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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 23, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
A few of your past purchases or investments might be coming back to haunt you today -- but don't worry, this lesson won't be a very expensive one.
But if you've been thinking about tightening your budget (or maybe finally putting one together), today is the perfect day to get started.
It won't be too tough to cut back the more excessive areas of your life.
Not only will you reap financial rewards, but you might also just find freedom in needing and wanting to buy less.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
London, England, United Kingdom
Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Surabaya, Jawa Timor, Indonesia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Calcutta, West Bengal, India
Berne, Bern, Switzerland
Lubin, Lubelskie, Poland
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Lille, Nord-Pas-De-Calais, France

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 Warrensburg, Warner Robins, Walkerton, Weaverville and more.

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, March 23, the 83rd day of 2011.
There are 282 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
National Puppy Day
OK Day

Kick Butts Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

World's best tropical escapes

Singapore has lush rainforests and gardens plus big-city amenities.  

    Bad Ass of the Week

    The Man Who Couldn't Wait

    Hideaki Akaiwa was at work on March 11th when the earthquake and then the tsunami hit his hometown, Ishinomaki in Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture. The city was covered with water ten feet deep -for days. Hideaki’s wife was missing somewhere in the flooded area. Rescue workers told Hideaki that all they could do was wait for the military to come help. But the 43-year-old man did not want to sit idly by while his wife was missing, so he put on some SCUBA gear.
    Regardless of how he came across this equipment (borrowing, stealing, buying, beating up a Yakuza SCUBA diving demolitions expert, etc.) Hideaki threw on his underwater survival gear, rushed into the goddamned tsunami, and dove beneath the rushing waves, determined to rescue his wife or die trying. I’m not exactly sure whether or not the dude even knew how to operate SCUBA equipment, but according to one version of his story he met his wife while he was surfing (which is awesome, by the way), so it doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch to say that he already had a little experience SCUBA diving under a more controlled situation. Of course, even if this dude didn’t know how to work the gear I’m certain that wouldn’t have stopped him either – Hideaki wasn’t going to let a pair of soul-crushing natural disasters deter him from doing awesome shit and saving his family. He dove down into the water, completely submerged in the freezing cold, pitch black rushing current on all sides, and started swimming through the underwater ruins of his former hometown.
    Surrounded by incredible hazards on all sides, ranging from obscene currents capable of dislodging houses from their moorings, sharp twisted metal that could easily have punctured his oxygen line (at best) or impaled him (at worst), and with giant f***ing cars careening through the water like toys, he pressed on. Past broken glass, past destroyed houses, past downed power lines arcing with electrical current, through undertow that could have dragged him out to sea never to be heard from again, he searched.
    Hideaki maintained his composure and navigated his way through the submerged city, finally tracking down his old house. He quickly swam through to find his totally-freaked-out wife, alone and stranded on the upper level of their house, barely keeping her head above water. He grabbed her tight, and presumably sharing his rebreather with her, dragged her out of the wreckage to safety. She survived.
    Hideaki wasn’t finished, though. His mother was still missing. Read the rest of the story at Badass of the Week. Warning: lots of strong language.  

    Elizabeth Taylor dies at 79

    The Hollywood legend, known for her beauty and multiple marriages, dies from heart failure.

    Non Sequitur


    Dumb Crooks

    Man asks undercover officers to be lookouts
    Brandon Michael Rice is facing several charges including criminal attempt entering auto and conspiracy to commit a crime.

    On Saturday night, Rice was observed looking into the windows and trying the door handles of patrol cars.

    He then asked a couple of guys to "look out" while he tried to get into the police cars.

    It turns out, the guys he asked for help were undercover GBI officers. Rice was taken into custody.

    Odds and Sods

    Authorities say a New York man appearing before a judge on a felony drunken driving charge arrived at court an hour and a half late, drunk and carrying an open can of Busch beer.

    Japan disaster shatters record

    Staggering new estimates dwarf the cost of Hurricane Katrina — and leave out a crucial threat.  

    Baffling oil slick in the Gulf

    The source of a massive discovery off the Louisiana coast continues to baffle local officials.  

      U.S. captives' harrowing tale

      Four N.Y. Times staffers describe brutal and baffling scenes within Gadhafi's ranks.  

      Who are the Libyan rebels?

      The U.S. may not have many hard facts about the ragtag fighters who now see Americans as allies.  

        In The News

        Yemeni leader says he'll step down by year's end
        Yemen's embattled U.S.-backed president said Tuesday that a military coup would lead to civil war and pledged to step down by year's end but not hand power to army commanders who have joined the opposition.

        White Supremacists March Against Immigration in Southern California
        On Saturday, a group of around 25 military boot-clad white supremacists marched down the streets of Claremont, California, in protest of what they called an "unbridled flow of immigration" into the area.

        Horrific factory fire recalled

        A factory fire that killed 146 young women has become a touchstone of the labor movement.

          The Face of Douchebaggery


          Meanwhile in Wisconsin

          The state of Wisconsin is broke, except for alleged girlfriend of repugican senator

          Oh spring love, you cure all problems including supposed budget deficits.
          A state worker with ties to Sen. Randy Hopper is being paid $11,000 more annually than her predecessor in a position at the department of regulation and licensing.

          State officials said the woman, 26, was hired to a limited term, communications specialist position last month, with a salary equivalent to $42, 328 annually.

          State officials Friday said the woman’s predecessor left the position in January, with a salary equivalent to $31,200 annually. No explanation was given for the new hire’s higher pay.

          Anti-union group: send us secret, unlimited donations so we can bring transparency to politics!

          Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, a business lobbying group, has asked its members and supporters to fight corrupting union political spending by making "unlimited" and "undisclosed" donations.

          Hurray for transparency and fairness!
          One union even told its members they want to defeat a Supreme Court justice to "get even." It's shocking and they are putting big money behind their efforts, including boycotts of home-grown Wisconsin employers. Please make a generous corporate contribution to counter their efforts. Donations are unlimited and undisclosed.

          On The Job

          Men may have lost twice as many jobs, but they are now getting 90% of the new positions.  

            Bad jobs are worse for you than unemployment

            Australian research that reveals being miserable in a job is worse for your mental health than being unemployed is making headlines around the world.

            A team from the Center for Mental Health at The Australian National University in Canberra analyzed data from more than 7000 people to find that jobs offering little control, poor recognition and low pay were a greater risk to mental health than no job at all.

            The research team claim the findings have huge implications for prevailing government social policy that promote “the notion that any job is better than none as work promotes economic as well as personal well-being.”

            The truth be told


            Surprising tax breaks

            Weight-loss programs and dog food are among the expenses that may be tax-deductible. 

            Don't buy a house

            A financial pro has six reasons why a home is a miserable investment.

              Chavez says capitalism may have ended life on Mars

              From the "One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" Department:
              Capitalism may be to blame for the lack of life on the planet Mars, Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday.

              While he may have a point - look at what it's done to this planet thus far - it is a bit too far fetched and not that his espoused method of economics is all that either.

              Straightening out your finances

              It's no fun pinching pennies, but following these eight steps can ease your burden.  

              Income Growth

              "Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."
              ~ John Steinbeck

              Millionaires by the age of 22

              These young entrepreneurs got rich before many of their peers had even started working.  

                Wizard of Id


                Bus Safety Rules to be Rewritten Because of People are Now Too Fat

                Are buses less safe today? Yes, according to the Federal Transit Authority, because of … fat people. So it’s rewriting the rules to ensure bus safety:
                The Federal Transit Authority (FTA) proposes raising the assumed average weight per bus passenger from 150 pounds to 175 pounds, which could mean that across the country, fewer people will be allowed on a city transit bus.
                The transit authority, which regulates how much weight a bus can carry, also proposes adding an additional quarter of a square foot of floor space per passenger. The changes are being sought "to acknowledge the expanding girth of the average passenger," the agency says.
                "This change is really just a bow to reality," says Joseph Schwieterman, who studies bus ridership as director of the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University in Chicago. "With no small number of bus passengers tipping the scale at 200 pounds or more, this is much more realistic."

                Overweight People Really Are Big-Boned

                Big bones. http://www.flickr.com/photos/asjaboros/One of the blind spots in forensic science, particularly in identifying unknown remains, is the inability of experts to determine how much an individual weighed based on his or her...

                Heart-attack risk spikes after sex, exercise

                Exercising or having sex roughly triples a person's risk of heart attack in the hours immediately afterward, especially if the person does those activities infrequently, according to a new analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

                Culinary DeLites

                Much of the sugar in a bowl of chocolate ice cream will be stored by your body as fat.

                  Caesar Salad Origins

                  Claim: Caesar salad was invented by (or named for) Julius Caesar.
                  Status: FALSE
                  Caesar salads have no connection whatsoever to Julius Caesar, or indeed to any of the Caesars who ruled Rome and her far-flung empire. It instead honors Caesar Cardini, a famed restaurateur who, according to lore, invented the dish in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1924 when a rush of diners on the Fourth of July strained his kitchen's resources and he had to make do with whatever ingredients were left on hand.
                  A weight-loss plan linked to Kate Middleton's family will be in bookstores soon. 
                    5 kitchen technique myths, busted

                    Comfort Food Fights Loneliness

                    Mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf … they may be bad for your arteries, but according to an upcoming study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science ...

                    Ready-to-eat meat contains few cancerous compounds

                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebusybrain/If given the choice between eating a hot dog or enjoying some rotisserie chicken, consider the hot dog.
                    That’s because hot dogs, as well as pepperoni and deli meats ...

                    Load Up on Fiber Now, Avoid Heart Disease Later

                    A new study from Northwestern Medicine shows a high-fiber diet could be a critical heart-healthy lifestyle change young and middle-aged adults can make.

                    How Long Can You Last Without Water?

                    Water Droplets Image 
                    If you type the phrase 'how long can you last without...' into Google, given the thousands of preemptive suggestions to fire back to complete the phrase, it might surprise you that water is the first word to bubble up and claim top spot. Scan the first few pages of the 159,000,000 search results and you're presented with a collection of near identical survival websites focused on tips needed to keep your personal water tank from dipping dipping into the red.
                    But amid all the reams of cut and paste references, one particular tip caught my eye. It was a sentence that could easily win the award for most obvious statement of 2011; 'The best method to survive without water is not to be placed in that situation in the first place'.



                    Mayan relic sold for $4 million is a fake?

                    A sculpture of a Mayan warrior that sold for more than $4 million at a Paris auction house this week is a fake, Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History said.

                    Will Earthbound Comet Fulfill 2012 Prophecy?

                    A dizzying array of doomsday predictions have been linked to the Earth-bound comet Elenin.  

                    What's on Venus?

                    What would it be like to survey the Venusian surface firsthand -- to set foot on Earth's strange twin? Read more

                    Are you a Martian?

                    We all could be, scientists say - and an instrument developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology might someday provide the proof. According to many planetary scientists, it's conceivable that all life on Earth is descended from organisms that originated on Mars and were carried here aboard meteorites.

                    In order to detect signs of past or present life on Mars, a promising strategy would be to search for DNA or RNA, and specifically for particular sequences of these molecules that are nearly universal in all forms of terrestrial life.

                    So scientists have been developing a device that could take a sample of Martian soil from below the surface and process it to separate out any possible organisms, amplify their DNA or RNA using the same techniques used for forensic DNA testing on Earth, and then use biochemical markers to search for signs of particular, genetic sequences that are nearly universal among all known life forms.

                    Wart Detected on Egyptian Queen Beauty

                    King Tut's Grandmother Mummy Egyptian queen
                    King Tut's grandmother was a legendary beauty, but high-resolution images of her mummified face suggest her complexion wasn't perfect.

                    Prehistoric Skin Holds Building Blocks of Life

                    Reptile Skin
                    These organic compounds survived 50 million years buried in rock in Utah's Green River Formation.  

                    Awesome Pictures


                    Tsunami-Swept Baby Porpoise Rescued From Rice Field

                    finless porpoise baby photo  
                    Photo: ori2uru / cc
                    Amid the devastation left behind by the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, there still exists a glimmer of hope -- and sometimes that hope comes in the most unlikely of packages. Animal rescue volunteer Ryo Taira and his team had been scouring the wreckage around the city of Sendai for cats and dogs left behind following the disaster when they received word of another type of animal that was in need of help: a baby porpoise, tsunami-swept and clinging to life in a flooded rice field over a mile from the ocean.

                    Article continues: Tsunami-Swept Baby Porpoise Rescued From Rice Field

                    Fire and your pets

                    Some Oregon firefighters and paramedics are now equipped and trained to give first aid to dogs, cats and other pets.

                    Fire officials say a lumbering pet turtle sparked a fast-moving fire in a New York City apartment after crawling out of its tank and knocking over the terrarium's heat lamp.Fire and your pest

                    Theodore Roosevelt riding on a moose.

                    Polar Bear, Knut, Had Brain Damage

                    Knut, the celebrity polar bear who died over the weekend, may have succumbed to a brain disorder.  

                    Pet Cemetery Under the Golden Gate Bridge

                    Here’s something I didn’t know about San Francisco: underneath the Doyle Street ramp to the Golden Gate bridge is a pet cemetery from the former Presidio Army Base:
                    Built in the 1930s, at the same time as the Golden Gate Bridge, Doyle Drive is now a seismic hazard, so it is being completely rebuilt. But the new construction intersects with the pet cemetery used by U.S. personnel in the days when the Presidio was still a functioning military installation. To preserve the site, the cemetery has been fenced off and left scrupulously undisturbed while a whole world of construction chaos takes place all around it. Quite a spectacle.

                    El Chupacabra

                    How to Identify a Chupacabra
                    If you think you've seen a chupacabra in your midst, here's a handy checklist to identify the creature.  

                    Chupacabra Legend Inspired by Horror Film Beast
                    Chupacabra, the third best known monster in the world, turns out to be a fabrication spun by a woman who viewed the 1995 film Species.  

                    Half Of All Primates Threatened With Extinction

                    According to an article on the National Geographic website, nearly half the primate species are in danger of becoming extinct from destruction of tropical forests, illegal wildlife trade and commercial bush-meat hunting.

                    Apes, monkeys, lemurs and other primates are on the brink of extinction and in need of urgent conservation measures. Here are 25 of the world's most endangered primates.

                    Animal Pictures