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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.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You may be on a roll right now, but you still need to conserve your energy for the bigger (and better!) things that are coming down the road.
Try not to get too tied to the idea that progress can only be defined by how much you can get done in a specific amount of time.
Life is not a race, so slow down.
Don't take on any new projects and try to avoid making any big commitments with your time today.
You need to stay flexible and deal with what's on your plate.

Some of our readers today have been in:
London, England, United Kingdom
Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
The Hague, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Zragoza, Aragon, Spain
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Berne, Bern, Switzerland
London, England, United Kingdom
London, Ontario, Canada
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Manila, Manila, Philippines
Alicante, Comunidad Valenciana, Spain
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Milan, Lombardia, Italy
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Gengenbach, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

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 Downers Grove, Honeoye Falls, High Ridge, St. Louis and more.

Today is:
Today is Friday, July 1, the 182nd day of 2011.
There are 183 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
International Chicken Wing Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Happy Canada Day!

For all our readers in the great nation of Canada ...

Canada Day (Fête du Canada) celebrates the formation of Canada on July first, 1867. The holiday was once known as Dominion Day, but was changed after Canada gained full independence from Britain in 1982. You can learn more about the holiday at Wikipedia. Canadian Heritage has information about the celebrations in Ottawa and other parts of the country.

July is National Hot Dog Month

One brand has 40 percent of your daily recommended saturated fat in each link. 

The dangers of diet soda

People who drink diet soda for years can have much larger waists than those who don't.  

Rating the fast-food chains

The favorites are not the big names you'd expect, a Consumer Reports survey finds.

Non Sequitur


Krokodil: The drug that eats junkies

A heroin user prepares the drug in Zhukovsky, near Moscow
A heroin user prepares the drug in Zhukovsky, near Moscow
Several people shared this article from the Independent about krokodil (pronounced crocodile), the street name for a home cooked heroin alternative in Russia. Krokodil is made by processing codeine into desomorphine, which is stronger than heroin but doesn’t last as long. According to the article, “It was given its reptilian name because its poisonous ingredients quickly turn the skin scaly.” After that, the article says, their skin starts to literally rot off.
But how exactly is desomorphone turning people into lizards? I looked up desomorphine in Wikipedia and found this Time article on the same subject. The Time article says:
At the injection site, which can be anywhere from the feet to the forehead, the addict’s skin becomes greenish and scaly, like a crocodile’s, as blood vessels burst and the surrounding tissue dies. Gangrene and amputations are a common result, while porous bone tissue, especially in the lower jaw, often starts to dissipate, eaten up by the drug’s acidity.
Gangrene explains the “rotting,” but gangrene is caused by bacterial infection and is a potential side effect of any unsafe IV drug use. So what’s with the green, scaly skin that precedes the rotting? I couldn’t find anything. The Wikipedia entry and some commenters on the Independent article indicate that it’s not actually desomorphine (which was sold commercially under the name Permonid for some time), but the impurities of its extraction from codeine pills. According to Time, addicts use “gasoline, paint thinner, hydrochloric acid, iodine and red phosphorous, which they scrape from the striking pads on matchboxes” to make krokodil from codeine. As the Wikipedia entry points out, that sounds similar to one of the easiest ways of making methamphetamine from pseudoephedrine.
The Independent also mentions the frequency of administration, difficulties addicts face finding veins and the use of dirty needles. I suspect these details may help explain the damaging effects. Due to desomorphine’s short duration, users have to shoot up more frequently the users of other drugs. This leads to collapsed veins and injections that miss veins. Add dirty needles to the mix, and the risk for gangrene infection goes up. It’s also possible that impurities in krokidil lead to scaly skin before gangrene infection occurs.
Another note: perhaps the name doesn’t really derive from the effect it has on the skin. According to Wikipedia, desomorphine is derived from a chemical called a-chlorocodide. I don’t think it would be a stretch to suggest “chlorocodide” as the source of the street name.
Latest Drug Scare: Oxi, a “Highly Addictive Hallucinogenic” That is “Twice as Powerful as Crack Cocaine”.

U.S. sues former astronaut

The sixth man to walk on the moon is in hot water over his plan for a mission memento.  

Homeless man charged for charging cellphone

Police have brought charges against a homeless man in Maine who helped himself to an outdoor electrical outlet to charge a pair of cellphones.

A Smelly Nigerian Gets On A Plane…

Security theater, take a bow!
Authorities have charged a man with being a stowaway after he allegedly took a flight from New York to Los Angeles, even though he didn't have a proper boarding pass and was not on the flight manifest.
It wasn't until after Virgin America Flight 415 took off from John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday that the airline discovered the man, identified as Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi, wasn't supposed to be on the flight, according to an FBI affidavit.
How do you identify a guy like this?
The flight crew became aware of him when two passengers complained about his odor, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
TSA says:
Transportation Security Administration spokesman Greg Soule issued a statement saying, "Every passenger that passes through security checkpoints is subject to many layers of security including thorough physical screening at the checkpoint. TSA's review of this matter indicates that the passenger went through screening. It is important to note that this passenger was subject to the same physical screening at the checkpoint as other passengers."
There's a lot more to the story, and a lesson for terrorists: Take a bath before you sneak on a plane!

Mistake on FBI terror list

A top terror figure is said to use an alias which may be a completely different man.  

Lunatic Fringe

Batshit's History of Slavery
Who knew they were freed in the 1700's?

During an appearance on "Good Morning America" on Tuesday, Batshit Bachmann was given an opportunity
to set the record straight with regard to comments she made earlier this year lauding the nation's Founding Fathers for working "tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.”

ABC's Judas Maximus asked the Guano Gal to clarify, noting that Jefferson and Washington had slaves.
Here's Guano Girl's reply:

Judas: But that’s not what you said. You said that "the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery."

Guano Gal: Well if you look at one of our Founding Fathers, John Quincy Adams, that’s absolutely true. He was a very young boy when he was with his father serving essentially as his father’s secretary. He tirelessly worked throughout his life to make sure that we did in fact one day eradicate slavery...

Judas: He wasn’t one of the Founding Fathers – he was a president, he was a Secretary of State, he was a member of Congress, you’re right he did work to end slavery decades later. But so you are standing by this comment that the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery?

Guano Gal: Well, John Quincy Adams most certainly was a part of the Revolutionary War era. He was a young boy but he was actively involved."
Don't you just love it?

Batshit and the Publicity Whore are twins - they get everything wrong and then they stand by it - no matter how high the mountain of evidence is that's calling them liars.

The truth be told


How do they do it and keep a straight face?

Wingnut hack compares marriage equality to racial segregation

Did you know ...

... that is was a shurb-appointed justice (former Scalia clerk) who upheld constitutionality of health care law?
(Just think of the hand-wringing among the wingnuts on that one)

In The News

High court undoes Scalia's pro-tobacco order
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia exercised a rarely used power last fall to let Philip Morris USA and three other big tobacco companies delay making multimillion-dollar payments for a program to help people quit smoking.

E. coli outbreak may be traced to Egypt seeds
European food and disease prevention authorities are investigating whether the outbreak of E. coli outbreak in Germany and France may be traced back to fenugreek seeds imported from Egypt either in 2009 or last year.

Just so you know ...

Vote repugican, lose 6.7 million jobs

Private prisons spend millions lobbying to put more people in jail

Rick Scott tried to disband Florida's highway patrol

Debt ceiling unconstitutional?

Critics argue Obama can bypass the "political whims" of Congress to repay debt.

A half-buried luxury home

A couple didn’t want their dream home to overwhelm the neighbors, so they built half of it underground.

Cool dome homes for sale

These funky, corner-free dwellings range from under $100,000 to nearly $1 million.

    U.S. aid for homeowners

    A new federal program offers loans of up to $50,000 that don’t need to be repaid.

    Dangers of debit card use

    The convenience is enticing, but this form of plastic will put a dent in your finances if you're not careful.  

    CEO Pay


    Degrees for flexible careers

    Experts say these four majors are ideal if you want to leave your options open.  

    Worst things to put on a resumé

    Don't even think about fudging the timeline of your employment history.  

    Middle-class jobs going away

    Millions of Americans have lost stable, good-paying jobs — many of which will never return.

    Wizard of Id


    Do windows block UV rays?

    UVA and UVB rays react differently when they pass through ordinary glass.

    Scientists spy most distant quasar

    A team of European astronomers says it has discovered the most distant and earliest quasar yet.

    A Blast From The Past

    Lumiere Brothers-[The Card Game] (1896)

    Awesome Pictures

    This image was taken in winter time in a arid area of the Canadian Rockies. Temperatures where below -30 degrees Celsius yet because there was no snow fall the surface of the lake was uncovered allowing me to see and capture the bubbles (gas release from lake bed) that were trapped in the frozen waters.
    Photo and caption by Emmanuel Coupe

    Five Acts of Nature That Rearranged the Face of the Planet

    Our earth is a dynamic place that moves and changes with no regard to humans or anyone else. Every once in a while, those changes occur rapidly and powerfully. Cracked looks at five events that left behind some serious scars, like the 1883 explosion of Krakatoa.
    The blast was the equivalent of 200 megatons of TNT. For perspective, the largest explosion ever made by humans was the detonation of a Russian hydrogen bomb, which was 50 megatons. That blast broke windows in buildings 560 miles away. Krakatoa was four times that; the cloud it generated wiped entire villages off the map 25 miles away and created a tsunami that traveled all the way to South Africa. That wasn’t all Krakatoa’s neighbors got for their birthday that year; giant pieces of rock and coral reef fell from the sky as well.
    Now get this: Krakatoa is only number five on the List.



    Dino-Era Animals

    Now in Full Color
    Paleontologists uncover chemical traces of pigmentation for prehistoric bird, fish and squid fossils. Read more 

    Eight Prehistoric Creatures from Your Nightmares

    4. The Creature: Quetzalcoatlus
    The Nightmare: Flying Dragon Wants to Eat You

    Quetzalcoatlus northropi may have been the largest flying animal ever. The estimated wingspan gleaned from fossil evidence is 36 feet, although earlier extrapolations put it as high as 60 feet. Either way, that’s a big animal. It took a lot of muscle power to get 500 pounds off the ground! This pterosaur lived about 65 million years ago. Quetzalcoatlus northropi ate dinosaurs for breakfast, which is enough to fuel anyone’s nightmares.  
    Illustration by Mark Witton and Darren Naish.
    See the rest here.

    Cyclops Baby Shark

    According to the Pisces Fleet Sportsfishing blog, this one-eyed bull shark fetus was removed from a mother caught in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. Apparently shark researcher Felipe Galvan Magaña is now examining this monocular specimen.

    Whale puts on show for boat

    A normally elusive fin whale is in a playful mood before awed passengers off the California coast. 

    Giant squid found off Florida.

    Giant squid found off Florida.

    Mystery monkey on the loose

    An elusive primate swinging through neighborhoods graduates from fugitive to Web hero.  

    Baboon on run in N.J.

    Possibly from amusement park
    And no, it's not the governor - unfortunately - then again ...
    A baboon is on the loose in New Jersey. Police say they received two calls Thursday afternoon from people who saw the primate, and two more residents reported Friday morning that a baboon was walking around in their neighborhoods.

    Broadband Internet Installed by Horse

    Vermont will soon have statewide broadband Internet access, in part due to the labors of a horse delivering cable to remote areas. Fred and his human Claude Desmarais have lately been working seven days a week on the project:
    As Desmarais murmured a signal, Fred tugged a length of cable from a mammoth truck-mounted reel. With a pull, the cable rose to a lineman, who looped it through a “lasher,” or a device that slides along the aerial line. By this method, the new cable was linked up to it as Fred ambled along.
    The Belgian horse was outfitted with an old-fashioned draft harness and, attached behind that, an iron whippletree, which is a mechanism used for pulling.

    White buffalo a true rarity

    Born to a Texas herd, this recent addition holds a special place in Native American culture.  

    Don't Anger A Crow - He'll Remember You

    A new study shows that crows remember people’s faces and will recruit other crows to attack those that have wronged them. Even weirder -the crows that joined in the mobbing will also remember that person and may lead an attack on their own later on, despite the fact that the individual may never have done anything to them.

    World's Loudest Animal is a Tiny Insect

    tiny water boatman photo  
    Photo: University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
    While normally a species measuring in at only around 2 millimeters in length might be easily overlooked, one tiny freshwater-dwelling critter has found a way to turn peoples' heads. Researchers studying 'water boatman' (Micronecta scholtzi), an aquatic insect native to Europe, say that the minuscule species takes the mantle as the world's loudest animal relative to its body size. The hard-to-see insect is capable of producing a song that reaches a whopping 99.2 decibles -- roughly the equivalent to the sound of a motorcycle. What may be more surprising, however, is just how water boatman make their 'song'.
    Article continues: World's Loudest Animal is a Tiny Insect, Says Study

    Animal Pictures

    That is one Bad-Ass pelican!