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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.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Spend your morning getting creative and your afternoon getting specific.
For example, in the morning you might think about low-cost, high-impact redecorating ideas for your bedroom.
In the afternoon, you might head to the hardware store or the fabric store or the flea market to start the implementation of your ideas.
By evening, you might even have a whole new bedroom in the making.
Wow, that's a productive Saturday!

Some of our readers today have been in:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar
Brescia, Lomabrdia, Italy
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Hamburg Hamburg, Germany
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Vasteras, Vastermanlands Lan, Sweden

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 Cayce, Plano, Topeka, Baldwin and more.

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, March 15, the 74th day of 2011.
There are 291 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Buzzards Day.
It also happens to be the Ides of March (so all you little Caesars out there - beware)
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

How quake altered planet

The force of Friday's historic temblor has shifted the Earth's axis and moved coastlines up to 13 feet.  

    Cosmic Bubble Theory Of Universe Expansion Ruled Out

    Researchers say they have ruled the cosmic bubble theory, an alternate theory on the nature of dark energy.

    Eye Exam

    A blond went to an eye doctor to have her eyes checked for glasses.

    The doctor directed her to read various letters with the left eye while covering the right eye.

    The blond was so mixed up on which eye was which that the eye doctor, in disgust, took a paper lunch bag with a hole to see through, covered up the appropriate eye and asked her to read the letters. As he did so, he noticed the blond had tears streaming down her face.

    "Look," said the doctor, "there's no need to get emotional about getting glasses."

    "I know," agreed the blond, "But I kind of had my heart set on wire frames."

    Odds and Sods

    Ben Franklin once said a penny saved is a penny earned, but counting 650,000 pennies is just a pain.

    A 13-year-old Ohio boy has launched his own line of scented candles meant for men, with fragrances that include bacon, New York-style pizza, sawdust and the smell of a fresh leather baseball mitt.

    New Government Building Won't Be Named After Harry Baals

    A new government building in Fort Wayne, Ind., may officially be called Citizens Square, but to some not-so-square citizens it will always be the Harry Baals Government Center.
    What outrage! After all his years in civil service as mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Harry Baals is denied the honor of having a government building named after him:
    Harry Baals is the runaway favorite in online voting to name the new building in Fort Wayne, about 120 miles northeast of Indianapolis. But Deputy Mayor Beth Malloy said that probably won’t be enough to put the name of the city’s longest-tenured mayor on the center.
    The issue is pronunciation. The former mayor pronounced his last name "balls." His descendants have since changed it to "bales."
    Supporters said it’s unfair that the former mayor can’t be recognized simply because his name makes some people snicker. But opponents fear that naming the center after Baals would make Fort Wayne the target of late-night television jokes.

    Non Sequitur


    Frank Woodruff Buckles being laid to rest today

    The last American veteran of World War I is being buried today with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

    Frank Woodruff Buckles, who died last month at his home in Charles Town, W.Va., at the age of 110, is scheduled to be interred this afternoon. He is lying in repose at the cemetery's memorial amphitheater before the burial.

    Explosion at Fort Bragg injures 10

    An explosion at Fort Bragg has injured 10 military personnel during an artillery exercise on the Army post in North Carolina.

    The White House


    Myths and Realities associated with Undocumented Immigrants

    The presence of undocumented immigrants in the United States has increasingly led to a passionate and polarizing debate, characterized by worrisome and inaccurate portrayals of immigrants, particularly during the November 2010 midterm elections.

    Lunatic Fringe

    Bachmann tells New Hampshire crowd how proud she is battles of Lexington and Concord took place in New Hampshire, even though they took place in Massachusetts
    It's amazing how much repugican 2012 presidential hopeful and "tea party leader" Michele Bachmann, and Sarah Palin, love a country they seem to know very little about.

    Makes you wonder if they're in love the wrong country.

    Truly, it does.

    Repugicans want to destroy NPR for the same reason dictators murder intellectuals

    IRA Glass on NPR:
    "I feel like public radio should address this directly, because I think anybody who listens to our stations understands that what they're hearing is mainstream media reporting," Glass said. "We have nothing to fear from a discussion of what is the news coverage we're doing. As somebody who works in public radio, it is killing me that people on the right are going around trying to basically rebrand us, saying that it's biased news, it's left wing news, when I feel like anybody who listens to the shows knows that it's not. And we are not fighting back, we are not saying anything back. I find it completely annoying, and I don't understand it."
    Let me explain it.

    NPR is being attacked by repugicans because NPR is objective news. Repugicans know that extremist policy based on lies can't survive for long in a society in which a free media holds public officials of each party equally accountable. Thus, the repugicans have spent the good part of two decades trying to play the media refs, and if that doesn't work, destroy the mainstream media and replace it with their own propaganda org, aka Faux News.

    It's the same reason dictators loathe intellectuals. Intellectuals see, and tell, the truth. The media are the intellectuals to the repugicans' dictatorship of ignorance. And time after time, the repugicans have found that they can't control the media, so they simply destroy it and replace it with something, someone, they can control.

    That's why the repugicans do not like NPR.

    Bad Cops

    Curiously un-named Kansas police officer arrested for allegedly shooting bouncer

    New Jersey police department hit with new excessive force lawsuit

    Michigan cop is charged with extortion, criminal sexual conduct, obstruction of justice by misconduct in office, and criminal sexual conduct

    New York pays $170,000 to settle with nine people who were illegally stopped and frisked by police at city housing projects

    California deputy sheriff arrested on suspicion of selling drugs

    Massachusetts police officer suspended in wake of prostitution sting

    Philadelphia cop fired, charged with assault, terroristic threats

    Delaware police officer facing child porn charges

    South Carolina town sees spate of law enforcement officers in trouble

    Utah sheriff’s captain recently charged with sexually abusing a child is believed to have committed suicide


    An Arizona man has been sentenced to three years of probation for stabbing a man who refused to let him suck his blood.

    Dumb Crooks

    From the "Oh, No He Didn't!" Department:

    A hapless bank robber who abided by a Dallas teller's request to provide two forms of identification before she could give him money is going to prison.

    It's a Blond World

    A blond was shopping at Target and came across a shiny silver Thermos.
    She was quite fascinated by it, so she picked it up and took It to the clerk to ask what it was.
    The clerk said, ‘Why, that’s a Thermos…..  It keeps hot things hot,  and cold things cold.’
    ‘Wow’, said the blond, ‘that’s amazing….I’m going to buy it!’
    So she bought the thermos and took it to work the next day.
    Her boss saw it on her desk. ‘What’s that,’ he asked?
    ‘Why, that’s a Thermos…. It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold,’ she replied.
    Her boss inquired, ‘What do you have in it?’
    The blond replied……’Two popsicles & some coffee.’

    Culinary DeLites

    Even the most basic of breakfast foods (and the one thing almost anyone can make) has gone gourmet. 
    A chicken quesadilla at Outback Steakhouse will cost you 2,140 calories.
    The 2,438-page guide relies on tricks like “reverse spherification” and “cryo frying.”  

      Heart-smart cooking oils

      Heart-smart cooking oils: Which to use for what

      How to live to be 100

      How to live to<br>be 100 Good luck and great genes go a long way in predicting your life span, but there are simple habits that can boost longevity.

      From sleeping in (ahh) to having sex (ooh) to drinking the right kind of tea, here’s how to stick around for a long, long time.

      Why Dutch Women Don't Get Depressed


      A recent report reveals that fewer than 10% of Dutch women work full-time, and they face one of the highest wage gaps in Europe. But the surprise is it's not just mums with young families who work only two or three days a week, it's child-free women in their 20s and 30s, too.

      And, it seems, it makes them incredibly happy. The reason is because the majority work part-time. They earn less and have less. Many live off their partner. But they don't care. They want to relax, read a book, see their friends. And they are horrified by the lack of free time.

      Hospital treats 3-year-old alcoholic

      Hospital authorities say they have treated a 3-year-old child for alcoholism. The Heart of England NHS Trust that runs three hospitals in central England confirmed Tuesday that a child had been treated by medical staff after being given alcohol regularly.

      North Carolina advocates urge $1 per pack cigarette tax rise

      Anti-smoking advocates want to double North Carolina's cigarette tax, but they recognize their wish is unlikely to come true.
      Unfortunately they're correct NC should but won't raise the cigarette tax - too many people lining their pockets with 'tobacco money' for that.

      The unhealthiest energy drinks

      One beverage packs 290 calories and more sugar than three chocolate bars.  

        Health Alert and Vanishing

        Radiation levels soar after a fire breaks out at a crippled nuclear power plant.  
          The coastal town of Saito is one of several obliterated by the monster wave. 

            Four Fires and more than 10K dead in one town alone

            Police think more than 10,000 dead in one Japanese town alone
            The Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operates the country’s crippled nuclear power grid, announced a series of rotating blackouts to conserve electricity — the first controlled power cuts in Japan in 60 years.

            The death toll was certain to climb as searchers began to reach coastal villages that essentially vanished under the first muddy surge of the tsunami, which struck the nation’s northern Pacific coast near the port city of Sendai. In one town alone, the port of Minamisanriku, a senior police official said the number of dead would “certainly be more than 10,000.” That is more than half the town’s population of 17,000.
            4th reactor now on fire at nuke plant in Japan
            UPDATE: From Kyodo News:
            NEWS ADVISORY: Radiation of up to 9 times normal level briefly detected in Kanagawa
            11:37 15 March

            BREAKING NEWS: Radiation 400 times annual legal limit measured near No. 3 reactor
            Top story on the NYT site:

            Holy Shit. Read this earlier  NYT story.- it's a mess, and it's out of control.

            Thousands of Nesting Albatross Swept Away By Tsunami

            albatross nesting site chicks photo
            Though most of the devastation caused by the Sendai Tsunami occurred on the northern Pacific coast of Japan, the shock of the earthquake sent ripples out deep into the ocean. 2,560 miles away, on Midway Atoll, four-foot-high waves washed over an important breeding ground for several species of albatross—including the endangered short-tailed albatross.
            According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, tens of thousands of birds—both adults and chicks—were washed out to sea and have not yet returned to their nests.



            AT&T About to Suck Your Ass Dry on New Internet Charges as of May 2nd

            Looks like AT&T DSL and U-Verse customers need to be more wary of their Internet usage when AT&T’s new service terms are implemented.

            Beginning May 2nd, AT&T will implement a new 150GB monthly usage cap for their DSL customers and a 250GB monthly usage cap for their U-verse users. Those exceeding the caps consistently will incur overage charges: $10 fee for every additional 50GB consumed beyond the associated cap.

            While these new terms are said to only affect 2% of AT&T DSL customers, AT&T will be making the effort to send out notifications regularly when customers start nearing the newly established caps. Customers can also monitor their usage and usage history via various online tools provided by AT&T.

            "Using a notification structure similar to our new wireless data plans, we'll proactively notify customers when they exceed 65%, 90% and 100% of the monthly usage allowance," stated AT&T to Broadband Reports.

            "We are committed to providing a great experience for all of our Internet customers," AT&T continues. "We will communicate early and often with these customers so they are well aware of their options before they incur any additional usage charges. Importantly, we are not reducing the speeds, terminating service or limiting available data like some others in the industry."

            Although AT&T maintains that these new changes are mainly to deter bandwidth-hungry users, it remains to be seen how this will impact the usage of services that normally are bandwidth-intensive, such as music/movie/tv streaming, and whether other ISPs will soon follow suit.

            Japan's woes and your money

            Electronics and Japanese cars could get costlier here due to the earthquake and tsunami.

            Panic buying in Japanese stores

            Hysteria drives behavior that adds to misery of the tsunami and nuclear crisis.  

            The Case of the Phantom Bond Vigilante


            Your tax-time checklist

            One of the most common mistakes people make is also one of the easiest to avoid.

            How to raise credit scores

            Some of these steps can raise your rating by 20 points or more in a single month. 

            Is A Million Bucks Enough to Make You Feel Rich?

            A million bucks ain't what it used to be. Heck, it's not even enough to make (rich) people feel rich anymore:
            Some 42 percent of the more than 1,000 millionaires surveyed by Fidelity said they did not feel wealthy.
            Respondents had at least $1 million in investable assets, excluding any real estate or retirement accounts.
            "Every person in the survey is wealthy," said Sanjiv Mirchandani, president of National Financial, a unit of Fidelity. "But they are still worried about outliving their assets."
            So, how much is enough? $7.5 million is the magic number.

            Cheap Real Estate

            For those on a really tight budget: The 8 Cheapest Homes in the U.S.
            Here's what $1.75 gets you in Saginaw, Michigan:
            Sorry, but it's sold.

            Five truly unusual homes

            One is designed to disorient people, another is made entirely of coral and inspired a Billy Idol song.

            Twelve Amazing Houseboats And Floating Homes

            They come in all shapes and sizes, from traditional-looking homes that just happen to be floating on water to ultramodern houseboat concepts that look like they might be able to fly, too.

            Some are high-end, while others are cobbled together from reclaimed planes, trains and automobiles, proving that you don't have to have a large budget to take your home to the high seas - or the lake, bay, river or canal. Here are 12 amazing houseboats and floating homes.

            The Treehugger Project

            The Tree Hugger Project is an art project by Agnieszka Gradzik and Viktor Szostalo.
            The Tree Hugger Project is an ongoing work of Environmental Art designed to help us rediscover our relationship with nature at a very personal and intimate level. Made from twigs, branches, sticks, wines and other natural materials, these playful sculptures remind us that we humans are still very much a part of our natural surroundings.

            Hidden Beauty Of The Ice Cave

            Beautiful pictures from the Kungur Ice Cave 



            Bet you didn't know ...

            Scientists at Bangor University have shown for the first time, that sharks visit shallow tropical reefs or ‘seamounts’, to benefit from  cleaning services and rid themselves of cumbersome parasites.

            The strategy is risky however, since by being there, they become vulnerable to interference from human activity.

            New Dinosaur Species Is Titanic

            A reconstruction of an early giant among horned dinosaurs still carries the label Pentaceratops among the fossils in the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History in Norman, Okla., but may deserve to be considered a new species, Titanoceratops .



            Lemur and Labrador become inseparable following operation

            A poorly lemur taken in by zookeepers after an operation is monkeying around with new best friend – ‘Pie’ the dog. Stumpy the lemur became infatuated with Labrador Collie cross Pie after wildlife sanctuary owners Joy and John Palmer took him into their home before Christmas.

            The pair are now inseparable and lie for hours on end washing and preening each other while fifteen-year-old Stumpy recovers from an operation on his left back leg. Joy, who runs Porfell Wildlife Park and Sanctuary, near Liskeard, Cornwall with John, said: ”They are literally together all the time.

            ”They lie together on the sofa washing and preening and although Stumpy is a wild animal, the pair have got on really well. It’s going to be difficult when Stumpy has to return to his enclosure and I’m sure Pie will be devastated to miss his new best friend.

            (Not Stumpy and Pie, here Ringo the ringtail lemur plays with Great Danes. But a cute video nonetheless.)

            ”Pie just took to Stumpy straight away and has helped care and nurse him back to health.” Stumpy was taken into the Palmer’s home to convalesce after undergoing skingraft surgery on his rear leg and within hours was being ”mothered” by 10-year-old Pie.

            Sperm Whales Might Have Names

            Whale researchers are tentatively suggesting that sperm whales might have names. Certain sounds emitted during their songs may be signatures:
            Rendell and his collaborators, including biologists Hal Whitehead, Shane Gero and Tyler Schulz, have for years studied the click sequences, or codas, used by sperm whales to communicate across miles of deep ocean. In a study published last June in Marine Mammal Sciences, they described a sound-analysis technique that linked recorded codas to individual members of a whale family living in the Caribbean.
            In that study, they focused on a coda made only by Caribbean sperm whales. It appears to signify group membership.[...]
            That individual whales would have means of identifying themselves does, however, make sense. Dolphins have already been shown to have individual, identifying whistles. Like them, sperm whales are highly social animals who maintain complex relationships over long distances, coordinating hunts and cooperating to raise one another’s calves.

            The Vampire Squid from Hell

            This is Vampyroteuthis infernalis, which literally translates to "vampire squid from hell."

            Emperor penguin chick has love heart bib

            He is an emperor penguin chick whose change of plumage into adulthood has blessed him with a white heart-shaped patch on his chest.

            Award-winning photographer and wildlife film-maker Sue Flood said that in the 20 years she has been taking pictures in the Arctic and Antarctic, and on more than 30 trips to the frozen plains, she had never picked up such a penguin phenomenon.

            She said: "It's the only one I have ever come across with a bib of this shape.

            "I took the picture at a time when emperor penguin chicks are gaining their adult plumage and are a mix of grey baby down and 'penguin suit' colours. This one is one in a million and in all my time as a photographer he's the only one I have seen with a bib of this shape. When I saw it, I just couldn't believe it."

            Rare wild animals close-up

            Equipped with motion sensors, "camera traps" bring hard-to-spot species like giant pandas into focus.

              Animal Pictures