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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.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Someone you haven't seen in a long time -- someone who may actually have moved or been away -- seems to have been making trouble for you from behind the scenes.
You may be right, but before you say or do anything that will put you in an irreparably bad position with them -- and with your public -- make absolutely sure.
Make a long-distance call and check your sources.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Boulogne-Billancourt, Ile-De-France, France
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Maastricht, Limburg,Netherlands
London, England, United Kingdom
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain

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 Bottineau, Pekin, Bronx, Cheyenne and more.

Today is:
Today is Monday, January 24, the 24th day of 2011.
There are 341 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are: 
Belly Laugh Day
Beer Can Day
National Compliment Day
Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector Day.
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Culinary DeLites

Hawaiian pineapple salsa gives a tropical flavor to these unique tacos.  

Arizona shooting suspect pleads not guilty

Yeah, right!
The move by Jared Loughner's defense sets the stage for a drawn-out legal battle.

Deadly blast at Moscow airport

Russian officials report 31 dead and 130 injured after an explosion rips through the arrivals hall.  
A suspected suicide bomber creates a horrific scene and puts Russia on edge.

Fitness Guru Jack LaLanne Dies

Legendary body builder, fitness expert, entrepreneur and model Jack LaLanne has died.

Jack LaLanne, the fitness guru who inspired television viewers to trim down, eat well and pump iron for decades before diet and exercise became a national obsession, died Sunday.

He was 96.

LaLanne died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia Sunday afternoon at his home in Morro Bay on California's central coast.

Random Photos


Bus Drives Over Waterfall

Crazy or not? When flooding turns a roadway into a raging river and waterfall, an old school bus full of people crosses a river in Nicaragua.

I'll go with, Crazy, man!

It's a Blond World

Snowy roadAs a trucker stops for a red light, a blond catches up. She jumps out of her car, runs up to his truck, and knocks on the door.
The trucker lowers the window, and she says “Hi, my name is Heather and you are losing some of your load.”
 The trucker ignores her and proceeds down the street. When the truck stops for another red light, the girl catches up again.  She jumps out of her car, runs up and knocks on the door. Again, the trucker lowers the window. As if they’ve never spoken, the blond says brightly, “Hi my name is Heather, and you are losing some of your load!”
Shaking his head, the trucker ignores her again and continues down the street.  At the third red light, the same thing happens again.  All out of breath, the blond gets out of her car, runs up, knocks on the truck door. The trucker rolls down the window. Again she says “Hi, my name is Heather, and you are losing some of your load!”
When the light turns green the trucker revs up and races to the next light.  When he stops this time, he hurriedly gets out of the truck, and runs back to the blond.  He knocks on her window, and after she lowers it, he says…  ”Hi, my name is Mark.  It’s winter in W.Va and I’m driving the SALT TRUCK!”

The truth be told


The Founders were in favor of socialized French-style government run health care

Well isn't that a wee bit inconvenient.
Forbes writer Rick Ungar is getting some attention for a piece arguing that history shows that John Adams supported a strong Federal role in health care. Ungar argues that Adams even championed an early measure utilizing the concept behind the individual mandate, which tea party wingnuts say is unconstitutional.

I just ran this theory past a professor of history who specializes in the early republic, and he said there's actually something to it. Short version: There's no proof from the historical record that Adams would have backed the idea behind the individual mandate in particular. But it is fair to conclude, the professor says, that the founding generation supported the basic idea of government run health care, and the use of mandatory taxation to pay for it.
Maybe Sarah Palin will put a target on John Adams now too.

House repugicans take credit for jobs gains, only 19 days on the job

Yes, House passage of the health care reform repeal bill, which didn't even pass the Senate yet (and won't), somehow has already created jobs. (Maybe it was the reading of the Constitution on the House floor, I'm sure that created at least half a job.)

Ben Smith has the ridiculous brag (Senate members are claiming it too). And Dave Weigel has an economist ripping the claim.

The problem is, repugicans lie. 
The danger is that this mantra of "we've created jobs" may eventually stick (death panels anyone?), regardless of whether they've created a single one.

If Palin comes to Australia, she will be arrested

Funny how some people take offense to what many consider to be death threats.

Hey, Palin go to Australia, why don't you

Assange vs Zuckerberg

Yep, that about sums it up.

So that's how it's done


On The Job

Professions that involve helping others, like nursing, rate highest for happiness.  

That's Corporate America For You

MasterCard and Visa will process donations for an organization that supports the KKK and which requires you to sign a statement confirming that you are a white racist.

But they will not process donations to Wikileaks.

The message from Corporate America

(So we can ship your job overseas and manufacture goods for less cost and then turn around and sell the goods back to you at higher prices.
Oh, wait, you don't have a job, now do you ... never mind - we'll go sell our goods elsewhere, sorry to have bothered you.)

USPS eyes huge closures

Half of the nation's existing post offices are being reviewed — eliciting fears in rural America.  

Teenager hit with own golf ball sues for millions

A 15-year-old boy is suing a Hillsboro, Oregon, golf course for $3 million after he was hit in the eye by his own golf ball. Alex Good was a member of the Liberty High Golf Team and was practicing last April at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club when the accident happened. His lawyer, Terrance Lee Hogan, said Good has had several surgeries and may have lifelong problems with his vision. Good is suing the golf course for negligence.

According to court documents, Good and his teammates were using the practice range. It was raining and the staff at Pumpkin Ridge put up an awning. When Good teed off his ball hit a metal post that was holding up the awning just inches in front of his driving mat. The ball ricocheted off and hit him in the left eye. Good’s lawyer is claiming Pumpkin Ridge should have known that metal pole was a danger and is therefore liable. Another lawyer, Geordie Duckler, looked at the case and said Good’s lawyer has an uphill battle and most cases like this are settled out of court.

“As a person goes up to address the ball with their golf club and strike the ball, what are the known dangers around them? If they see a known and obvious danger and yet they go ahead and strike the ball anyway, then they’ve assumed the risk – what a lawyer would call an assumption of risk,” Duckler said. “Even if it’s a 15-year-old, we hold 15-year-olds to certain levels of responsibility.” But he said his age could come into play.

“If this were the same facts, but the plaintiff was an experienced golfer in a tournament and knew all sorts of things about golf courses, and the risk of balls being hit, (there) probably would be no claim,” he said. Duckler said the word “accident” is not a legal term. Something can be an accident but still caused by negligence. That’s why some supermarkets put warnings on pumpkins that say, “Please lift carefully.” Representatives at Pumpkin Ridge said they can’t comment on the case until the lawsuit is over.

Ain't it the truth


Find pension cash you're due

A few simple steps could help you obtain a more comfortable retirement.  

What Do All Numbers On Your Credit Card Mean?

Ever wondered what the numbers on your credit card mean? Do credit card companies pick them at random? Geographical location? Spending habits? Turns out all credit card companies follow the same set of rules.  

Changes on the 1040 tax form

There are several important changes to be aware of before you file with the IRS this year. 

Strange reason credit scores fall

Even if you have excellent credit, banks can rank you lower than others.  

Where home values will rise

Prospects look best in these cities with rebounding economies and job growth.

Non Sequitur


Sleep Helps Reinforce Memory

sleepWhen the brain is triggered to recall a memory during sleep, memories are made stronger.  

Helium Huffin'

The next time someone says 'Hey wanna huff some helium?', remember this ...

Easy remedies for a winter cold

You may never have thought to apply vapor rub to this part of your body.

Man planning to sell pot soft drink

A California entrepreneur has plans to market a line medical marijuana soft drinks.

What to know about first aid

Is it all right to dab butter on a burned hand, and what's better for a sprained ankle — heat or ice?  



Inmate in trouble after Facebooking

South Carolina prison officials say they have seized a cell phone from an inmate who was updating his Facebook page from prison.

Bad Cops


Surveillance video shows Washington cop brutally attacking man, leaving him with catastrophic brain damage

Murder charge dropped due to Florida cop's false report

Wisconsin cop fired — but not charged? — for sexually assaulting a woman after he responded to her 911 call in July

After five years, the family of a Virginia optometrist killed by a SWAT team finally gets some closure

Second Denver cop/American Gladiator contestant is sued for excessive force

Virginia police pay $2M to settle lawsuit over unarmed man shot and killed by SWAT officer outside of his home

The script goes like this ...

Robber Approaches Convenience Store Clerk - Clerk Pulls Out Samurai Sword
Places everyone ... and Action!

(Video Link)
A suspect in fourteen robberies in the Columbia, South Carolina, area  was finally caught after he suffered a major victim selection failure.   A convenience store clerk responded to his demands for cash by pulling  out a samurai sword and chasing him:

Investigators say the clerk pulled out a samurai sword  and chased Vinson out of the store into the parking lot. After a  scuffle, authorities say the clerk made an attempt to corner Vinson, but  the suspect was able to get away.
A K-9 deputy later sniffed out Vinson’s location. Authorities say  they found him hiding in some bushes at an apartment complex. Lott says  it was the courageous act of that store clerk that helped to bring  Vinson to justice.

Honduras policemen arrested for robbing bank

Police in Honduras say six of their own officers have been arrested for allegedly trying to rob a bank.

Prosecutors say the policemen forced their way into the bank in the capital, Tegucigalpa and tied up the security guards at gunpoint. A passer-by raised the alarm and police fought a gun battle with the alleged robbers, injuring one of them.

A police spokesman said the six were "bad apples" who had sullied the name of the force. He said the agents had already been suspended, and would face the full force of the law.

Security Minister Oscar Alvarez said he would ensure the fight against corruption within the police force was sped up.

No one will sell sodium thiopental to American executioners

American states are unable to execute their prisoners by lethal injection, thanks to an end to US production of sodium thiopental. Foreign health authorities prohibit selling sodium thiopental if it is to be used in lethal injections, and they will not buy drugs from pharma companies who sell sodium thiopental for that purpose. As a result, the sole US manufacturer, Hospira, has discontinued production of the drug, and no foreign manufacturer will sell to the US. Executions in California and Oklahoma have been delayed as a result of the shortage.
Now the US manufacturer, Hospira, says that it will stop production entirely after a bid to start making sodium thiopental in Italy stalled when the Rome government said it would only license manufacture if the drug was not used in executions. Hospira said it intended to manufacture sodium thiopental to serve hospitals but "could not prevent the drug from being diverted to departments of corrections for use in capital punishment procedures".
"We cannot take the risk that we will be held liable by the Italian authorities if the product is diverted for use in capital punishment," the company said.

Culturally Diverse


Allakariallak and his son, Phillipoosie, Inuit, 1921
Allakariallak and his son, Phillipoosie, Inuit, 1921

Vintage Photo


Turkish Scene 1857Photographer: William Morris Grundy (1806 - 1859)
Turkish Scene 1857
Photographer: William Morris Grundy (1806 - 1859)

Thomas Edison's 1911 Predictions for 2011

The 23 June 1911 issue of the Miami Metropolis featured predictions by Thomas Edison about life in America one hundred years hence. Here’s a selection from of prophecies of “the Wizard”, as the author refers to Edison:
But the traveler of the future, says a writer in Answers, will largely scorn such earth crawling. He will fly through the air, swifter than any swallow, at a speed of two hundred miles an hour, in colossal machines, which will enable him to breakfast in London, transact business in Paris and eat his luncheon in Cheapside.
The house of the next century will be furnished from basement to attic with steel, at a sixth of the present cost — of steel so light that it will be as easy to move a sideboard as it is today to lift a drawing room chair. The baby of the twenty-first century will be rocked in a steel cradle; his father will sit in a steel chair at a steel dining table, and his mother’s boudoir will be sumptuously equipped with steel furnishings, converted by cunning varnishes to the semblance of rosewood, or mahogany, or any other wood her ladyship fancies.
What do you think life will be like in the year 2111?

Wizard of Id


Celebrating 76 Years of a Disposable Culture and Lousy Beer

old beer cans
Image credit weburbanist
Wired notes that January 24 is the anniversary of the sale of the first can of beer, in 1935. Wired claims that "Compared to glass, the cans were lightweight, cheap, and easy to stack and ship. Unlike bottles, you didn't have to pay a deposit and then return the cans for a refund." So it was hugely popular and now only 3% of Americans drink beer from refillable bottles.

Interesting Stuff

Bath salts provide high similar to cocaine.

California's "big one" may not be an earthquake at all

California's "big one" may not be an earthquake at all, but a devastating megastorm that would inundate the central valley, trigger widespread landslides and cause flood damage to 1 in 4 homes in the state.

Weird science finds booze makes its conductors super

We anxiously await superconducting tequila: It's not actually the booze that's superconducting, but it can improve the superconduction of another material.

Greenland's 2010 Ice Melt Season Up To 50 Days Longer Than Normal

It may be bitterly cold in the northeast US right now, unusually frigid along much of the East Coast, but Greenland and the Arctic are practically balmy--15-20°F above normal in December, as the New York Times points out. Going along with that is some new research showing that Greenland's past ice melt season was exceptionally long, with some areas having an extra 50 days of melting in 2010.
Article continues: Greenland's 2010 Ice Melt Season Up To 50 Days Longer Than Normal

Philosoraptor says ...


Chimps Wear Personalities on their Mugs

facePeople can gauge aggressiveness in their evolutionary cousins' expressionless faces.  

Finally Baby-Making Time For One of a Kind Tortoise?

Photo credit: Wikipedia / Creative Commons
If Lonesome George suffers from performance anxiety, it's hard to blame him. At the ripe old age of nearly 100, the last-of-his-kind Galapagos tortoise has been charged with preserving his species' genetic legacy by reproducing -- and so far it's been slow going. For the last 20 years, George has tried and failed to sire offspring with his previous mates, but things may soon be looking up. Last week, conservationists introduced old George to two eligible young lady tortoises thought to be more closely matched to his nearly extinct species -- and they're hoping that it just might finally be baby-making time this sole survivor.

Animal Pictures