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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.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Daily Drift

Want to see more?
Some of today's readers have been in:
George Town, Malaysia
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Warsaw, Poland
Valletta, Malta
Cairo, Egypt
Alberton, South Africa
Ampang, Malaysia
Krakow, Poland
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Skopje, Macedonia
Islamabad, Pakistan
Santiago, Chile
Alexandria, Egypt
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Tunis, Tunisia
Phatthaya, Thailand

Today in History

1346   Charles IV of Luxembourg is elected Holy Roman Emperor.
1509   Henry VIII of England marries Catherine of Aragon.
1770   Captain James Cook runs aground on the Great Barrier Reef.
1798   Napoleon Bonaparte takes the island of Malta.
1861   Union forces under General George B. McClellen repulse a Confederate force at Rich Mountain in western Virginia.
1865   Major General Henry W. Halleck finds documents and archives of the Confederate government in Richmond, Virginia. This discovery will lead to the publication of the official war records.
1895   Charles E. Duryea receives the first U.S. patent granted to an American inventor for a gasoline-driven automobile.
1903   King Alexander and Queen Draga of Belgrade are assassinated by members of the Serbia army.
1915   British troops take Cameroon in Africa.
1930   William Beebe, of the New York Zoological Society, dives to a record-setting depth of 1,426 feet off the coast of Bermuda, in a diving chamber called a bathysphere.
1934   The Disarmament Conference in Geneva ends in failure.
1940   The Italian Air Force bombs the British fortress at Malta in the Mediterranean.
1943   The Italian island of Pantelleria surrenders after a heavy air bombardment.
1944   U.S. carrier-based planes attack Japanese airfields on Guam , Rota, Saipan and Tinian islands, preparing for the invasion of Saipan.
1963   Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested in Florida for trying to integrate restaurants.
1967   Israel and Syria accept a U. N. cease-fire.
1987   Margaret Thatcher wins her third consecutive term as Prime Minister.

Snipers Hid in Fake Trees During World War I

Obviously the German soldiers might notice a tree where there had not been one before. That’s why the British Empire’s Royal Engineers built fake trees to resemble specific trees in no man’s land. During the night, they’d cut down the original and replace it with the fake:
To develop the O.P. Tree, Royal Engineers representatives selected, measured, and photographed the original tree, in situ, extensively. The ideal tree was dead; often it was bomb blasted. The photographs and sketches were brought back to the workshop, where artists constructed an artificial tree of hollow steel cylinders, but containing an internal scaffolding for reinforcement, to allow a sniper or observer to ascend within the structure. Then, under the cover of night, the team cut down the authentic tree and dug a hole in the place of its roots, in which they placed the O.P. Tree. When the sun rose over the field, what looked like a tree was a tree no longer; rather, it was an exquisitely crafted hunting blind, maximizing personal concealment and observational capacity simultaneously.

What Does It Mean To Be Cool?

What Does It Mean To Be Cool? It May Not Be What You ThinkIt May Not Be What You Think
Do rebelliousness, emotional control, toughness and thrill-seeking still make up the essence of coolness? Can performers James Dean and Miles ...
Continue Reading

Daily Comic Relief

Hey, repugicans, take this and shove it up your arses

6.6m more kids have health care due to Obamacare

The administration shouldn't let this data speak for itself.  They should tout it from the mountaintops.
A new survey suggests that 6.6 million Americans under the age of 26 have taken advantage of a provision in the new health care law that allows them to join their parents' insurance plan. That's the largest ever one-year increase in coverage for the age group.
For all of its disappointments, and we've documented many in the past, Obamacare does some extremely important things. Among them, letting kids under the age of 26 get on their parents' health insurance plans. (It also gets rid of pre-existing condition exclusions from coverage and annual limits on benefits, both huge changes.)

The problem for the Obama administration has been almost a fear of owning health care reform. Yes, a few months ago they finally tried to start touting the importance of the legislation. But not enough. They need to be out there every day telling people what they've already gained, and what they are going to lose, if Obamacare is overturned by the Supreme Court, or by the repugican congress and Mitt Romney.

Every time Mitt Romney talks about repealing Obamacare, he should be asked why he wants to take away health care from 6.6m kids, and why he wants to reinstitute pre-existing conditions, and annual limits on benefits.

The Republicans understand the way the game is played. If you repeat something enough, it becomes the truth. And its corollary, if you don't repeat the truth enough, it becomes a lie in the mind of the public.

The administration should own the stimulus and own Obamacare (and in my opinion, they ran from each before they were even passed). President Obama saved this country from another Great Depression, and he did some good things with Obamacare that on one realizes.

Democrats have for far too long permitted repugicans to lie about these achievements and convince the public that each was ineffective. The only way to turn around the lie is to tell the truth even louder and more often.

Why is our party so ineffective at messaging when so many of our activists excel at it?

NC town to ban smoking on beaches

 A North Carolina town is moving forward with what would be the state's first ban on smoking at a beach.

Town leaders in Wrightsville Beach unanimously voted Thursday to hold a referendum on the November ballot. The action came after more than two years of consideration and a recent 230-person petition to the city's board of aldermen.

The ordinance bans smoking in the sand, but not in the town. Local leaders say the ban will only affect a small strip of city owned land and would not extend to state-owned beaches.

If the ban passes, beach smokers could be fined $250.

It's a pitiful start, but it's a start.
Smoking should be banned period.

Aide could face charge in Edwards sex tape case

A prosecutor will decide whether an ex-aide to John Edwards will face contempt charges related to a court fight over a video that purported to show the ex-presidential candidate having sex with his then-mistress. A North Carolina judge has appointed the prosecutor to consider criminal charges against Andrew Young, his wife and two of their lawyers.

The truth be told

Bernanke's less-than-subtle message to Congress

Rachel Maddow:
 'Fed chairman Ben Bernanke again says that Congress should help the economy. Odds on that?'
When Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered testimony to the' Joint Economic Committee yesterday, most of the focus was on potential steps the Fed may consider to boost the domestic economy. And to be sure, Bernanke's willingness to act is critically important. But there …

US credit at risk without debt deal

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's said Friday the United States could be in for another credit downgrade by 2014 if Congress doesn't tackle the national debt with a serious plan.

Did you know ...

Oh, look out CEO's here comes share holder activism.

About the study shows media more favorable to Romney than Obama.

...  the etymology of supercalifragilisticexpialaidocious?

Greek politician slaps woman on live TV

Greece's election campaign turned ugly last Thursday on live TV: The spokesman of the extreme-right Golden Dawn party, after trading insults of "commie" and "fascist," lunged at two female left-wing politicians on a mainstream morning talk show, throwing water at one and smacking the other three times across the face.

Greece: 2 caught with ancient gold wreath, armband

A police woman displays the wreath of gold oak leaves and acorns, date from roughly the 4th Century B.C. in Thessaloniki on Friday June 8, 2012.

Mom put angel dust in kid's food

Police have filed an arrest warrant for a mother they said put PCP, also known as "angel dust," in her 6-year-old's school lunch -- causing the child to hallucinate and hear "banging in her head." A school counselor became concerned when the Del Valle Popham Elementary School student said she could hear "banging in her head" and started talking to ...

The Taliban poisoned school girls

Their religion told them to do that

The Afghan government accused the Taliban Wednesday of poisoning schoolgirls by bribing
students and workers to sneak toxic chemicals into drinking water or spread it around school grounds,
sickening scores. Fifteen suspects have been arrested, officials said.

Government officials said six schools were affected in the past three weeks, and though they
did not give a total number of girls who got sick, they said one school alone had 125 cases.


See how awful religion is?
Religion made the Taliban airheads poison at least 125 innocent little girls.

They would never have done that if not for their religion.
If you, the reader, were born to Taliban parents, YOU would be a poisoner of girls.
There is no legitimate reason for religion to exist.
Religion is a tool, used mostly by the unscrupulous, to gain power over others.

One should never, EVER do something because your religions says you should.

Religion is bad.

via Bartcop with his commentary highlighted in red.(And he is spot on by the way).

Awesome Pictures


Bits of Wisdom from 2012 Commencement Addresses

by Lucas Reilly  

At Goucher College last month, Ira Glass said that commencement speakers “give stock advice, which is then promptly ignored.” He may be right. Every year, speakers spew the same old sayings: Never give up! Embrace failure! Be passionate! Here’s a look at speakers who said things a little differently this year.

Image credit: Mount Holyoke
1. Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysicist): Mount Holyoke College, MA
“I need the rest of you to help me fix the world. The rest of the world is getting stupider.”
2. Adam Savage (Host: Mythbusters): Sarah Lawrence College, NY
“Think about what you thought college would be like, and what you expected yourself to be like. Now look at yourself. I’m going to hazard a guess and say that things totally didn’t turn out like you expected. This process will repeat itself ad nauseam throughout your entire life.”
3. Samuel Palmisano (Former CEO IBM): Johns Hopkins University, MD
“Maybe the best decision for you is to run away and join the circus. But don’t model yourself on one of the animals, performing tricks for the trainers who throw peanuts.”
4. Aaron Sorkin (Screenwriter, Playwright): Syracuse University, NY
“You’re too good for schadenfreude. You’re too good for gossip and snark. You’re too good for intolerance… you’re too good to think people who disagree with you are your enemy—unless they went to Georgetown, in which case they can go to hell.”
5. Neil Gaiman (Author): University of the Arts, PA
“The problems of failure are hard. The problems of success can be harder, because nobody warns you about them.”
6. Jane Lynch (Actress): Smith College, MA
“If I could do so much of my early life over, I would have taken more moments like this to breathe… I wouldn’t have been forever trying to look around the corner to see ‘What’s next, what’s next?!’”
7. Eric Schmidt (Former Google CEO): Boston University, MA
“Don’t just push a button saying [you] ‘Like’ something. Actually tell them. What a concept!”
8. Tom Brokaw (Journalist): Arizona State University
“All your life you have been hearing about how your lives will be changed on this occasion as you enter the real world. I have a news bulletin for you tonight. You’ve already been there. Turns out, junior high was the real world … The same petty jealousies, the insecurities, the snobs, the cliques, the dorks, the egos, the tantrums, and the dopes that you met in junior high, you’re going to encounter for the rest of your lives.”

Image credit: Goucher College
9. Ira Glass (Radio Personality): Goucher College, MD
“You will be stupid. You will worry your parents. You will question your own choices, your relationships, your jobs, your friends, where you live, what you studied in college, that you went to college at all… If that happens, you’re doing it right.”
10. Dom Sagolla (Twitter co-creator): Becker College, MA
“Embrace constraints; seek them out. Many people feel that social or political constraints are an excuse to fail, but I find them to be freeing. You know, you look at Twitter with 140 characters to get your message across… Some of the best small companies thrive because constraints inspire creativity.”
11. Ted Koppel (Journalist): UMass Amherst
“If we ignore all the serious issues or try to reduce them all to 140 characters or fewer exchanges, we are going to have … genuine problems, not just in the economy, but in foreign policy, education, health.”
12. Laurie Anderson (Multimedia Artist): School of Visual Arts, NY
“No one is ever going to ask you to do the thing you really want to do. This will never happen. So just think about what you’d like to do, and then just start doing it.”
13. More Aaron Sorkin at Syracuse
“Make no mistake about it, you are dumb. You are a group of incredibly well-educated dumb people… There are some screw-ups headed your way. I wish I could tell you that there was a trick to avoiding the screw-ups … but they’re coming for ya. It’s a combination of life being unpredictable, and you being super dumb.”
14. Jamaica Kincaid (Novelist): Grinell College, IA
“You must bite the hand that feeds you. You are perhaps always told the opposite of this…But from time to time, I tell you, you must.”
15. Anna Quindlen (Author, Journalist): Bucknell University, PA
“The voices of conformity speak so loudly. Don’t listen to them. No one does the right thing out of fear. If you ever utter the words, ‘We’ve always done it that way,’ I urge you to wash out your mouth with soap.”
16. Amy Kule (Organizer, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade): Ithaca College, NY
“You will find the most onerous chains to break in your lives are the ones that you’ve tethered there yourselves.”
17. David Simon (TV writer, producer): Georgetown University, DC
“Marching out into this beleaguered world of ours – you suckers are gonna need all the laughter you can get. Take solace in humor, people. As much as you can.”

Image credit: University of Virginia
18. Katie Couric (Journalist): University of Virginia
“Don’t look for jobs. Look for people.”
19. Jim Lehrer (Journalist): College of William and Mary, VA
“Please don’t mistake what is happening here today. The fact that you are receiving a diploma from one of America’s finest institutions of higher learning does not mean you are educated.”
20. Steve Karmen (Composer): Binghamton University, NY
“If your parents support your dreams, say thank you. Over and over and over again. And if they don’t? Well, you’ll just have to show them, won’t you?”
21. Rick MacArthur (Journalist, Author): Columbia University, NY
“My advice to all of you today…is to absorb, to question, to challenge, to refute any author on any subject—or for that matter, any politician or commencement speaker.”
22. Bill Strickland (Author, Educator): Middlebury College, VT
“Do not give up on the poor kids. They might end up being the commencement speaker one day.”
23. Robert Smith (NPR Correspondent): Reed College, OR
“I’m going to get in trouble for this. I know, for your whole life, people have said, ‘Be yourself.’ I’m telling you: not yet.”
24. Anne Fadiman (Author): Trinity College, CT
“I ask you to do two contradictory things—honor difference and commonality. There is a way to do both. Don’t assume that you…stand at the center of the universe. It isn’t true and it never helps.”
25. Leymah Gbowee (Nobel Laureate, Peace Prize): Vassar College, NY
“Let me tell you something. If you think there are social problems and you are comfortable in your fence, trust me, if you don’t help to address those problems, they’ll come knocking at your door.”
26. Elie Wiesel (Author, Holocaust Survivor): Wagner College, NY
“Remember that despair is never the solution. Remember, hatred is never an option. Remember that hope is not a gift given to us, hope is a gift that we give to others.”
27. Robert de Niro (Actor): Bates College, ME
“I have one message for you, class of 2012: Stay in school.”

Homeless to Harvard

homeless_to_harvardName: 6_seniors0108
Dawn Loggins' incredible story of persistence and hard work reached a climax last Thursday night when, amid the attention of media from around the country, she and her fellow Burns High School seniors received diplomas in commencement exercises at Gardner-Webb University.

Stress Alters Kids' Brains

childIntense and prolonged stress can shorten children's memories, research finds. Read more

Stone Age Artists Created Prehistoric Movies

Stoneage Artists Created Prehistoric Movies Realistic artistic scenes were created by Stone Age-era people in France to represent animated movement.  
Read more


(by sgmillionxu2000)


They sure look beautiful, but they're not just any flower ... they're nanoflowers!
Nanoflowers may not impress your date, but researchers say these floral-shaped molecules—so tiny you'd need an electron microscope to see them—may have other uses. The objects (shown above) consist of a protein encased in copper phosphate "petals." As well as looking pretty, these petals perform two important functions. First, they stabilize the protein to prevent it from breaking down. Secondly, if the protein has catalytic properties—that is, if it speeds up other chemical reactions—encasing it in a nanoflower makes it a more effective catalyst. Nanoflower catalysts therefore work better and last longer than the bare proteins.

Panthers on the Prowl

Unique and rare pictures of jaguars are caught on a secret Webcam as part of a conservation study.

Panthers on the Prowl: Photos

Unique and rare pictures of jaguars are caught on a secret Webcam as part of a conservation study.

The Fall of Gaddafi and The Rise of the Desert Locust

Photo: Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations
The fall of the Gaddafi regime in Libya has an unforeseen consequence: the rise of the desert locusts.
Life's Little Mysteries explains:
"The fall of Gaddafi was an enormous factor, to be honest," said Keith Cressman, FAO senior locust forecasting officer, according to the Financial Times. "It depleted the Libyans' capacity to monitor and respond as they normally would."
Desert locust swarms formed in Libya and Algeria in mid-May after abundant rainfall facilitated growth of vegetation on which they feed. However, insecurity along the Libya-Algeria border — a consequence of the uprising — has prevented affected areas from being sprayed.
Gaddafi's regime tightly controlled the country's locust population, regularly sending convoys of survey and pest control vehicles into the desert areas where locusts breed, Cressman said. Libyan convoys even came to the aid of other African countries facing locust infestations. "But now they are the ones needing help," he said.

Officials Probe Man for Hawking Bear Cubs at Gas Station

A man allegedly tried to sell two bear cubs, not those pictured here, at a gas station in northern California.

They're Creepy and They're Crawly

By Claire McNeill 
snake_1They’re crawling into attics and stealing birds’ nests out of trees. And they’re coming out in force. Snake sightings are surging thanks to a perfect storm of weather conditions and Charlotte’s environment.

Dogs Know When You're Sad

Our canine friends are more likely to approach a crying person than someone who seems happy. Read more


New Guidelines for Dog, Cat CPR

Animal Pictures