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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Daily Drift

Yggdrasil: The tree of life!

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Today in History

1099   Jerusalem falls to the Crusaders.
1410   Poles and Lithuanians defeat the Teutonic knights at Tannenburg, Prussia.
1685   The Duke of Monmouth is executed in Tower Hill in England.
1789   The electors of Paris set up a "Commune" to live without the authority of the government.
1806   Lieutenant Zebulon Pike begins his western expedition from Fort Belle Fountaine.
1813   Napoleon Bonaparte's representatives meet with the Allies in Prague to discuss peace terms.
1834   Lord Napier of England arrives at Macao, China, as the first chief superintendent of trade.
1863   Confederate raider Bill Anderson and his Bushwackers attack Huntsville, Missouri, stealing $45,000 from the local bank.
1895   Ex-prime minister of Bulgaria, Stephen Stambulov, is murdered by Macedonian rebels.
1901   Over 74,000 Pittsburgh steel workers go on strike.
1938   Howard Huges and crew set a new world record for an around-the-world flight.
1942   The first supply flight from India to China over the 'Hump' is flown.
1958   President Dwight Eisenhower sends 5,000 Marines to Lebanon to keep the peace.
1960   John F. Kennedy accepts the Democratic nomination for president.

The truth be told

Romney wants President Obama to apologize for being mean

First Romney called Obama a liar in a campaign ad this week, now he's demanding an apology.  Those are pretty much the two sure signs of a floundering candidate: calling the other guy a liar and then demanding an apology.  The American people don't tend to reward candidates who whine.  Probably because it suggests weakness.  It makes you sound like a kid.  Weak.  Ineffectual.  Wimpy.
(Not to mention, it's more than ironic that Mitt Romney, the man who's first political ad intentionally misquoted the President in order to make it appear that he said something that everyone agrees he did not - Obama was quoting John McCain, Romney then claimed the quote as Obama's - is now concerned about "lying.")

The larger issue is that Mitt Romney still hasn't explained why he filed two different forms with the federal government, one that claimed he had retired from Bain Capital in 1999, and the other which claimed he was the president, CEO and chair of the board of Bain well past 1999.  Lying on such forms is a felony.  And Romney can play the "apology" card all he wants, it still doesn't explain why he filed two conflicting documents with the federal government - something that if you and I did, we'd be facing a criminal investigation.

Of course, Mitt Romney's entire political career is defined by conflicting positions.  He's waffled on abortion, gay rights, gun control, immigration, the bailout, health care reform, and even about Ronald Reagan.  Mitt Romney's reality is whatever's necessary at the moment.  And for whatever reason, it was beneficial to Romney to be both the head of Bain, and gone from Bain, at the same time, so he chose Option C, "all of the above."

The only problem is that it's one thing to lie to the American people, it's another to lie to the federal government in federal filings.  And the best explanation Romney can muster is "yes, it is a crime, so I obviously didn't do it."

It just doesn't work that way, outside of Mitt Romney's head.  In Romney-world, corporations aren't just people, they're better than people.  They, and the people who run them - the people who are them - can do no wrong.

Romney's ugly racial slur

He says Black people are lazy 
 "I had the privilege of speaking today at the NAACP convention and I gave them the same speech I am giving you. I don't give different speeches to different audiences alright. When I mentioned I am going to get rid of Obamacare they weren't happy,  That's OK, I want people to know what I stand for and if I don't stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that's just fine. But I hope people understand this, your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other guy - more free stuff. But don't forget nothing is really free."
The niggers - they don't fool Willard Romney.
No Sirree Bob, he knows how lazy the niggers are.

Romney knows niggers don't want to work or provide for their families.
He knows the niggers just want more free stuff.
That's how they are - niggers are just lazy.

Romney knows niggers well - you can't fool him.

So far: $50 million spent by repugicans in effort to repeal Healthcare Reform

They're fiscally conservative, you know. They know that they won't win a vote yet they've tried 33 times for show while sending the bill to the US taxpayer. Nice to see they're so serious about government spending, isn't it?

More from Huffington Post:
While repugicans lambast the cost of implementing health care reform, a new report shows that their efforts to repeal the law have come at a major cost to taxpayers -- to the tune of nearly $50 million.

The House of Representatives again voted to repeal President Obama's signature health care law on Wednesday, marking the 33rd time repugicans have attempted to take down the legislation. The 32 previous repeal efforts faltered at the hands of the Democrat-controlled Senate; the latest attempt is unlikely to break that pattern.

According to a report by CBS News, these efforts, widely viewed as symbolic political maneuvers, come with a high price tag.
As I tweeted yesterday, if the repugicans are so against government run healthcare, they all ought to give up their own government healthcare as a show of solidarity. Clearly they wouldn't want to be tainted with socialism, would they?

Did you know ...

That a Romney donor says lower income voters don't understand what's going on

That the number of homeless students tops one million

That 2012 on track to becoming hottest in u.s. history

That Ursula the sea witch forced to get liposuction

The truth hurts

Geithner asked British regulators to investigate Libor in 2008

It's great that he raised questions about the suspicious numbers, but at the same time, that was four years ago and nothing ever materialized until this year. What happened and why wasn't this pursued more aggressively by either side? Both sides knew just how important Libor was for everyone from countries, states, cities, homeowners, etc. yet nobody bothered to investigate criminal activity?
The problem that keeps coming back with this industry is the cozy relationship between bankers and regulators. Any reform needs to include something that stops this revolving door between the groups. For too many in the financial industry (and politics) working on the government side is a stepping stone or holding place while waiting for a big payout job on Wall Street. Too many are afraid to be firm with Wall Street because it will kill job opportunities for them.

The right wing media and Big Finance types also like to portray regulators as know-nothing government types who don't understand business. There may be some like that but there is no shortage of former Wall Street people who are regulators, so they know the game. The much bigger problem is the revolving door.

Suggestions are fine, but the people who funded the bailout want and need a lot more.
Geithner suggested to the Bank of England that authorities "strengthen governance and establish a credible reporting procedure" and "eliminate incentive to misreport," the Times reported, citing documents.

"We would welcome a chance to discuss these and would be grateful if you would give us some sense of what changes are possible," Geithner wrote in an e-mail, according to the Post.

Geithner recommended that the British Bankers Association collect quotes from a number of different banks but randomly select a subset of them when determining the Libor, the Journal reported.

Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Street artist David Choe gained some notoriety when it was revealed that he was paid in stock for a mural he painted at Facebook headquarters several years ago -stock that turned out to be worth millions when the company went public. His latest project was not so lucky. Choe painted this mural on a wall at the Big Island Harley-Davidson in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on Sunday. By Tuesday afternoon the entire wall had been painted over again in a solid gray! What happened? Choe had the support of the Harley-Davidson shop, but some complaints from the public spurred the the property owner that holds Harley-Davidson’s lease to order the art painted over.
However, in a prepared digital statement sent on Wednesday to West Hawaii Today, Choe said he had strong support from the motorcycle dealership as well as the (BJ) Penn Hawaii Youth Foundation before starting the mural. He noted the mural was not meant to be “dark,” but rather “all love and light,” and apologized for offending anyone.
“Hawaii is a healing, spiritual sanctuary,” Choe said. “The aloha spirit of this island cleanses and heals me; I feel refreshed and alive again when I’m here. I feel like I’m smiling (in Hawaii) while dying inside when I’m on the mainland, so I wanted to give back to the island. I had never painted an iwa (iwi) bird, or octopus, or humuhumunukunukuapuaa or Brother Iz, but I wanted to represent the aloha spirit and paint all these things, bright and colorful, to show my love for Hawaii.”
Luckily, the mural survives in photographs. More

Facebook scans chats and posts for criminal activity

Facebook has added sleuthing to its array of data-mining capabilities, scanning your posts and chats for criminal activity. If the social-networking giant detects suspicious behavior, it flags the content and determines if further steps, such as informing the police, are required.
Facebook’s software focuses on conversations between members who have a loose relationship on the social network. For example, if two users aren’t friends, only recently became friends, have no mutual friends, interact with each other very little, have a significant age difference, and/or are located far from each other, the tool pays particular attention.
Facebook scans chats and posts for criminal activity
The scanning program looks for certain phrases found in previously obtained chat records from criminals, including sexual predators (because of the Reuters story, we know of at least one alleged child predator who is being brought before the courts as a direct result of Facebook’s chat scanning). The relationship analysis and phrase material have to add up before a Facebook employee actually looks at communications and makes the final decision of whether to ping the authorities.

Judge Overturns Louisiana Town's Fortunetelling Ban

A federal judge has struck down a central Louisiana ordinance banning fortunetelling, palm reading, astrology and similar activities in the city of Alexandria.

Ten Presidents Nobody Remembers

We don’t recall ever seeing them on our coins, stamps, or monuments, but we’re told the following seven men were once president of the United States. Go figure!
1. Herbert Hoover (President #31, 1929–1933)
Although Herbert Hoover won the 1928 presidential election with almost 60 percent of the vote, today he’s basically remembered as a dam. Actually, many Americans probably think he was an FBI director or the guy who invented a vacuum. But Hoover was, in fact, a U.S. president — and an interesting one to boot. Orphaned at age 9, he worked and scraped his way into the newly minted Stanford University to study mining engineering. There, he married Lou Henry, the only female geology student at the school, and the pair traveled the world evaluating mining sites and learning languages. (In the White House, they often spoke in Mandarin when they didn’t want staff eavesdropping.) Hoover’s successful coordination of the U.S. Food Administration during WWI paved his way to the Oval Office. Although massively popular early in his term, a little thing called the Great Depression came along and seriously soured his approval rating. Herbert battled bravely against the dusty tide of poverty, but his programs were largely ineffective. Sorry, Herbert. Great dam, though. Great dam.
2. Martin Van Buren (President #8, 1837–1841)
Despite earning catchy nicknames such as “The Little Magician” and “The Red Fox of Kinderhook” on the political battlefield, M.V.B. is far from the MVP of the American presidency. One title he can claim, though, is that of the first president not of British descent. Van Buren was the son of a Dutch tavern owner and gained his taste for politics listening to debates in the rowdy rooms of the family saloon. A self-taught lawyer, the politically adept Van Buren quickly rose up the governmental ranks, landing a spot as President Andrew Jackson’s secretary of state in 1828. By keeping clear of the Cabinet infighting that marred Jackson’s first term, Van Buren replaced John Calhoun as Jackson’s vice president in the second term. In 1836, he won the presidency, but soon fizzled out in a daze of leadership defeats and ineffective policies. Don’t look for him on the penny any time soon.
3. Warren Harding (President #29, 1921–1923)
Warren G. Harding is generally regarded as the worst president ever. He was disappointing from the get-go, as the very basis of his campaign was boring. Harding ran on the promise of a “return to normalcy,” which he (somehow) felt people craved following Woodrow Wilson’s bold and visionary term. To make things worse, Harding ran the White House like a kind of boys’ club, where he and some friends known as the “Ohio Gang” enjoyed drinking, playing golf, and cheating on their wives. (Harding is widely rumored to have paid a gambling debt with antique White House china.) After admitting to friends that he felt overmatched by the job of president, Harding gave his Cabinet free reign and treated the presidency as more of a ceremonial post. Just as the friends he’d appointed were being nailed for corruption one after another, Harding contracted what doctors assumed was ptomaine poisoning and died of a related heart attack. No autopsy was performed, but rumors abounded that his wife poisoned him to protect what legacy he had left.
4. James Monroe (Presidet #5, 1817-1825)
Monroe is proof that being a good president doesn’t make you memorable. It’s a shame though, because the guy led a pretty memorable life. While still a teenager, he inherited his family’s plantation and ran it before heading off to college. He later dropped out of school to fight in the American Revolution. After gaining distinction as a leader and a patriot, Monroe was named the U.S. minister to France in 1794, and five years later, he was elected governor of Virginia. When Monroe took over the presidency, the country was on a high from a booming economy, so his political obstacles were easily vaulted. In fact, when it came time for re-election in 1820, everyone was so fat and happy they just said, “Eh, keep it up,” and let him run (mostly) unopposed. His presidency has been called the “Era of Good Feelings,” and while J.M. doesn’t get much airtime nowadays, he’s got no reason to hang his head.
5. Chester Arthur (President #21, 1881–1885)
Most people don’t know ol’ Chesty for anything other than his mammoth moustache. But he should be remembered as a guy who rose to the occasion. As a young man, Arthur worked on civil rights cases in New York before succumbing to the corrupt New York political machine of Roscoe “Boss” Conkling. (How anyone could fail to detect corruption in someone named Roscoe “Boss” Conkling is beyond us.) In 1881, Arthur became vice president under James Garfield, but soon butted heads with the president over an appointment that sapped Conkling’s power. In fact, Arthur and Garfield were hardly communicating when, a few months later, Garfield was assassinated, and Arthur suddenly became the big cheese. Instead of behaving like a pawn as everyone expected, Arthur became a man of the people, taking steps to cut back on cronyism and rebuffing pressures from big business. And what do you call him? The president with the big moustache. Nice going!
6. Millard Fillmore (President #13, 1850–1853)
Today, Millard Fillmore’s name is synonymous with overlooked. Need proof? In February 2006, a group called the Friends of Millard Fillmore hosted the 38th annual FOMF Trivia Hunt, a contest celebrating obscure knowledge. Fillmore was born in 1800 to a destitute family, but thanks to a merciless work ethic, he taught himself to read and eventually became a lawyer. That quickly segued into politics, and in 1848, the Whigs ran Fillmore for VP alongside Zachary Taylor. The pair won the election, but remained divided by their views on slavery (Taylor being a southern slave owner, and Fillmore, well, not). When Taylor died, Fillmore tried to appease the North and South by supporting the Compromise of 1850. Unfortunately, the move alienated the North and created a fair share of enemies on both sides. Thus tainted, he lost several bids for re-election and died of a stroke in 1874.
7. Franklin Pierce (President #14, 1853-1857)
The son of a two-term New Hampshire governor, Pierce rode the coattails of nepotism into the U.S. House and Senate by age 30. In 1852, he came out of nowhere to win the presidency. He beat out seemingly more dedicated candidates with a platform essentially based on trying to avoid the hot-button issue of slavery. But his presidency didn’t get off to a good start. Two months before Pierce took office, his 11-year-old son was killed in a train wreck. Hampered by heartbreak, Pierce tried not to rock the boat of peace between the North and South, but that plan didn’t exactly pan out. By signing the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, he inadvertently launched a frenzy of shooting matches in Kansas and re-awakened the conflict surrounding slavery. The Democrats reeling, Pierce was abandoned and denied the chance to run for a second term.
8. Rutherford B. Hayes (President #19, 1877–1881)
Rutherford B. Hayes is slightly more memorable due to the catchiness of his name, but he’s still more than obscure enough to make our list. Raised by a single mother, Hayes worked his way up in the world from next to nothing, studying at Harvard and practicing law in Cincinnati. When the Civil War erupted, Hayes was 39 and a father of three. Nonetheless, he volunteered to fight and quickly distinguished himself as a valuable leader. After parlaying this fame into a Senate seat and then the governorship of Ohio, he received the Republican presidential nomination in 1876. Until the chad-alicious scandal of 2000, this was perhaps America’s most contested election –ending with a special Congressional committee declaring Hayes the winner over Samuel J. Tilden by one electoral vote. Once he took office, Hayes got right to work healing a nation still battered by the Civil War. He later claimed to have inherited the country “divided and distracted” and left it “united, harmonious and prosperous.” Unfortunately for ol’ Rutherford, harmony and prosperity alone won’t get your mug on Mount Rushmore.
9. John Tyler (President #10, 1841–1845)
John Tyler was up against it from the start. For one thing, he only got to be president because he was the VP under William Henry Harrison, who died of pneumonia following his inauguration speech. Let’s put it this way: When your nicknames include “His Accidency,” you’re not destined to make a splash. After Harrison’s unscheduled departure, Tyler’s orchestration of an orderly transfer of power was his only recognized political success. Tyler didn’t want to alienate Harrison’s supporters, so he retained the departed president’s Cabinet. Unfortunately, they had little respect for their new leader. When he once vetoed a bill they favored, all but one of them resigned. That’s pretty much how the presidency went for Tyler. In fact, his own Whig party tried to have him impeached. Tyler gamely ran for re-election in 1844, but was persuaded to withdraw. Broke, Tyler returned to his Virginia plantation and spent a lot of time supporting the secession of the South. (That didn’t work out so well either.)
10. Zachary Taylor (President #12, 1849-1850)
Despite his privileged upbringing, ownership of slaves, and reputation as an “Indian fighter,” Zachary Taylor was the most popular man in America when he won the election in 1848. Like many members of our list, Taylor spent much of his presidency wrestling with the question of slavery. Unfortunately, this left little time for him to wrestle with the question of how not to contact cholera, and he died of the disease in 1850. Millard Fillmore took office next, almost immediately signing the Compromise of 1850 and wiping out what little progress Taylor had made. Welcome to the annals of anonymity, Zach.

Bonnie/Clyde Possessions Auctioned

Bonnie and Clyde's guns and other personal effects are up for auction online.

A "Coal torpedo"

A coal torpedo. This example was prepared as a model, with a partial coal dust coating and the plug left out. It was found in Jefferson Davis' office by Union General Edward Ripley when Union forces captured Richmond in April 1865.
The coal torpedo was a hollow iron casting filled with explosives and covered in coal dust, deployed by the Confederate Secret Service during the War Between the States, and intended for doing harm to Union steam transportation. When shoveled into the firebox amongst the coal, the resulting explosion would at the very least damage the boiler and render the engines inoperable. At worst, a catastrophic boiler explosion would kill crewmen, plus passengers, start a fire, perhaps, even sink the vessel.
More details at Wikipedia on the development and deployment of these devices (and a note that in the mid-nineteenth century the word "torpedo" was used for any booby trap or IED).  This part was interesting:
Courtenay[the inventor] had traveled to England in 1864 and remained there until 1867, trying to sell the "secret" of the coal torpedo to foreign governments... The Times in 1873 reported rumors that disreputable ship owners were purchasing coal torpedoes to put in their own ships as a form of insurance fraud, so that over-insured ships and cargo would sink while far out at sea, leaving no evidence. Other reports scoffed at the rumors... the reports stirred up popular interest in various supposed methods of sabotaging ships, and the coal torpedo even made an appearance in the short story, "That Little Square Box," by Arthur Conan Doyle...

Nazi Women's Hockey

Wonder if they ever made it to the winter games.

Exploring the Secret Nuclear Complexes of the Manhattan Project

Explore a chapter in history that changed the world forever – the making of the first nuclear bombs – through photos of these now disused Manhattan Project facilities. More 

Fifteen Creepy Abandoned Observatories

Looking for a great place to tell ghost stories and enjoy unparalleled views of the night sky? Well, one of these eerie abandoned observatories might just be the perfect place to host your next camping trip -assuming you’re up to date on your shots and don’t mind getting attacked by ghosts of angry astronomers past.

The Cool Physical Properties Behind Sky Color

Learn how scattered light rays make the sky into a beautiful spectrum of changing color and light. Sky color truly is a wonderful thing! More

Amazing Newly Discovered Microorganisms from Our Oceans

Amazing never-before-seen microorganisms from the world's oceans... Who knew phytoplankton and zooplankton could look so wondrous? More

Retro Photo


Summer heat

New skeleton find believed to be 2 million years old

South African scientists will share the country’s latest fossil discovery with the world using live virtual technology. Scientists from the ...
Continue Reading

A Remarkable Remnant Of Europe's Primeval Past

The Bialowieza Forest  
Straddling the border of Poland and Belarus, there is a reminder of what Europe used to look like before the arrival of man. Bialowieza Forest is the largest remaining part of a vast primeval forest that stretched for thousands of miles from corner to corner of the European plain. Something very large and very rare still stirs within the forest.

Little has changed here for thousands of years. It is still home to Europe's heaviest land mammal - the Wisent. Yet the area has been witness to tumultuous social and political changes, one of which was to see the wisent eradicated from the confines of the forest. Bialowieza saw little peace in the twentieth century.

The instant before ...

... the pain begins


Rare genetic mutation protects against Alzheimer's disease
With more than 5 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, the race is on to surface clues about causes and prevention.

Key Results Of Alzheimer's Drug Trials Coming Soon
We're about to find out if there will be a way anytime soon to slow the course of Alzheimer's disease.

First detailed timeline established for brain’s descent into Alzheimer’s
Scientists have assembled the most detailed chronology to date of the human brain’s long, slow slide into full-blown Alzheimer’s disease.
Continue Reading

The Autism Epidemic

The CDC estimated that rate of autism for 8-year-olds in the United States is one in 88 children. Why are there so many people with autism today? Consider that no one was autistic before 1944 -because the condition had not been named or described until then. By 1953, one doctor said the diagnosis had “threatens to become a fashion.” Is autism over-diagnosed or is it more prevalent for some reason? Or could it be that awareness and better diagnostic techniques identify people with autism that would have once been labeled as something else?
To most experts in autism and autism epidemiology, the biggest factors accounting for the boost in autism prevalence are the shifting definitions and increased awareness about the disorder. Several decades after the introduction of autism as a diagnosis, researchers have reported that professionals are still engaging in “diagnostic substitution”: moving people from one diagnostic category, such as “mental retardation” or “language impairment,” to the autism category. For instance, in one recent study, researchers at UCLA re-examined a population of 489 children who’d been living in Utah in the 1980s. Their first results, reported in 1990, identified 108 kids in the study population who received a classification of “challenged” (what we consider today to be “intellectually disabled”) but who were not diagnosed as autistic. When the investigators went back and applied today’s autism diagnostic criteria to the same 108 children, they found that 64 of them would have received an autism diagnosis today, along with their diagnosis of intellectual disability.
Further evidence of this shift comes from developmental neuropsychologist Dorothy Bishop and colleagues, who completed a study involving re-evaluation of adults who’d been identified in childhood as having a developmental language disorder rather than autism. Using two diagnostic tools to evaluate them today, Bishops’ group found that a fifth of these adults met the criteria for an autism spectrum diagnosis when they previously had not been recognized as autistic.
Another strong argument against the specter of an emergent autism epidemic is that prevalence of the disorder is notably similar from country to country and between generations. A 2011 UK study of a large adult population found a consistent prevalence of 1% among adults, “similar to that found in (UK) children” and about where the rates are now among US children. In other words, they found as many adults as there were children walking around with autism, suggesting stable rates across generations—at least, when people bother to look at adults. And back in 1996, Lorna Wing (the autism expert who’d translated Asperger’s seminal paper) tentatively estimated an autism spectrum disorder prevalence of 0.91% [PDF] based on studies of children born between 1956 and 1983, close to the 1% that keeps popping up in studies today.
It appears that quite a few people that were warehoused in insane asylums in previous centuries would now be diagnosed more accurately. Read a lot more about the rates of autism at The Crux.

A 13-year-old Chinese child worker in intensive care after colleagues pump him up like car tire

A 13-year-old boy is now under intensive care after two colleagues at the auto workshop he was working at forcibly inserted a pump nozzle into his anus, and pumped him up like a car tire. Du Chuanwang woke up from an 8-day coma three days ago, and was rushed from Dezhou, Shandong province to Beijing, on an ambulance, where he was placed in intensive care at the Beijing Bayi Children's Hospital.

The boy lost his mother at a tender age and has been working at the workshop to supplement the family income. The two workers who inflicted the grievous bodily harm on the boy "as a joke" have been detained by Shandong authorities.

Doctors say that had the two workers just stepped up the pressure a bit, the boy could have exploded. Aside from 28 punctures in the boy's intestines, he is also now suffering from multiple organ failure. When he arrived at the hospital, his intestines were hanging outside his body.

The boy and his younger brother shared a touching moment at the hospital before his transfer to Beijing. The younger brother was shocked beyond words to say anything when he arrived at the hospital. But he eventually cried out, "Brother, you need to get well soon and make me steamed buns!" The elder Chuanwang had learned how to make steamed buns and cook at the age of 7 after the death of their mother.

The 10 Most Serious Public Health Scares

From SARS to bird flu, it's as if we're always under the cosh from a new threat to our wellbeing. Learn more about the 10 most serious public health scares ever. More

New apples don't turn brown


This genetically modified apple stays looking fresh, but apple growers are sour over it.  
Read more

Don’t Eat Raw Crawfish

Doctors in the St. Louis area were puzzled by nine cases of paragonimiasis, a rare condition in which a parasite infects a patient’s lungs. The cases were unrelated to each other and spread over several years -and a further seven cases were found from other parts of Missouri. An investigation by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) uncovered what was happening. Apparently, some people who camp or raft on Missouri’s rivers drink too much alcohol. Some get so drunk that they eat raw crawfish found in the river. The crawfish can carry a parasitic fluke, which is killed when food is cooked. But if ingested raw, the fluke can make its way from the digestive system to a person’s lungs. This process can take months, and by the time a patient shows symptoms, it is difficult to trace the source of the infection.
Scientists from the CDC called in to help with the disease investigation were initially puzzled. Not by the disease so much, which is fairly common in Asian countries where raw crustaceans are part of the cuisine, but by why so many people were eating crawfish in Missouri.
Before the rash of illnesses here, there had been seven cases in all of North America in the previous 40 years.
Weil said a scientist at the CDC, which is in Atlanta, said to him, “In Georgia, we go canoeing and we see crawfish. It never occurred to me to eat one. What’s wrong with you people?”
Doctors think the known cases may be just the tip of the iceberg. However, the condition is treatable when properly diagnosed. More

Redneckus Americanus

New World Heritage Sites

world heritage sites
Earlier this month, UNESCO added six natural areas to its World Heritage List.


 The mysterious "Relámpago del Catatumbo" (Catatumbo lightning) is a unique natural phenomenon in the world. Located on the mouth of the Catatumbo river at Lake Maracaibo (Venezuela), the phenomenon is a cloud-to-cloud lightning that forms a voltage arc more than five kilometre high during 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours a night, and as many as 280 times an hour.
The rest with more photos.

Awesome Pictures

Majestic Range — Grand Teton National Park, WY by Light of the Wild on Flickr.

Jaw Dropping Shark Attack Bench

Forget about that boring old park bench, plant your keister on this shark bench…if you dare!
This shark attack bench is on display at a shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand, and it was clearly installed to drum up business for the local shark repellent store.

X-ray of undercover officer's dog leads to arrest of doctor selling fraudulent prescriptions

In a joint operation, Glendora police and an anti-drug task force on Thursday arrested a Glendora doctor accused of exchanging fraudulent medical prescriptions for cash. Dr. Rolando Lodevico Atiga, 69, is accused of writing prescriptions for Xanax and "very strong pain killers," such as oxycodone and Vicodin in exchange for cash payments as large as $400.

Glendora Police Capt. Tim Staab said Atiga, who has a prior felony conviction for medical fraud and has faced disciplinary action from the California Medical Board, would ask for payments in cash, and would promptly pocket the money, while asking for an additional $50 tip for his receptionist. Staab called the practice "highly irregular" and "very unorthodox." Staab said his department began receiving tips about the operation two months ago. "This guy's been doing this for quite some time and he's comfortable with it," Staab said.

Together with the task force, Glendora police began investigating Atiga's office, sending undercover officers to obtain fraudulent prescriptions on three occasions. In one instance, Atiga asked an undercover officer for proof that she was suffering from pain. "This undercover officer obtained X-rays of her dog, brought these X-rays into the office, showed the doctor," Staab said. "He looked at these X-rays, immediately said that pain medicine for her would be warranted and for $400 immediately issued a prescription for hydrocodone.

YouTube link.

"Either Sparky the dog really, really badly needs Percocet or this doctor is a petty drug dealer masquerading as a physician," Staab said. Atiga was arrested at his urgent care clinic on Baseline Drive on suspicion of violating a state health and safety code by issuing a prescription without a legitimate medical reason. As we was led to a Glendora police car, Atiga said he was not familiar with the charges he is facing but had no other comment. He was released from the Glendora jail on his own recognizance on Thursday afternoon.

Ni Hao

3-month-old kitten survives trip in freight container from Shanghai to Los Angeles

A 3-month-old kitten is recovering after being found locked without any food or water in a freight container that had just arrived in Los Angeles from Shanghai, China. "It is incredible that this kitten could survive the almost 2,700-mile journey by sea without food or water," said Marcia Mayeda, director of the county Department of Animal Care and Control.

According to the county, animal control officials were contacted on Wednesday by the manager of a Compton business that received the container and discovered the kitten inside, clinging to life. Aaron Reyes of the animal care department said the kitten was likely in the container for about two weeks.

The orange and white male kitten, a domestic short haired, was taken to the Carson Animal Care Center, where it was in guarded condition, but seemed to be improving. The veterinary staff reported that the kitten woke this morning "bright, alert and responsive." Staff and volunteers named the kitten "Ni Hao" - pronounced Nee How - which means "hello."

Ni Hao will be under quarantine for 60 days and will be monitored, which is standard protocol for animals entering the United States from other countries. Due to his young age, the kitten likely hasn't had any vaccinations yet, according to the county. "We will continue to provide the best care for Ni Hao, eventually looking for a suitable foster home then finally a permanent family to call his own," Mayeda said.

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