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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, June 12, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
If you have been struggling with a choice or opportunity, you will encounter someone today with the insight you need.
One conversation with them could give you the energy to look at your situation in a new light and start brainstorming some solutions.
Seek out the opinions of others today, and listen carefully to what they have to say.
Keep in mind that everyone works from their own agenda, so there is no reason to take everything as gospel.
Keep some healthy skepticism.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Carins, Queensland, Australia
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Berne, Bern, Switzerland
Bergen Op Zoom, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Palma De Mallorca, Islas Beleares, Spain
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
London, England, United Kingdom
Paris, Ile-De-France, France

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 Anaheim, Shreveport, Saratoga, Kailua and more.

Today is:
Today is Sunday, June 12, the 163rd day of 2011.
There are 202 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Loving Day
Ride The Wind Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Awesome Pictures


Five people arrested for feeding the homeless

This is seriously fucked up, people!
<a href=http://www.zgeek.com/content.php/7837-Five-arrested-in-the-US-for-feeding-the-homeless>Five arrested in the US for feeding the homeless</a>
Orlando police arrested five more activists from behind a makeshift buffet table at Lake Eola Park on Wednesday evening, bringing to a dozen the number charged in the past week with violating city restrictions on feeding the homeless.

The members of the group Food Not Bombs were ladling out corn on the cob, rice, beans and watermelon to about 35 people when they were handcuffed. About two dozen activists and homeless people booed and chanted "Food is a right, not a privilege" as they were loaded into a waiting police van.

And you wonder why we're looked upon as juveniles by the rest of the world?!

Non Sequitur


The new rules of real estate

Buyers, owners, and sellers need to adjust their thinking in today’s tricky housing market.

Record bid for Buffett lunch

A bidder pays millions in a charity auction for a chance to share a meal with the billionaire investor.  

Paul Krugman: Rule by rentiers favors billionaires, Chinese bond-holders over jobs and homeowners

Writing in the NYT, Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman explains how creditor-friendly economic policies create "rule by rentiers," an economic situation that doesn't create good jobs or help homeowners:
While the ostensible reasons for inflicting pain keep changing, however, the policy prescriptions of the Pain Caucus all have one thing in common: They protect the interests of creditors, no matter the cost. Deficit spending could put the unemployed to work -- but it might hurt the interests of existing bondholders. More aggressive action by the Fed could help boost us out of this slump -- in fact, even Republican economists have argued that a bit of inflation might be exactly what the doctor ordered -- but deflation, not inflation, serves the interests of creditors. And, of course, there's fierce opposition to anything smacking of debt relief. Who are these creditors I'm talking about? Not hard-working, thrifty small business owners and workers, although it serves the interests of the big players to pretend that it's all about protecting little guys who play by the rules. The reality is that both small businesses and workers are hurt far more by the weak economy than they would be by, say, modest inflation that helps promote recovery.
No, the only real beneficiaries of Pain Caucus policies (aside from the Chinese government) are the rentiers: bankers and wealthy individuals with lots of bonds in their portfolios.

IMF: We were hacked

The New York Times reports that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been hit with what is described as "a large and sophisticated cyberattack whose dimensions are still unknown."

The breach happened before the IMF's managing director was accused of trying to rape a hotel worker.
The fund, which manages financial crises around the world and is the repository of highly confidential information about the fiscal condition of many nations, told its staff and its board of directors about the attack on Wednesday. But it did not make a public announcement. Several senior officials with knowledge of the attack said it was both sophisticated and serious. "This was a very major breach," said one official, who said that it had occurred over the last several months, even before Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the French politician who ran the fund, was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a chamber maid in a New York hotel.

Working class ignored on the Net

Anyone with Internet access can generate online content and influence public opinion, according to popular belief.

The US could learn a few things from Germany

While Germany may be bullying Greece and kicking Spanish farmers, but it's still hard to argue against it's impressive ability to maintain a middle class. Not that we like to ever learn from any other country, but it wouldn't be so bad to try this.

NY Times:
Unlike what happened here, German laws and regulators have also prevented the decimation of their labor unions. The clout of German unions, at individual companies and in the political system, is one reason the middle class there has fared decently in recent decades. In fact, middle-class pay has risen at roughly the same rate as top incomes.

The top 1 percent of German households earns about 11 percent of all income, virtually unchanged relative to 1970, according to recent estimates. In the United States, the top 1 percent makes more than 20 percent of all income, up from 9 percent in 1970. That’s right: only 40 years ago, Germany was more unequal than this country.

Finally, there are taxes. Germany does not have a smaller budget deficit because it spends less. Germany, you’ll recall, is the original welfare state. It has a smaller deficit because it is more willing to match the benefits it wants with the needed taxes. The current deficit-reduction plan includes about 60 percent spending cuts and 40 percent tax increases, Mr. Hüfner says. It’s like trying to lose weight by both eating less and exercising more.

Quick paths to a new career

You can complete an online certificate program in one year or less.  

    Retirement goofs to avoid

    Don't ignore two key expenses when estimating how much money you'll need.

      Manage Your Life

      Culinary DeLites

      Taste test: The best ketchup isn't the one you think

      Calorie myths debunked

      Misconceptions about the way your body burns fuel can hinder weight loss.

        A Pole in the Wood


        Superheroes at Home

        Gregg Segal, a photographer, gained unprecedented access to several superheroes who allowed him to take pictures of their mundane, household lives.

        Segal writes:
        I followed the super heroes home to highlight the contrast of the fantastic and mundane. Though in costume, the super heroes are unmasked by the ordinariness of their apartments and their routine chores. While I photographed Batman, a family pulled over to take his picture. He strode up to them with super hero confidence and the children approached him with awe. He was Batman because he was Batman to them. Then late, in his apartment, when he’d taken off his mask and cape and was reheating leftovers in the microwave, he was merely ordinary. I could see what it was that drew him back to Hollywood Boulevard.



        Chaos rules at N.Y. intersection

        Follow the mayhem as cars jump lights, pedestrians jaywalk, and bikes ignore all the rules.  

        Driver survives harrowing crash

        Allan McNish walks away after his car is decimated at the marathon 24 Hours of Le Mans.  

        True longshot wins at Belmont

        Preakness winner Shackleford sets the early pace, but a true longshot surges late.

          Runner stopped from record

          Joe Rosa is a lap away from setting a New Jersey record when he's told to exit the track immediately.

            The truth be told


            Ma Nature is ticked off, folks!

            How's the weather in your neck of the woods?
            With the evening we just had - this photo of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupting is looking pretty tame.
            Ma Nature is ticked off, folks!
            And she's letting know big-time ... are we listening?

            Amazing Photos

            With no equipment other than a camera a lucky photographer got this shot.

            Facts and Figures

            Emily Scott wants you to know that “according to the EPA, ocean levels have risen 6 to 8 inches in the last 100 years.”
Bonus “fact”: Six inches of something else has risen since I looked at this photo. Ok, it’s more like 2.5 :( :( :(
            Emily Scott wants you to know that “according to the EPA, ocean levels have risen 6 to 8 inches in the last 100 years.”

            Great American beach towns

            These seaside escapes offer small-town charm as well as white sand and rolling waves.  

              Summertime Blues


              Welcome to the Jungle

              Here’s Stjepan Hauser and Luka Sulic performing the Guns ‘n’ Roses classic “Welcome to the Jungle” on a pair of cellos.

              Norway Trains Its Diplomats in Black Metal

              Black metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music that, to an extent, originated in Norway. It’s gaining increasing popularity across the world and is an emerging symbol of Norwegian culture. So to ensure that Norway’s official representatives can speak intelligently about it, the government is training diplomats on the subject:
              Kjersti Sommerset, the head of Norway’s foreign ministry’s centre of excellence, told Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv: “We now have 106 foreign service missions and they get many enquiries from people who want information about Norwegian black metal as a phenomenon. In the training program, we have a large cultural program in order to give the trainees a good understanding of Norwegian culture and the cultural industry. Black metal is clearly a part of this ‘global awakening.’”

              Bohemian Rhapsody

              Every musical group eventually plays a very small venue -but inside a Volkswagen?

              The Finnish group Porkka Playboys manages the feat, playing Bohemian Rhapsody and pulling out an astonishing variety of instruments as they do so.

              Epic Fail


              Mexico seizes 1 1/2 tons of meth in border state

              Mexico's Defense Department says it has discovered 1 1/2 tons of methamphetamine stored in water tanks and buried in the ground in the northern state of Coahuila.

              Pakistan security forces execute young man while being filmed

              The fact that this has even been shown in TV suggests something is changing in Pakistan.

              The Guardian:
              Pakistan's security forces are facing criticism after paramilitary troops were caught on camera apparently shooting dead a teenager at point-blank range.

              The footage, broadcast repeatedly on local television, is likely to further undermine faith in the country's powerful security establishment, which is already facing allegations it helped conceal Osama bin Laden.

              The video, captured by a cameraman from Pakistan's Awaz television channel, shows a youth, identified as Sarfaraz Shah, arguing with paramilitary rangers in Karachi. The 18-year-old appears to plead for mercy before being shot at close quarters. He then falls to the ground and screams in pain as blood pools beneath his legs.

              Somali gov't: 1998 US Embassy blasts suspect dead

              The al-Qaida operative behind the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania has been killed, a Somali official said Saturday.

              Somali officials have determined that a man killed by security forces on Tuesday was Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, said a spokesman for Somalia's minister of information, Abdifatah Abdinur.

              "We've compared the pictures of ...

              More than 600 sickened by lead poisoning in China

              A state news agency says more than 600 people, including 103 children, have been sickened in China's latest case of mass lead poisoning.

              Junrey Balawing World's New Smallest Man

              Junrey Balawing sips a beer as he celebrates becoming the world's smallest man. The 22-inch Filipino turns 18 on Sunday when Guinness World Records will award him the crown - which he takes from Nepal's 26.4-inch Khagendra Thapa Magar.

              His proud mother Concepcion and father Reynaldo, from a tiny village near the town of Zamboanga del Norte, have been invited to a reception with the local mayor. Mrs Balawing said: It's very exciting because we are a poor family and things like this have never happened before. I can't believe Junrey is going to be famous all over the world and people are flying from countries like Britain and
              America to see him.



              Upping the cute factor


              Baboon Defies Nature By Adopting Bushbaby

              An abandoned bushbaby and a yellow baboon have formed an unlikely companionship at an animal orphanage in Nairobi.

              An abandoned bush baby and a yellow baboon have formed an unlikely companionship at an animal orphanage in Nairobi. The six-month-old female baboon, abandoned by its family in Maralal in Northern Kenya, is taking care of the three-month-old bush baby that was also abandoned by its family in central Kenya.

              Charles Musyoki, a senior scientist for species and conservation at the Kenya Wildlife Service, said it is likely that the animals formed the bond in order to cope in the new environment at the animal orphanage.

              "This is a situation where two individuals are basically in need of each other because they need the bond to survive in the absence of their parents and their grouping. Therefore when both find themselves in such a situation they tend to bond and make friendships," Musyoki said.

              Musyoki said the two animals would not have had such a relationship in the wild. The yellow baboon is active during the day and sleeps at night, while the bush baby is a nocturnal animal, he said.

              "In the natural world they are very separated in terms of time," Musyoki said, adding that there is now a bond "in this captive environment because the two animals which are in distress, need each other for companionship, for friendship and play". The two animals will have to be separated as they become older, he said.

              Geese show off surfing skills

              An observer chuckles in delight after seeing what these brave birds do when faced with rushing white-water.

              Rare blue lobster caught

              The striking crustacean is headed for an aquarium after being caught off the coast of Canada.

                Orangutan to the rescue

                An orangutan saves a tired baby chick with a leaf, then inspects it afterward to makes sure it’s all right. There’s not a ton of info available about this video (for instance, which zoo this is or when it was filmed), but the important takeaway here is that orangutans are both extraordinarily compassionate and also kind of gross, as evidenced by the first 40 seconds of the clip.

                The 8 Weirdest Dog Breeds Ever


                Ever heard of a Puli? Or a Xoloitzcuintli, a Peruvian Inca Orchid? They're dog breeds. There are over 500 dog breeds. Dogs have been selectively bred for thousands of years, sometimes by inbreeding dogs from the same ancestral lines, sometimes by mixing dogs from very different lines. The process continues today, resulting in a wide variety of breeds, hybrids and types of dogs.

                Here are 8 of the weirdest dogs ever.

                Animal Pictures