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.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Surprises are fun for some folks, but for you -- well, you'd rather have everything that's been penciled into your day-timer go just as you'd planned it.
Of course, that's not always possible, and you've definitely learned that over the course of your time here on the planet.
You've also learned that the way to have any kind of control over what you wish had happened and what actually did happen lies in your reaction.
Give 'em heck.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Espoo, Southern Finland, Finland
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Turnhout, Antwerpen, Belgium
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Harlow, England, United Kingdom
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, malaysia
Jeddah, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

as well as Bulgaria, Israel, Austria, Norway, Georgia, Mexico, Peru, Kuwait, Serbia, Bangladesh, Latvia, Greece, Scotland, Hong Kong, Denmark, Wales, Iran, Singapore, Poland, Taiwan, Sweden, Afghanistan, Belgium, Tibet, Croatia, Pakistan, Romania, Paraguay, Vietnam, Argentina, Cambodia, Egypt, France, Estonia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, China, Iraq, Ecuador, Nigeria, Colombia, Chile, Honduras, Paupa New Guinea, Moldova, Venezuela, Germany, Mexico  and in cities across the United States such as Kill Devil Hills, Durham, Asheville, Cornelius and more.

Today is:
Today is Sunday, December 19, the 353rd day of 2010.
There are 12 days left in the year.

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

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Non Sequitur


'Don't ask, don't tell' repealed

In a landmark for gay rights, the final vote sends an overturn of the ban to President Obama.  

US irritated with EU human rights laws

From the WikiLeaks File:

This is a problem, with the modern US political system problem and it's only getting worse.

The Guardian:
US officials regard European human rights standards as an "irritant", secret cables show, and have strongly objected to the safeguards which could protect WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from extradition.

In a confidential cable from the US embassy in Strasbourg, US consul general Vincent Carver criticized the Council of Europe, the most authoritative human-rights body for European countries, for its stance against extraditions to America, as well as secret renditions and prisons used to hold terrorist suspects.

He blamed the council for creating anti-US sentiment and hampering the US war on terror. "The Council of Europe (COE) likes to portray itself as a bastion of democracy, a promoter of human rights, and the last best hope for defending the rule of law in Europe – and beyond," Carver said. "[But] it is an organization with an inferiority complex and, simultaneously, an overambitious agenda.

Bank of America bans all payments to WikiLeaks, who respond accordingly

The new year promises to be an exciting one for the banking industry. It's not surprising that Bank of America - rumored to be the target of new WikiLeaks reports - is targeting WikiLeaks though the grounds do sound suspicious and maybe even illegal since WikiLeaks has yet to be found guilty of any crime. If only the banking industry was as vigilant when it came to illegal drug related money.

In classic form, WikiLeaks has sent out a message on Twitter related to Bank of America.
Does your business do business with Bank of America? Our advise is to place your funds somewhere safer.
What's also interesting here is that the Bank of America hasn't realized that we're living in a different age. Smearing and attacking WikiLeaks a decade ago would have been easier but with the tools and technology available today (at least before Comcast scraps Net Neutrality with the help of Washington) the fight is less one-sided. It's not as easy to dominate the message today.

Try something different ...


Underground (by sin bot)
Spelunking can be fun.

Thief steals 'Honesty' sculpture

Honesty walked right out the door of Normandale Community College on Tuesday night and hasn't been seen since. Muddy footprints and a trail of rolled-up dollar bills hint that a getaway car may have been parked in front of the Fine Arts building, but officials at the Bloomington school are baffled.

"Honesty" is, or was, a wire-mesh sculpture by John Ilg in which 316 rolled-up dollar bills were stuffed into the mesh to spell out the word "Honesty." It had hung in the college gallery since Nov. 9 with other works by Ilg. When it was first shown at the Minnesota State Fair in 2008, visitors liked the sculpture so much they added $150 to the piece. It has been exhibited unharmed several times since. "People like to tug on the bills to see if they're glued in and if I'm really trusting them," said Ilg, 53, of Woodbury.

He can tell when the bills have been tampered with because he rolls and folds them so the words "In God We Trust" are visible. Additions or replacements aren't rolled that way. A student reported the theft to campus security at about 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Two security officers followed footprints to the parking lot where another student found two rolled bills in an entrance parking spot. The officers retrieved a total of seven bills from the gallery and environs. Security cameras had no record of the crime and there are no suspects.

"It was a wonderful piece that really spurred a lot of discussion," said Jeff Judge, Normandale's dean of humanities whose office adjoins the gallery. Asked what the theft suggested about the college, he said, "I don't think it says anything about Normandale, but it says a whole lot about the person who took it. I'm holding out hope that the person was not in any way connected with Normandale." Ilg may recreate the piece. "All you can do is laugh," he said.

How to burn off holiday foods

It takes an hour of lifting weights to shed the calories in one serving of potatoes.  

Awesome Pictures


Disastrous money mistakes

These missteps seem insignificant but could be disastrous for your finances in the long run.  

Property tax boosters

You might think you're adding value to your home, but you could also be adding to your tax bill.

Tax deal: More pay for most

Most American workers will be keeping more of their wages starting next month.  

The 10 worst states for retirees

High taxes, cold winters, and fiscal woes tarnish these places for your golden years.  

Six gifts not to buy this Christmas

Flowers can be inconvenient, and monthly food baskets aren't worth the money.  



Total lunar eclipse coming

Skywatchers will have a view of one of nature's most beautiful spectacles if the weather is clear.  

The Ghost Cities of China

Photo: Michael Christopher Brown/TIME Magazine
If you build it, they will come – or so the famous saying goes … but what if you build it in the middle of nowhere, Inner Mongolia? Michael Christopher Brown visited the famous ghost city of Ordos, Inner Mongolia for TIME Magazine:
The Kangbashi district began as a public-works project in Ordos, a wealthy coal-mining town in Inner Mongolia. The area is filled with office towers, administrative centers, government buildings, museums, theaters and sports fields—not to mention acre on acre of subdivisions overflowing with middle-class duplexes and bungalows. The only problem: the district was originally designed to house, support and entertain 1 million people, yet hardly anyone lives there.

Similarly, Business Insider has the satellite photos of Ordos and other ghost cities of China:

There are no cars in the city, except for a few dozen parked at the glamorous government center.



Good samaritans face fine after rescuing deer from icy water

They fought to save a life, and now they say they’ll fight the fine. It all revolves around the rescue of a deer trapped in icy water on Thursday night. Strangers banded together to pull a deer out of the freezing water of the Patapsco River near Linthicum.

“We seen the deer going under,” said Khalil Abusakran. “It couldn’t maintain. It was starting to freeze, and it was really getting bad.” Abusakran brought a raft, and Jim Hart joined him. “We had oars and shovels to break the ice, for the deer to get out,” Abusakran said.

But in the excited aftermath of the rescue, a natural resources police officer on the scene wrote both men a ticket.“And he didn’t say anything,” Jim Hart said. “We went in and out of the water numerous times. He didn’t stop us at all.” They say they were ticketed for not wearing life vests, although both are over the age for mandatory use of flotation devices.

“No, we didn’t have vests on, but we’re not 16 years old,” Abusakran said. “There were personal floating devices on the boat.” The ticket itself doesn’t check off any specific violation, just a $90 fine. They’ll fight it in court, as they fought for the deer. The two men ticketed say they will fight the citations at the court hearing in Annapolis set for Feb. 18.

Coyote rescued from floating sheet of ice on Lake Michigan

A coyote which became trapped on a sheet of ice has been rescued by firemen in Chicago. The animal, which rescuers named Holly, spent over an hour floating on the lake in the United States.

Rescue workers were called at around 9.30am when passers by spotted the coyote on a block of ice.

Helicopter camera crews recorded the event. At one point, the coyote jumped off the ice and tried to swim to shore in the zero-degree celsius water.

The animal then climbed on a another ice flow, said Larry Langford, fire department spokesman, before being pulled to safety.