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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, October 15, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
It's time to have that talk you've been putting off; chances are, you've built it up in your head to an unrealistically intimidating level. 
In reality, it will just be two people (who respect each other very much) talking openly and honestly. 
If you approach things compassionately and with all your defenses down, you will be able to listen well and respond clearly. 
If you're the one who initiates the conversation, suggest a time when you two can get face to face.

 Some of our readers today have been in:
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Bath, England, United Kingdom
Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Berne, Bern, Switzerland
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico

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 Aurora, Olean, San Anselmo, Scarbro and more!

Today is:
Today is Saturday, October 15, the 288th day of 2011.
There are 77 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
National Grouch Day.

It also happens to be Sweetest Day - which is a bit contradictory now isn't it.
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
October 15, 2011
I’m here in Detroit visiting workers at a GM plant in the heart of a resurgent American auto industry.  And I brought a guest with me – President Lee of South Korea.
We’re here because this week, Congress passed landmark trade agreements with countries like Korea, and assistance for American workers that will be a big win for our economy.
These trade agreements will support tens of thousands of American jobs.  And we’ll sell more Fords, Chevys and Chryslers abroad stamped with three proud words – “Made in America.”
So it was good to see Congress act in a bipartisan way on something that will help create jobs at a time when millions of Americans are out of work and need them now.
But that’s also why it was so disappointing to see Senate Republicans obstruct the American Jobs Act, even though a majority of Senators voted “yes” to advance this jobs bill.
We can’t afford this lack of action.  And there is no reason for it.  Independent economists say that this jobs bill would give the economy a jumpstart and lead to nearly two million new jobs.  Every idea in that jobs bill is the kind of idea both parties have supported in the past.
The majority of the American people support the proposals in this jobs bill.  And they want action from their elected leaders to create jobs and restore some security for the middle class right now.  You deserve to see your hard work and responsibility rewarded – and you certainly deserve to see it reflected in the folks you send to Washington.
But rather than listen to you and put folks back to work, Republicans in the House spent the past couple days picking partisan ideological fights.  They’re seeing if they can roll back clean air and water protections.  They’re stirring up fights over a woman’s right to make her own health care choices.  They’re not focused on the concrete actions that will put people back to work right now.
Well, we’re going to give them another chance.  We’re going to give them another chance to spend more time worrying about your jobs than keeping theirs.
Next week, I’m urging Members of Congress to vote on putting hundreds of thousands of teachers back in the classroom, cops back on the streets, and firefighters back on the job.
And if they vote “no” on that, they’ll have to tell you why.  They’ll have to tell you why teachers in your community don’t deserve a paycheck again.  They’ll have to tell your kids why they don’t deserve to have their teacher back.  They’ll have to tell you why they’re against commonsense proposals that would help families and strengthen our communities right now.
In the coming weeks, we’ll have them vote on the other parts of the jobs bill – putting construction workers back on the job, rebuilding our roads and bridges; providing tax cuts for small businesses that hire our veterans; making sure that middle-class families don’t see a tax hike next year and that the unemployed and our out-of-work youth have a chance to get back in the workforce and earn their piece of the American Dream.
That’s what’s at stake.  Putting people back to work.  Restoring economic security for the middle class.  Rebuilding an economy where hard work is valued and responsibility is rewarded – an economy that’s built to last.  And I’m going to travel all over the country over the next few weeks so that we can remind Congress that’s their job.  Because there’s still time to create jobs and grow our economy right now.  There’s still time for Congress to do the right thing.  We just need to act.
Thank you.

President Obama sends troops to Africa

About 100 troops will act as military advisers in the battle against a ruthless rebel group.

Super Saturday


Avarice ... is why

17 million Americans struggled to feed their family last year

For those too clueless to understand why the OWS people are on the street around the country, here's your answer. It's not just about the greed and selfishness of the banks, but the greed and selfishness of the corporate world. It should be an embarrassment to everyone in Congress and the White House that 14.5% of the population had difficulty with feeding their family. How is this possible in America when we see such excessive salaries in the corporate world at the same time as falling incomes for everyone else?

This too needs to change.

At some point last year, about 17 million U.S. households had some difficulty feeding everyone in their family.

That amounts to 14.5 percent of U.S. households, according to a report released last month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The percentage of households who experienced food insecurity in 2010 was virtually unchanged from 2009. But it has risen by about 3 percentage points since 2007, the year the country officially went into recession.

The truth be told


OWS Worldwide

The Occupy Wall Street movement spreads worldwide as tens of thousands march in Europe.

Wall Street protesters energized by park decision

Anti-Wall Street protesters went into Saturday campaigns emboldened by a change of plans among park property owners and police to usher them out of their lower Manhattan encampment for cleanup and impose restrictions that would have essentially shut down their Occupy Wall Street headquarters.

The Truth Hurts

#occupywallst exposes the tea party's bogus populism (and they don't like it one bit, no sir).

Did you know ...

Mercury's day is longer than its year
A solar day (noon to noon) on Mercury is as long as 176 Earth days.  But its year (one orbit around the sun) takes only 88 Earth days.  So the day is two years long...  (Details here).

Photo from the Messenger spacecraft, which is mapping the planet, via NASA's Astronomy Photo of the Day.

Crabby Road


Five best places to unplug

This stunning resort on Florida's Little Palm Island is so isolated, most people arrive by seaplane.

Five Happy Careers

If you're among the 50% of Americans who are glum at work, look into one of these fields.

Manage your life

More in U.S. lack food access

In a surprising reversal with China, the percentage of Americans who lack access to necessities jumps.

Cool revolving restaurants

Stunning views and great food make these spots more than just gimmicky tourist destinations.  

Culinary DeLites



This way up

Kulula Airlines,  a South African airline that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Here are some of their recent inflight announcements:
“To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.”
“Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you’re going to leave anything, please make sure it’s something we’d like to have.”
“Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”
Kullula-airlines-4“Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted.”
“In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite.”
“Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you”
“Your seats cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments.”
“As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.”
“Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City . Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what’s left of our airplane to the gate!”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal.”
“We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of Kulula Airways.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is outside on the wing. If you can light ‘em, you can smoke ‘em.”

Mexico: Home to the World's Most Dangerous Drivers?

Think that the guy driving next to you on the I-95 is bad? Well, he's Mr. Good Driver compared to the lawless drivers of Mexico.
Here's a scary statistics from The Economist:
SIX out of ten road deaths worldwide take place in just 12 countries, one of which is Mexico. Dented doors and battered bumpers are backed up by official figures: every year some 24,000 people lose their lives on Mexico’s potholed roads, almost double the number that die at the hands of its drug mafias. A further 600,000 are injured. The World Health Organisation reckons that, along with mountainous Peru and misgoverned Venezuela, Mexico has the most dangerous roads in Latin America.
In Mexico’s case the main problem is the drivers. Fourteen of Mexico’s 32 states, home to just over half the population, grant licences without setting a practical driving test. Three of those 14 run compulsory courses which students pass merely by attending. Five others have multiple-choice written exams, but they are not very hard. For example: “If on entering the vehicle we find the windscreen dirty”, one (incorrect) option is “to drive fast to clean it”. In six areas, including Mexico City, there is no compulsory training or test of any sort. Applicants in the capital need only pay 604 pesos ($45). [...]
Mexico was not always so freewheeling. Until the 1990s driving tests were near-universal, but it took unusual robustness of character to pass without paying a bribe. Rather than tackle corruption, some states simply abolished the test. Others followed suit in order to attract applicants (and income) from out-of-state residents.

Flood barriers will determine Thai capital's fate

Somjai Tapientong lives on one side of a wall of white sandbags, her apartment perched precariously on the front line of an epic battle to stop the deadliest floods in decades from reaching Bangkok.

Ball camera could alter TV

A new invention could eventually change the way we watch sports on television.  

The Fantasy World Map

Many of these places have been mapped, but now we get the big picture, from Dan Meth. I had no idea Oz was so close to Middle Earth! Frodo would have made sure Dorothy got home safely.

Canned Snow

Just add water: Instant snow in a can.
It's $4.99 per can. You'll need about 50 cases to make a decent snowman.

Awesome Pictures


Snowball Earth All Cracked Up

Snowball Earth All Cracked Up
Tectonic rifting between continents may have provided liquid shelters for life during otherwise frozen times.  

New Diamonds Rock!

New Diamonds Rock!
A new form of highly-compressed carbon may be even stronger than diamonds, since it may be able to withstand extreme pressure from all directions.  

Super-Volcano Trigger Found

Super-Volcano Trigger Found
The key to cracking the trigger on a super-volcano is in the dome.



The Most Amazing Opera Stages in the World

Every two years, the Bregenzer Performing Arts Festival in Austria constructs an enormous floating stage that looks like anything other than an opera stage. Past designs include human heads, steam engines, and ice-covered mountains. Toxel has photos of these designs and others.

Is This the First Self-Portrait of Michelangelo?

Is This the First Self-Portrait of Michelangelo?
The marble portrait is believed to be made after the sculptor's David masterpiece.  

An Ancient Art Studio Found in Cave In Africa

art studio
The 100,000-year-old workshop is the earliest example of an art studio.

Mythical Roman 'She-Wolf' Cave Discovered

Archaeologists have uncovered the legendary grotto in which Rome's founders were said to have been nursed by a "she-wolf." James Williams reports.  
History: Mythical Roman 'She-Wolf' Cave Discovered



Rare goat-sheep hybrid surprises New Zealand farmer

When Taieri farmer Graeme Wallace brought a mob of ewes and lambs in for tailing this week, he thought the wool was being pulled over his eyes. "I thought, 'What the hell is this? Is it a goat or is it a lamb? ... No, it's a 50-50'." He thought fleetingly there was a chance the ewe in question could have had a dead lamb and adopted a kid but then decided against it. With the body of a lamb, but the head, legs and bleat of a goat, the incredibly rare male hybrid was definitely "a cross between the two".

Mr Wallace, who had not noticed it during earlier daily lambing rounds - not that he was looking out for a geep - said it would have been sired by one of the many feral goats on the property, near Allanton. It was his father who told him that there might be such as thing as a geep. He looked it up on the internet that night and "sure enough" they do exist. A report on the natural mating of a doe with a ram which produced a female hybrid, believed to be the first authenticated report of a sheep-goat hybrid in New Zealand, was published in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal in 1990.

Dr Tom Broad, who was involved with tests on that animal and unsuccessful attempts to breed from it, said hybrid offspring from a sheep-goat mating were "extremely rare" and he likened it to breeding a mule - a horse-donkey cross. They could be referred to as a geep, or a shoat, depending on individual preference, he said. While it could occur between a ram and a doe, or a buck and a ewe, he understood it was more usual for a buck and a ewe.

The offspring were usually infertile but that was not always the case and in some very rare cases they had been known to breed. The "clincher" to confirm the geep's parentage would be to get a blood sample and do a chromosome analysis. It would also be easy to collect semen from a male geep to see if that semen was viable. Mr Wallace, who decided against castrating or tailing the animal, was not sure what would happen to the geep, which was referred to simply as Geep. "We might just keep it. It's just a novelty."

There's a news video here.

Monkeys Grooming Other Animals

We’ve all seen pictures of monkeys grooming each other. At first glance, it appears that it’s a tradeoff -you groom me, I’ll groom you. But monkeys will groom cats, pigs, deer, all kinds of fur! It may be a habit, or maybe the monkeys are looking for delicious parasite snacks. See a collection of different species willing to sit through a monkey treatment at Environmental Graffiti.


New Bigfoot Sightings: Proof Still Lacking

A Michigan woman says she feeds a bigfoot family blueberry bagels; others say a "snowman" roams Siberia.  


10 Reasons Why Bigfoot's a Bust

Is the legend of Bigfoot (a.k.a. Sasquatch) little more than a stubborn myth? Unlikely. Here's why.  

Ten-year-olds May Understand Dogs Best

10-year-olds May Understand Dogs Best
The preadolescents appear to have a natural talent for understanding dog barks.

Animal Pictures

And who said dogs couldn't be funny!?