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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.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You should make a solid effort to enjoy yourself today, no matter what you have to do.
If you're running errands, why not take the scenic route or explore a shortcut?
If you're working, try to get social with some coworkers and share a little more about what motivates you.
If you're at school, soak up the lectures with gusto.
Joy isn't something that's given to you on a silver platter -- it's something you have to find.
Start digging!

Some of our readers today have been in:
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
London, Ontario, Canada
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Rome, Lazio, Italy
London, England, United Kingdom
Pinnesburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Maexico
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Dresden, Sachsen, Germany
Milan, Lombardia, Italy
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Hyvinkaa, Southern Finland, Finland
Weert, Limburg, Netherlands
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Pakanbaru, Riau, Indonesia
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia
Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Gengenbach, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Amman, Amman, Jordan
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

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 Hana, Boise, Arvada, Bend and more.

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, May 3, the 123rd day of 2011.
There are 242 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:

Lumpy Rug Day,
Paranormal Day,
Public Radio Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

The truth be told

Donald Trump is an idiot.

Culinary DeLites

This healthy twist on shrimp scampi relies on a fresh helping of bell peppers and asparagus.
    10 Food Myths Dispelled
    Pasta is originally Italian. French toast was invented in France. Coffee beans are beans. White chocolate is chocolate. Right? Wrong!

    Grilled cheese is reborn

    The ultimate American comfort food gets remade into some bizarre culinary creations. 

    What they ate in Colonial Virginia

    apple tansey.jpg
    Here are a couple of fascinating posts at cooking blog The Shiksa in the Kitchen.
    There, Tori Avey delves into the foods available to Colonial Virginians, and how those people turned those foods into a generalized menu.
    And then, there's a recipe for apple tansey—a sort-of moderately sweet, crispy apple omelet thing (pictured above). Avey's also given Tudor England the same treatment.
    In frontier outposts and on farms, families drank cider or beer and gulped down a bowl of porridge that had been cooking slowly all night over the embers... The southern poor ate cold turkey washed down with ever-present cider. The size of breakfasts grew in direct proportion to growth of wealth... It was among the Southern planters that breakfast became a leisurely and delightful meal, though it was not served until early chores were attended to and orders for the day given... Breads were eaten at all times of the day, but particularly at breakfast.
    Early afternoon was the appointed hour for dinner in Colonial America. Throughout the seventeenth century and well into the eighteenth century it was served in the "hall" or "common room." While dinner among the affluent merchants in the North took place shortly after noon, the Southern planters enjoyed their dinner late as bubbling stews were carried into the fields to feed the slaves and laborers... In the early settlements, poor families ate from trenchers filled from a common stew pot, with a bowl of coarse salt the only table adornment... The stews often included pork, sweet corn and cabbage, or other vegetables and roots which were available...
    Supper was a brief meal and, especially in the South, light and late. It generally consisted of leftovers from dinner... In the richer merchant society and in Southern plantation life, eggs and egg dishes were special delicacies and were prepared as side dishes at either dinner or supper.

    Can poppy seeds get you high?

    Thanks to Mythbusters, we know that eating a couple poppy seed-laced bagels really can make you look like a heroin fiend, at least as far as a standard drug test is concerned. That makes sense. Heroin is derived from morphine, which is itself derived from poppies. So there's a chemical family tree that's fairly easy to follow.
    At the I Can Has Science blog, however, they've taken the standard question—"Will poppy seed bagels make me look like a stoner?"—and turned it around. "Can poppy seeds get me stoned?" (From a purely theoretical, chemistry thought-experiment perspective, of course.) The question turns out to be more valid than you might suspect. We're not talking about dried banana peels, here.
    Morphine itself can be administered (by licensed professionals) as a prescription painkiller. Though it's more commonly given intravenously, it is also available orally as a tablet. A standard oral dose consists of about 10 to 30 mg of morphine. Is it possible to get a full dose of morphine from eating poppy seeds?
    One report in the Journal of Forensic Sciences found that the morphine content of poppy seeds varies widely with poppy seed source. Spanish poppy seeds seem to have the most morphine - about 251 micrograms of morphine per gram of seeds. This translates to about 0.025% morphine by weight. Thus, to get a medically relevant dose of morphine (10 mg) from Spanish poppy seeds you would have to consume ... About 40 grams of poppy seeds!
    It seems like a lot, but how hard would that actually be? A standard baking conversion for dry ingredients is about 8 grams per tablespoon, and one poppy seed bagel probably has, what - a teaspoon or two? By that math, you'd probably have to eat around a dozen poppy seed bagels all at once. However, this delicious looking cake recipe calls for an entire cup of poppy seeds, or approximately equal to 128 grams! Granted, the recipe yields 10 to 12 servings, but one would only have to eat 3 or 4 slices of this Bundt cake to get up to a full prescription dose of morphine! (If the most potent poppy seeds were used.)

    Tea fields in Japan


    Non Sequitur


    Most tornadoes ever recorded

    Experts estimate there were 226 tornadoes in a 24-hour span last week.

    New worry for tornado victims

    Police make their presence known in one Alabama city, where looters have taken hold.

    America's most polluted cities

    One state has four metro areas ranked among the worst for air quality.



    On The Job

    These six subjects are the best bet for job security, according to a survey of recruiters.

    The best way to boost finances

    This step is much more effective than looking for ways to pinch pennies.  

    U.S. sues banking giant

    Deutsche Bank is accused of unfairly sticking American taxpayers with a monster tab.  

    Second Sony hacker attack

    Personal data from 25 million gamers may have been taken in another security breach.  

    I don't want my MTV

    More Americans are learning to live without a television in their homes.  

    Cutting costs by $14,000

    This 28-year-old slashed his housing and entertainment costs, but still has fun.

    Raise your credit score at any age

    The best ways to build excellent credit are much different in your 20s than in your 50s. 

    Ain't it the truth ...


    The ten biggest auto insurance myths

    You may not be covered if your vehicle gets damaged, stolen, or vandalized.  

    Ralph Lauren's vintage cars

    Ralph Lauren's rare collection features a 1929 Bentley Blower that was an early James Bond ride.

    The Unknown Second Kremlin In Moscow

    In ancient times every Russian town had its own kremlin that protected it from enemies. A kremlin was a fortress, usually located at a strategic point along a river and separated from the surrounding parts of the city by a wall with ramparts, moat, towers, and battlements.

    Nowadays Russia has about 20 of such historic and cultural buildings that are not just military fortresses but also great architectural complexes with temples, palaces and halls. Everybody knows about the famous Moscow Kremlin but there's a second one called the Izmailovo Kremlin.

    Edinburgh pavement cafes told to carry out wind assessments every morning

    It is probably not the first priority for a busy restaurant or bar manager trying to get ready for a day's business. But those who operate pavement cafes in Edinburgh are being told by council safety chiefs that they have to carry out a full "wind assessment" every morning. Information has to also be on display within the premises for staff showing at what wind speed they would have to bring in parasols, gazebos and canopies. They then need to check weather forecasts to ensure that winds are not expected to rise above the safe level.

    The rules have been sent to businesses that apply for table and chair permits and have been labelled a "needless paper-filing" exercise. Patrick Browne, chief executive of the Scottish Beer and Pub Association, said: "This is council bureaucracy gone mad. This seems to be more about the council making work for itself than it is about public safety."

    Each operator also needs to either buy an anemometer or ask staff to judge wind speed themselves using a chart drawn up by council officials. The chart says that a "strong breeze", of 25-31mph, can be indicated by "larger tree branches moving", while a gale, at 39-46mph, would be indicated by "whole trees in motion and resistance felt when walking against the wind".

    Malcolm Duck, chairman of the Edinburgh Restaurateurs' Association, said: "It is like a Monty Python sketch. Right now is a time the council should be encouraging businesses, not putting obstacles in their way." A council spokesman said: "This is about raising awareness of the need to plan ahead, ensuring that any temporary structure be properly constructed and suitable measures taken to mitigate against the dangers of high winds."
    Editor's Note: In American English the term 'Pavement' is called 'Sidewalk'.

    Jail for 'alien leader from planet Sci Fi'

    A knife-wielding drunk in Nelson, Lancashire who threatened police and the public told officers he was a leader of a group of aliens from a planet called Sci Fi, a court heard. David Hopwood was so aggressive and ignoring warnings to disarm that police used a Taser gun.

    He was arrested and taken to hospital. On the way, he told police he was not from earth and, they would say, seemed to genuinely believe what he was telling them. Hopwood claimed aliens spoke to him through the television and his head and wanted the officers killed.

    Burnley Crown Court was told how the defendant had a long history of alcohol abuse and, as a result, suffered drink-induced psychosis. He had earlier been referred to the mental health team, but had still been drinking and had been violent towards those trying to help him.

    The defendant (47), of Fir Street, Nelson, had been convicted of affray on March 14th and had been committed for sentence by magistrates. He was jailed for a year.

    Sam’s Club Finds Out Hispanic Hate Can be Costly

    Photo Credits: Sam's Club - California
    Hispanic hate never pays let alone when you are one of the country’s largest employers. 

    The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) has leveled a $440,000 against Sam’s Club for allowing Hispanic employees to be racially targeted and harassed.

    Several Mexican-American employees of the Sam’s Club of Fresno, California went to management to complain about daily verbal insults that consisted of being called “fuckin wetback” and threats to call immigration. 
    All the Latino employees that were complaining have legal status to be in the country.

    After filing the complaints the Latino employees suffered more indignities and harassment that included being screamed at for their inability to speak proper English. 

    The EEOC has mandated that Sam’s Club, in addition to paying the fine, review their work policies and discrimination complaint procedures.

    Deaf-mute friends stabbed at bar after sign language mistaken for gang gestures

    Two hearing-impaired men are recovering after police say their mode of communication was mistaken for gang signs. The incident occurred at the Ocean's Eleven Lounge, Hallandale Beach, Florida, early on Saturday morning. Thirty-one-year-old Alfred Stewart of Miramar went to the lounge to celebrate a friend's birthday. For Stewart, who is deaf and mute, sign language is his only mode of communication. "Only sign language. That's the only way all of them, they do sign language," said Stewart's mother, Brenda Stewart.

    According to Hallandale Beach Police, 45-year-old Barbara Lee confronted Stewart and his friends, because she thought they were throwing gang signs at her. Lee threw up gang signs at the victims, who motioned for Lee to leave them alone. The police report said Lee left the bar, but returned with a juvenile and 19-year-old Marco Ibanez, who allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed the victims. "The suspect obtained two other suspects, they came inside the bar and started fighting with our hearing-impaired victims," said Hallandale Beach Police Officer Sonia Quinones.

    "They all were doing hand signs, and it went as if someone thought it was a gang sign," said Brenda Stewart. "He got stabbed, and the other one was cut up. His friend got cut, and he got stabbed. Another one of his friends was talking to the other guy, must have been trying to let the other guy know that it was just talk, and he tried to stop the other people from fighting, and the guy came from behind him and stabbed him, so he doesn't know who it was that stabbed him or nothing. Stabbed him in his back."

    Four people, including Stewart, one of his friends and a bouncer at the lounge, were taken to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood. They are recovering from their injuries. Quinones said, "We have two victims that were stabbed with a knife in the torso area, non-life-threatening injuries. They were taken to the hospital. Another individual that was struck multiple times, one of the bouncers from the bar who attempted to intervene and was struck on the head with a bottle." Lee, Ibanez and the juvenile suspect are currently in police custody.

    Random Celebrity Photo

    Chistina Ricci

    The geekiest holidays

    You don't need a light saber to join this week's celebrations of nerdiness — but it helps. 

    Epic Fail


    The Science Of Firewalking

    What draws people to communal rituals has long been a topic of interest to sociologists and anthropologists.

    What draws people to a communal ritual like walking on hot coals is a topic of interest for, well, everyone.

    The 50 Worst Fails in Technology History

    From to Google Wave to the Microsoft KIN, we have seen lots of failed technology  in recent years. However nothing seems as doomed to fail as “The Wearable Computer.” 
    Check out this list of the 50 Worst Fails in Technology History here.

    Top 10 Ways Your Brain Is Sabotaging You (And How To Beat It)

    An unexamined brain is a tricky thing to carry around.

    You've got unintentional biases, marketing weaknesses, 'overclocking' issues, and all kinds of other mental bugs you may not know about.

    Here's a helpful list of the mind's weird ways.

    A 2,000-Year-Old Roman ship Unearthed

    A 2,000-year-old Roman ship in the middle of a plain near the ancient port of Rome has been unearthed by Italian archaeologists. The wooden vessel was found at a depth of 13 feet during repair work on a bridge that links the modern town of Ostia with Fiumicino, where Rome's main airport is located.

    Measuring 36 feet in length, the ship is the largest ever excavated near the ruins of Ostia Antica, a port city near the mouth of the Tiber River that rivals the riches of Pompeii. So far, only the right side of the ship is visible. Remains of ropes, used by the ancient Roman sailors, are beginning to emerge.

    Editor's Note: This is a repost of sorts with more details.

    Ancient 'Nutcracker Man' really ate grass

    After a half-century of referring to an ancient pre-human as "Nutcracker Man" because of his large teeth and powerful jaw, scientists now conclude that he actually chewed grasses instead.

    Awesome Pictures


    The Weirdest Theory In The World

    This explains a lot. Could the earth, moon, planets and stars all be hollow bodies? Amazingly, the answer is Yes! And very likely inhabited within!
    It is a terrestrial paradise where the original Garden of Eden is located today, where the Lost Tribes of Israel live, where the Lost Viking Colonies of Greenland migrated to, where vanquished Germans migrated to after World War II, where flying saucers come from, where people live to be hundreds of years old in perfect health, and where Heaven is located.

    Cat's Eye nebula

    From APOD:
    A classic planetary nebula, the Cat's Eye (NGC 6543) represents a final, brief yet glorious phase in the life of a sun-like star. This nebula's dying central star may have produced the simple, outer pattern of dusty concentric shells by shrugging off outer layers in a series of regular convulsions. But the formation of the beautiful, more complex inner structures is not well understood. Seen so clearly in this sharp Hubble Space Telescope image, the truly cosmic eye is over half a light-year across.

    Comet Hale-Bopp 'Frozen to Death'

    Has deep space deep-frozen the interplanetary vagabond?

    Your Age on Other Planets

    If I lived on Neptune I would be less than a Neptune year old, how old would you be?  This nifty calculator allows you to figure out your “age” on different planets (including dwarf planet Pluto). Every grade school student knows we measure years by how long it takes the Earth to travel around the Sun. However it’s interesting to think how time measurement would be different if we lived on a world like Mercury that takes only 88 Earth days to travel around the sun.

    Grand Canyon Born by Continental Lift

    Grand Canyon
    Geologists have wondered about the high plateau ever since early explorers stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon.  



    Stop Insulting Your Companion Animals by Calling Them "Pets"!

    And you call yourself an "animal lover". How could you demean your "companion animals" by continuing to call them "pets". I mean really.
    Domestic dogs, cats, hamsters or budgerigars should be rebranded as “companion animals” while owners should be known as “human carers”, they insist.
    Even terms such as wildlife are dismissed as insulting to the animals concerned – who should instead be known as “free-living”, the academics including an Oxford professor suggest.
    The call comes from the editors of then Journal of Animal Ethics, a new academic publication devoted to the issue.
    The editors, Professors Andrew Linzey and Priscilla Cohn of Penn State University, added more offensive phrases of the English language that need to be stamped out:
    Phrases such as “sly as a fox, “eat like a pig” or “drunk as a skunk” are all unfair to animals, they claim.
    “We shall not be able to think clearly unless we discipline ourselves to use less than partial adjectives in our exploration of animals and our moral relations with them," they say.

    Living the dream


    Portrait of Father

    As many times as I’ve seen the 1932 Disney cartoon The Three Little Pigs, I have never noticed the portrait of the wall of “Father.” Have you?

    The Secret to Saving Koalas Could be as Simple as Planting Trees

    koala bear photo
    Photo credit: Rennett Stowe/
    Though koalas are not considered threatened by the IUCN or the Australian government, populations across the species native range have been in decline for years. The situation in New South Wales, in particular, is severe.
    In one town—Gunnedah—the koala population is actually increasing. This anomaly, one recent study suggests, may provide clues for protection the species across Australia.

    Birds Fly Farther North as Winter Temperatures Rise

    cedar wren photo  
    In recent decades, birdwatchers in North Carolina have had to travel farther and farther north to catch a glimpse of their beloved wrens and waxwings, and scientists suggest that changes in the climate could be to blame for the birds' relocation in the winter. According to researchers, many birds species that were once common in the region around Charlotte have moved northward as temperatures in the region continue to increase -- on average, a whopping 116 miles away -- but global warming may not be the only reason why.

    Climate Change to Push Brown Recluse Spiders Across North America

    Photo credit: br-recluse-guy via Wikimedia/Public Domain
    The brown recluse spider occupies an ominous station in American folklore -- it's bite, we're told on schoolyard playgrounds, is even deadlier than a black widow's! (Indeed, on very rare occasions, the bite of a brown recluse can be deadly) And it currently occupies the Southeastern quadrant of the US -- from around Texas to southern Iowa to Kentucky. But a study finds that a warming climate may render some of its southern homes inhospitable, and force it to spread across the nation to beat the heat.
    Article continues: Climate Change to Push Brown Recluse Spiders Across North America

    An Epidemic Among Amphibians

    A deadly and contagious disease is wiping out amphibians around the world. 
    Although there is no cure, scientists know how it spread.  

    Animal Pictures