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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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
The mists of your memories will do nothing but cloud up your vision today, and you will need clarity to make some important decisions.
So try to live in the present moment each step of the way today.
Face forward and keep thinking about the next adventure instead of leaving some of your heart in the past.
Dwelling on failures -- or successes -- is nothing but a waste of time.
Turn away from your memories and toward the opportunities that will come your way.

Some of our readers today have been in: 
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Newbury, England, United Kingdom
Bath, England, United Kingdom
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
London, England United Kingdom
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Albury, New South Wales, Australia
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Kuala Lumur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malysia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

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 Caledonia, Longmeadow, Tacoma, Coalinga and more.

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, August 30, the 242nd day of 2011.
There are 123 days left in the year.

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

Non Sequitur


Tuneful Tuesday

Rose of Cimarron by Poco

Where Did The Windows XP Default Wallpaper Come From?

Does the above image look familiar? It should be if you've used or are still using Windows XP. It's one of the most famous wallpaper images showing a blissfully relaxing vista of green rolling hills and a bluer than blue sky.

The wallpaper, probably one of the most viewed images of all time, is aptly named 'Bliss.' Here in the Netherlands the image was called 'Ireland,' which has mistakenly led many to believe that that's where the image was taken. But it was not. Have you ever stopped to wonder where the image was taken, or who took it? In fact, the image is so crisp you might have assumed it wasn't real at all.

The truth be told

Atheism is beating christianity on the internet 10 to 1.
Not surprising ... the Truth always wins out.

Ain't it the truth


Wild weather explained

Experts explain why floods, droughts, tornadoes, and even a rare hurricane have hit.

Photos of Hurricane Irene Aftermath

New York City didn’t see as much destruction as they had expected, but many communities up and down the east coast were severely impacted by Hurricane Irene. Buzzfeed has a roundup of frightening photographs from various locations. This one shows Route 12 at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The damaged road isolated 2,500 people on Hatteras Island.  

The elderly and ill vs. the hurricane victims

How "patriotic" to pit hurting Americans against one another.
Despite the devastation caused by hurricane Irene this weekend, Eric Cantor (reptile-va) stood by his call that no more money be allocated for disaster relief unless it is offset by spending cuts elsewhere. FEMA will need more money than it currently has to deal with the storm’s aftermath and is already diverting funds from other recent disasters to deal with the hurricane, but Cantor’s comments suggest repugicans won’t authorize more funds without a fight. 
Let’s also not lose sight of the larger context here. As far as Eric Cantor is concerned, launching wars in Iraq and Afghanistan do not need to be paid for. Tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires do not need to be paid for. Bailing out Wall Street does not need to be paid for. But when American communities are struck by a natural disaster, all of a sudden, house repugicans discover a new standard: if Democrats want to help affected areas, the repugicans have some demands that must be met.

And in case this story isn’t quite mind-numbing enough, also note that FEMA has been forced to temporarily suspend “some payments to rebuild roads, schools and other structures destroyed during spring tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri, and southern states and other recent natural disasters” in order to respond to hurricane Irene.

That this is happening in the wealthiest nation in the world, simply because the repugican party has been taken over by charlatans and fools, is a national disgrace.

Does Congress need a raise?

From the "What part of HELL NO!, do they not understand?" Department:
Several lawmakers complain that their $174,000 salaries aren't enough for the jobs they do.
A pay cut is more appropriate!

Mimi and Eunice


The Story Of The Most Misused Social Security Number Of All Time

The most misused Social Security Number of all time was 078-05-1120. In 1938, a wallet manufacturer decided to promote its product by showing how a Social Security card would fit into its wallets. A sample card, used for display purposes, was inserted in each wallet. The company vice president thought it would be a clever idea to use the actual SSN of his secretary, Mrs. Hilda Schrader Whitcher.

Even though the card was only half the size of a real card and had the word 'specimen' written across the face, many purchasers of the wallet adopted the SSN as their own. In the peak year of 1943, 5,755 people were using Hilda's number. As late as 1977, 12 people were found to still be using the SSN.

Pentagon Racked Up $720 Million in Late Fees

Think that your overdue library book's late fee was bad? Well, that ain't nothin' compared to what the Pentagon paid in late fees in returning rented containers ...
The Pentagon has spent more than $720million since 2001 on fees for shipping containers that it fails to return on time, according to data and contracts obtained by USA TODAY.
The containers — large metal boxes stowed on ships and moved from port on trucks — are familiar sights on bases in Iraq and Afghanistan where troops use them for storage, shelter and building material. Yet each 20-foot container returned late can rack up more than $2,200 in late fees. Shipping companies charge the government daily "container detention fees" after the grace period ends for the box to be returned.
Thankfully, the Pentagon can afford it, as its budget is about $553 billion.

Redefining 'good' credit

A 660 score used to be enough to qualify for the lowest loan rates, but not anymore.  

Money myths debunked

Experts give thumbs down to these so-called "financial rules of thumb."

The $40 million gold coins mystery

Why has the Secret Service been after a Philadelphia family's coins for 70 years? 

Random Celebrity Photo


Disney toy accusations

An investigation charges that a factory making merchandise grossly violated laws.  

Worries over pilot skills

An "automation addiction" in the sky spurs worries of deadly accidents as pilots lose lifesaving instincts.

Chinese dissident blasts justice system in China

Quite bold and it may mean he will go back to jail. The last time he was sent to jail even his friends were held.

The Guardian:
Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist held by the authorities for almost three months earlier this year, has attacked injustice in China in a passionate article fueled by his own experiences of detention.

He accused officials of "deny[ing] us basic rights" and compared migrant workers to slaves, describing Beijing as "a city of violence" and "a constant nightmare".

But one of the most powerful passages describes how people "become like mad" as they are held in isolation and how detainees "truly believe [captors] can do anything to you".

Spy talk clip leaked online

Footage containing previously secret information about sensitive spying cases is posted online.  

Xenu Is A Bad Guy

I learn something new every day. I was reading the Village Voice series on The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology. I always thought Xenu, the space alien, was a deity to Scientologists. That's wrong:
Scientologists do not "worship" Xenu. He is the big bad guy in their origin story -- and it's an origin story that only a minority of parishioners are even aware of, only those who have paid enough money to reach the upper level of OT III (the highest level is OT VIII). Beginning Scientologists are strictly kept in the dark about this material, and are told to avoid any mention of it on the Internet.
In a nutshell, this is what Scientology is all about:
Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard explains that 75 million years ago, a galactic overlord ruling a 76-planet federation had decided to deal with an overpopulation problem by having billions of alien creatures brought to the planet Teegeeack, which we call Earth today. That overlord, who Hubbard names Xenu or Xemu, then blew up the countless aliens with hydrogen bombs, and then trapped their remaining souls, indoctrinating these souls with the use of 3D movies of a sort, and then set them free to wander the planet.
75 million years later, these bodiless, invisible alien souls have attached themselves to us. You might have hundreds in and around your body, and they give you aches and pains, cause you disease, and generally hold you back from your full potential.
Scientologists don't even learn about Xenu until late in their indoctrination -- after they've paid about $250,000.
But if you think scientologists are whacked out crazy get a load of what mormans believe:
Yes, 'special underwear' for the true believers.
And you still think religion isn't a bunch of hooey?

Awesome Pictures


Culinary DeLites

Dinners won't be dull with salmon and nectarine salsa or a rainbow chopped salad on the menu.

Facts on diet supplements

Coenzyme Q10 is an essential ingredient used by cells to make energy.  

Surprising facts about sweat

If perspiration is odorless, why do some people project an unpleasant smell when overheated?



Electrons In Space

I don't know about you, but this picture has just blown my mind.
What we're looking at here is an actual image which shows electrons orbiting around a molecule.
Let me explain just what exactly is going on here.
Pictured above is a single molecule of pentacene, made up of five rings of carbon atoms and bordered all the way around by hydrogen atoms.

Amazing water illusion

You'll be amazed at how the black bars in this drawing make the faucets spring to life.   

Human Brains Are Primally Wired To Notice Animals

Surrounded by technology and urbanity we may be, but the human brain remains profoundly hard-wired for responding to animals. When people are shown pictures of animals, specific parts of their amygdalas - a structure central to pleasure and pain, fear and reward - react almost instantly.

Put another way, glimpsing a bird at the feeder or a shark on Animal Planet could invoke cognitive tricks inherited from ancestors who walked on four legs in shallow water.

Jersey cavemen

Neanderthal manJersey cavemen

Have we underestimated the Neanderthals?



Upping the cute factor

Chuckles gets excited to see people. Especially first thing in the morning!

Where the Buffalo Roam

An example of an early 'video' wherein several sequential still shots were placed in a cylinder and rotated to produce the illusion of movement.

Living Fossils

Animals From Another Time
living fossil
A look at animals that have persevered virtually unchanged through the ages and continue to thrive today.  

Rare sea turtle spared from Egypt butcher block

Health and food inspectors in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria found a vendor offering to slaughter a rare sea turtle more than 90 years old.

The Expression "Sweating Like a Pig" Has Nothing to Do with Pigs

Pigs don’t sweat much, so they wallow in the mud to cool off their bodies. So how did the English language expression “sweating like a pig” develop? It’s actually a reference to pig iron, which is form of iron smelting:
When pig iron is originally created from iron ore, the smelter needs to heat the ore to extreme temperatures, and then move the liquid metal into the mold. Until the liquid cools, it can’t be safely moved, as the extremely hot metal is liable to spill, burning whatever it comes in contact with.
How does the smelter know when the metal is cool enough to transport? When the “pigs” “sweat.” As the metal cools, the air around it reaches the dew point, causing droplets to form on the metal’s surface.

Baby Ring-Tailed Coatis

The coati is a relative of the raccoon, but with a distinctively more piggish snout.

Scientists Say Kudzu-Eating Bug Spreads in South

Researchers say a kudzu-eating bug first spotted in Georgia a couple of years ago has now spread to Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Animal Pictures