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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.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Early on today you may start to feel limited in where you can go -- either in your chosen career, a new relationship or in terms of travel.
Whatever is restricting you may be disguised as positive thing (and, therefore, harder to identify).
Sometimes the excessive or luxurious aspects of our lives do more to hold us back than move us forward.
So take a look at where your energy or money is going -- is it really worth it?
The time is coming when you need to trim the fat.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Linz, Oberosterreich, Austria
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile
Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Perth, Western, Australia, Australia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
London, England, United Kingdom
Reutlingen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Madrid, Madrid, 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 New Iberia, Chattanooga, Auburn Hills, Osceola and more.

Today is:
Today is Monday, March 21, the 81th day of 2011.
There are 284 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Memory Day
National Common Courtesy Day
Spring Fairy Fun Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Did you know ...

Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.

Gadhafi compound hit

The Libyan leader's location remains unknown as allied forces hit a symbolic target in their assault.  
Missile attacks blast Gadhafi's residential compound, hitting a military command and control center.  

Europe, not U.S., pushed for military force in Libya

America unleashed the heavier firepower, but Europe -- to the surprise of some -- was the driving force behind the assault on Libya's Moammar Gadhafi.

Tanks deploy in Sanaa as top army general defects

Three army commanders, including a top general, defected Monday to the opposition calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down as army tanks and armored vehicles deployed in the streets of the Yemeni capital.

It's a Blond World

A blond went to a flight school insisting that she wanted to learn to fly. As all the planes were currently in use, the owner agreed to instruct her by radio on how to pilot the solo helicopter. He took her out, showed her how to start it and gave her the basics, and sent her on her way.

After she climbed 1000 feet, she radioed in. "I'm doing great! I love it! The view is so beautiful, and I'm starting to get the hang of this."

After 2000 feet, she radioed again, saying how easy it was to fly. The instructor watched her climb over 3000 feet, and was beginning to worry that she hadn't radioed in. A few minutes later, he watched in horror as she crashed about half a mile away. He ran over and pulled her from the wreckage.

When he asked what happened, she said, "I don't know! Everything was going fine, but as I got higher, I was starting to get cold. I can barely remember anything after I turned off the big fan!"

U.S. tsunami readiness

Geologists warn that Oregon is overdue for a mega-quake similar to Japan's.

    The BP oil spill - round two

    New oil spill seen near Deepwater rig.

    Meanwhile in Wisconsin

    Veterans rally opens 5th consecutive weekend of Wisconsin labor protests.

    Lunatic Fringe

    Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate David Prosser calls Chief Justice a 'total bitch' and threatens to 'destroy' her

    David Prosser, of course, is the right-wing candidate in the April 5 Wisconsin state Supreme Court contest. (His opponent is JoAnn Kloppenberg; you can volunteer to help out here.)

    Judicial temperament, anyone?

    The story comes from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It seems that the Court was trying to decide if one of its members, the compromised Justice Michael Gableman, should sit on a criminal case:
    At the time, passions ran high on the court because the justices had to decide an ethics allegation against Gableman, as well as requests by defense attorneys to force him off nine cases because they believed he was biased against criminal defendants.

    Gableman remained on the cases after the justices split 3-3 on the issue. Months later, they split along the same lines on his ethics case.

    [Chief Justice] Abrahamson, [Justice] Bradley and Justice N. Patrick Crooks voted to find that Gableman violated the judicial ethics code by misstating facts in a campaign ad; [Justice] Prosser, [Justice] Roggensack and Justice Annette Ziegler voted to find that he did not violate the ethics code. With no agreement, the case was then abandoned.
    Prosser, Roggensack and Ziegler all believe that justices don't have to recuse themselves in cases involving their campaign contributors. Ziegler has additional ethics issues, having previously presided over "cases involving a bank where her husband served on the board of directors." Ziegler is also a Club for Growth and Wisc. Manufacturers & Commerce darling — and big-money recipient.

    You can see where this is going — bought judges get to stay bought, so long as they lean far right.

    Enter Prosser and his screaming match. During the debate over Gableman, Justice Bradley wrote to Prosser:
    "In a fit of temper, you were screaming at the chief; calling her a 'bitch,' threatening her with '. . . I will destroy you'; and describing the means of destruction as a war against her 'and it won't be a ground war,' "
    Prosser's defense comes from his caucus buddy Roggensack (see above), who replied to Justice Bradley:
    You often goad other justices by pushing and pushing in conference ... That is what happened when David lost his cool.
    Bradley's reply is what you tell your children:
    "Regardless of our disagreements, there is no justification for this abusive behavior," Bradley wrote [to Roggensack]. "Blaming his abusive behavior on others merely enables it."
    It's the old old story — wingnut whining gone nuclear. The rest of the article does the he-said, she-said thing. Check it out if you like.

    Prosser says this affects the April 5 election against Kloppenberg. He's right, and it should. Screaming affronted justices don't belong on any bench. Bought screaming affronted justices, even less so.

    Prosser is a standard-issue wingnut on a mission, Just like Gov. Walker, just like the rest of his Supreme Court faction. The Court is 4-3 repugican now, and will remain so if Prosser wins. Wisconsin will be ruled from the bench by the same cabal that rules in the governor's mansion and the state house, unless he's sent back to his family for some calming TLC.

    Again, Wisconsinites can volunteer to help Kloppenberg here. And don't forget to contribute to the Recall repugicans campaign. If we won't fight for us, who will?

    Speaking on inequality in the U.S.

    From Gunch on Reddit...

    No one has gone to jail for crashing the world economy, torture or unconstitutional wiretaps. There is however room in our jails for people who share files or smoke pot. This is not a justice system. It is an exploitation system.

    U.S. states may delay primaries

    Some consider doing away with the elections completely in order to save money.  

    On The Job

    Grads with the right degrees can find tempting salaries in five fields. 

    If you owe the IRS money

    You can get a 30-day extension to pay the taxes, but that could be costly. 

    Why tipping with cash is best

    If you want to give the most generous gratuities, leave your server paper bills.

      Low testosterone linked with financial risk-taking

      People who have low levels of the male sex hormone are as prone to taking financial risks as those who fit the high-testosterone stereotype.

      Gas, food prices double whammy for rural families

      Twice a week, Myriam Garcia puts snow chains on her 22-year-old gas guzzler and noses two miles down the hill from her trailer in rural western Montana.

      Couple erases $70,000 in debt

      Jaime Tardy and her husband not only got back on their feet — they also put $23,000 in the bank. 



      Malaria caught on camera breaking and entering cell

      The parasite responsible for malaria has been filmed invading a human red blood cell for the first time.

      Ethnic minorities are ‘silent sufferers’ of chronic fatigue syndrome

      Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by unexplained and debilitating tiredness and is associated with headaches, disrupted sleep, muscle pain and difficulty in concentrating. New research published by BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Medicine shows that ethnicity, depression, lack of exercise or social support, and social difficulties are major risk factors for CFS.

      Nine common allergies to watch for

      An allergic reaction is an over reaction of your immune system to an allergen, a substance that is harmless to most people.

      And from the "Duh" Department:
      Study: Online Pollen Information Not Always Accurate
      Americans suffering from hay fever may not want to rely heavily on what they find online regarding pollen count, according to a study by the Environmental Allergy Assays of London.

      Non Sequitur


      Step Lively Now

      374 steps
      ""Montagne de Bueren" een kaarsrechte trap van 374 treden die vanuit het centrum naar de Citadel leidt, Luik, België 1914.  (Click for bigger)

      From the Memory of the Netherlands website, which has 509,000 objects from 85 institutions - or so they say.

      The Only Ukranian Submarine

      The repair of the only Ukrainian submarine is finally over. Its activation will not only raise the security of the Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet but also let Ukraine be equal with its neighbors (Bulgaria, Romania and Russia) who already have one working submarine each. This post will tell you what this submarine is and what it was made for.

      Once Upon a Time, the Universe Was Really Weird

      Think you know your dimensions? 
      Think again.
      Just after the Big Bang, the Universe's dimensions may have been completely different to the four-dimensional space-time we know and love today.  

      Dumb Laws

      You've all heard of some of the 'Dumb Laws' that are on the books.
      Well, here's North Carolina's (some of them anyway):

      North Carolina

      • A recent proposal that ministers walk the beat with police officers in Belmont, N.C., notes "the ministers will carry a Bible instead of a gun."
      • An ordinance proposed in Robbins, N.C., states, "In the future, anyone not living within the immediate vicinity of Robbins must have a permit from the Chief of Police and okayed by the Mayor or one of the Commissioners." It's not clear what the permit is for, but they may be on to something.
      • In Robbins, N.C., anyone who refuses to black out after hearing the blackout signal is subject to a $5 fine.
      • A marriage can be declared void if either of the two persons is physically impotent.
      • All couples staying overnight in a hotel must have a room with double beds that are at least two feet apart. Making love in the space between the beds is strictly forbidden.
      • Barber: Fights between cats and dogs are prohibited.
      • By town law the sewer service charge in Belhaven, N.C., used to be "$2 per month, per stool." It was recently changed to read "per toilet."
      • Because people were using them for cheap furniture, it's now illegal in North Carolina to take and sell labeled milk crates.
      • Chapel Hill: It is a misdemeanor to urinate or defecate publicly.
      • Charlotte: Women must have their bodies covered by at least 16 yards of cloth at all times.
      • Elephants may not be used to plow cotton fields.
      • Fights between cats and dogs are prohibited.
      • Forest City: You must stop and call City Hall before entering town in an automobile. This is so the townspeople will have time to go out and hold their horses until you get through town.
      • Greensboro: Restaurants "with on sidewalk dining" must post their menu so that it is clearly readable from the sidewalk, but is not readable from the street.
      • Hornytown: Massage parlors have been banned.
      • In Asheville, North Carolina, it is illegal to sneeze on city streets.
      • In Raleigh, North Carolina, before a man asks for a woman's hand in marriage, he must be "inspected by all the barnyard animals on the young woman's family's property, to ensure a harmonious farm life."
      • If a man and a woman who aren't married go to a hotel/motel and register themselves as married then, according to state law, they are legally married.
      • If you happen to own a marl bed in North Carolina, the law demands that you put a fence around it. A marl bed may not be what you think. It is a kind of rock quarry.
      • In Forest City, N.C., it's illegal to bring a pea-shooter to a parade. It's also illegal to shoot paper clips with rubber bands.
      • In Mooresville, N.C., it's illegal to attach anything to a pool table.
      • In Nags Headm North Carolina you can be fined for singing out of tune for more than ninety seconds.
      • In Rockwell, N.C., anyone who violates the terms of a proclamation--such as failing to appropriately celebrate Peanut Day or Jaycees Week--is guilty of a misdemeanor.
      • North Carolina just passed a law saying a political action committee, or PAC, has to have a name that describes the group's cause or purpose. The idea is to prohibit, say, the highway or tobacco lobbies from calling themselves "Citizens for Good Government."
      • In North Carolina it's illegal to dig ginseng on other people's property between the months of April and September, according to an 1866 law.
      • In North Carolina it's illegal to sell cotton lint at night.
      • In North Carolina it is illegal to make love on the floor of a hotel room between two double beds.
      • In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, it is against the law for children under seven years of age to go to college.
      • It is against the law to roller blade on a state highway.
      • It is illegal to have sex in a churchyard.
      • It's against the law to sing off key.
      • It's unlawful to attract a crowd in Forest City, N.C., except when aching the Gospel, politicking or "serenading on occasion of public rejoicing."
      • Kill Devil Hills: You may not ride a bicycle without having both your hands on the handle bars.
      • Making love in the space between the beds is strictly forbidden.
      • North Carolina forbids sex outside of marriage, or "fornication," but the girlfriend as well as the man would have to be prosecuted.
      • Oral sex is considered a crime against nature.
      • Punching an official at a youth sports program in Nashville, N.C., incurs a three-year suspension from the program for adult spectators as well as participants.
      • Rocky Mount: It is required that you must pay a property tax on your dog.
      • Southern Shores: It is against the law to roller-blade on a state highway.
      • Thomasville, North Carolina, prohibits airplanes from flying over the town on Sundays during the hours between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
      • The good people of Tryon, N.C., are serious about getting a good night's sleep. It's against the law for anyone to keep "fowl that shall cackle," or for anyone to play the piccolo between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7:30 a.m.
      • While having sex, you must stay in the missionary position and have the shades pulled.
      • You can't sneeze on the streets of Asheville, North Carolina.
      • You may not ride a bicycle without having both your hands on the handle bars.
      • There is to be no roller-blading during daylight hours, on the roads, or on the bricks.

      Redneck word of the day

      Redneck word of the day - Clinics: You got any clinics so I could wipe my nose?

      Culinary DeLites


      Store brands prosper as shoppers forgo big-name labels

      Even as the economy shows signs of recovering, local retailers are expanding their selection of store brands and working to persuade more customers to try - and stick with - their products.

      Sausage contained 104% meat

      A Swedish man has reported a charcuterie in the north of Sweden to the Consumer Agency (Konsumentverket) because according to the label there is too much meat in the sausages. The man, who purchased his sausages in the ski resort of Åre, was surprised to find that the meat content was 104 percent.

      “Personally I can’t accept that anything contains over 100 percent. And this sausage couldn’t possibly contain more than 100 percent meat as there are other ingredients stated on the label,” he wrote in the report. After reading the label, the man asked the shop how the percentage of meat in the sausages could be so high.

      He was told that more meat is required in making the sausage than actually ends up in the product. However, not satisfied with this he decided to report the misleading label to the consumer agency.

      At Trångsvikens Chark AB, the charcuterie that make the sausages, they agree that the labeling can be difficult to understand. CEO Marcus Färnström explained that what it actually means is 104g of meat has been used per every 100g sausage. “Of course there is a different way to declare the ingredients and perhaps that is what we’re going to have to do,” he said.

      USDA funds research on crops and climate change

      The federal government is investing $60 million in three major studies on the effects of climate change on crops and forests to help ensure farmers and foresters can continue producing food and timber while trying to limit the impact of a changing environment.

      More radiation in Japan food

      New fears about the food supply come as workers are evacuated from damaged plants.  

      The Yakuza is Quietly Helping Earthquake Victims in Japan

      The Japanese are just a different breed altogether. Not only was there very little looting after the big earthquake and tsunami, their mafia groups are now also helping out with the relief effort!
      Hours after the first shock waves hit, two of the largest crime groups went into action, opening their offices to those stranded in Tokyo, and shipping food, water, and blankets to the devastated areas in two-ton trucks and whatever vehicles they could get moving.
      The day after the earthquake the Inagawa-kai (the third largest organized crime group in Japan which was founded in 1948) sent twenty-five four-ton trucks filled with paper diapers, instant ramen, batteries, flashlights, drinks, and the essentials of daily life to the Tohoku region.
      An executive in Sumiyoshi-kai, the second-largest crime group, even offered refuge to members of the foreign community—something unheard of in a still slightly xenophobic nation, especially amongst the right-wing yakuza.
      The Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest crime group, under the leadership of Tadashi Irie, has also opened its offices across the country to the public and been sending truckloads of supplies, but very quietly and without any fanfare.

      Smoke at nuclear plant

      After reports of progress, Japan's stricken facility faces another emergency.

      New fault line stress could trigger Tokyo quake

      Geologists say a powerful earthquake could strike near Tokyo because the recent monster that hit northeastern Japan altered the earth's surface, loading stress onto a segment of the fault line near the capital.

      Earth's Bull's-Eye

      The Richat Structure

      The Sahara Desert, in which the Richat Structure is situated, does look rather featureless from above. So when astronauts glimpsed this prominent almost circular mark - with a diameter of almost 50 kilometers - it piqued their interest. It is also occasionally called the Eye of Africa - and you can see why.

      It was for a number of years thought to be the impact crater of an ancient meteor strike against the Earth. However, it is now thought to be what is known as a symmetrical uplift which, over the millennia has become visible due to the erosive effects of desert winds.

      Two North Texas Boys Stumble Upon a Fossil Gold Mine

      A Two sixth-grade boys playing in a North Texas creek found what one paleontologist calls a "fossil gold mine." Andrew Carroll says he and his friend and Pottsboro Middle School classmate Thomas Smith were exploring along the creek southeast of Sherman when they found a bone that they took to be a dinosaur bone.

      Modern bodies: Our 10,000-year makeover

      Civilized living has transformed our bodies, from deep within our bones to the tips of our fingers.

      Animal News

      Cost to Identify All Unknown Animals: $263 Billion



      Upping the cute factor


      The sharpest mind in the farmyard

      We've underestimated you (Image: Nick Morgan/<i>Brighton Argus</i>) Their dumb reputation belies their abilities – sheep can pass a psychological test that many primates struggle with.

      Awesome Pictures


      Harp seals from Canada take a liking to US waters

      FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2009 file photo, a juvenile harp seal... 
      Harp seals from Canada are showing up in U.S. waters in greater numbers and farther south than usual, and biologists want to know why.

      Meet Spudina, the Spineless Hedgehog

      What’s cuter than a hedgehog who lost all her spikes and now needs a sweater to keep warm? Nothing!
      Meet Spudina, the spineless hedgehog:
      The animal was found by a member of the public in a garden in Bedford and has been named Spudlina by staff as her skin resembles that of a potato. The two year old is undergoing various tests to determine the cause of the loss of her spines and she is currently enjoying regular skin massages with a Vitamin E moisturiser

      Awesome Pictures


      Rare albatross is unique species

      The world's rarest albatross is confirmed as a separate species by scientists in Canada.

      With Jaguars Disappearing, a Search for Survivors

      These majestic cats once spread from the southern United States to southern Argentina, but they have since vanished from many of their old strongholds.  

      Animal Pictures