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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.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Sometimes you have to pick your battles.
Right now your resources and energy could be running low -- and you won't be able to put out every fire that ignites.
Your best strategy for this unpredictable day is to prioritize and be ready to compromise; you may have to swallow your pride to succeed at a goal, so be prepared for that.
One of the smartest ways to manage difficult people is to take the high road.
Let scheming folks find their fate without your involvement.

Some of our readers today have been in:
London, England, United Kingdom
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Cork, Cork, ireland
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Alicante, Comunidad Valenciana, Spain

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 Winnetka, Shawnee Mission, Trenton, Zephyrhills and more.

Today is:
Today is Thursday, July 7, the 188th day of 2011.
There are 177 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Chocolate Day
Tell The Truth Day.
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Non Sequitur


New terror method warning

Terrorist groups come up with a morbid way to get explosives past tight airport security.  

Pakistan Bars bin Laden Relatives from Leaving

An independent Pakistani commission investigating the US raid in May that killed Osama bin Laden has barred the family of the former al-Qaida leader from leaving the country, setting it up for a potential conflict with the country's military.

Pressure mounts on Murdoch

Phone hacking allegations against his tabloid may be just the tip of the iceberg for the media giant.  

More repugican shenanigans

I can tell the repugicans where they can go
Since they think it's OK to not tell voters where they can go vote.
They hate the Constitution.
They hate America.
They are hell-bent on total destruction of our social society....
Last week, the repugican-led house passed an election law overhaul without the highly restrictive voter ID provision. However, the house tweaked the bill to weaken a law mandating poll workers to direct voters in the wrong precinct to their correct voting location.
Under the new language, a poll worker need not direct a voter to where they are eligible, adding that “it is the duty of the individual casting the ballot to ensure that the individual is casting that ballot in the correct precinct.”  

Repugicans push back on effort to limit kids' food ads

In typical repugican callousness:

House repugicans are siding with food companies resisting efforts to pressure them to stop advertising junk food for children.

End of the 40-hr. workweek

Whether your hours will increase or decrease depends on if you’re a high- or low-level employee.  

Excuses for missing work

A smart alibi makes all the difference when it comes to playing hooky. 

Culinary DeLites

From doctored dishes to cocktail flubs, a top critic sounds off on the 10 worst practices.  

Signs your heart is unhealthy

Some victims have these symptoms in the months or even years before a heart attack.

After 41 years, mom found

Police believed they found the remains of Lulu Cora Hood in 1996, but a new test changes everything.

Indian tribes welcome much-maligned FEMA homes

Wanda Tiger and her husband needed a new home after a long-term house-sitting arrangement came to an end.

The Terrafugia Flying Car-Now With Road Approval

The Terrafugia Transition has received exemptions from the NHTSA that make it legal to drive on the road. With polycarbonate windows instead of automotive safety glass and tires not normally considered street legal, it has nevertheless passed muster for both the sky and the highway in terms of weight and safety. Alex last reported on Terrafugia’s innovation on June 29th, 2010 and the company has been doing  lots of fine tuning since then to attain the proper licensing and exemptions needed to ensure these roadable aircraft are ready for delivery by the end of 2012.

Cool Corridors Around the World

Who knew? A tunnel dug underneath the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea is open for tours, even though you cannot access the ground above it! This is just one of several odd and interesting corridors you can read about in a list at Atlas Obscura. Others are in Vietnam, Brooklyn, Liverpool, and Australia.

How Alcatraz Worked


Alcatraz is an island located in the San Francisco Bay, offshore from San Francisco, California, USA. Often referred to as 'The Rock,' the small island served as a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a Federal Bureau of Prisons federal prison until 1963.

Today, the island is a historic site operated by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is open to tours. Alcatraz has been featured in many movies, TV shows, cartoons, books, comics, and games.

Czech police used murder victim's skull as ornament

Czech police who used a suspected murder victim's skull as an ornament are being sued by the dead man's relatives. The man's skeleton was found three years ago but the murder investigation was closed because it was not possible to find out how the man had died.

But the body remained unidentified until recently when a new computer program allowed police to identify the body had belonged to missing Francis Vandas by taking a scan of the skull. But after it was cleaned the skull ended up being used as a bookend - with a police cap on the top - by officers at Volary, in the Czech Republic.

They even took pictures of the skull, which are now the subject of a legal case by the man's family, and posted them on a social networking site. Relative Ruzena Breznanova, 59, said: "When I turned up to collect the remains I saw the skull sitting on a shelf next to a beer mug with a police cap on it. It was shocking. The chief of homicide led me into his office, took a cap off this skull and handed it to me saying here's your brother-in-law. I was really appalled."

When the woman's complaint ended up in local newspapers readers pointed out that the snaps had even been posted on a social media site. Police spokesman Radek Sandorova said: "We are carrying out a full investigation and if it turns out to be true then we will take disciplinary action against the officer concerned. I want an explanation. No one deserves to have their head used like this after death, having no respect?"

Murder Solved ... 130 years later.

Victorian Skull Found in TV Naturalist's Backyard
A skull discovered in British TV naturalist David Attenborough's back yard was a victim of a Victorian-era murder, a coroner discovered.
Another take on this story:
UK coroner closes case on 130-year-old murder case
A British coroner has closed the case on a 130-year-old London murder mystery, ruling that a skull recently found in a garden belonged to a woman killed in 1879.

No Cops!

It's a free-for-all In Alto:

The entire police force laid off in Texas town.
A small Texas town has shut down its entire police department. Facing dramatic budget cuts, the city’s efforts to control costs in Alto sent the police force home June 15, and law enforcement is now on hold.
Former police chief Charles Barron and four ex-officers secured the evidence room, changed the passwords on their computers and locked the department's doors, preparing for a closure that will last at least six months.
How will they handle crime?
County sheriff's deputies will handle calls in Alto, but that means police response times that were less than 3 minutes are now up to 15 minutes, and deputies are spread thin, according to CBS News. Twenty-five deputies and reservists will oversee a 1,000 square mile county.
More advice:
"Everybody's talking about 'bolt your doors, buy a gun,' " said Monty Collins, Alto's mayor, who was against the measure.
See that speed limit sign? Just ignore it.
alto tx

Dissing the Hood

A Florida cop faces suspension for warning people about a dangerous part of town.

Two women fight over saved parking space

Two women got into a fight in a Carowinds parking lot on July 4th - as one tried to save parking spaces hours before the fireworks show.

Insanely Frugal Fathers

Here Are 16 Of Them

Frugality is an important lesson to learn, but there is certainly a point where it becomes ridiculous. Over at Consumerist, there is a great roundup of the 16 most over-the-top tales of frugal fathers. To be fair, some aren’t nearly as bad as others, but when your dad is the type to have “hooked up the tv to an exercise bike so that we kids had to peddle to watch our cartoons. TV lost its charm quickly and we went outside to play,” you know your pop may have crossed the line -of course, that is a great way to get your kids to exercise.

New York bathroom attendants rationing toilet paper

The city of New York is so hard up for cash that it's rationing toilet paper in women's public restrooms to the point where bathroom attendants are doling out a few measly squares per patron, along the world-famous Coney Island boardwalk. Parks Department employees were leaving toilet-paper dispensers empty last week and instead forcing astonished female beachgoers to form "ration lines" in the bathrooms.

Regina Ballone, 25, of Brooklyn visited a boardwalk bathroom at West 16th Street Wednesday and was "grossed out" at the thought of someone else handling her toilet paper. "Never in my life have I experienced anything like this," she said. "I walked toward a stall, and a bathroom attendant stopped me by shouting, 'Hey, mami! There's no toilet paper here,' and she whipped out a big roll for me to grab some."

Beachgoers also have been forced to line up for their paltry allotment of the city's cheap, single-ply toilet paper at the boardwalk's other women's restroom at Stillwell Avenue. Benedikte Friis and Ann Damgaard, both 22, from Denmark, said they enjoyed visiting Coney Island last week, except when it came to the bathrooms.

"It's very weird that someone decides how much paper you get because they don't know what situation you're in," said Friis, 22, laughing in disbelief. "You might need more!" Toilet-paper rationing isn't an issue in the men's rooms, but only because they apparently don't have any to ration.



Dust storm blankets Phoenix

A wall of dust reported to be 50 miles wide in some spots drastically reduces visibility.

Don't fuck with Ma Nature!

Rare Saturn storm "still going like crazy"

It began as a bright white dot in Saturn's northern hemisphere. 
Within days, the dot grew larger and stormier.

A Double Dose of Surprise

Spider's Heart
Spider's Heart: A Double Dose of Surprise
Taking a non-invasive look at how a tarantula's heart beats revealed an unexpected rhythm.  

Awesome Pictures


An 18th Century Egyptian-Inspired Room Found

18th Century Egyptian-Inspired Room Found
The room, decorated with hieroglyphs and Egyptian gods, reveals early Europe's fascination with ancient Egypt.  

Archaeologists have found the tomb of Antony and Cleopatra?

Archaeologists Hawass and Martinez Believe They May Have Found the Tomb of Antony and Cleopatra. 
A radar survey of the temple of Taposiris Magna, west of Alexandria, Egypt, was completed last month as part of the search for the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony.

Who built Göbekli Tepe?

Göbekli Tepe (Turkish for "Potbelly hill") is a hilltop sanctuary erected on the highest point of an elongated mountain ridge some 15 km northeast of the town of Şanlıurfa (formerly Urfa / Edessa) in southeastern Turkey. Göbekli Tepe is the oldest human-made place of worship yet discovered.[ The site, currently undergoing excavation by German and Turkish archaeologists, was erected by hunter-gatherers in the 12th millennium BC (c. 11,500 years ago), before the advent of sedentism. Together with Nevalı Çori, it has revolutionized understanding of the Eurasian Neolithic.

Earliest Europeans Were Cannibals And Wore Bling

The 32,000-year-old human remains reveal incriminating cut marks on the bones.

There Be Giants On Earth

Do legends and traditions of storybook giants have some basis in fact? Fossils of Gigantopithecus suggest the species reached almost ten feet tall and lived up to 300,000 years ago. Fortean Times looks at the possibility that the primate wasn’t an ape, but something a bit closer to human, and might not even be extinct.
There is plenty of American Indian lore concerning True Giants; they have left their mark in the names given to places in North America. And there are modern reports for them as well, from all over the world. To survive at all, they remain shy of human beings. It is no accident that the detailed observations of these giants are so often made from a distance and that the best records generally come from mountainous areas, just as they do in North America. There are two reasons for this.
Firstly, these surviving giants no longer confront human beings if it can be avoided. In rare instances of prolonged visual contact, they have kept their distance from observers. Secondly, in the New World’s Pacific Northwest there has been an unparalleled effort to collect accounts of hairy beings of all kinds. If comparable efforts were made elsewhere, we would be likely to hear of similar matter-of-fact and detailed sightings of True Giants.
Of course, you’ll want to read this while taking a few large grains of salt. 



Mega-wombat unearthed

A skeleton of the largest marsupial to ever roam the earth is discovered in northern Australia.  

Stink Bug Invasion Harshing Vintners' Mellow

Do I detect a note of pestilence? Farmers in Virginia, Oregon, Washington and California are battling an invasion of the Asian brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive pest with no native enemies which has been decimating farmers’ fruit and vegetable crops; now, the stink bug has moved into the vineyards.
The bugs are a nuisance to farmers due to using their tongues to suck juice from fruits and vegetables. While this does not influence the flavor of the produce, it does leave visible damage that makes it less appealing to shoppers. Crops such as apples, peaches, blackberries, sweet and field corn, soybeans, tomatoes, lima beans and green peppers were all damaged last season.
This year, wineries have noticed the insects clinging to grapes that are being harvested for wine, according to usnews.com. If the stink bugs get crushed with the grapes, it only takes 10 of them crushed into one ton of grapes to affect the flavor of the wine. Workers who harvest the grapes have been removing the insects from the clumps by hand.
Scientists have been searching for a way to combat the stink bug problem. One area of research involves using the Asian wasp. The non-stinging wasps lay their eggs inside of the eggs of the stink bugs. The developing wasps then eat the developing stink bugs.
Tests are still being done to determine if the wasps would cause additional problems if they were introduced to areas of the U.S. The tests could take an additional two years to complete before the wasps would be approved for use in orchards, vineyards and gardens.
Every time the idea of controlling one pest species involves introducing another non-native species, I spend a few minutes thinking about the episode of The Simpsons in which Bart lets loose a frog in Australia. Let’s hope this wasp they’re thinking of introducing isn’t like that.

A Staggering Spectacle Of Nature

The Monarch Butterfly Migration 

Monarch butterflies are renowned for their migration. Yet no single monarch has ever completed the 2,000 mile round trip - it is generational in nature because of the sheer distance involved. There being safety in numbers this leads to what is surely one of nature's most spectacular sights - that of millions of monarchs congregating together.

Drunk Puppy Buying Ban

A New York City pet store that's surrounded by bars has banned drunken puppy-buying. Workers at Le Petite Puppy in Greenwich Village say customers tend to stumble in after happy hour and purchase a dog without thinking.

Rare zonkey donkra zedonk type of thing born in China

A rare hybrid cross of a donkey father and a zebra mother is attracting attention in the Xiamen Haicang Safari Park after he was born on Sunday. The "zedonk" has black and white stripes prominently displayed on his four legs, but his brown body haired looks more like a donkey, said one of his keepers at the park.

He is said to be in good health and has bonded well with his zebra mother, who raises her powerful hind legs to attack any animal or zoo keeper trying to reach the baby animal.

The Xiamen Haicang Safari Park keeps its only zebra and 3 male donkeys in the same enclosure. Zoo keepers didn’t know about the mate until the zebra got pregnant last July, leaving it hard to identify the real father among the 3 donkeys.

It’s the fourth reported case around the world, and Prof. Wang Yiquan from Xiamen University said donkeys and zebras are different species having the same chromosome which makes a hybrid offspring biologically work, but the romance would not likely happen if the two animals were not kept in the closed breeding environment together.

Animal Pictures