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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.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
Put some more effort into your career today, and do the work you've been putting aside.
It's a good idea to assess your current situation and think about whether it may be time to set your sights a bit higher.
Remember that your boss is a human being, and sometimes a simple casual conversation can lay the foundation for your future.
But before you initiate any conversations, use today to formulate your plans and organize a list of your recent accomplishments.

 Some of our readers today have been in:
Jerudong, Brunei and Muara, Brunei Darussalam
Manila, Manila, Philippines
Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
London, England, United Kingdom
Riyadh, Ar Riyad, Saudi Arabia
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Sofia, Sofiya, Bulgaria
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Crawley, England, United Kingdom
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
As Askershus, Norway
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Prague, Hlavni Mesto Praha, Czech Republic
Vilnius, Vilniaus Apskritis, Lithuania
Milton, Keynes, England, United Kingdom
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Bath, England, United Kingdom
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Newbury, England, United Kingdom
Morini, Morini, Comoros
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
London, Ontario, Canada
Reykjavik, Reykjavik, Iceland
Quezon City, Manila, Philippines
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei and Muara, Brunei Darussalam

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 Arlington, Eden, Idaho Falls, Wingdale and more!

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, October 25, the 298th day of 2011.
There are 67 days left in the year.

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

Non Sequitur


Tuneful Tuesday

Walk On The Wild Side by Lou Reed

Girls switched at birth

The 12-year-olds make a unique decision that both of their families have agreed to.

The child left behind?


What is Islamic sharia law?

The declaration that religion will be the basis of Libya's new government raises concerns.  

Atheist activist drops suit against Sheriff Grady Judd

EllenBeth Wachs, the legal coordinator for the Atheists of Florida, has dismissed a federal lawsuit against Sheriff Grady Judd that accused him of targeting her because of her secular views.

Wachs, who has been charged criminally three times this year, said Monday the harassment she alleged ended after she filed the lawsuit in June.

“The whole community was aware that the charges were bogus,” Wachs said.
Judd said his agency was never served with a lawsuit, and his deputies never harassed Wachs. He added that he thinks the suit had no legal basis.

“As long as she behaves and adheres to the law, she won’t be arrested,” Judd said. “If she violates the law, she will be arrested. It’s just that clear.”

Wachs’ nonprofit group has tangled with the Lakeland City Commission and the Polk County School Board in the past because of prayers said at public meetings. Last winter, Wachs took aim at Judd for donating jailhouse basketball goals to churches, calling the move unconstitutional and sending him a cease and desist letter.

Investigators first accused her in March of illegally posing as a lawyer. She was later accused of having marijuana in her home and simulating sex sounds within earshot of a neighbor’s young son.

Prosecutors offered her a deal to drop the charges without conviction in August.

Her attorney, Lawrence Walters of Altamonte Springs, filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit Thursday without prejudice, giving them the option of re-filing the lawsuit later.

“We believe the sheriff has gotten the message that his campaign of harassment won’t be supported by the State Attorney’s Office,” Walters said.

A federal lawsuit Wachs filed against the Lakeland City Commission over prayers given at its public meetings is still pending.

Mother sues banks over son's money laundering scam

A 14-year-old boy who masterminded a massive money laundering scam splashed out $200,000 on shopping sprees, luxury holidays and pamper sessions. The New South Wales teen funded his celebrity lifestyle by selling fictitious products on eBay from 2007 - at one stage, earning more than $6000 a day.

The then 14-year-old went on a string of shopping sprees buying Versace and Prada clothes, flew groups of friends interstate for weekend-long parties in luxury apartments and lavished female friends with pamper sessions. His life of luxury also included rented penthouses overlooking Sydney Harbor that cost $4300 a night and limousine trips to take him to the beach.

The teen's mother is suing Australia's big four banks for their alleged role in the scam. The woman, from the NSW south coast, has launched an action in the Supreme Court seeking damages and wants an apology from the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and NAB for ''unconscionable conduct'' after they allegedly handed her son dozens of bank accounts and debit cards ''without reasonable scrutiny''.

When his mother stumbled on the scam, she says she repeatedly warned the banks he was a minor sourcing funds illegally. It is alleged they ignored her or refused to discuss the matter for privacy reasons. She said she tried to seek help for her son, contacting teachers, principals, counselors, doctors, travel centers, limousine companies, motels, hotels, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the banking ombudsman and MPs.

Consumers shifting money from big banks

Whether this trend will continue is open for debate, but there's certainly a lot of fed up consumers out there. When some called for shifting money a few years ago the movement never materialized but that was also before OWS and before the banks started to raise fees and show gaudy numbers during the recession. It's hard to beat the customer service offered by small credit unions but the hassle factor of changing is not insignificant.

Have the too-big-to-fail banks gone too far, finally?
...A growing number of big bank customers, angry about new debit card usage fees, harder-to-avoid checking accounts fees and rising ATM surcharges, are taking their frustrations and their business elsewhere.

"They're coming over in big chunks," said David Glaser, vice president of National Capital Bank, a family run, two-branch community bank in Washington D.C. He estimated that 80 percent of the new accounts opened in the three weeks since news broke about the $5 debit card fees have been opened by customers of the Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America Corp.

And not all of those switching would even get charged the debit fee. "I had a woman bring me a quarter of a million dollars, Glaser said. "She would not have paid the $5 fee, she just didn't like the idea."

Goldman Sachs pulls out of fundraiser after learning OWS will be honored

Dumb, but typical, PR move.
Big companies have a compulsive need to confirm their worst stereotypes and give field to their harshest critics.

Earlier this month, the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union in New York City held a fundraiser to celebrate its 25th anniversary. It just so happened that this the credit union many of the protesters at Occupy Wall Street (OWS) were using to store funds — and the protest group became an honoree at the dinner. When Goldman Sachs found out that OWS would be at the dinner, it pulled out of the event, along with its $5,000 donation.
Petty pity party of one your table is ready.

NYPD blaming OWS for increase in murders

As Freud would say a classic example of transference ...

Get this.  The NYPD is now trying to blame the Occupy Wall Street protesters for an increase in murders in NYC because, the cops claim, they just don't have time to go after murderers since they're spending their days at OWS.

It's the NYPD's choice to spend their days pepper spraying young girls who are just standing there doing nothing, and clocking young guys simply walking down the street.  The cops made their own priorities, and they decided that manhandling a bunch of peaceful liberals was more important than stopping murderers.

And here's a thought.  Violent crime just spiked in DC too.  Maybe, just maybe, violent crime just spiked nationwide, and the NYPD is simply having a post hoc ergo propter hoc moment.

How to end the deficit


Did you know ...

Well, whaddya know, the dominionists really do want to take over the government. (aka: Treason)

Here are the seven biggest lies about the economy.

That nearly 100,000 millionaires pay a lower tax rate than the middle class.

Here's a clue - fix the 18,000 structurally deficient bridges in this country ... it will help ease the job crisis and make them safer and save lives in the process.

And as a bonus:
#occupywallst New Yorker covers

US companies not hiring, but not much firing either

Not great, but file this under the "it could be a lot worse" category.
The National Association of Business Economics' industry survey found that 59 percent of the 68 respondents saw no change in their employment levels, up from 49 percent in July. That was the highest percentage since January last year.

The survey was conducted between Sept. 20 and Oct. 5.

About 29 percent of businesses expected to increase payrolls, down from 43 percent in July. Three percent planned to lay off workers, up from zero three months ago.

Great jobs in growth fields

These positions offer job satisfaction, flexibility, and median pay of up to $111,000.

Avoid costly home repairs

Follow this maintenance checklist or you may wind up owing $100,000 in fix-up costs.  

Culinary DeLites

If you have the time, browning meat or veggies in a skillet adds loads of flavor. 

Table manners that still matter

A quick refresher of etiquette rules could save you some embarrassment.  

Gas pump handles, disgustingly filthy

It's not a complete surprise that they're dirty, but this study claims they are the dirtiest surface people will touch on their way to work. Americans may be a little too worried about germs but in this particular instance, maybe they're right.
Just when you thought filling up your car could not hurt any more, researchers may have found another reason to avoid touching the gas pump: germs.

Gas pump handles turned out to be the filthiest surface that Americans encounter on the way to work, according to a study released on Tuesday by Kimberly-Clark Professional, a unit of personal hygiene giant Kimberly-Clark Corp.

Most bizarre displays of art

These disks look like an attempt to attract UFOs, but they have an entirely different purpose.

On this Day in History

On Oct. 25, 1854, the "Charge of the Light Brigade" took place during the Crimean War as an English brigade of more than 600 men charged the Russian army despite hopeless odds and suffered heavy losses.
The Charge of the Light Brigade was a charge of British cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean War. The charge was the result of a miscommunication in such a way that the brigade attempted a much more difficult objective than intended by the overall commander Lord Raglan. Blame for the miscommunication has remained controversial, as the original order itself was vague. The charge produced no decisive gains and resulted in very high casualties, and is best remembered as the subject of the poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, whose lines emphasize the valor of the cavalry in carrying out their orders, even "tho' the soldier knew / Some one had blunder'd".

The Charge Of The Light Brigade
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Memorializing Events in the Battle of Balaclava, October 25, 1854
Written 1854

Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd & thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack & Russian
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke,
Shatter'd & sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse & hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

Note: This poem, including punctuation, is reproduced from a scan of the poem written out by Tennyson in his own hand in 1864. The scan was made available online by the University of Virginia.

America Marks 150th Anniversary Of The World's First Social Network

Long before there was an Internet or an iPad, before people were social networking and instant messaging, Americans had already got wired. Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental telegraph. From sea to sea, it electronically knitted together a nation that was simultaneously tearing itself apart, North and South, in the Civil War.

Americans soon saw that a breakthrough in the spread of technology could enhance national identity and, just as today, that it could vastly change lives. On October 24, 1861, with the push of a button, California's chief justice, Stephen J. Field, wired a message from San Francisco to President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, congratulating him on the completion of the transcontinental telegraph that day.

This Giant Camera Takes Amazing Photos

When photographer Darren Samuelson set up to take photos of Manhattan with his massive six foot long view camera that weighs over 70 pounds, authorities were alerted and the police had to be convinced that he wasn’t pointing a weapon at the city!
This amazing device, which Ansel Adams will likely come back from the dead just to get his hands on, was created to use x-ray film three feet wide, and it takes some truly awesome panoramic photos. Hit the link to see a short video of the big daddy view camera in action!

Funny Pictures


Seven Creepy Urban Legends That Happen to be True

Cracked has posted the fifth in a series of urban legends and the true tales behind them. The stories are all plain weird, like the guy in Japan who started noticing food in his apartment was disappearing.
Was he losing his mind? Being messed with by a shy poltergeist? To find out, he set up a series of spy cameras around his house. The next morning, he ran back the footage on the camera and that’s when he saw it. A strange woman crawling out of a cupboard like it was the TV in The Ring. And if you think that’s terrifying, imagine what happened inside his stomach when, at the end of the video, she crawled back into the cupboard. The one that was just a couple of feet away from where he was standing, watching the video.
Presumably in an effort to maintain bowel control, the man assumed the woman was a burglar who was only temporarily hiding in the cupboard, and had since left. He called the police, who pointed out that all the locks on his doors and windows were undisturbed. There was simply no evidence whatsoever that anybody had broken in — in other words (cue dramatic strings) the woman had been in the house all along.
Read the rest of this story and six others. And don’t be spooked!

'Alien' Captured On Film In The Amazon Rainforest

A picture, taken from video footage, which purportedly shows an alien lurking in the Amazon, shows an unidentified being standing with its back arched a few feet from a what looks like a floating orb of light behind a group of children. The video was taken by two British tourists visiting the Mamaus region of the Brazilian rainforest.

update: Found the video.



World's best islands to visit

The top pick, an ancient Aegean Sea locale, feels like no other place on earth.

Mount Vesuvius

One Of The World's Most Dangerous Volcanoes  
East of Naples, Italy, looms the volcano Mount Vesuvius with an elevation of 4,203 feet. Vesuvius is best known for its eruption in 79 AD that led to the destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. It has erupted many times since and is today regarded as one of the most dangerous and infamous volcanoes in the world.

Mysteriously inflating volcano

A strange phenomenon spotted by satellite has geologists scrambling for answers.  

Sun rays 'may be safer in morning'

The skin's ability to withstand damage from ultraviolet radiation varies at different times of day, according to the research, which means skin cancer may be less likely to result from sun exposure in the morning than in the afternoon.

Telescopes solve mystery

Chinese astronomers witnessed the violent death of a star almost 2,000 years ago.  

Northern lights in Deep South

A massive blast from the sun triggers an unusual nighttime display as far south as Alabama.  

The Waterfall Nebula Spills out of the Heavens

This unusual nebula, officially and rather dully named HH-222, stretches across ten light years of space. What caused its shape to form? NASA officials say, “One hypothesis is that the gas filament results from the wind from a young star impacting a nearby molecular cloud.”



Upping the cute factor


Attack Of The Zombie Wasp Queens

Parasites are raising an army of zombie wasp queens to do their bidding, and it’s a good thing that these parasites aren’t more ambitious,  because they’d probably be well on their way to taking over the world by now!
The parasites cause common wasps to believe that they are queens, rejecting their normal caste and acting as self serving loners in wasp society:
Infected P. dominulus — better known as common European paper wasps — reject their genetically preordained roles, abandon their hives and embark on a long, macabre journey during which a few live for a time as queens, albeit murderous queens.
Read on about this fascinating example of parasitic mind control at the Wired link below, and pray these little critters don’t develop a taste for human blood!

Puppy gets new home after being rescued from top of freight train in South Carolina

Four firefighters in a South Carolina town plucked a frightened black lab puppy from the top of a double-decker freight train car and delivered her to a new, loving home.

Animal News

A new lethal fish virus has been found in pacific salmon.

Animal Pictures