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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, August 10, 2016

The Daily Drift

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Carolina Naturally
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Today in History

   955
Otto organizes his nobles and defeats the invading Magyars at the Battle of Lechfeld in Germany.
1539
King Francis of France declares that all official documents are to be written in French, not Latin.
1557
French troops are defeated by Emmanuel Philibert’s Spanish army at St. Quentin, France.
1582
Russia ends its 25-year war with Poland.
1628
The Swedish warship Vasa capsizes and sinks in Stockholm harbor on her maiden voyage.
1779
Louis XVI of France frees the last remaining serfs on royal land.
1831
William Driver of Salem, Massachusetts, is the first to use the term “Old Glory” in connection with the American flag, when he gives that name to a large flag aboard his ship, the Charles Daggett.
1846
The Smithsonian Institution is established in Washington through the bequest of James Smithson.
1864
Confederate Commander John Bell Hood sends his cavalry north of Atlanta to cut off Union General William Sherman‘s supply lines.
1911
The House of Lords in Great Britain gives up its veto power, making the House of Commons the more powerful House.
1913
The Treaty of Bucharest ends the Second Balkan War.
1941
Great Britain and the Soviet Union promise aid to Turkey if it is attacked by the Axis Powers.
1949
National Military Establishment renamed Department of Defense.
1950
President Harry S. Truman calls the National Guard to active duty to fight in the Korean War.
1954
English jockey Sir Gordon Richards retires with a world-record total of 4,870 victories, later broken by Johnny Longden of the United States. Richards was the first jockey ever to be knighted.
1954
The groundbreaking ceremony for the St. Lawrence Seaway is held at Massena, New York.
1960
NASA launches Discoverer 13 satellite; it would become the first object ever recovered from orbit.
1970
Rocker Jim Morrison tried in Miami on “lewd & lascivious behavior.” Although convicted and sentenced to jail, he was free on bond while his case was being appealed when he dies in Paris, July 3, 1971.
1975
David Frost purchases the exclusive rights to interview Richard Nixon.
1977
US and Panama sign Panama Canal Zone accord, guaranteeing Panama would have control of the canal after 1999.
1997
The last British troops leave Hong Kong. After 156 years of British rule, the island is returned to China.
2003
For the first time ever, temperatures exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit when thermometers hit 101.3 F (38.5 Celsius)  at Kent.
2006
All toiletries are banned from commercial airplanes after Scotland Yard disrupts a a major terrorist plot involving liquid explosives. After a few weeks, the toiletries ban was modified.

A 1967 solar storm nearly took US to brink of war

On May 23, 1967, the Air Force prepared aircraft for war, thinking the nation’s surveillance radars in polar regions were being jammed by the Soviet Union. Just in time, military space weather forecasters conveyed information about the solar storm’s potential to disrupt radar and radio communications. The planes remained on the ground and the U.S. avoided a potential nuclear weapon exchange with the Soviet Union, according to the new research.
Retired U.S. Air Force officers involved in forecasting and analyzing the storm collectively describe the event publicly for the first time in a new paper accepted for publication in Space Weather, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
The storm’s potential impact on society was largely unknown until these individuals came together to share their stories, said Delores Knipp, a space physicist at the University of Colorado in Boulder and lead author of the new study. Knipp will give a presentation about the event on August 10, 2016 at the High Altitude Observatory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.
The storm is a classic example of how geoscience and space research are essential to U.S. national security, she said.
“Had it not been for the fact that we had invested very early on in solar and geomagnetic storm observations and forecasting, the impact [of the storm] likely would have been much greater,” Knipp said. “This was a lesson learned in how important it is to be prepared.”
Keeping an eye on the sun
The U.S. military began monitoring solar activity and space weather – disturbances in Earth’s magnetic field and upper atmosphere – in the late 1950s. In the 1960s, a new branch of the Air Force’s Air Weather Service (AWS) monitored the sun routinely for solar flares – brief intense eruptions of radiation from the sun’s atmosphere. Solar flares often lead to electromagnetic disturbances on Earth, known as geomagnetic storms, that can disrupt radio communications and power line transmissions.
The AWS employed a network of observers at various locations in the U.S. and abroad who provided regular input to solar forecasters at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a U.S. and Canadian organization that defends and controls airspace above North America. By 1967, several observatories were sending daily information directly to NORAD solar forecasters.
On May 18, 1967, an unusually large group of sunspots with intense magnetic fields appeared in one region of the sun. By May 23, observers and forecasters saw the sun was active and likely to produce a major flare. Observatories in New Mexico and Colorado saw a flare visible to the naked eye while a solar radio observatory in Massachusetts reported the sun was emitting unprecedented levels of radio waves.
A significant worldwide geomagnetic storm was forecast to occur within 36-48 hours, according to a bulletin from NORAD’s Solar Forecast Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado on May 23.
Radar ‘jamming’
As the solar flare event unfolded on May 23, radars at all three Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) sites in the far Northern Hemisphere were disrupted. These radars, designed to detect incoming Soviet missiles, appeared to be jammed. Any attack on these stations – including jamming their radar capabilities – was considered an act of war.
Retired Colonel Arnold L. Snyder, a solar forecaster at NORAD’s Solar Forecast Center, was on duty that day. The tropospheric weather forecaster told him the NORAD Command Post had asked about any solar activity that might be occurring.
“I specifically recall responding with excitement, ‘Yes, half the sun has blown away,’ and then related the event details in a calmer, more quantitative way,” Snyder said.
Along with the information from the Solar Forecast Center, NORAD learned the three BMEWS sites were in sunlight and could receive radio emissions coming from the sun. These facts suggested the radars were being ‘jammed’ by the sun, not the Soviet Union, Snyder said. As solar radio emissions waned, the ‘jamming’ also waned, further suggesting the sun was to blame, he said.
During most of the 1960s, the Air Force flew continuous alert aircraft laden with nuclear-weapons. But commanders, thinking the BMEWS radars were being jammed by the Russians and unaware of the solar storm underway, put additional forces in a “ready to launch” status, according to the study.
“This is a grave situation,” Knipp said. “But here’s where the story turns: things were going horribly wrong, and then something goes commendably right.”
The Air Force did not launch additional aircraft, and the study authors believe information from the Solar Forecasting Center made it to commanders in time to stop the military action, including a potential deployment of nuclear weapons. Knipp, quoting public documents, noted that information about the solar storm was most likely relayed to the highest levels of government – possibly even President Johnson.
The geomagnetic storm, which began about 40 hours after the solar flare and radio bursts, went on to disrupt U.S. radio communications in almost every conceivable way for almost a week, according to the new study. It was so strong that the Northern Lights, usually only seen in or near the Arctic Circle, were visible as far south as New Mexico.
Societal impact
According to Snyder and the study authors, it was the military’s correct diagnosis of the solar storm that prevented the event from becoming a disaster. Ultimately, the storm led the military to recognize space weather as an operational concern and build a stronger space weather forecasting system, he said.
The public is likely unaware that natural disasters could potentially trick contemporary military forces into thinking they are under attack, said Morris Cohen, an electrical engineer and radio scientist at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta who was not involved in the new study.
“I thought it was fascinating from a historical perspective,” he said of the new study.
The May 1967 storm brought about change as a near miss rather than a full-blown catastrophe, according to Cohen.
“Oftentimes, the way things work is something catastrophic happens and then we say, ‘We should do something so it doesn’t happen again,'” he said. “But in this case there was just enough preparation done just in time to avert a disastrous result.”

Campfires May Have Triggered Emergence of Tuberculosis

Fire brought warmth to early humans but may also have triggered the emergence of a deadly disease.

Diseases Traveled the Silk Road, Too

The equivalent of highway rest stops along the ancient trading routes were breeding grounds for parasites.

'The Flying Bum'

The Cheapest State to Live In

A woman at Biloxi beach
The Cheapest State to Live In
Start packing your bags.

Life Hacks

egg floating

Burger King's ' Whopperito' is as disgusting as it sounds

Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart Are Going to Host a Bizarre Cooking Show Together

Andrea Tantaros’ Claims of Sexual Harassment by Roger Ailes Put Fox 'News' in a Bind

Andrea Tantaros’ Claims of Sexual Harassment by Roger Ailes Put Fox 'News' in a Bind
Fox hack Andrea Tantaros is challenging Fox 'News'' claims that they didn't know about the sexual harassment claims against Fox 'News' Chief Roger Ailes.…

Fox 'News' In Crisis As Sexual Harassment Scandal Pushes Channel To The Brink

Fox 'News' In Crisis As Sexual Harassment Scandal Pushes Channel To The Brink
Fox 'News' is described as being in a state of crisis as the potential release of audio tapes of former boss Roger Ailes sexually harassing women is threatening to consume the network.…(Like that is a bad thing.)

Lou Dobbs Admits Corporations Don't Pay Anywhere Near 35% In Taxes

Lou Dobbs Admits Corporations Don't Pay Anywhere Near 35% In Taxes

Scottie Nell Hughes Opposes Abortion Rights For Women With Zika Because Birth Defects Are 'Nothing New'

Former cult member explains how Dumbass Trump and his sycophants are a cult

Kendal Unruh — a wingnut delegate from Colorado — grew up in a religious cult, and that’s why she’s determined to stop Dumbass Trump from becoming pretender.

Anti-Gay Alabama Judge Gets Caught Sending Nude Selfies

Brownback's Lax Regulation Oversight Lead To Tragic Waterslide Death

The Verr├╝ckt (German for insane) slide was not exactly a 'safe' ride, and there were red flags that should have been heeded.

Smiling Volcano

Mick Kalber is a pilot for a helicopter tour company in Hawaii. Nice job, huh? Recently, Kalber uncovered evidence that Tutu Pele, the fire goddess, is indeed pleased with the sacrifices made at Kilauea volcano. Or something like that.

Kalbur caught video of rifts in the dark crust of the lava bubbling in the volcano’s crater, revealing a huge smiley face. How many people can say they’ve been smiled at by a volcano? Outside of an animation, that is. Kilauea has been erupting constantly since 1983

Did Giant Dino-Era Octopus Kill an Ichthyosaur?

Fossils suggest a giant octopus took out an enormous marine reptile.

Animal Pictures