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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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
In life, the things that shape your character most effectively are not the presents, delights and joys that you're given.
The barriers, challenges and unpleasant surprises are.
How you face obstacles reveals what you're really made of.
So try to embrace the difficulties you encounter today.
Look on the bright side -- while today will not be full of laughter and glee, it will offer many chances for you to test yourself -- and impress yourself.

 Some of our readers today have been in:
Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, Indonesia
Quezon City, Manila, Philippines
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Tel Aviv, Teal Aviv, Israel
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei and Muara, Brunei Darussalam
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Woodlands, Singapore, Singapore
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Lille, Nord-Pas-De-Calais, France
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Basauri, Pais Vasco, Spain
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Munich, Bayern, Germany
Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Manila, Manila, Philippines
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Bochum, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
As, Askershus, Norway
Versailles, Ile-De-France, France
Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Kiev, Kyyiv, Ukraine
London, England, United Kingdom
St. John's, Newfoundland, and Labrador, Canada
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile
Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
London, Ontario, Canada
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
De Haag, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
Richmond. British, Columbia, Canada
St. Catherine's, Ontario, Canada
Lahore, Punjab, India
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Bandung, Jawa Barat, Indonesia
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Dublin, Dublin, IrelandRed Deer, Alberta, Canada
Hanover, Niedersachsen, Germany
San Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
Marrakesh, Marrakesh, Morocco
Newbury, England, United Kingom
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Morini, Morini, Comoros
Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Jankoping, Jankopings Lan, Sweden

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 Altoona, Dracut, Elgin, Ellijay, Inkster, Visalia and more!

Today is:
Today is Tuesday, November 22, the 326th day of 2011.
There are 39 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holiday or celebration is:
There isn't one.
Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Non Sequitur


Tuneful Tuesday

The Who's Baba O'Riley by The Blue Man Group

Lush Dimbulb says Michelle Obama was booed at NASCAR because she’s uppity

Which is a word first used in slave states to describe black slaves who didn't understand that they were inferior to their white masters.  Today the word, when applied to someone who is black, has the exact same connotation, and Dimbulb knew it when he said it.  He basically compared the First Lady to a black slave, and by implication suggesting that the NASCAR audience is a bunch of racists (because they recognized her "uppityness," per Dimbulb.
He never pays a price for his racism, and the repugicans, including the leader of their party, still genuflect before the altar that is Dimbulb.  Partially because they fear Dimbulb's reach, and partially because the repugican party is racist, and homophobic, and sexist.

Former repugican Senator, and Defense Secretary, says repugicans to blame for Super Committee failure

Former repugican Senator, and Defense Secretary, William Cohen writing in the NYT:
It was good news two weeks ago that repugican leaders had finally crossed the antitax line they had drawn in the sand, by offering $300 billion in net tax increases as part of a debt-reduction deal. But the news was not good enough. The amount offered did not approach bridging the gap with Democrats, and repugicans needed to go much farther to avert the possibility of disastrous cuts to our military strength.

Their failure to do so is directly responsible for Monday’s failure of the “supercommittee,” created by Congress as part of the debt-limit deal.
I have long been concerned that my party’s rigid antitax ideology is harming the fiscal health of our nation. Now it is harming our national security as well, as cuts in defense spending on a calamitous scale are about to be triggered. Congressional repugicans need to look back at this sad episode and decide: Do they care more about keeping “a no tax pledge” or giving our troops the tools they need to protect the nation?

Law firm, that held Halloween party making fun of people who lost their homes, to close

The NYT reports that Steven J. Baum P.C., the firm of foreclosure lawyers who held the 'homeless' themed party last year is to shut down as a result of the NYT story:
But despite its settlement with the federal government, the firm’s fortunes worsened this month after The New York Times published photos of a Halloween party at the Baum firm showing employees wearing costumes mocking people who had lost their homes.

After those photos surfaced, the mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae cut off the Baum firm, forbidding servicers of their mortgages from using Mr. Baum and his colleagues. That effectively served as the firm’s death knell.
H/T to TPM who have the whole story for those of you who don't do the Grey Lady any more.

Protesters battle new rules

Die-hard stragglers who refuse to leave Zuccotti Park resort to fresh tactics to stay warm.  

Get this: repugican congressman says veterans protesting Wall Street are socialists

You can always tell when a repugican is desperate - they call you a socialist, without having any idea what the word really means.
I wonder what the term is for a guy who owes over $100,000 in child support?  Oh wait, I know.  Joe Walsh.

Inmates taunt using Facebook

Prisoners take to social networks to intimidate witnesses on the outside.



Pepper-Spraying Cop Becomes Internet Meme

The disturbing footage of Lt. John Pike, the police officer pepper spraying UC Davis students holding a peaceful protest has gone viral and launched a probe into police tactics by the university. It has also launched a wave of internet memes in which the pepper-spraying cop is photoshopped into various situations.
More meme here.

What Is Pepper Spray?

pepper spray
The same compounds that give habaneros their bite is the same thing that sprays out of the cans used by police.

Remote Scottish island reports first act of vandalism in living memory

"It's hard to imagine why anyone would want a policeman on Coll," boasts the official website of the remote Hebridean island. But now the 220 inhabitants that make up what one called its "self-regulating" community might have to think again. Because for the first time in recent years they are coming to terms with a real crime - the vandalization of its only council-run public lavatories. Locals were shocked to discover that someone caused £200 worth of criminal damage to the facilities late on Saturday November 5, by smashing a hand towel dispenser, wrenching a tap from a sink and dislodging a waste water pipe.

The incident forced them to call on the services of PC Stephen Tanner, based on the nearby island of Tiree, which, with a population of 800, is regarded as something of a metropolis. PC Tanner duly resolved to track down the culprit after being told about the crime the following day. However, because Coll is so remote, he had to wait two days for the ferry. The damage forced the closure of the lavatories for nine days, according to a spokesman for Argyll and Bute Council. They have now been repaired. Islanders said they were hard-pressed to remember the last time a crime was reported on Coll.

"Crime is not a feature of life here. I have lived here for seven years and my husband grew up here and we can't remember when the last crime was," said mother-of-three Mrs Seonaid Maclean-Bristol, 40. "PC Tanner came on the ferry and has made some inquiries - he also managed to attend the community council meeting which went on for three hours - before getting the ferry back the next day. People have been surprised and shocked. Coll is a very safe and friendly place. Many people don't lock their doors. It is a great place to live. This has come as a surprise." However, persistent inquiries have revealed that there was once an attempted theft and a pub punch-up, while some locals also tried to purloin some whale bones from the beach.

Romayne Wainwright, wife of the former Scotland rugby captain, Rob Wainwright, who together run a farm and B&B on the island, said of the vandalism: "This sort of thing doesn't happen here. In fact we have often wondered why we pay the same house insurance as other parts of the UK, which do suffer from crime? I have been here 12 years and the only crime I can remember in that time was when a thatcher came to repair a cottage roof and pinched an attractive mailbox as he was about to leave. The police were waiting for him, the other end, at the Oban ferry terminal." Another islander, who declined to be named, said: "People are wondering who could have done this. It is quite a shock to think we may have a criminal in our midst. Nobody has a clue. This is the first real, mindless vandalism anybody can remember."

School Bans Soccer Balls and Hard Balls Because They're Too Dangerous

The schoolyard in Toronto, Canada, is safe again, thanks to the quick action of a school principal who has banned the dangerous weapon of ... soccer balls!
Before you deride the news as yet another example of school bureaucracy gone mad, won't you think of the children? They're an absolute terror when weaponized with hard balls:
Students at an east-end Toronto school are being told to leave their soccer balls — and other hard balls — at home.
The principal of Earl Beatty Public School banned the balls this week after a parent recently suffered a concussion from being hit in the head with a soccer ball.
The principal, Alicia Fernandez, banned hard balls, claiming they're dangerous. "Kids were coming in complaining of injury, or being scared," she said. [...]
Students can bring sponge or other soft balls to play with, but soccer balls, footballs, baseballs and even tennis balls are not allowed for safety reasons.

How To Find Old Newspaper Articles Online


Old newspapers and magazines offer a wealth of insight into history and critical events as they were unfolding at that time. In the past, the only way to get hold of this treasure trove of information was your local library where the back issues of certain newspapers and magazines may have been preserved.

Fortunately, the Internet and digitization of content has made everything just a click away and now you can access previous issues of old newspapers almost as easily as today's newspaper that's lying on your coffee table. Here are some of the best places on the web where you can find and read old newspapers and magazines online.

Clue to Dead Sea Scrolls

Nearly 200 pieces of clothing discovered in caves point to the true authors, some experts say.

Record-breaking bridges

This ultrasleek span stands taller than a famous New York skyscraper.

New York City Buzzing With New Bee Species

New York City Buzzing With New Bee Species
New York City's melting pot just got a little bigger with the discovery of several new species of bees within the city and its suburbs.  

There is magic in the world

Do you believe in the magic?

Work Time-Wasters

We all need to take breaks at work, but are you spending too much time on the Internet or gossiping? 

How to decipher job listings

The way a help-wanted ad is worded gives clues to how serious the company is about the spot. 

Work-life balance tips

Employ these strategies be a top performer at work who still manages to have a personal life  

The silent killer in your home

Couple sleeping (Fotolia)
Carbon monoxide is lethal even in small doses and symptoms of poisoning can be easily confused. 

Cold will kill thousands

Pensioner by fire
180 pensioners died every day as a result of cold conditions last winter in England and Wales.

The benefits of ice skating

Ice skater
If you want to strengthen your legs, improve balance and burn some calories then get out on the ice. 



Funny Pictures

Sign outside an Irish cafe.

Chef told by Asda that limes are classed as weapons

Catering chef Marisa Zoccolan, pictured, was almost banned from buying two limes from the supermarket giant because they could be classed as a weapon. The 31-year-old popped into the Asda supermarket close to her home in Wallsend, North Tyneside, to pick up a few groceries, including a couple of the offending fruits.

But when she tried to pay for them at the self-service checkout, the message “amount exceeded, authorization required” flashed up, and an assistant told her more than one lime was deemed a weapon . . . because the citric acid could be squirted in someone’s eye!

“I thought they were taking the pip,” said Marisa, 31, a self-employed caterer from Wallsend, “but the assistant told me the same applied to lemons! I’ve heard of supermarkets banning people from buying things before, but this is just crazy.

“I thought she was having a laugh when she came back and told me more than one lime is classed as a weapon. I asked her why. Was it because they can be thrown? But no, it’s because they contain citric acid which could be squirted in someone’s eyes . . . How ridiculous is that?”

Crabby Road


Cooking Terms

TONGUE: A variety of meat, rarely served because it clearly crosses the line between a cut of beef and a piece of dead cow.

YOGURT: Semi-solid dairy product made from partially evaporated and fermented milk. Yogurt is one of only three foods that taste exactly the  same as they sound. The other two are goulash and squid.

RECIPE: A series of step-by-step instructions for preparing ingredients you forgot to buy, in utensils you don't own, to make a dish the dog won't eat.

PORRIDGE: Thick oatmeal rarely found on  tables since children were  granted the right to sue their parents. The name is an amalgamation of the  words "Putrid," "hORRId," and "sluDGE."

PREHEAT: To turn on the heat in an oven for a period of time before cooking a dish, so that the fingers may be burned when the food is put in, as well as when it is removed.

OVEN: Compact home incinerator used for disposing of bulky pieces of meat and poultry.

MICROWAVE OVEN: Space-age kitchen appliance that uses the principle of radar to locate and immediately destroy any food placed within the cooking  compartment.

CALORIE: Basic measure of the amount of rationalization offered by the average individual prior to taking a second helping of a particular food.

Key to perfect roast chicken

Don't worry about rubbing butter under the skin or trying to add moisture.  

Thanksgiving's Cultural Cousins

moon cake
Thanksgiving is hardly the only autumn festival celebrating family and the Earth's bounty.

Thanksgiving 2050: Feast or Famine?

Depending on how the world uses available crops, there are two possible futures.

Thanksgiving done healthier

Fill up on white meat over dark (and homemade cranberry sauce), and eat 215 fewer calories.  

Avoid Thanksgiving meltdown

Find out how to remove the "clamp" from the drumsticks and how to safely defrost a turkey.  



Random Photos


Bears pulled into town

The animals tread on civilization as it becomes more difficult to find food.  

Dog copying owner drives double-decker bus through Australian city

Phil Newton could not believe his eyes when he saw a dog driving a 20-ton, double-decker bus through Darwin's industrial zone. "I thought, 'What the ... '!" he said. "This was weird, even for the Territory." Mr Newton, 30, said the dog was sitting in the driver's seat with its paws on the steering wheel.

He chased after the runaway bus, leapt through an open window and rammed on the handbrake. "It ran for a couple of hundred meters, swerved across the road, went up on the footpath and was just about to run into a parked car when I stopped it," he said. Woodley, a two-year-old German koolie, was unrepentant.

His owner, Richard McCormack, 62, said: "He sits next to me when I'm driving and in the driver's seat when I'm not. The handbrake is on the dashboard and he's seen me release it many times.He was just copying me. He's tried it on before." Mr McCormack parked his massive mobile home in Winnellie Rd, which runs down a slight hill, and popped into a yard to inquire about repair work.

He was gone only a couple of minutes, but that was enough for Woodley to go for a spin. "I came out and saw the bus going down the road. I couldn't believe it," he said. Mr McCormack, who is fixing up his bus for a tour around Australia, said he would adjust the handbrake to stop Woodley doing a repeat performance. "He's still my best mate," he said.

Animal Pictures