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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, February 27, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Today, just putting your new ideas to work is almost more important than the quality of the ideas themselves.
It's all about newness and innovation right now; do not be afraid to take a few chances.
No one is watching you, and there will be no evaluations given, so you have nothing to lose.
You have free reign to feel your way around today and explore new places.
Step out of your comfort zone -- it is much too small and shrinking.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
London, England, United Kingdom
Lille, Nord-Pas-De-Calais, France
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

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 Woodstock, Benton, Stockton, Hilo and more.

Today is:
Today is Sunday, February 27, the 58th day of 2011.
There are 307 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is: 
There isn't one.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Norwegian Wood

The Beatles

Obama says Gadhafi's time is up as Libya's leader

President Barack Obama dropped the careful condemnation, threats of consequences and the reminders to Moammar Gadhafi's regime about its responsibility to avoid violence.

For the first time, the president drops his careful condemnation of the Libyan leader.

U.N. imposes Libya sanctions

The Security Council orders an arms embargo and asset freeze on Gadhafi and his regime.  

It's All Over for Maummar

Qaddafi’s Ukrainian Nurse Planning to Leave Libya

One of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s personal nurses is planning to leave Tripoli and return to her hometown in Ukraine, Kiev-based newspaper Segodyna reported, citing the woman’s daughter.

Galina Kolotnitskaya left home nine years ago to work in Libya, first at a hospital and then as part of Qaddafi’s personal staff, the newspaper reported.

“Mom got in touch with me yesterday,” Tatyana Kolotnitskaya, her daughter, was cited as saying. “She said she’s in Tripoli now. There’s shooting, fighting, basically everything they’re showing on the news. She was speaking in a calm voice and asked me not to worry, and said that soon she’ll be home.”

Tatyana Kolotnitskaya said she didn’t know whether her mother was still with Qaddafi, whose rule over the North African country is in doubt as units of his army defect to join protests.

Qaddafi “has other Ukrainian nurses. My mom is one of them. For some reason, he doesn’t trust Libyan women,” Kolotnitskaya was cited as saying.

Tunisian prime minister announces resignation

Tunisian Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi announces a national unity government in Tunis.

One killed in Oman protests as police fire tear gas, rubber bullets in clashes with protesters

Omani security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters demanding political reforms on Sunday, killing at least one person in the strategic Gulf country, police officials said.

China's internet censors don't like the smell of "Jasmine"

China's state Internet censors have ratcheted up web filters, and security officers are harassing and detaining bloggers and activists as an online appeal for a "Jasmine Revolution" spreads in China.
jasmine.jpg The apparent crackdown came in advance of two top legislative meetings, the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, scheduled for March. Censors blocked the word "jasmine" after overseas dissident-run news website Boxun and Chinese Twitter users broadcast calls on February 19 to mobilize street protests modeled on recent unrest in the Middle East, according to international news reports. (Twitter is generally blocked in China but accessible to users of proxy networks based overseas.) Only a handful of protesters appeared, although calls continued for government protests characterized as "strolls" to continue every Sunday around China, according to The Associated Press.

North Korea threatens to fire at South Korea

North Korea's military threatened Sunday to fire at South Korea, as Seoul prepared to start annual joint drills with U.S. troops, maneuvers Pyongyang says are a rehearsal for an invasion.

Due to budget cutbacks


Odds and Sods

They soon found out that their would-be victim, age 62, used to be a professional boxer.

A Little Village motorist was so drunk from celebrating his divorce that police were able to stop the car he was slowly driving by hand early Wednesday on the Southwest Side, police said

Sarasota police say they have arrested a man for hacking a community theater's website

We Need a New John Steinbeck

grapes of wrath
We need a new John Steinbeck in America.
Read more here.

Wisconsin Police join Protesters occupying statehouse

Scott might want to consider getting out while he's behind.

Rallies were held across the country Saturday to support thousands of protesters holding steady at the Wisconsin Capitol in their fight against Republican-backed legislation aimed at weakening unions.

And more ...
Protesters out in force nationwide to oppose Wisconsin's anti-union bill
Nearly two weeks into a political standoff, tens of thousands rallied in Madison and in dozens of cities around the nation to oppose a bill that would severely limit collective bargaining rights for most Wisconsin public employees.

Distribution of Wealth


We posted this graph a few days ago with the accompanying story. But the graph bears reposting to remind everyone just how fucked up it is for nearly every American except the 1%ers.

Where does the federal government get its money ?

Found at Mother Jones
Just so you know how the government gets your money.

Shared Sacrifices


Nearly 49% of new jobs are low wage positions

Good luck rebounding if there's no middle class. This isn't a new problem but Washington keeps pretending as though it isn't even a problem. The decades long decline is ignored by both parties in favor of making life easier and more comfortable for the financial elite.

NY Times:
America’s private payrolls shrank from January 2008 through February 2010, losing 8.84 million jobs on net. They have been growing every month since that nadir, adding 1.26 million jobs on net. (Public payrolls are another story — they’ve been falling over the last year.)

All this means, of course, that the private sector job market still has a long way to go before it returns to its previous peak. Worse, those jobs that have been created in the last year typically pay less than the jobs they’re replaced.

According to NELP:

* Lower-wage industries (those paying $9.03 -$12.91 per hour) accounted for just 23 percent of job losses, but fully 49 percent of recent growth.
* Midwage industries ($12.92 -$19.04 per hour) accounted for 36 percent of job losses, and 37 percent of recent growth.
* Higher-wage industries ($19.05 -$31.40 per hour) accounted for 40 percent of job loss, but only 14 percent of recent growth.

Just in case you didn't know ...

You Have More Money in Your Wallet Than Bank of America Pays in Federal Taxes

Today, hundreds of thousands of people comprising a Main Street Movement - a coalition of students, the retired, union workers, public employees, and other middle class Americans - are in the streets, demonstrating against brutal cuts to public services and crackdowns on organized labor being pushed by wingnut teabagging politicians.

What your tax preparer needs

You're liable for the info on your form, so track down all the right documents and receipts.  

Your three key money numbers

These numbers will show you if you’re on track to reach your major financial goals.  

Pay off your home faster?

Answer these questions to see if whittling your loan balance would be a smart step.  

    Bargain retirement spots

    These areas boast a high standard of living and housing prices that have fallen up to 91 percent.  

      Non Sequitur


      Best affordable beach resorts

      Vietnam's Sheraton Nha Trang features upscale touches — for $180 per night.

      Hotels with incredible views

      Priceless Caribbean views come with a stay at an eco-resort in St. John's. 

        Random Celebrity Photo

        Care to guess who this might be?

        Singer Shakira accepts Harvard honor

        Grammy Award-winning singer and philanthropist Shakira has been honored by Harvard University.

        Singer Shakira: Latinos In US Will Have 'Justice'
        Colombian singer Shakira was honored Saturday by Harvard University for her artistic and humanitarian work.

        Earliest Surviving Monopoly Game Sells For £90,000

        This round board made from oilcloth is one of 5000 made by Charles Darrow in 1933. This is the only circular Darrow Monopoly game known to still exist. It is hand coloured in pen and ink and the pieces are made of wood moulding. Darrow based his game on  political activist Lizzie Magie’s Landlord’s Game which she created to point out social injustice at the turn of the last century. Darrow produced his game, set in Atlantic City, during the Great Depression when he was out of work and had a family to support. He sold the rights to Monopoly to Parker Brothers Games in 1934, putting an end to his financial worries.

        Mysterious fluid rendered 1930s intestines immune to broken glass

        A secret fluid reported on in the pages of the June, 1931 ish of Modern Mechanix had the property of rendering your intestines "immune" to cuts from glass, allowing you to ingest any amount of broken crystalware with impunity.
        EATING light bulbs, bottles and tumblers with relish is the amazing feat performed by "Professor" Paul Owen, of New York City. The secret of his performance lies in a fluid which he swallows to render his intestines immune to cuts by the glass.

        A Virtual Reality Concept from the 15th Century

        fontana screens Cyberculture History: A Virtual Reality Concept from the 15th Century
        In 1420 Venetian engineer Giovanni Fontana created a proposal for the Castle of Shadows.

        From BLDG Blog:
        Philippe Codognet describes the 15th-century machine as “a room with walls made of folded translucent parchments lighted from behind, creating therefore an environment of moving images. Fontana also designed some kind of magic lantern to project on walls life-size images of devils or beasts.” Codognet goes on to suggest that the device is an early ancestor of today’s CAVE systems, or virtual reality rooms—an immersive, candlelit cinema of moving screens and flickering images.


        This is a Bobbysoxer … Just in case you are to young to know what that is

        Most snooze-worthy pillows

        A test finds the best fiberfill pillow is also a great deal from $11 to $14.  

        Helpful Hints

        Remember to do these simple tasks daily, and your next cleanup should be painless.  

        U.S. medical experiments

        A commission examines dozens of cases where healthy people were made sick.  

        FDA Approves 'More Effective' Hypertension Drug

        The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a drug that it says is more effective than others when it comes to treating high blood pressure.

        Cookie sales barred at Girl Scouts founder's home

        And this is a bad thing, how?

        Girl Scouts are no longer able to sell their famous cookies outside the historic Savannah home of the woman who founded the organization almost a century ago.

        'Local' Food In Britain Comes From As Far Away As New Zealand

        borough market southwark london photo
        Borough Market in Southwark, London. 
        Shoppers in England and Wales who have been carefully seeking out locally produced foods while making their market rounds came in for a shock this week when a government body announced that foods labeled "local" actually came from other European countries, and even from as far away as New Zealand.
        Article continues: Buyer Beware: 'Local' Food In Britain Comes From As Far Away As New Zealand, Study Shows

        Three Reasons to Skip Organic and Grow Your Own Produce

        For beginner gardeners, growing herbs is a good way to start.
        For beginner gardeners, growing herbs is a good way to start.
        Growing your own produce is all the rage nowadays. You may have toyed with the idea of growing your own, but decided that picking up your produce from the grocery was the ideal way. Think again! Southern Living's Associate Garden Editor Rebecca Bull Reed shares her insights…

        Neanderthals cooked and ate vegetables

        neanderthal New Evidence Suggests Neanderthals Cooked and Ate Vegetables
        Researchers in the US have found grains of cooked plant material in the teeth of the remains.
        The study is the first to confirm that the Neanderthal diet was not confined to meat and was more sophisticated than previously thought.
        The research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
        The popular image of Neanderthals as great meat eaters is one that has up until now been backed by some circumstantial evidence. Chemical analysis of their bones suggested they ate little or no vegetables.



        Low Pay, Big Risks For Fuel Haulers In Afghan War

        On the dashboard of his truck, Nowsher Awan keeps a colorful little box and a toy puppy biting on a candy cane.

        Organism that secretes fuel?

        A biotech company says it has genetically engineered an organism that secretes fuel.  

        Traveler's palm

        What a magnificent plant (Philippine Islands, 1926).  
        Details from Wikipedia:
        Ravenala madagascariensis, commonly known as Traveler's Tree or Traveler's Palm, is a species of plant from Madagascar. It is not a true palm (family Arecaceae) but a member of the bird-of-paradise family, Strelitziaceae... It has been given the name "traveler's palm" because the sheaths of the stems hold rainwater, which can be used as an emergency drinking supply. The enormous paddle-shaped leaves are borne on long petioles, in a distinctive fan shape aligned in a single plane.
        Photo from the NOAA Library, via the New Shelton wet/dry.



        Upping the cute factor


        Wolf dog sings to stop baby from crying

        Deepsea Crawler


        Last Wild Bison Herd in North America Facing Extinction

        Image Source (Dan Anderson)
        In the early 1800s more than 65 million bison roamed North America, now their numbers have been reduced to approximately 3900. Bison in the U.S. are mostly confined within the perimeter of  Yellowstone National Park but heavy snows in recent years have led them to roam to lower elevations where it is easier to forage for vegetation. Montana farmers fear roaming bison could spread brucellosis, a disease which causes abortion or premature calving, to their livestock though there have been no documented cases of bison to cattle transmission. In response to this concern the State of Montana has developed a bison management plan. Bison entering Montana along Yellowstone’s north boundary would be shot or shipped to slaughter and all bison entering Montana through the park’s west boundary would be tested for brucellosis. Any bison testing positive for the disease would be shot or shipped to slaughter. Currently 400 animals are being held in government-operated pens near Gardiner, Montana.
        The  Defenders of Wildlife organization argues that such a lethal approach is unnecessary and has started an online petition to save the Yellowstone bison.

        Animal Pictures