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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.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
When everyone else is frustrated by a puzzle today, staring at it with furrowed brows and slack jaws because they don't have a clue how to approach it, you will be able to offer up some intriguing ideas after taking a quick glance at it.
The difference between you and everyone else is that your mind is much more nimble and creative.
You can approach any situation in a new way -- and be able to see new ideas.
Use this creativity to your advantage, and don't be shy about it.

Some of our readers today have been in:
 Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
London, Ontario, Canada
Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Gueterslch, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Helsinki, Southern Finland, Finland

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 Mission Viejo, Honeoye Falls, Baton Rouge, Mountain View and more.

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, July 19, the 200th day of 2011.
There are 165 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
There isn't one.
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Telling it like it is ...


Great cities for jobs, homes

In one top metro, the jobless rate is low, commutes are easy, and homes sell for around $120,000.  

The truth be told


Underground terror concerns

In post-9/11 New York, startling security measures are now part of the subway routine. 

Non Sequitur


Rupert Murdoch: Behold Voldemort

It's an amazing cosmic convergence that Rupert Murdoch is twisting in the wind, ensnarled in a horrific phone-hacking scandal, just as the final chapter in the Harry Potter franchise is breaking box-office records. After all, no media magnate bears a closer resemblance to Potter archvillain Lord Voldemort than Murdoch, who for decades has been the chief overlord of the dark art of tabloid media skullduggery.

Pie in the face for Murdoch

The media titan's testimony is interrupted when a man accosts him with a pie tin.  

Rupert and James Murdoch testifying before Parliament, face "uncertain future"

The media baron and his son will appear before parliament in the wake of the growing scandal. 

Big day in London. Rupert Murdoch just started testifying before Parliament in the News Corp. phone hacking scandal. He's there with his son, James. Testimony is being heard before The Commons culture, media and sport committee.

The Guardian is liveblogging the hearings in Parliament. CNN and MSNBC will provide live coverage of Murdoch's testimony. Watch MSNBC here. Looks like even FAUX viewers will be seeing it. No doubt, that gang will be in overdrive to defend their master.

Meanwhile, a headline at the Washington Post informs us, Scandal creates uncertain future for Murdochs:
As revelations have tumbled forth, British newspapers and American commentators have speculated that James could be the next News Corp. executive to be forced out.

“My personal estimation is that the end result of this is that someone not named Murdoch will become CEO of News Corp.,” Michael Wolff, Rupert Murdoch’s biographer, said in an interview.

The inquiry revolves around the classic scandal questions: What did James and his father know, and when did they know it? As the chairman of News Corp.’s British media operations, James may have a role more direct and germane than that of his 80-year-old father. He took over an operation that was already beset by allegations of widespread phone hacking and has said that the problem was the work of a single, misbehaving reporter.
This just keeps getting better.

No doubt, Rupert, James and Rebekah will be very well rehearsed as they express faux contrition.
UPDATE @ 10:15 AM ET: In case you are wondering, Rupert Murdoch is not responsible for this mess. He just said so. The question from MP Jim Sheridan was: "Mr. Murdoch, do you accept that ultimately you are responsible for this whole fiasco?" The answer from Murdoch was "No."

Hacking scandal's fallout

Rupert Murdoch's maverick business style might be coming back to haunt fellow shareholders.

Whistleblower’s Death Not Suspicious

This story gets more interesting all the time: Phone-hacking whistle-blower found dead.
hoare One of the first journalists to go on the record and allege phone hacking at News of the World was found dead Monday, the British Press Association said.
Sean Hoare, a former News of the World employee who said Andy Coulson "encouraged" phone-hacking, "was discovered at his home in Watford, Hertfordshire, after concerns were raised about his whereabouts," the press association said.
"The death is being treated as 'unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious,' " the report quoted Hertfordshire police as saying.

Scotland Yard covered up evidence of potentially 4,000 people hacked by Murdoch papers

The coziness between the Metropolitan police and News Corp raises a number of questions. The revolving door problem (as we have in the US) is also alive and well in the UK. Somehow the London police never manage to make it very long without a new scandal which suggests deep problems at the highest levels. Corruption is not just a Third World problem.

NY Times:
For nearly four years they lay piled in a Scotland Yard evidence room, six overstuffed plastic bags gathering dust and little else.

Inside was a treasure-trove of evidence: 11,000 pages of handwritten notes listing nearly 4,000 celebrities, politicians, sports stars, police officials and crime victims whose phones may have been hacked by The News of the World, a now defunct British tabloid newspaper.

Yet from August 2006, when the items were seized, until the autumn of 2010, no one at the Metropolitan Police Service, commonly referred to as Scotland Yard, bothered to sort through all the material and catalog every page, said former and current senior police officials.
How interesting that Murdoch's Wall Street Journal published an editorial yesterday that is nothing less than sickening, and a wee bit hysterical (in both the funny way, and the "take a valium" way). It seems Murdoch's growing scandal at multiple papers (the WSJ tries to pretend it's only one) is hitting a bit too close to home for the shining jewel of Rupert Murdoch's faux news propaganda empire.

For the Wall Street Journal to pretend that this scandal is about freedom of the press only goes to show that our greatest fears, about Murdoch's yellow influence corrupting what was once a fine, albeit conservative, paper, were well-founded.

Murdochs have lost $1bn from stock free-fall due to scandal

British PM’s former communications director arrested.  
Schadenfreude, via the Financial Times.
The value of the Murdoch family’s shareholding in News Corp has fallen by $1bn since the political firestorm erupted over the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World.
I hadn't realized that the British Prime Minister's former director of communications, Andy Coulson, had resigned over this affair, and was just arrested as a result of it.
Coulson was the editor of the News of the World from 2003 until his resignation in 2007, following the conviction of one of the newspaper's reporters in relation to illegal phone-hacking.

He subsequently joined David Cameron's personnel as communications director, until announcing his departure on 21 January 2011 because of continued media coverage of the phone-hacking affair. He was replaced on 2 February 2011 by former BBC Global News Controller of English Craig Oliver. Coulson was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Service on 8 July 2011 "in connection with allegations of corruption and phone hacking".
Imagine the field day that Fox News, and Rupert Murdoch himself, would have had had Dan Pfeiffer, Obama's communications director, been arrested for his involvement in a scandal of this magnitude.

Health law fix can save $13 billion

Changing one obscure provision would not increase the number of uninsured.

But you knew that already ...

Ways to make easy money

You can rake in extra bucks by renting out your car or a room in your home. 

Gold soars over debt fears

Investors shaken by troubles in the U.S. and Europe look to the precious metal to preserve wealth.

Repugicans are bad for business (and everything else for that matter)

Why did Congress waste six months?
Has anyone noticed that Americans with jobs can provide for their families, put money into the economy — and, oh yes, pay taxes that increase revenue and thus cut the deficit? 

The House repugican strategy to link a normally routine increase in the nation's debt limit with a crusade to slash spending has already had a high cost, threatening the nation's credit rating and making the United States look dysfunctional and incompetent to the rest of the world.

But that’s not the most awful thing about it...

repugicans are bad for business
The debt ceiling debate highlights an increasingly evident fact: the repugican party is bad for business.
This, of course, runs contrary to the repugican’s carefully crafted image. But it’s hard to come to any other conclusion after reviewing the party’s actions in congressional economic debates. Time after time, Democrats stepped up to take the tough actions needed to prevent economic collapse while repugicans buried their heads in the sand.

repugicans push the country toward precipice with stance on debt ceiling
Repugican leaders in Congress should take note: The public is unhappy with the way things are going in Washington, and they're certainly not thrilled with the repugicans.

According to a new CBS News poll, 71 percent of people disapprove of the way repugicans in Congress are handling the negotiations over the federal debt ceiling, the amount of money the government can borrow, and just 21 percent of people approve. And only half of those who say they are repugicans approve of their party’s leadership in Congress.

Lenders still robo-signing

Many continue the practice despite vowing to end it, an investigation finds.

Help for banking problems

Here are the ways to complain about credit woes when the watchdog agency opens this week.

Borders stores to close

The bankrupt bookseller says it will liquidate after no buyer emerges.  

Wouldn't you just know it ...


Culinary DeLites

Veggie ramen is a satisfying and fun dish that will please your family and your budget.  

Best proteins for your diet

The best choice for reducing waste and boosting your health doesn't have wings or legs.  

Truth about store brands

Some items are among the most popular for sale today — but not all are created equal.  



Chihuahua runs off thieves

Pint-sized Paco saves the day when thugs hold up a neighborhood store.

The Great Condiment Caper

Austrian police say thieves have made off with an unusual heist -- 21 tons of mustard and ketchup.

Bad Cops

Illinois sheriff's deputy charged with child endangerment is suspended with pay

Florida police officer is arrested in underage sex ring sting

Florida "Officer of the Year" suspected of drug dealing

TSA worker arrested after allegedly stealing iPad and stuffing it down his pants

A growing number of Los Angeles police officers who have used excessive force, driven while intoxicated, falsely imprisoned people or committed other serious misconduct are being let off without punishment as part of a new, controversial approach to discipline at the LAPD

Ex-Missouri police officer is charged in cold-case homicides

Virginia cops charged in murders, and stealing more than $43K from an 85-year-old woman

Minnesota sheriff's deputy charged with illegally revealing private information about a former jail inmate

DC police officer charged with sexually abusing three women while armed and on duty

Tennessee sheriff deputy fired, charged with improper euthanasia

Massachusetts correctional officer held on charges of stabbing husband

Georgia deputy jailer charged with hit and run accident

Louisiana sheriff's deputy arrested and booked with indecent behavior with a juvenile

Former Capitol Police deputy chief is arrested following an altercation

Illinois police officer charged with striking another cop

Pennsylvania police officer is arrested in casino brawl

Illinois cops found liable for arresting black meter reader who was working in white neighborhood

Louisiana police officer is charged in early morning fight

Florida prison guard arrested for drug conspiracy

New York public safety officer charged with manslaughter, DWI

12-year prison term for Alabama police officer who resigned after 120mph fatal drunk driving wreck

Probation officer accused of taking money from probationers

Former Pentagon police officer is sentenced for child sex offense

Missouri cop is in trouble for releasing arrested person in exchange for sexual favors

Mexican army burns crops of huge marijuana farm

Hundreds of Mexican soldiers have finished burning thousands of plants at a massive marijuana plantation discovered last week in Baja California.

It's a Blond World

During a recent password audit by Google,  it was found that a blond was using the following password:
Blonde passoerd

When asked why she had such a long password, she rolled her eyes and said:

“Hello!  It has to be at least 8 characters long and include at least one capital.”

Do 'Ultracool' Brown Dwarfs Surround Us?

Do 'Ultracool' Brown Dwarfs Surround Us?
Could the discovery of two neighboring brown dwarfs indicate that more of these ultracool "failed stars" are nearby?  

Giant dust storm hits Phoenix ... again

A massive wall of dust known as a haboob turns the sky brown and delays area flights.

The disaster that the world forgot

A battered New Zealand city has been hit by 20 earthquakes per day since September.  

Giant Lost Island Found on Atlantic Seafloor

Giant Lost Island Found on Atlantic Seafloor
A long lost island in the North Atlantic Ocean sits on the seafloor, but rivers and mountains and other remnants of its time at the surface remain etched on its features.  

Tsunamis Buried Ancient Olympics Site

Tsunamis Buried Ancient Olympics Site
Strong evidence for repeated tsunamis came from the presence of snail shells.  

All Non-Africans Part Neanderthal, Genetics Confirm

All Non-Africans Part Neanderthal, Genetics Confirm
If your heritage is non-African, you are part Neanderthal, according to a new study.



Loch Ness Monster-Like Animal Filmed in Alaska

Fishermen claim they've captured a Cadborosaurus on video, and that it's genuine.  

The 25ft Prehistoric Texas Crocodile

He measured 25ft, weighed more than a ton and lived almost 100 million years ago. A palaeontologist has identified the oldest prehistoric crocodile of its kind in the world after the fossil of a Terminonaris was found at Lake Lewisville near Dallas, Texas.

The realisation by Thomas Adams of the Southern Methodist University in Dallas has also changed what we know about the species originally thought to have originated in Europe, because it now appears it was a native of Texas. It was discovered by an amateur fossil enthusiast who found the heavy pieces of the snout and a vertebrate in 2005 while fossil hunting, and donated them to the university.

Kermode Bear

The Kermode bear, also called a spirit bear, is a walking contradiction. One in ten black bears on Prince Royal Island, British Columbia are born white. National Geographic tell us more about spirit bears.
Neither albino nor polar bear, the spirit bear (also known as the Kermode bear) is a white variant of the North American black bear, and it’s found almost exclusively here in the Great Bear Rainforest. At 25,000 square miles—one and a half times as big as Switzerland—the region runs 250 miles down Canada’s western coast and encompasses a vast network of mist-shrouded fjords, densely forested islands, and glacier-capped mountains. Grizzlies, black bears, wolves, wolverines, humpback whales, and orcas thrive along a coast that has been home to First Nations like the Gitga’at for hundreds of generations. It’s a spooky, wild, mysterious place: There are wolves here that fish. Deer that swim. Western red cedar trees that have stood a thousand years or more. And a black bear that is white.
There’s also a related photo gallery at NatGeo.

Rare Gibbon Group Found in Vietnam

The talkative primates were located by their lively morning calls.

New type of beetle killing trees in North Carolina

A new type of Asian ambrosia beetles has arrived in North Carolina and the insects pose a threat, especially for tree nurseries.

Conservationists Save Rare Blue Iguana From Extinction

rare blue iguana photo  
Ten short years ago, Grand Cayman blue iguanas were on the brink of extinction. Human factors, like habitat encroachment and vehicle strikes, had reduced their number to less than two dozen -- but now, thanks, to the tireless efforts of conservation officials, the rare species is making a real comeback. Over the last decade, officials have bred and released more than 500 iguanas back into the wild, promising with it the hope that humanity's tendency towards destruction may be outweighed by our capacity for preservation.
Article continues: Conservationists Save Rare Blue Iguana From Extinction

Animal Pictures