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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.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
It's true that opposites attract, but it's also true that opposites can infuriate.
Steer clear of folks on the opposite end of the viewpoint spectrum today, and stay with people who are more in line with the way you think.
Challenging yourself with opposing perspectives can be beneficial, but not today.
You don't need to prove yourself to anyone.
Today you need reassurance, agreement and harmony.
Conflict is too likely to explode in your face.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Sanyander, Cantabria, Spain
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Bremen, Bremen, Gremany
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada
Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Doham Ad Dawhah, Qatar
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia

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 Ruskin, Chetek, Fresno, Reno and more.

Today is:
Today is Sunday, April 3, the 94th day of 2011.
There are 271 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Tater Day
Vitamin C Day

World Rat Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month

Definition of testicular cancer: Cancer that forms in tissues of the testis (one of two egg-shaped glands inside the scrotum that make sperm and male hormones). Testicular cancer usually occurs in young or middle-aged men. Two main types of testicular cancer are seminomas (cancers that grow slowly and are sensitive to radiation therapy) and nonseminomas (different cell types that grow more quickly than seminomas).
Estimated new cases and deaths from testicular cancer in the United States in 2010:

New cases: 8,480
Deaths: 350

For an overview of testicular cancer, see Testicular Cancer: Questions and Answers.

Awesome Pictures


April is Poetry Month

The Raven  
by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"- here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!" -
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more."

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of 'Never - nevermore'."

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore:
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting -
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

Random Celebrity Photo

Care to guess who?

Non Sequitur


Rage over Quran burning

The desecration of the Muslim holy book at a Florida church fuels a second day of deadly protests.  

    Just how bad is housing market?

    The picture for real estate is three times as bad when you look beyond the official numbers. 

      Do repugicans want Americans to die in airline crashes?

      Call me crazy but I would rather have a rested pilot instead of a tired one.
      Maybe there's a grass roots movement screaming for less airline safety but then again, maybe it's the same old corporate ass-kissing by the repugicans.

      :A U.S. rule to require more rest for airline pilots may stall under a proposal adopted by the House, according to cockpit crews, lawmakers and other plan opponents.

      The 215-209 vote today in Washington requires that the Federal Aviation Administration, before issuing any rules, consider alternatives, differing industry segments and adverse effects on the economy. The provision was added to legislation that will fund the FAA for four years, which the House also approved, 223-196.

      The proposal will ensure rules “are not overly burdensome” and “based on the best available science,” Bill Shuster, the Pennsylvania repugican who wrote the plan, said yesterday on the House floor.

      Southwest jet has past issues

      Jet that makes an emergency landing with a ruptured fuselage needed cracks repaired last year.

      The Sign

      The shopkeeper was dismayed when a brand new business much like his own opened up next door and erected a huge sign which read BEST DEALS.

      He was horrified when another competitor opened up on his right, and announced its arrival with an even larger sign, reading LOWEST PRICES.

      The shopkeeper was panicked, until he got an idea. He put the biggest sign of all over his own shop-it read... MAIN ENTRANCE.

      The Onion chooses the biggest faux news day to launch its real iPad app

      The Onion, known for parody and satire, surely timed this intentionally. 
      The site released an official iPad version of its app on the day best known for faux news: April Fools' Day.

      Artist Ron English's April Fool's sign at US-Mexico border

      Artist Ron English went to the US-Mexico border for April Fool's day and pulled a few pranks. The above sign is one of them.
      Unfortunately this piece of sociopolitical satire is going to backfire because the Tea Party will find out about it and demand that it be permanently installed at every border crossing.

      April Fool's prank costs Ill. teen $150

      Police gave a 16-year-old central Illinois girl $150 in tickets after the worried victims of her April Fool's Day prank called authorities.

      Teacher suspended after Facebook update about 'overseeing future criminals'

      Another teacher is in hot water over a Facebook post, and this one has been suspended.

      In this case, a first grade teacher at New Jersey's School 21 was suspended after posting a Facebook update that said she felt like a warden overseeing future criminals.

      Odds and Sods

      The majestic main branch of the New York Public Library is seeking 500 people to spend all night there on a scavenger hunt designed to tap into their creativity and potential as they explore its miles of rare treasures.

      The Wyoming town of Lost Springs can finally count on the Census to get its population correct: Four, not one.

      A man who bought a used 300-foot Staten Island Ferry to convert it into a waterborne dorm for New York college students is drowning in a bad case of buyer's remorse.

      King and czar

      Or is it czar and king?
      Czar Nicholas II of Russia and King George V of England. Their portraits appear on many postage stamps and it is difficult to distinguish between the two men. Can you pick who’s who from this photo?
      There's a 50:50 chance you're wrong - and if you're really smart (and observant, and knowledgeable re clothing and style), then you're even more likely to get it wrong, for a reason posted with the answer at The Ornamented Being.

      Sample a stellar smorgasbord

      The latest picture from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer serves up a grab bag of colorful goodies, including a ruby-red reflection nebula, a twinkling of hot pink baby stars and some real old-timers in deep blue.



      Tool Too Dangerous

      Description: This recall involves the Gerber Gator Combo Axe, which has a 7-inch knife in the hollow axe handle. The axe is approximately 8.75 inches long with an axe head that is 4.75 inches x 2.7 inches. The axe handle is marked with the "Gerber" trademark. The Gerber Combo Axe II, which holds a saw in a longer axe handle, is not included in this recall.
      Hazard: The knife in the axe handle can come out when the axe is used for chopping or hammering, posing a laceration hazard to the user.
      Incidents/Injuries: Gerber has received five reports of laceration injuries. All required stitches.
      combo axe

      Custom Cadillac Camper

      This camper is built over a 1956 Cadillac Sedan de Ville. This is the first time that I’ve heard of such a vehicle, but apparently there were many of them made in years past. They’re called, appropriately, “Caddy Shacks”. eBay seller sportscarlacalifornia is offering this one for sale.


      The Art Of Turning Paper Strips Into Intricate Artworks

      The art of quilling first became popular during the Renaissance, when nuns and monks would use it to roll gold-gilded paper and decorate religious objects, as an alternative to the expensive gold filigree. Later, during the 18th and 19th centuries, it became a favorite pass-time of English ladies who created wonderful decorations for their furniture and candles, through quilling.

      Basically, the quilling process consists of cutting strips of paper, and rolling them with a special tool. All through the years, the art of quilling has remained almost unchanged, but new specialty supplies now allow quilling masters to create anything from detailed 3-D figures to wall-sized museum installations.



      Now, that's something you don't see everyday


      Woman suffering from depression fights to keep disabled 'therapy pet' kangaroo

      A woman suffering from depression who found comfort from an unusual pet as been told the animal could be taken away because it is a public safety risk. Christie Carr is seeking an exemption from Broken Arrow City Council to keep Irwin, a 25lbs great red kangaroo that she cares for like a child. Irwin rides in a car seat, is dressed in a shirt and trousers every day and is rarely apart from his doting carer.

      At the advice of her therapist, Ms Carr began volunteering at an animal sanctuary where she met Irwin when he was just a baby. Less than a week later the joey - named after Australian animal expert Steve Irwin - ran into a fence, fracturing his neck and causing severe brain damage. Ms Carr volunteered to take the animal home and developed a bond with him as she nursed him back to health. Irwin cannot stand or walk on his own, but he is slowly regaining mobility and can hop three or four times in a row without assistance.

      Ms Carr said: 'Irwin will not live if I have to give him up. I can't imagine a day living without him.' Native to Australia, healthy male great red kangaroos can grow up to 7ft and weigh more than 200lbs. They are capable of bounding 25ft in a single leap. Because of his accident, Irwin isn't expected to grow larger than 50lbs. Neutering has also lessened any chance he will become aggressive.

      Dr Lesleigh Cash Warren, his vet, said: 'Irwin cannot be judged as any normal kangaroo. He is a unique animal due to his disabilities and will require a lifetime of care and concern for his welfare.' Ms Carr, who is unable to work because of her health, changes Irwin's nappy several times a day and feeds him with salad, raw vegetables, popcorn, kangaroo food and the occasional bag of cheese crisps. The marsupial never leaves the house without getting dressed first. His clothes - a boy's shirt cut to accommodate his neck, and jeans or trousers with a hole cut for his tail - are necessary for th

      Australian couple pay $5,000 to correct duck's limp

      Many a Peking duck has been carved up. But pet quacker Pixie may be the first who has been stitched back up after going under the knife. Her owners are estimated to have spent a staggering $5000 to save their lame duck's gammy leg.

      Amputation of Pixie's injured leg wasn't an option for the water wader, who could have spent the rest of her life swimming in circles. But after they adopted her as a five-week old abandoned chick, Rebecca Irvine and David Ogilvie were not going to give up on their favorite girl. "As birds do, she imprinted and bonded with David as soon as she arrived and she sees him, both of us actually, as her parents," Ms Irvine said.

      Pixie follows them around the sprawling grounds of their spacious Box Hill home and is best mates with Daphne, another rescued Peking duck. "People buy them at the markets when they are cute and cuddly tiny chicks and have no idea about how big they will grow and how hard they are to keep as pets," Mr Ogilvie said. "So we end up with them." Four months ago, the delightful duck developed a limp and a bacterial infection in the joint was diagnosed.

      "We have spent weeks and months working with an expert and using antibiotics to try and cure it but it ended up needing surgery." Pixie was then referred to specialist Charles Kuntz, at Southpaws in Moorabbin, who has performed thousands of leg ligament ops on cats and dogs - and now his first on a duck. The surgery to fuse the elbow joint in Pixie's leg took only an hour and this lame duck is cured.

      Three-legged calf becomes family pet

      The first three-legged calf in "living memory" has been born in Raphoe, in County Donegal. The shorthorn cross, known as Paul, was born on the farm of the Vance family who have farmed in the Momeen area for well over 200 years.

      It weighed over 50 kg at birth and is said to be healthy. "It is the first time we've ever had a three-legged animal born in these parts," Kenneth Vance said. "It is not that unusual to hear of abnormalities but this is different.

      "Apart from the fact the calf has three legs it is healthy enough and is feeding all right. We're going to give it a chance anyway of surviving." He said his children had nicknamed the calf "Paul" after an alien in a recent comedy film.

      "We'll probably keep him as a pet for the kids," he said. Gerard Roarty, Principal Veterinary Surgeon at the Donegal Animal Hospital based in Letterkenny, said the birth of a three legged calf was extremely unusual."

      Orphaned baby rabbits are adopted by male chihuahua

      A litter of orphaned wild rabbits have found an unlikely foster parent at an animal rescue center – a male Chihuahua. The three-day-old babies were uncovered in a compost heap last week and are too small to fend for themselves. They are now being hand-reared by Sheila Stewart, owner of Capricorn Animal Rescue in Padeswood, with help from surrogate father Mitch.

      Sheila said: “A man brought the litter in along with their nest after he found them when he moved a compost heap. They are tiny and I am feeding them every few hours with milk through a syringe. After I’ve finished feeding them, Mitch comes along and washes and grooms each one. He seems to have adopted them.”

      Two-year-old Mitch, who was brought in to the center when he was just six months old, has been unable to find a home because of his tendency to chew everything around him – except baby rabbits. Sheila added: “He eats and chews absolutely anything he can find – feathers, cloths and even razor blades. I have had to take him to the vet so many times, I’ve been told he’ll glow in the dark if he has any more X-rays.”

      Sheila added: “He is a real character and is so good with all the other animals.” But Mitch will be only able to look after his adopted babies for another few weeks, until they are released back into the wild. “I will feed them until they are big enough to feed themselves and then we will stop handling them,” said Sheila. “That way they remain wild and will be able to look after themselves when we release them at about eight or nine weeks old.”

      Orphaned bear cubs and tiger cub become friends

      Two orphaned black bear cubs in China have formed an unlikely friendship with a tiger cub at China's Qingdao Wildlife Park.

      The three-month old twin cubs were taken from their mother at birth after she showed signs of rejecting them.

      They have received specialist care and were first fed on milk from other animals, before being moved on to artificial milk.

      Keepers say the cubs are doing well and will soon be independent and strong enough to be introduced to the public for the first time.

      Animal Pictures