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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, March 4, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
The delicate balance between your family and your career is finally getting easier to manage, and you are just about over the learning curve.
Now that things are getting back onto a more even keel, let yourself relax and stop worrying about whether or not you're spending enough time with the people you love.
If they aren't happy with the amount of time you're giving them right now, they will let you know.
And as long as they're happy, you should be happy, right?

Some of our readers today have been in:
Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Gemany
Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Santander, Cantabria, Spain

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 Biloxi, Budd Lake, Boston, Boise and more.

Today is:
Today is Friday, March 4, the 63rd day of 2011.
There are 302 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is: 
Toy Solider Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Do you know what day it is?

Perky ain't she.

'Bambi' finally meets 'Thumper'

The actors who voiced the beloved animated characters meet face to face for the first time.  

Odds and Sods

Yellow Sac Spider Gives Mazda the Creeps, Forces Recall
It sounds like something the Onion would write, but it's actually not a fake: Mazda has recalled 65,000 Mazda6 vehicles over yellow sac spider nests.

A 350-year-old notebook which documents the trials of women convicted of witchcraft in England during the 17th century has been published online.

There's a new twist in the love story between a local man and a goose. It turns out that Maria the goose is actually Mario the gander.

On The Job

You don't need years and years of training or an MBA to earn high pay in these fields.  

Yup, clear as mud

The U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly fell to 8.9 percent in February, the lowest in almost two years, and employers added 192,000 jobs in a sign of growing confidence in the recovery.

They're hiring but they ain't paying

Although companies boosted payrolls in February, hourly earnings rose by just a penny. 

    Fired workers burn Indian executive to death

    After learning they were laid off, about a dozen workers attacked a vehicle carrying Radhey Shyam Roy as he was leaving the factory in eastern Orissa state on Thursday, dousing the Jeep with gasoline and setting it on fire.
    Two other people in the vehicle were allowed to flee but Roy, 59, was trapped inside and later died of severe burns.
    Something CEOs and their repugican lapdogs here in the U.S. might want to begin thinking about. They have set up the climate for just such incidents to begin occurring here and they will unless things radically change - but with the fucking workers are getting in Wisconsin and Ohio as we speak that change may be too little too late.

    The truth be told


    Canada says "NO" to FAUX Lies

    Canada says "NO" to FOX Lies
      by Robert F Kennedy Jr. 

    As America's middle class battles for its survival on the Wisconsin barricades - against
    various Koch Oil surrogates and the corporate toadies at Fox News - fans of enlightenment,
    democracy and justice can take comfort from a significant victory north of the Wisconsin border.

    Fox News will not be moving into Canada after all! The reason: Canadian regulators announced
    last week they would reject efforts by Canada's right-wing Prime Minister, Stephen Harper,
    to repeal a law that forbids lying on broadcast news.

    Canada's Radio Act requires that "a licenser may not broadcast ... any false or misleading news."
    The provision has kept Fox News and right-wing talk radio out of Canada and helped make
    Canada a model for liberal democracy and freedom. As a result of that law, Canadians enjoy
    high quality news coverage, including the kind of foreign affairs and investigative journalism
    that flourished in this country before Ronald Reagan abolished the "Fairness Doctrine" in 1987.

    Political dialogue in Canada is marked by civility, modesty, honesty, collegiality, and idealism
    that have pretty much disappeared on the US airwaves. When Stephen Harper moved to abolish the anti-lying provision of the Radio Act, Canadians rose up to oppose him fearing that their tradition of honest non-partisan news would be replaced by the toxic, overtly partisan, biased and dishonest news coverage familiar to American citizens who listen to Fox News and talk radio.
    So, it's illegal to tell lies as news in Canada.
    But in America, if you're honest, they pull you off the air.
    (Phil Donahue, Martin Sheen, Keith Olbermann, etc)

    In America, if you can tell 1,000 lies an hour, you make millions per month.
    (Brick, Handjob, Dimbulb)

    Police tackle Wisconsin state lawmaker

    Representative was trying to retrieve some clothes

    A Wisconsin state lawmaker has been tackled by police as he tried to enter the state Capitol that is closed to the public.
    Democratic Representative Nick Milroy of South Range in northwestern Wisconsin was trying to retrieve some clothes from his office in the Capitol Thursday night.
    Video from shows police officers pulling him away from a revolving door and tackling him to the ground before he is able to show his ID.
    A judge ruled Thursday that no one can stay at the Capitol overnight to protest Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate most collective bargaining rights for public workers.
    Milroy was one of four Democratic Assembly members who moved their desks outside the Capitol Tuesday after public access was restricted.
    A flurry of threats and confrontations brings the showdown over the state's anti-union bill to a fever pitch.  

      Fascists and repugicans - same thing


      Nazi's and repugicans - same thing

      Non Sequitur


      Judge won't accept man's guilty plea

      A California man facing attempted murder charges for allegedly speeding 35 miles with his wife clinging to a windshield wiper blade on his minivan says he's guilty, but a judge is refusing to accept the plea.

      Bad Cops


      Fired Oklahoma cop is charged with intimidation of a witness, offering false evidence, and falsely reporting a crime

      Dallas police officer fired, arrested for allegedly beating motorist

      Indiana deputy convicted of domestic violence, weapons charges gets 19 days in jail

      Cops caught on tape discussing on how much property they can take from a house due to tiny amount of marijuana found

      Former Florida deputy faces more charges

      Another black eye for Chicago Police

      Dumb Crooks

      And the Einstein Award goes to ...
      Thief arrested after asking undercover cop for ride
      It just might have been the easiest arrest ever for Salem police. On Thursday, a man who allegedly stole a car about 30 minutes previously and then ditched the car, walked up to a police officer in an undercover car and asked for a ride.

      DUI suspect drinks beer during arrest

      From the "Folks, It looks like we have a winner" Department:
      Police in northern Ohio say a man who was asked during a traffic stop whether he'd been drinking took a swig from an open can of beer and told the officer, "Yes." According to Cleveland's WJW-TV, the Elyria police report says 25-year-old Stephen Supers was pulled over early Wednesday because the officer had observed him speeding.

      Culinary DeLites

      Think of your waiter as a salesperson, and pass up any extras he suggests.

      Adios, 'Other White Meat'

      An iconic slogan is replaced as the pork industry tries to build an "emotional connection" with its meat.

      US food, farm exports could have record year

      Federal officials are expecting a record year of agriculture exports.

      Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says farm and food products are expected to reach a record $135.5 billion in fiscal year 2011.

      Cotton Prices on the Rise

      With an increase in cotton prices, more farmers may plant the crop this season. Experts say the price of cotton is at a 25-year high and the push is on to encourage farmers to consider planting this cash crop in their fields.

      Queen plans historic Irish visit

      The Queen is to pay a state visit to Ireland - the first official tour of the republic by a British monarch.

      Japan rattled by exam cheat case

      Japanese police arrested a teenager accused of cheating on his university entrance examination by consulting online forums with his mobile phone, prompting outrage Friday in this gadget-loving country that prizes hard work and fairness.

      Where to go for car repairs

      If you plan to go to an independent mechanic, check for the blue seal of excellence. 



      A Roman bridge in Iraq

      "Roman bridge, Eski Mosul, with policeman on the right. Cat. Stein LHAS Photo 23/1 (38).  
      Photo by the Hungarian-British archaeologist Aurel Stein reconstructing the route of Alexander the Great in Persia, 1930s.
      First publication: the Aurel Stein site of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences prepared by us, April 2008."

      From the ever-interesting Poemas del rio Wang, which has a second photo (?of the same bridge).  One is to presume there was some sort of ramp structure or additional arches, and that the working bridge would have looked something like this one:
      One would also assume that the waterway was more formidable in Roman times (or, perhaps more likely, that the flow is seasonal).

      Chairman Mao's Underground City

      In 1969, Chairman Mao commanded the construction of a second Beijing beneath the surface of the original city, designed to accommodate all six million of its then inhabitants so that if nuclear war did kick off, folk would still have somewhere to hang out and play Mah Jong while the rest of us burnt to death in a shower of atomic rain. War never came, but the city is still there.

      To be fair to the Chairman, by that time he was lost in the midst of those closing dark days of China’s brutal cultural revolution; the onset of motor neurone disease had shifted his ongoing descent into madness up to warp speed. No one really knows how much of the subterranean nuclear metropolis was actually completed, or just how far the network of underground tunnels and caverns was due to be extended, though it’s generally believed they connected up with all of Beijing’s main hubs and governmental locations, including Tiananmen Square, Beijing’s Central Station, and the Western Hills. Having never been fully operational, it is largely forgotten and neglected these days. In fact, most Beijingers aren’t even aware it exists.

      In The Valley Of Mud Volcanoes

      This post is all full of mud as we’ll explore the valley of mud volcanoes in the Crimea. 

      Shackleton's Antarctica in Color

      Now you’re not only able to check out Scott and Shackleton’s Abandon Antarctic Huts, you can also see photos from the actual expedition – in color.
      These are Frank Hurley’s famous early colour photographs of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated ‘Endurance’ voyage, as part of the British Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917. Hurley was the official photographer on the expedition.

      Night over Australia

      Phil Hart captured this amazing long-exposure shot of the movement of stars over and bioluminescent algae in Gippsland Lakes, Australia:
      The photography was highly addictive and I spent many late nights waiting for the moon to set, capturing as many images as I could, trying different lenses and exposures. I spent one memorable evening trying to photograph the luminescence in gentle waves lapping at Cooinda’s front beach. I kept bringing the camera closer to the water to get the best result. Eventually I threw caution to the wind and stuck the tripod down where the waves washed over the legs.

      The truth behind 1967 UFO prank

      A 1967 incident was investigated as a serious threat, newly released files reveal.  

      NASA's pricey failure

      A rocket carrying a $424 million satellite appears to have crashed into the ocean. 

      Echoes of the Big Bang Revealed

      This all-sky image of the cosmic microwave background, created by the European Space Agency's Planck satellite, shows echoes of the Big Bang left over from the dawn of the universe.

      Extreme Super (Full) Moon to Cause Chaos?

      Coming up later this month the moon will make its closest approach to Earth in 18 years.
      A new or full moon at 90% or greater of its closest perigee to Earth has been named a "SuperMoon" by astrologer Richard Nolle.
      This term has been recently picked up by astronomers.
      An extreme "SuperMoon" is when the moon is full or new as well as at its 100% greater mean perigee (closest) distance to earth.
      By this definition, last month's full moon, this month's and next month's will all be extreme "SuperMoons".

      Science News

      Amelia Earhart Clue Found in Clumps

      Clumps found on a remote island where Earhart is thought to have lived as a castaway may be human feces.  

      Enzyme Brings Back Old Memories

      Increased levels of a naturally occurring enzyme could supercharge long-term memory.  

      Antarctica Growing From The Bottom Up
      Researchers have discovered that the Antarctic ice sheets grows not only from the top down, but also from the bottom up as water infiltrates the ice matrix and freezes solid.

      Early man was 'ancient mariner'

      Studies of artifacts on islands off California exhibit differing hunting technologies and foods compared to inland cultures, researchers say.

      Enter the Anthropocene

      The 'Age of Man'
      The official name for the geological epoch we are in now is the Holocene. But there is a movement among those who study such things to refer to the current stage of geologic time as the Anthropocene epoch, a term coined by Dutch chemist Paul Crutzen, which means “age of man.” This would seem obvious to historians, but in the context of global geology, does the presence of man make that much difference?
      Way back in the 1870s, an Italian geologist named Antonio Stoppani proposed that people had introduced a new era, which he labeled the anthropozoic. Stoppani’s proposal was ignored; other scientists found it unscientific. The Anthropocene, by contrast, struck a chord. Human impacts on the world have become a lot more obvious since Stoppani’s day, in part because the size of the population has roughly quadrupled, to nearly seven billion. “The pattern of human population growth in the twentieth century was more bacterial than primate,” biologist E. O. Wilson has written. Wilson calculates that human biomass is already a hundred times larger than that of any other large animal species that has ever walked the Earth.
      In 2002, when Crutzen wrote up the Anthropocene idea in the journal Nature, the concept was immediately picked up by researchers working in a wide range of disciplines. Soon it began to appear regularly in the scientific press. “Global Analysis of River Systems: From Earth System Controls to Anthropocene Syndromes” ran the title of one 2003 paper. “Soils and Sediments in the Anthropocene” was the headline of another, published in 2004.
      More and more, geologists are coming around to the idea that humankind has such an effect on the earth that we are, indeed, living in the Anthropocene epoch. Read the entire story at  National Geographic in a feature article that is part of the year-long 7 Billion project.



      What a long strange trip it's been


      What Wiped Out The Ice Age Giants?


      In the past two centuries, many images of huge creatures have surfaced in various caves around the world. Recently, in northern Colorado, researchers dug up the bones of a giant Ice Age mammoth. Also, in Utah, another piece of rock art was discovered that depicts a giant mammoth.

      All around the world, frozen carcasses and other remains of oversized animals such as bison, musk oxen, elk, saiga antelope and even woolly rhinos and mammoths have been excavated by researchers, which indicates that giant animals were in existence around 8000 BC.

      So, what wiped out these Ice Age giants?

      Prehistoric giant hyena's bone-cracking habit

      Giant hyenas scavenging (artist's impression)
      Giant hyenas were true scavengers

      Scientists have established how the largest bone-cracking carnivore to have ever lived went about its business.
      The giant hyena, Pachycrocuta brevirostris, roamed Africa more than 2.5 million years ago.
      Using new evidence uncovered from recently unearthed fossils, and a biomechanical analysis of the hyena's jaws, scientists have worked out what it ate and how.

      Animal News

      Dolphin, Manatee Deaths Baffle Scientists
      These animals have been dying at near-record levels, raising the alarm and a whole host of questions.  
      'Euthanized' Dog Rises from the Dead
      A dog that an Oklahoma shelter "euthanized" and confirmed to be dead was recently found alive and well.  
      North America's Lake Monsters
      A recent supposed photo of a British lake monster is intriguing, but North America allegedly has plenty of the aquatic beasts.  

      Mystery solved

      Why the chicken crossed the road
      And that my friends, is why the chicken crossed the road.

      Super-Elusive Leopard Filmed for the First Time Ever

      leopard caught on film photo  
      Photo: YouTube
      Just a few weeks back, researchers working in Indonesia identified a remarkable new species of cat -- the stunning Sundaland clouded leopard. But now, for the first time ever, the elusive animal has been caught on film -- a rare peek at one of the most beautiful and ghostlike creatures on the planet.

      New Zombie-Ant Fungi Found

      The world just got a little weirder: Scientists have identified four new species of brain-controlling fungi that turn ants into zombies that do the parasite's bidding before it kills them.

      New 'Jaguar' Catfish Found in Amazon

      In a previously unexplored area of the Amazon rain forest, scientists have discovered a new species of catfish swimming in a tributary to the great Amazon River.

      Thinking of having a monkey as a pet?

      This month at National Geographic's Flashback Gallery are various exotic pets and working animals.

      Look at this idyllic scene from 1942:

      (images credit: National Geographic)

      Bottom left: Dorothy Lamour with a performing chimpanzee on the set of "The Jungle Princess".

      Bottom right: "Mrs. E. Kenneth Hoyt, of Habana, Cuba, acquired the gorilla in 1932 when he was three months old. Mr. Hoyt had just shot Toto's father in the French Congo. African villagers, without the knowledge of the Hoyts, then killed the mother. Mrs. Hoyt, unwilling to see the baby die, procured an African nurse for the gorilla and he thrived on human milk."

      Bemused cows look on as seal swims 50 miles inland to say hello

      They probably don't get many visitors. So these cows were no doubt a little curious when a stranger appeared in their field. Unfortunately, it seems, the seal didn't share their desire for a quick tete-a-tete. The visitor did its best to frighten them off before disappearing back into the water.

      Photo from SWNS.

      But the cows couldn't resist one last look at the stranger who had disrupted their peace and quiet. The seal had traveled 50 miles upriver before flipping itself up onto the bank of a tiny brook off the Great Ouse. However, when the herd went to investigate the intruder it lunged towards them, frightening them away, before sliding back into the river.

      The encounter in a field in Holywell, Cambridgeshire, was caught on camera by retired engineer Doug Scott, who lives nearby. Keen wildlife photographer Mr Scott, 72, said: 'When I looked out of the window I saw the seal just staring at the cows.

      Photo from SWNS.

      'At one point it lunged towards them and frightened them off a bit. But then it just kept swimming around before swimming off along the brook towards the main river. It was curious about the cows and curious about me, but it stayed and let me take pictures of it. It must have traveled at least 50 or 60 miles to get to my garden. I haven't seen it since Sunday, so it must have swam back.'

      Animal Pictures

      Albino Hedgehog