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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.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
As the saying goes, when one window closes, another one opens.
In other words, just because something is ending right now doesn't mean that something new isn't just getting started.
It might be right around the corner -- or it might be quite a spell down the road.
Regardless, something is coming in your future that will make you glad you took the journey to get there.
Hope is the word to hold on to today -- hope for what you can't anticipate and can't control.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
London, England, United Kingdom
London, Ontario, Canada
Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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 Gastonia, Chetek, Bronx, Tomah and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, March 26, the 86th day of 2011.
There are 279 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Make Up Your Own Holiday Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Washington D.C.
March 26, 2011
Last week, when I ordered our armed forces to help protect the Libyan people from the brutality of Moammar Qaddafi, I pledged to keep the American people fully informed.  Since then, I’ve spoken about the limited scope and specific purpose of this mission. Today, I can report that thanks to our brave men and women in uniform, we’ve made important progress.
As Commander in Chief, I face no greater decision than sending our military men and women into harm’s way.  And the United States should not—and cannot—intervene every time there’s a crisis somewhere in the world.
But I firmly believe that when innocent people are being brutalized; when someone like Qaddafi threatens a bloodbath that could destabilize an entire region; and when the international community is prepared to come together to save many thousands of lives—then it’s in our national interest to act.  And it’s our responsibility.  This is one of those times.
Our military mission in Libya is clear and focused.  Along with our allies and partners, we’re enforcing the mandate of the United Nations Security Council.  We’re protecting the Libyan people from Qaddafi’s forces.  And we’ve put in place a no fly zone and other measures to prevent further atrocities.
We’re succeeding in our mission.  We’ve taken out Libya’s air defenses.  Qaddafi’s forces are no longer advancing across Libya.  In places like Benghazi, a city of some 700,000 that Qaddafi threatened to show “no mercy,” his forces have been pushed back.  So make no mistake, because we acted quickly, a humanitarian catastrophe has been avoided and the lives of countless civilians—innocent men, women and children—have been saved.
As I pledged at the outset, the role of American forces has been limited. We are not putting any ground forces into Libya. Our military has provided unique capabilities at the beginning, but this is now a broad, international effort. Our allies and partners are enforcing the no fly zone over Libya and the arms embargo at sea.  Key Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have committed aircraft.  And as agreed this week, responsibility for this operation is being transferred from the United States to our NATO allies and partners.
This is how the international community should work—more nations, not just the United States, bearing the responsibility and cost of upholding peace and security.
This military effort is part of our larger strategy to support the Libyan people and hold the Qaddafi regime accountable.  Together with the international community, we’re delivering urgent humanitarian assistance.  We’re offering support to the Libyan opposition.  We’ve frozen tens of billions of dollars of Qaddafi’s assets that can help meet the needs and aspirations of the Libyan people.  And every day, the pressure on Qaddafi and his regime is increasing.   
Our message is clear and unwavering.  Qaddafi’s attacks against civilians must stop.  His forces must pull back.  Humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach those in need.  Those responsible for violence must be held accountable.  Moammar Qaddafi has lost the confidence of his people and the legitimacy to rule, and the aspirations of the Libyan people must be realized.
In recent days, we’ve heard the voices of Libyans expressing their gratitude for this mission. “You saved our lives,” said one Libyan.  Said another, “Today, there is hope.”
Every American can be proud of the lives we’ve saved in Libya and of the service of our men and women in uniform who once again have stood up for our interests and our ideals.  And people in Libya and around the world are seeing that the United States of America stands with those who hope for a future where they can determine their own destiny.

Parents in a race against time as both diagnosed with advanced cancer within a week

Brooklynites are rallying around a young couple with a toddler who are facing an unimaginable challenge - both parents were diagnosed with advanced cancer in the space of a week.,Friends and family are taking Nathan and Elisa Bond to doctor appointments, watching their 18-month-old daughter, Sadie, and raising money for the battle ahead.

"We're fighting the statistics so we can be here for our daughter," said Nathan, 38, an artist who teaches at Parsons. Nathan was diagnosed with Stage 3 colorectal cancer on Valentine's Day and given a 60% chance of surviving five years or more. He was still reeling from the bad news when Elisa, 36, got the results of a lump on her breast: cancer has spread throughout her body.

Her disease is considered incurable because it's so advanced, and doctors told her she has just a 16% chance of surviving five years. In spite of the grim prognosis, the Bay Ridge couple's spirits have been buoyed by all the support they are getting - and their love for their little girl.

"I wanted to grow old with my husband and care for our daughter," said Elisa, 36, a real estate agent. "Now I'm just hoping for a miracle." Elisa and Nathan had to take medical leaves from their jobs and see doctors almost every day for chemotherapy that leaves them nauseous and exhausted around the clock. The couple's close friends have created a Web page that is collecting donations so they can stay afloat financially while fighting for their lives.

Culinary DeLites

The substance that's found in wheat and other common grains is making us fat, many people contend. 
    New twists on an old favorite include treats made with potatoes — and even bacon.  

      Random Celebrity Photo

      Janis Joplin

      Why Detroit is shrinking

      The city's radically shrinking base made national headlines, but the reasons for it are surprisingly simple.

      Opposition topples Canadian government

      Canadian opposition parties brought down the Conservative government in a no confidence vote Friday, triggering an election that polls show the Conservatives will win.The opposition parties held Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government in contempt of Parliament in a 156-145 vote for failing to disclose the full financial details of his tougher ...

      Sarkozy Warns Arab Rulers of Intervention If They Cross Line

      In the wake of the steps that the U.K., France, U.S., and Nato have taken against Libya and Muammar Gaddafi, French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned other Arab world leaders on Thursday of possible other reprisals, if they too "cross the line."

      Sarkozy made the statement at an EU summit in Brussels, Belgium on Thursday, March 24.

      Dutch Court Rules WiFi Hacking Is Now Legal

      Breaking in to an encrypted router and using the WiFi connection is not an criminal offence, a Dutch court ruled. WiFi hackers can not be prosecuted for breaching router security. The court also decided that piggybacking on open WiFi networks in bars and hotels can not be prosecuted. In many countries both actions are illegal and often can be fined.

      A computer in the Netherlands is defined as a machine that is used for three things: the storage, processing and transmission of data. A router can therefore not be described as a computer because it is only used to transfer or process data and not for storing bits and bytes. Hacking a device that is no computer by law is not illegal, and can not be prosecuted, the court concluded.

      Microsoft switches off privacy for Hotmail users in war-torn and repressive states

      For reasons unknown, Microsoft has changed the settings on Hotmail to disable HTTPS for users in several countries including Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Congo, Burma, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Hotmail users in those countries can now be readily spied upon by ISPs and their governments.

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation has some good perspective:
      Microsoft debuted the always-use-HTTPS feature for Hotmail in December of 2010, in order to give users the option of always encrypting their webmail traffic and protecting their sensitive communications from malicious hackers using tools such as Firesheep, and hostile governments eavesdropping on journalists and activists. For Microsoft to take such an enormous step backwards-- undermining the security of Hotmail users in countries where freedom of expression is under attack and secure communication is especially important--is deeply disturbing. We hope that this counterproductive and potentially dangerous move is merely an error that Microsoft will swiftly correct. The good news is that the fix is very easy. Hotmail users in the affected countries can turn the always-use-HTTPS feature back on by changing the country in their profile to any of the countries in which this feature has not been disabled, such as the United States, Germany, France, Israel, or Turkey. Hotmail users who browse the web with Firefox may force the use of HTTPS by default--while using any Hotmail location setting--by installing the HTTPS Everywhere Firefox plug-in.

      Non Sequitur


      Kansas lawmaker suggests immigrants be shot like hogs

      Petitions bearing some 55,000 signatures were delivered to the Kansas Capitol on Friday calling for the resignation of a legislator who suggested that illegal immigrants be shot like wild hogs.
      And to answer your question: Yes he's a wingnut/repugican

      Wisconsin repugicans demanding email records of professor who criticized governor

      First off, a bit thin skinned are we, Governor Walker
      Secondly, could the Wisconsin repugicans be more McCarthyite?
      Now university professors aren't permitted to write op eds in the NYT? 
      It really is an incredibly offensive move by the repugicans. But not a surprising move.
      Repugicans don't believe in free speech. They don't believe in free anything, other than a corporate free lunch.
      Oh sure, they talk about the flag a lot, and god too, but when push comes to shove they couldn't care less about either.
      Which is why the Wisconsin repugicans are happy terrorizing a university professor for daring to disagree with the repugican governor, and Newt Gingrich is happy to run as a 'family values' wingnut after having three wives and multiple affairs.
      The truth is irrelevant when you've got Koch on your side.

      Wisconsin repugicans say anti-union law in effect

      They're lying of course, but what else is new?

      Wisconsin repugicans said on Friday a measure stripping state public employees of most collective bargaining rights was now in effect after it was published by a legislative agency despite a judge's order against publication.

      Something to think about

      While you are getting hosed...
      Despite reporting over $5 billion in profits from its domestic operations, the American multinational conglomerate General Electric -- headquartered in Fairfield, CT -- paid nothing in income taxes . "In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion."

      Mistake leaves Ohio man with $16M cable TV charge

      An Ohio man says his payment for television service was rejected because it wouldn't cover the $16.4 million he was told he owed Time Warner Cable instead of the usual $80.
      Daniel DeVirgilio of Beavercreek tells the Dayton Daily News he wanted to watch the NCAA basketball tournament's Sweet 16 but didn't expect it to cost a million dollars per ...

      One Ticket in Albany, NY Hits Mega Millions Winning Numbers for $312M Jackpot

      If you don't live in Albany, NY, you can stop reading now, as you didn't hit the Mega Million Winning Numbers and win the $312 million Jackpot.

      Knox's hopes for appeal boosted

      The appeal hopes of Amanda Knox were boosted when a key prosecution witness gave conflicting evidence relating to the killing of British student Meredith Kercher.

      Parents search for missing daughter

      The parents of a cruise ship worker who went missing off the coast of Mexico have flown out to join the search for her.

      Vintage Photo

      Vintage lovely…

      Homeless Man Builds Car out of Scrap

      Orismar de Souza, 35, of São José de Piranha, Brazil, built a functional car out of junk. He actually shaped the body himself out of sheet metal using a hammer and chisel. The engine 125cc engine is from a motorcycle, and the other parts were gathered from junk yards in his area. After four years of work, off and on, he was successful:
      “Nobody believed, everybody laughed at me,” Souza told Globo.com. “I was very humbled by this, but I won and I built my car alone with my own hands. ”
      By December, Souza was able to replace the motorcycle engine’s kickstarter with a car ignition, and add in a gearbox with reverse. The mostly Fiat shrimpmobile can reach 50 mph on the highway, and Souza has been able to use it to find a home and a job in the local sugarcane fields.

      Who Knew ...

      101 Pringles Flavors From Around The World
      Pringles is a brand of potato and wheat based snacks produced by Procter & Gamble. Pringles are sold in over 100 countries and have yearly sales of over US$1 billion. Procter & Gamble chose the Pringles name from a Cincinnati telephone book, having been inspired by Pringle Drive in Finneytown, Ohio, due to its pleasing sound. Pringles brand potato crisps were first sold in the United States in October 1968, and distributed internationally by the mid-1970s.

      Here are 101 Pringles flavors from around the world.

      OMG and LOL Added to the OED

      OMG! We can’t accuse our BFF Oxford English Dictionary with being behind the times anymore. The OED has finally managed to get with the program (LOL!):
      For the March 2011 release of OED Online, we have selected for publication a number of noteworthy initialisms—abbreviations consisting of the initial letters of a name or expression. Some of these—such as OMG [OMG int. (and n.) and adj.]: ‘Oh my God’ (or sometimes ‘gosh’, ‘goodness’, etc.) and LOL [LOL int. and n./2]: ‘laughing out loud’—are strongly associated with the language of electronic communications (email, texting, social networks, blogs, and so on). They join other entries of this sort: IMHO (‘in my humble opinion’) [IMHO at I n./1], TMI (‘too much information’) [TMI at T n.], and BFF (‘best friends forever’) [BFF at B n.], among others.

      Woman sues franchise claiming company's sales training was religious indoctrination

      A woman is suing a franchise in federal court on a claim that the franchise was actually a "cult," and she was fired for her refusal to participate in religious proselytizing. Jo A. Yochum filed the suit on Thursday in Pittsburgh against Bath Fitter of Pittsburgh, 216 Pleasant Drive, Center. Yochum's age and address were not listed in the lawsuit.

      According to the lawsuit, Yochum was hired as a Bath Fitter sales representative in April 2004 and was required to participate in a training program that cost her $90,000. The cost of the training was to be withheld as a deduction from sales commissions on her first $3 million in sales. The lawsuit alleges that the sales training provided by another Center Township company, Partners Through People, was actually a religious indoctrination and that the defendants "collectively constitute and conduct themselves as a cult designed to indoctrinate members in their religious worldview."

      The training handbook Yochum received "is riddled with religious dogma" that Yochum had to adopt as a condition of her employment. The handbook "required trainees such as Yochum to reflect not on the nature and quality of the renovation materials to be installed by Bath Fitter, as one might expect, but on the nature and quality of ‘Evil, Sin, Judgment Day, Hell, Guilt and Punishment, and Free Will.'" The suit also alleges Yochum had to continue to attend mandatory "Break Out" sessions that were "one-on-one religious indoctrination and brainwashing" after she reached her initial $3 million sales goal.

      Yochum objected to the forced religious indoctrination and was ultimately fired in October 2009. The suit claims the company owners told other employees they "could not work with Yochum because she was an atheist." It also alleges the defendants "willfully discriminated against Yochum when they terminated Yochum based on her religious beliefs and her refusal to continue to endure religious indoctrination as a condition of employment." Yochum is seeking to recover damages including back pay, front pay, compensatory and punitive damages and attorney's fees. She is demanding a jury trial.



      Police Academy 10?

      A flotilla of yellow rubber ducks intended for a fund-raising event has been stolen from a police academy in suburban Chicago.
      This sounds like it could be a 'script' for one of those Police Academy movies.

      CIA Escape Kit

      Made to Be Hidden Inside the Human Body

      We'll leave it to you to guess where.  

      Wired has a gallery of gadgets from the history of espionage, including this CIA-issue escape kit from the 1960s.

      It might be useful to know ...


      Religious young adults become obese by middle age

      Just another reason religion is bad for you

      Fat, fat, fat.Could it be the potato salad? Young adults who frequently attend religious activities are 50 percent more likely to become obese by middle age as young adults with no religious ...

      High consumption of Omega-3s cuts risk of obesity-related disease

      A study of Yup’ik Eskimos in Alaska, who on average consume 20 times more omega-3 fats from fish than people in the lower 48 states, suggests that a high intake ...

      Plant oil may hold key to reducing obesity-related medical issues

      Sterculia foetida (Wild_Almond)Scientists have known for years that belly fat leads to serious medical problems, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke.
      Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found a plant ...

      Oranges and Lemons

      A Gardener got the shock of her life when her orange tree started to grow lemons.

      Doomed Future for Joshua Trees?

      Temperature increases resulting from climate change in the Southwest will likely eliminate Joshua trees from 90 percent of their current range in 60 to 90 years ...

      Florida kayaker's shark encounter

      Basking sharks, which are harmless but can measure 40 feet, are rarely seen off the Florida coast.  



        Rare Dinosaur Found In Canada's Oil Sands

        The Canadian oil sands, a vast expanse of tar and sand being mined for crude oil, yielded treasure of another kind this week when an oil company worker unearthed a 110-million-year-old dinosaur fossil that wasn't supposed to be there.

        Ten animals that look like Yoda


        Leopard burned alive by Indian villagers

        A mob of about 300-400 villagers poured petrol on a caged leopard and burnt it alive on the outskirts of the Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand, as wildlife wardens and some policemen stood by helplessly, an official said. The animal was captured alive in Dhandhar village, on the outskirts of the Corbett Tiger Reserve.

        According to Uttarakhand Chief Wildlife Conservator S.K. Chandola: ‘Irate villagers (Wednesday evening) forcibly took custody of the leopard that was captured and put in a cage and was being taken away by department officials.’ He said, ‘The villagers doused the leopard with petrol and threw a lit matchstick inside the cage, sending the animal up in flames.’

        Chandola said, ‘Even though there were about 35 wildlife officials and four policemen, they were overpowered by a mob of 300-400 people who would not let the officials go anywhere close to the burning animal that kept wailing and roaring inside the cage until he met his end.’ Contrary to some reports, which said the animal had killed a few people over the past few days, Chandola clarified: ‘The leopard had apparently strayed from the periphery of Corbett reserve area and was reported to have attacked and wounded three people on Wednesday.’

        Wildlife enthusiasts blamed wildlife officials for not ensuring protection to the leopard which is listed among the endangered species and its killing entails imprisonment up to seven years. No one has been arrested so far.
        There should be 300 to 400 arrests!

        Chinese sheep gives birth to puppy

        A Chinese farmer claims that one of his sheep has given birth to a puppy. The 'puppy' has wool like a lamb but it's mouth, nose, eyes, paws and tail look more like a dog's. Vets say it is impossible for a sheep to give birth to a dog - but people have been flocking to Liu Naiying's farm to see the animal for themselves.

        Liu, of in Fugu County, Shaanxi Province, says his 'sheep dog' even plays like a puppy. He told how he found the unusual baby animal shortly after it was born in one of his fields.

        "I was herding the sheep, and saw a sheep licking her newborn lamb on the grassland. The lamb was still wet," he said. "When I went up close to check on the lamb I was shocked because it looked so weird, like a cross between a sheep and a dog. I was a bit frightened, as I've been raising sheep for 20 years and had never seen such a creature."

        Yue Guozhang, a researcher at Xi'an City Animal Husbandry Technology Center, said sheep and dogs were different species. "It's not possible that a sheep could become pregnant with a puppy," he said. "It's likely that this is just an abnormal lamb."

        Animal Pictures