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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.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Odds and Sods

Odds and Sods
First, the good news . The Mississippi House of Representatives has passed the bill requiring anyone doing autopsies in the state to be board certified in forensic pathology by the American Board of Pathology.

A Mangum woman has been arrested for allegedly sending a text message about illegal drugs to a drug task force agent
In Cop News

From Treehugger:
surfing alpaca photo  
Photo via Pilar Olivares / Reuters
Peruvian surfer Domingo Pianezzi loves to ride the waves--so much so, in fact, that he's made it his mission to share the experience with different animals he comes across. Over the years, Pianezzi has become quite accustomed to teaching all manner of furry and feathered friends how to surf, but for the first time yesterday he hit the waves with an alpaca, to raise awareness of the animal iconic in Peruvian culture, I guess. Not surprisingly, the poor alpaca doesn't seem to be having such a gnarly time.
Article continues: Surfer Teaches an Alpaca to Catch a Wave (VIDEO)
Property Developers Bury Defiant Grandma Alive

Owen Lift tried everything to persuade his good friend Larry Donner to Throw Momma from the Train, but he had a change of heart at the last minute. He realized that offing an old Lady is just plain wrong. Sadly, these same thoughts didn’t pass through the scummy property developers who beat and then buried 70-year-old Wang Cuyun alive.

A Walmart store announcement ordering black people to leave brought chagrin and apologies Wednesday from leaders of the company, which has built a fragile trust among minority communities.

A male voice came over the public-address system Sunday evening at a store in Washington Township, in southern New Jersey, and calmly announced: "Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now."

Shoppers in the store at the time said a manager quickly got on the public-address system and apologized for the remark. And while it was unclear whether a rogue patron or an employee was responsible for the comment, many customers expressed their anger to store management.

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Scientific Minds Want To Know
Hominids lived on Flores for nearly one million years before hobbit
Predecessors of the controversial " hobbit " ( Homo floresiensis ) discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores might have had a longer history there than researchers previously thought.
From BBC-Science:
Filamentary clouds of dust (Esa)
Europe's Planck space telescope pictures the colossal swathes of cold dust that spread through the Milky Way galaxy.

A new temperate planet, found 1,500 light-years away from Earth, has similarities to planets within our own Solar System.
Scientists have created the largest-ever "quantum state", a result that has implications for quantum physics and computing.
Click to reveal
The Human brain follow the Scientific method
(or at least most human brains do)
Brain naturally follows scientific 
It turns out that there is a striking similarity between how the human brain determines what is going on in the outside world and the job of scientists. Good science involves formulating a hypothesis and testing whether this hypothesis is compatible with the scientist’s observations. Researchers in the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt together with the University of Glasgow have shown that this is what the brain does as well. A study shows that it takes less effort for the brain to register predictable as compared to unpredictable images.
Alink and colleagues based this conclusion on the characteristics of responses in the primary visual cortex. It is known that the primary visual cortex is critical for vision and that responses in this brain area create a map of what we are currently looking at. Alink and colleagues, however, for the first time show that images induce smaller responses in this area when they are predictable. The implication of this finding is that the brain does not just sit and wait for visual signals to arrive. Instead, it actively tries to predict these signals and when it is right it is rewarded by being able to respond more efficiently. If it is wrong, massive responses are required to find out why it is wrong and to come up with better predictions.
Psychopaths’ Brains Wired to Seek Rewards, No Matter the Consequences
The brains of psychopaths appear to be wired to keep seeking a reward at any cost, new research from Vanderbilt University finds. The research uncovers the role of the brain’s reward system in psychopathy and opens a new area of study for understanding what drives these individuals.
“This study underscores the importance of neurological research as it relates to behavior,” Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said. “The findings may help us find new ways to intervene before a personality trait becomes antisocial behavior.”
The results were published March 14, 2010, in Nature Neuroscience.

From Treehugger:
green eyes on african clawed frog
Photo via: WikiVisual.
Guest blogger Sara Snow is a green lifestyle expert and board member for Discovery's 24/7 future-forward network Planet Green.
About a year ago the Chief Scientist at The Organic Center (a national organization for which I serve on the Board of Directors), Chuck Benbrook, alerted us to an interesting study being conducted by some UC Berkeley zoologists, led by Tyrone Hayes, looking into the effects of atrazine on frogs. At the time it was concerning enough. Now, the study has been completed and released and the results are astounding! And it might even make you want to puke up your latest meal.
Article continues: Green Eyes On: Another Atrazine Bombshell - Changing Frogs' Sex Traits
China Reports Thousands of Dinosaur Footprints
More than 3,000 dinosaur footprints, all facing the same way, have been discovered by researchers after a three-month excavation in the eastern Shandong province of China. Possibly representing a migration or panicked stampede, both the quantity and size of the prints distinguish this amazing discovery.
prints China Reports Thousands 
of Dinosaur Footprints picture
Estimated to be more than 100 million years old and dating back to the mid Cretaceous period, dinosaur remains have been found in more than thirty sites in the Zhucheng area. Hence, the moniker, “dinosaur city.”

More than 3,000 dinosaur footprints, all facing the same way, have been discovered by researchers after a three-month excavation in the eastern Shandong province of China.

In Matters Of Health

In Matters Of Health

Targeting blood vessels, immune system may offer way to stop infection-caused inflammation

Treating virulent influenza, sepsis, and other potentially deadly infections long has focused on looking for ways to kill viruses and bacteria. But new research from the University of Utah and Utah State University shows that modulating the body's own overeager inflammatory response to infection may help save more lives.
In a study published March 17 in Science Translational Medicine, researchers led by U of U cardiologist Dean Y. Li, M.D., Ph.D., professor of internal medicine and director of the Molecular Medicine Program, shows that protecting blood vessels from hyper-inflammatory response to infection reduced mortality rates in mouse models of avian flu and sepsis by as much as 50 percent. Specifically, the researchers identified a protein signaling pathway, Robo4, that when activated prevents inflammation from weakening blood vessels, which causes them to leak and can result in life-threatening organ damage.

Unexpected factors raise stroke risk

Age and gender play a role in these "brain attacks," but so can surprising things such as marital status.

Debate over dangers of sheepskin boots

The popular footwear may feel great but it may also be causing bigger health problems.  

Lose weight without dieting or sweating

Burn more calories effortlessly by doing what city dwellers do most days of the week.
Insurer Fortis targeted HIV patients to drop coverage
From Reuters:
In May, 2002, Jerome Mitchell, a 17-year old college freshman from rural South Carolina, learned he had contracted HIV. The news, of course, was devastating, but Mitchell believed that he had one thing going for him: On his own initiative, in anticipation of his first year in college, he had purchased his own health insurance.

Shortly after his diagnosis, however, his insurance company, Fortis, revoked his policy. Mitchell was told that without further treatment his HIV would become full-blown AIDS within a year or two and he would most likely die within two years after that.
Previously undisclosed records from Mitchell's case reveal that Fortis had a company policy of targeting policyholders with HIV. A computer program and algorithm targeted every policyholder recently diagnosed with HIV for an automatic fraud investigation, as the company searched for any pretext to revoke their policy. As was the case with Mitchell, their insurance policies often were canceled on erroneous information, the flimsiest of evidence, or for no good reason at all, according to the court documents and interviews with state and federal investigators.
The government should to be able to shut companies like Fortis down for this, or at the very least fine the hell out of them. Then throw everyone involved in jail for attempted murder ... now there's a thought.

Despite the decrease in H1N1 cases, disease specialist warns there could be a third wave of the virus. 

Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe
The repugican's hypocrisy over process

Norm Ornstein, from the conservative American Enterprise Institute, destroys the repugican's latest round of lies over Congressional procedure:
In the last Congress that Republicans controlled, from 2005 to 2006, Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier used the self-executing rule more than 35 times, and was no stranger to the concept of “deem and pass.” That strategy, then decried by the House Democrats who are now using it, and now being called unconstitutional by WSJ editorialists, was defended by House Republicans in court (and upheld). Dreier used it for a $40 billion deficit reduction package so that his fellow GOPers could avoid an embarrassing vote on immigration. I don’t like self-executing rules by either party—I prefer the “regular order”—so I am not going to say this is a great idea by the Democrats. But even so—is there no shame anymore?
Many in the traditional media (not just the repugican-owned media like FAUX), buy the repugican's lies. Might be good if this Ornstein post got sent around MSNBC and CNN. The repugicans are hypocritically attacking over things they've done. Even Dana Bash should be able to grasp that.

Hate Groups, racists increase use of social networking

If Time Magazine can name both the computer and " you " as Person of the Year, why can't the Internet win the Nobel Peace Prize? Perhaps because there's just as much hate involved on the Web as there is peace.

Liars and Fools

Florida Family Policy Council "mistakenly" uses wrong photo of lesbian parents
 Albums Pp297
 Gwensharp Soc-Images Chuds
From Sociological Images:
The Florida Family Policy Council [a conservative christian cabal] sent out a message about a judge’s ruling to allow a lesbian couple to adopt a relative’s child they had been fostering. The FFPC, which opposes gay adoption, sent out an alert to its members and including an image of the couple... well, in theory. On the left is the photo included with the alert; on the right is a photo of the actual couple. It’s very obvious use of a stereotype what lesbians look like as a scare tactic. The actual couple doesn’t fit the ideal of the androgynous-looking, angry, mannish lesbian couple. They look like nice middle or upper-middle class professional women who can raise a child perfectly well. They’re attractive by mainstream heterosexual norms of femininity. They look happy and non-threatening.They are simply not sufficiently menacing.
As Nicole points out, the couple on the left isn’t just a stereotype of lesbians, it’s associated with a particular working-class aesthetic, especially the mullets. They aren’t thin and conventionally attractive like the couple on the right.
The FFPC says the use of the wrong image was a mistake. Though it seems they’ve made similar errors before when alerting members about gays and lesbians trying to adopt children.

Arizona's Wingnut J.D. 'Marry your Horse' Hayworth gets the Maddow treatment
This was some good TV. For some reason, J.D. Hayworth, who is challenging John McCain in Arizona's Republican Senate primary, appeared on Rachel Maddow's show last night. This interview came one day after Hayworth compared same-sex marriage to marrying one's horse. Yes, Hayworth outdid Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum. On Rachel, he was way, way out of his league.

Repugicans are funny little people

DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas on the latest repugican obstruction tactics, and the more general repugican tendency to blame us for doing what they've already done.
Congressional repugicans are funny little people.

Once obsessed with “nuclear options” and “up-or-down” votes, they have set new records of obstructionism via the filibuster, refusing the majority party any leeway in delivering on its promises to the American people.

Once happy to use the reconciliation process as a tool to pass costly and complex legislation, they now scream about the “unprecedented” nature of the perfectly appropriate parliamentary procedure.
Once eager to deliver outrageous lies about the Democratic agenda — such as the whopper about “death panels” out to murder grandma — they now whine about the lack of “comity” in Congress and its effect on the majority party’s future plans. “If they do this [pass healthcare reform], it’s going to poison the well for anything else they would like to achieve this year or thereafter,” said  Lindsey Graham (retard-South Carolina).

Yet after a year of spreading fear, uncertainty and destruction, healthcare reform is on the brink of becoming reality. And as Democrats plan to adopt yet another common repugican parliamentary tactic to finish the job on healthcare, repugican hysteria is reaching new heights.

And I Qoute

Times are bad. 
Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book. 

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Thus proving some things never change

It's The Economy Stupid

It's The Economy Stupid                                                         

IRS warns of 'dirty dozen' tax schemes

Some scams will come in the form of official-looking IRS emails and overly aggressive deductions.  

Big chains turn to food giveaways

Major outlets are giving away "free food for a year" to get customers' attention.  
Senate OKs jobs bill

Companies that hire unemployed workers will get a temporary payroll tax holiday under a bill that easily won final congressional approval Wednesday.

The generation most at risk for ID theft

This group takes almost three times longer than others to detect fraud on its accounts. 

6 salary-boosting personality traits

Hard work may not be enough to get a raise if you lack these qualities.  

Middle class struggle for survival

Many Americans no longer believe they can move up the economic ladder. 

What would you do for five bucks?

A new site lets people buy and sell most anything, as long as the price is $5.  

Interesting In General

Interesting In General

New claims made about Anne Frank

A Holocaust survivor says the diarist helped children in their concentration camp.  
Didn't know "Avatar" is a Sanskrit word did you

The word "avatar" comes from from the Sanskrit word Avatãra. The word means, more or less, "descent." More, from a related blog post at Heritage Key:
But while the modern day meaning implies gaming and interaction, the original definition has a very different meaning. In Hinduism, avatars act as manifestations of deities. This occurs when a god has decided to come to our world by taking a human or animal form. The most well-known avatars were associated with the god Vishnu, who often appeared in our world to restore good in the world when evil threatened to corrupt it. The deity would do so by fighting off demons as a fish or a boar. At other times, Vishnu would lead armies to victory as an eventual king (Sounds a little similar to the plot of the movie Avatar?).

Why 55 mph is fading as a speed limit

More states are changing speed limits on rural freeways to one most drivers seem to prefer.

Local Hospitality

Local Hospitality

Local Man Google Maps His Resume

With the economy still trying to recover from the recession....some people are getting creative when it comes to landing a job. We found one local man who is using a traditional Google application...and turning it into a unique resume format.

The State Of The Nation

The State Of The Nation

Ford unveils major makeover of cop car

The Police Interceptor has unique features you won't ever find in a civilian Taurus.
US military: Goal still to capture bin Laden alive
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday that it remains the goal of U.S. troops to capture Osama bin Laden alive and "bring him to justice."

Detroit terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has been cooperating
FBI Director Robert Mueller says the man suspected of trying to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas is cooperating with investigators.

How the taxicab scam was exposed

A pricey, years-long con by some New York City cabbies has the Web searching for answers. 

Homegrown terrorists hint at new reality

Recent cases of Americans reportedly involved in jihad underscore the elusive threat.

Man hid drugs in rolls of stomach fat

Deputies say an inmate smuggled Xanax pills into the Hernando County Jail by hiding them in the fat rolls on his stomach.

According to the incident report, Thomas Althoff, 33, was taken to jail for driving with a suspended licence, patted down and put in a cell. But several hours later, a deputy saw Althoff bending over near a bench, "attempting to snort a crush [sic] yellow substance that was on a piece of cardboard."

Althoff told deputies he'd found the pills in his jail cell but later admitted to concealing the pills "underneath the skin flaps of the bottom section of his stomach."

Althoff admitted to crushing the pills in his holding cell to snort them. He was charged with possessing contraband in jail, in addition to his original charge of driving with a suspended licence.

Boy, 3, left unclaimed for two days after own birthday party      
The parents of a 3-year-old  Michigan boy may be faced with child abandonment and child abuse charges  after leaving their son alone after his own birthday party.

Warren  Police are questioning the parents as to why the boy was left alone at  Little Caesars Caesarland. The manager of the store called police at  around 9 p.m. on Saturday night when he noticed the boy was still there  with no adults.

Officers were unable to find the boy's parents so  he was taken into protective custody and placed in foster care.

Corporate  security from Caesarland contacted Warren Police at around 1 p.m.  Monday, saying a male had been by the store asking about his missing  3-year-old son.

"This is a disturbing and outrageous situation  that the person responsible for the care of this 3-year-old child would take  over 36 hours before inquiring as to the whereabouts of their child,"  said Warren Police Chief William Dwyer. "Our detectives will conduct a  thorough investigation and then report their findings to the Macomb  County Prosecutor's Office for criminal prosecution if deemed  necessary."

The boy's parents both live in Warren.

As The World Turns

As The World Turns

Italian politicians drop trousers in budget protest

Around 50 left-wing municipal officials dropped their trousers at Rome's city hall on Monday to call for the speedy passage of the Italian capital's 2010 budget.

"Alemanno has reduced us to our underwear," read one protester's poster, referring to the city's right-wing mayor Gianni Alemanno.

"Parks and gardens abandoned," "Homeless people, empty homes," others read.

Sandro Medici, the mayor of Cinecitta, the home of the city's legendary movie studios, said Alemanno was dragging his feet over passing the budget "for electoral reasons, because it contains unpopular taxes."

"Without a budget, we only have funds for current expenses," said. "In my district, two schools that are supposed to open in September won't be able to operate."

Eleven of Rome's 19 districts are headed by left-wing mayors. Italy is set to hold elections in 13 of the country's 20 regions, including Rome's Lazio region, at the end of the month

Gunman tries to attack Lenin's corpse in Red Square
A man armed with a high-powered gas pistol tried to break into Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin's tomb on Red Square in Moscow, shooting a policeman in the process.

'Silly mistake' in pirates' hijack attempt

Thinking they had an easy target, Somali pirates mistakenly attack a Dutch warship.
Pakistani court charges 5 Americans with terrorism 

A Pakistani court charged five young Americans on Wednesday with planning terrorist attacks in the South Asian country and conspiring to wage war against nations allied with Pakistan, their defense lawyer said.
The men — all Muslims from the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia — pleaded not guilty to a total of five charges, the most severe of which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, defense lawyer Hasan Dastagir said.

'Saudi Arabia' of marine energy signs contracts

This is a very interesting new energy project. Besides the project itself, it's also interesting to note that one of the energy companies involved had previously been promoting a coal energy project which was stopped after protests. In France, the energy company has to purchase a certain percentage of their power from such sources. Google has recently been called out for moving a new data center to an area that uses coal energy as opposed somewhere that uses green energy. It's important that governments encourage alternative energy projects like this but it's also helpful if businesses encourage and reward the same. Neat stuff.
The seabed off the north coast of Scotland could be transformed into the "Saudi Arabia of marine energy" after seven power firms were awarded contracts for a landmark project designed to harness the area's potential for tidal energy and power up to 750,000 homes by 2020.

More than 20 firms were originally in the running for the project, billed as the world's first commercial wave and tidal scheme, in the Pentland Firth between northern Scotland and the Orkney Islands.

Yesterday, the seven successful bidders were informed by the Crown Estate, which owns much of the UK seabed and is funding the project alongside the Scottish government and local partners.
Commemorating Nazis?

Riga, we have a problem. I get the whole "we hate Soviet Russia" part but praising the Nazi SS in the process is revolting.
The remembrance ceremonies at Riga's Freedom Monument and the Lutheran cathedral are hugely divisive because they pay tribute to those who fought alongside the Nazis in a vain attempt to halt the Red Army's reconquest of the Baltic state in 1944.

While Russians accuse the Latvians of Nazi revivalism and Jewish leaders protest at attempts to "rewrite history" and belittle the Holocaust, the veterans, all pushing 90, and Latvian nationalists insist they are entitled to remember a famous 1944 battle in which the Latvian legion comprising two divisions conscripted into Hitler's Waffen-SS linked up for the only time in the war to try to thwart Stalin.

The 16 March commemoration, briefly declared a national holiday in the 1990s by a nationalist government, was banned by the Riga city council on security grounds, but the courts overruled the ban on Monday, raising fears of ugly scenes, with clashes predicted between Latvian and Russian youths who regularly hijack the event.

Australian man caught with meat and two veg in pants

A homeless Australian man caught putting a beef tongue down his pants also had rump steaks, lamb chops, limes and onions hidden in his seemingly bottomless trousers.

Mau Gibuma, 51, who was seen trying to shoplift at Woolworths’ Abbott St supermarket on Thursday afternoon had been desperate for food after living on the streets, his lawyer Steve Carter said. "He simply had no money and was hungry," Mr Carter said.

Prosecutor Scott Parsons told Cairns Magistrates’ Court, where Gibuma was fined $100 for shoplifting, that Woolies’ security staff saw Gibuma put three limes in the pocket of his jeans then walk to the meat aisle, pick up a beef tongue and put it down the front of his trousers.

When taken into the office and asked to take the items out of his jeans, Gibuma reached into his pants and pulled out three trays of rump steaks and a packet of lamb forequarter chops. "When asked about the limes and beef tongue, he then produced those items," Sen-Constable Parsons said. "Asked if there was any other items, he produced two onions."

Mr Carter said his client, who spent Thursday night in the watch-house, had been living in a night shelter at Westcourt after an argument with his sister, with whom he previously lived. He now planned to move to Townsville where his brother lives, he said.

Magistrate Allan Comans told Gibuma that he could convert his fine to community service if he had trouble paying it.

Editorial Comment

We are still working on the posting format changes at Carolina Naturally and possibly some layout changes as well. Please excuse the mess during this remodeling. 

We will have posts in the following categories:

As The World Turns News and events and other stories from around the globe.
The State Of The Nation News and events and other stories from around the nation.
Local Hospitality News and events and other stories from the local area.
Interesting In General Stories of interest.
Odds and Sods Stories that are offbeat and unusual.
Lunatic Fringe News of the wingnuts, neo-theo-cons, dingbats, birthers, repugicans, john birchers, racists, nazis and other assorted troglodytes and morons.
Scientific Minds Want To Know News from the world of Science.
In Matters Of Health News about health matters and health care.
and more.
As well as  The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift
Today's horoscope says:
There's definitely something to be said for keeping quiet when you have a wonderful secret -- you know, the kind that keeps you grinning and staring out the window when you're supposed to be working.
Still, no one's saying it's going to be easy to bite your tongue.
So if you absolutely must say something to someone, why not talk to your best friend?
Remember, just your best friend, no one else.

Some of our readers today have been in:
Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Paris, Ile-De-France, France
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Ulm, Baden-Wurttemberg, germany
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Trento, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
Ipiales, Narino, Colombia
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Marseilles, Provence-Alpes-Cote D'Azur, France
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Chatswood, New South Wales, Australia
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Brussels, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium
Davo, Davo City, Philippines
Segamat, Johor, Malaysia

as well as the United States in such cities as Woodbridge, Los Osos, Reynoldsburg, Rapid City, Lombard, Falls Church, Yaphank and more.


Today is Thursday, March 18, the 77th day of 2010. 
There are 288 days left in the year.

Today's unusual holidays and celebrations are:
Awkward Moments Day
Companies That Care Day