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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, August 2, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
There's a lot of emotional energy buzzing around you, and it's very unpredictable.
The people you deal with throughout the day will add tension to the scene, and you'll have to be prepared for some erratic behavior.
The best tactic for you is to take an impersonal point of view in every situation, no matter how personal it may be -- remove your emotions from the equation and keep your thinking calm.
If you can stay cool, you can stay out of any conflicts.

Some of our readers today have been in:
 Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
Geneva, Geneve, Switzerland
Copenhagen, Kobenhavn, Denmark
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
London, England, United kingdom
Artarmon, New South Wales, Australia
Sydney, New South Wales, Austrlaia
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

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 Alhambra, Pompano Beach, Southgate, Roswell and more.

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, August 2, the 214th day of 2011.
There are 151 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
There isn't one.
But tonight is National Night Out!

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Married lesbian couple rescued 40 teenagers from drowning during Utøya shooting

Irene says, “Among the tourists who were near Utøya on July 22, during the terrorist attack, were Hege Dalen and Toril Hansen, a married lesbian couple from Finland who deserve the title of heroines. When they heard the gunshots, they went in their boat to help. They made four trips in all, and were able to rescue about 40 teenagers from probable death.”

“We were eating. Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake,” says Dale to HS in an interview.
The couple immediately took action and pushed the boat into Lake Tyrifjorden.
Dalen and Hansen drove the boat to the island, picked up from the water victims in shock in, the young and wounded, and transported them to the opposite shore to the mainland. Between runs they saw that the bullets had hit the right side of the boat.
Since there were so many and not all fit at once aboard, they returned to the island four times.
Why does it matter that they’re married? Well, because in some jurisdictions, when the question of gay marriage comes up, those who object to it say that gay marriage is associated with low moral character and a general erosion of public ethics. It’s a belief you’d have to be mad or terrified to embrace, but perhaps some of those scared or crazy people will have their hearts softened by this incredible example.

Response to Syria muted

The brutal assault that killed 120 people on Sunday prompts condemnations but little action.

Non Sequitur


Dramatic close to debt vote

The debt-ceiling compromise passes as Rep. Gabrielle Giffords makes a surprise appearance to vote.

What debt deal really means

Any time Mitch 'the Bitch' McConnell is smiling it is not good for the country or it's citizens ... much less when he gives the thumbs up sign!
It saves the U.S. from default, but will it be good for investors and taxpayers?  

The truth be told


Rhode Island city files for bankruptcy

Cash-strapped Central Falls takes the drastic step after services are cut "to the bone."  

Banks bulldozing foreclosures

Increasingly, banks are taking drastic steps to rid themselves of unsellable homes. 

The truth be told (part Deux)


Mirroring Has Many Advantages - But Beware

Mirroring Has Many Advantages -- But Beware
Mimicking your interviewer during a job interview may not be the best way to enhance your chances for the job.

Degrees you can earn online

Business, criminal justice, and IT programs use live chats and webcams to teach.

Giving Food Away is Great for Business

vimala curry blossom local financing photo
The Slow Money movement has been pushing for more localized, more connected financial systems—asking what the world would be like if we invested 50% of our assets within 50 miles of where we live. But what's so green about local money? After all, it's not as if we are trucking around large shipments of gold, burning up fossil fuels in the process, when we invest elsewhere. But, just as local food is about much more than transportation, so too there are broad and far-reaching benefits to the concept of localized borrowing and lending. Last week I got to experience one of them in the form of a restaurant serving delicious, local Indian food that is literally giving its food away for free to those who can't afford it.
Article continues: Giving Food Away is Great for Business: The Surprising Benefits of Local Lending

Excess Farm Harvests Gleaned to Feed the Hungry

gleaning excess harvest photo
Image credit: The Perennial Plate
What to do about hunger is a complicated business. While some people are arguing that food banks are part of the problem, others are calling on supermarkets to waste nothing and donate what they can't sell. Some restaurants are even instigating "everybody eats" policies—turning nobody away for lack of funds. In California, one group of activists is helping feed the hungry—and offering an alternative to the often over-processed foods at the food bank—by going direct to the farms. It turns out that most farms have a lot of excess, and that excess can be put to good use.
Article continues: Excess Farm Harvests Gleaned to Feed the Hungry (Video)

Culinary DeLites

These delicious chicken quesadillas with peppers can be prepared in only 20 minutes.  

The South's best BBQ joints

The South's best BBQ joints

Things They Won't Tell You

Their clever way of reducing calorie counts also gets you to pay for it.

Epic Fail

On these hot days, you'd think they'd have better aim, wouldn't you?

New lead in D.B. Cooper case

The FBI says it has received new information about the unsolved 1971 case.

Mimi and Eunice


Internet Explorer users are idiots

It's a Fact.  
For years, computer geeks have taken pride in using a "real" browser like Firefox or Opera to surf the web, while n00bs stick with simple old Internet Explorer.

Now a new study has backed up all that boasting by finding that ditching Microsoft's default browser really is the smart choice.

In an online IQ test of 100,000 people, AptiQuant Psychometric Consulting found that users of alternate browsers were likely to have a higher IQ than Internet Explorer users.

MTV at 30

How Music Television Changed Youth Culture
Take a look back at 30 years of MTV's influence on music and culture.  

The Science of Slogans

What makes a good advertising slogan? The Atlantic looks at how some slogans stay with us for decades while others flounder. It’s not always a matter of crowing about the quality of the product.
In the 1980s, British Rail tried to convince potential passengers that they were making significant improvements to their service with the slogan, “We are getting there.” Passenger experience suggested otherwise, and the much-ridiculed slogan proved short-lived. Ford’s “Quality is Job 1″ met a similar demise around the same time. There is nothing wrong with slogans acknowledging weakness and being aspirational, but they do have to pass the test of experience. Avis’ current slogan, “We try harder,” was originally coined in 1962, as “We’re No. 2. We Try Harder.” Positive customer experience ratified the claim and helped Avis achieve significant sales growth.
Included with the article is a gallery of big advertisers and their slogan histories.

Hotel Starts "Snore Patrol"

Tired of lying awake in the middle of the night because the man in the hotel room next to yours is snoring like a freight train?
That won't happen at Leeds Crowne Plaza hotel in northern England. See, they've got a snore patrol:
Crowne Plaza is trialing the first "snore absorption" rooms at 10 hotels in Europe and the Middle East, whilst six branches in Britain have implemented "snore patrols" this month in a bid to combat noisy sleepers.
"Snore monitors" patrol corridors in the designated quiet zones of Crowne Plaza hotels in the cities of London, Leeds and Manchester. Their job is to listen out for offensive noises and knock on the door of guests who snore too loudly.



Nitrogen Clean Up

A Triple Win
Nitrogen Clean Up: A Triple Win
Scrubbing wastewater of nitrogen is a potential business boon waiting to happen; it would help reduce energy use as well as air and water pollution.  

The First 24/7 Solar Plant

One of the difficulties with using solar energy is its inability to produce electricity around the clock. Torresol Energy in southern Spain has solved this problem by storing thermal energy in two tanks of molten salt. This enables the plant to generate electricity long after sundown in order to satisfy the energy needs of the local populace. The molten salt — known as MSES — stores enough thermal energy during the day to create steam power during the night.
The MSES consists of 60% potassium nitrate and 40% sodium nitrate. This mixture has the amazing ability to retain 99% of the heat energy generated by the CSP plant to be reused later. Essentially what Forbes calls a “battery” that lasts for about 15 hours – more than double Andasol I’s 7 hour capacity – the MSES is not considered especially toxic to the environment.
Gemasolar is expected to produce approximately 110,000 MWh of energy each year – enough to power 25,000 homes. Although a 19.9 MW plant is relatively small, this functions on par with a 50MW plant that lacks decent storage since it can feed the grid all of the time. Designed to operate 6,500 hours annually, this latest development in super-duper CSP plants opened in May, 2011.

Awesome Pictures


New crop circle theory

The mysterious farmland designs are most likely created by physics, not alien phenomena.

Eight Endangered Plant Species

We often post about endangered animals, but plants can go extinct as well. Plant species’ fortunes are affected by the actions of humans and other animals. Consider the strange case of the plant pictured here known as Cabbage on a Stick:
Cabbage on a stick is pretty much what it sounds like: a tuft of leaves that looks like a head of cabbage sitting on top of a thick stick. It’s also known as alula. In the wild, this plant is only found on the Hawaiian island of Kauai and without the work of botanists, it would be extinct. Because the only insect that could pollinate the cabbage on a stick, a type of hawk moth, doesn’t exist anymore, the plant species can only reproduce if humans hand-pollinate it. Botanists repelled down cliffs to reach the existing alula, pollinate it, and bring some back with them to grow in nurseries.
Other plants are endangered because of over harvesting, environmental encroachment, or even poaching.



Highland Coo stampedes into tire center as cattle cause chaos in Glasgow

A herd of cattle rampaged through a suburb after they managed to escape from a nearby country park. Six Highland cows and one bull fled a field in Pollok Park, on the south side of Glasgow, after they were frightened by a dog which had been let off its lead. They damaged cars and terrified passers by in the stampede before being rounded up by police.

The seven runaways headed out of the park, across main roads and traveled for more than a mile into the Battlefield, Queens Park and Langside areas of the city. Local people watched in astonishment as they ran through residential streets. One cow went into the National Tyre and Autocare Center in Battlefield and became trapped in the tire storage room.

The animal damaged a customer's car and a vehicle belonging to a staff member. A National Tire worker, who asked not to be identified, said: "We had just done £200 of work on a Honda car and then had to tell its owner what happened. He didn't believe us at first. We couldn't believe it either."

The cow remained trapped in the tire center for more than an hour - under police guard - until it was taken out by animal rangers. The other six cows were also rounded up and put into lorries to be taken back to Pollok Park. Glasgow City Council, who run Pollok Park, said all seven cows had now been returned to their field.

Animals Face to Face

Meet the Sulawesi black-crested macaca (Macaca nigra). If his expression is any kind of clue, photographer Stefano Unterthiner’s surprise shot is probably not appreciated. (Incidentally, I make that exact face any time someone takes my picture, so sharing this here probably isn’t helping Mr. Macaca feel better about himself. Assuming he is a “he” of course.)
This is just one of several “Animals Face to Face” photographs by Unterthiner; check out the rest on Colt + Rane.

Soldiers battle rhino poachers

South African troops are battling armed poachers who are killing record numbers of rhinos. 

U.S. Identifies 40 High-Risk Species

photo 40 high risk species great lakes mississippi river glmris
A sampling of the 40 high-risk species. 
Concerned about Asian carp? Meet the invasive cousins, you might say, of the monster fish. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a white paper on 40 high-risk species to watch out for, including the much-hyped bighead and other varieties of Asian carp. And they're not all fish.
Article continues: It's Not Just Asian Carp: U.S. Identifies 40 High-Risk Species

Shark Week

Photo by Joi via Flickr CC
When swimming in the ocean, there's little that can get your heart pumping as fast as coming into contact with a shark, whether it's because you're afraid of it or because you're awed by it. We have an odd love-hate relationship with sharks, both frightened by their potential to kill (however hyped up that risk may be) and admiring of their perfect evolution as ocean predators. Knowing what we do of the importance of sharks to marine ecosystems, why do we pull them from the water at the rate of 73 million or more animals per year? Juliet Eilperin explores the history of shark and human interactions in her book Demon Fish: Travels Through The Hidden World of Sharks, and delves into why we have this conflicted and destructive relationship with one of the most ancient animals on the planet -- including the sources of our fear, the great scam that is shark fin soup, and how they're worth more to the economy alive than dead.
Article continues: Shark Week: Demon Fish Dissects Sharks' History, Future, and "The Greatest Scam of All Time" (Book Review)

Up Close and Personal With Elusive Shark

Up Close and Personal With Elusive Shark
Underwater photographer Francis Perez captured detailed images of the rarely seen enigmatic smalltooth sandtiger shark.  

Electronic Shark Shield to Help Keep Swimmer Safe During Record-Setting Attempt

shark photo
Photo by Rumbleteaser via Flickr CC
Controversy over how ocean swimmer deal with sharks was raised after reports that Penny Palfrey's team killed three oceanic whitetip sharks during her record-setting swim. Swimmer Diana Nyad wants to be sure to avoid any possible issues with sharks, and so will be wearing a new "shark shield" designed to keep the predatory fish at bay.
Article continues: Electronic Shark Shield to Help Keep Swimmer Safe During Record-Setting Attempt

Genetically Modified Beagle Glows

"Tegon" glows bright green under ultraviolet light in a feat that could eventually help scientists track diseases.

Animal Pictures