Welcome to ...

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.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
This day will be full of unique events that will inspire your creativity.
Write out your feelings -- in a letter to yourself, to someone you're trying to get to know better, or to someone who's getting on your last nerve.
You have a wonderful way with words, and an eloquent letter could be just what's needed to resolve a difficult situation.
Your message will help clarify a path forward -- and will illuminate the necessary next steps.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Metz, Lorraine, France
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Buenos Aires, Distrito Federal, Argentina
Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden
London, England, United Kingdom
Kiev, Kyyiv, Ukraine
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Calcutta, West Bengal, India
Munich, Bayern, Germany
Madrid, Madrid, Spain

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 Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, Wake Forest and more.

Today is:
Today is Thursday, April 28, the 119th day of 2011.
There are 236 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Poem In Your Pocket Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Random Celebrity Photo

Care to guess who?

First pick in the NFL draft

The Carolina Panthers make Auburn's Heisman-winning quarterback the first player selected.

A 1-year-old signs pro contract

A viral video brings a precise-footed toddler to the attention of a top Dutch club.  

Secret to mini masterpieces

Simon Schubert uses a surprisingly simple method to create his amazingly intricate artworks.  

Awesome Pictures


Chilling tornado videos surface

Eyewitness videos capture the eerie scene as fierce storms tear through towns across the Southeast.

Fastest-growing U.S. cities

Healthy job markets and affordable housing are helping to send populations soaring in these locations.  



TSA: Gun OK, Knife Not OK

Techdirt posted an article about the TSA: We've Trained The TSA To Search For Liquid Instead Of Bombs. It's just another security theater example. But somebody posted a comment that might be the best example of TSA absurdity yet:
As a federal agent, I'm authorized to fly armed, so on one trip, I was clearing through security, the airport cop had checked my ID and paperwork and approved me to pass through the checkpoint, but the TSA guy stopped me and said he needed to inspect my carry-on.
I asked why, seeing as how I'd already identified myself as carrying a loaded handgun, what could possibly be in my carry on that would make me a threat, and out of hundreds of flights, I've never had to be inspected before.
He claimed it was just procedure. (If that's true, it's a procedure that has never been followed before, to my knowledge.) But not wanting to create a hassle for myself, I said fine and let him look through it.
leatherman Well, he came up with my Leatherman knife (basically a fancy Swiss Army knife) and said that I couldn't bring it on the plane because knives are prohibited items.
I looked at him like he was insane and said, "Let me get this straight, you're letting me carry a loaded handgun onto the plane, but not a pocket knife? In what conceivable world does that make sense?"
He responded that per FAA rules, I was authorized as a federal agent to carry the gun on board but the rules don't mention knives except as a general prohibition for everyone.
Not wanting to lose a $30 knife, I asked to see his supervisor, figuring this was some low-level zombie unable to exercise basic common sense. But no, the supervisor said the same thing!

The truth be told


Democrats eye repugican town-hall rage

repugican Paul Ryan's budget plan is dead, but it's very much alive as an election issue.  

Living in 'Denial'

Repugican Party

Here they are at a recent 'strategy' meeting.
And here they thought nobody was watching!

Blacks don't work as hard as whites

Well, that is what this Okie repugican says ...

From ThinkProgress:
Sally Kern, retard-Oklahoma City, said minorities earn less than white people because they don’t work as hard and have less initiative.

“We have a high percentage of blacks in prison, and that’s tragic, but are they in prison just because they are black or because they don’t want to study as hard in school? I’ve taught school, and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t study hard because they said the government would take care of them.”

Kern said women earn less than men because “they tend to spend more time at home with their families.”
Ironic that she trots out that argument since it's one of the reasons repugican lawmakers aren't interested in real health care reform: They've already got their cushy government-sponsored socialist health care reform, so why lift a finger for anyone else?

Wal-Mart CEO says his shoppers are running out of money

Oil prices are hammering the public and of course, the dollar is being destroyed on the global market these days which will make the problem worse. Is it asking for too much to have our political leadership implement policies that help the middle class as opposed to the continuing strategy that helps Wall Street?

"We're seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure," Duke said at an event in New York. "There's no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact."

Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in.

Lately, they're "running out of money" at a faster clip, he said.

"Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year," Duke said. "This end-of-month [purchases] cycle is growing to be a concern.

Non Sequitur


Just 35 million have joined the middle class in Brazil recently

The US economy is obviously quite different but there's something exciting about adding so many people in such a brief period of time. After decades of going up and down, Brazil has been on a roll for a number of years and it looks like it will continue. The middle class has grown because politicians decided to make it a priority. Sure there are problems, but this growth is impressive.
Maybe someone in Washington might think about this issue one day and turn the tide of a shrinking middle class. For starters, leading Democrats need to stop the pathetic joke of praising the likes of Ronald Reagan and others who have exacerbated the problem that started in the 1970s.

As the developed world struggles, Brazil grows faster, on the strength of its export economy, but also rising domestic demand. Its middle class continues to expand — and spend. An estimated 35 million people joined the middle class between 2003 to 2009, and 20 million more are expected to be included by 2014. Unemployment is at a relatively low 6.5 percent.

The Brazil story is not without its problems — inflation is running at more than 6.4 percent, near the top of its central bank's target range, its currency is arguably overvalued and real estate has seen outsized gains that seem unsustainable.

Brazil has taken steps to curb hot capital inflows, and it is trying to cool consumer credit growth from about 20 percent annually, to about 12 percent, by raising taxes on credit. The hyper-inflation of the 1990s is not such a distant memory, and the central bank is battling inflation with rate hikes and a current interest rate of 12 percent.

Retirement planning goofs

The vast majority of people don’t even know how much money they'll need to live on.  

Degrees for stable careers

These five can lead to work in growth fields such as health care and computer science. 



Culinary DeLites

8 fast food burgers that won't blow your diet

Why we lap up bottled water

Americans spend $21 billion a year on the stuff, and one analyst says that makes no sense.  

WHO warns of enormous burden of chronic disease

"The rise of chronic noncommunicable diseases presents an enormous challenge," WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan, who launched the report at a meeting in Moscow, said in a statement.

Healthy Living

7 tips for remembering everything

Natural spring allergy cures

Eating locally produced honey may make you less sensitive to allergens in your area. 

Heart Plunging Machine

After one man went into cardiac arrest and his family successfully performed CPR on him with a toilet plunger, Advanced Circulator Systems developed the ResQPump. It’s a machine that regulates chest compressions and airflow during the resuscitation process:
According to a study published in The Lancet this winter, the ResQPump, which is used for chest compressions, and the ResQPOD, which prevents too much air from entering the lungs during CPR, could increase certain cardiac-arrest victims’ chances of survival by 50 percent.
The ResQPump works like a toilet plunger, but while decompressing it can draw air back into the lungs. The ResQPOD, cleared by the FDA in 2003, regulates airflow by creating suction in the chest, which draws blood up into the brain.

Study probes how surgery makes diabetes disappear

Weight loss surgery appears to change the body's metabolism in a way that dieting alone cannot, helping to explain why diabetes often disappears after the surgery even before much weight is lost, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

Teacher's Bribe

A professor was giving a big test one day to his students. He handed out all of the tests and went back to his desk to wait.
Once the test was over the students all handed the tests back in. The professor noticed that one of the students had attached a $100 bill to his test with a note saying "A dollar per point."

The next class the professor handed the graded tests back out.

This student got back his test, his test grade, and $64 change.

A 123 Years Of Tablet PCs

While Apple would be happy having many of us believe that the iPad is the genius invention of Steve Jobs and company alone, it turns out that tablets have been in development for over 100 years.  As far back as 1888 the forerunners of today’s devices where being patented. In the 1960’s the RAND Corporation created The RAND Tablet, a stylus that could digitally capture handwriting. I’d like to believe that in a parallel universe people in the 60’s and 70’s were walking around with funky RAND Tablets.
 wp-image-45256(A)ll technology evolves from sometimes cruder predecessors, and tablets are no different. People have been playing with some of the technologies underlying tablet PCs for over a century: In July 1888, for example, inventor Elisha Gray (pictured) received a US patent for an electrical stylus device that captured handwriting.

Ten Amazing Underground Walks

If you’re looking for something to do on your next vacation that’s a little different than the usual sightseeing fare, National Geographic has 10 jaw-dropping suggestions that all take place underground. That’s part of the Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky in the picture above. Other suggestions include the Underground City of Montreal, the Cu Chi Tunnels of Vietnam and the Berlin Nuclear Bunker in Germany.

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


Missouri elk are being reintroduced in the wrong part of the state, MU anthropologist says

According to prehistoric records, elk roamed the northwestern part of Missouri until 1865.

Now, the Missouri Department of Conservation is planning to reintroduce elk, but this time in the southeast part of the state.
Missouri elk are being reintroduced in the wrong part of the state, MU anthropologist says

In a cave with Werner Herzog

During two brief periods a year, a few select paleontologists, geologists and other specialists receive special permission from the French government to pass through a vault-like door on a cliff above the Ardeche River in southwestern France.

Hit and Run


The Discovery Of A New Species

Like many biologists, German Oliver Zompro spends thousands of hours looking at specimens of dead animals. He found his first new species when he was twenty. By the age of thirty he had named dozens of wild new forms. While other people around him did crossword puzzles and drank lattes, he explored the world, one animal at a time.

Then, one day, things changed. He was looking through specimens when he found something more interesting than anything he had ever seen before. It was a fossil that looked like a cross between two different kinds of animals. It had the wrong mix of parts. It was - he would come to convince himself - a single individual of an entirely new order of beasts.

Tourist wanting open-mouthed photo threw bricks at captive crocodile

A captive crocodile in Australia is lucky to be alive after a reckless tourist threw bricks at him. Alice Springs Reptile Center's resident saltwater crocodile, Terry, almost swallowed the brick before he was rescued by staff. The tourist wanted to see Terry open his mouth for a photo - so he jumped over the barricade and threw two bricks at the croc.

Alice Springs Reptile Center owner Rex Neindorf came to the rescue when he saw a brick in the beast's jaws. "I was walking past on Saturday afternoon and something caught my eye. I went to check on Terry and I saw him with the brick," he said.

"He had his mouth above water so I knew he was about to swallow it. I bashed him on the nose with a pool pole. It was the only thing I could do to make him drop the brick. I had to hit him six times before he let go. I had to hit him so hard that the pole broke. If Terry had swallowed the brick, he would have died."

Terry chipped three or four teeth as a result of biting the bricks. Mr Neindorf said the New Zealand tourist was frightened. "He hadn't thought about the consequences ... People need to think about the consequences before they do silly things around animals," he said.

Watch Out For Armadillos

Federal research confirms: Armadillos Transmit Leprosy to Humans.
Using genetic sequencing machines, researchers were able to confirm that about a third of the leprosy cases that arise each year in the United States almost certainly result from contact with infected armadillos. The cases are concentrated in Louisiana and Texas, where some people hunt, skin and eat armadillos.

Sixty black lambs born from flock of all-white sheep

A farmer was left stunned when her flock of 37 white sheep gave birth to 60 lambs - that are all black. Sally Du Toit, 39, and husband Jacob, 29, helped deliver the first black lamb on April 2 this year at their smallholding near Royston, Herts. Since then their flock of 37 white ewes has given birth to a total of 60 black lambs, all sired by a one-year-old ram called Rowley. Incredibly, the South African Dorper ram also has a white fleece, leaving mother-of-one Mrs Du Toit baffled by the freak births.

In sheep, a white fleece is the result of a dominant gene that actively switches color production off - that is why most sheep are white. This means a black fleece in most sheep is recessive, so if a white ram and a white ewe are each heterozygous (have the black and white forms of the gene for fleece color), in about 25 per cent of cases they will produce a black lamb.

Photo from SWNS.

This is quite a rare occurrence though, and in most white sheep breeds only a few white sheep are heterozygous for black, so black lambs are usually much rarer than this. That is why this case is so special. Mrs Du Toit said: 'We have had 60 lambs this month and every single one of them is black but all of their parents are white.

'Usually you see just one black sheep in an entire flock and that's where you get the saying from, but all of ours have this jet black coat. It is amazing. We don't know why it has happened. When the first few were born we thought it was great but now lamb after lamb has come out black. We feel blessed. I love the color. People are stopping on the cycle path and in their cars to look at the lambs and ask us if they are a special kind of breed.'

Animal Pictures