Welcome to ...

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 21, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
If someone in your life is wavering about an important decision, be sure you don't push your agenda onto them. 
Any sentence that starts with, 'If I were you ...' needs to go no further! 
You may have experience that gives you valuable insight into their quandary, but this is still their choice to make ... and they're the only one who will have to live with the consequences of what they decide. 
Let them know you support whatever they choose.

Some of our readers today have been in: 
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
Newbury, England, United Kingdom
Morini, Morini, Comoros
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Brussels, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium
Kuantan, Pahang, malaysia
Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic
Curitiba, Parana, Brazil
Manila, Manila, Philippines
Amiens, Picardie, France
Wolverhampton, England, United Kingdom
New Delhi, Delhi, India
Gdynia, Pomorskie, Poland

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 Camden, Chester, Cheraw, Cowpens and more.

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, September 21, the 264th day of 2011.
There are 101 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
There isn't one.
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Non Sequitur


Wondrous Wednesday


Alexander quits leadership

His desire to get something done incompatible with being repugican leader. Ouch.

Sen. Lamar Alexander will resign from his influential repugican leadership post in January, according to a letter obtained by POLITICO - a stunning decision by the former two-time presidential candidate who has played a central role shaping repugican strategy during President Barack Obama’s time in office.
But his affable nature and calls for bipartisanship also could prove to be a liability at a time when repugican politics has shifted markedly to the right, with tea party agitators demanding that their party adhere to strict wingnut orthodoxy that has inspired a new breed of fire-breathing lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Yes, being a nice guy and wanting to get things done for the good of the country is inimical with being a repugican nowadays.

Mimi and Eunice

Legal Fictions*
*AKA: Lies

Outrageous: $16 Muffins

A government report reveals the Justice Department’s extravagant spending for conferences.

Lost decade for middle class

Americans' tumbling incomes over the past 10 years pose a big challenge for the economy.

Here's a thought ...

Dream Job


Where the jobs are now

Available positions are abundant for these six occupations — even in this economy.  

That about sums it up ...


Iran frees American hikers

Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal were held for more than two years after being accused of spying

Five War Heroes Who Never Touched A Weapon

It’s one thing to be a hero who kills hundreds of enemy soldiers in battle, but to become a hero without even using a weapon -now that’s impressive. Cracked has a great list of heroes who fought the good fight without ever handling a gun. Take, for example, Bill Millin who played bagpipes at the battle of Normandy.
So, he ordered his piper, Bill Millin, to go ashore on one of the main landing points for the invasion of Normandy and wail on a set of bagpipes. Once on the beach, Millin calmly walked up and down at the water’s edge, playing while carnage exploded and people died all around him….Millin later talked to some of the Germans who had been captured to ask why they never shot him, and discovered it was because they thought he had gone mad.
The other four fighters are just as impressive.



Dirty Old Jeans On Display

Fashion news: Levi’s Unveils the World’s Oldest Pair of Jeans at Fall 2011 Fashion Preview.
The first pair of riveted denim jeans was patented by Levi Strauss and his partner Jacob Davis in 1872, so this ancient pair of pants isn't far removed from the founders' original vision.

The Funnel Wall of Dresden

The Neustadt Kunsthofpassage, if I understand my sources correctly, is an artsy neighborhood in Dresden. One wall of a building there is covered with funnels and gutters shaped like musical instruments. It’s like a Rube Goldberg machine with water.

Canada Issues Legal Tender Coins with Imaginary Monsters on Them

Canada’s Royal Mint has introduced a line of quarter dollar coins with native cryptids on them. One one side, you can find Queen Elizabeth II. On the other, you’ll see variously MemphrĂ©, which is a reptilian monster that inhabits a lake in Quebec, Mishepishu, which is a water panther of Lake Superior, or the more internationally famous Sasquatch.

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About the Witness Protection Program

You’ve seen it used as a plot device on TV dramas, but how much do you really know about the Witness Protection Program? I didn’t know that it’s a fairly recent (and American) idea.
It’s kind of surprising that the U.S. was the first to come up with the idea of creating a program to protect witnesses. Even stranger is that witness security is only about 40 years old. It began when the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Justice Department introduced the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 and started to actively protect witnesses in 1971. The law gave the Department of Justice freedom to arrange for the security of witnesses as they see fit, and though it was originally passed in order to curb mafia crimes, it now covers people who testify against drug cartels, gangs, and terrorist groups. The program was expanded by the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 to cover some relatives and associates of the witnesses. Though there are still some problems with the program, it has been incredibly effective in coercing witnesses to provide testimonies that have landed major criminals in prison.
There are more details in the list of 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Witness Protection. Here.

Satellite plunge stumps NASA

A half ton of space debris will crash to Earth this week, but scientists have no idea where.  

Limitless hydrogen

Artistic representation of hydrogen molecules (Image: Science Photo Library)Limitless hydrogen from microbes

US researchers demonstrate how power cells fueled by bacteria can be self-powered and produce a limitless supply of hydrogen.

Week's best nature photos

Captivating images of wildlife and natural beauty are provided by a magazine's readers. 

Archaeology News

The Ice Mummy: Little-Known Facts
Among the facts you may not know about Oetzi the Iceman, he lacked a set of ribs and had an almost invisible member.  
 The Ice Mummy: Little-Known Facts

Iceman Mummy 20 Yrs On: Mysteries Remain
Did the man who became the famous 5,000-year-old frozen corpse use acupuncture? And what was his round marble weapon?      
iceman, oetzi

Magic Mushrooms in My Yard

magic mushrooms, fly agaric, fly amanita, hallucinogens, religion
How well do we know the fungus among us? 
Some mushrooms have a magical, mysterious history.  

Manage your life

Training and Motivation Tips

The gym is a great place to get stories for motivational speaking. The members who are serious about training are always revved up and talk about goals, better ways of training, progress made and of course new supplements.

Healthy Living

Diabetes, dementia link

Insulin resistance may affect buildup of plaques in the brain, researchers say.  

A 3D Printer Used To Fabricate Artificial Blood Vessels

3D printers have been used to create some amazing things, from robot parts to minecraft models to flexible solar panels, but nothing compares to being able to print out body parts for surgery!
In Germany, researchers have created artificial blood vessels by putting a mix of synthetic polymers and biomolecules, so that the vessels aren’t rejected, into the 3d printer ink reservoirs, and the results are a finely detailed set of transplant worthy capillaries precisely detailed in every way.
Now that they have succeeded in creating blood vessels, researchers are looking at ways in which to print out internal organs and bones. I wonder how much those ink cartridges cost to replace?

Foods that can trigger stroke

Eating smoked and processed meats can damage your heart in two dangerous ways.  

Culinary DeLites



Diabetic dog finds home with diabetic twin girls

A diabetic dog has found a new home - with eight-year-old twin girls who have the same condition. The Scottish SPCA was struggling to find owners for Staffordshire bull terrier Roxy due to her daily insulin needs.

Catherine and Graham Hendry, from Ballater, Aberdeenshire, said the fact their daughters Louise and Katie also have diabetes made them want Roxy more. The dog and girls now all have their injections together. The Hendry family had spotted a newspaper appeal about Roxy and decided to visit her at the charity's animal rescue and rehoming centre at Drumoak, where she had been since July.

Mrs Hendry said: "We originally saw an appeal for Roxy in our local paper about six weeks ago but our staffy, Buzz, had recently passed away and we felt it was too soon. Then we saw another appeal a few weeks later and thought it must be fate. We decided to go and see her that day and just fell in love with her.

"The fact that Roxy is diabetic didn't put us off at all. If anything, it made us want her even more as our eight-year-old twin daughters, Louise and Katie, both have type one diabetes." She added: "We brought her home at the weekend and she's already part of the family. Roxy and the twins take their injections together every morning and our son, Ross, just adores her."

Duck Feet

Science at work: Ducks feet – the physics.
What is the optimum stroke angle for a duck’s foot when paddling?  Although a duck may already intuitively know the answer, the question has now been clarified for us humans as part of a recent research project undertaken at the prestigious California Institute of Technology (Caltech), in the US.
An excerpt from the article in the Journal of Experimental Biology:
“Our results indicate that spanwise flow behind the paddling propulsor significantly affects tip vortex development and thrust generation. The distribution of spanwise flow is dependent on the propulsor shape and the Reynolds number.”
random duck foot

Upping the cute factor


The first senior moment on record

Dinosaur and the ark
… and that’s what happened to the dinosaurs.

Shark Steroids Can Prevent Human Viruses

The steroid squalamine, found in dogfish sharks, has been found to fight viruses that are difficult or impossible to treat once transmitted to humans. Squalamine is a potential cure-all remedy than may even have the potential to cure cancers and protozoan infections. Discover summarizes the find as such:
Researchers bathed lab-grown human endothelial cells—the type that line blood vessels—in varying concentrations of squalamine before introducing  dengue virus. At the highest concentration of the chemical, none of the human cells became infected, nor suffered any visible ill effects from the squalamine.
Researchers also tested squalamine’s ability to prevent replication of the hepatitis B and D viruses in cultured human liver cells. In cells treated with squalamine, viral replication was reduced 10-fold.
Squalamine has antibiotic, fungicidal, and anti-protozoan properties. It kills a wide variety of pathogens and one study found it could be used to treat multidrug-resistant bacteria. Researchers are also investigating its ability to treat cancer and fight macular degeneration.

The early bird doesn't always get the worm

Asteroid 'killed off early birds'Asteroid

Many early bird species suffered from the same catastrophic extinction as the dinosaurs, new research has shown.

Paleontology News

Spiky Newborn Dinosaur Found in D.C. Beltway
The baby dinosaur, measuring a mere five inches, likely drowned in a stream.  

Animal News

The Bizarre Jaws of the Angel Fish
The colorful choral reef dwellers have adapted a complicated jaw structure to take advantage of their tricky surroundings.  

18-Foot Anaconda Captured Alive 
The snake wranglers made sure the anaconda couldn't escape with its mouth taped, which would have been a death sentence for an animal with no appendages.  
18-Foot Anaconda Captured Alive

Dozen New Frogs, Plus Three 'Extinct' Ones, Found 
The find in the forests of Western Ghats, India, includes one that meows like a cat.
Dozen New Frogs, Plus Three 'Extinct' Ones, Found

Animal Pictures