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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, February 21, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You love to get out there and do your thing in full view of an appreciative audience.
It's especially nice when it's an audience with expertise -- a group of people who know just how good you are.
So, whether you're running a 'How To Be Funny With a Stool as Your Only Prop' workshop for an international gathering of clowns, or you're demonstrating the perfect cravat fold for a group of elite butlers and/or cravat-wearing men of leisure, you're having a good time of it.

Some of our readers today have been in:
London, England, United Kingdom
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Bilbao, Pasi Vasco, Spain
Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Lille, Nord-Pas-De-Calais, France
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
Amsterdam, Nord-Holland, Netherlands
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Latina, Lazio, Italy
Viljandi, Viljandimaa, Estonia
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

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 Beaumont, Palos Hills, San Jose, Mount Laurel and more.

Today is:
Today is Monday, February 21, the 52nd day of 2011.
There are 313 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is: 
International Mother Language Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

The 'Jasmine Revolution' Continues

Ivory Coast Police Open Fire On Crowd

Sunday, February 20, 2011 Witnesses say security forces fired on protesters for the second consecutive day in Ivory Coast's biggest city, following a call for an "Egypt-style" uprising to depose sitting president Laurent Gbagbo.

Yemen president offers opposition dialogue

Yemen's embattled president on Sunday sought a way out of the political crisis gripping his impoverished Arab nation, offering to oversee a dialogue between his ruling party and the opposition to defuse the ongoing standoff with protesters demanding his ouster.

Libya is going down

Libya Denies Report That Gadhafi Has Left Libya for Venezuela
Moammar Gadhafi has left Libya, heading for Latin America, perhaps Venezuela, according to an unconfirmed report from broadcaster Al-Arabiya, citing sources in the Libyan opposition.

Libya launches harshest crackdown yet
Security forces loyal to Libya's Moammar Gadhafi unleashed heavy gunfire Sunday on thousands marching in a rebellious eastern city, cutting down mourners trying to bury victims in a bloody cycle of violence that has killed more than 200 people in the fiercest crackdown on the uprisings in the Arab world.

Even more violence in Libya - death toll may be over 500
The protests continue to spread in Libya and AFP now reports that the state run television station has been sacked and set on fire. Gaddafi's son went on TV last night to warn protesters though he remains an unconvincing force in the country. He's promising the same old reforms that we've heard elsewhere but after decades of rule, who could believe such promises? Al Jazeera's live blog of the news from Libya can be found here.
A son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has promised a programme of reforms after bloody protests against his father's rule reached the capital, Tripoli.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi also hit out at those behind the violence. He said protests against his father's rule, which have been concentrated in the east of the country, threatened to sink Libya into civil war and split the country up into several small states.

Appearing on Libyan state television early on Monday morning, Seif al-Islam said his father is in the country and backed by the army. "We will fight to the last minute, until the last bullet."

He said his father was leading the fight, although he added that some military bases, tanks and weapons had been seized.
Protesters claim a key victory amid the bloodiest crackdown in any Arab nation yet. 

Egyptian tourism struggles to revive

The wind-swept pyramids of Giza were virtually deserted Sunday, symbols not just of the might and culture of the pharaohs but also the damage that Egypt's upheaval has inflicted on tourism, a pillar of the economy.

Non Sequitur


At the Movies

A man lay sprawled across three entire seats in a theater. When the usher came by and noticed this, he whispered to the man, ''Sorry, sir, but you're only allowed one seat.''

The man groaned but didn't budge.

The usher became impatient. ''Sir,'' the usher said, ''if you don't get up from there I'm going to have to call the manager.''

Again, the man just groaned, which infuriated the usher who turned and marched briskly back up the aisle in search of his manager.

In a few moments, both the usher and the manager returned and stood over the man. Together the two of them tried repeatedly to move him, but with no success. Finally, they summoned the police.

The cop surveyed the situation briefly. ''All right buddy, what's your name?''

''Sam,'' the man moaned.

''Where ya from, Sam?'' the cop asked.

''The balcony.''

Foods that encourage sleep

Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, which controls the body's clock.

'Unrecognizable' Earth by 2050

Explosive population growth will tax food production more in the next 40 years than in the last 8,000. 

Odds and Sods

Dog missing from California turns up in Washington
A 2-year-old dog that disappeared near Sacramento, California, has turned up 715 miles later in Tacoma, Washington, and is expected to be reunited with his owner Saturday.

On The Job

At one company, the typical salary is $318,000 and some workers get $5,000 shopping sprees.  

Bad Cops

Fired Mississippi cop is convicted of statutory rape and sexual battery

Indiana cop resigns after being charged with battery

Minnesota police chief and cop placed on paid leave while curiously un-explained charges are investigated

Florida detentions deputy faces multiple charges after allegedly allowing jail assault

12-count lawsuit filed against infamously corrupt Arizona sheriff and others

No charges will be filed against cop who killed university student in a confused series of events

Washington cop who killed man on sidewalk in cold blood quits, but won't be charged

A letter from a 99er


I'm unemployed over two years now, a 99er without any benefits for three months. I followed Unemployed Friends almost from its start, never posted until now, but am grateful for my time with you all. I did as asked with calls and e-mails, etc. I've a confession to make to you all. I'm a criminal.

I've obeyed the 10 commandments and all laws except: I'm unemployed and that's now a crime, I'm poor and that's a crime, I'm worthless surplus population and that's a crime, I'm a main street American Citizen born and raised in the USA and that's now a crime, and I'm euthanizing myself as I write this note -- so arrest my corpse. This isn't a call for help, the deed is done, it's not what I wanted. Death is my best available option. It's not just that my bank account is $4, that I've not eaten in a week, not because hunger pangs are agonizing (I'm a wimp), not because I live in physical and mental anguish, not because the landlady is banging on the door non-stop and I face eviction, not that Congress and President have sent a strong message they no longer help the unemployed. It's because I'm a law abiding though worthless, long-term unemployed older man who is surplus population. Had I used my college education to rip people off and steal from the elderly, poor, disabled and main street Americans I would be wearing different shoes now -- a petty king. Hard work, honesty, loving kindness, charity and mercy, and becoming unemployed and destitute unable to pay your bills are all considered foolishness and high crimes in America now. Whereas stealing and lying and cheating and being greedy to excess and destroying the fabric of America is rewarded and protected -- even making such people petty king and petty queens among us.

The truth be told


Dateline: Madison, Wisconsin

Gov. Walker's plan will actually destroy 10,000 jobs
Meanwhile, Walker issues huge raises to county aides

Madison protesters were commended by the city police force

Also supporting the unions: the Madison chamber of commerce

Here are some on the ground photos from the Madison protests

Here's a list of Walker contributors you can boycott

Sign outside downtown Madison store: no tea parties allowed

Gov. Walker is exempt for a year, but Wisconsin state legislators are vulnerable to recall

How bad is it ...

"My credit's so bad, they won't even take my cash."

Credit card traps to avoid

Always paying with plastic can wind up costing much more than you think. 

Things They Won't Tell You

Paying with cash may get you a better price, especially at mom-and-pop shops.  



What feet say about health

If your feet often cramp, you may not be getting enough calcium or potassium.  

Rid your home of known toxins

Replace toxic cleaning products with safer alternatives, using everyday household items.  

Ten renovations that don't pay

Improvements like wall-to-wall carpeting and fancy landscaping may turn off potential buyers.  

Fairy Tale Architecture

You might think fairy tales are for children. Not always! What would you say about a few sweet colors and some warm materials for a fairytale house with a wonderful architecture almost waiting for a Snow White to come out and greet you with a smile.

A car that runs on nothing but the wind

The Wind Explorer charges its battery via a turbine attached to a retractable mast.  

Wallet Found After 40 Years

Rudolph R. Resta, 77, walked out of a wintry rain recently, through the revolving door of a largely empty Times Square office building, and into his distant past.
He found his two sons, now in their 40s, when they were small enough to fit into the same lawn chair, side by side. He found his wife, Angela, posing before a knife-sharp Pontiac Grand Prix in Prospect Park, looking very sultry in a jaguar stole; “real jaguar,” he said, “not the stuff they have today.
Mr. Resta had carelessly left his wallet in his jacket pocket in a closet at the New York Times headquarters in 1970. José Cisneros, a security guard at Mr. Resta’s former workplace, recently found the wallet in a niche in a wall. He went through a number of connections before finding the wallet’s owner. The contents of the wallet, like a time capsule, brought back a flood of memories for Mr. Resta but the cash he carried with him at the time was long gone.

The Model T - 100 Years Later

Awesome Pictures


Grim Gulf oil discovery

"Magic microbes" that were supposed to clean up after the BP oil spill haven't had the expected impact.



Chain-eating deer at Japanese temple puzzle experts

The unusual sight of deer gnawing on iron chains is attracting tourists at a temple, while baffling animal experts. Tourists will find the deer at the Todai-ji temple located at Nara Park in Japan's ancient capital. They are usually found around the temple's Nandai-mon gate, located in the middle of the approach to the hall housing the famous Great Buddha.

While most deer at the park demand food from visitors, some seem to be more attracted to the chains separating the temple's approach and the lawn. According to the Foundation for the Protection of Deer in Nara Park, in 2003 the organization first noticed the animal's strange behaviour. Members found a picture of a deer biting iron chains among pictures the group received from the public for a photograph contest.

"I've been watching it for a long time. I thought the animal was getting some kind of nutrition from the chains," said Todai-ji senior priest Sogen Sagawa, 90, who has been living in the temple since his childhood. However, out of 1,100 deer in the park, only one group of around 10 deer living near the Nandai-mon gate and the Honbo building are engaged in the practice, regardless of season, their age or sex, according to the deer protection group.

"The deer in the group are probably teaching each other to bite the iron chains. The practice has been passed onto younger generations because it's necessary. We will never know unless we ask the deer," said Sachiko Ikeda, head of the foundation. A veterinarian belonging to the organization commented, "Deer maintain their nutritional balance by taking in minerals from soil, but it is unlikely that only a certain group of them have an iron deficiency. They may have acquired the habit after biting the chain by accident."

There's another video here.

Animal Pictures

dolphins To Talk With Aliens, Learn to Speak With Dolphins
Herzing created an open-ended framework for communication, using sounds, symbols and props to interact with the dolphins. The goal was to create a shared, primitive language that would allow dolphins and humans to ask for props, such as balls or scarves.
Divers demonstrated the system by pressing keys on a large submerged keyboard. Other humans would throw them the corresponding prop. In addition to being labeled with a symbol, each key was paired with a whistle that dolphins could mimic. A dolphin could ask for a toy either by pushing the key with her nose, or whistling.
Herzing’s study is the first of its kind. No one has tried to establish two-way communication in the wild.
“This is an authentic way to approach this, she’s not imposing herself on them,” said Lori Marino, the Emory University biologist who, with Hunter College psychologist Diana Reiss, pioneered dolphin self-recognition studies. “She’s cultivated a relationship with these dolphins over a very long time and it’s entirely on their terms. I think this is the future of working with dolphins.”