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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, April 20, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Things are starting to get hopping in a formerly peaceful (or dull) area of your life -- could a new, hot romance be brewing?
If you feel a new connection getting stronger, don't push things too quickly right now.
It's best to play it cool and let them come to you.
This increased activity might not be romantically related at all ... if you've been trying to get a business venture off the ground, you might find a wide-open window of opportunity today.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Hamburg, Hamburg Germany
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
London, England, United Kingdom
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, netherlands
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Hamm, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Surabaya, Jawa Timur, Indonesia

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 Ventnor City, Little River, Kailua, Walnut and more.

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, April 20, the 111th day of 2011.
There are 244 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
There isn't one.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

'Nuff Said


April is Confederate History Month

The Thin Gray Line

North Carolina faces massive price tag for storm cleanup

22 dead in this state alone. More than 800 homes damaged or destroyed. The costs will go into the tens of millions of dollars.

But with the repugicans clamoring to see how they can screw the state's populace even further don't look for any one to get any help in their recovery unless they have a net worth of over a couple of million dollars ...

Janitor's lavish gift to school

Tyrone Curry is retiring after 34 years and wanted to leave a gift for the students.  

First lady's plane in close call

A mix-up that forced Michelle Obama's 737 to change maneuvers in midair adds to FAA embarrassment. 

Signs of 'mission creep' in Libya?

A line is crossed as Britain and France send military advisers to assist the Libyan rebels.  



Non Sequitur


Wizard of Id


Portrait of a typical repugican


Oklahoma City bombing, 16 years later

168 dead, thanks to ronny raygunn and the repugicans

Tim McVeigh, the original Teabagger, used  a "second amendment solution"
to show his displeasure with a government he felt was too big and too intrusive.

Big Government ... Yes it's the repugicans

Repugicans ARE the BIG GOVERNMENT they keep 'warning' you about and Rachel Maddow proves it.
They have always been and always will be the true 'Big Government' assholes they accuse everyone else of being.

Repugicans are hypocritical opportunists pure and simple

The irony, it burns: Paul Ryan, the repugican congressman who proposed a budget to gut social programs, collected social security benefits until he was 18 years old and saved it for his college education

More repugican chicanery

A school with 90% graduation rates and 100% college acceptance rates

was shut down because Michigan's emergency finance czar wants to make schools for profit institutions with teachers working at the lowest wages possible.
On the heels of the shocking announcement last month by Detroit public schools emergency financial manager (efm) Robert Robb to close up to eight schools and sell up to 45 schools to charter companies, he slated the highly successful and unique Catherine Ferguson academy for closure.  The school, which has been featured in the film grown in Detroit documenting the school’s urban farm and in O: the Oprah Winfrey magazine, boasts a 90% graduation rate and 100% college and higher education acceptance upon graduation.  The award winning school is specifically for pregnant and parenting teens and their children, offering a wide range of classes and child care.  It is the only school of its kind in the nation. - Shirleyujest's diary over at the great orange Satan.

The truth be told


McDonald's hiring spree

Fighting its "McJob" image, the fast-food chain tried to fill 50,000 positions in a single day.  

Interest fades in homeownership

More Americans are shunning houses, despite the cheapest prices in 40 years.  

America's comeback cities

Employment is forecasted to grow about 3% in these hard-hit metropolitan areas this year.

The 10 Most Sinister Ways Casinos Keep You Gambling

Put all thoughts of big winnings out of your mind. No matter what your system or how great your understanding of the odds, at the end of the day the house always wins, meaning you can kiss your hard-earned money goodbye.

Casinos are big business, and there are reasons why it's been that way for so long. Indeed everything about the casino environment is carefully designed to keep you gambling - thereby maximizing the business' profits. Here are 10 sinister means that casinos use to keep you coming back for more.

I’ve been workin’ on the railroad all the live long day …

I’ve been workin’ on the railroad all the live long day…
I’ve been workin’ on the railroad all the live long day …

On The Job

Cost-cutting pressures and fickle consumers make these fields intense.  

The best and worst jobs out there

The best and worst jobs out there
Researchers took a look at 200 jobs and ranked them from best to worst, taking into account earning potential, job outlook, work environment, physical labor, and potential for stress. How did your job rank?

Dieters' best & worst snacks

Those who ate Greek yogurt daily in one study lost 81 percent more abdominal fat.  


    Life on the Balcony - Gardening Tips for Apartment and Condo Dwellers

    Garden As If Your Life Depended On It, Because It Does

    You Grow Girl

    New Alzheimer's guidelines

    The disease will be seen as a continuum of three stages, in hopes of catching it sooner.  

    Freaks and Geeks

    Why one goes to RenFaires
    Then there's always ComicCon

    The end of "rare" music and other digitizable media

    This Rolling Stones former-rarity is easy to find online.
    My consciousness was forever altered when I happened on Kamandi #3 at age 11. I wanted to read every comic Jack Kirby had created up to that point. But early issues of Fantastic Four were rare and expensive. I bought what I could afford and treasured them. Today I'm sure I could get my hands on PDFs of every issue of Fantastic Four in short order (but I don't have to because I bought the cheap pulpy Essential Fantastic Four anthologies - the ones to get are Vol 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 -- after that Kirby jumped ship for DC). Rare old comics, along with music and cult films, are no longer rare.
    Bill Wyman of Slate explores "what it means to have all music [and other digitizable media] instantly available."
    A rarity might be less popular; it might be less interesting. But it's no longer less available the way it once was. If you have a decent Internet connection and a slight cast of amorality in your character, there's very little out there you might want that you can't find. Does the end of rarity change in any fundamental way, our understanding of, attraction to, or enjoyment of pop culture and high art? ...
    In a recent issue of the New York Review of Books, the poet Dan Chiasson wrote at length about Keith Richards' autobiography and made an interesting point near the end, about how scarcity and rarity, long ago, actually fueled artistic endeavor:
    [T]he experience of making and taking in culture is now, for the first time in human history, a condition of almost paralyzing overabundance. For millennia it was a condition of scarcity; and all the ways we regard things we want but cannot have, in those faraway days, stood between people and the art or music they needed to have: yearning, craving, imagining the absent object so fully that when the real thing appears in your hands, it almost doesn't match up. Nobody will ever again experience what Keith Richards and Mick Jagger experienced in Dartford, scrounging for blues records.
    Point taken--but let's remember it's a small sacrifice. I have this or that fetish object--the White Album on two 8-tracks in a black custom case, for example, or a rare Elvis Costello picture disc. And I remember the joy of the find. But it's hard to feel bad about the end of rarity; didn't a lot of the thrill come from feeling superior when you had something others didn't? You really want to get nostalgic about that? We're finally approaching that nirvana for fans, scholars, and critics: Everything available, all the time. (Certainly Richards and Jagger would approve.) It's not an ideal state of affairs for a rights holder, of course. But for the rest of us, what is there to complain about?

    Mind-boggling optical illusions

    If you stare into the center of this grid, you may be startled by what you see.  

    The Pain of Brain Drain

    Attention please: All those tweets, apps, updates may drain brain.
    2 phones The modern world bombards us with stimuli, a nonstop stream of e-mails, chats, texts, tweets, status updates and video links to piano playing cats.
    There's growing concern among scientists that indulging in these ceaseless disruptions isn't good for our brains, in much the way that excessive sugar or fat - other things we evolved to crave when they were in shorter supply - isn't good for our bodies.
    And some believe it's time to consider a technology diet.
    And this:
    Some psychiatrists worry that people are increasingly demonstrating addict-like behavior when it comes to technology, unable to ignore its pull, even when it negatively affects them.
    Among the constantly connected, many say they suddenly lack the focus and attention span they once had. They find it harder to get through a book, movie, conversation or even article (where you going, reader?) without feeling the tug of technology.
    If you ever find yourself wishing you had three hands, you know you're in trouble.

    Random Celebrity Photo


    Slow driver owned

    Slow muthurfuckin' driver in fast lane gets owned by cop!

    Mom's sleuthing ends in 'Bonnie and Clyde' arrest

    A mother who believed in her son's innocence is relieved today because he's in the clear - and the "Bonnie and Clyde" duo she led police to after a string of Charlotte  burglaries has been jailed in a nearly identical S.C. crime.


    The smell of marijuana smoke is no longer enough reason for police to order someone out of a car, now that pot has been decriminalized in Massachusetts, the state's highest court said in a decision published on Tuesday.

    Last Sentence Delivered in Grisly Slave Torture-Murder Case of Mentally Disabled Pregnant Woman

    The last of six people involved in the torture-murder of a pregnant, developmentally disabled woman in Alton, Ill., has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for first-degree murder.

    Benny Wilson, 19, was sentenced by Madison County Associate Judge James Hackett.

    Alton police Officer Jennifer Tierney testified that evidence showed Wilson had repeatedly shot Dorothy Dixon with a BB gun and kicked her in the face and head.

    Dixon was found dead on Jan. 31, 2008 in a damp, unfinished basement where she lived.

    She had numerous bruises, burns over 30 to 40 percent of her body, a number of BBs lodged in her skin and was 5 or 6 months pregnant with a viable fetus.

    Wilson's sentence was not as severe as the one handed to the alleged ringleader, Michelle Riley [pictured], who received 45 years after pleading guilty to first-degree murder. Police say Riley dominated the house, collected Dixon's disability check and treated her as a slave.

    Other defendants included LeShelle McBride, 18, Riley's daughter, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 6 years; Michael J. Elliott, 21, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 8 years; Judy E. Woods, 46, who pleaded guilty to aggravated battery and was sentenced to 18 months; and a 12-year-old boy who was found guilty of second-degree murder in juvenile court and was sentenced to 60 days of detention and 5 years probation.

    From February, 2010 - Dorothy Dixon was a 29-year-old mother with another child on the way. She was also mentally disabled with the mind of a child, which made her Social Security checks rather attractive to Michelle Riley. So Riley invited Dixon into her Alton, Illinois home, only to make her the house slave...

    She would soon be the subject of unspeakable cruelty. Over months, the residents of the household -- including another woman, three kids ages 17-20, and a 12-year-old -- used Dixon to play out their most sadistic fantasies.

    Michelle Riley kept a pot of boiling water on hand to routinely scald Dixon so bad that it peeled back her skin. ​She was beaten with a plunger and burned with a hot glue gun. Police say Riley routinely kept boiling water on hand to scald Dixon, pouring water so hot it peeled back her skin. They used her for target practice with a BB pistol. And they burned all her clothes so she was forced to walk around naked.

    They also banished her to the basement to sleep on a mattress with a thin rug. And they did it all while she was five months pregnant.

    Why they tortured her is beyond imagination. But Riley, described as the ring leader, kept Dixon around so she could cash her Social Security checks. When Dixon finally died, she was found in the basement wearing only a sweater.

    An autopsy showed signs of severe torture. One-third of her body was covered in burns and she was severely dehydrated. Her teeth were knocked out and skin had grown over embedded BBs.

    The 12-year-old has already been found guilty in juvenile court to second-degree murder. He was sentenced to just 60 days detention and five years of probation.

    But last week, Riley, 37, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 45 years. Under the plea, her 17-year-old daughter, LeShelle McBride, will be allowed to plead to second-degree murder and face sentencing of 6-20 years.

    Still awaiting trial are Judy Woods, 45, Benny Wilson, 18, and Michael Elliott, 20.

    Real Estate Agent Murdered

    Investigators have received more than 340 tips in the killing of 27-year-old Iowa real estate agent Ashley Okland, but no arrests have been made.

    According to CBS affiliate KCCI, Okland was found shot inside the model unit of a new townhome complex in West Des Moines on April 8. Police say she died at a hospital from two gunshot wounds.

    Police announced Saturday that the reward for information in the case has grown to almost $67,000. The money is being offered through Polk County Crime Stoppers.

    According to the station, it's the largest Polk County Crime Stoppers reward fund ever created.

    West Des Moines police Lt. Jim Barrett told KCCI Friday that a search warrant has been executed in the investigation. The warrant was sealed by a Dallas County judge, Barrett said.

    Authorities say there's no reason to believe the shooting was anything other than an isolated incident.

    Investigators are still trying to determine a motive and possible suspect.

    Man in Beijing watches girlfriend killed on webcam in Toronto

    A university student was killed in front of her own webcam while her helpless boyfriend looked on. Officers found the semi-naked body of 23-year-old Qian Liu in her Toronto apartment at York University Village after receiving a tip-off from her boyfriend,who was chatting with her online 11,000 miles away in China at the time of the attack.

    The witness said he was talking to the English Language Institute student , originally from Beijing, at about 1am on Friday morning when there was a knock at the door. ‘She opened the door to a male. She could have known the male but he was unknown to the online witness,' Toronto Police Det–Sgt Frank Skubic said.

    The witness, speaking from Beijing, then told police he watched through the webcam lens as the muscular man with medium-length brown hair asked the victim to use her mobile phone. He then watched as a violent struggle developed between Qian Liu and the man, although some of the fight also took place out of the camera's range. The suspect - described as white, in his 20s, 6ft tall and about 200lbs - then turned off the IBM ThinkPad T400 laptop, which is now missing.

    The victim’s stunned boyfriend quickly used social media to contact others who knew the woman in Toronto and China but police didn’t arrive at her apartment until around 10 hours later. Miss Liu was one of eight people who lived in the multi-unit house and flatmates said she had only moved there in January of this year. Police have now issued a plea to computer experts as they try to recover webcam images of the attack.

    Odds and Sods

    Lost goat wanders into Idaho music store; dubbed 'Beethoven' for apparent love of music
    Stop me if you've heard this one: A goat walks into a music store. It sounds like the start of a bad joke, but that's exactly what happened at the Piano Gallery in the southeastern Idaho town of Ammon.

    Most small dog owners like pet more than friends
    In a new survey, more than half of respondents said their small dog is more important to them than their friends.

    Rising Ocean Temperatures Are Stressing Fish Out

    morwong photo  
    Photo: Joi / cc
    Fish have a lot to worry about these days, what with oil spills, Texas-sized islands of floating plastic debris, and overfishing -- but, according to the latest research, rising ocean temperatures are causing them quite a bit of stress as well. Biologists studying a particularly long-living fish in the Tasman Sea have discovered that, as waters continue to warm as a result of climate change, their usual growth cycles are pushed to the limit -- and the fish aren't the only ones who need to worry about it.
    Article continues: Rising Ocean Temperatures Are Stressing Fish Out

    Supreme court questions global warming lawsuit

    The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned whether a global warming lawsuit against five big power companies can proceed, with several justices saying the Environmental Protection Agency, not federal judges, should deal with the issue.

    South Texas couple killed by bee swarm

    Officials say bees swarmed an elderly couple at their South Texas ranch, killing both and injuring their son.

    Dog latest weapon in bedbug battle

    As the number of bedbug cases rise, more tools are being used to fight infestation.

    Science News

    Fossils of bizarre lizard-like, snail-eating marsupials have been discovered by UNSW palaeontologists in an ancient fossil field in the Riversleigh World Heritage area in Queensland.

    Surprise effect of Japan quake

    A rare and dramatic change in Japan's soil forces scientists to rethink earthquake dangers.

    Milky Way video wows

    A photographer sets his camera atop Spain's highest mountain for a week.  

    Birth of a Sunspot Cluster

    Just learned a lot about sunspots from Dr. Phil Plait. He’s quite excited about NASA footage that shows the formation of a cluster of sunspots earlier this year.
    Sunspots are actually regions of slightly cooler material at the Sun’s surface. Hot plasma (ionized gas, stripped of one electron or more) rises from the solar interior, reaches the surface, cools off, and sinks back down. This is called convection, and is the same process you see in a pot of boiling water. But at the surface, the tortured and twisted magnetic field of the Sun can suppress convection, preventing the cooler material from sinking. Since the brightness of the plasma depends on the temperature, this cooler stuff is darker. Boom! Sunspot.
    Or, in this case, sunspots. You can see five of the suckers here, changing and mutating as the plasma interacts with the magnetic field. I recognize these spots, too: they were responsible for the first X-class flare of the season on March 15th. There’s dramatic footage of that as well which I posted on my blog at the time. They’re busy spots; they blew out a lower energy flare a few days earlier, too.
    And here I am calling them cute and little when they’re actually comfortably bigger than the Earth and exploded with the energy equivalent of millions — millions! — of nuclear bombs.
     Watch the video at Bad Astronomy.



    The Snake and The Frog

    A man went fishing one day.

    He looked over the side of his boat and saw a snake with a frog in its mouth.

    Feeling sorry for the frog, he reached down, gently took the frog from the snake, and set the frog free.

    But then he felt sorry for the snake. He looked around the boat, but he had no food.

    All he had was a bottle of bourbon. So he opened the bottle and gave the snake a few shots.

    The snake went off happy, the frog was happy, and the man was happy to have performed such good deeds.

    He thought everything was great until about ten minutes passed and he heard something knock against the side of the boat.

    With stunned disbelief, the fisherman looked down and saw the snake was back with two frogs!

    Shelties Rescues from Radiation Area

    An Associated Press photographer had snapped a picture of a group of Shelties wandering the streets in Minami Soma city, an area that has been evacuated because of proximity to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex in Japan. A team called Sheltie Rescue went into action after the picture was published, determined to bring the dogs out of the danger zone.
    Through emails and Internet research it was established that the owner of the dogs was a breeder in Minami Soma. The group contacted the Fukushima city branch of the Japan Collie Club, tracked the owner down by phone at a shelter and got her go-ahead to rescue the dogs.
    In the wee hours of Sunday morning, seven volunteers left Tokyo and drove over broken roads and past demolished houses to meet three other volunteers in the ghost town that Minami Soma has become. Some had prepared radiation suits and others wore simple vinyl raincoats.
    The group found the dogs waiting for their owner. A few ran off, but the group was able to remove twenty dogs from the area. Some of the dogs are being boarded at a veterinary clinic; others at the homes of volunteers.
    See more pictures at the MSNBC Photoblog Here.

    Animal Pictures