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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.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You know someone secretly thinks you're too traditional in your tastes.
Then prepare to have some fun, as you watch the look on their face change, and change again.
You'll want to peruse specialty shops and boutiques that carry absolutely nothing they'd ever expect you to be remotely interested in, much less make a purchase in.
Just don't get too carried away with the plastic.
This, too, shall pass.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Trondheim, Sor-Trondelag, Norway
London, England, United Kingdom
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Erfurt, Thuringen, Germany
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Maastricht, Limburg, Ntherlands
London, Ontario, Canada
Vienna, Wien, Austria
Castricum, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Paris, Ile-De- France, France
Stoke On Trent, England, United Kingdom
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Prague, Hlavni Mesto Praha, Czech Republic
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Tallinn, Harjumaa, Estonia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
Delhi, Delhi, India

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 Tempe, Tucson, Toledo, Tulsa and more.

Today is:
Today is Sunday, January 23, the 23th day of 2011.
There are 342 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are: 
National Pie Day
Snowplow Mailbox Hockey Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
The White House
January 22, 2011
Here’s the truth about today’s economy: If we’re serious about fighting for American jobs and American businesses, one of the most important things we can do is open up more markets to American goods around the world.

That’s why I met with China’s President Hu Jintao at the White House this past week. We’re now exporting more than $100 billion a year to China in goods and services. And as a result of deals we completed this week, we’ll be increasing U.S. exports to China by more than $45 billion, and China’s investments in America by several billion dollars.  Most important, these deals will support some 235,000 American jobs. And that includes a lot of manufacturing jobs.

That goal is why I fought so hard to negotiate a new and better trade deal with South Korea – a deal with unprecedented support from business and labor – that will support more than 70,000 American jobs. And that’s why I traveled to India last fall to help pave the way for $10 billion in new deals for American businesses and more than 50,000 new American jobs.

Now, these may just sound like statistics.  But yesterday, I saw what that means firsthand when I traveled to a GE plant in Schenectady, New York. This plant is manufacturing steam turbines and generators for a big project in India that resulted from a deal we announced around that trip – a project that’s helping support more than 1,200 manufacturing jobs and more than 400 engineering jobs in Schenectady.  Good jobs at good wages, producing American products for the world.

At the same time, GE has also been investing in innovation, building a clean energy center, an advanced battery manufacturing plant, and other state-of-the-art facilities in Schenectady that are resulting in hundreds of new American jobs and contributing to America’s global economic leadership.

Leading the world in innovation. Opening new markets to American products. That’s how we’ll create jobs today. That’s how we’ll make America more competitive tomorrow. And that’s how we’ll win the future.

While I was in Schenectady, I announced that Jeff Immelt, GE’s CEO and one of the most imaginative and visionary business leaders in America, has agreed to head up our new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. The purpose of this council is to help us find ways to grow our economy by investing in our businesses here at home. And under Jeff’s leadership, I’m confident that they’ll generate good ideas about how we can spur hiring, educate our workers to compete in the 21st century, and attract the best jobs and businesses to America rather than seeing them spring up overseas.

We’re living in a new and challenging time, in which technology has made competition easier and fiercer than ever before. Countries around the world are upping their game and giving their workers and companies every advantage possible. But that shouldn’t discourage us. Because I know we can win that competition. I know we can out-compete any other nation on Earth. We just have to make sure we’re doing everything we can to unlock the productivity of American workers, unleash the ingenuity of American businesses, and harness the dynamism of America’s economy. Thanks everyone, and have a nice weekend.

Frigid temps and snow don't deter Civil War re-enactors

Civil War re-enactors suffer through the snow flurries and cold temperatures

Bully for Bugs

Where to beat winter blues

English-speaking Belize offers tropical temperatures and ancient Mayan ruins.  

Eight surprising energy sappers

Even your heels and business clothing could be dragging you down.  

Good Question


And I Quote

"Yes, the founding fathers wanted you to have the right to bear arms. But the guys who wrote that would pee through all eight layers of their pants if they saw what guns are now. In 1787 shooting a bullet was slightly faster than throwing one. If you wanted to be bulletproof in 1787 you put on a heavy coat. With that in mind, I'm all about Americans having guns, as long as they're the muskets from 1787 that take forever to load." 

~ Seth Meyers (SNL)

Guns and Butter

Americans Would Rather Cut Military Spending Than Social Security
Here's something else for the President to consider while he's drafting the Social Security portion of his State of the Union message: Yet another poll demonstrates the public's strong support for Social Security, and its strong opposition to benefit cuts.

But this one has a new twist: It shows that, by overwhelming margins, Americans would rather cut military spending than reduce Social Security benefits.

That's true of repugicans and independents as well as Democrats, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

According to the poll's summary statistics, when asked whether they would rather cut Social Security, Medicare, or military spending, 55% chose the military.

Only 13% chose Social Security, and Medicare, and 21% chose Medicare.

Military cuts were preferred by a clear majority of independents and overall voters (55%), and by a plurality of repugicans (42%).

The repugican's rude awakening on health-care repeal

This whole health-care thing isn't quite working out the way repugicans planned. My guess is that they'll soon try to change the subject - but I'm afraid they're already in too deep.
Wednesday's vote to repeal President Obama's health insurance reform law was supposed to be a crowning triumph. We heard confident repugican predictions that cowed Democrats would defect in droves, generating unstoppable momentum that forced the Senate to obey "the will of the people" and follow suit. The Democrats' biggest domestic accomplishment would be in ruins and Obama's political standing would be damaged, perhaps irreparably.

Glenn Beck Drones Send Death Threats to Senior Citizen

Glenn Beck has made repeated mention lately of Frances Fox Piven, a 78-year-old liberal academic and CUNY professor.

In Beck's perverted view, Piven's a veritable enemy of the Constitution who's responsible for a plan to intentionally "sabotage" the American economic system.

Piven, pictured, actually authored The Nation story that led Beck to this conclusion forty-five years ago.

Non Sequitur


USA vs. China: Who's The Better Capitalist?

Even if the American economy is in the tank, at least we can console ourselves that in the long run, our democratic capitalism will win out. After all, isn’t the United States the largest economy in the world?
Well, read this and weep (or write angry comments, up to you): China has beaten us in our own game.
One of the great ironies revealed by the global recession that began in 2008 is that Communist Party–ruled China may be doing a better job managing capitalism’s crisis than the democratically elected U.S. government. Beijing’s stimulus spending was larger, infinitely more effective at overcoming the slowdown and directed at laying the infrastructural tracks for further economic expansion.

As Western democracies shuffle wheezily forward, China’s economy roars along at a steady clip, having lifted some half a billion people out of poverty over the past three decades and rapidly created the world’s largest middle class to provide an engine for long-term domestic consumer demand. Sure, there’s massive social inequality, but there always is in a capitalist system. (Income inequality rates in the U.S. are some of the worst in the industrialized world, and more Americans are falling into poverty than are being raised out of it. The number of Americans officially designated as living in poverty in 2009 — 43 million — was the highest in the 51 years that records have been kept.)

Boeing scraps 900 workers in US the day after signing a new deal in China

This is precisely the type of job creation that we have come to expect from corporate America.

It's also precisely why these so-called business leaders can't be trusted with any jobs creation in the US.

There are too many financial incentives to move jobs offshore so until that issue is resolved we should expect a lot more stories like this.
Boeing just laid off 1000 workers in Southern California, according to the Orange County Register.

The move comes just a day after Boeing agreed to a $19 billion deal with China to produce 200 airplanes for the country.

The layoffs affect workers in the company's Long Beach, Anaheim, and Huntington Beach facilities. The bulk of the layoffs will occur in Long Beach, where 900 will lose their jobs.

On The Job

These 10 occupations are seeing solid projections for new hiring activity in 2011.  

How one family builds wealth

The Heida family is building their wealth by living frugally, especially by cutting these expenses.

What you can get rid of today

Chances are you have way too many coffee mugs crowding your cupboards.

Renovations that lose value

Deluxe kitchen upgrades and some bathrooms turn off potential buyers.  

The Scarlet Pumpernickel

Elton John feels like 'second-class citizen'

Sir Elton John is "fed up" with being a treated like a "second-class citizen" in the U.S.
That's why the 63-year-old gay singer said he took a stand last week during a performance at a private Beverly Hills fundraiser for the ongoing legal challenge to California's gay marriage ban.

Scots seek to end US haggis ban

http://www.topix.net/bigpic/mini-c9755c9fe010865e4a1a7634979f8258Scottish Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead invited a delegation of American politicians to Scotland in a bid to persuade them to reverse a 40-year ban on the haggis.

Question: Should Lenin's Body be Burried?

A political party in Russia has launched an online poll asking whether the body of revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin should be buried. Lenin died Jan 21, 1924, and his corpse was embalmed and placed in a specially-built mausoleum in Moscow's Red Square.

The pro-Kremlin United Russia party launched the poll on the website www.goodbyelenin.ru and asks only one question: 'Do you back the idea of burying the body of Vladimir Lenin?' The question requires a 'Yes' or 'No' answer. At the time of this posting, 70 % supported the proposal of burying Lenin and 30% were against.

Teens arrested for robbing motorists stuck in snow

Three teens accused of robbing motorists stuck in the snow have been caught after - you guessed it - they got stuck in the snow themselves.

Huge waves lead to scare

A photographer acts quickly after a set of huge waves puts a surfer's life in jeopardy.

NYC's vanishing character

As the city sheds its edgy and weird attractions, many worry it's also losing its allure.  

The NFL's oldest cheerleader

Laura Vikmanis didn't make it when she first tried out for the Ben-Gals at 39.  

Cool tricks on huge trampoline

A childhood favorite gets an outrageous makeover — and everyone goes flying.  

Interactive 360 Video Taken From A Helicopter

Fly in a Helicopter over Nimmo Bay Fishing & Wilderness Resort and a 150 mile track of the Beautiful British Columbia coastal mainland. Hover over pristine waterfalls, race down rivers and over oceans, explore 10,000 year old glaciers, forests, snow capped mountains reaching through clouds and amazing fishing spots secluded and hidden away from the world.

You can control the view of the camera the whole time. Look up, down, and completely behind you by clicking and dragging on the video once it is playing.

In case of nothing to do ...


'Special Condiments'

Using the special condiments, pubic and chest hairs, on a cop's turkey, egg and cheese bagel sandwich just didn't go over to well for one New Jersey cook.

Woman calls 911 over bad manicure

A Florida woman is facing charges after repeatedly calling 911 to report a bad manicure.

Wizard of Id


Most valuable American coin

A rare gold piece minted in the 1930s holds the record for highest price paid.  

World's Highest Restaurant Opens in World's Tallest Building

The world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, is now host to the world's highest restaurant, At.mosphere.

Indeed, the At.mosphere name for the world's highest restaurant is a snarky take on how high restaurant goers really are.

World's priciest hotel rooms

A $45,000-a-night room in Greece comes with a staff of four, two heated pools, and use of a jet.

Nice room


Awesome Pictures


Severed feet at the Battle of Visby

"The 2,000 bloody, mangled, and hacked bodies were immediately buried in a hastily-dug pit on a hot sumer day, July 27, 1361... During the last century these bodies were exhumed and examined.  Most had their left foot (the leading foot exposed under the shield) axed off..."From page 101 of  The Kensington Rune Stone: Compelling New Evidence, by Richard Nielsen and Scott Wolter, 2006.  While fact-checking the statement above, I found an interesting account of the battle, including the photo above, described as follows:
War hammers were also in evidence where a square section of the hammer head showing in the shape of the section of the skull which had been stove in. See the picture... which points to three bodkin arrow points which had penetrated the skull and two holes where a hammer had been used and the skull split between them...

Which came first is unknown. A number of guesses can be made such as two quick hammer blows to fell the man and the arrows landing after, or a hail of arrows which he had turned his back on and then later two hammer blows to put him out of his misery...

The grouping of the arrow heads is particularly spectacular and it makes one wonder if they used the tactic of a hail of arrows as in the later battle of Crecy where it is said the English Longbow men kept 100,000 arrows in the air at one time.



Upping the cute factor


One can only stand so much


Two forms of world's 'newest' cat


The newest cat species described to science, the Sunda clouded leopard, actually exists in two distinct forms, bone and genetic analyses reveal.



Man feeds cat that lives permanently in tree

In the hollow of a Wisconsin maple tree not far from the road, Ron Venden has made a cozy dwelling for the 7-month-old cat he swears has never left its tree home. "It was a little feisty at first," said Venden, 66, a retired carpenter, of the cat, which a neighbor has named Almond. "(But) now it's a pretty big cat and it's just loving to see me."

How is Venden certain the cat never leaves? Mostly because there are never any paw prints around the tree when it snows. Relatives corroborate the story, saying they've never seen it anywhere other than in the tree. Almond doesn't seem fazed by snow or single-digit temperatures. He sits proudly in his roost, warm in a thick fur coat, surveying nearby Highway X and Venden's driveway, about five miles south of Belleville in Green County.

To Venden's knowledge, Almond has no other home outside his maple. The cat was born there in June, and while the mother and the other kittens left, Almond stuck around. Venden has been feeding it ever since. So why does Almond stay? "I think it's because I'm treating it too good," said Venden, who at least twice a day climbs a ladder about 12 feet up to check on and feed Almond.

He's also made a protected straw bed for the cat in a hollow of the tree, set up a dry cat food feeder and provides daily deliveries of fresh food, which on Wednesday morning included a bowl of salami, meatloaf and milk. "I kind of enjoy it," Venden said of caring for Almond, although he admits: "The neighbors think I'm goofy." Patrick Comfert, Dane County's lead animal services officer, said Almond's habits are unusual. "We have all gotten our share of cat-in-a-tree calls, but we've never known one to stay up there forever," he said.

Animal Pictures