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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 18, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You care deeply about the environment.
Right now, you might take that care a step further and get involved in some sort of activity or group that does something concrete to protect the earth.
Whether you recycle bottles or engage in a movement demanding better public transportation, you're using your considerable talents to effect change.
You and your world will be the better off for it.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Stoke On Trent, England, United Kingdom
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
London, England, United Kingdom
Espoo, Southern Finland, Finland
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei and Muara, Brunei Darussalam
Santander, Cantabria, Mexico
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Reutlingen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Roermond, Limburg, Netherlands
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

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 Kearney, Norman, Iowa City, Omaha and more.

Today is:
Today is Friday, March 18, the 77th day of 2011.
There are 288 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Awkward Moments Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Sanity temporarily restored in wisconsin

A Wisconsin judge has temporarily stayed Walker's anti-union law. 
Details here:
A Dane county judge has issued a restraining order on Friday to block publication of the state's collective bargaining law.

Judge Maryann Sumi issued the order to temporarily block the law as Dane county district attorney Ismael Ozanne had requested as part of his lawsuit.

She said the order will stop publication until further order of the court. Sumi said that while the order blocks the law's publication, she said she has no authority to prevent the legislature from voting on the bill again.

The state department of justice asked for a stay of the order, but the judge denied the request.
It's pretty obvious the Wisconsin repugicans defied the open meeting law by holding the vote w/less than 30 minutes warning.
Editor's Note: d-day @ fdlnews points out that this injunction stresses the importance of the Wisconsin supreme court elections next month.

And I Quote

"Wisconsin state Sen. Randy Hopper's (reptile) wife has signed a recall petition against him, saying Hopper doesn't even live in the district as state law requires of lawmakers. Instead, he lives with his 25-year old mistress.”
     ~ Political Wire   

Meanwhile in Wisconsin

The Madison protests

Our whore media:
Hundreds of Democrats protested ...
They're a tad off with their math - don't you think.

Setback for Arizona wingnuts

Lots of disappointed people: Arizona Senate rejects immigration bills.
Arizona Legislature Concluding the measures go too far, state senators on Thursday rejected a package of bills designed to crack down on illegal immigration.
With repugicans joining the minority Democrats, lawmakers refused to approve bills which, taken together, were designed to challenge the notion that someone born in the United States is automatically considered a citizen.
They also voted down measures to:
- require hospitals to make an effort to determine if the people they are treating are in this country legally
- restrict the registration of vehicles to only legal residents;
- make it a state crime for an illegal immigrant to drive in Arizona;
- bar admission into state universities and community colleges of anyone who cannot prove citizenship or legal residency;
- mandate that cities evict all residents of a public housing unit if even one occupant is an illegal immigrant.
Senators also refused to require parents to provide proof of citizenship or other legal presence for any child being enrolled in school. And they killed a related bill to force schools to produce a count of illegal immigrants in Arizona schools.

Non Sequitur


Cease-Fire in Libya

In the wake of a U.N.-authorized no-fly zone, Libya tries to fend off military intervention.
After a fierce attack by Gadhafi's forces, the nation abruptly changes its strategy.

    Don’t Stop Working!

    Slate has some coverage of the Longevity Project, a decades long research project tracking the lives of geniuses. This could just be propaganda to make us happier about the fact that many of us will never be able to retire, but it makes sense. I don’t want to spend my golden years eating TV dinners and watching Jeopardy reruns.
    Retirement is usually seen as the severing of oneself from the work of a lifetime. Friedman, who is 60, dislikes this notion, and from his research he’s come to believe such an attitude is bad both for society and individuals. Of course, for those in miserable work situations, a departure can mean liberation. But most of the Terman males (given the attitudes of the times, far fewer of the women Termites worked) had solid, sometimes even exceptional careers. Interviews done with successful Termites in their 70s, several of them lawyers, showed a striking number continued to work part time.
    For those who contemplate retirement as decades filled with leisure and relaxation, The Longevity Project serves as a warning. As Friedman says, “fun can be overrated” and stress can be unfairly maligned. Many study participants who lived vigorously into old age had highly stressful jobs. Physicist Norris Bradbury, who died at age 88, succeeded J. Robert Oppenheimer as director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, overseeing the transition of the U.S. atomic weapons research lab from World War II into the Cold War.

    Bad Cops


    Fired Georgia deputy is convicted of rape, kidnapping, false imprisonment, aggravated sodomy, aggravated sexual battery and two counts of aggravated assault

    Washington deputy who quit during investigation is arrested for stealing K-9's training drugs

    Louisiana deputy fired, arrested on malfeasance charges

    Fired Connecticut cop gets nine months for reckless endangerment, four counts of fourth-degree computer crime, multiple Class A misdemeanors

    Florida corrections officer faces drug charges

    New Orleans police officer is sentenced to 45 years for kidnapping and attempted rape

    Three D.C. officers arrested in another police undercover sting

    Alabama city pays $500K settlement after SWAT cops shoot man in wrong-address raid

    Bully gets his

    The bully in this is actually the smaller kid and like all bullies he gets whats coming to him.

    The full video of this has been yanked from YouTube every time some one posts it ... their latest reason 'hate speech'.

    The only hate here is the fact the big kid is the victim and the little kid is the bully - that does not fit the stereotype so it has to go.

    Even this edited GIF makes it appear the larger kid is the aggressor - the before and after of this edited portion tell an entirely different story.

    This girl is smarter than Einstein

    This girl is smarter than Einstein
    Her parents say she’s a normal kid (she has to be reminded to do homework!) who likes to do normal things (like crank up the Gaga). But 11-year-old Victoria Cowie is actually the smartest tween in the world. Meet the genius who could give Zuckerberg and Gates a run for their money.

    How to become a Mensa member

    The high IQ society accepts only the world's smartest 2 percent, including Lisa Simpson.  

    The world without us


    Eerie audio of Japan quake

    A recording made deep underground shows the force of the massive temblor.  

    Deadly heatwaves will be more frequent in coming decades

    'Mega-heatwaves' like the one estimated to have killed tens of thousands in western Europe in 2003 will become up to 10 times more likely over the next 40 years, a study suggests Increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are likely to make 'mega-heatwaves' more common and more intense.

    Another Dangerous Spring

    From the "Oh, Joy!" Department:
    The weather service predicts threats of high water from Montana to Maine, Minnesota to Missouri and down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

    Biggest Full Moon in Decades to Appear This Weekend

    full moon
    Moon gazers are in for a treat this weekend when the full moon will appear 14 percent bigger.  

    'Extreme supermoon' coming Saturday, could raise tides
    It's called an "extreme supermoon" and when it rises in the eastern sky on Saturday, it won't just be full, it also will be making its closest approach to Earth in 18 years.

    'Supermoon' Lunacy: Does the Moon Make Us Crazy?

    With the so-called supermoon upon us, as our only satellite makes its largest appearance Saturday (March 19) in more than 18 years, should we expect any lunacy?

    A Throbbing Black Hole in the 'Eye of Sauron'

    In the center of galaxy NGC 4151, a black hole lurks.

    The Incredible Shrunken Mercury

    What's it like on a planet where a year is three months long and the sun is 11 times brighter than on Earth? We're about to find out.

    Sawn Lake

    More proof religion is bunk

    god's Wife Edited Out of the bible - Almost
    God's wife, Asherah, was a powerful fertility goddess, according to a theologian.

    Ten spring cleaning tips

    10 spring cleaning tips

    Things They Won't Tell You

    "If you’re not at Starbucks, don’t order like you are," says one cafe employee.  

      The vainest cities in America

      The vainest cities in America

      Upping the cute factor


      Iowa agriculture industry, lawmakers try to limit secret videos

      From the "What have got to hide then" Department:
      FILE - This file photo provided Sept. 1, 2009, by Mercy for Animals,...
      Angered by repeated releases of secretly filmed videos claiming to show the mistreatment of farm animals, Iowa's agriculture industry is pushing legislation that would make it illegal for animal rights activists to produce and distribute such images.

      Culinary DeLites

      Despite its reputation as convenience store junk, jerky is a smart choice that's lean and savory.

      A Century of Meat Consumption

      The New York Times has created a chart that illustrates changing meat eating habits among Americans over the past century. Chicken, as you can see, is steadily on the rise, whereas lamb (black) eating has dropped to almost nothing. I’ve clipped it from 1955 to the present, so click on the link if you’d like to see the whole thing.
      Since crawfish season is upon us, I’m going to do my best to bump up the shellfish line (blue). We all have to do our part.

      Sumo Wrestler Plans to Become World's Heaviest Marathon Runner

      Kelly Gneiting, a champion sumo wrestler from Arizona, hopes to complete an upcoming marathon in under nine hours. If successful, he’ll be the heaviest marathon competitor ever according to Guinness World Records:
      “I have high self-esteem and believe I can do anything,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “I’m big, but I feel like I have a talent for this.” Mr Gneiting, who is originally from Idaho, is 6ft tall and has a 5ft waist. He is a three-time American sumo champion and has represented the US at the world championships.
      He said that his size made running uncomfortable. “It’s hard on my feet, my thighs and under my armpits,” he said. He plans to wear slick black Lycra leggings to prevent friction.
      The Telegraph (UK) notes that Gneiting weighs 29 stone, which converts to about 184 kilograms. Oh, those Europeans and their odd measurement systems!



      Dear Postal Consumer

      A last-ditch effort by the U.S. Postal Service: New Rule Could Lead To More Junk Mail.
      mailman A new rule from the Postal Service may mean more junk mail in your mailbox.
      Channel 2 Consumer Advisor Clark Howard said the rule could make it harder to block junk mail before it gets to you.
      Letha Pettys gets junk mail nearly every day. "House repairs, and it's just like, your mailbox is more junk than things you actually want to see," Pettys said. According to Pettys, the junk mail usually has her name and address on it.
      But the Postal Service has just relaxed its rules on what's called "simplified addressing." That means direct mail marketers don't have to buy a mailing list, they can blanket an entire delivery route without needing a name or even addresses.
      All the address label needs is "postal customer."
      That means there's no central database consumers can go to to opt out of junk mail.
      This new rule has been in effect since January 2.
      Here's the official press release. They call it saturation mail.

      Money tips from Dr. Seuss

      Financial advice is woven into many of the author's classic children's stories.  

      Major bank tests $5 ATM fee

      For non-customers, one major bank will charge what amounts to a 25% fee to withdraw $20.  

      Hidden costs of big purchases

      Before springing for a house, car, or vacation, learn the mistakes many buyers make.  

        Hottest U.S. housing markets

        Metro areas in the Midwest and Northeast dominate this list of hotspots.

        Seven Water Towers Transformed Into Houses


        One thing all old water towers have in common is that once their original purpose ceases to be important, they quickly turn into eyesores. Yet, on the other hand, their historic and cultural significance prevents them from being torn down.

        A dilemma? Not for creative architects, city planners and communities considering an altogether new purpose, as these seven examples show.

        Mind-bending optical illusions

        Compare this sphere to the one behind it, and you may be surprised by what you see.  

        The Magic Box


        Good News! Scientists Make Progress on Mind Control

        The roundworm caenorhabditis elegans is about 1 mm long when fully grown. Over time, scientists have mapped every cell in its body, including all 302 neurons in the brain and the approximately 5,000 connections between them. The brain is small enough that they’re even able to control the worm’s actions:
        A team at Harvard University has built a computerized system to manipulate worms—making them start and stop, giving them the sensation of being touched, and even prompting them to lay eggs—­by stimulating their neurons individually with laser light, all while the worms are swimming freely in a petri dish. The technology may help neuroscientists for the first time gain a complete understanding of the workings of an animal’s nervous system.
        The researchers control the worm by shooting lasers at it:
        Because the worm’s body is transparent, sharply focused lasers, pointed with an accuracy of 30 microns, could turn on or suppress individual neurons with no need for electrodes or other invasive methods. Leifer placed a microscope on a custom-built stage to track the worm as it swam around in a d­ish. He also wrote software that analyzed the microscope’s images to locate the target neurons, then pointed and fired the lasers accordingly.

        Congo Rejects UK Bid to Drill for Oil in World's Only Remaining Mountain Gorilla Habitat

        Virunga park mountain gorilla photo
        Image: Rachel Cernansky
        This doesn't seem a victory so much as common sense, but these days those aren't mutually exclusive. The Democratic Republic of Congo's Environment Minister Jose Endundo has rejected a bid by UK oil firm Soco International to search for oil in Virunga National Park, part of the region that the world's only remaining and critically endangered mountain gorillas call home.
        Article continues: Congo Rejects UK Bid to Drill for Oil in World's Only Remaining Mountain Gorilla Habitat

        Lake of Molten Lava

        Photo: Olivier Grunewald
        It looks like French photographer Olivier Grunewald has gone to Orodruin, the fabled volcano of Mordor – but the otherworldly lake of molten lava is actually very much on Earth. Boston’s The Big Picture has 28 fascinating photos of Grunewald’s journey to Hell on Earth, AKA the Nyiragongo Crater in Africa:
        In June 2010, a team of scientists and intrepid explorers stepped onto the shore of the lava lake boiling in the depths of Nyiragongo Crater, in the heart of the Great Lakes region of Africa. The team had dreamed of this: walking on the shores of the world’s largest lava lake. Members of the team had been dazzled since childhood by the images of the 1960 documentary "The Devil’s Blast" by Haroun Tazieff, who was the first to reveal to the public the glowing red breakers crashing at the bottom of Nyiragongo crater. Photographer Olivier Grunewald was within a meter of the lake itself, giving us a unique glimpse of it’s molten matter.

        Lake Manitou – A lake on an island in a lake

        Lake Huron’s Manitoulin Island contains a lake of its own, Lake Manitou. Lake Manitou is the world’s largest lake-on-an-island-in-a-lake.
        Lake manitou
        Lake Manitou itself contains two islands; each is thus an island in a lake on an island in a lake.

        California (Sea) Stars Can't Find Love

        Pollution is causing a significant barrier to sea star breeding off the coast of California - more so than the varied marine topography along the rest of the western United States.  

        Tarzan’s Yell

        tarzan yell
        It's an aural palindrome.



        Man set home on fire trying to remove squirrels

        Squirrels running around inside the walls of Robert Hughes’ Richton Park townhome the past few weeks were driving him nuts. So he decided to smoke them out on Tuesday. “It sounded like a whole family of squirrels,” Hughes said. “It was kind of nerve-racking.” But Hughes’ plan backfired. Now, he and his family and a neighbor are out, along with the squirrels. The townhome caught fire after Hughes lit a smoke bomb in a gutter near the hole the squirrels used to access his home. No one was injured, but Hughes’ unit and a neighbor in the building in the 3000 block of Euclid Court were badly damaged.

        Firefighters responded to the blaze at 10 a.m. and had to rip open the roof and drywall in Hughes’ unit and an adjacent one to extinguish the blaze quickly, Richton Park Deputy Fire Chief Rodney Wilson said. Windows from the home were broken, the screens were torn off the frames, and there was rubble inside both residences. Hughes’ unit also had visible fire damage running up the side of the building to the second floor. Battalion Chief Jimmy Ross said Hughes told him he lit a smoke bomb in his gutter and then his house was on fire. “It’s dangerous,” Ross said. “Any kind of bomb is dangerous. A smoke bomb or whatever.”

        Hughes said he was outside when he saw smoke. His wife, Kay Hughes, was inside the townhome with their 2-year-old boy when the fire started and they fled immediately. “God is good and our family is safe. Hallelujah,” Kay Hughes said, adding that they will be staying with family in Richton Park. Ellen Cooke, 77, who lives in the unit next door, said she fled her house with her daughter-in-law when she started “smelling some different fumes.” Her unit didn’t sustain fire damage but was partially damaged in the firefighting effort, and she will be staying at a relative’s house in the area.

        Cooke said the incident left her “frustrated.” “I’ve lived here about 30 years, and there’s a lot of things inside that I cherish, and now I know those are things I can’t get out,” she said. Yet Cooke felt sympathy for Hughes, saying she knows a thing or two about squirrel infestations. “I lived in the city, and I had squirrels in my walls, and it was aggravating getting them out,” she said. “I’m not so much angry as much as I feel sorry for the couple next door because they’re a struggling young couple.”

        Roos can bounce

        Infrared motion cameras show how kangaroos get up to hopping speed without breaking their bones.

        Animal Leaders Improve With Age

        Older elephants and other animals are better at making crucial decisions in times of danger.  
        Well we know one animal who doesn't.

        Animal Pictures