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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 15, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Someone will make an innocent suggestion today that may ruffle your feathers a bit too much.
This person doesn't mean to hurt your feelings -- he or she is just trying to help.
Your overly acute sensitivity is probably due to some repeated harsh criticism from an entirely different source -- don't blame one person for the offenses of another.
Your judgment may be a bit too easily affected by emotion right now, and you should think twice before getting defensive.

Some of our readers today have been in:
 Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
London, England, United Kingdom
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
The Hague, Zuid-Holland, Netehrlands
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
London, Ontario, Canada
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Leeds, England, United Kingdom
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Leicester, England, United Kingdom
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Athens, Attiki, Greece
Irakleion, Iraklion, Greece
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Dehili, Delhi, India
Stoke On Trent, England, United Kingdom
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 Sacramento, Chicago, El Paso, New Ulm and more.

Today is:
Today is Friday, July 15, the 196th day of 2011.
There are 169 days left in the year.

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

Accidental Western Scene Made From Water Stains

Greg In the Desert shot this photo of pier in Ohio where the water stains formed a sunset-styled western scene complete with a cowboy on his horse. Sometimes it’s amazing what coincidence can do.

Non Sequitur


FBI probes News Corp. over 9/11 phone hack allegations

Hey, all you religio-wingnuts out there - here's a photo of your Bogey man ... 'satan' incarnate!

The FBI has opened an investigation into allegations that media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

News probe spreads to U.S.

Rupert Murdoch faces increased scrutiny from lawmakers who want to launch an investigation.  

The truth be told

repugicans are so immature and childish, not to mention ignorant and stupid.

Real stories of the jobless

Personal details bring home the grim reality of Americans' struggle with joblessness.

Sad wages for food jobs

Base pay for waitstaff in many states is $2.13 — which hasn't changed in 20 years.  

How to switch careers

One of these education programs can help you get started in a field you’ll love.  

Credit report rules change

Lenders may soon be sending you the scores that they use to decide on your application.  

Debt talks get personal

Damn, they told the repugicans the truth about what they are! Might be there is a backbone firming up?
Democrats call one repugican "childish" and say another has "lost his mind."

Debt stalemate and your money

If a deal isn't struck, consumers and retirees will feel the pain in unexpected ways.

Fed may offer a boost to the economy

Ben Bernanke tells Congress the Federal Reserve will provide more stimulus if necessary.  

Free trips from Mint glitch

Frequent fliers use a loophole in a government coin program to travel around the world. 

America's top hotels

These hotspots boast opulent rooms, award-winning spas, even championship golf courses. 

State or not a state?

John Rolczynski has argued for 16 years that his state missed a key component to join the U.S. in 1889.  

Family feud over Kennedy home

Members of America's political dynasty raise concerns about the future of the family compound.  

Upping the cute factor


U.S. team invites dream guest

Players say the presence of this special person would cap off a spectacular tournament.  

Oldest soccer rule book sells for $1.4M

The world's oldest soccer rule book has been sold for $1.42 million. The handwritten pamphlet from 1857 was put on auction at Sotheby's in London as part of an archive of Sheffield FC, the world's oldest soccer club.

Rare Austen work's big price

A draft of an unpublished book called "The Watsons" is the only surviving manuscript of its kind.

A voice from the past

123 years later, voice of Thomas A. Edison's talking doll is heard again
It took a physicist and a computer engineer to unlock a recording that Thomas Edison made 123 years ago.

Indonesians Dancers Make a Winning Picture

Photojournalist Prakash Hatvalne of Bhopal, India took this shot that won the Grand Prize in the 8th annual Smithsonian Photo Contest.

You can see the winners in all the different categories, and find out how you can enter the 9th annual contest at Smithsonian.

Indian Levitation Trick Revealed

Yogis have claimed for hundreds years to be able to levitate though through spiritual means. See the video at the link to see the trick used to create such an illusion.



Is McDonald's a Restaurant or a Supermarket?

It's an abomination

Foodies may argue that the stuff you get from McDonald’s barely qualify as food, but we ask the question above because of the actions of the company itself.

You see, McDonald’s lawyers are arguing that the fast food chain should be classified as supermarkets rather than restaurants to avoid a huge tax bill:
In a legal battle that is likely to see dozens of other fast food chains in the world’s largest country following suit, McDonald’s successfully argued that it should be classified as a food retailer for tax purposes rather than as a restaurant since many of its products are pre-packaged and sold to customers in the style of a supermarket rather than a restaurant.
It is a decision that will allow McDonald’s in Russia to continue paying ten per cent tax on its profits rather than the eighteen per cent tax levied on restaurants.

Foods that can make you fat

Rice cakes, granola, even dried fruit can be loaded with sugar and calories that you don't need. 

Ten fun frozen treats

Homemade concoctions like strawberry sorbet and lemon-basil sherbet keep dessert interesting.  

Meet the Micro Pepquino Melon

Photo: mr.pepquinohead [Flickr]
No, it’s not ’shopped. You’re looking at the Pepquino melon, which looks very much like a micro watermelon (but tastes like a cucumber instead):
While they might look genetically-engineered, Pepquinos come from an ancient wild plant in South America, and are 100% natural. They are just 3-cm-long and 2 cm in diameter, but apart from their size, they look just like regular watermelons. But only on the outside, because once sliced, the juicy green flesh of a cucumber is revealed. They also have the crisp fresh taste of cucumbers and usually served in luxury restaurants, as appetizers, in summer salads, stir fried and even as a sorbet.
The rare Pepquinos were discovered and brought to Europe in 1987, by a Dutch company that later began producing them and selling seeds. They’ve only recently started cultivating them in the US and Asia, but their popularity in foodie communities is growing rapidly.

Awesome Pictures


Ancient, moss-covered canoe found in Alaska forest

An unfinished Indian canoe, apparently abandoned 500 years ago, has been discovered in a remote section of an Alaska rain forest, according to officials.

Egypt's Oldest Pyramid Saved From Collapse By Giant Airbags

Egypt's oldest pyramid has been saved from collapse by giant airbags which have been used to prop up the ceilings. The 4,700-year-old building has been stabilized so engineers can carry out permanent repairs. The giant structure was built as a burial place for Pharaoh Djoser, a warrior who reigned in the third dynasty for 19 years.

'Tomb raiders' find relic

An illegal dig unearths a Caligula statue and leads to the arrest of archaeological pirates.



Snow leopard colony found

Camera traps stationed in a remote corner of the globe reveal the elusive big cats.  

A Gorilla is Given A Video Camera ...

A Gorilla is given a video camera … this isn’t the beginning of a joke, but rather an interesting experiment to see things from the Gorilla’s perspective. At the link you can see the Gorilla home video.
A gorilla at the UK’s Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust was recently given a video camera, and you can see the results in the video up top. Honestly, the gorilla’s cinematography is way more coherent than most action movies. Not to be outdone by a bunch of macaque photography enthusiasts, staff at the Jersey wildlife trust gave an HD camera to a 27-year-old Silverback gorilla named Ya Kwanza. The camera was covered in oats and honey to attract Ya Kwanza’s attention, and it was encased in an indestructible box so that the gorilla couldn’t have too fun with it.

Can A Monkey License Its Copyrights To A News Agency?

In a story we brought you last week, a monkey grabbed photographer David Slater’s camera and took several pictures, including this one of himself. This picture doesn’t have a copyright notice, but two other pictures at Mail Online have a watermark from Caters News Agency. Techdirt finds that a little strange.
So here’s the legal question: how did the copyright get assigned to Caters? I can’t see how there’s been a legal transfer. The monkeys were unlikely to have sold or licensed the work. I’m assuming that it’s likely that the photographer, Slater, probably submitted the photos to the agency, and from a common sense view of things, that would make perfect sense. But from a letter-of-the-law view of things, Slater almost certainly does not hold the copyrights on those images, and has no legal right to then sell, license or assign them to Caters.
I don’t think anyone is worrying about the monkey filing an infringement suit, but it is an interesting question.  

Update: Caters News Agency contacted Techdirt, and asked them to take down the two pictures. Someone in the comments offered to pay for the monkey pictures with a picture of a spider.
(Image credit: an unnamed Indonesian Macaque)

Rainbow Toad Rediscovered After 87 Years

After months of scouring remote forests in Borneo, researchers spotted three rainbow toads up a tree, snapping the first-ever photographs of this elusive amphibian species that hadn't been seen for 87 years. Last seen in 1924, the Bornean rainbow toad (Ansonia latidisca) had been listed as one of the world's top 10 most wanted lost frogs.

In fact, until this rediscovery, scientists had only seen illustrations of the mysterious and long-legged toad existed, after collection by European explorers in the 1920s.

Ten Odd Ways To Get Rid of Flies

Every once in a while, a summer comes along in which you are desperate and will try anything to get rid of these flies. Luckily, that’s not this summer for me. But you can imagine the situations that caused people to try out these methods. Maybe you could use a homemade fly trap:
- Sugar trap. I was optimistic about this one: Dumping a quarter cup of sugar into an open mason jar, then filling the jar halfway with water. The hypothesis is that the flies are attracted to the sugar, then fall into the jar and drown. But I guess the flies here laugh in the face of such low-tech devices, instead preferring to walk down the sides of the jar, sip the nectar and fly out. Two fell in, though. Bottom line: Doesn’t really work.
- Dish soap trap. Instead of sugar, pour an inch of liquid dish soap directly into the jar, then add another inch of water. This worked nicely to trap flies. However, not all liquid dish soap fared well. A floral scent didn’t attract flies to the trap, but a green apple scent beckoned the flies to their doom. Definitely go for a fruit scent. Bottom line: This works. Be sure to use a fruit-scented dish soap.
Other methods were tried and rated for their effective as well.

Animal Pictures