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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 23, 2013

The Daily Drift

Oh, yeah, there's comments from the peanut gallery ...

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Today in History

1430   Burgundians capture Joan of Arc and sell her to the English.  
1533   Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void.  
1618   The Thirty Years War begins.  
1701   Captain William Kidd, the Scottish pirate, is hanged on the banks of the Thames.  
1785   Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals.  
1788   South Carolina becomes the eighth state to ratify U.S. Constitution.  
1861   Pro-Union and pro-Confederate forces clash in western Virginia.  
1862   Confederate General "Stonewall" Jackson takes Front Royal, Virginia.  
1864   Union General Ulysses Grant attempts to outflank Confederate Robert E. Lee in the Battle of North Anna, Virginia.  
1900   Civil War hero Sgt. William H. Carney becomes the first African American to receive the Medal of Honor, thirty-seven years after the Battle of Fort Wagner.  
1901   American forces capture Filipino rebel leader Emilio Aguinaldo.  
1915   Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary.  
1934   Gangsters Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are killed by Texas Rangers.  
1945   Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Nazi Gestapo, commits suicide after being captured by Allied forces.  
1949   The Federal Republic of West Germany is proclaimed.  
1960   Israel announces the capture of Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Argentina.

Non Sequitur


LEDs in an Engagement Ring

Ben's engagement ring is awesome not only because it lights up, but because it lights up when he and his girlfriend hold hands:
Putting a battery of capacitor inside a ring is nigh impossible, so [Ben] decided to power the LEDs with an inductive charging circuit. A coil of wire wound around kapton tape serves as the inductor and a small SMD capacitor powers three very bright and very tiny LEDs.
The inductive charging unit itself is a masterpiece of hackery; [Ben] wanted the ring to light up whenever he and his ladyfriend were holding hands. To do this, [Ben]‘s inductive charger is also a wearable device: a large coil of wire is the charger’s transformer and was would to fit around [Ben]‘s wrist. The entire charging circuit can be easily hidden under a jacket sleeve, making for a nearly magical light-up ring.
You can watch a video of the ring here.

Did you now ...

That an 18 year old science student invents device to charge cell phones in seconds, not hours

About the consequences of weak regulation

About the cost of blocking gun control in congress

About how wealthy Democrats are saving the American economy

Anti-Sandy-relief repugican Oklahoma Senator: Aid for my state is “totally different” than Sandy

FWingnutt US Senator Jim Inhofe (r-OK) tried to explain  why it’s consistent for him to oppose the federal government paying for Hurricane Sandy disaster relief in New England, but why the government should pay for tornado disaster relief in Oklahoma.
After all, New Englanders don’t vote in Oklahoma.
No, Inhofe didn’t actually say that.  He tried to argue that Hurricane Sandy relief was all pork, which it wasn’t.
Senator Jim Inhofe (r-OK) 
Inhofe claimed that Sandy relief contained money for the Virgin Islands and to repair the roofs of homes in Washington, DC.
In fact, the Sandy relief bill contained money to repair the roofs of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
As for the Virgin Islands, the bill did permit some of the federal highway funds in the bill to be diverted to the Virgin Islands.  But that’s about it.  The “pork” in the bill was pretty small, by all accounts.  But Inhofe still voted against it.
The Atlantic walks us through more of the supposed “pork” in the bill that conservatives were complaining about:
  • $150 million for fisheries in Alaska damaged by the 2011 Japanese tsunami,which littered debris on Alaska’s shoreline
  • $41 million to repair military bases damaged by Hurricane Sandy (including ,controversially, Guantanamo Bay)
  • $13 billion for future flood preparations (that is, money that will not be spent on victims of Sandy but on preventing future, Sandy-scale disasters from occurring)
So those are all disaster relief, and disaster-related.  One, the Alaskan one, is for a past disaster that wasn’t addressed, and should have been.  So that’s not pork.  The National Review has more of the repugican cabal's argument against the bill, but to call any of what they write about “pork” is simply bullshit.  The closest they get to park is money preparing for the next disaster.  How is that pork in a disaster bill?
What’s going on here is that Inhofe realizes that when you’re the Senator from a state with a disaster, you really don’t have a choice but to get a disaster relief bill passed.  So he’ll do anything to differentiate his cold-heartedness towards Sandy victims with his new warmth towards tornado victims.
Oklahoma’s other stingy repugican Senator, Tom Coburn, is also in a bit of a pickle over tornado relief.  Coburn has already said that any tornado relief bill must include cuts in the rest of the budget to pay for it, or he won’t support it.  In other words, Coburn is taking Oklahoma tornado victims as human shields in the repugican cabal’s endless war on the budget (well, endless war on everything but tax cuts for the rich and defense spending).
The only difference is that the tornado victims vote in Oklahoma.

Reality is ...

Wednesday, May 22

Oklahoma repugican Senator takes own constituents hostage, demands budget cuts or no tornado aid

You have to give Oklahoma repugican US Senator Tom Coburn high marks for consistency, if not compassion.In the face of a major tornado disaster in his home state, that has taken the lives of 24 Oklahomans, including at least 9 children in a devastated elementary school, Coburn says he won’t support disaster relief for his home state unless the budget is cut elsewhere.
Yes, Coburn is taking his own constituents hostage as budget-cutting human shields.
It’s not the first time Coburn has taken hostages. Last winter, Coburn joined Oklahoma’s other wingnut repugican Senator, Jim Inhofe, in voting against the Hurricane Sandy relief bill.
And in repeated budget stand-offs with the President the repugican cabal has routinely taken unemployed Americans, and the credit worthiness of the entire United States (and thus the entire US and world economy), hostage as a bargaining chip for the tea party ideologues that now control the repugican cabal.
I suppose one could try to argue that Coburn’s cold-hearted ideological consistency in the face of 10 dead children is refreshing. But I’d call it heartless.  And it’s systematic of the larger problem the repugican cabal is having at the national level.  They just don’t like people.  And it’s starting to show.
One thing is clear, this isn’t about the deficit.  How many repugicans asked for our wars to be paid for up front?  Show of hands, don’t be shy.
The repugicans don’t really care about spending money like a (or for a) drunken sailor, so long as it’s for tax cuts and the Defense Department.  Then after their years of massive spending bankrupt us – like Reagan did, and then the shrub – suddenly the repugicans are deficit hawks, asking us to cut all of our programs while leaving theirs in tact.
So while I can appreciate Coburn claiming that the deficit is a problem, it would come across as more sincere if his cabal hadn’t caused the deficit in the first place.  I’d have gladly not invaded Iraq if it would have meant saving a trillion dollars right off the top, and possibly a few trillion more down the road when we factor in the overall impact on the economy (according to Joe Stiglitz).
We wouldn’t need to be holding a back sale every time Mother Nature hiccuped (and we can thank the repugicans for their climate change trutherism as well)  if the repugicans would stop spending a trillion on this war and another trillion on that tax cut.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that 71% of the national debt happened under repugican presidents.
The NYT has a wonderful chart making it crystal clear just how much damage the repugicans have caused to the deficit – note how much damage the shrub caused all by his lonesome:
Source: NYT
Source: NYT
So as far as I’m concerned, if repugican Senators want to hold hostage tornado aid for Oklahoma and Kansas (the other state hit by the tornadoes), two red states that voted for Mitt Romney in November, they’re certainly welcome to try.
Source: Huffington Post
But I’d challenge Senators Coburn and Inhofe to tell these people they’re not worth it, then see how long they remain in office.

The truth be told

Tuesday, May 21

The repugican cabal: They’re Sneaky, Greedy and They Represent a Handful of People

Hey average dudes and dudettes, you’re being chewed up and spit out daily and don’t even know it. The poor and middle-class are carrying 100% of the burden of perpetuating the status of the privileged few squeezed into the top 1 or 2% of the U.S. population. Mr. and Mrs. Mainstream make virtually all the financial and service sacrifices at the altar of the political derangement that is today’s repugican cabal.
The headline examples are obvious. Huge tax breaks for the hugely wealthy. Every multinational corporate incentive perk imaginable, relentless repugican attempts to destroy Obamacare under the aegis of insurance interests and pharmas, low wages getting lower for the have-nots and the use of god, Guns and Gays (and now fairy tale scandals) to keep red state voters in line. But there’s a lot more in the cynical and self-serving hopper of privilege embracing the sweet life of fancy cars, enormous homes and oceans of cash until death do ye part.
Let’s go for a ride on the scamola train. We’ll make a few stops at the more egregious of sneaky ways to pick your pocket without you being aware that you’re a major contributor to a huge multinational or the victim of unhinged politics. I recently attended an Upstate South Carolina meeting that featured speakers from the publicly owed, Commission of Pubic Works (CPW), a local city water and sewer system entity that also serves the county. CPW arbitrarily decided to change the formula for paying the city a “dividend” each year out of monies collected for water and sewer services. That dust-up blew the cover off of information that, while supposedly public, was sometimes hidden deep in the small print.
CPW has raised rates for the past 5 years. Their latest proposal is a 13.9% increase for in-city residential customers or about $35 annually. City commercial rates would be 14.7% higher and $188 per annum. For county customers those number rise to 14.2% for residents ($61.00) and 14.9% commercial or $328. In-city industrial customers get socked for a $64,053 increase, while the county industries, including some giant multinationals kick in $112,029. As for the latter, ROTFLMAO!!!
I asked the speaker the obvious question. In getting the giants to grace your small, right to work, anti-union, desperate for jobs county, don’t you and your butt-kissing economic development partners, make water negotiations a major part of your incentive packages? Well, ‘er, yes, we do sometimes negotiate rates. I further asked how long some of these contracts are? “Well, ‘er, 30 years!” So, for the highly misleading suggestion that the multinationals are going to have their rates raised by some loathsome percentage, file that under pure bullshit. Their much lower rates are contracted for decades.
You, the little guy and gal, are going to pick up a substantial portion of multinational rate slack. A percentage of your increase will absorb the percentage that is negotiated away by the hulking behemoth of brick and mortar, located in 50 countries, paying minimal (if any) taxes, often getting its land for nothing and infrastructure compliments of the city.
Something else built into your rate structure is absorbing a $500,000 health insurance increase for employees of CPW. For some, that represents hundreds a month in premiums. This is going on in every corner of our fine land. Before the state health exchanges bring in some competition to the state marketplace in 2014, the major insurance companies are slamming businesses and local governments with increases in the 14-15% range. And the problem in many states is that as few as 1 or 2 such companies serve some states. Blue Cross and Blue Shield have about a 50% South Carolina stake. THAT is why powerful insurance companies have their hugely unethical and greedy (cushy lobbying jobs on retirement?) legislators attacking Obamacare.
Another local impact, essentially a consequence of Nikki Haley’s Social Services policies, involves a local boys home that could close by the end of the year. Reduced reimbursement rates are partially at fault. It’s a 42-year-old facility for boys, 8 to 18years.
Speaking of the state budget, 84% of those in the county with mental issues cannot get help from the county mental health system, largely due to lack of resources. A lack of state funding closed a detoxification center that served 11,000 people in its 15-year history. Are you satisfied Republicans? A friend of mine’s son recently died with issues that mental health support could have addressed. Another non-profit center providing services on a sliding pay scale locked its doors for the same reason.
For religious repugicans, serving the mentally challenged, the sick and poor and young boys in need, or serving giant multibillion-dollar corporations is no contest. Go Boeing!
The sequester, was born of repugican legislative blackmail to keep the government up and running, includes 9 years of ruinous cuts. The Huffington Post lists a few: they included cuts in food safety, scientific research (I can hear the goobers cheering now), cuts in HIV tests and meds (more goober cheering), care for those with mental health needs, cuts in head start, help for the homeless and unemployment benefits could go down by as much as 9%. That’s how heartless repugicans are. That’s $1.2 trillion less over 9 years; $85 billion this year.
On the hypocritical side, mandated furloughs for Air Traffic Controllers were removed when members of Congress realized they were impacted. Another enormously ill-conceived cut was the slashing of emergency response funds. In light of the horrible Moore tragedy, what an incredibly short-sighted move. My heart goes out to the families of Moore and the surrounding area.
It’s not that there isn’t huge money out there. Risking a reprising of the obscene and economically deadly dot-com bubble of 2000, we’re starting to get questionable big money investments tossed around. For 3 years from 1997 to 2000, pimply-face adolescents could get their garage Internet businesses purchased or IPO’d and invested in at ridiculous prices while having zero revenue.
A 26-year-old recently unloaded his popular blogging forum, Tumblr, with tens of millions of daily posters. Certainly cool and neat and the back-story of the whiz-kid owner is cute, but worth $1.1 billion to Yahoo? Tumblr is a great favorite of the teen to early 20s set. Is there a more fickle demographic?
For his part, Mark Zuckerberg parted with $1 billion of Facebook’s billions for Instagram, a popular photo-sharing mobile app with no profits. A Forbes writer postulated that among 10 reasons Facebook bought Instagram was “Because it Could” and Facebook is having a “midlife crisis.” Pretty sophisticated stuff.
Both these deals might work out just fine, but remember those reckless dot-com days where NASDAQ closed at it’s highest at $5,048. Some 13 years later, it’s hovering around the $3,500 level. The estimated loss to investors; $5 trillion. Thinking dot-coms are once again easy money is a small-investor trap.
A final warning that things could get worse. Mergers and acquisitions in the health care field. Generic drug maker Actavis, just used an all-stock deal to put together the third largest specialty Pharmaceutical in the country. Few companies, less competition, higher prices.
So, while the top tier money-changers are on a financial high, the Bush recession has cost the middle-class Gen Xers almost half of their wealth between 2007-2010. Their current age range is 36-47.
Seems an appropriate time to vote for damn near every Democrat who runs for office.

Wingnut 'Nonprofits' That Illegally Received Tax Exempt Status Outspent Legitimate Liberal PACs by 34-to-1

The real scandal about the IRS is that they’ve been overwhelmed with dark money groups claiming nonprofit status since the passing of Citizens United, and wingnut groups have outspent liberal groups on political spending by 34-1, according to a Center for Responsive Politics analysis of the IRS and FEC records.
Open Secrets reported, “Wingnut nonprofits that illegally received tax-exempt status since the beginning of 2010 and also filed election spending reports with the Federal Election Commission overwhelmed liberal groups in terms of money spent on politics, an analysis of Internal Revenue Service and FEC records shows.”
Furthermore, their analysis showed, “Of the 21 organizations that received rulings from the IRS after January 1, 2010, and filed FEC reports in 2010 or 2012, 13 were wingnut. They outspent the liberal groups in that category by a factor of nearly 34-to-1.”
American Action Network spent $30.6 million in 2010 and 2012 comprises 94% of the wingnut total. But Open Secrets notes, “(E)ven without American Action Network, spending by conservative groups approved after 2010 was nearly quadruple that of liberal groups receiving exempt status in the same period.”
Karl Rove’s Crossroads is the biggest spender, reporting spending more than $87.9 million since 2010, but it’s still waiting to be officially approved as tax exempt. Gee, do you think the IRS will be able to be objective when it comes to Crossroads’ overtly political purpose, or will they feel pressured to rubber stamp Karl so as not to cause offense?
Bear in mind that all of these numbers only represent the amount disclosed.
That’s why you were inundated with political ads over the last two elections. According to data released by the Television Bureau of Advertising, local television stations raked in nearly $3 billion in dark money from political ads in 2012. The sources behind that money are rarely revealed to the viewer, sort of like the anonymous trolls of TV.
Making matters worse, the Federal Communications Commission isn’t pushing for dislosure or transparency like they should be, according to a January 2013 report by Government Accountability Office for Congressional requesters. The FCC is responsible for “ensuring that the public when and by whom its being persuaded.”
For content considered political or that discusses a controversial issue,
broadcasters must follow all requirements for commercial content and additional requirements, such as identifying officials associated with the entity paying for an advertisement. In addition, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) enforces federal election law that requires all political communications for a federal election, including television and radio advertisements,
to include a disclaimer statement. FEC also oversees requirements to report campaign funding and expenditures, including funding for political advertising.
It just may be that with all of this overspending, 34-1, wingnut groups might have drawn attention to their activities all by themselves. It didn’t help that they are using True the Vote as their IRS Persecution Cause of the Week, when a judge ruled that True the Vote was not a nonprofit, but was actually operating as a PAC, and had illegally aided the repugican cabal.

Utah wants to tax power consumed by the NSA's massive, illegal data-processing facility

Remember the gigantic data-center that the NSA is building in Utah in order to (illegally) process the electronic communications of the whole world? Turns out that the state of Utah plans on taxing the titanic amounts of electricity it will consume at 6%. The NSA is pissed.
"We are quite concerned [about] this," Harvey Davis, NSA director of installations and logistics, wrote in the April 26 email, obtained through a Utah open records law request.
In a follow-up email Davis sent 31 minutes later, he explained: "The long and short of it is: Long-term stability in the utility rates was a major factor in Utah being selected as our site for our $1.5 billion construction at Camp Williams. HB325 runs counter to what we expected."
HB325, which Herbert signed into law April 1, benefits the Utah Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA). It allows the entity, which was set up to put select military properties on the public tax rolls, to collect a tax of up to 6 percent on Rocky Mountain Power electricity used by the Utah Data Center.

Chronology of the Canadian wingnut government's war on science

No government in Canadian history has been as hostile to science as Stephen Harper's wingnuts. John Dupuis has assembled a brief, brutal chronology of the ways that the Tories have attacked Canadian science. It's no coincidence that this government is so hostile to science, seeing as how its funding and grassroots support come from the tar sands and related Big Oil interests, who want as little known as possible about the impact of their dirty industry on the planet we all share.
This is a brief chronology of the current wingnut Canadian government’s long campaign to undermine evidence-based scientific, environmental and technical decision-making. It is a government that is beholden to big business, particularly big oil, and that makes every attempt to shape public policy to that end. It is a government that fundamentally doesn’t believe in science. It is a government that is more interested in keeping its corporate masters happy than in protecting the environment.
As is occasionally my habit, I have pulled together a chronology of sorts. It is a chronology of all the various cuts, insults, muzzlings and cancellations that I’ve been able to dig up. Each of them represents a single shot in the Canadian wingnut war on science. It should be noted that not every item in this chronology, if taken in isolation, is necessarily the end of the world. It’s the accumulated evidence that is so damning.

Everything done to WikiLeaks is now being done to US reporters

Data requests without a warrant. Government refusing to notify journalists they’re being spied on. Equating journalists and reporting to spies and espionage. Potential “conspiracy to commit espionage” charges. "Virtually every move made by the Justice Department against WikiLeaks has now also been deployed on mainstream US journalists," writes Trevor Timm at Freedom of the Press Foundation

Privacy, public health and the moral hazard of surveillance

"Privacy, public health and the moral hazard of surveillance," discusses the way that the governments' reliance on social networks for intelligence purposes means that they can't intervene to help their populations get better at trading their privacy for services.
That's a crisis. If online oversharing is a public health problem, then the state's decision to harness it for its own purposes means that huge, powerful forces within government will come to depend on oversharing. It will be vital to their jobs – their pay-packets will literally depend on your inability to gauge the appropriateness of your online disclosure.
They will be on the same side as the companies that profit from oversharing, because they will, effectively, be just another firm that benefits from oversharing.
It's as though Scotland Yard decreed that obesity was critical to its ability to catch slow-moving, easily winded suspects. It's as though the NHS announced it would cope with the expense of an aging population by encouraging chain-smoking. The dangers of oversharing are hard enough to manage when it's just the private sector that benefits from them.

Perils of smart cities

Here'a an excellent piece on the promise and peril of "smart cities," which could be part of a system to make cities fairer and more transparent, or could form the basis for an authoritarian lockdown. As Adam Greenfield says, "[the centralized model of the smart city is] disturbingly consonant with the exercise of authoritarianism." The author mentions Greenfield's upcoming book "The City is Here for You to Use" (a very promising-looking read) as well as Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, which is out in the fall.
These critics are advocating not that cities shun technology, but that they foster a more open debate about how best to adopt it—and a public airing of the questions cities need to ask. One question is how deeply cities rely on private companies to set up and maintain the systems they run on. Smart-city projects rely on sophisticated infrastructure that municipal governments aren’t capable of creating themselves, Townsend points out, arguing that the more they rely on software, the more cities are increasingly shunting important civic functions and information into private hands. In recent talks and in his upcoming book, “Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia,” Townsend portrays companies as rushing to become the indispensable middlemen without which the city cannot function.
Cities can easily lose leverage to private companies their citizens rely on, as the persistent battles of political leaders against telecom companies over price increases show. And private-sector software can operate behind a veil: Townsend says that while cities have made lots of data freely available online, there’s less concern about opening up the proprietary tools used to analyze that data—software that might help a city official decide who is eligible for services, or which neighborhoods are crime hotspots. “It’s the algorithms in government that need to be brought out to the light of day, not the data,” he says. “What I worry about are the de facto laws that are being coded in software without public scrutiny.”
Another concern is what will be done to protect the huge amount of data cities can gather about their citizens. The wealth of video at the Boston Marathon bombings, though it came from private cameras, showed how useful surveillance footage can be—and also how pervasive. Cameras, sensors, and tracking technologies like the Mass Pike’s EZPass can reveal a great deal about your life: where you live and travel, what you buy, even what time you take a shower. Smart grid utility-metering systems, for instance, collect and transmit detailed energy consumption information, which help consumers understand and curb their energy use but can also reveal their habits. As such, they have come under fire for threatening privacy and civil liberties, and several states have adopted legislation governing what kind of data can be shared with third parties and how customers can opt out. In Massachusetts, automated license plate recognition technology used by police cruisers has raised concerns about authorities tracking the whereabouts of citizens. The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts has been pushing for a License Plate Privacy Act that would limit law enforcement’s ability to retain and use the information.

Woman's jaw rebuilt with 'bike chain'

Surgeons used a bike chain to rebuild a mother’s jaw – and save her life. Until Liese Healing saw her post-op X-ray, she had no idea the bike chain type device had been used to reconfigure her jaw after it was ravaged by cancer. The 49-year-old had been told she might die without life-saving surgery after being diagnosed with cancer of the jaw last July.

Liese, who lives in the Rokeby area of Rugby, underwent the 12-hour procedure in September. She’d been referred to the hospital by her dentist after two of her teeth started falling out and she had pains in her mouth. Tests found cancer had reduced her jaw to half the size it should be. She was told part of her jaw would have to be removed – but skin from elsewhere on her body would form her new jaw and metal plates would hold it together.

Liese was stunned when two months later she saw what the metal plates resembled in a post-op x-ray. She said: “My first reaction was ‘oh my God I’ve got a bike chain in my mouth’. Specialist head and neck surgeons at Coventry’s University hospital, Gary Walton and Raj Sandhu, cut from behind her ear and along her jawline to her chin. They then peeled back her face before the delicate task of reconstructing her jaw could begin.

The diseased parts of her jaw and mouth tissues were then removed before skin with a vein and artery from an arm was transplanted to the jaw area, giving the new tissue a blood supply so it would survive. The titanium chain was then fitted around her new reconstructed jaw. Mr Walton then took skin from Lisa’s stomach and grafted it onto her arm to replace that which had been taken away. Liese spent a month in hospital recovering from the operation.

Random Celebrity Photo


Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde

Absolutely Amazing Tipping Stories

vYou hear stories about waiters being stiffed, which is inevitably followed by a storm in the comments about the entire system of tipping. But how about some really good tipping stories? Every so often, a very generous diner surprises the server with the tip of a lifetime.
Rhode Islander Kristen Ruggiero is a single mom of three who has had a tough time making ends meet by working the restaurant job she’s held for the last 15 years. One day last year, a couple came in and ordered a pizza, a salad and a pitcher of beer only to settle their $42 bill by leaving $500 on the table. At first, the waitress thought they made a mistake and accidentally left the five hundreds thinking they were ten dollar bills. So Kristen set the money aside until the pair returned to the restaurant and tried to return it to them. That’s when they assured her that the $458 tip was no mistake. "He said no it was absolutely not a mistake, you deserved it," Kristen said.
But that's far from the biggest tip in this roundup of stories here.

Identity thief nailed by food-porn Instagram photo

Troy Maye was wanted for a string of identity thefts, but the IRS couldn't positively identify him. But after he passed a thumb-drive of stolen data to an IRS informant, investigators were able to pull his name off the drive's metadata. They used that to find his Instagram profile, and found a food-porn photo he'd taken at the Morton's steakhouse where he'd dined with the informant. Busted.
"IRS Agent Louis Babino then headed to Google and located Maye’s Instagram page, which contained a profile photo of Maye. When shown the profile photo, the CW confirmed that Maye (seen at right) was the man with whom he dined at Morton’s."
Well, sure, Agent Babino, but how can you be really sure this was your guy?
"A further review of Maye’s Instagram page, Babino noted, revealed “a photo of a steak and macaroni and cheese meal containing the caption ‘Morton’s.’” The image--uploaded on January 7 at 11:24 PM--“appears to coincide” with the CW’s meeting at Morton’s, added Babino."
Yup, this guy food-porned his way into being arrested. The Instagram photo is reportedly being entered into evidence in the case, so one hopes the juicy steak and the creamy mac and cheese was really, really worth all the trouble Maye is now in. Once again, if you're a criminal, online narcicism is probably something you'd be best to avoid.

Irish Potato Famine Pathogen Identified

Scientists have used plant samples collected in the mid-19th Century to identify the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine. A plant pest that causes potato blight spread to Ireland in 1845 triggering a famine that killed one million people.

DNA extracted from museum specimens shows the strain that changed history is different from modern day epidemics, and is probably now extinct. Other strains continue to attack potato and tomato crops around the world.

Wine Grapes Aged for Centuries

The remnants of grapes grown in southern France during the Roman Empire provide evidence that domestication of the plant proceeded slowly in the region between 50 BC and 500 AD.

Random Photo


Untitled by Denis Gruba

Tree Got Its Bark Blown Off by Lightning

Tree stripped of its bark by lightning
Redditor Fidget08 snapped this photo of a tree with its bark blown off after it was hit by a lightning. Now who's gonna carve a baseball bat out of it?

Extinction by BBQ?

Humans may have treated Neanderthals no better or worse than the other large ice age mammals they hunted, ate, and helped drive to extinction.

Signs We Are Heading For A Mass Extinction

Today, many scientists believe we are on the cusp of a sixth mass extinction which could wipe out most life on Earth as we know it. Here are seven signs that they could be right.

Prehistoric Dog Lovers Liked Seafood, Jewelry, Spirituality

Burials suggest that some hunter-gatherers saw some of their dogs as being nearly the same as themselves.

In China, controversy over bear bile farming as Asia's animal rights movement grows

In the New York Times, Andrew Jacobs reports on new outrage over the business of selling bile extracted from Asiatic black bears, a threatened species also known as the moon bear. The extraction process requires open wounds for "milkings" that take place three times a day. "The bears’ teeth are invariably worn down from gnawing on the bars of their cages and their feet are often in pitiful shape because few of the animals have ever walked on the ground....The years of pain and confinement are so traumatizing, some of the rescued bears spend endless hours butting their heads against walls or gnawing on their limbs." 

Shetland Pony Adopts Orphaned Lamb

ShetlandGeorgina Hirst, a veterinarian, spotted these two friends in the Black Mountains of Wales:
"The lamb was obviously hungry and it's quite amazing that it learnt to suckle from the mare. It might have just copied the foal."
The vet, from Hay on the Wye, Powys, added: "Trying to get mares to adopt foals can be very challenging so it's incredible the mare was so receptive of the lamb.
"She would even stand guard while the foal and the lamb slept cuddled together." 

Animal Pictures