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.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Dazzling charm is pouring out of you today, enabling you to attract a lot of diverse people -- including some very flighty folks.
You know, the kind of people who always talk about wanting to get together but who always back out of plans at the last minute?
Luckily, with the mood you're in right now, you'll see their flaky behavior as charming and nothing to get all riled up about.
Hey, if they miss out on fun times, it's their loss, right?

Some of our readers today have been in:
 Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
Burghausen, Bayern, Germany
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Leicester, England, United Kingdom
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Vilnius, Vilniaus Apskritis, Lithuania
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Milan, Lombardia, Italy
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Helsinki, Southern Finland, Finland
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Reims, Champagne-Ardenne, France
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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 Columbus, Iowa City, Lancaster, Livonia and more.

Today is:
Today is Sunday, July 24, the 205th day of 2011.
There are 160 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Cousins Day
Tell An Old Joke Day.
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Non Sequitur


Global health secrets

Japan has a strikingly low obesity rate, thanks in part to a unique cultural eating practice.

Fifty-eight Percent of Consumers Prefer Organic

organic peppers photo
Photo: ianmalcm
A recent Thompson Reuters poll found that 58 percent of consumers prefer organic to conventional foods if given the choice, according to an article on Huffington Post. The numbers are highest in the young and educated segments of the population. But does this mean that we're buying more organic than conventional? Not so fast.

Not quite clear on the definition


Survivors tell of terror in Norway

Dressed as a policeman, the man called for campers to come close, then opened fire.

Norwegian Wingnut

The alleged killer doesn't have any ties to terror factions or much of a criminal record.  
The killer in Norway had 90 minutes to shoot victims before police could arrive.  
The 32-year-old says the killings were "atrocious" but "necessary," according to his lawyer.

Lunatic Fringe

Suspect in Oslo terror attacks is right-wing. anti-muslim christian (Are we surprised?).

Murdoch U.S. scandal brewing? No, it has been brewed for a long time. Now we destroy the bad brew.

You know it's bad when even Dick Lugar thinks that the repugicans have gone overboard.

Get this ...

Get this - the insane muckrakers over at WingNutDaily are harping about 'Liberal' as having a mental disorder claiming the work of a proven quack (whom they call a 'veteran psychologist') as proof of their idiocy.

As a Psychologist I can tell you it is not those who call themselves Liberals that suffer from a mental disorder.

Teabaggers sued by Vegas hotel

They don't believe in paying their bills, either?

The Venetian in Las Vegas has filed a lawsuit against Tennessee-based 'tea party nation' for an unpaid $600,000 bill.

The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that the hotel claims the teabagger group owes money for a five-day convention it canceled at the hotel last summer.

The Tea Party Nation reserved 1,637 room nights in the Palazzo.

The crazy teabaggers cancelled two weeks before the event.

The group agreed to pay the hotel $579,148 in the event of a cancellation and $87,996 in interest has since been added to that amount.

Who could have been stupid enough to have thought there were 1600 teabaggers who could afford a $160 a night hotel?

The truth be told


NFL owners done negotiating

As the players work through the owners' proposal, one NFL boss says his side is done negotiating.

Why Borders chain collapsed

The giant bookstore chain made many mistakes, but one stands out, says an expert. 

Bride and prejudice

Eight cops ruined the happiest day of an innocent young couple's life by stopping their wedding to wrongly accuse them of an immigration scam.

Get a clue!


Corporate profits continue but without jobs

Welcome to the new normal. The tax code helped get us into this situation so why not use it to push us out of it and add jobs?
Wages and salaries accounted for just 1 percent of economic growth in the first 18 months after economists declared that the recession had ended in June 2009, according to Sum and other Northeastern researchers.

In the same period after the 2001 recession, wages and salaries accounted for 15 percent. They were 50 percent after the 1991-92 recession and 25 percent after the 1981-82 recession.

Corporate profits, by contrast, accounted for an unprecedented 88 percent of economic growth during those first 18 months. That's compared with 53 percent after the 2001 recession, nothing after the 1991-92 recession and 28 percent after the 1981-82 recession.

New career in one year

These strategies can help you quickly move into one of five growing fields.

Only $675 to furnish their house

This couple came up with clever ways to outfit their home cheaply but nicely.  

World's most exotic yachts

The Maltese Falcon's computer-operated sails allow it to cross the Atlantic in 10 days.

Amy Winehouse is dead

Singer Found Dead At London Home

Troubled, Grammy-winning singer Amy Winehouse has been found dead in her North London home, Sky News is reporting. The Daily Mail reports that police have confirmed the passing.

In a statement, the London Metropolitan Police said, "Police were called by London Ambulance Service to an address in Camden Square NW1 shortly before 16.05hrs today, Saturday 23 July, following reports of a woman found deceased. On arrival officers found the body of a 27-year-old female who was pronounced dead at the scene. Inquiries continue into the circumstances of the death. At this early stage it is being treated as unexplained."

A suspected drug overdose took the life of the singer, Nick Buckley of the Sunday Mirror tweeted.

She's battled drug addiction for years, having most recently checked back into rehabilitation in May.

Winehouse entered treatment in late 2007 for drug problems, including admitted heroin use.

Earlier in the day, Gatt tweeted a statement saying that she was withdrawing from all of her upcoming performances, writing, "Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances. Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best and she will be given as long as it takes for this to happen."

Winehouse has had previous near-death experiences, including one her ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, described in detail back in 2009.
The singer’s personal demons managed to eclipse her promising music career.  

It's a Blond World

A young blonde was on vacation in the depths of Louisiana. She wanted a pair of genuine alligator shoes in the worst way, but was very reluctant to pay the high prices the local vendors were asking.
After becoming very frustrated with the “no haggle” attitude of one of the shopkeepers, the blonde shouted, “Maybe I’ll just go out and catch my own alligator so I can get a pair of shoes at a reasonable price!”
The shopkeeper said, “By all means, be my guest. Maybe you’ll luck out and catch yourself a big one!”
Determined, the blonde turned and headed for the swamps, set on catching herself an alligator.
Later in the day, the shopkeeper is driving home, when he spots the young woman standing waist deep in the water, shotgun in hand. Just then, he sees a huge 9-foot alligator swimming quickly toward her. She takes aim, kills the creature and with a great deal of effort hauls it on to the swamp bank. Lying nearby were several more of the dead creatures.
The shopkeeper watches in amazement. Just then the blonde flips the alligator on it’s back, and frustrated, shouts out, “Damn it, this one isn’t wearing any shoes either!”

And the Mother-Of-The-Year award goes to ...

A Connecticut mother is charged with forcing her 4-year-old son to drink beer and giving beer and cocaine to her 10-month-old daughter.

Police say it appears a woman intentionally crashed her car with her two daughters inside after getting into a heated argument with her estranged husband earlier this week.

Baby rolls off train as women's fists fly

A shocking video has surfaced of two women fighting on a crowded New York train as a baby stroller belonging to one of them rolls out the door onto the platform.

In the video, the woman pushing the stroller gets into an argument, presumably over a seat, as the train pulls into a station.

During the confrontation, which quickly becomes physical, the baby’s stroller rolls onto the subway platform. As the fight continues, horrified commuters attempt to break up the fight as well as bring the baby’s disappearance to the woman’s attention.

After the fight is broken up, the woman with the child walks off the train and pushes the stroller, baby in tow, along the platform as the other woman continues to shout from the subway car.

Texas prison guard snuck hacksaw in tacos

Prosecutors said a Texas jail guard tried helping a convicted murderer and two others escape by smuggling them tacos stuffed with hacksaw blades.

Texas cattle rustler asks to be hanged with his boots and spurs

Convicted cattle rustler Roddy Dean Pippin has asked a Texas court to string him up in the Hardeman County square and let him hang for his crimes instead of continuing to keep him locked up in prison. Pippin is engaged in a dispute with the state over how much longer he should remain in custody.

"Movant desires to die with his boots and spurs on and without his face covered, for he wishes to see the lights go out at high noon," Pippin, a 27-year-old diabetic cowboy, wrote in an unusual and melodramatic motion he filed June 30 in the Hardeman County District Court.

Pippin, who has a severe and rare form of diabetes, was sentenced to four consecutive two-year state jail terms when he pleaded guilty in 2004 to stealing cattle in rural North Texas. He is now serving time at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Carole S. Young unit, a medical facility, but he argues that his sentence should have ended last month. TDCJ officials, however, maintain Pippin should stay in custody until January 2013.

The dispute boils down to a disagreement over whether Pippin should get credit toward his jail sentence for two years he served on "shock probation," essentially house arrest. A judge allowed Pippin to serve two years under his mother's care so that he could get the medical care he needed for his diabetes. Pippin argues those two years should count toward his time served. TDCJ interprets the judge's ruling that allowed him to serve the probation differently. Pippin has challenged TDCJ's calculations and is awaiting a decision from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.



From Hot Nights To Dusty Days

U.S. Daily Highest Min Temperature Records July 21 2011
Above: red indicates weather stations where U.S. Daily Highest Min Temperature Records were set on July 21, 2011 Image credit:NOAA
In Matt's recent post on hot weather he reported that June Record High Temperatures Beat Record Lows 11-to-1 in US.
Yesterday, the 21st of July, it was hotter than hell across much of the Eastern US.
Nights, which tend to have the daily minimum, were especially unpleasant. Out of 5,569 daily minimums recorded on the 21st, 188 broke previous records and another 138 tied them (exceeding or equaling, respectively, the previous record for daily minimum temperature).
Article continues: From Hot Nights To Dusty Days - Broken Weather Records Are The New Normal

It's easier now than ever before to trigger a mass extinction

Image credit: AJC1 via Flickr/CC BY
The mass extinctions that wracked the earth 200,000 years ago may have been much easier to trigger than was previously believed, a new study published in the July issue of Science argues. It was thought that it took 600,000 years to suffocate much of the planet's life with carbon dioxide. But scientists now have evidence that just a few thousand years of warming temperatures were enough to spur a massive release of methane from the world's seafloors -- creating a feedback loop that dramatically altered the Earth's climate, and rendered it inhospitable for many living things.
And so, the inevitable million-dollar question: Does this finding have any connection to the modern day climate crisis? In a word: Absolutely.
Article continues: Mass Extinctions: Now Easier Than Ever to Trigger!

The elusive Higgs boson

Higgs boson results cause flurryAtlas experiment (Cern)

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has picked up tantalizing fluctuations which might - or might not - be hints of the sought-after Higgs boson particle.

The Largest Water Mass In The Universe

Astronomers have discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe in a quasar called APM 08279+5255. The distant quasar is one of the most powerful known objects in the universe and has an energy output of 1,000 trillion suns, about 65,000 times that of the Milky Way galaxy.

Ten Bizarre Underwater Events

What things can you do when you're underwater? You could carve a pumpkin. Or play a game of cards or a tennis match. You can even get married underwater.

Most Tacky and Weird Uses of Animal Dung Across the World

Animal dung is extensively used as fertilizer, for producing biogas and even for making floors of village houses.





Upping the cute factor

This little guy is so happy to be stroked, he can barely keep his eyes open.
Watch his sleepy antics 

Chinese developer uses scorpions to drive residents from their homes

A Chinese real estate company was suspected of releasing several thousand scorpions into apartments at a residential complex in Shenzhen to force residents to move out in order to make way for a new construction project. A resident surnamed Chen woke up early on Monday morning and discovered a scorpion crawling on his body. Chen turned on the light and was astonished to see the bedroom full of scorpions, which have a poisonous sting. Chen woke up his family and together they captured several hundred scorpions in his apartment.

Chen later learned from his neighbor that the arachnids were discovered in all apartments on the street. A man holding a bucket was seen walking out of the office of Shenzhen Luosha Engineering Development Co, a real estate firm that will build a new project at the complex. The man poured something from the bucket into apartment windows, a witness surnamed Li said. Li later found the street was crawling with scorpions, the report said.

Police and residents spent the whole night capturing nearly 50 kilograms of scorpions. All the apartments are scheduled to be demolished but home owners haven't signed compensation deals yet. Residents said they suspect the developer freed the scorpions to drive them out as some buildings have already been torn down due to a tight schedule.

The developer denied it was behind the scorpion scare and also claimed to be a victim. "The move was too despicable," a company manager was quoted as saying. "We wouldn't lift a stone only to have our own toes squashed," The manager added there was no need to "scare" residents as they had recently made a huge breakthrough in compensation negotiations. Police are still investigating the incident.

'Alien' monkey causes panic in Chinese village

A malnourished monkey caused panic among Chinese villagers who mistook him for a creature from outer space. The starving animal had no hair and its skeletal frame convinced locals in Gezhai village,Henan Province, they were being visited by an alien life form.

The creature was first spotted as it munched cucumbers in housewife Mao Xiping's flat. She was so scared of its "alien face" that she called police and told them to arrest it.

It was only later that they worked out that the animal was actually a monkey. Now scientists are examining the skinny creature to see what species it is and where it came from.

Ms Mao said: "At first I thought it was a rabbit, then I was shocked to see it had an alien face. My neighbours agreed it was like nothing we'd seen before. It stopped eating cucumbers when we gave it peaches and now it won't eat anything else."

Dog saved from death row after singing Happy Birthday

A terrier in Australia has saved himself from death row by singing Happy Birthday. Poor old Patches' elderly master passed away and, in the confusion that followed, 17-year-old Patches ended up in the pound. As relatives desperately tried to find him, it seemed the search for the dog, who used to howl along as his master sang, would be in vain. But then a Victorian Dog Rescue foster carer found a dog matching Patches' description at Mildura Pound - and was asked to sing Happy Birthday to it.

"I started singing to him and at first he got a sad, faraway look in his eyes, just like he was thinking about something or missing someone," Kaye Grivec said. "Then he put his head back and started howling along with me and I just burst into tears of joy." Marie Vassallo, the Sydney-based daughter of Patches' late master Eddie, said the dog had spent hours sitting on her father's knee while he sang songs to him, mostly in Italian. "When they finished singing, Dad would say, 'Bravo, bravo, Patches' and Patches just loved it," she said.

"When it was anyone's birthday, Dad would telephone them and sing Happy Birthday to them with Patches singing along. It was Patches' favorite song and it became a family tradition for Dad and Patches to sing it together." Mr Vassallo was 82 when he died three months ago. Patches had been his constant companion for 15 years. Ms Vassallo said she was heartbroken in the aftermath of her father's death to discover Patches had gone missing and probably would have been impounded for at least three weeks. "It meant his time on death row would have been up and he had probably been destroyed.

"But through Victorian Dog Rescue we were able to find him again in Mildura and now we are organizing to have him brought to Sydney to live out his life with us." Ms Vassallo praised the animal organization for "doing the impossible and rescuing old dogs no one wants from pounds and then finding new homes for them. Patches would be dead and buried by now except that Victorian Dog Rescue go the extra lengths to find homes for dogs others think are impossible to place," she said. "In this case, they have returned a much-loved dog back to his very grateful family."

Zoo Tigers Beat Deathly Heat Wave by Snacking on Bloodsicles

With an unprecedented spike in temperatures breaking records all over the country, humans aren't the only ones feeling the heat. But just as humans have come up with lot of ways to keep cool, tigers at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and the Minnesota Zoo have found a strategy to beat with the heat, reported Today. They're slurping down popsicles made of blood.

Article continues: Zoo Tigers Beat Deathly Heat Wave by Snacking on Bloodsicles

Animal Pictures