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.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Flattery is a powerful tool, and you shouldn't be afraid to use it today.
Just be sure it's based on truth.
When a compliment is woven completely out of farce, it sets off everyone's crap detector -- and makes you look less than honorable.
Keep in mind that you may also find yourself the recipient of a few nice comments today.
Take each to heart with a grain of salt, and you'll learn how to have a healthy ego without letting anyone take advantage of you.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia

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 Athens, Gilbert, San Mateo, Sparta and more.

Today is:
Today is Sunday, May 15, the 135th day of 2011.
There are 230 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Straw Hat Day

National Pizza Party Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Afghan girl

A young Afghan girl stands outside her house in the town of Musa Qala in Helmand province on April 9. 
(Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)

From a collection of 36 images of Afghanistan at The Big Picture.

Culinary DeLites

Leafy vegetables, green tea, and fruit can help flush out toxins and protect your liver.  

Vintage Photo

Super sexy vintage 1920’s woman…
 1920’s woman …

Six items to put on your credit card

Charging vacations to the plastic can lead to plenty of worthwhile perks.  

Actually, "the Rich" Don't "Create Jobs," We Do

You hear it again and again, variation after variation on a core message: if you tax rich people it kills jobs.

You hear about "job-killing tax hikes," or that "taxing the rich hurts jobs," "taxes kill jobs," "taxes take money out of the economy, "if you tax the rich they won't be able to provide jobs." ... on and on it goes.

So do we really depend on "the rich" to "create" jobs?

Or do jobs get created when they fill a need?

Wizard of Id


And I Quote

The U.S. has not just misplaced its priorities. When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely.

Non Sequitur


One Wish

I met a genie today that said she would grant me one wish.

“I want to live forever,” I said.

“Sorry,” said the genie, “I’m not allowed to grant wishes like that!”

“Fine,” I said, “then I want to die after Congress gets their heads out of their asses!”

“You crafty bastard,” said the genie.

Texas moves to ban TSA "groping"

As long as it includes the rent-a-TSA (that repugicans love so much) this is good. It's still a mystery why repugicans think that rent-a-TSA solves the TSA problems, because it doesn't since they still follow the same procedures as the TSA.

Transportation Security Administration agents could be charged with a misdemeanor crime, face a $4,000 fine and one year in jail under the measure.

The proposal would classify any airport inspection that "touches the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of another person including through the clothing, or touches the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person" as an offense of sexual harassment under official oppression.

For once Texas is looking like it is going to do the right thing - but keep in mind it is the repugicans that are pushing this so watch for it to be fucked up royally.
Not that the Texas Democrats aren't for this as well ... if only they're allowed to make a law that makes sense (see sentence above - the last half in particular).

Odds and Sods

An enzyme found in cheese triggered false drug test results that led North Carolina deputies to think a man with 91 pounds of tortilla dough was actually carrying that much cocaine, the sheriff said.

If there's one thing people in San Francisco seem to agree on, it's that nudity during an athletic event isn't a problem.

Awesome Pictures


Daily Comic Relief


Why It's Getting Harder and Harder to Remember Things as You Get Older

Why is it harder and harder for people to remember things as they get older? Is it because their brain is full?
Not so, according to a Johns Hopkins neuroscientist:
According to a Johns Hopkins neuroscientist, however, the real trouble is that our aging brains are unable to process this information as "new" because the brain pathways leading to the hippocampus — the area of the brain that stores memories — become degraded over time. As a result, our brains cannot accurately "file" new information (like where we left the car that particular morning), and confusion results.
"Our research uses brain imaging techniques that investigate both the brain’s functional and structural integrity to demonstrate that age is associated with a reduction in the hippocampus’s ability to do its job, and this is related to the reduced input it is getting from the rest of the brain," said Michael Yassa, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences in Johns Hopkins’ Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. "As we get older, we are much more susceptible to ‘interference’ from older memories than we are when we are younger."
In other words, when faced with an experience similar to what it has encountered before, such as parking the car, our brain tends to recall old information it already has stored instead of filing new information and being able to retrieve that. The result? You can’t find your car immediately and find yourself wandering the parking lot.
"Maybe this is also why we tend to reminisce so much more as we get older: because it is easier to recall old memories than make new ones," Yassa speculated.

No Farting On The School Bus!

What’s funnier than a fart joke on the Internet? Fart news on the Internet, of course!
Here’s a story of how two 13-year-old boys got into a bus-load of trouble when they cut the cheese on the bus:
Administrators ruled that the flatulence was in violation of the school’s code of conduct, but if you ask Nichols’ parents, the decision reeks of poor judgement.
"It’s very laughable, that’s what it is," said Anthony’s father, James Nichols. He said he spoke with the school’s vice principal, Daniel Senu-Oke, who "suggested my son should hold his gas on this hour-long bus ride."
For a concerned parent, however, that answer just doesn’t cut it.
"When it happens, it just happens," he said. "It’s not intentional."
But perhaps it is. According to the bus driver and school officials, the 13-year-old Nichols and his partner in crime are repeat offenders with a history of passing gas on the school bus.

Pet Hamster

This lively pet hamster will keep you company throughout the day. Watch him run on his wheel, drink water, and eat the food you feed him by clicking your mouse.

Click the center of the wheel to make him run. Get your own here.

How Science Made Your Dinosaur Toys Extinct

Remember when you were a kid how dinosaurs were the coolest ever? In particular, the stories of Big Three - the brontosaurus, the triceratops, and the Tyrannosaurus rex - dominated children's books, coloring books, cartoons, games, and figurines. Plus, these great beasts weren't just some mythological creatures like dragons; no, we had the fossils, and everything we learned about them was based on science.

Well, information unearthed during the past two decades proves that everything we thought we knew about the Big Three was wrong. Thanks, science! Here's how all those books and playthings you cherished as a kid - your educational toys - are completely outdated.

Entire organism regenerated from single cell

This image shows the head region from an adult planarian (Schmidtea mediterranea). The creature was fixed 7 days after ionizing radiation treatment and contains a growing stem cell colony marked in red. Courtesy Peter Reddien.

This isn't just replacing a lost limb - this is the entire organism...
One cell is all it takes to rebuild a complete, functioning flatworm, researchers have learned. The animals possess a special type of cell throughout their bodies, which shares some qualities with human embryonic stem cells. If scientists can find out how this special cell works, they could someday study ways to use the cells for human tissue regeneration.

The findings are the first time pluripotent stem cells have been found in an adult animal, according to researchers at MIT and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Pluripotent stem cells have a unique ability to turn into any kind of cell, which is what makes them so valuable for disease research, tissue regeneration and other fields. But these cells are only found in embryos, or are induced in complex lab processes. Adults have stem cells, but they have greater specificity — blood stem cells can turn into any constituent part of the blood, and skin stem cells can turn into skin or hair, but they can’t turn into other cells like neurons, for instance...

They watched as the transplanted cNeoblast multiplied, differentiated and “ultimately replaced all the host’s tissues,” according to a news release from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. Descendants of the single neoblast cell differentiated into neuronal, intestinal and other adult cell types, taking over the jobs of the host’s dying cells. The newly restored worm was an exact genetic copy of the cNeoblast donor. All this from one single cell.

The results were published in the current issue of the journal Science.



CDC Confirms Lemon Eucalyptus Oil as Effective as DEET

mosquito photo
Photo: dr relling
It's easy to say you'll never use DEET, that is until you come down to South Carolina. The state boasts mosquitoes that rival your house pet in size and stature. But even still, many fear the toxicity of DEET and try to avoid it even with those mini-monsters landing on you noon and night. According to the CDC, lemon eucalyptus oil could be a much safer and more natural weapon.
Article continues: CDC Confirms Lemon Eucalyptus Oil as Effective as DEET

Mosquitoes back 'with a vengeance'

Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which find humans a tasty treat.

Operation Donkey brings Iraqi equine to US

It took 37 days and a group of determined animal lovers, but a donkey from Iraq is now a U.S. resident.
Smoke The Donkey, who became a friend and mascot to a group of U.S. Marines living in Iraq's Anbar Province nearly three years ago, arrived in New York this week aboard a cargo jet from Turkey.

Chihuahua lifts leg, gets blame for N.Y. bomb scare

A dog that wasn't quite housebroken may have indirectly been responsible for a bomb scare at a New York courthouse.

What's Brought 32,000 Parakeets to London's Suburbs?

In April, Brian lamented new population maps that show Americans are still moving to the suburbs. But the study was restricted to the United States, and only looked at human population shifts. Which means that it offers no help in solving a mystery that's troubling British scientists: why have tens of thousands of rose-ringed parakeets, native to India and Africa relocated to London's suburbs in the last fifteen years?
Article continues: What's Brought 32,000 Parakeets to London's Suburbs?

Threatened Tortoises Slow Down Desert Solar Project

Threatened desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii). 
Photo by Beth Jackson/US Fish and Wildlife Service
The building of the massive 5.6-square mile Ivanpah solar project in the Mojave Desert by BrightSource Energy has been suspended in the midst of construction while the U.S. Bureau of Land Management assesses whether more than 3,000 acres of tortoise habitat would be lost. It is believed that an estimated 600 endangered desert tortoises could die as a result of the solar complex and 160 tortoises might be captured and displaced. They didn't fare so well with the US Army's translocation a couple years ago.
Article continues: Threatened Tortoises Slow Down Desert Solar Project

The Plight of North America's Tiniest Turtle

bog turtle photo
Photo: Julie Larsen Maher
It's called the bog turtle and it's North America's tiniest turtle. It reaches a maximum length of 4.5 inches. The bog turtle's federal status is threatened but in states like New York, the turtle is endangered. Under federal regulations, "it is unlawful to sell, trade, barter, possess, import, export, catch, take, or kill bog turtles," because of their current status. But even still, the plight of the bog turtle is bleak because of habitat encroachment and poaching. Lately, the bog turtle has been suffering an even higher mortality rate which has motivated environmental organizations like the Wildlife Conservation Society, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to step in and figure out why.

Article continues: The Plight of North America's Tiniest Turtle

The Kangaroo That Went Back To The Trees


When you hear the word kangaroo what you may well imagine is the large marsupial bounding with immense speed across the Australian landscape - and you would not be wrong. However, at one point the ancestors of one particular family of kangaroos did something strange. They returned to the trees whence they had come. This is the tree-kangaroo and they are the marsupial equivalent of monkeys.

Zack the show jumping zebra

After Zack the zebra kept jumping out of his field, Sammi Jo Stohler of Willis, Texas, figured he might have a knack for having fun over fences. “I had to build an 8ft. fence around the property because he kept jumping out,” she said. “He can clear 5ft. without a problem; he just walks up to a fence and ends up on the other side of it. I said, ‘I bet he can do it with a rider,’ and yep, it was no problem.”

Zack took quickly to the fences. “He’s large pony size, but he jumps very easily. The first time I pointed him at it, I just put it really low and showed him this is what we’re doing,” said Stohler. “And he said, ‘Oh yeah, I got that.’ He likes jumping, and going higher was no problem.”

Stohler grew up riding horses on a ranch in eastern Oregon. She embarked on a career of training horses and gradually expanded to other, more exotic, species. With Zack’s ability, Stohler saw the opportunity to prove that zebras can do many different things. “Everyone always asks ‘Can they jump?’ or ‘Can you do this with them?’ and I always like to see what I can accomplish,” she said.

Animal Pictures