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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, October 24, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Investigate a hard-to-believe story today, and you will find that the facts don't quite line up correctly. 
Handle this discovery as gingerly as possible -- be careful not to pounce too quickly on the storytellers. 
Give them the benefit of the doubt and realize that they might merely be repeating errors that were told to them. 
Your role today is not to protect everyone around you from falsehoods. 
Your role is just to find out what the truth is, for your own edification.

 Some of our readers today have been in:
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Taipei. Taipei, Taiwan
Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Lille, Nord-Pas-De-Calais, France
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Basarui, Pais Vasco, Spain
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Nanimo, British Columbia, Canada
London, England, United Kingdom
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia
Vinnius, Vilniaus Apskritis, Lithuania
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei and Muara, Brunei Darussalam
Bath, England, United Kingdom
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Delhi, Delhi, India
Crawley, England, United Kingdom
Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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 South Bend, North Las Vegas, West Chicago, East Setauket and more!

Today is:
Today is Monday, October 24, the 297th day of 2011.
There are 68 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


Manic Monday


U.S. Worst in Child Abuse

U.S. Worst in Child Abuse
America has the worst record of child abuse and homicide in the industrialized world.

Giffords To Undergo 'Intensive' Therapy In North Carolina

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords arrived in North Carolina on Sunday to undergo "intensive" rehabilitation as she continues her recovery from being shot in the head in a mass shooting in January, her office said.

Massive quake slams Turkey

Officials fear scores have been killed by the 7.2-magnitude temblor that collapsed dozens of buildings.  

Gaddafi assets worth $200 billion

What's even more amazing is that he couldn't buy his way out of trouble in the end. LA Times:
Moammar Kadafi secretly salted away more than $200 billion in bank accounts, real estate and corporate investments around the world before he was killed, about $30,000 for every Libyan citizen and double the amount that Western governments previously had suspected, according to senior Libyan officials.

The new estimates of the deposed dictator's hidden cash, gold reserves and investments are "staggering," one person who has studied detailed records of the asset search said Friday. "No one truly appreciated the scope of it."

If the values prove accurate, Kadafi will go down in history as one of the most rapacious as well as one of the most bizarre world leaders, on a scale with the late Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire or the late Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines.

US pulls ambassador out of Syria over credible threats to his safety, assails regime

In this June 20, 2011 photo taken during a government-organized tour for foreign diplomats and the media, US ambassador in Syria Robert Ford, covers his nose during his visit with other foreign diplomats to a mass grave, in Jisr el-Shughour, north of Syria.

WikiLeaks suspends Operations

Visa, MasterCard, Western Union and PayPal left it with no choice

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Monday that financial problems may lead to the closure of the notorious secret-spilling site at the end of this year.

"If WikiLeaks does not find a way to remove this blockade we will simply not be able to continue by the turn of the new year," he said. "If we don't knock down the blockade we simply will not be able to continue."

WikiLeaks said in a statement Monday that it would stop publishing for the moment in order to focus on making money — explaining that the blockade imposed by financial companies including Visa, MasterCard, Western Union and PayPal left it with no choice.

The statement says that in order to ensure survival, WikiLeaks must "aggressively fundraise in order to fight back against this blockade and its proponents."

U.S.-based financial companies pulled the plug on WikiLeaks shortly after it began publishing some 250,000 U.S. State Department cables last year. The group says the restrictions starved it of nearly all its revenue.

The group has long shown signs of financial distress. In a recent statement about Assange's contested book deal, the group said it did not have enough money to hire a lawyer.

Assange remains under legal pressure in Europe and the United States. A decision on whether to extradite him to Sweden to face sex crime allegations is expected in the next few weeks. He also may face possible legal action in the United States.

Did you hear ...

The bigger the company -- the more iconic the brand -- the more persistently it is dogged by rumor and conspiracy theories.

Culinary DeLites

Pork loin encrusted with corn bread stuffing makes a quick-and-easy main dish.  

Supermarket price hikes

A surprise jump in wholesale food prices could slowly begin to impact grocery shoppers.

Switching to an online bank

You can earn more on savings and pay less in fees, but there are key drawbacks.  

Fixes for your money worries

At least one of these tricks is bound to shore up your sagging pocketbook and ease your mind.

Insurance you don't need

Fear of the future may be driving you to reach for too many forms of protection.  

Likely U.S. debt downgrade

The nation will likely lose its AAA status from a second agency by year's end, says Merrill Lynch. 

Crabby Road


From the "Tell us something we didn't know" Department:

The National Lawyers Guild finds that most protest violence is caused by police and provocateurs.

Just in case you didn't know

Says it all


The Numbers Don't Lie ...

... but repugicans do!

Prepare for a health career

One of these education programs can help get you started in this growth field. 

Bachelor's degree jobs

Technology, business, and finance are three fields rife with opportunity.

Businesses to run anywhere

Technology has opened the doors for self-starters to have an exciting career, even from the beach.

The best-paying work-at-home jobs

The best-paying work-at-home jobs




I want!

Odd $19.5 million Lake Erie estate

The 160-acre property's “pods” are linked by glass corridors navigated by scooters and golf carts.

The Origin Of 'Gung Ho'

According to the dictionary gung ho means extremely enthusiastic and dedicated. Most of us are not aware of it today, but gung ho has been in English only since 1942 and is one of the many words that entered the language as a result of World War II. It comes from Mandarin Chinese gonghe, 'to work together,' which was used as a motto by the Chinese Industrial Cooperative Society.

Lieutenant Colonel Evans F. Carlson borrowed the motto as a moniker for meetings in which problems were discussed and worked out; the motto caught on among his Marines, who began calling themselves the 'Gung Ho Battalion.' From there eager individuals began to be referred to as gung ho.


Yeah, it's about that time of year again ...

World's creepiest places

The eerie ruins of Whitby abbey inspired Dracula's castle in Bram Stoker's novel.  

Awesome Pictures


The "Clovis First" theory appears to be disproven

The settlement of the Americas has always been a controversial topic in archaeology.  Conventional  wisdom has been that the first humans in North America (the Clovis people) arrived via the Beringia Land Bridge near the end of the glacial period, then moved down an ice-free corridor to reach the bulk of North America, and from there to South America.  I've  doubted this theory for years, ever since reading about Tom Dillehay's excavations at Monte Verde in Chile.

This week a BBC report details recent evidence that a [spear] "point" found in a mastodon bone has been reliably dated to 13,800 years before the present.
This places it before the so-called Clovis hunters, who many academics had argued were the North American continent's original inhabitants...

A succession of archaeological finds right across the United States and northern Mexico have indicated there was human activity much earlier than this - perhaps as early as 15-16,000 years ago. The mastodon rib, however, really leaves the once cherished model with nowhere to go...

These investigations included new radio carbon tests using atomic accelerators. "The beauty of atomic accelerators is that you can date very small samples and also very chemically pure samples," Prof Waters told BBC News. "We extracted specific amino acids from the collagen in the bone and dated those, and yielded dates 13,800 years ago, plus or minus 20 years. That's very precise."

DNA investigation also threw up a remarkable irony - the point itself was made from mastodon bone, proving that the people who fashioned it were systematically hunting or scavenging animal bones to make their tools...

When Clovis-First was first proposed, it was a very elegant model but it's time to move on, and most of the archaeological community is doing just that."

Titan's Hazy History and the Potential for Life

Titan's Hazy History and the Potential for Life
The more we study the Saturnian moon, the more similarities we see in the early history of Earth.  

Google Earth Reveals Ancient Stories

Say a magic carpet and a genie's lamp, the stuff of Arabian Nights, which made the Arab desert famous for fables and legends ? Well, how about Google Earth instead? Like a friendly genie, that modern technology has started answering archeologist's wishes with its worldwide catalog of satellite views of the Earth.



Cute Cows

A lady from the city and her traveling companion were riding the train through Vermont when she noticed some cows.

"What a cute bunch of cows!" she remarked.

"Not a bunch, herd", her friend replied.

"Heard of what?"

"Herd of cows."

"Of course I've heard of cows."

"No, a cow herd."

"What do I care what a cow heard. I have no secrets to keep from a cow!"

Shark massacre in a marine wildlife sanctuary

 The Guardian:
Colombian environmental authorities have reported a huge shark massacre in the Malpelo wildlife sanctuary in Colombia's Pacific waters, where as many as 2,000 hammerhead, Galápagos and whale sharks may have been slaughtered for their fins...
"I received a report, which is really unbelievable, from one of the divers who came from Russia to observe the large concentrations of sharks in Malpelo. They saw a large number of fishing trawlers entering the zone illegally," Bessudo said. The divers counted a total of 10 fishing boats, which all were flying the Costa Rican flag.
"When the divers dove, they started finding a large number of animals without their fins. They didn't see any alive," she said. One of the divers provided a video that shows the finless bodies of dead sharks on the ocean floor.
The sanctuary covers 8,570 square kilometres of marine environment that provides a habitat for threatened marine species – in particular sharks. Divers have reported sightings of schools of more than 200 hammerhead sharks and as many as 1,000 silky sharks in the protected waters, one of the few areas in the world where sightings of short-nosed ragged-toothed shark, known locally as the "Malpelo monster," have been confirmed. In 2006 Unesco included the park on its list of World Heritage sites...

Colombia's navy sporadically patrols the waters and maintains a small outpost on the 1.2 square metre island, which is 36 hours from the nearest port.

Dog lucky to be alive after eating magic mushrooms

Millie, an 11-month-old border collie in Australia, is lucky to be alive after eating "magic mushrooms", her vet has said. The Olding family found their beloved pet sitting under a tree and shaking violently. "She wouldn't come to us and she was distressed," Tony Olding said.

He took Millie to Lindfield vet Joe Daley, who said: "Millie was nervous, frothing at the mouth, shaking all over and unable to stand." Suspecting a toxin, such as fox bait, he flushed her system and found mushroom material in her stomach. "These can have a hallucinogenic effect, so we sedated Millie heavily while the toxin left her system," Mr Daley said.

He said that while dogs affected by "marijuana poisoning was relatively common", dogs eating "magic mushrooms" was unusual. Millie may have found the mushrooms near a creek in the Oldings' backyard. After two days under observation, Millie returned home to Mr Olding, wife Caroline Olding and their children Angus, 14, and Sophie, 13.

Mr Olding said that Millie started acting strangely around lunchtime on a Friday afternoon a couple of weeks ago and "had a very high temperature, she was shaking uncontrollably and we had to catch her to bundle her in the car". Mr Daley said that pet owners had to remember that young dogs were "like toddlers" and would "eat anything".

Animal Pictures