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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.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Daily Drift

I woof you too
Carolina Naturally is read in 191 countries around the world daily.

Break out the grill, the warm days are back!



Today is Organize You Home Office Day 

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!
Just a reminder: Some of our readers today have been in:
Lagos, Nigeria
Cape Town South Africa
Nairobi, Kenya
Santiago, Chile
Belgrade Serbia
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Warsaw, Poland
Paneveys, Lithuania
Rijeka, Croatia
Bangkok, Thailand
Taguig, Manila, Quezon City, Pasig, Cebu City, Mariveles, Naic, Makati and Sampaloc in the Philippines
Segamat, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur and George Town in Malaysia
Al Khubar, Riyadh, Ad Dammam in Saudi Arabia
Elazig, Izmir, Ankara and Istanbul in Turkey

Today in History

1496 The Jews are expelled from Syria.
1507 Cesare Borgia dies while fighting alongside his brother, the king of Navarre, in Spain.
1609 The Bermuda Islands become an English colony.
1664 New Jersey becomes a British colony.
1789 The United States Post Office is established.
1809 Great Britain signs a treaty with Persia forcing the French out of the country.
1863 President Jefferson Davis delivers his State of the Confederacy address.
1879 The British Zulu War begins.
1884 Mississippi establishes the first U.S. state college for women.
1894 Coca-Cola is sold in bottles for the first time.
1903 The Czar of Russia issues a decree providing for nominal freedom of religion throughout the land.
1909 British Parliament increases naval appropriations for Great Britain.
1911 Dr. Fletcher of the Rockefeller Institute discovers the cause of infantile paralysis.
1912 Juliet Low founds the Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia.
1917 Russian troops mutiny as the "February Revolution" begins.
1930 Gandhi begins his march to the sea to symbolizes his defiance of British rule in India.
1933 President Paul von Hindenburg drops the flag of the German Republic and orders that the swastika and empire banner be flown side by side.
1933 President Roosevelt makes the first of his Sunday evening fireside chats.
1938 German troops enter Austria without firing a shot, forming the anschluss (union)of Austria and Germany.
1939 Pius XII is elected the new pope in Rome.
1944 Great Britain bars all travel to neutral Ireland, which is suspected of collaborating with Nazi Germany.
1945 Diarist Anne Frank dies in a German concentration camp.
1959 The U.S. House of Representatives joins the Senate in approving the statehood of Hawaii.
1984 Lebanese President Gemayel opens the second meeting in five years calling for the end to nine-years of war.
1985 The United States and the Soviet Union begin arms control talks in Geneva.
1994 The Church of England ordains women priests.

Non Sequitur

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The repugicans Finally Admit That They, Not Obama, Are Preventing Gitmo Civilian Trials

GITMO-flag (1)
The repugicans are finally making their opposition to Obama’s policies on Gitmo and civilian trials very public, after the President decided to arraign Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, in New York City. He was extradited on Thursday.
A civilian trial? The repugicans are not pleased.
Naturally, John McCain led the repugican charge against the President’s policy, claiming in a statement that the American people don’t want terror suspects brought here for trial, “The American people and their representatives in Congress have been clear that they do not want foreign members of al Qaeda brought to the United States. The Obama administration’s decision to try Abu Ghaith in a New York district court clearly contravenes the will of the American people. This decision by the Obama administration will not go unchallenged.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (r-KY) made clear the repugican support for Gitmo in a statement, “What has not changed since the issuance of the president’s executive orders is that terrorists working to attack the United States are enemy combatants, and if captured should be placed in military custody where they can be interrogated. The decision of the president to import Sulaiman Abu Ghaith into the United States solely for civilian prosecution makes little sense, and reveals, yet again, a stubborn refusal to avoid holding additional terrorists at the secure facility at Guantanamo Bay despite the circumstances.”
It’s as if repugicans don’t believe in our judicial system. If that’s so, then perhaps they ought to set about fixing that much larger problem. Also, had they actually managed to capture Osama bin Laden using torture, they might have a leg to stand on – but as it is, they did not keep us safe, they did not capture bin Laden, and they were wrong about torture.
It’s beyond frustrating that Americans elected President Obama twice, in part due to his approach to our foreign policy and national security, and yet they are getting shrubish/repugican policies on Gitmo and military tribunals shoved down their throats because repugicans refuse to fund Obama’s executive order.
Contrary to what you may have read for the last four years, President Obama really did sign an executive order to close Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (aka, Gitmo) and bring terror suspects to the continental US for civilian trials instead of military tribunals, per his understanding of our Constitution.
On January 22, 2009, as one of his first official acts in office, Barack Obama signed an executive order to close Gitmo within one year. On that day Obama said, “This is me following through on not just a commitment I made during the campaign, but I think an understanding that dates back to our founding fathers, that we are willing to observe core standards of conduct, not just when it’s easy, but also when it’s hard.”
That hasn’t happened, due to repugicans who managed to obstruct the President’s executive order.
While repugicans are opposed because they tend to support the repugican ideology/fear tactics that led to Gitmo and military tribunals, there is also the issue that representatives don’t want terror suspects in their home states because they don’t want the political liability. It’s called cowardice.
They make this clear every year when the Senate Armed Services Committee drafts the NDAA, and the neo con war hawks make sure they specifically prohibit the funding of the transfer of prisoners to US soil, thereby nullifying Obama’s executive order by defunding it.
The President has made clear his objections to their actions, most notably in his signing statement clarifying how he instructed his administration to carry out the NDAA (emphasis mine):
In the second paragraph of his NDAA signing statement, Obama stated, “The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it. In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists. Over the last several years, my Administration has developed an effective, sustainable framework for the detention, interrogation and trial of suspected terrorists that allows us to maximize both our ability to collect intelligence and to incapacitate dangerous individuals in rapidly developing situations, and the results we have achieved are undeniable. Our success against al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents has derived in significant measure from providing our counterterrorism professionals with the clarity and flexibility they need to adapt to changing circumstances and to utilize whichever authorities best protect the American people, and our accomplishments have respected the values that make our country an example for the world.”
This has all gone on under the radar as the public chased other less than savory aspects within the yearly NDAA.
For years, progressives have blamed Obama for the repugican obstruction, which was easy to miss as it was buried in the fine print of bills. However, here it is, out in the light of day and yes, it’s just as you suspected. The party of torture has deliberately obstructed the President’s executive order carrying out repugican fear based policies.
The President did sign an executive order to close Gitmo and it has been carefully obstructed by Congress every year since. The President is taking a stand now (another perk of not having to run for office again; second term revelations of character), which is forcing repugicans to come out of the closet and publicly defend their love for Gitmo and military tribunals.
The repugicans are objecting to the President’s policy of civilian trials because they see it as another way to obstruct the President from carrying through on a promise he made, and also because they still believe in their vision of national defense in spite of its lack of effectiveness: Torture, military tribunals over civilian trials, and a general atmosphere of fear, instead of considering our higher obligations to justice.
The repugicans fell down on upholding our values when they lied about weapons of mass destruction, and they continue down that same failed path to this day.

Paul Ryan’s Budget is So Delusional that Even Faux News is Calling Bull Shit

ryan-obamacare-fns
Paul Ryan’s budget is so out of touch with reality that even Faux News had to call out his repeal Healthcare Reform BS.
Video:
RYAN: These are increases that have not come yet. So, by repealing Healthcare Reform, and the Medicaid expansions which haven’t occurred yet, we are basically preventing an explosion of a program that is already failing.
So, we’re saying don’t grow this program through Healthcare Reform because it doesn’t work. Prevent that growth from going because it’s not going to work, it’s going to hurt people who are trying to help, it’s going to hurt hospitals and states and, give the states the tools that they are asking for.
Indiana is a perfect example. They have a fantastic Medicaid program that Mitch Daniels created in Indiana that is popular, that’s successful, that’s working well, but Healthcare Reform prevents it from going forward. We want to give states like Indiana, states like Wisconsin, the tools they need to make these benefits work for their populations and we don’t want to push more people into a failing program. And by not pushing people into this failing program, we do save these kinds of dollars.
WALLACE: I’m going to pick up on this because I must say I didn’t understand it. Are you saying that as part of your budget, you would repeal, you assume the repeal of Healthcare Reform?
RYAN: Yes.
WALLACE: Well, that’s not going to happen.
RYAN: Well, we believe it should. That’s the point. That’s what’s — but this is what budgeting is all about, Chris. It’s about making tough choices to fix our country’s problems. Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget is so out of whack with reality that even Faux News has step back and say, ‘Whoa, wait a minute, there buddy. What are you smoking in order to make these numbers work?’
Ryan has always been reluctant to discuss the assumptions built into his budget plans. When Chris Wallace pointed out that the repeal of Healthcare Reform is not going to happen, Ryan’s answer was that it should. Rep. Ryan has finally outed his budget as nothing more than ideological wish list. There is no reality in his budget. The Ryan Budget is the byproduct of a grown man trapped in a teenage boy’s Randian fantasy.
It turns out that the repugican numbers guy is basing his budget on things that ought to happen instead of what is really happening. Despite all the hoopla Ryan generates for himself in the mainstream media, his budgets have become a yearly self inflicted wound on the repugican cabal.
Paul Krugman has been calling Paul Ryan a budget fraud for years. Today, Ryan admitted that his budget is based on politics not reality.
Faux News will still champion Ryan and his budget, but even they can occasionally see the reality that this won’t work.
Paul Ryan’s budget is Ayn Rand fan fiction, but as long as the mainstream media keeps treating him like he knows something we’ll be annually subjected to his non-reality based budgets.
Somebody stop Paul Ryan before he injures math again.

Sounds about right

'Freedom Works' Finally Manages to Do Something Right by Trying to Destroy the repugican cabal

gop-fighting
Freedom Works has long claimed to be a grassroots organization, when in reality it is a Koch brothers funded propaganda outlet. Freedom Works and the tea party go together like repugicans and a corporate agenda. Unhappy with their losses and inability to impact policy enough (Freedom Works won’t be happy until corporations are running the government completely), Freedom Works is deploying tea party missiles of mass destruction against the repugican cabal.
Freedom Works is putting pressure on House repugicans to vote no against their own cabal’s rules, causing members to blindside their party whips. According to The Hill, sixteen repugicans broke with their cabal on a procedural vote over a rule designed to prevent a government shutdown. (Sadly, the results of repugican inner-cabal warfare don’t bode well for the nation.)
Reportedly, these repugican defectors told the whips they would be voting with the party, as is usual especially on procedural votes. And then, after pressure from Freedom Works, they defected. Their no votes were a shock to repugican House cabal leaders.
From The Hill:
One source close to the repugican cabal’s operation, quoting the popular Netflix series “Game of Cards,” said the members broke the “deadliest sin” of “don’t surprise me.”
“There (was) a revolution afoot that people who whipped for (the Rule) this morning, changed their vote to ‘no,’” the source said.
Several wingnuts switched their positions on the rule under pressure from interest groups that on Wednesday morning announced they intended to score votes on the rule.
Freedom Works, for example, was livid that repugican leaders refused to allow a floor vote on an amendment to defund the implementation of President Obama’s healthcare law.
Some of the repugican defectors voted against the rule but for the funding — they are calling this a conscience vote (corporations have those now?), including Reps. Tim Huelskamp (r-KS), John Fleming (r-LA), Steve Pearce (r-NM), Mo Brooks (r-ALA.), Walter Jones (r-NC), Dana Rohrabacher (r-CA) and Ted Yoho (r-FL).
The Hill reports that “wingnut” repugicans intend to keep doing this if it pleases them (aka, when pressured by the Koch brothers et al), and they mentioned that Eric Erickson of Red State is calling this revolution the “Wingnut Fight Club”. I guess that cute name is supposed to indicate that they mean business.
So what’s happening here is that in spite of themselves, Freedom Works is actually doing something for the people, by pressuring wingnut repugicans to defect from their party and commit the “deadliest sin” of saving the betrayal for the actual vote, rather than giving the whips a heads up. This is a deliberate public humiliation of repugican House leadership, meant to signal that they don’t have the power they think they have.
Remember this when repugicans say President Obama won’t negotiate with them. With whom should the President be negotiating? Who has the power in the House? Speaker John Boehner can’t rely upon his own cabal members to vote the way they say they will and he can’t get the votes on important bargains he’s made in the past. Yet, the corporatist “wingnut” tea party doesn’t have enough power to run the House — just enough to destroy the repugicans who are trying to run the House.
In fact, as the Hill pointed out, had the 17 Democrats who missed the vote that day been there to vote against it, a repugican procedural rule vote would have been defeated in the repugican led House. We call this a revolt, and since it has the big money backing of Freedom Works, that means it also has more power than individual conscience votes.
Freedom Works seems bound and determined to destroy the only power the repugicans have right now — the House of Representatives. If they keep this up and Democrats stay unified, there’s an opening to neuter some repugican power in the House.

Jeb Tries and Fails To Cover Up His Family's Legacy of Economic Destruction With a Bushel of Obama Lies

jeb-bush-this-week
On ABC’s This Week, Jeb Bush lied about Obama’s record on the debt to cover up his family history of destroying the American economy.
Here is the video:
When asked about the debt, former Gov. Bush said that Obama has not been serious about deficit reduction,
I haven’t seen the seriousness of the president’s efforts. I’d love to see a specific plan that really did reform- bend the cost curve for Medicare and the entitlement system. I haven’t seen it, so if there is through these talks, some kind of consensus that emerged, I don’t think you should say, ‘no, no, no’ about anything.’
Frankly, there was already been one of the largest tax increases in American history a month ago. And frankly, we ought to be focused on sustained economic growth, which grows more revenue for people and for government than any tax increase that’s been suggested, so there are a lot of things that could be done to create a real grand bargain. And let the process work. I’m hopeful that the president’s sincere about this.
Jeb Bush was completely lying about both Obama’s seriousness about reducing the national debt, and the drivers of our debt. It is stunning that Bush would so openly try to fool the American people into forgetting his brother’s role in creating our current debt problem. Bush repeated the Great repugican Lie that entitlement spending is responsible for the debt. (Bush also ignored the fact that President Obama has put entitlement reform on the table numerous times during his presidency.)
The best way to illustrate both how we got here and who got us here is with the graph below:
debt-graph
If you look at the impact of the policies of the shrub and Barack Obama, it becomes clear who was/is not taking the debt seriously. President Obama’s policies will only add $983 billion to the debt over the course of his eight years in office, while the shrub’s policies added $5.1 trillion to the debt during his presidency.
The other debt on Obama’s record was caused by the collapse of the economy, and we all know who is responsible for The Great Recession:
george-w-bush
Before Jeb Bush can get back into politics, he has to rehabilitate the family name. He started this process with a speech defending his brother’s record at the 2012 repugican convention, and he is continuing it by trying to massage away from the memories of voters his brother’s responsibility for destroying the economic health of the country.
In order to explain away the facts, Jeb Bush has to repeat stupid and obvious lies about the president passing the “largest tax increase in history,” and “not being serious about the debt.” Entitlement spending and how this debt was created are two separate issues that repugicans are trying to mix up in order to accomplish their ideological goal of destroying the social safety net.
Before the sequester, Obama had already slashed the debt by $2.5 trillion. However, this apparently isn’t serious enough for Jeb Bush.
Jeb Bush wants back into politics, but his brother’s legacy is the main reason why he will never be president. Jeb Bush can tell all the lies he wants, but as long as Americans are still living with the economic pain caused by this brother, he will never win a presidential election.



The Facts on the Fundamentals of the United States

The republicans and wingnuts will have a lot of trouble swallowing the facts in this post. It's easier to make up a pretend history, sprinkle in a few of your delusions, add a few stories that never happened and call it a day than to really study the history of America.

The truth be told

Eight school buses stolen and chopped into scrap overnight

Eight school buses were stolen from the Far South Side of Chicago on Thursday and driven to a salvage yard, where they were cut apart and shredded into a two-story pile of scrap, police said on Friday. The name of the Sunrise Bus company could be seen among the shards of metal at Gonzalez Auto and Truck Parts. Three people were taken into custody. The 40-foot-long buses, capable of seating 75 people, were stolen sometime overnight from the bus company’s yard and were not discovered missing until Friday morning.
The buses were all equipped with GPS tracking devices, and police were able to track “their entire movement” to the scrap yard. When officers arrived, several people who apparently worked in the scrap yard ran into a building, police said. Officers initially apprehended one person and later took two others into custody. “There was a pile of shredded school buses about two stories high,” one police official said. Some pieces were large enough that police could see the Sunrise bus logo, the official said.


Engines and transmissions from the buses had already been cut in half, and the seats tossed in a “big pile of scrap.” An employee said the bus yard had been closed at around 7pm local time on Thursday. When workers arrived at 5am on Friday, they discovered a gate open and a snapped lock. Police arrived at the scrap yard at about 6am Greg Bonnett, president and co-owner of Sunrise, said he was told of the stolen buses at around 5:30am When the GPS signals were tracked down, Bonnett said he expected to find 8 buses parked there.

“We expected to come in and see our buses, not a mound of scrap. In 40 years I have never heard of anything like this,“ Bonnett said. Four of the buses were 2009 models, three were 2004 and one was a 2003, according to Bonnett. He said, on average, the buses were each worth at least $65,000, though some were more expensive because they were equipped with wheelchair lifts and other attachments for students with special needs. The price of scrap metal has been on the rise. One company said they pay roughly $250 per ton. The school buses weighed up to 10 tons each.

There's an additional news video here.

White Cliffs of Dover visitors getting French signal and higher charges on mobile phones

Costs for making a call on the French network can be up to four times the cost of using a domestic one Visitors to the famous White Cliffs of Dover are getting an nasty surprise when they want to use their mobile phones - they are picking up a French signal and higher charges.

What Really Smart People Worry About At Night

What do you lay awake at night worrying about? Are your worries different than those far smarter than you? Perhaps.
John Brockman of Edge magazine asked what the world's most intelligent brainiacs - including Physics Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek, technologist Tim O'Reilly, musician Brian Eno, The Black Swan author Nassim Nicholas Taleb - about their professional worries and got a lot of responses.
One hundred and fifty distinct worries, in fact. Thankfully, VICE's Motherboard blog has summarized it for us:
1. The proliferation of Chinese eugenics. – Geoffrey Miller, evolutionary psychologist.
2. Black swan events, and the fact that we continue to rely on models that have been proven fraudulent. – Nassem Nicholas Taleb
3. That we will be unable to defeat viruses by learning to push them beyond the error catastrophe threshold. – William McEwan, molecular biology researcher
4. That pseudoscience will gain ground. – Helena Cronin, author, philospher
5. That the age of accelerating technology will overwhelm us with opportunities to be worried. – Dan Sperber, social and cognitive scientist
6. Genuine apocalyptic events. The growing number of low-probability events that could lead to the total devastation of human society. – Martin Rees, former president of the Royal Society
7. The decline in science coverage in newspapers. – Barbara Strauch, New York Times science editor
8. Exploding stars, the eventual collapse of the Sun, and the problems with the human id that prevent us from dealing with them. -- John Tooby, founder of the field of evolutionary psychology
9. That the internet is ruining writing. – David Gelernter, Yale computer scientist
10. That smart people--like those who contribute to Edge--won’t do politics. –Brian Eno, musician
11. That there will be another supernova-like financial disaster. –Seth Lloyd, professor of Quantum Mechanical Engineering at MIT
12. That search engines will become arbiters of truth. --W. Daniel Hillis, physicist
13. The dearth of desirable mates is something we should worry about, for "it lies behind much human treachery and brutality.” –David M. Buss, professor of psychology at U of T
14. “I’m worried that our technology is helping to bring the long, postwar consensus against fascism to an end.” –David Bodanis, writer, futurist
15. That we will continue to uphold taboos on bad words. –Benhamin Bergen, Associate Professor of Cognitive Science, UCS
Humanity, start worrying! Or, you can just accept it all, like Terry Gilliam of Monty Python, who said:
I've given up asking questions. l merely float on a tsunami of acceptance of anything life throws at me... and marvel stupidly.
Read the original post over at Edge.

Company Offers Free Beer to Employees Every Friday

beer
If you work for Advanced Medical, a company in Port Orange, Florida, you probably look forward to Beer Cart Fridays. Once a week, each employee is provided with an ice-cold beer:
Jennifer Fuicelli, the company's chief executive, said while she knows alcohol in the workplace is a contentious issue for some, she wanted to provide an "unorthodox corporate culture" of rewarding employees for their hard work — by allowing them to crack open a cold one, on the company's tab, during work hours. [...]
"We have a very low turnover, and a very high retention rate," she said.

The Restaurant Near The Sanyou Cave

The establishment is known as 'The Restaurant Near the Sanyou Cave.' Its real name is the Fangweng Restaurant. It's in China, in Hubei Province, about a 30 minute drive north of the city of Yichang.

The Sanyou Cave is indeed one of the nearby attractions. But more generally, the restaurant is in the Happy Valley of the Xiling Gorge, an especially scenic stretch of cliffs, caves and park land located around area where the Chang Jiang River flows into the Yangtze.

Random Photo

How a White Man Became King of the Village in India

Barry Watson has been many things: teacher, bus driver, financial advisor ... but in a small village in India, he's royalty.
Here's what happened:
Among the Yanadi tribe of Andhra Pradesh, he is known as “King Bazza” and held in such awe that his “subjects” have been known to walk ten paces behind him, and children have feared to approach him.
However, at home in Chepstow, he is an ordinary father-of-four whose children constantly “take the mick”.
Mr Watson was given the title after helping villagers, who once lived on a rubbish tip and had a life expectancy of around 40, to make a new home for themselves – which has been named Barrypuram in his honor.
But he was regarded as special from the moment he arrived by the tribe – who are at the bottom of the caste system and are descended from ratcatchers to the local kings.
“They said there was an ancient prophecy one day a white man would come and build them a village,” he said.
John-Paul Ford Rojas of The Telegraph has the fascinating story: here.

Saudi Arabia may drop beheading as method of execution due to a shortage of swordsmen

A joint Saudi committee composed of representatives of the ministries of interior, justice and health is mulling the replacement of beheading with firing squads for capital sentences due to shortages in government swordsmen.
The committee argued that such a step, if adopted, would not violate Islamic law, allowing heads – or emirs – of the country's 13 local administrative regions to begin using the new method when needed.


 "This solution seems practical, especially in light of shortages in official swordsmen or their belated arrival to execution yards in some incidents; the aim is to avoid interruption of the regularly-taken security arrangements," the committee said in a statement.

The ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom beheaded 76 people in 2012, according to official figures. Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict version of Sharia, or Islamic Law. So far this year, three people have been executed.

Fundamentalist christians putting Tibetans in danger

When Dawa said yes to a party held by American friends in the city of Xining, she expected music, drinks, and a chance to practice her English. But it soon transpired that there would be more to the evening’s activities.
“When we arrived one person said loudly: ‘Lord!’ and started to cry,” Dawa, an earnest Tibetan in her late 20s, recalls in a cafĂ© in Xining, the capital of China’s Qinghai province. “Some people came and touched me and cried. We were so afraid. We thought, Why are they crying?”
For Dawa and her friend Tenzin (names have been changed to protect their identities), both Tibetans from nomadic families trying to make it in the big city, the situation was not only potentially dangerous if they had been caught by police but humiliating. “We were upset,” explains Tenzin. “They had told us we could learn English. We felt like fools.”

Global Warming Brings Trees to Arctic Tundra

Global warming could replace tundra with forests and vineyards by the end of this century.

The Finkbeiner Test

vWe all know it: women are a minority among scientists. Journalists love to write about them, but stories of women scientists tend to focus on the fact that they are women to the detriment of the actual science they are doing. Media profiles often put female scientists on a pedestal, as in "OMG, she's juggling her research career with raising kids!"
Ann Finkbeiner, my colleague at Last Word On Nothing, has had enough. As she explained here yesterday, she plans to write about an impressive astronomer and “not once mention that she’s a woman.” It’s not that Finkbeiner objects to drawing attention to successful female scientists. She’s produced many of these stories herself. The issue, she says, is that when you emphasize a woman’s sex, you inevitably end up dismissing her science.
Finkbeiner, a freelance science writer, inspired Christie Aschwanden to come up with the Finkbeiner test, to judge stories about women in science, although it would work with other professional profiles as well.
To pass the Finkbeiner test, the story cannot mention

    The fact that she’s a woman
    Her husband’s job
    Her child care arrangements
    How she nurtures her underlings
    How she was taken aback by the competitiveness in her field
    How she’s such a role model for other women
    How she’s the “first woman to…”
In other words, writing about female scientists should be like writing about male scientists. Then the actual science can be the focus. In the essay at DoubleXScience, Aschwanden links to examples of stories that pass the test, and to those that don't. More

First Evidence of Viking-Like 'Sunstone' Found

A crystal uncovered in a British shipwreck could help prove Vikings used so-called 'sunstone' to find their way under less-than-sunny skies.

Mummy Scans Reveal Clogged Arteries

The finding casts doubt on beliefs that modern vices cause heart attacks and strokes.

Bronze-Age Donkey Sacrifice Found in Israel

The young donkey that was carefully laid to rest on its side more than 3,500 years ago.

Daily Comic Relief

car

Woman escapes grizzly attack with small pistol

This is a story of self control and marksmanship with an itsy bitsy shooter by a woman against a fierce predator.

What is the smallest caliber you trust to protect yourself?
                            Grizzly                            The Beretta Jetfire:
GrizzlyBaretta

“While out hiking in Alberta Canada with my boyfriend we were surprised by a huge grizzly bear charging at us from out of no where. She must have been protecting her cubs because she was extremely aggressive. If I had not had my little Beretta Jetfire with me I would not be here today!”
Just one shot to my boyfriend’s knee cap was all it took…….the bear got him and I was able to escape by just walking away at a brisk pace.

Doctors Believe Bee Sting Venom Could Prevent HIV

In the ongoing search to find a cure for HIV/AIDS, scientists believe they have come up with a groundbreaking new procedure to help stop the spread of the global pandemic.

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis believe that chemicals found in bee stings can destroy the virus, preventing it from becoming AIDS. According to the Midwestern school's doctors the nanoparticles carrying the toxin -- called melittin -- destroys HIV, while leaving surrounding cells unharmed.

"Our hope is that in places where HIV is running rampant, people could use this gel as a preventative measure to stop the initial infection," research instructor Dr Joshua L Hood claims. "We are attacking a physical property of HIV. Theoretically, there isn't any way for the virus to adapt to that."

The study also shows that while the melittin does nothing to stop the initial infection, some strains of the virus have also found ways to reproduce anyway. Bee sting therapy is not a new concept. Doctors in Kenya, have found that the insects' venomous sting can additionally relieve arthritis, stimulate the immune system and alleviate daily pain. It has also been used on those suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Tick Removal


A nurse discovered a safe, easy way to remove ticks where they automatically withdraw themselves when you follow her simple instructions.
Read this one as it could save you from some major problems.
Spring is here and the ticks will soon be showing their heads.
Here is a good way to get them off you, your children, or your pets. Give it a try.

A School Nurse has written the info below--good enough to share--and it really works!

"I had a pediatrician tell me what she believes is the best way to remove a tick. This is great because it works in those places where it's sometimes difficult to get to with tweezers: between toes, in the middle of a head full of dark hair, etc."

"Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20); the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away.

This technique has worked every time I've used it (and that was frequently), and it's much less traumatic for the patient and easier for me.."

Also, if you just pull a tick off, their heads sometimes break off and are left under the skin so this is much safer. Be aware also that a tick with a white speck on its back is a Deer Tick, these can cause Tick Fever so check yourself and your family good if you see any of these!

"Unless someone is allergic to soap, I can't see that this would be damaging in any way.

Animal Pictures

redwingjohnny:

Arctic Wolf
by Daniel Parent