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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, July 31, 2012

The Daily Drift

1959 Sedan deVille — DSC04311 by Lance & Cromwell (home safe-pictures coming) on Flickr.
1959 Sedan deVille

Some of our readers today have been in:
Sofia, Bulgaria
Zagreb, Croatia
Kuantan, Malaysia
Cape Town, South Africa
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Istanbul, Turkey
Rusanj, Serbia
Muar, Malaysia
Khulna, Dangladesh
Jakarta, Indonesia
Barranquitas, Puerto Rico
Johannesburg, South Africa
Makati Philippines
Tirana, Albania
Cimahi, Indonesia
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovenia
Caracas, Venezuela
Sisli, Turkey
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Angeles City, Philippines
London, England
Bagumbayan, Philippines

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Today in History

904 Arabs capture Thessalonica.
1703 English novelist Daniel Defoe is made to stand in the pillory as punishment for offending the government and church with his satire The Shortest Way With Dissenters.
1760 Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, drives the French army back to the Rhine River.
1790 The U.S. Patent Office opens.
1882 Belle and Sam Starr are charged with horse stealing in the Indian territory.
1875 Former president Andrew Johnson dies at the age of 66.
1891 Great Britain declares territories in Southern Africa up to the Congo to be within their sphere of influence.
1904 The Trans-Siberian railroad connecting the Ural mountains with Russia's Pacific coast, is completed.
1917 The third Battle of Ypres commences as the British attack the German lines.
1932 Adolf Hitler's Nationalist Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis) doubles its strength in legislative elections.
1944 The Soviet army takes Kovno, the capital of Lithuania.
1971 Apollo 15 astronauts take a drive on the moon in their land rover.

Non Sequitur


Team USA tries out a British accent in "Thank You Britain"

Great Britain: they speak the same language as Americans, only not really.
With the London Olympics underway, Team USA decided to take some time and learn the local dialects.

How to get expelled from the Olympics

Je les tous Defonce Coréens, allez vous tous Bruler, bande de trisos
"I'll smash the Koreans, you'll burn, you band of mongoloids." — Swiss soccer player Michel Morganella, on Twitter.

Morgenella is on his way home.

Ethnic slur on hotel TV

On Friday, Joseph Ross had just checked into a Motel 6 in Sharonville, Ohio when he turned on the TV and was greeted with an on-screen message that said "Hello Nigger!" Motel 6 responded that the company is "investigating to determine how this mishap occurred, and after inspecting other rooms this appears to be an isolated incident." More

The truth hurts

Is Romney more wimp or weenie?

Michael Tomasky pens a huge article for Newsweek about Mitt Romney as "wimp" (and then "weenie"). It's a tough article, and long (meaning, detailed).

 Here's an excerpt, but seriously worth a read.
He’s kind of lame, and he’s really ... annoying. He keeps saying these ... things, these incredibly off-key things. Then he apologizes immediately—with all the sincerity of a hostage. Or maybe he doesn’t: sometimes he whines about the subsequent attacks on him. But the one thing he never does? Man up, double down, take his lumps.

In 1987, this magazine created a famous hubbub by labeling George H.W. Bush a “wimp” on its cover. “The Wimp Factor.” Huge stir. And not entirely fair—the guy had been an aviator in the war, the big war, the good war, and he was even shot down out over the Pacific, cockpit drenched in smoke and fumes, at an age (20) when in most states he couldn’t even legally drink a beer. In hindsight, Poppy looks like Dirty Harry Callahan compared with Romney, who spent his war (Vietnam) in—ready?—Paris. Where he learned ... French. Up to his eyeballs in deferments. Where Reagan saddled up a horse with the masculine name of El Alamein, Mitt saddles up something called Rafalca—except that he doesn’t even really do that, his wife does (dressage). And speaking of Ann—did you notice that she was the one driving the Jet Ski on their recent vacation, while Mitt rode on the back, hanging on, as Paul Begala put it to me last week, “like a helpless papoose”?
In some respects, he’s more weenie than wimp—socially inept; at times awkwardy ingratiating, at other times mocking those “below” him, but almost always getting the situation a little wrong, and never in a sympathetic way. The evidence resonates across too many years to deny. What kind of teenager beats up on the misfit, sissy kid, pinning him down and violently cutting his hair with a pair of school scissors—the incident from Romney’s youth that The Washington Post famously reported (and Romney famously didn’t really deny) back in May? The behavior extends, through more sedate means, into adulthood....

And what kind of presidential candidate whines about a few attacks and demands an apology when the going starts to get rough? And tries to sound tough by accusing the president who killed the world’s most-wanted villain of appeasement? That’s what they call overcompensation, and it’s a dead giveaway; it’s the “tell.” This guy is nervous—terrified—about looking weak. And ironically, being terrified of looking weak makes him look weaker still.
Politicians change positions for three main reasons: financial ambition, political ruthlessness, and political cowardice. Romney already has the big money, so that’s out. Ruthless? Not really—a ruthless change of position is one designed to please one group of people but equally to piss off another group. Romney’s flip-flops are solely about making a group of highly suspicious voters like him. That, folks, is door No. 3.
But if Romney is elected? Be nervous. A Republican president sure of his manhood had nothing to prove. Reagan was happy with a jolly little shoot-up in Grenada, and eventually he settled down to the serious work of arms control, consummating historic treaties with Mikhail Gorbachev. But a weenie Republican—look out. He has something to prove, needs to reassert that “natural” advantage. That spells trouble more often than not.

A British perspective on Romney's visit to 'England'

If Romney wanted to start his visit to my home country, the UK, on the right foot he could at least get the name of the country right.
“I will leave Reno this evening on a trip abroad that will take me to England, Poland, and Israel.”
It may seem a trivial point, but Prime Minister Cameron is the leader of what used to be called the Conservative and Unionist Party. They changed the name, but its members still believe in maintaining the unity of the United Kingdom as one of their principal political goals.

The United Kingdom, while it is one country itself, also consists of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  When you say "England," instead of the United Kingdom, you leave out three of those countries.

To understand the political faux pas involved, imagine if a French Presidential candidate announced a visit to 'Quebec, Poland and Israel'.  Canadians who don't live in Quebec probably wouldn't be terribly amused.

This may seem a trivial point of diplomatic protocol, but this statement came in a speech on foreign policy in which Romney was trying to establish himself as a foreign policy expert.  While it may be a common mistake for many Americans to call the UK "England," people running for President should know better, especially when they visit the place.  Did the man get no briefings whatsoever?

Rather more serious was the gaffe by Romney's spokesperson:
“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser said of Mr Romney, adding: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.”
The problem here is not just the casual racism on the part of the speaker, but the assumption that these views are typical of the UK. Cameron and Clegg must be very offended by the suggestion that they could not work with a black US President. Such views may be acceptable in LDS circles, which only abandoned Brigham Young's loathsome 'Mark of Cain' racism in 1978 (under duress), in the UK they are not.

Try as they might to prove how they understand 'England' better than Obama, Romney's advisers only succeed in demonstrating how little they understand us at all. Take this passage in the original Telegraph piece, for example:
“Obama is a Left-winger," said another. "He doesn’t value the Nato alliance as much, he’s very comfortable with American decline and the traditional alliances don’t mean as much to him. He wouldn’t like singing ‘Land of Hope and Glory'.”
"Land of Hope and Glory" is a British patriotic song that extolls the virtues of imperialism and colonialism.
"Wider still and wider shall thy bounds be set;
God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet.
It is not quite as explicitly jingoistic as Rule Britannia, and nowhere near as embarrassing as the third and fourth verses of the national anthem, God Save the Queen, but they're hardly sentiments that are widely shared in modern British society. It is a song that is very rarely heard outside the Last Night of the Proms, and on similar (rare) occasions.

I would not expect Obama or Romney to sing it any more than I, as a Brit, would recite the Pledge of Allegiance. In fact I would be rather offended if either of them did sing it. For better or worse, Land of Hope and Glory is a part of our heritage. It belongs to us. It certainly does not belong to either Romney or Obama. I would certainly hope that Americans would be outraged if their President did so, just as Brits would be outraged if their Prime Minister recited the

Finally, note the elegance of the last graph in the Telegraph piece, that neatly exposes the advisors as hypocritical liars:
The advisers spoke on the condition of anonymity because Mr Romney’s campaign requested that they not criticise the President to foreign media. After another adviser criticised Mr Obama in a German magazine last month, the President sharply instructed them that “America's political differences end at the water's edge”.

Mitt Romney has much to learn

Even the bumbling, gaffe-prone Dubya appears diplomatically agile next to the supposedly urbane Mr Romney 
As regards the itinerary, at least, Mitt Romney's trip was everything a Republican nominee's first overseas tour might be expected to be. It followed a standard route of friendly countries – from Britain, to Israel and, yesterday, on to Poland – with plenty of opportunities to burnish the candidate's foreign policy credentials and set him up as a warmer friend to America's allies than Barack Obama has been.

Romney praises Jews' cultural ability to make money

I can see why the Palestinians are ticked, but no Jews have a problem with Romney coming to Israel and praising their "cultural" ability to make money?
Romney said some economic histories have theorized that "culture makes all the difference."

"And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things," Romney said, citing an innovative business climate, the Jewish history of thriving in difficult circumstances and the "hand of providence." He said similar disparity exists between neighboring countries, like Mexico and the United States.

Palestinian reaction to Romney was swift and pointed.

"It is a racist statement and this man doesn't realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation," said Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Romney's off to Poland next. Get ready for him to praise their contribution to American humor.

Numbers to know ...

Canada Refuses to Allow Faux “news” A License – Lying to People is Illegal There

This is not a new headline,  but I feel it needs to be re-addressed as IT IS STILL PERFECTLY LEGAL TO LIE TO THE PUBLIC in United States Corporate Media,  and it is getting worse.
By Nick Hathaway
“Fox News will not be moving into Canada after all! The reason: Canada regulators announced they would reject efforts by Canada’s right wing Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to repeal a law that forbids lying on broadcast news.  Canada’s Radio Act requires that ‘a licenser may not broadcast….any false or misleading news.’ The provision has kept Fox ‘news’ and right wing talk radio out of Canada”   -Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – Huffington Post
I lived in Vancouver, BC for about 2 years myself around 2005-7,  and was astonished at the fact they actually got real world news.  Something I was not used to coming from the U.S. and I commented on all the time. People there were shocked to hear when I told them what a traditional U.S. news broadcast entailed..
I told them that I have never lived in communist China,  but going off what I had heard I did not think the U.S. was much different in terms of getting real honest news reports of what was going on around the world, let alone in my own city or state.  I still feel that way today and I believe it is getting worse.
The illusion of freedom of the press is perhaps more damaging and dangerous than knowing that you are being lied to and that everything you hear is censored.
Some people I had talked to that actually went and watched some FOX “news” broadcasts afterwords called it, “state sponsored terrorism” and “fear mongering.”  I’m not joking,  that is what a very conservative Canadian journalist said about Fox “news” after watching a nightly broadcast online.
It is clearly propaganda if nothing else, and they are trying to set a corporate controlled narrative for guiding our minds into thinking only about what they want us to focus on.  What’s worse,  if you don’t buy into their lies,  you are labeled a liberal or a communist, or whatever buzzword they decide on that they have brainwashed their viewers into thinking equates you to absolute evil.
Much like a magician uses slight of hand to trick us into paying attention only to what they want us to see,  it is the same smoke and mirrors.
Hey, Hey,  look over here !!  Meanwhile some horrible atrocity is going on that they don’t want people to notice or think about.  Fox “news”  is meant to distract people, keep you afraid of the world around you, and tell you what to think about.  They want you to ONLY be concerned about the problems that they feed you. Nothing more.
Look at the war drums beating to go and attack Iran recently…  I don’t know any level headed person that thinks that is a good idea.  In fact everyone I have talked to right or left thinks the only outcome would be WW3.  Yet the corporate media keeps beating their battle drums,  it looks very similar to the WMD threat that led to the war in Iraq.
Where did they say they found those WMD’s again ???  Oh yeah,  they never existed to begin with in all probability.
Does anyone remember when Bush Jr. was “elected into office” the first time?  Every network was saying that it looked like Gore had won,  until Fox came out and flat out lied.  They lied to everyone and said Bush won Florida, and the lie stuck.  We know now that in fact Gore had more votes in both Florida, and the nation as a whole.  All politics aside, this is just a small example of how devastating lies in the news can be.
 ”Canadians enjoy high quality news coverage including the kind of foreign affairs and investigative journalism that flourished in this country before Ronald Reagan abolished the “Fairness Doctrine” in 1987. Political dialogue in Canada is marked by civility, modesty, honesty, collegiality, and idealism that have pretty much disappeared on the U.S. airwaves.
When [prime minister] Stephen Harper moved to abolish anti-lying provision of the Radio Act, Canadians rose up to oppose him fearing that their tradition of honest non partisan news would be replaced by the toxic, overtly partisan, biased and dishonest news coverage familiar to American citizens who listen to Fox News and talk radio. Harper’s proposal was timed to facilitate the launch of a new right wing network, “Sun TV News” which Canadians call ‘Fox News North.’
Harper’s attempts to make lying legal on Canadian television is a stark admission that right wing political ideology can only dominate national debate through dishonest propaganda…  Fox News’s notoriously biased and dishonest coverage of the Wisconsin protests is a prime example of the brand of news coverage Canada has smartly avoided.”  -Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
We can now add to this the Occupy protests around the world.  Most U.S. citizens had no idea Occupy Wall Street existed for months if they only got news from corporate controlled media.  The protests spread to worldwide proportions quickly,  and yet the vast majority of people that came home from work and watched the evening news had no idea.
“…The real issue is that this Fox network was applying to be part of the basic cable package, where people would have to pay for it whether they watched it or not. That’s the issue.
Government exists to serve its citizens. Canadians overwhelmingly voiced their opinion that they wanted the CRTC to prevent Fox from being part of the mandatory cable package. You may hate and fear “government”, but in the end, in a democracy a government serves its citizens, not the other way around. In this situation, the CRTC did exactly what the Canadian populace overwhelmingly asked it to do – not put this shoddy foreign “news” broadcaster in a place on the Canadian television system where it would receive “negative billing”: payment from people who did not want to have it.”  -  Seathan comment on sodahead.com
So,  what can we do?  Well knowing this doesn’t solve much until people take action.  What people can do is tell others. Demand that our government re-enstate the fairness doctrine,  or something like it that demands truth in media..  and I would add campaign rhetoric if I had my 2 cents thrown in.  We as The People can demand our government actually work for us for a change.  We can demand truth.
Question everything,  turn off the [TV] corporate sponsored propaganda.
Since December 2011, when roguemedia.org was founded we have seen that there are 3 main parts to the monster that The People around the world are currently fighting.  There is (1) the governments,  (2) the banks and multi-national corporations that run those governments, and (3) the media they control.  An un-holy trinity if you will.  Our focus has been to combat the weakest link of these 3 parts of the beast, the corporate media..
Don’t get me wrong,  I love most of the reporters and videographers I have met, and for the most part I think they want truth in media too..  What we are concerned with is once the editor, producer, and advertisers (and in some cases government) have their say we get watered down half-truths and sometimes just flat out lies.  In most cases it’s not even that they are lying,  it’s the real stories that are not told.
Propaganda can be very subtle,  and the fact that the corporate media decides what stories you hear about or not is very much a part of the game.
I think after what recently happened in Minneapolis on April 7th 2012,  we are starting to win a huge part of this fight.  All the local media stations in Minneapolis were playing our footage of a corporate media videographer being attacked by police on prime time evening news. (thanks again to everyone that helped make that happen, you know who you are, thank you!)
This is a very reasonable, and winnable fight,  we need all hands on deck and let’s get it done.  Let’s demand Democracy.  Let’s Demand Truth In Media!!  Let’s Demand Our Government Work For Us For A Change!!  That’s the change we need.

How Wikileaks helped foment a culture of investigative journalism in Brazil

A really neat story from the Nation about how Wikileaks strategically went through classified cables in order to create their own news, and how it ended up inspiring a culture of investigative journalism in Brazil.  This is an excellent story.  I'm posting a snippet, but do read the first part of the article that details "how" Wikileaks coordinated the release of its information in order to maximize the newsiness, and impact, of it.  Really smart.
By Natalia Viana in the Nation:
By the middle of January 2011, it was clear that the two Brazilian partners were losing interest in the cables and were dedicating less and less space to “Cablegate” stories. I started a blog, which attracted a strong readership. That’s how Phase II of the WikiLeaks coverage—engaging the nontraditional media—began.

Rather than deciding myself what to cover, I let the public select issues that were of interest to them. Using the WikiLeaks database of Brazil-related cables, I requested that my readers submit topics to search for in the collection. After conducting a search, I would send the relevant documents to a group of bloggers, who would then publish stories based on them. This generated some interesting articles—revealing, for example, the meetings between US officials and opposition leaders like presidential candidate José Serra, who hinted at a closer relationship with Washington should he win. Neither Folha nor O Globo, who were seen as harsh critics of the Lula government, published any stories about opposition leaders.

As the bloggers’ interest in the cables faded by mid-March, with hundreds of documents yet to be reviewed, I and a group of women journalists decided to create Brazil’s first nonprofit center for investigative journalism, called Publica. Based on similar US media organizations like ProPublica, it would publish stories that could be freely reproduced under a creative-commons license. Our first challenge was to review the remaining WikiLeaks documents and see what stories they held.

Staffing a temporary newsroom with fifteen volunteer journalists, we were able to publish another fifty articles based on the cables. My favorite new revelation was the secret transfer to Brazil by the United States of thirty Drug Enforcement Administration personnel who had previously been expelled from Bolivia for spying and aiding the opposition. The new stories created another stir in the Brazilian press. But more than that, they proved it was possible for an independent investigative group to match the traditional news outlets when it came to producing professional journalism—and to following the story where the mainstream media would not take it.

The impact of WikiLeaks on the Brazilian media community has been unmistakable: within a couple of months, articles based on documents from Brazil’s dictatorship period started popping up in the press. Folha de S. Paulo started its own WikiLeaks-type section, the “FolhaLeaks,” and established an investigative unit in Brasília. More investigative stories are being produced by both the traditional and the independent media. A year later, corporate media outlets such as Globo and Grupo Bandeirantes—major TV networks in Brazil—are fighting to sponsor the annual congress of the Brazilian Association for Investigative Journalism. And Publica is now up and running.

The response to the leaks also demonstrated that, more than twenty-five years after the end of military rule, the Brazilian public is ready and eager to advance toward a more transparent and accountable society. Brazil’s “Cablegate” generated a much-delayed debate about the lack of transparency in government and the need for a Freedom of Access Law. Journalists’ associations ramped up their demands for such a law to be adopted at once. Fernando Rodrigues, who was a director of the Brazilian Association for Investigative Journalism, wrote an article criticizing how slowly the law was being debated in Congress. When the president of the Senate, José Sarney, declared that documents should remain secret because “we cannot do a WikiLeaks of Brazilian history,” he was heavily criticized.

U.S. Map of Public Shootings

You might be surprised at how many multiple-victim public shootings happen in the U.S. Here’s an interactive map that plots such shootings going back to only 2005. Click on a dot at the site to pull up more information. Since posting this map, the Daily Beast has received more information from readers, so they’ve set up a link through which you can contribute what you know for an updated edition coming soon. More

The truth be told

Plant caught

Internet users get it done fast: the identities of animal abusers, the provenance of clever media hoaxes and the details of shocking crimes are often exposed within minutes. To the galleries of summary internet justice we can add another new art: spotting, catching and exposing provocateurs who encourage protestors to break the law.

Atlanta cops can't explain to CNN anchor why they pulled him over

Neetzan Zimmerman at Gawker: "T. J. Holmes was one mile from his Atlanta home when he was suddenly pulled over by two police cars. The normally affable CNN anchor proceeded to live-tweet the stop, getting progressively angerier with every status update."

NYPD detective suspended after cops find man tied up and being held for ransom in officer's garage

An NYPD detective was suspended without pay after cops found a bound man being held for ransom in the garage of the officer's Queens home, law enforcement sources said Saturday.

A $175K of cocaine found in car battery

A car battery in Central Texas turned up about five kilos of cocaine with a street value of $175,000. The drug search started when the Fayette County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Canine Unit stopped a white Chevy Silverado heading east on Interstate 10 for an alleged traffic violation.

Baby-snatching mother gets 12 years jail

 A woman who snatched a three-week-old baby from a New York hospital in 1987 and brought her up as her own daughter until being caught last year, has been sentenced to 12 years jail.
Ann Pettway was mentally ill and distraught over repeated miscarriages when she dressed as a nurse and kidnapped Carlina White from Harlem Hospital on August 4, 1987, Judge Kevin Castel said on Monday.
But in passing sentence, the Manhattan federal judge said she had "inflicted a parents' worst nightmare".
Joy White, the biological mother of Carlina WhiteEarlier in the emotional court hearing, Pettway, 50, told the tearful biological parents of White that she was "deeply sorry".
"I'm here today to right a wrong," she said in a brief statement to a courtroom filled with her family members and those of White, the two groups sitting on opposite sides.
But that wasn't good enough for White's parents, who spoke movingly about the agony of having their newborn vanish, then of 23 years of sorrow and now the anguish that continues to overshadow their joyful reunion last year.
"I'm broken into a million pieces," the mother, Joy White, said, describing how her daughter has yet to disentangle her identity after being raised by another woman.
"My daughter's here but she's not home yet," she said.
The father, Carl Tyson, looked fiercely at Pettway when he made his own statement to the court. "For 23 years, Ann, you had me suffering. You put a stone in my heart," he said.
The young woman at the centre of the tragedy, Carlina White, was notably absent from the packed courtroom - but she was in every heart.
During the mother's comments, Pettway turned her eyes away, yet she looked Tyson right back in the face as he castigated her.
"I know you have your family and friends here," he told Pettway, who wore steel-rimmed round glasses, a white hair band and a dark blue prison smock. "But they don't know what you've done to me."
Afterwards, Tyson said he thought the sentence of 12 years prison and three years probation was too light. "I wanted 23 years," he told reporters outside the courtroom.
Pettway, then 26, had suffered three miscarriages and was deeply depressed when she came up with her tragic plan, Castel said.
After taking the 19-day-old infant home, she gave her a new name and lied to her about her identity as she grew up surrounded by Pettway's other relatives.
White, now 25, became suspicious and eventually contacted the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, which confirmed her true family through a DNA test.
White and her parents were reunited last year. Pettway was arrested and pleaded guilty to kidnapping.
Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said Pettway had "shattered three lives - the life of the child who would not know her parents, and the lives of her parents who were left to wonder what had become of their baby.
"While this sentence certainly cannot compensate them for what they lost, it is our sincere hope that they can repair the breach that was caused on that terrible day."
In his closing remarks, Castel said simply: "Ms Pettway, Ms White, Mr Tyson, I hope the healing can begin."

Minimum Wage?!

Did you know ...

Lush Dimbulb thinks African Americans are as stupid as his listeners

When art meets science: ants turn colors when eating colored sugar

That increasing the minimum wage helps the economy

Here's the 50 cutest things that ever happened

Saudi Arabia bans smoking in most public places

Saudi Arabia has banned smoking in government offices and most public places, including restaurants, coffee shops, supermarkets and shopping malls.

Emerging Adults

At what age do you become an "adult"? 18? 21?
A new survey by Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, revealed that there may be gradations of adulthood.
Witness the advent of "emerging adults" (age 18 to 29):
Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a research professor in psychology at Clark University, coined the term as a phase of human development for the period of late teens through the 20s. It began with Gen X (born in the mid-'60s through early 1980s) and has rippled through to the next generation, the Millennials.
The main contributing social forces are later ages for career, marriage and parenthood, says Arnett, who has been studying young people for 20 years. [...]
To feel more like a grown-up, Alana Prant, 23, says she wants to become financially independent. That's the response of 30% of those surveyed who said financial independence is the most important factor in becoming an adult.
"I'm about to be 24. I should feel like an adult, but I don't," she says. "My parents completely support me."
Sharon Jayson of USA Today explains: here

Psychological abuse puts children at risk

Child abuse experts say psychological abuse can be as damaging to a young child’s physical, mental and emotional health as ...
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Think you’re a comic genius?

Maybe you’re just overconfident
Knock, knock! Who’s there? Cows go. Cows go who? No, cows go moo! OK, OK. So it’s not a side-slapper
Continue Reading

Amateur radio still fascinates senior citizen

For the Depression-era farm boy fascinated with science, research was relegated to pondering the occasional lightning strike or puddles dappled with tractor oil.

Ten Incredible Sea Forts

Sea forts were strategic bases usually built on small islands or shallows that lies at a significant distance from the shore. A sea fort was exactly as the name indicates - a giant fort with stone walls and housing cannons to fend off intruders. Today, the sea forts are mostly deserted, but some of them have been renovated and converted into tourist attractions.

Random Celebrity Photo

Who, Me!?

Get ready to pay more for your steak

The drought that's spreading across the Midwest is already squeezing consumers, and it's only going to get worse, as the rising cost of soybeans and corn leads to higher prices for meat, peanut butter and other staples.

Science from a British perspective

Ex-sceptic - Humans cause warmingClimate 'hockey stick'

A formerly sceptical climate scientist says human activity is causing the Earth to warm, as a new study confirms earlier results on rising temperatures.

The Ebola virusEbola confirmed in Uganda capital

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni urges people to avoid physical contact, as one person dies from the deadly Ebola virus in the capital, Kampala.

Iapetus' equatorial ridgeSaturn moon's monster landslides

A study of massive landslides on Saturn's moon Iapetus shed light on how such events occur there and on Earth.

Realizing the truth

Environmental News

California ranchers hit by Midwest drought. - California ranchers may be hit harder by the drought in the nation's heartland than farmers in the corn belt

Extreme drought areas in us nearly triple in one week . - The US drought monitor reports that areas on the nation under extreme drought conditions in key agricultural states has tripled in the past week.

Midwest crops, fish, water supply punished by drought. - Temperatures heading north of 100 degrees Fahrenheit and scarce rain portended another blistering weekend for much of the U.S. Midwest, where the most extensive drought since 1956 is devastating crops, evaporating rivers, and threatening to push world food prices higher

On the Missouri river, drought's effects are diluted by tapping northern reserves. - In times like these, you might have to dip into your savings. that’s true even for the Missouri river. The big muddy has run through this year’s supply of snowpack and rain and is now drawing on reserves held in lakes upriver in north Dakota and Montana 

In Dallas area, high water use can be tied to affluence. - The biggest drain is water for landscaping. and that will come at a steep cost. State experts say that in the next 50 years, north Texas will need an estimated $21 billion of new reservoirs and infrastructure to sustain the region’s water use as the climate gets hotter and the population grows.

Fires and Droughts

When the world burned less: Cool climate, not population loss, led to fewer fires

In the years after Columbus’ voyage, burning of New World forests and fields diminished significantly – a phenomenon some have ...
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Chronic 2000-04 drought, worst in 800 years, may be the ‘new normal’

The chronic drought that hit western North America from 2000 to 2004 left dying forests and depleted river basins in ...
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Awesome Pictures

Four Animals That Ran for Mayor (And Won!)

Has the presidential race soured you on politics as usual? Next time you're in the voting booth, consider casting your ballot for a nontraditional candidate. Like Stubbs, a cat who was elected mayor of the town of Talkeetna, Alaska in 1997, as a write-in candidate.

As of 2012, Stubbs is still honorary mayor. These towns are also enjoying the benefits of a super hands-off - or more precisely, paws-off - government.

How to Ship Olympic Horses

How do you get horses for the Olympic equestrian events to London? Believe it or not, you ship them by Fed Ex!
Getting the animals overseas wasn’t as big a task as you might think. All it took was a little help from Federal Express and a few talented people who specialize in transporting animals.
The horses, which come from all over the United States, converged on Newark International Airport in New Jersey, where they were loaded onto specialized jet stalls, which look like the horse trailers you see driving down the road but which are designed for air travel. Two horses go into each stall, which is then loaded on a palette and onto the pressurized upper deck of a FedEx cargo plane. “They have hay and water and someone stays with them the whole time to make sure they have everything they need,” Morris tells MNN.
The horses are accompanied by a veterinarian and groomers who know the animals well. “These horses are all older animals who are used to travel,” Morris explains. “Horses in general are pretty good travelers, so they don’t mind their overseas adventure.”
The horses even have their own passports! Read more about Olympic equestrian steeds and how they got to London here.

Net-Casting Spider

When we think of spiders, we usually think that they use spider webs as traps to catch their prey. But not all spiders do this ... Watch the net-casting spider use their sticky spider silk to hunt their prey:
The spider then carefully crafts its distinctive net using a different type of silk.
"They spin some of the silk at its most extended so its already at full stretch when its spun so that when its off the scaffold it'll immediately shrink to its non-stretched size," he said.
"They hit the prey with it at full stretch and then they relax it so that it gets caught into it, almost like a purse net."

Animal Pictures


Monday, July 30, 2012

The Daily Drift


Father’s Day Off 1953
It's gonna be one of those days ...

Some of our readers today have been in:
Angeles City, Philippines
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Jakarta, Indonesia
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Burgas, Bulgaria
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

And across the USA in cities such as:
Trego, Largo, Elmer and Katy

 Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Today in History

1619   The House of Burgesses convenes for the first time at Jamestown, Va.
1787   The French parliament refuses to approve a more equitable land tax.
1799   The French garrison at Mantua, Italy, surrenders to the Austrians.
1864   In an effort to penetrate the Confederate lines around Petersburg, Va. Union troops explode a mine underneath the Confederate trenches but fail to break through. The ensuing action is known as the Battle of the Crater.
1919   Federal troops are called out to put down Chicago race riots.
1938   George Eastman demonstrates his color motion picture process.
1940   A bombing lull ends the first phase of the Battle of Britain.
1960   Over 60,000 Buddhists march in protest against the Diem government in South Vietnam.
1965   President Lyndon Johnson signs the Medicare Bill into law.
1967   General William Westmoreland claims that he is winning the war in Vietnam, but needs more men.
1975   Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa disappears, last seen coming out of a restaurant in Bloomingfield Hills, Michigan.

Non Sequitur


Did you know ...

That the top Utah repugican fund raiser is accused of rape

That the US lags behind 15 other countries in median income

One repugican finally tells it like it is

The party really doesn't want blacks to vote. and they have been working on making that a reality. we weren't just imagining things with this voter suppression stuff...
In the deposition, released to the press yesterday, [Jim] Greer mentioned a December 2009 meeting with party officials. “I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting,” he said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He also said party officials discussed how “minority outreach programs were not fit for the repugican party,” according to the AP - Salon

One in three wingnuts now think Obama is Muslim

The stupid, it breeds.
Most of the growth in Obama-Muslim theorizing has occurred among repugicans. One in six of them used to think Obama was Muslim; one in three of them now do. There's no follow-up, but you can count off the things that wingnut repugicans haven't liked about Obama. The Cairo speech. "Apologizing for America." Wanting to close Gitmo. Afghanistan timetable. Siding with rebels in the "Arab Spring," and watching the Muslim Brotherhood take the lead from the rebels in classic Bolshevik/Menshevik tradition. Then, most recently, you've got theories about the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrating the government. The people who don't like Obama start with policy, then make assumptions about religion.
This is what happens when you have a political party that subsists off of its own false version of reality. The lies spread, and the populace becomes even less informed than it was before.

The Dark Lord on choosing Palin as VP: "That one was a mistake"

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is warning presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to choose his vice presidential nominee wisely.

Nothing from Cheney is said in a vacuum. There's some reason he's saying this publicly, now. He seems to be trying to shut Palin up, force her out of the picture.

It's not entirely clear why, unless the repugicans are afraid that she's somehow going to screw up the election, or the selection of the VP.

But there's some calculated reason that Cheney is saying this now.

From Jonathan Karl at ABC News:
“That one,” Cheney said, “I don’t think was well handled.”

“The test to get on that small list has to be, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?’”

Cheney believes Sarah Palin failed that test....

"I think that was a mistake.”

Romney in Israel

First, American Jews still support Obama:
While Republicans may look favorably on Romney's visit to Israel, another group with keen interest in U.S.-Israeli relations -- Jewish Americans -- solidly backs Obama in the election.

Gallup Daily tracking from June 1-July 26 finds Jewish registered voters favoring Obama over Romney by 68% to 25%. That is essentially the same as Gallup's prior update on Jewish voting preferences.

Although one goal of Romney's Israel visit could be to attract greater support among Jewish voters in the U.S., Jewish Americans have been a traditionally strong Democratic group, so they are unlikely to become much more supportive of Romney regardless of the outcome of the trip.
And the Washington Post reports that Romney has kicked the media out of his big fundraiser in Israel, violating an agreement he made months ago. Either Romney is still smarting from the disaster that was his trip to London, and he wants to minimize potential damage, or he's planning on blasting Obama, violating another rule that says politicians of the other party don't criticize the President when they're abroad.

The truth hurts

After the battle, despair grips Damascus

In the once bustling shopping district of Hamra Street in the heart of Damascus, three men - all made homeless by fighting which raged in the city for two weeks - sit outside their empty shops on a deserted pavement.

Random Photos


 ma chatelaine

'When You're Strange' In America

Do you know the warm progress under the stars?
Do you know we exist?
Have you forgotten the keys to the kingdom?
Have you been born yet and are you alive?

~ Jim Morrison


Colorful People

Yvonne Craig in a scene from the original Star Trek series - we think.

Is “Dear” Dead?

Dear Readers,
Do you still write "Dear so-and-so" in your correspondence? No?
That's what author and CNN contributor Bob Greene noticed as well:
Is "Dear" an endangered species?
It would appear to be. You may have noticed that fewer and fewer people begin their letters and notes with "Dear." Some holdouts -- I'm among them -- do, but this may be mostly out of lifetime habit. Even people who grew up using the traditional salutation -- middle-of-the-road, go-by-the-book people -- now regularly begin their notes with "Hi."
This is mostly a function of the digital-communications age. "Dear," which always looked fine atop a business letter, or a handwritten note, is increasingly seen as archaic and old-fashioned on a computer screen or on a smartphone or mobile device.
The pending disappearance of "Dear" is a sea change in the way we write to each other -- yet when you think about it, there are few logical reasons arguing for a longer life for that particular word. We've always used it, just because we've always used it.
Would you miss "Dear" if it's gone forever from our daily usage? More



Record labels won't share Pirate Bay winnings with artists; they're keeping it for record companies

The record labels that successfully sued The Pirate Bay for millions on the grounds that the network had infringed upon artists' copyrights have announced that it will not share any of the money it receives from the suit with those artists. Instead, the money will be used to bankroll more "enforcement" -- that is, salaries and fees for people who work for the industry association.

From TorrentFreak:
According to former Pirate Bay spokesman Peter Sunde, one of the people convicted in the case, this shows who the real “thieves” are.
“Regarding the issue that they’ve already divvied up the loot, it’s always fun to see that they call it ‘recovered money’ (i.e. money they’ve lost) but that they’re not going to give the artists in question any of it,” Sunde told TorrentFreak.
“They say that people who download give money to thieves – but if someone actually ends up paying (in this case: three individuals) then it’s been paid for. So who’s the thief when they don’t give the money to the artists?”
According to Sunde the news doesn’t come as a surprise.
“As far as I know, no money ever won in a lawsuit by IFPI or the RIAA has even gone to any actual artist,” Sunde says. “It’s more likely the money will be spent on cocaine than the artists that they’re ‘defending’.”
Music Labels Won’t Share Pirate Bay Loot With Artists

Jail for man who collected rainwater on his own property

A rural Oregon man was sentenced on Wednesday to 30 days in jail and over $1,500 in fines because he had three reservoirs on his property to collect and use rainwater.
Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Ore., says he plans to appeal his conviction in Jackson County (Ore.) Circuit Court on nine misdemeanor charges under a 1925 law for having what state water managers called “three illegal reservoirs” on his property – and for filling the reservoirs with rainwater and snow runoff.

“The government is bullying,” Harrington said in an interview. “They’ve just gotten to be big bullies and if you just lay over and die and give up, that just makes them bigger bullies.

“So, we as Americans, we need to stand on our constitutional rights, on our rights as citizens and hang tough. This is a good country, we’ll prevail,” he said. The court has given Harrington two weeks to report to the Jackson County Jail to begin serving his sentence.

Full story and audio interview with Mr Harrington here.

Alabama bans texting while driving Aug. 1

Starting Wednesday, texting, emailing and instant messaging while driving will become illegal in Alabama, with violators facing fines and possibly higher insurance rates.

Blonde at the beach



Homemade Satellite

Photo: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters
Most people don't associate the word "satelitte" with "homemade," but that's exactly what South Korean artist Song Hojun did. He made a $500 homemade satellite by rummaging through back alley electronics stores.
Now, all he needs is a rocket to launch it into orbit:
There's a long history of do-it-yourself satellites being launched by universities and scientific groups around the world, as well as amateur radio clubs, but Song said his is the first truly personal satellite designed and financed by an individual. [...]
The bespectacled Song spent nearly six years combing through academic papers, shopping online at sites that specialize in components that can be used for space projects, and rummaging through electronic stores hidden in the back alleys of Seoul.
Eunhye Shin of Reuters has the story: here

I, For One, Welcome Our New Fishy Overlords

The Japanese cargo spaceship HTV-3 has delivered a high-tech marine habitat to the space station intended for microgravity fish experiments. Read more I, For One, Welcome Our New Fishy Overlords

All Work and No Play Make The Baining The Most Boring People on Earth

Meet the Baining, an indigenous tribe in Papua New Guinea who has the unusual claim of being the most boring people on Earth:
According to [anthropologist Jane Fajans], the Baining eschew everything that they see as “natural” and value activities and products that come from “work,” which they view as the opposite of play. Work, to them, is effort expended to overcome or resist the natural. To behave naturally is to them tantamount to behaving as an animal. The Baining say, “We are human because we work.” The tasks that make them human, in their view, are those of turning natural products (plants, animals, and babies) into human products (crops, livestock, and civilized human beings) through effortful work (cultivation, domestication, and disciplined childrearing).
The Baining believe, quite correctly, that play is the natural activity of children, and precisely for that reason they do what they can to discourage or prevent it. They refer to children’s play as “splashing in the mud,” an activity of pigs, not appropriate for humans. They do not allow infants to crawl and explore on their own. When one tries to do so an adult picks it up and restrains it. Beyond infancy, children are encouraged or coerced to spend their days working and are often punished—sometimes by such harsh means as shoving the child’s hand into the fire—for playing. On those occasions when Fajans did get an adult to talk about his or her childhood, the narrative was typically about the challenge of embracing work and overcoming the shameful desire to play. Part of the reason the Baining are reluctant to talk about themselves, apparently, derives from their strong sense of shame about their natural drives and desires.

Random Celebrity Photos

Bogey in his underwear and top hat

Gilroy Garlic Festival is fun for serious foodies

They figured about 5,000 people from the surrounding communities would show up. They quickly realized they'd underestimated how many gourmet-minded people wanted to taste garlic-infused dishes.

Using The Cray Supercomputer to Make Ice Cream More Delicious

If the next time you eat an ice cream you notice that it's yummier, you have a computer to thank. A supercomputer, actually.
The processing power available inside modern supercomputers isn’t just able to help us better understand the universe we live in, develop better medicines, and model complex systems. Apparently it is also helping to make better ice cream.
Research has been carried out at the University of Edinburgh to simulate the soft matter that makes up ice cream. More specifically, scientists are trying to understand the complex interactions occurring between the many different ingredients that make up your favorite flavor of the delicious cold stuff.