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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.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
From time to time, it's okay to skate by.
Life is a matter of prioritizing energies, and sometimes the balance must fall against the side of hard work.
Today, however, the effort of your investment equals your reward.
So if your expectations are low, don't expend too much.
But if you think there's a chance for real success, give it all you've got.

 Some of our readers today have been in:
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Kampar, Perak, Malaysia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Munich, Bayern, Germany
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Bangkok, Krung Thep, Thailand
Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada
Brunaby, British Columbia, Canada
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Seragoon, Singapore, Singapore
Amersfoort, Utrecht, Netherlands
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Jerudong, Brunei and Muara, Brunei Darussalam
Newbury, England, United Kingdom
Morini, Morini, Comoros
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Delft, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Doncaster, England, United Kingdom
Bochum, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Algiers, Alger, Algeria
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
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 Alpharetta, Fairhope, Juneau, Tewksbury and more!

Today is:
Today is Thursday, November 10, the 314th day of 2011.
There are 51 days left in the year.

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

Non Sequitur


Semper Fidelis

Today is the Marine Corps birthday.

Chaos follows Paterno firing

Students clash with police after the coaching icon is ousted in the wake of a sex-abuse scandal.  

Thorough Thursday


Service members remains dumped in landfill during shrub junta

How did people not think that this was a problem?
The Dover Air Force Base mortuary for years disposed of portions of troops’ remains by cremating them and dumping the ashes in a Virginia landfill, a practice that officials have since abandoned in favor of burial at sea.

The Dover, Del., mortuary, the main point of entry for the nation’s war dead and the target of federal investigations of alleged mishandling of remains, engaged in the practice from 2003 to 2008, according to Air Force officials. The manner of disposal was not disclosed to relatives of fallen service members.
On Tuesday, the Air Force acknowledged that the mortuary had lost a dead soldier’s ankle and an unidentified body part recovered from an air crash; had sawed off a Marine’s arm so his body would fit in his casket...
Mutherf@*&ers.  2003-2008. The shrub junta.  Anger cannot be expressed in either polite or impolite company!  The repugicans blather on and on about patriotism, but when it comes down to it, all they are is blather.

Former SC repugican leader calls Pelosi the c-word, then the b-word, then a wh*re

He said this in response to Herman Cain calling Democratic House Minority Leader, and former Speaker, Nancy Pelosi "Princess Nancy." The repugicans have a serious problem with intolerance in their ranks - be it sexism, racism, or homophobia. They think it's PC, and thus silly, to suggest that we don't call women the c-word, the b-word or the w-word. No, it's not about being PC, it's about having a sense of common decency. It's about a basic level of respect you show other human beings. The extremists that are now in control of the repugican party don't have that sense of respect or decency, not in their politics, their policies, nor in their personal dealings with Democrats or the American people.

Wingnuts now deny the existence of "sexual harassment"

Back to the proven playbook. (Why not? The rubes fell for it last time.)
Dahlia Lithwick writing at Slate has this excellent commentary:
Conservatives aren’t just defending Herman Cain. They’re denying the very existence of sexual harassment.

I have no idea what Herman Cain did with the two, or maybe three, or possibly now four women who have raised allegations of improper sexual behavior about him. I don’t know whether any of them will come forward and run the risk of being labeled a slut for their efforts to do their jobs without being treated like pole-dancers. I do know that—as Amanda Marcotte so eloquently explained this week—the very same people who insist that we don’t know what actually happened all those years ago seem to know exactly what happened: nothing.

Sexual harassment is now nothing. Welcome to the era of gender harassment denialism. The harassment skeptics claim that harassment, like racism, used to exist but is now over. ...[G]reat swaths of [Cain defenders] have opted to assert that there could never be a valid sex discrimination claim because the whole thing is just a racket. And they went even further: The same folks criticizing the National Restaurant Association employees who came forward with claims that they were uncomfortable in their workplace are willing to deploy the most archaic and gender-freighted stereotypes to get there. Sexual harassment can’t be “real” because the women who claim it are money-grubbing, hysterical, attention-seeking tramps.

Hope it never happens to one of your daughters, friends. It would suck if someone called her a humorless hooker, even before learning her name.
Lithwick then presents her case; for example, John Derbyshire:
“Is there anyone who thinks sexual harassment is a real thing? Is there anyone who doesn’t know it’s all a lawyers’ ramp, like ‘racial discrimination’? You pay a girl a compliment nowadays, she runs off and gets lawyered up.”
An excellent piece.

Movement wingnuts are so used to winning simply by making assertions, and then making them true simply by re-asserting them, that you could almost guess this would happen. (Remember "racism"? Ask your grandparents about it.)

After all: (1) They're the "say anything" crowd. It's what they do, their bread-and-butter running play.

(2) The billionaire-controlled corporate media is reliably "repeat anything" — so long as billionaire-financed politicians are the ones who are talking.

(3) This is the age of "perception is reality" — can't tell you how many times I've walked past a corp presentation room and found that on one of the overheads. What, nothing exists unless you say it does? This is an entirely corrupt philosophy for an ad-age corrupted era — and an ad-saturated public. (For example: "Manliness," a wholey-owned concept of Miller Lite.)

We have always been at war with Eastasia. Until we weren't.

The truth be told


Tom the Dancing Bug


Blind, Deaf and Stupid


It really is that simple


That about sums it up


Why is it ...


Curious isn't it?


Poverty reaches new high in US

It's even worse than the "official" report from September. Once again, if the clueless political class wants to understand why OWS is so popular, here's another example. What jumps out here is the excessively high cost of health care. The original health care reform plan that includes yet another boondoggle for insurance companies and Big Pharma has to stop. The system still needs reform and the repugican's suggestions to turn back the clock are ridiculous.
The system is not working.
The numbers released Monday are part of a first-ever supplemental poverty measure aimed at providing a fuller picture of poverty. Although considered experimental, they promise to stir fresh debate over Social Security, Medicare and programs to help the poor as a congressional supercommittee nears a Nov. 23 deadline to make more than $1 trillion in cuts to the federal budget.

Based on the revised formula, the number of poor people exceeds the record 46.2 million, or 15.1 percent, that was officially reported in September.

Broken down by group, Americans 65 or older sustained the largest increases in poverty under the revised formula — nearly doubling to 15.9 percent, or 1 in 6 — because of medical expenses that are not accounted for in the official rate. Those include rising Medicare premiums, deductibles and expenses for prescription drugs.

Bankruptcy makes history

A county with some of the nation's richest neighborhoods takes a drastic step to wipe out $5 bil debt.  

Why your taxes might surge

Tax changes next year could hike a family's IRS bill by more than $3,500.

Yellow diamond could fetch $11-15Million

A rare yellow pear-shaped diamond is expected to fetch $11-15 million at auction next week, and the buyer will have the chance to name it, Sotheby's said Wednesday.

Why Buick is big in China

GM figures out how to revive a brand long considered irrelevant in the U.S. 

Major Internet scam busted

Eastern European thieves make millions of dollars off innocent Internet users, officials say.



Controversial monuments

This seemingly simple statue of a brown dog has a history fraught with outrage. 

Doctor turned into serial killer

The chaos that engulfed Nazi-occupied Paris offered the perfect cover for one man's chilling crimes.

Brain Training for Parkinson's

Brain scan
Patients with early Parkinson's disease may improve their early symptoms by 're-training their brains'. 

Scientist to Make Programmable Cells that Act as "Operating System"

Scientists at the University of Nottingham are trying to create a "reprogrammable cell" that can act as a cellular equivalent to a computer's operating system.
The project, if successful, would mark a huge leap forward for synthetic biology as a field. Scientists could easily and quickly program cells to perform all kinds of tasks as well as create wholly new forms of life not found in nature customized for various uses. That’s another way of saying the “operating system” would allow for rapid prototyping of life forms, saving the time and energy currently consumed by returning to the drawing board each time researchers need a cell with a new function.
Oh, what could possibly go wrong?

The Birth Of The Muppets

In advance of the opening of 'The Muppets' on Nov. 23, Collectors Weekly published an article on the Muppets before they were the Muppets. Their forebears were known as 'Sam and Friends,' which aired on WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. from 1955 to 1961. Sam and Friends was a TV show that created by Jim Henson and his future wife Jane Nebel.

The star of 'Sam and Friends' was an olive-drab, lizard-like creature named Kermit, who was sewn from one of Henson's mother's cast-off wool coats. The original Kermit had rounded feet instead of flippers, lacked Kermit's classic crenellated collar, and viewed the world through a ping-pong ball that had been sliced in half and painted. Smithsonian curator of Entertainment History Collections Dwight Blocker Bowers helps us tell the story.

Strange artistic illusions

See how carefully applied makeup can transform people's faces into lionfish, a playing card — even a pizza.

Awesome Pictures


Strange Rock Formations Around The World

Rock formations are created by the elements such as heat, wind, rain, and erosion. What nature has done with these tools on the palette of the Earth is both breath taking and mind boggling. These incredible natural rock formations were created slowly over millions of years using the hardest materials. Thankfully for us, nature is a patient artist. An overview of the 25 most incredible natural rock formations on the planet.

Earth May Have Swirled Moon's Core

moon rocks
A 50-year-old mystery about etchings of a magnetic field on lunar rocks gets a couple new theories.  

'Lake monster' caught on film?

Grainy footage of a dark shape in the water stirs up talk of Canada's elusive Ogopogo.

Cooked Meat Gave Ancestors An Advantage

Cooked Meat Gave Ancestors An Advantage
Cooked meat delivers more energy than raw and the way it's prepared (to pound or not to pound) also makes a difference in how it's digested.



SeaWorld adding world's coldest exhibit

SeaWorld Orlando on Tuesday announced the most ambitious expansion in the nearly 40-year history of the theme park, including a sea turtle exhibit with a domed 3-D theater and an immersive penguin experience that promises to drop guests down in the middle of frigid Antarctica.

Hummingbirds Shake Their Heads To Deal With Rain

Slow-motion footage (see video at the link) has revealed how a hovering hummingbird is able to cope with wet weather. The cameras show that the delicate bird shakes its head with such acceleration that it can reach a g-force of 34 (Formula 1 racing cars typically reach less than 6g). This mid-air manoeuvre takes just 0.1 seconds and removes almost all of the water droplets from its feathers.

Professor Robert Dudley, one of the authors of the study, from the University of California, Berkeley, said: It is the extreme mobility - its head is going through 180 degrees in a 10th of a second or less - it is just extraordinary.

Talking parrot woke owner with news of premature puppies

A talking pet parrot has been hailed a hero for saving the lives of five premature puppies. Mimicking his owner Suzanna Bolton’s voice, 18-year-old African Grey parrot Sam squawked a distress call in her ear after going upstairs and jumping onto her bed in the dead of the night. Sam woke Suzanna with calls to ‘come on, come on’ before leading her to the pups. Mrs Bolton’s four-year-old Pomeranian bitch Sally had gone into labor a week early and both she and her puppies were in distress on a cold and wet kitchen floor.

Mrs Bolton, 55, of Anchor Avenue, Darwen, said: “Sam is allowed to roam around out of his cage, but parrots are not known to move at night. That night he seemed to know what was going on and came looking for me to help. He’s never been in my bedroom before in the eight years I’ve had him, but he came up the stairs, climbed on the bed and started talking to me in my own voice with the words “come on, come on”, which I often say to Sally.

“I wondered what on earth was going on and took Sam back downstairs to his perch, but then he looked at me and squawked. It was then I looked in the kitchen and saw the puppies. One had died and the other five boys were all very, very cold and wet. I quickly got the heat pads out for them and got them next to a radiator, and luckily they’re now doing well. I honestly believe that if Sam hadn’t have acted how he did, then the others could have died too during the night.”

Mrs Bolton bought Sam from an Urdu speaker when he was 10 years old and he knew no English. Now he is able to accurately mimic several members of Mrs Bolton’s family. She added: “He’s really very intelligent and everyone says how amazing it is that he’s managed to save the puppies.” Mrs Bolton hopes to give the puppies to new homes once they are old enough.

Animal News

Chimps grooming (Credit: F. Mollers)Primates leapt to social living

Primates' shift from nocturnal to daylight living probably spurred social groups and hint at the origins of human social behavior, scientists report.

Rhino Extinction

No rhinos remain in West Africablack rhino mother and baby

The western black rhino in Africa has been declared extinct by the latest assessment of threatened species.

Animal Pictures