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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.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Daily Drift

Well, well, well ...

Some of our readers today have been in:
Cape Town, South Africa
Tallinn, Estonia
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Islamabad, Pakistan
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Santiago, Chile
Jasin, Malaysia
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Alor Setar, Malaysia
Waterloo, Canada
Doha, Qatar
Sanaa, Yeman
Miri, Malaysia
Jakarta, Indonesia
Skwieryna, Poland
Moscow, Russia
Yerevan, Armenia
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Today in History

118   Hadrian, Rome's new emperor, makes his entry into the city.
455   Avitus, the Roman military commander in Gaul, becomes Emperor of the West.
1553   Maurice of Saxony is mortally wounded at Sievershausen, Germany, while defeating Albert of Brandenburg-Kulmbach.
1609   Emperor Rudolf II grants Bohemia freedom of worship.
1755   General Edward Braddock is killed by French and Indian troops.
1789   In Versailles, the French National Assembly declares itself the Constituent Assembly and begins to prepare a French constitution.
1790   The Swedish navy captures one third of the Russian fleet at the Battle of Svensksund in the Baltic Sea.
1850   U.S. President Zachary Taylor dies in office at the age of 65. He is succeeded by Millard Fillmore.
1861   Confederate cavalry led by John Morgan captures Tompkinsville, Kentucky.
1900   The Commonwealth of Australia is established by an act of British Parliament, uniting the separate colonies under a federal government.
1942   Anne Frank and her family go into hiding in the attic above her father's office in an Amsterdam warehouse.
1943   American and British forces make an amphibious landing on Sicily.
1971   The United States turns over complete responsibility of the Demilitarized Zone to South Vietnamese units.

Founding Fathers Week

Did You Know?: In November 1800, John Adams became the first president to reside in the White House. Share your thoughts about Adams below and find out more about his political career here

And I Quote

Eighty-eight Books that Shaped America

The Library of Congress has your summer reading list! Or rather, they have complied a list of the 88 most influential books written by American authors. The only author with more than one book on the list is Benjamin Franklin, who has three.
The list includes poetry, novels, nonfiction, plays, a polemic, books of science and grammar, cookbooks and children’s books. The list includes 26 books published since 1950, 35 published from 1900 to 1950, 15 published from 1850 to 1900, six published from 1800 to 1850 and nine published before 1800.
For those who can get to Washington, the Library of Congress has the books on exhibit through Sept.  29. Those who can’t get there to see the books in person are welcome to take the Library of Congress’ online survey, which asks readers which of the big list of books they think are most significant.
I would bet your local library has quite a few of them. Check out the entire list at the L.A. Times. How many have you already read?

Did you know ...

That John Boehner can't make you love Mitt Romney

Of five famously disengaged employees and what we can learn from them

That a study finds spanking leads to mental illness

Boy, you got to carry that weight, at least across the street! It's the Abbey road webcam!

ID laws make tough to vote: Just what repugicans want

When Edward and Mary Weidenbener went to vote in Indiana's primary in May, they didn't realize that state law required them to bring government photo IDs such as a driver's license or passport.

Non Sequitur


"Vegivore" defined

It's not the same as vegetarian or vegan:
Enter the Vegivore. The term, coined 18 months ago by New York magazine, describes a new kind of eating, and one that you may well already enjoy. Unlike vegetarians and vegans... the Vegivore does not restrict his or her diet. Vegivores don’t hate meat – far from it – they just love vegetables. You’re a Vegivore if you like the roast potatoes, buttered carrots and Yorkshire pudding as much as the beef.

Daily Comic Relief

Texas A&M Students Block westboro baptist agitators With Human Wall

When students heard that Westboro Baptist Church planned on protesting the funeral of a soldier, they formed a human barricade around the funeral service to block them out. By Katie Notopoulos
On June 28, Lt. Col. Roy Tisdale, a Texas A&M alum, was killed during a training exercise at Fort Bragg by another solder who then shot himself. The Westboro Baptist Church, known for protesting soldiers' funerals with anti-gay messages, posted plans to show up at Tisdale's funeral on their website.
A fellow "Aggie", Ryan Slezia, came up with a plan to create a human wall to block any protesters from getting near the funeral, and invited fellow Texas A&M students and alum to join. One participant tweeted that over 650 people showed up in maroon shirts to create a "maroon wall". It appears that the westboro protestors never showed up.
Photo by Emily Huskinson.

California approves high speed rail

The repugicans don't like it because it means jobs and money in the pockets of the middle class rather than the 0.1%. Working families terrify repugicans, thus their consistent voting record.
California lawmakers gave final approval to a high-speed rail plan on Friday in a make-or-break vote for $8 billion in funding to start construction on a 130-mile (210-km) section of track through the state's central agricultural heartland.

The 21-16 vote in the state Senate was a substantial win for Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, who says a bullet train network will boost job creation and provide an alternative to car and plane travel in the country's most populous state.

Unions also lobbied hard for the network, the most ambitious public works project to date in California. The repugicans opposed it, saying the $68 billion project would be a massive financial burden that could jeopardize state spending on basic services such as education and healthcare.

Why Rich Kids Hate Their Parents

Perhaps you've heard the ancient Chinese proverb that wealth does not pass three generations. And indeed, 70% of family businesses fail to pass successfully to the next generation. But why?
Canadian financial advisor and author Franco Lombardo pondered the question and found that many wealthy families have huge emotional problems. In fact, the wealthier they are, the bigger the mess:
"The emotional component just wasn't being dealt with," [Lombardo] told [Robert Frank of CNBC] in a recent interview. "The more money families have, the more these problems are magnified."
He said wealthy kids hate their parents for three common reasons. First, wealthy parents don't say "no" enough. "A child grows up with a sense that they get whatever they want," Lombardo says. "When they go out into the world and the world tells them 'no," they're angry. And they resent their parents."
The second cause is time. Wealthy parents are often absent parents, and the kids feel abandoned. When the parents try to make up lost time with money, the kids get even angrier. "Money is the wrong currency to pay back lost time. You make up lost time with time."
The third reason is society. The culture at large, Lombardo says, makes fun of rich kids. So parents tell their kids at an early age to hide their wealth. When the kids grow up, they feel that a big part of their identity has to remain hidden — and they blame their parents.

More mega projects turning to private investors

For cities and states buried under mountains of debt, it has become a tantalizing proposition: invite private financial institutions to put up the money to fix aging schools, dilapidated rail lines and beat-up roads.

Deutsche Bank under investigation for Libor manipulation

Barclays may have opened up this show, but there is an extremely high likelihood that many more global banks will be involved. When setting Libor rates, the top four and the bottom four would be dismissed and Deutsche Bank is only the second bank that we know of to be investigated. We're likely to see at least ten, if not closer to the full list of sixteen global banks involved in this $800 trillion market ripoff.
If bankers don't go to jail this time, forget about ever hoping for a reformed industry. We have a generation or more of corrupt-to-the-bone bankers who need to be removed from the system. Mitt Romney is doing a London fundraiser with a bunch of Barclays bankers though chances are high other bankers who we will know are under investigation will also surely be in the crowd.

The entire banking system is a stinking heap of corruption and it must be gutted.
German markets regulator BaFin is conducting a special probe of Deutsche Bank as part of a wider investigation into possible manipulation of the London Inter Bank Offered Rate (Libor), two people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The German regulator declined to comment specifically on whether it was probing Deutsche Bank, but said it was in looking into suspected manipulation of Libor rates by banks.

"We are making use of our entire spectrum of regulatory instruments, so far as this is necessary,'' a spokesman said.

Deutsche Bank shares extended losses after the news and traded 5 percent lower in trading on Friday.

The truth be told

Famous Last Words

Medical Marijuana Without the High

Photo: Tikun Olam
Let me boil down the medical marijuana controversy into a single sentence: instead of helping people with serious medical conditions, medical marijuana is an excuse for people with dubious ailments to get high.
But what if you can get the health benefits of cannabis without the high? That's what the Israelis are working on:
Situated in an undisclosed location near Tzfat, northern Israel, is a government-approved medical marijuana plantation which was founded in 2004 by a retired biology teacher. Named Tikun Olam, the plantation has created a new cannabis strain which contains very low traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main constituent in cannabis responsible for making people feel "stoned". By virtually eliminating THC in the new strain, Tikun Olam can now offer the drug's medicinal benefits to those patients who wish to keep a clear head.
Adam Williams of Gizmag has the story: here

New strategy discovered to prevent hearing loss


If you’re concerned about losing your hearing because of noise exposure (earbud deafness syndrome), a new discovery published online in ...
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Possible dangers from bacteria in reusable grocery bags

Many consumers are shying away from plastic bags when doing their grocery shopping and are switching over to reusable grocery bags.

The Clutter Culture

Does your garage look like the photo above? You're not alone. According to research by anthropologists published in a new book Life at Home in the Twenty-first Century, 75% of garages in the United States are no longer used to keep cars. They're used to store stuff.
Walk into any dual-income, middle-class home in the U.S. and you will come face to face with an awesome array of stuff—toys, trinkets, family photos, furniture, games, DVDs, TVs, digital devices of all kinds, souvenirs, flags, food and more. We put our stuff anywhere in the house, everywhere there's room, or even if there's no room. Park the car on the street so we can store our stuff in the garage. Pile the dirty laundry in the shower because there's nowhere else to store it and no time to wash it.
George Carlin famously observed that "a house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it."
We are a clutter culture ...
The book details the life inside 32 dual-income, middle-class household with school-age children. That last bit turns out to be quite important, as they turned out to be one of the major sources of stuff:
Life at Home notes that "our data suggest that each new child in a household leads to a 30-percent increase in a family’s inventory of possessions during the preschool years alone."
A focus on children exists in every culture, of course, but Americans have, inevitably, taken the impulse to a whole other level. Indeed, the study found kids' stuff everywhere, crowding out their parents' possessions to such an extent that even home offices and studies (more than half of the 32 households had rooms dedicated to work or schoolwork) were crammed with toys and other childrelated objects. "Every good girl should have a whole ton of Barbies," one Life at Home mom helpfully explains.
Graesch surmises that "Dual-income parents get to spend so very little time with their children on the average weekday, usually four or fewer waking hours. This becomes a source of guilt for many parents, and buying their children toys, clothes and other possessions is a way to achieve temporary happiness during this limited timespan."
Jack Feuer of UCLA Magazine has more details: here

This dress contains ten pounds of silver thread

This is a magnificent example of English court dress of the mid-18th century. It would have been worn by a woman of aristocratic birth for court events involving the royal family. The style of this mantua was perfectly suited for maximum display of wealth and art; this example contains almost 10lb weight of silver thread worked in an elaborate 'Tree of Life' Design. The train is signed 'Rec'd of Mdme Leconte by me Magd. Giles'. The name Leconte has been associated with Huguenot embroideresses working in London between 1710 and 1746. The Huguenots were French Protestants who, following the repressive measures against them that the Catholic monarch Louis XIV of France restarted in 1685, emigrated to Britain and elsewhere.
From the collections of the Victoria and Albert (which also has a photo of the back and a closeup of the fabric),

Stunning places to see sunsets around the world

The sun sets everywhere, but not all sunsets are created equal. Want to see a nature-made kaleidoscopic spectacle like no other? From a sleepy Scottish loch to the blazing Sahara, we've gathered some of our favorite spots to catch a stunning sunset.

Lantau Island, Hong Kong

The Tian Tan Buddha statue draws many tourists to Lantau, Hong Kong's largest island. Catch a peek of the giant statue, which is said to represent the harmonious relationship between mankind and nature, as the last rays of sun fall over the isle.

Hillerod, Denmark

With its lofty Renaissance spires, Frederiksborg Castle provides conditions for almost any kind of sightseeing. Wander the museum during the day, then stay late to see the sun's descent over the gardens and Castle Lake; the views are almost as baroque as the landscaping.

Islamorada, Florida Keys

Known as the "Sport-Fishing Capital of the World," the Keys are any angler's dream. Of course, if stalking sailfish and wrangling wahoos doesn't sound appealing, lounging on a boat and staring at a Florida-orange sunset is pleasing to just about anybody.

Sydney, Australia

Any climber will tell you that strenuous exercise makes the view that much sweeter. Work up a sweat on the Sydney Harbour Bridge with a hike courtesy of BridgeClimb, then stop to take in an astounding sunset Down Under from more than 400 feet above the Tasman Sea.

Augrabies Falls National Park, South Africa

The name "Augrabies" derives from a word meaning "place of big noises," but big views of arid land and open sky also abound in this national park. The crashing Augrabies Falls and the distinctive silhouettes of kokerboom trees rest easily against a twilit South African sky.

Glacier National Park, Montana

There is no better place to get the "Big Sky Country" experience than in Glacier National Park. The wide wilderness area overflows with native flora and fauna, though some of its best features are its hiking trails. Take a late-afternoon summer stroll when the sky glows orange and photos practically take themselves.

Loch Linnhe, Scotland

Scotland's certainly not hurting for picturesque locales, but Loch Linnhe on the country's western coast may be one of the most serendipitous. Magic happens during the summer months, when the loch merges seamlessly with the setting sun and creates an image of hot-red horizon meeting cool Highland water.

Edmonton, Canada

Edmonton is called "The Festival City" for good reason: It hosts major exhibitions year-round, including outdoor concerts and July's 10-day, noon-to-midnight Capital Ex celebration. You're guaranteed to have a spectacular sunset backdrop while you revel in this Canadian city's numerous fresh-air activities.

Mt. Fuji, Japan

This may be the Land of the Rising Sun, but Japan's evening variations aren't half bad. Though Mt. Fuji hasn't had an outburst since 1707, the sky still erupts with fiery colors when the sun sets over the volcano's nearly symmetrical snow-capped peak.

Sahara, North Africa

Observe the hottest place in our solar system from the hottest desert on Earth. The Sahara covers most of North Africa, so pick a country, plop down on a sand dune—which can be hundreds of feet high—and get a glimpse of a Technicolor desert lightshow.

See story: Stunning places to see sunsets around the world



Uvershula in Nordland, Norway sits on idyllic seashore location with fine views of the nearby Lofoten Islands.  Built by a local school teacher, it has a wood burning stove, coffee pot, and a hut log book with comments from travellers from all over the world.
Submitted by Jerry Webb.
Uvershula in Nordland, Norway sits on idyllic seashore location with fine views of the nearby Lofoten Islands.  Built by a local school teacher, it has a wood burning stove, coffee pot, and a hut log book with comments from travelers from all over the world.

Chinese Student Stabbed 13 Times

Case Declared a Suicide
Xiao Han, a 21-year-old student at Henan Normal University, was found dead on June 10, 2012.

Sri Lankan youth faces beheading in Saudi Arabia for worshiping statue of Buddha

A Sri Lankan youth employed as a domestic aid has been arrested in Saudi Arabia for worshiping a statue of the Buddha, which is considered an offense according to Shariah law. According to the Bodu Bala Senaa, the youth, identified as Premanath Pereralage Thungasiri, has been arrested by Umulmahami Police, which is a grave situation.
The organization states that information has been received regarding a plan that is underway to behead a Sri Lankan youth employed in domestic service in Saudi Arabia. Although a complaint has been lodged at the Foreign Employment Bureau, Battaramulla, under complaint no: CN/158/1205, so far no action has been taken. While the youth is a Buddhist, the charge leveled against him is that he paid obeisance to the Buddha at the house where he was employed.

The Bodu Bala Senaa organization further said those employed in Muslim countries are prevented from practicing their religious faiths, and if found to do so are punished severely. Recently a Sri Lankan woman was arrested for gazing at a child at a shopping complex, where she was accused of witchcraft, on the grounds that she had a black cord around her wrist.

However, the organization accused the Foreign Employment Bureau officials of not educating the Sri Lankan workers traveling to Saudi Arabia regarding the laws in those countries pertaining to religious rights. Therefore, many of our migrant workers in Saudi Arabia face these situations due to their ignorance of the prevailing laws of those countries.

Zimbabwean couple face trial in 'baby bleaching' paternity scam

A cheating mother adopted a baby, bleached the child’s skin to make it lighter and then tried to pass it off as hers to her lover of Indian origin, a court heard. Prosecutors in Bulawayo have charged Varaidzo Moyo, 40, with two counts of fraud. Moyo’s husband, Samuel Chikopa, 30, has also been arrested after investigators indicated they believed he participated in the planning of the elaborate plot designed to reap financial benefits.
The Bulawayo Magistrates' Court heard the couple are unemployed. Moyo, according to investigators, duped her lover, Milton Parker, into believing that she was pregnant with his child early last year. She eloped to Parker’s home in Barham Green suburb – authorities say with her husband’s blessings. Chikopa and Moyo, who share a home in Bellevue, then applied to adopt a baby from the Tredgold District Social Welfare office on July 4, 2011, according to Bulawayo prosecutor Malvern Nzombe.

The couple proceeded to Umuzi Wothando Children’s Home armed with the adoption authorization and were granted custody of a year-old baby girl. Once home, Moyo and Chikopa applied some skin lightening substances on the adopted baby’s skin to create the impression she was of mixed race. Parker, said prosecutors, raised doubts after suggesting the child appeared older than Moyo had claimed.

In a panic, Moyo allegedly swapped the adopted tot for her daughter’s newly-born baby. The fraud unraveled last week after Moyo refused to return her daughter’s child almost a year on, and she reported her to the police. Police recovered the adopted baby back to the children’s home where it was placed under medical supervision. Bulawayo magistrate Shepherd Munjanja remanded Moyo and Chikopa in custody to July 6.

Killer disease in Cambodia stumps experts

It's not bird flu or SARS, and nor does it appear to be contagious, but little more is known about a mysterious disease that has killed dozens of Cambodian children, some within 24 hours of being hospitalized.
Medical experts are scrambling to respond to what the Cambodian health ministry and World Health Organization (WHO) have labelled an "undiagnosed syndrome" that has claimed the lives of at least 56 boys and girls, mostly toddlers, since April.
Officials said just one child was believed to have survived the illness and the high fatality rate has spread concern among Cambodians, 30 percent of whom live below the poverty line according to the World Bank.
The WHO has put neighboring countries on alert about the killer disease, that starts with a high fever and is followed by respiratory and neurological symptoms "with rapid deterioration of respiratory functions".
There have been no cases reported outside Cambodia so far.
"We are looking at detailed information from the hospital records and analyzing each and every case. We hope to have a better picture in the coming days," said Ly Sovann, deputy director of Cambodia's Communicable Disease Control Department in a joint statement with the WHO on Friday.
Pediatrician Beat Richner, the founder of Kantha Bopha children's hospitals, which see around 85 percent of Cambodia's severely ill youngsters who make it to treatment, was the first to raise the alert over the illness.
The Swiss doctor, who told Cambodian health officials about the illness last month, gave a higher toll than the WHO, saying 64 children had died from the disease since mid-April, while two more had recovered.
The victims were aged seven and under with most being between two and three years old, Richner told AFP in an interview. The most recent death was on Saturday.
"All these children have encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and in the later hours of their life they develop a severe pneumonia with a destruction of the alveoli in the lungs. That is the reason they die," he said.
The alveoli, or air sacs, are pockets in the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place.
"We think it's either a virus, an intoxication, or both," Richner said.
While it is impossible to rule out contagion at this early stage, Richner said he had yet to come across two cases in the same family, and no health workers appear to have fallen ill after caring for the patients.
The WHO has also said it has found no clusters, though most of the patients came from central and southern parts of Cambodia.
Like the WHO and the health ministry, Richner's staff are racing to find the cause of the disease, sending blood and tissue samples to the Institut Pasteur -- a renowned infectious disease research center.
Early results from a selection of those samples show some of the children had been infected by a lethal strain of hand, foot and mouth disease, although Richner said more analysis was needed.
He said all the patients who died were treated in private clinics in their local areas before being brought to the Kantha Bopha hospitals in the capital and the northwestern province of Siem Reap.
"They all got injections or infusions by private carers before coming to us," he said. "Some died four hours after arriving."
From his own figures, Richer said the two patients that lived were treated only by Kantha Bopha staff, suggesting that botched medical treatment may be a factor.
The WHO said it was too soon to draw conclusions.
"We are looking at the possibility of this being something new, a collation of different diseases with similar clinical presentations but caused by a different pathogen," said doctor Nima Asgari, a public health specialist at the WHO office in Cambodia.
The UN health body and Cambodian officials have urged parents to bring their sick children to hospital if they see any signs of "unusual illness".
Joining the daily queues of hundreds of families seeking treatment at Kantha Bopha, In Sitha said she first heard about the mystery illness while her three-year-old son was in hospital with pneumonia last month.
"I heard it develops very fast," she said. "As a mother, I feel very scared and helpless about this. I just hope this unknown disease can be cured so that my son and other people's children can survive."
Richner urged parents to stay calm saying "there's no reason for hysteria," and pointed out that an ongoing dengue fever epidemic was a much larger worry.
In June alone, more than 5,000 children were hospitalized with hemorrhagic dengue fever, compared to just 34 cases of the unknown disease. "That's the big problem," Richner said.

Mayan End of Times (of Sorts) is Back for 2012

Did we tell you not to panic because archaeologists have discovered evidence that the Mayan Apocalypse has been delayed some 7,000 years in the future? Well, scratch that.
A newly discovered Mayan text reveals that 2012 is indeed an "end date" of sorts: the end of political stability, instead of an outright apocalypse:
Now, researchers exploring the Maya ruins of La Corona in Guatemala have unearthed another reference. On a stairway block carved with hieroglyphs, archaeologists found a commemoration of a visit by Yuknoom Yich'aak K'ahk' of Calakmul, the most powerful Mayan ruler in his day. The king, also known as Jaguar Paw, suffered a terrible defeat in battle by the Kingdom of Tikal in 695. [...]
In an effort to tie himself and his reign to the future, the king linked his reign with another 13th cycle — the 13th bak'tun ending on Dec. 21, 2012.
David Stuart, a professor of art history at the University of Texas at Austin, recognized the reference to the date among 56 glyphs that were carved on the stone block. "It was a time of great political turmoil in the Maya region, and this king felt compelled to allude to a larger cycle of time that happens to end in 2012," Stuart said in a statement released by UT.
Are they talking about the US presidential election? Can't be a coicidence now, can it?

Could Terrorist Aliens Cyberattack Us?

Maybe any bellicose extraterrestrials would prefer to attack us at the speed of light, literally.  
  Could Terrorist Aliens Cyberattack Us?

Why the Metric System Might Be Screwed

The world’s most perfect weight isn’t so perfect anymore. And that has scientists scared.

The Shadow of an Atom

For the first time ever, scientists have captured an image of a shadow thrown by a single atom. In this case, the atom is an Ytterbium ion, trapped in a vacuum and cooled down to “only a few ‘millikelvin’.”
Researchers from the Centre for Quantum Dynamics at Griffith University in Brisbane, Queensland, captured the image using their custom-built ion trap, which was also responsible for capturing the highest-resolution image of a single atom last year.
“The question is, how many atoms do you need to cast a shadow? We found that it only takes one,” said David Kielpinski co-author of the paper, which was published in Nature Communications.
The team praised the special camera and lens over the technique they used. Read more about it at Cosmos magazine. More

When Something Big Slammed into the Moon

The scar from a possible comet strike makes for a dramatic image from NASA's Moon-orbiting explorer!  
Read more
When Something Big Slammed into the Moon: Big Pic

Scientists Discover New Trigger for Immense North Atlantic Plankton Bloom


On this July 4th week, U.S. beachgoers are thronging their way to seaside resorts and parks to celebrate with holiday ...
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Aliens May Look Like Jellyfish With Orange Bottoms

Forget little green men. Aliens may look like giant jellyfish with orange bottoms, leading space scientist and government adviser Maggie Aderin-Pocock has claimed. They may look like football-field sized jellyfish, complete with onion-shaped appendages and an orange underbelly or bottom.

Generated from silicon, rather than the carbon that is the basis of life as we know it, the creatures are able to live off light absorbed through their 'skin' and chemicals sucked in through their giant mouths.

Horse becomes unwitting real-life unicorn

Tommasina Ashley was visiting New York City for her sister's bridal shower last Thursday when she received an unsettling text message. Her 30-year-old horse, Danny, had been found in his stall with a 9-inch piece of wood wedged into his skull. Ashley was hours away from Danny's home at Amelia Acres, a Hudson Valley farm.

"I was in shock," the 42-year-old said. "I was thinking, oh my god, he's had a stroke. It was a mess." Miraculously, the wooden stake lodged in Danny’s forehead missed his left eye and brain by a few centimeters, rendering the caramel-colored thoroughbred in a foggy state of shock but still breathing. Danny was rushed to Rhinebeck Equine, where doctors took X-rays and discovered the wood had broken through his skull and entered a pathway leading to his oral cavity.

His surgeon, Dr. Shannon Murray, said she hadn’t seen anything like it since medical school. Doctors had to remove several bits of bone, leaving Danny with a hole in his head that will take at least a couple of months to heal. But the retired show jumper remained docile and calm throughout the whole ordeal, even as he was forced to stand in place (with help from a sedative) throughout the surgery, Dr. Murray said.

Just how Danny managed to become temporarily transformed into a unicorn still remains a mystery. Dr. Murray speculated that stomach trouble or even a loud noise could have caused Danny to jump up too quickly and injure himself on the post. Danny’s owner simply feels relief that such a gruesome accident didn’t cut their 20-year relationship short. “If there’s any way to drive a stake through your head, this is the way to do it,” Ashley marveled.


Gators Grabbed from Zoo in Reptile Robbery

Gators Grabbed from Zoo in Reptile Robbery

The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans recently suffered a gator grab and go.

Monkey See, Monkey Do


Animal Pictures