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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.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
There's no telling what will get you noticed most today -- so try everything that comes to mind!
There is a great deal of unpredictability in how others see you right now, but that should not worry you at all.
Even if your reputation is not under your control today, this could be a very liberating opportunity if you take advantage of it.
Knowing that no one can quite put a finger on who you are and what you're all about will make you feel mysterious -- and that can be a lot of fun.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Amiens, Picardie, France
London, England, United Kingdom
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Berne, Bern, Switzerland
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana
Kiev, Kyyiv, Ukraine
Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
Nancy, Lorraine, 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 Meraux, Bronx, Phoenix, Colfax and more.

Today is:
Today is Monday, June 20, the 171st day of 2011.
There are 194 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:

American Eagle Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Non Sequitur


The Big Man's Passing

Clarence Clemons, Springsteen's right-hand man, dies at 69

Even if he hadn't played a note, saxophonist Clarence Clemons would own an exalted place in rock history for the way he was depicted on an iconic album cover.

Clemons, 69, died Saturday in a Palm Beach, Fla., hospital after suffering a stroke several days ago.

In a stark black-and-white fold-out image on the cover of Bruce Springsteen's 1975 breakthrough album, "Born to Run," the imposing saxophonist hunched over his instrument while a bearded, leather-jacketed Springsteen leaned on his shoulder. The image suggested a brotherly bond between the two and in this case it wasn't just record-industry hokum. Clemons was an integral part of Springsteen's E Street Band for four decades.

"Who are these guys? Where did they come from? What is the joke they are sharing?" Springsteen once wrote of the cover photograph's enduring allure.

In a statement issued Saturday, Springsteen said of his longtime friend and bandmate: "Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage. His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years. He was my great friend, my partner, and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band."

Clemons' solos on the "Born to Run" title track, "Jungleland" and "Badlands" were nearly as famous as the songs themselves, and he was a larger-than-life presence during the epic 4-hour concerts that forged Springsteen's reputation in the '70s and '80s.

Clemons occupied a revered place in the constellation of talented musicians and characters that Springsteen assembled as part of his inner circle. "In this corner, king of the world, master of the universe, weighing in at 260 pounds … ," Springsteen would often say by way of introduction at concerts. The saxophonist was "The Big Man," and an entire mythology was built on how he met Springsteen and became part of the band, often related in comical stage monologues and in the song "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out." Springsteen was playing a New Jersey bar in 1971 while a storm was blowing outside; as Clemons entered, the door blew off its hinges and soon after he and Springsteen were jamming on stage, their mutual fate sealed.

Clemons was born in Virginia in 1942 and began studying saxophone at age 9. He played gospel, R&B and jazz, besides knocking heads in football at Maryland State College. Afterward he moved to New Jersey and worked as a counselor for emotionally disturbed children. Springsteen was still a New Jersey bar-band striver when Clemons met him in 1971. The saxophonist played on two key songs on the singer's 1972 debut album, "Blinded by the Light" and "Spirit in the Night," and then joined him on his first national tour.

His imposing physique and brawny sound -- derived from the King Curtis and Junior Walker school of bruising, blues-based soul -- made him a fixture at concerts, even as his role on Springsteen albums diminished. He was recruited by other artists to play on their records, including Aretha Franklin, whose 1985 hit "Freeway of Love" featured a Clemons solo. The saxophonist was most recently heard on Lady Gaga's latest album, "Born This Way," which sold more than 1 million copies in its first week of release.

Clemons also recorded three solo albums, scoring a 1985 hit, "You're a Friend of Mine," a duet with Jackson Browne. He also racked up a number of acting credits, ranging from Martin Scorsese's 1977 movie, "New York, New York," to the HBO drama "The Wire."

But his most famous role was as Springsteen's sidekick. In recent years he was in considerable pain from knee and hip ailments, and stayed seated through portions of Springsteen's physically taxing concerts; he resided on a throne during one tour, emblematic of his first-among-equals status in the E Street hierarchy. As each concert concluded, Clemons and Springsteen shared an embrace, a nightly renewal of the bond immortalized on the "Born to Run" album cover.

Take a trip to Moscow circa 1909

Vintage Photographs of Moscow 1909

The truth be told


Aides to former maryland gov. indicted on voter suppression

Two aides to former Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich (reptile) have been indicted for ordering what officials claim were deceptive robocalls intended to suppress Democratic turnout during Ehrlich's second run for the office last November.
Voters in Maryland started getting mysterious phone calls on election day last year, that told them to "relax" and not bother going to the polls because President Barack Obama and Gov. Martin O'Malley "have been successful."
"Everything is fine. The only thing left is to watch on TV tonight," the robocalls said.
Julius Henson and Fmr. Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (reptile-MD)
The Baltimore Sun reports:
Julius Henson and Paul Schurick each face three counts of conspiracy to violate Maryland election laws, one count of attempting to influence a voter's decision and one count of failing to provide an authority line (on campaign material). Schurick also is charged with one count of obstruction of justice.
Henson, who has a long history of dirty political tricks, has admitted he was involved in the calls, but his lawyer has argued in a civil case that the calls were protected free speech.
Schurick, Ehrlich's communications director when he was governor and a top campaign aide during his return campaign, allegedly created "The Schurick Doctrine" which was "designed to promote confusion, emotionalism, and frustration among African-American Democrats."
"The first and foremost desired outcome [of the Schurick Doctrine strategy] is voter suppression," the document said, the Sun reported.
The indictment is available here.

Typical repugican shenanigans!

While the corporate media is concentrating on weiners

Very bad anti-democratic things are happening in Michigan...specifically hb 4746
This bill would amend section 205 of the michigan zoning enabling act to specify that a zoning ordinance cannot prevent the extraction of valuable natural resources from any property unless "very serious consequences" would result from the extraction.
In other words - they can steal your gold, oil, uranium, etc., from you without you being able to do anything about it.
Typical repugican shenanigans!

Impersonator mocks Obama, Gingrich at wingnut cabal

A Barack Obama impersonator was ushered off the stage after he mocked the repugican presidential hopeless and joked about the real president's biracial roots to a room full of wingnut agitators Saturday.

Worthy Cause

Hey, we're always willing to help out a worthy cause!

Kneejerk Wingnuts


Turn to kidnapping showed bin Laden's interest

Pressured by increased scrutiny of terrorist money sources and strikes aimed at its financiers, al-Qaida's core organization in Pakistan has turned to kidnapping for ransom to offset dwindling cash reserves, according to U.S. officials and information in files retrieved from Osama bin Laden's compound.Bin Laden's interest in kidnapping as a ...

US money missing from Iraq may be closer to $18 billion

Not to worry though. Just because our infrastructure is crumbling at home and unemployment is high, we really couldn't use that money anyway. It's much better to flush it down the toilet in Iraq.

Al Jazeera:
Osama al-Najai, the Iraqi parliament speaker, has told Al Jazeera that the amount of Iraqi money unaccounted for by the US is $18.7bn - three times more than the reported $6.6bn.

Just before departing for a visit to the US, al-Najai said that he has received a report this week based on information from US and Iraqi auditors that the amount of money withdrawn from a fund from Iraqi oil proceeds, but unaccounted for, is much more than the $6.6bn reported missing last week.

"There is a lot of money missing during the first American administration of Iraqi money in the first year of occupation.

"Iraq's development fund has lost around $18bn of Iraqi money in these operations - their location is unknown. Also missing are the documents of expenditure.
Instead of worrying about a tweeted penis, maybe we ought to focus a bit more on the wars that are killing the US economy. No?

Homeless man's windfall

Private eye tells homeless man of inheritance
A private investigator says he has tracked down a homeless Utah man and delivered some good news: He's inherited a lot of money.

A private eye finds Max Melitzer pushing a shopping cart when he gives him some great news.  

Money rules you should break

While some money rules should be taken with a grain of salt, others are completely false.  

States want to tax online sales

Enforcing rules on Internet purchases could save libraries, state parks, and teacher jobs.  



Japanese Law Forbids Computer Viruses

If you spend your days writing Trojan code or sending malware to thousands of hapless email address owners, you’d better steer clear of the Land of the Rising Sun. Otherwise it could cost you $6,200 in bail or three years in jail.
[T]he bill that criminalizes the creation or distribution of computer virus was finally enacted last Friday by Japan’s parliament. The law also includes provisions regarding punishment that will be meted out to people who have been caught sending pornographic images to random people.
These laws are meant to crack down on the dirty web of cybercrime; however, some parts of the law border on infringing the privacy of communications as it allows data to be obtained or subpoenaed by authorities from servers for investigation when necessary.
Japan is the first country to enact and implement such a law. Hopefully, we’ll be able to gauge the effectivity of passing the law a few months down the line.

What Happens On The Internet Every 60 Seconds?

Every 60 seconds over 6,600 photos will be uploaded to Flickr, about 70 new domains will be registered, over 1,200 new ads will be created on Craigslist, more than 168,000,000 emails are sent, and Google serves more that 694,445 queries.

Leave it to the Irish

Three Englishmen were in a bar and spotted an Irishman. So, one of the Englishmen walked over to the Irishman, tapped him on the shoulder, and said, "Hey, I hear your St. Patrick was a drunken loser."

"Oh really, hmm, didn't know that."

Puzzled, the Englishman walked back to his buddies. "I told him St. Patrick was a loser, and he didn't care." The second Englishman remarked, "You just don't know how to set him off...watch and learn." So, the second Englishman walked over to the Irishman, tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Hey, I hear your St. Patrick was a lying, cheating, idiotic, low-life scum!"

"Oh really, hmm, didn't know that."

Shocked beyond belief, the Englishman went back to his buddies. "You're right. He's unshakable!"

The third Englishman remarked, "Boys, I'll really tick him off... just watch." So the third Englishman walked over to the Irishman, tapped him on the shoulder and said, "I hear St. Patrick was an Englishman!"

What I learned from my father

Hard work, good hygiene, and how to fight city hall are just a few things one writer got from her dad.

Workers find ancient burial ground

Ancient skeletal remains have been uncovered by contractors working on the largest energy project in the country.

A 10-Year-Old Girl Fights to Save a Mountain

girl saves a mountain photo  
Photo via Facebook
Faith, they say, can move mountains, but sometimes it takes hard work and dedication to help ensure that they don't go anywhere. In 1915, the town of Orogrande, New Mexico, was once a thriving gold rush community, home to several mining operations -- though the hum of heavy machinery in the nearby mines have since been silenced, replaced by the chatter of wildlife. Recently, however, ten-year-old Caitlyn Larson and her parents discovered something unsettling in the now tranquil landscape: new equipment being assembled to strip a mountain away. That's when the youngster knew something had to be done to stop it.
Article continues: 10-Year-Old Girl Fights to Save a Mountain

Burma's Suu Kyi celebrates birthday in freedom

For the first time in nearly a decade, Burma's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi celebrated her birthday in freedom on Sunday.

Three Links

Thar's the Blow

444kg of cocaine seized from luxury yacht 

<a href=http://www.zgeek.com/content.php/7900-444kg-of-cocaine-seized-from-luxury-yacht>444kg of cocaine seized from luxury yacht</a>Argentine police seized 444 kilograms of cocaine and a number of weapons from a luxury US-flagged yacht anchored in the port of the capital on Friday.

Two Spaniards manning the ship fled ahead of the raid security minister Nilda Garre said, adding that authorities were tipped off after the boat diverted from its planned route following a power failure.

Coast guard commander Oscar Arce said several weapons were found on board, including "a machine gun, ready to shoot".

Amy Winehouse Booed By Fans In Siberia For Strange Behavior

British singer Amy Winehouse is canceling part of her European tour after the singer was booed for strange behavior during a concert in Serbia.

Teacher arrested after drunken teen party

A San Diego County teacher has been arrested for allegedly throwing a party that involved dozens of drunken teenagers.

Patient gets drunk on sanitizer in Australian hospital

A man who drank six bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitizer while being treated in an Australian hospital for alcoholism has sparked calls for the anti-bacterial gels to be better secured.

Daily Comic Relief

OK, nobody likes a showoff

Living room swimming pool

There are 30,000 gallons of water in the living room of this swank Manhattan property.

Best cities to raise a family

These urban areas have jobs, great schools, affordable homes, low crime, and tons to do.  

Floating Island City Designs

The Seasteading Institute is positive that someday in the future, we’ll have to migrate away from land and into renewable-energy powered floating cities. So sure, in fact, that they ran a competition for seastead designs for permanent, stationary structures that would allow for long-term ocean living. From the off-shore floating research laboratory shown above to a Jetsons-esque enclosure, WebUrbanist has a detailed round-up of the five winning entries.  


These were funny. Too bad the copyright trolls pitched a bitch and sadly they will be no more.

Injury-prone home repairs

One in five home improvement projects ends in injury, but these tips can help avoid mishaps.  

Grey Hair May Be A Thing Of The Past

Photo: Ito Lab/NYU Langone Medical Center – via ABC News
Scientists believe they have cracked the code to restore hair to its original color. They have found a protein called wnt that is responsible for producing color in hair and also stimulates hair growth and produces new hair follicles. The lack of wnt activation in melanocyte stem cells leads to de-pigmented or grey hair. So far experiments have been performed on mice but it may be just a matter of time before hair products that raise wnt levels in humans appear on the market. This will be good news for those who are tired of frequent root touchups.

Seven Tips To Lose Weight Fast

Losing weight can be a tough challenge for many people in the United Kingdom especially those with office jobs and other responsibilities such as kids. Losing weight is an achievable thing for anyone to be able to do despite what some people may think. It is true that some people can shift weight faster than others but with determination and the right advice you can achieve any physical goal you want.

KFC: support diabetes research by buying an 800 calorie, 56 spoonful of sugar "Mega Jug"

"A KFC franchise in Utah is asking customers to help fight diabetes -- by purchasing an 800-calorie Mega Jug of sugary soda to wash down their meals."
The reaction: It's hard to imagine what KFC was thinking, says Joe Waters at Selfish Giving. Although after "the dreadful Double Down," it's no surprise these folks have "deep fried their reputation again." Give this franchise owner credit for wanting to do some good, says Jenn Savedge at Mother Nature Network. But why not tie the promotion to something healthier like, say, grilled chicken? Trying to link a drink with 56 spoonfuls of sugar to a health cause has to qualify as one of the biggest PR misfires ever.

Man says drinking 48 beers was probably 10 too many

From the "Ya Think?!" Department:

For his 58th birthday, James Taylor said he drank 48 beers: This, he later told a deputy, was probably 10 too many. And that's how Taylor, a transient, not the famous singer, found himself in this situation:

At about 7:50 p.m. on Wednesday he was at Hudson Beach shouting at people, getting a stern talking-to from a deputy for causing a disturbance, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report. Taylor left. He came back.

This time, his rantings were so fierce he terrified a grandmother and her young grandchildren, the report states. Then, just before 9 p.m., authorities said, Taylor exposed his genitals and "urinated in the middle of the sand." When finished, Taylor "went back to yelling profanities," the report said.

The deputy returned and arrested Taylor, who was taken to the Land O'Lakes jail after being medically cleared. He was charged with disorderly intoxication in a public place and causing a disturbance. He remains at the jail in lieu of $100 bail.




cicada photo
Image: gardener41/CC
Cicada ice cream made a big buzz on the web this week. While misinformation flooded the net blaming the health department for shutting down Sparky's newest flavor, TreeHugger's Bonnie gave you the straight dope: the Columbia, Missouri based homemade ice cream shop chose to discontinue sales of cicada ice cream in spite of strong demand. Today we look at the even sadder truth. The reason Sparky's stopped their Cicada experiment stems from a lack of understanding about the safety of entomophagy, or eating bugs.
Article continues: Cicada Ice Cream Proves We Need More Information About Eating Insects

What else can you say

Bugs Bunny being Bugs Bunny.

Welsh Fisherman Captures Giant Catfish

Retired naval officer David Kent landed an 18-stone fish using a tiny piece of sweetcorn as bait on a fishing trip in Thailand. The fish was caught in November last year at Gillhams Fishing Resorts in Krabi. But it took until last week for the fish to be declared a world record as the largest catfish caught, in the all-tackle category. It was more than 7ft long and weighed 260lbs.

And the specimen fish will live to fight another day. After being weighed and photographed it was gently returned to the water.

The Sand Cat

Desert Cat Extraordinaire

Don't be fooled by the off the scale cuteness quotient. This is the Sand Cat - or Felis margarita, a little known species of desert cat. In the wild it lives in areas that are too hot and dry for any other cat - the deserts of Africa and Asia, including the Sahara.

The Sand Cat is one tough cookie.

Dying man reunited with his dog

In this world 'right' does happen!
This is one of those 'right' things ...

Animal Pictures