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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.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
What you think about things is important, don't you realize that?
Your modesty isn't going to do you any good, so ditch it -- step out into the spotlight and grab the microphone.
Whatever your opinions are, they are valid.
In a work context, you have money-saving ideas that will get you some long-lasting praise.
In the realm of romance, your opinions are key to better communication -- and, ultimately, to getting exactly what (whom?) you want and deserve.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Milan, Lombardia, Italy
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Treviso, Veneto, Italy
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Panvel, Maharashtra, India
Prague, Hlavni Mesto Praha, Czech Republic

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 Rowland Heights, Washington, D.C., Oklahoma City, Traverse City and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, May 8, the 128th day of 2011.
There are 237 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
No Socks Day
National Miniature Golf  Day
Stay Up All Night Day.

It is also Mother's Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Happy Mother's Day


So we meet again!


Non Sequitur


Random Celebrity Photo

Einstein the quintessential energy saver hippie green guy…

You know the Koch brothers

Now meet the family trying to destroy public education in America: the Devos family.

The stupidity continues unabated ...

Three imams including a US-born Muslim bound for a conference on Islamophobia were kicked off US domestic flights out of security fears, clerics and an airline say.

Two imams boarded a flight from Memphis, Tennessee to Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday only to have it return to the terminal so they could be put through "additional screening", said a spokesman for Atlantic South Airlines (ASA), the Delta Connection airline operating the flight.

NRA and Florida gag pediatricians

No more firearm safety advice for parents
An NRA-lobbied bill in Florida will prohibit doctors, especially pediatricians, from asking patients about their gun-safety. The bill is expected to be signed by Governor Rick Scott. Pediatricians routinely advise parents about seatbelts, bike helmets, etc, but this law will make it illegal for a doctor to offer advice on gun safety unless "it's directly relevant to the patient's care or the safety of others." Comparable legislation is under discussion in North Carolina and Alabama.
As parents know, pediatricians ask a lot of questions. Dr. Louis St. Petery says it's all part of what doctors call "anticipatory guidance" -- teaching parents how to safeguard against accidental injuries. Pediatricians ask about bike helmets, seat belts and other concerns. "If you have a pool, let's talk about pool safety so we don't have accidental drownings," he says. "And if you have firearms, let's talk about gun safety so that they're stored properly -- you know, the gun needs to be locked up, the ammunition stored separate from the gun, etc., so that children don't have access to them."
For decades, the American Academy of Pediatrics has encouraged its members to ask questions about guns and how they're stored, as part of well-child visits.

Wisconsin repugicans rush agenda before recalls

Wisconsin repugican Gov. Scott Walker and repugican leaders have launched a push to ram several years' worth of lunatic-wingnut agenda items through the Legislature this spring before recall elections will end the criminal cabal's hijacking of the Wisconsin state government.

The truth be told


Obama demands names of Pakistan agents who helped hide bin Laden

There's no doubt that the ISI has many factions, both pro and anti-American. But after finding bin Laden there's little doubt that people in the ISI had to know something.
NY Times:
Pakistani officials say the Obama administration has demanded the identities of some of their top intelligence operatives as the United States tries to determine whether any of them had contact with Osama bin Laden or his agents in the years before the raid that led to his death early Monday morning in Pakistan.

The officials provided new details of a tense discussion between Pakistani officials and an American envoy who traveled to Pakistan on Monday, as well as the growing suspicion among United States intelligence and diplomatic officials that someone in Pakistan’s secret intelligence agency knew of Bin Laden’s location, and helped shield him.

Rape Victim Flees Libya

Eman al-Obeidy, who garnered worldwide attention for her vocal rape allegations against the regime of Moammar Gadhafi, says she has fled Libya, fearing for her safety.

Ahmadinejad given ultimatum by Ayatollah

As much as many in the west would like to see Ahmadinejad gone, who knows how good or bad the next person would be? Any new person in that role will still have to answer to the ayatollah and please him.

The Guardian:
A member of the Iranian parliament, Morteza Agha-Tehrani – who is described as "Ahmadinejad's moral adviser" – told a gathering of his supporters on Friday that a meeting between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei had recently taken place, in which the president was given a deadline to resign or to accept the decision of the ayatollah.

The extraordinary confrontation came to light after Ahmadinejad declined to officially support Khamenei's reinstatement of a minister whom the president had initially asked to resign.

The rift between the two men grew when the president staged an 11-day walkout in an apparent protest at Khamenei's decision. In the first cabinet meeting since ending his protest, the intelligence minister at the center of the row, Heydar Moslehi, was absent and in the second one on Wednesday, he was reportedly asked by Ahmadinejad to leave.

Taliban launches major attack

There will be many more and no matter how many troops we have on the ground, it's not going to end because US troops are there. It's the longest war the US has ever fought. There is no clear end in sight and no obvious goal for the US military other than fighting for the sake of fighting. If the Taliban wants Kandahar, go for it, but get the US troops back home and shift those billions back to the US where it's desperately needed and required.

The Observer:
The Taliban launched an unprecedented, multi-pronged attack on Kandahar, with commanders claiming they aimed to "take control of the city".

The assault by gunmen and suicide bombers on at least five targets in the southern city began at midday and, according to insurgents who talked to the Observer by phone during the fighting, involved hundreds of attackers.

The sustained attack on government buildings wounded at least 24 people and created chaos in the capital of a province NATO has spent the past year trying to secure.

Hey Jude

The Beatles

Don't count out "Gang of Six" budget group yet

Despite suspicions that the "Gang of Six" is doomed, this bipartisan group of senators looking to mediate the budget battle could be key to Vice President Joe Biden's long-range deficit-control efforts.

A Good One

Employee: Excuse me sir, may I talk to you?

Boss: Sure, come on in. What can I do for you?

Employee: Well sir, as you know, I have been an employee of this prestigious firm for over ten years.

Boss: Yes.

Employee: I won't beat around the bush. Sir, I would like a raise. I currently have four companies after me and so I decided to talk to you first.

Boss: A raise? I would love to give you a raise, but this is just not the right time.

Employee: I understand your position, and I know that the current economic down turn has had a negative impact on sales, but you must also take into consideration my hard work, pro-activeness and loyalty to this company for over a decade.

Boss: Taking into account these factors, and considering I don't want to start a brain drain, I'm willing to offer you a ten percent raise and an extra five days of vacation time. How does that sound?

Employee: Great! It's a deal! Thank you, sir!

Boss: Before you go, just out of curiosity, what companies were after you?

Employee: Oh, the Electric Company, Gas Company, Water Company
and the Mortgage Company!

Memphis readies for big river; Kentucky spared calamity

As Memphis readied for the mighty Mississippi to bring its furor to town, some Kentucky residents upstream returned to their homes Saturday, optimistic the levees would hold and that they had seen the worst of the flooding.

Everyday Essentials


American middle class in crisis

A new report offers stunning evidence that the average American family is struggling.  

Worst neighbors for home values

A foreclosed home can slash the value of properties within 250 feet by 27%.  

Police helicopter and dog unit fail to locate man seen shadowboxing with lamppost

A man was observed acting in a bizarre manner and disturbing the peace in Chanhassen, Minnesota on Thursday evening.

According to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office, the man was seen on the corner of Highways 41 and 5 at about 10 p.m., yelling and running around in circles.

The person calling police said the man, estimated to be between 18 and 25 years old, was also shadowboxing with a lamppost.

When confronted, the man ran away from the scene. Sheriff’s deputies tried to find the man using a K-9 team and a State Patrol helicopter, but were unable to locate the suspect.

Awesome Pictures


Wild hats light up Derby

Spectators go all out with a parade of stylish — and eye-popping — headgear.

Teenager Carried Friend on His Back for 8 Years

What would you do to help out a friend? Sixteen-year-old teenager Lui Shi Ching of Hebei carries his friend Lu Shao on his back for 8 years:
In Hebei, China, a teenager named Lui Shi Ching, 16 years old, has carried his friend to school daily for the last 8 years. His friend Lu Shao has a congenital disorder which makes it difficult for him to walk.
Eight years ago on a rainy day, Lu shao was stuck at school when his mom didn’t come to pick him up. Lui Shi Ching, who was smaller than Lu Shao, decided to help and carried him home. [...]
Lui Shi Ching didn’t brag about his good deeds too much; his parents didn’t even find out until 4 years after he first helped out his friend.



"To the cloud!"

"To the cloud!" We've been hearing so much about it, "the cloud." 
In light of all the hacking that's going on, it's even part of the conversation in Washington.

Jet-powered surfboards

The wild invention makes surfing easier, but the boards come with a hefty price tag.  

No Longer Used for Evil, Oil Barrels Remade into Sweet Cabinets

All Images Courtesy of Lockengeloet
Okay, "evil" might be a bit much. But I will say that I vastly prefer this new, unexpected use for oil barrels. They're the work of German design group Lockengeloet, from St. Pauli, Hamburg. Taking barrels that are no longer leak proof from the Hamburg harbor, Lockengeloet opens them up, installs shelves, and delivers one of the more striking and original designs I've come across.
Article continues: No Longer Used for Evil, Oil Barrels Remade into Sweet Cabinets

The Largest Wooden Structure In The World

The Metropol Parasol

Some think that it is out of place, a blight on the landscape of an ancient city. Yet many of the residents of Sevilla in Spain love the recently opened Metropol Parasol and see it as something which will serve to rejuvenate their city while still nodding to the past beneath it. It certainly turns heads - and what's more - it is officially the largest wooden structure in the world.

The World's Creepiest Abandoned Cities

Some cities die. The people leave, the streets go quiet, and the isolation takes on the macabre shape of a forlorn ghost town, crumbling with haunting neglect and urban decay. From Taiwan to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, these abandoned cities lurk in the shadows of civilization.

Their histories are carried in hushed whispers and futures stillborn from the day of their collapse. Some have fallen victim to catastrophe while others simply outlive their function.

OK ... that is different


Wolverine vs. Tyrannosaurus Rex

Who will win? 
My money’s on Logan. 
Click on the link to see the end of the fight, as depicted by Andrew Hou.

Octopus Ballet



Spider Dance The Tango



The 8 Best Mothers In The Animal Kingdom


After a 22 month long pregnancy followed by delivery of the world’s largest babies (around 250 pounds), elephants deserve to be on this list even if they immediately abandoned their babes. But they don’t just say “thanks for all the stretch marks,” and get on their merry way, elephant mothers continue raising their babies. Baby elephants are born blind and completely dependent on their mother and the rest of the herd. While the baby is growing, they are fortunate enough to have a great support system consisting of multiple full-time babysitters, called “allmothers.” While the allmothers take care of the precious little one, the mother will work to eat as much as she can so she can make the most possible milk for her bundle of joy.
Image by Googie man [Wikipedia]


We don’t tend to think of cold-blooded animals as the most caring parents, but alligators certainly break that mold. The female alligator creates nests of rotting organic matter that not only self-incubates, but also determine the sex of the babies. Nests that are constructed with leaves are warmer than those made with wet marsh, and thus, produce more males than cooler nests.
Once mama gator has planned the sex of her litter, she will guard her nest from threats, including other alligators, who love to munch on baby gator nests. When the eggs hatch, she will load them into her mouth and then carry them into the water where she will continue to care for them for the following year, assuming they decide to stay near home.
Image via Catholic 85 [Wikipedia]


Female orangutans have to wait eight years between births (the longest interbirth time of any great ape), so they make sure their time with each baby counts. Infant orangutans are completely dependent on their mother for their first two years of life. In fact, during the first four months of a baby’s life, it will never break physical contact with its mother, clinging to her belly the whole time. Each night, the mother will make a nest and she and her baby will cuddle in bed during the duration of its infancy.
Even as they mature, they continue to stick close to mother and even breastfeed until they are five years old –making them the species with the longest dependence period. The girls stay with their mothers longer than the boys, sticking around to learn necessary baby rearing skills.
Image via JohnBurke [Flickr]

Greater Hornbills

Greater hornbills have the distinction of being the only animals that made it on both of our best animal parents lists. And there’s a good reason for that. When the hornbills lay eggs, they find a hollowed-out tree and then the mother seals herself inside with the eggs while the father returns every day to bring food for her. While he deserves recognition for caring for his wife and kids during the incubation period, mommy certainly deserves some respect for sitting inside a dark nest all day, surviving only on what her mate brings her to eat.
Once the chicks hatch, the parents continue to split their duties, alternating who feeds the babies that have been left inside the sealed up nest.
Image via Goldy fk [Flickr]


Female octopuses have good odds when it comes to reproductive success. After all, each mother lays anywhere between 50,000 and 200,000 eggs, depending on her species. She then takes the time to carefully place the eggs in an elaborate grouping, again based on her species. Once laid, she’ll spend the next month or two caring for the eggs by protecting them against predators and even pushing water currents in their direction so the eggs get enough oxygen.
During this entire period, she will not hunt and will often end up ingesting her own arms for sustenance. When the eggs start hatching, she will leave her lair too weak to defend herself from predators. As a result, most octopus mothers die shortly after their babies hatch.
Image via Foxtongue [Flickr]


Most insects, particularly those that tend to roll solo, aren’t exactly the most caring parents. But the female earwig is a very notable exception. The mother will provide her eggs with warmth, clean them to protect them from fungus and protect them from predators. During this period, the only thing she’ll eat is any eggs that have gone bad and will not hatch.
When the eggs hatch, she will help the babies break through their shells and continue to protect the little ones for another few months until they have molted a second time. She will even feed her babies regurgitated food and if anything happens to her during this time, the babies will then eat their mother for sustenance.
Image via Nabakov [Wikipedia]

Polar Bears

After getting pregnant, female polar bears need to eat enough to nearly double their weight, as they will soon enter a long fasting period where they will still need to provide nourishment to their cubs. As temperatures start to fall during autumn, mothers-to-be will dig a maternity den that comprises of a narrow entrance tunnel and one to three chambers. Once secluded in her den, the mother will enter a hibernation-like state –unlike hibernating animals, her body temperature does not decrease and she will not sleep continuously.
The mother bear has one of the easiest birthing sessions around, often sleeping through the experience. When the cubs are born, they will be blind and weigh less than two pounds. While the mother will continue to refrain from eating while in the den area, the cubs will nurse, growing up to 30 pounds by the time they leave the den in spring. For the first couple of weeks outside the den, the mother will nibble on vegetation while the cubs adapt to walking and playing in the outdoors. Finally, they will leave the den area and head toward the sea ice where the mother can start catching seals after a fast of up to eight months.
Over the next few years, the mother will teach her babies how to hunt while protecting them from predators, including male polar bears. Interestingly, while male bears will eat the cubs, female bears have been known to adopt abandoned cubs on occasion.

Wolf Spiders

Like earwigs, wolf spiders are notable for being one of the more caring mothers of the arachnid world. While most spiders hang their eggs in a web and then go on their merry way, wolf spiders actually strap their egg sac to their bodies and carry it wherever they go. Then, once the eggs hatch, mommy wolf spider continues to take care of her little ones, letting them ride on her back until they are old enough to fend for themselves.
Image via Ugly Overload

As humans, we are fortunate to have some of the best mothers in the animal kingdom –women who are willing to take care of a whining, tantrum-throwing and manipulative (although occasionally really cute) child for at least eighteen years. Let’s take some time to thank all of our mothers. Happy Mother’s Day!

Sources: Wikipedia #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8

Jeffrey the football-playing pony is a natural

He is a football manager’s dream, with pace to burn, buckets of strength . . . and four legs. Meet Jeffrey, the footballing pony. The three-year-old, found wandering beside a busy main road in Bolton, is now wowing visitors at his new home at Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary.

Jeffrey likes nothing better than kicking and heading a ball around the 55-acre farm in Edenfield. And workers at the charity say he has become equally adept scoring goals with both hooves. Jeffrey came to the sanctuary around six months ago after being found on the loose in Bolton.

Neil Martin, manager at Bleakholt, said: “He was in good condition, but he’s a stallion, so he’s a little bit stroppy. Most of our mares are in season at the moment and the fact that they are 10 times bigger than him doesn’t seem to bother him. When there’s a will, there's a way. We have to keep him on his own with an older horse to keep him company, called Bracken.

“To keep Jeffrey occupied we need to stimulate him, so the staff decided to give him an exercise ball to play with.” Neil said Jeffrey had taken to the game like a natural. He said: “Bracken doesn’t like the ball but Jeffrey loves it. He uses a shelter as a goal and chases the ball into it. We’re not allowed to play goalkeeper because he’ll run you down if you get in his way!”

Animal Pictures