Welcome to ...

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.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Daily Drift

Wow, they bottle the stuff?!
Some of our readers today have been in:
Cairo, Egypt
Durban, South Africa
George Town, Malaysia
Santiago, Chile
Jerudong, Brunei
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Ampang. Malaysia
Alexandria, Egypt
Kuala Lumpur, Malysia
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Cape Town, South Africa
Tunis, Tunisia
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Warsaw, Poland
Alberton, South Africa
Krakow, Poland
Skopje, Macedonia
Islamabad, Pakistan

Today in History

1190   Frederick Barbarossa drowns in a river while leading an army of the Third Crusade.
1692   Bridget Bishop is hanged in Salem, Mass., for witchcraft.
1776   The Continental Congress appoints a committee to write a Declaration of Independence.
1801   Tripoli declares war on the U.S. for refusing to pay tribute.
1854   The U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, holds its first graduation.
1861   Dorothea Dix is appointed superintendent of female nurses for the Union army.
1864   At the Battle of Brice's Crossroads in Mississippi, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest defeats the numerically superior Union troops.
1898   U.S. Marines land in Cuba.
1905   Japan and Russia agree to peace talks brokered by President Theodore Roosevelt.
1909   An SOS signal is transmitted for the first time in an emergency when the Cunard liner SS Slavonia is wrecked off the Azores.
1916   Mecca, under control of the Turks, falls to the Arabs during the Great Arab Revolt.
1920   The Republican convention in Chicago endorses woman suffrage.
1924   The Italian socialist leader Giacomo Matteotti is kidnapped and assassinated by Fascists in Rome.
1925   Tennessee adopts a new biology text book denying the theory of evolution.
1940   The Norwegian army capitulates to the Germans.
1942   Germany razes the town of Lidice, Czechoslovakia and kills more than 1,300 citizens in retribution of the murder of Reinhard Heydrich.
1943   The Allies begin bombing Germany around the clock.
1944   The U.S. VII and V corps, advancing from Normandy's beaches, link up and begin moving inland.
1948   The news that the sound barrier has been broken is finally released to the public by the U.S. Air Force. Chuck Yeager, piloting the rocket airplane X-1, exceeded the speed of sound on October 14, 1947.
1963   Buddhist monk Ngo Quang Duc dies by self immolation in Saigon to protest persecution by the Diem government.
1970   A 15-man group of special forces troops begin training for Operation Kingpin, a POW rescue mission in North Vietnam.
1985   The Israeli army pulls out of Lebanon after 1,099 days of occupation.
1999   Serb forces begin their withdrawl from Kosovo after signing an agreement with the NATO powers.

Today Is ...

Today Happens to be Iced Tea day

Random Celebrity Photo

Tina Louise reblog
Tina Louise

US banks with $60 billion shortfall

If the US taxpayer is going to help the banks in any way (including more free money loans) it's critical that the US government gets major concessions from the banks. We've repeatedly been assured by the banks that all is well and there are no more problems but a $60 billion hole is not insignificant.
For starters, we have to get back to the critical issue of breaking up the too-big-to-fail mega banks. Somehow (cough, lobbyist money) the issue fell off the radar among the political class. What surprise will be next?
The 19 largest US banks are at least $50 billion short of meeting new capital requirements under the Basel III accords, according to rules proposed by the Federal Reserve.

The biggest among them would probably need billions of dollars more by the 2019 deadline to comply fully with the rules.

Smaller US lenders are about $10 billion short of the requirements, the Fed said on Thursday.

The Fed’s proposals, which will be phased in from next year, are part of a larger package implementing the Basel III accords in the US.

Billionaires Against the Unions

America's Class War
Barney Frank and Ed Rendell are right. In seeking to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the public-sector unions and their allies on the progressive wing of the Democratic Party made a big mistake.
“My side picked a fight they shouldn’t have picked,” Frank told The Hill. “People need to be more strategic about the fights they pick.” In other places, such as Ohio, Democrats have successfully campaigned in state legislatures to roll back repugican anti-union initiatives. But rather than following such a strategy in Wisconsin, they tried to drive Walker out of office, alienating independent voters and bringing down upon themselves a deluge of wingnut money.

Daily Comic Relief

Young Adults Skip Health Care As Medical Debts Rise

Millions of young adults are forgoing necessary care and treatment because of rising health care costs, a report said Friday.

Millenials losing their religion

There may be hope for the future after all. As a country we can't continue believing in religious fairy tales such as the world being created 10,000 years ago. Older generations are holding firm in their religious beliefs but thankfully the Millenials are starting to figure out how crazy and extreme religion in America is these days.
More from the Huffington Post:
About 68 percent of Millennials say they never doubt the existence of God, a decline of 15 points since 2007, while the number of older Americans with a firm belief in God remains stable. Millennials are defined by Pew as those young Americans born in 1981 or later.

Other studies appear to confirm this trend - more than half of non-religious Millennials have abandoned their childhood faith, according to a recent study by the Public Religion Research Institute and Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs.

And the Poll says ...

82% of catholics say birth control is morally acceptable

That means the catholic church doesn't speak for most catholics on a key doctrine of modern-day catholicism.

The catholic church doesn't represent a majority of catholics on issue after issue.  At some point, someone is going to wise up and realize that if the church doesn't even represent a majority of its own faithful, then who exactly is it speaking on behalf of when it keeps throwing its weight around on issue after issue in American politics?

Answer: The repugican party.

The serial rape of children really does take it toll on one's moral authority.


Missing SC boy's mom wants case nixed

A judge should throw out an indictment against the mother of a missing South Carolina toddler because prosecutors don't have enough evidence to prove their case and are only holding Zinah Jennings because she won't tell them where her son is, the woman's attorney said Thursday.

Assad's regime: yet another massacre

The situation is not and will not improve as long as Assad remains in power. How many more massacres will have to happen before Russia and China allows the UN to step in with a better response?

The Guardian:
Syria's government was accused on Wednesday of carrying out a new massacre in a small village near the central city of Hama, with an opposition group claiming 100 people, including many women and children, had been killed.

"We have 100 deaths in the village of al-Qubair, among them 20 women and 20 children," said Mohammed Sermini, spokesman for the Syrian National Council, who accused the regime of being behind the incident.

The news looked certain to fuel a bitter debate about the increasingly bloody Syrian crisis and to underline the limits of what a deeply divided international community can achieve.

Walmart breaks bad: active meth lab found inside Missouri store

Apparently, corporate profits just aren't enough for some global megabusinesses these days: a Walmart store in South St. Louis County, Missouri was emptied by police when an "active methamphetamine production laboratory" was discovered inside. Now, it's entirely possible that the "lab" consisted of an empty plastic bottle and some chemicals, but still, you guys: some tweeker was cooking crystal inside a freakin' Walmart.

The store was open and full of customers when it was cleared about 6:15 p.m. Thursday after employees and then police discovered the possible hazardous situation involving the substances used to make methamphetamine, St. Louis County police Lt. Mark Cox said. The chemicals were discovered after police were called about a shoplifter. Cox did not yet know details of the "lab," how it was put together or where in the store it was located.
UPDATE: It gets weirder. This local news report further clarifies that a woman detained for shoplifting at the Walmart "began to make meth in the loss prevention office."
Now that is baller. You're busted for shoplifting, placed in what amounts to a holding cell inside the store, and how do you kill time? Makin' ice!

"Loss prevention had detained the woman, and she was placed in a holding area until officers arrived," reports KDSK-TV.
"While she was detained, she began cooking meth in the holding room."
Sounds like an improvised mobile setup—she's no Heisenberg, and that's no blue.
Good news, though, the store will only be closed for three hours. And, nobody got their face chewed off.
Here's a photo of hazmat guys cleaning it up. And a local Patch.com article has more details here.
Sarah Flagg, writing on a local Patch.com page, says it was "a portable meth lab in her purse," also known as “shake and bake.” These are often fashioned on the fly from a two-liter or 20-ounce beverage bottle (the size Bloomberg is outlawing in New York City... coincidence?).
Shake 'n' Bake is an actual thing. It is, as you might imagine, very dangerous: a resulting explosion can kill or seriously burn the "cook" and any bystanders.

The 10 Weirdest Thefts Ever

Imagine looking out at your front yard one day and realizing your lawn is missing. That’s just what happened to Denise Thompson:
It was where her four children and two dogs played, and where she drank coffee on sunny mornings. Then someone stole it. They didn’t even leave a note. Thompson and her children went away to visit her husband one morning. They returned to their Kilkenny neighborhood home. The family entered through the back door and everything seemed fine. Then Thompson opened the blinds on the large picture window in the front room. Oh my God, she thought, where is my grass?
She went outside to the swath of ugly, brown dirt that had replaced her lawn. She thought there might be a note to explain an accident, like when someone dings your car in the mall parking lot. There were no clues. Thompson canvassed neighbors and several reported a white truck and trailer parked at her house. No one thought it was suspicious. Just another landscaping job.
And believe it or not, that’s not even the weirdest theft story on this list!

Pink Cadillac

1959 Cadillac by ppolgar on Flickr.
1959 Cadillac

Dailing for water

Smart pumps promise cleaner waterAfrica water cans

Rural communities across Africa may soon benefit from improved water supplies thanks to mobile phone technology.

Facts About Coffee

22 of them in fact
Legend has it a 9th-century Ethiopian goat herder discovered coffee by accident when he noticed how crazy the beans were making his goats. The lethal dose of caffeine is roughly 100 cups of coffee. In the 1600s there was a controversy over whether or not Catholics could drink coffee, luckily Pope Clement VIII said it was okay.

Venice by Night

(by Cate )

From the newswire

Race continues to save castle on Hudson
The turreted ruins of Bannerman's castle jutting from a small Hudson River island look like they were built to withstand flaming arrows and battering rams.

Liberty Bell gets protective coat
A group of preservation experts were waxing historic on a celebrated subject Thursday, coating the inside of the Liberty Bell to protect it from environmental pollutants and the fingerprints of tourists who can't resist touching the Colonial-era icon.

William Shakespeare's First Theater Discovered In London

Remains of the once lost Curtain theatre, which preceded the Globe as the venue which showcased Shakespeare's work, have been found in East London. It's likely that the theatre was the home to some of the first performances of Romeo and Juliet and Henry V.

The theatre was dismantled in the 17th century and its exact location was lost to historians soon after. Now, the Museum of London Archaeology has found sections of the theater in Shoreditch, East London.

Awesome Pictures

 The Sun
by FeraCoyote
El Sol

Fifteen Picturesque Shipwrecks Worldwide

The United Nations estimates that there are more than 3 million shipwrecks on the ocean floor. But, also, shipwrecks can be found on deserted beaches, on coral reefs in the middle of the ocean, at restricted diamond areas, uninhabited islands or other remote and uncivilized places. Therefore, this is a list dedicated to picturesque shipwrecks which are still visible on beaches around the world.

Blooming Cold

Giant phytoplankton bloom found beneath ice-covered Arctic

A team of researchers, including scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), discovered a massive bloom of phytoplankton beneath ice-covered ...
Continue Reading

Totally Unexpected: Massive Under-Ice Bloom

The amount of phytoplankton discovered blooming under thick Arctic sea ice was surprisingly four times greater than the amount found in neighboring ice-free waters. Read more
Totally Unexpected: Massive Under-Ice Bloom

Why Some Don’t Believe In Science

Studying the Brain Can Help Us Understand Our Unscientific Beliefs  

Last week, Gallup announced the results of their latest survey on Americans and evolution.
The numbers were a stark blow to high-school science teachers everywhere: forty-six per cent of adults said they believed that “God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years.” Only fifteen per cent agreed with the statement that humans had evolved without the guidance of a divine power.

Hand Drawn Scientific Illustrations By Peter Jellitsch

These scientific illustrations look like they were made by a machine, and in a way they are machine made. However, the machine in this case is an amazing  human artist by the name of Peter Jellitsch.
These hand drawn pieces reveal Peter’s mind at work, creating what he calls an “analog translation of digital data”, but I prefer to think of them as the blankets that science built.

The Amazing Monkey Orchid

Nature doesn't need an audience. These wonderful orchids come from the south-eastern Ecuadorian and Peruvian cloud forests from elevations of 1000 to 2000 meters and as such not many people throughout history got to see them. However, thanks to intrepid collectors we do get to see this wonderful Monkey Orchid. Someone didn't need much imagination to name it though, let's face it.

The Ravens that Protect the Monarchy

Did you know the Tower of London is home to not only the Beef Eaters but also six ravens that are said to bring good luck to the monarchy? Well, technically there are seven right now, but that’s only because there are supposed to be six in place at all times so this way they have a spare. So what happens when the ravens are gone?
One of the most difficult times for the Monarchy was just after World War II. The raven population was down to just one — a raven named Grip. Most of the birds apparently flew the coop, it is believed, due to the disruption of the Blitz as the Germans bombed London relentlessly. It is rumored that one of the ravens was kidnapped. It seemed that perhaps the legend of the ravens could be true.
Sure it’s probably just coincidence, but when a good luck charm works out for around 700 years, you tend to not want to test how effective it is.

Animal News

Honeybees with Varroa mite (c) Stephen MartinMite helps virus to wipe out bees A parasitic mite has helped spread a lethal virus that has wiped out millions of honeybee colonies worldwide, say scientists. BBC Nature

Animal Pictures


by Martin Patten