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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.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Just because someone is out of sight doesn't mean they're out of mind.
A former coworker may reappear on the scene now, and they offer a missing link between you and several opportunities -- including greater wealth and a hotter romance.
Keep an eagle eye out for unfamiliar phone numbers or email addresses, because everything isn't as you assume it to be.
Sometimes relationships or other types of connections are circular -- and they come back around to make things complete.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Stoke On Trent, England, United Kingdom
London, England, United Kingdom
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Jeddah, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

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 Des Monies, San Ramon, Flower Mound, Silver Spring and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, March 12, the 71st day of 2011.
There are 294 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Genealogy Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Washington, DC

March is Women’s History Month, a time not only to celebrate the progress that women have made, but also the women throughout our history who have made that progress possible.

One inspiring American who comes to mind is Eleanor Roosevelt.  In 1961, the former First Lady was unhappy about the lack of women in government, so she marched up to President Kennedy and handed him a three-page list of women who were qualified for top posts in his administration.  This led the President to select Mrs. Roosevelt as the head of a new commission to look at the status of women in America, and the unfairness they routinely faced in their lives.

Though she passed away before the commission could finish its work, the report they released spurred action across the country.  It helped galvanize a movement led by women that would help make our society a more equal place.

It’s been almost fifty years since the Roosevelt commission published its findings – and there have been few similar efforts by the government in the decades that followed. That’s why, last week, here at the White House, we released a new comprehensive report on the status of women in the spirit on the one that was released half a century ago.

There was a lot of positive news about the strides we’ve made, even in recent years.  For example, women have caught up with men in seeking higher education.  In fact, women today are more likely than men to attend and graduate from college.

Yet, there are also reminders of how much work remains to be done.  Women are still more likely to live in poverty in this country.  In education, there are areas like math and engineering where women are vastly outnumbered by their male counterparts.  This is especially troubling, for we know that to compete with nations around the world, these are the fields in which we need to harness the talents of all our people. That’s how we’ll win the future.

And, today, women still earn on average only about 75 cents for every dollar a man earns.  That’s a huge discrepancy.  And at a time when folks across this country are struggling to make ends meet – and many families are just trying to get by on one paycheck after a job loss – it’s a reminder that achieving equal pay for equal work isn’t just a women’s issue.  It’s a family issue.

In one of my first acts as President, I signed a law so that women who’ve been discriminated against in their salaries could have their day in court to make it right.  But there are steps we should take to prevent that from happening in the first place.  That’s why I was so disappointed when an important bill to give women more power to stop pay disparities – the Paycheck Fairness Act – was blocked by just two votes in the Senate.  And that’s why I’m going to keep up the fight to pass the reforms in that bill.

Achieving equality and opportunity for women isn’t just important to me as President.  It’s something I care about deeply as the father of two daughters who wants to see his girls grow up in a world where there are no limits to what they can achieve.

As I’ve traveled across the country, visiting schools and meeting young people, I’ve seen so many girls passionate about science and other subjects that were traditionally not as open to them.  We even held a science fair at the White House, where I met a young woman named Amy Chyao. She was only 16 years old, but she was actually working on a treatment for cancer.  She never thought, “Science isn’t for me.”  She never thought, “Girls can’t do that.”  She was just interested in solving a problem.  And because someone was interested in giving her a chance, she has the potential to improve lives.

That tells me how far we’ve come.  But it also tells me we have to work even harder to close the gaps that still exist, and to uphold that simple American ideal: we are all equal and deserving of the chance to pursue our own version of happiness.  That’s what Eleanor Roosevelt was striving toward half a century ago.  That’s why this report matters today.  And that’s why, on behalf of all our daughters and our sons, we’ve got to keep making progress in the years ahead.

Thanks for listening.

Video captures tsunami's impact

Torrents of water carry boats and cars away in northeastern Japan.

Surreal scenes from Japan

Stunning images show the destructive power of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan.  

Fears rise over nuclear plant

As the death toll climbs from the quake and tsunami, Japan addresses another crisis.  

Nuclear threat follows quake

A second reactor malfunctions just hours after an explosion stoked fears of meltdown.  

Japan's building codes saved lives

If you listened to repugicans, you would think any kind of regulation or oversight was a terrible thing.
They're wrong.
In the case of Japan, the strict codes helped save lives.

NY Times:
Hidden inside the skeletons of high-rise towers, extra steel bracing, giant rubber pads and embedded hydraulic shock absorbers make modern Japanese buildings among the sturdiest in the world during a major earthquake. And all along the Japanese coast, tsunami warning signs, towering seawalls and well-marked escape routes offer some protection from walls of water.

These precautions, along with earthquake and tsunami drills that are routine for every Japanese citizen, show why Japan is the best-prepared country in the world for the twin disasters of earthquake and tsunami — practices that undoubtedly saved lives, though the final death toll is unknown.

In Japan, where earthquakes are far more common than they are in the United States, the building codes have long been much more stringent on specific matters like how much a building may sway during a quake.

Tsunami swamps Hawaii beaches, brushes West Coast

Tsunami waves swamped Hawaii beaches and severely damaged harbors in California after devastating Japan and sparking evacuations throughout the Pacific.

Morning workout tips

Instead of hitting snooze, turn on a bedside lamp to help you wake up and get moving.  

Wizard of Id


In The News

In the news logoMel Gibson gets a plea deal in his criminal abuse case. Am I the only one who thinks he should send Charlie Sheen a ‘thank you’ card?

Donald Trump says he is serious about a run for President in 2012. You know it’s going to be a tough campaign when the candidate first has to convince everyone the whole thing isn’t a joke.

Suri, the daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, is almost 5 and still uses a pacifier…because that’s what aliens do.

Libyan dictator Muammar Gadaffi says the West is hatching a plot to humiliate the Libyan people, reduce them to slavery and control the oil. He says he thought of it first.

Tom Green is going to Afghanistan to entertain our troops. I don’t think it’s a good thing when the choice of entertainment actually makes sniper fire look attractive.

Coffee prices are soaring as the climate in South America is warming and hurting crops. Which means that Starbucks might not be ridiculously overpriced, they were just ahead of their time.

Comedian Gallagher is now in the hospital after collapsing on stage, clutching his heart, during his sledge-o-matic routine. Audiences & fans are wishing him well…and happy he finally added new material to his performance.

A California couple is being accused of stealing $130 Million from several banks, including Bank of America. Apparently they felt that any bank that was dumb enough to buy Countrywide Mortgage would fall for anything.

Hugh Hefner’s fiancĂ© is releasing a song and Phil Collins has official retired from music due to health problems. Talk about a punch in both balls for music lovers.

A voice coach says that 28 Million Americans experience voice problems daily. Now if we could just figure out how to quiet down the other 272 Million Americans we would be getting somewhere.

The “Real Housewives of Orange County” say Charlie Sheen needs help. That’s like Lindsay Lohan speaking out against burglars.

Former Yankee catcher Yogi Berra was treated and released after a clubhouse fall. The 85 year old Hall of Famer worried people after the accident when he started talking and actually made sense.

Lindsay Lohan is afraid her dad will embarrass the family when he shows up on TV in the latest season of Celebrity Rehab.

Researchers conducting a shark census off the California Coast have found just 219 Great White sharks. There may actually have been more, but census workers just seemed to keep disappearing.

Giffords walks, talks, grins at her own success

She can talk, even saying short sentences.
With some help, she can walk.
Her awareness has grown to the point that she knows she was shot.



Painted Trees In The Mountains Of Colorado

American artist Curtis Killorn paints dead trees in all the colours of the rainbow. He turns them into spectacular public art pieces which stand out vividly against their natural backgrounds.

Frank and Ernest


Man caused $250,000 damage over $80 debt

For 12 years, Ron Morphis painstakingly built a life on a farm in Yoder in eastern El Paso County, restoring antique vehicles, finishing an addition to his home and putting up a garage. In one hour, his neighbor destroyed it all over a debt of $80, Morphis' sister said. Jack Herbst, 63, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of felony criminal mischief and booked into the El Paso County Jail on $10,000 bond, accused of going on a rampage through Morphis' property with a front-end loader. Morphis' sister, Loranne McLaughlin, said the front-end loader carved a path of destruction at 36630 Bellemont Road that caused $250,000 worth of damage.

The brick garage Morphis built was destroyed. The two-bedroom addition to his home was destroyed. Six vehicles, including a restored 1956 Willys Jeep and 1949 Chevy pickup owned by his father were overturned. Two campers and a trailer were damaged. A propane tank and farm equipment were destroyed. Electrical and phone lines were ripped out. Lastly, more than a dozen mature elm trees were ripped out of the ground with a chain attached to the front-end loader. All of it allegedly done by a neighbor, a man Morphis considered a friend whom he had helped out in the past. "Herbst lives on the property next to him," McLaughlin said. "Jack and my brother hayed together, they mowed together. When he lost part of his hand in an accident, my brother helped him out."

The two never had a falling out, she said, which made this week's events even harder to understand. Morphis, who works as a driver escorting tractor-trailer trucks carrying oversize loads, had agreed to buy a trailer from Herbst for $400, his sister said. Morphis paid Herbst $320 and was planning to pay him the rest when he got paid on Friday, she said. On Monday or Tuesday, though, Herbst left a voice mail on Morphis' phone saying "I want my $80 or I'm going to flatten everything" Ronnie owns, McLaughlin said. When Morphis returned home from work on Wednesday he found his property in ruins. When sheriff's deputies first questioned Herbst, he denied having anything to do with it, McLaughlin said deputies told her and her brother.

Herbst, whom the sheriff said is a hired hand at a neighboring property, later confessed, according to McLaughlin. Deputies said they found front-end loader tire tracks leading from Morphis’ property to Herbst’s employer’s property. "Jack told the deputies 'I would have flattened the house but I didn't want to hurt the dogs inside,'" she said. "He told them 'The government is after me, the creditors are after me and Ron owed me money. I got even.'" McLaughlin said her brother only had insurance on the structures and doesn't have the money to cover the damage to the rest of the property.

Texas farmers say drug war making job dangerous

As Texas farmhands prepared this winter to burn stalks of sugarcane for harvest along the Rio Grande, four masked men on ATVs suddenly surrounded the crew members and ordered them to leave.

Dueling Realities

Academia vs. Business

Random Celebrity Photo

Care to guess who?

Breaking the protein rules

Breaking the protein rules
If dogma dictates that proteins need a structure to function, then why do so many of them live in a state of disorder?
Perhaps disordered proteins are more versatile. Disordered segments, like on tumour supressor p53 (pictured), can help the protein bind to hundreds of partners.

Global warming 'destroying relics'

Climate change is damaging archaeological treasures which have been frozen for thousands of years, scientists have warned.



Upping the cute factor


The Top 10 Dinosaurs That Aren't What They Were

Dinosaurs are not what they used to be. As new studies and discoveries are made, dinosaurs are becoming so much different from the way we always imagined them that, today, many of us have trouble recognizing even our childhood favorites.

Here are ten classic dinosaurs that have changed radically due to new paleontological discoveries. And they may still change a lot in the future! Dinosaur before and after shots.

Animal Pictures