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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 14, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You're in charge.
Are you organizing an after-work barbeque?
Do you have to negotiate between the carnivores and the vegetarians and find a meat-to-tofu ratio that keeps everybody happy?
You can do it.
Do you have to provide just enough beer and just enough bug juice?
You can do it.
Do you have to make sure everybody has fun?
They have to be responsible for that themselves.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Milan, Lombardia, Italy

as well as Malta, 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, Czech Republic, Vietnam, Norway, Finland and in cities across the United States such as St. Cloud, Soddy Daisy, Ojai, Bayonne and more.

Today is:
Today is Friday, January 14, the 14th day of 2011.
There are 351 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is: 
Dress Up Your Pet Day
Organize Your Home Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Repugicans divided over Pete King gun control bill

It should be interesting to watch repugicans, and the nra, and the tea party (which is the same thing as repugicans), argue that people SHOULD be allowed to carry guns within 1000 feet of a member of Congress or a judge at an event.
More from Huffington Post:
The fragile repugican coalition isn't handling Pete King's gun bill well. The idea that somebody should be barred from knowingly bringing a firearm to within 1,000 feet of an event with a congressperson or judge has the nra and tea party aghast, but it has the backing of the Michael Bloomberg types and some neocon elements who take a tough line on national security. The National Review has a supportive essay from Cliff May, founder of the neocon Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Arkadi Gerney, a top aide to Bloomberg, tells HuffPost Hill he's encouraged by the repugican support so far. "It makes a lot of sense. It would give law enforcement a fighting chance of trying to intercept a shooter before they pull their gun out and pull a trigger," he said. May tells HuffPost Hill the reaction to his NR piece has been swift: "Most of my friends on the right don't think I should be considering such measures." He went on to say all sorts of other radical stuff that will prevent him from coming within 1,000 feet of a Tea Party rally: "Somebody who's considered a danger to his campus shouldn't be welcomed in a gun shop." "There is no right that is completely without restrictions." "I'm not one to stand on orthodoxy."

Glock pistol sales surge in Arizona after assassination attempt

The Scam of the Decade: westboro baptist cult

From the "We already knew this" Department:
Fred Phelps does not believe what he is doing. This is a scam.
It’s a business. They travel the country, set up websites telling you exactly when they’ll be there, and using the most inflammatory statements all over the place, just to get someone to violate their rights for profit. Then they sue the military, the police force that was to protect them, and everyone that is around them for money. This is a sham, and it is a trap to get people sued. Every member of his family is an attorney. Phelps does not break the law. What he does is try to make you break the law by trying to punch your sensibilities about everything you hold dear, and then sue you and everyone municipality around him to the max.

‘Soul collector’ accused of trying to cut off man’s toes

A Fergus Falls man is in custody after he allegedly attempted to stab another man, a former mayoral candidate, to death in order to "collect his soul." Ivan "Skip" Mallas of Fergus Falls is recovering from multiple stab wounds after police said he was attacked with a knife at his home by Timothy Peterson, a 41-year-old acquaintance of Mallas, who lived just down the street.

"I got a knock on the door, I wasn't expecting this person (Peterson)," Mallas said. "He told me he was gonna kill me ... and I asked him 'Why?' 'Because I own your soul.' "He started stabbing that knife in between my feet; closer and closer, and I didn't move," Mallas said. "(Mallas) was in a fight for his life, and it took all his strength to fend off Mr. Peterson and his stabbing attempts," Fergus Falls Police Detective Andrew Miller said.

'He cut me (on my arm), and he cut me (on my hand), and that's when I retaliated," Mallas said. "I used to be strong in my day, but I ain't that strong anymore." Police said Peterson left and Mallas went to a neighbour's home to call for help. "Police tracked a trail of blood ... to a different residence and from there, police were able to apprehend the suspect (Peterson)," Miller said.

Peterson was arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder and assault, and is currently in custody. Mallas said he doesn't have any set punishment he'd like to see for Peterson. "I hope that no other person has to experience this. That's all I hope," Mallas said. "I'm grateful for whoever looked over me.' Peterson's next court date is set for Jan. 24.



Lynsie Murley Wins Case Against TSA Over Extreme Patdown

From HuffingtonPost
Lynsie Murley, a 24-year old woman from Amarillo, Texas has won a lawsuit she filed in 2010 against the TSA over what she claims was an extremely embarrassing patdown, according to MSNBC.
The patdown in question occurred at the Corpus Christi airport in May 2008. Murley sued the TSA for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress after she was forced to expose her breasts during a patdown.
In the suit, Murley claimed the TSA agent pulled her blouse too far down, which left her exposed to the entire area. According to NowPublic, Murley claims the TSA agents joked about the incident in front of her and was even told by a male TSA agent that he'd wished he'd been there to see it.

More on Airport Security

EPA revokes license for mountain top coal mining project

Now *that* is change we can believe in.

It's not going to be a popular decision, but doing the right thing isn't always popular. The repugicans are going to kick and scream but they always do. It's good to see someone is finally taking a stand against the pollution left behind during these mining projects. West Virginia is a beautiful part of the country so protecting it's nature is long overdue.
The Obama administration has vetoed one of the biggest coal projects in the US in a historic decision against the destructive practice of mountaintop removal mining.

The Environmental Protection Agency said it was revoking the permit granted to the Spruce Number One mine in West Virginia, which would have involved blasting the tops off mountains over more than 2,200 acres, because it would inflict "unacceptable" damage to surrounding valleys and streams.

The agency said it was the first time it had revoked a previously issued permit in 40 years, but it said the action was warranted because the environmental damage was truly unacceptable.

Key tax changes for 2011

As you start on your 1040 form, be sure you know how tax breaks will change this year. 

Triggers of next recession

Experts warn that a sharp drop in the housing market could sink the economy again.  

Awesome Pictures


New limits for salt intake

An updated recommendation asks Americans to drop their intake by about one-third.  

    Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge Recalled

    Would you be surprised to find that Nuclear Sludge has been found to contain contaminants that “potentially could cause health problems” if consumed? Maybe you should know that Nuclear Sludge is a variety in the Toxic Waste line of candy!
    Circle City Marketing and Distributing doing business as Candy Dynamics, Indianapolis, IN, is issuing a voluntary recall of all Toxic Waste® brand Nuclear Sludge® Chew Bars, all flavors, Net wt. 0.7 oz (20 g) package. The product is imported from Pakistan.
    A recent test performed by the California Department of Public Health has indicated that a lot (#8288A) of the cherry flavor of the above-listed product contains elevated levels of lead (0.24 parts per million; the U.S. FDA tolerance is 0.1 ppm) that potentially could cause health problems, particularly for infants, small children, and pregnant women.
    Out of an abundance of caution, the company has determined to recall all lots and all flavors of the product distributed from the product’s inception in 2007 through January 2011.

    Down the Hatch and Straight Into Medical History

    Dr. Chevalier Jackson was a laryngologist who spent a good deal of his career retrieving objects that his patients swallowed or inhaled. And he kept them all. He retired with a collection of over 2,000 bizarre items that had once been inside his patients.
    Jackson retrieved these objects from people’s upper torsos, generally with little or no anesthesia. He was so intent on assembling his collection that he once refused to return a swallowed quarter, even when its owner threatened his life.
    “He was a fetishist, no question,” said Mary Cappello, the author of “Swallow” (New Press), a new book about Jackson and his bizarre collection. “But his obsession had the effect of saving lives. That’s kind of amazing, and lucky for us that his madness made possible forms of rescue.”
    The collection is set to go on display at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia on February 18th.

    Cash Machines are as Dirty as Public Toilets

    If you get your filthy lucre from an ATM, you may want to bring along some hand sanitizer. A study conducted in England found the average cash machine to be as dirty—and carry the same germs—as public toilets:
    Experts took swabs from the numeric key pads on a string of city centre ATMs around England which are used by thousands of shoppers every day.
    They then took similar swabs from the seats of nearby public toilets and compared the bacteria under microscopes in a lab.
    The samples from both locations were found to contain pseudomonads and bacillus, bacterias which are known to cause sickness and diarrhoea.
    [. . .]
    Dr Richard Hastings, microbiologist for BioCote, the anti-bacterial firm which carried out the research, said: “We were interested in comparing the levels of bacterial contamination between heavily-used ATM machines and public toilets.
    “We were surprised by our results because the ATM machines were shown to be heavily contaminated with bacteria; to the same level as nearby public toilets.

    Three Short Ones

    I was at a bar last night and a gorgeous girl looked at me and said, "Hey, you must work out!"

    "Thanks!" I replied.

    "No, I mean you really need to work out, you fat bastard."


    Apparently, people with Alzheimer’s repeat the first word of their sentence again at the end, apparently.


    My girlfriend has just left me saying I spend too much time devoted to my studies of Roman Numerals...

    I’m L I V I D

    Seattle's underground city

    It started back in June 1889, when Seattle experienced what is often referred to as the “Great Fire of 1889″. This fire was an unfortunate set of coincidences that brought devastation to the city of Seattle. Sad to say, at the end of it all, approximately 25-30 city blocks had all but burned to the ground.

    Thankfully the citizens of Seattle were strong, so the city didn’t hesitate to start rebuilding. However, following a disaster of such proportions it was obvious that building construction codes would have to be changed. Luckily that didn’t take long. Soon the new brick and stone buildings were going up right on top of the ruins.

    Now, if you’ve been to Pioneer Square in Seattle, you’ve probably seen the underground city’s “skylights”. You may have walked right across them without even realizing there was once a bustling city underneath your feet.


    Iceland Wants To Be Your Friend

    Iceland Wants to Be Your Friend is an initiative of the Icelandic Tourist Board.
    Halló, my name is Iceland. I am an island, full of mountains and glaciers and hot water and sheep and other things. And also many nice Icelandic people, who like to make music, and who are sometimes cold.

    (Maybe you have seen me on your tele-vision, or your Inter-nets.) I have heard that many people use the Inter-nets to make friends, and to talk about themselves. So that is what I want to do, too.

    Common Misconceptions

    Vikings wore horns on their helmets. Swallowed chewing gum does take seven years to digest. Marie Antoinette used the phrase 'let them eat cake' when she heard that the French peasantry was starving due to a dearth of bread. George Washington had wooden teeth. Al Gore said that he invented the Internet. People use only ten percent of their brains.

    You may have heard of these ideas and beliefs. They all have one thing in common. They are not true. A list of common misconceptions.

    Five indoor home projects to try

    Winter weather makes it easier to stay inside and rip out a worn or neglected carpet.  

    Believe it or not


    Singapore Bottling Wastewater To Battle Water Scarcity

    bottled water tops photo
    Photo by stevendepolo via Flickr Creative Commons
    Bottled water is not a very green thing to do. But is it slightly better if you're foregoing funneling remote mountain springs into plastic containers, and bottling recycled wastewater instead? Singapore's NEWater is doing just this.

    Brazil's worst natural disaster

    Horrific mudslides leave the nation reeling as rescuers mount a frantic search.  

    Will the Queensland floodwaters' toxic cargo damage life on the Great Barrier Reef?

    Potato cod (C. Justin Gilligan) Will the Queensland floodwaters' toxic cargo damage life on the Great Barrier Reef?

    Climate Changes Linked to Fall of Roman Empire

    Ancient Rome
    Think small variations in temperature and precipitation levels don't have much of an impact?
    Guess again.

    A field of flowers


    Foxes Use Earth's Magnetic Field to Hunt

    Foxes often jump high into the air in order to pounce on prey from above. They have an unusual ability to not only judge the correct direction of attack, but the proper distance to leap in a parabolic arc. How do they do it? Hynek Burda of the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany speculates that a magnetic spot on their retinas gives them the ability to measure distance:
    Burda’s team found that when the foxes could see their prey they jumped from any direction but when prey were hidden, they almost always jumped north-east. Such attacks were successful 72 per cent of the time, compared with 18 per cent of attacks in other directions.
    All observers saw the same thing, but Burda remained baffled, until he spoke to John Phillips at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Phillips has suggested that animals might use Earth’s magnetic field to measure distance.
    The pair think a fox hunts best if it can jump the same distance every time. Burda suggests that it sees a ring of “shadow” on its retina that is darkest towards magnetic north, and just like a normal shadow, always appears to be the same distance ahead. The fox moves forward until the shadow lines up with where the prey’s sounds are coming from, at which point it is a set distance away.

    Ancient Farmers Swiftly Spread Westward

    Croatia VineyardSophisticated farming methods traveled quickly from the Middle East into Europe around 8,000 years ago.  



    34,000-year-old organisms found

    Scientists digging below Death Valley discover what may be the oldest living things on Earth. 

      'Great Grandmother of Crocodiles' Unearthed

      The toothy animal lived in what is now West Texas 225 million years ago.  

      'Dawn Runner' Sheds Light on Dino Evolution

      A recently discovered dinosaur could unearth clues on the early days of dinosaur evolution, according to researchers. Jorge Ribas gets a closer look at Eodromaeus or 'Dawn Runner'.  
      Dinosaurs: 'Dawn Runner' Sheds Light on Dino Evolution

      Pint-Sized, Running Dinosaur Gave Rise to Carnivores

      dinosaurA small, two-legged dinosaur lived 230 million years ago and was an early ancestor of all predatory dinos.  



      Bizarre Sea Slug Is Half Plant, Half Animal

      It looks like any other sea slug, aside from its bright green hue. But the Elysia chlorotica is far from ordinary: it is both a plant and an animal, according to biologists who have been studying the species for two decades.

      Not only does Elysia chlorotica turn sunlight into energy - something only plants can do - it also appears to have swiped this ability from the algae it consumes.