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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, February 11, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Don't push too hard.
Whether it's a big project at the office or a tricky family situation that's occupying your mind, don't make the mistake of acting too rashly too soon.
Ask yourself if you've already done all that you can reasonably do, and if your answer is yes, then realize that your continuing urge to act is understandable, but that it would be unwise to follow through on it.
Why not go to the movies and relax?

Some of our readers today have been in:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do Korea
London, England, United Kingdom
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Valencia, Comunidad Valencia, Spain
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Dresden, Sachsen, Germany
Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
Bamberg, Bayern Germany
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

as well as Slovakia, 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 Elroy, Casper, Greer, Wayne and more.

Today is:
Today is Friday, February 11, the 42st day of 2011.
There are 323 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is: 
Be Electrific Day.
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Ten amazing beaches to visit

The Seychelles' Anse Lazio is an idyllic mix of turquoise sea and white beach.

Say What!?

Does the sun revolve around the Earth?
One in every three Russians thinks so, a spokeswoman for state pollster VsTIOM said on Friday.

Thus proving the endless bounds of human stupidity ... yet again.

Why Egypt matters to U.S.

America had a close ally in Egypt's old regime, and change could ripple through the region. 

Egypt rejoices at Mubarak's resignation

Hope did prevail ...
Egypt's embattled president hands over power to the military after a wave of historic protests.  
The historic uprising harnessed a different kind of power to topple a regime.  

In The Air Tonight

Phil Collins

Obama has some rather harsh words for Mubarak

In diplo(matic)-(double)speak to be sure but harsh words just the same.

Office of the Press Secretary
Statement of President Barack Obama on Egypt

The Egyptian people have been told that there was a transition of authority, but it is not yet clear that this transition is immediate, meaningful or sufficient. Too many Egyptians remain unconvinced that the government is serious about a genuine transition to democracy, and it is the responsibility of the government to speak clearly to the Egyptian people and the world. The Egyptian government must put forward a credible, concrete and unequivocal path toward genuine democracy, and they have not yet seized that opportunity.

As we have said from the beginning of this unrest, the future of Egypt will be determined by the Egyptian people. But the United States has also been clear that we stand for a set of core principles. We believe that the universal rights of the Egyptian people must be respected, and their aspirations must be met. We believe that this transition must immediately demonstrate irreversible political change, and a negotiated path to democracy. To that end, we believe that the emergency law should be lifted. We believe that meaningful negotiations with the broad opposition and Egyptian civil society should address the key questions confronting Egypt’s future: protecting the fundamental rights of all citizens; revising the Constitution and other laws to demonstrate irreversible change; and jointly developing a clear roadmap to elections that are free and fair.

We therefore urge the Egyptian government to move swiftly to explain the changes that have been made, and to spell out in clear and unambiguous language the step by step process that will lead to democracy and the representative government that the Egyptian people seek. Going forward, it will be essential that the universal rights of the Egyptian people be respected. There must be restraint by all parties. Violence must be forsaken. It is imperative that the government not respond to the aspirations of their people with repression or brutality. The voices of the Egyptian people must be heard.

The Egyptian people have made it clear that there is no going back to the way things were: Egypt has changed, and its future is in the hands of the people. Those who have exercised their right to peaceful assembly represent the greatness of the Egyptian people, and are broadly representative of Egyptian society. We have seen young and old, rich and poor, Muslim and Christian join together, and earn the respect of the world through their non-violent calls for change. In that effort, young people have been at the forefront, and a new generation has emerged. They have made it clear that Egypt must reflect their hopes, fulfill their highest aspirations, and tap their boundless potential. In these difficult times, I know that the Egyptian people will persevere, and they must know that they will continue to have a friend in the United States of America.
Of course this was released before Mubarak resigned after he said he wasn't going to.
Personally I think he was 'resigned' by others than himself.
Now we see what Egypt will be when her people make their government.

Can't say we didn't tell you so

Only 3 short months after the repugicans' 'historic' election gains, Public Policy Polling finds Democrats more popular than repugicans

Arizona repugican proposes bill to require proof of citizenship at hospitals

It's bad enough that US hospitals often require insurance details prior to being admitted, but this is another loony tunes move by the wingnuts.

They're howl at the moon barking mad.
What this means is that anyone who is admitted to or receives emergency care at a hospital will have to prove that they are lawfully present in the United States. This of course presents a whole hornet’s nest of problems-- the least of which is hospitals will most likely not appreciate being saddled with the added responsibility of immigration enforcement.

Of much greater importance is the likelihood that anyone who happens to be undocumented in this state (an estimated 460,000 people) may avoid hospitals for themselves or their family at all costs-- even if the price is death.

Of course a reasonable person would ask why someone would risk death to avoid deportation. The simple answer is that many who go to hospital emergency rooms really have no idea if their condition is life threatening.

Iraq refugees in US scrutinized for al-Qaida links

Hundreds of refugees who sought shelter in the United States during the early years of the Iraq war are coming under fresh scrutiny from U.S. government security officials for possible links to al-Qaida's affiliate in Iraq.

FBI Director Robert Mueller surprised some terrorism experts Thursday when, in response to a question about threats inside the ...

Woman Plans To Wear The Same Dress For Six Months

There are some women who don’t like being seen in the same dress twice. Then there is Amy Seiffert who has pledged to wear the same gray dress every day for six months.  Yes, she washes the dress. She even changes it up by wearing the dress in different ways.  But, she always wears the dress.
Amy started this project on November 15th to bring awareness to the problem of sex slavery and human trafficking in the United States.
Seiffert’s combination social experiment/fashion statement is all in an effort to raise awareness and money for The Daughter Project, a non-profit organization with a mission to help girls recover from the trauma of sex trafficking and to help prevent others from being trafficked.
You can read about all about Amy’s fashion adventure on her blog.

Man Reprimanded By City Officals For Cleaning Up Trash

Hydn Rousseau was so tired of all the trash and crime in his Florida neighborhood that he finally took matters into his own hands.  He organized a cleanup effort.
“I saw debris and trash everywhere and I said I have to come back home and make a difference in my community,” stated Rousseau.
Last Saturday, he organized a neighborhood cleanup with 50 volunteers. The team cleaned several lots of dangerous trash, including needles and buckets of debris.
What did he get for all his hard work? He got a reprimand from the mayor and city attorney.  Apparently they aren’t happy that Rousseau didn’t follow proper procedures.

Man flees court, still ends up in jail

A Lafayette man who fled a courtroom Wednesday when he heard his sentence is finally in jail, but only after a struggle with police officers.

Wizard of Id


The Sling Shot Man

Bizarre mammals call using quills

Unique hedgehog-like mammals have been filmed using their quills to communicate in the dark forest undergrowth of Madagascar.

Mysterious Manuscript's Age Determined

voynich manuscript
No one has figured out how to read the enigmatic Voynich Manuscript, but now we know how old it is.  

Wreck has link to 'Moby-Dick'

A boat off Hawaii appears to be that of the real-life whaler who inspired the classic novel.  

Pictures from Inside Mantin Manor

Remember the story of the eccentric Frenchman Louis Mantin, who ordered that his opulent mansion and estate be turned into a museum 100 years after his death? National Geographic has a gallery of photographs from inside the mansion, showing the decor and some of Mantin’s possessions, like these battling frogs.

Seven Repurposed Military Defense Shelters

Re-purposing old bunkers is like upcycling for the soul: symbols of war turned into havens of hospitality. Despite the negative images they conjure, they make amazing homes, restaurants and hostels, and inspire many other uses.

Hey Jude


The Beatles

Do SAT scores matter less?

College-bound students are going online to find out how they fared on the ever-difficult test.  

UNC Asheville tuition to rise $606 next fall

North Carolina's public universities will raise tuition and student fees next fall by an average of $401 after governing board approval Friday that attracted student protesters worried about the impact of higher costs.

Has time run out for the Pollock?

A piece of legislation proposed Wednesday would require University of Iowa to sell the famed Jackson Pollock "Mural," which had an estimated value of $140 million in 2008, to provide scholarship assistance to UI undergraduate students from Iowa.



Shades of 'Seinfeld'

Kittery couple, Mass. man charged with bottle scam

A "Seinfeld" episode featured Kramer and Newman taking thousands of cans and bottles to Michigan so they can get a nickel more per container than they would in New York, but beverage distributors say there's nothing funny when it happens for real.

Helpful Hints

Kris Calhoun never buys cars new, and he swears by going second-hand for certain household items.

Unemployment for Millionaires

U.S. Senator Jon Tester joined with several other lawmakers to introduce the "ending unemployment payments to millionaires act" in congress on Tuesday.

Tester said in a press release that it's time to put an end to making taxpayers foot the bill for people with seven-figure trust funds.

He explained, "millionaires shouldn't be able to claim an unemployment check. this is common sense legislation that will save taxpayers dollars and make sure that people who need unemployment compensation are able to get it."

According to a report published at thehill.com, as many as 2,840 households who have reported an income of $1 million or more on their tax returns were paid a total of $18.6 million in unemployment benefits in 2008, according to internal revenue service figures.

This included more than 800 earning over $2 million and 17 with incomes exceeding $10 million.

Yuppie shoppers return

Shucking off "frugality fatigue," upscale consumers are buying BMWs and gourmet food.  

Bad Cops

ACLU monitor says she saw California sheriff's beat inmate like "a punching bag" as he lay limp for at least two minutes

More South Carolina police officers in off-duty trouble

Fired Ohio cop is indicted on two counts of drug trafficking, three counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a drug trafficking crime, one count of conspiracy to traffic drugs

California cop charged with stealing tag from a motorist during a traffic stop

Florida correctional officer charged with tampering with victim of attempted murder

Former West Virginia police officer is arrested for making meth

Odds and Sods

80-year-old jewel thief off to prison
An 80-year-old woman with a decades-long criminal history who was convicted of stealing a diamond ring worth nearly $9,000 from a San Diego department store was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison.

It's how we get through the SunPass lanes, how we get into a secure building, and how we pay at checkouts.

Marrow donation from teenage stranger saves man's life

A year before Jim Munroe was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of leukemia, a 19-year-old girl from Milwaukee had her cheek swabbed at a summer rock concert.

Culinary DeLites

People in one state average 82 gallons of soda and 113 pounds of sweet snacks annually. 

Eating Asparagus Is Good For Your Health

Asparagus is a perennial flowering plant, belonging to the genus asparagus and renowned for its medicinal properties and high nutritional value. The fleshy green spears of asparagus are both succulent and tender and have been considered a delicacy since ancient times.

The vegetable was initially cultivated by the ancient Romans, Egyptians, and the Greeks, who used it all through the year, fresh in the spring season and dried in the winters. And it's good for your health!

Is diet soda a health risk?

One expert dismisses new research linking diet soda and strokes as "one of the worst studies I've seen." 

Pilots battle severe fatigue

The struggle to stay awake forces many overworked pilots to catch up on sleep anywhere they can.

Air traffic errors double

Recent near misses and complaints have raised concerns about those monitoring the skies.

Airlines with the most fees

Checking three bags could cost you as much as $180 at one major carrier. 

I like you so much better when you're naked

Ida Maria

Magnitude-6.8 Earthquake Rocks Chile

A magnitude-6.8 earthquake struck central Chile Friday, centered in almost exactly the same spot where last year's magnitude-8.8 quake spawned a tsunami and devastated coastal communities.
Authorities have evacuated several areas prone to Tsunamis. No victims or damages have been reported, but heavy tides, and quake replicas concern government officials.

Space Smells Like A NASCAR Race

What does space smell like? According to scientist of the Astrophysics and Astrochemistry Lab at NASA Ames Research Center, the final frontier smells a lot like a Nascar race - a bouquet of hot metal, diesel fumes and barbecue. The source? Dying stars, mostly. The by-products of all this rampant combustion are smelly compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

It seems that our solar system is particularly pungent because it is rich in carbon and low in oxygen, and just like a car, if you starve it of oxygen you start to see black soot and get a foul smell. Once you leave our galaxy, the smells can get really interesting. In dark pockets of the universe, molecular clouds full of tiny dust particles host a veritable smorgasbord of odors, from wafts of sweet sugar to the rotten-egg stench of sulfur.

'Burning' question proved: The sun is, in fact, a sphere

NASA has made it official: the sun is a sphere. Not that there was any doubt or evidence to the contrary, but for the first time ever, NASA can now beam back images from the entire star -- both the front and the back, NASA said in a glowing press release , showing the sun in all its spherical glory.

'Lucy' story put on firm footing

Foot bone (Carol Ward and Elizabeth Harman)
Fossil evidence seems to confirm that a three-million-year-old ancestor of ours dubbed Lucy could walk upright consistently - one of the major advances in human evolution.

Archeologists Study the World's Oldest Tree Carvings

arborglyph photo  
There's something romantic about the image of two young valentines, in an idyllic pastoral scene, etching their initials in the side of a tree to commemorate their affection, but tree carving isn't just for lovers. In a burgeoning field of archeological study, researchers are looking to some of the world's oldest tree carvings, known as arborglyphs, to better understand the peoples and traditions of cultures past -- and most are a lot more interesting than just a heart with an arrow through it.



Giraffes in a boat?

8 taken to island

Eight giraffes got a very rare ride to their new home - in a boat. The endangered Rothschilds giraffes were ferried by barge to a reserve on an island in Kenya's Lake Baringo earlier this week.

Smuggler Caught With More Than 230 Animals in His Luggage

ploughshare tortoise photo
A critically endangered ploughshare tortoise was among those seized. 
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport is in the news once again after a man was caught trying to board a plane with more than 230 animals packed in his luggage. Divided between three suitcases, the alleged smuggler was carrying snakes, squirrels, spiders, lizards, frogs, a parrot, and more than 100 tortoises—including some endangered species.
In August of last year, a woman was stopped at the airport when security personnel found a live tiger cub in her carry-on bag.
Article continues: Smuggler Caught With More Than 230 Animals in His Luggage

Twenty Most Heroic Dogs On Earth

If you thought that man's best friend only saved lives in the movies then think again.

There are living breathing dogs out there who put there lives on the line every day so that we can continue to live our peaceful lives.

So let's give them the recognition they deserve by at least knowing who the 20 Most Heroic Dogs On Earth are.

Animal News

Mecklenburg County animal control officers confirmed that a local dog contracted rabies - the first case in which a dog has been found with the deadly disease in the county since April 2005.

Oregon dog to get stem cells to help heal hip

A former Oregon military dog that did two tours of duty sniffing out bombs in Iraq is going to receive stem cell therapy to treat osteoarthritis in his hips.

No, that's not a typo, she has a pet tiger And like many pet owners, she's not afraid to share her bed with her pet.

Animal Pictures

This pelican in Namibia caught a snack in mid-air! 
Of course, you are wondering how a fish can jump that high. 
It had a boost from the guy who threw it. 
The result is the National Geographic Photo of the Day.