer phosphorus peak and overall societal impacts is presented below.

                  Corals Reefs Will Be Wiped Out By 2050

                  coral and fish photo
                  Photo by laszlo-photo via Flickr creative commons
                  First the news was that if we don't change our habits around fishing, all the world's fisheries will be wiped out by 2050. Now, experts guess that if we don't significantly change our interaction with the ocean, coral reefs will be all but wiped out by that same time. J.E.N. Veron, former chief scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, writes that human pollution of the water, as well as human-generated carbon dioxide emissions which are causing ocean acidification and rising ocean temperatures are rapidly killing off corals. He notes that without a radical change in our behaviors and priorities, we will be left with a bleak future for the oceans, and consequently, ourselves.



                  Poetic Images Celebrating The Harmony Of Man And Beast

                  The pictures are haunting, almost cosmic in their beauty. Animal and man seem to be one. Such is the beauty of Canadian artist Gregory Colbert's photography.

                  Bear Hug


                  Giant bird found on hobbit island

                  Artist’s impression of the size of the giant stork next to Homo floresiensis hobbit (Drawing by I. van Noortwijk) A giant carnivorous stork has been discovered on an island once home to so-called human-like 'hobbits'.

                  An artist’s impression of the size of the giant stork next to a Homo floresiensis hobbit appears to the right.

                  Scientists announce discovery of first horned dinosaur from South Korea

                  Scientists from South Korea, the United States and Japan analyzed fossil evidence found in South Korea and published research describing a new horned dinosaur. The newly identified genus, Koreaceratops hwaseongensis, lived about 103 million years ago during the late Early Cretaceous period.

                  Mountain gorilla numbers increase

                  Eastern gorilla (Image: A Shah/naturepl.com)The population of endangered mountain gorillas has increased significantly in the last 30 years, according to the latest census.

                  Green tree frog tries to eat a snake

                  Here we have an overly ambitious green tree frog, perhaps tired of eating moths day in and day out, tried to eat a snake three times its length.

                  Man can't shake off pigeon friend

                  Animal lover Dusty Miller can’t get rid of Squeaky the pigeon, who keeps coming back to the man who saved his life. 68-year-old Miller nursed the baby bird back to health after he found it abandoned in a doorway in freezing temperatures five weeks ago.

                  He fed and watered Squeaky as he grew and became his surrogate parent – even teaching the pigeon to fly in the back garden of his home in Haverhill, Suffolk. When the pigeon was fully grown and the time came to release him into the wild Dusty took him to the park to let him go.

                  But Squeaky had become so attached to his owners Dusty and his wife Margaret, 68, that he flew straight back to their home.

                  Now Dusty's feathered friend sleeps in his living room, takes baths in his sink, and follows him everywhere – even down to the shops. The grandfather-of-four said: ‘I keep telling him to go but he just comes straight back to me. He loves sitting on my head.’

                  Is the "Minhocão" just a millipede ?

                  The Minhocão is a cryptid that reportedly inhabits the forests and jungles of South America.  

                  Here's a report from about 20 years ago from a Peruvian rainforest:
                  She told me she was walking by herself in the jungle and saw what she initially thought was a large, black snake moving through the leaves on the forest floor. She then noticed it had armoured plates and may have had numerous small legs. Both my mother and I are aware that there are giant centipedes in that region, but the size of it does not match up. She described it as being well over one foot thick and never saw its head nor tail even though she observed it for several minutes. She guessed it must have been at least twenty feet long.
                  The world's longest (known) millipedes are only a little over one foot long. Further commentary at here.

                  Researchers Dressed as Panda Bears Return Baby Pandas to the Wild

                  When zoologists previously attempted to return a panda bear cub to the wild, the cub did not survive. They suspect that other wild pandas killed him. So this time, the researchers at China’s Wolong panda preserve limited human contact as much as possible. They even dressed in panda suits while returning cubs to the preserve:
                  In a new strategy, earlier this year conservationists released four pregnant Pandas into a protected area of Sichuan forest in order to prepare their future cubs for life in the wild.
                  In these pictures researchers at Wolong’s Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center take the temperature of a four-month-old cub before carefully returning him to the ‘wild’ where he is monitored by 24-hour CCTV.

パンダよ野生に帰れ…職員が着ぐるみ姿で奮闘 (1) - MSN産経ニュース

                  Animal Pictures