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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 26, 2011

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
A very exciting opportunity will be dropped at your feet today -- but one or two problematic aspects may make it seem unfeasible at first.
Don't reject this opportunity too hastily, though.
After a little bit of consideration, your outlook may change dramatically.
Be creative about your approach, and be prepared to give this your all.
You will come away from this experience confident that you can do anything you set your mind to.

 Some of our readers today have been in:
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Delhi, Delhi, India
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Geelong, Victoria, Australaia
Reims, Champagne-Ardenne, France
Georgetown, Demerara-Mahaica, Guyana
Albury, New South Wales, Australia
San Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
London, Ontario, Canada
Brussels, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Amersfoort, Utrecht, Netherlands
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Seoul, Kyonggi-Do, Korea
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Berne, Bern, Switzerland
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Zagreb, Grad Zagreb, Croatia
Ankara, Ankara, Turkey
Stockholm, Stockholms Lan, Sweden
Osijek, Osjecko-Baranjska, Croatia
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
London, England, United Kingdom
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Crawley, England, United Kingdom
Cork, Cork, Ireland
Windsor, Ontario, Canada

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 Atlanta, Cheyenne, Flushing, Tappan and more!

Today is:
Today is Saturday, November 26, the 330th day of 2011.
There are 35 days left in the year.

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

Non Sequitur


President Obama's Weekly Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
Thursday, November 24, 2011
The White House
From my family to yours, I’d like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Like millions of Americans, Michelle, Malia, Sasha and I will spend the day eating great food, watching a little football, and reflecting on how truly lucky we truly are.
As Americans, each of us has our own list of things and people to be thankful for.  But there are some blessings we all share.
We’re especially grateful for the men and women who defend our country overseas. To all the service members eating Thanksgiving dinner far from your families: the American people are thinking of you today.  And when you come home, we intend to make sure that we serve you as well as you’re serving America.
We’re also grateful for the Americans who are taking time out of their holiday to serve in soup kitchens and shelters, making sure their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay. This sense of mutual responsibility – the idea that I am my brother’s keeper; that I am my sister’s keeper – has always been a part of what makes our country special. And it’s one of the reasons the Thanksgiving tradition has endured.
The very first Thanksgiving was a celebration of community during a time of great hardship, and we have followed that example ever since. Even when the fate of our union was far from certain – during a Civil War, two World Wars, a Great Depression – Americans drew strength from each other. They had faith that tomorrow would be better than today.
We’re grateful that they did. As we gather around the table, we pause to remember the pilgrims, pioneers, and patriots who helped make this country what it is. They faced impossible odds, and yet somehow, they persevered. Today, it’s our turn.
I know that for many of you, this Thanksgiving is more difficult than most. But no matter how tough things are right now, we still give thanks for that most American of blessings, the chance to determine our own destiny. The problems we face didn’t develop overnight, and we won’t solve them overnight. But we will solve them. All it takes is for each of us to do our part.
With all the partisanship and gridlock here in Washington, it’s easy to wonder if such unity is really possible. But think about what’s happening at this very moment: Americans from all walks of life are coming together as one people, grateful for the blessings of family, community, and country.
If we keep that spirit alive, if we support each other, and look out for each other, and remember that we’re all in this together, then I know that we too will overcome the challenges of our time.
So today, I’m thankful to serve as your President and Commander-and-Chief. I’m thankful that my daughters get to grow up in this great country of ours. And I’m thankful for the chance to do my part, as together, we make tomorrow better than today.
Thanks, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Super Saturday


Thousands rally in Egypt

Protesters pack Tahrir Square to show their scorn for the council's choice of new prime minister.  

Canadian indigenous band declares state of emergency due to horrific conditions, government takes no notice

Three weeks ago, Canada's Attawapiskat First Nation -- an indigenous community living on a treaty reservation -- took the unprecedented step of declaring a state of emergency. The community's housing is in such disarray that families are living in shanties and tents, and the temperatures are plunging well below freezing. However, not one federal or provincial official has taken notice of the state of emergency and come to visit the community. MP Charlie Angus's article on the horrific living conditions in Attawapiskat are an indictment of Canada's official indifference to its obligations in law to the treaty lands in its borders.
Two weeks ago I traveled to this community on the James Bay coast to see why conditions had become so extreme that local leaders felt compelled to declare a state of emergency. It was like stepping into a fourth world.
I spoke with one family of six who had been living in a tiny tent for two years. I visited elderly people living in sheds without water or electricity. I met children whose idea of a toilet was a plastic bucket that was dumped into the ditch in front of their shack.
Dr. John Waddell from the Weeneebayko Health Authority was in the community during this tour. He was emphatic that conditions had deteriorated to the point that an emergency situation was unfolding. Families are facing "immediate risk" of infection, disease and possible fire from their increasingly precarious conditions. Dr. Elizabeth Blackmore repeated this message of immediate risk just this past Friday at a press conference at Queen's Park.

Senator Brownback's staff report teen to principal for mocking tweet.

If Senator Brownback had any sense he would reprimand his staff and give a public appology. But he is a repugican so bullying teenagers who call him for what he is, is the type of thing that makes him feel important.

According to the Witchita Eagle, Emma Sullivan, a senior at Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village was called in to the Principal's office after Brownbak's staff objected to this comment on Twitter:
“Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot”
If there is one thing I hate, it is people who use their positions of power to bully other people

The Root of the Problem

The new issue of the Texas Observer digs around in the fetid sewer that is the Koch family background.

Yasha Levine's sleuthing helps put in perspective exactly why the Koch's have made themselves the biggest threat to American democracy since Adolph Hitler-- and for many similar-- if not identical-- reasons.

Digging into the Koch brothers roots

Bail out debtors, not creditors

It's an interesting discussion and worth watching. As bad as it may be to bail out debtors who made irresponsible decisions, it's also obvious that bailing out the creditors has not helped the economic situation. That policy has failed and has only encouraged the bankers to go back to their old bad habits. Why should taxpayers keep bailing out banks just so the bankers can keep their inflated bonus plans?
This economist had previously called the 2008 crisis and now believes that we are in another depression. If that's the case, we really need to ditch the bad ideas that got us into this situation and think differently about how to get out. The challenge is that politicians rarely show any capability of real change or doing things differently from the mainstream, no matter how poorly those ideas work.

Redneckus Americani


Violence mars Black Friday

A woman pepper-sprays fellow shoppers in a bid for an Xbox, while a man is shot in a parking lot. 

Random Celebrity Photo

Recognize this young celebrity?

Careers for your personality

If you have a technical bent and enjoy solving puzzles, this profession could be a good fit.  



Fifteen Food Companies that Serve You ‘Wood’

The recent class-action lawsuit brought against Taco Bell raised questions about the quality of food many Americans eat each day.
Chief among those concerns is the use of cellulose (wood pulp), an extender whose use in a roster of food products, from crackers and ice creams to puddings and baked goods, is now being exposed. What you’re actually paying for – and consuming – may be surprising.
Cellulose is virgin wood pulp that has been processed and manufactured to different lengths for functionality, though use of it and its variant forms (cellulose gum, powdered cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, etc.) is deemed safe for human consumption, according to the FDA, which regulates most food industry products.  The government agency sets no limit on the amount of cellulose that can be used in food products meant for human consumption.
[Note: Humans are unable to digest cellulose since we lack the appropriate enzymes to break it down. This is a food adulterant and another example of the wholly corrupt nature of the federal agency responsible for food safety but continues to prove itself more concerned with corporate profit. ~Ed]

Culinary DeLites

Try these inventive recipes instead of plain turkey sandwiches the day after the big feast.

Never Freeze These Foods

While some foods benefit from a spell in the freezer, these products should be kept well way. 

Unbeaten food challenges

Nobody has ever been able to finish these monstrosities of meat and cheese.  

Crabby Road


Healthy Living

Could a Mouthwash Do Away With Dental Visits?

Could a Mouthwash Do Away With Dental Visits?
One dental researcher thinks he's found a way to permanently stave off the cavity-causing bacteria. Read more 



Desert home on a volcano

This unique California desert dwelling looks like it could be a UFO on a lunar landscape.  

The Deadly Dole Air Race

The Dole Air Race of August 16, 1927 was from Oakland, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii, for a prize of $35,000. Fifteen planes were registered. Eleven qualified to start. Two crashed on the way to the starting point, and another crashed during a test flight before the race. Things only got worse once the race began.
On the morning of August 16, the eight remaining planes queued up for their opportunity. They drew lots for flight order and took off one by one. As people cheered, things went bad in a hurry.
One plane, the El Encanto, simply shot off the edge of the runway, and tumbled over her wing. Another the Pabco Flyer got into the air… until she didn’t, landing some 7000 feet away in a marsh. Three more planes took off only to promptly return with technical difficulties.
Of the fifteen planes that had entered the race, only four planes, the Golden Eagle, Aloha, Woolaroc, and Miss Doran, were actually able to attempt the journey. The results of the ill fated race would soon be known.
The carnage didn’t stop there. Nor did it stop once the race was over. Read more about the deadly Dole Air Race at Atlas Obscura.

Random Photos


Card players dealt four perfect hands at whist

A group of whist players were each dealt a complete in an opening hand — beating odds of two thousand quadrillion to one. Wenda Douthwaite, 77, and her three friends were "gobsmacked" when they were dealt the hand during a game last week. Mathematician Dr Alexander Mijatovic, a probability expert at Warwick University, worked out the odds as being 2,235,197,406,895,366,368,301,559,999 to 1 — the equivalent to a person finding a specific drop of water in the Pacific Ocean.

And he said the perfect hand of cards might well be the first time it has ever happened in the history of whist. Wenda, a retired tea room manager from Kineton, Warks, who has attended whist drives for 50 years, said: "We've never seen anything like it before. Everything was done as usual. The pack of cards was an old one. The cards were shuffled, cut and dealt as normal.

Photo from SWNS.

"We play regularly and are always very careful to make sure the deck of cards is shuffled repeatedly. And it was the first game of the night as well. As soon as I picked up my cards I saw I had a complete set of spades. "They were not in order but they were all there. It was amazing. Suddenly someone around the table said they'd got a complete suit too. We compared cards and were totally shocked. I was shaking when we lay the cards down on the table."

The once-in-a-lifetime hand came last Thursday when Wenda and her friends attended their weekly whist drive in the village hall. Wenda was playing with Arthur Beasley, 74, who was dealt the suit of hearts. They were playing against Ron Coles, 73, who was the dealer and ended up with the complete set of clubs. His partner, Norman Stone, 74, was dealt the suit of diamonds.

Frank and Ernest


Was DB Cooper a French Canadian who got the idea from Belgian comics?

The FBI thinks that DB Cooper, the infamous parachuting plane hijacker, was a French Canadian who got the idea from a Belgian comic book:
On the cover of one issue of the Belgium-produced comic — sold in Europe and French Canada shortly before Cooper’s hijacking of a Portland-to-Seattle flight — the Canadian superhero is shown parachuting from an aircraft. And that’s what the man calling himself Cooper did four decades ago this week — during a rainstorm while flying somewhere above the dense forests of the Pacific Northwest — to escape justice after receiving his ransom payoff from U.S. authorities.
The informally deputized investigators, who were invited to analyze the Cooper mystery by Seattle-based FBI agent Larry Carr, are Tom Kaye, a paleontologist at Seattle’s Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Illinois-based metallurgical engineer Alan Stone and University of Chicago scientific illustrator Carol Abraczinskas.

USA: the early 1970s in photos

The Atlantic reports on DOCUMERICA, an early 1970s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) photo documentary project.
More than 100 photographers were hired not only to document specific environmental issues, but to capture images of everyday life, showing how we interacted with the environment and capturing the way parts of America looked at that moment in history. By 1974, more than 80,000 photographs had been produced. The National Archives has made 15,000 of these images available, and I've spent much of the past week combing through those to bring you these 46 glimpses of America in the early 1970s, with an eye toward our then-ailing environment.
Above: Water cooling towers of the John Amos Power Plant loom over a home located across the Kanawha River, near Poca, West Virginia, in August of 1973. (Harry Schaefer/NARA)

Eight Unusual And Strange Walls Around The World

Walls have been built since ancient times to mark borders, protect kingdoms and settlements, or keep out unwanted people. In more recent times, walls have also been built to serve as memorials and structures of art.

Examples Of Early Spirit Photography

Spirit photography is a type of photography whose primary attempt is to capture images of ghosts and other spiritual entities, especially in ghost hunting. It was first used by American photographer William Mumler in the 1860s. Mumler discovered the technique by accident, after he discovered a second person in a photograph he took of himself, which he found was actually a double exposure.

Seeing there was a market for spirit photography, Mumler started working as a medium, taking people's pictures and doctoring the negatives to add lost loved ones into them (mostly using other photographs as basis). Mumlers fraud was discovered after he put identifiable living Boston residents in the photos as spirits.

At the library


Mars rover to search for life

A $2.5 billion rover will search for signs of life after being dropped on the planet in a novel way. 



Rare Science

Norfolk Hawker DragonflyRare species make home in Broads

A quarter of the UK's rarest plants and animals are found in the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, according to a survey.

The Color of Danger in Nature

Animals and plants use color to warn off predators and to let us know they are toxic. 
Here's a look at the color strategies of several animals.

The strange case of the beam of light shining on fallen hero's rescued puppy

When ABC news sent a camera crew to do a follow-up on Hero an unexplained beam of light shone from the sky while the cameras were rolling.
In the last email Justin Rollins sent to his girlfriend in America he attached a photo of himself playing with a stray puppy he found in the Iraqi warzone.

A Predator Turned Prey?

The Shark: A Predator Turned Prey?
Despite worldwide efforts to protect many species of shark, practices such as finning could force many to extinction.

Man dragged piano to top of mountain to serenade injured and blind elephants

Elephants never forget, according to the saying – and these ones will always remember when Briton Paul Barton serenaded them with Beethoven. Mr Barton, 50, dragged his piano up a mountain in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, to help raise money for injured and blind elephants.

He said: 'It was a 50th birthday present to myself. My wife and I have been working with blind elephants for many years, and I thought it might be something they would enjoy to listen to.

'I sat down and thought,what do you play to an elephant? You only get a short time, so I started trawling through my books and then Slow Movement 2 from Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata just stuck.

'I had to drag the piano up a mountain - I have a really bad back, but I wanted to make the effort so I could feel like I had undergone a personal challenge.' Yorkshire-born Paul now hopes to put on a concert with the elephants to raise funds for an electric fence for the sanctuary where they live.

Animal Pictures