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.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Daily Drift

Hey, repugicans this means you...!
 
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Today in History

1505 On their way to India, a group of Portuguese explorers sack the city-state of Kilwa.
1567 Mary, Queen of Scots, is imprisoned and forced to abdicate her throne to her 1-year-old son James VI.
1701 Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac establishes Fort Ponchartrain for France at present-day Detroit, Michigan.
1704 Admiral George Rooke takes Gibraltar from the Spanish.
1766 At Fort Ontario, Canada, Ottawa chief Pontiac and William Johnson sign a peace agreement.
1791 Robespierre expels all Jacobins opposed to the principles of the French Revolution.
1847 The first members of cult of jesus christ of latter day saints (mormons) arrive in Utah, settling in present-day Salt Lake City.
1862 The eighth president of the United States, Martin Van Buren, dies at the age of 79.
1897 African-American soldiers of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps arrive in St. Louis, Mo., after completing a 40-day bike ride from Missoula, Montana.
1941 The U.S. government denounces Japanese actions in Indochina.
1942 The Soviet city of Rostov is captured by German troops.
1950 The U.S. Fifth Air Force relocates from Japan to Korea.
1974 The Supreme Court rules that President Richard Nixon must surrender the Watergate tapes.

Non Sequitur

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Missouri Governor Vetoes Guns-For-Teachers Legislation

 Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed legislation Monday that would have allowed specially trained teachers to carry concealed guns, asserting that the move could jeopardize student safety in public schools.The veto by the Democratic governor sets up a potential showdown with the repugican-led Legislature, which could override Nixon if it gets a two-thirds vote of both chambers during a September session.
Nixon announced the veto with a written statement on the deadline day for him to take action on bills passed earlier this year.
"Arming teachers will not make our schools safer," he said. "I have supported and will continue to support the use of duly authorized law enforcement officers employed as school resource officers, but I cannot condone putting firearms in the hands of educators who should be focused on teaching our kids."
The Missouri legislation called for allowing public school districts to designate certain teachers or administrators as "school protection officers," who would undergo special training to carry concealed weapons.

Democrats Take the Minimum Wage Challenge For Fifth Anniversary of Last Minimum Wage Increase

min-wage-image-economic-policy-institute
Thursday was the fifth anniversary of the last time minimum wage workers got a raise.  To mark that occasion several members of the House of Representatives are taking a five-day minimum wage challenge, which started on Sunday.    The challenge limits participants (and their families) to a budget of $77 per person to pay for all expenses except housing and average taxes for five days.
Participants will remain in their own homes, which are undoubtedly more expensive than the housing that people living on the minimum wage can afford.  Unlike people who live on the minimum wage, congressional members know that this brief encounter with a simulation of life in poverty will end on Thursday.
Still politicians like Jan Schakowsky (D- IL), Keith Ellison (D-MN) Tim Ryan (D-OH) and former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland deserve congratulations for making the effort.  They will learn something about the realities of way too many Americans who know the meaning of hard work, who know what it means to have to fight for more work hours and who know that life on minimum wage is not a life style choice.
They also recognize that this challenge is far from giving a full and complete insight into the realities of life on poverty wages, as noted by Tim Ryan. “We will still be a long way from living the reality that many of these families face,”
In fact, Ryan and his wife stocked up on diapers for their newborn baby before they started the challenge. It’s a luxury that people who live on minimum wage don’t have.
As Think Progress reports, Ted Strickland points to the reality that people living on minimum wage have to forgo many things – be it eating at a restaurant or buying cold medicine.
I never think about what medicine costs if i need it… But some people have to think constantly about how they spend their money, and their quality of life is quite different than mine.
The point is these lawmakers are least trying to gain some understanding of what life is like when you wages are minimum and your options are limited.
Ironically, these politicians favor increasing the minimum wage because it does benefit the workers, but they also have the insight to recognize that an increase in the minimum wage benefits our economy.  Simply put, more income for people earning the least means they will put that money back into our economy and therefore create more jobs.
Some may mock the minimum wage challenge as a stunt, which even its participants acknowledge only provides a limited insight into the realities of life on the minimum wage.  The intent of this challenge is to show the humanitarian reasons we need to increase the minimum wage.
By taking the challenge, these lawmakers can highlight the life realities for people who do not have dark money groups to advance their interests.  They do not have the means to hire lobbyists to promote an increase in the minimum wage or to kill bills that seek to disenfranchise the working poor.
This challenge would provide some sorely needed insights to repugican lawmakers who oppose increasing the minimum wage or oppose the existence of a minimum wage.  However, taking the challenge would mean repugicans might learn something.  It would discredit their perceptions about the working poor. Odds are against repugicans taking this challenge because it would mean learning to do without conveniences and luxuries they believe are their birthright.
Still, I would pay money to see Republicans like Michele Bachmann and Darrell Issa try to live on poverty wages even if only for five days.

John Boehner’s Lawsuit Against Obama Has Raised a Staggering $4.5 Million For Democrats

boehner-face-2Speaker of the House John Boehner’s decision to sue President Obama is raising an epic amount of grassroots dollars for Democrats. In June, House Democrats out-raised House repugicans $4.5 million to $883,000 in grassroots donations.
According to Josh Schwerin of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, “To see whose base is motivated for November, all you have to do is look at the numbers: in June alone, the DCCC raised $4.5 million in grassroots donations, compared to a paltry $883,000 for the NRCC. Our grassroots supporters are energized, and are rightly angry at the wrong priorities of Speaker Boehner and this repugican Congress that waste taxpayer dollars on partisan lawsuits against the President, and sticks middle class families with the tab. Our financial advantage is fueled by the support of these Americans giving an average of $20 – not billionaire special interests like the Koch brothers – and their support will make a real difference in races around the country come November.”
The Koch brothers donate millions to repugicans, but the each only get one vote. The grassroots support is critical for Democrats because those people who are donating $20 are also likely to vote in November. House Democrats have raised $33 million more than House repugicans during the 2014 election cycle. Boehner’s lawsuit keeps doing damage to repugican 2014 hopes on a daily basis. The lawsuit is defining Boehner’s House repugicans and painting a picture of a majority gone wrong.
The repugicans had been counting on anger their power their voters to get the polls this year. They never expected Democrats to get enraged and mobilize in response to Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit against President Obama. Boehner’s lawsuit has completely backfired and become a powerful energizing force for Democrats ahead of the midterm elections. At one point, House repugicans were openly talking about adding seats to their majority. Thanks to Speaker Boehner, it looks like Democrats are in a good position to chip away at the size of the repugican majority.

Obama Is Being Forced To Clean Up The Immigration Mess Caused By repugicans

The President has spent an inordinate amount of time cleaning up shrub-repugican messes whether it was a devastating economic recession, two wars of aggression against Muslims, or…

Democratic Rep Strongly Criticizes Rick Perry’s Decision To Militarize Texas’ Border

rick perry texas
On Monday, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) criticized Texas Governor Rick Perry’s announcement that he will send 1,000 National Guard troops to Texas’ border with Mexico. Perry is calling this move Operation Strong Safety and said it is necessary to help further secure the border. The governor has also called on President Obama to hire 3,000 more border patrol agents to patrol along the Rio Grande River. This is all in the wake of the ongoing humanitarian crisis involving migrant children from Central America, who are making their way to the U.S. border.
Politico reported that Castro sent out an email after he was informed of Perry’s decision to send troops to the border. In the email, the Congressman had the following to say:
“We should be sending the Red Cross to the border not the National Guard to deal with this humanitarian crisis. The children fleeing violence in Central America are seeking out border patrol agents. They are not trying to evade them. Why send soldiers to confront these kids? Militarizing our border is the wrong response to the arrival of children.I remain hopeful that our state can provide a more helpful response than to send armed soldiers to greet children seeking refuge from violence.”


Over the past weeks, Perry has strongly hinted that he was going to send troops to the border. When he met with President Obama earlier this month, he requested that the federal government deploy National Guard troops to the border. He reiterated that statement in interviews after the meeting. The reason Perry wanted the White House to deploy the troops was he didn’t want Texas to be responsible for the cost. Keeping a thousand armed troops at the border will cost Texas roughly $5 million a week.
Besides the cost, there really isn’t a reason to send the National Guard to the border. The children who are fleeing Central America are willingly going to agents and turning themselves in once they reach the border. Border security isn’t an issue so much as there is a logjam in the system when it comes to dealing with the high number of individuals who need to be processed after being detained. Also, there is a basic need for supplies and housing to deal with the increased amount of detained refugees.
Instead, Perry is merely interested in creating a certain visual to appeal to right-wing voters as he prepares himself for another sure-to-be ill-fated run for the White House. He gets to send National Guardsmen to the border in order to stop the invasion that is coming through. He gets to tout himself as a man of action and even gives this operation a cool-sounding name. However, this won’t do anything to actually address the crisis. The National Guard can’t enforce immigration law and can’t even stop immigrants from crossing the border. They are merely there for window dressing, all in an effort to make Perry look ‘strong.’
Perry, like other repugicans, isn’t interested in finding any real solutions. Instead, he just wants to use this humanitarian crisis as a way to rile up the ‘Old Angry White Guy’ base ahead of 2016.

Union Pulls Support After College Fund Accepts Koch Gift

A powerful government workers' union will end its support for the United Negro College Fund after the group accepted $25 million from the wingnut Koch brothers and the college fund's president appeared at a Koch stunt.In a letter made public Thursday, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said it will no longer partner with or raise funds for the fund, known for its iconic motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."
AFSCME President Lee Saunders said the actions of the college fund's president "are not only deeply hostile to the rights and dignity of public employees, but also a profound betrayal of the ideals of the civil rights movement."
The fund supports historically black colleges and universities and provides scholarships. It accepted a $25 million grant last month from Koch Industries Inc. and the Charles Koch Foundation.
The Koch brothers are major contributors to wingnut delusions. After accepting the grant, Saunders says UNCF President Michael Lomax spoke at a Koch Brothers summit in California.
Saunders called the Kochs "the single most prominent funders of efforts to prevent African Americans from voting" and said Lomax's appearance at their function was "a betrayal of everything the UNCF stands for."
Lomax said the fund never had a litmus test for donors.

More Proof That repugicans Hate America Because a Majority Twice Elected Barack Obama

The American people must make the connection that every despicable act by repugicans over the past five years was driven by vengeance to punish the people for electing Obama President twice…

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There are times when a politician with a morsel of decency attempts to cite the opposition’s faults and instead of being blunt, they gloss over the real issues and imply there is something untoward in their opponent’s ideology. President Obama is a master at alluding to congressional repugican malfeasance, and feigning ignorance at why they refuse to work for the American people and openly obstruct governance and any effort by Democrats to work for the people. Recently, the President has been a bit more forthcoming with small audiences about repugicans obstructing governance, their devotion to the rich and powerful, and their refusal to even consider working with Democrats or the White House to grow the economy and help the masses.
Two weeks ago in Texas, and again in last week’s radio address, the President noted that repugicans were furious that, while they were busy obstructing governance and devising political stunts, the President was doing whatever he could to help Americans. However, the President posed a question that he obviously knew the answer to keep the possibility open that repugicans would abandon their obstructionist ways and join him in working for the people, he stopped short of elucidating what the impetus for repugican intransigence is driven by.
The President said, “The truth is, even with all the actions I’ve taken this year, I’m issuing executive orders at the lowest rate in more than 100 years. So it’s not clear how it is that repugicans didn’t seem to mind when the shrub took more executive actions than I did. Maybe it’s just me they don’t like. I don’t know. Maybe there’s some principle out there that I haven’t discerned, that I haven’t figured out. You hear some of them — ‘sue him,’ ‘impeach him.’ Really? Really? For what? You’re going to sue me for doing my job?” Barack Obama is an intelligent man, and he is well aware of recent American history, and although it is true repugicans do not like the President, there is more at play than just racial animus.
The principle the President claimed he has not figured out is that repugicans hate America, hate the people, hate the democratic process, and hate the idea of Americans putting a Democrat in the White House; regardless of their racial makeup. The President knows that repugican hatred towards Americans erupts when the people elect a Democrat as President because they never threaten to, or actually, impeach a president when they are repugican. Even when they lie to go to war, openly engage in war crimes such as torture, or reveal the identity of an undercover CIA agent. But when the people elect a Democrat, all Hell breaks loose and repugicans seek impeachment, and unless they get to take out their electoral rage by slashing domestic programs that benefit the people, they shut down the government.
The last time Americans elected a Democratic President, besides impeaching him for a private indiscretion, repugicans exposed their contempt and hatred for the people by shutting down the government in 1995 and 1995-96 because then-President Clinton would not approve their vindictive cuts to Medicare, education, the environment, and public health; all programs that help the people. Last October repugicans again revealed their hatred for the people for re-electing the Democratic President when they shutdown the government over healthcare and paying the debt they racked up with tax cuts for the rich and two unfunded wars of aggression against Muslims. The repugican calls for impeachment now are not new, and began within a few months of Barack Obama being officially sworn in as President.
The repugicans never pass legislation to help the American people because they hold them in contempt on a fundamental level; it is contrary to their conservative ideology to do anything for the people. But they get vindictive when the people elect a Democrat as President and take out their vengeance by going on a crusade to take every and anything from them to exact retribution for not putting a repugican in the White House. Of course, it did not help that Americans elected an African American Democrat as President, and repugicans displayed their ire by trying to cause a credit default, twice, to teach Americans and the world a lesson that the repugican cabal will destroy the nation and world economy because they do not control the White House.
President Obama is in the habit of telling audiences that repugicans are patriotic and love America, but they just have a different idea of how to govern. That is just not true and it is likely the President knows it. If they cared one iota about America, its people, or the electoral process they would swallow their pride and work with the opposition to advance the interests of all Americans. Instead, they met in secret on Inauguration night in 2009 and plotted their revenge on the people by swearing an oath to subvert any attempt by the new President to pull the economy out of the catastrophic recession they created during 8 years of the shrub junta. That was over five years ago and the President’s re-election just enraged them to punish Americans by shutting down the government, wasting taxpayers’ time and money with fabricated scandals, and suing the President for doing his job.
Americans expect the President to display a semblance of comity when dealing with repugicans, but the time for niceties is long past. Although the President is beginning to express his frustration with repugican intransigence in public appearances, he seriously needs to address the nation in prime time and explain exactly why Washington is not attending the needs of the people. While he is at it, the President can spend five minutes disabusing several persistent lies repugicans spew without any pushback. For example, he could tell Americans the KeystoneXL pipeline is an export cash cow for the Kochs and the oil industry and that no oil will stay in America. To his credit, the President did say the pipeline is for exporting Canada’s oil to Europe, but it was buried in a NY Times interview; the people that need to hear about Keystone are not reading the NY Times. There are myriad repugican myths the President can dispel quickly, but it requires him to acknowledge openly that not only are repugicans rank liars, but that their actions, or lack thereof, are driven by their hatred for the people, America, and democracy.
Obviously President Obama is not going to address the nation and call repugicans liars, but he can reasonably posit that it is no coincidence that when Americans elect a Democrat as president, repugicans shut down the government, make drastic cuts to social programs, and go on an impeachment crusade. The American people will make the connection that every despicable act by repugicans over the past five years was driven by vengeance to punish the people for electing a Democrat as President; not, as President Obama says, out of their ideological form of patriotism or love for America. Maybe then the people will finally comprehend, like President Obama surely does, that not only do repugicans hate an African American Democratic President, they hate America, its democracy, and most of all they hate the people.

Things Go From Bad To Worse for Mitch As Kentucky repugican cabal Leader Resigns To Protest McConnell

A local repugican cabal leader in Kentucky has resigned her position in act of protest against Mitch McConnell.
According to WFPL:
mcconnell-filibusterAfter serving on the Daviess County repugican cabal’s leadership team for almost three years, Owensboro native Barbara Knott had enough.
She resigned on July 10 and the reason was simple; Knott cannot support Senate repugican Leader Mitch McConnell this fall.
“I have resigned from the executive committee of the repugican cabal because I will not support Mitch McConnell,” Knott, chair of the Owensboro tea party, said in a telephone interview. “I have a big 4×8 sign in my front yard that says ‘Retire Mitch.’ It’s going to stay there through the election. I will not vote for that man.”
Knott does plan to come out to support other repugican candidates. But in terms of McConnell she is “just fed up” despite voting for him in the past.
When local party leaders are resigning because they can no longer support him, things are getting dire for Mitch McConnell. The only thing that McConnell has going for him is a big pile of money that will be spent by outside groups on his behalf this fall. Sen. McConnell’s campaign has been worst run spectacles of the year. The candidate himself has alternated between gaffes and offensive statements.
Sen. McConnell is using the same playbook that he has been following for decades, but this time it isn’t working. McConnell is not having success trying to tie his Democratic opponent Alison Grimes to President Obama. His Obamacare attacks have gone nowhere, and mostly the senator has looked out of touch with the needs of his constituents on the campaign trail.
Tea party activists are outraged at McConnell because he funded an ad in support of Sen. Thad Cochran during the repugican Mississippi Senate runoff. McConnell has always been on thin ice with the state’s tea partiers, and his decision to play such an active role in the Mississippi contest is coming back to haunt him.
If Sen. McConnell loses the tea party crowd, he is going to have a nearly impossible time winning the election in November, and if the Senate Minority Leader loses his seat, repugican chances of taking back the Senate go down the tubes. By abandoning McConnell, tea partiers are doing what they do best. The tea party may once again end up helping Democrats keep their majority in the US Senate.

Random Photos

incendiaryheart:

natgeofound:

Two women gaze at heavy surf while lying on boulders on the coast of Nova Scotia, December 1961.Photograph by Volkmar Wentzel, National Geographic

Bucket List + 1
I read a pretty big article in USA Today this morning about Nova Scotia, and now it has captured my imagination.





Woman told she’ll have to buy back her stolen camera from pawn shop

A Florida woman said she was distraught when her video camera was stolen out of her minivan, then it was found at a pawn shop. Amanda Selby said she was told she would have to pay to get her camera back, even though deputies believe they know who stole it. Selby stored the $500 Nikon camera in her pregnancy “go bag” to record her child’s first moments.

Police tracked down bald woman after finding wig in car at the scene of crash

When police were called to the scene of an accident in Yeovil, Somerset, where a car had collided with a boundary wall they found details relating to the owner along with a wig. After a search of the area they found a bald-headed woman nearby and she asked if they were looking for her and admitted she had been drinking. After failing a roadside breath test Holly Glynis Fousham was arrested and confessed she had drunk half a bottle of vodka before getting behind the wheel as she was depressed. The 31-year-old, of Wincanton, pleaded guilty to driving a Vauxhall Mokka in Ilchester Road, Yeovil, with excess alcohol on May 30. She also admitted failing to stop following an accident where damage was caused to a stone wall when she appeared before Somerset Magistrates at Yeovil. Prosecutor Sam Jones said that an accident occurred at 12.45am where a car had impacted a boundary wall. “The officers found documents relating to Foulsham and there was also a wig found in the vehicle,” he said.
“Just after 1am they saw Foulsham about half a mile away and she was bald-headed and said “are you looking for me, I’ve been in a crash and drinking?” A roadside breath test was positive and she was taken to Yeovil District Hospital because she had a minor injury to her arm and a blood test showed a reading of 132mlg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 80mlg of alcohol. When Foulsham was interviewed she admitted downing half a bottle of vodka and drove her car into the wall and said she wore a wig as she suffered from alopecia.
Mr Jones said that the owner of the wall was an 85-year-old man who said that he had suffered emotional disturbance and inconvenience which he could have done without at his age. Defending, Chris Baddoo said that Foulsham was full of remorse for the incident adding that she suffered from significant health problems. “On this particular day she had been assaulted and had a drink and decided to get into her car and unfortunately had an accident,” he said. For drink driving the magistrates banned the defendant from driving for 14 months and fined her £128 with £45 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. No separate penalty was imposed for failing to stop.

Woman Caught When She Posts Stolen Dress Selfie on Instagram

by Lilit Marcus

Photo: Danielle Sexton Facebook/GawkerA 27-year-old Illinois woman who was accused of stealing several items from a clothing store was busted after she posted pictures of herself in a shoplifted dress on Facebook. Danielle Sexton reportedly swiped a multicolored leopard print dress with a black waistband from Morties, a store in her native West Frankfort. After the owner's son, Kert Williams, posted a note about the theft and a description of the woman on his Facebook page, people quickly began pointing him toward Sexton's selfie, which she had just set as her new profile pic. Williams passed the information along to the police, who arrested her.
"I was pulling up to the front door and I saw a girl running out of the store with stuff in her hand," Williams, who manages the store, tells Yahoo Shine. He was immediately concerned, watched the store's security camera footage, and checked with other nearby shops to see if anybody had spotted her. "She'd also taken from a consignment store down the street from us," he alleges
Williams credits the close-knit community in West Frankfort for catchng Sexton so quickly. People sent him screenshots of Sexton's Facebook page, while others reported that they'd seen her walking around town in the distinctive dress they recognized from Morties. Even some of the police who helped nab Sexton were pals of Williams's on social media. "We just had a description and a direction of travel, but when the social media aspect played into it, we were able to identify who it was. And by looking at the background of the photograph we were able to pinpoint where she was at," police chief Shawn Talluto told local news channel WSIL.
"It's almost too good to be true," Williams says about how Sexton was nabbed. He reports that Sexton also made off with a shirt, some jewelry, and a pair of sunglasses. Instead of lying low after her shoplifting spree, Sexton put the dress on immediately, posted pics online, and went out. "She came in here at three, she was arrested by six, she was in jail by nine," Williams adds. Police also discovered that Sexton had an outstanding warrant for an arrest in another county.
For Williams, the whole situation is an example of how public embarrassment can help deter crime. "Everybody laughed about it a little bit because she got herself caught. She put herself out there." And now, her face has been splashed all over the place as a warning to future criminals who just can't curb their selfie addiction.

Woman presented fake doctor's note as excuse for missing sentencing on forgery charges

A woman used a fake doctor’s note to explain why she missed sentencing on forgery and burglary charges in Prince George’s County, Maryland, prosecutors say.
Accused of renting out foreclosed homes she didn't own, Shannon Lee pleaded guilty, but she didn’t show up for sentencing on July 11, claiming she was sick. But the documents Lee submitted to prove she was sick were fake, prosecutors said.

“The attending physician and the admitting physician who are listed on the paperwork hadn’t practiced at that hospital in over two years, and further, the actual paperwork itself was not even the correct paperwork for that hospital for discharge information,” state’s attorney spokesman John Erzen said.
Court documents show Lee also listed a UPS store in Clinton as her home address on those medical documents. She's expected to be sentenced in August.

Man in court for for torching goblins' house

A self-styled sangoma from Chief Nyajena area in Masvingo, Zimbabwe, has appeared in court for allegedly setting his uncle's house on fire because it had goblins. Mike Musiiwa of Mutadzo Village pleaded guilty to arson before Masvingo provincial magistrate Sibonginkosi Mkandla. He was remanded in custody for sentence.
Musiiwa took advantage of his uncle, Alick Malendele's absence to torch the house resulting in the destruction of property worth about $1,000. He was spotted torching the thatched house by a fellow villager, Marita Raisi who rushed to alert Malendele. A report was made at Renco police leading to Musiiwa's arrest and his subsequent appearance in court. Magistrate Mkandla said Musiiwa had no right to torch his uncle's house.
In his defense, Musiiwa said he set the house on fire because he had proved that his uncle was bewitching him using his goblins. "I am a sangoma who has helped a number of people by exorcising evil spirits and destroying witches' goblins. I went into a mountain and started counting stones, which are the tools I use in carrying my duties. One of the stones helped me identify my tormentor. My uncle had been attempting to cast a bad spell on me and other family members using goblins that I later destroyed when I set his house on fire. I knew that there was no one in the house who could be harmed.
Fidelicy Nyamukondiwa for the state said Musiiwa took advantage of his uncle's absence and proceeded to his homestead in the same village where upon arrival he set the house on fire. Property destroyed included blankets, a 12 volts battery, 50 kg of compound D fertilizer, two wooden doors, 50 kg of wheat, 20 kg of mealie-meal, 40 kg of sorghum, two home theatre speakers, two bibles, seven birth certificates, two monarch bags with various clothing and $412. Musiiwa had an altercation with Malendele, 40, over the same issue sometime between 2012 and 2013.

Police skeptical after witnesses say man who woke up on fire had spontaneously combusted

Police in Edmonton, Canada, are baffled after a man claimed he woke up on fire on Saturday morning. Witnesses are telling city officers that the young man, believed to be around 20 years old, spontaneously combusted. “The complainant isn’t saying anything, not co-operating with us,” said acting Staff Sgt. Mike Wynnyk.
“The witnesses aren’t giving us any information other than they saw his back on fire. That’s it. They’re all thinking it was spontaneous human combustion.” The call came in to police around 8am. By the time officers arrived at the home, the fire had been extinguished and there was only minimal damage to a cushion on a couch the man said he had been sleeping on. Police are trying to get more information out of the victim, who is in hospital recovering from second-degree burns.
Wynnyk is skeptical of the combustion claim. “We’re persistent. We don’t want to give up with just that. We’re going to keep trying to prod him and talk to him and persuade him to give us more,” Wynnyk said. “Right now it’s really up in the air. We’re as confused as everybody else is on it.” Wynnyk hopes witnesses at the residence, believed to be family members, come forward with more information while detectives continue to investigate.
Staff Sgt. Terry Langley of the Edmonton Police Service added: “We’re not exactly sure how it happened at this point. Other occupants at this point are looking toward supernatural causes as opposed to providing us any information. They’ve all declined any opportunity to come in and be interviewed. We’re obviously not putting a whole lot of stock in the spontaneous combustion angle that’s being presumed by the family.”

Man arrested after taking stolen truck on joyride through cemetery

A northeast Missouri man is in trouble after taking a stolen semi-truck on a joyride through a cemetery.
The incident happened on Thursday evening at Ownbey Cemetery just outside the Kirksville city limits. Investigators said the truck, belonging to Sampson Farms, was stolen by an allegedly intoxicated man.
The Adair County Sheriff's Office and the Kirksville Police Department responded to the scene. Prior to getting stuck in the graveyard, the driver left a trail of damage on Rainbow Basin Trail and knocked over at least nine headstones in the cemetery.

Chris Myers, 38, of Kirksville was taken to jail after a stop at the hospital for further assessment. Myers was already wanted on a warrant for probation violation, and now charges related to the theft of the truck and the destruction of property are pending. Bond for Myers is set at $25,000 cash only. He remains in the Adair County Jail.

Man Gets Arrested, Uses His One Phone Call to Order Pizza as a Prank

A man in Corbin, Kentucky was arrested on the charge of shoplifting $36 worth of beer from a convenience store. When he was brought into the police station, he asked officers if he could use his cellphone to make a call. They agreed.
The suspect then called a local Domino's Pizza and ordered five pizzas in the name of the officer who arrested him, Captain Coy Wilson.
The police learned this when a Domino's delivery driver arrived shortly thereafter with five pizzas for "Officer Wilson."
Now the suspect is facing additional charges of "theft by deception, identity theft and impersonating an officer."

Ziggy

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Nearsightedness increases with level of education

Nearsightedness increases with level of education and longer schooling


Scientific study undertaken by the Mainz University Medical Center shows […]

Do I Really Need My Pinky Toe?

Walking, running and skipping with just four toes may be easier than you think. If you're born without a pinky toe or have an accident and it's removed, you can completely do everything you wanted to do. So why do we have pinky toes?

Where Scotch Tape Came From

Scotch tape, whatever brand you use, is one of those things that you’ve used for everything since you were a young child, from stopping the bleeding to making the cat freak out. But how did it originate? And why is it called Scotch tape, anyway?
The particulars are hard to pin down, but everyone seems to agree that Scotch tape, the now-famous brand, originated as a slur. Back in the ’20s, Scotch was a synonym for “cheap.” Richard Drew, a 23-year-old research assistant at Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, was trying to create a sticky-but-not-too-sticky adhesive tape for auto painters to use on two-tone paint jobs. When he erred on the not-too-sticky side, one of the car-painters asked, “Why so Scotch with the adhesive?” and a brand name was born.
But the tape he came up with for making paint on cars was Scotch brand masking tape. The clear cellophane tape took some real work, but Richard Drew developed that also, with the help of the product development team he was promoted to supervise. Read the story of how Scotch tape came about at the New York Times.

Daily Comic Relief

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The World's Weirdest Plants

As it reaches upward, the trunk of California’s Boojum Tree (Idria columnaris) gradually reduces to long, tentacle-like protuberances. Sometimes these droop down to the ground and root so that the tree forms a complete arch. The tree has no branches but is instead covered by thorny stems.
See the rest here.

The Longmen Grottoes In Henan, China

The Longmen Grottoes, one of the finest examples of Chinese cave sculpt art, is a site that has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in the year 2000. This site displays the finest Chinese Buddhist cave art of the late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties.
These caves are home to nearly tens of thousands of statues of Buddha and his disciples.
The Longmen caves are situated south of present day Luòyáng in Hénán province of the Peoples Republic of China.

The Cornish Beaches Where Lego Keeps Washing Up

A container filled with millions of Lego pieces fell into the sea off Cornwall in 1997. But instead of remaining at the bottom of the ocean, they are still washing up on Cornish beaches today - offering an insight into the mysterious world of oceans and tides.
On 13 February 1997 the container ship Tokio Express was hit by a wave, tilting the ship 60 degrees one way, then 40 degrees back. As a result, 62 containers were lost overboard and one of them was filled with nearly 4.8m pieces of Lego, bound for New York. Shortly after that some of those Lego pieces began washing up in both the north and south coasts of Cornwall. They're still coming in today.

Steam from the sun


Steam from the sun: Hi-tech sponge turns solar energy into steam.


A new material structure developed at MIT generates steam by […]

Animal Pictures