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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.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
A gift you receive today will require that you call on your gracious manners (and a bit of acting skill).
This generous present might not be quite your style, but maybe it'll help you expand your tastes.
Give it the old college try for a while, and see if you can integrate it into your life.
Above all, remember that it's the thought that counts.
And you can help this person make better gift choices in the future by being more communicative about your likes, dislikes and interests.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
London, England, United Kingdom
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Makati, Manila, Philippines
London, Ontario, Canada
Gengenbach, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Cebu, Cebu City, Philippines
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Manila, Manila, Philippines

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 Charlotte, Charleston, Roanoke, Augusta and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, June 18, the 169th day of 2011.
There are 196 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
World Juggling Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
June 18, 2011
Hi, everybody.  This Father’s Day weekend, I’d like to spend a couple minutes talking about what’s sometimes my hardest, but always my most rewarding job – being a dad.
I grew up without my father around. He left when I was two years old, and even though my sister and I were lucky enough to have a wonderful mother and caring grandparents to raise us, I felt his absence.  And I wonder what my life would have been like had he been a greater presence.
That’s why I’ve tried so hard to be a good dad for my own children.  I haven’t always succeeded, of course – in the past, my job has kept me away from home more often than I liked, and the burden of raising two young girls would sometimes fall too heavily on Michelle.
But between my own experiences growing up, and my ongoing efforts to be the best father I can be, I’ve learned a few things about what our children need most from their parents.
First, they need our time.  And more important than the quantity of hours we spend with them is the quality of those hours.  Maybe it’s just asking about their day, or talking a walk together, but the smallest moments can have the biggest impact.
They also need structure, including learning the values of self-discipline and responsibility. Malia and Sasha may live in the White House these days, but Michelle and I still make sure they finish their schoolwork, do their chores, and walk the dog.
And above all, children need our unconditional love – whether they succeed or make mistakes; when life is easy and when life is tough.
And life is tough for a lot of Americans today.  More and more kids grow up without a father figure.  Others miss a father who’s away serving his country in uniform.  And even for those dads who are present in their children’s lives, the recession has taken a harsh toll.  If you’re out of a job or struggling to pay the bills, doing whatever it takes to keep the kids healthy, happy and safe can understandably take precedence over all else.
That’s why my administration has offered men who want to be good fathers a little extra support.  We’ve boosted community and faith-based groups focused on fatherhood, partnered with businesses to offer opportunities for fathers to spend time with their kids at the bowling alley or ballpark, and worked with military chaplains to help deployed dads connect with their children.
We’re doing this because we all have a stake in forging stronger bonds between fathers and their children.  And you can find out more about some of what we’re doing at Fatherhood.gov.
But we also know that every father has a personal responsibility to do right by our kids as well. All of us can encourage our children to turn off the video games and pick up a book.  All of us can pack a healthy lunch for our son, or go outside and play ball with our daughter.  And all of us can teach our children the difference between right and wrong, and show them through our own example the value in treating one another as we wish to be treated.
Our kids are pretty smart.  They understand that life won’t always be perfect, that sometimes, the road gets rough, that even great parents don’t get everything right.
But more than anything, they just want us to be a part of their lives.
So recently, I took on a second job: assistant coach for Sasha’s basketball team.  On Sundays, we’d get the team together to practice, and a couple of times, I’d help coach the games.  It was a lot of fun – even if Sasha rolled her eyes when her dad voiced his displeasure with the refs.
But I was so proud watching her run up and down the court, seeing her learn and improve and gain confidence.  And I was hopeful that in the years to come, she’d look back on experiences like these as the ones that helped define her as a person – and as a parent herself.     
In the end, that’s what being a parent is all about – those precious moments with our children that fill us with pride and excitement for their future; the chances we have to set an example or offer a piece of advice; the opportunities to just be there and show them that we love them.
That’s something worth remembering this Father’s Day, and every day.
Thanks, and Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.  Have a great weekend.

You couldn't have guessed, but 2011 already among most extreme weather years

After a winter of blizzards and a spring of tornadoes, floods and drought, this year already ranks as one of the most extreme on record. With summer and fall yet to unfold, climate scientists see no signs of calmer weather to come.
"We're not even into the active hurricane season yet," said Tom Karl, director of the National Climactic Data Center, during a media teleconference Wednesday.

Apocalypse Three

Three stories of the "Real" Apocalypse
Droves of believers turn a tiny spot steeped in mystery into a flash point of debate.
How To Survive The Mayan Apocalypse
Head to France: French village seen at threat from Apocalypse sects.
bugarach The tiny southern French hamlet of Bugarach has drawn scrutiny from a government sect watchdog over droves of visitors who believe it is the only place in the world that will survive a 2012 Apocalypse.
A report by the watchdog, Miviludes, published on Wednesday said the picturesque village near Carcassonne should be monitored in the run-up to December 21, 2012, when many believe the world will end according to an ancient Mayan prophecy.
Miviludes was set up in 2002 to track the activity of sects, after a law passed the previous year made it an offence to abuse vulnerable people using heavy pressure techniques, meaning sects can be outlawed if there is evidence of fraud or abuse.
Surrounded in legend for centuries, Bugarach and its rocky outcrop, the Pic de Bugarach, have attracted an influx of New Age visitors in recent months, pushing up property prices but also raising the threat of financial scams and psychological manipulation, Miviludes said in its report.
If you're in the U.S., you can probably just go to Sedona, Arizona. It's also magical.

2012 'Apocalypse' Could Spark Mass Suicide
The specter of a mass suicide tied to the widely predicted end of the world in December 2012 has prompted a warning from a government official in France, where people are already gathering at a place believers predict may provide the only escape from the apocalypse.

Parris will never be the same again

Historic Marine base gets 1st-ever female general

For the first time in its 96-year history, a female general is taking charge at the famed Marine Corps training depot at South Carolina's Parris Island.

The truth be told


Lunatic Fringe

Michelle Bachman is so seriously batshit crazy, she once ran out of a public bathroom because she thought two sycophants w/political questions were trying to gay molest her.

Non Sequitur


Everything You Think You Know About Introverts is Wrong

alone Everything You Think You Know About Introverts is Wrong
Carl King has posted a list of 10 myths about introverts derived from Marti Laney’s The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World. There’s some interesting stuff here. Like King, I was never sure that I was an introvert before. I’m a social person. I like being around people. I like going to parties. I like to discuss my interests, even with total strangers. But I’m not good about approaching strangers, making small talk or any of the other things associated with being an extrovert.
Dispelling these myths about introverts has helped me realize that I am one:
Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.

How to control food cravings

Try this simple but unusual strategy: Keep breath mints handy at all times.

Culinary DeLites

With crispy thin crusts and classic toppings, these guilt-free treats are better than delivery.
Which is healthier: Potato or pasta salad?
How about some fruit?

Healthy Eating is Important and it's Getting Easier

walmart local produce photo
This guest post was written by Andrea Thomas, Walmart senior vice president of sustainability.
So take it with a grain of salt ...

Eating healthier is something everyone wants to do, but few of us have figured out how to do it. At Walmart, our customers have told us they are overwhelmed with choices in the grocery store and don't have time to research product marketing claims. Likewise, the old dietary food pyramid often added to the confusion, leaving people to make their best guesses and figure it out on their own. Now, that's all changing.
Article continues: Healthy Eating is Important and it's Getting Easier

New E. coli outbreak hits Europe

This time it's France and cheap burgers.
Health authorities in France have ordered a recall of beefburgers sold by the supermarket chain Lidl after seven children became infected with E coli bacteria, though officials ruled out a link between those infections and the deadly outbreak centered on Germany that has killed 39 people.

Daniel Lenoir, head of the health agency in France's Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, said: "We are certain it's not the same bacterial strain that was identified on sprouts in Germany." .

Lenoir said the seven children were in hospital with infections stemming from E coli, which causes vomiting and severe, often bloody, diarrhea. He added that five of the children had eaten frozen ground beef patties that were made in a French factory and sold by the German supermarket chain Lidl.

Ten Foods That Contain Gruesome Poisons

Yes, it's death by grocery list. Like potatoes. Potatoes contain small amounts of a kind of chemical called solanines in their stems, leaves, and eyes. These chemicals are a natural fungicide and pesticide that the potato uses as defense. As the spuds get older, they accumulate solanine, which turns them a green color.

Every potato contains about 8-13 milligrams, and about 200 milligrams can make people sick. Eating a lot of old potatoes, or making potato leaf tea, can make people to hallucinate, turn hypothermic, feel nausea, and to develop neurological problems. Amazingly, there are still occasional cases of death by potato.

Find out the toxic elements in all your favorite foods.

Jimmy Carter: "End the global war on drugs"

In a message to Congress in 1977, I said the country should decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, with a full program of treatment for addicts.

I also cautioned against filling our prisons with young people who were no threat to society, and summarized by saying: "Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself."

These ideas were widely accepted at the time. But in the 1980s President Ronald Reagan and Congress began to shift from balanced drug policies, including the treatment and rehabilitation of addicts, toward futile efforts to control drug imports from foreign countries.

This approach entailed an enormous expenditure of resources and the dependence on police and military forces to reduce the foreign cultivation of marijuana, coca and opium poppy and the production of cocaine and heroin. One result has been a terrible escalation in drug-related violence, corruption and gross violations of human rights in a growing number of Latin American countries...

And the single greatest cause of prison population growth has been the war on drugs, with the number of people incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses increasing more than twelvefold since 1980.

Not only has this excessive punishment destroyed the lives of millions of young people and their families (disproportionately minorities), but it is wreaking havoc on state and local budgets...
More at the StarTribune.
Meanwhile due to the "War on Drugs" they are more plentiful and profitable than ever:
Gulsum,12, holds a baby cannabis plant plucked out of the field while she works with her father Ghafordin on May 15, 2011 in Wakhil, in the mountainous upper Panjshir region, Afghanistan. The farmer has been growing cannabis for three years and has seen the prices triple since 2008. This spring he is planting less wheat in order to increase his marijuana crops. Known as the world's largest producer of opium, the raw ingredient of heroin, Afghanistan has now become the top supplier of cannabis, with large-scale cultivation in half of its provinces, according to a 2010 report by the United Nations. 
(Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

Nigerian man arrested at airport passes 3 pounds of heroin

A 54-year-old Nigerian man was arrested on Saturday after allegedly smuggling 97 heroin pellets into Washington Dulles International Airport.

Customs and Border Protection officers say they were tipped off by inconsistencies in Rasheed Adewale Martins' story while he was being interviewed at the airport.

An X-ray revealed that he had foreign objects inside his body.

After several days of ingesting laxatives, Martins passed the 97 thumb-sized pellets that weighed 3 pounds, 2 ounces, (1,431.6 grams), which have a combined street value of about $100,000, officials say.

Five Household Uses For Borax

Sometimes referred to as 'the miracle mineral,' this household ingredient is the natural solution for just about everything under your roof, from cleaning to insect control. Borax, also known as sodium borate, is a naturally occurring substance and an eco-friendly solution for many things around the house. Most commonly used as a cleaning agent, the uses extend far beyond that.

Here are 25 ways you can use this natural element to your greatest advantage. Safety Warning: Just because borax is natural, that doesn't mean it's harmless. You should always use gloves when handling it and keep it out of reach of children and pets. While safe in the diluted solutions, borax could be very harmful to children and pets if ingested.

Remember ...

Roller Discos?
Unfortunately we do.
Ugh, now it's time for a mind washing ...

Extreme penny pinchers

From raising pigs to scavenging for vacuum cleaners, these people will go far to save a buck.

Bank CEO pay increased 36%

It never stops with this crowd.

Enough is never enough and political leaders are afraid of any real change that might protect the rest of the country from these bandits.
Bank chiefs’ average pay in the US and Europe leapt 36 percent last year to $9.7 million, according to data compiled for the Financial Times, despite variable performance across the sector.

Two of the industry’s biggest names – Jamie Dimon, the JPMorgan Chase chief executive, and Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein – were paid more than 15 times their 2009 earnings.

Mr Dimon received nearly $21 million in 2010, topping the FT’s survey of the salary and bonus packages awarded to 15 top bankers. Mr Blankfein earned $14.1 million, including a $5.4 million cash bonus – up from $863,000 in 2009.

U.S. retailers thrive in Europe

Abercrombie & Fitch has attracted huge crowds since it set up shop in Paris.



Woman facing eviction uses truck to tear front off house

Facing eviction, a woman in Detroit believed, to be an angry tenant, used a truck and a heavy duty chain to pull down the front of a rental home in the Sussex area at about 2 a.m. on Monday. "We heard all this noise in the middle of the night but didn't think anything about it," said Marcus Todd, 13, who lives next door.

"Then the next morning, we all saw that the front of the house was gone. It was in great shape, too; they really kept it nice." The front of the home now rests askew on the front lawn so any passerby can look directly into the living room. There are holes punched in the wall and broken windows on the sides of the home.

Todd said the tenants were a man, a woman and the woman's teenage daughter. Neighbors said they saw a woman, believed to be the tenant, chain a truck to the house. "They were really pleasant people," Todd said. "They'd lived there longer than I've been alive."

According to tax records, the owner of the home lost it in a tax foreclosure in 2010 after failing to pay 2008 property taxes. The home was then bought at the Wayne County Treasurer's tax sale in October for $3,000 by a company called Angel Haus.
Records show the home is owned by the Angel Group LLC.

There's a news video here.

Kids fined for lemonade stand

Some young entrepreneurs get shut down by the government for selling cold drinks outside the event.  

Woman's wild claim on train

A New York commuter takes exception after other riders complain about her behavior.  

Empty airport romp is Web hit

Two passengers stuck overnight turn a deserted airport into their private playground.  

The 10,000 Year Clock

The Long Now Foundation is building a clock that is supposed to last 10,000 years, and chime with a different song every time it sounds. Danny Hillis invented the clock in 1995, saying
I want to build a clock that ticks once a year. The century hand advances once every 100 years, and the cuckoo comes out on the millennium. I want the cuckoo to come out every millennium for the next 10,000 years.
The 200-foot tall clock will be installed under a Sierra Diablo mountain on Texas land owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Right now, a robot is carving steps inside the mountain, and some of the larger clock components are being assembled.
Read more about it at The Technium.
Link to website.

Ten Of The World's Weirdest Man-Made Islands


A man-made island is an island or archipelago that has been constructed by people rather than formed by natural means. They are created by expanding existing islets, construction on existing reefs, or amalgamating several natural islets into a bigger island.

Here are 10 of the strangest man-made islands.

Volcanic ash blankets lake

Eruptions in Chile overwhelm nearby towns with what looks like strangely colored snow. 

Castle Garden


The Swimming Pool that Turned into a Museum

The city of Lille, France had a beautiful municipal swimming pool. It was an Art Deco masterpiece built between 1927 and 1932 by the architect Albert Baert. But over the years, the support underneath the pool was weakened, and it was declared unsafe in 1985. Instead of abandoning the building, the city undertook an extensive renovation project, turning the facility into a museum called the La Piscine-Musée d’Art et d’Industrie André Diligent. The locals just call it La Piscine.

See more pictures of this beautiful building at Kuriositas.

Town Turns Blue

In Spain: Jazcar covered entirely in blue.
Homes, businesses and even a church in Juzcar, Andalucia, have been retouched to celebrate the CGI film, which stars singer Katy Perry as Smurfette.
It took 4,200 liters of paint to cover real life Smurf Village and 12 unemployed locals donned brushes to help out.
The stunt needed special approval from the Andalusian government and also the local bishop, but all parties involved including the 250 inhabitants seem to be having a laugh.
blue town
More photos here.


Night Motion Timelapse: Outer Banks from Daniel Dragon Films on Vimeo.

A beautiful time-lapse video of the night sky over Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
The Outer Banks are a wonderful place.
Learn more about the stars you see here at Bad Astronomy Blog.

Awesome Pictures


People Grew Shorter Growing Crops

People Grew Shorter Growing Crops
Hunter-gatherers had a height and strength advantage over farmers.
Agriculture had an unhealthy effect on populations for thousands of years.  



Reincarnated Dog Not Killed

Yet more proof all religion is a joke!
One of religion's finer moments: Jewish court sentences dog to death by stoning.
dog A Jerusalem rabbinical court condemned to death by stoning a dog it suspects is the reincarnation of a secular lawyer who insulted the court's judges 20 years ago, Ynet website reported Friday.
According to Ynet, the large dog made its way into the Monetary Affairs Court in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem, frightening judges and plaintiffs.
Despite attempts to drive the dog out of the court, the hound refused to leave the premises.
One of the sitting judges then recalled a curse the court had passed down upon a secular lawyer who had insulted the judges two decades previously.
Their preferred divine retribution was for the lawyer's spirit to move into the body of a dog, an animal considered impure by traditional Judaism.
Clearly still offended, one of the judges sentenced the animal to death by stoning by local children.
The canine target, however, managed to escape.
Certain schools of thought within Judaism believe in the transmigration of souls, or reincarnation.

Meet Spongiforma squarepantsii

spongebob mushroom.jpeg
Meet Spongiforma squarepantsii, a recently identified species of mushroom whimsically named after a certain Porifera who lives in a pineapple under the sea.

Giant Fish-Eating Dino Once Roamed Outback

This massive dinosaur was among the biggest of all the predatory dinosaurs and made T. rex look puny.  

Animal Pictures