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

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Daily Drift

Something about a Chevy truck

Some of our readers today have been in:
Cambridge, England
Surabaya, Indonesia
Warsaw, Poland
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Colombo. Sri Lanka
Quito, Ecuador
Baghdad, Iraq
Waterloo, Canada
Jakarta, Indonesia
Shah Alam, Malaysia
Johannesburg, South Africa
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Maribor, Slovenia
Sanaa, Yemen
Belgrade, Serbia
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Trzin, Slovenia
Cape Town, South Africa
Doha, Qatar
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Ankara, Turkey
George Town, Malaysia
Istanbul, Turkey
Manila, Philippines
Kiev, Ukraine
Starachowice, Poland
Ottawa, Canada

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Today in History

1782 The British sign a preliminary agreement in Paris, recognizing American independence.
1838 Mexico declares war on France.
1861 The British Parliament sends to Queen Victoria an ultimatum for the United States, demanding the release of two Confederate diplomats who were seized on the British ship Trent.
1864 The Union wins the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee.
1900 The French government denounces British actions in South Africa, declaring sympathy for the Boers.
1900 Oscar Wilde dies in a Paris hotel room after saying of the room's wallpaper: "One of us had to go."
1906 President Theodore Roosevelt publicly denounces segregation of Japanese schoolchildren in San Francisco.
1919 Women cast votes for the first time in French legislative elections.
1935 Non-belief in Nazism is proclaimed grounds for divorce in Germany.
1945 Russian forces take Danzig in Poland and invade Austria.
1948 The Soviet Union complete the division of Berlin, installing the government in the Soviet sector.
1950 President Truman declares that the United States will use the A-bomb to get peace in Korea.
1956 The United States offers emergency oil to Europe to counter the Arab ban.
1961 The Soviet Union vetoes a UN seat for Kuwait, pleasing Iraq.
1974 India and Pakistan decide to end a 10-year trade ban.
1974 Pioneer II sends photos back to NASA as it nears Jupiter.
1979 Pope John Paul II becomes the first pope in 1,000 years to attend an Orthodox mass.

Non Sequitur


Centuries ago native peoples, such as the Picts, Gales, Gauls and Celts, kept track of the seasons by giving a distinct name to each full moon. Last night's full moon is known as the Frost Moon.

Celtic Theology

In Celtic mythology, there is a relation between the ruler and deity, and that of the ruler and the land. The king was wedded in a sacred marriage to the goddess that was supposed to ensure the fertility of the land.

Quite often in ancient religions or myths, the earth and land was often represented by the feminine entities, such as the goddesses, or they were the personification of the land or e
arth. The goddess of the land often had the attributes of the mother goddess or the fertility goddess.

Of course, it is not necessary that she is a goddess; she may be the queen or the representative of the goddess, like a priestess. The king's consort, whoever she may be, she is often described as the "Sovereignty Goddess". The future fertility and prosperity of the kingdom depends upon the mating the king mating with the sovereignty of the land.

In Irish mythology, there were number of women or goddesses who were the Sovereignty of Ireland. Among them were Morrigan (and her triple aspects as the goddess of war – Badb, Nemain and Macha), Eriu and her sisters Banba and Fodla.

The three sisters, Eriu, Banba and Fodla were each a poetic name of Ireland. They were Sovereignty of Ireland, as well as Danann goddesses. However, Eriu was the most famous of the three sisters. In the Lebor Gabala (Book of Invasions) and Cath Maige Tuired (Second Battle of Mag Tuired), Eriu had a lover, named Elatha, who was Fomorian king. She became the mother of King Bres of Ireland, when Nuada lost his arm. With the defeat of the Fomorians in the second battle of Mag Tuired, she was one of the wives of the hero Lugh Lamfada, as consort. When the three grandsons of Dagda murdered Lugh, Eriu married one of the brothers, named MacGreine. Her sisters married the other two brothers – Banba to MacCuill and Fodla to MacCecht. So Eriu was the mother of one king and the wife of two kings.

When the Milesians arrived, the three sovereignties of Ireland knew that the Milesians would conquer Ireland, so each queen tried to persuade the Milesians to name the land after her name. Eriu, the last queen to approach the Milesians, promising them victory over her people. Eriu and her sisters fell with their husbands in the Battle of Tailtiu. As they had promised, the Milesians named the entire isle to Eriu, Erin or Eire, which is another name for Ireland.

One of the most amazing goddesses was Morrigan. Morrigan was the daughter of Delbáeth and Ernmas. Morrigan also had two sisters, Badb and Macha (and possibly of a third named Nemain).

Here she is seen as three separate figures. However, it is altogether possible that Badb, Macha and Nemain were all one person, known as the Morrigu, but each one represented one aspect of the goddess. So the Morrigu were the triple goddesses of war. They were also the sovereignty goddesses of Ireland, married to the high kings.

Badb and Nemain had been named as the wives of Neit, a shadowy figure in Irish myths, while Macha was the wife and consort of Nuada Airgedlámh. Macha and Nuada died in the Second Battle of Mag Tuired. Macha was also said to be the wife of Nemed, the leader of the Nemedians, a race that had settled on Ireland before the arrival of the Tuatha de Danann.

Before the Second Battle of Mag Tuired, the god Dagda encountered a beautiful woman at Glenn Etin at Samhain night (the eve before the battle). Dagda seduced and slept with this woman. It is believed that this woman was Morrigan, and she foretold victory to the Danann, promising aid. Each year, on Samhain night, Dagda had to mate with Morrigan, to ensure the fertility and prosperity of Ireland, because the war goddess was the sovereignty of Ireland.

Sovereignty goddesses were not limited to marriage with the high king of Ireland. Each province in Ireland had a sovereignty goddess in their province. There were also another Macha, who was the sovereignty of Ulster, and in the neighbouring province, Medb (Maeve) was the sovereignty of Connacht. There are uncertainty of whether the Ulaid Macha was the same queen/goddess as the Nemedian Macha and the Danann Macha.

However, the idea of sacred marriage between a king and the goddess doesn't just appear in the Irish and Welsh myths. In fact, a king wedded to the goddess was a very ancient ritual of many different ancient cultures. And like the Celtic myths, the sacred marriage had to do with the fertility of the land.

The one that come to my mind is the myth of the Sumerian goddess, named Inanna, whom the Babylonian called Ishtar. Inanna's attributes combined the Greek goddesses Aphrodite and Athena, because she was the goddess of love and war. Inanna had also being identified as the Phoenician fertility goddess Astarte, and the Egyptian Isis (Auset). So in a sense, Inanna was the sovereignty goddess of Sumer.

In the Norse mythology, the sacred marriage was called hierós gámos, though the marriage was between the sky god and the earth goddess. Since agriculture was important to the Scandinavians, the union of the between the deities, would ensure the fertility of the land. The soils required not only to be fertile, but it need sunlight and rain.

According to the Sumerian myths, she was the wife of Dumuzi the shepherd god. For some reason, Inanna descended into the Underworld, and Ereshkigal, the goddess of the dead, trapped her sister Inanna in her domain. However, Enki the god of wisdom send two of his creature to rescue Inanna. When Inanna escaped from her prison in the Underworld and fled to her home in the heaven, Ereshkigal send her demons after her sister. Inanna managed to protect herself and her children, but she could not protect her husband. Dumuzi was dragged into the Underworld. However part of his spirit escaped death.

As sovereignty of the land, Inanna was said to be the bride of each king. Each king was seen as the incarnation of Dumuzi, the husband of Inanna. So each king actually married and mated with the priestess of Inanna (Ishtar).

Since the legend of King Arthur and the Grail had also borrowed and used Celtic motifs and symbolism, they had also used the symbolism of the sacred marriage.

In the Welsh myths, Guinevere was known as Gwenhwyfar, a queen and goddess of Britain. So Gwenhwyfar was a personification of Britain; she was the sovereignty of Britain. When Arthur married Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere), he was wedded to the land (Britain).

However, in the mainstream Arthurian literature, Guinevere not only representing the kingdom of Logres (Britain), but the source of Arthur's earthly power came from the Round Table.

There were several versions on the origin of the Round Table, but original table (told by Wace, in the Roman de Brut, c. 1155) was constructed so that all knights were equal, with no one having precedence over the others, regardless background (see the Life of King Arthur and Origin of the Round Table). The Round Table had nothing to do with Merlin and the Grail. But as the stories of the Grail became entwined with Arthur's knight, the origin of the Round Table was changed.

As early as 1200, a poet named Robert de Boron wrote a trilogy concerning the Grail: Joseph d'Arimathie, Merlin and Perceval. According to Boron, the Round Table was constructed by Merlin, using the Grail Table of Joseph of Arimathea as a model. Also Merlin made the table round because the circle was like the Earth. To shorten this story Merlin had originally built this for Uther Pendragon (Arthur's father), but at his death, King Leodegan of Camelide, the father of Guinevere, received the Round Table from Uther. When Arthur married Guinevere, Leodegan had bestowed the Round Table (and 100 knights) to Arthur as a dowry. (More detail about can be found in the legend of Excalibur, the Origin of the Round Table, and Merlin and the Grail.

The whole point of this story is that Guinevere was very much the symbol of the wholeness of the Round Table and the kingdom of Logres, in some way, she represented the power of kingship more so than Arthur himself. The Queen was one with the kingdom and the fellowship of the Round Table. The health of the kingdom and the fellowship of the Round Table depended upon Guinevere, since she owned the Round Table.

In the Mort Artu (Death of King Arthur, part of the romance in Vulgate Cycle), the Round Table had split because Guinevere was caught in her bedchamber with her lover Lancelot. She was to sentence to death, but Lancelot rescued her. War resulted with Arthur and his kinsmen against Lancelot and his kinsmen, and the division between two factions was symbolised the division of the Round Table. The division and war had seriously weakened Arthur's own power. However, the Round Table had further fractured when Mordred, his illegitimate son, acting as viceroy in Arthur's absence, had seized kingship and the kingdom. In this version, Mordred tried to force Guinevere into marrying him, but the queen had managed to escape.

In some early versions, it was Mordred, not Lancelot, who was Guinevere's lover. Mordred in the early legend was Arthur's nephew and the brother of Gawain. The king was absence in the war against Rome, when Guinevere had willingly seduced her husband's nephew. Through marriage to the Sovereignty of Britain (Guinevere), no one could prevent Mordred becoming the king of Britain. Like the later legend, Mordred's usurpation was short-lived.

In whichever versions you may have read Arthur's kingship was in crisis. By marrying his aunt, the Queen, Mordred had a legitimate claim to the throne and crown. Whoever marry the Queen, has the key to the kingdom, because the Queen was the kingdom.

In the legend of the Grail, the Grail King, sometimes also known as the Fisher King or the Maimed King, was more closely associated with the fertility of the land than Arthur. Because the Grail King was maimed, his kingdom became a desolated and barren Waste Land. (There are several version of his maiming, so I won't go over this, but if you are interested, then read the Fisher King.) Since the Grail King was wounded in the thighs and became sterile, so his land became barren.

To restore the kingdom and the fertility of the land, the Grail King must be healed. Again, there are many versions of how the king was healed, but the most common version was that Grail hero, had to ask the correct question about the mystery of Grail: "Whom does the Grail serve?"

The whole point of this is that land was linked to the king's health, as if he was actually wedded to the land. Cause damage or injury to the king, then the land will suffer too.

As can be seen, the Grail King and his land shared a common theme of the Celtic myths.

The wholeness of the kingdom depended upon the king being completely healthy. This bring us back to the Irish myths, where a king who suffered from physical imperfection or disfigurement, he was barred from kingship. Nuada lost his arm in the war against the Firbolgs. With only one arm he had to abdicate to Bres. Bres was physical beautiful and healthy, but he was unfit to rule as well, because he was a tyrant and the most ungenerous of king, which made him unpopular with his people. Such was Bres' tyranny that Nuada was first given a silver arm, so that Nuada can rule again. Later, Miach, the son of Dian Cécht, restored Nuada's arm, so that there was no uncertainty of Nuada's right to rule Ireland.

Another famous king that was disqualified from ruling Ireland was Cormac Mac Airt was disfigured. Cormac, the high king of Ireland, lost one eye, so he had to abdicate to his son Cairbre Lifechair.

Word ...

The truth be told

Scientists confirm sea levels rising 60% faster than projected

Don’t get me wrong, the experts are no Bill O’Reilly or Faux News loving crazy religious figures, so they don’t have the stamp of approval from Roger Ailes or Rupert Murdoch. So there’s your caveat. They’re merely peer-reviewed experts who have won over fellow experts.Although there are fortunately some Faux News viewers who are waking up to the realization that they’ve been swindled, most are still well behind the curve on climate change. Perhaps the flooding of the New York subway system was a wakeup, but it’s not as though reality has ever dented their ignorance shell before.
Hurricane Sandy NYC floods
As the NBC video segment below mentions, we should expect Hurricane-Sandy-like storms at least once every 15 years. Much of southern Florida and the Gulf Coast has a serious risk of being underwater if the problem is not addressed.
The big problem now is the continuing battle with outlets like Faux News who deny science for political purposes.
Murdoch fails to understand (or care about) the real problems of real Americans. Then again, I’ve often asked myself, to paraphrase Sarah Palin, whether he’s a “real” American at all.
NBC News:
“Global warming has not slowed down or is lagging behind the projections,” lead author Stefan Rahmstorf, a researcher at Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said in a statement. “The IPCC is far from being alarmist and in fact in some cases rather underestimates possible risks.”
The experts added that the faster sea level rise is unlikely to be caused by a temporary ice discharge from Greenland or Antarctica ice sheets because it correlates very well with the increase in global temperature.
The IPCC earlier estimated that seas rose by about 7 inches over the last century, and its most recent report, published in 2007, estimated a range of between 7 and 23 inches this century — enough to worsen coastal flooding and erosion during storm surges.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Did you know ...

That Karl Rove's new plan to save the repugican cabal will fail

About the postal deadlines for sending gifts to troops this holiday season

About these 5 charts about global warming that will make you very, very worried

That the world almost ended in 1883

Can democrats retake the house in 2014?

That next Saturday is a national day of action alert to preserve middle class tax breaks

The idiot repugican rep. paul broun: science is straight from the pits of hell

Oh no!!! Homosexuality is caused by incubi and succubi!!

About the future of the white man's party

Here are some other things to worry about besides the fiscal cliff

That in Kentucky you could spend a year in jail for not believing in god

That the nation's largest group of Ob/Gyn's thinks all birth control should be over-the-counter

Iconic 3D movie audience photo taken 60 years ago this week

LIFE 3 D 1952
Sixty years ago this week, JR Eyerman snapped the iconic photo above during the Hollywood premiere of Bwana Devil, the first full-length 3D movie. "A LION in your lap! A LOVER in your arms!" This is the caption that accompanied the photo in LIFE:
These megalopic creatures are the first paying audience for the latest cinematic novelty, Natural Vision. This process gets a three-dimensional effect by using two projectors with Polaroid filters and giving the spectators Polaroid spectacles to wear. The movie at the premiere, called Bwana Devil, did achieve some striking three-dimensional sequences. But members of the audience reported that the glasses were uncomfortable, the film itself — dealing with two scholarly looking lions who ate up quantities of humans in Africa — was dull, and it was generally agreed that the audience itself looked more startling than anything on the screen.

Random Celebrity Photo

Billie Burke long before she played Glinda the Good Witch of the North

We don’t need Facebook to violate our privacy; we do it to ourselves

You Own What You Post on Facebook

Earlier this week, my Facebook homepage was lit up by a series of posts from friends proclaiming that they were no longer subject to Facebook’s litany of privacy abuses and thefts of intellectual property.
As it turned out, both the intellectual property theft and the idea that it could be prevented on a ‘because-I-said-so’ basis were poorly-vetted, and previously-debunked hoaxes.

And You Control How Facebook Shares that Info (If You Change Your Privacy Settings)


A quick look at Facebook’s statement on rights and responsibilities and data use policy make abundantly clear that “you own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared.”
It’s true that you need to change your privacy settings to prevent the website from using the information you post for research, promotional or analytical use, but that does not change the fact that you own what you post. (Two key privacy settings in Facebook are found here and here.)
Speaking of which, what are we posting online about ourselves, that we might not even realize?

Who Needs Facebook to Violate Our Privacy? We Do It Quite Well On Our Own

According to Consumer Reports’ latest “State of the Net” survey, we don’t need Facebook to violate our privacy; we do it quite well by ourselves. More than ever, users are making a wide array of information including our preexisting health conditions, plans for the day, phone number and personal finances public and available to employers, insurers, the IRS, divorce lawyers and criminals.
Moreover, 13 million users have not set, or didn’t know about, their privacy settings and 28 percent of Facebook users share all or almost all of their posts with an audience wider than just their friends. Unsurprisingly, eleven percent of Facebook users report having privacy-related problems. But their problems, ranging from identity theft to someone using their log in information, are by and large completely preventable.
Criticisms of Facebook’s stance on intellectual property are not only wrong and hypocritical; they are also misguided. Who owns social media is not at issue; at issue is the feed-like amount of data Facebook and other social networking sites collect, sell and distribute about things they should have no knowledge of. We have a great deal of control over the information we make public; we have far less control over information that should be kept private.
That Facebook, along with other social media sites, knows who I email, what other websites I visit and what I buy online is far more worrisome for those concerned about online privacy than who “owns” what is put in the public domain. Furthermore, Facebook’s support of CISPA, which would have allowed the government to circumvent due process and gather information from social networking sites without a warrant, represents a bigger threat to personal privacy than any faux-theft that can supposedly be wished away via online disclaimer.
In short, we own what we post publicly but we don’t own what we’d rather keep private.
That original poem you posted in a status update? Don’t worry; Mark Zuckerburg can’t claim that he wrote it. He can, however, use it and the Google searches you made to help tailor the ads you see, suggest possible friends, and, if he had his way, sell you out to the government if the poem is too risqué.

America's "Six Strike" copyright punishment system on hold until 2013

The American Six-Strikes regime -- through which ISPs voluntarily agree to punish their customers if the entertainment industry accuses them of piracy -- has been delayed, again, to "early 2013." The Center for Copyright Information (CCI) -- which will act on the entertainment industry's behalf -- blames Hurricane Sandy for the delay.
TorrentFreak has learned that the main problem is to get all actors, including the ISPs and the American Arbitration Association, lined up to move at once. This proved to be much more difficult than anticipated.
Three of the five U.S. ISPs participating in the copyright alerts plan have revealed what mitigation measures they will take after the fourth warning.
AT&T will block users’ access to some of the most frequently websites on the Internet, until they complete a copyright course. Verizon will slow down the connection speeds of repeated pirates, and Time Warner Cable will temporarily interrupt people’s ability to browse the Internet.
It’s expected that the two remaining providers, Cablevison and Comcast, will take similar measures. None of the ISPs will permanently disconnect repeat infringers as part of the plan.
I love that AT&T will force its customers to complete copyright reeducation camps designed by the entertainment industry, and will withhold Facebook and YouTube until they pass the course and demonstrate their proficiency in parroting back Big Content's party line.
I wonder if Facebook will sue them for tortious interference.
Six Strikes Anti-Piracy Plan Delayed Till 2013

SOPA's daddy, Lamar Smith, to chair the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology

Remember Lamar Smith (the guy who tried to pass off SOPA as being good for the internet)? Well there is a lot of talk about his chairing the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. This is like making an arsonist the fire-chief."

Illinois delays vote on legalizing medical marijuana

Cannabis plants that will soon be harvested grow at Northwest Patient Resource Center in Seattle, Washington January 27, 2012. REUTERS/Cliff DesPeaux
The Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday put off a vote to legalize marijuana use for medical purposes because the measure lacked the support for approval, its chief sponsor said.
Democratic Representative Lou Lang did not request a vote on his proposal because he did not want it to fail.
"He didn't call it because he was short of the votes," said Lang's spokeswoman, Beth Hamilton. Lang had earlier predicted the measure would pass if a few undecided members shifted to support.
The proposal for a three-year pilot program would make Illinois the second most populous state in the nation after California to allow medical marijuana. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington state voters decided on November 6 to allow recreational use of cannabis.
Lang said he could try again to pass the proposal when the Illinois legislature meets in early December.
The Illinois bill would be the most restrictive in the country, according to Lang.
Some Republicans in the Illinois House said they opposed legalizing medical marijuana because it could be a "gateway drug" to abuse of other illegal substances. Others said they were not convinced that the benefits of smoking marijuana for certain medical conditions outweighed the potential negative consequences.
Under the Illinois bill, patients would have to be diagnosed with one of 30 debilitating medical conditions, register with the Department of Public Health and have written certification from their physician. Patients would be limited to no more than 2.5 ounces (70 grams) of marijuana every two weeks.
Under U.S. federal law, marijuana is considered an addictive substance and distribution is a federal offense. Federal law prohibits physicians from writing prescriptions, so many have issued "referrals" or "recommendations." The administration of President Barack Obama has discouraged federal prosecutors from pursuing people who distribute marijuana for medical purposes under state laws.

Woman on trial in killing of Florida lottery winner

Defendant Dorice "Dee Dee" Moore arrives in court at the Hillsborough County Courthouse for the opening statements in her case Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 in Tampa, Fla. Moore is charged with the murder of Florida Lottery winner Abraham Shakespeare. (AP Photo/The Tampa Tribune, Jay Conner, Pool) 
Abraham Shakespeare could barely read, wrote his name in block letters and had given away most of his $17 million in lottery winnings when he became friends with Dorice "Dee Dee" Moore, a calculating woman who later became his financial adviser, prosecutors said Wednesday.
During opening statements in Moore's first-degree murder trial in Tampa, assistant state attorney Jay Pruner said Moore swindled what was left of Shakespeare's winnings from his bank account in 2009, then killed him and buried his body under a concrete slab in her backyard.
Pruner said when Shakespeare won the lottery, his life "drastically and dramatically changed" — and that the money caused all sorts of problems, eventually leading to his death. One detective testified that Moore told him that Shakespeare was tired of people asking him for money.
Moore, 40, wore a yellow button-down blouse and black pants to court, and her long, curly hair framed her face as she highlighted notes with a yellow marker during Wednesday's trial.
Her attorney, Byron Hileman, said there is no evidence that ties his client to the gun used to shoot Shakespeare.
"There are no eyewitnesses who can testify that Ms. Moore shot and killed Mr. Shakespeare or was present when he was shot and killed or had any part carrying out his murder," Hileman said, adding that the evidence against Moore is mostly circumstantial.
Later in the day, witnesses included two investigators from the county medical examiner's office and a sheriff's detective.
Dr. Dollette White, the assistant medical examiner that worked on Shakespeare's autopsy, said his body was "mummified" and partially skeletonized. She said his body had been underground for a few months, but it was difficult to pinpoint exactly how long based on decomposition.
White also said that two bullets were recovered from Shakespeare's body, both lodged near his spine and heart. X-rays of Shakespeare's chest were shown to the jury.
Both attorneys agreed on one thing: that by the time Shakespeare and Moore met, the man had already spent or given away most of his lottery winnings. Friends and acquaintances owed him millions of dollars, the lawyers said, and Pruner called him a "soft touch."
Moore befriended Shakespeare in late 2008, claiming she was writing a book "about how people were taking advantage of him," said Pruner.
Prosecutors said Moore became his financial adviser, eventually controlling every asset he had left, including an expensive home, the debt owed to him and a $1.5 million annuity. Pruner said that during the trial, he will prove that Moore shifted money from Shakespeare's bank accounts to her own, and that she formed a company in his name — yet didn't allow him to withdraw money from the bank account attached to that company.
In April 2009, Shakespeare disappeared. Pruner said he was shot, killed and buried under a 30-by-30-foot concrete slab in the back of Moore's home.
Family didn't report him missing for seven months. During that time, Pruner said Moore simultaneously lied to Shakespeare's friends and family about seeing him around town while trying to pay others to say they had spotted him.
Pruner said she enlisted one of Shakespeare's friends, Greg Smith, to deliver a typed letter to Shakespeare's mother, ostensibly from Shakespeare — even though he was barely literate.
Smith is expected to take the witness stand because he became a confidential informant and recorded numerous conversations and meetings with Moore — who told police various stories about her relationship with Shakespeare and his disappearance.
In January 2010, investigators searched Moore's property and found Shakespeare's body.
Moore's attorney acknowledged that "we certainly would agree that Ms. Moore had some knowledge that something happened," and told a story about a meeting involving Shakespeare and a couple of guys at Moore's home.
"The fact is that something happened," said Hileman. "Ms. Moore may have suspected something happened but she was not an eyewitness to details."
The trial is expected to last two weeks.

Retro Photo


Aber fraulein..was ist Los ?
German Flapper..1920
Aber fraulein..was ist Los ?
German Flapper..1920

Two dozen Tibetans have set themselves on fire this month, in protest of Chinese rule

At least 24 ethnic Tibetans have burned themselves alive this month alone, in "a dramatic acceleration of the protests against authoritarian Chinese rule," and "a new phase in the Tibetan protests," according to the AP.

Close to 100 have self-immolated since 2009, but what's different, in addition to the sheer numbers, is that most self-immolators now are lay people, not monks or nuns.

In Finland, piracy fines are orders of magnitude higher than fines for rape, torture and murder

Remember the scandal last week about the girl whose laptop was confiscated for downloading a album from Chisu?

Well, here's another shocking story about the same company, with a staggering €400,000 fine to a young man aged 21.

According to this, piracy is worse then rape or murder in Finland, i.e. a fine for murder is up to €11,000 and rape/torture €2,000.

The fine for downloading is a whopping €800,000 to a couple.

Moral of the story?

Learn to use a proper peerblock."

Depressed Swedes get bus stop light therapy

An energy company in Umeå, northern Sweden, has installed phototherapy lights in the city’s bus stops to combat the short days, lack of sunlight, and residents’ depression. "We wanted to show we care about the people living here in Umeå at this dark time of the year, people get depressed if they don't see the light,” Umeå Energi CEO Göran Ernstson said. The company installed so called anti-SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) lights in 26 of the city’s bus stops last week.

Umeå, which lies some 500 kilometres north of Stockholm, is only light for around five hours a day at this time of year. Into December, as the temperature plummets, this figure shrinks by an hour. The snow has not yet settled, and as a result the city is even darker than usual, something the energy company wants to fight artificially. “Umeå residents both own us and are our customers and we believe we all need to be re-energized when it gets like this," Ernstson continued.

"Even though it snowed today, the sun had set by 2pm. People need to get their vitamin D somehow!” The energy company boasts that the energy used to power the lamps comes from renewable sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower. In addition, the lights filter out harmful UV rays, preventing potential eye and skin damage for those standing beneath them waiting for the bus. However, not everyone in Umeå is beaming with the new additions to the bus stops.

Local resident Tomas Helleborg claims the lights are so dazzling that it’s almost a struggle moving past them. “The light is quite bright indeed and directed to the street outside the bus-stops, and I don't really like them,” he said. “They’re simply too bright when you’re biking or driving past in the dark!” Light therapy is a known treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder by compensating for lost sunlight exposure and resetting the body's internal clock. Also known as heliotherapy and phototherapy, it can be also used to treat skin, sleep and psychiatric disorders.

Embroidered Straightjacket

straightjacketDuring the 1890s, a German woman named Agnes Richter was institutionalized for a mental illness. She wasn't allowed to use conventional writing instruments, but she was allowed to sew. Richter was a good seamstress, so she embroidered hundreds of mysterious words and phrases on a straightjacket. Gail Hornstein, a psychologist, wrote a book about her exploration of this unique artifact and what it reveals about Richter's mind.

Awesome Pictures


Daniel Seung Lee

Just Like in the Alps

Kyrgyzstan resembles the Alps in some places. But if you travel in Europe you drive along the ideal asphalt with beautiful marking, nice parking lots, toilets and so-called viewpoints. In Juuku gorge everything is quite on the contrary. More

Eleven Magnificent Wonders Of The Ice World

In polar and other cold regions there are ice, snow and water formations that are unusual, unique, and some of them so beautiful they take your breath away.

Most of these wonders of nature can be visited only by scientists and rare adventurers who are ready for significant physical and financial exertions. Because of their volatility and locations, these formations can be seen only at certain periods of the year.

Evidence of Water Ice on Mercury

Data sent back to earth from the MESSENGER spacecraft shows that Mercury holds water ice and other frozen materials. We think of Mercury as a hot planet, but there are deep craters near the planet's poles are never touched by sunlight. Still, any water ice in the craters is buried under other materials.
MESSENGER uses neutron spectroscopy to measure average hydrogen concentrations within Mercury's radar-bright regions. Water-ice concentrations are derived from the hydrogen measurements. "The neutron data indicate that Mercury's radar-bright polar deposits contain, on average, a hydrogen-rich layer more than tens of centimeters thick beneath a surficial layer 10 to 20 centimeters thick that is less rich in hydrogen," writes David Lawrence, a MESSENGER Participating Scientist based at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the lead author of one of the papers. "The buried layer has a hydrogen content consistent with nearly pure water ice."

Data from MESSENGER's Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) — which has fired more than 10 million laser pulses at Mercury to make detailed maps of the planet's topography — corroborate the radar results and Neutron Spectrometer measurements of Mercury's polar region, writes Gregory Neumann of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. In a second paper, Neumann and his colleagues report that the first MLA measurements of the shadowed north polar regions reveal irregular dark and bright deposits at near-infrared wavelength near Mercury's north pole.  
Read more about the discovery at NASA.

Do missing Jupiters mean massive comet belts?

Using ESA’s Herschel space observatory, astronomers have discovered vast comet belts surrounding two nearby planetary systems known to host only ...
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Seeing the world through the eyes of an Orangutan

She is a captive bred Sumatran orangutan. He is a neuroscientist specializing in cognitive and sensory systems research. With the ...
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Seven Bizarre Prehistoric Versions of Modern Day Animals

I love dinosaurs, a pure and simple fact. So how could I not post about this great list of 7 Bizarre Prehistoric Versions of Modern Day Animals? Above is an image of the real-life monster best known as the "BoarCroc" or the "dinosaur slicer." It's a giant super-crocodile that may have dined on dinosaurs.
The little kid inside of me is going crazy with excitement. As a cub scout (pre-boy scout) as part of a camping trip I got to spend a night in The Field Museum in Chicago, where I am from. We camped out in the dinosaur exhibit because that is only logical place for a boy of 11 to spend his night in the museum. Needless to say I loved it, and that same love is apparent as I read about this "BoarCroc."
Anyone who's watched more than two hours of the Discovery Channel knows that crocodiles are sharp-toothed, armored, writhing instruments of death ... but only if they're in about five feet of water. Ten feet farther on shore and suddenly they're 800 pounds of slow-moving, useless leather with sharp teeth at one end. If nothing else, the fact that crocodiles can't and probably won't chase you on land is the most comforting characteristic of what would otherwise be a relentless murder machine.

Except that about 100 million years ago, that wasn't the case. Kaprosuchus saharicus was evolution's stab at giving one predator every advantage except the ability to fly, making it completely unbeatable. Paleontologists often casually talk about them galloping after dinosaurs on their long legs like that's just a thing crocodiles do regularly.
Be sure to check out the entire list.


Paleontologists have constructed a model of a prehistoric penguin that stood almost 4 feet 6 inches tall when it lived in what is now New Zealand, approximately 25 million years ago.

Named Kairuku, a Maori word that means “diver who returns with food,” the penguin was reconstructed from fossilised bones that were collected in 1977 by Dr Ewan Fordyce, a paleontologist from the University of Otago.

Animal Pictures


Happy Mother’s Day everyone! Here’s a picture of a Red Wolf with its cubs at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina, which serves as the core area for reintroducing Red Wolves into the wild.Photo: Greg Koch