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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.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Every aspect of your sense should be fed well today -- and if you can explore sensations that are new to you, all the better.
Try an exotic new cuisine for lunch, reach out and touch a fascinating fabric, literally stop and smell the roses today -- stimulate your mind in unusual ways.
A trip to an art museum or gallery may turn you on to new ideas.
Take a look at upcoming concerts -- chances are there's someone or something you've just got to see.
Buy tickets today.

Some of our readers today have been in:
London, England, United Kingdom
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Weert, Limburg, Netherlands
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Algerciras, Andalucia, Spain
Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
Pakanbaru, Riau, Indonesia
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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 Charlotte, Charleston, Knoxville, Richmond and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, May 7, the 127th day of 2011.
There are 238 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Astronomy Day
Space Day
Mother Ocean Day
National Train Day
The Kentucky Derby.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
As Prepared for Delivery
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Indianapolis, Indiana
Hi.  I’m speaking with you today from the Allison Transmissions plant in Indianapolis, Indiana.  I came here because this is a place where American workers are doing some big and impressive things.

The hybrid technology they manufacture here already powers nearly 4,000 buses all over the world – buses that have already saved 15 million gallons of fuel.  Soon, they’ll expand this new technology to trucks as well.  That means more vehicles using less oil, and that means jobs – more than 200 new workers at this plant alone.

That’s important because even as the economy is growing after one of the worst recessions in our history; even as we’ve added more than 2 million new private sector jobs over the past 14 months; I still meet and hear from Americans struggling to get out of their own personal recessions.

A lot of folks are still looking for work.  And many folks who do have jobs are finding that their paychecks aren’t keeping up with the rising costs for everything from tuition to groceries to gas.  In fact, in a lot of places across the country, like Indiana, gas is reaching all-time highs.

So although our economy hasn’t been the focus of the news this week, not a day that goes by that I’m not focused on your jobs, your hopes and your dreams.  And that’s why I came here to Allison Transmissions.

The clean energy jobs at this plant are the jobs of the future – jobs that pay well right here in America.  And in the years ahead, it’s clean energy companies like this one that will keep our economy growing, create new jobs, and make sure America remains the most prosperous nation in the world.

Allison Transmissions is also part of the ultimate solution to high gas prices.  We know there are no quick fixes to this problem.  In the short term, we’re doing everything we can to boost safe and responsible oil production here at home – in fact, last year, American oil production reached its highest level since 2003.

But over the long term, the only way we can avoid being held hostage to the ups and downs of oil prices is if we reduce our dependence on oil.  That means investing in clean, alternative sources of energy, like advanced biofuels and natural gas.  And that means making cars and trucks and buses that use less oil.
Other countries know this, and they’re going all in to invest in clean energy technologies and clean energy jobs.  But I don’t want other countries to win the competition for these technologies and these jobs.  I want America to win that competition.  I want America to win the future.

Now, I know that in a difficult fiscal climate like the one we’re in, it’s tempting for some to try and cut back our investments in clean energy.  And I absolutely agree that the only way we’ll be able to afford the things we need is by cutting the things we don’t and living within our means. But I refuse to cut investments like clean energy that will help us out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world.  I refuse to cut investments that are making it possible for plants like this one to grow and add jobs across America.

We can do this.  I don’t just believe that because I see it happening in plants like this.  I believe that because I believe in the Americans making it happen in places like this.  I’m optimistic about our economic future, because for all the challenges we face, America is still home to the most entrepreneurial, most industrious, most determined people on Earth.  There’s nothing we can’t accomplish when we set our minds to it.  And that’s what we’ll keep doing as long as I have the privilege of being your President.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Huge upset at Kentucky Derby

Animal Kingdom, whose original jockey couldn't compete, takes horse racing's biggest prize.  

You've Got To Hide Your Love Away

The Beatles

The Quarterlife Crisis

Midlife crisis used to be for old guys, but young people today have got their own version: "quarterlife crisis." It is hitting twenty- and thirtysomethings shortly after the enter the real world.
Author Damien Barr said that a "growing number of 25-year-olds are experiencing pressures previously felt by those in their mid-forties":
"Plenty of people are going to say the quarterlife crisis doesn’t exist," he said. "The truth is that our 20s are not, as they were for our parents, 10 years of tie-dye fun and quality ‘me’ time. Being twentysomething now is scary – fighting millions of other graduates for your first job, struggling to raise a mortgage deposit and finding time to juggle all your relationships.
"We have the misfortune to be catapulted into a perilous property market. We’re earning more and spending more than ever. We’re getting into debt to finance our degrees, careers and accommodation."
He added: "The Depression Alliance estimates that a third of twentysomethings feel depressed.
"If, as we’re constantly told, the world is our oyster, it’s definitely a dodgy one. Unlike the midlife crisis, the quarterlife crisis is not widely recognised. There are no ‘experts’ to help us. We have no support apart from each other."

Book ignites parenting debate

In a controversial book, Bryan Caplan says parents spend too much energy raising "perfect" kids.

More Than 188 Tons Of Unwanted Prescription Drugs Collected

The Drug Enforcement Administration says that Americans turned in more than 188 tons of old or unwanted medicines in a second daylong, nationwide effort aimed at reducing prescription drug abuse and keeping the drugs out of the water supply.


David Koch complains that Obama is getting credit for bin Laden's death when all he did was make the decision. So, billionaire CEO, doesn't that mean that most of Koch Industries profits deserve to go to its laborers, since you're just making the decisions and not doing the work?

Bernie Sanders: "The USA is the only nation in the industrialized world that doesn't guarantee health care. As the richest become richer and the poorest become poorer, the repugicans propose a trillion dollars to the very rich, and to cut all kinds of programs for the most vulnerable people"

USA is number 1

Military interrogator: Torture 'slowed down' effort to find Bin Laden 

Wisconsin Supreme Court voting procedures found to be in serious violation of the state's laws.

repugican senators vow to block any nominee for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau because they say the Bureau has too much power to protect consumers.

How Goldman Sachs Created the Food Crisis.

Osama bin Laden's American legacy: He failed in changing the Arab world, but succeeded in enticing Americans to destroy our own values 

Wisconsin Democratic Party challenges recall petitions against 3 senators - "hundreds if not thousands of invalid signatures in recall drives targeting three Democratic state senators"

New report exposes far-right billionaire-led, religious right war on public education--through voucher schemes, which originated as a racist strategy to fight school desegregation.

Man Dons Animal Costume For Bank Heist

Police were searching Saturday for an armed robber dressed as a large furry animal who outran them after holding up a bank in the Swedish city of Gothenberg.

Bali bomber was arrested in Abbottabad earlier this year

What a strange coincidence.
Counter-terrorism officials are investigating whether a starving and shivering Indonesian al-Qa'ida suspect arrested in Abbottabad earlier this year was trying to make his way to the secret hideout of Osama bin Laden or if it was pure coincidence the two men were both sheltering in this quiet, military town.

This week, Purnomo Yusgiantoro, Indonesia's Defense Minister, said that Umar Patek, one of the men accused of carrying out the 2002 Bali bombings in which more than 200 people were killed, had made his way to this garrison town to meet with the leader of al-Qa'ida.

Another official said that the terror suspect had hoped Bin Laden would give him shelter. "The information we have is that Umar Patek was in Pakistan with his Filipino wife trying to meet Osama bin Laden," Mr Yusgiantoro told reporters.

Flooding Shuts Down Mississippi River Traffic

Historic flooding forced the U.S. Coast Guard to shut down commercial traffic on part of the Mississippi River Friday as authorities downstream raced to build and reinforce levees, polish evacuation plans and warn residents to start thinking about getting out.

Feeling Climate Change Down on the Farm

Global warming has been cutting into worldwide wheat and corn production, except in the United States.  

Backwoods Bunny

Bugs Bunny doing what he does best.

CEO pay better than ever

Economic crisis? What economic crisis? 
CEOs at the nation's largest companies were paid better last year than they were in 2007, when the economy was booming, the stock market set a record high and unemployment was roughly half what it is today.

The typical pay package for the head of a company in the Standard & Poor's 500 was $9 million in 2010, according to an analysis by The Associated Press using data provided by Equilar, an executive compensation research firm. That was 24 percent higher than a year earlier, reversing two years of declines.

Executives were showered with more pay of all types – salaries, bonuses, stock, options and perks. The biggest gains came in cash bonuses: Two-thirds of executives got a bigger one than they had in 2009, some more than three times as big.

The good news about U.S. jobs

The latest hiring figures offer several reasons to be optimistic about the U.S. economy. 

Are you aware ...

That Americans are paying the lowest share of income tax since 1958

Just another proof that the repugicans and 'teabaggers' are lying sacks of shit.

Get more from Social Security

Your checks could be 8% bigger each year you postpone claiming benefits. 

Biggest home price discounts

Many owners in these cities plan to offer price reductions for a second time.  

Used-car buying mistakes

If a dealer balks at providing an inspection report, take the car to a mechanic. 

Non Sequitur


The 11 Most Walkable Cities in the U.S.

pedestrian photo
Photo: Crystian Cruz, Flickr, CC
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center has release its list of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in the US, with 11 getting rankings from Platinum to Bronze and 8 more getting 'honorable mentions'. Only one city received the highest honor. Find out which one below...

A 14-minute routine that works

Combine these moves with a little cardio, and you'll be beach-ready in just five weeks.

Can multitasking make you fat?

Frequently shifting focus has a direct impact on self-control, a study says. 

Is Starbucks really healthier?

You'll be surprised to learn how the coffee chain's menu compares with the other fast-food giant.  

Best, worst food appliances

Learn what you need — and what you don't — from blenders, juicers, and coffeemakers.  

At the Supermarket

A young man was walking through a supermarket to pick up a few things when he noticed an old lady following him around. Thinking nothing of it, he ignored her and continued on. Finally he went to the checkout line, but she got in front of him.

"Pardon me," she said, "I'm sorry if my staring at you has made you feel uncomfortable. It's just that you look just like my son, who just died recently."

"I'm very sorry," replied the young man, "is there anything I can do for you?"

"Yes," she said, "As I'm leaving, can you say 'Good bye, Mother!' ? It would make me feel so much better."

"Sure," answered the young man.

As the old woman was leaving, he called out, "Goodbye, Mother!"

As he stepped up to the checkout counter, he saw that his total was $127.50.

"How can that be?" he asked, "I only purchased a few things!"

"Your mother said that you would pay for her," said the clerk.

Did You Know?

did-you-knows.com has over 1,030 did you knows in various categories. Heaps of interesting fun facts and figures to keep you entertained for hours.

Some examples:

Did you know M&M's chocolate stands for the initials for its inventors Mars and Murri?
Did you know the fortune cookie was invented in San Francisco?
Did you know crocodiles are color blind?
Did you know the doorbell was invented in 1831?

Mysterious New Human Coexisted with Neanderthals

New Human location
Dating to at least 113,000 years ago, this newest member of our family tree mixed it up with other hominids in what's been called a "hotspot of biodiversity."

China archaeologists uncover more Great Wall ruins

Chinese archaeologists have uncovered previously unknown Great Wall ruins in a mountainous area in northeast China, state media reported Saturday.

Who's On First?

Abbott and Costello at their best.

Photos show WWII-era ruse

With the help of camouflage, the Army turned massive aircraft facilities into quiet suburbs.  

When We Tested Nuclear Bombs

Since the time of Trinity - the first nuclear explosion in 1945 - nearly 2,000 nuclear tests have been performed, with the majority taking place during the 1960s and 1970s. When the technology was new, tests were frequent and often spectacular, and led to the development of newer, more deadly weapons.

But starting in the 1990s, there have been efforts to limit the future testing of nuclear weapons, including a U.S. moratorium and a U.N. comprehensive test ban treaty. As a result, testing has slowed, though not halted.

Here are images from the first 30 years of nuclear testing.



Bacteria-Laden Soap Not So Clean

Washing your hands regularly can help you stay healthy. 
But could it also get you sick?  

Moon mystery finally solved

Scientists come clean on the surprising Apollo "stowaways" that touched off a whirlwind of speculation.

Mystery Microbes Discovered Beneath Seafloor

Life is known to exist in some unimaginably harsh places, from frigid polar ice to scorching hydrothermal vents. Now scientists have found a smorgasbord of microbes thriving in another unlikely realm: the vast, hot, rocky environment within the Earth's crust beneath the ocean floor.



Shark Ride

Enal lives in a stilted house in Wangi, Indonesia. His friend lives in a penned off area of the sea. Although this is a remarkable scene for us, it might not be for Enal’s people, the Bajau Laut. These Malay marine nomads have a symbiotic relationship with the ocean which photographer James Morgan explored. He wrote:
Traditional Bajau cosmology – a syncretism of animism and Islam – reveals a complex relationship with the ocean, which for them is a multifarious and living entity. There are spirits in currents and tides, in coral reefs and mangroves.
Morgan snapped this amazing shot to become The Telegraph’s 2010 Travel Photographer of the Year.

Swedish insect shoots larvae into victims' eyes

A bumble bee-resembling fly hovering in front of your face could be an elk bot fly preparing to shoot larvae into your eyes. Bot fly larvae is a parasite that mainly feeds on the mucus of elks and deer. Up until recently the insect was only found in elks in the north of Sweden but it has now been detected as far south as Jönköping, in the county of Småland, south of Stockholm.

A full grown insect measures around two centimeters and looks a bit like a hairy fly or a bumble bee. After mating the female looks for an appropriate host for her offspring. This is usually elks or deer, but sometimes, she will mistake human eyes for elk nostrils. The pregnant female shoots her already hatched larvae at the host animal’s nostrils. The larvae travel into the nose where they feed on mucus.

From there the larvae wriggle down to the throat where they reach their third stage of development. When the larvae reach about 4 centimeters their movements tickle the nose of the animal, which sneezes them out together with mucus and blood on to the ground where they then continue to the next stage in their development. In an article in the Swedish medical paper Läkartidningen, professor of entomology Thomas G T Jaenson describes such an attack on a Swedish woman in a forest in central Sweden last autumn.

According to Jaenson, the fly was hovering close to the woman’s face and suddenly shot “several microscopic larvae” into one of her eyes. About 30 whitish larvae were later removed from the eye, but she had a persistent feeling of “creeping larvae” in the eye and nose area. Later that day two more larvae were removed. “It was uncomfortable and hurt a bit,” said Malin Hallgren who had the 30 eggs injected into her eye by the insect.

Animal Pictures