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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, July 13, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
The cold, hard truth is quite simple: You can't have a positive outcome if you put in only negative energy.
So today, make sure that everything you do is focused around the good things that you're trying to accomplish -- and not the bad things that you're trying to avoid.
This is a wonderful time of hope in your life, so do your best to tap into the wistful, romantic side of your personality.
It will help you keep a sunny outlook -- and create beautiful things.

Some of our readers today have been in:
 Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Leicester, England, United Kingdom
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Berne, Bern, Switzerland
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Lima. Lima, Peru
Madrid, Madrid, 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 Oshkosh, Lansing, Kansas City, Las Vegas and more.

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, July 13, the 194th day of 2011.
There are 171 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
National French Fries Day.
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Fake Democrats lose in Wisconsin primary recalls

All six fake democrats (repugicans in cheap disguise) lost to Democrats supported by the party in primaries Tuesday that are the first in a series of recall elections targeting nine repugican Wisconsin state senators for their positions on repugican Gov. Scott Walker's divisive anti-union rights restrictions. 
Full Story

Non Sequitur


Origami's practical uses

An ancient Japanese art form has developed beyond a symbol of good luck.  

Historian in document theft

The man’s suspicious behavior leads to a multimillion-dollar trove of papers, some signed by Lincoln.  

Deadly explosions rock Mumbai

Three blasts in different locations during India's rush hour injure dozens and kill at least 8.

Bad Cops

Florida correctional officer arrested in drug sting

Vermont deputy accused of assault is now facing more charges for allegedly calling his accuser and threatening her

Fired Florida deputy gets 27 months in fraud case

Ohio police Tase and pepper spray mentally handicapped teen after mistaking speech impediment for "disrespect"

Nebraska cop charged with assault at 'Nebraska City Rampage'

Bail review set for California ex-detective in off-duty death

Texas police officer fired, charged with stealing driver's gun

Former Idaho deputy bound over on 1st degree murder charge

Chicago cop is accused in $50,000 swindle of dad's estate

Former Missouri deputy in court on burglary, theft charges

Georgia detention officer sentenced to 5 years for fatal shooting

Fired New Jersey police officer charged with giving false info while seeking job

Car crash victim dies after being Tased by Florida police

Mississippi deputy jailer charged with sexual assault

Florida deputy arrested, relieved of duty in excessive force case

Fired Oregon sheriff's deputy arrested for rape

Tennessee deputy jailer arrested for rape

Indiana deputy arrested for domestic violence

Un-named Florida deputy arrested, under investigation

Fired Arizona police officer arrested for alleged sex offenses involving children

Alabama corrections officer arrested on charges of sexual conduct with an inmate

Charges filed against Florida officer accused of targeting and robbing Hispanics

Florida cop guilty of molesting daughter

Tennessee police officer arrested after producing gun during domestic dispute

Texas police officer charged for trying to kiss woman at traffic stop

Iowa police officer arrested for domestic assault

Georgia sheriff says to expect more cops to be arrested as federal investigation into corruption continues

Maryland police officer admits participating in smuggling of untaxed cigarettes and alcohol in corruption case

Massachusetts jail officer convicted of drug smuggling

Mississippi family says deputies had wrong house when they interrupted party, used Tasers

Border town disbands police

Shocking allegations cause a tiny New Mexico city to fire all of its cops and rely on a county sheriff. 

Keith Olberman on being blackmailed by Faux

Tell'em Keith!



Jobs paying new grads best

Orthodontists and nine other professions offer lofty incomes right from the start.

Clean up your credit report

Many people focus on the wrong things when they try to boost their credit scores.  

Underwater on a house by $70K

Even if your home has lost some of its value, staying put can be a wise financial move. 

A 20% home-price drop seen

Real estate is facing a big problem, says an economist who forecast the housing crash.

The repugican rift over debt proposal

Mitch McConnell suggests Obama could raise the debt ceiling without repugican approval.

How Eric Cantor thwarted the debt deal

A frosty rift between the House's two top Republicans hampers negotiations with President Obama. 

Will we hit the debt ceiling?

With time running short, there's lots of pessimism about the prospects for a deal.

Is college worth the debt?

For one single father overwhelmed by massive loan payments, the answer is complicated.  

Awesome Pictures


Seaweeds Could be a Source of Next-Gen Biofuels

Photo: Wikipedia, CC
Offshore Wind Farms Might be Best Place to Grow Seaweed 'Farms'
Biofuels made with food crops are generally a bad idea. By competing with food production for land, they increase the price of many commodities which are already expensive for the poorest people on Earth. This is so bad that the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has released a warning that U.S. and European policy to increase the production of biofuels could lead to almost 200,000 deaths in poorer countries. So if we're going to make biofuels, they better be made from non-food sources of biomass... So how about seaweeds?

Rock On


Will the burger craze fizzle?

Americans will lose their appetite for chains like Five Guys and Shake Shack, says one analyst.  

British Columbia Man Faces Six Months in Jail for Growing Food

Lantzville farm before and after image
Image: Dirk Becker
Last week Colleen brought us the story of a woman in Michigan who is facing jail time for planting a garden. Sadly, this type of heavy-handed by-the-letter enforcement of bylaws exists at the same time as people embrace urban agriculture as a viable source of high quality nutrition. A man in Lanztville, British Columbia is facing a similar battle with the local government after converting his 2.5 acre "residential" lot from a gravel pit into a thriving organic farm. His refusal to "cease all agricultural activity" could land him six months in jail.
Article continues: British Columbia Man Faces Six Months in Jail for Growing Food

Taiwanese Man Shells Out $400,000 for a Croissant He Never Got

People often spend outlandish sums of money for fine foods. 

But about $3.50 for a fancy croissant doesn't sound too bad, does it? 

What about $400,000?

Grilling away your gut

The barbecue can be an effective weight-loss tool, saving you at least 500 calories per meal.

Dirty Socks Join Fight Against Malaria

Humans recoil from a pair of smelly socks, but in Tanzania they are proving to be a cheap way for scientists to lure mosquitoes and hopefully prevent malaria.

Did you know ...

If your hair is a reddish hue, you might need to take extra precautions against pain.

Good Posture Makes You Tougher

Mothers have been telling their children to stop slouching for ages.

It turns out that mom was onto something and that poor posture not only makes a bad impression, but can actually make you physically weaker.

According to a study by Scott Wiltermuth, assistant professor of management organization at the USC Marshall School of Business, [...]
Good Posture Makes You Tougher

Doctors take stand on vaccines

Some frustrated doctors tell parents to vaccinate their kids or seek health care elsewhere. 

Sending kids through the mail

From the archives of the National Postal Museum comes this photo of a postal carrier with a young boy in his mailbag.
After parcel post service was introduced in 1913, at least two children were sent by the service. With stamps attached to their clothing, the children rode with railway and city carriers to their destination. The Postmaster General quickly issued a regulation forbidding the sending of children in the mail after hearing of those examples.

Share of kids in U.S. at new low

Kids make up less of America's population than ever before, census figures show.  

Killing stuns neighborhood

The gruesome death of an 8-year-old boy leaves a Jewish community on edge. 

Wizard of Id


A 1,500-Year-Old Blood-Red Tomb Inside a Mayan Pyramid

Photo: INAH
When archaologists lowered a small camera into an unexplored Maya pyramid, they saw this fascinating image: a 1,500-year-old blood-red funeral chamber.
The tomb was discovered in 1999, though researchers have been unable to get inside due to the precarious structural state of the pyramid above. Any effort to penetrate the tomb could damage the contents within, according to the team, which is affiliated with Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.
Instead, the archaeologists lowered the 1.6-by-2.4-inch (4-by-6-centimeter) camera through a 6-inch-wide (15-centimeter-wide) hole in an upper floor of the pyramid.
National Geographic has more photos: Here.

Magical 'Manhattanhenge'

Twice a year, the sun aligns with New York City streets at dusk in a brilliant light show.  

Four Natural Wonders Added to World Heritage List

The United Nations has added four new nature sites to the UNESCO World Heritage List, meaning they have been found to be “superlative natural phenomena”, which is one of the selection criteria. The new sites are the Kenya Lake System (pictured), Japan’s Ogasawara Islands, Australia’s Ningaloo Coast, and the Wadi Rum Protected Area in Jordan.

See photographs of these beautiful areas at National Geographic News.

Colorful Milky Way photos

The galaxy's immense beauty is revealed in a series of amazing earthbound photos.

"Ancient buried landscape" off the coast of Scotland

Scientists have found evidence of an "ancient buried landscape" that was once above North Atlantic waters, the temporary result--at least in geographical terms--of thermal turmoil beneath the planet's surface.
In "Transient convective uplift of an ancient buried landscape," Ross A. Hartley and his co-authors write that pressure forced parts of the European continental shelf above water in three discrete steps of up to 400m.
Here, we use three-dimensional seismic data to reconstruct one of these ancient landscapes that formed off the northwest coast of Europe during the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. We identify a drainage network within the landscape and, by modelling the profiles of individual rivers within this network, we reconstruct the history of surface uplift. We show that the landscape was lifted above sea level in a series of three discrete steps of 200-400 m each. After about 1 million years of subaerial exposure, this landscape was reburied
P.S. This new Atlantis' time in the sun was a good 55m years ago, which means we can just go totally science fiction with it.
More details from Annalee Newitz at io9: This lost continent off the coast of Scotland disappeared beneath the ocean 55 million years ago [io9]

Giant Antarctic volcanoes

A range containing a dozen volcanoes, several of which are still active, is found below the surface.

Rare frozen lake bubbles

A photographer's trip to a glacier reveals stunning images of trapped bubbles beneath the surface.

Hominid Aliens

The fact that most aliens from outer space in science fiction movies and TV shows have the same shape as humans can be explained rather simply: that’s the only way an actor can fit into the costume. But it doesn’t help us imagine the probability that any extraterrestrial life would not resemble humans at all. Kyle Munkittrick constructed a theory, adapted from an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that reconciles this anomaly by explaining why distant planets have human-shaped intelligent beings, called the Hominid Panspermia Theory.
Intelligent life evolved in the universe – 0nce. The First Intelligent Species became spacefaring but, unlike the adventures depicted in most science fiction, they found an uninhabited universe. Non-intelligent species were too rudimentary or too far away to be detected. Thus, as both a memorial to themselves and to enliven the universe, the First Intelligent Species seeded the necessary DNA for the eventual evolution of intelligent life in the primordial oceans of every planet that could support life. The First Intelligent Species did not only design the DNA to evolve intelligently, but to parallel their own evolution. An application of the idea that “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” on the scale of life itself. Our corner of the universe thereby became the home of Vulcans, Romulans, Cardassians, Humans, Betazoids, and other hominid species which are all decedents of the First Intelligent Species. Therefore, in the eyes of the universe, the many hominid species are closely related despite their disparate home planets.
Of course, the theory itself is science fiction, but the mental exercise helps the scientist to enjoy science fiction, no matter how cheesy the alien design. As a bonus, the graphic at the article has twenty aliens you are invited to help identify.

Melting Comet

Intense heat and radiation cause a passing comet to crash into the star and melt.  



Giant crocodile photo surfaces

A snapshot of tourists next to an animal estimated at 17 feet long seems incredible.  

Animal Pictures