Welcome to ...

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, May 3, 2013

The Daily Drift

Something is very wrong here!

Carolina Naturally is read in 191 countries around the world daily.

Well, someone has to do it!  ...

Today is Tuba Day 

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Today in History

495   Pope Gelasius asserts that his authority is superior to Emperor Enanstasius.
1568   French forces in Florida slaughter hundreds of Spanish.
1855   Macon B. Allen becomes the first African American to be admitted to the Bar in Massachusetts.
1859   France declares war on Austria.
1863   The Battle of Chancellorsville rages for a second day.
1865   President Lincoln's funeral train arrives in Springfield, Illinois.
1926   U.S. Marines land in Nicaragua.
1952   The first airplane lands at the geographic North Pole.
1968   After three days of battle, the U.S. Marines retake Dai Do complex in Vietnam, only to find the North Vietnamese have evacuated the area.
1971   James Earl Ray, Martin Luther King's assassin, is caught in a jail break attempt.
1979   Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman prime minister of Great Britain.
1982   A British submarine sinks Argentina's only cruiser during the Falkland Islands War.

Non Sequitur


Starving Settlers in Jamestown Colony Resorted to Cannibalism

New archaeological evidence and forensic analysis reveals that a 14-year-old girl was cannibalized in desperation
 Jamestown remains
Detail of cut marks found on the girl’s jaw, or lower mandible in a stereo-microscopic photo.

The harsh winter of 1609 in Virginia’s Jamestown Colony forced residents to do the unthinkable. A recent excavation at the historic site discovered the carcasses of dogs, cats and horses consumed during the season commonly called the “Starving Time.” But a few other newly discovered bones in particular, though, tell a far more gruesome story: the dismemberment and cannibalization of a 14-year-old English girl.
“The chops to the forehead are very tentative, very incomplete,” says Douglas Owsley, the Smithsonian forensic anthropologist who analyzed the bones after they were found by archaeologists from Preservation Virginia. “Then, the body was turned over, and there were four strikes to the back of the head, one of which was the strongest and split the skull in half. A penetrating wound was then made to the left temple, probably by a single-sided knife, which was used to pry open the head and remove the brain.”
Much is still unknown about the circumstances of this grisly meal: Who exactly the girl researchers are calling "Jane" was, whether she was murdered or died of natural causes, whether multiple people participated in the butchering or it was a solo act. But as Owsley revealed along with lead archaeologist William Kelso today at a press conference at the National Museum of Natural History, we now have the first direct evidence of cannibalism at Jamestown, the oldest permanent English colony in the Americas. “Historians have gone back and forth on whether this sort of thing really happened there,” Owsley says. “Given these bones in a trash pit, all cut and chopped up, it's clear that this body was dismembered for consumption.”
It’s long been speculated that the harsh conditions faced by the colonists of Jamestown might have made them desperate enough to eat other humans—and perhaps even commit murder to do so. The colony was founded in 1607 by 104 settlers aboard three ships, the Susan Constant, Discovery and Godspeed, but only 38 survived the first nine months of life in Jamestown, with most succumbing to starvation and disease (some researchers speculate that drinking water poisoned by arsenic and human waste also played a role). Because of difficulties in growing crops—they arrived in the midst of one of the worst regional droughts in centuries and many settlers were unused to hard agricultural labor—the survivors remained dependent on supplies brought by subsequent missions, as well as trade with Native Americans.
By the winter of 1609, extreme drought, hostile relations with members of the local Powhatan Confederacy and the fact that a supply ship was lost at sea put the colonists in a truly desperate position. Sixteen years later, in 1625, George Percy, who had been president of Jamestown during the Starving Time, wrote a letter describing the colonists’ diet during that terrible winter. “Haveinge fedd upon our horses and other beastes as longe as they Lasted, we weare gladd to make shifte with vermin as doggs Catts, Ratts and myce…as to eate Bootes shoes or any other leather,” he wrote. “And now famin beginneinge to Looke gastely and pale in every face, thatt notheinge was Spared to mainteyne Lyfe and to doe those things which seame incredible, as to digge upp deade corpes outt of graves and to eate them. And some have Licked upp the Bloode which hathe fallen from their weake fellowes.”
Despite this and other textual references to cannibalism, though, there had never been hard physical evidence that it had occurred—until now. Kelso’s team discovered the girl’s remains during the summer of 2012. "We found a deposit of refuse that contained butchered horse and dog bones. That was only done in times of extreme hunger. As we excavated, we found human teeth and then a partial human skull," says Kelso.
Kelso brought them to Owsley for a battery of forensic tests, including microscopic and isotope analysis. “We CT scanned the bones, then replicated them as virtual 3D models and then put them together, piece by piece, assembling the skull,” Owsley says. Digitally mirroring the fragments to fill in the missing gaps allowed the team to make a 3D facial reconstruction despite having just 66 percent of the skull.
The researchers used this reconstruction, along with the other data, to determine the specimen was a female, roughly 14 years old (based on the development of her molars) and of British ancestry. Owsley says the cut marks on the jaw, face and forehead of the skull, along with those on the shinbone, are telltale signs of cannibalism. "The clear intent was to remove the facial tissue and the brain for consumption. These people were in dire circumstances. So any flesh that was available would have been used," says Owsley. "The person that was doing this was not experienced and did not know how to butcher an animal. Instead, we see hesitancy, trial, tentativeness and a total lack of experience."
He’s probably one of the researchers best qualified to make this judgment. As one of the country’s most prominent physical anthropologists, he’s analyzed many cannibalized skeletons from ancient history, and as an accomplished forensic investigator who works with the FBI, he’s also worked on much more recent cases, such as one of the victims of 1980s serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer. In total, he estimates that he’s examined more than 10,000 bodies during his career, oftentimes people who were killed in tragic circumstances, including victims of 9/11 and journalists who were kidnapped and murdered in Guatemala. Most of his time, though, is spent working on more inspiring cases, such as the 9,000-year-old “Kennewick Man” discovered in Washington State, and the mysterious remains of ancient Easter Islanders. “I love the moments when you come up with something that you're just totally in awe of," he told Smithsonian magazine when he was named one of “35 Who Made a Difference.” “Something that gives you an overwhelming sense of wow!”
Owsley speculates that this particular Jamestown body belonged to a child who likely arrived in the colony during 1609 on one of the resupply ships. She was either a maidservant or the child of a gentleman, and due to the high-protein diet indicated by his team’s isotope analysis of her bones, he suspects the latter. The identity of whoever consumed her is entirely unknown, and Owsley guesses there might have been multiple cannibals involved, because the cut marks on her shin indicate a more skilled butcher than whoever dismembered her head.
It appears that her brain, tongue, cheeks and leg muscles were eaten, with the brain likely eaten first, because it decomposes so quickly after death. There’s no evidence of murder, and Owsley suspects that this was a case in which hungry colonists simply ate the one remaining food available to them, despite cultural taboos. “I don’t think that they killed her, by any stretch,” he says. “It's just that they were so desperate, and so hard-pressed, that out of necessity this is what they resorted to.”
Kelso’s team of archaeologists will continue to excavate the fort, searching for other bodies that might help us learn about the conditions faced by some of the country’s first European colonists. This might be the first specimen that provides evidence for cannibalism, but Owsley is pretty sure there are more to come. Percy’s letter also describes how, as president of the colony, he tortured and burned alive a man who had confessed to killing, salting and eating his pregnant wife—so the remains of this woman, along with other victims of cannibalism, may still be waiting to be found underground. “It’s fairly convincing, now that we see this one, that this wasn’t the only case,” he says. “There are other examples mentioned here and there in the literature. So the only question is: Where are the rest of the bodies?”

Mozilla to FinSpy: stop disguising your "lawful interception" spyware as Firefox

The Mozilla Foundation has sent a legal threat to Gamma International, a UK company that makes a product called "FinSpy" that is used by governments, including brutal dictatorships to spy on dissidents. FinSpy allows these governments to hijack their citizens' screens, cameras, hard-drives and keyboards. Gamma disguises this spyware as copies of Firefox, Mozilla's flagship free/open browser.
Gamma International markets its software as a “remote monitoring” program that government agencies can use to take control of computers and snoop on data and communications. In theory, it could be legitimately used for surveillance efforts by crime fighting agencies, but in practice, it has popped up as a spy tool unleashed against dissident movements operating against repressive regimes.
Citizen Lab researchers have seen it used against dissidents from Bahrain and Ethiopia. And in a new report, set to be released today, they’ve found it in 11 new countries: Hungary, Turkey, Romania, Panama, Lithuania, Macedonia, South Africa, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bulgaria, and Austria. That brings the total number of countries that have been spotted with FinFisher to 36.
To date, Citizen Lab researchers have found three samples of FinSpy that masquerades as Firefox, including a “demo” version of the spyware according to Morgan Marquis-Boire, a security researcher at the Citizen Lab, who works as a Google Security Engineer. Marquis-Boire says his work at Citizen Lab is independent from his day job at Google.

Did you know ...

How a single-payer system could save American health care

About the 25 indicted in massive Baltimore prison scandal

About the worst part about BP's oil spill cover-up: it worked

About the wingnut donors that fuel America's culture wars

That instapundit thinks gun control = homophobia

The repugicans Are Beginning To Censor Their Town Halls By Limiting Gun Questions

Sen. Kelly Ayotte recently held a town hall where her moderator intentionally limited gun questions. This is the first sign that repugicans are resorting to censorship when faced with public backlash.
For the last couple of years, when repugicans have been faced with a constituent backlash over an unpopular vote, they have resorted to various forms of censorship at their town hall meetings. There was a wave of censorship and arrests at Republican town halls after members faced constituent outrage over their vote to kill Medicare. Rep. Steve Chabot had police seize a citizen’s camera after he tried to record the congressman talking about his vote to kill Medicare. Rep. Paul Ryan had five people kicked out, and three people arrested at one of his town halls, and Eric Cantor had the jobless kicked out of one of his events.
After facing criticism and chaos for voting against expanded background checks, the moderator for repugican Sen. Kelly Ayotte did something different. He only allowed one question on guns. The moderator, former Rep. Jeb Bradley admitted that he intentionally limited the questions on guns.
Here is the video from Granite State Progress:
Bradley explained why he limited the number of questions on Ayotte’s controversial vote against expanding background checks to one, “Well, she answered in great depth at the beginning of her town hall, talked about her vote on guns, and I just felt that given we had a limited amount of time and there were a number of other questions, that people should have the chance to ask other questions as well as on guns. I mean, we could have spent an hour and a half just talking about guns. I didn’t think it would be productive. There were many, many questions on guns supporting her position, and there were some against her position, so I just – (shrugs)”
Bradley also took responsibility for not allowing more questions on guns.
Allow me to translate what Bradley was really saying, “Get it people. Her vote on background checks was just another vote. There are lots of important issues to talk about. How about we talk about some of those instead? She doesn’t want to talk about this!!!!”
This is the biggest sign yet that repugicans are feeling the heat for their vote against expanding background checks. Senators Kelly Ayotte (r-NH), Dean Heller (r-NV), Rob Portman (r-OH), Lisa Murkowski (r-AK), Jeff Flake (r-AZ), and Mark Begich (bd-AK) have all seen their job approval ratings drop since voting against expanding background checks.
Censorship at congressional town halls always begins with successful incident. Ayotte got away with allowing her moderator to limit the number of questions on expanding background checks to one. You can bet your bottom dollar that this tactic will be emulated in congressional town halls all across the country. It was a very clever move. Ayotte gets off the hook for her vote, and she gets to pin the lack of questions on the subject on her moderator.
Those who voted against background checks can try to censor all of their town halls, but they can’t escape the fallout from their shameful political calculus. When elected officials, or their moderators, censor the voices of their constituents, it is wrong.
On the plus side, when the opposition starts censoring you that means you’ve already won.


Thursday, May 2

The repugican's Refusal to Fix the Sequester Has Created a Death Panel For the Poor

Throughout history, human beings have debated, and decided that the power of life and death is not within the purview of human beings except in times of war and in countries that cling to the barbaric practice of capital punishment. It is certainly true that no population would willingly give a government arbitrary power of life and death over its own citizens, and yet it became a popular claim shortly after Barack Obama became President. In 2009, the immutable American idiot, Sarah Palin, propagated what was deemed the “Lie of the Year” when she went around the country declaring the Affordable Care Act would impose a panel of bureaucrats who would hold the power of life and death over Americans.
The repugicans however, have assumed the power of life and death over Americans in need of basic sustenance, shelter, and healthcare over the past two years in their pursuit of trickle down fiscal purity, austerity for austerity sake, and Draconian spending cuts targeting safety nets.  Despite warnings the sequester would arbitrarily cut access to food, housing assistance, and healthcare for the elderly, children, and Veterans, repugicans proudly imposed the sequester on the nation as a necessary step to abridge the phony debt crisis they manufactured with valuable assistance from ignorant Democrats anxious to join the austerity frenzy.
For four years, repugicans prevented the government from operating through obstructionism that effectively shut down normal government processes, and yet when their sequester inconvenienced affluent Americans with the horrid prospect of an hour-long flight delay, they jumped into action and passed legislation within a week to unburden their favorite Americans from sharing in the sacrifice the rest of the nation will suffer for over nine more years. However, their quick action did not go unnoticed by other Americans who face hunger, homelessness, and slow painful death as a result of sequestration cuts that are, for all intents and purposes, their version of death panels.
On Friday, several different cancer clinic doctors lashed out at Congress for making flight delays for the affluent a higher priority than treatment for people dying of cancer. A doctor at a Utah cancer clinic said, “I would invite anyone in Washington to come look my patients in the eye and tell them that waiting for a flight is a bigger problem than waiting longer for chemotherapy,” and although he thinks repugicans may feel some guilt for deliberately withholding life-saving cancer treatment, he is deluded thinking repugicans have a conscience or a modicum of empathy for people dying. Quite the contrary; they have demonstrated a propensity for creating life-threatening conditions for Americans for over four years, and boasted their successes were “common sense” and “good for America.”
As the sequester damage begins taking its toll on Americans, and repugicans gloated over their handiwork of creating life-threatening hardship for the poor, the idea of prioritizing an inconvenience over the survival of American citizens reveals the true inhumanity inherent in repugicans. For elderly and disabled shut-ins who depend on the Meals on Wheels program for basic nutritional survival, going without food is not an inconvenience, it is an existential threat. For poor children thrown out of the Head Start program, or lose access to free school lunches and their family’s pitiful food stamp allotment, the sequester is not an inconvenience, it is the difference between going through the day hungry or having at least one nutritional meal for five days a week while school is in session; as reported in this column on several occasions, many poor  Americans struggle to adequately feed their children when school is not in session, and instead of a handout, they want jobs repugicans are loathe to help create. In fact, the repugicans’ sequester is taking its toll on Americans’ jobs, and instead of quickly passing simple legislation to end sequester cuts and save nearly a million jobs in the first year of the ten year crusade, they halted the affluents’ inconvenience of waiting an hour for a flight.
It is possible Republicans have never witnessed an American ravaged with cancer, or elderly people subsisting on one meal a day courtesy of Meals on Wheels. The sequester savagely cuts housing assistance for senior citizens and poverty-level Americans who will join over a million school-aged children who are homeless and living in cars or tents that repugicans refuse to stop, but can act quickly when the affluent face an hour wait to catch their flights, but will not create one job. They cannot claim ignorance of the job losses their sequester is causing because they aided corporate defense industry facing the prospect of laying off their workforce that had nothing to do with preserving jobs and everything to do with corporate profits. It is important to remember the mindset expressed by House Speaker John Boehner when he was told repugican spending cuts would destroy over a million jobs; he replied so be it, and when the repugican cabal learned their sequestration cuts would kill nearly a million more, they celebrated their victory and boasted that they won an important battle in their economic war; on Americans.
There are no words harsh enough to describe the blatant inhumanity inherent in repugicans, and they cannot claim their Draconian death panels are because America is broke or to corral out-of-control spending. It was recently revealed that although the Defense Department did not request, and does not want or need, an increased number of Abrams tanks, repugicans in Congress are forging ahead and appropriating funds for more because the repugican cabal does not want to inconvenience the corporate defense industry with fewer orders and less profits. The price tag for one tank would feed thousands of senior citizens, homeless Veterans, and hungry school children, but in their never-ending corporate favoritism, repugicans will sacrifice a hundred thousand children and seniors to prevent corporate profits from falling.
President Obama should not sign the repugican legislation to unburden affluent Americans waiting an hour to catch their flights to send a message to repugicans and the rest of the country that every citizen gets to share the sacrifice of the repugican cabal’s sequester cuts. In fact, John Boehner had the audacity to accuse the President of forcing the FAA sequester cuts to impose hardship on the affluent for political expediency just prior to assembling repugicans make sure there would be a rapid resolution and relief for overburdened air travelers. Boehner and other repugicans also slammed the President’s budget proposal because among other things like spending on Veterans, infrastructure, and education, the budget replaced the sequester with balanced cuts to relieve all Americans from the ten-year sequester repugicans celebrated with great aplomb. One thing is certain, as the sequester inconveniences more of the repugican cabal’s affluent supporters, they will, without hesitation, quickly pass legislation to guarantee that the only Americans suffering inhumane sequester cuts will be the sick, hungry, and homeless until they make the ultimate sacrifice and succumb to the sequester death panels.

Tom the Dancing Bug


How money corrupts Congress, and what to do about it

Money wins Elections is an excellent, scrolling infographic that illustrates how money corrupts the American legislative process, showing that time and again, Congress has voted the way that the big money told it to, against the prevailing popular opinion. It's all in support of the American Anti-corruption Act, and it was created by Tony Chu for part of his MFA thesis project.
Money wins Elections

Rumor: Koch Brothers to buy 8 major newspapers, including LA Times

The Koch Brothers -- billionaire ultra-conservative puppet-masters and Tea Party funders -- are rumored to be in talks to buy eight newspapers, including the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel and Hartford Courant from the Tribune company, which is emerging from bankruptcy protection. Half of the LA Times's newsroom has threatened to quit if the Kochs take over.
One thing sure to happen if the Koch brothers take over the paper is a conservative agenda on the editorial page. As other newspapers have cut back on editorials and endorsements, the Times is now often the only LA news outlet that issues endorsements on political candidates and on ballot measures and initiatives. This is particularly crucial in California, where even the most educated voter is left clueless and confused -- or worse, tricked -- after reading the state propositions put on the ballot by Californians who simply gathered enough signatures to push a private agenda.
If the Times' editorial page is filled with the Koch brothers' libertarian opinions, other journalists in LA will need to step up and voice opposing views.

Bloomberg publishes CEO-to-employee-pay chart

"Bloomberg got tired of waiting for the SEC to implement its own rule requiring disclosure of data on how many times the median salary the CEO makes for publicly traded companies so they did a little sleuthing of public data and a little averaging math and calculated the ratio for the top 250 of the S&P 500 companies. The data are searchable and sortable and there's space for companies to comment, which quite a few have done. To my surprise Oracle is not #1, though it is the only tech firm in the top 10."
Top CEO Pay Ratios

The 13 Worst Jobs of the Past 2,000 Years

You know, with a tablet computer, you could probably be a leech gatherer and a World of Warcraft gold farmer at the same time. Why limit yourself to just one source of income? Come on, show some ambition!

The Grate Fishermen of New York

If you dropped your valuables down the drain in Times Square, you may think that you've lost them for good, but not to the grate fishermen of New York.
Meet Eliel Santos, who makes his living with dental floss and mousetrap glue fishing things from the city sidewalk grates. Gary Buiso of The New York Post followed him for a day:
Over the years, Santos has perfected his gear. He ditched the string because it was too fragile, experimented with fishing line but found it too inflexible, and now uses dental floss exclusively — 120 yards worth of Aim brand. “It’s only $1.19.”
The line is MacGyvered with black electrician’s tape to differed sized weights — found metallic objects — to accommodate even the narrowest grate.
He changes the Blue-Touch mouse glue about three times a shift, which spans generally from 9 am to about 2 pm.
To snag cash, he uses a tiny fishing hook that he’s straightened out like a spear. Heavy objects are hauled in using two or more glue weights, and a traditional fish hook is also used on occasion to grab hard-to-snag earrings or chains.
Sometimes he uses a pair of binoculars and a flashlight, and he’ll wear purple rubber gloves on occasion.
“In case it’s in toxic water,” he explains.
Read the rest over at the New York Post.

Armless driver vows to fight ticket for not wearing a seatbelt

A Canadian man is demanding an apology and refusing to pay a $175 ticket issued by police for not wearing a seatbelt, since he has no arms and can’t fasten it unassisted. Steven Simonar  from Saskatoon was pulled over in a routine police spot check last Friday. The RCMP officer who stopped him noticed he was not wearing his seatbelt, so Simonar explained he can’t fasten it when driving alone.

Simonar says he was asked for his license and registration, so he stepped out of the car and asked the officer to retrieve the documents from his pocket. He says the RCMP officer was prepared to let him go, but a Saskatoon Police Service sergeant overseeing the operation instructed him to issue a ticket. “The guy looked like he was having a bad day ... trying to push his authority around,” Simonar said. “He became very ignorant, and said, ‘Well if he can’t put his seatbelt on maybe he shouldn’t be driving.’ That’s what really made me mad.”

Simonar, 55, lost his arms in an accident some 28 years ago. He was hauling a sailboat out of a lake when the boat’s mast struck an overhead power line, electrocuting him through the arms and flinging him to the ground. “Electricity burns from the inside out, so they really don’t know the damage until it has run its course,” he said. “Five or six operations later … they had to take my arms right off.” The accident has not kept Simonar from driving. He has rigged five vehicles - including a four-wheel ATV - with a special wheel and stirrup that allow him to steer with his left foot.

While he has been pulled over before, Simonar said he has never been treated this way. “It never dawned on me I’d get a ticket, because I’ve been stopped numerous times and I’ve never had an issue,” he said. “You just have to look once to figure it out.” Simonar has been asked by the police to visit the station Wednesday to discuss the issue. “I’ll go to jail over this - I am not paying that ticket,” he said. Saskatoon Police spokesperson Alyson Edwards said people with disabilities must have the correct paperwork to avoid fines while driving.

Man posed as Dave Gilmour to avoid medical bills

Police in St. Cloud, Minnesota are investigating a Monticello man who claimed to be Pink Floyd band member Dave Gilmour while racking up a care bill as high as $100,000 at St. Cloud Hospital. The man even signed an autograph for a hospital employee’s son before he was arrested. No charges have been filed against Phillip Michael Schaeffer, 53, who was booked on April 24 at the Stearns County Jail for investigation of felony theft by swindle.

Schaeffer went to St. Cloud Hospital on April 20 for treatment and gave the name David Gilmour when he checked in. He claimed to not have any health insurance and was treated and released. After he left, hospital employees had suspicions that he wasn’t really the Pink Floyd singer-guitarist. That suspicion led to the hospital flagging his patient chart in case he returned, hospital spokeswoman Jeanine Nistler said. The next day, “there was some discussion among security staff leading people to believe that he really wasn’t David Gilmour,” Nistler said.

“So our security supervisor pulled up the security camera shots of when this man entered the hospital and compared them to pictures on the Internet of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and determined he was not David Gilmour.” Schaeffer came back to the hospital on April 24, told hospital staff he was David Gilmour and presented information that showed he had health insurance from Lloyd’s of London. He told hospital staff that Pink Floyd was on tour in Canada and that he stopped in St. Cloud during a break to get medical treatment.

He was seen by Dr. David Covington, an emergency room physician who works for Central Minnesota Emergency Physicians. Covington doubted that Schaeffer’s accent was one that he would expect from Gilmour. A security supervisor then went to the emergency room and saw a police officer who was there on an unrelated manner. The security supervisor told the officer about the Gilmour impersonator and the officer confronted Schaeffer. He then admitted he wasn’t Gilmour and was taken to jail. Schaeffer was later released from jail while police gather evidence to present to the county attorney’s office for possible charges.

Man fortified by half a pint of rum and cigarettes nearly drowned after jumping into sewer to look for keys

A man is in critical condition in Mount Sinai Medical Center after jumping into a storm drain in Miami Beach while trying to help a woman find her keys, authorities said.

Richard Brandenburg, 49, jumped into the drain to find the keys, and at some point stopped breathing. He had no pulse, but paramedics were able to resuscitate him. The woman was waiting for a locksmith, when Brandenburg told her that he had previously worked on sewage systems and would be willing to go into the sewer to help her, according to a Miami Beach Police incident report.

Witnesses told police he drank half a pint of white rum and smoked a few cigarettes before removing a rectangular grate and jumping into the sewer. He told witnesses he wanted to warm up because the water was cold. Brandenburg came up a couple of times to smoke a couple more cigarettes. The third time he went into the water, he did not come back up. Witnesses told police they saw bubbles coming up and tried to rescue him unsuccessfully.

When fire rescue arrived, they found the man under a circular manhole cover a few feet away from the rectangular grate. "He drowned," said Capt. Adonis Garcia, a fire rescue spokesman. Police initially reported that he had died. "They brought him back and now he's in critical condition," Garcia said. Police didn't immediately know how deep the water was in the drain.

Health News

Female rats are much more likely to binge eat than male rats, according to new research that provides some of the strongest evidence yet that biology plays a role in eating disorders. The study, by [...]
Long after a hangover, a night of bad decisions might take a bigger toll on the body than previously understood. Described in the current issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, a study at the [...]
Two new studies add to the growing evidence that spending time outdoors may help prevent or minimize nearsightedness in children. A study conducted in Taiwan, which is the first to use an educational policy as [...]
Elderly patients who receive anesthesia are no more likely to develop long-term dementia or Alzheimer’s disease than other seniors, according to new Mayo Clinic research. The study analyzed thousands of patients using the Rochester Epidemiology [...]
A UCLA-led study of adolescents receiving treatment for methamphetamine dependence has found that girls are more likely to continue using the drug during treatment than boys, suggesting that new approaches are needed for treating meth [...]

Medical News

The little girl has a new trachea -- grown from her own stem cells. 
Scientists are unsure what caused the squashed skull and tiny body size.

Random Picture

High schooler blows stuff up for science — ends up charged with a felony

A Florida high school student with an interest in science mixed together aluminum foil and toilet bowl cleaner as an experiment. To her surprise, the mixture exploded. Unfortunately for Kiera Wilmot, she tried her experiment on school grounds.
It was a small explosion, and nobody was hurt. Wilmot was, otherwise, a good student with a perfect behavior record. But the school chose to expel her, have her arrested, and is supporting her being charged with a felony as an adult.
Scientists across the country are not amused. Biologist Danielle Lee writes about this incident in context with the discipline gap that treats minority kids more harshly for small infractions.
Through Twitter, scientists and educators speak up about the things they blew up for science, under the hashtag #KieraWilmot.

Helium Gas As Volcano Eruption Detector

Helium gas released from volcanoes may anticipate the detection of magmatic movement even before those movements can be detected by seismic activity.

Astronomical News

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity returns to work on Wednesday following a month-long hiatus due to the sun blocking radio communications with Earth.
Nuclear Thermal Rockets could push mankind toward the asteroid belt and beyond, beginning an era of solar system colonization.
After three weeks of radio silence from NASA's veteran Mars rover Opportunity, mission managers regained contact with the robot only to find it had dropped into a self-imposed "safe mode."
A new book, filled with stunning images, takes you on a tour of our cosmic backyard -- just in time for Mother's Day.
The search for extraterrestrial life is so multipronged we have to ask ourselves what sort of detection of life off Earth would be most scientifically reliable? And, what scenario would have the biggest impact on the public?

NASA scientists don’t often learn that their spacecraft is at risk of crashing into another satellite. But when Julie McEnery, the project scientist for NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, checked her email on March 29, [...]

Archaeological News

The lost English church where the body of King Richard III was discovered may still yield more treasures.

Were you aware ...


Paleontological News

A tiny bird fossil discovered in Wyoming offers clues to the precursors of swift and hummingbird wings. The fossil is unusual in having exceptionally well-preserved feathers, which allowed the researchers to reconstruct the size and [...]

Animal News

The Dry Tortugas National Park seem to provide green sea turtles with everything they need, which is fitting since “tortuga” means turtle in Spanish.
The worms have acid-producing skin.
The cannibalism strategy happens as part of a paternity struggle -- within the mother's womb.
The finding in goats offers hope that previously neglected animals, including dogs, can recover and live contented lives.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents recently nabbed an alleged smuggler in California with more that $3.6 million worth of fish swim bladders.

Primate hibernation more common than previously thought

Until recently, the only primate known to hibernate as a survival strategy was a creature called the western fat-tailed dwarf lemur, a tropical tree-dweller from the African island of Madagascar. But it turns out this [...]

Animal Pictures