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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.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
You can't look to other people for the validation you crave. 
An outside appraisal may feel more valuable, but in reality it can be filtered through all sorts of unhealthy or counterproductive lenses. 
Sometimes jealousy keeps people from being as honest as they should be. 
Ultimately, the real approval you seek can only come from deep within yourself. 
Without any guilt or compromise, you should feel confident about what you're doing -- and pride in what you've already done.

Some of our readers today have been in: 
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Gdynia, Pomorskie, Poland
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic
London, England, United kingdom
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Berne, Bern, Switzerland
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia
Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Newbury, England, United Kingdom
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Morini, Morini, Comoros
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Cairo, Al Qahirah, Egypt
Niagara-On-The-Lake, 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 Greely, Fulton, Eden, Hanover and more.

Today is:
Today is Monday, September 26, the 269th day of 2011.
There are 96 days left in the year.

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

Non Sequitur


Manic Monday

Alice falling into the rabbit hole ...

Crabby Road


Bagging self-service

Do-it-yourself lanes were billed as the wave of the future, but shoppers had other ideas. 

How to quickly change careers

You don't need a bachelor's degree for some of these entry-level positions.  

Barcelona Holds its Very Last Bullfight

bullfighting banned photo 
Centuries after Spanish-style bullfighting first emerged in the Catalonian capital of Barcelona, spear-wielding matadores have proven themselves yet again to be victorious in battle against confused, domesticated bulls -- and for the last time. Over the weekend, the region held its final bullfight before a sold-out crowd numbering near 20,000, with many voicing their disappointment over legislation that will ban the practice outright to go into effect at the start of 2012. Animal rights supporters, on the other hand, laud Catalonia's parliament for being the first in mainland Spain to outlaw what many consider the blatant torture of animals for entertainment.
Article continues: Barcelona Holds its Very Last Bullfight

And now for a moment of Zen


Top 10 Misused English Words

The most misused word on the Internet is 'ultimate.' Type 'ultimate' into Google and thousands of hits come up, pretty much all of them using it as 'the best.' But from Latin, it means the last in a list of items. Many people who've had to proof read documents start to develop a kind of compulsive 'tutting' at misused words. Here's a top ten of words that are misused by either professional writers or public speakers who, let's be honest, should really know better.

Fifteen Train-Your-Brain Techniques For Dummies

No matter what your IQ is, you can always aspire to increase your brain power. It's all about training your brain to be sharper, to process information more quickly, and to recall more efficiently.

Habits that make you lose sleep

Sleeping / Fotolia
Feeling tired? These five 'invisible sleep stealers' can creep up and snatch those 40 winks away.  

Do kids 'catch' your stress?

You may think you're doing a good job of shielding your kids from your anxiety. 

That about sums it up ...


Freed hikers return to U.S.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal return home after spending more than two years in an Iranian prison.

Freed US hikers describe harrowing ordeal in Iran

Two American hikers being held in an Iranian prison got a big surprise one day after their exercise routine: Instead of being blindfolded and led back to their cell, they suddenly heard the words, "Let's go home." That's what a diplomatic envoy from Oman told them before whisking them away to the Tehran airport -- and freedom, the two men said ...

Advances In Women’s Right

How about this? Saudi women given right to vote.
Saudi Arabia will allow women to stand for election and vote, the king announced on Sunday, in a significant policy shift in the conservative Islamic kingdom.
They'll need to get a man to drive them to the voting place, though. They still aren't allowed to drive.

Drug submarine seized in Colombia

Police in Colombia have seized a submarine belonging to Farc rebels which had the capacity to carry at least seven tonnes of drugs. The 16m-long (52ft) vessel - equipped with a sophisticated navigation system - was captured near the Pacific port city of Buenaventura.

The police said the submersible was about to be used for the first time to deliver its load. The vessel would have been able to travel as far as Central America.

"It was going to be used by the narco-terrorist 29th front of the Farc (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) in alliance with organizations of drug traffickers who operate in this southern area of the country," drugs police chief Gene Luis Alberto Perez said.

He added that it was "probably one of the biggest" drug ships seized in Colombia in recent years. The authorities believe it cost about $2m (£1.3m) and could hold a crew of five.



North Carolina Men are Tough Individuals

A North Carolina man is recovering at home after spending four days in the Utah desert trying to crawl to safety with a broken leg.
A hiker endures four days with a broken leg while trekking the canyon shown in the Hollywood film.  

Daily Comic Relief


Culinary DeLites

Pasta and Banana Bread

Italian cooking expert Marcella Hazan settles the question of whether you should rinse.
Banana bread / Fotolia
This delicious banana bread recipe combines fruit with nuts to make the perfect afternoon treat.  



Awesome Pictures


Everest's ice is retreating as climate change grips the Himalayas

Climate change is altering the face of the Himalayas but research seeking to confirm this is yet to catch up with the mountain communities sounding the alarm.

It's a Blond World

Norman and his blond wife live in Calgary. One winter morning while listening to the radio, they hear the announcer say, "We are going to have 8 to 10 centimeters of snow today. You must park your car on the even numbered side of the street, so the snowplow can get through." Norman's wife goes out and moves her car.

A week later while they are eating breakfast, the radio announcer says, "We are expecting 10 to 12 centimeters of snow today. You must park your car on the odd numbered side of the street, so the snowplow can get through." Norman's wife goes out and moves her car again.

The next week they are having breakfast again, when the radio announcer says "We are expecting 12 to 14 centimeters of snow today. You must park........... " Then the electric power goes out.
Norman's wife is very upset, and with a worried look on her face she says, "Honey, I don't know what to do. Which side of the street do I need to park on so the snowplow can get through?"

With the love and understanding in his voice like all men who are married to blondes exhibit, Norman says, "Why don't you just leave it in the garage this time?"

Alpine Lakes Wilderness


The Alpine Lakes wilderness consists of 390,000 acres of rugged wilderness spanning the Cascade Range of Washington state and parts of Wenatchee National Forest and Snoqualmie National Forest. There are over 700 mountain lakes and over 300 miles of Forest Service class one and two streams.

The terrain includes craggy peaks and ridges, deep glacial valleys, granite walls and forests that are picture perfect and ready to enchant visitors - especially in autumn.

Here are 38 photos of Alpine Lakes wilderness for adventurers to enjoy.



Rescue dog saves new owner's life after he suffers epileptic fit on walk

A rescue rescued by an animal shelter and given a new home has returned the favor to her new owners by saving the life of their son. Liam Brooks, from Plympton, had taken three-year-old dog, Faun, for a walk in the woods at Chaddlewood when he suffered an epileptic seizure. The City College Plymouth plastering student described how he began to feel dazed about 15 minutes into the walk.

He said explained: "A couple of minutes after that I collapsed and had a fit. Faun must have seen me pass out. At first I think she tried to drag me to safety because I had drag marks all over my jeans. Then she started barking really loud to get someone to help. A couple of policemen had been in the area and had heard her barking so came to see what was going on. They found me having a fit and took me to call an ambulance."

Photo from here.

Liam had suffered problems with his eyes before but it was the first time he had had a seizure. Doctors decided to keep the 16-year-old in hospital overnight to monitor him due to the severity of the episode. The teenager added: "The doctor at the hospital said that if it wasn't for Faun getting help I could have died due to how serious the fit was. I'm really happy we got her."

Faun, a cross breed, was taken in by the Brooks family in January after she was rescued by the Woodside animal sanctuary. Mum, Paula Brooks, who suffers from epilepsy, added: "It was such a shock to see my son brought home in a police car. It was amazing, Faun dragged Liam along the path and stayed with him the entire time."

Lonely Jellyfish Produces Hundreds of Clones of Itself

upside-down jellyfish photo  
When you can clone yourself, you never have to be alone -- at least that's what marine biologists at Australia's Townsville aquarium are discovering. Recently, an injured Cassiopea jellyfish that had been kept alone in its own tank was found to be suddenly and inexplicably in the company of some 200 youngsters. But as nice as it must be for the lonely jellyfish to have others around, that's not even quite the case; biologists suspect that each one of the tiny new jellyfish is actually a clone of the original.
Article continues: Lonely Jellyfish Produces Hundreds of Clones of Itself

When Army Ants Attack!

Photo: Alex Wild
That's an Eciton hamatum soldier ant from the Jatun Sacha reserve, Ecuador, taking a big bite (well, relative to its size) out of Alex Wild's skin. Ouch!
The ant's ice-tong mandibles latch onto the enemy and give her the leverage to use her stinger at the rear end of the ant. This makes her very difficult to remove (notice the mandible buried deep inside the skin).
The soldier caste of Eciton hamatum is similar to that of E. burchellii, bearing the same defensive tusks. Eciton hamatum soldiers, though, have a much larger set of horns along the back corners of the head. These protrusions presumably protect the ant’s vulnerable neck in fights with other ants, and this species certainly spends a great deal more time fighting other ants than does E. burchellii.
Despite the scary look, Alex told us that E. hamatum isn't actually that bad:
If you’ve got an assignment to shoot army ants and your editor neglects to specify the species, I’d hold out for these guys. You won’t get swarmed over, gored, bitten, stung up, or otherwise assaulted anywhere near the amount you suffer by approaching the vicious E. burchellii. [...]
On a personal note, I found photographing this species to be great fun. Most of my Eciton encounters over the years have been with E. burchellii or E. vagans. In comparison, E. hamatum is charming. Their physique is a bit more pudgy, they are an unusual shade of orange, and they are much less aggressive. The effect is almost comical.
Check out more of Alex Wild's fantastic photographs of Army Ants from around the world: Full Story | Gallery

Alligator gar

Alligator Gar ("Gator Gar"), Atractosteus spatula, is a primitive ray-finned fish. Unlike other gars, the mature Alligator Gar possesses a dual row of large teeth in the upper jaw. Its name derives from the alligator-like appearance of these teeth along with the fish's elongated snout...

Alligator Gar are found in the Lower Mississippi River Valley and Gulf Coast states of the Southeastern United States and Mexico as far south as Veracruz... They have also been known historically to come as far north as central Kansas, Nebraska, Kentucky, Ohio, Iowa, and west-central Illinois. 
Photo ("10 feet (3.0 m) alligator gar caught at Moon Lake, Mississippi in 1910"): D. Franklin (Library Services, American Museum of Natural History).

Animal Pictures