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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 27, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
The week ahead is full of unknowns, but there are several sure things that you can depend on.
Use these known events as tent poles for your planning -- if you take the time to put together a thorough schedule today, you will be rewarded with more free time than you know what to do with (although you'll find something to do, won't you)?
Things in a close friend or partner's life are changing, and they might affect your relationship.
Stay flexible.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
London, England, United Kingdom
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Delhi, Delhi, India
Helsinki, Southern Finland, Finland
Hamburg, Hamburg, germany
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Kiev, Kyyiv, Ukraine

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 Mililani, Kailua, Honolulu, Waipahu and more.

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, April 27, the 118th day of 2011.
There are 237 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Babe Ruth Day
Morse Code Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Rising Appalachia

New stuff from Rising Appalachia

Non Sequitur


Historic Jazz, Nobody Will Hear It

An interesting article about the sorry state of copyright laws: A Trove of Historic Jazz Recordings has Found a Home in Harlem, But You Can’t Hear Them.William Savory was a pioneering audio engineer who recorded jazz legends in the 1930s.
william savory During his lifetime, William Savory kept these recordings largely to himself. He refused to reveal how many recordings he had and what performances they contained. He let only a very few of his recordings be heard by a small number of acquaintances. Over time, the Savory collection became a tantalizing enigma to jazz connoisseurs who yearned for access to its treasures.
The mystery ended last summer. Six years after Savory passed away, his collection was acquired by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. And jazz experts were stunned. The extent and quality of the Savory collection was beyond anything they had imagined.
“I figured there was maybe 50 to 100 unreleased recordings,” says Loren Schoenberg, the museum’s executive director. “I expected to see one box. Instead, I saw dozens of boxes. The Savory collection comprised about a thousand discs of the greatest performers of all time. And all of this was unknown music. It was immediately clear this was a treasure trove.”
It would be nice to make these recordings available, but it will probably never happen.
“The potential copyright liability that could attach to redistribution of these recordings is so large—and, more importantly, so uncertain—that there may never be a public distribution of the recordings,” wrote David G. Post, a law professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, on the Volokh Conspiracy blog. “Tracking down all the parties who may have a copyright interest in these performances, and therefore an entitlement to royalty payments (or to enjoining their distribution), is a monumental—and quite possibly an impossible—task.”

Awesome Pictures


Mississippi legends totally own the westboro baptist assholes

The scum of the Westboro cult planned to go whore themselves for publicity at soldiers funeral in Mississippi.

But the locals totally fucked their plans.

They did show up, a few showed up a couple of days early.

A couple of days before, one of them ran his mouth at a Brandon gas station and got his ass waxed. Police were called and the beaten man could not give much of a description of who beat him. When they canvassed the station and spoke to the large crowd that had gathered around, no one seemed to remember anything about what had happened.

Rankin County handled this thing perfectly. There were many things that were put into place that most will never know about and at great expense to the county. Most of the morons never made it out of their hotel parking lot. It seems that certain Rankin county pickup trucks were parked directly behind any car that had Kansas plates in the hotel parking lot and the drivers mysteriously disappeared until after the funeral was over.

Police were called but their wrecker service was running behind and it was going to be a few hours before they could tow the trucks so the Kansas plated cars could get out. A few made it to the funeral but were ushered away to be questioned about a crime they might have possibly been involved in. Turns out, after a few hours of questioning, that they were not involved and they were allowed to go on about their business.

Rankin County residents deserves a hand in how they handled this situation.

Moammar Gadhafi's grip on western Libya slipping

Moammar Gadhafi has suffered military setbacks in recent days in western Libya, a sign that his grip may be slipping in the very region he needs to cling to power.

'Dragon Lady' of Vietnam dies

The glamorous Madame Nhu emerged as one of the war's most vivid — and controversial — figures.

When Can A Lawyer Quit A Case?

In criminal matters, a lawyer is duty-bound to defend his client to the best of his ability. There are only a few specific scenarios in which it is considered OK to quit representing a defendant. For example, what if the defendant tells the lawyer that he plans to lie on the witness stand? Allowing perjury is unethical, but so is divulging your client’s secrets. Wouldn’t that be a good time to just quit?
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. As mentioned above, an attorney can’t withdraw in the middle of litigation without the judge’s permission, and it’s indisputably unethical for an advocate to directly inform the judge that his client is a liar. What usually happens in these cases is that the lawyer approaches the bench and asks to beg off the case for vague “ethical reasons.” The judge, knowing exactly what’s going on, typically denies the request, because the jury would smell a rat if the lawyer were to disappear right before the defendant took the stand. The judge, continuing the Kabuki-style exchange, informs the advocate that he has satisfied his ethical obligations and must continue. In some courts, the lawyer can protect his sense of ethics by simply putting the client on the stand and instructing him to “tell the jury his story,” rather than specifically prompting the lies.
Slate looks at various reasons why a lawyer can and should quit a case -or not here.

Legalizing Marijuana Could Reduce Its Energy Consumption 75%

marijuana photo
When we found out a couple week ago that the marijuana industry is responsible for 1% of all US electricity consumption, the first and perhaps obvious big question that popped to my mind was how would that figure change if pot was legalized? Surely the electricity bill is so high in part because of the necessity of indoor grow operations to avoid detection.
Well, as the infographic excerpted below shows, legalization of pot would indeed radically slash the energy footprint of the marijuana industry:
Article continues: Legalizing Marijuana Could Reduce Its Energy Consumption 75%

Top towns for school value

An analysis of 17,589 locales shows you don't need to live in a rich area to get a great education.  

The truth be told


More repugican chicanery

Get ready for some good old fashioned big government voter suppression

The best fields to get a raise

Salaries have risen by more than 20 percent since 2007 in five industries.

Understanding Fed-speak

The Fed’s historic press conference may offer a hint about interest rates.  

The lady's new clothes


Man Owes Money for Working For the Government For No Money

Richard Ravitch was sworn in as New York’s liutenant governor in 2009, to fill a vacancy and help solve the city’s dire fiscal crisis. Ravitch, a wealthy businessman, was gracious enough to forgo the $151,500 annual salary.
And in an example that no good deed goes unpunished, he now owes money for working for no money:
While working on the memoir earlier this year, he received a letter from the state comptroller. It was not a thank you note for serving, much less without pay. It was a bill.
“The value of your personal use of a state provided vehicle and chauffeur services and taxable meals when traveling are fringe benefits reported as income on your Form W-2,” the letter began.
Those $9,455 in fringes were subject to $723.31 in Social Security and Medicare taxes, which the state paid on his behalf and was now seeking to collect …
What did Ravitch do?
“I paid it,” Mr. Ravitch said Monday, adding philosophically: “There was a certain asymmetrical irony about it, but I hope it helps the budget gap.”

The truth be told (part Deux)


Shrinking budgets force shutdown of alien search

E.T. will have to call collect ...

Strapped government budgets may be affecting more than life on Earth.

Astronomers at the SETI Institute in Northern California say a steep drop in state and federal funds has forced the shutdown of a key program to search for extraterrestrial life.

Cars costing $100 to fill up

With today’s gas prices, you could pay $127 to fill up one monster SUV.


  1. Authorities in Arizona say a man has survived after apparently driving his car off the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
  2. An American biker had a lucky escape after being sandwiched between two cars on a Texas highway.

Joint Chiefs: "America has overreacted to Islamic extremism"

From the "Duh!" Department:
A very interesting article at Foreign Policy:
On Friday, April 8, as members of the U.S. Congress engaged in a last-minute game of chicken over the federal budget, the Pentagon quietly issued a report that received little initial attention: "A National Strategic Narrative."..

The piece was written by two senior members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a "personal" capacity, but it is clear that it would not have seen the light of day without a measure of official approval. Its findings are revelatory, and they deserve to be read and appreciated not only by every lawmaker in Congress, but by every American citizen.

The narrative argues that the United States is fundamentally getting it wrong when it comes to setting its priorities, particularly with regard to the budget and how Americans as a nation use their resources more broadly. The report says Americans are overreacting to Islamic extremism, underinvesting in their youth, and failing to embrace the sense of competition and opportunity that made America a world power. The United States has been increasingly consumed by seeing the world through the lens of threat, while failing to understand that influence, competitiveness, and innovation are the key to advancing American interests in the modern world.

Courageously, the authors make the case that America continues to rely far too heavily on its military as the primary tool for how it engages the world...

The paper argues persuasively that the tendency of Americans to broadly label the rest of the world has been hugely counterproductive. The authors point out that the tendency over the last decade by some Americans to view all Muslims as terrorists has made it more difficult to marginalize genuine extremism, while alienating vast swaths of the global Muslim community. In a world where credibility is so central to America's national interest and reach around the globe, the overheated domestic debate about the war on terror has never served it very well. ..

The budget deal over the weekend lopped $8 billion off of funding for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Defense spending was left untouched. Congress doesn't seem to have gotten the wake-up call.

White House releases "long form" of Obama birth certificate

Here it is.
There doesn't appear to be anything more on this form than on the other one they released three years ago.  But, it has already been proven that the 'birthers' are stupid, ignorant assholes who will not accept facts, especially the fact they're stupid and ignorant. So don't expect them to accept this - they have too much tied up in their demented, warped fantasy-land  for reality to ever be considered.

Race sparking Obama 'debate'?

The response to the president's birth certificate release reveals something more sinister, some say. 

Iconic photo spurs honor

A haunting image that ended Sam Nzima's career in 1976 now earns him a top honor.

Waste in the War on Terrorism

Private planes, air conditioning for garbage trucks, and more ways states squander money in the name of "security" 

Millions have been squandered on "homeland security" over the past decade. The costs to our liberty have also been too high.

Earlier this year, a reporter at a small community newspaper got the answer to a question she'd been asking for months: "Are there really 33 terrorist organizations in St. Paul, Minnesota?"

That's what her county sheriff claimed in the budget reports he submitted to his superiors.

According to her investigation, however, his anti-terrorism unit had been squandering taxpayer money for months on end, and getting away with it by pretending to be guardians of homeland security.

Suspect arrested in Columbine-area bombing attempt

Authorities on Tuesday arrested a recently paroled bank robber suspected of planting a bomb at a crowded shopping mall near Columbine High School last week on the 12th anniversary of the school massacre.

Notice none of the "main stream media" refer to this old, white, tea-bag looking man as a terrorist. Not dark enough?
Yeah, he's too white to be a terrorist.
This idiot was out of prison one week and he plants a bomb that didn't go off.
Maybe he's got a husband on the inside?

New Orleans police force found to be so corrupt they are now under watch

Something terrible lies at the heart of New Orleans - a rampant, widespread and apparently uncontrollable brutality on the part of its police force and its prison service. The horrors of its criminal justice system from decades before Hurricane Katrina and up to now lie somewhere between, with little exaggeration, Candide and Stalin's Gulags.

On 17 March this year, the federal department of justice (DoJ) decided that enough was enough and it has made moves to have the New Orleans police department (NOPD) placed under the supervision of a federal judge. The New Orleans jail system will likely follow.

The department released a report covering only the past two years and ignoring several current federal investigations of police officers for murder. It says, more or less, that the NOPD is incapable on any level; that it is racist; that it systemically violates civil rights, routinely using "unnecessary and unreasonable force"; that it is "largely indifferent to widespread violations of law and policy by its police officers" and appears to have gone to great lengths to cover up its shootings of civilians.

Police Chief Sued for Making Arrest

... By Police Labor Union!
You’d think that being a Police Chief means that you can do police things. Like making an arrest, for instance. But you’d be wrong – at least according to the police union.
Here’s the strange tale of how Scranton, Pennsylvania, Police Chief Dan Duffy got into trouble for making a drug arrest:
The Scranton police union has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the city for an off-duty drug arrest made by Police Chief Dan Duffy in March.
The complaint, which was filed with the state Labor Relations Board on April 14, takes issue with the chief arresting a man who was allegedly in possession of marijuana because the chief is not a member of the collective bargaining unit and was "off duty" when the March 20 arrest was made.
"I think it’s absurd. I’m not going to turn my head on crime that takes place," Chief Duffy said. "I took the same oath (as a police officer) that everyone else took.
"On my day off and I’m driving around as the police chief, and that’s wrong?" he asked.
The complaint states that "the work of apprehending and arresting individuals has been the sole and exclusive province of members of the bargaining unit," and that the city did not inform or negotiate with the union that the chief would be "performing bargaining unit work."

Inmate "Fights" to Stay in Jail for Fear of Being Killed by Los Zetas

A prisoner Arizona, who was about to be released, attacked a guard in an attempt to stay incarcerated, because he feared being killed by cartel hit men.

Two bodies found in pile of horse manure

The bodies of two unidentified men were discovered on Sunday buried in a 15-foot-tall pile of manure at a small horse farm in Gary, Indiana. A man who kept horses at the stable noticed an arm sticking out of the massive pile of manure and called police, said Gary Det. Cpl. Mike Barnes.

Police unearthed the body and used a backhoe to sift through the steaming mound of composting manure in search of other remains, eventually finding the second body, Barnes said. "It was the biggest pile of (manure) I have ever seen," Barnes said. "They've been putting it back there for years."

Both bodies appear to be of white or Hispanic men, one about 5 feet 7 inches tall, the other about 6 feet. The bodies, one of them wrapped in plastic, were bloated, but investigators said it is difficult to judge how long they had been left there because heat generated by the breakdown of the manure might have sped up their decomposition, Barnes said.

The Lake County Coroner’s office has made a preliminary finding of homicide, but further details are pending completion of a full autopsy. The stables are rented out by the owner, mostly to close friends who tend their own horses and who have for years piled manure from the horse stalls in the same spot.

Odds and Sods

  1. If you're in Buffalo and see a man handcuffed to a chair, call police. They'd like the chair back, along with the guy shackled to it.

  2. A man has been cleared of a theft charge after a bemused jury in Washington state found him not guilty of stealing a 99-cent hot dog.

Is your dentist too pricey?

Routine procedures can differ by hundreds of dollars from office to office.  

Blacks More Likely To Spend With Death Looming

Imagine you're in the hospital with cancer.

Would you rather spend everything you have to potentially live longer, or just forgo the costly medical treatment?

Your answer to that question might be influenced by your race.

Centenarian population boom

America's centenarians have doubled to 72,000 in just 20 years, and that's only the beginning.  

Human Planet

Honey gatherer, Central African Republic photo
Photo credit: © Timothy Allen/BBC 2010
From extreme cold to blistering heat, parched deserts to raging rivers, humans have shown an incredible ability to adapt to and survive in the world's most challenging places.
Yesterday, April 26, marked the DVD and Blu-ray release of "Human Planet," a BBC/Discovery Channel co-production highlighting our extreme relationship with nature in stunning visuals around the world. From a remote tribe that holds a male beauty contest judged by women to extreme tree climbing to a man who uses an eagle to hunt a fox, the eight-episode series is truly remarkable in its global scope.
Advanced technology makes life in even the harshest climates comfortable, but often, it is simple innovation and understanding of the environment that helps people secure a livelihood in these unlikely places.
Human Planet Highlights Extreme Relationships with Nature in Stunning Images Slideshow

CT scans of Egyptian mummy help Vermont solve crimes

A childhood fascination with archaeology and a chance encounter with a 2,700-year-old Egyptian mummy are helping Vermont doctors and law enforcement officials find truth in some of the most challenging of modern-day crimes: the unexplained deaths of young children.

The truth about coconut water

The beverage is taking over, from celebs to supermarkets, but questions remain.

Patients Control Computer With Brain

Have you ever wanted to play X Box games just by thinking about moving the character on the screen? Well, now we are one step closer to making that dream a reality with an experiment conducted at Washington University in St. Louis. Patients were able to send signals from their brain directly to a computer to control a cursor on the screen. This will lead to incredible advances in medicine, computing and most importantly…. instantly Tweeting  from your brain.
A temporary surgical implant enabled patients to “talk” to a computer. Just by thinking the words aloud in their head they were able to control a cursor on a computer screen. The brain-computer interface (BCI) technology could one day be used to help people who are unable to talk or have other physical disabilities due to brain injury. The technology could one day be used to read a person’s mind.

Did you know ...

Cayenne Pepper Curbs Appetite
Purdue University researchers have found that only 1/2 a teaspoon of cayenne pepper is required to reduce hunger and increase energy expenditure - aka burn calories .

The un-diet diet (that really works)

The un-diet diet (that really works)
A few years ago, Kimberly Miller lost 30 pounds without a drop of dieting. She did it by saying goodbye to boot camp, embracing gummy-worm binges, and celebrating everything. Here are her ten commandments of (not) dieting – no programs, points, or starving required.

Foggy Notions for a Thirsty World

Mesh fences are harnessing water from fog to provide a lifeline to small impoverished communities.  

Wizard of Id


Colossal Statues of Tut's Grandfather Resurface

Archeologists unearthed one of the largest statues to date of a powerful ancient Egyptian pharoah at his mortuary temple in the southern city of Luxor, the country's antiquities authority announced on Tuesday.
Amenhotep III reigned during a time when Egypt was at the height of its prosperity and cultural development.  

Cavemen, Cave Bears Battled Over Turf

After prehistoric humans and cave bears competed for the same real estate, the bears were wiped out.
But are our ancestors to blame?  

Is it real?

Is it real or has someone been playing with photoshop?

Poison Key to Early Life

Planets Collision
How did Earth manage to hold onto its organics after being slammed by a Mars-sized object 4.4 billion years ago?  

Fire ants stick together

When flood waters threaten their underground nests, fire ants order an immediate evacuation. They make their way to the surface and grab hold of one another, making a living raft that can sail for months.

The extraordinary survival tactic, which can involve entire colonies of more than a hundred thousand ants, has been captured on film by US engineers who used the footage to help unravel how the insects co-operate to overcome nature's dangers.

Film of the ants in action reveals that pockets of air get trapped between them and around their bodies, helping them breathe if the raft is pushed under the water. In normal circumstances the ants lock legs, and sometimes mandibles, to form a floating mat that sits on top of the water through a combination of surface tension and buoyancy.

"Even the ones at the bottom remain dry and able to breathe because they are not actually under the water," said Nathan Mlot, a PhD student at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. The species of ant, Solenopsis invicta, is native to the Brazilian rainforest, where flash floods are an ever-present danger. In the wild, vast rafts of ants can survive by floating along waterways until floods subside or they reach land.

Rhinos Rebound in Nepal

Rhino populations are on the rise in Nepal.  

Animal Pictures