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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.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
The more unusual it is, the more you'll absolutely have to call it your own.
That goes particularly for objects, but also for people who happen to be displaying qualities you're fond of.
Before you get too involved, be sure you're both available.
Kindred spirits are great to have around, but if you're after a long-term relationship, both of you being single sure would be a better way to start.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Hanoi, Hanoi, Vietnam
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Stockholm, Stokholms Lan, Sweden
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Halifax, England, United Kingdom
Antananarivo, Antananarivo, Madagascar
Vienna, Wien, Austria
Basel, Basel-Stadt, Switzerland
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Stafford, England, United Kingdom
Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Ahrensburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

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, Maldives, 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 Odessa, Sparta, Canton, Omaha and more.

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, January 19, the 19th day of 2011.
There are 346 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is: 
Tin Can Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

túrána hott kurdís

túrána hott kurdís by hasta la otra méxico! from Till Credner on Vimeo.
Nice and soothing

Upping the cute factor

Whistling Puppy


Apologies aren’t as good as people imagine they’ll be

We all want an apology when someone does us wrong.
But a new study, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that people aren’t very good at predicting how much they’ll value an apology.

Dig It

The Beatles (Full Version)



Odds and Sods

Non Sequitur


Major 7.2 quake strikes southwestern Pakistan

A major 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked a remote area of southwestern Pakistan early Wednesday, shaking many parts of the country and causing widespread panic, said meteorologists.

U.S. Sued for $25Million for Killing Mexican Teen at Border

The parents of Mexican teen Sergio Hernandez Guereca are suing the U.S. government for the death of their 15-year-old son at the hands of U.S. Border patrol agents last June.

Pirate attacks at all-time high

Attacks increased in violence and occurred over an "unprecedented" range, a report says.  

    New repugican governor starts term with executive order eliminating transparency

    If there's one thing the public has been screaming for, it's less transparency.

    What progress!
    Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has signed an executive order that eliminates a requirement for the governor and top aides to disclose how much they earn.

    Under the order signed after Haslam took office on Saturday, the disclosure rules applying to himself and senior administration officials will be the same as those for members of the General Assembly. Those only requires them to list sources of income, but not how much they make.

    The move wipes off the books former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen’s first executive order of 2003, which required the top executive branch officials to make annual reports about their total earnings.
    Then again, Tennessee is the state where Teabaggers have presented a plan to remove history about the "minority experience" and to exclude "made up criticism" about slavery and native Americans. There's progress for you!

    The tea party governor of South Carolina approves massive pay raises for staff

    Remember, the tea party and the repugicans are all about being fiscally conservative.
    Who hasn't rolled out double digit pay increases during a recession and when your state has a budget deficit?
    Haley started things off by giving her new chief of staff, Tim Pearson, a 27.5 percent pay raise. Pearson will make $125,000 a year – or $27,000 more than Scott English made while serving as chief of staff to former Gov. Mark Sanford.

    Pearson will also have a full-time assistant who makes $60,000 a year.

    Haley’s deputy chief of staff for communications and legislative affairs – Trey Walker – will be paid $122,775 a year. That’s a 42.3 percent increase over the second-highest paid staffer in the Sanford administration.

    Haley’s top lawyer, Swati Patel, will be paid $102,000 a year – which is a 36 percent increase over the $75,000 a year that Sanford paid his top lawyer.

    But, oh, no there's no wingnut violence

    Police disarmed a pipe bomb found at the mlk day parade route in Spokane:
    A suspicious backpack left along a Martin Luther King day parade route in Spokane, Washington, held a radio-controlled pipe bomb that could have sprayed shrapnel at marchers in the parade.

    Three parade workers spotted a backpack with visible wires on a bench at North Washington Street and West Main Avenue in downtown Spokane about 30 minutes before the parade was scheduled to begin Monday. authorities rerouted the parade while officers from the Spokane Police Department's bomb disposal unit worked on the bomb.

    FBI special agent Frank Harrill, the supervisory senior resident agent in Spokane, told ABC news that the backpack was "a viable device."

    The truth be told


    Police recreate Jo's final steps

    The final steps of murdered Joanna Yeates have been reconstructed in an attempt to jog memories and catch her killer.

    High-crime city slashes police

    Locals warn the "fear quotient has been raised" as budget crisis takes a grim toll.  

      Bad Cops

      Florida corrections officer allegedly smuggled dope-filled sub sandwich into jail

      San Francisco cops partner with reality show to craft elaborate entrapment scam

      New Jersey police officer admits obstructing probe

      Curiously un-named Washington deputy arrested in assault case

      Utah cop arrested for stealing city funds

      Florida cop pleads guilty to on-duty pot purchase in squad car

      Ohio cop accused of Oxycodone trafficking

      On The Job

      People use phrases like "move the needle" to sound smart and important, but it can backfire.  

        There's been a complication ...


        New at an airline near you

        The days of infants on laps flying free and overstuffed carry-ons will end this year, experts say.
          The next generation of aircraft are designed to fly at up to 85 percent of the speed of sound.  

            Do Celebrity Endorsements and Ads Work?

            There’s a lot of ads featuring celebrity endorsers and undoubtedly these celebs are paid a lot of money (I’m looking at you, Lance Armstrong), so those ads must work, right?
            Wrong! According to Peter Daboll of AdvertisingAge, having celebrity endorsements do not pay:
            Over the course of last year, time and time again we observed incredibly low effectiveness scores of TV ads starring celebrities. From Tiger Woods to Donald Trump, we found that with rare exception, celebrity endorsements were largely ineffective and failed to yield the benefits popular wisdom promises.
            Why? Peter blames the changing consumers, though I suspect that the ad makers relied so heavily on the star power of the celebrity that they either neglect to actually make good ads or no longer have enough funds to do so:
            Were celebrities losing their pizazz in influencing consumers? Had the age of social media and consumer control ushered in a new consumer that is not as easily won over by a famous face?
            In fact, yes. Today’s consumer is a totally different animal than the consumer of even five years ago, meaning that what was effective and influential five years ago is not necessarily so today, as today’s consumer is more likely to be influenced by someone in their social network than a weak celebrity connection. Today’s consumer is informed, time-compressed, and difficult to impress, and they are only influenced by ads that are relevant and provide information. They don’t want to have products pushed at them, even from a celebrity. In fact, the data show that relevance and information attributes were key missing ingredients from most celebrity ads.

            What not to buy at Whole Foods

            The upscale grocer may be too pricey for many, but it’s possible to find deals.  

              Don't beg for an antibiotic

              Leaving your physician's office empty-handed might be better for you in the long run.



                College students learning little

                A bleak study finds that nearly half of U.S. undergrads learn disturbingly little.

                  A bump in the road

                  Ten 80s Movies that Will Remind You of Your Geek Roots

                  Looking at this list, I realize that the seeds that spawned the cult of the geek were indeed planted in the movies of the ’80s, as opposed to the rise of the internet in the ’90s.
                  For those of you who grew up at least in part in the eighties, you know that it wasn’t all about Molly Ringwald and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Though not all cinematic masterpieces, there were a lot of really fun movies that glorified the geeks of the day.  Here are a few you could pick up for nostalgia’s sake – or especially if you missed the eighties, make sure you’ve seen these if you haven’t!
                  It’s all there -science, space, robotics, computers, and of course, socially awkward teenagers.

                  The Cure for Pre-Test Anxiety

                  Just Write About It!
                  Got pre-test jitters? The solution to clearing a panicky student’s mind before taking a test is actually quite easy: just have them write about it:
                  Students who were prone to test anxiety improved their test scores by nearly one grade point after they were given 10 minutes to write about what was causing them fear, the researchers found.
                  The exercise likely gave tense students an outlet for their anxieties before the test, and as such, freed up brainpower that had been tied up with worrying, explained the study’s senior author Sian Beilock, an associate professor in psychology at the University of Chicago.

                  Mom unplugs teens for 6 months

                  Susan Maushart lived out every parent's fantasy: She unplugged her teenagers.
                  For six months, she took away the Internet, TV, iPods, cell phones and video games.

                  Pulp Fiction

                  (cover for "Imagination Stories", June 1953 - see more)

                  Cathedral made of trash

                  Sort of appropriate don't you think, considering religion is trash anyway
                  The structure is modeled after St. Peter's Cathedral and has been under construction for decades.  

                    Funny Pictues


                    Shrinking snow and ice cover intensify global warming

                    The decreases in Earth’s snow and ice cover over the past 30 years have exacerbated global warming more than models predict they should have, on average, new research from the University of Michigan shows.

                    North Brother Island

                    How can an island in the East River in New York City be forgotten? Ah, because it’s a protected nesting area, and therefore off-limits to the public. Still, this particular island has quite a history.
                    Of all the forgotten and mysterious places in the Five Boroughs of New York City, few have histories as rich and interesting as that of North Brother Island. Situated in the Hell Gate, a particularly treacherous stretch of the East River, North Brother was home to the quarantine hospital that housed Typhoid Mary, was the final destination of the General Slocum during its tragic final voyage, and was the site of an experimental drug treatment program which failed due to corruption. Riverside Hospital, the name of the facility on the island throughout its various incarnations, treated everything from smallpox and leprosy to venereal disease and heroin addiction; after the Second World War, it housed soldiers who were studying under the GI bill. The entirety of the island has been abandoned since 1963; over a dozen buildings remain, in various states of disrepair.
                    The Kingston Lounge not only has more on the history of the island, but lots of pictures of the buildings in their process of decay.

                    Elakala Waterfalls, West Virginia

                    Nice use of a small aperture/long exposure to transform the motion of the little whirlpool.  
                    This photo was one of three "Pictures of the Year" in Wikipedia Commons for 2009.  
                    The other two photos (and winners in previous years) can be seen here.

                    Whales Burp Plastic in the Great Lakes

                    photo whale burps surf balls great lakes
                    Photo by Chris J. Benson, provided by Minnesota Sea Grant
                    Just what the Great Lakes needs, more aquatic invasives. We're worrying about Asian carp and now we have whales? Whales in the Great Lakes, on Lake Superior? Well, "whale burps" have been found on the shore of Lake Superior. But they're also called surf balls, and are little bundles of fibrous material produced by winter winds. They're kind of beautiful in their own way.

                    Time Travel Through Quantum Entanglement

                    If you think you’ve got a firm grasp on reality, obviously you’re not a quantum physicist.
                    Recently, a new study by physicists in Australia revealed that quantum entanglement – a puzzling quantum physics phenomenon that Einstein himself called "spooky action at a distance" – also exists in respect to time.
                    I’ll skip the technical explanation (not that I understand it anyhow), but the study posits an interesting idea:
                    … Olson and Ralph’s teleportation provides a shortcut into the future. What they’re saying is that it’s possible to travel into the future without being present during the time in between.
                    That’s a fascinating scenario that immediately raises many questions. One of the first that springs to mind is what advantage might we get from this process. Might it be possible, for example, to make short-lived particles live longer by teleporting them into the future?

                    Caligula Statue Hints at Lavish Villa

                    Thought to be worth about $1.6 million, the statue features Caligula sitting on the throne as the god Jupiter.  

                    What Did Iron-Age Beer Taste Like?

                    Barley grains are providing savory insights into this ancient Celtic malt beverage.   
                    World's Oldest Heidsieck Champagne Found in Shipwreck
                    A third brand has been discovered in a cache of 200-year-old bottles of champagne.  

                    Mastodon tusks

                    From the Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress.

                    Pterosaurs 10 Times Heavier than Biggest Birds

                    These dinosaur-era reptiles weighed up to 320 pounds, new calculations from footprints show. Read more 
                    How dinosaurs arose
                    Ask your kid what happened to the dinosaurs, and he or she will likely tell you that an asteroid killed them all. But ask how dinosaurs rose to prominence and you’ll likely get a blank stare. Even many paleontologists may have little to say about th…



                    Rare salamanders hatch at aquarium

                    A clutch of eggs from a rare species of salamander known as the Peter Pan of the aquatic world have been hatched at an aquarium.

                    Expensive Fishing Trip

                    Two avid fishermen go on a fishing trip. They rent all the equipment: the reels, the rods, the wading suits, the rowboat, the car, and even a cabin in the woods. They spend a fortune.

                    The first day they go fishing, but they don't catch anything. The same thing happens on the second day, and on the third day. It goes on like this until finally, on the last day of their vacation, one of the men catches a fish.

                    As they're driving home they're really depressed. One guy turns to the other and says, "Do you realize that this one lousy fish we caught cost us fifteen hundred dollars?"

                    The other guy says, "Wow! It's a good thing we didn't catch any more!"

                    Sharks Are Color-Blind

                    SharkColor vision is less important in marine environments than it is on land.

                    Calcarifera ordinata

                    Wattle Cup Caterpillar

                    This amazing-looking creature is the larval form of a rather unremarkable brown Cup moth, but as a caterpillar it is highly toxic. 
                    It lives, with all the other toxic, poisonous, and venomous creatures, in Australia.

                    Stinky guest on 'Letterman'

                    Web searches on the skunk-like zorilla surge after its appearance on the show. 

                      Chihuahua survives owl attack in suburban Chicago

                      An owl attack has left a 4-pound Chihuahua with a healthy fear of the dark.
                      The attack happened when Chico the Chihuahua was out for a walk with his owner George Kalomiris in the Chicago suburb of Crystal Lake last week.