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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 25, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
The ebb and flow of your energy is extremely unpredictable right now, so don't commit yourself to anything too strenuous or physically ambitious. 
This is not the best day to start a new gym, join a sports team or go for a big hike. 
If you do, you might find yourself without energy right when you need it most. 
Instead, try for more relaxed activities where you can take a break when you need to. 
Your mind will be active and can help you stay focused.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Izmir Izmir, Turkey
London, England, United Kingdom
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Newbury, England, United Kingdom
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Cork, Cork, 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 La Quinta, Deerfield Park, Wilmington, Midvale and more.

Today is:
Today is Thursday, August 25, the 237th day of 2011.
There are 128 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays or celebrations are:
Kiss and Make Up Day
National Second-hand Wardrobe Day.
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Non Sequitur


Donating to Uncle Sam?

The government has received $3 million in donations from citizens this year.  

NYPD's covert operations

A covert partnership with the CIA plants spies and targets ethnic communities in potentially illegal ways.  

Hate Group leader Tony Perkins says top four repugicans would get support from religio-wingnuts

Tony Perkins heads the Family Research Council, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. There are ample reasons why FRC earned that designation. But, Perkins, who is notoriously obsessed with all things gay, remains a fixture in repugican politics. And, he's happy with the top four repugican candidates and thinks the other religio-wingnut types will approve, too.
From The Hill:
Evangelical voters would likely accept and enthusiastically support any of the four frontrunning candidates for the repugican presidential nomination, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said Tuesday evening.

Perkins, an influential leader of social conservatives, suggested that Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (reptile), and Michele Bachmann (retard-Minn.) and Ron Paul (repulsive-Texas) would each be acceptable to evangelicals.

"Yes, I think so," Perkins told Faux Business Network host Lou Dobbs, who asked if the four frontrunners "would satisfy the evangelical right."
Perkins recently trashed the Obama administration's support of the "It Gets Better" campaign. And, he's made similar comments ugly comments about youth suicide before. Because, really, why would someone like Tony Perkins want to stop young LGBT kids from killing themselves? Wonder if the top four repugicans agree with him there, too.

The truth be told


Repugicans are hypocrits


Florida drug-testing program costing state more than it’s saving

Someone should do a report on all the repugican 'cost-savings' programs that really end up costing us all more money.  Such as their great idea to cut illegal immigrants out of health care reform, while those same immigrants can simply go to the emergency room and get free treatment which costs the states four times as much.  Or this case in Florida, where they're drug testing welfare recipients, and found that the testing itself is costing them more than they're saving in welfare money that's been cut off to drug users.
So Florida's politicians put an even greater burden on the state budget in the middle of a nationwide budget crisis.  Brilliant.

More from the ACLU:
We've told you a few times about Florida's horrible new law that drug tests all families applying for cash benefit welfare applicants. The law, which went into effect July 1, makes applicants front the cost of the drug test and reimburses individuals if they test negative.

The ACLU and others predicted this program would be a failure and cost the state of Florida much more money than they would save. Guess what? In just the few weeks that the program has been in effect we have been proven right.

The Department of Children and Families' central region has tested 40 applicants since the law went into effect six weeks ago, and of those 40 applicants, 38 tested negative for drugs. The cost to the state of Florida to reimburse those 38 individuals who tested negative was at least $1,140 over the course of six weeks. Meanwhile, denying benefits to the two applicants who tested positive will save Florida less than $240 a month.

Bank of America may need another $100-$200 billion

This is ugly.

After the poor handling of the bank bailout, the public is going to have very little appetite for helping. It also raises the question of why the banks received so many tax dollars and then paid out rich rewards to the unrewarding, while still needing money.

Business Insider:
So, taking some back of the envelope numbers, it looks as though we could easily come up with, say, $100-$200 billion in write-offs and exposures to "clean up" Bank of America's balance sheet.

A $100-$200 billion hit to Bank of America's $222 billion of equity capital, needless to say, would do some serious damage. Specifically, it would force the company to raise about the same amount to restore its capital ratios.

That's why Bank of America's stock is tanking. The owners of that stock will be the first folks to get hit if Bank of America has to raise more capital. And the lower Bank of America's stock is when it raises more capital, the more they'll get hit.

Fed speech may rattle markets

Some think the Fed chief will offer a new way to jump-start the U.S. economy.  

We're hiring ... In China!

These U.S. companies are creating thousands of new jobs in China, as they spread their products to the country's growing middle class. 

Coke currently employs more than 48,000 people in China, and three new factories opening this year are expected to create another 940 jobs. As China's middle class has grown, the world's largest beverage maker has been along for the ride. In 1998, the average Chinese consumer drank only eight Coke products a year. Now, they drink more than 30.

In April, Disney broke ground on the $4.4 billion project, which is bound to create thousands of jobs through the construction phase alone.

Procter & Gamble now employs about 8,000 people in China and is adding more. An active member of the U.S. China Business Council, P&G's CEO Robert McDonald often points out that growth overseas actually supports American jobs.

Caterpillar announced earlier this month that it plans to build a new factory in Xuzhou. Once it's fully operational, the factory will employ about 400 people.

Merck -- known as Merck Sharp & Dohme or MSD overseas -- already employs about 5,000 people in the country, the bulk of which are sales representatives stationed in more than 120 cities.

High pay with two-year degree

An associate's degree can quickly train you for one of these lucrative positions. 

Toilet attendant hoards £35k

Euro coins
A tax-dodging toilet attendant has had their home raided by police who found a small fortune in coins. 

Awesome Pictures


Pileus Iridescent Cloud

Esther Havens snapped this marvelous shot in Ethiopia. NASA says that it’s a pileus iridescent cloud, which is “a group of water droplets that have a uniformly similar size and so together diffract different colors of sunlight by different amounts.” Translation: the sky gods are happy and demand fewer virgin sacrifices this year.

Quake bangs up monument

The towering Washington, D.C., attraction will be closed indefinitely for repairs.  

Thirty-Three Awesome Hotel Rooms

BuzzFeed has a great list of cool hotel rooms, and while most of them have stunning interiors, I have to say that this cow-shaped room is the one that really caught my attention. It’s apparently in Belgium, but I couldn’t find much else about it. Anyone care to fill me in?

Tripoli journalists freed

Dozens of reporters are released after being held captive for days by armed Gadhafi loyalists.  

Worst poems ever written

Some of the rhymes hated by scholars will make you cry — for the wrong reasons.  

Cool pools of gorgeous homes

Touch a button in one estate, and a floor transforms into a grand place to swim. 



Generation Vexed

We've got the baby boomers, Gen X, then Gen Y and The Millenials ... what do you call young peole of today?
Tiffany Hsu and Shan Li of The Los Angeles Times coined the term "Generation Vexed" and they may have a valid point:
Fewer than half of Americans believe that the current generation will have a better life than the last, according to a Gallup poll this spring. It was the most pessimistic showing for that barometer in nearly three decades.
Another poll, of Americans ages 18 to 29, found that three-quarters of them expect to delay a major life change or purchase because of economic factors. The survey — released last week, just before the Standard & Poor's downgrade of U.S. debt — was by the nonprofit Generation Opportunity, headed by Paul Conway.
"There's a generation here being formed under the crucible of unemployment, debt and lack of economic chances," said Conway, who was chief of staff at the Labor Department during the George W. Bush administration. "They're just seeking an opportunity to get in the game."
During the fight in Congress this summer over the debt ceiling, frustrated college students banded together to form a coalition called Do We Have a Deal Yet? John Glass, 21, was one of more than 100 student body presidents who signed a public letter produced by the group.
"Our generation is going to take the brunt of the force of the debt crisis," said Glass, a government major at St. Lawrence University in New York. "It's going to mean fewer jobs, higher interest rates, more debt.
"We'll have to sacrifice," he said. "This is a raw deal for our generation."

Helpful Tips to Make Life Simple

* Old telephone books make ideal personal address books. Simply cross out the names and addresses of people you don’t know.

* Fool other drivers into thinking you have an expensive car phone by holding an old TV or video remote control up to your ear and occasionally swerving across the road and mounting the curb.

* Avoid parking tickets by leaving your windshield wipers turned to fast wipe whenever you leave your car parked illegally.

* No time for a bath? Wrap yourself in masking tape and remove the dirt by simply peeling it off.

* Apply red nail polish to your nails before clipping them. The red nails will be much easier to spot on your bathroom carpet. (Unless you have a red carpet, in which case a contrasting polish should be selected).

* If a person is choking on an ice cube, don’t panic. Simply pour a jug of boiling water down their throat and presto! The blockage is almost instantly removed.

*Drink iced tea instead of whiskey. The following morning you can create the effects of hangover by drinking a thimble full of dish washing liquid and banging your head repeatedly on the wall.

Six Helpful Things Schools Made You Stop Doing

I’m sure just about everyone reading this was yelled at at least once in school for chewing gum, doodling, day dreaming or fidgeting, but as it turns out, science says those behaviors are actually beneficial to your ability to learn.
Learn how over at Cracked.

Lawyer brains

A man is passing a butcher’s shop and sees a sign: Special Offer - Brains

Cow brains————-a cent a pound
Sheep brains———-3 dollars a pound
Pig brains————-3 dollars a pound
Doctor brains———50 dollars a pound
Engineer brains——50 dollars pound
Programmer brains—50 dollars a pound
Lawyer brains———1000 dollars a pound
So and he goes into the shop and says to the butcher “Excuse me, I couldn’t help noticing your sign - I suppose the cow brains are so much cheaper than the other brains because of the Mad Cow Disease scare.”
“That’s right” says the butcher.
“And,” continues the man, “I suppose the lawyer brains are so much more expensive than the other brains because they’re such high quality.”
“Not at all,” says the butcher “do you know how many lawyers you gotta kill to get a pound of brain?”

Warning signs of early dementia

Some Alzheimer's and dementia symptoms can turn up before memory loss begins.  

Through Their Eyes

Many of us walk through life caught up in our own view of reality, but if you take a moment and stop to look at the world around you, you may wonder what it looks like through someone else's eyes. Have you ever wondered how other people see things? Some people have perfect vision while others can barely see anything without some sort of assistance, either from glasses, contacts, or other forms such as LASIK surgery.

Take a visual tour through many various perspectives and see through the eyes of people with different types of eye disorders.

The Unusual Suspects

Jack The Ripper

Jack the Ripper is the best-known name given to an unidentified serial killer who was active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. The concentration of the killings at the weekend, and within a few streets of each other, has indicated to many that the Ripper was employed during the week and lived locally. Others have thought the killer was an educated upper-class man, possibly a doctor or an aristocrat, who ventured into Whitechapel from a more well-to-do area.

Despite the many and varied theories about the identity and profession of Jack the Ripper, authorities are not agreed on a single solution and the number of named suspects reaches over one hundred. Asylum puts some of the accused under the microscope and explains why they almost certainly were not 'Saucy Jack'.

The Dyatlov Pass Incident

The Dyatlov Pass incident refers to an event that resulted in the deaths of nine ski hikers in the northern Ural mountains on the night of February 2, 1959. It happened on the east shoulder of the mountain Kholat Syakhl. The lack of eyewitnesses has inspired much speculation. Soviet investigators determined only that 'a compelling unknown force' had caused the deaths.

Investigators at the time determined that the hikers tore open their tent from within, departing barefoot in heavy snow. Though the corpses showed no signs of struggle, two victims had fractured skulls, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue. According to sources, four of the victims' clothing contained substantial levels of radiation.

World's oldest fossil found

Australian outback
3.4 billion-year-old sandstones in Australia may contain the oldest traces yet of early life on earth. 

Mother Nature's Canvas


GPS-Bearing Invasive Trout Are Used as Moles to Find, Destroy Their Own Eggs

Invasive species can be seen in two ways: as winning the struggle for life by out-evolving competing species, or as upsetting a precarious balance of biodiversity. The United States Geological Survey's (USGS) Invasive Species Program has decided on the latter in the case of invasive lake trout in Yellowstone National Park, and it's taking unusual steps to combat the dominance of the fish. Scientists are implanting radio transmitters in the fish and tracking them to their spawning grounds. The goal: destroy their eggs and the future of the species in the area, the New York Times reported.
Article continues: GPS-Bearing Invasive Trout Are Used as Moles to Find, Destroy Their Own Eggs

Microwave Patterns

You know how microwave ovens heat or defrost your food unevenly? You must either rotate or stir your food between zaps to get it “done.” Lenore at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories accidentally uncovered the pattern her microwave uses when she heated some Indian snack crackers called appalams.
Holy crap!
As an area of the cracker cooks, it bubbles up in just a few seconds, leaving clear marks as to where there is microwave power and where there isn’t. For this particular microwave, Saturn-shaped objects will cook evenly.
Obviously what is happening is that there are two hotspots in this microwave: one in the center, and one offset from center which traces out a circle thanks to the rotating plate in the bottom.
And then, like any good scientist, she recreated the entire experiment in four other microwave ovens to see if the results could be duplicated.

How to eat healthily on a tight budget

Cheap healthy food - Yahoo Finance
We look at whether eating healthily on a tight budget can be as cheap as eating junk food. 

Cavemen Cooked 2 Million Years Ago

 And It Was Due To Efficiency
Cooking is not a modern invention, concludes new research.
Full Story



Cute Overload

White Lion is Born in Colombia
Her name is "Miracle" and according to Colombian biologists is the first baby white lion to be born in 14 years! Perhaps due to the lack of pigment in her hair, other lions don't recognize her as kindred, and she has had to be separated from the other felines, who acted hostile toward her.

Winking Grizzly Bear

Jill Greenberg, the photographer who became famous (or more famous) by taking photos of crying kids, has turned her attention to something a bit more meaty. Like bears, for instance.
This one to the left is a winking grizzly bear named "Koda," which she photographed in Frazier Park, Kern, California.
Check out the entire series here: here

Feared pest found at airport

A Khapra beetle larva is discovered in a bag of rice that came from India.  

Animal Pictures

Aw Shit!
This is the moment when you say it and do it at the same time.