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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, September 8, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You're full of so much positive energy today that you may have an exaggerated sense of what you're actually capable of -- but that is a very good thing! 
This is a great time to try your most off-the-wall scheme -- on any other day, you might let reality or boring practical matters convince you that it just wouldn't work. 
But you're immune to that kind of stinkin' thinkin' today, and you should be willing to try anything at all, with all your might!

Some of our readers today have been in: 
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Newbury, England, United Kingdom
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Tranbjerg, Arhus, Denmark
London, England, United Kingdom
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Manila, Manila, Philippines
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

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 Chardon, Carson City, Chantilly, Charlotte and more.

Today is:
Today is Thursday, September 8, the 251st day of 2011.
There are 114 days left in the year.

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

Non Sequitur


Thorough Thursday


What China's richest want

The country's super-rich citizens want one thing more than any other, much to the government's dismay. 

U.S. losing competitiveness

After topping the global ranking in 2008, America has dropped to fifth place, behind Finland.

Falling out of the middle class

Some groups have found it especially difficult to achieve the American Dream in recent years.

Women Lose Sleep Over Money, While Men Snore Away

With our economy tanking even further thanks to the unstable stock market and the recent debt ceiling crisis, our wallets have taken a serious hit.

But our shopping habits all that's been harmed thanks to economic woes. Our health may be taking a hit, too.

Things They Won't Tell You

If you think you'll get back in benefits what you paid in taxes, you're in for a surprise.  

Hawaii leads list of states with workers who use speed to get through the day


Quest Diagnostics, which has analyzed over 4.5 million urine specimens "collected from the general U.S. workforce," issued a report listing the top US states with tweaked employees.
State:---------------% greater than U.S. avg.

• Hawaii...............410%

• Arkansas...........280%

• Oklahoma..........240%

• Nevada..............180%

• California...........140%

• Wyoming...........130%

• Utah..................120%

Experts also believe that an increasing number of people using methamphetamine as a “functional drug” – using the stimulant  to work double shifts or multiple jobs and keep up at home.  Experts also say it is a symptom of the down economy and people’s need to work increasing hours.

High-pay jobs for freelancers

Some contract jobs pay 20 percent more than full-time positions at the same firms.

Speed up a career switch

It takes about two years to complete an associate's degree program for these fields.

Finish college without debt

Students who graduate with no debt often attend public colleges where tuition is less than $10,000.  

Mystery of mortgage rates

Few can get the best rate on a 30-year, fixed mortgage — an amazingly low 3.75%.   

Five perfect U.S. suburbs

These locales offer affordable housing, good schools, low crime, and decent commutes.

Crackdown on Medicare fraud

Ninety-one people are charged with schemes involving $295 million in false billing. 

It's a Blond World

A blond decides to try horseback riding, even though she has had no lessons or prior experience.
She mounts the horse unassisted and the horse immediately springs into motion. It gallops along at a steady and rhythmic pace, but the blonde begins to slip from the saddle. In terror, she grabs for the horse’s mane, but cannot seem to get a firm grip.
She tries to throw her arms around the horse’s neck, but she slides down the side of the horse anyway. The horse gallops along, seemingly impervious to its slipping rider. Finally, giving up her frail grip, she leaps away from the horse to try and throw herself to safety.
Unfortunately, her foot has become entangled in the stirrup, she is now at the mercy of the horse’s pounding hooves as her head is struck against the ground over and over. As her head is battered against the ground, she is mere moments away from unconsciousness when to her great fortune…
…the Wal-Mart manager sees her and shuts the horse off.

Culinary DeLites

9 late-summer dinners to make right now
Cooking gadgets you don't need
What to make with fresh figs

It's autumn and old-style apples back in fashion

After nearly disappearing from the marketplace, apple varieties that were popular decades or even centuries ago are making a resurgence.

The Political Hot Potato

Vital. Maligned. Mysterious. How well do you really know the potato? During the 16th century, Europeans fell in love with a number of exotic plants from the New World. But the potato wasn't one of them.

It would take two centuries and a spectacular PR campaign for people to even consider eating the ugly vegetable. But once the potato took root, it determined the fortunes of nations as no other crop has ever done before.

Awesome Pictures


“Ancestries of Interest”

NYPD’s secret “Ancestries of Interest” list guided surveillance of innocent people identified as possible Muslim threats
Continuing in an investigative series on ties between the The New York Police Department and the CIA, and coordinated activities involving Muslim populations in NYC, the Associated Press reports that NYPD collected lists of mosques, restaurants, and other Muslim-owned businesses identified as possible security risks, for reasons that included having religiously devout customers. The report is based on hundreds of pages of internal police documents obtained by the AP.

The records reveal the extent of an undercover effort that initially studied more than 250 mosques in New York and New Jersey and identified hundreds more "hot spots" in a hunt for terrorists. Many showed obvious signs of criminal behavior, but the police explanations for targeting others were less clear. A Bangladeshi restaurant, for instance, was identified as a hot spot for having a "devout crowd." The restaurant was noted for being a "popular meeting location for political activities."
The documents obtained by the AP, many of which were marked secret, paint the clearest picture yet of how the past decade's hunt for terrorists also put huge numbers of innocent people under scrutiny as they went about their daily lives in mosques, restaurants and social groups. Every day, undercover officers and informants filed reports from their positions as "listening posts" inside Muslim communities.
At the White House, where President Barack Obama recently urged local authorities not to cast suspicion on entire communities, spokesman Jay Carney declined to comment Tuesday on whether it endorsed the tactics outlined in the NYPD documents.
An AP investigation last month revealed that the department maintains a list of "ancestries of interest" that it uses to focus its clandestine efforts. A secret team known as the Demographics Unit then dispatched plainclothes officers into the community to eavesdrop in cafes and chat up business owners.
That effort has benefited from federal money and an unusually close relationship with the CIA, one that at times blurred the lines between domestic and foreign intelligence-gathering.

Knox appeal momentum builds

Rumors circulate that the American college student jailed in Italy may be acquitted of murder.  


Enraged by the Sound Other People Make
Most of us find hearing other people chomping and slurping rude and annoying, but to some, the sound of other people eating, coughing or even breathing can be enraging.
Here's the strange case of misophonia (lit. "hatred of sound"):
For people with a condition that some scientists call misophonia, mealtime can be torture. The sounds of other people eating — chewing, chomping, slurping, gurgling — can send them into an instantaneous, blood-boiling rage.
Or as Adah Siganoff put it, “rage, panic, fear, terror and anger, all mixed together.”
“The reaction is irrational,” said Ms. Siganoff, 52, of Alpine, Calif. “It is typical fight or flight” — so pronounced that she no longer eats with her husband.
Many people can be driven to distraction by certain small sounds that do not seem to bother others — gum chewing, footsteps, humming. But sufferers of misophonia, a newly recognized condition that remains little studied and poorly understood, take the problem to a higher level.
Joyce Cohen wrote this interesting article on The New York Times (just don't read it aloud, mmkay?): here.

Gumby says it's a stick-up - Clerk laughs

| The Kansas City Star
Gumby calls it a robbery, clerk thinks it's a joke
A person dressed as Gumby walked into a Southern California convenience store, claiming to have a gun and demanding money, but costume trouble and a skeptical clerk thwarted the would-be robber.Surveillance video shows someone - police think it was a man - in a bulky, green costume and another man entering 7-Eleven in Rancho Penasquitos early ...

"Gumby" Robber Laughed Off Crime Scene
A man dressed as Gumby attempted to rob a Rancho Penasquitos 7-Eleven early Monday morning however his efforts were snubbed because the clerk couldn't take him seriously.

Ten Repairs You Should Never Pay For

Sometimes you need to get in touch with a plumber, but many times you can actually fix the clog yourself with a little elbow grease. Same thing with headphones, cars and bikes. LifeHacker has a great collection of things you can fix yourself in many cases along with links on how to do the repairs.



Hearing the Past

StonehengeHearing the past

What did Stonehenge sound like 4,000 years ago?

Anthropology News

Skull reconstruction (L.Berger/Uni of Witwatersrand) 
The fossil remains of two human-like creatures found in South Africa could change the way we view our origins, claim scientists.

Footprints ID People Like Fingerprints

How the foot strikes the ground during walking leaves a distinct print that can be matched with an individual.

The Most Beautiful Sand Dunes On Earth

Sand dunes are some of the world's great natural wonders. Formed by winds that sculpt their spectacular shapes, they provide needed coastal protection from ocean waves whipped up in storms. Some of the most spectacular, such as those found in Sossusvlei, Namibia, were formed thousands if not millions of years ago, when there were ancient lakes and seas in areas now inland.



UFO at football game

Amateur sky-watchers point out weird objects circling the stadium during a weather delay at Notre Dame.  


A self-destructing star "in our backyard" causes a worldwide stir among astronomers.   

Dark Matter

Dark matter hunters see 67 hintsDark matter distribution artwork

An underground experiment designed to detect the elusive "dark matter" that makes up most of the Universe's mass is the latest to report hints of it.

Moon Tracks

NASA Spacecraft Images Offer Sharper Views Of Apollo Landing Sites
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter captured the sharpest images ever taken from space of the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 landing sites. Images show the twists and turns of the paths made when the astronauts explored the lunar surface. At the Apollo 17 site, the tracks laid down by the lunar rover are clearly visible, along with the last foot trails left on the moon.

The images also show where the astronauts placed some of the scientific instruments that provided the first insight into the moon's environment and interior.

Meteorites Pummeled Earth, Delivering Gold

A slew of meteorites pelted Earth some 3.9 billion years ago -- delivering that gold you may be wearing on your finger.  



The Coming of the Wolf

Predator's return spreads unease in wilds of France

Giant New Wasp Bites and Stings

Giant New Wasp Bites and Stings
The giant biting and stinging wasp is about five times bigger than most other wasps.  

Animal Pictures