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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 17, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Understanding your emotions has helped you grow significantly over the past year or so -- the ability to feel what you feel honestly has taught you invaluable lessons.
Now your focus should turn toward developing maturity in how you react to things that are beyond your control.
Work on having an impersonal point of view on these issues -- it seems counter-intuitive to remove emotions from your thinking now, but you will understand the wisdom of it soon.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Vienna, Wien, Austria
Helsinki, Southern Finland, Finland
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Erlangen, Bayern, Germany
London, England, United Kingdom
Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Pakanbaru, Riau, Indonesia
Yverdon, Vaud, Switzerland
Gengenbach, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

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 Bryn Mawr, Temple City, Clarks Summit, Kill Devil Hills and more.

Today is:
Today is Sunday, April 17, the 108th day of 2011.
There are 247 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Bat Appreciation Day
Blah! Blah! Blah! Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Yankees ignore War Between the States

The aggressor side in the war largely ignores its 150th anniversary. 

Vicious storms cut across U.S.

A rampage that began in Okla. days ago reaches a new and deadly pitch in N.C. and Va.  

Worst roads in America

Oklahoma and Arkansas are in the bottom five, according to an analysis of roadway woes.  

The 10 Best Places To Live For Escaping World Conflict

Where would you be the safest if World War 3 broke out tomorrow? Safety and distance from world conflict can be a motivating factor in your choice to expatriate. At the very least, conflict around the world can weigh heavy on the soul, and it's nice to know there are some places still left in the world where you might be left in peace.
Here's a list of the 10 best places to live if you want to escape world conflict.

Mubarak charged with corruption

Egypt's state news agency says prosecutors have filed corruption charges against the former prime minister and two other senior members of the Cabinet that served under ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

The Power of Mockery

Bottom line -- sometimes a very serious strategy requires a very comical/mocking approach. :)
Youth movements have the power to overthrow dictators, reduce crime, improve calculus scores and stop teenagers from smoking.

Money habits of millionaires

Most Americans worth $1million or more have earned it themselves — and don't overspend it.

The truth be told


Taxes drop for super-rich

The average tax rate for the richest Americans is down to 17 percent, a new survey reveals.  

What can raise IRS red flags

The odds of a tax audit go up if you fail to take these steps when filing your return.

Liechtenstein for hire at £43,000 a night

Executives with cash to burn traditionally hire luxury yachts, secluded villas or expensive hotel suites to impress clients. Now they can take corporate hospitality to a new level by hiring an entire country, albeit a small one. The principality of Liechtenstein has decided to make itself available to private clients, from $70,000 (£43,000) a night, complete with customized street signs and temporary currency.

It's a big step for the country best known for its tax-haven status and exporting false teeth: last year Snoop Dogg, pictured, tried to hire it to use in a music video, but received a stern refusal from authorities. Since then they have woken up to the marketing opportunities of their mountainous landscape. The price tag includes accommodation for 150 people, although the 35,000 inhabitants would remain. Any personal touches, such as an individual logo created out of candle wax or a customized medieval procession, come at an extra, undisclosed cost.

Upon arrival in Liechtenstein, visitors would be presented with the symbolic key to the state, followed by wine tasting at the estate of the head of state, Prince Hans-Adam II. Other options include tobogganing, fireworks and horse-drawn carriage rides through the capital Vaduz. Visitors could also try cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoe hiking to explore the picturesque landscape.

Despite all these attractions, Liechtenstein has yet to be rented out – although a couple recently came close to hiring it for their wedding until the marriage was called off. The rental scheme is offered by Liechtenstein-based marketing firm Rent a Village by Xnet and hiring company Airbnb, which also has 10 European villages on its books. So, if hiring an entire country is too extravagant or overwhelming, there is always the option of renting a village in Austria or Switzerland for a mere $60,000 a night.

Woman with drawn-on beard robs gas station

Police in California are looking for a woman who robbed a gas station disguised as a man, complete with a beard she had drawn on her face. Surveillance video of the robbery at first glance appeared to show a bearded man dressed in baggy clothes and a beanie hat demanding money from a clerk across the counter.
But on closer inspection, it becomes evident that the suspect is in fact a woman. "This is the stupidest thing I've ever seen, ever heard and witnessed on my camera system," says Sanjay Sharma, owner of the Chevron station on 5th and H in Modesto.

"She tried to lower her voice and sound a like a male and she used some kind of ink or shoe polish to draw a beard on herself," says Sgt. Rick Applegate of the Modesto Police Department. When you look at the tiny, feminine hands poking outside the clothing, there's no denying it's a lady behind this holdup. The suspect, standing all of 5'5" still managed to intimidate the clerk with a gun tucked into the waistband of her pants.

Because the clerk at this store doesn't have access to the safe, our armed robber only made off with about 30 dollars. Surveillance video shows her fleeing on a bicycle. Sergeant Rick Applegate says finding the suspect in this case could be pretty easy, "If anyone sees a woman that matches this description that has some dark black marks on her face, where it looks like she painted her face, there's a pretty good chance she could be our suspect here."

Odds and Sods

The generation of baby-boomers is now starting to try to unload a lifetime accumulation of "things."

"With some 8,000 Americans turning 65 every day, on average, and the senior population expected to double by 2050, millions are facing a massive, multifaceted purge that's turning out to be much tougher than they thought it would be." 

Wizard of Id


Products that last longer

You can wear running shoes for up to two years if you treat them right.

Culinary DeLites

Surprise about Wendy's fries

The fast-food chain’s much-hyped Natural-Cut Fries may not be what you think.  

Urban St. Louis farm gives opportunity to refugees

What used to be 10 city blocks in St. Louis is now an outdoor classroom where refugees are learning about organic food production, perhaps on their way to becoming farmers.

Awesome Pictures


The clapper bridges of Dartmoor

A simple form of bridge design features a series of stone slabs set atop rock pilings. It’s perhaps one rung up from stepping stones placed in the water or logs laid from bank-to-bank on the evolutionary scale of bridge design. It certainly falls within the more primitive bridge construction types imaginable. In England, particularly the County of Devon, it’s a form known as a clapper bridge...

Gravity alone holds everything in place without the benefit of mortar. Most of this construction took place from the middle ages through the early Nineteenth Century. They are quite common in Dartmoor and one gentleman has cataloged and visited more than 200 of them...
The Text above is from Twelve Mile Circle.

At the Widecombe-in-the-Moor website it was noted that -
The definition of a clapper bridge is flat stones held in place only by their own weight. Some of them have only one slab but they can consist of up to nine [note this one]. Some have pillars, some are laid directly onto the banks (cart clappers).

Phonetic Clues Hint Language Is Africa-Born

A researcher analyzing the sounds in languages spoken around the world has detected an ancient signal that points to southern Africa as the place where modern human language originated. The finding fits well with the evidence from fossil skulls and DNA that modern humans originated in Africa. It also implies, though does not prove, that modern language originated only once, an issue of considerable controversy among linguists.

The detection of such an ancient signal in language is surprising. Because words change so rapidly, many linguists think that languages cannot be traced very far back in time. The oldest language tree so far reconstructed, that of the Indo-European family, which includes English, goes back 9,000 years at most.

The Harmonica Pistol

Here’s one early solution to the problem of limited magazine capacity. Between 1859 and 1862, a French inventor named Jarre patented several so-called harmonica pistols. As often as the user needed a fresh round, s/he could just push the magazine laterally. The pinfire example pictured above could hold nine 9mm cartridges.

Old West Insults

He has teeth so crooked he could eat corn on the cob through a picket fence.

He’s studying to be a half wit.

She’s so ugly, she’d make a freight train take a dirt road!

He’s as crazy as popcorn on a hot stove.

He was so ugly he had to sneak up on a dipper to get a drink of water.

His brain cavity wouldn’t make a drinkin’ cup for a canary.

If all his brains were dynamite, there wouldn’t be enough to blow his nose.

She’s so ugly, she could back a buzzard off a gut-wagon.

He couldn’t track an elephant in snow.

His mustache smelled like a mildewed saddle blanket after it had been rid on a soreback hoss three hundred miles in August.

He couldn’t hit the ground with his hat in three throws.



Odd work schedules pose risk to health

Reports of sleeping air traffic controllers highlight a long-known and often ignored hazard: Workers on night shifts can have trouble concentrating and even staying awake.

Set up a home gym cheaply

For a few dollars, a jump rope delivers a full-body cardio workout that burns fat.  

How Bikes Keep the Rubber on the Road

Explore the physics behind the surprising stability of two-wheeled transportation.  

Some Florida residents experienced a real-life version of Alfred Hitchcocks 60s movie, The Birds.

Some Florida residents experienced a real-life version of Alfred Hitchcock's 60s' movie, "The Birds."
A flock of Slender-billed Grackles are attacking people who walk through a parking lot in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Cuckoos copy hawks to scare birds

Cuckoo (Image: Photolibrary.com) 
Cuckoos' hawk-like plumage helps them avoid attacks from birds whose nests they are trying to invade, say scientists.

Stinky 8-foot 'corpse flower' set to bloom

Spring is in the air, and that means an unpleasant smell for one greenhouse at Ohio State University. Stinky 8-foot 'corpse flower' set to bloom
Joan Leonard, a supervisor at the Ohio State University Biological Sciences greenhouse, measures a corpse flower in Columbus, Ohio. 

Daily Riddle

Quick:  What's the last name of the marooned family in Swiss Family Robinson?  
Wrong.  The answer is in the Futility Closet.

Glacier calving reveals secrets of the deep

Scientists take advantage of an iceberg's crash into an Antarctic glacier to conduct experiments that may help understand climate change.

Hydrocarbons in the deep earth

A new computational study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals how hydrocarbons may be formed from methane in deep Earth at extreme pressures and temperatures. [...]
Hydrocarbons in the deep earth



Lobster shells valuable for golf balls

Lobsters aren't just for eating anymore.

The shells from Maine's signature seafood are being used to manufacture decorative tiles, trivets and drinking-glass coasters.

Less Sharks Mean an Ocean Jam-Packed With Sardines

sardine photo
Sardines have made a serious comeback in terms of sustainable food trends. Sardines are on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch green list. There's also an over population of sardines as a result of a lack of predators, namely sharks and other larger fish species, according to a story in the Daily Mail reported on Be More Eco.

Woman pried from mouth of her pet python

A Kansas police officer is being hailed a hero for freeing an albino python from the neck of its owner. The owner, Chrystal Wilson, was treated at the hospital for piercings to her neck and released.

The incident happened at her home in Lyons in Rice County. Police say her albino python latched onto her neck when she took it out of its cage to feed it. Her children called 911 for help.

Officer Max Bryant responded to the call. He was shocked to see the eight-foot python latched to her neck, but he quickly took the snake by its jaws, slowly prying it from her neck.

While the City of Lyons is calling him a hero, honouring him for his bravery, Officer Bryant says he was just doing his job. The snake is now with a friend because police are concerned for the safety of her children. Wilson is also being cited for harbouring a vicious animal.

Walter the pet pig raids fridge for scotch and cola

Walter the pig is a gentle giant, but heaven help anyone who gets between the porker and a six-pack of scotch and cola. Ripping the fridge door open, he pulls out the pack, sinks his fangs into the cans then slurps the slops from the garage floor.

With a burp and a belch, he hauls himself up on his leather sofa and snores off the drink for a bit. Owner Gary Murnane doesn't like Walter drinking his grog, but there's not much he or wife Vicki can do. The lovable giant also breaks into the house to get into the family fridge or food pantry.

"He's broken into the house more times than we can count and he'll grab everything he can reach in the pantry, including 5kg bags of potatoes, all the fruit and veggies, and anything else on the lower shelves," Ms Murnane said. The Murnanes bought Walter as a "miniature" pig. For the first six months, he slept on the couch in front of the TV.

"But you could see each week he was almost doubling in size," Ms Murnane said. Now he is 132kg and still growing. Walter wanders the Murnanes' sprawling Creswick, Australia, property, meeting and greeting every other animal every day. "He is besotted with Coco, the retired greyhound. He massages her legs with his snout," Ms Murnane said.

Animal Pictures