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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.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Just for today, you should put aside all the cutting-edge technology that has invaded your life. 
Sure, it has saved you some time, helped you stay in contact with friends and improved your punctuality, but it has also isolated you. 
Is your life in danger of becoming virtual? 
Get back to basics today -- have a face-to-face conversation, and do your shopping at the mall instead of online. 
Immerse yourself in the energy created by other people.

Some of our readers today have been in: 
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Versailles, Ile-De-France, France
Krasnodar, Krasnodar, Russia
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Albury, New South Wales, Australia
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Bitburg, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Delhi, Delhi, India
London, England, United Kingdom
New Delhi, Delhi, India

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 Dunellen, Caledonia, Anaheim, Dallas and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, September 17, the 260th day of 2011.
There are 105 days left in the year.

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

President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
September 17, 2011
I’ve spent some time lately traveling the country and talking with folks outside of Washington.  And the number one issue for the people I meet is how we can get back to a place where we’re creating good, middle-class jobs that pay well and offer some security.
That’s the idea behind the American Jobs Act.  It’s a jobs bill that does two simple things: put more people back to work, and more money back in the pockets of people who are working.
This jobs bill puts construction workers back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges and modernizing our schools.
This jobs bill puts teachers back in the classroom, and keeps cops and firefighters on our streets.
This jobs bill gives tax credits to companies that hire our veterans, because if you sign up to fight for our country, the last thing you should have to do is fight for a job when you come home.
This jobs bill connects the long-term unemployed to temporary work to keep their skills sharp while they look for a job, and it gives hundreds of thousands of young people the hope of a job next summer.
This jobs bill cuts taxes for every small business owner in America.  It cuts them even more for small business owners that hire new workers and raise workers’ salaries.  And it cuts taxes for every working family in America so that you’ll have more money in your pockets, and businesses know they’ll have customers to buy what they sell.
That’s the American Jobs Act, and you can check it out for yourself on WhiteHouse.gov.
It will create new jobs.  It will cut taxes for every worker and small business in the country.  And it will not add to the deficit.  It will be paid for.
On Monday, I’ll lay out my plan for how we’ll do that – how we’ll pay for this plan and pay down our debt by following some basic principles: making sure we live within our means and asking everyone to pay their fair share.
But right now, we’ve got to get Congress to pass this jobs bill.  Everything in the American Jobs Act is the kind of idea that’s been supported by Democrats and Republicans before.  And if they’re ideas you agree with, too, every one of you can help make it happen by telling your congressperson to pass this jobs bill right away.
I know some of them would rather wait another year to wage another election than work together right now.  But most Americans don’t have the luxury of waiting.  It was three years ago this week that a financial crisis on Wall Street made things much more difficult for working folks on Main Street.  And too many are still hurting as a result.
So the time for action is now.  No more games or gridlock.  No more division or delay.  It’s time for the people you sent to Washington to put country before party – to stop worrying so much about their jobs and start worrying more about yours.
It’s time to get to work and show the world once again why the United States of America remains the greatest nation on Earth.
Thank you.

Non Sequitur


Super Saturday


The truth be told


Tax cheats come clean

An IRS program nets $500 million in back taxes and interest from people who were hiding assets abroad.  

Job Hunting?

9 Changes for Your Facebook Profile
With hiring all but at a standstill, job seekers can’t afford to miss any tools available for promoting themselves. And according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is the newest…

The Specter


Real impact of jobless benefits

A new study tackles the question at a crucial time when lawmakers weigh Obama's jobs plan.

Shocking new cost to retire

With less help, young Americans will need to save more than their parents ever did.  

A Quick One

My neighbor came knocking on my door at 2 am last night, 2am can you believe that??

Luckily for him I was still up playing my drums.

Judge blocks Florida law gagging doctors' gun talk

A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday blocked a Florida law limiting what doctors can say about guns to their patients, saying it violated free speech protections under the U.S. Constitution.

The repugican Climate Change Denial is Making More People Believe in Climate Change

According to a new poll, a lot more Americans believe in climate change right now than they did a year ago. Surprise! 83% of Americans said they believed that global warming was happening, and 72% even said that humans were to blame. So what's causing the spike in belief? As Mat pointed out in his post today, it's probably a combination of things. Extreme weather events, hotter-than-usual temps, and one slightly more peculiar factor: All that conspiratorial-sounding climate denial spewing out of the repugican presidential candidates' claptraps.
Article continues: The repugican Climate Change Denial is Making More People Believe in Climate Change

Awesome Pictures


Beaches not near an ocean

Surrounded by red-rock cliffs, Lake Powell has more shoreline than the West Coast.  

Hair today ...

... Comb tomorrow ...
Just a typical day at the Addams house.

Healthy Living

Culinary DeLites

Best restaurants for health

Subway gets an A thanks to big cuts in sodium levels in its sandwiches.

Dr. Oz under fire for juice claims

The FDA and others dispute the TV medical expert's assertions about the dangers of apple juice.  

Foods that keep you full

Nutritionists share their favorite healthy starters and snacks to help stave off hunger longer.  

The egg


The Teenage Brain

We’ve learned from recent research that the human brain undergoes immense changes during adolescence, which are often not finished until the mid-20s. National Geographic looks beyond that research into why the brain goes through such changes in adolescence, and finds it has to do with our evolutionary past. The risks teenagers take are in some ways very adaptive.
Let’s start with the teen’s love of the thrill. We all like new and exciting things, but we never value them more highly than we do during adolescence. Here we hit a high in what behavioral scientists call sensation seeking: the hunt for the neural buzz, the jolt of the unusual or unexpected.
Seeking sensation isn’t necessarily impulsive. You might plan a sensation-seeking experience—a skydive or a fast drive—quite deliberately, as my son did. Impulsivity generally drops throughout life, starting at about age 10, but this love of the thrill peaks at around age 15. And although sensation seeking can lead to dangerous behaviors, it can also generate positive ones: The urge to meet more people, for instance, can create a wider circle of friends, which generally makes us healthier, happier, safer, and more successful.
The entire article is available now in the October issue of National Geographic magazine.



Grover Cleveland's Deadly Secret

President Cleveland
When Grover Cleveland contracted cancer, it didn’t kill his career; it killed someone else’s.
In early June of 1893, President Grover Cleveland discovered a large tumor on the roof of his mouth. The cancer was progressing quickly. Doctors determined that if the patient were to survive, the growth had to be removed. But the procedure was complicated, and Cleveland’s doctors feared the surgery could trigger a stroke. There was also a 15 percent chance in those days that the president could die under the knife. After weighing his options, Cleveland chose to have the tumor removed, under one condition: The operation had to be conducted in total secrecy. The president feared that Wall Street -already reeling from falling stock in the midst of a depression- would panic if news of his illness leaked. Even his vice president, Adlai Stevenson, was to be kept in the dark.
On the morning of June 31st, under the cover of night, President Cleveland and six of the nation’s finest physicians assembled on board the Oneida, a yacht anchored in New York harbor. Sitting in a deck chair, the president smoked cigars and chatted amiably with the men as the boat set sail for Long Island Sound. The following morning, the doctors scrambled below deck to prepare for the surgery. In lieu of an operating table, a large chair was bound to the mast in the yacht’s parlor. A single light bulb, connected to a portable battery, would provide all the light. The doctors boiled their instruments and pulled crisp white aprons over their dark suits. Shortly after noon, the president entered the parlor and took his seat.
Using nitrous oxide and ether as anesthetics, the doctors removed the tumor, along with five teeth and much of Cleveland’s upper left palate and jawbone. The procedure lasted 90 minutes. It also took place wholly within the patient’s mouth, so that no external scars would betray the clandestine operation.
Four days later, on July 5, Cleveland was dropped off at his summer home on Cape Cod.
He healed remarkably fast. By the middle of July, he was fitted with a vulcanized rubber prosthetic that plugged the hole in his mouth and restored his normal speaking voice. All the while, the public was told that the president had merely suffered a toothache.

Elisha Edwards
On August 29, The Philadelphia Press published an expose by Elisha Jay Edwards. The headline read, “The President a Very Sick Man.” Edwards, the paper’s Manhattan correspondent, had been tipped off by a New York doctor who’s heard rumors of a secret surgery. After some additional digging, Edwards located Ferdinand Hasbrouck, the dentist who had administered the anesthetic to Cleveland, and verified the details.
The Philadelphia Press story was remarkably accurate. In fact, it still stands as one of the greatest scoops in the history of American journalism. But it wasn’t perceived that way by the public. The Cleveland administration categorically denied the charges and launched a smear campaign to discredit and embarrass the reporter. Newspapers denounced Edwards as a “disgrace to journalism” and a “calamity liar.” The tactics were effective. The public sided with Cleveland, who’d built his reputation as the “Honest President.” Meanwhile, Edwards’ career was effectively ruined. For the next 15 years, the veteran reporter could barely find work. In 1909, he landed a job as a columnist for a struggling young newspaper called The Wall Street Journal. But Edwards’ career was still tainted by the allegations that he’d faked the story about Grover Cleveland.
Dr. W.W. Keen
One of the doctors who performed the surgery, W.W. Keen, always regretted how Edwards had been so unjustly maligned. In 1917, a quarter-century after the operation and a decade after Cleveland’s death, Keen finally decided to do something about it. He published a confessional in The Saturday Evening Post, hoping to “vindicate Mr. Edwards’ character as a truthful correspondent.” The admission was successful. The old newspaperman was inundated with congratulatory letters and telegrams, and the outpouring deeply moved him. Edwards even wrote to Keen to thank him for restoring his reputation.

Daily Comic Relief


Odds of being hit by satellite

Debris could spread across 500 miles anywhere in the populated world as early as Sept. 24.

German firm win battle to register F-word as trademark

A German company has won its court battle to register the F-word as a trademark. The brand name of its "Ficken" schnapps will now enjoy legal protection. The term may be in poor taste, but it may soon be used to market spirits and other drinks. Shoppers in Germany might feel a little embarrassed about asking for "Ficken" schnapps by name - after all, the drink is named after the German word for "fuck." But the manufacturer can take solace in the fact that the brand name is now legally protected. On Tuesday, Germany's Federal Patent Court ruled that the word "ficken" can be registered as a trademark.

The German liquor manufacturer EFAG Trade Mark Company had taken the case to the country's highest patent court after its attempts to get the name of "Ficken" schnapps registered with the German Patent and Trademark Office had failed. The patent office had steadfastly refused to register the naughty brand name as a trademark, arguing that it was socially offensive to sell goods of that name.

Following its legal victory, EFAG will now own the "Ficken" trademark for clothing, mineral water and fruit drinks, as well as alcoholic drinks. In its ruling, the court explained that, although the name is unquestionably in poor taste, it is not "sexually discriminatory" and does not violate public morals. Furthermore, the ruling reads, the word is found in the Duden, the authoritative style and spelling guide for the German language in Germany, and is used by people "in the widest range of social classes and age groups."

As further evidence of the name's acceptability, the exhaustive ruling goes on to list titles of respected artworks that incorporate the word "ficken," such as "Shoppen & Ficken," the award-winning German version of English playwright Mark Ravenhill's theater piece "Shopping and Fucking." EFAG's "Ficken" schnapps is not, however, the only German alcoholic drink with an expletive in its name. In March 2010, the European Union trademarks authority ruled that a German firm could register the brand name "F*cking Hell" for a new beer. In German, the name could refer to a type of beer from the Austrian village of Fucking, "Hell" being a German term for light ale.

The color purple


China's grip on rare metals

The country produces nearly 95% of the world’s rare earth materials — and it's crimping the supply.  

Diamonds Journey to the Center of the Earth

Diamonds Journey to the Center of the Earth
Diamond inclusions indicate that Earth's carbon cycle extends from the surface to the deep lower mantle.



Hatfield and McCoy

Those two are always fussing and fighting!
You know it might have been better to name them Smith and Jones after all.

Polar Bear Plays King Of The Hill

polar bear photo
Conservation photographer Rebecca Jackrel recently went to Svalbard to photograph polar bears. This is one of the images she captured.

"B" News

Kentucky Professor Discovers New Species of Bee
A University of the Cumberlands assistant biology professor has discovered a new species of bee, and the university says his finding will be published in The Florida Entomologist.

4 men hospitalized after bee attack in California
Four men were hospitalized and several businesses evacuated after an attack by a swarm of an estimated 60,000 bees in the Southern California city of Santa Ana.

Baby Rhino Rescued From Tree

baby rhino
The three-week-old South African rhino had fled poachers who shot its mother dead.

Father and son save deer while fishing

A father and son fishing trip in Michigan turned into a bizarre but stunning rescue mission.

Cute seal pup captivates

The rare albino is found under a pile of logs after being abandoned by its mother.  

Twelve Living Animal Fossils

Did you know that Okapi are closer to ancient giraffes than modern day giraffes?
When its ancestor the palaetragine was roaming the earth 15 million years ago, evolution seemed to favor the tall survivors who could reach trees, until finally down the line we had giraffes. Yet one set of palaetragine ancestors moved into the forest and never had to change much from the original: the okapi.
Learn more about ancient species that are still around in this fascinating Environmental Graffiti article.

Animal Pictures