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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, August 12, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
A lovely, quiet morning could evolve into a very active afternoon -- and a very hectic evening.
Your chances of a good night's sleep are slim.
You probably already know who will be responsible for the increased drama, and you won't mind the inconvenience at all.
This person is making some waves and causing some major changes in your life -- but luckily, these changes will be very positive for you and your people!
So how do you want to celebrate?

Some of our readers today have been in:
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Newbury, England, United Kingdom
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Katowice, Slaskie, Poland
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Inchon, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Crawley, England, United Kingdom
Kemaman, Terengganu, Malaysia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Berne, Bern, Switzerland
Nice, Provence-Alpes-Cote D'Azur, France
Lippstadt, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom
Brussels, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium

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 Plymouth, Poughkeepsie, Provo, Portland and more.

Today is:
Today is Friday, August 12, the 224th day of 2011.
There are 141 days left in the year.

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

Girl risked life to save boy

Nicole Kissel ignored shouts from her father to turn around and paddled out to a 12-year-old boy.

Special-needs player booted

Brett Bowden, a beloved member of his high school football squad, gets some tough news.

    Ultra-fast vehicle launches

    DARPA launches a hypersonic aircraft that could quickly knock out any target in the world.

    Michele 'Bat Shit Crazy' Bachman is worried that the Renaissance really screwed things up

    From the LA Times:
    It's the Renaissance, stupid.

    The economy is not what ails us today. No, what ails Americans is what Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and their artistic spawn have wrought in the culture, starting 500 years ago. The Renaissance has dragged us all down.

    The tea party queen and repugican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is convinced that America is sinking into tyranny. Why? In a remarkable profile of the candidate appearing in the Aug. 15 issue of the New Yorker magazine, the artistic flowering of the Italian Renaissance takes a beating for having done away with the god-fearing Dark Ages.
    Yes, America was a happier place in the Dark Ages.
    This bitch is scary!

    Mimi and Eunice


    Healthy chain restaurant meals

    One popular place offers a burger loaded with tempting extras — for a fraction of the calories. 

    A Single Box Of Girl Scout Cookies Could Yield $15 Billion Worth Of Graphene

    Next time you're inhaling an entire box of Girl Scout shortbread cookies, just think of the potential you're wasting: a full $15 billion worth of graphene. At least, that's the estimate given by a team of Rice University researchers working on a dare.

    The Rice lab's work on Girl Scout Cookies began when lab chemist James Tour mentioned at a meeting that his team had turned table sugar to graphene - a one-atom-thick layer of carbon possessing remarkable properties of strength and conductivity. He claimed that he and his grad students could grow graphene from any carbon source, and it just so happened there were Girl Scout Cookies being passed around the meeting.

    Homes with epic landmark views

    Each of these dwellings lets you wake up to a sight most people see only on a postcard.

      Non Sequitur


      Good careers for tough times

      Some positions in public relations and sales could see strong growth in coming years.  

      Why job growth has stalled

      Startup firms typically hire aggressively, but that hasn't been happening much lately.

      A whopping 23 polls says people support higher taxes to reduce the deficit

      Wow. And the numbers are consistently in the 60s, with a few 50s and 70s, average 65.

      But do you think the morons in Washington are paying attention? I thought not.

      Huge gain for stocks

      The Dow rises 423 points and crosses 11,000 as investors look for bargains.  

      Rules for seesaw market

      Stocks don't belong in your retirement account if you'll need the cash soon

        Outlook for credit card rates

        Interest rates on cards are likely to be affected much differently than those on consumer loans.

          Is it safe to buy U.S. bonds?

          The U.S. debt downgrade raises new questions about buying Treasury bonds.  

            Country Mints Star Wars Coins as Legal Tender

            Nuie, an autonomous island nation and dependency of New Zealand, will mint coins bearing the images of Star Wars characters. They will be fully legal tender there:
            A set of 40 coins is being produced by the New Zealand Mint.
            As legal tender, the coins will have a face value of NZ$2 (£1), but the silver content in each is worth considerably more than that.

            Stange Traditions


            Did Marco Polo Travel To China?

            Marco Polo's travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. Born into a Venetian merchant family, he joined his father and uncle on a journey to China, traveling along the Silk Road and reaching the court of Kublai Khan.

            Now, an Italian team of archaeologists studying in Japan have cast doubts about one of their country's national heroes. Far from being a trader who spent years in China and the Far East, Marco Polo probably never went further east than the Black Sea. Professor Daniele Petrella of the University of Naples told Italian history magazine Focus Storia there were many inconsistencies and inaccuracies in Marco Polo's description of Kublai Khan's invasions of Japan in 1274 and 1281.

            Daily Comic Relief


            Courts Fine Troll Lawyers for Filing Phony Lawsuits

            Real life “trolling” has taken the form of corporations who file many patents on products that they don’t actually produce in an effort to file patent lawsuits against others in hopes of getting large out of court settlements. In this case however justice came down on the right side by fining the phony company and the lawyers involved.
            Citing the over 100 lawsuits Eon-Net (the troll) had filed, all followed by quick demands for settlements, the court’s decision said that the lawsuit had ”indicia of extortion,” fined the lawyers under Rule 11 for filing lawsuits with the intent to harass and ultimately found against the troll. As if that wasn’t enough, the court also pointed out that Eon-Net is a non-practicing company,  which provides it with generally undeserved protection against counter patent-infringement lawsuits because, well, it doesn’t do anything.
            Patent trolling and the public awareness of it has reached fever pitch lately and many are calling for change to the patent system. This decision seems to be a step in the right direction. The practices were pretty obviously extortionary in nature and that does constitute an invalid purpose for a lawsuit. Due to the extreme costs of going to court, which can cost the accused oodles of cash even after they win, most of the accused companies settle. This decision may, and hopefully will, set a precedent that patent trolling is not okay to do. Of course what exactly constitues patent trolling, extortion and rule 11 violations are bound to be hotly debated for a while into the future. This should, however, give the patent trolls pause before they threaten that next batch of lawsuits.

            Pennsylvania woman let niece drive from snug spot

            Police say a Pennsylvania woman endangered her 6-year-old niece by having the girl back the woman's car out of a tight parking spot, wrecking two other cars in the process.

            Police officers arrested for wild ride

            Authorities say two Colorado police officers took wild, drunken ride through Wyoming on their way to a funeral in South Dakota.

            Home - Land security


            World's newest natural wonders

            The vast, majestic Wadi Rum valley has been inhabited by humans for 12,000 years.  

            The Glass Beach Of California

            Glass Beach is a beach in MacKerricher State Park near Fort Bragg, California, USA, that is abundant in sea glass created from years of dumping garbage into an area of coastline near the northern part of the town. In the early 20th century, Fort Bragg residents threw their household garbage over the cliffs above what is now Glass Beach.

            In 1967, the North Coast Water Quality Board and city leaders closed the area. Various cleanup programs were undertaken through the years to correct the damage. Over the next several decades the pounding waves cleansed the beach, wearing down the discarded glass into the small, smooth, colored trinkets that cover the beach today.

            Mystery tree survives wildfires

            A tree north of the Valley near Cordes Junction, Arizona, is getting renewed attention this week after surviving another of the state's wildfires. “It’s a special tree,” said Arizona Department of Transportation worker Randy Skinner. After 16 years on the job, Skinner knows the tree well. “I think the tree gives people hope. They see it decorated every year and enjoy it.”

            The tree sits close to the Badger Springs exit past Sunset Point; a 20-foot-high, bushy juniper tree that is different than most. Every year it’s decorated for Christmas and Independence Day. Right now, it’s covered with several American flags and yellow ribbons. It also has its own water system set up underneath, with several large drums and a pipe to feed it water.

            That’s where the tree gets its name - the mystery tree. A mystery person or people decorate it every year, but it’s also a mystery because it manages to have survived several wildfires over the years. “It’s survived wildfire after wildfire” says ADOT engineer Greg Gentsch. “We’re just happy it’s still here." Just last week, another wildfire sparked about 200 yards to the south of the tree. It shut down the highway and quickly crept toward the tree.

            When it was over, everything around it burned but the tree survived again without a scratch on it. Maybe it’s the rock formations around the tree, a strange wind current or someone, or something, watching out for it. “It’s a mystery,” said Skinner. “But I hope it stays for a long time to come.”

            Funny Pictures


            Actress revives alien search

            Jodie Foster's generous donation allows a nonprofit organization to resume its search for life in space. 

            Darkest planet ever found

            Darker than coal, gigantic TrES-2b is as big as Jupiter and offers plenty of mystery. 



            Humans Vs. Neanderthals

            How humans outpaced their relatives remains a mystery, but here's a look at some of the possible scenarios.  



            Upping the cute factor

            Stuffed animals are cute. 
            You know what is even cuter?

            Police chase loose bull across town

            It was anything but a typical night when calls started pouring in to a Washington state police department, and that's no bull.

            Bear News

            Two Albuquerque residents woke up to find a 300-pound black bear in one of their trees this morning.
            A Dutch family vacationing in New Hampshire has quite the story to tell when they return home.

            Bonobo beats chimpanzee in 'cleverest monkey' competition

            Belgian scientists were surprised by the results of an intelligence test which pitted bonobos against chimpanzees as part of a campaign to help publicize the African trade in bonobos as bushmeat.

            The bonobos, chimp-like apes who live in matriarchal family groups and frequently use sex to resolve social conflicts, defied expectations by beating the group of chimpanzees in intelligence tests, because the chimps were too busy fighting among themselves for dominance.

            "Chimpanzees in the wild use sticks to fish for termites, and bonobos in the wild don't do that ... so we thought that the chimpanzees would be at an advantage," biologist Jeroen Stevens said during a news conference. The brain test was part of a campaign by the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp in Belgium to raise cash to tackle the problem of bonobos being captured in the wild and sold as bushmeat.

            Bushmeat, which also includes meat from gorillas, chimpanzees and other animals, is considered a delicacy in parts of Africa. "We think that it can lead to the extinction of apes," said Stevens, who coordinated the research. "There are only about 35,000 bonobos on the central Congo basin, that sounds like a lot but that's actually less than would fit in a football stadium."

            Freedom Run

            Image via screengrab.
            On Wednesday, a cow scheduled for slaughter in a halal butcher's shop in Queens, New York decided that it wasn't on board with its fate. So it broke out and didn't look back, sprinting down 109th Avenue, sending stunned New Yorkers- who suddenly found themselves in an impromptu running of the bulls- scattering for safety.
            Article continues: Cow Breaks Out of NYC Slaughterhouse, Runs for Freedom (Video)

            Animal Pictures