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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 19, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
For a while now, you've been sailing along nicely and capably navigating the most threatening waters ... you should be proud of how you've handled yourself recently.
This pride will continue to carry you onward, but you should be on the lookout for a few obstacles.
If your ship encounters especially choppy waters, you may just spring an emotional leak.
You will have to plug the hole for now -- you can deal with a more substantial repair once you're in a safe harbor.

 Some of our readers today have been in:
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Munich, Bayern, Germany
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Manila, Manila, Philippines
Horsham, England, United Kingdom
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Poznan, Wielkopolskie, Poland
Athens, Attiki, Greece
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
London, England, United Kingdom
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Quezon City, Manila, Philippines
Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia
Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei and Muara, Brunei Darussalam
Lahore, Punjab, India
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Bochum, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Cebu, Cebu City, Philippines
Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia
Woodlands, Singapore, Singapore
Bangkok, Krung Thep, Thailand
Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines
Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Woking, England, United Kingdom
Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
San Juan, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
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 Chillicothe, Manteo, Pocatello, Tifton and more!

Today is:
Today is Saturday, November 19, the 323rd day of 2011.
There are 42 days left in the year.

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

Non Sequitur


President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
Bali, Indonesia
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Today, I’m speaking to you from Indonesia as I finish up my trip to the Asia Pacific – the region where we do most of our trade and sell most of our exports.  And over the past week, the progress we’ve made in opening markets and boosting exports here will help create more jobs and more growth in the United States.
Here in Indonesia, I was proud to join leaders from some of our nation’s top companies as they announced trade deals that will support nearly 130,000 American jobs and potentially increase U.S. exports by up to $39 billion.  Boeing, for example, will sell more than 200 planes to Indonesia that are built with parts from suppliers in more than 40 states.  And a deal to export GE engines will support jobs at plants in Ohio and North Carolina.
These agreements will help us reach my goal of doubling American exports by 2014 – a goal we’re on pace to meet.  And they’re powerful examples of how we can rebuild an economy that’s focused on what our country has always done best – making and selling products all over the world that are stamped with three proud words:  “Made In America.”
This is important, because over the last decade, we became a country that relied too much on what we bought and consumed.  We racked up a lot of debt, but we didn’t create many jobs at all.
If we want an economy that’s built to last and built to compete, we have to change that.  We have to restore America’s manufacturing might, which is what helped us build the largest middle-class in history.  That’s why we chose to pull the auto industry back from the brink, saving hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process.  And that’s why we’re investing in the next generation of high-tech, American manufacturing.
But building an economy that lasts isn’t just about making things – it’s about opening new markets for people to buy them.  After all, 95% of the world’s consumers live outside our borders.  And as the fastest-growing region in the world, no market is more important to our economic future than the Asia Pacific – a region where our exports already support five million American jobs.
This is why we recently signed a landmark trade agreement with South Korea that will support tens of thousands of American jobs.  And it’s why I traveled here this week.  In Hawaii, I hosted leaders from across the Asia Pacific, and we agreed to make it easier for American companies to do business overseas.  I also worked with President Medvedev of Russia to pursue trade that would increase exports and jobs for American manufacturers and farmers.  And working with other leaders, we made progress toward our most ambitious trade agreement yet – a partnership with Pacific nations that holds the potential for more exports and more jobs in a region of nearly three billion consumers.
We may be going through tough times, but as I’ve said time and time again, the United States still has the world’s most dynamic economy, the finest universities, the most innovative companies, and the hardest-working people on Earth.  We can compete against anybody – and we can win.  As President, I intend to make sure that happens by doing everything I can to give American workers and businesses the chance to succeed.

The Midnight Rider

The Midnight Rider is the world's largest limousine boasting 460 square feet of pure luxury and is reserved by those who expect the very best. In fact, she is a traveling celebrity vehicle in her own right, based in Southern California and licensed to travel anywhere in the United States.

Representative of the luxury days of railroad travel, the Midnight Rider is classified as a 'Tractor-Trailer Limousine,' and is the only one ever built. The air-ride suspension makes for a ride so smooth and comfortable, it allows you to stand up and move from lounge to lounge, dancing, mingling and partying with your group.

Super Saturday


Neighborhood names explained

This New York City area was once so rough that cops called it something even worse than hell.  

Rich areas, lots of foreclosures

Many homeowners in these ritzy areas are defaulting on their mortgages.  

Did you know ...

... that 79% of occupiers have a job, compared to 56% of tea partiers.

Protesters pepper-sprayed

Occupy demonstrators at a California university pay the price after a tense standoff with police. 

Memo to American Bankers Association from lobbyists spells out $850,000 anti-OWS plan

MSNBC's "Up with Chris Hayes" broke the story today of a memo by Washington D.C. lobbyists to the American Bankers Association on how to go about discrediting the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is evidently perceived as a powerful threat to the interests of the financial industry.

The proposal was written on the letterhead of the lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford and addressed to one of CLGC’s clients, the American Bankers Association. CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing repugicans instead.
According to the memo, if Democrats embrace OWS, “This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street. … It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.”
The memo also suggests that Democratic victories in 2012 should not be the ABA’s biggest concern. “… (T)he bigger concern,” the memo says, “should be that repugicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies.”
Here's more, and here is the PDF of the actual memo.

Thank OWS for defeating the repugican super-committee

Everyone seems to be thinking that the Super-Committee is headed for failure. From where I sit it looks like it succeeded magnificently, just not in the way that the repugicans hoped.
The principal goal of the super-committee was to kick the repugican deficit histrionics down the road a few more months and avoid a government shutdown. Obama clearly hoped that a bipartisan deal would allow him to neutralize the 'deficit' issue as an electoral concern in 2012. The repugicans hoped to get the chance to steal at least some of our pensions to pay for the tax cuts they have already given to the 1%. All it would take for the White House to get their bipartisan deal was a handful of blue dogs and a minimal level of pragmatism from the repugicans.

Then OWS came along and suddenly the 'deficit' narrative of 'shared sacrifice' was collapsed as they pointed out the simple fact that what the repugicans have been proposing all along is to take the sacrifices of the 99% and give them to the undeserving 1%.

The Democratic Party establishment is not particularly scared of a few thousand people camping out in a park but what petrifies them is the idea that OWS might copy the tactics of the tea party and put up their own candidates against blue dogs in the primaries.

So instead the committee will 'fail' and the starting point for the 2012 (and future) budget negotiations is one in which the shrub tax cuts expire completely and the bloated military budget is cut. The US is still one of the richest countries on earth with one of the stingiest welfare states in the developed world. The structural deficit is entirely due to the fact that the US spends more on its militarism than the rest of the planet combined and the rich don't want to pay for it.

There are cuts that hurt progressive priorities in the automatic cuts as well. But those worry me rather less. The automatic cuts represent the starting point for negotiations, not the final result. Restoring cuts in entitlements is join to be much easier than increasing the military budget after the end of two wars.

Number of poor children continues to rise in US

While the thugs at the NYPD and other local police forces are bashing heads to protect the interests of the 1%, the number of poor children in America grows. This should be a national disgrace, but no, too many in Congress are much more worried about protecting their friends on Wall Street, Big Pharma, the insurance industry, defense contractors and insisting on more giveaways for the rich.
Why are the poor and middle class so ignored by Washington?
The number of children in the United States considered poor rose by 1 million in 2010, the U.S. Census said on Thursday, with nearly one in three of the youngest Americans now living in poverty.

"Children who live in poverty, especially young children, are more likely than their peers to have cognitive and behavioral difficulties, to complete fewer years of education, and, as they grow up, to experience more years of unemployment," the Census said.

In 2010, when the Census survey was conducted, 32.3 percent of children across the country were poor, compared to 30.8 percent in 2009.



Retirement myths to dispel

Thinking you’ll spend less after you stop working doesn’t always hold true.  

Where to find low-stress jobs

These careers will let you avoid tight deadlines and pressure on the bottom line.  

The world's most boring conference

A talk on the evolution of the electric hand dryer will no doubt capture the attention of those attending London's second annual Boring conference.

How to deal with annoying neighbors

Find out how to handle dogs that won’t stay out of your yard and other pesky behavior.  

Little-known cleaning tricks

Everyday items can be the best way to dust, polish, and perform other chores.  

Random Photos


Doctors Note Increase in "Sleep Texting"

The obvious problem with people texting in their sleep is that it adds yet one more distraction behind the wheel. And doctors are seeing a lot more of it:
Sleep expert Dr. Marcus Schmidt says he’s starting to see more cases of sleep texting.
“Four out of five kids that have cell phones sleep with the cell phone in the bedroom, next to their bed and only one in ten actually turn it off,” Dr. Schmidt said.
He says sleep deprivation can trigger common motor behaviors during sleep, including reaching for the phone when it goes off.

Dear Alcohol

Dear Alcohol,

First and foremost, let me tell you that I'm a huge fan of yours.

As my friend, you always seem to be there when needed. The perfect post-work cocktail, a beer at the game, and you're even around at the holidays (hidden inside chocolates as you warm us when we're stuck in the midst of endless family gatherings).

However, lately I've been wondering about your intentions. While I want to believe that you have my best interests at heart, I feel that your influence has led to some unwise consequences:

1. Phone Calls and text messages: While I agree with you that communication is important, I question the suggestion that any conversation after 2 a.m. can have much substance or necessity. Why would you make me call my ex's? Especially when I know, for a fact, they DO NOT want to hear from me during the day, let alone all hours of the night.

2. Eating: Now, you know I love a good meal. But, why do you suggest that I eat a taco with chili sauce along with a big Italian meatball and some stale chips (washed down with wine & topped off with a Kit Kat AFTER a few cheese curls & chili cheese fries)? I'm an eclectic eater but, I think you went too far this time.

3. Clumsiness: Unless you're subtly trying to tell me that I need to do more yoga to improve my balance, I see NO need to hammer this issue home by causing me to fall down. It's completely unnecessary, and the black & blue marks that appear on my body mysteriously the next day are beyond me. Similarly, it should never take me more than 45 seconds to get the front door key into the lock.

4. Furthermore: The hangovers have GOT to stop! This is getting ridiculous. I know a little penance for our previous evening's debauchery may be in order. Bu t, the 3 p.m. hangover immobility is completely unacceptable. My entire day is shot. I ask that if the proper precautions are taken (water, vitamin B, bread products, aspirin) prior to going to sleep/passing out (face down on the kitchen floor with a bag of popcorn or wherever). The hangover should be minimal and in no way interfere with my daily activities.

Alcohol, I have enjoyed our friendship for some years now and would like to ensure that we remain on good terms. You've been the invoker of great stories, the provocation for much laughter, and the needed companion when I just don't know what to do with the extra money in my pockets.

In order to continue this friendship, I ask that you carefully review my grievances above and address them immediately. I will look for an answer no later than Friday 3 p.m. (pre happy hour) on your possible solutions. And hopefully we can continue this fruitful partnership.

Thank you,
Your Biggest Fan

Man charged with assaulting his mother with ham

A Tennessee man is facing a domestic assault charge after he allegedly struck his mother with a ham during an argument on Tuesday afternoon in their home.

Emanuel Cordell Kennedy, 37, was arrested after his mother told police that she was hit in the back with the thrown ham as she was walking down the hall, according to a Union City Police Department report.

In an interview with police, Kennedy claimed that he did not intend to hit his mother, 55-year-old Brenda King, with the tossed ham. King apparently was not injured by the missile, the size of which was not detailed by investigators.

Kennedy is being held without bond in the Obion County jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the misdemeanor count.

Man eats the hottest chili

The National Taco Festival offers many tasty delights and one incredibly spicy challenge.

Tricky French food terms

Even dedicated foodies can stumble over terms like "vichyssoise" and "au jus."  

Daily Comic Relief


Quebec City's Hotel of Ice

No, the room heater isn’t broken. It’s just that cold. Every year, the Hôtel de Glace is erected in Quebec City, Quebec out of 500,000 tons of ice and 15,000 tons of snow. It includes up to thirty-six rooms that guests can rent as well as a combination dining room and chapel.

Fairbanks hit with 41 below zero temps

Alaska's second-largest city is used to cold weather, but few residents expected record-breaking cold this early in the season.

Plunge Waterfalls

Plunge waterfalls are those that fall so forcefully they completely lose contact with the cliff face. Not something you’d want to get too close to! Environmental Graffiti found 15 of these falls, and will take you on a tour of them through a photo gallery.  Shown here is Waireinga Falls in New Zealand.

Real-life cloud island

A photographer captures a chance moment on an island in the Atlantic Ocean.

Awesome Pictures


World's lightest solid unveiled

A solid 200 times lighter than Styrofoam takes its inspiration from a familiar landmark.

Neutrinos may travel (very slightly) faster than light after all

There is still a small possibility of an error in the measurement of the distance between the start and the end point due to some GPS effect. But the news from CERN is that they have repeated OPERA the neutrino experiment and the faster than light effect is still there. The new experiment rules out one of the potential sources of systematic error.
The difference is so slight that it is quite possible that the ultimate culprit will turn out to be some weird systematic error in our measurement of light speed that turns out to be the issue. The speed

Contrary to widespread speculation, this does not contradict Einstein's theory of relativity any more than Einstein contradicted Newton. Newton was well aware that there would be significant implications if the speed of light was less than instantaneous. Einstein was aware that his theory of relativity could not be reconciled with the then emerging theory of quantum mechanics.

The theory of relativity does not predict that nothing can move faster than the speed of light. Instead, one consequence of the theory is that if something is moving slower than the speed of light it cannot be accelerated to move faster and that if something is moving faster than the speed of light it cannot be decelerated to move slower.

Quantum Physicists Create Light Out of Nothing

Someone told you that you can't create something out of nothing? Why, sure you can! At least in the quirky world of quantum physics.
Physicists have created light out of nothing by simulating moving a mirror at nearly the speed of light:
At the heart of the experiment is one of the weirdest, and most important, tenets of quantum mechanics: the principle that empty space is anything but. Quantum theory predicts that a vacuum is actually a writhing foam of particles flitting in and out of existence.
The existence of these particles is so fleeting that they are often described as virtual, yet they can have tangible effects. For example, if two mirrors are placed extremely close together, the kinds of virtual light particles, or photons, that can exist between them can be limited. The limit means that more virtual photons exist outside the mirrors than between them, creating a force that pushes the plates together. This 'Casimir force' is strong enough at short distances for scientists to physically measure it.
For decades, theorists have predicted that a similar effect can be produced in a single mirror that is moving very quickly. According to theory, a mirror can absorb energy from virtual photons onto its surface and then re-emit that energy as real photons. The effect only works when the mirror is moving through a vacuum at nearly the speed of light — which is almost impossible for everyday mechanical devices. [...]
The physicists have managed to build such a "mirror-like" device using quantum electronics, and confirmed the predictions: Full Story.

Giant Junkbots Made From Car Parts

These amazing metal sculptures, constructed out of old car and truck parts, are impressive in scale and design. Created by Tom Samui, these creations belong in a steampunk animal menagerie, or used as the coolest junkyard advertising ever.
These sculptures seem like a logistical nightmare, I mean how does he move this massive piece, with a crane? A gallery would have to be built around this piece, cause it ain’t coming in through the front door!

Tire dump seen from space

Authorities say satellite images show the South Carolina mess covers 50-plus acres. 

Life-Bearing Lake Possible on Icy Jupiter Moon

Large lakes discovered just below Europa's icy shell may provide a habitat for life. Read more

Topographic Map of the Moon

The most detailed moon map yet has been constructed from images by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Technicians from Arizona State University compiled the map which shows elevation changes as small as 100 meters.
The near-global topographic map was constructed from 69,000 WAC stereo models and covers the latitude range 79°S to 79°N, 98.2% of the entire lunar surface. Due to persistent shadows near the poles it is not possible to create a complete stereo based map at the highest latitudes. However, another instrument onboard LRO called LOLA excels at mapping topography at the poles. Since LOLA ranges to the surface with its own lasers, and the LRO orbits converge at the poles, a very high resolution topographic model is possible, and can be used to fill in the WAC “hole at the pole.” The WAC topography was produced by LROC team members at the German Aerospace Center.
Read more about the map at NASA.

OK, if you say so

the Warrior Accessory Pack made her Queen of the Boardroom and Queen of the Junkyard

Damaged Beyond Repair by ~IztaJupiter

We Are Hardwired to Walk

We Are Hardwired to Walk
Humans may be born to walk (and run).   Read more

Climate Change May Have Doomed Neanderthals

Like early humans, Neanderthals adapted to climate and that may have been a disaster for them. 

First teeth grew on outside of body

First teeth grew on outside of body
* New research on Early Devonian fish suggests that the world's first teeth evolved outside of the mouth.
* Scales on the exterior of the prehistoric shark-resembling fish appear to have evolved into teeth.
* Teeth were retained among most vertebrates and were passed down to multiple species, including humans.


B.C. is still having availability problems so we give you the latest from Frank and Ernest:

Asteroid Fingered For Dino Era Boom - Not Just Bust

Asteroid Fingered For Dino Era Boom - Not Just BustAn asteroid impact crater in France is getting the honor of giving the “terrible lizards” their chance to take over the Triassic.   Read more 

North Pole Dinosaurs Lived Short, Hard Lives

Arctic life was tough on dinosaurs, with many not making it to their 20th birthday. Read more 

Good Luck


Horse and Dog Are Friends

(Video Link)
It’s just blissful to watch these two friends interact. Lucy is a Portuguese Water Dog and Whiskey Brown is a Quarter Horse stallion. They work and play together, even once to chase a wild hog.

Gef the Talking Mongoose

A talking weasel on the Isle of Man was an international media sensation back in the 1930s. It was known as “the Dalby Spook” locally, but the weasel called itself Gef. The weasel -or possibly a mongoose- lived on the farm of James and Margaret Irving.
The strange events began in autumn 1931, when the Irvings noticed an unusual animal in their farmyard, being, as Price’s correspondent described: “similar in appearance to a weasel, with small body, long bushy tail, flat nose, and yellow in colour”.[3] Oddly, this animal did not appear to alarm the chickens. Later, it was seen inside the house, as James Irving described: “This eerie weasel, as I thought he might be, then began to keep us awake at night by blowing, spitting and growling behind the matchboard partition of the lower rooms…”[4]
The entity quickly progressed to something more sophisticated. Having learned to mimic various animal noises, it then began to repeat nursery rhymes, and within a short while – having built up a sufficiently wide vocabulary – it could converse with the family. Its voice is said to have been loud, clear, and one or two octaves higher than a human’s. Other witnesses describe it as a “very high, screechy sort”.[5]
Initial news reports spoke of the ‘man-weasel’ farm,[6] and indeed, the entity itself, when asked who or what he was, would frequently reply: “I am the ghost of a weasel, and I will haunt you with weird noises and clanking chains.”[7] It was only later on that he described himself as “just a little extra, extra clever mongoose”.[8]
Newspapers printed stories about Gef, although when reporters visited the farm, he tended to disappear. Some considered him a poltergeist or a shape-shifter. It was later thought that the Irving’s teenage daughter, Voirrey, provided the voice of Gef, but she never admitted to a hoax.

Animal News

Small steps for tuna and sharksSilky shark

Fishing nations agree to step up protection for bluefin tuna, sharks, swordfish and albatrosses, but conservationists say there are still holes in the net.

Cat's extreme game of fetch

Rambo's quest to catch a toy mouse involves more obstacles than most pets would tolerate.  

Animal Pictures