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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

1099   The Crusaders launch their final assault on Jerusalem.
1534   Ottoman armies capture Tabriz in northwestern Persia.
1558   Led by the court of Egmont, the Spanish army defeats the French at Gravelines, France.
1585   A group of 108 English colonists, led by Sir Richard Grenville, reaches Roanoke Island, North Carolina.
1643   In England, the Roundheads, led by Sir William Waller, are defeated by Royalist troops under Lord Wilmot in the Battle of Roundway Down.
1754   George Washington surrenders Fort Necessity to the French, leaving them in control of the Ohio Valley.
1787   Congress, under the Articles of Confederation, enacts the Northwest Ordinance, establishing rules for governing the Northwest Territory, for admitting new states to the Union and limiting the expansion of slavery.
1798   English poet William Wordsworth visits the ruins of Tintern Abbey.
1832   Henry Schoolcraft discovers the source of the Mississippi River in Minnesota.
1862   Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest defeats a Union army at Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
1863   Opponents of the draft begin three days of rioting in New York City.
1866   The Great Eastern begins a two week voyage to complete a 12-year effort to lay telegraph cable across the Atlantic between Britain and the United States.
1878   The Congress of Berlin divides the Balkans among European powers.
1939   Frank Sinatra records his first song, "From the Bottom of my Heart," with the Harry James Band.
1941   Britain and the Soviet Union sign a mutual aid pact, providing the means for Britain to send war materiel to the Soviet Union.
1954   In Geneva, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China and France reach an accord on Indochina, dividing Vietnam into two countries, North and South, along the 17th parallel.
1971   The Army of Morrocco executes 10 leaders accused of leading a revolt.

Romney Booed at NAACP

"I'm better for Blacks than Obama..."

If you want a president who will make things better in the African-American community,
you are looking at him,” Romney said. “You take a look.”

The crowd booed when Romney criticized Obama for not doing enough to get unemployment down.

“I know the President will say he’s going to do those things, but he has not, he will not,
he cannot, and his last four years in the White House proves it, definitively,” Romney said.

The loudest boos came when Romney spoke of his desire to see “Obamacare” repealed.
You know what Lush Dimbulb (the vulgar Pigboy) is saying off-mic about this?

"Niggers are too stupid to realize we're better for them than Obama."  

Palin, who played a key role in losing McCain the election, has 'advice' for Romney

She actually seems not to realize that she's a joke.  And that she played a significant role in losing the election for McCain once the public figured out that there wasn't much there there.
Now for the English language as only Sarah Palin can mangle it:
Palin, who is known to accuse journalists of having a liberal slant, said media “manipulation” would continue to pose as an uphill battle for Romney.

“Four years ago, Sean, they chose their one and they did all that they could to usher him into the White House. We are going to see the same tactic this is go around,” she said. “The filter that the media has is something that a politician, a candidate, has to be extremely astute in — kind decimating that filter and getting through it so that the public has the correct information.”
Yeah, the idiot who created the 'death panel' lie, which helped sour the American public on health care reform, is worried that the media is manipulating people. Palin's definition of "manipulation" is when the media calls her out on her lies.  Palin prefers it when people let her lie with impunity since, after all, it's the only way repugicans can win policy or elections - by conning a sadly-gullible American public.

Mystery illness in Cambodia solved

The cause of a mysterious illness that has claimed the lives of more than 60 Cambodian children has been determined, medical doctors familiar with the investigation told CNN on Wednesday.
Cambodia has better health care than the USA? It appears so.

The repugicans still have no replacement to offer over Healthcare Reform

They don't get it and never will get it. They're only about obstruction and towing the corporate line, so of course they can't propose anything other than destroying Healthcare Reform.

Nobody is arguing that Healthcare Reform is perfect because it's not. It's still too much of a corporate giveaway but it's a start. The repugicans are glad to stay with the old system that everyone hates and really, it's too easy for them to take that position. Despite arguing about government run healthcare, they almost all take it while in Congress so they don't have a care in the world.

Unlike the rest of the country that has to deal with being told to pay more for insurance by their employer, Congress has it easy. Don't expect movement from this group because their plan is as good as it gets.
House repugicans generally avoided talk of replacement measures on Tuesday as they mobilized for an election-season vote to repeal the health care law that stands as President Barack Obama's signature domestic accomplishment.

Instead, they lambasted the 2-year-old law as a threat to the nation's economic recovery and predicted some Democrats would join them in repudiating it.

"This is nothing short of economic malpractice," said Rep. Nan Hayworth of New York, citing tax increases, government mandates and other items in the law. "We can and we must do better."
Fine, so give everyone a plan and quit obstructing. If the repugican plan is so great, it will win over the public, right? Since the public has only heard reheated old ideas and talk of scrapping Healthcare Reform, they're going to be reluctant to dump everything for nothing.

Former member of repugican leadership wants health care repeal votes every day this year

Sounds like a great way to put jobs first, by taking health care away from kids under the age of 27, and bringing back pre-existing conditions, annual limits and lifetime limits.

The congresswoman in this video, Marsha Blackburn (r-OH), epitomizes everything that is wrong with the modern repugican party. It's a party run by southern social conservatives (Blackburn is originally from Mississippi, surprise!) who are constitutionally incapable of an original thought outside of a set of specific, and rather dated, talking points that usually include lowering taxes, increasing defense spending, hating on gays, contraception and Latinos, and something - anything really - about Ronald Reagan.

In this video, Blackburn, who was in the repugican congressional leadership up until this Congress, calls for daily votes to repeal health care reform.  Richard Socarides, who refused to let her spout her bs unchallenged, should have asked Blackburn to name three things that are in the bill besides the individual mandate (Blackburn has a history of insisting that the bill still contains "death panels").  It'd have been nice to watch her spout her death panel lie, and to see her flounder when asked for specifics of the legislation she wants to repeal.

The truth be told

Australia the next Spain?

The Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan is saying no and it may be an overstatement, but there are definitely some similarities. Spain also had a budget surplus (despite what austerity people believe) as well as strong jobs growth. What Spain did not have is a large export market heavily reliant on a booming China. During the good times, the economic ties were worth a lot to the Australian economy. But those good times are fading.
“It’s absurd - the Australian economy and its economic fundamentals are very strong. On a yearly basis we are growing at 4 percent – we are going to grow faster than any other developed economy this year and next,” Swan told CNBC's "Capital Connection" on Wednesday.

“Let’s go through the fundamentals – bringing our budget back to surplus in 2012-2013, low unemployment, strong job creation over time, a record investment pipeline in resources – half a trillion (dollars). What planet does he live on?” he added.

Xie, an independent economist with sometimes controversial views, argues that Australia is at danger of becoming the next Spain due to its reliance on foreign demand, especially from its biggest trading partner China, which he believes is decelerating faster than headline growth numbers suggest.

List of LIBOR banks involved in setting U.S. dollar rates

LIBOR is the London InterBank Offered Rate. LIBOR banks (see below) send the British Bankers' Association (BBA) a daily estimate of the rate they would be charged by other banks if they were borrowing.

(As noted in our LIBOR backgrounder, that's an estimate of rates, not actual rates; and it's the rate to borrowing, not to lend. That is, the banks only report their own estimated costs. That's why there's a LIBOR scandal. Those estimates are fudged in so many ways, all to benefit the reporting banks.)

As FedPrimeRate.com, a reference site, states:
There are many different LIBOR rates (maturities range from overnight to 12 months) for numerous currencies, including U.S. dollars[.] ...

Back in the mid-1980's, the world banking system adopted the LIBOR as a much needed benchmark for short-term, interbank loans. The LIBOR rates are now internationally recognized indexes used for pricing many types of consumer and corporate loans, debt instruments and debt securities across the globe. ...

LIBOR rates are fixed every UK business day by the global media corporation Thomson Reuters, in association with the British Bankers' Association (BBA), a nonprofit trade association.
LIBOR (again, just a series of estimated interbank interest rates) is determined in 10 currencies, but these four are primary, for obvious reasons (link pdf):
The four major LIBOR currencies are US Dollar, Sterling, Euro and Yen, but the recent commentary has been primarily in respect of Dollar LIBOR.
The list of banks involved in setting the Dollar LIBOR rate appears below. Three American banks and 16 foreign banks are surveyed for purposes of fixing LIBOR in U.S. dollars ("U.S. dollar fixing").
The American banks included in the panel surveyed by the BBA for U.S. dollar fixing are:
  • The Bank of America
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Citibank, NA
There are 16 non-U.S. banks surveyed for U.S. dollar fixing in London. These banks are:
  • Bank of Nova Scotia
  • Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd
  • Barclays Bank plc
  • BNP Paribas
  • Credit Agricole CIB
  • Credit Suisse
  • Deutsche Bank AG
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds TSB Bank plc
  • Rabobank
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Société Générale
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  • The Norinchukin Bank
  • The Royal Bank of Scotland Group
  • UBS AG
Why does this list matter? This is the list of potential perps in the LIBOR scandal. This is why the Fed is involved, and also the Feds (U.S. Justice Dept). I've seen estimates of #350 trillion to $800 trillion in loans and contracts hooked to LIBOR.

Just trying to make sense of LIBOR, so that when the Big Boys (Our Betters) blow up the world again, us Littles have a fair shot at understanding how they did it.

House Ethics Committee decides to do nothing, as usual

Surprise, surprise, the House Committee on Ethics announced this week that it would do... nothing.
The committee said it would take a pass on allegations that Rep. Vern Buchanan (r-FL) inaccurately reported positions he had held and income he had received on his annual financial disclosure statements between 2007 and 2010.

The committee confirmed that Rep. Vern Buchanan had filed inaccurate financial forms, but said the omissions were inadvertant, no different from the “hundreds or thousands of errors” it sees each year in such reports.

What response did Buchanan, the repugican's top fundraiser, have to this:
He said the omissions amounted to chump change -- an interesting way to describe an amount roughly equivalent to one-third of the median annual income of families in his native Florida.

A letter from the congressman’s attorney said that the nearly $15,000 amounted to “somewhere between 0.0000434% and 0.00000962% of his total assets” -- noting the “small error relative to the size” of his holdings.
Well, lucky him!!

Turns out his troubles may not be over. Even though NewsMax has decided that the Ethics Charges Are Politically Motivated, the House panel is continuing to investigate allegations that Buchanan once offered to pay a former business partner $2.9 million if he agreed to sign a false affidavit claiming he knew nothing about plans to reimburse employees of Buchanan’s car dealership. The FBI, Internal Revenue Service and a federal grand jury are conducting separate investigations.

Romney committed felony lying about role with Bain

This is big news, as it backs up what the Obama campaign has been alleging - that Romney was still in charge of Bain when it outsourced US jobs - and this directly contradicts Factcheck.org's claim otherwise. From the Boston Globe:
Government documents filed by Mitt Romney and Bain Capital say Romney remained chief executive and chairman of the firm three years beyond the date he said he ceded control, even creating five new investment partnerships during that time.

Romney has said he left Bain in 1999 to lead the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, ending his role in the company. But public Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed later by Bain Capital state he remained the firm’s “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.”

Also, a Massachusetts financial disclosure form Romney filed in 2003 states that he still owned 100 percent of Bain Capital in 2002. And Romney’s state financial disclosure forms indicate he earned at least $100,000 as a Bain “executive” in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings.
It should be noted that David Corn broke this story a few weeks ago in a great piece everyone should read, though the Globe appears to have found additional disclosure forms to back up their case.

Oh but it gets worse. As Factcheck.org so graciously pointed out, if Mitt Romney lied in any federal forms about the extent of his role with Bain, Romney may have committed a felony.  From Factcheck.org:
If the Obama campaign is correct [that Romney remained at Bain past 1999], then Romney is guilty of lying on official federal disclosure forms, committing a felony. But we don’t see evidence of that.

Here’s what Romney has said:
Mitt Romney Public Financial Disclosure Report, Aug. 11, 2011: Mr. Romney retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way.
Romney’s signature appears on the line that states: “I certify that statements I have made on this form and all attached schedules are true, complete and correct to the best of my knowledge.”

Making false statements to the federal government is a serious crime (under 18 USC 1001) carrying possible fines and up to five years in federal prison.
Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod has already weighed in on Twitter:
Based on Globe report, either Bain filed false SEC statements 1999-2002 about Mitt's status, or his campaign is making false statements now.
But Axelrod isn't even right about how bad this is. It's not an "either-or."

1. Romney told the SEC that he remained the firm’s "sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president" up until 2002.

2. But Romney said in a more recent financial disclosure form that he left Bain in 1999 - so the two federal forms contradict each other, at least one is a lie:
Mitt Romney Public Financial Disclosure Report, Aug. 11, 2011: Mr. Romney retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way.
In other words, Romney lied to the federal government either way. Either to the SEC, or in his more recent financial dislocure forms.  And either one appears to be a felony.

Interestingly, Politico now has up a post echoing what has already been written, and reaching the same conclusion about a felony.

Did you know ...

The 10 most unhinged right-wing reactions to Healthcare Reform ruling

About the innocent woman who spends 53 days in jail

That with his new HBO series newsroom, it looks like Aaron Sorkin has nailed down the all-important news pundit demographic

Here's everything you need to know about Mitt Romney in one Venn diagram

Job openings up

Clearly the repugicans are not going to like this positive news. Since they're more concerned about scuppering the economy, they're going to have to think of a new plan to extend the misery for Americans.
The number of positions waiting to be filled climbed by 195,000 to 3.64 million, partially countering the 294,000 drop seen in April, the Labor Department said today in Washington. Another report showed confidence among small companies slumped in June.

Increasing demand for workers indicates some companies see an opportunity to expand as sales improve. At the same time, the report showed firings also picked up, indicating the European debt crisis and slowing growth in emerging markets like China may be prompting some employers to cut back.

“The labor market still looks pretty tenuous,” said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York. The April report “sent some worrying signals that maybe things were in free fall. You have the May report and you can see businesses were turning a bit more cautious, but they weren’t completely pulling back.”

Rail industry aims to hire 5,000 veterans

Facing an aging rail industry workforce and an influx of returning military veterans, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Tuesday an initiative in which the growing rail sector will hire more than 5,000 veterans this year, matching the same number hired in 2011.

Yoga teacher fired for glaring at Facebook employee

A California yoga instructor has been fired for her disapproving stink-eye glare at a Facebook employee using a cellphone in class.

Alice Van Ness was hired to teach Yoga at Facebook's Menlo Park Campus. She told employees who took her classes to refrain from using cellphones, but one female employee ignored her and used her phone during a session. Van Ness says she gave the employee a "look of disapproval."
The employee complained to the woman's boss, who fired Van Ness.
According to the termination letter, the employee said Van Ness had "made a spectacle of her" during the class by stopping instruction and glaring at her when she pulled out her phone.
Van Ness said she didn't know the employee's name or whether she is a high-level executive at Facebook.

What's wrong with TPP, the son of ACTA

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Carolina Rossini has a very good editorial explaining what's wrong with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a secret trade treaty with punishing copyright provisions that's being negotiated by the USA, repeating the worst sins of ACTA and magnifying them (among other thing, TPP will make implementing the notorious SOPA into a trade obligation for the US).
As Rossini writes, this is no way to make good policy, and undermines the legitimate trade priorities of the US and its partners by entangling them in a dirty, secretive process that has no checks on the excesses of corporate representatives from the entertainment industry.
So, in summary, the USTR has released a public blog post about a secret proposal to expand something – a filtering mechanism on copyright limitations and exceptions – which might have real social, moral, and economic value. And all we know is that the only thing the authors of the proposal really wanted to make public was the fact that no matter what the content was, it was subject to enough international restrictions that it could be effectively gutted. The only thing 21st century about that is they used a blog to tell us about it.
Is the TPP - framed as a "21st century" agreement - the best way to build a 21st century society?

Homeland Security’s New Molecular Scanner

Still fretting about privacy? Don't worry, it will soon be over. Big Brother will know everything about you with this new molecular scanner that sounds like it's straight out of Star Trek:
Within the next year or two, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will instantly know everything about your body, clothes, and luggage with a new laser-based molecular scanner fired from 164 feet (50 meters) away. From traces of drugs or gun powder on your clothes to what you had for breakfast to the adrenaline level in your body—agents will be able to get any information they want without even touching you.
And without you knowing it.
The technology is so incredibly effective that, in November 2011, its inventors were subcontracted by In-Q-Tel to work with the US Department of Homeland Security. In-Q-Tel is a company founded "in February 1999 by a group of private citizens at the request of the Director of the CIA and with the support of the U.S. Congress." According to In-Q-Tel, they are the bridge between the Agency and new technology companies.
Gizmodo has the details: here

McDonald's chip monopoly at London Games relaxes one hairsbreadth

The McDonald's sponsorship deal at the Security Games in London meant that Olympic workers are not allowed to buy chips (AKA fries) unless they come with fish. A chorus of complaints from site workers has led to a relaxation of the sponsorship terms so that workers (but not visitors) can buy their chips from the vendor of their choice, even if they're not served with fish. From The Guardian's Robert Booth:
It all results from one of the stranger twists of Olympic planning. McDonald's sponsorship deal included the exclusive right to sell chips in and around Olympic venues. Other caterers had negotiated special rights to serve chips with fish – but not chips on their own, or with anything else.
Cue frustrated scenes at the lunch counter in the ceremonies catering area where staff were toiling over the staging for Danny Boyle's 27 July opening extravaganza. "Please understand this is not the decision of the staff who are serving up your meals who, given the choice, would gladly give it to you, however they are not allowed to," read a notice pinned up by staff. "Please do not give the staff grief, this will only lead to us removing fish and chips completely."
"It's sorted," said a spokesman for Locog. "We have spoken to McDonald's about it."
But the embargo will hold in other areas. That means no chips with anything other than fish anywhere else in the park unless spectators dine at McDonald's.
I know a couple of people on the lighting and automation crew at the Security Games and they report that there's a mass lunchtime exodus from the site by its workers every day as they troop off to find anything to eat that isn't McDonald's.

Man drank gas, motor oil, carburetor fluid and vinegar while hiding in shed

An armed robbery suspect in Portland, Oregon,ended up in the hospital after he hid inside a shed for several hours and drank whatever he could find - including petrol, vinegar, motor oil and carburetor fluid.
On Tuesday, police identified the suspect as 23-year-old Tyler Levi Brant. The incident began at around 1:30 p.m. in the 10200 block of Southeast Pardee Street when a homeowner was robbed at gunpoint and the suspect took off.

The homeowner was not hurt but officers quickly began searching for the armed man. A few hours later, Brant was found inside a shed a few blocks away. When officers tried to talk to him, there was no response. A while later, Brant eventually came out of the shed. He was barely able to crawl and was sweating profusely.

That's when police discovered that he had been drinking anything he could get his hands on inside the shed, all of which was toxic. Brant was taken away in an ambulance but released from the hospital Monday night. Police said Brant was taken to the Multnomah County Jail and charged with first degree robbery and first degree burglary.

Candy Bar Thief Apologizes for Wasting Cop's Time

A Florida man was arrested Tuesday for swiping a $1.89 Snickers candy bar at a 7-Eleven - and police said he later apologized for wasting their time.

Man Finds His Car for Sale on eBay 42 Years after It Was Stolen

In 1970, Bob Russell’s ’67 Austin Healey 3000 disappeared after a date with the woman he’d eventually marry. But he never gave up on her and kept searching for the beauty for 42 years. Suspecting that the rare collectible car would be sold multiple times, he scoured online auctions for it. Finally, one morning, he saw his car for sale on eBay.
That was only the beginning of Russell’s struggle. Next, he had to convince the dealer that it was indeed his Austin Healey and that the dealer had to give it back to him:
Russell said the car’s vehicle identification number matched that of his Healey. In addition, he still had the original key and car title, as well as signed affidavits from friends, including the original owner, indicating that Russell had never sold the auto.
But one legal roadblock remained: He didn’t have a copy of the stolen-car report he filed back in 1970. [...]
Turns out the original stolen-car report he filed in Philadelphia wasn’t showing up at the National Crime Information Center because one VIN letter was entered incorrectly into the FBI’s computerized index of crimes.
But thanks to persistent detectives in Philadelphia, Russell said, the report finally was located.
Once he got his hands on a copy of the report, Philadelphia police were able to reactivate the file. That enabled the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to impound the car.
Russell and his wife, Cynthia, drove to LA on June 16 and took possession of the car two days later after paying roughly $600 in impoundment fees.

Town Turns Itself into a Virtual Library

Your town lacks space for a library? Try this virtual solution by Project Ingeborg in Klagenfurt, Austria:
An initiative called Project Ingeborg has placed 70 stickers equipped with QR codes and NFC chips in various locations around the town, Engadget reports. When you hold your smartphone up to one, it sends your browser to a website where you can download a free literary classic via Project Gutenberg or a similar public-domain service.
Here’s the cool part: In many cases, the book is relevant to the location where you can download it. So, according to the Project Ingeborg website, you can download a famous play about a man’s quest for salvation near the Cathedral, or a short story called “The Murderer” near the police station. And there are plans to expand the project beyond books, to include reference information, music, and works of art.

Newsflash: 2012 Hottest Half-Year Ever

Last month, like many before it, had heat that was above average, and temperatures during the second half of June broke or tied records in 173 locations.  
2012 Hottest Half-Year Ever

Why You Should Drink Hot Tea in Hot Weather

Drinking hot tea when it's so hot outside seems like the complete opposite of what you should do, but it's not such a crazy idea.
This story by Joe Palca of NPR's Morning Edition explains why drinking hot tea on a hot day can help cool you down:
For my next installment, Morning Edition Executive Producer Madhulika Sikka asked me to explain why drinking hot tea cools you off on a hot day.
It does?
"Trust me," she said. "I'm Indian, I'm British. A billion Indians can't be wrong. They drink hot tea in hot weather." [...]
There are all sorts of receptors in all sorts of nerves, but the nerves in the tongue have a lot of one particular receptor that responds to heat. It's called the TRPV1 receptor, if anyone wants to know.
So when you eat or drink something hot, these receptors get that heat signal, and that tells the nerve to let the brain know what's going on.
When the brain gets the message "It's hot in here," it turns on the mechanism we have to cool ourselves off: sweating.

Daily Comic Relief

Native Americans arrived in three waves, all from Siberia

Americas 'settled in three waves'A Brazilian Pataxo indian

The biggest survey of Native American DNA has concluded that the New World was settled in three major waves.
It's a quite interesting study, and the DNA seems to confirm what was said years ago, but dismissed by many -- that native Americans came from Siberia in three distinct waves.
North and South America were first populated by three waves of migrants from Siberia rather than just a single migration, say researchers who have studied the whole genomes of Native Americans in South America and Canada.

Some scientists assert that the Americas were peopled in one large migration from Siberia that happened about 15,000 years ago, but the new genetic research shows that this central episode was followed by at least two smaller migrations from Siberia, one by people who became the ancestors of today’s Eskimos and Aleutians and another by people speaking Na-Dene, whose descendants are confined to North America. The research was published online on Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The finding vindicates a proposal first made on linguistic grounds by Joseph Greenberg, the great classifier of the world’s languages. He asserted in 1987 that most languages spoken in North and South America were derived from the single mother tongue of the first settlers from Siberia, which he called Amerind. Two later waves, he surmised, brought speakers of Eskimo-Aleut and of Na-Dene, the language family spoken by the Apache and Navajo.

Ancient 'New York City' of Canada Discovered

mantleA settlement on the north shore of Lake Ontario was the most complex cosmopolitan region in the New World.

Golden Crusade Hoard Found in Israel

Israeli archaeologists found buried treasure worth as much as $500,000.
The coins may be worth $500,000 and are inscribed with blessings, names of sultans and more.  

Sun Turns NYC into 'Manhattanhenge'

New Yorkers were treated to a special sight Thursday evening (July 12): It was one of two days a year when the setting sun aligns perfectly with Manhattan's street grid.  

Astronomical News

Pluto Now Has Five (Yes, Five) Moons

Pluto's neighborhood just became a little more crowded. Read more
Pluto Now Has Five (Yes, Five) Moons

New Views from the ISS

The view from the ISS is not one to miss, here's a new video recorded this month. Read more
New Views from the ISS: Gotta-See Videos

Mysterious Vortex Spotted in Titan's Atmosphere

A vast swirl has been detected over the Saturn moon's south pole, believed to be caused by the onset of winter. Read more
Mysterious Vortex Spotted in Titan's Atmosphere

'UFO Triangle' Is Alien Hotspot, Believers Claim

aliensSome say an area in central California is a popular stopping place for aliens.

 Then again there is New Mexico ...

Ten Things You Didn't Know About The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea, also known as the Salt Sea, borders Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. It's a hypersaline lake that is truly one of Earth's unique places. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish, hence its name. Here are 10 things you didn't know about the Dead Sea.

Greenland Ice Motion Mapped

Greenland Ice MapThis digital map of ice motion across Greenland is the first of its kind.
  Read more

Wild boar breaks into bank

This wild boar stormed a bank in Bruck an der Leitha, Lower Austria and was caught on the bank's CCTV.
The pig had stormed into the Raiffeisen bank in the middle of the night leaving bank employees thinking someone had broken in. Bank worker Josef Fux said: "The wild boar managed to get through a closed door and had a look around the bank looking at all the machines before it left.

"A cleaner first noticed something was not right when she noticed that there were marks and dirt all over the door and it looked like someone had been in the bank. We then looked at the CCTV and saw the boar in the bank. We couldn't believe our eyes. Technicians are now puzzling how the pig was able to get into the bank in the middle of the night.

"The bank is not near a forest, we are right in the town centre. Our technicians were puzzled as to how the wild boar got in. But it appears the wild boar had pushed the door so hard until it opened even though it was locked. The door was not damaged however. It is a complete mystery how the boar managed it."

Banana's Genes Unpeeled

bananaThe long-awaited sequencing of the banana genome might help save the yellow fruit from imminent collapse.  
Read more

Harbor the Rescue Raccoon

Harbor hanging out
Harbor the raccoon was kept in a small cage for four years and become almost completely blind before wildlife rehabilitator MaryEllen Schoeman took him in. She washed, fed, and cuddled him, then introduced him to his new custom-made enclosure, where he can run, climb, and play in water. His recovery was amazing, and he now an active and joyful raccoon.
“I have worked with raccoons for many years, and I can honestly say that I have never encountered one who greets each day with such happiness, and who loves so fully and so deeply. He loves his pool, his toys and every single person he meets.” -MaryEllen Schoeman
See photos, videos, and more links about Harbor at Buzzfeed.

Rats vs. penguins on Chilean island

A 3-week-old Humboldt Penguin gazes plaintively from the opening of its nest, waiting for its parents to return with food.

Why Are Sockeye Salmon in Trouble?

The answer could point to big problems looming in Earth's waters.

Animal Pictures


Barn Owl