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, October 8, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
As shallow as it might sound, sometimes looking good can help you feel good. 
So if you've been down in the dumps, put on the clothes that make you feel your most attractive today! 
You'll enjoy the day a lot more if you feel confident in your appearance -- and this will start a chain reaction of good things. 
If you can afford it, a shopping trip wouldn't be out of the question -- you've got a sharp eye for bargains right now and are likely to uncover one or two real finds.

 Some of our readers today have been in:
Albury, New South Wales, Australia
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
London, England, United Kingdom
Berne, Bern, Switzerland
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
Riyadh, Ar Riyad, Saudi Arabia
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Manila, Manila, Philippines
Rennes, Bretagne, France
New Delhi, Delhi, India
Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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 New Palestine, Eden Prairie, Machesney Park, Overland Park and more.

Today is:
Today is Saturday, October 8, the 281st day of 2011.
There are 84 days left in the year.

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

Non Sequitur


President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Next week, the Senate will vote on the American Jobs Act.  It’s a bill that will put more people to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans.  And it will provide our economy with the jolt that it really needs right now
This is not the time for the usual games or political gridlock in Washington.  The challenges facing financial markets around the world could have very real effects on our own economy at a time when it’s already fragile.  But this jobs bill can help guard against another downturn here in America.
This isn’t just my belief.  This is what independent economists have said.  Not just politicians.  Not just people in my administration.  Independent experts who do this for a living have said that this jobs bill will have a significant effect for our economy and middle-class families all across America.  But if we don’t act, the opposite will be true – there will be fewer jobs and weaker growth.
So any Senator out there who’s thinking about voting against this jobs bill needs to explain why they would oppose something that we know would improve our economic situation.  If the Republicans in Congress think they have a better plan for creating jobs right now, they should prove it.  Because one of the same independent economists who looked at our plan just said that their ideas, quote, wouldn’t “mean much for the economy in the near term.”
If their plan doesn’t measure up, the American people deserve to know what it is that Republicans in Congress don’t like about this jobs plan.  You hear a lot of our Republican friends say that one of the most important things we can do is cut taxes.  Well, they should love this plan.  The American Jobs Act would cut taxes for virtually every worker and small business in America.  And if you’re a small business owner that hires new workers, raises wages, or hires a veteran, you get an additional tax cut.
Right now, hundreds of thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers have been laid off because of state budget cuts.  This jobs bill will put a lot of these men and women back to work.  Right now, there are millions of laid-off construction workers who could be repairing our bridges and roads and modernizing our schools.  Why wouldn’t we want to put these men and women to work rebuilding America?
The proposals in this bill are steps we have to take if we want to build an economy that lasts; if we want to be able to compete with other countries for jobs that restore a sense of security for the middle-class.  But we also have to rein in our deficit and start living within our means, which is why this jobs bill is paid for by asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.
Some see this as class warfare.  I see it as a simple choice.  We can either keep taxes exactly as they are for millionaires and billionaires, or we can ask them to pay at least the same rate as a plumber or a bus driver.  And in the process, we can put teachers and construction workers and veterans back on the job.  We can either fight to protect their tax cuts, or we can cut taxes for virtually every worker and small business in America.  But we can’t afford to do both.  It’s that simple.
There are too many people hurting in this country for us to simply do nothing.  The economy is too fragile for us to let politics get in the way of action.  The people who represent you in Washington have a responsibility to do what’s best for you – not what’s best for their party or what’s going to help them win an election that’s more than a year away.  So I need you to keep making your voices heard in Washington.  I need you to remind these folks who they work for.  And I need you to tell your Senators to do the right thing by passing this jobs bill right away. Thank you.

Super Saturday


Degrees for the real world

These five college majors can help students build essential skills for the workplace.  

Jobs of the future

These occupations are expected to expand the fastest by 2018, especially in certain cities.

Economy adds 103,000 jobs, but it's not enough

The economy added just enough jobs last month to ease fears of a new recession. But hiring is still too weak to bring down unemployment, which has been stuck around 9 percent for more than two years.

Unemployed find jobs slower

People who lose their job can expect to be out of work for longer than ever recorded.


Cantor slams Wall St. 'mobs'

The House majority leader says he's "increasingly concerned" by Occupy Wall Street.  



US asks appeals court to halt Alabama immigration law

The federal government asked an appeals court Friday to halt the Alabama immigration law considered by many the toughest in the U.S., saying it could have dire diplomatic consequences abroad, invites discrimination and merely forces illegal immigrants into neighboring states.

Two-day-old baby girl rescued after being buried alive

A Indian farmer was at work on Thursday afternoon when he heard a baby crying. He followed the sound to discover a baby girl, who seemed to have been buried alive. She had managed to push her head above the ground.

The farmer, who is from Madhya Pradesh's Bodna village, rushed the child to a local hospital. Doctors believe she was 48 hours old before she was rescued. She is now recovering well.

Minister for Education Archana Chitnis has visited the child and ordered the hospital to monitor the baby carefully. The police are trying to locate her parents. But the baby is unlikely to be returned to them.

Madhya Pradesh had the highest number of recorded cases of both female feticide and infanticide in 2009.

Ruins may be first roman catholic church in Peru

The church outside the northern coastal city of Piura was built in 1534 but its mud walls deteriorated over time as Spanish conquistadors abandoned the area, said archaeologist Cesar Astuhuaman of Piura University.

Columbus's disputed looks

The noted explorer's appearance is in as much dispute these days as his legacy.

NFL star scares museum-goers

Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu has some fun freaking out fans who think he is a wax statue.  

Top 10 Solutions To Real Life's Most Annoying Problems

Is your home a mess? Are you addicted to technology? Are you not sleeping well? Are you poor? So you want to break a bad habit? Do you hate your job? Are you fat and unhealthy? Are you unhappy?
Lifehacker offers solutions to 10 of real life's most annoying problems.

A look at Depression

There was this guy at a bar, just looking at his drink. He stays like that for half of an hour.

Then, this big trouble-making truck driver steps next to him, takes the drink from the guy, and just drinks it all down. The poor man starts crying. The truck driver says, “Come on man, I was just joking. Here, I’ll buy you another drink. I just can’t stand to see a man cry.”

“No, it’s not that. This day is the worst of my life. First, I fall asleep, and I go late to my office. My boss, outrageous, fires me. When I leave the building, to my car, I found out it was stolen. The police said that they can do nothing. I get a cab to return home, and when I leave it, I remember I left my wallet and credit cards there. The cab driver just drives away.”

“I go home, and when I get there, I find my wife in bed with the gardener. I leave home, and come to this bar. And just when I was thinking about putting an end to my life, you show up and drink my poison.”

For Example ...

Here are health costs pictured as food prices and it ain't appetizing!

Truth about health drinks

Beverage makers claim ingredients like kombucha and acai can ease stress and prevent illness.  

Strange but True

The 30th Annual Great American Beer Festival in Denver features more than 2,000 beers including ones flavored with basil, guava, chili and even bacon.

Why to cook with cast iron

Your grandmother's skillet could help cut oil and chemicals from your food. 

Culinary DeLites

It's the most important meal of the day so make sure you enjoy a healthy nutritious breakfast. 
Porridge / Fotolia
Few breakfasts can offer such instant insulation as oats simmered with water until thick and creamy.

Secrets to a perfect omelet

Chef Fabio reveals the tricks to a dish that's sure to be tastier than scrambled eggs.  



A Bridge Too Far

Owners baffled by theft of 50-foot-long Pennsylvania bridge
A 50-foot-long bridge in western Pennsylvania has been stolen, and its owners say they're baffled by the crime and have no idea who took it.

Massive identity theft bust

More than 100 people are charged in an elaborate $13 million scheme that spanned the world.


"Keith Partridge" Claims Screen Gems, Sony Swindled Him out of Millions in Royalties, Licensing Revenues, etc.

David Cassidy, who rose to fame on "The Partridge Family" TV show and became a bestselling singer, claims Screen Gems and Sony "swindled" him out of "tens of millions of dollars" for decades of royalties from the show, his records, and merchandising spinoffs.

Cassidy sued Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Television, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and CPT Holdings, in Los Angeles Superior Court. All four defendants are referred to as "the Studio" in the complaint.

Cassidy claims that after entering a 1969 contract with the Studio as a minor, after which the TV show became a hit, he renegotiated the contract in 1971.

"For nearly 40 years, defendants have swindled Mr. Cassidy out of his rightful share of proceeds from 'The Partridge Family,'" the complaint states. "And, when Mr. Cassidy has inquired as to the matter, have lied to him so as to continue to conceal their deception and continue to avoid their obligation to pay Mr. Cassidy his fair share of those monies owed him pursuant to the 1971 contract.

"Published reports indicate the Studio made 'about 500 million dollars' in licensing revenue for the merchandise alone, for which defendants have only paid Mr. Cassidy a paltry sum, and have repeatedly and fraudulently misrepresented to him that he is owed nothing more."

The 1971 contract, the complaint states, "promised to pay Mr. Cassidy not only 15 percent of the net proceeds of all merchandise involving the use of his name, voice and/or likeness and sponsor identification rights (see paragraph 9 of the 1971 contract), but also 7.5 percent of the net proceeds derived from the exhibition of the show and the exploitation of the underlying property rights ('Underlying Rights') upon which the show was based, including all other merchandise (see paragraph 3 of the 1971 contract). The Studio also promised Mr. Cassidy financial participation in all spinoffs from 'The Partridge Family.'"

Cassidy says contract obligated the Studio to provide him with accountings and reports, but "the Studio has either never provided such accountings and reports, or provided such accountings and reports only begrudgingly, inconsistently, inaccurately and fraudulently. ... And yet, despite Mr. Cassidy's repeated requests for this information, defendants did not, and will not, provide this information to Mr. Cassidy, even now."

He claims the Studio "engaged in a pattern of concealment with regard to these financial issues since the 1970s, when the show was still on the air."

He claims that a January 1973 letter from an agent of the Studio, Robert Lust, "acknowledged Mr. Cassidy had not been adequately compensated in regards to 'The Partridge Family' merchandise and indicated Mr. Cassidy would be fully compensated as part of the next regularly scheduled royalty statement. The letter falsely indicated that Mr. Cassidy was only owed monies in relation to the sale of a thermos and a payment from a marketing company, and no other merchandise was mentioned. Interestingly, the thermos was inside the number #1 best selling lunchbox of its time. This iconic 'Partridge Family' lunchbox now has its rightful place in our country's Smithsonian Institute."

As recently as May this year, the complaint states, the defendants "falsely informed Mr. Cassidy that he has no interest in 'The Partridge Family' merchandise, but only in merchandise utilizing his name, likeness, or voice. The letter further falsely stated that all merchandising monies owed to Mr. Cassidy were accounted for and paid to him in the 1970s (the 'July 20, 2011 Letter'). The letter obviously constituting just another attempt by defendants to swindle Mr. Cassidy."

Cassidy claims that in that letter, the defendants "acknowledged that their right to license or utilize Mr. Cassidy's name, likeness and voice expired n the 1970s - and yet, defendants released seasons 1 through 4 of 'The Partridge Family' on DVD relatively recently, and all of those DVDs are packaged bearing Mr. Cassidy's image."

Cassidy says the defendants owe him nearly 40 years of royalties, including 15 percent of net proceeds from merchandise using his name, voice and/or likeness, 7.5 percent of net proceeds from merchandise exploiting his underlying rights in the show, 7.5 percent of revenue from the show, and 5 percent of revenue from spinoffs. "Based on the reported revenue for the merchandise alone, defendants owe Mr. Cassidy in excess of tens of millions of dollars."

To make things perfectly clear, Cassidy says he "has reason to believe, and does reasonably believe, that defendants have been perpetrating a scam; that he has been deceived by defendants' fraudulent scheme, intentionally designed for the sole purpose of defrauding him; that defendants have gone to, and will continue to go to, any and all lengths necessary, no matter how despicable, to avoid upholding their end of the 1971 contract."

"The Partridge Family" ran from 1970 to 1974, then repeatedly in syndication. The complaint claims that it "was the first globally marketed and merchandised show of its kind."

Cassidy played the oldest son, Keith, who was lead singer of the family band. He became a teen heartthrob and, according to the complaint, received 30,000 fan letters a week, "reportedly having the largest fan club in the world in its day, surpassing even Elvis Presley and The Beatles. ... There were 'Partridge Family' board games, magazines, coloring books, paperback books, posters, pillow cases, toy guitars, dolls, lunch boxes, beach towels, pencil cases, comic books, and a line of children's clothing, not to mention music sales."

Cassidy, 61, continues to perform. He appeared on "Celebrity Apprentice" this year.

Dazzling images of diamond

Given the highest color grading for a yellow diamond, the gem is expected to fetch at least $11 mil.  

Awesome Pictures


Mind-boggling optical illusion

The tiny stars may look like they're standing still — but wait until you see the entire picture.

Places to see before you die

Blue Lagoon
Life is short, and some of the world's most dazzling locations are waiting for you to discover them.  

A Kaleidoscope Of Autumn Colors

There is no doubt that ISS astronauts have enviable and breathtaking views of Earth, but when the fall season transforms foliage into a kaleidoscope of colors with rich hues of reds, yellows, oranges and browns, autumn is heaven as seen on Earth.

As fall bursts upon the forests, changing them from green to vivid autumn colors, the tantalizing seasonal change can be seen from space. Yet astronauts may envy us for our beautiful view.

How to take a great photo

Jamie Crawford lines up a shot
Jamie Crawford explains how to control the light and capture some beautiful pictures of landscapes.  

Extraordinary Photographs of the Starry Night Sky

ben canales sky photo
Ben Canales offers up not only stellar night photography, but also a humble and inspirational spirit that encourages other photographers to try it out. Here are 10 examples of his phenomenal work, his thoughts about light pollution and its impact on our understanding of the environment, and a great video where he teaches us the techniques he uses to get these shots.

Article continues: 10 Extraordinary Photographs of the Starry Night Sky



Seahorses found in the River Thames

Evidence of a rare colony of seahorses has been found in the Thames, the first sighting of its kind.  

Fluffy the dog protects three-year-old girl from pitbull attack

A floppy-eared mongrel named Fluffy is being hailed a hero after ferociously attacking a pit bull that was threatening a toddler. The friendly mutt showed his mettle when the dangerous dog barged into his owner's home in the Brazilian city of Campo Grande.

Kenya Suelen Rodrigues said the normally playful and friendly pet immediately went into the attack as the intruder headed for her three-year-old daughter. The pit bull immediately rounded on its foe, sinking its teeth into Fluffy's black-and-white back, said Ms Rodrigues.

But Fluffy was not to be cowed, even when he was dragged out into the street, where the fight continued. Ms Rodrigues said she and her neighbours tried to break up the fight by throwing rocks and pieces of wood at the battling duo.

But nothing worked, as Fluffy continued to try to see off his enemy. The battle was finally brought to a dramatic close when a car came along and slammed into the pit bull. The pit bull's owner took both dogs to the vet. Both survived.

Male Crickets Risk Lives to Let Females Go First

So as the cautious man (or my mother) says, “Safety first.” However, for the male cricket–as gallant as he is–he’ll risk his life for a lady friend. In danger, a male cricket will wait until his female partner dives into their hiding burrow to ensure that if she’s pregnant, his genes will survive.
At the entrance, it’s ladies first: the male cricket waits while his partner dives in first. It’s a delay that could cost him his life. This may all seem very chivalrous, but the male’s seemingly selfless actions also make selfish sense. He may die, but he ensures that his genes pass on to the next generation.
Male insects often stay close to female ones after they mate, and people have generally assumed that they’re standing guard. If the female mates again, the first male’s sperm will be flushed out by the second male’s contributions. If he wants to ensure that he fathers he offspring, he’d do well to keep other suitors at bay.
But Rolando Rodriguez-Munoz from the University of Exeter found that this narrative of conflict doesn’t quite work for field crickets. He set up a network of infrared cameras to study a wild population of the crickets that had all been individually marked and genetically analysed. The cameras recorded thousands of hours of video, and Rodriguez-Munoz watched them all.

Hammock too much for cubs

Two curious young bears learn the hard way that there's an art to mastering this backyard sling.  

Lion cub rescued from Beirut balcony to be sent to South Africa

A lion cub being kept in Beirut was rescued by Animals Lebanon and will soon be sent to a sanctuary in South Africa. The five week-old cub, kept on a balcony, was smuggled into Lebanon before ending up as a private pet. "The keeping of lions as pets has drastically increased in the last two years, and we regularly receive reports about new cubs," said Lana Al Khalil, President of Animals Lebanon.

"Within the first couple months of life a lion becomes too large and strong to be kept in a house, only to end up locked in a backyard cage or sold to a private zoo," Al Khalil said. "Animals Lebanon has uncovered zoos in Syria offering new born lion cubs for $350 each, and workers offered to advise on how best to bring a lion to Lebanon," Al Khalil said.

"One zoo owner in Lebanon reported bringing in eight lions from Syria, and admitted that they all died within weeks as they were too young. Lebanon has not yet joined the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and a wide range of other endangered animals are smuggled into the country and kept as pets or in private zoos.

Lions are a CITES-listed animals and the international trade should be regulated. Once all of the permits are issued the cub will be flown to the Drakenstein Lion Park in South Africa, which cares for dozens of rescued lions and agreed to provide lifetime care for this cub.

Animal Pictures