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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, December 10, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Someone you're close to -- either a friend, family member or romantic partner -- is having a hard time getting started on a new (and very ambitious) project.
You can see exactly what they need to do, so find a diplomatic way to deliver the news without bruising their currently fragile ego.
They may be skeptical at first, but they trust you -- and their gratitude will be a solidifying element in your relationship.
This is the start of a happier phase between you two.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada

as well as Georgia, Mexico, Japan, Peru, Serbia, Bangladesh, Latvia, Greece, Scotland, Hong Kong, Denmark, Wales, Iran, Singapore, Poland, 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 Round Rock, Los Angeles, Hilo, Wilmington and more.

Today is:
Today is Friday, December 10, the 344th day of 2010.
There are 21 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:

Dewey Decimal System Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Bullied girl's tale takes turn

A scorned 7-year-old "Star Wars" fan's story sparks unexpected support online.  

The truth be told


So they say ...

“We’re on a  mission from God”
“We’re on a  mission from God”

Pfizer 'used dirty tricks' against Nigerian AG to avoid lawsuit

Nothing is too shocking with the Big Pharma industry but exposing it is helpful. Who is Washington finds this offensive? Hmmm, probably those politicians who receive campaign contributions from Big Pharma. In other words, quite a few of them because they all prefer the comfortable relationship of letting that industry pilfer Americans with high costs (even compared to other countries) while the extra earnings conveniently help fuel US campaigns. This happy marriage must be protected at all costs.
But the cable suggests that the US drug giant did not want to pay out to settle the two cases – one civil and one criminal – brought by the Nigerian federal government.

The cable reports a meeting between Pfizer's country manager, Enrico Liggeri, and US officials at the Abuja embassy on 9 April 2009. It states: "According to Liggeri, Pfizer had hired investigators to uncover corruption links to federal attorney general Michael Aondoakaa to expose him and put pressure on him to drop the federal cases. He said Pfizer's investigators were passing this information to local media."

The cable, classified confidential by economic counsellor Robert Tansey, continues: "A series of damaging articles detailing Aondoakaa's 'alleged' corruption ties were published in February and March. Liggeri contended that Pfizer had much more damaging information on Aondoakaa and that Aondoakaa's cronies were pressuring him to drop the suit for fear of further negative articles."

Cyberattacks use new tech

Networks of "zombie" computers are usually behind major cyberattacks.

Poll: Cut the deficit, keep entitlements and tax the rich

Looking at how well the rich continue to make out during the recession, is anyone surprised? Why should the middle class and poor be asked to accept less when the rich keep getting richer? As we see the Wall Street bonus numbers emerge, few Americans are going to be sympathetic to accepting cuts as the bankers shop for their latest articles of conspicuous consumption.

Should the economy continues to stagnate (there's very little reason to see significant growth in the next two years) it will be very interesting to see how the public will view the latest giveaway that the GOP and Obama are hoping to wrap up soon. Outside of White House economists, it's difficult to find anyone who believes in a rapid economic turnaround.

Americans want Congress to bring down a federal budget deficit that many believe is “dangerously out of control,” only under two conditions: minimize the pain and make the rich pay.

The public wants Congress to keep its hands off entitlements such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, a Bloomberg National Poll shows. They oppose cuts in most other major domestic programs and defense. They want to maintain subsidies for farmers and tax breaks like the mortgage-interest deduction. And they’re against an increase in the gasoline tax.

That aversion to sacrifice is at odds with a spate of recent studies, including one by President Barack Obama’s debt panel, that say reductions in Medicare, Social Security, military and other spending are necessary to curb a deficit that totaled $1.29 trillion in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, or 9 percent of the gross domestic product.

Congress fails to act this week

The country's economic future hangs in the balance as both parties stymie major initiatives.

Gas prices cut into shopping

Families are choosing between mileage and the mall — and that's not what retailers want to hear.  

Ultracheap car that few want

A new Nano sells for just $2,900, but even that low price isn't enticing a lot of buyers.  



On The Job

Starting salaries have exceeded $100,000 for half of recent federal hires.

Social Security changes rules

The banned strategy allowed retirees to get interest-free loans. 

Wow, 119,000 planes in a void

Missing info on a third of the nation's aircraft gives authorities more than one reason to worry. 

Philosoraptor Says ...


German police seize marijuana Christmas tree

A two-meter (six-foot) marijuana plant decorated as a Christmas tree was confiscated from the home of "an old hippie", who is now facing a drug possession charge, German police said on Wednesday.

In a tongue-in-cheek press release titled "All you need is love or how a hippie celebrates Christmas," police in the western city of Koblenz said they discovered the giant plant in the living room of the suspect.

"The two-meter-tall marijuana plant had been put in a Christmas tree stand and decorated with a string of lights," the police said.

"When asked, the hashish fan told the perplexed officers that he had intended to add more decorations to the 'tree' and place the presents under it, according to tradition." Police seized the plant and another 150 grams (5.3 ounces) of marijuana found in the apartment.

Bad Cops

No charges filed against Arizona jail guard caught beating inmates on surveillance video

Alabama police officer arrested, charged with receiving stolen property

Tennessee police officer fired, charged with felony assault

Former Arizona cop is charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault and theft

Fired Missouri policeman sentenced for producing child porn

Hawaii police officer charged with theft

Three New Orleans cops convicted of manslaughter in post-Katrina killing

Gambling nun accused of embezzling $850,000

A Catholic nun with a reputation for gambling trips to Atlantic City was accused of embezzling more than $850,000 from a college where she oversaw the school's finances, officials said Friday.

Believe it or not


Busiest mail day of the year

If you hate standing in line at the post office, you should mark this date on your calendar.  

Striking photos of urban decay

Ruined buildings that once were vital to their cities are seen in a new light.  

The world's oddest hotels

Finland's Hotel Kakslauttanen has glass igloos with views of the aurora borealis.  

Iconic battle flag nets hefty sum

The only "guidon" to survive Custer's crushing defeat sold for just $54 when it first surfaced.  

Test rocket's secret payload?


The California rocket company that launched a spacecraft into orbit and successfully returned it to Earth this week has revealed its secret payload a ' a wheel of cheese.

Clues to lost civilization

Bold new findings could "completely rewrite our understanding" of early human history. 

Doctors on Healthcare Reform

It's always good to get your doctor's opinion. And then a second opinion. Here's what medical doctors think of the whole idea of healthcare reform.

The Allergists voted to scratch it, and the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.

The Gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it.
The Neurologists thought congress had a lot of nerve, and the Obstetricians felt they were all laboring under a misconception.

The Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted; the Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!" while the Pediatricians said, "Oh, grow up!"

The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, the Radiologists could see right through it, and the Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing.

The Internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the Plastic Surgeons said, "This puts a whole new face on the matter."

The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists felt the scheme wouldn't hold water.

The Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas, and the Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.

In the end, the Proctologists left the decision up to some asshole in Washington.

And Medicare has not come back with a decision.

What makes stomachs growl

There's a scientific explanation for that rumbling sound a hungry belly makes. 

    Six Shocking Ways TV Rewires Your Brain

    Cracked looks at studies that have compared the amount of time people spend watching TV and the differences between those who watch a lot and those who don’t. The results show that watching more TV over years make folks more likely to commit violent acts, gain weight, and have short attention spans. But the news isn’t all bad.
    Using a combination of four studies, scientists have shown that television shows can instill a sense of belonging in people with low self-esteem who have been rejected by friends or family. This is called the social surrogacy hypothesis, which figures that in order to fill the emotional void of social deprivation, a person will establish relationships with fictional characters (as teenagers, many of us had a similar type of relationship with late-night Cinemax).
    One study showed that subjects who were experiencing feelings of loneliness felt better after turning on their favorite television programs. Another had subjects writing essays about either their favorite shows or some other random subject as a control. The subjects who wrote about their favorite shows used fewer words expressing loneliness than the control group.

    How TV affects babies' brains

    Even limited viewing is linked to delayed cognitive development and language.  

      Try these optical illusions

      This latest batch of illusions will get your eyes — and your brain — working. 

      Physics with Wile E. Coyote

      All I need to know about physics I learned from Wile E. Coyote…
      All I need to know about physics I learned from Wile E. Coyote …

      Ten Huge Prehistoric Cats

      When you think of prehistoric cats, you probably think of Smilodon, the saber-toothed tiger. There were plenty of other big cat species you may have never heard of, like the Xenosmilus, the cave lion, or the American lion. Pictured here is Machairodus kabir, which probably resembled a modern tiger with the addition of huge fangs. Oh, and it weighed over a thousand pounds!

      Before man became a hunter and made his way to the top of the food chain, the Felidae, or cats, were the most successful, powerful predators in most of the world. Even today, big cats such as tigers, lions, jaguars and leopards keep causing admiration and fear, but these magnificent beasts are dwarfed by some of their extinct relatives.

      Here are ten of prehistory's largest, mightiest cats, some of which were seen by humans only a few thousand years ago.

      They 'tasted' like Chicken

      Imagine this, you walk to the back of your farm and head over towards the chicken coops, you look inside; but instead of chickens you're presented with two tyrannosaur hatchlings.

      Shark attacks baffle experts

      The "Jaws"-like scenario playing out in the Red Sea takes a series of unsettling turns.  

      Scorpions glow in the dark to detect moonlight

      The mysterious green glow that scorpions emit in ultraviolet light may help them decide when the night is too bright for them to go out safely.