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.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Daily Drift

Despite all - Hang in there.

Some of today's readers have been in:
Makati, Philippines
London, England
Bayan Lepas, Malaysia
Edinburgh, Scotland
Phatthaya, Thailand
Glasgow, Scotland
Ankara, Turkey
Jerudong, Brunei
Cape Town, South Africa
Fort-De-France, Martinique
Kluang, Malaysia
San Salvador, El Salvador
George Town, Malaysia
Bangkok, Thailand
Johannesburg, South Africa
Kulim, Malaysia
Jakarta, Indonesia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Medellin, Colombia
Guatemala City, Guatemala

Today in History

455   Rome is sacked by the Vandal army.
1815   Napoleon defeats the Prussians at the Battle of Ligny.
1858   Abraham Lincoln, in accepting the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, declares that, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
1864   The siege of Petersburg and Richmond begins after a moonlight skirmish.
1907   The Russian czar dissolves the Duma in St. Petersburg.
1910   The first Father's Day is celebrated in Spokane Washington.
1925   France accepts a German proposal for a security pact.
1932   The ban on Nazi storm troopers is lifted by the von Papen government in Germany.
1935   President Roosevelt's New Deal legislation is passed by the House of Representatives.
1940   French Chief of State, Henri Petain asks for an armistice with Germany.
1952   Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl is published in the United States.
1955   The U.S. House of Representatives votes to extend Selective Service until 1959.
1961   Ballet star Rudolf Nureyev defects from the Soviet Union while in Paris.
1971   An El Greco sketch, "The Immaculate Conception," stolen in Spain 35 years earlier, is recovered in New York City by the FBI.
1977   Leonid Brezhnev is named president of the Soviet Union.

Editorial Comment

Five years ago when we started this blog we thought we'd see a handful of followers and a few readers. Well, we got that and so much more. Looking back it has been a great time and we will continue as long as we can.
Even the recent five month hiatus of this blog did not dampen the overall readership. We remained strong and are regaining most of what was lost while adding even more with readers in over 89% of the world's nations (just can't seem to crack 90% - a couple of new nations tend to crop up in the world every time we get close and skew the percentages, so wonder what new nations are on the bubble?).

The readers and the volunteer contributors make CN.

Bacon Sundae

It seems that Burger King must have taken a very long position on pork futures, because they've rolled out a temporary Memphis Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich, Carolina BBQ Whopper, Texas BBQ Whopper and a bacon sundae:
The AP reports that BK will launch the treat — which has fudge, caramel, crumbled bacon and a full piece of bacon — later this week, along with other limited time items.
It has 510 calories, 18 grams of fat and 61 grams of sugar, but we're guessing that these numbers won't discourage the bacon-curious from giving it a try.
Burger King Gives Us The Bacon Sundae We've Always Wanted But Were Afraid To Ask For

Missing Football Season


Nathalia Ramos

Eagles' Joe Walsh backs opponent of Rep. Joe Walsh

 An Iraq war veteran from Illinois hoping to limit tea party-backed Republican Rep. Joe Walsh to a single term in Congress was endorsed Tuesday by none other than ... Joe Walsh.Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, that is.
The six-time Grammy-winning rocker said he's "the real Joe Walsh" and that he's proud to back Democrat Tammy Duckworth in her bid for the suburban Chicago congressional seat. The musician, who lived in Evanston for a few years as a child, will hold a fundraising concert for her in July, with tickets priced at $100 to $2,500.
The endorsement in one of the most closely-watched U.S. House races nationwide is a first for the Democratic musician. He held a concert for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, but said he hasn't endorsed anyone else.
"I sincerely believe that she is the real thing," Walsh told The Associated Press. "I'm frustrated with Congress in that they're not getting very much done and I'm frustrated to the point where I think people should start paying attention to who's in Congress."
Duckworth, who was an Army helicopter pilot, lost her legs in a 2004 rocket-propelled grenade attack in Iraq. She later served in the Obama administration.
Walsh the musician said his endorsement has nothing to do with sharing the congressman's name. He said Duckworth's service record and sacrifices to the country show she's the best candidate for the job.
The first-term congressman, whose acerbic criticism of President Barack Obama has made him a frequent guest on cable news talk shows, dismissed the endorsement as a stunt.
"Is anyone really surprised when Tammy gets support from the liberal entertainment industry?" the congressman's campaign said in a statement. "Tammy can have the support of the 'Hotel California' liberal elite, Congressman Walsh is more concerned with getting the support of hard working families from the 8th district."
It's not the first time the Joe Walshes have crossed paths.
When the congressman ran for office in 2010 and used a version of an Eagles' song on his website, the guitarist threatened to sue for copyright infringement and the video was taken down.
The musician didn't have too much to say about that incident or their shared moniker.
"It's kind of awkward that the incumbent has my name," he said. "This is not about him."
Walsh joined The Eagles in the mid-1970s. His first solo album in two decades, "Analog Man," was released this year.

Did you know ...

That repugicans eat their own: Grover nNorquist vs. Jeb Bush

The koch brothers linked to Florida voter purge

The repugicans are lying liars

by Mario Piperni

If I wanted to, I could post Idiot Quotes of the Day all day long. The right has no shortage of liars and bigots in their cesspool of stupidity to ever fear running short of material.

Case in point, Republican Congressman Jeff Landry of Louisiana decided to attack the Obama administration for mandating that contraception be included in health insurance policies by spouting this bit of nonsense.
Down here in south Louisiana this is huge, this is very important to my constituency.
I think the biggest problems that a lot of Americans are having out there is the hypocrisy of this administration. Remember, this is an administration who has no problem
special status or waivers to muslims as they go through TSA screenings.

Look, as they believe that there is a need to grant them special rights as they go through
the TSA screening based upon their religion, that’s fine, I’m ok with that. But then don’t
turn around and attack christians when they stand up and say ‘listen, we believe that the
policies you’re putting in place violate our religious freedoms as well.

They literally just make this shit up as they go.

IF Obama had a policy to let muslims skip airport screening, don't you think Pigboy
and FAUX news and the rest would be squealing like a chicken caught in a tractor's nuts?

If JPMorgan is too big to manage, it is too big to fail?

As Congress prepares for the latest complete waste of time but made for TV news clip event with Jamie Dimon, Bloomberg has a great read on the world of Jamie Dimon and how his own actions are at the center of the problem. What jumps out is the hard reality that the JPMorgan empire is simply too big to manage.
We can debate whether or not Dimon was giving a free pass to the CIO who took extensive gambles and lost, but the problem is the enormous size of JPMorgan. We let the pressure slip on demanding that the mega banks be broken up but now is an ideal time to restart that demand.

There are new concerns about US banks being under funded for Basel III and we really don't yet know how much expose the US banks (including the Spanish banks that now operate in the US) have with the Europe crisis. All of this points to another round of concern about the banking system and whether it will need another intervention.

We are four years into this banking crisis yet we've made too little progress. This needs to change. More on the JPMorgan problems via Bloomberg:
Dimon’s actions contrast with his reputation as a risk- averse manager who demands regular and exhaustive reviews of every corner of the bank. While Dimon has said he didn’t know how dangerous bets inside the CIO had become, the loss on those trades calls into question whether anyone can manage a financial empire as vast as JPMorgan, which became the biggest U.S. lender last year and now has more than $2.3 trillion in assets, larger than the economies of Brazil or the U.K.

“These institutions are too big to manage because even the bank that was considered to be the best-managed turns out to have had a significant glitch,” said Gary Stern, a former president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and co-author of the 2004 book “Too Big to Fail: The Hazards of Bank Bailouts.”
Shouldn't we also be questioning the sanity of anyone who promotes the "Jamie Dimon had a reputation for being risk averse" now that we see this? It makes about as much sense as "George Bush, the CEO president" who happened to drive every company he touched into the ground followed by the same for the US. Let's all admit that Jamie Dimon was great at PR spin to make people believe he was risk averse when in fact he really was just another Wall Street gambler.

US employers to add jobs in Third Quarter

While potentially encouraging, most people are in the "I'll believe it when I see it" phase after years of employment problems and promises of political fixes. The stimulus did work though nothing else has helped employment. Maybe there really is a hiring spike coming in Q3 but like others, I'll believe it when I see it.
More from Bloomberg on the new survey:
Manpower Inc. (MAN)’s employment index for the period from July through September climbed to 11 percent, the highest reading in four years, from 10 percent in the second quarter, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based, staffing company reported. The measure was at 8 percent a year earlier.

For the first time since 2008, employers held positive outlooks on hiring in consecutive quarters in all four regions of the country and in all industries. The figures may ease concern that the job market is faltering after Labor Department data showed employment rose in May at the slowest pace in a year.

“We’ve been climbing out of this slowly,” Manpower Chief Executive Officer Jeff Joerres said in an interview. “It’s nothing fantastic, but it’s a hand-over-hand rappelling up the hill.”

The truth hurts

Yemen drives al-Qaida from 2 major strongholds

Yemeni troops and armed tribesmen drove al-Qaida militants from two southern strongholds on Tuesday, a major victory in a U.S.-backed offensive to seize territory held for more than a year by the terror network as it exploited political turmoil to gain a foothold in the strategic area.

Police fire tear gas as 20,000 opposition protesters gather in West African nation of Togo

More than 10,000 protesters took to the streets of Togo's capital Tuesday to protest recent changes to the electoral code and to express their frustration over the government's failure to act to address long-standing grievances such as human rights violations by security forces.

The truth be told

Women MDs paid less

Reluctant to push for raises?
Women physician-scientists are paid much less than their male counterparts, researchers found, with a salary difference that over the course of a career could pay for a college education, a spacious house, or a retirement nest egg.

Health costs will continue to outpace economic growth

Despite a recent easing of medical costs, the nation's health care spending will keep outpacing economic growth for the foreseeable future, government experts said Tuesday in a forecast that signals more upheaval for Medicare and Medicaid, as well as private insurance.

Donate a kidney ...

... and kiss your insurance goodbye 

 Not in all cases, but as the NYT notes, it's happened repeatedly.
Linda Bramblett, a 53-year-old self-employed swim instructor from Great Falls, Va., was denied health insurance in 2010 after telling her prospective insurer that she was planning to donate a kidney to her younger brother. She was in good health and had already been approved for surgery, and went ahead with the donation in December 2010, she said.
Susan Galbreath, a 42-year-old from New Boston, Mich., who is on dialysis, said a friend was going to donate a kidney to her but changed her mind after a conversation with an official from her insurance company, who said her future coverage would be determined on a “claim by claim” basis.
Best health care in the world. If you can get it.

Mild stress can affect perceptions same as life-threatening stress

Financial loss can lead to irrational behavior. Now, research by Weizmann Institute scientists reveals that the effects of loss go ...
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Diabetes in the USA

We've been told before that more and more Americans are getting Type 2 diabetes (which is brought upon by obesity), but you may be surprised that the geographical distribution of the disease is actually quite striking*.
Healthline compiled data from CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance system and the US Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program to create an interactive map where you can see the relationship between average household income, food desert (no, not "dessert" - food desert is an area where healthy and affordable food like fresh fruits and vegetables are not easily obtainable), and type 2 diabetes.
*As you can see, diabetes is far more prevalent in the Southern United States (the red areas in Arizona are the Navajo and Apache Indian reservations)

Dad’s Not Worth As Much As Mom When It Comes To Household Chores

Father's Day is this coming Sunday, so tell your dad that you love him and that you appreciate all the daddy duties that he did, like getting rid of that icky bug from the house.
But don't tell him that he's not worth as much as mom when it comes to doing things around the house. As Emmet Pierce of Insure.com calculated, Dad's value in 2012 is $20,248 (compare that to mom's value of $60,182).

Could There Be a Treasure in Your Toilet?

The float in your toilet tank that measures the water level is probably made of rubber or plastic. An old one might be metal. But even earlier, tank floats were made of blown glass. And glass being what it is, these floats are kind of rare now. Collector’s Weekly tells us all about glass toilet floats in a conversation with antique expert (and Rare Earth keyboard player) Mike Bruner.
“That’s a really beautiful float,” he practically gushes when I ask him about a plain, innocuous-looking float with the words “Patent applied for” embossed on its side. “The glass on that, I just love. It’s very crude, but it’s probably the nicest appearing glass I have.”
I look again. It doesn’t seem all that remarkable to me, but Bruner’s vision is keener than mine. Where I see a boring oblong form, he sees history, and even art. “It’s obviously handmade, and I’d be willing to bet it could date to the 1800s,” he says. “It’s not symmetrical in its shape. It’s just what people who collect glassware want. They want something that tells a story. There’s no doubt that a human being made this thing. It went into a three-piece mold, so it’s definitely a production piece, but a human being blew the glass and snapped off the rod at the end. This thing is full of charisma.”
Have you ever seen a glass float? .

There's no relief in those woods

Peeing Swede filmed in shock bear encounter
A half-naked 61-year-old Swedish man who was relieving himself in the woods got quite a start when a rampaging bear chasing an elk knocked him down – all as his wife recorded the unlikely chain of events with an iPad. Last Sunday, Ola Åkesson left his normally tranquil summer cabin in the Ängraån nature reserve in northerneastern Sweden to take what he referred to as his “night time piss”. Looking up as he heeded nature's call, Åkesson saw a baby elk on the other side of the stream. “I called to my wife to get out the iPad to film the elk, when all of a sudden she screamed that there was a bear behind me,” Åkesson said.

“I turned around and there was a huge bear right beside me – maybe half a metre away, I could have reached out and touched it – but I didn’t even have time to think.” As the bear came charging onto the scene, Åkesson fell to the ground, all the while with his wife screaming in the background while filming the commotion. “Look out Ola – a bear is coming!” screamed Åkesson’s wife in the video, followed by stream of well-known Swedish swear words. “Are you stupid? Run, for god’s sake!”

The bear, which Åkesson believes was hunting the little elk, then ploughed onto the waterside deck in a frenzy, knocking a bird-shaped ornament into the water, before then vanishing back into the woods. Meanwhile, a half-naked Åkesson stumbled back up to the house in his underwear. It remains unclear whether the bear was after the elk, or a taste of Åkesson's own Swedish meatballs, yet the Swede says he doesn’t care. He’s just happy to be alive to tell the tale.

Video link.

When asked how it felt to shoot to fame in his underwear, the 61-year-old Åkesson laughed. “Ah, that’s no problem for me at all, I’m just glad the whole thing was caught on camera otherwise no one would believe it,” he chuckled. As for the couple, Åkesson said that life will continue as normal, adding that there weren’t even any plans to add an indoor toilet to the country house in order to ensure he and has wife avoid any future unexpected run ins with wild animals. “This was just a one in a million chance; we doubt it will ever happen again,” he said.

Woman forced to drop pants on New York subway after giant rat runs up her trouser leg

A hotel supervisor was forced to drop her pants in the middle of a full midtown subway car on Friday — when a brazen rat darted up her trouser leg. Ana Vargas, 40, said she was sitting in an A train heading downtown as it approached the Columbus Circle station about 7:50 a.m. when the rodent suddenly sprang. “I thought it was my pants moving,” Vargas said. “It just crawled up my leg. I shook it and nothing came out.” But then she realized she was being attacked.
“I said, ‘Oh, my God — it’s an animal on my leg!’ ” she recalled. “He was very big. I was shaking, but nothing was coming out . . . I had to pull my pants down in front of everyone on the train.” Vargas, who works as a supervisor at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel in midtown, said three men tried to shield her from flashing everyone on the train as she shook the furry culprit loose. “I grabbed his head, because he was scratching me,” she said. “I didn’t want it to bite.”

The train came to a stop and Vargas dropped the rat as she ran for help on the platform. “I was very nervous,” she said. “I was shivering, shaking — everything.” Police soon arrived and called a crew of EMTs to take Vargas to Roosevelt Hospital, where she was treated for scratches to her leg and thigh. “It was burning me, but the doctors say it’s normal,” she said. The rail-riding rat went missing after the sneaky skirmish.

Vargas was given a Tetanus shot before she was released from the hospital more than an hour later. But after a day spent at work, she said she may go back to the doctors to get her wounds checked out. “It keeps burning me,” she said. “I’m worried.” Vargas said she was traumatized by the freak rat raid and is now nervous about riding the train to work every day. “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” she said.

Man charged with assault in argument over cockroach

A dispute over a cockroach sent a Texas man into a violent rage at his family's Friendswood home, said police.
According to police, it happened on June 7th at the home on the 900 block of Knights Court.

Investigators said Zachary Paul Thornhill, 23, refused to kill a roach and then turned violent.

Police said Thornhill kicked his stepfather and threw things at him. He's also accused of hitting his mother across the back and breaking a window. Thornhill is charged with two counts of assault by conduct.

Now that is something you don't see everyday

Tornado hits near Venice, Italy



Amelia Earhart in front of her first airplane, a Kinner Airster, c. 1921
Amelia Earhart in front of her first airplane, a Kinner Airster, c. 1921

The Myths and Marvels of Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is the highest-altitude navigable lake on earth. It spans two countries and thousands of years of civilization. In fact, those who live there consider it the birthplace of the Incas. Read more about this fabled lake and see more pictures at Environmental Graffiti.

Awesome Pictures

Do Trees Crave Personal Space?

You know that feeling when you’re on a crowded subway, hanging on for dear life, and the doors open, only ...
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Animal Pictures