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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.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
When was the last time you refreshed your wardrobe or tried a new haircut?
Your appearance is important, and you should put some energy into it today.
Even if you like your look, a periodic experimentation with a new style can't do any harm -- and it may get you out of a rut.
Sticking with what is comfortable is a good idea, but there may be something new out there that makes you look good while still keeping you comfortable.
Grab a stylish friend to join you on a shopping trip.

Some of our readers today have been in:
London, England, United Kingdom
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Dublin Dublin, Ireland
Kuatan, Pahang, Malaysia
Canberra, Australian, Capital Territory, Australia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Lille, Nord-Pas-De-Calais, France
Basingstoke, England, United Kingdom
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Gengenbachm Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan
Gloucester, England, United Kingdom

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 Baton Rouge, Cedar Rapids, West Chicago, Des Monies and more.

Today is:
Today is Thursday, May 19, the 139th day of 2011.
There are 226 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
May Ray Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Culinary DeLites

Adding the heart-healthy fatty acids to your diet can be as simple as tossing a salad.  
    Learn what the labels mean and which fish is best for you, your health, and the environment.  

    World's prettiest places

    Majestic temples, natural wonders, and opulent tributes to royalty you have to see to believe.

    Austrian Lake Is Also a Popular Hiking Spot

    Lots of great skiing mountains also double as hiking trails in the warmer months. However this area in Austria has got to be the only place this doubles as a hiking spot and a great place to scuba dive.

    Located at the foot of the Hochschwab Mountains, in Tragoess, Styria, Green Lake is one of the most bizarre natural phenomena in the world. During the cold winter months, this place is almost completely dry, and used as a country park where hikers love to come and spend some time away from urban chaos. But as soon as temperatures rise, the snow and ice covering the mountaintops begin to melt, and the water pours down, filling the basin below with crystal-clear water.

    Three-Sided Chess

    Three-person chess, a game mentioned on by Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, is now a reality. It requires a specialized board, but other than that, you can just follow the rules at the link. Here’s an overview from the creators:
    The only changes from conventional chess are some protocol issues that must be followed to maintain order where the teams border each other, which is simple and necessary. Also, please notice that the trajectory lines orienting from the outer rank, are simply visual aids to help guide diagonal moves passing through the center. If the path is clear, a diagonal move starting from the outer rank can pass through the center and sweep back around to where it originated. The complexities of the third player are infinite. Your threatened piece may be allowed to maintain occupancy as your position is beneficial to the threatening player.

    No more federal 'gibberish'

    When the act kicks in, public federal documents must do away with confusing jargon.

    Jailed IMF chief resigns post

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn steps down as managing director of the International Monetary Fund.  

    How hypocritical are repugicans?

    What 30 Years of Reaganomics Has Done For You

    In general, no matter what we do, the economy continues to grow.  We have our recessions, but over the long term, the economy, as measured by GDP, continues to increase as shown in the figure below.

    It shows about a 2.1% annual growth over the last 60 years.  Repugicans and Democrats have both contributed to this growth, one better than the other at times, but in general it just keeps growing with a few bumps along the way.

    Since we all contribute to the growth, I think we all should benefit from the growth.  From 1950 to 1980, the GDP roughly doubled.  The next figure shows how much our income grew during this period.

     Not too bad.  Income growth is about the same as GDP growth.   The people in the 99 to 99.99 income percentile didn't do as well as the others, but their income is pretty high anyway so they probably did not suffer too much.

    Then along came Reagan.  He essentially said, taxes are too high.  It is stifling the economy and stealing money away from those who create jobs and wealth.  We need to cut taxes and shrink government.  Get it out of peoples' way.

    Well, we already know what happened to the economy when he did that.  It kept plodding along with about a 2.1% annual growth.  At least he didn't hurt it, but he didn't help it much either.  Over the next 28 years, 1980 to 2008, the GDP roughly doubled again...but what happened to incomes?  Well, let's take a look.  The next figure adds the time period 1980 to 2008 to the figure above.



    The lower 90% of all Americans saw their income increase an average of 1%.  ONE FUCKING PERCENT!  Even the people in the 90 - 95 percentile and the 95 to 99 percentile did worse from 1980 to 2008 than they did between 1950 and 1980.  Let me say that again.  99 PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE SAW THEIR INCOME INCREASE MORE BETWEEN 1950 AND 1980 THAN  IT DID BETWEEN 1980 AND 2008.

    Who made all the money from the increase in the economy?  Remember, the economy continued to grow at an average of 2.1% per year.  Why, it was the top 1 percent, the one percent that the republicans cater to.  In fact, the top 0.01 percent saw their income increase 403%.

    So, let's recap.  99 percent of the people saw their income increase significantly less between 1980 and 2008 than they did between 1950 and 1980 thanks to republican economic policies started by Reagan.  The bottom 90% of people saw their income increase by only ONE PERCENT, while the top ONE HUNDREDTH OF ONE PERCENT saw their income increase 403 percent.  That is a 40,300 percent greater increase than the bottom 90% of the people.

    40,200 percent greater increase than the bottom 90% of the people

     And the repugicans want to give them more tax cuts.  Are they out of their fucking minds???

    This was number 1. 
    There are 8 more interesting things. 

    Wizard of Id


    Outcry over Navy ship name

    A planned tribute to Cesar Chavez has one lawmaker crying foul — and the Web searching for answers.

    Feds say workers can't be fired for complaining on Facebook

    There's another ruling that indicates you can beef about your job on social networking sites -- and still keep that job.

    Federal labor regulators say a New York nonprofit illegally fired five employees after they went on Facebook to criticize working conditions.

    The National Labor Relations Board alleges that Hispanics United of Buffalo violated federal law in booting the workers.

    Federal law lets employees talk with co-workers about their jobs and their working conditions without reprisal.

    The nonprofit claims it fired the five workers because their Facebook comments constituted harassment of a co-worker.

    But a top lawyer with NLRB has said using Facebook is the same as employees talking around the water cooler.

    Top 10 ways to get yourself fired

    Blunders like sending your resumé from the office computer lead to pink slips.

    How to pick the right degree

    These five tips from career experts will help you narrow down your choices.  

    The new lost generation

    A startling number of college graduates cannot find work in their chosen fields. 

    Dangerous new credit cards

    A loophole in the consumer-protection law allows some to have high fees and penalties. 

    How to become a millionaire

    A key decision about your career can boost your odds of joining this ritzy club.  



    Lottery winner on food stamps

    Leroy Fick won $2 million last year, but says he doesn't feel bad about taking state aid.

      Mother runs over daughter after fight outside Walmart

      A mother in Sandusky, Ohio is facing charges, accused of running over her 19-year-old daughter in a Walmart parking lot.

      Perkins police say Michelle Touma, 41, was fighting with her daughter Emily before the incident. Surveillance video shows the girl getting out of the car and hitting the hood. Then her mother pulls forward, clipping the teen.

      Officers say Touma claims she was going to drive by with her window down and smack her daughter in the head in retaliation for striking the vehicle. Instead, Michelle knocks Emily to the ground, runs over the girl's foot, then gets out of the car.

      Local mothers said children need discipline, but not that kind. "That's outrageous. That's your child. No matter what they did or said you shouldn't react like that," said one mother. The teenager was treated for her injury and released. Michelle Toumahas been charged with aggravated vehicular assault and domestic violence.

      Son made mother live in shed so he could rent out her room

      A man was charged with abusing and neglecting his mother after deputies found the malnourished, sick woman living in a tool shed behind his property. Deputies arrested Pastro Jang-Sung Park, 54, on Sunday after they discovered his mother, Sei Hee Park, 84, living in dangerous conditions in a shed behind a multi-unit building in Dania, Florida, according to a Broward Sheriff's Office complaint affidavit.

      Pastro Park was charged with abuse of the elderly or disabled with bodily injury. At a court hearing on Monday, Broward County Judge John "Jay" Hurley set bond at $5,000 and ordered him to have no contact with his mother. According to the affidavit, deputies responded on Sunday evening to a call about a landlord-tenant dispute involving Pastro Park.

      The tenant told deputies that an elderly woman was living in the shed, apparently without food, water, air conditioning or toiletries, and that she needed medical attention. The deputies found Sei Park lying on a bed in the shed, "With injury to her head, worm burrowing into her neck, malnourished and dehydrated," the affidavit said.

      Pastro Park later told investigators he put his mother in the shed so he could rent out her room. Rescuers took Sei Park to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood. At Monday's bond hearing, Pastro Park told Hurley he emigrated from Korea in 1997. He said he holds a part-time security position and works as a tutor at Broward College.

      There's a news video here.

      Talk about Sardines

      513 Mexican migrants found in two US-bound trailer trucks
      Police in Mexico's southern Chiapas state have found 513 migrants inside two trailer trucks bound for the US, and said they had been transported in dangerously crowded conditions. Some of the immigrants were suffering from dehydration after traveling for hours clinging to cargo ropes strung inside the containers to keep them upright and to allow more migrants to be more crammed in on the floor.

      The trucks had air holes punched in the tops of the containers, but migrants interviewed at the state prosecutors' office said they lacked air and water. The trucks were bound for the central city of Puebla, where the migrants said they had been told they would be loaded onto a second set of vehicles for the trip to the US border.

      None of the migrants would say whether any drug gangs had been involved in the mass smuggling scheme broken up early on Tuesday when Chiapas state police discovered the migrants while using x-ray equipment on the trucks at a checkpoint in the outskirts of city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

      The migrants said the smugglers were charging them about $7,000 (£4,303) apiece to get them into the US. The immigration institute said in a statement that 410 of the migrants were from Guatemala, 47 from El Salvador, 32 from Ecuador, 12 from India, six from Nepal, three from China and one each from Japan, the Dominican Republic and Honduras. There were 32 women and four children among them.

      Russian undertakers 'pay bribes' for tips on the seriously ill

      Paramedics working in league with undertakers are among abuses reported by Russian prosecutors in a report on emergency healthcare violations. The chief prosecutor's office said abuses of the free ambulance service existed across the country and it called for tighter monitoring.

      In one city, undertakers turned up instead of an ambulance at the home of a seriously ill patient. All Russian citizens are entitled to free emergency healthcare regardless of their circumstances.

      The chief prosecutor's office found that in "a number of cities", paramedics had taken payments from undertakers for tipping them off about dead or seriously ill patients, thereby violating citizens' right to privacy.

      A criminal investigation is under way in Yekaterinburg, the city where undertakers turned up to offer their services in place of an ambulance.

      Thief steals £3,000 bicycle from man as he chatted to three police officers

      A cyclist had his £3000 mountain bike stolen as he stood chatting to three police officers. Kevin Jager, 47, from Durham, was paying his first ever visit to Manchester when the bike was taken from under their noses. He had been working as a security marshal in the elite women’s race in the Great Manchester Run on Sunday.

      After seeing the runners home, Kevin stood near the finish line on Deansgate chatting to three police officers as they waited for the end of the men’s race. While Kevin’s back was turned, a thief swiped his high-tech S-Works bike which was resting against a wall just a few feet away.

      Kevin said: “The police officers and I were all looking towards the finish line and waiting to see Haile Gebrselassie win. I took my eye off the bike for a matter of moments. The first thing I knew about the theft was when one of the police officers handed me my gloves which had been resting on the bike saddle but had fallen on the floor.

      “I think the officers were amazed that someone would have the audacity to steal something from under their noses.” Supt Jim Liggett said: “It was audacious of the offender to steal the bike when the victim himself was not very far away. However, there were thousands of people near the finishing line at the time and it can become easy to lose sight of property or people.”

      Spectacular Cog Railways

      Cog railways can travel up steep hills and mountains because of an extra rail underneath with teeth. Cogwheels on the train itself fit into those teeth and keep it pushing upward. Some of these railways have been in service over a hundred years in the Alps and the Rockies!

      Take a closer look at how they work and see some spectacular photographs at Dark Roasted Blend.

      Rare Color Photographs Of The Great Depression

      It was an era that defined a generation. The Great Depression marked the bitter and abrupt end to the post-World War 1 bubble that left America giddy with promise in the 1920s. Near the end of the 1930s the country was beginning to recover from the crash, but many in small towns and rural areas were still poverty-stricken.

      These rare photographs are some of the few documenting those iconic years in color. The photographs and captions are the property of the Library of Congress and were included in a 2006 exhibit Bound for Glory: America in Color. The images, by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, shed a bleak new light on a world now gone with the wind.

      Most expensive art photo ever

       Tumblr Ll3Pmtrxrk1Qz7Ymyo1 500
      This is the most expensive photograph ever purchased. Art dealer Philippe Segalot purchased Cindy Sherman's "Untitled #96" (1981) for $3.89 million at a Christie's auction last week. 

      Is It Time to Destroy the Last Smallpox Stores?

      Scientists and health officials are pretty certain that the smallpox virus exists in only two places in the world: at the CDC in Atlanta and in a government laboratory in Russia. The World Health Organization declared the disease eradicated in 1979, and the two remaining supplies are for research only. This week, the 64th World Health Assembly will take up the question of whether these two stores of the virus should be destroyed.
      Now, public health officials are divided on how to ensure that the disease stays eradicated. Some say our best bet is to keep the remaining samples of the virus safe and continue to study them, then destroy them at a later date; others say the safest course is to destroy them now, once and for all.
      A list of pros and cons for keeping smallpox around are listed at 80beats.

      Silly and Accidental

      A gallery of bizarre creations includes a portable sauna and glasses that would make Kanye West happy.  
        A melting candy bar led to the first microwave oven, which was 5 feet tall.

        Virgin's Enterprise Makes First Feathering Flight

        Virgin Galactic’s experimental SpaceShipTwo, dubbed the VSS Enterprise, recently performed its first flight using “feathering”. That means that the rear of the craft bent far backwards to slow it down during re-entry. Popular Science’s Clay Dillow explained its significance:
        “Feathering,” as it is known, is probably the biggest innovation integrated into SpaceShipTwo’s design. In the feathered position, the entire tail section of the plane rotates upward about 65 degrees, creating a different aerodynamic shape that is highly stable yet creates tremendous drag to slow the aircraft down during re-entry. Though that drag is pretty significant, the light weight of the aircraft keeps the skin temperature from rising too high, circumventing the need for heat shields and other thermal protection.
        Moreover, when feathered correctly the aircraft is so stable that the pilot can more or less take his hands off the sticks and let the aircraft work its way through the atmosphere naturally, based purely on its aerodynamic shape. That’s a huge safety feature, as the pilot doesn’t have to maintain a specific degree of entry or rely on a sophisticated fly-by-wire computer.
        At the link, you can watch a video of the flight. Skip ahead to 2:30 to see the feathering.

        Awesome Pictures


        Late storms add to historic flood worries in West

        Late winter storms are packing a punch to the Rockies, piling snowpack on top of already record levels across the West where officials are concerned about historic flooding, avalanches and mudslides.

        New Area 51 theory

        A new book claims to expose the true source of the mystery spacecraft that crashed in Roswell.  

        The Earth's core is melting

        ... and freezing
        The inner core of the Earth is simultaneously melting and freezing due to circulation of heat in the overlying rocky mantle, according to new research

        Rogue Planet

        Excited scientists have found signs of a new class of planet: Massive gas giants that drift through space.

        'Exciting' find: Possible planets without orbits
        Are these planets without orbits? Astronomers have found 10 potential planets as massive as Jupiter wandering through a slice of the Milky Way galaxy, following either very wide orbits or no orbit at all.



        Noodling Illegal in Texas

        ... For Now
        Noodling is a fishing technique that consists of grabbing a fish with your bare hands and tossing it up on the shore. But here in Texas we do it a bit differently. Noodling consists of shoving one’s fist into the water. Then, when a big ol’ catfish clamps its jaws around your hand, fling it out of the water.
        Currently and sadly, noodling is illegal. But that may change. The Wall Street Journal spoke to expert noodler Brady Knowlton:
        Nothing beats “the heebie-jeebies you get underwater, in the dark, with this little sea monster biting you,” he says. He recalls that his arm looked like “the first stage of a chili recipe” after his first noodling experience about 15 years ago. Catfish are equipped with bands of small but very abrasive teeth.
        The bill swam easily through the state house, but now rod-and-reel anglers are speaking up against the proposed law, currently in the state Senate.
        They say noodling is unfair to the fish, since they’re grabbed in their burrows without a chance to swim away.

        The Red-crested tree rat is adorable ... not extinct

        The last red-crested tree rat was spotted in 1898. After 113 years, and several searches, the species was assumed to be extinct. That is, until this one showed up on a public handrail at 9:30 pm on May 4, in Colombia's El Dorado Nature Reserve. Cute! And not dead!

        Earliest mammals sniffed their way to smarts

        The unusually large brains of mammals apparently didn't evolve so that we could ponder philosophy - but so we could sniff our way to success.

        Animal Pictures