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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.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Daily Drift

Peace and Tranquility

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

Does some good! ...
Today is World Red Cross/Red Crescent Day 

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Some of our readers today have been in:
Cape Town, South Africa
Rome, Italy
Zagreb, Croatia
Merignac, France
San Jose, Costa Rica
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Ankara, Turkey
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Belgrade Serbia
Bangkok, Thailand
Asaba, Nigeria
Tbilisi,  Georgia
Waterloo, Canada
Kampala, Uganda
Gevgelija, Macedonia
Tunis, Tunisia
Marsa and Sliema, Malta
Gdansk and Warsaw Poland
Batam and Jakarta, Indonesia
Bechar and Mostaganem, Algeria
Puchong and Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Pasig and Manila, Philippines
Bristol and Slough, England

Today in History

1502   Christopher Columbus leaves Spain on his final trip to New World.
1754   The first newspaper cartoon in America appears.  
1813   U.S. troops under William Henry Harrison take Fort Meigs from British and Canadian troops.   
1859   Threatened by the advancing French army, the Austrian army retreats across the River Sesia in Italy.
1864   Union General John Sedgwick is shot and killed by a Confederate sharpshooter during fighting at Spotsylvania. His last words are: "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist–" 

1915   German and French forces fight the Battle of Artois.  
1926   Explorer Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett make the first flight over the North Pole.  
1936   Fascist Italy captures the city of Addis Abba, Ethiopia and annexes the country.  
1941   The German submarine U-110 is captured at sea along with its Enigma machine by the Royal Navy. 1946   King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy abdicates his throne and is replaced by Umberto.  
1962   A laser beam is successfully bounced off the moon for the first time.  
1974  The House Judiciary Committee begins formal hearings on Nixon impeachment.

Non Sequitur


Content barons are the richest CEOs

"Following up on Bloomberg's earlier posting of the CEO-to-average pay ratio, the NY Times has looked laterally across CEO pay levels and discovered that the richest of the rich are the 'media moguls' (their term). Given that the average media CEO makes $10 million more than the average non-media CEO it's hard to be sympathetic to their constant whining about how much illegal copying is hurting them."

Did you know ...

About the alarming rise in suicide among baby boomers

That the vast majority of national advertisers refuse to advertise on Dimbulb's show

About where are you on the global rich list?

How be sure to get your tickets to the steampunk worlds fair!

about how progressives failed to stop austerity when we had the chance

That the Boston bombing amputees will get free prosthetics

That polling plummets for senators who voted against background checks

That a non-partisan report says repugican obstructuionism is unprecedented

Lush Dimbulb Blames Voting For Obama For Cleveland Kidnappings

On his radio show Tuesday, Lush Dimbulb tried to blame the Cleveland kidnappings on voting for Obama.
Here is the audio from Media Matters:
Dimbulb said, “Three women missing nine plus years, found alive, all were teenagers when they disappeared. Does anybody know yet why? Has the story advanced yet? Three brothers..their brothers, Three brothers, but not related to the three women have been arrested in Cleveland, which voted Obama. Not that that has anything to do with anything. One of who has a baby. Double welfare benefits if one of the women has a baby. No, I don’t know. Fascinating that the same thing happened on Hawaii 5-0, and I guarantee you people watch it. It happened on TV. It is for real.”
Here’s the problem with Dimbulb’s attempt to blame voting for Obama for this behavior. These kidnapping occurred a decade or more ago when the shrub was pretending to be president. It is impossible to blame voting for Obama when he wasn’t even candidate for president when these horrible events occurred.
Dimbulb’s bigger point was that places that vote for Obama are less moral than the red areas that support repugicans. What he was suggesting to his audience was that this happened in Cleveland because Obama voters are criminals and sickos. His comments prove again that Lush Dimbulb will take any event large or small, and turn it into a reason to blame Obama.
He has taken the awful events in Cleveland, and twisted them to suit his own warped political motives. These kidnappings could have happened in any city in the country. Would Dimbulb be blaming Obama if the three women had been found in a red state?
Lush Dimbulb was also trying to inject racism into the conversation because the three men arrested in the case, Pedro, Ariel and Oneil Castro, are not white.
The fact that the three girls were kidnapped between 2002 and 2003 makes Lush Dimbulb’s attempt to blame voting for Obama pathetic and sad. It is very possible that the men who did this voted for the shrub, or didn’t vote at all. It really doesn’t matter, because politics has nothing to do with this.
Lush Dimbulb’s mind has been consumed by Obama hatred, and he will use anything to infect millions with his plague of hate for this president. Nothing is off limits. Not even the nightmarish ordeal of three women in Cleveland, Ohio. There is no such thing as a low too low for Lush Dimbulb.

Lush Dimbulb Does the Country a Favor As He Brings Other Wingnut Hate Radio Hosts With Him

Hey, where’d my advertisers go? 

Lush Dimbulb is trying to pretend that he is not to blame for the huge revenue loss resulting from his relentless hate speech against then-Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke, but Stop Lush and Flush Lush have had a definite negative impact on Cumulus’s ad revenue.
Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey blames Lush for the stunning loss in revenue that is impacting other talk shows, “We’ve had a tough go of it the last year. The facts are indisputable regarding the impact certain things have had on ad dollars.” Those “certain things” are the successful advertiser boycotts against Lush Dimbulb, also known as Lush Dimbulb’s refusal to be civilized. Dickey made his point.
Cumulus released its quarterly earnings figures on Tuesday morning, reporting a 1.3 percent decline in revenues. Media Matters reported that Cumulus reported a $2.4 million dollar decline in revenue in a first quarter in their first quarter earnings call with investors. But it’s not just the latest quarter. Media Matters pointed out, “Dickey has reported millions in losses associated with Dimbulb in previous quarters as well.”
Things are so bad that Lush’s losses are taking down other wingnut shows.
Media Matters explained, “Dimbulb has become so toxic that he’s hurting other wingnut hate speech shows.” In March of this year, Media Matters explained that due to the structure of radio ad buys, the loss of revenue wiped out other national talk shows, resulting in forcing talk radio to move away from wingnut hate speech:
At a Talkers forum last year, Norm Pattiz, CEO of Courtside Entertainment, summed up the destructive effect Limbaugh has had on the entire industry, noting that a “tremendous chunk of advertising revenue was wiped out in terms of support for national talk radio programs.” Pattiz added that “the movement in talk radio to some degree is moving away from conservative talk radio and into other genres.”
Lush is threatening (promising?) to leave Cumulus over their suggestion that he is to blame for their losses. Jason Easley reported Monday for Politicus, “Lush Dimbulb is considering ending his affiliation agreement with Cumulus Media because Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey has blamed the advertiser boycott of Lush’s show for the decline in advertising revenue… Dimbulb’s feelings are hurt because Dickey had the nerve to point out that calling women sluts is bad for business.”
No matter how Lush stomps his feet at Cumulus, the truth is other media companies blame Lush as well. For example, Dial Global blamed millions in losses on Dimbulb in November of 2012, according to the Huffington Post.
Dial listed a whole host of factors for its financial straits. But one of them was “advertisers’ response to controversial statements by a certain nationally syndicated talk radio personality in March 2012.”
Mediaite got an insider scoop on Monday confirming that Lush is indeed to blame as the vast majority of national advertisers refuse to advertise on his show now: “The vast majority of national advertisers now refuse to air their ads during Lush Dimbulb’s show.”
What this means is that the activist groups that took a stand against Lush Dimbulb have been successful beyond their expectations. By using the free market to hold Dimbulb accountable for calling Sandra Fluke a slut and worse, they defunded wingnut hate speech radio.
Lush Dimbulb is indeed free to spew all of the hate he pleases. But airing that hate and expecting to make a profit off of it is no longer looking like a viable business plan.

The truth be told

Tuesday, May 7

Most Wanted Women

Joanne Chesimard may have achieved a new level of notoriety, but she isn't the first female criminal that has led the FBI on a long pursuit.

Police hunt female Incredible Hulk following assault

A woman dressed as the Incredible Hulk is being sought in connection with a violent assault in York.
She is wanted after a 17-year-old York girl was left with bruising to her face and a black eye in an attack outside McDonald's in Blake Street.

Police said that at the time of the incident - just after 3am on Friday, April 26 - the woman suspected of the assault was covered in green body paint with dyed red hair and wearing a torn T-shirt, but is believed to be a white woman, in her late teens or early twenties and around 5ft 8in tall with a medium build.

PC Cheryl Hunter, of York Safer Neighborhood Team, said: “This appears to have been a wholly unprovoked assault. Thankfully the injuries were not too severe. However, the outcome could have been far more serious.” Anyone who can help the police with their inquiries is asked to contact York CID.

Woman arrested after fatal hit-and-run displayed signs and symptoms of possible alcohol use

Phoenix police have arrested a woman in a fatal hit-and-run on Sunday night. Kristen Joi Suggs, 24, was booked for leaving the scene of a fatal traffic collision.

According to police spokesman Officer James Holmes, Suggs was driving a Chevy Malibu when she allegedly hit a 51-year-old Hispanic man. The man had been walking mid-block in the curb lane.

Phoenix Fire Department personnel arrived on scene and pronounced the victim dead. His name has not been released. Holmes said Suggs fled the scene then called police to report an unknown suspect had thrown an unknown object at her vehicle, causing extensive damage.

Officers contacted Scruggs and observed the evidence and damage to her vehicle to be consistent with the vehicle/pedestrian collision. The officers said Scruggs displayed signs and symptoms of possible alcohol use. DUI charges are pending test results. The investigation is continuing.

Three fake nuns arrested smuggling cocaine under their habits

Police on the Colombian Caribbean island of San Andres arrested three fake nuns with a total of six kilos of cocaine concealed about their persons.

The three suspects, Colombians aged 20, 32 and 37 were arrested at the airport of San Andres as they were trying to enter the island after a flight from Bogota.

All three had hidden two kilos of cocaine under their religious habits. Police Capt. Oscar Davila says the three women appeared nervous, and the fabric didn't match that of the traditional habits of genuine women of god.

“They weren’t really religious, they weren’t nuns. On the contrary, they were taking advantage of this situation,” San Andres police commissioner Jorge Gomez said. The fake nuns were taken to the local prison to await trial.

Faced with excommunication threat, Irish PM explains separation of cult and state to Cardinal

The catholic cult threatened to excommunicate Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny if he held a scheduled vote on Ireland's new abortion law. He responded:
Everybody’s entitled to their opinion here but as explained to the Cardinal and members of the cult my book is the constitution and the constitution is determined by the people. That’s the people’s book. We live in a Republic and I have a duty and responsibility as head of Government to legislate in respect of what the people’s wishes are.
Redditor bleacliath created a great graphic for this quote and posted it to /r/atheism.

Can You Be Overweight and Malnourished?

Obesity can result when protein and nutrients are missing from a person's diet.

Colonial Settlements That Failed

If Jamestown, which saw cannibalism in its early history, is an example of a successful colony, what do the failures look like?

The Legend of the QWERTY Keyboard

How did the keyboard layout we are used to, known as QWERTY after the first letters in the top row, come about? The earliest typewriters didn't use it, but it became the layout that typists learned. Christopher Latham Sholes developed typewriters and filed several patents in the 1860s, and first one that included the QWERTY pattern in 1878. The story most told about the layout goes like this:
The popular theory states that Sholes had to redesign the keyboard in response to the mechanical failings of early typewriters, which were slightly different from the models most often seen in thrift stores and flea markets. The type bars connecting the key and the letter plate hung in a cycle beneath the paper. If a user quickly typed a succession of letters whose type bars were near each other, the delicate machinery would get jammed. So, it is said, Sholes redesigned the arrangement to separate the most common sequences of letters like “th” or “he”. In theory then, the QWERTY system should maximize the separation of common letter pairings.
But there are problems with this story. For one thing, the combination "er" is too common to have the two letters side-by-side. And people of a certain age know that even 20th-century typewriters with mechanical levers would tangle if you typed too fast. Recent research turns up a different theory, which involves telegraph operators. Read how these operators helped to determine the way we type today at Smithsonian. More

Statistical Analysis of Movie Scripts

Movie clap stickWith hundreds of millions of dollars in production costs, it's no wonder that Hollywood studios worry about whether their movies will be hits or flops. Will the viewers like that particular fight scene or should the studios tweak it to maximize the statistical probability of success? That's where script doctor and statistician Vinny Bruzzese steps in, with the art and magic of script analysis:
For as much as $20,000 per script, Mr. Bruzzese and a team of analysts compare the story structure and genre of a draft script with those of released movies, looking for clues to box-office success. His company, Worldwide Motion Picture Group, also digs into an extensive database of focus group results for similar films and surveys 1,500 potential moviegoers. What do you like? What should be changed?
“Demons in horror movies can target people or be summoned,” Mr. Bruzzese said in a gravelly voice, by way of example. “If it’s a targeting demon, you are likely to have much higher opening-weekend sales than if it’s summoned. So get rid of that Ouija Board scene.”
Bowling scenes tend to pop up in films that fizzle, Mr. Bruzzese, 39, continued. Therefore it is statistically unwise to include one in your script. “A cursed superhero never sells as well as a guardian superhero,” one like Superman who acts as a protector, he added.
His recommendations, delivered in a 20- to 30-page report, might range from minor tightening to substantial rewrites: more people would relate to this character if she had a sympathetic sidekick, for instance.
Critics argue that statistical analysis of movie scripts lead to blander, formulaic movies, but Hollywood studios seem to like them just fine. Brooks Barnes of the New York Times has the story: Here.

North American English Dialects, Based On Pronunciation Patterns

Some people collect stamps. Others collect coins. Rick Aschmann collects dialects. North American English dialects. His website contains hundreds of audio and video samples of speech from all over North America. As well as an interactive map where you can click to hear audio and video samples of various North American accents.

Here are 23 words that have remained unchanged for 15,000 years

"A research team led by Mark Pagel at the University of Reading in England has identified 23 'ultraconserved words' that have remained largely unchanged for 15,000 years." - Washington Post

Ancient Scripts Give Clue To Missing Babylon's Hanging Garden

The whereabouts of the fabled Hanging Garden of Babylon has been one of the great mysteries from antiquity. The inability of archaeologists to find traces of it among Babylon's ancient remains led some even to doubt its existence. Now British academic Stephanie Dalley of Oxford University has amassed a wealth of textual evidence to show that the garden was instead created at Nineveh, 300 miles from Babylon, in the early 7th century BC.

After 18 years of study, Stephanie Dalley has concluded that the garden was built by the Assyrians in the north of Mesopotamia – in modern Iraq – rather than by their great enemies the Babylonians in the south.

Atlantis Found

Geologists have announced the discovery of what has been dubbed the 'Brazilian Atlantis', some 900 miles from Rio. The legend of Atlantis, a sunken island thought to have once lay between Africa and South America, has been the subject of literary myths for centuries. But geologists in Brazil have now added their claims to speculation over the precise location of the mysterious land mass, mentioned first by Plato in around 360BC.

Working with scientists from Japan, experts believe they have found evidence of a continent that disappeared after Africa and South America separated, 900 miles from the coast of Rio de Janeiro. The discovery of granite, a rock formed on dry land, was announced by the Geology Service of Brazil as a sign of a lost continent.

Awesome Pictures


(by Tucapel)

Tracking Tremors

A Brief History Of The Richter Scale
Developed in 1935 by Charles Richter in partnership with Beno Gutenberg, both from the California Institute of Technology, the Richter magnitude scale is used to assign a single number to quantify the energy released during an earthquake.

The system operates on a base-10 logarithmic scale, measuring the amplitude of seismic waves recorded upon a seismograph. Being logarithmic, each incremental number on the scale denotes a 10x increase in magnitude - that is, a shaker measuring 5.0 on the Richter Scale is ten times larger as one measuring 4.0.

Climate Change

Scientists expressed alarm on Monday over the rapid acidification of the Arctic Ocean caused by carbon dioxide emissions.
The proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is set to break 400 parts per million this month, levels not seen in 3 million years.

Astronomical News

Gamma-ray burst is 'eye-wateringly' bright, even from 3.6 billion light years away.
NASA is sorting through a variety of possible uses for a pair of powerful spy satellite telescopes that fell into the agency's lap last year.
Astronomers may not be able to sample an exoplanet directly, but they have analyzed a hot-Jupiter's atmosphere in the 'perfect lab exoperiment.' 
Comets mysteriously appear from the depths of space like whales from the depths of the ocean, but where do they come from?

Solar Eclipse Will Turn Sun Into 'Ring of Fire' This Week


The moon will block the sun in a potentially spectacular solar eclipse this week — a celestial event that will transform the sun into a cosmic "ring of fire" in the daytime sky.
The ring-shaped solar eclipse, known as an annular eclipse, will occur Thursday and Friday (May 9 and 10) Eastern time. Weather permitting, the eclipse will be visible in certain parts of Australia and the Southern Pacific Ocean, where the local time will be Friday.
"Solar eclipses can be inspirational to students and others, so it is interesting to have everyone view the eclipse, but only safe methods of viewing should be used," Jay Pasachoff, an astronomer at Williams College and chair of the International Astronomical Union's working group on eclipses, said in a statement.
While nearly 95% of the sun will be covered by the moon at the eclipse's peak, the sky will not be noticeably darker to the naked eye at any point, explained Williams College officials in Williamstown, Mass.
For this reason, special protective lenses, camera and telescope filters and other methods of protection should be used in order to safely watch the eclipse even during full annularity, when the sun is silhouetting the moon.
The path of annularity passes through parts of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland in Australia. Other nearby parts of the world will be able to see a partial solar eclipse, if weather permits.
The Hawaiian Islands, other parts of Australia, the southern Philippines, eastern Indonesia, other areas in Papua New Guinea and a small part of New Zealand will get at least a partial show, Williams College officials said.
The entire world should be able to catch a glimpse of the annular eclipse thanks to the online Slooh Space Camera. Slooh will host a webcast featuring expert commentary and views of the eclipse on Thursday starting at 5:30 p.m. EDT (2130 GMT). You can watch the broadcast live on SPACE.com.
During annular solar eclipses, the moon casts a shadow on the face of the Earth when it passes between the planet and the star. Because of its orbit, however, the moon still appears about 4.5% smaller than the sun, creating the distinct ring in the sky, Joe Rao, a SPACE.com contributor and meteorologist said.
This week's solar eclipse comes on the heels of a partial lunar eclipse that shadowed the moon above Central Asia, Western Australia, Eastern Europe and Africa. Another minor lunar eclipse will occur on May 24.
These aren't the only eclipses of 2013. On Nov. 3, a rare hybrid solar eclipse — an annular eclipse that transitions into a total eclipse — will be visible in the northern Atlantic Ocean and into equatorial Africa.

Random Photo

Hairy Bat Tongue

Bat tongue
You're looking at a scanning electron microscope image of a Pallas's long-tongued bat. The hairs act as a "mop" to scoop up nectar. Cally Harper and Beth Brainerd of Duke University found out exactly how such a weird tongue works:
The researchers knew the bat tongues were covered with little hairs, so they watched what happened to those hairs as the bats reached out for food.
When the tongue is inside the bat's mouth, they found, the hairs lie flat on the tongue's surface.
"And then very close to when the tongue is maximally extended, these hairs become erect," Harper says. "And when that happens, a space is created between each of the rows of hairs on the tongue tip. And nectar is loaded onto each one of those spaces."
It's like the bat's tongue is working like a mop, Brainerd says. "Not a sponge mop, but a stringy mop."
Brainerd says it turns out that each hair has blood vessels supplying it. When the bat sticks its tongue out to feed, the muscles of the tongue contract, pushing blood into the hair and making it stand on end. "The mechanism is like an active mop that's opening up to make more space for this liquid nectar to be collected," she says.
Rhitu Chatterjee of NPR's Morning Edition has the story: Here.

Animal News

Brood II cicadas that last arose in 1996 are back. 
The shadow of climate change hangs over these young Canada lynx. As New England warms, the cats are losing their habitat.

Animal Pictures