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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.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Daily Drift

Some people just have no class  ...!

Carolina Naturally is read in 194 countries around the world daily.
 
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Today is - Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day
 

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Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Rosario and Buenos Aires, Agrentina
Byward Market, Ottawa, Pikangikum, Mississauga, Blainville, Britannia and Thunder Bay, Canada
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Mexico City, Mexico
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Europe 
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London and Slough, England
Niva, Denmark
Novosibirsk, Nizhniy Novgorod, Chelyabinsk, Stavkopol' and Tuapse, Russia
Prato, Cavallino, Rome, Valenzano and Ivrea,  Italy
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Cairo, Egypt
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Pacific
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Homebush, Perth and Saint Albans, Australia

Today in History

1542 The English defeat the Scots at the Battle of Solway Moss in England.
1859 Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. The first printing of 1,250 copies sells out in a single day.
1863 In the Battle Above the Clouds, Union Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's forces take Lookout Mountain, near Chattanooga, Tennessee.
1864 Kit Carson and his 1st Cavalry, New Mexico Volunteers, attack a camp of Kiowa Indians in the First Battle of Adobe Walls.
1874 Joseph Glidden receives a patent for barbed wire.
1902 The first Congress of Professional Photographers convenes in Paris.
1912 Austria denounces Serbian gains in the Balkans; Russia and France back Serbia while Italy and Germany back Austria.
1927 Federal officials battle 1,200 inmates after prisoners in Folsom Prison revolt.
1938 Mexico seizes oil land adjacent to Texas.
1939 In Czechoslovakia, the Gestapo execute 120 students who are accused of anti-Nazi plotting.
1944 American B-29s flying from Saipan bomb Tokyo.
1949 The Iron and Steel Act nationalizes the steel industry in Britain.
1950 UN troops begin an assault into the rest of North Korea, hoping to end the Korean War by Christmas.
1961 The United Nations adopts bans on nuclear arms over American protests.
1963 Jack Ruby fatally shoots the accused assassin of President Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, in the garage of the Dallas Police Department.
1977 Greece announces the discovery of the tomb of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great.
1979 The United States admits that thousands of troops in Vietnam were exposed to the toxic Agent Orange.
1992 US Congress passes the Brady Bill requiring a 5-day waiting period for handgun sales; the bill is named for Pres. Ronald Reagan's press secretary who was left partially paralyzed by a bullet during an assassination attempt on Reagan.
1995 Ireland votes 50.28% to 49.72% to end its 70-year-old ban on divorce.
2012 A fire at a clothing factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, kills over 110 people.

Non Sequitur

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Did you know ...

That New Mexico cops force medical anal rape on suspects

That US Airways kicked blind man and his seeing-eye dog off flight

About Ken Starr's plea for a confessed child molester

Texas board of education may reject biology textbook because evolution is but a theory


A biology textbook from Pearson is the subject of a renewed debate over evolution vs. creationism in Texas schools.
More science vs. magic in Texas schools: creationists in the state are rejoicing as the State Board of Education has held up the approval of a Biology textbook "because of alleged factual errors." The science tome from Pearson Education, one of America's largest publishers, contains a section on natural selection, and nothing about how Jesus made the dinosaurs.
***
Be afraid, Texas, be very afraid.

President Obama shrinks the deficit

 
The repugicans React

McDonalds Tells Underpaid Starving Employees To Break Their Food Into Pieces

McDonalds strike 
It is not unusual for people steeped in insensitivity and cruel disregard for others to masquerade their callousness as benevolence toward those they hold in contempt. For thirty years repugicans have feigned concern for the American people’s economic well-being with policies they claimed would help them succeed and prosper if they would only persevere and work harder, but all the while the repugican cabal helped kill jobs and kept wages at poverty levels to enrich big business. Apparently, big business saw the gullibility of the voters buying into the repugicans’ faux concern for the people and over the past few months one of the largest fast food retail chains in the nation has attempted to conceal their heartlessness with concern for their employees’ economic plight, but the people are not buying it. McDonalds’ employees are some of the most underpaid workers in the nation, and to persuade their workers the company has their best interests at heart are once again offering advice on how to survive working part-time for poverty wages.
A few months ago McDonald’s joined with credit card giant Visa to give their underpaid employees a sample budget replete with advice to take on a second job, forego expenses like heating, and feed themselves on $27 a month. The “budget journal” for McDonalds’ employees painted a wholly inaccurate view of what it is like to budget on a minimum wage job, and instead of illustrating that McDonalds workers could live comfortably and build a savings account on poverty-level wages, it only underscored exactly how difficult it is for an underpaid fast food worker to survive. This week, McDonalds sought to help their employees again under the ruse of concern for their health and psychological well-being heading into the holiday season. And, once again they displayed the heartless disregard for their workers’ intelligence and quality of life repugicans have demonstrated for the past five years.
Because McDonalds’ “sample budget” only left $27 a month for food, the company advised hungry employees to “break food into pieces” to feel full as if crumbling a piece of bread into smaller pieces would better fill the void in their empty stomachs. Of course, when “breaking of bread” failed to satisfy their employees hunger, the company graciously offered their workers valuable assistance to apply for food stamps. Interestingly, McDonalds is an avid repugican supporter and in 2010 intimidated employees to support repugican candidates who are attempting to slash food stamp funding to Draconian levels.
Where the fast food giant exposed that they fully comprehend the psychological pressure their low-wages have on their hungry employees were suggestions to combat the stress and high blood pressure inherent with wondering how to eat on $27 a month. The company encouraged their employees to reduce their blood pressure by “singing along to your favorite songs,” and reminded them that “people who attend more church services tend to have lower blood pressure.” It is “jesus saves” advice and surprising they did not combine the two suggestions and suggest singing their favorite cult songs to reduce their stress level and blood pressure.
This week, Republican Paul Ryan revealed that he is on the same page with McDonalds’ advice for more church and unveiled his new and improved anti-poverty agenda founded on more jesus. Ryan told a Heritage forum that the key to curing poverty is going “eye to eye, soul to soul. Spiritual redemption: that’s what saves people.” However, those underpaid McDonalds workers trying to feed themselves on $27 a month will still leave cult meetings several times a week hungry and jesus or no, they will still have to break food into smaller pieces in a futile attempt to fill their empty stomachs.
McDonalds’ underpaid, hungry, and stressed-out employees are not stupid, and they know full well the absurd advice to seek jesus, break food into pieces, or singing their favorite cult song is not going to help them survive and they finally started protesting and complaining about poverty-level wages McDonalds “graciously” affords them. McDonalds, always ready to appear benevolent about their employees stress levels at barely surviving had sage advice to relieve stress; stop bitching. The company suggested workers start focusing on the positive and told them that their “stress hormone levels rise by 15% after ten minutes of complaining.” They then gave them some “helpful holiday tips” to make it through the Yule Tide season and recommended “selling some of your unwanted possessions on eBay or Craigslist to bring in some quick cash.”
McDonalds is a money-making machine that is refusing to consider raising their employees’ wages despite protests around the country.   The company claims raising workers’ wages is a deal-breaker they can hardly afford because it would raise the price to the consumer as well as adversely affect the retail giants’ profit margins; it is a bald-faced lie. In Europe where the minimum wage for a McDonalds’ employee is $12 an hour, customers pay a few pennies more than their counterparts in America for the exact same menu items and European stores typically bring in higher profit margins than McDonalds’ stores in America.
McDonalds’ employees, and all Americans for that matter, can take away a valuable lesson from first, the McDonalds-Visa “sample budget,” and second, advice on how to cope physically and mentally while working at a highly profitable fast food giant that pays poverty-level wages. The company, like the Walton family (Walmart), knows its employees can hardly survive on minimum wages and they comprehend that low wages are placing undue stress on workers expected to go without heat in winter and live on $27 a month for food, clothing, and dog-forbid, personal hygiene products. That both Walmart and McDonalds offer to help their underpaid and underfed employees apply for food stamps, welfare, and Medicaid while they support repugicans who covet cutting those low-income assistance programs into oblivion is an affront to their workers and should enrage all Americans.
What the McDonalds and Walmart corporations are discovering is that after thirty years of repugican callousness disguised as benevolent concern for American workers is that the people are not gullible and see through their faux regard for their well-being. It does not take a genius to figure out that a company offering stress reduction strategies because their employees are expected to eat on $27 a month, or offers assistance to apply for government assistance, doesn’t know its low wages are barely enough to survive on and place unnecessary stress on their employees. More than being outraged, McDonalds’ workers should feel insulted that a giant corporation has the temerity to believe their employees are stupid or na├»ve enough to think that breaking food into little pieces, singing, or going to cult meetings more frequently is going to improve their economic situation or relieve the stress of barely surviving. After thirty years of repugicans raping the economic life out of the American people under the guise of benevolent concern, McDonalds is going to have to come up with a new strategy because their workers, like most Americans, have lived this charade for too long.

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WordPress joins its users in court to fight bogus, censoring copyright claims

WordPress has gone to bat for its users in court, joining in two lawsuits over fraudulent DMCA claims that used copyright claims as a means of censoring critics. Back in August, a British anti-gay group called Straight Pride UK used a copyright claim to censor the publication of an on-the-record interview with one of the group's spokesmen. And in February, disgraced cancer researcher Anil Potti used copyright claims to censor Retraction Watch, a science watchdog that had reported on the journals that retracted Potti's papers.
Wordpress was the host for both of these sites, and at the time, it cooperated with the takedowns (the law does not require WordPress to honor takedowns that it deems to be bogus, but if it does not honor a takedown, it can be named as a party to any eventual lawsuit over the alleged infringement). But when the users went to court to fight for their right to publish, WordPress got their backs -- bravo!
These cases are both infuriating and increasingly common. While there are no legal consequences (like fines) under the DMCA for copyright abusers, there is a provision that allows victims of censorship (and their web hosts) to bring legal action against those who submit fraudulent DMCA notices. So today, we’ve joined with Oliver, Ivan, and Adam to take a small strike back at DMCA abuse. We’ve filed two lawsuits for damages under Section 512(f) of the DMCA, which allows for suits against those who “knowingly materially misrepresent” a case of copyright infringement.
Until there are some teeth to the copyright laws, it’s up to us – websites and users, together – to stand up to DMCA fraud and protect freedom of expression. Through these suits, we’d like to remind our users that we’re doing all we can to combat DMCA abuse on WordPress.com….and most importantly, remind copyright abusers to think twice before submitting fraudulent takedown notices. We’ll be watching, and are ready to fight back.
We’ll also be actively involved, on behalf of our users, in trying to change the law – both through court cases and in Congress – to make sure that everyone has the right to share their voice on the Internet without threat of censorship.

Wikimedia sends legal threat to WikiPR over sockpuppetry and meatpuppetry

Wikimedia, the nonprofit that oversees the Wikipedia project, has sent a cease-and-desist letter to WikiPR, an astroturfing company that pays people to distort Wikipedia entries on behalf of clients who want to erase embarrassing history or boost their image (or both). WikiPR is thought to be behind hundreds of sockpuppet accounts that made thousands of edits over several years.
To assist in the assessment, the WMF retained Cooley LLP to review and investigate allegations that a company named Wiki-PR has been engaging in paid advocacy editing, in contravention of the Wikimedia Foundation’s website Terms of Use. While the WMF and Cooley were investigating this question, the Wikimedia community banned Wiki-PR and anyone receiving financial benefits from Wiki-PR from editing until certain conditions were met.
Today, Cooley LLP, on behalf of the WMF, sent the cease and desist letter below to the CEO of Wiki-PR, demanding that Wiki-PR “cease and desist from further editing the Wikipedia website unless and until [they] have fully complied with the terms and conditions outlined by the Wikimedia Community.”

Random Celebrity Photos

memories65:

Actress Gene Tierney (1920-1991)
Actress Gene Tierney (1920-1991)

Health Canada outs 40,000 medical marijuana users

Due to an "administrative error," Health Canada sent letters to 40,000 medical marijuana users whose return address was "Medical Marijuana Access Program." In so doing, they outed tens of thousands of Canadians as medical marijuana users to their postal delivery people, people with whom they share their mailboxes, and others.
The letter, which Health Canada says was sent to 40,000 people, comes in a white envelope, and has a return address with the words “Medical Marijuana Access Program” written across the top, followed by the patient’s name and address. Many people say their privacy has been violated and fear their houses may be robbed and their home growing gardens targeted.
“I’m outright panicked,” said Multiple Sclerosis patient Suzi Berardini, who also suffers from trigeminal neuralgia. She said the mailman who dropped the letter off “smirked” when he handed her the envelope. “It’s terrifying. So many levels of terrifying.”

Five charged in US with smuggling 'more than 99% pure' meth from North Korea

Five men have been extradited to the US from Thailand to face charges of trafficking crystal methamphetamine cooked in North Korea. The highly militarized nation is hard for humans to get out of, but court documents indicate that meth seems to escape more easily. In September, the men were arrested by US federal agents after promising North Korean meth to undercover DEA agents. From Al Jazeera:

Two of the men, who officials say were members of a Hong Kong-based criminal organization, allegedly sold more than 66 pounds of meth produced in North Korea in 2012. That crystal meth was later seized by law enforcement and tested to be more than 99 percent pure, even purer than the meth cooked by Walter White, the fictional teacher-turned-drug lord in the popular TV series, "Breaking Bad." The other three men – two of whom were from Great Britain and one from Thailand – had allegedly agreed to transfer the meth from Thailand and store it in the Philippines.
The Al Jazeera piece points to earlier investigative reporting on meth in North Korea by Foreign Policy contributor Isaac Stone Fish. No, he wasn't reporting for Vice. From his recent FP blog post:
Crystal meth is everywhere, but there are few locations better suited for the drug than North Korea. Produced from chemicals accessible even in a country as isolated as North Korea, it also suppresses appetite; that makes it ideal for a nation scarred by hunger. And there are many underemployed scientists -- North Korea has a surprisingly educated populace -- with the ability and desire to toil away at perfecting the formula in remote labs scattered across the country's mountainous interior. Perhaps the scientists chose factories hidden among North Korea's mountainous countryside, or perhaps North Korean authorities did not know or care about the notoriously pungent smell that ‘cooking' crystal meth throws off. More likely, North Korean authorities participated in the trade; they had been smugglers of other contraband, including bootleg cigarettes and heroin.
Three North Koreans I spoke with said the drug started appearing on the domestic market in the late 1990s -- a period also cursed by devastating rains, which damaged the opium poppy crop. As thousands of North Koreans began moving across the country's porous border with China during the famine, looking for food and work, they discovered a market for crystal meth on the Chinese side.
And that, my friends, is why you want to keep scientists employed as scientists.
 
Read the whole Al Jazeera piece, which points to some relevant studies indicating that this case isn't isolated, and that if Walter White were alive and real, Madrigal Electromotive might consider Pyongyang as a future hub.
PDF of indictment: "US vs. Scott Stammers, Philip Shackelss, Ye Tiong Tan Lim, Alan Kelly Reyes Peralta, and Alexander LNU." In court documents, "LNU" generally stands for Last Name Unknown.
Defendant Alexander "LNU" (Last Name Unknown)

Driver tried to avoid speeding fine by blaming his granny who can't drive and lives in Sierra Leone

A man tried to escape a speeding fine by blaming the offense on his grandmother who lived more than 3,000 miles away, could not drive and had never visited the UK. Dillon Coker, 26, was caught speeding by a camera on the A127 near Laindon in Essex.
Coker, of Dagenham, had been traveling at 51mph in a 40mph zone just after 3am on January 6. After receiving a fixed penalty notice he told police his aging grandmother had been driving the car.

But officers investigating discovered she lived in Sierra Leone, could not drive and had never been to Britain. Coker later admitted he had lied to police and confirmed he had been driving the VW Polo.
He admitted perverting the course of justice when he appeared at Basildon Crown Court on Tuesday. Coker was given a six month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, told to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £500 in costs and victim surcharge.

Vatican Unveils Frescoes With Images Some Say Show Early Women Priests

Last Tuesday, the Vatican unveiled newly restored frescoes in the Catacombs of Priscilla, known for housing the earliest known image of the Madonna with Child - and frescoes said by some to show women priests in the early Christian church.

The catacomb features two scenes said by proponents of the women's ordination movement to show women priests: One in the ochre-hued Greek Chapel features a group of women celebrating a banquet. Another fresco in a richly decorated burial chamber features a woman, dressed in a dalmatic - a cassock-like robe - with her hands up in the position used by priests for public worship.

Do We Live In The Matrix?

Just like in The Matrix, we may too be living in a simulation generated by an all powerful computer. This idea may not simply be science fiction and 'cosmic rays' could reveal that we are indeed living in a simulated universe.

The 'cosmic ray test' was developed by Silas Beane, a nuclear physicist at the University of Washington and involves scientists building up a simulation of space using a lattice or grid.

Ziggy

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Human News

When it comes to pain, just get it over with! Not only will it be over more quickly, but it'll actually hurt you less! Guest host Annie Gaus explains why confronting your pain head-on is the way to go.
The study is one of the largest to look at the link between nut consumption and overall risk of death.
Evidence grows that creativity declines as children are schooled to score well on standardized tests.
The DNA gleaned from two ancient Siberian skeletons is found to be related to that of modern-day Native Americans and western Eurasians.

Ancient human history encoded in music’s complex patterns

In the same way that fragments of ancient pottery and bones offer valuable information about human history, music can also reveal previously hidden clues about the past, according to new research from an international team led by McMaster University psychologist Steven Brown.
Ancient human history encoded in music’s complex patterns
The history of human populations is embedded in music
[Credit: anthrocentric]
The team has established for the first time that the history of human populations is embedded in music, where complex combinations of rhythm, pitch and arrangement form a code that scientists can read in a manner that can be compared to the way they read changes in human DNA and language.

"Music is an untapped migrational marker that can be used to help people understand the history of human populations," says Brown, an associate professor of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior. "It adds to the whole story of human history. We need more evidence, and this is a new kind of evidence that we can add to the pot."

Brown's research team used a comparison between the mitochondrial DNA and the folk music of nine indigenous populations of Taiwan to show that each tells a similar story about the ways those populations have changed and converged over the last 6,000 years.

Mitochondrial DNA changes at a predictable rate, acting as an evolutionary clock that makes it ideal for such comparisons.

The group included researchers from Tokyo University of the Arts, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany and China Medical University and Mackay Memorial Hospital, both in Taiwan. Their results are published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, one of the society's biological journals.

The researchers analyzed the structures of 220 Taiwanese choral songs recorded since the 1940s. They compared the results with DNA samples taken from 1,050 subjects from different parts of the island and found that the musical results shared significant similarities to the genetic results when it came to tracking changes over thousands of years.

The findings prove that music can be a repository of scientific information about the people who make it, says Brown, who is director of the NeuroArts Lab in McMaster's Department of Psychology.

"Languages and genes change slowly over time, but music can change much more quickly," Brown says. "I think people thought that music was too transient to carry evidence of what happened thousands of years ago. Our results support the idea that music actually has elements in it that are ancient. In addition to being able to evolve quickly, it can also retain traces of ancient population movements."

Brown's lab is devoted to understanding of the neural, cognitive and evolutionary foundations of the arts, including: music, dance, drama and the visual arts, and is associated with McMaster's Institute for Music and the Mind. Research on the project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Krampus Takes the Subway


We know that Santa Claus rides in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, and Halloween witches ride brooms, but have you ever wondered how Krampus gets to work? He takes the U-Bahn! Redditor Kos_Kun snapped a picture on his morning commute  in Vienna, Austria. Krampus activity is expected to surge from now until it peaks on December 5th.

The Sun also flips

The sun also flips: 11-year solar cycle wimpy, but peaking 
 
In a 3-meter diameter hollow aluminum sphere, Cary Forest, a UW-Madison physics professor, is stirring and heating plasmas to 500,000 degrees Fahrenheit to experimentally mimic the magnetic field-inducing cosmic dynamos at the heart of planets, stars and other celestial bodies. Ninety-three million miles away, the sun’s magnetic field — and presumably its dynamo — is churning and undulating as the star experiences the height of the so-called solar maximum, where the sun’s magnetic field contorts and eventually flips.
“Solar max,” as scientists call it, is an 11-year cycle where the sun’s magnetic field reverses polarity, typically spawning sunspots, flares, auroras and geomagnetic storms that, if large enough, can disrupt satellites and fry power grids on Earth.
Over a period of about two years, “the sun’s magnetic field switches directions, and we know that because the polarity of the sunspots changes,” explains Forest, an expert on cosmic dynamos and the magnetic fields they generate in planets, stars and other objects. “Sunspots are just magnetic fields emerging from the sun. They are the diagnostic feature of what’s happening deep inside the sun.”
Flowing streams of electrons and protons are what create the magnetic fields deep in the sun’s interior. Those surging fields generate sunspots, which can sometimes erupt and release vast amounts of energy in the form of solar flares or hiccups of material known as coronal mass ejections.
Unlike the Earth’s magnetic field, which moves up or down as a familiar dipole, the sun’s huge magnetic field oscillates and is less evident at the poles of the sun than at its midsection, where sunspots typically occur. “The sun has an AC rather than a DC dynamo,” says Forest.
Although solar max usually gives rise to numerous sunspots as well as big solar flares and storms, the current edition is characterized by tranquil inactivity. There are few sunspots and no massive storms to speak of, says Forest. But the Wisconsin physicist also notes that last year, when solar max was just getting underway, proved to be a great year for auroras, the colorful curtains, bands and streamers of light observed near the poles of the Earth caused by the charged particles from the solar wind colliding with atoms high in the atmosphere.
“You can think about the aurora as a crown, centered on magnetic north or south,” Forest says noting that the charged particles are tugged into the atmosphere by Earth’s magnetic field, creating the beautiful red, green and yellow displays of light. “Last year’s display was really good.”
Although this cycle of sun activity is, so far, relatively wimpy, past episodes of the solar maximum have been quite violent and caused serious disruption on Earth. “Every couple of hundred years, there is a major solar flare,” Forest says, “and that sends a pulse capable of doing some serious stuff on Earth.”
In 1859, a solar superstorm known as the “Carrington Event” after the British astronomer who was the first to observe a massive flare on the sun, created auroras that were so bright that people could read by their light and Rocky Mountain gold miners were stirred from sleep, thinking it was daylight. The event spawned a geomagnetic storm that caused telegraph systems in Europe and North America to fail, throwing sparks from pylons and even giving some telegraph operators shocks. In 1989, a massive geomagnetic storm caused by a coronal mass ejection during solar max, sparked the collapse of the electrical transmission system in Quebec.
“Electrical transmission grids can act like a big receiver that doesn’t know how to deal with the energy when it comes in,” says Forest, who explains that scientists think very large and potentially dangerous events occur about every one thousand years or so.
“We see these events on stars all the time,” he says. From our sun, he adds, “superflares would likely cause serious problems, disrupting power grids satellites and other system we depend on.”

Astronomical News

For decades, scientists have been searching for ghostly neutrino particles from outer space, and now they have finally found them.
On April 27, a powerful flash of radiation erupted from deep space -- the gamma-ray burst was the brightest on record, challenging some of the leading theories on how the most powerful explosions in the known Universe occur.
Scientists have found a huge, diffuse ring of dust near the orbit of Venus, marking the second time such a structure has been discovered in our solar system.
Using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), astronomers have detected two ancient "failed stars" that are likely 10 billion years old

Daily Comic Relief

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Dinosaur News

Amber analysis revealed that dinosaurs inhaled air with far less oxygen than the modern atmosphere holds.
The new meat-eating Cretaceous dinosaur was so big, it's now on the list of the top three largest North American predatory dinosaurs

Firefighters used road accident lifting gear to free puppy with his head stuck in reclining sofa

Firefighters were called to release a seven week-old puppy which got its head stuck in a reclining sofa. Staffordshire bull terrier-cross Milo jammed his head into the mechanism and couldn’t escape. His frantic owner Jessica Marsden, 17, and two friends couldn’t free the yelping puppy and dialed 999. Firefighters from Huddersfield turned out to Jessica’s Marsh home at 8pm on Monday night.
They needed lifting gear usually used in road accidents to take the weight of the sofa while the metal bars were cut away with hacksaws. Watch commander Graham Calcraft held Milo’s head still while colleagues carefully sawed through the metal. Watch Commander Calcraft said: “It was a delicate operation and I think at first his owner thought the dog had been impaled on the metal, but that wasn’t the case.”
The rescue operation took half-an-hour and Milo emerged distressed but unhurt. Jessica told how Milo disappeared round the back of the sofa and didn’t come out. “We then heard him yelping and looked underneath and we found his head was stuck in the mechanism,” she said. “I was screaming and crying and thought he was going to die.

“My friend said to call the fire brigade and we held him until they arrived. He was turning blue and my friend kept checking his heartbeat.” As many as 10 firefighters crowded into Jessica’s living room. “They did a great job,” she said. Jessica has only had Milo for a week. “He’s really naughty, but I’ve bonded with him so quickly,” she said. “He was fine afterwards and only had a little cut. I hope he keeps out of trouble now.”

Hidden Giant Clam

"Monster worm" found in Vietnam

Paul held himself apart from the humor, his attention focused on the projection and the question that filled his mind: "Thufir, are there sandworms big enough to swallow that whole?"
Silence settled on the table. The Duke cursed under his breath, then thought: No—they have to face the realities here.
"There’re worms in the deep desert could take this entire factory in one gulp," Thufir said.

Moose-eating shark rescued in Canadian harbor

Two quick-thinking men on Newfoundland's northeast coast managed to save a Greenland shark from choking to death on a large piece of moose hide last weekend. Derrick Chaulk said he was driving down a road by the harbor in Norris Arm North on Saturday when he saw what he thought was a beached whale. When Chaulk went closer to investigate, he realized it was a shark, which he estimated was about 2.5 meters long, and weighed about 115 kg.
The animal was still alive and had a large chunk of moose hide protruding from its mouth. "It [the moose] had the fur and all the liner on it - it was about two feet long, maybe." Chaulk said another local man, Jeremy Ball, arrived on the scene and starting pulling on the moose chunk. "A couple yanks and it just came right out." The two men then set about getting the shark back in the water. Ball tied a rope around the shark's tail, and Chaulk got ready to push. "He pulled the rope, and I pushed with my boot," said Chaulk, "and between the two of us we got him out into deeper water."

Chaulk said the shark lay in about 30 cm of water for a few minutes. "Then all of a sudden, the water started coming out of his gills and he started breathing," Greenland sharks are rarely seen on the northeast coast of Newfoundland. They are scavengers, and they feed on food found in shallow water. While their diet is usually fish, they have been found in other jurisdictions to have eaten animals that found their way to the water, from polar bears to reindeer. Chaulk said people clean and gut moose on a nearby bank of land and throw the scraps of the butchered animals into the harbor.
Chaulk speculated that the shark bit off more he could chew. "He swallowed and got it halfway down and couldn't cough it back up and couldn't get it all down, and then I think the tide brought him in." Chaulk said after the shark starting breathing again, the animal lay in the shallow water for about 30 minutes, then headed out to sea. "There was a few people up on the bank watching and once that shark swam out and lifted his tail, and then swam all the way out, everybody just clapped," said Chaulk. "It was a good feeling to see that shark swim out, knowing that you saved his life."

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