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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 22, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Family photos or cherished mementos will be very inspiring for you today -- it seems that your ancestors have an awful lot to teach you about perseverance and maintaining hope even in very dark times.
Have you plumbed the depths of your older relatives' knowledge about where you came from?
The next time you speak with one of them, ask a few questions about your family's past.
You may learn something very illuminating.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Manila, Manila, Philippines
London, England, United Kingdom
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Milan, Lombardia, Italy
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Makati, Manila, Philippines
Cardiff, Wales, 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 Portland, San Diego, Baltimore, Boston and more.

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, June 22, the 173rd day of 2011.
There are 192 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Stupid Guy Thing Day.
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!



Editorial Comment

Some of you may have noticed that after the back to back Tuesday meltdowns we here at CN have been able to alter our posting schedule a bit.

Hope you enjoy the new schedule.

President Obama comforts a crying baby

Proving yet again we have a real man in the White House now.
The president appears to magically silence a wailing child with a simple embrace. 

Non Sequitur


Photography Rules For Complete Idiots

78 of them ...

Yes, the rules are pretty basic, but 78 of them are hard to keep track of if you’re a beginner …or a complete idiot. Latvian photographer Ivars Gravlejs put them all in one place because he’s seen every one of these rules broken too many times.

Rural Maine couple lives in 2 shipping containers

A rural Maine couple calls home a pair of former shipping containers bought online for $1,500.
Trevor Seip and Jennifer Sansosti have spent a year modifying the containers on their 63-acre property in Ellsworth, where they hope to eventually build a conventional home.

Tornado rips train off tracks

The harrowing sight of a Nebraska twister engulfing 13 freight cars is captured on video. 

How Wiffle balls are made

The iconic backyard game has been made by the same Connecticut family since 1953.

A blast from the past

Lower Broadway in 1902

A 19-year-old man is suspected of leading the notorious Lulz Security hacking group

A British teenager suspected of being a mastermind behind a notorious international computer hacking group has been arrested in a swoop by the FBI and Scotland Yard.

Ryan Cleary, 19, is believed to have been a 'major player' with LulzSec, a hacking group linked with attempts to breach organizations including the UK's Serious Organized Crime Agency, the U.S. Senate and the CIA.

The arrest came amid claims on the website Pastebin that LulzSec allegedly had a copy of Britain's entire census database and was planning to publish it online, but this has been denied by the Office of National Statistics and by LulzSec via Twitter.

Authorities on both sides of the Atlantic have been trying to trace the hacking group, which also claimed credit for security breaches at games firms Nintendo and Sony, for several weeks.

Cleary was arrested in a 'pre-planned intelligence-led operation' in Wickford, Essex, the Metropolitan Police said.

American authorities were being kept informed as the teenager was questioned at a central London station under the Computer Misuse Act and Fraud Act.

He was arrested by officers from the force's e-crime unit.

LulzSec is said to have established itself as a formidable splinter group to Anonymous, the hacking group embroiled in the WikiLeaks fall-out.

The group was believed to have initially targeted only U.S. broadcasters, including PBS and Fox, and gaming firms.

But the Twitter page @LulzSec recently declared its intention to break into Government websites and leak confidential documents.

There were no tweets in reaction to the arrest today.

Soca, the UK national law enforcement unit dubbed the British FBI, was forced temporarily to take its website off-line yesterday after LulzSec bombarded it with traffic to stop other users accessing it.

Security sources were keen to underline that no confidential information was surrendered.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: 'The arrest follows an investigation into network intrusions and distributed denial of service attacks against a number of international business and intelligence agencies by what is believed to be the same hacking group.

'Searches at a residential address in Wickford following the arrest last night have led to the examination of a significant amount of material. These forensic examinations remain ongoing.'

The Met and Essex Police are working 'in co-operation' with the FBI, the spokesman said.

Soca spokesman Richard Sellors said: 'We are aware of claims that the Soca website has been attacked. The picture is not clear at this time, but we are investigating the matter with our service provider.'

The website went down for a while yesterday afternoon but it was brought back up.

Mr Sellors said Soca then decided to take the site down for the night to take the pressure off its Internet service provider, which works with a variety of local businesses and organizations.

The website was still down this morning.

Mr Sellors said that the affected website was purely for public information and that the hackers had no access to confidential data or information about ongoing operations.

LulzSec has also hacked into a U.S. Senate server and claimed responsibility for temporarily knocking offline the CIA's public website.

In a posting on Sunday, LulzSec declared that the 'Lulz Lizard battle fleet is now declaring immediate and unremitting war' on governments and security companies.

As part of that, LulzSec, which derives its name from the plural variant of internet slang for 'laugh out loud', urged its followers to hack into and deface government websites.


April 29: Fox Broadcasting alerted its users that it had been hacked, and attackers gained access to emails and passwords of hundreds of employees

May 29: PBS website hacked; user names and hashed passwords released. A false story was also posted claiming rapper Tupac Shakur was 'still alive in New Zealand' 15 years after his death

June 2: SonyPictures.com hacked and personal information of its one million users compromised

June 5: Nintendo announces its computer system was hacked, but no personal or company information was lost

June 8: NHS confirms potential security breach after computer hackers gained access to health service passwords

June 10: IMF confirms it was hit over several months by what it called 'a very major breach'

June 13: Lulz Security accessed a Senate server that supports the chamber's public website but did not breach other files

June 16: LulzSec claims cyber attack on CIA computer network, causing public website to shut down

June 20: LulzSec brings down the Serious Organised Crime Agency's website

Lulz said in the statement on Sunday: 'Top priority is to steal and leak any classified government information, including email spools and documentation. Prime targets are banks and other high-ranking establishments.'

LulzSec said it was working with Anonymous, a second international group of hackers.

The groups' stated goals have been murky.

In the past, Anonymous has sought to support Julian Assange and Bradley Manning, who face charges after releasing U.S. government documents as part of Wikileaks.

LulzSec has also sought to punish Sony for failing to secure data but did so by releasing the data of Sony customers, exposing them to potential identity theft.

Meanwhile, a less public and more damaging series of hacks have targeted the International Monetary Fund and RSA, a division of EMC, a company which provides online security for businesses.

Steven Chabinsky, the FBI's deputy assistant director, told the Financial Times last week that LulzSec and Anonymous were avoiding prosecution by using the likes of Twitter to draw supporters under an anonymous guise.

Mr Chabinsky told the paper: 'These organizations have managed to use new technologies to connect to otherwise disenfranchised hackers to gather force and momentum in a way we have not seen before.'

The FBI is placing 'a lot of emphasis and focus on Anonymous and other groups that would be like them, through coordinated transnational efforts', he added.

Anonymous came to prominence last year when it launched digital assaults against MasterCard, PayPal and other businesses that stopped working with WikiLeaks.

No U.S. arrests have been announced in relation to LulzSec or Anonymous.

The arrest of a Briton in relation to hacking attempts in the U.S. will prompt comparisons with Gary McKinnon.

McKinnon, 45, who is fighting extradition to the U.S., faces 60 years behind bars for hacking into Pentagon and NASA computers between February 2001 and March 2002 while searching for evidence of 'little green men'.

Mexican drug lord captured

President Felipe Calderon calls La Familia cartel arrest a "great blow" to organized crime.  

Shoplifters try to escape by running into North Sea

Bungling shoplifters tried to escape arrest by wading into the North Sea. The dim-witted duo had snatched food from the Co-op store in Holland-on-Sea. When they were pursued by police officers on bicycles, their only escape route was across the beach and into the water. The thieves, a man aged 25 and a woman aged 19, endured the icy cold North Sea for 30 minutes, before handing themselves into police, who were patiently waiting on the beach.

RNLI inshore lifeboat crews from Clacton, on a training exercise nearby at the time, were called in case they were needed to rescue the runaways. A team from Clacton Coastguard also attended the scene. PCSO Colin Moss was on patrol in the area at the time and responded to the call. He gave chase to the suspects in a scene described as a triathlon in reverse.

The two suspects were also on pedal bikes, prompting a chase from PCSO Moss through Holland-on-Sea to the seafront. They then abandoned their bikes and ran across the beach into the water. Once they had gone into the sea, PCSO Moss kept a watching brief and called for back-up, prompting the stand off. Eventually, police officers persuaded the pair to come out of the water and were arrested on suspicion of shoplifting.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Staff reported a man and woman taking items from the store on Wednesday at about 7.20pm. Police attended and two people were followed by police on bicycles and they went into the sea, refusing to come out. At about 8pm, they were finally persuaded to come out and were arrested.” No further action is being taken against the woman. Tim Broad, of no fixed address, has been charged with two offenses.

Magician ejected from bar then held in police swoop for bending his own forks

A magician was thrown out of a Lichfield bar then questioned by police for bending forks. Paul Fisher, who goes by the stage name Paul Saint, was given his marching orders by a burly doorman after performing the trick for friends at Après bar in Lichfield. “I tried to tell the bouncer that the forks were my own, but he wouldn’t listen,” said Paul, 35, by day a driving instructor from Pelsall. Moments after being ejected, he claims a police van raced to a halt beside him and he was told to get inside in connection with the incident.

“I was told to get out and the police were called. I wasn’t given any sort of explanation or told to put the forks away. The police vehicle came screaming up the street and an officer jumped out. He said he’d had a complaint about me bending up some forks. I told him they were my own forks and was about to get some out of my pocket when he told me to get in the van.” Paul, who added that he was completely sober at the time, was driven back to Après and made to wait in the van while the officer spoke to the doorman.

“He spoke to the bouncer, having a laugh and joke, and then did a background check, which came back all-clear. The officer then let me go. I was astonished that there was all this fuss over a few forks, which I happened to own. Since when has it been a crime to bend a few of your own forks to the amusement of your friends? They completely ruined our night. It’s not as if I was drunk and disorderly.”

Fiona Williams, director of Après, claimed that the fork was a security issue, despite the bar serving food and having its own supply of cutlery. She said: “It is our policy not to allow objects into our venues which can be a danger to the general public. That man was not organised as a magician, nor did he announce himself or his intentions to perform as a magician to our doorstaff or management. Our actions were conducted in the interest of the public. We have to protect our customers and knives and forks are a security issue.”

A Fractured Leghorn

Foghorn Leghorn

Ain't it the truth

American atheists are fed up!

The truth be told


Slappy has ethical issues

From the "Tell us something we don't know" Department:
Ethical concerns for Clarence 'Slappy' Thomas?

Daily Funny

An old country preacher had a teenage son, and it was getting time the boy should give some thought to choosing a profession.  Like many young men his age, the boy didn't really know what he wanted to do, and he didn't seem too concerned about it.  One day, while the boy was away at school, his father decided to try an experiment.

He went into the boy's room and placed on his study table four objects.

1.  A Bible... ?
2.  A silver dollar... ?
3. A bottle of whisky... ?

'When he comes home from school today, I'll see which object he picks up.If it's the Bible, he's going to be a preacher like me, and what a blessing that would be!
If he picks up the dollar, he's going to be a business man, and that would be okay, too.But if he picks up the bottle, he's going to be a no-good drunken bum, and Lord, what a shame that would be.
And worst of all if he picks up that magazine he's going to be a skirt-chasing womanizer.'

The old man waited anxiously, and soon heard his son's foot-steps as he entered the house whistling and headed for his room.

The boy tossed his books on the bed, and as he turned to leave the room he spotted the objects on the table.With curiosity in his eye, he walked over to inspect them.  Finally, he picked up the Bible and placed it under his arm.  He picked up the silver dollar and dropped into his pocket.He uncorked the bottle and took a big drink, while he admired this month's centerfold.

'Lord have mercy,' the old preacher disgustedly whispered...'He's gonna run for Congress.'

State controller halts pay for California lawmakers because budget they passed wasn't balanced

California controller John Chiang discusses his decision to halt paychecks for all 120 state lawmakers after they failed to come up with a balanced budget by the June 15 deadline.

Job hunters' biggest mistake

Shooting off a resumé based on an online listing is the worst way to find a position.
Target a company, not a job

The ten worst paying jobs in America

The $100,000 razor

Its blades are made of sapphire and its handle contains metal from crashed meteorites.  

Major mortgage fraud settlement

JPMorgan Chase will return money to some investors who bought its securities before the housing crash.  

Cotton Fields


Creedence Clearwater Revival

Man Figures Out How To Get Free Health Care

In North Carolina: Bank robber planned crime and punishment.
James Richard Verone was laid off from his job, needed medical attention.
verone He considered turning to a homeless shelter and seeking medical help through charitable organizations.
Then he had another idea: commit a crime and get set up with a place to stay, food and doctors.
He started planning. As his bank account depleted and the day of execution got closer, Verone sold and donated his furniture. He paid his last month’s rent and gave his notice. He moved into the Hampton Inn for the last couple of days. Then on June 9 he followed his typical morning routine of getting ready for the day.
He took a cab down New Hope Road and picked a bank at random — RBC Bank.  He handed the teller a note demanding one dollar, and medical attention.
“I didn’t have any fears,” said Verone. “I told the teller that I would sit over here and wait for police.”
So far, so good:
He has seen several nurses and has an appointment with a doctor Friday. The ideal scenario would include back and foot surgery and a diagnosis and treatment of the protrusion on his chest, he said. He would serve a few years in prison and get out in time to collect Social Security and move to the beach.

New smoking warning labels

Nine large, graphic warning labels from the FDA will start appearing on cigarette packs. 
FDA Reveals Graphic Warnings For Cigarettes
Nine new graphic cigarette warning labels were unveiled Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration, part of the agency's sweeping new powers to regulate tobacco and tobacco products.



Culinary DeLites

5 foods you can't overdo

Top 10 dirtiest foods

Produce, like peaches and cantaloupe, causes as much food-borne illness as beef and poultry combined.

What causes a brain freeze

There's a scientific explanation behind those annoying "ice cream headaches."  

Brain Inspired Image Recognition Software Allows Computers to See

wp-image-48078 alignleft 
Researchers have developed software that allows computers to see, helping us get closer to a day in which intelligent machines will see the world the way we do. More importantly this technology has led to an application that helps you purchase wine by snapping a photo of the bottle with your smart phone.

With their company, Cortexica, British Drs. Anil Bharath and Jeffrey Ng have created technology that allow computers to see. It’s already being used by consumers to quickly retrieve information about what they buy, and will soon help companies advertise more effectively. In developing the technology, they drew inspiration from a computer that already sees very well: the human brain.

How the Brain Recognizes Its Body

How do we know which hands are own own? 
Scientists zero-in on the explanation.

The Hammock Effect: Sleep Now!

Need a nap? 
Find a hammock. 
Research shows you'll fall asleep faster.

Awesome Pictures


Africa's Great Wall of Trees

Africa's Great Wall of Trees
In what is considered a crazy plan to slow desertification, countries across Africa are planting a wall of Acacia trees.  

Africa's Great Wall of Trees
Crossing Africa's Sahara desert is a forest of Acacia trees.



New Uncontacted Amazon Tribe Discovered in Brazil

malocas photo  
Photo: FUNAI
In the dense rainforest of the western Amazon, researchers from Brazil's Indian protection agency have identified a new tribe of uncontacted indigenous people. Authorities say the remote group likely numbers around 200 members, living in traditionally built huts, called malocas, surrounded by small farms of nuts, banana, and corn. Although they are isolated from the outside world, therein lies many factors which threaten their mysterious way of life.
Article continues: New Uncontacted Amazon Tribe Discovered in Brazil

A mammoth carved in bone

13,000-year-old Ice Age art
Researchers from the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Florida have announced the discovery of a bone fragment, approximately 13,000 years old, in Florida with an incised image of a mammoth or mastodon.



Mutations Cause Ultra Muscular Humans, Animals, Fish

muscularA rare genetic mutation causes mammals -- and now fish -- to develop muscles that are twice the normal size.

Dire warning for ocean life

Scientists say a "deadly trio" of threats could wipe out many species within a generation. 

Penguin steps ashore far from home

A young Emperor penguin took a rare wrong turn from the Antarctic and ended up stranded on a New Zealand beach - the first time in 44 years the aquatic bird has been sighted in ...

Sexually frustrated killer dolphins

Baird Maritime:
The dolphins chased the porpoises at high speed, rammed and then drowned them. In one particularly violent attack, three dolphins corralled their victim before seven others joined them to ram the porpoise to death. Cotter found most shocking the fact that two dolphins remained behind to play with the carcass before pushing it towards his boat.
He believes that the attacks are “object oriented play” during the breeding season by young males who cannot get access to females because of competition from older males.
I hear Rick Perry and Aaron Schock have used that excuse too.  The competition is just too fierce.

Animal Pictures