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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.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
If you're feeling distant or detached around a romantic partner or a close friend today, take it as a sure sign that you need to spend some time alone soon. 
Your emotions may be telling you that aligning yourself so closely with this person, while wonderful in many ways, could be causing you to lose sight of your own objectives in life. 
You don't have to isolate yourself for a week on a deserted island -- simply enjoying a quiet night to yourself may be all you need.

 Some of our readers today have been in:
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Riyadh, Ar Riyad, Saudi Arabia
London, England, United Kingdom
Arau, Perlis, Malaysia
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Porto Alegre, Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil
Medemblik, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Tromso, Troms, Norway
Rio De Janiero, Rio De Janiero, Brazil
Pontianak, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia

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 Washington D.C., Los Angeles, New York, Dallas and more!

Today is:
Today is Wednesday, October 26, the 299th day of 2011.
There are 66 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
There isn't one.

But it is the Perigean Spring Tides
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Non Sequitur


And I Quote


Wondrous Wednesday


Best castle hotels

From classic medieval towers to a French-inspired chateau, castles offer a unique hotel alternative.

Bob and Betty

Bob Hill and his new wife Betty were vacationing in Europe... as it happens, near Transylvania.  They were driving in a rental car along a rather deserted highway.   It was late and raining very hard.  Bob could barely see the road in front of the car.  Suddenly the car skids out of control! Bob attempts to control the car, but to no avail!  The car swerves and smashes into a tree.

Moments later, Bob shakes his head to clear the fog.  Dazed, he looks over at the passenger seat and sees his wife unconscious, with her head bleeding!  Despite the rain and unfamiliar countryside, Bob knows he has to get her medical assistance.

Bob carefully picks his wife up and begins trudging down the road.  After a short while, he sees a light.  He heads towards the light, which is coming from a large, old house.  He approaches the door and knocks.

A minute passes.  A small, hunched man opens the door.  Bob immediately blurts, "Hello, my name is Bob Hill, and this is my wife Betty.  We've been in a terrible accident, and my wife has been seriously hurt.  Can I please use your phone?"

"I'm sorry," replied the hunchback, "but we don't have a phone.  My master is a doctor; come in and I will get him!" Bob brings his wife in.

An older man comes down the stairs.  "I'm afraid my assistant may have misled you.  I am not a medical doctor; I am a scientist.  However, it is many miles to the nearest clinic, and I have had a basic medical training.  I will see what I can do. Igor, bring them down to the laboratory."

With that, Igor picks up Betty and carries her downstairs, with Bob following closely.  Igor places Betty on a table in the lab.  Bob collapses from exhaustion and his own injuries, so Igor places Bob on an adjoining table.

After a brief examination, Igor's master looks worried. "Things are serious, Igor. Prepare a transfusion."  Igor and his master work feverishly, but to no avail. Bob and Betty Hill are no more.

The Hills' deaths upset Igor's master greatly. Wearily, he climbs the steps to his conservatory, which houses his grand piano. For it is here that he has always found solace.  He begins to play, and a stirring, almost haunting melody fills the house.

Meanwhile, Igor is still in the lab tidying up. His eyes catch movement, and he notices the fingers on Betty's hand twitch, keeping time to the haunting piano music.  Stunned, he watches as Bob's arm begins to rise, marking the beat!  He is further amazed as Betty and Bob both sit up straight!

Unable to contain himself, he dashes up the stairs to the conservatory.

He bursts in and shouts to his master:

"Master, Master! ..... The Hills are alive with the sound of music!"

Al-Qaida in Africa

Concern grows about terrorists finding fertile operating ground in key unstable nations.  

That about sums it up


The truth be told


It could happen


It Has Begun: Suburbs Are Turning Into Slums

To say that the suburbs once embodied the American dream is beyond cliche at this point, so we'll just get to the guts of this: The erstwhile epitomes of Americana are decaying. Experts have taken to speculating that rising oil prices will eventually render Levittowns everywhere unlivable and transform suburbs into slums, but few would have thought that it would happen so fast.
Article continues: It Has Begun: Suburbs Are Turning Into Slums

This Modern World


Why European crisis matters

The health of U.S. banks and many employers is deeply tied to debt woes abroad.

The One Question Americans Always Ask Strangers

What do you say to make conversations with strangers?

Columnist LZ Granderson writes about the one question that only Americans ask first when they meet someone new (and it's true, whenever I travel abroad, no one ever asks me this question - not at first, anyhow):
There isn't a question that's more quintessentially American than "What do you do for a living?"
It is just safe enough to start a conversation with a stranger, it is universal enough so anyone can answer, and it strikes right to the core of what our culture values most -- money. [...]

Since the end of the 20th century, "What do you do for a living?" has ceased to be an inquiry about how someone spends their time during normal business hours and instead serves as a slightly grating, socially acceptable manner in which we remind each other of the stuff we don't have or will never get.

Secrets of early retirees

People lucky enough to quit working before 65 share these key habits.  

The benefits of a mirco-siesta

Woman sleeping at desk (Fotolia)
Forget 20-minute power naps, experts say even a 10-minute sleep can help you stay sharp. 

Phrases not to use at work

Relying on these seven terms is a sure sign you're not taking charge of your career, says one writer.

Funny Pictures

So, that's where they all come from?!

Oil boomtowns face crime surge

Arrests, bar fights, and drunken driving are way up in drilling towns with an influx of arrivals.  

Selling Fake Vermont Maple Syrup Will Land You in Prison

Ah, pancakes hot off the griddle, the melted butter ... but if that Vermont maple syrup turns out to be fake, you'd be going to jail.
That's Democratic Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy's promise to protect the state's iconic yummy food product.
Along with Maine Senator Susan Collins, a Republican - who says the bipartisan spirit is dead in Washington? They've come together to protect breakfast!) - Leahy has introduced a bill to make selling fake Vermont maple syrup a felony with a 5-year maximum penalty:
"Vermont iconic maple syrup -- painstakingly produced, and prized across the nation and beyond -- is one of our state's fine, high-quality, natural products," Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy said in introducing the legislation. A growing number of people are claiming to sell genuine Vermont maple syrup when "they are in fact selling an inferior product that is not maple syrup at all,'' he said, adding that the misrepresentation undermines a key part of Vermont's economy. [...]
"Too often, those who are willing to endanger our livelihoods in pursuit of their profits see fines as just a cost of doing business," Leahy said in the statement. "We need to make sure that those who intentionally deceive consumers get a trip to jail, not a slap on the wrist."
The best part about the bill? Its name: Maple Agriculture Protection and Law Enforcement, AKA MAPLE Act: Full Story

Nearly 100 lb of Illegal Mexican Bologna Smuggled Inside Tires

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized eight rolls of Mexican bologna this morning.

Culinary DeLites

The smartest way to avoid unhealthy snacks is to have one of these seven treats.

Five scrambled egg mistakes

Take the pan off the burner before you think you need to for perfectly fluffy curds.

Healthy Living

Does Soda Cause Violence?

soda popTeens who drink soda may be more likely to get into fights and act violently.

Is The Obesity Epidemic Caused By A Lack Of Protein?

The protein leverage hypothesis proposes that a genetic appetite for protein combined with a widespread decline in the ratio of protein to fat and carbohydrate in our diet is responsible for:

In this study, researchers tested the protein leverage hypothesis in lean humans by disguising the macronutrient composition of foods offered to subjects ...

Williams Syndrome

The Super-Social Genetic Disorder
To 7-year-old twins Tristan and Tyler Waldner, there are no strangers. The boys have an genetic condition called the Williams syndrome which makes them unusually social.
Scientists think that this may be the key to understanding autism:
Williams syndrome is the perfect test case for studying the link between genes and behavior, Bellugi said. The disorder is very specific, occurring only when a certain cluster of genes is missing from one of two copies of chromosome 7.
“We’re only talking about something like 25 to 28 genes out of 30,000 genes in the brain,” Bellugi said. “And it’s always the same set of genes.”
That genetic deletion creates a well-defined but diverse set of characteristics. People with Williams syndrome have distinctive facial features, often described as “elfin,” including small, upturned noses, wide mouths and lips, a longer span between nose and upper lip and tiny, widely spaced teeth. They often suffer from heart, skeletal and dental problems.
Those with Williams syndrome have a distinctive pattern of intellectual peaks and valleys, including low IQs, developmental delays and learning disabilities, all coupled with rich, imaginative capacity for language — and those exuberantly social personalities.
“The behavior is quite consistent,” Bellugi says. “In terms of their social interest, their social drive, attraction to strangers, looking at faces, looking more intently at faces. We have this kind of social phenotype that we’ve been studying.”
Read more from Today Health: here.



US's biggest nuclear bomb is dismantled

Technicians at the Pantex Plant near Amarillo removed the uranium Tuesday from the last of the nation's largest nuclear bombs, a Cold War relic known as the B53.

Linguists Crack Mysterious 300-Year Old Coded Manuscript

The Copiale Cipher is a 105-page handwritten document that was composed sometime in the late Eighteenth Century. It has 75,000 characters, both symbols and Roman letters. Until recently, it was indecipherable. But now linguists using translation programs have decoded the first sixteen pages. Here’s how they did it:
Eventually they concluded that the Roman letters were so-called nulls, meant to mislead the code breaker, and that the letters represented spaces between words made up of elaborate symbols. Another crucial discovery was that a colon indicated the doubling of the previous consonant.
The researchers used language-translation techniques like expected word frequency to guess what a symbol might equal in German.
“It turned out that we can apply a lot those techniques to code breaking,” Dr. Knight said.
The translated text reveals details for a ritual by a secret society.

Science News

A representation of Kublai Khan, the Mongol ruler, circa 1260Mongol wreck found off Japan 

Viking capital uncovered in Ireland




SeaWorld sued for 'slavery'

An unprecedented lawsuit claims the 13th Amendment doesn't just apply to humans.

Wither the Wolf

... Behold the Coywolf
Wither the Wolf, Behold the Coywolf
According to legend, humans can"shapeshift" into wolves. These days, wolves and coyotes are creating "coywolves."

Why Spiders Will Always Find You

spiderSpiders are among the most vibration-sensitive organisms in the world, second only to cockroaches.  

High-Living Spiders Make Skyscraper "Like a Haunted House"

skyscraper spider photo  
Photo: williac / cc
They're among nature's most skillful builders, capable of crafting elaborate webs with ease, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that spiders seem to appreciate our grandest structures as well. For folks employed at the top of the John Hancock Center, a 100-story skyscraper in downtown Chicago, work has gotten strangely creepy as countless eight-legged crawlers have found a way to thrive atop some of the world's tallest buildings. The "spider-fest" has gotten so bad, says one employee of his 94th-story office, "it's like a haunted house."
Article continues: High-Living Spiders Make Skyscraper "Like a Haunted House"

Strange Life Found in Deepest Ocean

The creatures, called xenophyophores, were photographed 6.6 miles below the ocean's surface.

The Annihilation Was Not Just In the Seas

permianLand-dwelling species were decimated during Earth’s most massive extinction event -- offering a cautionary tale.

Animal News


Javan rhino 'extinct in Vietnam'

Animal Pictures