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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.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
New ideas are not always good ideas.
Don't unthinkingly accept a peculiar new theory that another person may try to push on you today.
In a romantic context, if you follow faddish relationship rules or philosophies, you could end up playing too many games and not being genuine.
In a business context, suggesting a new idea might get you noticed, but make sure the idea is sound before you speak up!
Otherwise, you'll be noticed for the wrong reasons.

Some of our readers today have been in:
London, England, United Kingdom
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Newbury, England, United Kingdom
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Berne, Bern, Switzerland
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Bangkok, Krung Thep, Thailand
Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia
Rome, Lazio, Italy

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 Blacklick, Danbury, Effingham, Fuquay Varina and more.

Today is:
Today is Thursday, August 11, the 223rd day of 2011.
There are 142 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
There are none.
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Non Sequitur


When the Sun Goes Down, Eco Resorts Combine Luxury and Adventure

red eyed tree frog photo
Photo credit: Peter Wesley Brown
In the last few years ecotourism has grown from a buzzword to a trend, to full-blown industry. Whether travelers are looking for a rugged adventure or refined luxury, planet-conscious operators have sprung up to satisfy the demand.
One place ecotourism has struggled behind its traditional competitors, however, is providing entertainment after dark. Now, thanks to some creative activity planners, this is starting to change. From nocturnal wildlife safaris to twilight zip-line adventures, modern eco resorts are proving there's plenty to do after the sun sets.
When the Sun Goes Down, Eco Resorts Combine Luxury and Adventure (Slideshow)

Redneck Olympics warned to drop name

The Maine organizer of the "Redneck Olympics" says he's being warned by the U.S. Olympic Committee to drop the word "Olympics" from the name.

World War II In Color

I don’t know about all of you, but I’m a sucker for vintage photos shot in color and these gorgeous WWII images from the Library of Congress are both fascinating and stunning. You can find more of them over at The Atlantic.

World's tallest skyscraper

Sketches show dramatic views from a planned record-breaking 3,281-foot-tall tower.  

China's first aircraft carrier

The inaugural journey raises concerns about the nation's military plans and territorial disputes.

Norway suspect used code

Experts think Andres Breivik's manifesto could contain GPS addresses but don't know why. 

Strike kills Taliban militants

An airstrike by coalition forces takes down the insurgents responsible for the deadly helicopter crash.

Freak bin accident kills woman

A woman has died from asphyxiation after falling head first into a recycling bin, a coroner has found. Sheila Decoster, 62, was discovered by her husband on Friday evening, upside down in a 65-gallon (295-liter) plastic bin at her home in Toledo, Ohio.

She was clad in her pajamas and her slippers were on a porch by the bin. She is thought either to have lost her balance and fallen off a porch into the bin or fallen in while trying to retrieve an object, an official said. "You can asphyxiate in minutes," Dr Diane Barnett of the Lucas County, Ohio coroner's office, said.

"But she had some bruises like she was trying to get out, like she was trying to rock it and tip it." Mrs Decoster perished of positional asphyxia, in which the placement of her body in the rubbish bin prevented her lungs from filling with air, Dr Barnett said. She had been standing over the bin on a porch that had no railing to obstruct her fall into the bin, the deputy coroner added.

Richard Decoster, her husband of 43 years, said he returned home from the shops at about 17:00 local time and saw his wife's legs sticking out of the bin. "I just happened to look to the left and, honestly, thought it was a dummy," Mr Decoster said. "I shook her leg and called her name, and I knew she was gone."

There's a news video here.

Falling to Death

Wall Street's Rollercoaster continues ...
The Dow opens down 2.7 percent as investors brace for another volatile day.
Korean Stock Broker Leaps to Death Amid Market Plunge
The stock market has been volatile this week. A South Korean stock broker jumped to his death from a high-rise office amid worldwide market turmoil.

Playboy Playmate arrested with gun at Orlando airport

Shanna Marie McLaughlin, a former Playboy Playmate and University of Central Florida graduate student, was arrested Monday evening at the Orlando International Airport when she tried to pass through a security checkpoint.

According to an arrest affidavit, McLaughlin placed her duffel bag into the X-ray machine and a Transportation Security Administration worker "saw what appeared to be a handgun on the screen." The affidavit said the worker discovered a Ruger SAA .45 long colt, loaded with hollow point bullets.

According to the report, McLaughlin "spontaneously stated the gun was her boyfriend's, and she did not know it was in there." She also told the worker that she has a concealed weapons permit, which he verified, the report stated.

Police arrested McLaughlin and charged her with a misdemeanor -- carrying a firearm in a place prohibited by law. Her mugshot was taken at the Orange County Jail on Monday night. She later posted bond of $250.

Local 6 News asked the TSA how many incidents like this have occurred at OIA.

"Our officers intercept several guns every day at checkpoints across the United States. In Orlando, last year we intercepted 28 guns that passengers brought to the checkpoint and year-to-date we have kept 19 guns from being carried in the cabin of planes leaving from Orlando," said Sari Koshetz, TSA spokeswoman. "Passengers need to remember that the last time they might have used a suitcase was for a road trip, and that they need to carefully inspect the contents of all luggage before coming to the airport. Our mission is to keep you safe and we do that every day."

McLaughlin is perhaps best known to Central Florida for a controversial photo shoot in the UCF locker room in 2010. McLaughlin, a UCF graduate student at the time, was seen in revealing clothing on the cover of Axis, an Orlando entertainment magazine.

McLaughlin offended some students and supporters, who said she misrepresented the values for which UCF stands. McLaughlin said at the time that the controversy brings good exposure and publicity to the university.

Fugitive siblings caught

The trio is captured after a nationwide hunt ends in a high-speed car chase.

Repugicans Hate America and Americans

In a speech this week, Nebraska AG Jon Bruning (r) compared welfare recipients to scavenging raccoons - Think Progress

He hates America and Americans.

And I Quote

Having Standard & Poor's downgrade the creditworthiness of the U.S., and warn the country about further downgrades, is a little like having the Catholic Church lecture Scout leaders on the proper behavior toward boys.
~ Bill Saporito

What low rates mean

Though it may seem like a good time to make major purchases, experts advise caution.  

Housing markets in trouble

Depressed real estate prices could fall further this year — up to $40,000 in one Florida city.

Some $100K jobs without a degree

In these surprisingly lucrative fields, all you need is a high school diploma and training.

Common food dangers you need to avoid

Common food dangers you need to avoid
These kitchen rules were not made to be broken, but many of us ignore them without a care. From off-the-mark refrigerator temps to lurking bacteria, here's how to avoid putting yourself and your family at risk.

Fried Butter on a Stick

There’s always a new fried item at the Iowa State Fair, and every year it gets crazier. Fried Twinkies and Oreos are passé by now, so vendors at the fair have skipped a step in the process and are just frying straight up sticks of butter. The butter obviously melts in the batter when it’s fried, so it’s not like you’re actually sinking your teeth into a stick of lard. One taste-tester likens it to a cinnamon roll, but I still think I’ll be passing this one by. Check out the link below to see what happens when you bite into it…

Culinary DeLites


North Carolina Panel Considers Rules On Posting Gas Prices

The state Board of Agriculture is considering changes to the way North Carolina gas stations advertise the price of fuel.

Gadgets that cut gas costs

Infomercial products like magnets and oil additives won't actually cut your costs.  

Manage your life

Awesome Pictures

Rock'N'Roll Forever


Idiom: A hitch in your giddy-up.
If you have a hitch in your giddy-up, you're not feeling well.

How to protect your heart

A million heart attacks a year could be avoided in the U.S. by following experts' advice. 

Eleven Countries That Spend the Most on Healthcare

When healthcare spending is examined on a global level, major differences are revealed in how countries approach the health needs of their people.

Possible Exposure to Hepatitis A Reported at North Carolina Olive Garden

Public health officials Monday warned of the possible transmission of hepatitis A at a Fayetteville, N.C., Olive Garden.

Promising new cancer therapy

The treatment uses blood cells to hunt the cancer, but it's been tried on only three people so far

New drug might cure any viral infection - even the common cold

Most bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, discovered decades ago, but those drugs are useless against viral infections like influenza, the common cold, and deadly hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola.



Building Blocks of DNA Found in Meteorites from Space

Could the building blocks of life been first delivered to Earth from outer space? That is what some research may be suggesting.
“People have been finding nucleobases in meteorites for about 50 years now, and have been trying to figure out if they are of biological origin or not,” study co-author Jim Cleaves, a chemist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, told SPACE.com.
To help confirm if any nucleobases seen in meteorites were of extraterrestrial origin, scientists used the latest scientific analysis techniques on samples from a dozen meteorites — 11 organic-rich meteorites called carbonaceous chondrites and one ureilite, a very rare type of meteorite with a different chemical composition. This was the first time all but two of these meteorites had been analyzed for nucleobases.
The analytical techniques probed the mass and other features of the molecules to identify the presence of extraterrestrial nucleobases and see that they apparently did not come from the surrounding area.
Two of the carbonaceous chondrites contained a diverse array of nucleobases and structurally similar compounds known as nucleobase analogs. Intriguingly, three of these nucleobase analogs are very rare in Earth biology, and were not found in soil and ice samples from the areas near where the meteorites were collected at the parts-per-billion limits of their detection techniques.
“Finding nucleobase compounds not typically found in Earth’s biochemistry strongly supports an extraterrestrial origin,” Cleaves said

Lunar Leftovers

How The Moon Became A Trash Can
We hear about the amount of waste floating around space all the time. However, the biggest trash can outside of earth's atmosphere is in fact the moon. The moon has only been accessible for decades, rather than hundreds of years.

However, in the short time available to humanity it is estimated that we have left over one hundred and seventy thousand kilos of debris on the surface of our once pristine satellite. Here are some of the more notable pieces of trash on the moon.

Undersea volcano stuns

When a camera sends images of an alien seafloor landscape, scientists are stunned.



Huge Group Of Polar Dinosaur Tracks Discovered In Australia

The discovery of a group of more than 20 three-toed dinosaur tracks in Australia is the largest and best-preserved collection of polar dinosaur tracks found in the Southern Hemisphere.

The dinosaur tracks were found on the rocky coast of Victoria, Australia in rocks that are around 105 million years old. Three different sizes of small theropods, spanning from the size of a chicken to large crane, left the markings. Theropods were bipedal, mostly carnivorous dinosaurs that are ancestors of modern birds.

Why Giant Bugs Once Roamed the Earth

Imagine a dragonfly the size of a seagull! You would have seen them 300 million years ago, as well as other B-movie sized insects. Why did they grow so large back then? A new theory says it’s because of oxygen, which insects absorb through their surface area. Wilco Verberk of Plymouth University found that insect larvae are very sensitive to oxygen levels compared to adult insects -and there was a lot more oxygen present in the Carboniferous period.
It’s likely the larvae of many ancient insects also passively absorbed oxygen from water and were not able to regulate their oxygen intake very well—a big danger when oxygen levels were so high.
One way to decrease the risk of oxygen toxicity would have been to grow bigger, since large larvae would absorb lower percentages of the gas, relative to their body sizes, than small larvae.
“If you grow larger, your surface area decreases relative to your volume,” Verberk explained.
Read more about the study at National Geographic News.

The Black Swallower Is Like A Black Hole

We’ve all heard about snakes eating food bigger than them, but this is just ridiculous. The black swallower eats fish that are 3 times larger than it by grabbing it by the tail and swallowing as the fish coils up inside the swallower’s stomach. The Proceedings of the Ever So Strange have more about this bizarre fish that has never been seen alive.

Animal Pictures