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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, January 7, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
There's one simple way to make the next few weeks of your life easier: Let go of all the things you can't control.
Yes, this is easier said than done, but once you start to make the effort, you will immediately get a taste of the freedom it brings.
Sometimes, guilt can keep you from moving away from old setbacks, bad relationships or other unpleasant dramas.
If you're feeling guilty, ask yourself why.
There's no way to go back in time.
The only option is to keep going forward!

Some of our readers today have been in:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
Maia, Porto, Portugal
London, England, United Kingdom
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Voghere, Lombardia, Italy
Kiev, Kyvv, Ukraine
Paris, Ile-De-France, France

as well as Bulgaria, Israel, Finland, 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, Sudan, Vietnam, Argentina, Cambodia, Egypt, France, Estonia, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Brazil, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, Slovenia, China, Iraq, Ecuador, Nigeria, Colombia, Chile, Honduras, Paupa New Guinea, Moldova, Venezuela, Germany, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Vietnam, Norway, Finland and in cities across the United States such as Appleton, Mankato, Colorado Springs, Silver Spring and more.

Today is:
Today is Friday, January 7, the 7th day of 2011.
There are 368 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is: 
I'm Not Going To Take It Anymore Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Non Sequitur


House repugicans already violating the Constitution

The repugican party likes to make a show of its love of the Constitution, but when it comes to time to actually implement the Constitution, the repugicans like to go their own way.

From Ryan Grim at Huff Post:
Two House repugicans have cast votes as members of the 112th Congress, but were not sworn in on Wednesday, a violation of the Constitution on the same day that the GOP had the document read from the podium. The repugicans, incumbent Pete Sessions of Texas and freshman Mike Fitzpatrick, missed the swearing in, but watched it on television from the Capitol Visitors Center.

"That wasn't planned. It just worked out that way," said Fitzpatrick at the time, according to local press on hand, which noted that he "happened to be introducing Texas Congressman Pete Sessions while glad-handing his supporters in the Capitol Visitor Center that he secured for them when the House swearing in began."

There is no provision in the Constitution for a remote swearing-in by television. On Thursday, the Rules Committee adjourned because Sessions had introduced legislation to repeal health care reform - an action that can only be taken by an official member of Congress.

The repugicans rush to fix blunder

Knowing full well they can't
An embarrassing misstep forces House leaders to invalidate two congressmen's votes.

Sorry Boehner, you don't get to overrule CBO

It's really quite egregious what the repugicans in the House are trying to do, now in their second day of running the US House. The repugicans are trying to make it so that CBO is no longer the arbiter of how much legislation costs, and whether it adds or subtracts from the deficit.

For those who don't know, the Congressional Budget Office is an independent agency of the Congress. Neither the Democrats nor the repugicans run it. It is completely independent. But the repugicans are unhappy that CBO has concluded, repeatedly, that last year's health care reform legislation will save over $100bn over the next ten years, and they're even more unhappy that CBO has just upped its numbers to $230bn for the cost of repealing HCR over the next ten years.

So, when they're confronted with incontrovertible facts, the repugicans attack the source, and lie.

Every single journalist working in Washington, DC knows about CBO. They know CBO is independent, and that CBO is what we use to "score" legislation, period. The repugicans can not be permitted to get away with removing CBO as the final arbiter of how much legislation costs. The damage to decision-making in Washington would be tremendous. The repugicans in the House literally issued their own analysis today of what they think health care reform will cost. And nobody cares. It's irrelevant what the repugicans in the House, or frankly the White House, "thinks" health care reform will save us. What matters is what independent impartial arbiters say, and that's CBO.

This is part of the larger repugican strategy to undermine any authority that contradicts their worldview - contradicts their lies. It's why the repugicans have been denigrating the mainstream media for two decades (at least). And it's why they're now suggesting we all ignore CBO. They cannot be allowed to get away with this, as ABC News's The Note did in a recent story in which they quoted the repugicans' analysis as to why CBO is wrong, but didn't get anyone from CBO to explain why they're right.

Stop playing he-said she-said, ABC (and all the rest of you in the media). And start doing your job. If you know one guy is lying, then report that fact. Your job isn't to take lies and give them the patina of truth. That's not fair and balanced, it's FAUX.

Teabaggers already disgusted with repugican broken promises

Uh, told ya so.
“I actually don’t think it would be possible to fall from grace any faster than this,” Mark Meckler, with the Tea Party Traitors, said.

A few House repugican aides admitted that the party had slipped up in failing to correct the $100 billion figure – first thrown out in the “Pledge to America” document released in late September – before this week.

Other repugican staffers ignored questions about the error. A few argued the same thing as Ryan and other lawmakers: the $100 billion in cuts was an accurate number when the repugicans first issued their pledge in September.
The repugicans are now arguing that they didn't really lie about the $100bn figure. But because the fiscal year already started this past October 1, they can't cut $100bn this year, since they've already missed three months (in fact, they lie in the story above and claim that half the fiscal year is already gone - it's not, half the fiscal year is over at the end of March 2011). But there's another beautiful lie buried in the story - why can't the Republicans cut $100bn as promised simply because we're three months into the fiscal year? And just as importantly, are we to believe that the Republicans only figured out now that the fiscal year started this past October? Everyone in Washington knows that. So they lied, intentionally, when they told their followers that they'd cut $100bn. There's no other explanation for them now claiming "gosh, we made that promise before we realized the fiscal year started in October."

They knew. They lied. Welcome to the assholes you just put in charge of the House. Same corrupt assholes we kicked out four years ago.



Foods to help you sleep

The same foods you eat for breakfast can make a sleep-inducing bedtime snack.  

OK, if you say so.


Products shrink, prices don't

It's not your imagination — consumer goods of all kinds have been downsized.  

On The Job

Professions with long hours and lonely work lead to the lowest scores in a new survey.

Tips for buyers and sellers

Sellers need to face market realities, while buyers really need to play the field.  

Banks boost checking fees

Monthly charges ranging from $8.95 to as much as $25 will cost customers hundreds annually.  

Suspicious package ignites

Authorities are considering a link to packages that ignited in Maryland Thursday.  

Bad Cops

California police chief is sentenced to year in jail for bribery, destruction of evidence, concealing evidence, and two counts each of perjury, submitting falsified documents and embezzlement

New Mexico detective is arrested after domestic dispute

Fired Missouri deputy arrested for rape

Pennsylvania police officer is arrested for assaulting his wife

Two fired Florida police officers sentenced to prison for their roles in the shakedown of a drug dealer

Sex in squad car costs 24-year veteran Florida police corporal his job

Boise pays $150K settlement to man sodomized by police Taser

Heroes rush in where police fear to tread

Eleven Funny Fine-Print Warnings

Creators of products sometimes add pretty unintentionally hilarious warning labels. Printed on everything from hairdryers to cheese, these common-sense precautions may help some folks avoid trouble, but for the rest of us, they're just good entertainment.

Stupid People

Some guy bought a new fridge for his house. To get rid of his old fridge, he put it in his front yard and hung a sign on it saying: "Free to good home. You want it, you take it."
For three days the fridge sat there without even one person looking twice at it. He eventually decided that people were too untrusting of this deal. It looked to good to be true, so he changed the sign to read: "Fridge for sale $50."
The next day someone stole it.


One day I was walking down the beach with some friends when someone shouted.... "Look at that dead bird!"
Someone looked up at the sky and said... "Where???"


While looking at a house, my brother asked the real estate agent which direction was north because, he explained, he didn't want the sun waking him up every morning.
She asked, "Does the sun rise in the north?"
When my brother explained that the sun rises in the east, and has for sometime, she shook her head and said, "Oh, I don't keep up with that stuff."


I used to work in technical support for a 24/7 call center. One day I got a call from an individual who asked what hours the call center was open. I told him, "The number you dialed is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
He responded, "Is that Eastern or Pacific time?"
Wanting to end the call quickly, I said, "Uh, Pacific" .


My colleague and I were eating our lunch in our cafeteria, when we overheard one of the administrative assistants talking about the sunburn she got on her weekend drive to the shore. She drove down in a convertible, but "didn't think she'd get sunburned because the car was moving".


My sister has a lifesaving tool in her car it's designed to cut through a seat belt if she gets trapped. She keeps it in the trunk...


My friends and I were on a beer run and noticed that the cases were discounted 10%. Since it was a big party, we bought 2 cases. The cashier multiplied 2 times 10% and gave us a 20% discount on both....


I couldn't find my luggage at the airport baggage area. So I went to the lost luggage office and told the woman there that my bags never showed up. She smiled and told me not to worry because she was a trained professional and I was in good hands.
"Now," she asked me, "Has your plane arrived yet?"...


You are owned!

Unwanted fluoride effects

A surprising study shows the fluoride added to U.S. water may be too much of a good thing.  

Walking Speed Could Predict Lifespan In Seniors

A new study from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found that older people who walk quickly can expect to live longer than those who walk more slowly.

The findings do not mean that slow walkers are doomed to die early, the researchers warn. Nor will intentionally pushing yourself to hustle keep you young.

Instead, the study suggests that, like blood pressure and cholesterol levels, the pace that you feel comfortable walking at can be a simple sign of your overall health.

Young people in nursing homes

Adam Martin never imagined that at 26, he'd be surrounded by bingo games and hushed hallways.  

Why balding men may rejoice

Researchers once believed some men simply had fewer of the stem cells that produce hair.

    Divers find 1811 shipwreck

    The sinking of the USS Revenge in 1811 helped set the stage for a crucial U.S. victory.

    Music Biz


    The New $100 Bill

    The newly redesigned US $100 bill is more colorful than any US currency you’ve seen. There a lot of new security features to impede counterfeiting, including a blue ribbon embedded in the front with a watermark, a color-shifting bell, raised printing, tiny printed words in tiny spots, and more. Note: actual bills will not have a “specimen” watermark as this picture has. Take a tour of the differences at NewMoney, a government website devoted to US currency.

    Is $10 billion buried on Robinson Crusoe Island?

    Or is this just hype to encourage visits by tourists?  

    This from last month's Santiago Times:
    Keiser, whose treasure-seeking effort on the island the past 12 years has cost him an estimated US$2 million, is reportedly in the process of shelling out another US$100,000 dollars for this latest effort, which includes highly sophisticated mining video technology.

    But Keiser’s expenses will be well covered should he find the treasure: Chilean law will provide him 25 percent of any booty he discovers, and Keiser estimates the treasure’s value at US$10 billion.

    According to legend, the treasure originated in the Incan Empire and was stolen during the Spanish conquest of Peru in the 16th and 17th centuries. When the treasure was en route to Spain around 1715, the navigator in charge of the ship landed on Robinson Crusoe Island and buried his cargo. Before he could return to unearth the booty, an English pirate named Cornelius Webb uncovered the Incan treasure and reburied it elsewhere on the island. The legendary stash is reported to contain 800 barrels of gold, including precious pieces of gold and jewelry.
    More details on the story of the treasure and new developments in the quest are available at Death by 1000 Papercuts.

    The First Solar Eclipse Of 2011

    Last Tuesday a partial solar eclipse took place, observable through most of Europe and northwestern Asia. Over parts of Europe, as much as two-thirds of the sun slipped from view behind the moon. The region that saw the greatest eclipse was in northern Sweden.

    This was the first of four partial solar eclipses which will occur in 2011, the others taking place on June 1st, July 1st and November 25th.

    Space Auction

    NASA is preparing to auction off souvenirs, paperwork, and hardware from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo projects. Of course, items from the Apollo 11 mission will command higher prices, such as the American flag shown, which went to the moon in the summer of 1969.
    Remarkable flight-flown printed fabric American flag, 6 x 4, flown aboard Apollo 11 during its historic flight to the moon. Flag is affixed by its corners to a 10 x 12 certificate stating “This flag traveled to the moon with Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing, July 20, 1969,” and signed in black felt tip by astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. Armstrong has also added an inscription that reads, “To Rooster with sincere best wishes from Apollo 11.” Rooster Andrews was the owner of a very successful sports shop business in Texas, a keen space collector, and a friend of the astronauts.
    Bidding will begin on January 13th.

    An unusual cemetery in northern Iran


    Three shrines and hundreds of tombstones left by an unknown people -
    The cemetery lays in the northern part of Golestan province, in the mountains of Torkaman Sahra (Turkmen Desert) near the border with Turkmenistan... The holy place encompasses actually not one but three shrines, revered by local tradition as the tombs of the prophet Khaled Baba, his father-in-law Alaam Baba and his shepherd Chupan Ata...

    Prophet Khaled himself is claimed in the legend hanging on the wall of the sanctuary to have been born in Yemen, his father was called Sanan, and he died here in 528, that is 42 years before the birth of Mohamed and 82 years before the beginning of Mohamed’s prophetic mission. The obvious question concerning the faith of which he was a prophet eighty-two years before the very foundation of Islam, is not raised in the legend. However, it is very probable that he was a Nestorian Christian, one of those who in this period migrated in a growing number to the north-eastern regions of the Persian empire, and from there further to China along the Silk Road...

    In the cemetery laying a few hundred meters from the shrines around six hundred tombstones have been preserved. The stones are basically two kinds: either long columns ending in round hats which are sometimes two meters high or more, or smaller, squat grave posts similar to a cross where the two arms of the cross are replaced by two semi-circles or almost complete circles...

    ...if we project these places on the map, we see that almost all of them lay north of the majestic Gorgan Wall, built several centuries before Christ which, stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Afghan mountains, defended Iran from the attack of the northern tribes (and which was first excavated by the Hungarian Aurel Stein in 1915). Perhaps these cemeteries belonged to such tribes of the steppe, which would also give an explanation for the lack of any settlement around them.
    If this interests you, there is more information and about three dozen more photos at Poemas del rio Wang.  Also, intriguing is the reference to the Great Wall of Gorgan, the second longest in the world.

    Iran accuses US woman of 'spying through her teeth'

    Iran has detained an American woman accused of hiding a spying device in her teeth, Iranian newspapers report.

    Hall Talayan, 55, was held as she tried to cross the border from Armenia without a visa, the reports said. She was reportedly arrested near the north-west border town of Nordouz. It is unclear where she is being held.

    The latest report, carried in the state-owned Farsi daily, Iran, said Ms Talayan had hidden "spying technology or a microphone" in her teeth.

    According to another Farsi daily, Tabnak, she told customs officers that the security forces of Armenia would kill her if she was sent back by Iran.



    Upping the cute factor


    Dog's habit enraged Nazis

    Way to go, Jackie!
    Jackie the mutt's distinctive habit drove Nazis to launch an obsessive campaign, cables reveal.  



    Excerpts from a nice post at Naturespeak:
    Bagworm sacs are spindle-shaped bags constructed of silk and plastered with dead spruce needles (although they are known to eat just about any plant – over 100 food plants – they prefer evergreens). Each structure is secured to the branch with a silken tie and, depending on whether they were made by a male or female worm, are either empty or full of eggs...

    Eventually they emerge as adults in the early fall. The males, wasp-like creatures with clear wings, push their way out of the bag and fly off to seek the company of the females. The females, however, are wingless and are forced to remain within the confines of their bag. When the males find the females they mate with them through the narrow opening at the small end...

    The impregnated females lay their egg clusters within the bag before crawling out and dropping helplessly to the ground. She will lay upwards of 1,000 eggs. Both sexes die shortly after mating (although the males are able to visit with a few more bags before cashing it in!) All this means that by wintertime only the female bags will contain living material in the form of yellowish egg clusters. The male shelters will be completely empty or contain the empty pupal skins...

    Mass animal deaths common

    More than 150 die-offs like that of the Arkansas birds happen every year, biologists say. 

      Animal Pictures