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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.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Keeping track of how you spend your money might not be very much fun, but right now it's very important to understand how much money you're spending and what you're spending it on. 
Start thinking about your long-term financial goals -- a penny saved today could equal a dollar down the road. 
You may start to notice that you spend more money when you socialize, so you might consider hanging out in humbler locales for a while.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Brussels, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
London, Ontario, Canada
Albury, New South Wales, Australia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel
Katowice, Salaskie, Poland
Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden
Manila, Manila, Philippines
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Yogyakarta, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Ottawa, Ontario, 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 Warwick, Mountain View, Pageland, Old Fort and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, August 13, the 225th day of 2011.
There are 140 days left in the year.

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

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
As Prepared for Delivery
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Washington, DC

On Thursday, I visited a new, high-tech factory in Michigan where workers are helping America lead the way in a growing clean energy industry.

They were proud of their work, and they should be. They’re not just showing us a path out of the worst recession in generations – they’re proving that this is still a country where we make things; where new ideas take root and grow; where the best universities, most creative entrepreneurs, and most dynamic businesses in the world call home. They’re proving that even in difficult times, there’s not a country on Earth that wouldn’t trade places with us.

That doesn’t mean we don’t face some very tough economic challenges. Many Americans are hurting badly right now. Many have been unemployed for too long. Putting these men and women back to work, and growing wages for everyone, has got to be our top priority.

But lately, the response from Washington has been partisanship and gridlock that’s only undermined public confidence and hindered our efforts to grow the economy.

So while there’s nothing wrong with our country, there is something wrong with our politics, and that’s what we’ve got to fix. Because we know there are things Congress can do, right now, to get more money back in your pockets, get this economy growing faster, and get our friends and neighbors back to work.

The payroll tax cut that put $1,000 back in the average family’s pocket this year? Let’s extend it. Construction workers who’ve been jobless since the housing boom went bust? Let’s put them back to work rebuilding America. Let’s cut red tape in the patent process so entrepreneurs can get good ideas to market more quickly. Let’s finish trade deals so we can sell more American-made goods around the world. Let’s connect the hundreds of thousands of brave Americans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan to businesses that need their incredible skills and talents.

These are all things we can do right now. So let’s do them. And over the coming weeks, I’ll put forward more proposals to help our businesses hire and create jobs, and won’t stop until every American who wants a job can find one.

But we can no longer let partisan brinksmanship get in our way – the idea that making it through the next election is more important than making things right. That’s what’s holding us back – the fact that some in Congress would rather see their opponents lose than see America win.

So you’ve got a right to be frustrated. I am. Because you deserve better. And I don’t think it’s too much for you to expect that the people you send to this town start delivering.

Members of Congress are at home in their districts right now. And if you agree with me – whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican or not much of a fan of either – let them know.

If you’ve had it with gridlock, and you want them to pass stalled bills that will help our economy right now – let them know.

If you refuse to settle for a politics where scoring points is more important than solving problems; if you believe it’s time to put country before party and the interests of our children before our own – let them know.

And maybe they’ll get back to Washington ready to compromise, ready to create jobs, ready to get our fiscal house in order – ready to do what you sent them to do.

Yes, we’ve still got a long way to go to get to where we need to be. We didn’t get into this mess overnight, and it’s going to take time to get out of it. That’s a hard truth – but it’s no excuse for inaction. After all, America voted for divided government, not dysfunctional government, and we’ve got work to do. And when we come together and find common ground, there’s no stopping this country. There’s no stopping our people. There’s no holding us back. And there is every reason to believe we’ll get through this storm to a brighter day.

Thanks for listening, and have a nice weekend.

Rioters' identities shock U.K.

A ballerina, an Olympic ambassador, a straight-A student, and an 11-year-old are among 1,700 arrested.

Ultra-fast vehicle crashes

Super plane Falcon HTV-2 SKY
A test flight of the 'world's fastest plane' has ended in disaster after it plunged into the Pacific Ocean. Hypersonic 

Non Sequitur


Need A Job?

Forget Benefits
Providing benefits to full-time employees is an increasingly unattractive option for small businesses.
Full Story

Laid-off workers win lottery

Canadian workers receive good news right after their company announces their plant is closing.

Best cities for home values

These five metro areas offer great deals for buyers in today's rocky economy.

Is Boardwalk worth it?

Monopoly's ritziest address isn't the one that will ensure you a win, math whizzes say.

What's In a Name?

Delete the Word 'Lobster'
New York seafood lovers have been schooled. Due to the keen eye of a New Orleans writer, a famous destination for Manhattan foodies is now changing the name of its "Lobster Salad." The upscale Zabar's deli had used that term for 20 years, but it turns out there was no lobster.

Free Speech Violated

A federal judge ruled on Thursday that the free speech of a coalition of atheists had been violated when Little Rock's public bus line denied them the right to place $5,000 worth of ads on city buses. 

"Grease Devil"

Panic over nighttime assaults blamed on "grease devils" has struck across rural Sri Lanka, leading to the deaths of at least three people this week, prompting women to stay indoors and men to arm themselves, police and local media said. 




An overcrowded prison in northeastern Brazil has added a new layer of security against escapes: two geese.
Most inmates are trying to get out of prison, but authorities say they caught a California parolee trying to sneak back in.

Mexico arrests trafficker accused of 600 killings

Mexican police arrested the suspected leader of a brutal drug gang called "The Hand with Eyes" and he has confessed to helping carry out or ordering more than 600 murders, authorities said Thursday.

Woman Pleads Guilty to Staging her Own Kidnapping in Guatemala

A Virginia woman pleaded guilty in relation to a staged kidnapping in Guatemala, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride for the Eastern District of Virginia and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Miami Division.

Bad Cops

Massachusetts cop gets 6+ years for child sexual assault

Louisiana cop arrested for domestic violence

California cop gets probation for pepper spraying handcuffed suspect

"We can do this the easy way and you can take us to your house to look around, or we can detain you for six hours while we get a warrant and go to your house and shoot your dog"

Chilling video captures man's cries for help as he is Tased and beaten to death by police

Guards and supervisors at Florida juvenile lockup never sought emergency care for a teenager who died after screaming in pain and vomiting for hours

Police shooting triggers London riot

Kentucky jailer is jailed for allegedly taking cash and sex to let prisoners out of jail

Pennsylvania deputy sheriff arrested for assaulting romantic rival

Georgia jailer arrested in sex sting

California deputy charged with having sex with a minor is jailed after posting threats on Facebook

5 New Orleans cops guilty in post-Katrina Danziger Bridge shootings, cover-up

Former Minnesota cop gets 90 days in jail for strangulation assault of girlfriend

California prison guard is arrested for pharmacy armed robbery

Alabama police officer is arrested on burglary, theft charges

Iowa police officer is arrested for allegedly threatening to arrest a woman if she didn’t go to his apartment and sexually assaulting her there

Another Florida police officer is arrested and charged with official misconduct

Virginia police officer arrested on theft charges

Wife files order of protection against Michigan cop accused of domestic violence

Texas cop gets 6+ years for his role in cocaine caravan

Michigan cop is arrested for domestic assault



Remembering the Berlin Wall

Germany marks 50 years since the wall that divided a city and the world was created.  

Were the nuclear bombs irrelevant to Japan's surrender in WWII ?

From an article at Boston.com:
For nearly seven decades, the American public has accepted one version of the events that led to Japan’s surrender...

In recent years, however, a new interpretation of events has emerged. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa - a highly respected historian at the University of California, Santa Barbara - has marshaled compelling evidence that it was the Soviet entry into the Pacific conflict, not Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that forced Japan’s surrender. His interpretation could force a new accounting of the moral meaning of the atomic attack. It also raises provocative questions about nuclear deterrence, a foundation stone of military strategy in the postwar period...

“Hasegawa has changed my mind,” says Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Making of the Atomic Bomb.” “The Japanese decision to surrender was not driven by the two bombings.”

Hasegawa and other historians have shown that Japan’s leaders were in fact quite savvy, well aware of their difficult position, and holding out for strategic reasons. Their concern was not so much whether to end the conflict, but how to end it while holding onto territory, avoiding war crimes trials, and preserving the imperial system...

As Hasegawa writes in his book “Racing the Enemy,” the Japanese leadership reacted [to the bombing of Hiroshima] with concern, but not panic... The bombing added a “sense of urgency,” Hasegawa says, but the plan remained the same... Very late the next night, however, something happened that did change the plan. The Soviet Union declared war and launched a broad surprise attack on Japanese forces in Manchuria. In that instant, Japan’s strategy was ruined.

Better to surrender to Washington than to Moscow... By the morning of Aug. 9, the Japanese Supreme War Council was meeting to discuss the terms of surrender. (During the meeting, the second atomic bomb killed tens of thousands at Nagasaki.) On Aug. 15, the Japanese surrendered unconditionally...
Interested in more of this history? You will find much more at  Boston.com.

Awesome Pictures


Exploring a cold, icy maze

A photographer braves subzero temps to capture this breathtaking moment.  

Dual treat for sky-watchers

The reliable Perseid meteor shower is joined by another object flying across the heavens. 

Martian Vista

Mars Rover has spent three years on a 13-mile journey to send back pictures of a huge Martian crater. Images 

Daily Comic Relief


It was a Bad Day to be a Viking

SkeletonsViking massacre Skeletons shed light on vicious killing of Danes in Oxford



Outrageously expensive pets

A red Tibetan mastiff named Big Splash fetched a staggering $1.5 million in China. 

The Week in Animal News

apes learn english intro photo
Photo: Chi King/Creative Commons
As a polyglot fluent in seven languages, French primatologist Dr. Francine Neago can converse in the native tongue of peoples throughout the world -- but she's interested most of all in talking with orangutans.
Find out more about her groundbreaking research -- along with other ways humans are helping animals, from a baby humpback whale rescued after it beached and a newborn gorilla saved from poachers to donkeys relocated from Hawaii and foxes lulled to sleep by the radio -- in this Week in Animals slideshow.
week in animal news apes learning english
Article continues: The Week in Animal News: Apes Learning English, Sharks in the Forest, and More (Slideshow)

Enormous Bird Lived Alongside Dinosaurs

It's the second known large avian from the dinosaur era, adding to the list of birds that lived alongside dinosaurs.  

Did Dinosaurs Hibernate?

New analysis suggests they didn't but instead managed to plod on through frigid Antarctic winters.  

Make up your mind already!


Whale won't leave river

A 30-ton female gray that took a wrong turn seems content to just hang around.

Ocean Giants

Blue whale (c) Doc White / Naturepl
Film crew captures stunning images of the giants breaking records under the waves.

Most mysterious shark

This aptly named species doesn't bother biting its prey — because it doesn't have to.  

Boy catches rare octopus

A 10-year-old boy in Hawaii snagged an unusual catch while fishing.

The youngster scooped a strange looking octopus out of the ocean.

Upping the cute factor

See what happens when a puppy eats a lime.

Death by Vampire

Vampire bat PA
A 19-year-old man has become the first person in the US to die after being bitten by a vampire bat. Hypothermia 

Chimpanzees Not as Selfish as We Thought

New research debunks a previous theory about how and why chimps share.

Animal Pictures