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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.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Today will be full of signs and affirmations that you are on the right path -- despite what other people may say.
Even if you feel unsure about the next steps, it's all part of the process.
Doubting yourself is absolutely normal, and it has given you the healthy skepticism to recognize a solid thing when you see it.
And don't be too rough on people who are putting pressure on you; they care about you and want your success -- they just haven't figured out how to show it yet.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Olsatyn, Warminsko-Mazourskie, Poland
Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France
Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom
Bangkok, Krung Thep, Thailand
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
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 Cheraw, Cherokee, Charlotte, Charleston and more.

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, March 16, the 75th day of 2011.
There are 290 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Lips Appreciation Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Stunned Libyans losing hope

Gadhafi's blistering military response to the revolt has crushed the hopes of many people.  

Mideast optimism waning

Provocative military moves by three close American allies reduce hope for an "Arab spring."  

    Non Sequitur


    Mother sues preschool for damaging daughter's Ivy League chances

    A Manhattan mom is suing a $19,000-a-year preschool, claiming it jeopardized her daughter's chances of getting into an elite private school because she had to slum with younger kids.

    Nicole Imprescia yanked 4-year-old Lucia from the York Avenue Preschool last fall, angry the tyke was stuck learning about shapes and colors with tots half her age - when she should have been prepping for a standardized test.

    "This is about a theft where a business advertises as one thing and is actually another," said Mathew Paulose, a lawyer for the mom.

    Poor kid, she hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell of ending up normal.

    Random Celebrity Photo

    Care to guess who these celebrities are?

    Don't mess with Mother Nature

    Elemental violence
    Lightning display at the formation of Surtsey of the coast of Iceland:

    See more incredible lightnings at the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland here.

    Repugicans vote to deny the existence of Climate Change

    And just when you thought their ignorance could not be any more profound ...

    The repugicans are in the process of attempting to pass legislation that would overrule the EPA's finding that greenhouse gases pose a threat to human health. Its aim is to protect corporate interests by preventing the EPA from cracking down on the nation's largest emitters of carbon dioxide. Today, the Democratic minority offered a straightforward amendment: one that simply stated the basics of climate change, that the global temperatures are rising, and human beings are likely to be the main cause. Repugicans voted unanimously to deny the amendment. Essentially, the repugican leadership in the House Energy Committee has just voted to explicitly deny the existence of climate change.

    Meanwhile in Wisconsin

    Chris Bowers points out that the Wisconsin voters are halfway to collecting the signatures required to hold recall elections.

    You can help by donating to the Wisconsin Democratic Party here.

    Wisconsin repugican threats

    Wisconsin repugicans pull back threat to hold the fab 14 in contempt.

    Just like all bullies they are hypocrites and cowards all it takes it standing up to them ...

    And with the entire state of Wisconsin, not to mention the rest of the nation and the world, holding them in contempt you can say they've been stood up to.

    Repugican hypocrisy

    OK, so is there anything new here?

    Can you say conflict of interest?
    Florida governor Rick Scott divests himself of interest in health clinic chain - by giving it to his wife

    Maine governor calls for shared sacrifices but is exempt from pension cuts he's calling for.

    The House repugicans are already fighting amongst themselves

    Yes, the in-fighting has begun among the House rpugicans. And, some of them are already running to Politico to air their dirty laundry.

    Have at it, repugicans:
    Many of the critics are close to Speaker John Boehner (reptile-Ohio), who struggles more each day to keep his majority unified as a three-month spending showdown threatens to spill into April. The House passed $6 billion of spending cuts Tuesday, to bring the total cut to $10 billion.

    “Yep, it is surprising,” Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson said of the difficulty convincing hard-liners that the leadership is cutting large amounts of spending. “I mean, this is three weeks; we’re cutting $6 billion. You know? It is surprising. This is the only time in my life where I can cut $6 billion in a three-week period and be called a liberal.”

    Ohio Rep. Steve LaTourette, an appropriator close to Boehner, said repugicans are seeing a “constant tension” between “the Democratic Party that talks about cuts but doesn’t want to cut anything, and then you have my side, that wants to cut anything that moves.

    “That creates this dynamic tension, and you have people in my party that are angry that we are not adding riders, or shutting down the government, things like that, but this is exactly what people expect us to do — find cuts and continue to talk,” LaTourette said.

    Other repugicans are quietly complaining that a few bombastic members of their conference who regularly appear on TV create an outsize perception of pressure.
    There are a lot of bombastic members of the repugican conference, but that Michele Bachmann (MN) sure gets a lot of air time, as does Steve King (IA). I'd rate them as beyond bombastic and further beyond - all the way to lunatic. 
    Aww, is there anything cuter that idiots and morons fighting between themselves to show who's stupider.

    Independents abandoning repugicans on economy

    The repugicans slithered into the Capitol promising to deliver on jobs. Not so much. So far, they've gone after the health care bill, cut funding for the IRS, PBS and Planned Parenthood -- and decided to spend millions to defend DOMA. Jobs and fixing the economy get a lot of lip service, but no action. And, people are noticing:
    In a new ABC News/Washington Post poll out today, just 43 percent of Americans approve of the way President Obama is handling the economy, though more Americans say they trust Obama (46 percent) on the issue than repugicans in Congress (34 percent). http://abcn.ws/gpFL1H

    What's more, by a 9-point margin Americans now see Obama as better able to handle the deficit than repugicans in Congress. That represents an 11-point drop for repugicans since December -- a period when repugicans have made cutting federal spending a centerpiece of their agenda.

    And here’s another interesting fact, according to ABC polling analyst Gary Langer: “The drop in trust to handle the economy has occurred chiefly among independents, now drawing away from repugicans after stupidly voting their side. As recently as January, 42 percent of independents preferred the repugicans in Congress over Obama to handle the economy. Today just 29 percent say the same, and there's been a rise in the number who volunteer that they don't trust either side.”
    The much sought after Independents are bailing on the repugicans.

    What do the numbers mean?

    Here's ABC's take:
    BOTTOM LINE: Voters want results, not rhetoric. And, they don't see that either side is delivering. Moreover, Americans, unlike many in Washington, aren't dogmatic about their approach to solving our fiscal woes. When asked best way to fix deficit, just 31 percent said “cutting federal spending,” just 3 percent picked “raise taxes” while a whopping 64 percent picked a “combination of both.” The basic message: neither side has a winning hand. So, trying to win this fight on “voter mandate” is a sure loser.
    All the repugicans have is rhetoric. But, Americans aren't sold on the Democratic response. People in DC get very caught up in the process, but, in the real world, people want results. Not seeing so much so far.

    On The Job

    One metro area lost 17,000 jobs last year and may face rough times until 2013.  

    Fund retirement without a 401(k)

    You can set up your own automatic savings program to sock away money in an IRA.  

    Japan crises spark U.S. fears

    Experts say Japan's financial woes — not its nuclear stability — may be of more concern to Americans.  

      Do anti-radiation pills work?

      Potassium iodide works by shielding the thyroid gland from absorbing radioactive iodine. 

        A $10 pregnancy drug now $1500 a shot after FDA grants exclusive license

        Best medical care in the world.
        Many doctors are particularly frustrated with the price hike because to date, KV Pharmaceuticals has not had to bear the cost of the clinical trials used to get the drug approved, but they have announced plans to conduct further trials in the future.

        "All the upfront development of the drug was done by the National Institute of Health. You and I paid for that with our tax dollars, it's not like this pharmaceutical company is trying to recoup its investments in research and development, as is usually the reason for the price of new drugs," says Dr. Kevin Ault, associate professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine.

        "And at $1,500 a shot ... to put it in perspective: If I were your obstetrician, and you had a normal delivery, including about eight office visits, I would be paid $2,500 in total for that. It's hard for me to believe that we're going to tack on 10 times that amount just for one treatment," he says.

        For some primary care, try your neighborhood pharmacist

        The average adult fills about a dozen prescriptions and refills every year; after age 65, they fill more than 30 prescriptions annually.

        Balls All Over

        A shopping center in Perth, Australia was flooded with small red balls when a contest went awry. An Alfa Romeo was filled with balls for a “guess how many” contest at St. John’s Shopping Centre to benefit Comic Relief. However, the contest organizers failed to ensure that all the car doors were locked. A child, thought to be about three years old, opened the passenger door and released hundreds of balls.
        Crowds gathered and cheered the farcical scene as several of the centre’s security team battled to gather up the balls, while many young children were seen making off with a few.
        Siobhan McConnell, the shopping centre manager, said: “This was a bit more comic relief than we had originally planned.
        Most of the balls were eventually retrieved, and the contest will resume this Friday.

        In The News

        1. A man who was convicted of beating his stepfather to death with a hammer has been sentenced to 32 years and 7 months in prison.

        2. The driver accused of striking two pedestrians in Dinkytown last year, killing one of them, has pleaded guilty to all criminal counts against him.
        3. An Oklahoma man will spend life in prison for killing his former girlfriend by stabbing her more than 100 times in Minnesota.

        I think we're going to need more cake

        A 17-year-old boy who posted an open invitation to the girl's 16th birthday party has been arrested.

        Odds and Sods

        Makkah is a holy city, but it's also a city in transition, and Raja Alem has given a literary nod to this concept in her novel "The Dove's Necklace," which has just won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, also known as the "Arabic Booker." The prize was announced on Monday.

        A Vermont neighborhood is being stalked by a renegade gray squirrel. Several people in Bennington say they've been attacked by a squirrel over the last few weeks.

        Helpful Hints

        Four effective products help get out even stubborn spots and splotches. 



        Photographer Series

        Edward Sheriff Curtis
        This is a great set of photographs of Native Americans.
        See also Curtis (Edward S.) Collection at the Library of Congress.

        Edward S. Curtis - Nalin an Apache Girl (1907)

        Website Tracks At-Risk Historic Sites

        historic site
        The platform is the first early warning and threat monitoring system for saving endangered sites in developing countries, where financial resources and expertise are limited.  

        Living on the Edge

        Cool Castles Located On Cliffs

        Castles are already pretty impressive, even when they're not perched atop a mountain. But put them at the edge of a cliff, and you've elevated their awe-inspiring beauty to a whole new level. Touting amazing architecture and great historical significance, these eight structures are sure to impress any traveler.



        Tara and Bella

        Here's the follow up a year later ...

        There's a lesson here folks. Are we going to learn it?

        Sit back and relax

        This may take a while.

        Most Expensive Dog Fetches $1.5M

        A Tibetan Mastiff, thought to be one of the world's oldest breeds, has now become the world's most expensive.

        Pet cat 'senses' owner's epilepsy

        A Dorset family's pet cat is believed to have saved the life of her epileptic owner who stopped breathing. Lilly can sense when 19-year-old Nathan Cooper, from Bournemouth, is about to have a seizure and alerts his mother Tracey.

        When Mr Cooper stopped breathing during a particularly bad seizure, Lilly kept licking his mouth until he drew breath. Her early warnings also mean the family can move furniture to prevent Mr Cooper from injuring himself. Mrs Cooper said: "Lilly has a very close bond with Nathan, he didn't believe it when I told him what she was doing.

        "After one fit, he stopped breathing and Lilly started licking his mouth and somehow it kick-started his breathing. When he came round, from when she licked him into breathing, and Lilly was right there, he just couldn't believe it.

        "I never knew a cat could do this. It's made the world of difference to Nathan's life and ours. Being able to get to him early makes a huge difference." Hospital staff have told the family that animals can sometimes detect impending epileptic fits.

        Incredible Swarms Of Fish Form Off Coast Of Acapulco

        The shores of Acapulco's beaches were this weekend teeming with masses of fish packed so tightly they looked like an oil slick from above. Thousands of sardines, anchovies, stripped bass and mackerel surged along the coast of the Mexican resort in an event believed to be linked to the devastating Japanese tsunami.

        Experts couldn't be sure whether it had anything to do with the earthquake in Japan. Geologists from the U.S. Geological Survey said that tsunamis can change local currents, but that it's hard to make a firm connection.

        Animal Pictures