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, November 18, 2012

The Daily Drift

1957 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday by Railroad Jack on Flickr.
Those were the days, my friend ...

Some of our readers today have been in:
Warsaw, Poland
Skopje, Macedonia
Malang, Indonesia
Durban, South Africa
Kiev, Ukraine
Riga, Latvia
Bekasi, Indonesia
Cape Town, South Africa
Karachi, Pakistan
Lagos, Nigeria
Chisinau, Moldova
Ankara, Turkey
Lahore, Pakistan
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Hanoi, Vietnam
Doha, Qatar
Bangkok, Thailand
Montevideo, Uruguay
Lille, France
Johannesburg, South Africa
Jakarta, Indonesia
Lenina, Ukraine
Paris, France
Istanbul, Turkey
Athens, Greece
Sialkot, Pakistan
Mkati, Philippines
Krakow, Poland

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Today in History

1477   William Claxton publishes the first dated book printed in England. It is a translation from the French of The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosopers by Earl Rivers.
1626   St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome is officially dedicated.
1861   The first provisional meeting of the Confederate Congress is held in Richmond, Virginia.
1865   Mark Twain's first story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" is published in the New York Saturday Press.
1901   The second Hay-Pauncefote Treaty is signed. The United States is given extensive rights by Britain for building and operating a canal through Central America.
1905   The Norwegian Parliament elects Prince Charles of Denmark to be the next King of Norway. Prince Charles takes the name Haakon VII.
1906   Anarchists bomb St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
1912   Cholera breaks out in Constantinople, in the Ottoman Empire.
1921   New York City considers varying work hours to avoid long traffic jams.
1928   Mickey mouse makes his film debut in Steamboat Willie, the first animated talking picture.
1936   The main span of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is joined.
1939   The Irish Republican Army explodes three bombs in Piccadilly Circus.
1949   The U.S. Air Force grounds B-29s after two crashes and 23 deaths in three days.
1950   The Bureau of Mines discloses its first production of oil from coal in practical amounts.
1968   Soviets recover the Zond 6 spacecraft after a flight around the moon.
1978   Congressman Leo Ryan is announced missing on a visit to Jonestown, Guyana.
1983   Argentina announces its ability to produce enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.
1984   The Soviet Union helps deliver American wheat during the Ethiopian famine.

Non Sequitur


Chrysler investing and adding more jobs in Michigan

So basically, the fear-mongering by Mitt Romney about Chrysler moving production to China was an even bigger lie than we thought.Reuters:
Chrysler Group LLC will invest $238 million in two plants in Michigan to boost engine production to meet U.S. demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient engines, the U.S. automaker majority owned by Fiat SpA said on Thursday.
Chrysler is spending $198 million to make by early 2014 its Pentastar V6 engine at the Mack I Engine Plant in Detroit, which now makes a larger engine for the Ram 1500 truck. The automaker is also working on several variants of the 3.6-liter V6 engine, including a smaller 3.2-liter version.
The No. 3 U.S. automaker is also spending $40 million to install a flexible production line — its first ever — at its Trenton North plant in Trenton, Michigan, to build both the V-6 engine and the Tigershark four-cylinder engine.

Daily Comic Relief

Shhhh! SEX Killed the repugicans in 2012

Instead of examining their idiotic wingnut ideology that favors only the rich and punishes the middle-class, they've decided they're just not good at persuading voters to vote against their own interests.

The truth be told

House repugicans retract copyright paper in less than 24 hours

It took less than 24 hours for the entertainment industry's lobbyists to bully the House repugican Study Committee into retracting its eminently sensible copyright position paper. They did it with a mealy-mouthed apology, claiming the paper "was published without adequate review."

Here's Mike Masnick on the subject:
The idea that this was published "without adequate review" is silly. Stuff doesn't just randomly appear on the RSC website. Anything being posted there has gone through the same full review process. What happened, instead, was that the entertainment industry's lobbyists went crazy, and some in the repugican cabal folded.
Frankly, if they wanted to win back the youth vote, this was exactly how not to do it. If you just look through the comments on our post on the original, or through the Twitter response to this report, there were tons of people -- many of whom were lifelong Democrats -- claiming that they would switch parties if the repugicans stuck with this. Instead, they folded like a cheap card table in less than 24 hours.
The repugicans  Retract Report On Copyright Reform


Sunday, November 18

Twinkie R.I.P. (1930-2012)

How did such a small snack cake grow to mean so much to so many Americans?  
  Twinkie R.I.P. (1930-2012)

Don't wash your turkey!

Don't wash your turkey! 
And other food safety tips
You don't need to wash your turkey before you roast it, and doing so can be dangerous.

Enough said ...

Take a look ,,,

...at life  from a different perspective

Did you know ...

It may come as a surprise to you but not news to us: human intelligence is slowly declining

Random Celebrity Photo

Marilyn and Elvis  by Railroad Jack on Flickr.

People Who Lived To Read Their Own Obituaries

You might think that the death of a famous person would be relatively easy to double check before reporting it - but you would be wrong. For hundreds of years, the news has been jumping the gun on the deaths of some of our most celebrated personalities, so these 11 all had the surreal experience of reading their own obituaries.

The Chamber Horse

A Nineteenth Century Exercise Machine Chamber Horse
Before there were elliptical trainers and stairclimbers, wealthy people in Britain exercised on chamber horses:
[...] the user sat on the seat and bounced up and down on the concertina springs as if trotting on a horse. Horse riding was considered a form of healthy exercise.

Awesome Pictures

Beautiful Geography

This is Detian Falls in Guangxi Province of China:

Exploring the Tunnels of an Abandoned Mine in Wales

Long, dark tunnels and deep pools of still water await in this abandoned mine in Wales. The perfect expedition for a brave explorer. More

The Forsaken People of Japan's Largest Slum

When most of us picture Osaka, we imagine a prosperous modern city of neon lights and gleaming skyscrapers, yet hidden in their shadow lies another, darker world. More

Random Photo


Shot by Diego Luna.

The Ecological Diversity of Your Belly Button

belly button
You are a unique and special person. There's no one quite like you! Oh, other people have belly buttons. But only you can claim that particular combination of microbes that makes up the ecosystem in your belly button.
The Belly Button Biodiversity project began as a competition among scientists to see who has the most biodiverse navel. But it's now expanded to look at the amazing, living worlds hidden inside people's navels:
The navel is an ideal place for bacteria to thrive because it's isolated and most people don't bother to wash it. But what BBB wondered was, do the bacteria change from person to person?
BBB grew the bacteria from hundreds of swab samples and found that most people's belly button ecosystems are pretty unique. They found a total of 2368 types of bacteria, with 2188 present on fewer than 10 per cent of the samples.

Animal News

Concerns over 'in-the-air' Ebola pigs could be a natural host

Canadian scientists have shown that the deadliest form of the Ebola virus could be transmitted by air between species.

Hermann's tortoisePaternity testing for tortoises

Baby tortoises have been given paternity tests to find out how sperm storage affects fertilisation. BBC Nature

Volcano Vaporizes Cool Glowing Roach

A volcano may have snuffed out the light of a tricky glowing cockroach.  
Read more
Volcano Vaporizes Cool Glowing Roach

Monkey dies from blow to head after zoo break-in

A break-in at Zoo Boise early Saturday left a Patas monkey dead from blunt force trauma to the head and neck and police were analyzing blood found at the scene to determine if it came from the monkey or one of two human intruders.
Two males wearing dark clothing were spotted by a security guard at 4:30 a.m. outside the fence near the primate exhibit, police said. Both fled, one of them heading into the interior of the zoo. Boise police used a thermal imager in searching the 11-acre zoo grounds but didn't find the person.
A Patas monkey looks out of his cage at Zoo Boise after his cage mate was severely injured and died in Boise, Idaho on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Police are investing an early monring break-in at at the zoo. The injured monkey was found shortly after suspects were spotted and ran off. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Katherine Jones)
"I've been here for 15 years and we haven't had anything like this happen," Zoo Boise Director Steve Burns said. "It's unfortunate that we have to let kids know that something like this happens. Monkeys are always among the most favorite animals here."
Patas monkeys, often called the military monkey, have reddish-brown fur with grey chin whiskers and distinctive white moustaches. They are widely distributed across central Africa south of the Sahara Desert and can live more than 20 years in captivity.
During a search of the zoo before dawn, Burns heard a groan that at first he thought sounded human. It turned out to be an injured Patas monkey barely moving near the perimeter fence.
The zoo's veterinarian was called, but the monkey died just before 6 a.m. as it was being examined. A necropsy later determined that blunt force trauma was the cause of death, police said.
An inventory done by zoo staff found no other animals missing or injured. The zoo has one remaining Patas monkey — another male — but it's unclear if it will remain at the zoo or will be sent to another zoo where it can socialize with other Patas monkeys, Burns said.
"They're not endangered in the wild, but there are not many in zoos in the United States," he said. "Monkeys are social animals. We only have one."
The two Patas monkeys came to Zoo Boise about three years ago from Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo in Florida. They had an outdoor enclosure during the summer in Boise but were moved indoors to the primate building when colder weather arrived.
Burns said the monkeys hadn't been given names, and he didn't know their ages. The monkey that was killed was about 2 ½ feet tall and weighed about 30 pounds, Burns said.
Burns declined to discuss details of the police investigation, including how the intruder entered the primate building, if the monkeys might have been specifically targeted, or how the monkey ended up near the perimeter fence. The zoo doesn't have surveillance cameras, he said.
"It's very disturbing that someone would intentionally break into the zoo and harm an animal," said Sgt. Ted Snyder of the Boise Police Department in a statement. "We're doing all we can to find who did this."
Amy Stahl of Boise Parks & Recreation said the death shocked zoo workers.
"They're hit hard," Stahl said. "They care for the animals on a daily basis and they care about them deeply."
The zoo was supposed to open at 10 a.m. but remained closed while police gathered evidence, opening about 2:30 p.m.

'Mysterious Animal' Attacks Borneo Villagers

Two farmers in Borneo were attacked by a mysterious animal with long claws and a terrible stench. Read more
  'Mysterious Animal' Attacks Borneo Villagers

How Urine 'Bio-Fences' Could Save African Wild Dogs

Find out how researchers and conservationists are using an innovative new method to protect the critically endangered African wild dogs... More

Fennec Foxes

... Are Fascinating
While it's easy to think that the fennec fox's giant eyes and massive ears were all part of a genius plan to make them too utterly adorable to resist -the reality is that this utmost cuteness is just a side effect of their many desert-friendly adaptations. You see, living in one of the most extreme environments on earth, the Sarah Desert, isn't easy.
While the fennec fox is the smallest canid in the world, they happen to have the largest ears of all varieties of foxes. These impossibly huge ears aren't just there to make them look cartoonish, and while they are sensitive enough to help the critters hear small prey moving underground, that still isn't their primary function. No, those giant ears are actually designed mainly to help the fennecs dissapate heat from their bodies easier.

As for their massive eyes, well, those help them see in the dark, as being nocturnal means they can sleep in their dens during the day -thus keeping out of the warm sunlight. The dens are also beneficial as the foxes get most of their water through their food, but their burrows also gather dew overnight, providing them with an additional water source.
Even their fur is specially adapted to help them cope with the extreme weather. At night, it helps keep them warm and during the day, it reflects and insulates them from the sun. Their feet are even covered with fur, which prevents them from scorching on the hot desert sand and also makes it easier for them to walk on the sand -kind of like built-in snow shoes.

While little is known about their survival status in the wild, scientists speculate that they are doing well, given how often they are spotted by visitors to their local habitat. Of course, it probably isn't hurting that they are one of the handful of creatures with an expanding natural environment, as the Sahara continues to grow around 30 miles per year.
Sources: National Geographic and Wikipedia

Animal Pictures


Red Fox by Dean Searle on Flickr.