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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.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Today you may notice that you are more idealistic than many of the people you surround yourself with. 
Perhaps you crave the balance of realism in your life, or maybe you like the idea that you offer a ray of hope to your pessimistic friends. 
The reason isn't clear. 
What is certain is that the people close to you love the way you look at life's travails. 
Keep your fresh outlook going strong today, because someone might need you to spread a little cheer.

Some of our readers today have been in: 
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
London, England, United Kingdom
Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Hamburg, Hamburg, 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 Hopwood, Huntingdon Valley, Wilkes Barre, Pittsburgh and more.

Today is:
Today is Sunday, September 4, the 247th day of 2011.
There are 118 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
International Drive Your Studebaker Day.
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Non Sequitur


Most inspiring U.S. drives

Highways like the one in Alaska's Denali National Park have starred on the big screen. 

Subtle Sunday


Get this ...

100% of sane people don't want Sarah Palin to run but if she does they'd be more that happy to destroy her.

Really, just how bad to you have to be for 71% of the insane people not to want you around.

Berlusconi calls Italy a 'shitty country'

The Guardian:
In a sign of his frustration at the investigations into his alleged crimes and misdemeanours, Silvio Berlusconi vowed in July to leave Italy, which he described as a "shitty country" that "sickened" him.

The Italian prime minister's astonishing remarks are contained in the transcript of a telephone conversation secretly recorded by police investigating claims he was being blackmailed about his sex life.
Could this really be the end of Burlusconi? He is already facing a charge of sleeping with an under-age prostitute. Like most Europeans, Italians tend to regard the obsequious displays of patriotism made by US politicians as transparently insincere. That does not mean that they won't find Burlusconi's words highly offensive.

Irene Aftermath: Testing Riverbeds and Streams For E. coli

river rapids photo
Photo: wrakky
Much of the effects of Irene have been felt after the Hurricane barreled through the East Coast. Scientists have been particularly concerned about water quality throughout areas hit hard by the storm. Federal officials are testing riverbeds and streams for E. coli and pesticides in the aftermath of a storm that did upwards of $3 billion in damage and took 40 lives.

Article continues: Irene Aftermath: Testing Riverbeds and Streams For E. coli

North Carolina governor: Irene damage tops $400 million

Governor Beverly Perdue said Friday that agricultural losses represent the bulk of the figure, at more than $320 million.

Why Towns With Good Transit Options Are Recovering Faster From the Recession

las vegas nevada bus stop photo
Getting around by bus can be slow going in Las Vegas.
Cities and towns with good public-transit options offer more convenience for residents and are, of course, more environmentally friendly places to live. Now it also seems these places are the ones bouncing back quickest from the economic recession.
Article continues: Why Towns With Good Transit Options Are Recovering Faster From the Recession



The Psychological Reason Behind the Self Storage Mania

If you rent a self-storage unit to keep all your junk, then you're why there's a boom in the self-storage business: there are over 50,000 storage centers in the United States and a growing number in the UK.
Sure self-storage is a convenient method to store your stuff when you're moving, but for a growing number of people, storage rental has morphed from a temporary fix to a more permanent thing. Tom de Castella and Kate Dailey of the BBC News Magazine explains:
Oliver James, psychologist and author of Affluenza, says that the self-storage phenomenon can be explained by consumerism's effect on how we view ourselves.
Our identity has increasingly become associated with products, he argues, and not just the mortgage and the car, but smaller items. "We've confused who we are with what we have," he says.
It explains why we're so reluctant to throw things away. "We feel it might come in handy one day. It feels like it's a little part of yourself even though it's just tat. You wouldn't want to throw yourself away would you?"

Careers with high satisfaction

If you dread going to work every day, consider switching to one of these fields.

Death in the Workplace

If you are a supervisor in your workplace and you die at work, there is a 10% chance that it was murder. If you’re not in management, the chances of your case being a murder drops to 7%. Gizmodo crunched the statistics on the 4,547 American workplace deaths in 2010 and found some other interesting tidbits:
Overall, “Transportation and material moving occupations”—people who work operating vehicles—dominated the death list, with 1,115 killed on the job. Only seven percent of them were murdered.
The 45-54 year-old bracket made up the plurality of deaths, with a full quarter. 16% of them plummeted to their demises.
The deadliest state to work in? Texas, with 456 fatalities. The safest? New Hampshire, with only 5. West Virginia won the explosion death contest, with 34—likely from all that coal mining, which is extremely dangerous and explosion-prone.

Leaders Are Four Times as Likely as the Average Person to Be Psychopaths

A study by psychologist Paul Babiak indicates that one in twenty-five leaders could be a psychopath. This affliction could actually be an advantage in a workplace:
The survey suggests psychopaths are actually poor managerial performers but are adept at climbing the corporate ladder because they can cover up their weaknesses by subtly charming superiors and subordinates.
This makes it almost impossible to distinguish between a genuinely talented team leader and a psychopath, Babiak said. Hare told Horizon: “The higher the psychopathy, the better they looked – lots of charisma and they talk a good line.

The truth be told


Things You Don't Want To Hear During Surgery

Wait a minute. If this is his spleen, then what's that?

When Insults Had Class

I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it. 
~ Groucho Marx

Items worth the extra money

This mom says her family saves hundreds a year by not always being frugal.  


George Carlin

Things They Won't Tell You

Your brand-name merchandise might be nothing more than a low-quality knockoff.  

Six Completely Accidental Inventions

Forget spending days, months and years thinking of the next big thing. These inventions were the consequence of sheer dumb luck and coincidence.

Awesome Pictures


Is This the Face of Jack The Ripper?

Is This the Face of Jack The Ripper?
A reconstruction of the murderer's face has reawakened interest in the 123-year-old unsolved murders. Read more 

Ten Famous Fictional Characters Based On Real People

The characters that define our popular culture always have to start somewhere. Here are ten famous characters you never knew were based on real life people.

Official Regulations for Hunting Yetis

What are the rules for hunting the Abominable Snowman? The government of Nepal was very clear about what people on mountain climbing expeditions should do if they encounter a Yeti. In 1959, Ernest H. Fisk, counselor of the US embassy in Kathmandu, summarized the rules for American travelers in Nepal. You can read the full memo at the U.S. National Archives

Running down lawyers

A truck driver used to amuse himself by running over lawyers he would see walking down the side of the road. Every time he would see a lawyer walking along the road, he would swerve to hit him, and there would be a loud “THUMP” and then he would swerve back on the road.

One day, as the truck driver was driving along he saw a priest hitch hiking. He thought he would do a good turn and pulled the truck over. He asked the priest, “Where are you going, Father?”

“I’m going to the church 5 miles down the road,” replied the priest.

“No problem, Father! I’ll give you a lift. Climb in the truck.”

The happy priest climbed into the passenger seat and the truck driver continued down the road.
Suddenly the truck driver saw a lawyer walking down the road and instinctively he swerved to hit him. But then he remembered there was a priest in the truck with him, so at the last minute he swerved back to the road, narrowly missing the lawyer. Even though he was certain he missed the lawyer, he still heard a loud “THUD.” Not understanding where the noise came from he glanced in his mirrors and when he didn’t see anything, he turned to the priest and said, “I’m sorry Father. I almost hit that lawyer.”

“That’s okay,” replied the priest. “I got him with the door.”

Family Charged In $40 Million Psychic Scam

The Florida family claimed to confer with gods, spirits and even Michael the Archangel to cure diseases and break curses, asking for and accepting jewelry, gold coins and luxury cars in return.

Anonymous Attacks Texas Police, Releases Racist Emails

The hacker collective Anonymous is claiming to have hacked into the websites of Texas police and to have distributed the emails of officers and even police chiefs in a manner similar to WikiLeaks.

Professor charged with triple murder wants records sealed

It was only after Amy Bishop was charged with killing three of her colleagues at the University of Alabama in Huntsville that authorities in Massachusetts began to wonder if the shooting death of Bishop's brother 24 years earlier might not have been an accident after all.

CIA linked to Gadhafi

The discovery of sensitive documents could spark tensions between Libya's new rulers and the U.S.



Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Time

Did you know that you live in the past? About 80 milliseconds in the past, to be precise. Use one hand to touch your nose, and the other to touch one of your feet, at exactly the same time. You will experience them as simultaneous acts. But clearly it takes more time for the signal to travel up your nerves from your feet to your brain than from your nose.

The reconciliation is simple: our conscious experience takes time to assemble, and your brain waits for all the relevant input before it experiences the 'now.' Experiments have shown that the lag between things happening and us experiencing them is about 80 milliseconds.

Through Times And Epochs

The first festival of historic and military reconstruction "Times And Epochs" is taking place in the Kolomenskoye estate, a unique historic place in the most scenic corner of Moscow. The unique project is planned to unite the entire chronological retrospective from Vikings to Napoleon.

Archaeological finds 'outstanding'

A number of "outstanding finds" have been unearthed from Scotland's past and given to museums over the last year, according to a report.



Polar bear makes unexpected boat visit

A Norwegian boat crew recently had an unexpected wake-up call when a full-grown polar bear climbed aboard their anchored ship for a 30-minute-long sniff around the deck.

Murina beelzebub

Image: HNHM/Fauna & Flora International
Meet Murina beelzebub, a newly discovered bat species from the tropical forests of Vietnam. And why yes, it is named after the Lord of the Underworld:
The etymology of the species is explained in the Journal of Mammalogy, in which the citation appears: “Beelzebub commonly appears as a high ranking personality of the underworld in christian texts, in both Old and New testaments, although one of the presumed original meanings of the name is ‘Lord of the Flies’.” Dr Gabor Csorba of the HNHM further clarifies, “We chose the name Beelzebub to reflect the dark ‘diabolic’ coloration of the new species and its fierce protective behavior in the field.”

Former cowboy lassos dogs who jumped into canal

Noya Deats' routine walk along the Roza Canal turned disastrous on Wednesday when her two dogs, Fawn and Nia, decided to take a swim. Despite signs warning folks to stay out of the canal, she said she's let her dogs off their lead before without any problems. But once in the water, neither dog could get out because of the swift current. Unsure what to do, Deats ran alongside the canal to keep up with them while she called her husband, Matt, and the police. Noya had run about two miles when Matt arrived.

"I was almost throwing up at that time," she said. "I was running and talking on the phone at that time." Matt climbed down a canal ladder, his body half submerged in the water, and reached out to grab one of the dogs. He barely touched her collar as she passed by. Meanwhile, a Yakima County Sheriff's deputy attempted to lasso the dogs with a rope. Although Fawn, a Labrador mix, seemed to be keeping her head above water, Nia, an Australian shepherd mix, was struggling, Matt said. Then, roughly three miles from where the dogs had entered the canal -- behind Roy Farms off Walters Road -- a good Samaritan came to the rescue.

Jesus Villanueva, who speaks only Spanish, said he was putting agricultural chemicals into a bin when he heard a noise and saw a deputy. He thought he heard someone say two cars were in the canal. "I thought, two cars?" the 54-year-old farm laborer said through an interpreter. He took a closer look after seeing a woman running frantically, and learned that her two dogs were in the water. After watching the deputy struggle to rope the dogs, he took the lasso and said: "Let me see."

Seconds later, he lassoed each dog in rapid succession, pulling them to safety. "I was amazed," Noya Deats said. "He just kind of came out of nowhere. It was amazing how fast he lassoed them." Villanueva was equally amazed. He said he learned to lasso in Jalisco, Mexico, where he worked on a cattle ranch, but it had been 30 years since he had roped anything. Nevertheless, it took him just one lasso each to capture the dogs. For Villanueva, helping was his reward. "I felt happy, especially when I saw the woman who looked hot after running from far away," he said.

Great White Shark Goes on Rare Exhibit

Great White Shark Goes on Rare Exhibit
The Monterey Bay Aquarium remains the only institution in the world to exhibit a great white shark for more than 16 days.  

Animal Pictures