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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, September 7, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
The way you handled a recent conflict was quite an accomplishment -- it looks as though you're finally learning how to stand your ground against bombastic personalities! 
You should be proud of yourself -- and you shouldn't hesitate to use these new skills again. 
In fact, you might get a chance to do just that later today when a pleasant conversation suddenly takes an awkward turn. 
Get things back on track by speaking the truth and not giving in to peer pressure.

Some of our readers today have been in: 
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
London, England,United Kingdom
Tranbjerg, Arhus, Denmark
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Rome, Lazio. Italy
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Manila, Manila, Philippines
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Newbury, England, United Kingdom
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Toronto, 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 Sugar Land, Los Angeles, Butte, Long Island and more.

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, September 7, the 250th day of 2011.
There are 115 days left in the year.

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

Wondrous Wednesday

50 Things I Learned From The Movies
1. All telephone numbers in America begin with the digits 555.
2. Medieval peasants had perfect teeth.
3. The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No one will ever think of looking for you in there, and you can travel to any other part of the building you want without difficulty.
4. Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and pant.
5. It is always possible to park directly outside the building you are visiting.
6. A cough is usually the sign of a terminal illness.

7. If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you bump into will know all the steps.
8. No matter how badly a spaceship is attacked, its internal gravity system is never damaged.
9. The more a man and a woman hate each other, the more likely they will fall in love.
10. All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they’re going to go off.
11. Cars that crash will almost always burst into flames.
12. A cup of black coffee or a splash of cold water in the face is enough to render the most inebriated person stone cold sober.
13. If you try hard enough, you can outrun an explosion.
14. If you stick your head out of cover during a gun fight, it will never be hit, especially if you look backwards to hold a conversation with someone behind you.
15. Police Departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are assigned partners who are their total opposite.
16. Honest and hard working policemen are traditionally gunned down three days before their retirement.
17. You’re very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.
18. The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.
19. Computers never display a cursor on screen but always say: Enter Password Now.
20. Once applied, lipstick will never rub off — even while scuba diving.
21. All watches and clocks are synchronized to the second.
22. No matter how fuzzy the photograph, it can be enlarged and enhanced to show the finest detail.
23. Nearly everyone speaks English, no matter where they are from. Even aliens from outer space, despite the fact they have never been to Earth, seen an Earthling, or even heard of Earth or Earthlings.
24. No matter how catastrophic the disaster, pets will always survive it.
25. There will always be a doctor in a plane or building with the right medical supplies.
26. No matter how dead you think you’ve killed a bad guy, he can still get up at least three more times.
27. People rarely use the bathroom, and if they do, they’re usually dead within minutes.
28. Most laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communication systems of any invading alien civilization.
29. Cemeteries generate their own weather. Usually rainstorms… and not just gentle sprinkles, but biblical downpours.
30. When paying for a taxi, don’t look at your wallet as you take out a bill — just grab one at random and hand it over. It will always be the exact fare.
31. Most people keep a scrapbook of newspaper clippings — especially if any of their family or friends have died in a strange boating accident.
32. Cars that fly off cliffs spontaneously combust in midair for no apparent reason.
33. When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in your room will still be clearly visible, just slightly bluish.
34. All computer disks will work in all computers, regardless of software.
35. Television news bulletins usually contain a story that affects you personally at the precise moment that it is aired.
36. Close blood relatives usually look nothing like each other, or have only a passing resemblance.
37. Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds — unless it’s the door to a burning building with a child trapped inside.
38. When they are alone, all foreigners prefer to speak English to each other.
39. An electric fence that’s powerful enough to kill a dinosaur will cause no lasting damage to an eight-year-old child.
40. If your town is threatened by an imminent natural disaster or killer beast, the mayor’s first concern will be the tourist trade or his forthcoming art exhibition.
41. It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts — your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors.
42. A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating, but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.
43. If you are trapped in a tunnel, in a sinking ship, or a burning building, a cute little girl, a nun, and a feisty granny will be trapped with you.
44. All writers are wealthy; all publishing companies are glamorous; all artists are self-supporting and have large attractive well-lit loft studios.
45. Action heroes never face charges for manslaughter or criminal damage despite laying entire cities to waste.
46. During all police investigations it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once.
47. If an expert makes a prediction and is disbelieved, then it will come to pass exactly as he predicted. If he makes a prediction and is believed, it won’t happen.
48. If there is a large bump in a downhill road, a speeding car will fly over it and hit the ground in shower of sparks. Unsecured passengers will not be injured, and no tire damage, broken axles, or suspension failures will occur. The car will then execute a sharp turn involving a skid.
49. Dogs always know who’s bad and will naturally bark at them.
50. Text appearing on a computer monitor appears letter by letter and making a sound as if it was produced by a typewriter.

Non Sequitur


Al Jazeera's Texas rejection

A reporter says a high school principal in Texas grew extremely suspicious of his intentions.  

Oh, my the teabagger are angry at Hoffa

From the "Oh, like we care if teabaggers are outraged" Department:
The Teamsters' president is accused of calling for violence against the repugicans in a recent speech.  

It's a common mistake ...


A Quick One

A man walked into a bar with his alligator and asked the bartender “Do you serve lawyers here?”

“Sure do,” replied the bartender.

“Good,” said the customer, “Give me a beer, and I’ll have a lawyer for my gator.”

Random Celebrity Photo

Recognize this young lady?

Advice for homebuyers

One clue will help prevent you from spending a penny more than necessary for a house.  

Golden Eye diamond goes up for auction

A large yellow diamond seized in a money laundering investigation in Ohio has gone on the auction block and quickly attracted an offer over the minimum starting bid of $900,000.

The U.S. Marshals Service's online auction of the 43.51-carat Golden Eye diamond began Tuesday and continues until Thursday afternoon.

Federal court rejects Snipes' appeal in tax case

A federal appeals court in Atlanta has turned away the latest attempt by actor Wesley Snipes to get his conviction and prison sentence on tax charges overturned.

State's harsh welfare limit

Michigan sets a four-year lifetime limit on cash benefits, which will cut off aid to 29,700 children.

Working-age adults make up record share of U.S. poor

Counting adults 18-64 who were laid off in the recent recession as well as single twenty-somethings still looking for jobs, the new working-age poor represent nearly 3 out of 5 poor people - a switch from the early 1970s when children made up the main impoverished group.

Sabotaging retirement

Make any of these money flubs, and you'll face a dimmer financial future.  

Why the Return Trip Always Seems Faster

Does getting home from a trip seem to take less time than getting there? There's a scientific explanation for that!
NPR's Morning Edition explains the psychological phenomenon called the "return trip effect":
Here's what van de Ven thinks is going on: "Often we see that people are too optimistic when they start to travel," he says. So when they finish the outbound trip, they feel like it took longer than they expected. That feeling of pessimism carries over to when they're ready to return home. "So you start the return journey, and you think, 'Wow, this is going to take a long time.'"
But just as initial optimism made the trip out feel longer than expected, this pessimism starting back makes the trip home feel shorter.

Habits that ruin your sleep

Surfing the Web before bed could be responsible for all that tossing and turning.

Culinary DeLites

This salmon dish is light, nutritious, and ready for the table in only 25 minutes.  

Deep-fried Bubblegum

A recipe for Deep-fried Bubblegum won the 2011 State Fair of Texas Seventh Annual Big Tex Choice Awards. But it’s not really bubblegum -because that wouldn’t be food.
Well, to be fair, it’s just called deep-fried bubblegum, it’s really “a marshmallow dipped with bubble gum extract then dipped in pink bubble gum flavored batter and lightly fried”. According to a KDFW News video out of Dallas-Fort Worth, chef Justin Martinez concocted the treat from an employee’s suggestion and spent two months perfecting it. He explains that the marshmallow gives the consistency of chewing fried bubblegum.
You’d have to be an extreme bubblegum fan to even try this.

Foods that will cost more

Expect to pay more for these popular grocery items due to shortages around the world.  

Insane Ice Cream Flavors From Around The World

Last year I shared some of the weirdest ice cream flavors in the world with you guys, but Food & Wine has a great collection of other strange ice cream treats ranging from this ice cream molded like sushi to cicada ice cream to ice cream pizza. While some of them look delicious, but the great majority are just plain weird.



Ten Cool Objects Made From Uranium Glass

Uranium glass isn’t radioactive enough to be dangerous, but it still has the unique ability to glow under the black light.

Plastic Bottles Can Remove Arsenic from Water

Arsenic in water can be caused by human pollution or by natural leakage, and is normally expensive to clean for developing countries where poisoning is common and deadly. Scientists have potentially found a convenient solution by turning plastic bottles into arsenic magnets.
“Dealing with arsenic contamination of drinking water in the developing world requires simple technology based on locally available materials,” said study leader Tsanangurayi Tongesayi, Ph.D., professor of analytical and environmental chemistry at Monmouth University, West Long Branch, N.J. “Our process uses pieces of plastic water, soda pop and other beverage bottles. Coat the pieces with cysteine — that’s an amino acid found in dietary supplements and foods — and stir the plastic in arsenic-contaminated water. This works like a magnet. The cysteine binds up the arsenic. Remove the plastic and you have drinkable water.”
Tongesayi described laboratory tests of the plastic bottle arsenic removal method on water containing 20 parts per billion (ppb) of arsenic, which is two times the safe standard set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water. It produced drinkable water with 0.2 ppb of arsenic that more than meets the federal standard.

Perpertuum Mobile

The Quest for Perpetual Motion
There has never been a machine that can keep going indefinitely, or that produces more energy than it consumes. That never stopped people from trying to invent one. Dark Roasted Blend has a collection of dozens of designs that reached for the title of perpetual motion, from antiquity to modern times. The water wheel shown is turned by the gravity of falling water, but the other side of the wheel pumps the water back up -or at least that was the plan.  



Some Weird Asian Secret Societies

There's a John Smith Club for all those who share that name, antique poison bottle clubs for all those who may emulate Lucrezia Borgia's technique for solving issues with troublesome relatives and there's even a toilet lovers club, which speaks for itself.

We are star stuff

Indigenous Americans and Carl Sagan agree 
In the language of the Diné (what the Navajo call themselves), the word for "star" is "sitsoi yoo." But that word means more than just "star." According to Nancy Maryboy of the Indigenous Education Institute, sitsoi yoo means something closer to "my ancient relation from which I came," a reference to a traditional Diné belief that humans were born from stars.

Don't Slow Down White Dwarf, You Might Explode

Don't Slow Down White Dwarf, You Might Explode
Could a white dwarf's spin save it from supernova doom?

Secrets of WTC Shipwreck Revealed

Secrets of WTC Shipwreck Revealed
The story of the sailboat found during the excavation of the WTC site last year has come to light, due to scientific sleuthing of experts from various fields.

World's Largest Geodesic Dome House Runs On Renewable Power

Photos: Kevin Shea
Thanks to being sturdy and ultra-efficient with space, energy and materials, geodesic domes have been used as greenhouses, treehouses and also as homes. Located in Long Island, New York and measuring 70-feet in diameter and 44-feet tall, Kevin Shea's Green Dome is purportedly the world's largest residential geodesic dome. It runs on solar, geothermal and wind power and also has an innovative green roof, plus a lovely terraced garden made of recycled tires.

Article continues: World's Largest Geodesic Dome House Runs On Renewable Power (Photos)

Arctic Sea Ice Declines To Second Lowest Amount on Record in August

arctic sea ice summer photo
New data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center shows that extent of Arctic sea ice in August melted off to the second lowest amount for the month on record. Throughout the month sea ice was near levels witnessed in 2007, when the yearly record low was set. It's expected that sometime by mid-September the annual minimum will be set.
Article continues: Arctic Sea Ice Declines To Second Lowest Amount on Record in August



Upping the cute factor

Ellie the Pomeranian puppy copying the wolf howl that was playing.

Shark sighting in dispute

An unusual photo from the Southern California coast spurs a debate over what the shot depicted. 

Dolphins Talk Like Humans

dolphin talk
Dolphins don't whistle, but instead "talk" to each other using a process very similar to the way that humans communicate.

The Secrets of Insect Wings

Insects are so numerous and so varied that are an evolutionary success story. Much of this success is attributed to an insect’s wings, which can do so many things besides fly. Different bugs use their wings to communicate, attract a mate, hide, protect themselves, and more. Wired has a gallery of close-up views of the special things wings can do. For example: the butterfly pictured doesn’t need camouflage, since its wings are so transparent as to render it invisible to predators.

King Crabs Invade Antarctica

King crab from Palmer Deep (Craig Smith)Giant crabs make Antarctic leap Up to a million king crabs are discovered on the edge of Antarctica, probably carried by warm water, raising fears for the local ecosystem.

Bird Uses Bread to Lure Fish, Just Like A Human

fishing bird photo
Image via video screengrab
We have a category of posts around here that we writers affectionately call "Oh! Shiny!" posts. This admittedly falls into that category, but it doesn't make this bird any less awesome. The bird has learned to use pieces of bread left by humans to lure fish in so it can catch them. Watch it in action.
Article continues: Bird Uses Bread to Lure Fish, Just Like A Human

Bear Steals and Wrecks Family's Prius

Brian and Cece McCarthy of Pleasanton, California, were vacationing with their son Dylan at Lake Tahoe when their car was stolen. They woke to suspicious sounds in the night, and saw from the window of their cabin that there was a bear in their car!
After the black bear climbed completely inside the car it apparently couldn’t get out. In its struggle, the bear hit the gear shift and the car rolled away for a wild, albeit short, ride down the McCarthy’s driveway, over several boulders, only stopping when it slammed into a neighbor’s front porch.
“All of the sudden we look out the window again and the car is gone, the bear is down the driveway – we have this steep driveway coming out of our cabin – he’s down the driveway across the street,” said Cece McCarthy.
The car was ripped open on impact, and the bear escaped. The Prius was a total loss, and a sheriff’s deputy wrote the incident down as “a bear burglary.”

Animal Pictures