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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.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
A person from your past may make a surprise appearance today, and you have no reason not to welcome them with open arms.
No matter how things were left between the two of you, right now they're better (although this person may not realize it).
Their ideas could push your ambitious plans forward toward action, so listen to what they want to do and try to help make it happen.
This might be harder than it sounds, so take your time and move cautiously.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Bandar Seri Bagawan, Brunei and Muara, Brunei Darussalam
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Mannheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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 Reno, Pittsburgh, Rice Liake, Bellefonte and more.

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, February 1, the 32nd day of 2011.
There are 333 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are: 
Hula In The Coola Day
Robinson, Crusoe Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

February is ...

The month of February is:
American Heart Month

Avocado and Bananas Month
Beans (dried and fresh) Month
Grapefruit Month
National Cherry Month
Sweet Potato Month

Library Lovers Month
International Boost Self Esteem Month
International Expect Success Month
National Condom Month
National Laugh-Friendly Month
Plant The Seeds Of Greatness Month
Relationship Wellness Month

Happiest Day Of The Year

This story comes around every year: Why today is the happiest day of the year.
happy faces
If you’ve just fought your way through the commuter crush with debt on your mind and the cold nipping at your fingers, you may be surprised to learn that today is the happiest day of the year.
Two weeks after Blue Monday, the day when our spirits are at their lowest because of post-Christmas debt and limited daylight, comes Happy Monday - as good as it’s going to get all year.
Psychologists say a combination of getting the first pay cheque of the year and booking your summer holiday make today the highpoint of the year.
Please celebrate your happiness responsibly.

Groundhog Day stirs Web

Punxsutawney Phil and friends seem less likely to see their shadows as storms pummel the U.S.  

The 2012 Democratic convention to be in Charlotte, NC

Vintage Photo



Egyptian army states that it will not use force against Egyptians


In its statement, carried on Egyptian media, the military said: "To the great people of Egypt, your armed forces, acknowledging the legitimate rights of the people... have not and will not use force against the Egyptian people."

Well, that's a relief!
Reading between the lines, the armed forces has politely told Mubarak that he might want to urgently start talking to the Saudis about what they've got available in retirement homes.
A dictator losing the loyalty of the army is no longer a dictator.

Egyptian government offers to talk with protesters after Army refuses to fire

The political forces aligned against President Hosni Mubarak seemed to strengthen on Monday, when the Army said for the first time that it would not fire on the protesters who have convulsed Egypt for the last week. The announcement was followed shortly by the government’s first offer to talk to the protest leaders.
Calls for a million protesters spur the largest demonstration yet against the president.
Egyptian banks fear run when they re-open
As if Egypt needs one more problem to worry about during this transition.

Egypt’s banks may risk a surge in customer withdrawals when they open for business, placing them among companies worst hit by the nationwide uprising against President Hosni Mubarak.

“A run on the banks would be the biggest concern, which is possible in the current situation,” Robert McKinnon, chief investment officer at ASAS Capital in Dubai, said in a telephone interview. Authorities are likely to keep the financial system closed to avert the risk, he said.

Egypt’s banks and markets stayed shut yesterday after six days of clashes in the most populous Arab country that left as many as 150 people dead. Tanks are guarding banks and government buildings in Cairo that are vulnerable to looting, state television said. The EGX 30 stock index had a two-day drop of 16 percent through Jan. 27, with Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE, which accounts for more than one-fifth of the benchmark, falling 12 percent. Markets throughout the Middle East declined yesterday on concern the unrest may spread.
From the "He just doesn't get it" Department:
President Mubarak says he will work the rest of his term toward a "peaceful transfer of power."  

Egypt and America

American leaders walk a tricky line as they wrestle with two clashing priorities. 
Americans turning to Al Jazeera for Egypt crisis
Though it's often not possible to watch the channel in the US for some strange reason, the website has experienced significant growth from the US in recent days. Somehow the basket weaving channel and a few hundred other mostly boring and worthless channels - jam packed with commercials, naturally - is part of the basic package, but not a foreign news service.


Huffington Post:
Other than in a handful of pockets across the U.S. - including Ohio, Vermont and Washington, D.C. - cable carriers do not give viewers the choice of watching Al Jazeera. That corporate censorship comes as American diplomats harshly criticize the Egyptian government for blocking Internet communication inside the country and as Egypt attempts to block Al Jazeera from broadcasting.

The result of the Al Jazeera English blackout in the United States has been a surge in traffic to the media outlet's website, where footage can be seen streaming live. The last 24 hours have seen a two-and-a-half thousand percent increase in web traffic, Tony Burman, head of North American strategies for Al Jazeera English, told HuffPost. Sixty percent of that traffic, he said, has come from the United States.

Al Jazeera English launched in the fall of 2006, opening a large bureau on K Street in downtown Washington, but has made little progress in persuading cable companies to offer the channel to its customers.

See You In The Funny Pages

Frank and Ernest
Non Sequitur

Culinary DeLites

These spicy boneless Buffalo "wings" are healthier, but still plenty tasty.  
    A number of products claiming to contain blueberries actually don't, an investigation finds. 

    Monster Storm

    Dire predictions of blizzards, blackouts, and 60-mph winds stoke worries from Texas to N.Y.
    The storm's 2,000-mile reach threatens to leave a third of the nation covered in ice and snow.

    Three-year-old's call saves mom

    Gracie Goss's paramedic dad was on duty when he heard a crew dispatched to his own house.

    Random Celebrity Photo

    Rare Marilyn Monroe Sunday
    Marilyn Monroe

    James Bond composer dies

    John Barry won five Oscars and crafted the guitar riff in the suave spy's theme music.  

    Odds and Sods

    $1.8M map to go on public display

    A Washington businessman is loaning the first U.S. map printed in North America to the Library of Congress after buying it for $1.8 million.

    Doctor Accepts Donations Only
    Dr. Keith Swanson of Atlantic, Iowa was going to retire and work for free over seas. Instead his wife talked him into opening a “donations only” clinic. This way he could do his charity work right in his home town. To cover his expenses his wife made a donation box. It’s a simple shoe box covered in red tape. There is slit on the top where people can place donations. The average donation is about $10.
    Swanson said he has no plans to quit what he’s doing any time soon.
    “I always tell people, the last day — if I walk down the hall and die, you’ll know I’m not going to be here tomorrow.”
    A Kentucky town is overrun with cats
    A Kentucky town is threatened by hundreds of felines.
    People of the town of almost 1,800 feel they're being outpaced by the explosion in the cat population.
    The average office employee drinks 60 baths-worth of tea in their lifetime, having four cups a day out of habit or to skive work, a study found

    Chinese Top Gun

    Air force drills shown on state TV bear an uncanny resemblance to a scene from "Top Gun."  

    Woman Killed By Spam

    Spam is annoying.
    And now it's deadly: Suicide bomber blown up prematurely by spam text.
    A "Black Widow" suicide bomber who planned to detonate explosives in central Moscow was killed when a spam text message from her mobile-phone company set off the device early.
    News of the botched New Year's Eve operation emerged yesterday as Russian security sources said they had identified the suicide bomber who killed 35 people at a Moscow airport last week.
    Now every text message spammer in the world will claim they sent the deadly message.

    Defining Stupidity


    Strangest Cadillac ever

    It looks like a standard carpool ride, but the V-Wagon is faster than a mid-1990s Lamborghini. 

    Field Sobriety Test

    I'll take that as a failure.

    Bad Cops

    Oklahoma police chief is accused of assaulting city council member

    California police officer who claimed he was shot while patrolling near a high school is arrested for making up the story

    New Jersey detective allegedly injures teenage female relative in fight

    New Mexico deputy charged in domestic dispute

    Baltimore Police sued for $420,000 over "unlawful arrest"

    Sacramento pays $96,000 to settle man's police brutality claim

    Ohio sheriff prepares criminal complaint against a newspaper reporter for asking him questions

    Where U.S. isn't No. 1 anymore

    China gets all the attention, but Japan and even Russia also beat America in key businesses. 

    Veterans torn over 'Honor' flag

    A campaign to add the "Honor and Remember" flag to official displays sparks debate. 

    FBI accused of committing 40,000 civil liberty violations

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) believes the FBI may have compromised American civil liberties far more frequently than previously assumed in our post 9/11 world.

    In reviewing nearly 2,500 pages of FBI documents from 2001 to 2008, the EFF discovered a reported 800 violations pertaining to everything from Executive Orders to investigation protocol.

    However, the EFF hypothesizes that the actual number of violations probably far exceeds the number released by the FBI.

    Based on the number of cases reported to the Intelligent Oversight Board compared to the FBI’s own statement regarding the number of NSL violations, the EFF estimates that the true number of violations may be closer to 40,000.

    The EFF also cited reports of serious misconduct by FBI agents including lying in declarations to courts, using improper evidence to obtain grand jury subpoenas, and accessing password-protected files without a warrant.

    In the post 9/11 world, many Americans seemed to blindly trust the government and government to do the "right thing" by protecting civil liberties and maintaining the pillars of American society while redefining security and safety protocols nationwide.

    Sadly, the above-mentioned report seems to indicate otherwise.

    Of course, the EFF hopes reports like these will provide more transparency into the bureau and keep the public informed about what’s really going on in our government.

    Wingnuts are brain-function impaired

    We've said it all along and now science proves it ... wingnuts are brain-function impaired.

    Scientists have found that people who cleave to wingnuttery and wingnut 'philosophy' have a larger amygdala - the part of the brain that controls "anxiety and emotion (mainly fear)" and a smaller anterior cingulate - which controls bravery and optimism.

    House Democrats will force repugicans to take tough votes

    One can only hope.
    House Democrats have launched a floor strategy aimed at forcing freshman repugicans to take tough votes on politically sensitive topics, mirroring a tactic that the repugicans deployed when it was in the minority.

    How's the tea

    The first Tea Party wingnut to win an election was Edward Mangano, who became Nassau County Executive in early 2010.

    Through his faithful adherence to Tea Party ideals of slashing taxes, in just one year he's driven one of the nation's richest counties to insolvency.

    On Wednesday a state agency seized of the county's fiscal control office.
    We'll see more of this elsewhere, wherever Tea Party governors and administrators have taken office.

    Did you know ...

    US income inequality is even worse than in Egypt

    So I guess this means the repugicans who are calling for more support for protesters will agree that the US also needs reform, right?

    More from ThinkProgress.

    Dow Jones breaks 12,000

    Strong economic data and earnings reports send the market to its highest close since June '08. 


    It used to be that good schools and well-kept homes told you all you needed to know.
    How to Build an Earthbag Dome

    Owen Geiger built this earthen dome in Thailand in 2007. The main component is bags of soil. You can build your own with his tutorial at Instructables.

    Rock-bottom credit scores

    Hitting rock bottom isn't easy to do, but this is how one person came close. 

    On The Job

    Some of these growth fields in business and health care offer salaries of $80,000 and up.  
    You can look much more professional if you organize your paperwork in one simple way.

    Money and Retirement

    Conventional wisdom links income to the house you can afford — but there's a hitch.  
    These locations boast lower taxes and living costs than traditional spots for retirees.

    Nature vs. Nurture Depends on Wealth

    The debate over which is more important, nature or nurture, has been raging for decades – but a new study has hinted on the answer: it depends.
    It depends, that is, on the wealth of the parents:
    In children from poorer households, the choices of parents still mattered. In fact, the researchers estimated that the home environment accounted for approximately 80% of the individual variance in mental ability among poor 2-year-olds. The effect of genetics was negligible.
    The opposite pattern appeared in 2-year-olds from wealthy households. For these kids, genetics primarily determined performance, accounting for nearly 50% of all variation in mental ability. (The scientists made this conclusion based on the fact that identical twins performed much more similarly than fraternal twins.) The home environment was a distant second. For parents, the correlation appears to be clear: As wealth increases, the choices of adults play a much smaller role in determining the mental ability of their children.
    Jonah Lehrer wrote about the intriguing study over at the Wall Street Journal.



    Planet's first 'dark-sky'

    The strange new place is called Sark and is located 80 miles south of England.  

    Devil Worshipers Emulating christians

    More proof that all religion is bogus ...

    Catherine Beyer writes: Luciferianism hard to Distinguish from Satanism.
    Catherine Beyer I periodically have received requests to cover Luciferianism on this site, particularly to show how it is different from Satanism.  The problem is that sources on Luciferianism are not terribly abundant, and often what I find, quite frankly, does describe traits that seem very much in line with Satanism.
    If anyone knows of good sources for Luciferianism, particularly how it is separate from Satanism, I'd welcome the suggestions.
    That's the problem. There must be 5,000 varieties of Christians. Can anyone tell me the difference between a Presbyterian and a Congregationalist?  Members of both groups are absolutely convinced that their religion is the correct one. And the same is true with devil worshippers. They all think their religion is the true one.
    Beyer points us to a site about Luciferianism: The Society of Lucifer.
    We Luciferians know that Luciferianism is not Satanism, but because of the confusion in our path we have allowed Satanism to creep in to pollute our path.  What I call Neo-Luciferianism mixes Satanism with Luciferianism, and I refer to the type promoted by Michael Ford. Many Satanists, and near all Christians, think Luciferianism is Satanism, and we have done little to counter that false idea.  I have written at length on this blog about the differences between Satanism and the Luciferian paths, but we need to create a clear boundary between the two paths, or be hijacked as another obscure Satanist path.
    Indeed we do.

    Sacred Brawl

    Then again christians emulate Devil worshipers so all's fair ...

    Nothing like a good old-fashioned church brawl: Dozens of police break up brawl at North Carolina church.
    Authorities say a dispute over leadership at a church in western North Carolina turned from angry words to fist fights.
    About 30 police officers from five agencies were called to break up fights Sunday at Greater New Zion Baptist Church in Fletcher, about 94 miles west of Charlotte.
    Henderson County Sheriff's Capt. Jerry Rice says the brawl is under investigation and no one appears to have been seriously hurt.
    Rice says there were about 75 people at the church when police arrived, but not all of them were scuffling.

    Anthropological News

    Brazil allows images of uncontacted Amazonians to be released in order to highlight a looming threat.  

    New pictures have been released of an isolated tribe living in rainforest on the Brazil-Peru border.

    Awesome Pictures


    Volcanic lightning photos

    A "dirty thunderstorm" lights up Shinmoedake volcano as it erupts, spewing ash and rock.  

    Yellowstone's supervolcano

    The eruption could happen tomorrow.
    Or, it could happen in 100,000 years.
    CNN video here.
    More here: Could Yellowstone National Park’s caldera super-volcano be close to eruption?
    They said that the super-volcano underneath the Wyoming park has been rising at a record rate since 2004 - its floor has gone up three inches per year for the last three years alone, the fastest rate since records began in 1923.
    It would explode with a force a thousand times more powerful than the Mount St Helens eruption in 1980.
    Spewing lava far into the sky, a cloud of plant-killing ash would fan out and dump a layer 10ft deep up to 1,000 miles away. Two-thirds of the U.S. could become uninhabitable as toxic air sweeps through it, grounding thousands of flights and forcing millions to leave their homes.

    Skull Flower


    World's Largest Known Bear Identified

    Polar Bear
    This giant was larger than the average bear, easily dwarfing the polar bear, the largest species living today.  

    Dog leads police to missing boy

    Police found a missing 6-year-old boy from Dickson, Tennessee after the child's dog led them to the area near the child. Caleb Walker was reported missing on Saturday after he wandered off from his home while playing outside.

    The child, who is also autistic, was missing for almost six hours before he was located. Police said they found the child in a wooded area near the Walker's home after the family's dog, Milo showed them where the child was.

    "We were coming up the hill and we saw the little Jack Russell and we knew he was supposed to be with him. And I got out and started looking about 30 yards passed where the little [Jack Russell] was. He was standing there shaking real bad," Sergeant Gill Wood with the Montgomery County K-9 Search and Rescue said.

    He added, "We are just glad we found the little guy, with the extreme temperatures tonight we were scared it would turn out tragically." Walker's family was grateful the child returned home safely on Saturday night just before 10 p.m. Walker's grandmother said. Walker was taken to a local hospital as a precaution, but has since returned home with his family.

    Prison Dog

    A cute little dog is in jail Down Under - learning how to sniff out diabetes in people.

    Pascoe has been sent to jail and he's only 12 months old. But far from being naughty, this cavalier king Charles spaniel is in training to save lives. Inmates at Junee Prison are teaching Pascoe how to pick up changes in people's body odor or their breath so he can be a diabetic alert dog.

    As soon as Pascoe learns to follow his nose - with sweet, fruity smells warning of high blood sugar levels or rusty, acidic smells indicating low blood sugar - he will be given to a family with a diabetic child to alert them to changes in glucose levels.

    The Pups in Prison program has been run by Assistance Dogs Australia and the NSW Department of Corrective Services for four years, but it's only the second time a dog has been trained to sniff diabetes.

    "The prisoners take it very seriously," Junee Prison's manager Andy Walker said "It does boost morale. There are up to six dogs in the prison at the same time." Dogs sleep with prisoners and some are taught to assist the elderly by answering phones, fetching items and barking only at strangers.

    People Who Have Lived with Animals, Changing Our View Forever

    chimpanzee  jane goodall photo
    Dreams about living with animals for many children, especially after reading The Jungle Book, are common. But for these nine people -- it was no fiction.
    From John Ssabunnya, the feral child raised by African green monkeys to Jane Goodall (TreeHugger Person of the Year for 2010), Dian Fossey, and Charles Darwin -- the nine people listed here have lived in close quarters with orangutans, whales, wolves, bears, and other wild animals, providing-in-the-wild studies leading to revolutionary new information on the biology of different species...sometimes with fatal results.
    9 People Who Have Lived with Animals, Changing Our View Forever slideshow
    Article continues: 9 People Who Have Lived with Animals, Changing Our View Forever