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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 24, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
In a difficult situation today, remember that you can always rely on your secret weapon: Your unfaltering creativity. If you are put on the spot by someone in power, just think fast. Grab for an idea, and it will be there waiting for you -- and it will be brilliant. Have faith that you've got what it takes to make the right impression and save the situation, no matter how calamitous it may seem. Break the awkward silence with a zingy one-liner.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia
Gloucester, England, United Kingdom
Hyvinkaa, Southern Finland, Finland
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
London, 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 Temple, Medina, Tallahassee, Chattanooga and more.

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, May 24, the 144th day of 2011.
There are 221 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
There aren't any.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Deadliest twister in decades

Joplin reels as the rising toll makes Sunday's twister the single deadliest since 1950.  
As Joplin reels from the deadliest twister in decades, experts warn of a "serious situation" on the horizon.

Crazy Weather is the New Normal, Thanks to Climate Change

Get used to droughts sweeping the south in the summer and more massive floods during rainy season. More rain, more snow. This, ladies and gentleman, is the new normal, thanks to a climate that's changing on account of us humanfolk pumping excessive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. "Shut up, you crazy doom-saying hippie!" But those aren't my words! No, this message is brought to you by a coalition of US government planners, climate scientists, and insurance firms.
See Reuters for proof.
Some people are really quite stupid it seems.

Whew, Town hit with awful smell

Stopping "rotten egg" fumes proves difficult when regulators find its source.

Volcanic Plumes over Io

The Galileo spacecraft captured this fantastic color composite image of a volcanic eruption on Jupiter’s moon Io.

APOD explains:
At the image top, over Io’s limb, a bluish plume rises about 140 kilometers above the surface of a volcanic caldera known as Pillan Patera. In the image middle, near the night/day shadow line, the ring shaped Prometheus plume is seen rising about 75 kilometers above Io while casting a shadow below the volcanic vent. Named for the Greek god who gave mortals fire, the Prometheus plume is visible in every image ever made of the region dating back to the Voyager flybys of 1979 – presenting the possibility that this plume has been continuously active for at least 18 years. The above digitally sharpened image of Io was originally recorded in 1997 from a distance of about 600,000 kilometers. Recent analyses of Galileo data has uncovered evidence of a magma ocean beneath Io’s surface.

Non Sequitur


The Rupture

The failed prediction that took the world by storm leaves Harold Camping in an awkward spot.

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EVENT "Rapture" cannot be located. The rapture you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

And from the "They just don't learn" Department:
Harold Camping says he misunderstood the true meaning of May 21 when he made his prediction.  
And further proof this lunatic is completely insane (as if any were needed):
Harold Camping finally broke his silence on what occurred Saturday: In case you missed it, The Rapture actually happened.

Odds and Sods

Hit man, 15, convicted of killing
A teenager believed to be Britain's youngest hit man is facing a life sentence for shooting dead a young mother in a contract killing.

Reports say Taliban leader killed
Afghan private TV channels Monday reported Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar had been killed in Pakistan but the Taliban denied the reports, Xinhua said.

Ohio couple pleads guilty in terror funding case
A married couple pleaded guilty Monday to charges that they plotted to ship money to a Mideast terrorist group, a plea deal that spares them from potential life sentences.

Wisconsin recall elections to start in July

This will definitely be interesting to follow.
State election officials ordered July 12 recall elections on Monday for three repugican state senators, setting the stage for what could be an unprecedented summer of recall elections.

The Government Accountability Board, which runs state elections, voted unanimously to schedule the recall elections against Sens. Dan Kapanke of LaCrosse, Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac and Luther Olsen of Ripon.

Next week it will consider recall petitions against three other repugican senators for their stances on the fight over Gov. Scott Walker's plan to greatly limit the ability of public employees to engage in labor negotiations.

Pakistan military humiliated

Officials face ridicule after as few as six militants hold off 100 commandos and rangers while raiding a base.

Gee, What a Great Idea

Drunks Decided to Let the Police Settle Their Drunken Argument
Two women got into a drunken argument after a night's drinking at the bar, and decided that the only logical way to find out who's right is to let the police decide:
Troopers said one of the drivers called authorities to report a dispute with another motorist about 8:15 a.m. The driver who called in then decided to drive to the district headquarters, and the other driver followed.
Troopers were waiting in the parking lot to speak to the drivers, according to Trooper Mike Link, a spokesman for the state police. The troopers found the two had been out drinking all night and were under the influence of alcohol.
Link said he isn't sure what the women were arguing about, but it started in a bar and was taken outside. The women didn't know each other, Link said. [...]
"We prefer that people stay off the roads altogether after drinking too much," Capt. Brad Parsons, the district commander for the state police, said in a statement. "But if you decide you don't want to stay off the roads, our second choice would be for you to drive to our headquarters and turn yourself in."



Tax cheats' big cash grab

Many companies that received funds as part of Obama's economic plan owe millions.  

What wrecks credit scores

One late mortgage payment can make borrowing harder and pricier for three years or more. 

What boosts home values

Nearly 20 percent of married couples choose a home because it's near a park.  

How to speed up your PC

Get rid of viruses and spyware that lurk in the background without your even knowing it.

Clothes-saving laundry tips

You'll never lose another sock in the wash with this simple and clever trick.  

Manage your life

7 decorating rules to break

Culinary DeLites

Learn a quick and easy way to grill chicken and corn for the perfect spring patio meal.  
Foods that boast labels like "natural" and "low-fat" aren't always better for you.  
    Why you should be eating more bananas

    Street Art

    The 'Food Chain'

    Snyder, a street artist in Carlsbad, California, added a bit of stencil work to a weathered wall to create this image. It’s called “Eddie the Great Gray.”

    Americans don't believe Medicare has to be cut to balance budget

    Imagine that.
    They're not buying it. Most Americans say they don't believe Medicare has to be cut to balance the federal budget, and ditto for Social Security, a new poll shows.

    The Associated Press-GfK poll suggests that arguments for overhauling the massive benefit programs to pare government debt have failed to sway the public. The debate is unlikely to be resolved before next year's elections for president and Congress.

    Americans worry about the future of the retirement safety net, the poll found, and 3 out of 5 say the two programs are vital to their basic financial security as they age. That helps explain why the repugican Medicare privatization plan flopped, and why President Barack Obama's Medicare cuts to finance his health care law contributed to Democrats losing control of the House in last year's elections.

    Teen bond overcomes girl's heart transplant fear

    Courtney Montgomery's heart was failing fast, but the 16-year-old furiously refused when her doctors, and her mother, urged a transplant.

    Mental Myths

     Images Top-10-Brain-Myths-631
    The following statements are (pretty much) not true:
    • We use only 10 percent of our brains.
    • “Flashbulb memories” are precise, detailed and persistent.
    • It’s all downhill after 40 (or 50 or 60 or 70).
    • Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.

    Healthy Living

                   "How I lost 30 pounds"

    Outdoor Exposure Good for Your Health

    Don't just spend your whole day inside on the computer. 
    Go out and take in a little nature -- and bring your laptop with you.



    Speaking of Art and Games

    Redefining "street art," Slinkachu creates adorable micro-sculptures on city streets.  
    There is actually a good reason behind the curious letter distribution in Scrabble.

    Japanese Water Car

    While we are busy trying to create and market the perfect electric car, the Japanese have gone the extra mile and plan to mass produce a car which runs primarily on water. What do you think, will this car be a viable alternative to gas and electric vehicles?
    Unlike other electric cars, the Genepax car does not require that batteries be recharged and has no emission. The water electrical generator is located in the back of the car and when water is poured it is then broken down in order to create electricity to power the car. Imagine what such a generator could do to the oil industry, the nuclear plants and the electrical grid.

    A knife that injects compressed gas into the victim

    Designed for underwater use:
    This weapon injects a freezing cold ball of compressed gas, approximately the size of a basketball, at 800psi nearly instantly. The effects of this injection will drop many of the world's largest land predators. The effects of the compressed gas not only cause over-inflation during ascent when used underwater, but also freezes all tissues and organs surrounding the point of injection on land or at sea. When used underwater, the injected gas carries the predator to the surface BEFORE blood is released into the water. Thus giving the diver added protection by diverting other potential predators to the surface. 
    More info here, video here

    Funny Pictures

    3 ... 2 ... 1 ... and it's on, bitch.

    Peru's Incas

    100 facts for 100 years of Machu Picchu
    In July, Machu Picchu, Peru's biggest tourist attraction, will mark its 100th anniversary of rediscovery.

    Llama Poop Helped Inca Thrive
    Pollen and mites buried in mud layers of the Andes reveal how llama droppings helped the Inca fertilize vital maize crops.  


    The 15 Most Awesome Bonsai Trees On Earth

    Bonsai is the art of cultivating dwarf trees. Bonsai literally means 'plant in a tray' and to obtain a harmonious bonsai can take dozens of years of pruning, wiring, leaf trimming, clamping and grafting. The oldest known bonsai trees still living (400 to 800 years old) can be found in a private restaurant garden in Tokyo, Japan.

    Bonsai trees are cute and all, but I had no idea certain trees were famous! This list has the biggest and smallest bonsai, the oldest bonsai, prizewinning trees, and artistic bonsai creations, like this 2-feet-tall apple tree with its tiny edible apples from bonsai artist Walter Pall.

    Blooming Bonsai Trees
    bonsai tree
    Bonsai is the art of growing trees, or woody plants shaped as trees, in containers. Bonsai creation is enjoyed all over the world. Here are some examples of blooming bonsai trees.

    Awesome Pictures


    Looking For 100 Year Starship Ideas

    NASA and DARPA are looking for some good ideas on creating plans and research toward building  a star ship. The goal is to generate a business model that will help foster the infrastructure needed for such a monumental endeavor. Who better to turn to then the public? It’s sort of like crowd sourcing on a galactic scale. Read more to submit your interplanetary travel plans at the link.

    The idea for a 100-year starship has been tossed around recently, and now DARPA the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has put out a Request for Information (RFI) looking for ideas about how a long-term human mission to boldly go out to the stars could possibly happen. It’s been estimated that such a mission would cost over $10 billion, and the idea has gotten $100,000 from NASA and $ 1 million from DARPA – which means that as of now it is just that, an idea.

    NASA Space Squids

    Along with the humans another small passenger has hitched a ride aboard the space shuttle Endeavor; a squid. While monkeys and dogs have long been space faring species, it appears this is the first ever squid.
    The reason that a baby bobtail squid is going along for Endeavor’s final flight in the first place is not to study whether squid turn into superhuman monster brain sucking aliens when exposed to cosmic rays and a low gravity environment, but rather to watch and see whether a certain type of bacteria inside the squid plays naughty or nice in orbit.

    Not So Preposterous This High Ancestral Rhinoceros

    Possible new discovery of a species of ancestral rhinoceros makes a record-high debut.  

    New Species

    An organism found in the wreckage of the Titanic is among the odd creatures in a new survey.  
      Top 10 New Species Named
      Pancake Batfish
      Earth isn't such a small world after all. Plenty of animals, plants, fungi and more new to science are turning up every day.  

      Heteropteryx dilatata

      A Giant Bug

      It’s a Heteropteryx dilatata, more commonly known as a Malaysian Jungle Nymph. At six inches long, these critters are among the biggest insects in the world. They eat bramble, leaves, and unattended children.

      Animal News

      Sheep and goats act as guide for blind horse
      Michelle Feldstein was prepared to provide special accommodations for the blind horse she recently added to the flightless ducks, claw-less cats and homeless llamas inhabiting her animal shelter in Montana. But nothing could prepare her for the 40-legged, seeing-eye entourage that accompanied "Sissy," a sightless, 15-year-old quarter horse.

      "Sissy came with five goats and five sheep - and they take care of her," said Feldstein, the force behind Deer Haven Ranch, a private rescue facility she runs with her husband, Al, on 300 acres north of Yellowstone National Park. The seeing-eye sheep and guard goats are never far from the white mare, and they never lead her astray. They shepherd Sissy to food and water, and angle the horse into her stall amid blowing snows or driving rains.

      "They round her up at feeding time and then move aside to make sure she gets to the hay," Feldstein said. "They show her where the water is and stand between her and the fence to let her know the fence is there." The animals might have been marked for death had Feldstein not intervened when another rescue facility in western Montana folded this winter. "I only take animals that others consider throwaways," said Feldstein, 66.

      Feldstein and her husband, a retired editor of Mad Magazine, underwrite their rescue operation. It can cost as much as $50,000 a year for feed, veterinarian services, and winter-time heating of barns and water troughs for a total of 200 animals. The couple also run a guest house for humans whose profits are poured into the animal sanctuary. Feldstein said she marvels at the blind mare and her barnyard attendants. "There's a magic involved in sheep, goats and a horse becoming best friends," she said. "When you watch them, you have to wonder, why can't people do that?"

      Doe gives birth to fawns after being killed in car crash
      Two fawns are lucky to be alive after a tragic beginning. Early on Thursday morning, their mother, still carrying the twins, was struck by a car and killed in Bluffton, South Carolina. "She was hit right at term," said Dr. Ben Parker, of the Coastal Veterinary Clinic. "The babies appeared to be in great shape and survived the impact of the car, where the mother did not. I suspect the uterus and all of the fluid in there acted like an air bag and protected these babies and kept them from being killed."

      "When our guys arrived on scene, the baby deer, or fawns were trying to stand up. They were kind of wobbly legged," said Capt. Randy Hunter, of Bluffton fire rescue. Firefighters and law enforcement officers called upon the staff at Coastal Veterinary Clinic for help. Parker and his staff have helped rescue fawns and other animals before, they say this is a unique situation.

      "This is the first time we've had a deer killed by a car and the babies survived," said Parker. "For them to look as good as they do six to eight hours after the fact is amazing. They're both eating and drinking. I think they'll both survive." The team is going to continue to nurture the twin fawns, giving them a chance at a normal life.

      "What we're going to do for the next few months is we need to bottle feed them until they are weaned at about two to three months of age, and then we'll try to find a place to release them and hopefully they'll be adopted by a herd of deer in the local area and be protected and live a full life," Parker said. Bluffton firefighters say they remained at the scene, protecting the fawns until the staff from Parker's office arrived.

      Animal Pictures