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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, January 26, 2014

The Daily Drift

True ...

Carolina Naturally is read in 194 countries around the world daily.
 
A great way to eat your vegetables  ... !
(Peanuts are vegetables - not nuts)
Today is - Peanut Brittle Day
 

Don't forget to visit our sister blog: It Is What It Is

Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Trappe, Contoocook and Houma, United States
Henry Farm, Brittannia, Ottawa, Pikangikum, Templeton, Mississauga, Montreal, Thunder Bay, Calgary, Saint John's, Sioux Lookout, Byward Market, Kitchener and Guelph, Canada
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Mexico City, Mexico
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Europe
Lebork and Jaslo, Poland
Steinsel, Luxembourg
Madrid, Teo, Malaga and Vigo, Spain
Liverpool, Maidenhead and London, England
Rouen, Cerny and Salon-De-Provence, France
Ivrea, Rome, Ravenna and Treviso, Italy
Riga, Latvia
Kiev and Zhovti Vody, Ukraine
Oslo and Bergen, Norway
Chelyabinsk, Ryazan, Moscow, Novosibirsk and Kazan, Russia
Copenhagen, Denmark
Frankfurt Am Main, Stuttgart, Sulzbach and Altstadt, Germany
Yerevan and Abovyan, Armenia
Bucharest, Romania
Zurich, Switzerland
Stockholm and Sollentuna, Sweden
Ruse, Bulgaria
Bratislava, Slovakia
Nokia, Finland
Belgrade, Serbia
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Asia 
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Jakarta, Medan and Semarang, Indonesia
Jitra, Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, Malaysia
Tehran, Mashhad and Shiraz, Iran
Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Mumbai, Madurai, Dehea Dun, Pondicherry and Bhubaneshwar, India
Port Louis, Mauritius
Beijing, China
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Pathum Thani and Bangkok, Thailand
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Africa 
Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa
Cairo, Egypt
Nairobi, Kenya
Harare, Zimbabwe
Pacific
Manila, Sampaloc and Makati, Philippines
Homebush, Australia

Today in History

1699 The Treaty of Karlowitz ends the war between Austria and the Turks.
1720 Guilio Alberoni is ordered out of Spain after his abortive attempt to restore his country's empire.
1788 A fleet of ships carrying convicts from England lands at Sydney Cove in Australia. The day is since known as Australia's national day.
1861 Louisiana secedes from the Union.
1863 President Lincoln names General Joseph Hooker to replace Burnside as commander of the Army of the Potomac.
1875 Pinkerton agents, hunting Jesse James, kill his 18-year-old half-brother and seriously injure his mother with a bomb.
1885 General "Chinese" Gordon is killed on the palace steps in Khartoum by Sudanese Mahdists in Africa.
1924 Petrograd is renamed Leningrad.
1934 Germany signs a 10-year non-aggression pact with Poland, breaking the French alliance system.
1942 American Expeditionary Force lands in Northern Ireland.
1943 The first OSS (Office of Strategic Services) agent parachutes behind Japanese lines in Burma.
1964 Eighty-four people are arrested in a segregation protest in Atlanta.
1969 California is declared a disaster area after two days of flooding and mud slides.
2005 Condoleezza Rice is appointed to the post of secretary of state. The post makes her the highest ranking African-American woman ever to serve in an U.S. presidential cabinet.

Non Sequitur

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The 10 Toughest Exams You Can Take

Up For A Challenge? 

We've all been there. You spend months - or even years - studying for an exam, only to turn over the question paper and discover that it has been written in an apparently alien language, discussing topics that have never even danced across one's memory.

However, after some profuse sweating and maybe a few tears, the mortal panic starts to subside and familiar words begin to drift into view; the brain whirs into life, and a torrent of crammed knowledge can finally be unburdened onto the paper. It's a terrifying enough process even when someone knows their subject, so we certainly don't envy the thousands of people that sit the world's hardest exams.

Did you know ...

The 4 creepiest ways corporate America is spying on you

The ancient antarctic trench (bigger than the grand canyon) is under miles of ice

That house repugicans are draining $600 million a week from the economy

The tea party is the 'petite bourgeoisie' face of corporate oligarchs

by Travis Gettys
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The Tea Party is just the popular face of corporate power in the United States, says political philosopher Noam Chomsky.
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"I wouldn't call them revolutionary," Chomsky said, dismissing a suggestion that the conservative political faction had anarchist characteristics.
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He told Radio VR during an interview posted online last week that he agreed with the conservative political analyst Norman Ornstein's characterization of the Tea Party.
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"He just described them as a radical insurgency opposed to rationality, to political compromise, to participation to a parliamentary system - in fact, with no positive goals themselves," Chomsky said.

[...]

"They're in favor of having the population subordinated to concentrated private power, which should have no limits," Chomsky said. "When they call themselves anti-government, that means they don't want government to limit the capacity of concentrated private power to dominate the society. That's very far from any anarchism."
[...]

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford curses in a jafaican accent when he's loaded

A video of Toronto Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford drunk and bellowing obscenities in a jafaican accent has surfaced. Ford, a luminously white and privileged man who was born into millions in a quiet suburb of Toronto, affects an embarrassing West Indian accent as he thunders to a captive audience at a west-end steak joint.
The subject of his rant was Toronto police chief Bill Blair, who instigated the long-running investigation into Ford's association with drug-dealers and gangsters, and which surfaced evidence that the mayor had smoked crack, driven drunk, and lied to the public and to council. In the video, Ford calls Blair "Cocksucking fucking Chief Blair."
He also says "bumbaclot." A lot.
When the scandal broke, Ford admitted to his drug use and swore he'd gone sober. But he told reporters who questioned him about this video that he was drunk, and that the events depicted in it were his "my personal life, with my personal friends, that's up to me. This really has nothing to do with you guys."
“I was with some friends and what I do in my personal life, with my personal friends, that’s up to me. This really has nothing to do with you guys,” Ford told reporters Tuesday afternoon.
The mayor wouldn’t address questions about his past claims that he quit drinking.
...The video could be damaging to Ford’s campaign for re-election, as he has staked his reputation to being clean and sober since November.
Ford “guaranteed” he has stopped drinking in interviews last year and told the CBC he had a “come to Jesus” moment about his drinking.
Oh, and there's a dancehall remix

The future of technology might be in Greenland

The rare earth elements that play an important role in everything from electric car batteries, to LED lighting, to surgical lasers, aren't actually rare. The vast majority of them come from China right now, but that's not because China has them and other countries don't. In fact, the US and Australia also have large deposits of rare earths. Instead, rare earth elements come from China because China is willing to cheaply mine and process them, which can be extremely polluting. The more protections against pollution that you put in place, the more expensive the rare earths become, which is how the US got priced out of that game.
All of that is important background information to help you understand why a proposal to mine and process rare earth elements in Greenland is so controversial. On the one hand, it could bring economic and political independence to the country (which still relies heavily on Denmark), and provide jobs in a really rough economyu. On the other hand, actually challenging China's supremacy in this business means cutting costs in ways that would likely have lasting, negative impacts on the land.

The growing war on hackers

America may finally be saying farewell to its long, failed War on Drugs, but that doesn't mean we can't have a long, failed war on something! How about hackers? Hanni Farouki writes that despite reforms to 80s-era computer misuse laws, prospects are grim: "The growing recognition of the powerful capabilities of modern computing and networking has resulted in a “cyber panic” in legislatures and prosecutor offices across the country. Instead of reexamination, we’ve seen aggressive charges and excessive punishment."

Jeweler born with no fingers makes miniature masterpieces

One of Britain’s most talented jewelers makes miniature masterpieces worth thousands of pounds despite being born with no fingers.
Annette Gabbedey, 48, who has had her own workshop and shop in Frome, Somerset for 23 years, does not have any special tools to help her work, she simply adapts conventional crafting devices to create dazzling ornaments. Annette, who insists she is not disabled, even says she could not imagine doing her job with fingers because they “must get in the way”.
She said: “Normally people can see that there is something a little bit different about me – I don’t have fingers which most people expect a goldsmith to have. Making jewellery is very tactile and something you do with your hands. I do find that people have that usual question of how do you manage and how do you manage to create jewellery let alone the day to day things.

“My answer to that really is that I tend to look at people with fingers and think well how can you manage with fingers because they must get in the way. It is just your own perception of how you look at yourself and for me I was born like it and I have never known anything different. I’m quite normal and not disabled at all but I do appreciate that people are fascinated by me being able to create something and just get on really.”

Behind the hashtag

 The Great Velveeta Shortage story began when an editor at Ad Age couldn't make queso.

Restaurant has all its tables and chairs stolen

Police believe burglars stole “to order” when they took every piece of furniture from a restaurant.
 
Officers investigating the incident at the Thai CafĂ© in Saltford, Bath, Somerset, said it was one of the most unusual crimes they had come across. Owner David Appleby was confronted with an empty dining room when he went to open up last week. Thieves had made off with all the tables and chairs.
Police said they believe the items were targeted by professional criminals “stealing to order”. Mr Appleby, who runs the business with his head chef wife, said: “I just can’t believe what’s happened. The police say they’ve never seen anything like it. They were completely baffled.”
Mr Appleby added: “When I walked in and saw what they’d done I was in shock. You don’t really understand why. It’s bizarre.” Andy Hodges, of Bath CID said: “This is a most unusual burglary and theft and there is no clear explanation as to why someone would steal tables and chairs. Presumably they were stolen to order.”

Grandmother ordered to pay $1,000 for setting off fire alarm while boiling an egg

A grandmother from Queensland, Australia has been ordered to pay a $1,000 bill for setting off a fire alarm while boiling an egg. Fay Nielsen, 74, denied she burned any pots or caused any smoke when boiling a single egg in her Runaway Bay Retirement Village unit.
But TriCare staff told the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal that they found smoke emanating from her unit into the passageway when they arrived and saw her trying to dissipate cooking fumes and smoke.
Mrs Nielsen said she was unable to explain how boiling an egg had led to the fire alarm going off. The widow told the tribunal she had been boiling eggs the same way for the last 60 years. "I put the egg in a saucepan of water and boil it for barely five minutes,'' she said.
Mrs Nielsen had sought relief from paying the $1,020.31 bill for an unwanted fire alarm activation but, after weighing up all the evidence, the tribunal dismissed the application. Mrs Nielsen, who has eight grandchildren, is determined to fight the bill and says she will lodge an appeal and if necessary complain to an Ombudsman. "It's terribly unfair. This decision is absolutely ludicrous,'' Mrs Nielsen added.

Man claims compensation from utility company after preventing power cuts through prayer

A South African man is claiming R250 million (£1.4m, $2.3) from power company Eskom for preventing power cuts through his own prayers.
Nelson Thabo Modupe, of Lichtenburg, has argued that he prevented power cuts during the 2010 Soccer World Cup and claims he should be compensated.
In a letter to Eskom, he said the main reason for load-shedding was lightning and wind, and that he had he became a member of the Zion Christian Church and taken it upon himself to pray to God and ask that no power cuts took place.
As a result, Eskom now owes him R250m, because he saved the company the burden and humiliation of load shedding. Alternatively, Eskom can offer him a partnership in the company. The claim has been placed on the court roll in the North West High Court for Thursday.

Woman recovering after car swept off road by avalanche of slurry

A woman is recovering after her car was swept off a road by an avalanche of slurry in Co Limerick, Ireland on Monday night after a tank on a hill ruptured.
The Doon to Cappamore Road in east Limerick was after the spillage of an estimated 50,000 gallons of slurry onto the road. The surge was so powerful that a car carrying a woman was washed off the road and into a field at around 9.45pm. The female driver was taken from the car by a local man who responded to her screams .
The woman, who is from Cappamore, did not sustain any injuries but is said to suffering from shock. A hearse and another car narrowly escaped the spillage which came from a slurry pit on a hilltop farm. A number of houses nearby were damaged by the spillage and will have to be cleaned and the cost of the incident is expected to be several thousand euros.
A source at the scene said: “It must have been like an avalanche. The slurry smashed through the slurry tank wall and it ran down a hill about 50 yards from the road. There was a woman driving a car and she was swept across the road with the force if it.”

Ziggy

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Victorian home "slightly haunted", say sellers

 
A 113-year old Victorian home is on the market in Dunmore, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, some caveats are scaring away potential buyers.
"Built in 1901, this Victorian home in the Hollywood section of Dunmore features 1850 sf of living space with an additional 1350 sf of partially finished space. Original hardwood floors throughout entire home. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms. Off-street parking. Freshly painted. New moulding throughout entire first floor. Slightly haunted. Nothing serious, though. e.g. The sounds of phantom footsteps. A strange knocking sound followed by a very quiet (hardly noticeable, even) scream at 3:13am, maybe once a week. Twice a week, tops. And the occasional ghastly visage lurking behind you in the bathroom mirror. Even still, this occurs very rarely and only in the second floor bathroom.
According to the Zillow listing, they're asking for $144,000.

For sale: water-tank castle

If you're in New Zealand and want to have the coolest playhouse/LARP-prop south of the equator, this Trademe ad is offering a concrete water-tank converted to a castle for a surprisingly reasonable $500 (you have to pay to move it, though).
This one off creation from an old concrete water tank makes a unique playhouse.
Downstairs dungeon with gate.
Ladder leads to timber & ply 1st. floor.
Painted roof to form turrets.
Perspex windows.
Pictures do not do it justice.
 

Archaeologists Find Remains Of Previously Unknown Pharaoh In Egypt

The 3,600-year-old remains of a forgotten pharaoh unearthed this month in southern Egypt may be the first of several significant discoveries in a previously ignored burial ground that rivals the Valley of the Kings.

The discovery of King Woseribre Senebkay is the first firm evidence of a pharaonic dynasty whose existence archaeologists had suspected but never proved. About 20 previously undiscovered pharaohs may lie near Senebkay's tomb.

Our Global Village

The World Of 100

What the world would look like if it were a village of 100 people. From data visualization to infographics, we're big on the power of smart graphic design to covey big concepts that are otherwise hard to grasp in their raw numberness.

Designer Toby Ng's poster series 'The World of 100' is an experimental graphical representation of statistical information about the world, based on the allegorical scenario of reducing the world to a village of 100 people.

Monster surf hits Hawaii

Surfer Cole Clisby rides his surfboard off the top of a wave as the sun sets off the shores of Leucadia, Calif., January 15, 2014.
Monster swells hitting Hawaii this week are due to reach California shores soon, creating waves that may reach nearly 20 feet at some spots.
Some of the biggest surf in decades is pounding the North and West shores of Oahu and other Hawaiian islands this week. A high surf warning remains in effect, and waves of up to 40 feet are expected on some beaches today.
The famed Eddie surf invitational is a no-go because while the waves are higher than 35 feet at Waimea, the winds make surf conditions undesirable. At Jaws, or Peahi, on Maui -- 50 foot waves. I have never witnessed this in person, and I'm not there at this time, but my surfer buds say the earth shakes beneath your feet when you're on the beach. The waves are also making some coastal roads impassable, and threatening homes. The swell will hit California next, creating 10-19 foot waves along some popular surf spots.

Daily Comic Relief

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Police doubt aggressive chicken attacked woman

A woman says an aggressive chicken attacked her in Tracy, California, but police are skeptical about her claim.
The woman told police the chicken scratched her as she walked passed it near Third Street and Central Avenue.
However, police say there are inconsistencies with her story, which include her address and why she waited a day to report the attack.
Police say the woman hung up on them when they called her back.

The road to extinction is paved with good intentions

In trying to save an endangered species of robin, scientists began moving eggs laid perilously close to the edge of nests. The problem: Natural selection. Without the negative pressure of losing those eggs, more and more eggs are being laid on the edge and an attempt to save a species could help undermine it.

Arthritic wombat given rare life-saving hip replacement surgery

A female wombat called Wanda is recovering at Adelaide Zoo's Animal Health Centre after undergoing hip replacement surgery.
It is the first time the operation has been performed on animal of her size.
At 22, Wanda is in her twilight years and had developed debilitating arthritis in her hip.

She had stopped using one leg and needed a step to get into her nest. Vets decided surgery was the only option to save her life. Wanda is expected to make a full recovery.

Pigs have faces censored in Malaysian edition of International New York Times

Seemingly innocuous photographs of pigs on the front and inside pages of The International New York Times (NYT) were censored in the Malaysian edition of the paper.
A front page story featured a picture of piglets standing in the snow, but the printers of the Malaysian edition, KHL Printing Co, had blacked-out the faces of each animal.
A continuation of the story about rising demand for pigs reared in the open on page 19 of the paper was given the same treatment, with the faces of two adult pigs blacked-out. A representative from the printing company based in Shah Alam said that pictures of pigs are not allowed in a Muslim country like Malaysia.
“From last time also we do this. If there is picture of nudes or like this we will cover. This is a Muslim country,” the spokesman said when asked why the faces of the pigs had been censored. He added that the printing firm had not received express instructions from the authorities to censor the pictures.

A Ghost Ship Full of Cannibal Rats

An abandoned cruise ship has been floating in international waters for months, since it came loose in a storm while being towed off the coast of Newfoundland. The company that intended to sell the Lyubov Orlova for scrap, Transport Canada, wrote the ship off after it determined that the ship “no longer poses a threat to the safety of [Canadian] offshore oil installations, their personnel or the marine environment.” But now it is feared that the drifting ship may be nearing the UK.
Two signals were picked up on the 12 and 23 March last year, presumably from lifeboats which fell away and hit the water, showing the vessel had made it two-thirds of the way across the Atlantic and was heading east.

A week later, an unidentified object of about the right size was spotted on radar just off the coast of Scotland – but search planes never verified the find.

Pim de Rhoodes, a Belgian salvage hunter who is among a number looking for the Lyubov Orlova off the UK coastline, told The Sun: “She is floating around out there somewhere.

“There will be a lot of rats and they eat each other. If I get aboard I'll have to lace everywhere with poison.”

The head of the Irish coastguard, Chris Reynolds, said the ship was more likely than not to still pose a threat.
Rats eating each other? The most reasonable response I can think of is KILL IT WITH FIRE! Or nuke it from space -it's the only way to be sure. Read about the Lyubov Orlova at The Independent. -

Manatees on ice

When the polar vortex brought freezing temperatures to Florida earlier this month, the state's manatee population had to figure out how to survive. Despite their "sea cow" nickname and appearance, manatees don't have a lot of insulating fat on their bodies. If the water temperature dips below 68 degrees F for very long, they can get sick and die.
The solution: Manatees gather together in water that maintains its temperature year round, like this naturally hot pool at Florida's Blue Springs. The record for greatest number of huddled manatees is 567, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Besides natural springs, they also like the outflow from power plants. A coal-fired plant like the Big Bend Power Station near Tampa Bay uses quite a bit of water — coal is burned to heat water that turns into steam, which turns the electric turbines. The steam then cools a bit and turns back into water and is discharged from the power plant, still warm from its journey. The discharge makes a perfect environment for chilly manatees.

Time to coo over baby animals who aren't charismatic megafauna


Kaup's Caecilians are worm-like amphibians native to tropical regions. Unlike frogs, however, these amphibians give birth to live young. No eggs required. The really crazy thing here is that, instead of using a placenta to transfer oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the babies, Kaup's Caecilians seem to use an organ that looks very much like detachable gills. Babies are born with these gill sacs and then discard them after birth.

Animal Pictures