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.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Well get a load of you, you little powerhouse!
There is no energy crisis in your life right now, mostly because you are still flying high from a recent success ... this delightful momentum should carry you through the day and prevent you from getting any afternoon 'blahs.'
In fact, you'll have so much energy that you might finish up your tasks earlier than expected.
If you do, use the extra time to take a little mental inventory of the tasks you have accomplished and the goals you need to tackle next.

Some of our readers today have been in: 
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Surabaya, Jawa Timur, Indonesia
Berne, Bern, Switzerland
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Morini, Morini, Comoros
Dortmund, Nordrhein-Westfalen, germany
London, England, United Kingdom
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Gdynia, Pomorskie, Poland
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Rio De Janiero, Rio De Janiero, Brazil
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Bath, England, United Kingdom
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
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 Nashua, Kailua, Tampa, Caledonia and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, September 24, the 267th day of 2011.
There are 98 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
Punctuation 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 24, 2011
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been making the case that we need to act now on the American Jobs Act, so we can put folks back to work and start building an economy that lasts into the future.
Education is an essential part of this economic agenda.  It is an undeniable fact that countries who out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow.  Businesses will hire wherever the highly-skilled, highly-trained workers are located.
But today, our students are sliding against their peers around the globe.  Today, our kids trail too many other countries in math, science, and reading.  As many as a quarter of our students aren’t even finishing high school.  And we’ve fallen to 16th in the proportion of our young people with a college degree, even though we know that sixty percent of new jobs in the coming decade will require more than a high school diploma.
What this means is that if we’re serious about building an economy that lasts – an economy in which hard work pays off with the opportunity for solid middle class jobs – we had better be serious about education.  We have to pick up our game and raise our standards.
As a nation, we have an obligation to make sure that all children have the resources they need to learn – quality schools, good teachers, the latest textbooks and the right technology.  That’s why the jobs bill I sent to Congress would put tens of thousands of teachers back to work across the country, and modernize at least 35,000 schools.  And Congress should pass that bill right now.
But money alone won’t solve our education problems.  We also need reform.  We need to make sure that every classroom is a place of high expectations and high performance.
That’s been our vision since taking office.  And that’s why instead of just pouring money into a system that’s not working, we launched a competition called Race to the Top.  To all fifty states, we said, “If you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we’ll show you the money.”
For less than one percent of what we spend on education each year, Race to the Top has led states across the country to raise their standards for teaching and learning. These standards were developed, not by Washington, but by Republican and Democratic governors throughout the country.  And since then, we have seen what’s possible when reform isn’t just a top-down mandate, but the work of local teachers and principals; school boards and communities.
That’s why in my State of the Union address this year, I said that Congress should reform the No Child Left Behind law based on the same principles that have guided Race to the Top.
While the goals behind No Child Left Behind were admirable, experience has taught us that the law has some serious flaws that are hurting our children instead of helping them.  Teachers are being forced to teach to a test, while subjects like history and science are being squeezed out.  And in order to avoid having their schools labeled as failures, some states lowered their standards in a race to the bottom.
These problems have been obvious to parents and educators all over this country for years.  But for years, Congress has failed to fix them.  So now, I will.  Our kids only get one shot at a decent education.  And they can’t afford to wait any longer.
Yesterday, I announced that we’ll be giving states more flexibility to meet high standards for teaching and learning.  It’s time for us to let states, schools and teachers come up with innovative ways to give our children the skills they need to compete for the jobs of the future.
This will make a huge difference in the lives of students all across the country.  Yesterday, I was with Ricky Hall, the principal of a school in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Every single student who graduated from Ricci’s school in the last three years went on to college.  But because they didn’t meet the standards of No Child Left Behind, Ricci’s school was labeled as failing last year.
That will change because of what we did yesterday.  From now on, we’ll be able to encourage the progress at schools like Ricci’s.  From now on, people like John Becker, who teaches at one of the highest-performing middle schools in D.C., will be able to focus on teaching his 4th graders math in a way that improves their performance instead of just teaching to a test.  Superintendents like David Estrop from Ohio will be able to focus on improving teaching and learning in his district instead of spending all his time on bureaucratic mandates from Washington that don’t get results.
This isn’t just the right thing to do for our kids – it’s the right thing to do for our country, and our future.  It is time to put our teachers back on the job.  It is time to rebuild and modernize our schools.  And it is time to raise our standards, up our game, and do everything it takes to prepare our children succeed in the global economy.  Now is the time to once again make our education system the envy of the world.
Thanks for listening.

Non Sequitur


Super Saturday

Some "Helpful Hints" from the past.

The 'tea party' is "a racist thing"

Morgan Freeman says 'tea party' is "a racist thing"
Don't look for Morgan Freeman at any Tea Party events anytime soon. Unless he's there to protest them.

Obama's Los Angeles campaign office smashed up

Police said Friday they are investigating what appears to be a politically motivated attack on a newly opened campaign office for President Barack Obama in Los Angeles, only days before he's scheduled to arrive in Southern California.

The truth be told


Isn't it funny ...

... how "small government" wingnuts raise your taxes w/stealthy back-door fees.

Random Celebrity Photo

George Harrison and Pattie Boyd, 1968
George Harrison and Pattie Boyd, 1968

Where cars aren't welcome

On this U.S. island, there's a 25-year waiting list to get a permit to drive.  

Scientists Discover Gene Behind Melting Zombie Caterpillars

Watch out for zonked-out, virus-infected caterpillars melting from above: scientists have discovered a single gene in a caterpillar virus that which dramatically alters the molting behaviour of the gypsy moth caterpillar, literally turning them into zombies. Once infected, the caterpillars climb up trees to molt, but instead die and melt in a gruesome fashion, spreading millions of viruses to other caterpillars below.
Article continues: Scientists Discover Gene Behind Melting Zombie Caterpillars

Yawning May Cool the Brain

Yawning May Cool the Brain
A new theory suggests that yawning may be a basic way to cool an overheated brain.

Why Do Leaves Change Color?

fall, autumn, why do leaves change color, trees, camping, forests
Discover the secrets of why tree leaves change yellow or red in the autumn.

Receding Missouri River reveals badly damaged land

As the Missouri River slowly recedes, farmers seeing their fields for the first time since June are encountering sand dunes, strange debris and deep gouges the floodwaters carved into their once-fertile land.

The Day Niagara Froze

This shot was taken in 1911 when the Niagara River and Niagara Falls froze solid.

Hothouse Earth

The earth saw a mysterious episode of global warming 56 million years ago due to a surge of carbon into the atmosphere. Animals could walk from continent to continent and never see ice. That period is called PETM, or the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, and it changed everything about life on earth. Paleontologist Philip Gingerich has been studying the fossil record of the era for forty years, mainly in the Bighorn Basin, just east of Yellowstone National Park.
During the PETM itself a strange thing happened to some mammals: They got dwarfish. Horses in the Bighorn shrank to the size of Siamese cats; as the carbon ebbed from the atmosphere, they grew larger again. It’s not clear whether it was the heat or the CO2 itself that shrank them. But the lesson, says Gingerich, is that animals can evolve fast in a changing environment. When he first drove into the Bighorn four decades ago, it was precisely to learn where horses and primates came from. He now thinks that they and artiodactyls came from the PETM—that those three orders of modern mammals acquired their distinctive characteristics right then, in a burst of evolution driven by the burst of carbon into the atmosphere.
Learn more about the changes that happened during the PETM in the October issue of National Geographic magazine.

Yep, that's about it ...


Murder convicts found innocent

Two N.C. men walk free after judges rule they did not kill a man during a home invasion. 

Descendants make amends for stolen canoe

Kin of explorers Lewis and Clark want to “right a wrong” committed against the Chinook Indians. 

The Sad Story of Ota Benga

Fifty years after slavery was abolished, the Bronx Zoo had an exhibit in which they displayed a man in a cage. His name was Ota Benga, a member of a pygmy Mbuti tribe from the Belgian Congo.
Ota Benga’s life was tragic from early on. He was a member of the Mbuti people who lived in the area then known as the Belgian Congo. Forces under the control of King Leopold of Belgium killed Benga’s wife and two children during a massacre – part of the drive to control rubber trees in the region. Benga escaped death because he was on a hunting trip when the slaughter occurred.
Benga was later captured by slavers, then sold to missionary Samuel Verner for a bolt of cloth and a pound of salt. Verner had been contracted by the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (otherwise known as Saint Louis World’s Fair) to find some pygmies for the fair. Four other Batwa or pygmy people and five non-pygmies eventually agreed to come on the trip.
After the World’s Fair, Benga was displayed at the Museum of Natural History in New York and the Bronx Zoo. Read his story at Environmental Graffiti.



Hairdressers Tools From 1928

Pictures of hairdresser's tools from 1928.

Pore openers, hair straighteners, hair curlers, heat setting heat setters, and the like.

Wacky places for rent

One small hotel has giraffes poking their heads into the windows for food and attention. 


The Visual Jukebox of the '60s
In the 1960s, music videos were shown in coin-operated machines from a French company called Scopitone. Strange and somewhat exotic visuals were added to pop songs to draw viewers to the machines, which were introduced to the US in 1964. Collector’s Weekly talked to Scopitone film collector Bob Orlowsky, who not only gives us the history of these “visual jukeboxes,” but also shares some of the videos from those days.

Five fun facts about Tetris

The classic game's toe-tapping theme song is a remake of a much older tune.

Famous Firsts That Weren't Firsts At All

We all know the inspiring story of Charles Lindbergh being the first person to fly across the Atlantic, but as it turns out, he’s only the first person to do it by himself. In fact, eight years before he made the flight, two British men completed the same journey.
And that’s not the only incorrect first you were taught in school. Jackie Robinson wasn’t the first black man to play professional baseball and Copernicus wasn’t the first person to realize the earth revolved around the sun. Cracked has all the details.

Startling optical illusion

Shift your angle as you look at this picture, and you may be surprised at what you see.

Paying off $92K in debt

Pastor Jerry Bailey didn't tell his wife that they'd run up staggering bills on 17 cards.  

Ten fields that pay the most

Jobs in these growth industries pay up to $93,000 after just a few years of experience.  

Manage your life

Healthy Living

Top U.S. cities for foodies

These destinations offer a delicious mix of big-name eateries, ethnic cuisine, and bargain treats.

Culinary DeLites

Chocolate Covered Deep Fried Triple Double Oreos

Nick of Dude Foods has made Oreos even more Oreawesome! He took triple stacked double Oreos and dipped them in chocolate. Then, like any sensible chef, he deep fried them. Because anything can be deep fried and therefore, logically, everything should be deep fried.



It's a dogs life


Angry Fish Inhabit Most Home Aquariums

Angry Fish Inhabit Most Home Aquariums
Fish can turn mean when their home is barren and boring, says new research.

Dog may never bark again after 'wild panther' attack

A family's pet dog may never bark again after it was viciously attacked — by what experts fear was a wild panther. Vets had to battle to save four-year-old Dusk after he was horrifically mauled outside his home in the Welsh countryside. The dog miraculously survived despite severe neck injuries, but it is feared he will not "speak" again.

Experts say the dog's injuries are typical of a strike by a panther. Police are investigating the attack, which happened close to the scene of other mysterious big cat sightings. Owner Chris O'Mahoney, 35, said: "I knew straight away that it was a big cat attack. It's a trait of theirs to attack the neck and face, and this one ripped Dusk's windpipe out."

Dusk, an Alaskan malamute, was attacked late at night on September 7 in Chris' back garden in Brecon, Powys, Wales. The businessman said: "There is a big cat in the area — I've seen it myself twice and local farmers have had their sheep attacked. The first time it pounced on to a wall like it was on springs which was amazing because it is quite a large animal.

"The second time it walked straight past my van, it was extremely brazen." Dusk underwent a life-saving operation on his bite wound at the Victoria Veterinary Practice in Merthyr Tydfil. A spokesman said after the operation: "Dusk was definitely attacked by something very big and powerful."

Bald Baby Penguin

The parents of a newborn penguin at an aquarium in China rejected him, probably for being unusually devoid of feathers. But caretakers nursed him to good health and brought him back into the colony:
The aquarium set up a penguin group to care for the youngster around the clock. After a month of hand feeding the little penguin was much stronger and, to the delight of keepers, even grew feathers. It was then successfully re-introduced to its family group.
Follow the link to see what he looks like with feathers.

Animal Pictures