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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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Striking a good balance between your family life and your career is not as difficult as some people may have you believe. 
As long as you understand which is more important, you'll be fine. 
(Here's a hint: It's not your career!) 
Sure, there may be scheduling conflicts from time to time with things like ballet recitals and board meetings, but if you keep lines of communication open and update your calendar frequently, you can stay on top of things.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
London, Ontario, Canada
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Albury, New South Wales, Australia
Kiev, Kyyiv, Ukraine
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Newbury, England, United Kingdom
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Hyvinkaa, Southern Finland, Finland
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Paris, Ile-De-France, France

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 Huntingdon Valley, Deltona, St. Paul, Redwood City and more.

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, August 17, the 229th day of 2011.
There are 136 days left in the year.

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

Letter blows up hacking scandal

A former News Corp. reporter claims phone hacking was "widely discussed" in the newsrooms.  

Geography quiz mistakes

American teens struggle with naming their state capitals — especially these three cities.  

Non Sequitur


Hey, America

Let's get rid of every repugican and raise the average Congressional  IQ level to that of an idiot!

Lunatic Fringe

A woman kicked is out of repugican town hall meeting for wearing Sierra Club t-shirt.
repugicans are in desparate need of some serious lessons in reality

This Modern World


BA's effect on lifetime salary

People with just a high school diploma average $1.3 million over their careers.  

Is it time to refinance?

One couple will be able to pay off their home two years early with a lower rate.  

Fallout from a bad credit score

A poor debt rating can be used as leverage against you in a divorce.  

Knee Implants Made Friendlier With Free Radicals

knee implant
A coating of free radicals could help ensure a person's body does not reject a new implant.  

Manage your life

Stop getting so angry!

Low-tech hotel art heist

While the curator was briefly distracted, a thief swiped the valuable sketch from a hotel display. 

Sword swallower arrested for being in possession of sword

An acclaimed Australian sword-swallower was arrested while busking in New York for "brandishing a sword in public". The Space Cowboy - real name Chayne Hultgren, 33, from Byron Bay, NSW - claims police threw him into a packed cell, saying: "Don't tell these guys you swallow." "After 24 hours locked up I am now released from jail," he said. "All my performance props have been confiscated but I am a free man. They charged me for 'disorderly conduct' and I was locked up with junkies, sexual offenders and four break-dancers."

Mr Hultgren, who claimed the unofficial world record of swallowing 27 swords at the Irish Street Performance Festival and holds the official world record of 18 swallows at once, said an officer approached him as he performed in front of a large street crowd and said: "I don't care if you are a sword swallower, you were holding a sword in public and I have every right to shoot you." Mr Hultgren said he was told to tell the crowd to disperse and he'd be back to finish his show in an hour.

"As soon as most of the crowd dispersed I was cuffed and aggressively guided into the back of a police vehicle," he said. "I spent the next 24 hours handcuffed and locked up in a cell. No bed, no food, no rights. When I was locked in a small cell with 26 other prisoners one of the officers said tauntingly and loudly through the bars 'don't tell these guys you swallow'. The NYPD confirmed Mr Hultgren's arrest on August 2, at 11.30am in Manhattan. "He was disorderly, creating a hazardous condition," a spokesman said. "He was swinging whips and in possession of a sword and had no ... identification."

Mr Hultgren said all his props were in police custody and it was a convoluted process to get them back. "I have a gig this weekend so I have been desperately trying to buy all new props," he wrote. "I ordered a new 4m unicycle, more swords and whips. The only thing they let me keep was my bag. So that turned out to be a very expensive street show for me. I even missed my flight because I was in jail. Total loss for me is in the thousands even though in the end I was not charged or fined. They just let me go."

You can see Mr Hultgren in action here.

Awesome Pictures


Food Prices May Predict Riots

Food Prices May Predict Riots
People living during food shortages are often more desperate, and can be more dangerous when they stand up to authority.  

Woman admits stealing bacon to fund 28-pint-a-day booze habit

A thief dubbed 'Britain's drunkest woman' has admitted that she stole bacon in order to fund her somewhat excessive habit of downing 28 pints a day. 31-year-old Dawn Marsden has received a six-month conditional discharge in Hartlepool Magistrates' Court after admitting to stealing 10 packs of bacon to help fund her boozy ways.

Jobless Marsden was so drunk when she appeared for sentencing that she had to ask reporters what her punishment was afterwards. "You may have noticed my client has a drink problem," her solicitor told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court. "It’s something she is seeking advice upon and getting help. She tells me on occasion she will drink up to 16 liters a day.

"She has a long-standing appetite for alcohol. Someone under the influence of alcohol has clouded judgment, and that’s why she expresses regret for her actions.” Marsden, whose two-year-old daughter was taken into foster care over her monstrous appetite for alcohol, admitted the new charge and received a six-month conditional discharge, although she slurred to reporters that the sentencing was a "sham".

Addiction counselor Dr Robert Lefever said that Marsden was an "Olympic athlete" when it came to drinking, although that wasn't quite the compliment that it sounds. She should be dead at those levels. The reason she isn't is that she has trained her body by drinking every day. She is the equivalent of an Olympic athlete when it comes to drinking."

Dangerous Food


Aid for famine victims stolen

Thousands of sacks of food meant for famine victims are being stolen and sold on the black market.  

Hot dog giants' court fight

A bitter squabble between the nation's top two frank makers is being played out before a judge.

Culinary DeLites

A Mexican twist on pizza and inventive, healthy fajitas turn dinnertime into a fiesta. 



Ten Characters Based On Real People

Did you know that Shrek was partially based on a pro-wrestler named Maurice Tillet? Or that Sonic’s rival, Eggman, was based on a combination of Theodore Roosevelt and an egg? Learn more weird inspirations for fictional characters over at BuzzFeed.

Ok, if you say so.


Marco Polo Never Got to Asia

(Plus More History Myths)
Marco Polo
The explorer may have lifted his stories from fellow traders, Napoleon was not short -- as years turn into centuries, facts can become twisted.


Archaeologists raising the timber roadIron Age road link to Boudicca's tribe

Archaeologists uncover a suspected Iron Age track, built of timber and kept hidden and preserved in peat for 2,000 years.

'Early Wood'

Transverse section of an Early Devonian plant with a small amount of wood (Image: Science/AAAS)Excitement over 'early wood' find

Fossilized plants show that woody plants probably first appeared on the Earth about 10 million years earlier than previously thought, a study suggests.

Daily Comic Relief


World's prettiest rivers

The Devil's Pool is a swimming hole at the edge of a dizzying waterfall. 

Nature Conquers All In the End

Mankind maintains a complex relationship with the environment. Basically we see what we want and take it. Then when we are out of money, or it becomes inconvenient to keep it, we toss it away. Mother Nature is ticked. Nature is not a passive victim, but an active force. Nature moves in for the kill.  

Peruvian Desert Once a Breadbasket

Peruvian Desert Once a Breadbasket
After scouring through ancient trash heaps, bioarcheologists have reconstructed the intense agricultural history of the Peruvian Inca Valley.  



Shirley and Jenny

The touching story of Shirley and Jenny the elephants
Jenny and Shirley were circus elephants, chained up for 23 out of 24 hours, transported in tiny train cars and performing on demand for screaming masses. Shirley adopted Jenny, still a calf at the time, as her surrogate daughter and the two formed a very special, albeit brief bond. Shirley was soon moved away and Jenny remained a circus elephant. Jenny’s life had remained one of stress, confinement and cruel discipline for the next 23 years. She was only considered to be good enough for the performances she gave in the big top and, when she experienced a serious leg injury, she no longer served an economically beneficial purpose for the circus. She was soon dumped at a shelter for cats and dogs, barely equipped to accommodate a full-sized elephant, and now forced to care for the medical needs of one.

A committed animal rights activist contacted an elephant sanctuary and Jenny was soon transferred to their care. Coincidentally, this was the same sanctuary to which Shirley had been taken years earlier. Her first day there was spent in isolation, but Jenny was miserable without the company of her peers, and it was decided that she should join the rest of the herd. On seeing one another, the two old friends recognised each other immediately. They trumpeted as they bumped their ample bodies together in a typical gesture of affectionate camaraderie. Right away, the two old pals were again inseparable, roaming the sanctuary side by side. They were joined by another duo, Bunny and Tarra.

Sadly, Jenny was only well for a few years before her previous injury (for which she had been ousted from the circus) caused her to become very ill. Eventually, she became too weak to cover the vast distances to which she and Shirley were accustomed. Shirley, the ultimate ‘mother’, led her to a shaded valley and lay her down on soft underbrush. As Jenny shifted uncomfortably, Shirley stayed with her day and night, even using her trunk to help her to change her position. Tarra and Bunny joined in this vigil and the four elephants trumpeted consolingly for 3 hours. They were celebrating Jenny’s amazing life, a rare performance.

When the sun rose the following day, Shirley could no longer bear to watch her friend’s suffering. She left the scene to mourn the imminent death of Jenny. Bunny and Tarra remained with their ailing friend, stroking her with their trunks and trumpeting in response to her moans. That night, Jenny died and Bunny and Tarra remained with her body until day break. Shirley’s mourning was real and evident by her appearance. Her trunk dragged along the ground, her shoulders slumped, and she was unable to open her eyes completely. She could not eat, and refused to trumpet. Bunny even went in search of her, staying with her in the hills for two days. Fortunately, Misty arrived at the sanctuary and proved to be a good influence on Shirley. Misty was fun-loving and cheerful, and Shirley found a new friend in her.

Carol Buckley has written a book about Shirley and Jenny.



Are Unicorns Real?

Some people believe in unicorns, or vampires, dragons, werewolfs and mermaids. Are they real? Is there a scientific basis for these folklores? Perhaps not, however the myths are alive and well.

Here's a list of 5 mythical creatures.

Twenty Percent of All Mammals at Risk of Extinction

Agriculture and hunting appear to be the main culprits in the animals' steep decline.

Candid shots of wild creatures

Hundreds of camouflaged automatic cameras in remote jungles provide a rare view of the truly wild.

Shark could shatter record

The tiger shark's size — and the unlikely way it was caught — could make this one for the books. 

Sad end to whale's journey

A 45-foot gray whale beaches itself and then dies after spending 53 days in a California river.  

Animal Pictures