Welcome to ...

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, July 2, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
A missing piece of the puzzle arrives early today and enables you to solve a lot of problems.
You also get the signal you've been waiting for.
Today it's okay for you to relax fully and completely.
If you need an external force to give you permission to slow down, this is it.
All your 't's are crossed and your 'i's are dotted -- which means you can finally stop pushing yourself so hard.
Congratulations, you can take a break!

Some of our readers today have been in:
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
The Hague, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Lodz, Lodzkie, Poland
Amsterdamn, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
London, England, United Kingdom
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Dusseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Bergen Op Zoom, Noord Brabant, Netherlands
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Alicante, Comunidad Valenciana, Spain
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

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 Memphis, Baton Rouge, Augusta, Huntsville and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, July 2, the 183rd day of 2011.
There are 182 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
I Forgot Day
International Cherry Pit Spitting Day.

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Washington, DC
Right now, there are a lot of folks who are still struggling with the effects of the recession.  They’re wondering how they’d deal with an unexpected expense if their car breaks down.  They’re worried about layoffs. They’re not sure if they can help their kids pay for college. And for many families, these challenges were around long before the recession hit in 2007.
I ran for President because I believed in an America where ordinary folks could get ahead; where if you worked hard, you could have a better life.  That’s been my focus since I came into office, and that has to be our focus now.  It’s one of the reasons why we’re working to reduce our nation’s deficit.  Government has to start living within its means, just like families do.  We have to cut the spending we can’t afford so we can put the economy on sounder footing, and give our businesses the confidence they need to grow and create jobs.
The good news is, Democrats and Republicans agree on the need to solve the problem.  And over the last few weeks, the Vice President and I have gotten both parties to identify more than $1 trillion in spending cuts.  That’s trillion with a ‘t.’  But after a decade in which Washington ran up the country’s credit card, we’ve got to find more savings to get out of the red.  That means looking at every program and tax break in the budget – every single one – to find places to cut waste and save money.  It means we’ll have to make tough decisions and scale back worthy programs.  And nothing can be off limits, including spending in the tax code, particularly the loopholes that benefit very few individuals and corporations.
Now, it would be nice if we could keep every tax break, but we can’t afford them.  Because if we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, or for hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners, or for oil and gas companies pulling in huge profits without our help – then we’ll have to make even deeper cuts somewhere else.  We’ve got to say to a student, ‘You don’t get a college scholarship.’  We have to say to a medical researcher, ‘You can’t do that cancer research.’ We might have to tell seniors, ‘You have to pay more for Medicare.’
That isn’t right, and it isn’t smart.  We’ve got to cut the deficit, but we can do that while making investments in education, research, and technology that actually create jobs.  We can live within our means while still investing in our future.  That’s what we have to do.  And I’m confident that the Democrats and Republicans in Congress can find a way to give some ground, make some hard choices, and put their shoulders to wheel to get this done for the sake of our country.
On Monday, we celebrate Independence Day, the day we declared a new nation, based on revolutionary idea: that people ought to determine their own destiny; that freedom and self-governance weren’t gifts handed to us by kings or emperors, but the rights of every human being.  We’ve learned in the years since that democracy isn’t always pretty.  We have arguments.  We disagree.  But time and again we’ve proven that we could come together to solve problems.  We remember that while we may not see eye-to-eye on everything, we share a love for this country and a faith in its future.  That’s the spirit we need to harness now.  That’s how we’ll meet this challenge and reach a brighter day.  Thanks for listening, and have a wonderful fourth of July.

Editorial Comment

Checking in on our 'authority' and we sit at 440.
We're in the top 4% of blogs.
We also sit near the top in the World News and Political categories.
Thanks to you, our readers.

Non Sequitur


Did you know ...

That the Scottish song, Auld Lang Syne, is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year.

Nine Fourth of July Myths Debunked

When we Americans are young children, we are taught the basics of our nation’s founding. But often those stories get shortened into easy-to-recall sound bites that don’t tell the whole story. Most of the historical “facts” you remember are oversimplifications of a more nuanced story. For example, I bet you thought the Declaration of Independence was adopted in the fourth day of July in 1776.
Independence Day is celebrated two days too late. The Second Continental Congress voted for a Declaration of Independence on July 2, prompting John Adams to write his wife, “I am apt to believe that [July 2, 1776], will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.”
Adams correctly foresaw shows, games, sports, buns, bells, and bonfires—but he got the date wrong. The written document wasn’t edited and approved until the Fourth of July, and that was the date printers affixed to “broadside” announcements sent out across the land. July 2 was soon forgotten.
Learn other historic tales that were different from what you recall in this article at National Geographic News.

Security Theater


Gaddafi threatens attacks on Europe if NATO raids continue

This from the person who already has led attacks in Europe including the Lockerbie bombing. As much as this war sickens me, eliminating Gaddafi from this planet sounds like a pretty good plan right about now.
A defiant Moammar Gadhafi threatened Friday to carry out attacks in Europe against "homes, offices, families," unless NATO halts its campaign of airstrikes against his regime in Libya.

The Libyan leader, sought by the International Criminal Court for a brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters, delivered the warning in a telephone message played to thousands of supporters gathered in the main square of the capital Tripoli.

It was one of the largest pro-government rallies in recent months, signaling that Gadhafi can still muster significant support. A green cloth, several hundred meters long and held aloft by supporters, snaked above the crowd filling Tripoli's Green Square. Green is Libya's national color.

New twist in Knox trial

Experts say DNA traces used to convict the American student may have been contaminated.

    The truth be told


    Staying at national parks

    You may know about Yellowstone's Old Faithful Inn, but what about a new lodge a few hours away? 

    Remarkably Tiny Houses

    Here's 19 of them.

    There's a quiet movement to forgo housing luxury for efficiency. Tiny houses not only leave a smaller impact on the planet, they also force the homeowner to economize. You can't be a hoarder in a 200 square foot house, and you certainly can't go on a shopping spree every time you go into town.

    The best part about tiny houses is how creative they have to be with space. Nothing is wasted, and extras are discouraged. Yet for the owners of these tiny houses, these are the perfect homes.

    Mercedes Benz

    Janis Joplin

    Gas is 24 cents/gallon cheaper than Memorial Day

    Call it an Independence Day discount. Gasoline prices usually peak in the summer.

    The DMV


    The world in the year 2050

    Two influential countries' global standing will drop because of their declining birth rates.

    Real reason for weight gain

    Growing portion sizes are not the main reason Americans are packing on the pounds, a new study reveals.

    Where you can't buy a Coke

    Coca-Cola dishes out 1.7 billion servings a day, but you won't find it in some countries.  

    Company Recalls Alfalfa Sprouts Over Salmonella Threat

    A potential salmonella outbreak has prompted a multi-state recall of sprouts, an Idaho food company announced Friday.

    Wizard of Id


    Firm fires women only

    The firm's controversial move draws attention to the country's treatment of women.  

    Secrets of a housekeeper

    Show the person who cleans your home the courtesy you'd give any employee.  

    Career change at any age

    These five fields look at skills before age when it comes to hiring new employees.

    S&P Says US Will Get Lowest Rating if it Defaults

    A Standard & Poor's executive said the agency will give the U.S. government its lowest credit rating if Congress fails to raise the borrowing limit and the United States defaults on its debt.

    Mystery of dropped receipt for $100 million account

    A mystery New Yorker left a receipt at a cash point that disclosed he or she had a balance of almost $100 million (£62 million) sitting in a high-street savings account.

    The receipt, discovered hanging out of a Capital One ATM machine in East Hampton, showed that after dispensing $400 – and $2.75 for use of the machine – the account contained $99,864,731.94.

    NYers Ask How Gay Marriage Will Affect Benefits

    As same-sex marriage becomes legal in New York - a world financial capital that often sets the corporate tone for businesses everywhere, and a city with a large gay and lesbian community - companies and individuals are wrestling with the changing complexities of their financial realities.

    A new store

    Two young businessmen in Nevada were sitting down for a break in their soon-to-be new store in the shopping mall. As yet, the store wasn’t ready, with only a few shelves and display racks set up.One said to the other, “I’ll bet that any minute some senile senior citizen is going to walk by, put his face to the window, and ask what we’re selling.”
    Sure enough, just a moment later, a curious senior gentleman walked up to the window, looked around intensely and rapped on the glass, then in a loud voice asked, “What are you sellin’ here?”
    One of the men replied sarcastically, “We’re selling ass-holes.”
    Without skipping a beat, the old timer said, “You must be doing well. Only two left.”
    Seniors — don’t mess with them, They didn’t get old by being stupid!

    Car nearing 3 million miles

    Irv Gordon’s 1966 Volvo P1800 has driven the equivalent of six roundtrips to the moon.  

    Long Lost Da Vinci Painting Verified, Worth $200M

    Long Lost Da Vinci Painting Verified, Worth $200M
    "Salvator Mundi," or Savior of the World, is a long-lost painting now attributed to Leonardo da Vinci.

    Vintage Photo

    Marion Davis 1927

    Restoring a Photograph from the 1870s

    Bob Rosinsky was asked to restore a tintype photograph from the 19th century. On his blog, he walks us through the process of how he did it. No, we don’t watch him change every pixel, but you’ll be surprised at the difference between a scanner image of the tintype and a photograph using an ultra-high resolution camera with a macro lens.
    Here, you see the before-and-after pictures.

    Key Guns

    Imagine that you’re a jailer in the Nineteenth Century. You have to open an occupied cell, perhaps to transfer a prisoner or deliver a meal. To open the cell, you need your hands free. But that would leave you unarmed. The solution is a key gun: a gadget that opens the cell while the jailer remains armed.
    You can view five more examples at the here.

    Shakespeare was a Head?

    Shakespeare Was a Pothead, Says Anthropologist
    Could the Bard have hit the bong? A South African anthropologist wants to exhume Shakespeare's remains to determine if the literary giant was a pot smoker.

    Did Shakespeare Smoke Weed?

    A study of several 17th-century smoking pipes, including a number found in the garden of Shakespeare's home in England, has revealed traces of cannabis, according to South African scientists. Now a team of paleontologists want to dig him up to prove it.

    Francis Thackeray, an anthropologist and director of the Institute for Human Evolution at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, has made a formal request to the Church of England to unearth the playwright. After determining the identity of the remains, Thackeray's team hopes to find out more about Shakespeare's life and even the cause of his death.

    The DOJ's war on pot

    Via Huff Post Hill (which seems to have a special place in its virtual heart for potheads):
    DOJ RESTARTS POT WAR, CUZ WHY NOT? - Medical marijuana advocates are annoyed by a new Justice Department threat to raid and prosecute medical pot shops even in states where the drug is legal. "The term 'caregiver' as used in [a previous] memorandum meant just that: individuals providing care to individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses, not commercial operations cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana," Deputy Attorney General James Cole writes. So using the product within state laws is okay. Growing it or selling it within state laws is not. "Cancer patients are going to have to grow their own product or buy it on the street somewhere," said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, which represents Big Pot.

    China opens longest bridge

    China's enormous span is as long as a marathon in length and cost more than a billion dollars.

    Good Question

    Nagasaki 1945, after the atomic bomb
    Nagasaki 2011, following earthquake and tsunami
    What the hell is that arch made of?

    The Most Undeservingly Hated Creatures

    I know just as well as anyone else how easy it is to hate rats, mosquitoes and wasps, but like many other pests, these creatures are entirely necessary for our survival and for the ecosystems we call home. This great Cracked article explains why.

    Awesome Pictures


    A Lunar Sunrise Over Tycho's Mountains

    Tycho mountains
    NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter captures a dazzling view of the morning sun over the moon's Tycho Crater.

    India's Rural Poor Give Up On Power Grid, Go Solar

    Boommi Gowda used to fear the night.

    Her vision fogged by glaucoma, she could not see by just the dim glow of a kerosene lamp, so she avoided going outside where king cobras slithered freely and tigers carried off neighborhood dogs.

    The Sun Produces Quite A Bit Of Energy

    Here's something to ponder:
    The percentage of U.S. energy generated from solar power: 1%.



    Daily Comic Relief


    Upping the cute factor

    The only thing cuter than Mackie's expressions are the sounds that accompany them.  

    Animal Pictures