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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, November 5, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
It's vitally important for you to put your ideas down in writing today. 
Even if you don't think you are skilled at creative writing, you will find the act of putting pen to paper (or typing) to be a great way to release your mental inhibitions. 
Once you start recording your ideas and thoughts, the flood will begin. 
This could lead to a wonderful awakening of your underutilized creativity. 
This, in turn, could lead you to make changes that lead you down fulfilling new pathways.

 Some of our readers today have been in:
London, Ontario, Canada
Morini, Morini, Comoros
Poznan, Wielkopolskie, Poland
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, netherlands
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Bangkok, Krung Thep, Thailand
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Delhi, Delhi, India
Thisted, Vestsjalland, denmark
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Woodlands, Singapore, Singapore
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Acton, Ontario, Canada
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Hanover, Niedersachsen, 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 Milwaukee, Nashville, Winnetka, Staten Island and more!

Today is:
Today is Saturday, November 5, the 309th day of 2011.
There are 56 days left in the year.

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

Non Sequitur


President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of Vice President Joe Biden
Weekly Address
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Hi, this is Joe Biden.  I’m speaking to you from the University of Pittsburgh, where I just spoke to students here about what we’ve done to help ease the burden on them when it comes to the rising cost of tuition and the accumulating student debt and what we’re going to do to help create jobs when they graduate.
Today we found out we’ve had the 20th month in a row where we’ve increased private sector jobs -- 104,000 this month, 104,000 private sector jobs.  And as all you know, that's not nearly enough.  We have to increase the pace.  We have to act now to do everything in our power to keep this economy moving and to grow jobs.
President Obama is on his way back from France where he just met with the leaders of the 20 largest economies in the world, where he urged our European friends to step up and stabilize their own economies because if they fail, it will affect the whole world.
Too many Americans are still struggling.  Too many college students here at the University of Pittsburgh and elsewhere are worrying about the rising cost of their tuition, and the increasing accumulation of debt.  And too many of their parents are in stagnant jobs or out of work, wondering if they're going to be able to send their child back to college next semester.
My dad used to have a saying.  He said, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck.  It’s about dignity.  It’s about respect.
And too many Americans have been stripped of their dignity through no fault of their own.  So we can't wait to help them.  The President and I believe we have to act now.  That's why we’ve introduced the jobs bill which independent validators said would create 2 million new jobs.
Although 51 senators voted for that jobs bill, our Republican colleagues in the Senate used a procedural requirement that requires it to have 60 votes, so it failed.
And since then we’ve taken every important piece of the jobs bill and demanded that we have a separate vote.  But our Republican colleagues in the Senate have voted unanimously to vote down each and every part so far:  to restore 400,000 jobs for teachers, police officers, firefighters, putting them back in classrooms, on the streets and in the fire houses.
And then on Thursday, they unanimously voted down the second part of our program:  to rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges, which would have created more than 400,000 good-paying jobs.
These are all programs that the Republicans in the past have supported, but once again, every Republican voted no -- blocking the majority will to put these folks back to work.
I think the assumption is that they're voting no because of the way we would pay for these jobs, and we do pay for them.  We think everybody should pay their fair share, so that's why we put a small surtax on the first dollar after a person has already made $1 million.  That seems fair to us, and it pays for the bill.  It’s a small price to pay to put hundreds of thousands of people back to work.
So, look, we can't wait.  We can't wait for the Congress to start acting responsibly, and that's why the President has used his executive power to announce that hundreds of thousands of people will be able to refinance their homes from 6 percent interest rates to 4 percent, saving them an average of $2,000 a year.  That's why the President announced that beginning next year, no student will have to pay back more than 10 percent of their discretionary income toward their student debt.  He also announced new regulations regarding prescription drugs to prevent price gouging.  And there’s more to come.
If the Republican Congress won’t join us, we’re going to continue to act on our own to make the changes that we can to bring relief to middle-class families and those aspiring to get in the middle class.
Look, it’s simple:  We refuse to take no for an answer.  We know these steps taken alone are not going to solve all of our problems, but they will make a difference in the lives of millions of American families struggling to hold on.  And you know and I know if the Republicans would just let the Congress do its job, let it step up and meet its responsibilities, we could do so much more, and we could do it immediately.
That's why the President and I need your help to tell your Republican congressmen and senators to step up.  Tell them to stop worrying about their jobs and start worrying about yours because we’re all in this together, and together is the way we’re going to bring America back even stronger than it was before.
Thank you.

The truth be told


Super Saturday


Andy Rooney dies at 92

Andy Rooney, the curmudgeonly commentator who spent more than 30 years wryly talking about the oddities of life for "60 Minutes," died Friday night, CBS said. He was 92.

Just a month ago, Rooney delivered his last regular essay on the CBS newsmagazine.

CBS said he died Friday night in New York from complications from a recent surgery.

Rooney, also a syndicated newspaper columnist, talked about what was in the news. But he was just as likely to use his weekly television essay to discuss the old clothes in his closet, why banks need to have important-sounding names or whether there was a real Mrs. Smith who made Mrs. Smith's Pies.

He won three Emmy Awards, including one for his story revealing there was no Mrs. Smith.

Rooney began his "60 Minutes" commentaries in 1978 and was still at it three decades later, railing about how unpleasant air travel had become. "Let's make a statement to the airlines just to get their attention. We'll pick a week next year and we'll all agree not to go anywhere for seven days," he told viewers.

"I obviously have a knack for getting on paper what a lot of people have thought and didn't realize they thought," Rooney once said. "And they say, 'Hey, yeah!' And they like that."

In early 2009, as he was about to turn 90, he looked ahead to Barack Obama's upcoming inauguration with a look at past inaugurations. He told viewers that Calvin Coolidge's 1925 swearing-in was the first to be broadcast on radio, adding, "That may have been the most interesting thing Coolidge ever did."

Rooney wrote for CBS stars such as Arthur Godfrey and Garry Moore during the 1950s and early 1960s, before settling into a partnership with newsman Harry Reasoner. With Rooney as the writer, they collaborated on several news specials, including an Emmy-winning report on misrepresentations of black Americans in movies and history books. He wrote "An Essay on Doors" in 1964, and continued with contemplations on bridges, chairs and women.

"The best work I ever did," Rooney said. "But nobody knows I can do it or ever did it. Nobody knows that I'm a writer and producer. They think I'm this guy on television."

Rooney angrily left CBS in 1970 when it refused to air his heated essay about the Vietnam War. He went on TV for the first time, reading the essay on PBS and winning a Writers Guild of America award for it.

He returned to CBS three years later as a writer and producer of specials. Notable among them was the 1975 "Mr. Rooney Goes to Washington," whose lighthearted but serious look at government won him a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting.

"A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney" aired on "60 Minutes" for the first time on July 2, 1978. Rooney complained about people who keep track of how many people die in car accidents on holiday weekends. In fact, he said, the Fourth of July is "one of the safest weekends of the year to be going someplace."

The segment of Rooney's musings quickly became a favorite feature of television's oldest and most successful newsmagazine. Comic Joe Piscopo satirized Rooney's squeaky voice with the refrain, "Did you ever wonder ..."

Rooney's words occasionally got him in trouble, too. CBS suspended him for three months in 1990 for allegedly racist remarks in an interview, which he denied making. Gay rights groups were mad during the AIDS epidemic when Rooney mentioned homosexual unions in saying "many of the ills which kill us are self-induced." Indians protested when Rooney suggested that Native Americans who made money from casinos weren't doing enough to help their own people.

The Associated Press learned the danger of getting on Rooney's cranky side. In 1996, AP television writer Frazier Moore wrote a column suggesting it was time for Rooney to retire. On Rooney's next "60 Minutes" appearance, he invited those who disagreed to make their opinions known. The AP switchboard was flooded by some 7,000 phone calls.

"Your piece made me mad," Rooney told Moore two years later. "One of my major shortcomings — I'm vindictive. I don't know why that is. Even in petty things in my life I tend to strike back. It's a lot more pleasurable a sensation than feeling threatened."

More recently, he was one of television's few voices to strongly oppose the war in Iraq at the time it began. After the fall of Baghdad in April 2003, he said he was chastened by its quick fall but didn't regret his "60 Minutes" commentaries.

"I'm in a position of feeling secure enough so that I can say what I think is right and if so many people think it's wrong that I get fired, well, I've got enough to eat," Rooney said at the time.

Andrew Aitken Rooney was born on Jan. 14, 1919, in Albany, N.Y., and worked as a copy boy on the Albany Knickerbocker News while in high school. College at Colgate University was cut short by World War II, where Rooney worked for the GI newspaper Stars and Stripes. With another former Stars and Stripes staffer, Oram C. Hutton, Rooney wrote four books about the war. They included the 1947 book, "Their Conqueror's Peace: A Report to the American Stockholders," documenting offenses against the Germans by occupying forces.

Rooney and his wife, Marguerite, had four children and lived in Rowayton, Conn. Daughter Emily Rooney is a former executive producer of ABC's "World News Tonight."

On this Day in History

In 1605, the "Gunpowder Plot" failed as Guy Fawkes was seized before he could blow up the English Parliament.

Odds and Ends

Credit unions bask in big bank backlash.

Bill Gates is "generally in favor" of rich paying more taxes.

Did #occupywallst force this restaurant to fire 1/3 of its staff? or was it the overpriced, crappy food?

Not surprisingly #occupy beats the tea party in google searches.

Broke city's extreme move

A once-booming Michigan town embraces a controversial austerity measure. 

Bank of America customers 'least satisfied'

When the too big to fail banks were slapping together ridiculously large and unnecessary mega deals before the crash, the banks had no interest in the small retail clients. They were an annoying flea that was a pathetic little joke compared to their billion and trillion dollar deals. Now that the real world showed them how false those mega deals were, the too big to fail banks need the retail clients. And guess who has years of displeasure at this point? Yes, customers from traditional banks are moving over in a big way to credit unions, leaving the arrogant banks with fewer retail customers.
How important is customer service? Maybe it's time to ask Bank of America this question since they clearly haven't cared about it right up until recently when they tried jamming through a new $5 monthly fee. Who needs customer satisfaction anyway?
Nine percent of people with Bank of America accounts were “not at all likely” to continue to use the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender, the survey, scheduled to be released today, shows. That is triple the rate of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) customers and 50 percent more than Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC)

Bank of America, the second-biggest U.S. lender by deposits, angered some customers when it announced plans to charge $5 a month for debit-card use. The firm dropped the fee this week after JPMorgan, the biggest bank, and No. 3 Wells Fargo abandoned the tactic. Other new fees, including those for checking accounts, may push clients to credit unions, said Carol Gstalder, an executive vice president at Harris Interactive.

“Our data says that banks absolutely should be worried,” Gstalder said yesterday in an interview. “People know banks are looking for new ways to make up the revenue gap. This may be the start of a tipping point where long term, we may see numbers of people making a move.”

Crabby Road


In Time for Golden Turkeys

Edible Food Sprays
In Time for Golden Turkeys - Edible Food Sprays
Food Finish coloring spray lets you coat your meal in a varnish of vibrant color. What's it made of anyway?  

The truth about Carbs

Bread, pasta, and rice will not instantly cause you to gain weight, and even veggies have carbs.

Your Own Worst Enemy

Getting Over Impostor Syndrome
Have you ever felt like you are in over your head, that you don’t have nearly the competence to be doing the job you’re doing, and that sooner or later, others will find out you’re faking it? Maybe it will help to know that those other folks sometimes feel the same way. It’s called Impostor Syndrome.
“They used to call it an inferiority complex. You’re convinced you’re not good enough or smart enough to do this. Impostor syndrome. The only thing holding you back is you.”
I wish I could say this call changed everything, but it didn’t. My second Master’s degree was worse than ever. Studying in a profoundly theory-heavy program, I felt hopelessly lost in every class, every day. I was convinced at any moment uniformed thugs would burst into my seminar to unmask me and drag me out. Obviously I did not belong here, as I understood maybe one tenth of what I was reading, and was frequently confused even by the comments of my own classmates. It seemed so easy for them. Surely I had made yet another mistake.
It never occurred to me that I was there to learn, or that other students might be feeling the same way.
Read more about Impostor Syndrome and how to deal with it at xoJane.

Weekend time change benefits

Many doctors say this weekend's return to standard time can be beneficial to your health. 

New strain of HIV found in Singapore

A new and possibly more aggressive strain of the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus has surfaced in Singapore, evolving from the two existing strains.

Infant Mortality Still a U.S. Problem

If a measure of a successful society is its ability to prevent infant deaths, then there is an ugly truth in the United States today that public health officials know but the public largely does not: Too many of our babies are dying, and they don't have to.

Skin 'Sees' Sunlight, Starts Tanning

Skin 'Sees' Sunlight, Starts Tanning
The same kind of proteins your eyes use to sense light are in your skin to trigger tanning.

Up-and-coming cancer screens

Read up on breakthrough technologies that could reduce the need for biopsies and CT scans.  

A Simple Splash Can Make You Sick

Boating, canoeing and kayaking on polluted waters can raise your risk of getting sick.

America's dirtiest cities

Residents in the most polluted area breathe in unhealthy air 60 days of the year.  



Navy veteran's flag dilemma

An ultimatum from management puts a 70-year-old Oregon man in a tough spot.  

Vatican 'irritated' by Ireland

And you say that like it's a bad thing ...
Good to see the Irish getting smart and putting the catholics were they belong!
Ireland’s historic decision to close its diplomatic post is a huge blow to the Holy See’s prestige. 

Colombian rebel leader killed

Alfonso Cano, the top FARC leader, dies during a military operation, officials say.

Latina Scalped During Girl on Girl Fight

A New Mexico woman is in the hospital after part of her scalp was ripped from her head during a fight with another woman.

Daily Comic Relief


Ukraine's School of Underwater Painting

A group of artists in the Ukraine dive into the water of the Black Sea to compose paintings. With scuba gear, they can stay underwater for up to 40 minutes. During that time, they apply paint to canvases under challenging conditions. Watch the video at the link to see the artists at work.
They’re all seascapes. Can’t they get a model down there for some figure studies? 

Biggest chess mistakes

Following these seven rules will help you avoid the most common downfalls of beginning players.

The Twisted History of Twister

Of course you remember the game Twister. Everyone wanted to play it at parties just to get close to someone of the opposite sex. And win or lose, you ended up looking so ridiculous everyone had to laugh! But how did this ingenious idea come about?
“The game that ties you up in knots” sprang from the imagination of a St. Paul-based ad man / inventor named Reyn Guyer in 1965. Guyer’s firm, the Reynolds Guyer Agency of Design, was hired to do a local back-to-school promotional display for Johnson brand shoe polish. As Guyer tinkered with a colored polka dot paper mat to highlight kids’ shoes, he realized he might be onto something bigger – a game where people acted as the game pieces. Guyer first called his invention King’s Footsie, testing it out on some fellow artists and designers. The fun that four people were having while crammed into provocative shapes onto a 4 x 6 mat was all Guyer needed to see.
But that’s just the beginning of the story. Twister didn’t sell well at first, but eventually became a classic board game without a board.

Ancient Chinese Coin Brought Good Luck in Yukon

Chinese coin
The 340-year-old coin may have ended up in Canada through a flurry of trading.

Awesome Pictures


Nitrogen Pollution Bounce To Tropical Forests

Nitrogen Pollution Bounce To Tropical Forests
The first direct evidence is in: human-made nitrogen pollution is accumulating in tropical forests just as it does in ecosystems at higher latitudes.

Asteroid coming our way

The rock is the size of an aircraft carrier, but experts say it'll miss the Earth and moon.



Invasive Bugs Eat Invasive Plant

For 50 years, farmers, scientists, and homeowners have looked for a way to get rid of kudzu. The invasive plant native to Japan grows at such an astounding rate that people in the southern U.S. joke about closing their windows at night to keep it out of the house. Another invasive species should teach us to be careful what we wish for. Megacopta cribraria, an insect that hitched a ride to Atlanta on a plane from Asia in 2009, eats kudzu. The kudzu bug could eat away a third of the kudzu covering several states within a decade.
“I’m all for it,” says Keith Brouillard, owner of Raleigh, N.C.’s Carolina Forestry, a consulting group that helps manage timber land for private owners. “Kudzu is a nuisance and almost impossible to get rid of.” The vine is virtually impervious to herbicides, chain saws and even fire. Its roots can weigh 300 pounds and run 12 feet deep.
But the bug is also chewing up soybean stalks, reducing some yields recently by as much as a quarter, according to entomologists at the University of Georgia.
“Disappearing kudzu is a cultural problem,” says John Shelton Reed, a sociologist and essayist on Southern life. “But disappearing soybeans is an economic problem.”
Researchers are looking for ways to protect soybean crops from Megacopta cribraria while still searching for a species that will kill kudzu and leave crops alone.

Honey Badger Don’t Care But We Do!

If you’ve heard someone say “honey badger don’t care” and you haven’t seen the viral video it comes from, you might be wondering about the origin of the catchphrase. You can see that video at National Geographic News, with all its NSFW language. The original honey badger video, without the hilarious replacement commentary, is from a NatGeo wildlife program. Colleen Begg, the researcher who shot the footage, clears up some questions about the honey badger.
Do honey badgers have bad attitudes?
Absolutely! But they need to, because they’re often surprised.
Honey badgers are very vulnerable. Often they’re digging—they’re quite small [weighing 10 to 20 pounds), they don’t see very well, their noses are in the ground—and they’re completely oblivious to what’s going on around them. When they eventually realize that the leopard is standing right behind them, they just put on this incredible show to try to protect themselves. They do the same in reaction to humans.
So that is where the bad attitude comes from. It’s a protective mechanism.

Paleontology News

Many pet owners think that cooler weather means no more fleas and ticks

Writers at Kiplinger.com recently suggested pet owners set aside $700 - $2,000 a year for expenses, just for the routine stuff.

Animal Pictures