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, July 24, 2016

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of  
Carolina Naturally
Today also happens to be Cousins Day ...! 
 
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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 Pontchartrain 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 the 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 Nixon must surrender the Watergate tapes.

What It Was Like To Buy And Own A Car In The USSR

A big part of living in the erstwhile USSR was dealing with shortages, waiting lists, and a massive bureaucracy. While there was never the equality that Karl Marx dreamed of, there were millions of people who shared the same privations with a shrug. Yeah, you could get a car in the Soviet Union, but it wouldn’t be a good car, and getting it wouldn’t be easy. First you had to apply, undergo a background check, and convince the powers-that-be that you had earned the right to purchase one.
At your chainsaw factory job, you were one of 300 workers. Most of them didn’t have a car and were eager to get one. Let’s say that the Trade Union designated five cars per year for your company. (That’s not to say that all companies would get five cars per year, this is just an estimate was based solely on information conducted during the interviews. The number of cars allocated would differ throughout the years, depending on the industry, company size and the region of the USSR. If anything, five cars per year is an overly optimistic estimation, according to some of those who reviewed my article.)
The first in line for their VAZ or ZAZ or GAZ were those who passed their background checks with flying colors. Those would the most productive, skilled or otherwise distinguished employees. You know, employee of the month types. Of course, having Communist Party membership didn’t hurt either. Anyway, if you were an average worker, the chances that your car was going to arrive the year you ordered it was close to non-existent. The same went for the next year. And for the next one.
In the Soviet era, the average waiting line for a car was seven to 10 years or more. Fingers crossed that your plumber isn’t coming on the lucky delivery day.
If you ever got the chance to actually purchase a car, you had other problems to deal with, like a place to park it and replacement parts. Gabrielius Bla┼żys talked to people who lived through the experience of buying and owning a car in the Soviet Union, which you can read about at Jalopnik.

Power Plant Energy Sources in the U.S.

This map from Metric Maps shows us what energy source power plants use to produce the power we use for (almost) all areas of the U.S. You can enlarge the map at the site, to see where your power primarily comes from. The data comes from the Energy Information Administration’s report for March 2016. What’s really notable is the surprisingly large areas served by wind and solar power (green). My area shows that we have no power plant, but somehow I have electricity. Now I’m curious about the biomass that’s powering the western half of Kentucky.

The Spooky Science Behind Ouija Boards

Ouija boards have been associated with the supernatural since the 19th century, with claims it allows the living to communicate easily with the dead, but really the Ouija is merely a novelty product.
However, there is some real science behind the way people interact with the “spirit board” when they get together, and the magic can be cast aside in favor of one scientific explanation- the ideomotor effect:
The ideomotor effect occurs when someone moves themself or an object without being conscious of their actions. This combined with a strong subconscious need for an answer, like what one might feel when using a Ouija board, leads to players moving the planchette without any knowledge of doing so.
So the desire to "speak" through the board can make people move their hands without knowing it, and what seems like intentional deception is really just subconscious desire facilitated by the fingers.

America's "Psychedelic Spring"

Possible chemical scare that led to apartment complex evacuation caused by cooking urine

Urine forced the evacuation of a dozen units at the Brandywine apartment complex in North Amherst, Massachusetts, on Wednesday night. Apartment officials called police about an odor coming from one of the 12 units on Wednesday afternoon, Assistant Fire Chief Lindsey Stromgren said.
When firefighters entered the apartment, they saw what appeared to be chemicals being mixed or cooked on the stove. The state Hazardous Materials Response team and bomb squad investigated after clearing the building.
But police said on Thursday morning the "chemical" was actually distilled urine the tenant was using for medical reasons. No charges are being brought, police said. All of the tenants from other apartments were allowed back in at around 9:30pm. The apartment where the incident was reported has been secured and no one will be allowed in until the town's health inspector approves it, Stromgren added.

O’Reilly Attacks Ken Burns for Knowing More History Than He Does

O’Reilly Attacks Ken Burns for Knowing More History Than He Does
"I was disappointed with Ken Burns. He is a historian, he knows better. This is a smear tactic that we're seeing far too much of in this campaign."…
O'Reilly is a moron.

Billionaires Are Successfully Fooling Us Into Destroying Public Education

North Carolina's Moron Attacks NBA For Pulling 2017 All-Star Game

The idiot obviously does not know what the term "Orwellian" means.

How to Use Your Cell Phone to Check Your Sperm Count

Does your semen contain a sufficiently large number of sperm cells to make fertilization likely? You may no longer have to visit a doctor's office to find out. Researchers in Japan have developed a process that permits a man to examine a sample with a cell phone and get an accurate sperm count. It takes the form of a tiny lens that turns a cell phone camera into a microscope. New Scientist talked to researcher Yoshitomo Kobori about the procedure:
To do a home test, a man would have to wait for around five minutes after ejaculation for the semen to liquefy, then apply a small amount to a plastic sheet and press it against the microscope for inspection. This can be done without getting semen on to the phone, says Kobori.
The process uses the camera to take a 3-second video of the semen, then sends the recording to a lab for analysis. The system is as effective as what's used in fertility clinics:
Kobori says the system works as well as the software used in fertility clinics. In a test, the team ran 50 semen samples through both systems, and got almost identical results.

The U.S. Has Made It Nearly Impossible For Low-Income Women To Have An Abortion


Inside Fox 'News’s' Culture Of Intimidation

Murdoch Replacing Ailes At Fox Lets Him Hide, Settle And Seal Lawsuits

Couple accused of stealing pots, pans, steaks, booze and guns

A couple broke into a residence near DeLand, Florida, and stole steaks, liquor, pots, pans and more than $8,000 in guns and ammunition, Volusia sheriff's investigators said. Kimberly Offutt, 42, and her boyfriend , Michael Stites, 29, who both live at a home near DeLand, were arrested on Tuesday. Offutt was charged with grand theft of firearm, dealing in stolen property, armed burglary, grand theft and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony. She is being held in jail on $50,000 bail.
Stites was charged with driving without a license, armed burglary, dealing in stolen property, grand theft of firearm, grand theft, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. He is being held on $70,000 bail. According to Volusia County sheriff's investigators, the couple broke into the home of a resident who was on vacation the weekend of July 15 to 17. Offutt used to do yard work for the victim, deputies said.
Investigations revealed that the couple forced their way into the home though a back door and took rifles, handguns and shotguns valued at $7,970. The pair also stole about a dozen military ammunition boxes loaded with different types of ammo, a report details. In addition to the weapons and ammunition, Offutt and Stities also stole the homeowner's steaks, liquor and pots and pans. Not satisfied with the meat, liquor and guns, the couple also cleaned out the home of fans, television sets, mechanical tools, tool sets, pool table equipment and even a metal can and ice tea bottle filled with coins, sheriff's investigators said.
All the other stolen items had an estimated value of $2,220. Deputies got their first lead on the pair after they tried to sell some of the stolen merchandise to a friend of the victim's. Deputies were informed that Stites was Offutt's Facebook friend and investigators searched Facebook and found Stites. On Tuesday, a deputy spotted Offutt's van at a gas station in Deltona and detained the woman with her boyfriend. In the van, deputies found the stolen property, including the homeowner's spiced rum. Offutt was found with $400 investigators said she got for selling the guns that were not recovered.

Bungling robber pepper sprayed himself in face while accomplice cut his hand with knife

A search is underway for two men after a botched armed robbery in the Shoalwater suburb of Perth, Australia, during which one of the men pepper sprayed his own face and the other cut himself.
It is alleged one of the men stole several items, including expensive sleep apnoea gear, from a pharmacy early on Thursday night. He was chased by the pharmacist and caught in the car park where he was joined by a second man.
One of them produced a knife and threatened the pharmacist; however, pharmacy staff said the man accidentally cut himself. The other man then attempted to spray the pharmacist with pepper spray.

But the canister was facing the wrong way and he ended up spraying himself in the face. The men fled on foot. They are described as being aged between 18 and 21, fair skinned and of medium build. The men were wearing black pants and black-hooded jumpers with dark grey sleeves.

Police hunt teenager who wore a monkey onesie during crime spree

A teenager who broke into six businesses in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, while wearing a monkey onesie is on the run with at least two other accomplices. The teen was captured on CCTV footage running through the Subway restaurant at North Lakes Shopping Center wearing the distinctive monkey onesie featuring a tail and eyes on Wednesday night.
The teenager’s crime-spree began at the Subway and continued to Palmerston. Strike Force Trident Detective Senior Sergeant Robert Jordan said the monkey onesie could be a vital clue. “We are calling on the public for anyone who may have information, especially in relation to wearing a monkey onesie.
“Somebody out there has got to know who has a monkey onesie,” he said. Sen-Sgt Jordan said the teens stole small amounts of cash and alcohol. “Firstly we had an unlawful entry at the North Lakes Subway where offenders wearing a onesie of all things have broken in and stolen a small amount of money,” he said.
“From there we’ve had another five unlawful entries. One at Dominoes in Millner, one at the DBA basketball courts in Marrara. We’ve also had one at the Repco in Palmerston and the massage center in Palmerston all within a short period of time.” He said police believe the six break-ins were linked and the suspects used a stolen blue Hyundai X35 during the crime spree.

Children used CPR dummy in failed burglary attempt

Children used a CPR dummy in a late-night bid to break into an Illinois convenience store on Monday, police report. The attempted 11:30pm burglary of the Jackpot Supermarket failed since the Peoria business’s front door was protected by a series of metal bars.
According to officers, the suspects, three girls and two boys, are all around 10 years old. The CPR dummy, a Peoria Police Department report notes, “was used to break the glass out.” The children fled before police arrived. Officers noted that the glass on the market’s door had been shattered.
The young suspects had left the child-size CPR dummy behind at the scene. Market owner Moe Abdul said that he was familiar with the minor suspects, saying that they had been previously thrown out of the store for stealing merchandise. The businessman, paid $500 to replace the broken glass.
He estimated that the youngest suspect was eight and the oldest was around 15. Abdul said that after the youths failed to break into his store, they proceeded to burgle a neighboring market that did not have bars on its windows. The CPR dummy was abandoned on the pavement outside the supermarket. The dummy was subsequently collected by a police evidence technician.

The Ecuadorian Walking Palm Tree

A tree named Socratea exorrhiza is better known as the Ecuadorian walking palm tree. It can “walk” up to a couple of centimeters per day. Palaeobiologist Peter Vrsansky spent months with threes to see how they move.
“As the soil erodes, the tree grows new, long roots that find new and more solid ground, sometimes up to 20m,” said Vrsansky. “Then, slowly, as the roots settle in the new soil and the tree bends patiently toward the new roots, the old roots slowly lift into the air. The whole process for the tree to relocate to a new place with better sunlight and more solid ground can take a couple of years.”
The tree’s actions sound like it could have inspired the Ents of The Lord of the Rings. However, the walking trees live in an area of Ecuador that is being sold off to locals who cut down trees to establish their right to live there. Under the same program, Vrsansky has managed to buy several hundred hectares to set aside as a refuge. Read more about the walking palm trees and other species of Ecuadorian wildlife at the BBC.

Animal Pictures