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

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Daily Drift


Cloudy Day at Jackson Lake, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
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Today is All Fools Day

and National Fun Day 

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Today in History

1572   The Sea Beggars under Guillaume de la Marck land in Holland and capture the small town of Briel.
1778   Oliver Pollock, creates the dollar sign.
1863   The first wartime conscription law goes into effect in the United States.
1865   At the Battle of Five Forks, Gen. Robert E. Lee begins his final offensive.
1868   The Hampton Institute is founded in Hampton, Va.
1905   Berlin and Paris are linked by telephone.
1918   England's Royal Air Force is formed.
1920   Germany's Workers Party changes its name to the Nationalist Socialist German Worker's Party (Nazis).
1924   Adolf Hitler sentenced to five years in prison for the "Beer Hall Putsch."
1928   China's Chiang Kai-shek begins attacks on communists.
1929   The yo-yo is introduced in the United States by Louie Marx.
1939   The Spanish Civil War effectively ends with the official recognition of Franco's government.
1942   The U.S. Navy begins a partial convoy system in the Atlantic.
1945   U.S. forces launch invasion of Okinawa.
1946   A miner's strike in the U.S. idles 400,000 workers.
1948   The Berlin Airlift begins, relieving the surrounded city from the Soviet siege.
1951   United Nations forces again move northward across the 38th Parallel in Korea.
1954   The U.S. Air Force Academy is founded in Colorado.
1968   The U.S. Army launches Operation Pegasus, the reopening of a land route to the besieged Khe Sanh Marine base.
1970   The U.S. Army charges Captain Ernest Medina for his role in the My Lai massacre.
1982   The United States transfers control of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama.

Non Sequitur


All Fools Day

Check out April Fool's hoaxes from NPR, Google, the BBC and other supposedly professional organizations.
Fake ads have never been more popular. Why do we like to be tricked?

Professional Sleeper is a Dream Job

Here's a dream job for ya: Hotel Finn in Helsinki, Finland, is seeking a professional sleeper to test the comfort of their rooms and blog about it. Sign me up, Finland!
Hotel manager Tio Tikka told the AP that they were looking for a “dynamic person to write a quality blog” about their experience living in the “best spot of summery Helsinki.” Being able to doze off is not the only job requirement. You must be fluent in Finnish and English to apply. Knowledge of Russian is an advantage.
According to the AP, some 600 people have applied for the sleeper position so far.
Yue Wang spotted it first, but inexplicably didn't call dibs, over at TIME.

The Story Of New York's Sidewalk Clock

In lower Manhattan, blocks from where the World Trade Center once stood, embedded deep into the sidewalk, is a clock. It's a simple clock, the hours and minutes are neatly displayed by spade hands, while roman numerals and train track minutes markers circle the dial.

All of this is cloudy, but visible under the scratched and stained crystal that occupies a break in the pavement at the intersection of Maiden Lane and Broadway. And it has been ticking away there, under the feet of Manhattan, for over a century.

The End of the Pronoun Whom

In standard English grammar, the pronoun who is used as a subject and whom as a direct or indirect object. Here's an example:
Who will decide to whom we will give the responsibility of carrying Alex's sedan chair today?
In this sentence, who is the subject and whom is the indirect object. It's a distinction that's easy to forget and increasingly people are. Megan Garber of The Atlantic writes that the proper use of whom is dying out:
Articles in Time magazine included 3,352 instances of whom in the 1930s, 1,492 in the 1990s, and 902 in the 2000s. And the lapse hasn’t been limited to literature or journalism. In 1984, after all, the Ghostbusters weren’t wondering, “Whom you gonna call?”
Whom, in other words, is doomed. As Mignon Fogarty, the host of the popular Grammar Girl podcast, told me: “I’d put my money on whombeing mostly gone in 50 to 100 years.”
Who is to blame? In part, the internet:
Technology seems to be speeding the demise. Online, on-screen, strict rules are systematically broken—for brevity’s sake, for clarity’s sake, and sometimes for the sake of ease or irony or fun. (Because LOL, amirite?!) What the Indiana University linguist Susan Herring refers to as “e‑grammar” is, she points out, a grammar only in the broadest sense of the word. In a context that can make whom seem almost aggressively retrograde, we err intentionally, breaking rules that are in some cases, Jack Lynch writes in his book The Lexicographer’s Dilemma, simply “prejudice representing itself as principle.” And the Internet, itself almost aggressively forward-looking, institutionalizes the errors. Dating sites talk about the people “who you match with.” Twitter offers its users a recommendations list titled “Who to Follow.”

Did you know ...

About the 15 most pointless foods in your supermarket

That a 15-year-old girl understands rape culture better than CNN

About the weak link in the world's economy

How the repugicans struggle to recover from teapartyitis

Nevada State Legislature poised to take regulation of Burning Man away from state and local cops

M Otis Beard says, "A bill gaining support in the Nevada State Assembly would make Burning Man hands-off for state and county law enforcement officials, and subject only to Federal authority."
Each year, the local sheriff has been jacking Burning Man for increasing per-head fees, and the county's wingnut lawmakers have been passing silly-season unconstitutionalities, like a law prohibiting a man from being naked in the presence of a child. It's combination of revenue generation and garden-variety harassment, and there had been rumbles about the festival taking up local native groups on an invitation to move it to Paiute land where the county wouldn't get a say.
“Earlier this morning, the Chamber supported AB 374 in the Assembly Government Affairs Committee. This bill, pushed by Assemblyman David Bobzien, came about because of threats by some rural counties to start charging local permitting fees and increasing costs for the Burning Man festival that comes to the Black Rock Desert every summer. This bill would prohibit any local government from interfering with a federally-licensed event on federal land. We strongly support this concept because of the enormous positive economic impact that Burning Man attendees have on our region.”
Some of the problem stems from the fact that Burning Man is held just over a county line; all the on-the-way spending done by burners takes place in Washoe county, but once you turn off to head to the playa, you're in Pershing county, and that's also when the ban on (most) commerce begins. So the county doing the legislating has no real financial stake in the festival continuing. So the local law gets to screw the neighboring county, threatening its one of its major source of economic activity and win points with the voters by harassing hippies.

Killing of Texas district attorney, wife, seen as targeted

Kaufman County district attorney Mike McLelland is shown in this handout photo courtesy of the Kaufman County Texas District Attorney's Office March 31, 2013. REUTERS/Kaufman Country DA office/Handout 
The killing of a Texas district attorney and his wife, in the same county where an assistant prosecutor was shot dead outside a courthouse in January, does not appear to be random, a local official said on Sunday.
Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found with fatal gunshot wounds at their home near the town of Forney, Texas, on Saturday, two months after Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was gunned down.
"In my view it appears that it was not random. It was a targeted attack," Forney Mayor Darren Rozell told CNN. "We're obviously sad and shocked but there's some outrage too."
He did not elaborate on a possible motive for the double murder, but neither he nor Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes ruled out a link between the killings.
Hasse was shot and killed on January 31 on the same day the U.S. Department of Justice released a statement saying the Kaufman County District Attorney's Office was involved in a racketeering case against the Aryan Brotherhood white supremacist group.
The Texas arm of the Aryan Brotherhood was described in an indictment unsealed in November as a gang responsible for murders, arson, assault and other crimes and prone to "extreme violence and threats of violence to maintain internal discipline and retaliate against those believed to be cooperating with law enforcement."
"It's unnerving to the law enforcement community, it's unnerving to the community at large," Byrnes told a news conference. "And that's why we're striving to assure the community that we are still providing public safety and will be able to do that."
Byrnes' office reported the shooting deaths late on Saturday.
Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood said the last known contact with either of the McLellands was about 7 p.m. on Friday.
Wood described McLelland as a friend as well as a colleague. He said he and McLelland had spoken regularly about Hasse and the investigation.
"I can't fathom someone doing this," Wood said. "It is completely senseless, and completely out of the blue. Perhaps it is retaliation, but we won't know that until someone is caught."
Numerous state and federal officials, including the FBI and Texas Rangers, are involved in the investigation, Byrnes said, adding that it was too early to discuss whether there were any suspects.
McLelland, a 23-year U.S. Army veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm, had five children including a son who is an officer with the Dallas police department, according to a biography on the county website.
Authorities have made no arrests in Hasse's killing. McLelland had vowed to bring his killer to justice.
Earlier this month, the Hasse slaying case took a new turn when the Kaufman police chief said the FBI was looking for any link between Hasse's death and the March 19 shooting death of Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements.
Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, a Colorado prison parolee suspected of killing Clements, died in a shootout with police in Decatur, Texas, on March 21. Ebel was a member of a white supremacist prison gang called the 211 Crew and had a swastika tattoo, prison records indicate.
Judge Wood said investigators had found no link between the shooting death of Clements and the killing of Hasse, however.
"This is not just an attack on two very fine people but an attack on the justice system," Wood told Reuters, referring to the McLelland killings.
He did not elaborate and declined to comment on the crime scene at the McLellands home, just outside Forney and about 25 miles from Dallas.
But the Dallas Morning News cited one law enforcement official as saying shell casings were scattered everywhere around the crime scene.
The Dallas Morning News also noted that the Texas Department of Public Safety had issued a statewide bulletin in December warning that authorities had received "credible information" the Aryan Brotherhood was "actively planning retaliation against law enforcement officials" who helped secure indictments in Houston against dozens of members, including the gang's leadership.
"High-ranking members ... are involved in issuing orders to inflict ‘mass casualties or death' to law enforcement officials who were involved in cases where Aryan Brotherhood of Texas are facing life sentences or the death penalty," the bulletin said.

Texas DA slain in his home had armed himself

Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland took no chances after one of his assistant prosecutors was gunned down two months ago. McLelland said he carried a gun everywhere he went and was extra careful when answering the door at his home.
"I'm ahead of everybody else because, basically, I'm a soldier," the 23-year Army veteran said in an interview less than two weeks ago.
On Saturday, he and his wife were found shot to death in their rural home just outside the town of Forney, about 20 miles from Dallas.
While investigators gave no motive for the killings, Forney Mayor Darren Rozell said: "It appears this was not a random act."
"Everybody's a little on edge and a little shocked," he said.
The slayings came less than two weeks after Colorado's prison chief was shot to death at his front door, apparently by an ex-convict, and a couple of months after Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was killed in a parking lot a block from his courthouse office. No arrests have been made in Hasse's slaying Jan. 31.
McLelland, 63, is the 13th prosecutor killed in the U.S. since the National Association of District Attorneys began keeping count in the 1960s.
Sheriff David Byrnes would not give details Sunday of how the killings unfolded and said there was nothing to indicate for certain whether the DA's slaying was connected to Hasse's.
El Paso County, Colo., sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Joe Roybal said investigators had found no evidence so far connecting the Texas killings to the Colorado case, but added: "We're examining all possibilities."
Colorado's corrections director, Tom Clements, was killed March 19 when he answered the doorbell at his home outside Colorado Springs. Evan Spencer Ebel, a white supremacist and former Colorado inmate suspected of shooting Clements, died in a shootout with Texas deputies two days later about 100 miles from Kaufman.
McLelland himself, in an Associated Press interview shortly after the Colorado slaying, raised the possibility that Hasse was gunned down by a white supremacist gang.
The weekend slayings raised concerns for prosecutors across Texas, and some were taking extra security precautions. Byrnes said security would be increased at the courthouse in Kaufman but declined to say if or how other prosecutors in McLelland's office would be protected.
Harris County District Attorney Mike Anderson said he accepted the sheriff's offer of 24-hour security for him and his family after learning about the slayings, mostly over concerns for his family's safety. Anderson said also would take precautions at his Houston office, the largest one in Texas, which has more than 270 prosecutors.
"I think district attorneys across Texas are still in a state of shock," Anderson said Sunday.
McLelland, elected DA in 2010, said his office had prosecuted several cases against racist gangs, who have a strong presence around Kaufman County, a mostly rural area dotted with subdivisions, with a population of about 104,000.
"We put some real dents in the Aryan Brotherhood around here in the past year," he said.
In recent years, the DA's office also prosecuted a case in which a justice of the peace was found guilty of theft and burglary and another case in which a man was convicted of killing his former girlfriend and her 10-year-old daughter.
McLelland said he carried a gun everywhere, even to walk his dog around town, a bedroom community for the Dallas area. He figured assassins were more likely to try to attack him outside. He said he had warned all his employees to be constantly on the alert.
"The people in my line of work are going to have to get better at it," he said of dealing with the danger, "because they're going to need it more in the future."
The number of attacks on prosecutors, judges and senior law enforcement officers in the U.S. has spiked in the past three years, according to Glenn McGovern, an investigator with the Santa Clara County, Calif., district attorney's office who tracks such cases.
For about a month after Hasse's slaying, sheriff's deputies were parked in the district attorney's driveway, said Sam Rosander, a McLelland neighbor.
The FBI and the Texas Rangers joined the investigation into the McLellands' deaths.
McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, 65, were the parents of two daughters and three sons. One son is a police officer in Dallas. The couple had moved into the home a few years ago, Rozell said.
"Real friendly, became part of our community quickly," Rozell said. "They were a really pleasant, happy couple."

After Texas DA and Wife are Gunned Down, repugicans Refuse to Support Any Gun Legislation

The news that there seems to be someone gunning down prosecutors in Kaufman County, Texas didn’t bump Sen. Lindsey Graham off of his NRA talking point that there should be no new federal gun legislation.
Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were found shot dead in their home on Saturday. Their deaths came nearly two months to the day when Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was found shot dead in a parking lot. Kaufman police aren’t ruling out the idea that these three deaths weren’t random acts.
You would think that the news that prosecutors are being murdered in Texas might elicit some sort of response from the self proclaimed law and order repugican cabal, but check out Sen. Lindsey Graham’s reply to the shootings.
Graham was asked about the murder of the DA and his wife on CNN’s State of the Union,
CROWLEY: Just off the top, let me ask you, when we see the death of the head of a prison official, two deaths of a D.A. and an assistant D.A. This is a dangerous business, i know prosecuting bad guys, incarcerating bad guys. do you think we need to look at the protection of these people?
GRAHAM: Well, anything that would make our law enforcement officers safer. Obviously yes, anything the local community can do to make life safer for those who carry out the law on our behalf, count me in. There’s clearly some kind of criminal vendetta against people who enforce the law.
Sen. Graham is all about keeping our law enforcement officers safe, but not about passing any federal legislation that might help keep them safe. Since when did protection of law enforcement officers become a strictly local issue?
If this a local issue somebody better tell the FBI, because they are already investigation a possible link between the Hasse’s murder and a member of a white supremacist group.
Sen. Graham invented a local jurisdiction excuse to cover up the fact that it doesn’t matter who or how many people are victims of gun violence, repugicans are going to refuse to pass any gun legislation at the federal level.
Lindsey Graham has a reelection campaign to win, and the deaths of a few law enforcement officers and their families aren’t going to stand in his way.

Man upset with wife's snoring set her pants on fire

A Salt Lake City man was charged on Thursday with setting fire to his wife's clothing because he was upset about her snoring.

Bryce Ray Whitaker, 60, was charged with aggravated arson, a first-degree felony. Whitaker told police he and his wife had been arguing about "her snoring and her stuff."

When his wife went to take a nap, he lit a pair of her pants and a box on fire, the charges state. When the fire got out of control, he roused his wife, who was sleeping in the basement.

Police responded to Whitaker's home to investigate the fire, determining it began in the northwest corner of the home. Whitaker told police he used the gas stove to light a long tapered candle, then ignited the blaze.

Shoplifter claims killer mob made him steal food

A man who was caught shoplifting from a supermarket in west Athens, Georgia, on Thursday claimed members of a “mob” forced him to steal and was afraid they were going to kill him, Athens-Clarke police said. David Webb, 29, also begged an officer to kill him while he was being driven to jail, according to police.

Police were called to a Kroger store shortly after 1am on Thursday on a report a store security guard was chasing a man who stole food items, police said. The officer saw the chase and pulled into a parking lot in an attempt to cut off the man being pursued, but the suspect changed directions. The security guard tackled Webb to the ground and the officer placed him in handcuffs, and when the officer turned the man over a package of chicken nuggets fell out of his shirt. When the officer asked Webb if he had identification, police said, the suspect responded, “It doesn’t matter, they’re going to kill me anyway.”

The officer assured the man that no one was going to kill him, but Webb “continued to babble on about how an unidentifiable mob was going to kill him,” according to the arrest report. “Mr. Webb also stated that these same individuals made him steal from Kroger.” When Webb was searched, he was found to have stolen deodorant in his jacket pocket and two large blocks of cheese in his pants pockets, police said. As he was stood up, two packages of link sausages fell from his pants.

Webb repeatedly refused to identify himself, but one of the backup officers who arrived recognized him from a prior incident. Webb has a history of theft arrests, according to Clarke County Superior Court records, and last year was sentenced to five years on probation for stealing liquor from a package store then trying to punch a police officer. While in the back of a patrol car on the ride to the Clarke County Jail, Webb asked the officer to kill him, “which I refused to do,” the officer wrote in his report. Webb was charged with theft by shoplifting and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

Indoor gardening prompted pot raid

Two former CIA employees whose Kansas home was fruitlessly searched for marijuana during a two-state drug sweep claim they were illegally targeted, possibly because they had bought indoor growing supplies to raise vegetables.

Two former CIA employees whose Kansas home was fruitlessly searched for marijuana during a two-state drug sweep claim they were illegally targeted, possibly because they had bought indoor growing supplies to raise vegetables.
Adlynn and Robert Harte sued this week to get more information about why sheriff's deputies searched their home in the upscale Kansas City suburb of Leawood last April 20 as part of Operation Constant Gardener - a sweep conducted by agencies in Kansas and Missouri that netted marijuana plants, processed marijuana, guns, growing paraphernalia and cash from several other locations.
April 20 long has been used by marijuana enthusiasts to celebrate the illegal drug and more recently by law enforcement for raids and crackdowns. But the Hartes' attorney, Cheryl Pilate, said she suspects the couple's 1,825-square-foot split level was targeted because they had bought hydroponic equipment to grow a small number of tomatoes and squash plants in their basement.
"With little or no other evidence of any illegal activity, law enforcement officers make the assumption that shoppers at the store are potential marijuana growers, even though the stores are most commonly frequented by backyard gardeners who grow organically or start seedlings indoors," the couple's lawsuit says.
The couple filed the suit this week under the Kansas Open Records Act after Johnson County and Leawood denied their initial records requests, with Leawood saying it had no relevant records. The Hartes say the public has an interest in knowing whether the sheriff's department's participation in the raids was "based on a well-founded belief of marijuana use and cultivation at the targeted addresses, or whether the raids primarily served a publicity purpose."
"If this can happen to us and we are educated and have reasonable resources, how does somebody who maybe hasn't led a perfect life supposed to be free in this country?" Adlynn Harte said in an interview Friday.
The suit filed in Johnson County District Court said the couple and their two children - a 7-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son - were "shocked and frightened" when deputies armed with assault rifles and wearing bulletproof vests pounded on the door of their home around 7:30 a.m. last April 20.
"It was just like on the cops TV shows," Robert Harte told The Associated Press. "It was like `Zero Dark Thirty' ready to storm the compound."
During the sweep, the court filing said, the Hartes were told they had been under surveillance for months, but the couple "know of no basis for conducting such surveillance nor do they believe such surveillance would have produced any facts supporting the issuance of a search warrant."
Harte said he built the hydroponic garden with his son a couple of years ago. He said they didn't use the powerful light bulbs that are sometimes used to grow marijuana and that the family's electricity usage didn't change dramatically. Changes in utility usage can sometimes lead authorities to such operations.
When law enforcement arrived, the family had just six plants - three tomato plants, one melon plant and two butternut squash plants - growing in the basement, Harte said.
The suit also said deputies "made rude comments" and implied their son was using marijuana. A drug-sniffing dog was brought in to help, but deputies ultimately left after providing a receipt stating, "No items taken."
Pilate said no one in the Harte family uses illegal drugs and no charges were filed. The lawsuit noted Adlynn Harte, who works for a financial planning firm, and Robert Harte, who cares for the couple's children, each were required to pass rigorous background checks for their previous jobs working for the CIA in Washington, D.C. Pilate said she couldn't provide any other details about their CIA employment.
Pilate said any details gleaned from the open records suit could be used in a future federal civil rights lawsuit.
"You can't go into people's homes and conduct searches without probable cause," Pilate said.
Leawood City Administrator Scott Lambers said Friday that he couldn't comment on pending litigation. The sheriff's office also had no comment.
"Obviously with an ongoing lawsuit we are not able to talk about any details of it until it's been played out in court," said Johnson County Deputy Tom Erickson.

Embarrassingly obvious undercover cops take to Twitter looking for house shows

Internet-savvy indie musicians organize "house shows," which are pretty much what they sound like: a fan lets the band use her or his house for a performance, and other fans come by and hear it. The shows aren't legal, but they're pretty fun*.
Boston cops have taken to Twitter, posing as punk kids, trying to get bands to tip off the location of their house shows. As Slate's Luke O'Neil points out, though, they're really bad at it, totally tone-deaf. It's created something of an Internet sport of "spot the undercover," which is almost as much fun as the house parties.
“Too bad you were not here this weekend,” “Joe Sly” wrote. “Patty's day is a mad house I am still pissing green beer.  The cops do break balls something wicked here. What's the address for Saturday Night, love DIY concerts.” He might as well have written “Just got an 8 ball of beer and I’m ready to party.”
Is it possible that Joe Sly is a real Boston punk? Sure, though if so he’s the first Boston punk in history to brag about drinking lame St. Patrick’s Day green beer. As one of the many amused music fans who scoffed at the screencap as it was shared around on Tumblr pointed out, “he/she said concerts ... concerts.” Anyone who's ever been to a concert like this knows that it's not called a concert. It’s a show.
The Massachusetts band Do No Harm also tweeted about receiving an email from Joe this month. “whats the 411 for the show saturday?” he asked, apparently using some sort of slang-filter translator from the turn of the century.
Of course, there may be really good undercovers trolling Twitter for house parties that we don't know about because of their perfect ninja stealth. If only disproving a negative was possible!

Random Celebrity Photo



Barbara Eden

I only need one wish Jeannie ::

The Prank that Changed the Face of Medicine

vWhen Elizabeth Blackwell applied to medical colleges in 1847, they rejected her left and right because she was a woman, and no woman had ever earned a medical degree from an American institution of higher learning. It was a ridiculous idea to even think about accepting her. So ridiculous that it happened! One school wanted to make a point, which backfired.
The Geneva Medical College, however, did not give Elizabeth an upfront yes or no. They put the issue up for vote under the stipulation that if but one student voted against her, she would not be admitted. This reads a little like an attempt to show her how very unwelcome she was, and possibly to humiliate her even further. What student in his right mind would vote for a woman to have access to a medical school?

The students, however, believed it to be a ludicrous joke and decided to have some fun: all one-hundred fifty men voted for Elizabeth.
It was as if the world had been tipped - a female student was to be allowed into the all-male medical domain!
Still, actually attending school in such an atmosphere was not easy. Blackwell graduated with a medical degree in 1849 and changed the course of medical history. Read more at ScienceZest.

Tiny Blood Monitor Tells Your Smartphone When You're about to Have a Heart Attack

probeDoctors can implant his tiny sensor package developed by researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. A battery worn on a patch outside of the body gives it energy. When sensors detect chemical indicators of a heart attack, the system sends a warning to a Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a smartphone:
Often in the hours before a heart attack, fatigued or oxygen-starved muscle begins to break down, and fragments of a heart-specific smooth muscle protein, the troponin mentioned above, are dumped into the blood. If this can be detected before disruption of the heart rhythm, or the actual attack, lifesaving preemptive treatment can be initiated sooner. [...]
At the moment the device has a limited number of sensors, but there is no theoretical ceiling on this. Nor is there a limit to the kinds of enzymatic reactions or other detectors that could be used with those sensor channels. In the muscle breakdown scenario, for example, multiple products are in fact continuously generated in a tissue-specific manner which can give valuable information to athletes, and weekend enthusiasts alike. Ions and respiratory gases in the blood at different body locations can also be mapped. 

Two Science Martyrs Hand-in-Hand

The Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris has more than its share of celebrities: Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde are the first that come to mind. But there is a strange story behind the monument pictured here that you may not know. In 1875, three balloonists ascended to 28,000 feet in the Zenith to study atmospheric conditions …and to break the altitude record. Joseph Croce-Spinelli and Théodore Sivel did not survive the lack of oxygen. Gaston Tissandier, the sole survivor, came to as the balloon was plunging to earth.
The Zenith crash landed in Ciron, France, and Sivel and Croce-Spinelli were found with their faces blackened and their mouths filled with blood. They were widely celebrated as heroes who gave their lives for progressing aviation. A May 2, 1875 New York Times article declared them as "martyrs to science." A monument was erected in Ciron where the Zenith had fallen and the elaborate grave sculpted by Alphonse Dumilatre was installed in Père Lachaise Cemetery as a memorial to the two French balloonists. Gaston Tissandier is also buried in the Paris cemetery, although he lived until 1899. Now fallen leaves gather around Croce-Spinelli and Sivel's linked arms and sometimes someone places a rose in one of their extended hands as they continue to slumber from the sleep they drowned into from such great heights.
Read the entire story and see more pictures at Atlas Obscura.

Hell's Gate

The ancient Plutonium, a poisonous cave found in Turkey, was believed in Greco-Roman mythology to be the portal to hell.
Italian archaeologists have discovered in Turkey the long-sought Plutonion, or Pluto's Gate, a site believed to be a portal to the underworld in Greco-Roman religion.

Spectacular Hidden Beaches

A hidden beach is a landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea, lake or river that is difficult to access because of its remoteness or because the surrounding terrain is inaccessible. Hidden beaches are increasingly being sought out by tourists who want to spend time away from the crowd they live with everyday. Here are some of the best hidden beaches from around the world.

Assyrian Dalek, ca. 865 BCE

From Wikipedia: "English: A large wheeled Assyrian battering ram with an observation turret attacks the collapsing walls of a besieged city, while archers on both sides exchange fire. From the North-West Palace at Nimrud, about 865-860 BC; now in the British Museum."

Dino Park

The world's biggest dinosaur exhibit will have 165 life-size animatronic dinosaurs.

Cash shortage stretches to sea bed

Cash shortage stretches to sea bedStalked jellyfish

The government admits going slowly on protecting wildlife in the seas because of the costs involved.

Largest Horse

“The world’s largest horse was a Belgian Draft named Brooklyn Supreme, who weighed 3,200 lb (1,500 kg) and stood at 19.2 hands (1.98 m).”

Houdini Octopus

Chance Miller recorded this incident of an octopus -a fairly big octopus- making its way back to sea by squeezing through a tiny hole.

To Sea, And Not To See

What does it take to not get noticed? A few years ago a biologist named Bill Saidel took a new look at some old fish, asked himself this question - and noticed something most unexpected. And what he noticed raises some other questions - about what it means to see.

Many creatures drastically change their appearance to camouflage themselves from predators. Saidel discovered that some of these creatures do not change their appearance very much. Instead, they have special built-in tricks. They have a special skin pattern that induce an observer to actively misinterpret. When you see one of these animals against a background pattern, your own visual system works to 'fill in' missing parts of the pattern.

Baby bear broke into home, sampled Chinese food and stole box of dog food for his friend

An unexpected visitor showed up at a Monrovia, California, home on Wednesday, sampled some Chinese food, made a mess and stole a box of dog food for his friend waiting outside. The visitor was a baby brown bear, and his friend, another baby brown bear. "We are used to seeing bears outside of our home. They will come to our garden and backyard a lot, it is common in our city, and I've gotten used to seeing them these past two years. But when I saw them walk into our house, it was really scary and amusing at the same time," 25-year-old Justin Lee said.

Lee immediately grabbed his dog, ran upstairs and locked himself in his room. He then phoned local police, who remained on the line until police arrived. Once on the scene, officers found the bear had exited the house to be with his companion bear, who had not entered the home. The officers were face to face with the bears, who were "staring at the officers, but were not aggressive," Monrovia Police Department Lt. Nels Ortlund said.

Ortlund said the officers utilized a non-lethal bean bag round fired into the air to effectively frighten the bears back up the mountain. "Bears are a regular occurrence in the foothills of Monrovia," Ortlund said. "It is a good reminder for people to place trash and pet food in secured containers, and as warmer weather approaches, to be watchful as they are outside more and as they leave doors and windows open."

After officers had secured the scene, Lee went back downstairs to see that the bear had entered through the dog door panel, which was ripped off, and then proceeded to slide the sliding glass door the panel was attached to open. "We were really lucky. There was a mess but nothing was broken, not even a plate," he said. Although seeing bears around his hometown is somewhat commonplace, Lee said he will remain cautious when sitting in his living room. He also said he doesn't believe the bears were trying to hurt him. Rather, they were hungry and wanted food.

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