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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.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Daily Drift

It's A New Year  ...

Carolina Naturally is read in 194 countries around the world daily.
 
A rose for the new year  ... !
Today is - New Year's Day
 

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Africa 
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Today in History

1500 The Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral searches the coast of Brazil and claims the region for Portugal.
1586 Sir Francis Drake launches a surprise attack on the heavily fortified city of Santo Domingo in Hipanola.
1698 The Abenaki Indians and Massachusetts colonists sign a treaty halting hostilities between the two.
1766 The Old Pretender, son of James III, dies.
1788 The Times, London's oldest running newspaper, publishes its first edition.
1808 A U.S. law banning the import of slaves comes into effect, but is widely ignored.
1824 The Camp Street Theatre opens as the first English-language playhouse in New Orleans.
1830 William Lloyd Garrison publishes the first edition of a journal entitled The Liberator, calling for the complete and immediate emancipation of all slaves in the United States.
1863 Confederate General Braxton Bragg and Union General William Rosecrans readjust their troops as the Battle of Murfreesboro continues.
1863 President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves in the Confederacy.
1891 Facilities opened on Ellis Island, New York, to cope with the vast flood of immigrants coming into the United States.
1907 The Pure Food and Drug Act becomes law in the United States.
1915 The German submarine U-24 sinks the British battleship Formidable in the English Channel.
1918 The first gasoline pipeline begins operation. Along the 40 miles and three inches of pipe from Salt Creek to Casper, Wyoming.
1923 Sadi Lecointe sets a new aviation speed record flying an average of 208 mph at Istres.
1937 At a party at the Hormel Mansion in Minnesota, a guest wins $100 for naming a new canned meat–Spam.
1945 In Operation Bodenplatte, German planes attack American forward air bases in Europe. This is the last major offensive of the Luftwaffe.
1959 Fidel Castro seizes power in Cuba as General Fulgencio Batista flees.
1986 As the United States builds its strength in the Mediterranean, Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi threatens to retaliate if attacked.

Non Sequitur

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The Tuatha de Danaan & the Legacy of Danu's 'Magickal' DNA

Tuatha de Danann of old Ireland (or Eire). They were described in the “Book of Invasions” as gods and not gods, as if they were somehow greater than human, but close to being human. They were a tribe that conquered Ireland in prehistory before the arrival of the Celts. They eventually became the pantheon of gods in Irish myth. I believe they were possibly another race, somewhat like Tolkien’s Elven.

Irish legend says that the Picts arrived in Ireland and requested Heremon, the king of the Milesians, to assign them a part of the newly-conquered country to settle in, but he refused. Since the Picts had not brought wives with them, the King gave them as wives the widows of the Tuatha de Danaans, whose husbands had been slain in battle by the Milesians and he sent them with a large party of his own forces to conquer the country to the East then called “Alba,” (present day Scotland) with the condition that they and their posterity should be liege to the Kings of Ireland and that all bloodlines should pass through the wives.

The Picts of Scotland were known to be a matriarchy, passing the kingship through the mother. My theory is this is because the gift of sight, the faerie ability to see the future, was only contained in the mitochondrial DNA. A king born of a faerie woman was a hard king to defeat if he had the power of the 'Blood'....

In Celtic Tradition

ANGUS ÓC was the young son of the Dagda and of Boínn. His father was the Dagda and his mother Boand (the Boyne River), while she was still married to Nechtan. To hide their infidelity, the parents asked Elcmar to be the child's foster-father. In a lesser-known version, Eochaid Ollathair (Dagda) seduced through trickery the wife of Elcmar, Eithne, to produce the divine son, who was then fostered by Midir. Angus Óg dispossessed either Dagda or Elcmar to assume his usual residence, Brug na Bóinne [house, hostel of the Boyne], where trees were always in fruit and a cooked pig was always ready for the eating. In some versions Elcmar gains Clettech Sídh in exchange for the loss of Brug na Bóinne. Popular tradition attributes to Angus Óg and to Manannán mac Lir the bringing of cows from India to Ireland. Angus Óg drank the Ale of Immortality, and four swans circled over his head when he travelled. He was the protector of several heroes, most notably Diarmait of the Fenian Cycle; one of his important defences was a cloak of invisibility. He advised Eochaid, who had eloped with his foster-mother, not to camp on his (Angus's) meadow, and punished the hero for ignoring him. Angus Óg was also the father of Maga, the ancestress of the Red Branch in the Ulster Cycle. He is sometimes credited with a son, Nemanach, and sometimes with a wife, Nuamaisi. He mates with Eithne, the daughter of Balor, to produce Delbaeth. His magical sword is Móralltach. In addition, Angus Óg is cited in numerous Old Irish narratives as well as in later folk and fairy lore. Other forms of his name are Angus mac Óg, Angus mac Óc, Angus mac Ócc, Angus mac-ind-Óg, Angus Óengus Óc, Angus of the Brug.

Celtic Poetry

BRUG NA BÓINDE (Metrical Dindsecnhas)

Bright is it here, O plain of Mac ind Oc!
wide is thy road with traffic of hundreds;
thou hast covered many a true prince
of the race of every king that has possessed thee.

Every bright wonder hath adorned thee,
O clear shining plain with scores of hosts,
O lucent land of grass and waggons,
O virgin mead of birds and milking-places!

The house of Mac ind Oc above thy stead,
a royal sod with true hospitality;
there come readily above thy brown stream
hostages from the fairy-hills of all Erin thither.

The daughter of bold Pharaoh lies on thy floor
a kind princess, precious was the diadem;
over her was set the tower in that place,
not sparing was the graving-tool over her head.

I see the clear pool of Fiacc of the warriors
west of thee,—not feeble the deed—
till the day of Doom—mighty boast—
shall he abide on the slope of the royal rath.

Here slept a married pair
after the battle of Mag Tuired yonder,
the great lady and the swart Dagda:
not obscure is their dwelling there.

The Grave of the Matha after his slaying
is plain to see on thee, O Brag, studded with horses:
It was his bone that polluted the sea,
whence pleasant Inber Colptha is named.

The Hide of the Cow of undying Boadan
over the cheek of his yellow-white stone:
the Precinct of the staunch keen warriors
about the eastern level of a noble sanctuary.

At the Grave of the gentle Seagulls
it is there was boasted the deed–
great the feat of pride that assigns
the slaying of Finn to the soldiery of the fierce Luagni.

In thee was born a beguiling boy,
Cellach, who plundered the plain on his track;
it was one able to sustain a household that ruled thee,
and died in thee a death of pride.

O beaked bark of the strong towers,
the sea-tide visits thy stead:
from the days of Crimthand Nia to Niall
thou wast the burying-place of the fair-haired warriors.

Fintan Feradach, of bloody battles,
possessed thy land, the strong prince;
Tuathal Techtmar, lord of our clans,
thy bare sepulchral soil sustains.

Fedelmed the Lawgiver is in thy tale;
he was a warlike wight on every chase;
thou art not unlovely in thy land
thou hidest Conn the just, the hundred-fighter.

More Celtic Poetry

O nobles of Breg, a might that is not deceitful,
with featful points (royal is the road):
know ye the story of every lord
that is here in the Brug of the Mac ind Oc?

Behold the fairy mound before your eyes:
it is plain for you to see, it is a king's dwelling,
it was built by the harsh Dagda:
it was a shelter, it was a keep renowned for strength.

Behold the Bed of the red Dagda:
10] on the slope, without rough rigour;
he paid noble court after the chase
to a fair woman free from eld and sorrow.

Behold the two Paps of the king's consort
here beyond the mound west of the fairy mansion:
15] the spot where Cermait the fair was born,
behold it on the way, not a far step;

Whither came the wife of the son of noble Nemed
to a tryst to meet the swift Dagda,
and her dog after her,
though it was a long journey from afar:

Whither came Midir from Bri Leith
to bear off the prince, it was a lucky find;
so he bore the Mac ind Oc from the ford
with a shield in his protection, though he was weary.

Thereafter was brought, a clever compact,
the boy, on that day nine full years after
to his father, it was a fitting command,
to the loved Dagda at his house.

Random Celebrity Photos

varietas:

Andre de Dienes (Dienes Andor): Norma Jeane (Marilyn Monroe), 1945
Norma Jeane (Marilyn Monroe), 1945

US flu activity keeps climbing


US influenza activity kept climbing last week, as several states outside the South reported widespread cases, and the 2009 H1N1 virus continued to be the predominant strain, according to the US Centers for Disease Control […]

Legally Speaking, George Washington Outranks All Other Army Officers, Past and Present

(Portrait by Rembrandt Peale)
The Second Continental Congress appointed Col. George Washington as General and Commander in Chief of the Continental Army on June 15, 1775. General Washington served in that capacity for eight and a half years before retiring at the end of the American Revolutionary War.
After serving as President of the United States for two terms, Washington retired. But he returned to duty when it appeared that the US would go to war against France. President Adams commissioned Washington as a Lieutenant General in the United States Army on July 3, 1798. Washington held this position until his death on December 14, 1799.
So the highest rank that Washington held in the United States Army was Lieutenant General. To some Americans, it seemed inappropriate that the father of our country would be outranked by any other Army officer.
In 1976, President Ford signed into law a bill that revived a defunct Army rank: General of the Armies of the United States. This rank was superior to all others. The law requested that the President appoint Washington to that rank, which he did. The law also gave Washington precedence over the only other bearer of that rank: John J. Pershing.
Thus, if there is ever a celestial gathering of all officers of the United States Army, George Washington would outrank them all.

Did you know ...

About the best sci-fi books of the year

These  13 most memorable quotes of 2013

About Obama's not-so-terrible year

About the top pro-choice heroes of 2013

About the 9 worst things said about women, abortion and rape in 2013

Also, the 6 worst attacks on reproductive freedom of the year

These 10 reasons 2013 was a good year for social change

About the top 5 economic wishes for 2014


About the top video games of 2013

About the best astronomy and space pictures of the year

The U.S. has become a plutocracy

Plutocracy (from Greek πλοῦτος, ploutos, meaning "wealth", and κράτος, kratos, meaning "power, dominion, rule"), also known as plutonomy or plutarchy, defines a society or a system ruled and dominated by the small minority of the wealthiest citizens

Noam Chomsky: We’re no longer a functioning democracy, we’re really a plutocracy


The world faces two potentially existential threats, according to the linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky.

“There are two major dark shadows that hover over everything, and they’re getting more and more serious,” Chomsky said. “The one is the continuing threat of nuclear war that has not ended. It’s very serious, and another is the crisis of ecological, environmental catastrophe, which is getting more and more serious.”

[...]

He told the hosts that the world was racing toward an environmental disaster with potentially lethal consequence, which the world’s most developed nations were doing nothing to prevent – and in fact were speeding up the process.

“If there ever is future historians, they’re going to look back at this period of history with some astonishment,” Chomsky said. “The danger, the threat, is evident to anyone who has eyes open and pays attention at all to the scientific literature, and there are attempts to retard it, there are also at the other end attempts to accelerate the disaster, and if you look who’s involved it’s pretty shocking.”
Chomsky noted efforts to halt environmental damage by indigenous people in countries all over the world – from Canada’s First Nations to tribal people in Latin America and India to aboriginal people in Australia—but the nation’s richest, most advanced and most powerful countries, such as the United States, were doing nothing to forestall disaster.

“When people here talk enthusiastically about a hundred years of energy independence, what they’re saying is, ‘Let’s try to get every drop of fossil fuel out of the ground so as to accelerate the disaster that we’re racing towards,’” Chomsky said. “These are problems that overlie all of the domestic problems of oppression, of poverty, of attacks on the education system (and) massive inequality, huge unemployment.”

He blamed the “financialization” of the U.S. economy for income inequality and unemployment, saying that banks that were “too big to fail” skimmed enormous wealth from the market.

[...]

Random Photos

A memo from Reality

The repugicans Devastate The Lives of 1.3 Million Americans as the Media Stays Silent

The media is not about to damage repubgicans' electoral chances by telling Americans the real reason why they are in poverty, not finding good jobs, and losing their…

This is why you don't mess up with a high school teacher who used to be a Marine ..

This is why you don't mess up with a high school teacher who used to be a Marine... -   Misc

Researchers ID gene that influences the ability to remember faces


Diabetes risk gene in Latin Americans inherited from Neanderthals

A gene variant that seems to increase the risk of diabetes in Latin Americans appears to have been inherited from Neanderthals, a study suggests.
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Diabetes risk gene in Latin Americans inherited from Neanderthals 
Neanderthals interbred with humans and their genes are scattered among us today 
We now know that modern humans interbred with a population of Neanderthals shortly after leaving Africa 60,000-70,000 years ago. This means that Neanderthal genes are now scattered across the genomes of all non-Africans living today. Details of the study appear in the journal Nature. The gene variant was detected in a large genome-wide association study (GWAS) of more than 8,000 Mexicans and other Latin Americans. The GWAS approach looks at many genes in different individuals, to see whether they are linked with a particular trait. People who carry the higher risk version of the gene are 25% more likely to have diabetes than those who do not, and people who inherited copies from both parents are 50% more likely to have diabetes. The higher risk form of the gene - named SLC16A11 - has been found in up to half of people with recent Native American ancestry, including Latin Americans.
Drug hope 
The variant is found in about 20% of East Asians and is rare in populations from Europe and Africa. The elevated frequency of this variant in Latin Americans could account for as much as 20% of these populations' increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes - the origins of which are complex and poorly understood. "To date, genetic studies have largely used samples from people of European or Asian ancestry, which makes it possible to miss culprit genes that are altered at different frequencies in other populations," said co-author Jose Florez, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts. "By expanding our search to include samples from Mexico and Latin America, we've found one of the strongest genetic risk factors discovered to date, which could illuminate new pathways to target with drugs and a deeper understanding of the disease." The team that discovered the variant carried out additional analyses, in collaboration with Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. They discovered that the SLC16A11 sequence associated with risk of type 2 diabetes is found in a newly sequenced Neanderthal genome from Denisova Cave in Siberia. Analyses indicate that the higher risk version of SLC16A11 was introduced into modern humans through interbreeding between early modern humans and Neanderthals. It is not unusual to find Neanderthal genes. About 2% of the genomes of present-day non-Africans were inherited from this distinctive human group, which lived across Europe and western Asia from about 400,000-300,000 years ago until 30,000 years ago. But scientists are only just beginning to understand the functional implications of this Neanderthal inheritance. "One of the most exciting aspects of this work is that we've uncovered a new clue about the biology of diabetes," said co-author David Altshuler, who is based at the Broad Institute in Massachusetts. SLC16A11 is part of a family of genes that code for proteins that transport metabolites - molecules involved in the body's various chemical reactions. Altering the levels of the SLC16A11 protein can change the amount of a type of fat that has been implicated in the risk of diabetes. These findings suggest that SLC16A11 could be involved in the transport of an unknown metabolite that affects fat levels in cells and thereby increases risk of type 2 diabetes.

'Neanderthal' Remains Actually Medieval Human

A few fragmentary bones thought to be the remains of Neanderthals actually belonged to medieval Italians.

Ziggy

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Salina Turda

Romania's Amazing Salt Mine Turned Museum
The historic region of Transylvania has long been associated with vampires. Yet there is something in Transylvania which predates even the legends of blood-sucking fiends: salt mining has been going on in the area since Roman times.

Salina Turda is an ancient and wondrous example of a salt mine, now a museum and center for halotherapy - with a distinctively modern twist.

Volcanic eruption has created Japanese Snoopy island

A volcanic eruption in Japan would usually have people living nearby reaching for their protective masks.
But the recent formation of an island off the country's Pacific coast, after weeks of volcanic activity, has prompted more enchantment than fear at nature's volatility.

In the weeks since it rose from the sea 620 miles (1,000km) south of Tokyo, the island expanded amid continued volcanic activity, before merging with an existing island to create a new landmass with a remarkable resemblance to Snoopy the cartoon dog.

The publication of aerial photos of Nishinoshima island and its new addition has prompted an outpouring of delight online.

Earth’s crust once dripped down into the mantle


Earth’s mantle temperatures during the Archean eon, which commenced some 4 billion years ago, were significantly higher than they are today. According to recent model calculations, the Archean crust that formed under these conditions was […]

Astronomical News

What makes a spiral galaxy, well, spiral? And how long does it take them to get in a spin?
Astronomers have spotted signs of a possible exoplanet in a nearby system of twin failed stars. If confirmed, the alien world would be one of the closest to our sun ever found.

Daily Comic Relief

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Tiny Organisms Thrive Well Below Earth's Surface

Despite making up an estimated 6 percent of all life on Earth, researchers know almost nothing about these deep-dwellers.

Large crocodile fell off bus onto busy Ho Chi Minh City street

Police in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam have returned a big crocodile that suddenly fell out of a bus at a busy intersection in downtown Ho Chi Minh City to its owner. Police had kept the animal after it slipped out of a 25-seater bus onto the street on December 25 afternoon.
The sudden appearance of the animal panicked many people in the crowded area but the animal posed no threat as its mouth and legs were tied tightly. The animal is about 2 meters long and weighs nearly 50 kilograms.

Police took the crocodile to their office and questioned the bus driver about the origin of the animal. The driver said the crocodile was sick and he was transporting it to the Hoa Ca Crocodile Farm in Thu Duc District, HCMC for treatment.
However, the driver failed to show any documents relating to the animal. Therefore, police detained the crocodile until a representative of the resort that owns the animal provided them with necessary documents. Police then allowed the driver to transport it to the farm for treatment.

Caterpillar Puffs Out Toxic Nicotine in Breath

A caterpillar benefits from a trait that makes others recoil: toxic halitosis. 

Dolphin teens get high by chewing pufferfish

A BBC nature documentary crew has captured footage of young dolphins passing around a pufferfish. They characterize the activity as "careful manipulation" and speculate that the dolphins are getting a small dose of the pufferfish's neurotoxin in order to enter a "trance-like state." The documentary was produced by John Downer, a highly nature documentarian, and a zoologist on the crew also confirms the "dolphins get high" hypothesis.

Animal Pictures

Fighting red deer stags during rut by Andrew Forsyth on Flickr.