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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.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Be careful with what you say today and keep in mind that eavesdropping is a popular pastime for the folks around you right now.
They are all hungry for information -- and gossip.
Not only do you need to be conservative in what you say, but you have to be thorough as well, which is a tricky proposition.
Organize your thoughts and say what needs to be said -- and nothing more.
If you make sure you cover all your bases, you'll be well protected and sure to shine.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Verona, Veneto, Italy
Stoke On Trent, England, United Kingdom
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Gengenbach, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Zwickau, Sachsen, Germany
Hamilton, Ontario, 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 West Newton, West Chester, West Chicago, Westport and more.

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, June 1, the 152nd day of 2011.
There are 213 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
National Go Barefoot Day
Say Something Nice Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Random Celebrity Photo

Happy Birthday Norma Jean

Bikers Foil Westboro baptist cult’s Obama Joplin Protest

300 of them
harleys and flags
When the Westboro baptist Cult tried to roll into Joplin, Missouri to protest President Obama, they were met by hundreds of patriotic bikers.

This is a great story. Truth Wins Out has a first hand account of what happened when the Westboro baptist cult tried to protest President Obama’s appearance in Joplin, Missouri yesterday,
We all heard the Westboro idiots were coming to protest! And so did about three hundred bikers!! The bikers all showed up and parked across the street from the University where Obama held a ceremony for the many good people, friends and family we lost!! The only report of any Westboro people actually being there was one guy strolling through all the bikers, when they found out who he was it got ugly for him real quick his shirt got torn off and he was pushed around pretty good! When the police saw what was about to happen they grabbed him and tried to push the bikers back!! Then they told the guy “run you stupid mother fucker.”
(Thanks to Politicus reader, Lisa Knappe) we have video:

'Run you stupid, motherfucker' about sums it up.

The Westboro baptist cult is infamous for their protests at fallen soldiers’ funerals, and their desecration of the American flag, all in the name of gay hate. If there is anyone in America who deserves a good ass kicking it is Fred Phelps and religion camouflaged hate group.

The SPLC describes the Westboro baptist cult as, “Westboro baptist cult (WBC) is arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America. The group is basically a family-based cult of personality built around its patriarch, Fred Phelps. Typified by its slogan, “God Hates Fags,” WBC is known for its harsh anti-gay beliefs and the crude signs its members carry at their frequent protests. WBC’s theology is “Primitive Baptist,” a doctrine that holds that God chooses a few elect humans to save, but will send everybody else to hell.”

Bikers are tough and many are also very patriotic. These 300 bikers were not about to let WBC ruin the Joplin memorial. Once some bikers and truckers got word that Westboro baptist was coming into town, they converged in Joplin yesterday, and pinned down the hate cult until the memorial was over.
The last thing the people of Joplin needed was the WBC, and some great Americans made sure that Joplin got their moment of mourning and healing.
Patriotism doesn’t have a look, race, gender, or partisan affiliation, and the story out of Joplin proves once again that you should never judge a book by its cover.
When the people of Joplin needed help, 300 bikers were there. In my mind anyone who challenges the hate of WBC qualifies as a patriot.

YouTube unblocks video of 13yo Syrian boy tortured, killed by government thugs

YouTube has reinstated access to a graphic, horrifying video of Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, a 13-year-old child who is reported to have been tortured, castrated, and killed by Syrian government thugs after being separated from his mother and father at an April protest against the Assad regime. A link to the video is here; it is extremely disturbing and not appropriate for viewing by children. The video was apparently blocked by YouTube due to its shocking content, then unblocked after reporters and human rights advocates petitioned YouTube administrators.
The boy's corpse was returned to his family a month after his arrest. As The Nation reports, they "risked their lives to produce the video."
The New York Times reports that his father was detained after the video went public, and he has since been missing.
The New York Times describes the video:
But the remains themselves testify all too clearly to ghastly torture. Video posted online shows his battered, purple face. His skin is scrawled with cuts, gashes, deep burns and bullet wounds that would probably have injured but not killed. His jaw and kneecaps are shattered, according to an unidentified narrator, and his penis chopped off.
More from The Nation:
By Tuesday, however, the video that shot from the web to Al Jazeera to the streets of Syria -- where people marched carrying signs emblazoned with the deceased child's portrait -- had been blocked on YouTube, the very site where it first launched. The temporary blockage of the brutal video, which YouTube has since restored, is another reminder that the same social media platforms which help spread protests can also seriously hinder activists.
Further on in that piece, EFF Director for International Freedom of Expression Jillian York says YouTube handled the matter of the video itself pretty well (for what it's worth, I agree):
Generally, I've found that YouTube does a good job at keeping graphic violence up when there's context. I've helped activists at times get their videos back up on YouTube by going through the appeals process and adding context.
Predictably, the Syrian state-controlled media went into full denial mode on this story, saying the boy is no 'Child Martyr.' From The Atlantic:
[To] Syria's state-run media, the tale amounts to nothing more than "lies and false accounts" spread by "satellite channels and websites." The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) has just published an article giving its version of events surrounding Hamza's death.

Europe’s deadly E. coli outbreak

An unusual and toxic form of bacterium has killed 16 and sickened more than 1,150 people.  
    Officials scramble to find the source as a deadly E. coli strain sickens hundreds more in Europe.  
    365 more sickened in bacterial outbreak
    The number of people reported sick in Germany from a foodborne bacterial outbreak that has already killed 16 spiked over the last 24 hours, with nearly 100 more people suffering from severe and potentially fatal symptoms, the national disease control center said Wednesday.

    Man Dies of Hypothermia in San Francisco Bay as Authorities Watch

    Raymond Zack, 52, walked back and forth along the shore of Robert Crown Memorial State Beach for several minutes before he waded into the waves at about 11:30 a.m. on Memorial Day, only to die in the frigid waters within an hour, as authorities watched.

    Wizard of Id


    White working class alienated

    Demographic shifts make the influential bloc the most alienated group in U.S. society.  

    A Good One

    What do you call 20 lawyers skydiving?

    Perfect setup for skeet shooting.

    Did you know ...

    Social Security cuts would disproportionately hurt our veterans and their families

    Also a good question:

    What does agribusiness have to hide in Iowa?

    Repugican concerns about Obama 2012 in NC show how bad off the repugicans really are

    Washington Post:
    By any number of indicators, President Obama shouldn’t have much of a chance in North Carolina next year. In no state was Obama’s 2008 win closer — he won by just 14,177 votes, or 0.3 percent of the electorate — and he’s less popular now. The economy, now Obama’s economy, is in worse shape.

    But if repugican activists are feeling confident, you wouldn’t know it by what they’re doing and saying.

    Repugicans are poring over the details of how Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state since Jimmy Carter. They are trying to pass laws in the legislature to restrict the early-voting system that Obama used to such remarkable effect.
    Gotta love that last part. Yes, making it easier to vote helped too many Americans vote for Obama, so we'd better make it harder to vote next time. Classic repugican.

    The truth be told


    Democrats battle repugicans over school lunches

    repugicans really, really hate people!
    House repugicans are pushing back against Obama administration efforts to promote healthier eating.

    Tag a No No?

    From the "OK, this is a joke, right?!" Department:

    My fifth-grade son loves to play tag with his friends and complains that it is banned from school. I found the ban odd, because I remember playing tag with relish growing up. Tag for me as a kid was exciting and physically demanding but also very social. I couldn’t understand why it would be banned, so I made some inquiries.

    I found that Marengo Elementary School has formal guidelines and rules that apply not only to tag but to all kinds of playground activities. Additionally, Marengo isn't alone in giving tag and other rough-and-tumble games a time out—games such as tag and touch football are being banned across the nation.

    Ten days with no spending

    This woman kept her wallet shut by planning ahead and hiding any temptations.  

    Culinary DeLites

    Homegrown Lettuce - Hold The E. coli

    Thinking of nixing lettuce from your diet after reading about the deadly E. coli outbreak in Germany and domestic lettuce recalls? Not only can at-home growers skip this risk - you'll also save money, enjoy a nearly endless variety of organic and heirloom options and have fresh salads at their fingertips all year around - even without an outdoor ...

    Healthy Living

    U.S. cities with the cleanest air

    5 summer calorie-burners

    17 foods to boost your brainpower

    Manage your life

    Betty White pushing 90: It's all in your attitude


    The Scottish Military Field Hospital

    The new commander in Iraq hears that a Scottish regiment has a specialized field hospital that's doing fantastic things with the troops. He wants to know what is so special about the place, so he arranges a tour.

    When he gets to the ward, it's full of patients with no obvious sign of injury or illness. He's perplexed, so goes up to the first bed and greets the soldier there.

    The patient replies:

    "Fair fa your honest sonsie face,
    Great chieftain o the puddin race,
    Aboon them a ye take yer place,
    Painch, tripe or thairm,
    As langs my airm."

    The general is confused, so he just grins and moves on to the next patient.
    That soldier responds:

    "Some hae meat an canna eat,
    And some wad eat that want it,
    But we hae meat an we can eat,
    So let the Lord be thankit."

    Even more confused, and his grin now rictus-like, the commander moves on to the next patient, who immediately begins to chant:

    "Wee sleekit, cowerin, timorous beasty,
    O the panic in thy breasty,
    Thou needna start awa sae hastie,
    Wi bickering brattle."

    Now seriously troubled, the general turns to the accompanying doctor and asks, "Is this a psychiatric ward?"

    "No, not at all," replies the doctor. "This is the Serious Burns unit."

    Worried Britain

    Stressed-out adults spend 36 minutes a day in despair

    Stressed Britons spend 36 minutes every day wallowing in despair, a study has revealed.



    Stanley Cup's strange travels

    Hockey's most coveted trophy has a rich history of showing up in unexpected spots. 


    Puerto Rican Arrested for Selling "Obama Condoms" on Times Square
    The hilarious and entrepreneurial Hispanic street vendor proclaims his right to sell politician clad condoms under the first amendment.

    Sharks Rock to AC/DC Music 
    The legendary rock band has sold 200 million albums worldwide, but now AC/DC has an unexpected new fan -- the majestic great white shark, The Advertiser reported Wednesday. 

    Plane returns after fistfight between passengers
    Government and airline officials say a United Airlines plane with 144 people aboard returned to Washington-Dulles International Airport for an emergency landing escorted by two F-16 fighter jets after a fight broke out between passengers.

    2 Iraqis charged in US with terrorism plotting
    Two Iraqis living in Kentucky have been arrested on charges that they tried to send sniper rifles, stinger missiles and money to Al-Qaida operatives in their home country, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday.

    Infamous tax man faces new trial over fake passport
    An Indonesian tax man convicted of taking bribes from companies looking for lower bills, paid $20,000 to buy a fake passport for overseas jaunts while he was meant to be locked up behind bars, a court heard Tuesday.

    FAA To Fine People Who Shine Lasers At Planes

    The FAA has seen the light. And they want to put an end to it. Federal Aviation Administration officials on Wednesday plan to announce they will impose civil penalties on people who point lasers into the cockpit of aircraft.

    Tribal crimes under-prosecuted

    Many Native Americans suspected of violent offenses walk free because the U.S. won't try the cases.

    Odds and Sods

    Birdwatcher arrested for sage in botched marijuana bust

    California woman spotted pushing trashcan of body parts down street is arrested for homicide
    Carmen Montenegro, 51, was arrest on Monday after she was caught with human remains.
    A California woman caught wheeling a trashcan full of body parts was arrested on Monday on charges of homicide. Carmen Montenegro, 51, of San Bernardino, Calif. was spotted with the macabre container around 2:30 in the afternoon and nabbed by police who were tipped off to her bizarre activities.

    15-year-old boy kills 7-year-old girl to pay for his video game addiction
    A 15-year-old Vietnamese boy has been arrested, accused of killing his seven-year-old neighbor in order to sell her earrings to pay for his video game addiction.


    It's all in how you look at things.

    Atlantic City's rapid fall

    The gambling mecca is caught in a fight for survival after ignoring signs of change for years.

    Town bans FEMA trailers

    Cordova, Ala., won't allow homeless storm victims to occupy mobile homes within city limits. 

    'Phonehenge' faces bulldozer

    Officials demand that a California man tear down his sprawling, 30-year labor of love — or go to jail.  

    Gorgeous pools, patios, yards

    These multimillion-dollar mansions boast infinity pools, a fire pit, and even a pirate ship.

    Seven dishwasher dilemmas solved

    These simple tips can help you get rid of stubborn grease and prevent streaky dishes.  

    Cell phones add cancer risk

    Experts make the controversial finding after analyzing details from dozens of published studies.  

    Food For Thought As The Future Heats Up

    usa drought monitor map image
    USA Drought Monitor Map, May 24, 2011
    Image credit:USDA
    Texas farmers could potentially be rescued from the grip of drought by hurricane-delivered precipitation. (NOAA's 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook calls for a 65% chance of an above normal season,...)
    The longer the delay in climate policy action by national governments, the greater the likelihood of severe global financial shock when the needed actions are taken.
    Cities of the world continue to grow rapidly - in great part by immigration. Many city states are situated on sea coasts, where they host international ports and banking centers. Tsunamis and typhoons impact coastal areas primarily. And on we go...

    Cloud Computing The Largest Telescope Ever Built

    Building the world’s largest radio telescope will come with lots of infrastructure issues to start with. One of the biggest problems researchers will face is how to analyze the massive amount of data that will be collected. One solution may be to turn to the public for some extra computing power.

    Australia wants to host the world’s biggest and most sensitive radio telescope, and as part of its bid to land the $2.1 billion Square Kilometer Array (SKA) the joint Aussie-New Zealand effort is going go launch a massive cloud computing initiative in September to prove it can handle the data flow. The initiative could quickly turn into one of the largest scientific cloud computing networks in the world, tapping the computing power and storage offered up by desktop computers worldwide.

    Out of dreams

    When you run out of dreams he is always there.

    This lady's name was Douglas

    Not her surname. Her first (given) name was Douglas.
    Lady Douglas (or alternatively, Douglass) Sheffield is most widely known as the mother of Robert Dudley, styled Earl of Warwick, the illegitimate son of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I of England.
    Some information from Wikipedia:
    Douglas is a Scottish and English masculine given name which originated from the surname Douglas. Although today the name is almost exclusively given to boys, it was used as girls name in the 17th and 18th centuries, in the north of England... Linguistically, Douglas is derived from the Gaelic elements: dubh, meaning "dark, black"; and glas, meaning "stream" (also a derivative of glas, meaning "grey").

    Yo-yo's amazing history

    The ancient Greeks were fans of the classic toy that dates back to at least 500 B.C.

    Web buzzes about markings

    Explorers find ancient markings in a tunnel that has been impossible to reach for 4,500 years.  

    Why Vikings left Greenland

    The famed tribe of warriors disappeared from Greenland more than 600 years ago.



    Worker Ballet


Hard-working ants lift huge chilli peppers over their heads as they march along on their hind legs towards their nest. The scene was captured by keen photographer Yahya Taufikurrahman, 21, at his home in South Kalimantan, Indonesia.

    Want to feel old?

    The first commercial with the Taco Bell chihuahua aired 14 years ago.

    The chihuahua has been dead for 2 years.

    The Man Who Swims With Coelacanths

    Marjorie Courtinay-Latimer was the young curator of a natural history museum on South Africa's east coast. Shortly before Christmas in 1938, local fishermen brought her a fish unlike any they'd ever seen. Caught at a depth of 240 feet, it was five feet long, covered in bony scales and had fins reminiscent of legs. It was a coelacanth. There was just one catch: Coelacanths were extinct, and had been for 70 million years.

    In 1986, German explorer and then-freelance photographer Hans Fricke convinced a magazine editor to send him and a submarine to the Comoros Islands. Since then he's led more than 400 dives, helping to produce much of what is now known about coelacanths.

    Why, Hello there!


    The Swedish Beaver Invasion

    Swedish police were called to handle a wayward beaver for the second time in recent months yesterday morning after one of the industrious rodents made its way into a homeowner’s garage.
    Whether the beaver took a wrong turn somewhere remains a mystery, but the curious animal’s journey nevertheless ended in a garage on Grindstugevägen in Nässjö in central Sweden.
    Police have since contacted local hunters and animal consultants who plan to “return the beaver to freedom” later on Monday.
    Back in April, police near Köping in central Sweden were called after an ambulance reported seeing a beaver lumbering down Glasgatan, the local Arboga Tidning newspaper reported.
    Rather than put the animal in the back of the patrol car, however, police decided instead to simply point the beaver in the right direction.

    Awesome Pictures


    What is a jellyfish?

    Steven Haddock of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (let's all pause a moment to reflect on kismet of that surname/job combination) made this video about the wide world of creatures that we call "jellyfish." It's a great summary of the extreme diversity encompassed under one, catch-all name, and does a really nice job of explaining relationships between different species and families of jelly-like creatures.
    And let's not discount the stop-and-gawk value. Check out 1:27 for a Hydromedusae that looks strikingly like Darth Vader's helmet. You'll also meet shell-less snails, jelly worms of the sort you don't find at the candy store, and even colony-dwelling creatures thousands of individuals strong.

    Animal Pictures