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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Daily Drift


Some of our readers today have been in:
Alor Setar, Malaysia
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Cape Town, South Africa
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Makati, Pilippines
Klang, Malaysia
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Kuantan, Malaysia
Bangkok, Thailand
Tbilisi, Georgia
Manila, Philippines
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Zagreb, Croatia
Santiago, Chile
Islamabad, Pakistan
Ankara, Turkey
Waterloo, Canada
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

As well as in all 50 of the states in the USA in cities such as:

Raleigh, Battleboro, Holtsville, Philadelphia, Milford, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Scottsdale, Norfolk, Reno, Wilson, Jefferson City, Birmingham, Portland, Huntsville, Mountain, View, Marietta, Baltimore, Denver, Schaumburg, Overland Park, Omaha, Hope Valley, Edmonds, Florence,  Honolulu, Beech Grove, Winter Haven, Greenville, Caledonia, Old Town, Brecksville, Sparta, Iowa City, Billings, Boise, Tulsa, Salt Lake City, Anchorage and Bluefield.

 Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Today in History

1742 A Spanish force invading Georgia runs headlong into the colony's British defenders.The battle decides the fate of a colony.
1777 American troops give up Fort Ticonderoga, on Lake Champlain, to the British.
1791 Benjamin Rush, Richard Allen and Absalom Jones found the Non-denominational African Church.
1795 Thomas Paine defends the principal of universal suffrage at the Constitutional Convention in Paris.
1798 Napoleon Bonaparte's army begins its march towards Cairo from Alexandria.
1807 Czar Alexander meets with Napoleon Bonaparte.
1814 Sir Walter Scott's novel Waverly is published anonymously so as not to damage his reputation as a poet.
1815 After defeating Napoleon at Waterloo, the victorious Allies march into Paris.
1853 Japan opens its ports to trade with the West after 250 years of isolation.
1863 Confederate General Robert E. Lee, in Hagerstown, Maryland, reports his defeat at Gettysburg to President Jefferson Davis.
1925 Afrikaans is recognized as one of the official languages of South Africa, along with English and Dutch.
1927 Christopher Stone becomes the first British 'disc jockey' when he plays records for the BBC.
1941 Although a neutral country, the United States sends troops to occupy Iceland to keep it out of Germany's hands.
1943 Adolf Hitler makes the V-2 missile program a top priority in armament planning.
1966 The U.S. Marine Corps launches Operation Hasting to drive the North Vietnamese Army back across the Demilitarized Zone in Vietnam.
1969 The first U.S. units to withdraw from South Vietnam leave Saigon.
1981 Sandra Day O'Connor becomes the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

The truth be told

The Crooked House Of Poland

Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with your computer monitor, the architects who designed Krzywy Domek, the Crooked House of Sopot, Poland are just messing with your head!
This crazy warped vision of modern architecture was created in 2004 as a unique and magical place to shop, and the fun doesn’t stop when you walk through the door because the interior is just as kooky as the exterior.

Culinary DeLites

All-bacon burger  Content Wp-Content Uploads 2012 07 Slaters-5050-100-Bacon Southern California's Slater's 50/50 has put the ham back into hamburger with its 100% ground bacon burger, topped with a bacon slice, egg, bacon cheddar, and "bacon island" sauce. It's called 'The 'merica." "Slater’s 50/50 Debuts a 100% Ground Bacon Burger"

Def Leppard cuts off Universal Music, re-records "forgeries" of its own hits

Def Leppard got screwed over by Universal Music on compensation for its digital downloads and refuses to have anything to do with them until they pay the band a fair share of the money from iTunes, the Amazon MP3 store, and other digital distribution systems. In order to cut the label out of its earnings, the band has gone back to the studio to re-record its most popular tunes, producing what it calls "forgeries" -- note for note reproductions of the original studio cuts. The band can do this because of "compulsory licensing," which allows anyone to record and sell any song, on payment of a set royalty. But it's surprisingly hard to reproduce decades-old recordings, as Gary Graff writes for Billboard:
"When you're at loggerheads with an ex-record label who...is not prepared to pay you a fair amount of money and we have the right to say, 'Well, you're not doing it,' that's the way it's going to be," Elliott tells Billboard.com. "Our contract is such that they can't do anything with our music without our permission, not a thing. So we just sent them a letter saying, 'No matter what you want, you are going to get "no" as an answer, so don't ask.' That's the way we've left it. We'll just replace our back catalog with brand new, exact same versions of what we did."
While the business side seems cut and dried, Elliott says the creative part of recreating songs that date back 25 years or more is not. "You just don't go in and say, 'Hey guys, let's record it,' and it's done in three minutes," Elliott notes. "We had to study those songs, I mean down to the umpteenth degree of detail, and make complete forgeries of them. Time-wise it probably took as long to do as the originals, but because of the technology it actually got done quicker as we got going. But trying to find all those sounds...like where am I gonna find a 22-year-old voice? I had to sing myself into a certain throat shape to be able to sing that way again. It was really hard work, but it was challenging, and we did have a good laugh over it here and there."

Chip trails leads to chip thief

Benjamin Sickles, 21, was arrested Thursday after stealing snacks from a Subway restaurant near Pittsburgh, PA. To find their man. officers "followed a trail of chip bags".

Did you know ...

About Bobby Jindal's strange history with exorcisms

About Mitt Romney's Bain problem

That "stand your ground" laws lead to more murders says new study

The woman victim is jailed for groping TSA agent who groped her

"6,000-Year-Old Lovers Make Debut In Italy"

"This weekend the Lovers of Valdaro, two skeletons found wrapped in an embrace, were displayed for the first time at Mantua's Archaeological Museum. The bones date back to the Neolithic era and were found face to face with their arms and legs entwined in 2007. There's no sign that the man and woman, who were around 18 to 20 years old, died a violent death. Some believe they died holding each other on a freezing night, though it's more likely that they were just buried in that position. Fans of the Lovers in Mantua are campaigning to give them a permanent spot in the museum, now that they've been moved from the grave they shared for 6,000 years."

Heart News

Some heart transplant recipients start craving things the heart's previous owner liked. 

Diabetic News

Antibodies reverse type 1 diabetes in new study
Scientists at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have used injections of antibodies to rapidly reverse the onset ...
Continue Reading

China has higher childhood diabetes rate than U.S.
A study led by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found Chinese teenagers have a rate ...
Continue Reading

Family selling Lou Gehrig's 1928 World Series home run ball to pay for medical school

The 84-year-old baseball has been sitting in Elizabeth Gott's drawer for years, but now she's hoping it will pay off her son's medical school debt.

Higgs on Higgs

Peter Higgs (of the Higgs Boson Higgses) would like to correct a couple of misconceptions.
First off, the discovery of the Higgs Boson (if that is, indeed, what has been discovered) neither proves nor disproves the existence of a deity. In fact, the Higgs Boson has nothing to do with God at all. It's important to physicists, sure. As we've talked about here before, Higgs Bosons are thought to be a key part of explaining why some sub-atomic particles have more mass than others. But that does not really overlap with religious significance. In fact, according to Higgs, the name "God Particle" is actually a politeness-corrupted version of "Goddam Particle"—so called because the goddam particle was so difficult to find.
Second: Over the last couple of days, you may have been wondering what practical applications could come out of the discovery of the Higgs Boson. Peter Higgs has a response for that. To paraphrase: "Damned if I know."
“It’s around for a very short time. It’s probably about a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a second. I don’t know how you apply that to anything useful," Higgs said.
“It’s hard enough with particles which have longer life times for decay to make them useful. Some of the ones which have life times of only maybe a millionth of a second or so are used in medical applications. How you could have an application of this thing which is very short lived, I have no idea.”
But Alan Walker, a colleague from the university’s school of physics and astronomy, said there had been the same uncertainty when the electron was discovered.
Read the rest of The Telegraph's story on Peter Higgs' reaction to CERN's latest Higgs Boson news.

Higgs Boson

How the Higgs Could Become Annoying

Yes, the discovery of the Higgs boson is thrilling and game-changing. But it could also introduce some aggravating situations. Read more
higgs boson

What If the New Particle Isn't the Higgs Boson?

There are subtle indications that the particle may not, in fact, be the Higgs, but that could be a good thing. Read more

Where's My iHiggs?

Will engineers ever be able to make use of Higgs boson research to transport matter or manipulate time? Read more
Where's My iHiggs?

Higgs Boson Gateway to New Vision of Universe

The confirmation of the Higgs boson could open a gateway to a new era of physics. Read more
The confirmation of the Higgs boson could open a gateway to a new era of physics.

One year of econopocalypse would pay for a civilization's worth of science

The UK has spent more money bailing out its banks in the past 12 months than it has spent on science since the time of christ.

A cool $5.5 million an hour

Nice one day job.
Duke Energy CEO Bill Johnson resigns after one day, gets $44 million in severance More

The crime of the century and where's the outrage?

The crime of the century ... and probably none of these banksters involved in the Libor scandal will head off to jail.
modern international bankers form a class of thieves the likes of which the world has never before seen. or, indeed, imagined. the scandal over Libor -- short for London interbank offered rate -- has resulted in a huge fine for Barclays bank and threatens to ensnare some of the world's top financiers. it reveals that behind the world's financial edifice lies a reeking cesspool of unprecedented corruption. the modern-day robber barons pillage with a destructive abandon totally unfettered by law or conscience and on a scale that is almost impossible to comprehend. More

And just where is the outrage?

Libor. no, not a country. a major, massive banking scam/manipulation. while our press covers the tomkat divorce drama...serious news about financial criminality is being brought to light overseas.
Investment banking is an organized scam masquerading as a business. It is defined by endemic conflicts of interest, systemic amoral behavior and extreme avarice. Many of its senior figures should be serving prison sentences or disgraced – and would have been if British regulators had been weaned off the doctrine of “light touch” regulation earlier and if the serious fraud office’s budget had not been emasculated by Mr Osborne. It is a tax on wealth generation and an enemy of honest endeavor – the beast that is devouring British capitalism.- guardian via naked capitalism

Is the US government reading your email without a warrant?


The ACLU is trying to find out and the deadline for providing a response is quickly approaching. During the Bush years, many suspected that it was a Republican obsession with hating privacy but sadly it's a political class and government problem and likely a lot more widespread than any of us would like.
ACLU lawyer Catherine Crump, who ran the cellphone location data investigation, is at it again. This time, she has filed similar Freedom of Information Act requests with several federal agencies, asking about their policies and legal processes for reading Internet users' emails.

"It's high time we know what's going on," Crump told msnbc.com. "It's been clear since the 1870s that the government needs a warrant to read postal mail. There's no good reason email should be treated differently."

There are hints that it is being treated differently, however. In a landmark 2010 case, United States v. Warshak, government investigators acknowledged that they read 27,000 emails without obtaining a search warrant, violating both the suspect's privacy and the privacy of everyone who communicated with the suspect, according to Crump.

Raul Castro gets pulled over in Arizona

Of course he was. with a last name like that. with a skin color that wasn't Caucasian. his case of being detained by Arizona officials in 100 degree heat for more than half an hour should come no surprise. Cases like this happen frequently since Arizona passed its "show them papers" law. There is one major difference, though. A difference that will make people to pause, just a second, about Arizona's "papers" law in Raul Castro's case.

Raul Castro is a former governor of the state of Arizona.
The wife and a friend of former Arizona Governor Raul Castro are calling for changes in border patrol procedures after agents recently detained the frail 96-year-old in 100-degree heat for more than a half-hour.

Castro said he was traveling from his home in Nogales, Arizona, to celebrate his 96th birthday in Tucson when his vehicle triggered a radiation sensor at the border patrol checkpoint on interstate 19 north of Tubac.

Castro said agents sent him to another inspection area and continued to question him outside his vehicle for 40 to 45 minutes even though he explained that he had undergone hospital testing on his pacemaker the previous day, likely triggering the sensor. - More
Think Progress has more....
This is the third time the former governor and ambassador has been detained by border control. the first occurred years ago while he was repairing his own fence and agents stopped him and asked to see his work card — although they eventually desisted after Castro pointed out a sign by his farm entrance that read “Judge Castro.” The second occurred years later in San Diego, although that encounter ended shortly after someone recognized Castro and said “Governor, how are you?”

What is Mitt Romney hiding?

From Business Insider:
These are important questions. We know that Governor Romney has had a Swiss bank account, as well as money in other tax havens like the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, Bermuda, and Ireland. Romney's answer to any question about his taxes has basically been, "Trust me." But the guy's running for President, for Pete's sake. He owes us more than that. 
The bottom line is that there is a lot of unsettling information in what investigators have so far been able to piece together about Romney's finances. The easiest way for Governor Romney to put to rest what his campaign described to Shaxson as "unfounded allegations and insinuations" would be to release his tax returns. Yet he has not done so and shows no sign of changing his mind. Josh Marshall calls the questions "kryptonite" and thinks Romney will come under a lot of pressure to release more tax returns. Let's hope so. The guy's running for President, for Pete's sake.

The truth hurts

TSA to have"random" beverage checks before boarding

Just when you think the TSA could not be any more ridiculous, they turn it up to eleven.
According to the TSA's website, the beverage checks are random, hygenic and happen at airports across the country, including Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field.

The test involves a test strip and dropper containing a non-toxic solution. TSA agents do not place the test strips in your drink. Instead, agents have the passenger remove the cap or lid, and agents then hold the strip over the opening.

The test strip is then removed away from the drink and the solution is dropped on the strip.

Hitler protected Jewish World War One veteran

Air Force men with their standards marching through the streets of Cologne, March 8, 1936. (AP Photo)
Air Force men with their standards marching through the streets of Cologne, March 8, 1936.
Adolf Hitler personally intervened to protect a Jewish man who had been his commanding officer during World War One, according to a letter unearthed by the Jewish Voice from Germany newspaper.
The letter, composed in August 1940 by Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazis' feared paramilitary SS, said Ernst Hess, a judge, should be spared persecution or deportation "as per the Fuehrer's wishes."
Hess, a decorated World War One hero who briefly commanded Hitler's company in Flanders, worked as a judge until Nazi racial laws forced him to resign in 1936. The same year he was beaten up by Nazi thugs outside his house, the paper said.
In a petition to Hitler at that time, Hess wrote: "For us it is a kind of spiritual death to now be branded as Jews and exposed to general contempt."
Hess and his family moved for a time to a German-speaking area of northern Italy but were then forced to return to Germany where he discovered Hitler's protection order had been revoked.
He spent the rest of World War Two doing slave labor but he escaped death partly thanks to the fact that his wife was a Gentile. Hess's sister died in the Auschwitz death camp but his mother managed to escape to Switzerland.
Hess remained in Germany after the war, becoming head of the Federal Railway Authority based in Frankfurt. He died in 1983.
Hess's daughter Ursula, now 86 and still living in Germany, told the paper in an interview her father had benefited from a chance encounter with another World War One comrade, Fritz Wiedemann. He became Hitler's adjutant and used his influence to win concessions for Hess, she was quoted as saying.
Ursula Hess also recalled her father saying that as a young corporal in World War One, Hitler had had no friends in their regiment and had kept himself very much to himself.

Rocket of the Riverways

Soviet Hydrofoil

Soviet hydrofoil Burevestnik (Stormbringer), with two airplane turbine engines.

Dark Roasted Blend has a feature of the "rockets of the riverways" that will make you pine for the good ol' days of the Cold War: Here.

Why Suppressing Forest Fires Actually Made Them Worse

Each year, fires destroy thousands of acres of forests. Fires are a natural process in the forests, but today's fires often get out of control. Why More

Random Celebrity Photo

Record Drought and El Nino Increasing

Drought in US Breaks Records

Nearly 47 percent of the country suffers under drought conditions according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. If only the contiguous 48 states are considered, the figure jumps to approximately 56 percent.  
Read more
Drought in US Breaks Records

Chance of El Nino Developing Increases

The northern United States could be in for a warmer and drier winter while the South could find itself with more rain.  
Read more

Now do you believe?

The Heat: It makes you cranky and it kills you

Why We Get Cranky When It's Hot

Sleep deprivation, dehydration and restrictions on activity can make an ugly combo.  
Read more

How Heat Kills

A combination of hot temperatures, high humidity and preexisting health conditions can make heat dangerous.  
Read more

Just how hot is it in the US right now?

Mark Memmott at NPR's "The Two Way" blog digs in to statistics and maps from the National Climatic Data Center to illustrate exactly how fucking hot it is in hundreds of cities around the US, as a record-setting heatwave continues. I found the data a little confusing, so I 'shooped up a "For Dummies" version for you all, above. But do read the whole post from Mark here

Earth Is Farthest From the Sun This Week

As a heat wave continues over parts of the U.S. it may be hard to believe our planet is at its farthest point from the sun.  

Twenty Most Incredible Lenticular Clouds

If you ever thought you spied a UFO – maybe it was a lenticular cloud. We've covered mammatus clouds before here on EG; now it's time for lenticular clouds to take a bow! More

The Amusement Park Being Swallowed by the Sea

Faced with the wrath of the elements and coastal erosion, Blackgang Chine on England's Isle of Wight is an amusement park that is literally falling into the sea. More

China's Three Gorges Dam Opens

The Three Gorges opened its sluices for water discharge in Yichang, central China's Hubei Province on July 5, 2012.
three gorges dam

Braving the Perilous Terrain of Greenland's Stunning Tasermiut Fjord

Aurora Borealis over Tasermiut fjordKetil (2003m), StreamKetil (2003m)Still unnamed peaks and lakeKetil (2003m), PeaksTasiusaq village, cemetary
Tasermiut Fjord in Southern Greenland is one of the most spectacular and pristine wildernesses on Earth. It is also one of the most dangerous. More


Horsetail Fall is a small, ephemeral waterfall that flows over the eastern edge of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. For two weeks in February, the setting sun striking the waterfall creates a deep orange glow that resembles Yosemite's historic"Firefall."

Space slows the signs of aging

C elegans Space slows the signs of aging... if you are a worm

Cape Cod Warned About Great White Sharks

After numerous shark sightings, the city of Chatham is telling beach-goers to stay away from seals. Read more 
Cape Cod Warned About Great White Sharks

New Hope For Corals?

Coral reefs off the coast of Panama collapsed for some 2,500 years, during a time of intense shifts in oceanic temperatures, but then they came back.  

Animal Pictures

Casper 1 by Bemused26 on Flickr.