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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.


Friday, January 8, 2016

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of Carolina Naturally.
Today just so happens to be Bubble Bath Day as well...!
 
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Socks ... !
Today is - Argyle Day

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Today in History

1681
The Treaty of Radzin ends a five year war between the Turks and the allied countries of Russia and Poland.
1745
England, Austria, Saxony and the Netherlands form an alliance against Russia.
1815
A rag-tag army under Andrew Jackson defeats the British on the fields of Chalmette in the Battle of New Orleans.
1871
Prussian troops begin to bombard Paris during the Franco-Prussian War.
1892
A coal mine explosion kills 100 in McAlister, Oklahoma.
1900
The Boers attack the British in Ladysmith, South Africa, but are turned back.
1908
A subway line opens linking the New York boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan.
1940
Great Britain begins rationing sugar, meat and butter.
1946
President Harry S. Truman vows to stand by the Yalta accord on self-determination for the Balkans.
1954
President Dwight Eisenhower proposes stripping convicted Communists of their U.S. citizenship.
1963
President John F. Kennedy attends the unveiling of the Mona Lisa.
1975
Ella T. Grasso becomes Governor of Connecticut, the first female governor in the US who did not come into office by succeeding her husband.
1979
The United States advises the Shah to leave Iran.
1982
AT&T agrees to divest 22 subdivisions as part of an antitrust agreement.
1994
Valeri Polyakov, a Russian cosmonaut leaves earth, bound for the Mir space station; he will spend a record 437 days in space.
2002
The shrub signs into law the No Child Left Behind Act, intended to improve America’s educational system.
2004
The largest passenger ship in history, the RMS Queen Mary 2, is christened by Queen Elizabeth II, granddaughter of Queen Mary.
2011
An attempted assassination of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords is part of a shooting spree in which Jared Lee Loughner kills 6 and wounds 13.

Non Sequitur

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How the "Just So" stories got their name

The Just So Stories began as bedtime stories told to ‘Effie’; when the first three were published in a children’s magazine, a year before her death, Kipling explained:
. . . in the evening there were stories meant to put Effie to sleep, and you were not allowed to alter those by one single little word. They had to be told just so; or Effie would wake up and put back the missing sentence. So at last they came to be like charms, all three of them,—the whale tale, the camel tale, and the rhinoceros tale. 
These are stories of origins: ‘How the Whale got his Throat’, ‘How the Camel got his Hump’, ‘How the Rhinoceros got his Skin’—stories that answer the kinds of question children ask, in ways that satisfy their taste for primitive and poetic justice. After Effie’s death, Kipling added nine others, so the number published in the first edition was twelve—a magic number, as everyone knows.  More at the Oxford University Press Blog.

Mermaids and mermen banned from public swimming pools

Mermaids and mermen have just become an endangered species in parts of Victoria, Australia. The YMCA has banned mermaid tails at more than 50 of its pools throughout the state. In a statement, the community organization said the ban had been made for safety reasons. "Mermaid tails create unnecessary risk to our patrons by restricting swimming ability, especially for weak swimmers and children," the statement read. "It's possible parents have purchased the product without realizing the safety risk." The water toys have become increasingly popular with children in recent years, despite a number of safety warnings. But the mermaid tails are used by some adults who are annoyed they have been banned from swimming using the fins. Daniel Hayward called it to "a bad day to be a Merman" after he was barred from swimming at Brunswick Baths before Christmas while using his mermaid tail.
In a post on the YMCA pool's Facebook page, Mr Hayward said staff at the pool acknowledged he was a strong swimmer but would not let him swim using the tail in case children wanted to follow suit. "So I get punished and held back from doing something that I truly enjoy, that is great exercise and is causing no harm to anyone because a parent might buy their child a mermaid tail without care or responsibility?" he wrote. Consumer advocacy group Choice have put out a warning urging parents not to buy the swimsuits.
Choice's head of media Tom Godfrey said children needed to be supervised if they were splashing around with the tails and that very young children or poor swimmers should not wear the suits. "Even if your child is a strong swimmer, they may get into difficulty underwater when wearing one of these toys," Mr Godfrey said. The tails affect a child's ability to move their legs while swimming. Government consumer affairs bodies in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia have also expressed concern about the mermaid tails.

The Wagah Border Closing Ceremony

At the town of Wagah, a major road crosses the border between India and Pakistan. Every evening at sunset, they hold a ceremony to officially close the crossing for the night. Soldiers from both countries come out, lower the flags, strut and salute, then close the gates on each side of the border. The ceremony is highly choreographed, and a crowd gathers every night to watch -and cheer for their country, although they are admonished not to say anything bad about the other nation. The high-stepping, stylized show is a tradition built on the idea of one-upmanship: who can step the highest and scowl the fiercest?
The border security forces of India and Pakistan have been doing the Beating Retreat ceremony since 1959. If you liked this video, you’ll love this Fevikwik advertisement that uses the Wagah ceremony as its backdrop.

ISIL New Years Eve Terror Plot Story Is Totally Bogus

This Is a Wearable Defibrillator

A person with a heart ailment has gone into cardiac arrest! Where is the nearest defibrillator? In this case, the victim is wearing it.
The medical technology company ZOLL has developed LifeVest, a wearable defibrillator. It continuously monitors the user's heart activity. When the user goes into cardiac arrest, it squirts electrode gel onto the chest, then sends appropriate electrical shocks into the heart.
The LifeVest is designed for children who weigh at least 41 pounds and have a chest measurement of at least 26 inches. You can read more about it and watch a video at Damn Geeky.

Women’s Rights at Stake

ACLU sues catholic hospital for refusing to perform tubal ligation

“The overarching issue is about women’s ability to access basic health care,” said Elizabeth Gill, the senior attorney for the group’s Northern California branch.

It’s Coming: Kosher Marijuana

It’s Coming: Kosher Marijuana
Kosher marijuana is coming to New York.
***
Well, what will they think of next!

2015: The Year Of Media Stupid

2015: The Year Of Media Stupid

Police set up 'no refusal' checkpoints with mandatory blood draws

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is enforcing a "no refusal" traffic safety policy between New Year's Eve and January 4, 2016, in a effort the agency says will reduce the number of fatal crashes. A 2012 state law allows police to force drivers to have blood drawn.

Entire Florida police department busted for laundering millions for international drug cartels

Screenshot from "License to Launder" (Miami Herald)
Entire Florida police department busted for laundering millions for international drug cartels

US police have already killed more people since Xmas than UK cops have killed in the last 5 years

In the last two years, a total of 4 people have lost their lives because of British cops, bringing the total number of citizens killed in the UK to 7 in the last 5 years. Since Xmas, police in America have killed 14 people (as of January 2nd).

Masked, costumed man arrested after locking himself in bathroom when asked to leave store

A masked, costumed man was arrested on Wednesday morning after causing a disturbance at a Kum & Go convenience store in Oklahoma, police report.
Michael Carter, 26, was detained by Broken Arrow officers for obstructing or interfering with police, a misdemeanor. According to police, Kum & Go employees asked Carter to leave the business, but he refused.
Instead, Carter locked himself in a store bathroom. In addition to the mask, Carter wore a red bandanna that was accessorized with forks, a makeshift red cape, and red sweatpants.
A toy gun was tucked into Carter’s waistband. Before entering the Kum & Go, Carter was seen at a nearby Whataburger restaurant, where a diner took photos of him. Carter is locked up in lieu of $500 bond.

‘Good Guy With A Gun’ Shoots Teen On New Year’s Day For Ringing Doorbell

An Oklahoma man will be “pleading the Second” after he shot a teenage boy in the back for ringing his doorbell. Many of us have fallen victim...

Four Shot Dead, One Left To Face Charges As Family Of Drunken Gun Collector Fight Over Laundry

Four Shot Dead, One Left To Face Charges As Family Of Drunken Gun Collector Fight Over LaundryThis is why the 2nd Amendment had that whole “well-organized militia” thing in it.

Responsible Gun Owner Tries To Use Gun As Alarm Clock ...

If someone were to ask regular people on the street how they would wake up a sleeping person, they would probably shake them or possibly yell, “Wake...

Young woman smashes car into electrical pole after road-raging Texan shoots her in the head

Young woman smashes car into electrical pole after road-raging Texan shoots her in the head

Here’s What The Fracking Industry Gave To Oklahoma In 2015

The fracking industry has given the state of Oklahoma a new claim to fame that no one in Oklahoma wanted. In 2015, Oklahoma had more earthquakes than the...

Bone discovery suggests a mysterious ancient species of human lived alongside our ancestors

Neanderthals weren't the only ancient human.
by Olivia Goldhill
An ancient femur found in a Chinese cave is unlike any bone formerly discovered, suggesting it belonged to a previously unknown human species that lived alongside modern man just 14,000 years ago.
The distinctive shape of the bone indicates that the species would have walked differently from humans today, according to the New Scientist. And based on the size of the bone, the scientists behind the analysis report in their paper, published in PLOS One in December 2015, that an adult would have weighed 50kg, which is far smaller than other humans who lived at the time.
“When you put all the evidence together the femur comes out quite clearly resembling the early members of Homo,” Darren Curnoe, from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, who led the research team, told the New Scientist.
But while the earliest homo species lived around 2 million years ago and more recent humans, such as Neanderthals, became extinct some 40,000 years ago, researchers believe the newly discovered species would have lived far more recently, and alongside modern humans.
The 14,000-year-old bone fragment, which was found in the Muladong Cave in southwestern China in 1989 but was not studied for 25 years, has been painted with red clay, which is indicative of burial rituals. It seems to have been broken in a way that allows access to the bone marrow, and shows evidence of being butchered and being burned in a fire alongside other meat, according to the New Scientist.
Curnoe believes that homo sapiens mated with this newfound species, and possibly also ate them and used their bones as tools.
The theory is supported by bones discovered in Longlin cave in Guangxi Province in 1979, which Curnoe examined in 2012. These fossils were dated to 11,500 years ago and are thought to show a combination of homo sapiens traits and those of an archaic human.
Our understanding of mankind’s evolutionary roots is far from clear-cut, and this finding could indicate a new branch in human development. “If true, this would be rather spectacular and it would make the finds of truly global importance,” Michael Petraglia, co-director of the Center for Asian Archaeology at the University of Oxford, who wasn’t involved in the work, told the New Scientist.
But other paleo-anthropologists believe the bone’s distinctive features come from variations within the species, rather than a distinct species. Chris Stringer, head of research into human origins at the Natural History Museum in London, told the Guardian that he is “cautious” about the discovery. “It is an isolated bone. It is not even half a femur,” he said.
Curnoe is hoping to extract DNA from the bones, to build evidence about the fossil’s evolutionary origins. For now, he told the Guardian, the discovery raises many more questions to be answered.
“The riddle of the Red Deer Cave people gets even more challenging now: Just who were these mysterious stone age people? Why did they survive so late? And why only in tropical southwest China?,” said Curnoe.
But the discovery wouldn’t be the first time scientists discovered the complexities of humans’ evolutionary roots. Earlier this year, researchers discovered 15 skeletons belonging to a new species of ancient human in South Africa. The homo sapiens evolutionary tree is starting to get crowded.

Weirdest Weather of 2015

2015 is shaping up to be the hottest year ever recorded. Along with a strong, El NiƱo, it has been a year full of bizarre and record-setting weather.

Weird Snowball Waves

Frozen spheres wash ashore after a sudden snow storm.

Are there more stars in the sky of the Southern Hemisphere?

I quote from Borges' essay "The Divine Comedy," the content of which was a lecture he gave in Buenos Aires in 1977:
They [Ulysses and his crew] sail and leave behind Ceuta and Seville, enter the open sea, and turn toward the left... Then he tells us, "in the night I saw all the stars of the other hemisphere" -  our hemisphere, the Southern, full of stars.  (The great Irish poet Yeats speaks of the "starladen sky."  That is untrue in the Northern Hemisphere, where there are few stars compared to ours.)
I suppose I could search the answer online, but there must be a reader out there who has lived in both hemispheres, or who has a sufficient knowledge of astronomy to answer the question.

Squirrel Snow Removal Service

Getting to work in the morning is a pain when you have to shovel a few inches of snow to get anywhere. This squirrel gets around by way of overhead cable, and it will take him a while to get his walkway cleared.
Tastefully Offensive compared this to watching a loading progress bar make its way from left to right.

Moose rescued after getting its legs trapped between boards of wooden bridge

A hunter rescued a moose from certain death in woods near east Bathurst in New Brunswick, Canada, earlier this week. The female moose had two legs stuck between the boards of a wooden bridge over Currie Creek, used by all-terrain vehicles, but not usually at this time of year. Philippe Doucet said he happened to be driving by on Tuesday to check his rabbit snares and hunt coyote.
Doucet said he was shocked to see the big moose stuck on the bridge in his path. The animal seemed to have lost hope, he said. There were icicles under its legs, so it had been there quite a while. Doucet said he called forest rangers, then his uncle and two friends, and they set out on a rescue mission.
The rangers brought a chainsaw, he said. Someone cut two boards from the bridge deck. Someone else lifted the moose's legs from underneath, while others pulled from above. The animal fell onto its side when they were finally able to get it unstuck, said Doucet. Its legs seemed to be quite frozen up, but it slowly got to its feet and was able to walk. Luckily none of its legs were broken, he said.
A local official with the ATV federation said the incident has highlighted a problem with the way ATV bridges are built. The bridge boards need to be spaced out so snow and water can get through, said Jacques Ouellette. But the distance between them should probably not be greater than 2.5 cm so deer and moose hooves don't get caught, he said. Ouellette said he's going to pass on that message to ATV clubs across the province.

Owner and former owner say escaped cockatoo that has joined flock of crows is happy on the run

A cockatoo traveling with a flock of crows in Carlsbad, northern San Diego County, California, seems happy living on the run, two of its former owners said this week. The sulfur-crested bird, whose name is Fred, was a family pet for more than 36 years, according to Dee Mustoe. She said she and her husband kept Fred in a backyard aviary at their house until three years ago when they moved to a mobile-home park in Oceanside. “We couldn’t take the bird,” said Mustoe. “He does squawk, especially when there are neighbors around, so we couldn’t bring him here.” The Mustoes gave Fred to the family who bought their house and, when that family moved, the bird was again left to new homeowners, Joe and Maggie Morrison.
Fred seemed to have a tough time with the transition, Joe Morrison said. He grew more aggressive, and one day last summer he broke free. Morrison and Mustoe both said they believe Fred prefers his freedom, though he returns home frequently to visit. The bird has made something of a splash in Carlsbad, where one resident spotted a cockatoo perched with a flock of jet-black crows on a rooftop near his house. He wondered if the exotic bird had a home. Someone else filmed a video of the cockatoo with some crows pecking at food on a sidewalk. A bird expert at the San Diego Natural History Museum said a cockatoo, which is a native of Australia, could easily survive on its own in Southern California and may naturally seek the company of crows, another highly social breed.
Cockatoos commonly live 40 years in the wild, and there are reports of a few living 70 years or longer in captivity. At the house, Fred lived in the aviary with two other birds, a small dove and a large blue-fronted Amazon parrot named Trevor that the Mustoes had owned almost as long as Fred. The Morrisons, a retired couple from rural New Mexico, took on all three birds when they bought the house a year ago. But Fred proved difficult to handle. He seemed to grow more aggressive inside his cage. Joe Morrison said he began wearing a motorcycle helmet and gloves to go into the aviary, after Fred tried to bite him. “The cockatoo, he was never friendly,” said Morrison. The more dominant of the two large birds, Fred had also begun to bully his old friend Trevor. “He was always the boss, and sometimes he picked on Trevor,” Morrison said.

“He would sit out in the cage, and if you didn’t pay attention to him, he would screech, screech and screech.” One day last summer, when Morrison opened the door to enter the cage, Fred flew the coop. At first he was gone “for two solid months,” Morrison said. Then one day he came back. The Morrisons began feeding him again, and Fred became a regular backyard visitor. “He will come in at 10:30 in the morning, eat something and fly out,” he said. The bird returns almost every day with a flock of crows, though he won’t come down to the back yard if there are strangers around. Some days, as if he’s exhausted from flying with the crows, Fred will take a nap in the backyard. Morrison said he could probably capture the bird again if he tried, but that doesn’t seem like a good idea. Fred clearly enjoys his freedom, and he’s more friendly now that he’s outside the cage. Sometimes he’ll sit on Morrison’s shoulder. “He loves his friends,” Morrison said. “He’s doing real good with the crows.”

Researchers alter wildlife papers after poachers use location data to target new species

Researchers alter wildlife papers after poachers use location data to target new species

Animal Pictures