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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.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
It might be nice if you and all your friends were moving at the same pace.
But today an unusual occurrence will make it quite obvious that you aren't in sync.
The good news is, just because you're all moving at different speeds doesn't mean that you can't find ways to click.
Conflicts in your schedules will inspire you to try harder to find ways to spend time together -- and make you appreciate one another all the more.

 Some of our readers today have been in:
Newbury, England, United Kingdom
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Milton Keynes, England, United kingdom
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Helsinki, Southern Finland, Finland
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Red Deer. Alberta, Canada
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei and Muara, Brunei Darussalam
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Valencia, Comunidad Valencia, Spain
Crawley, England, United Kingdom
Brussels, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
As, Askershus, Norway
London, England, United Kingdom
Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Paya Lebar, Singapore, Singapore
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

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 Wichita, Newark, Knapp, Palo Alto and more!

Today is:
Today is Friday, October 28, the 301st day of 2011.
There are 64 days left in the year.

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

Non Sequitur


Far-Out Friday


Ford sells '65 Mustang kits

The company will sell brand-new steel bodies of the classic muscle car for just $15,000.

The Barrel Monster

He's back and he's coming to a highway near you!

Iraq veteran Scott Olsen’s condition improves

Fortunately Olsen is doing better following being shot in the head with a projectile by the Oakland police department. He's not out of the woods yet but the early signs are positive. Why is this not being investigated by the Department of Justice?
Olsen "responded with a very large smile'' to a visit from his parents, Highland General Hospital spokesman Warren Lyons said at a late-afternoon press conference on Thursday.

"He's able to understand what's going on. He's able to write and hear, but has a little difficulty with his speech,'' Lyons said. He said doctors had not operated on Olsen yet and were waiting to see if swelling in his brain eased.

Olsen's aunt, Kathy Pacconi, told Reuters in an email that her nephew was showing signs of improvement.

The repugicans now claiming that "they" are the ones defending the social safety net

This is priceless.

The party that took the lead in trying to dismantle  Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and welfare - the party that held unemployment benefits hostage last Christmas - is now trying to claim that they're the ones who care about America's poor?

I think we have a different definition of poverty in the Democratic party.  To the repugicans you're "poor" if your bonus this year is only "$50,000" instead of the usual "$100,000."  Check out this fundraising appeal from repugican budget cutter Paul Ryan, the guy who authored the plan to dismantle Medicare.  "The safety net for the poor is coming apart at the seams and no one in Washington seems to care," says the guy who is the lead architect of the most recent repugican plans to gut the social safety net.

You've got to admire their hubris, they are fearless.  As Greg Sargent explains, it's clear that the repugicans are a tad worried about all the new polls showing the public thinks they're the part of the rich.  And they should be worried.  As much as the public isn't thrilled with the Democrats, poll after poll shows that they like the repugicans even less.

The truth be told


Technology hurting jobs

Key work sectors are being decimated by a new generation of customer interfaces.

The 20-somethings' economic misery

Starting your career in a weak economy can hurt your income even decades later.

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

New data shows Americans' pay sucks.

Florida's corporate giveaways have not produced promised jobs

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Corporate welfare doesn't live up to the repugican hype. What's so hard about admitting that these programs don't work and trying something else?
But even Wal-Mart, Publix, Kraft Foods and other corporate giants have had trouble meeting job goals.

New data shows Florida has signed contracts worth $1.7 billion since 1995 in return for promises of 225,000 new jobs. But only about one-third of those jobs have been filled while the state has paid out 43 percent of the contracts.

That averages out to $10,237 per job.

Too Funny


Banks with Too Much Cash Charge for Deposits

It seems an odd problem to have, this “too much cash” thing. I don’t know that most of us can relate. But it seems that in times of economic insecurity, those who used to invest in stocks are simply holding their money in banks, and now bankers are inundated with money. So what’s the solution? Charge people to deposit. Or, at least some of the people, at some banks anyway:
Though financial institutions are not yet turning away customers at the door, they are trying to discourage some depositors from parking that cash with them. With fewer attractive lending and investment options for that money, it is harder for the banks to turn it around for a healthy profit.
In August, Bank of New York Mellon warned that it would impose a 0.13 percentage point fee on the deposits of certain clients who were moving huge piles of cash in and out of their accounts.
Others are finding more subtle ways to stem the flow. Besides paying next to nothing on consumer checking accounts and certificates of deposit, some giants — like JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo — are passing along part of the cost of federal deposit insurance to some of their small-business customers.
Even some community banks, vaunted for their little-guy orientation, no longer seem to mind if you take your money somewhere else.
“We just don’t need it anymore,” said Don Sturm, the owner of American National Bank and Premier Bank, community lenders with 43 branches in Colorado and three other states. “If you had more money than you knew what to do with, would you want more?”
Does charging money to hold your money seem counter-intuitive, or is this a good tactic for discouraging large-sum depositors from parking away their millions in a vault?

Real 'Slumdog Millionaire' wins

A clerk who earns just $120 a month is stunned when he makes game-show history in India.  

Start 2012 $1,000 richer

Combining a few easy but powerful tips can help you avoid the post-holiday blues.  

The All-American Girl


Best U.S. downtowns

Some places make the list because of their lively downtowns and beautiful settings.

Energy-saving myths

Closing vents in unused rooms actually doesn't save energy — it might even cost you some.



Fifteen ways to end food waste

Following this expert's advice on expiration dates will cut your food costs. 

Daily Comic Relief


Five exotic superfoods

These unusual fruits and veggies are packed with more hard-to-get nutrients than your standby choices.  

Culinary DeLites

Daily Funny


Health problems you can fix

To soothe a minor burn, cool water and milk should do the trick — but never apply ice. 

New York City man pleads guilty to brokering kidney

A New York man pleaded guilty Thursday to brokering the sale of black-market organs in what prosecutors said was the first ever federal conviction for illegally selling human kidneys for profit.

Thirteen Horror Movies and the 'True Stories' They're Based On

Some of the most over-the-top horror films are based on real-life stories, though you wouldn’t know it to watch them. For example, the story in The Exorcist was based on the exorcism of a 12-year-old boy named Robbie Mannheim.
According to the attending priest, the boy attempted to contact his late aunt using an Ouija board, after which paranormal activity started in the home including unexplained noises and an occurrence of a poltergeist-like event involving blankets flying around of their own accord. Robbie then began to show signs of possession, speaking in tongues and blisters and cuts appearing. He was taken to a mental institute in St. Louis where he was treated both mentally and spiritually. It was here that a group of priests started to perform various exorcising rituals to try and extract the demon. After a staggering total of 30 attempts, the priests were satisfied that they had successfully banished the demon from Robbie’s body.
After the ceremony he went on to have a very normal life, including a successful career at NASA. If my mother only knew that demon possession could lead to working for NASA, I’m positive that she would have made me play with Ouji boards every night.
Each of the 13 horror stories has a video clip from the film, and many have documentary clips from the stories that inspired them.

Giant Lego Man may soon be released

The 100-pound, 8-foot-tall mysterious Lego man that was found on a Florida beach may soon be sprung from a holding room.

Fourteen Punctuation Marks That You Never Knew Existed

Do you know what a solis is, or a asterism, a sheffer stroke, an interrobang?
They are punctuation marks you never knew existed.

Can you feel ...

Mother Nature is watching you!

Alternate Alternative Fuel for Robots of the Future

In what seems like the perfect solution to everything (or an episode of What Could Possibly Go Wrong?!), a pair of prototypes hint at a future in which robots eat bugs for fuel. Forget charging batteries or docking in your very own R2D2 — these autonomous, self-feeding droids could easily run along happily without us. The secret lies in two developments, both of which mimic the Venus flytrap’s prey-catching method:
Recreating this method means finding materials that can not only detect the presence of an insect but also close on it quickly. At Seoul National University in South Korea, Seung-Won Kim and colleagues have done this using shape memory materials. These switch between two stable shapes when subjected to force, heat or an electric current.
The team used two different materials – a clamshell-shaped piece of carbon fibre that acts as the leaves, connected by a shape-memory metal spring. The weight of an insect on the spring makes it contract sharply, pulling the leaves together and enveloping the prey. Opening the trap once more is just a matter of applying a current to the spring.
Mohsen Shahinpoor at the University of Maine in Orono took a different approach. His robot flytrap uses artificial muscles made of polymer membranes coated with gold electrodes. A current travelling through the membrane makes it bend in one direction – and when the polarity is reversed it moves the other way.
Bending the material also produces a voltage, which Shahinpoor has utilised to create sensors. When a bug lands, the tiny voltage it generates triggers a larger power source to apply opposite charges to the leaves, making them attract one another and closing the trap (Bioinspiration and BiomimeticsDOI: 10.1088/1748-3182/6/4/046004).
“We should be able to benefit enormously from these flytrap technologies,” says Ioannis Ieropoulos of the Bristol Robotics Lab in the UK. He and colleagues previously developed Ecobot, a robot that can digest insects, food scraps and sewage to power itself. Ecobot uses bacteria to break down a fly’s exoskeleton in a reaction that liberates electrons into a circuit, generating electricity.
It’s an interesting premise, the bug-eating robot. I’d personally never thought of feeding a machine anything other than electricity (or sunlight for the solar-powered variety).
If you built a robot, which fuel source would you design it to run on?

A Cosmic Halloween Gallery

What does astronomy have to do with Halloween? You’d be surprised!
Halloween is coming, and while people are out trick or treating or enjoying a costume party, the Universe will continue to go about its business.
The business of DEATH, that is. Black holes will continue to tear apart stars and gorge themselves on the tasty, gooey insides; galaxies will erupt with high-energy radiation, blasting out killer rays for hundreds of thousands of light years; giant clouds of gas will collapse, form stars, and promptly have their interiors eaten out from within.
Bad Astronomy Blog has a gallery of creepy astronomy pictures that appear to have sprung from our nightmares, but are actually things that exist in our universe. The picture here is of the flaming skull of Perseus: actually Perseus A, a huge galaxy that blasts out x-rays.

Archaeologists discover rare statues at Angkor Wat

Archaeologists at Cambodia's famous Angkor Wat temple complex say they have unearthed the largest Buddhist statues there in eight decades.

Probable WWII submarine found off Papua New Guinea

In this Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011 photo released by Australian Department of Defense, the stern section of an uncharted submarine wreck is shown on the seabed off the coast of Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.



Raccoon barbeque in car park leads to meth maker’s arrest

Police say a man roasting a raccoon in a Memphis, Tennessee parking lot on Monday led them to a meth lab that landed his brother in jail.

Officers found the man grilling the raccoon in the back parking lot of a midtown apartment complex. In addition to the cooking raccoon, he also had several large knives.

Investigators called in the department's meth task force to help after they also discovered buckets of an unknown material. Police ended up arresting the man's brother, 26-year-old Adam Eubank, after entering the apartment the two share.

Police say Eubank had purchased cold medicine used to manufacture methamphetamine nearly three dozen times in the past year. Eubank's charged with promoting the manufacture of meth. He's being held on $75,000 bond.

Giant Prehistoric Amoeba the Size of Your Hand

Dinosaur movies have taught us that things were a lot larger back in prehistoric times, but this is ridiculous! Scientists at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography have found a giant amoeba the size of your hand:
During a July 2011 voyage to the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench, the deepest region on the planet, Scripps researchers and National Geographic engineers deployed untethered free-falling/ascending landers equipped with digital video and lights to search the largely unexplored region. The team documented the deepest known existence of xenophyophores, single-celled animals exclusively found in deep-sea environments. Xenophyophores are noteworthy for their size, with individual cells often exceeding 10 centimeters (4 inches), their extreme abundance on the seafloor and their role as hosts for a variety of organisms.

The Frogfish

Frogfishes are bottom-dwelling fishes of the family Antennariidae of tropical and temperate seas, characteristically having a prickly or warty globose body and pectoral fins adapted for grasping.

Frogfish generally do not move very much, preferring to lie on the sea floor and wait for prey to approach. Once the prey is spotted, they can approach slowly using their pectoral and pelvic fins to walk along the floor

Animal Pictures