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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Daily Drift

'Nuff Said

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Today in History

240 BC   Eratosthenes estimates the circumference of Earth using two sticks.  
1536   Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife, is beheaded.
1778   General George Washington's troops finally leave Valley Forge after a winter of training.  
1821   The Ottomans defeat the Greeks at the Battle of Dragasani.  
1846   The New York Knickerbocker Club plays the New York Club in the first baseball game at Elysian Field, Hoboken, New Jersey.  
1848   The first Women's Rights Convention convenes in Seneca Falls, New York.  
1861   Virginians, in what will soon be West Virginia, elect Francis Pierpoint as their provisional governor. 1862   President Abraham Lincoln outlines his Emancipation Proclamation. News of the document reaches the South.  
1864   The USS Kearsarge sinks the CSS Alabama off of Cherbourg, France.  
1867   Mexican Emperor Maximillian is executed.  
1885   The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York City from France.  
1903   The young school teacher, Benito Mussolini, is placed under investigation by police in Bern, Switzerland.  
1919   Mustafa Kemal founds the Turkish National Congress at Ankara and denounces the Treaty of Versailles.  
1933   France grants Leon Trotsky political asylum.  
1934   The National Archives and Records Administration is established.  
1937   The town of Bilbao, Spain, falls to the Nationalist forces.  
1942   Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrives in Washington D.C. to discuss the invasion of North Africa with President Roosevelt.  
1944   U.S. Navy carrier-based planes shatter the remaining Japanese carrier forces in the Battle of the Marianas.  
1951   President Harry S. Truman signs the Universal Military Training and Service Act, which extends Selective Service until July 1, 1955 and lowers the draft age to 18.  
1958   Nine entertainers refuse to answer a congressional committee's questions on communism.  
1961   Kuwait regains complete independence from Britain.  
1963   Soviet cosmonaut, Valentia Tereshkova, becomes the first woman in space.  
1965   Air Marshall Nguyen Cao Ky becomes South Vietnam's youngest premier at age 34.  
1968   Over 50,000 people march on Washington, D.C. to support the Poor People's Campaign.  
1973   The Case-Church Amendment prevents further U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia.  
1987   The U.S. Supreme Court voids the Louisiana law requiring schools to teach creationism.  
1995   The Richmond Virginia Planning Commission approves plans to place a memorial statue of tennis professional Arthur Ashe.

Non Sequitur


Unique World Phenomenon

The Flower Of Tisa

The Tisa's flower or Tisa mayfly (Palingenia longicauda) is an ancient insect species. Ascendants of this species emerged some 200 million years ago. The Tisa River is one of the last sanctuaries where the Tisa's flower has its massive appearance every year.
Unlike most mayflies, adult Tisa's flowers never leave the water; their cerci are constantly touching or sweeping the surface. The slow-moving river and absence of surface-feeding fish help make this possible. Now extinct in many European countries, Tisa's flower can be found in Serbia and Hungary on the Tisza river.

Mom Tells Carjacker "You Messed with the Wrong Witch"*

Dorothy Baker-Flugence of Baytown, Texas and two of her children were in her van when a carjacker appeared in the backseat. He threatened them with a knife. Mrs. Baker-Flugence said, "You messed with the wrong witch*" and went into action:
"She got the knife," Flugence said. "She got a cut that goes across her chest. She grabbed the knife and he bit her hand."
Police say the woman ran her van intentionally off the road trying to disorient the attacker. She was hoping that a 911 dispatcher would hear what was going on, and find a way to sent help. But when she saw a telephone pole, she sped up and targeted it, feeling it was a risk she had to take.
"I thought, 'If you swerve and hit the pole, he's not wearing a seatbelt, he'll go through the windshield or at least hit his head, and you can stop him. You can do something to make sure that he doesn't hurt your kids,'" Dorothy Baker-Flugence said. "That's all I was thinking of really, was just to get him away from my kids."
Police add that Baker-Flugence punched the man in the face and when she stopped, he jumped out of the vehicle. That's when she reportedly turned the tables and ran over him.
*She probably used a different word.

Did you know ...

That diamonds are a sham and it's time we stopped getting engaged with them

About how wal-mart forces its employees to live on the dole

That the way we treat our veterans is disgraceful

Persian Reality

Tuesday, June 18

Chief Justice Roberts Calls For Rare Formal Review Of Racist Judge

Now he needs to review Scalia.
From Think Progress

by Ian Millhiser

Judge Edith Jones, the former chief judge of the powerful United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, will be the subject of a formal ethics review.

Last week, a coalition of civil rights organizations filed a complaint against Jones alleging that she claimed that African-Americans and Hispanics are predisposed towards violent crime, among other things. In response to this complaint, Fifth Circuit Chief Judge Carl Stewart asked Chief Justice John Roberts to transfer the Jones complaint to another circuit. Yesterday, Roberts obliged with a letter formally calling upon the Judicial Council of the District of Columbia Circuit to "exercise the powers of a judicial council with respect to" the Jones complaint and any related complaints.

The Real Scandal That the Wingnuts Will Never Investigate for Fear of Their Lives

Horror of horrors. Has the IRS no shame? This agency has plunged to the depths of ignominy. Yes, the IRS has been caught red-handed (red-footed?), LINE DANCING!!!
It’s all there on video. A $1,600, 2010 training video, described as “another black eye” by the ever-objective Associated Press. The training video (identical to those used by virtually every government agency and major private corporations) was shown at the end of an IRS training and leadership conference. Two other videos have caught the eye of the crack investigators from the House Committee on Government and Oversight Reform as well.
An observation if I might. I doubt there’s a government agency that, in the last 50 years, hasn’t produced hundreds of “training” videos or films. The private sector does it all the time. $1,600? That would represent about 2 minutes of a Sears or GM training or POP (Point of Purchase) video. I know. As a Chicago free-lancer for a few years, I appeared in and narrated dozens of such presentations for the largest corporations in America, including the aforementioned.
As an aside, Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (the $450 million man) owned Directed Electronics for nearly 19 years until selling it off in late 2000. If 3 training videos get Issa all riled up, imagine if he were to go to this site, View Training Videos. Click on the prompt and it will take you to no less than 22 training videos. Does Issa subpoena his former company to appear before his committee? Uhhhhhhh, no!
Then there’s the Committee’s abiding and relentless concern over the IRS holding a number of tax-evading political propaganda arms of the repugican cabal accountable for not even remotely meeting the criteria for tax-exempt organizations. And shame on the administration for leaning on two (well, one) news organizations whose irresponsible reporting endangered numerous American lives. How dare Obama! Almost forgot Benghazi. The administration is telling the truth. Local Libyan protectors dropped the ball. End of story.
Of course dismissing, not acting upon or ignoring myriad clues that a catastrophe of radical Muslim initiation was about to sully our country and kill over 3,000 people in the most horrifying way possible, is not a scandal. Nor is the almost complete destruction of our economy through countless illegal and ignorant acts, collectively costing us trillions. No, those aren’t scandals, but $1,600 LINE DANCING???
Or how about a trumped up war to the benefit of the military-industrial complex and most especially a sitting Vice-President with deep ties to the biggest contractor of them all who made multiple millions on the corpses of brave young Americans? Not a scandal?
But they’re repugican scandals, so of no interest. What follows is perhaps the most shining example of all wingnut scandals.
Guns and the daily consequences of gun ownership of 310 million guns yielding 30,000 annual deaths is as scandalous as every Democratic “scandal” combined. Legislators, terrified to follow in Gabrielle Gifford’s life-altering footsteps are petrified; scared stiff or not inclined to even extend background checks at gun shows. Bullets and ricin and, on the plus side, major campaign bucks, will do that to you.
So, the true scandal is the national obsession that will never be brought fully to the fore, no matter how many young children are killed.
Saddleback evangelical millionaire Preacher Rick Warren’s adult son, Matthew, committed suicide with an unregistered gun acquired from some guy on the Internet and you don’t hear a negative peep about guns from ice-cold Warren; “I forgive him.” Warren misses the point. There should be thousands of less “him’s” out there. Warren should be badgering Congress daily for reform, but his “buy anything Rick sells” Evans are all gun-nuts and, as the late Elizabeth Taylor once said when then- husband Mike Todd was killed in a plane crash, “Mike’s dead and I’m alive.”
We have officially reached the point where guns (and fiscal self-interest) are more important than loved ones and a room full of brutally shredded 6 and 7-year-olds. Extraordinarily cowardly and heartless repugicans met President Obama’s genuine concern for the victim’s families lobbying Congress for “something” with accusations of using them as “props”. According to the latest figures from Slate’s gun death project, since the Sandy Hook massacre, 12/14/12, there have been 4,449 gun fatalities in the U.S. as opposed to the loss of 4,409 U.S. Armed Forces for the entirety of the Iraq war.
When an NRA patch is America’s national symbol, any semblance of humanity, culture and restraint disappears. The woodpecker is the national bird of course, because the rattle of beak on bark has such a wonderful symmetry to an automatic weapon.
Here’s another gun story. This one features a disgusting hunk of Alabama excrement who was “caught on tape” in late January grabbing a five-year-old autistic boy off a school bus to hold as hostage. The ABC audio comes from the Huffington Post and features the bus recording of this human sludge boarding the bus and kidnapping a child. This is what guns do. And I’m still struck by the awesome courage of the bus driver, Charles Poland, more of a man by infinity than the armed fool who killed him. Jimmy Lee Dykes AUDIO .
Dykes was killed in his homemade bunker by an FBI hostage rescue team when negotiations proved fruitless. The young boy was unharmed.
So Democrats can’t even squeeze out expanded background checks. In case you’re curious what the huge demands of this life-saving proposal might be, take a look at Form 4473. This is what buyers would be filling out. Firearms Transaction Record Not worth a few minutes to potentially save thousands of lives over time?
Again, does Issa subpoena an industry responsible for over a million deaths before his committee? Doubtful. The fact that Issa was once put on six-months probation and was fined for possession of an unregistered firearm found in his glove compartment, might influence his thinking.
So that leaves the status quo. In point of truth, here is the scenario that about 20-30% of the population believes is imminent from the Obama administration. Cue music for the goober training video!
“Ma, who’s that at the door? Look outside, there must be a dozens of ‘em, all armed to the teeth and shouting something about throwing my guns outside. Look at them jack booted federal thugs wearin’ them jackets with a picture of Obama on the back. I can’t quite make out the writing; oh yeah…”Kenya forever.”
Hand me that AK-47 Ma; gimmie another one for the left hand. Ma, sneak out back an git that M142 HIMARS!!! Git Jr. to help yuh. Ain’t none of these federal bastards gitten’ my guns!!! What’s that jes’ went through the window? ‘Am tearin’ up; can’t see a lick! Trouble breathin’. I told yuh! Somebody what weren’t even born here. Whatcha expect?” (Obama heard barking orders as jack booted thugs force the family face down on the floor as the interior of home is being torn up). Sounds of helicopters whirring overhead.
IRS agents rifling through files while line dancing to Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.” .

'The stupidity is simply staggering'

by Steve Benen
Rep. Trent Franks (r-Ariz.)
House repugicans are set to vote on another culture-war bill this week, as Rep. Trent Frnaks' (r-Ariz.) proposal to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy reaches the House floor. It has not, however, emerged from the committee process unscathed.
It's worth noting that not everyone in the repugican caucus is pleased with the party's priorities. Rep. Charlie Dent (r-Pa.), widely seen as a top Democratic target in 2014, said last week, "I discouraged our leadership from bringing this to a vote on the floor. Clearly the economy is on everyone's minds, we're seeing very stagnant job numbers, confidence in the institution of government is eroding and now we're going to have a debate on rape and abortion. The stupidity is simply staggering."
The stupidity looked even worse when the bill advanced after Franks inexplicably and falsely claimed, "The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low."
It led House repugican leaders to give the bill a little touch-up.
Rep. Trent Franks's (r-Ariz.) bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks nationwide now includes an exception for rape and incest after his remarks about rape and pregnancy created an uproar.
And it's not Franks's bill anymore -- or more precisely, he won't be managing his own bill when it goes to the House floor Tuesday. He's being replaced with a high-profile House repugican woman.
I'm not sure that'll make things better. If Franks has become a lightning rod for controversy, then it certainly makes sense to replace him with Rep. Marsha Blackburn (r-Tenn.) -- though it's still the bill he wrote, sponsored, and pushed through the committee process, so no one should be fooled into calling it Blackburn's bill.
And including rape and incest exceptions might make the proposal slightly less offensive in a culture-war context, but problems remain. For one thing, the bill would require a woman to prove that she has reported her rape before she can exercise her constitutional right to terminate the unwanted pregnancy. For another, Franks' original version also banned abortions in "medically futile pregnancies," involving fetuses so badly compromised that they have no chance of survival. If this provision remains intact, it's still intended to force women to carry such pregnancies through to the doomed birth.
But even putting these details aside, I get the sense repugican leaders are missing the point.
Making the legislation slightly more palatable to the American mainstream, and removing the offensive lawmaker from his role in championing his bill publicly, is predicated on a dubious assumption: that this is what the House of Representatives should be working on right now. It is, in other words, the best use of lawmakers' time.
It's really not. We're talking about legislation that's probably unconstitutional, has nothing to do with the nation's top priorities, and can't pass the Senate anyway, making the entire effort a vanity exercise intended to make the far-right feel better about itself.
Altering the language and changing the lead sponsor slaps some new paint on a car that won't start. That's what Dent appeared to be referencing when he talked about the staggering stupidity, and on this, he certainly has a point.

E.W. Jackson Whines That Religious Tests Only Apply to People He Doesn’t Like

Bryan Fischer and EW Jackson 
We recently met E.W. Jackson, a former minister who happens to be Virginia’s Republican nominee for lieutenant governor. Jackson wants us to believe Democrats are slave masters and that Barack Obama is a secret muslim.
A secret muslim slave master, apparently.
But what really upsets E.W. Jackson besides secret muslim slave masters, gay people, yoga, and rap and rock music, is people talking about him talking about secret muslim slave masters, gay people, yoga, and rap and rock music.
To quote the late-great Harry Carey, it really “frosts his ass.” In fact, what it really is, he says, is persecution of christians.
Yes, talking about what E.W. Jackson said as a minister is a form of persecution. And he went on Bryan Fischer’s show  to say so.
Watch courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
It’s a sad commentary on our media and culture today that anybody that expresses a biblical worldview is marginalized and, frankly, not to put too fine point on it, persecuted for doing so. And I think that’s a sad commentary.
But look, it’s an attack ultimately on every cult-going, bible-believing christian out there who holds to a (non-)traditional worldview and frankly, I think one of my goals is to champion their right to hold their views without being persecuted for it.
What Jackson is really saying here is that he should have a right to say anything he wants about anything or anybody he wants, no matter how demeaning, insulting, and cruel, and nobody should be able to disagree with him, or even talk about it. Because that’s persecution.
What really upsets Jackson, obviously, is that if we all talk about what he says, everyone will discover that Virginia’s possible lieutenant-governor-to-be is a whackadoodle. But Jackson wasn’t done with his self-righteous whining:
I think Americans are tired of being told that holding to judeo-chistian values somehow makes you an idiot, as you put it, makes you backwards, makes you ignorant and unless you buy into the sort of contemporary morality play of the day, you are a person to be shunned.
Well, Mr. Jackson, let’s be fair here: the repugican cabal is yearning for a return to the thirteenth century. Wouldn’t you admit that is just a wee bit backward? But Jackson goes all David Barton and says,
Our Founding Fathers believed that there should never be a religious test and yet that’s what you’re seeing today. We’re seeing people apply a religious test and they’re saying anything you believed or said as a minister disqualifies you from serving as Lt. Governor because you hold to these biblical views.
This is hilarious on so many levels. Jackson, who regularly attacks gays and lesbians, muslims, atheists, and others (and don’t forget yoga), feels he’s being attacked if people hold him to account for saying all those awful things about other people.
Actual religious tests – the same supported by the  religiio-wingnuts – are just fine, Jackson believes. You’re going to hell for yours, but how dare you object to his!
What is of substantially more significance here than Jackson’s whining is that, as Right Wing Watch pointed out, Bryan Fischer neither disagreed nor informed Jackson of his own contradictory views on the subject, as expressed on his blog in April 2011: “Voters can use any religious test they want to”:
Let’s be done with the nonsense that asking questions about a candidate’s faith is inappropriate. It certainly is not. In fact, in some ways, the faith questions are the most important, because they go right to the issue of a man’s most deeply held convictions and values.
We need to know what those values are, because we are prepared to hand over to him enormous power to implement policies that will impact virtually every detail of of our lives, including policies on abortion, marriage, and sexuality in the military. We need to know what value system is driving him at the deepest level. In fact, it would be irresponsible not to seek to know all we can about a candidate’s moral and religious values.
I wrote  that it would be smart of the American people to insist that our next president fit the profile of the Founders. The first two parts of that profile are a sincere belief in christian orthodoxy and a sincere belief in a creator rather than in evolution.
A president may be eligible for the presidency without passing a religious test from the federal government. But voters will have a religious test of their own, and whether a candidate passes that test may determine whether he makes to the White House. The Constitution determines who’s eligible for the Oval Office, but voters determine who’s qualified.
There you have it, Mr. Jackson, from your host, though he lacked the testicular fortitude to disagree with you yesterday. Or is it that just as religious freedoms apply onto to christians, only christians have the right to have a religious test? Fischer was defending his own right, after all, to judge Mitt Romney’s mormon religion, just as he has previously judged muslims and Pagans and Atheists.
I think we all know the answer to that question.

Psychic Ordered to Pay $7 Million for False Claims

A psychic who falsely reported a mass murder on a Texas ranch in 2011 has been ordered to pay $7 million in damages.
Ironically they didn't see that coming.

Random Celebrity Photo


Grace Kelly
Grace Kelly

More on MERS

MERS is the SARS-related virus that's killing people in the Middle East — and the government of Saudi Arabia, where most of the outbreak is happening, has been reticent about releasing information on infections and deaths. Now, the government of Jordan has admitted that the earliest recorded outbreak, which happened back in April of 2012, actually infected at least 10 people, rather than the previously reported two. It sounds like this revelation was the result of an internal re-evaluation of previous records, rather than the suppression of something the government had long known. But it gives you a good idea of how bad the epidemiological information on MERS is right now, and how little we know about it.

Top 10 Uses For Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is one of the world’s most popular essential oils. It is made from the leaves of the “Tea tree” – Melaleuca alternifolia – which is native to Australia. (Note that the Tea Tree has nothing to do with the drink tea, which is made from the leaves of a completely different plant, Camellia sinensis).
Tea tree oil has been in use since ancient times by the indigenous Australians, who inhaled vapor from the crushed leaves to help with coughs and colds, and used the leaves as antiseptic for wounds or skin conditions. It was not until the 1970s that large scale production of tea tree essential oil began and its scientific investigation is somewhat recent.
In modern times, tea tree oil is one of those “indispensable” essential oils that has a whole host of uses. It has even been called “a medicine cabinet in a bottle” owing to its reported antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic qualities.
Tea Tree should in general not be used undiluted on skin. It is often used in combination with lavender essential oil, which has some complimentary qualities, and diluted with a base oil. More safety notes at the foot of the article.

Tea Tree Oil Top 10 Uses

Recent studies support a role for the topical application of tea tree oil in skin care and for the treatment of numerous diseases and conditions:
1. Antiviral. This is in line with the use by indigenous peoples against colds / coughs: A few drops added to a bath or steam may possibly assist against colds and flu. Some support from science: Tea tree has shown some activity against influenza in the lab: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21095205
2. Herpes / Cold Sores. A mix of one tablespoon of coconut oil, with 5 drops of tea tree mixed in, can be applied (using a Q-tip or cotton swab) carefully to a cold sore several times per day. If this is commenced at the earliest sign of cold sore (tingling sensation) it may be able to stop it in its tracks. Be careful never to ingest tea tree oil, it is toxic when taken internally. There has been some support from science suggesting that Tea Tree oil may have an action against the Herpes simplex virus when applied topically as soon after the onset of the cold sore as possible: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11338678 http://jac.oxfordjournals.org/content/48/3/450.full
3. Head lice. A 2008 study of in vitro toxicity showed a tea tree oil preparation (“Tea Tree Gel”) was more effective against head lice than permethrin, a popular pharmaceutical insecticide remedy. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18816275 This study is especially significant as permethrin is known to be toxic and is now classified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a likely human carcinogen: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permethrin#Toxicology_and_safety
4. Acne Tea tree oil, in a topical 5% gel application, is possibly as effective against acne as 5% benzoyl peroxide – although results took a little longer. Patients who use tea tree oil have been also found to experience fewer side effects than those that use benzoyl peroxide treatments: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2145499
5. Athletes Foot. Tea tree oil can be blended with coconut oil (4 parts coconut oil, 1 part tea tree) and applied to the affected area twice a day to clear athlete’s foot. It is also possible to add 10 drops of tea tree oil to a foot bath (together with a small cup of sea salt or epsom salt). And don’t forget to change those socks at least once per day!
6. Dandruff. Shampoo which contains 5% tea tree oil has demonstrated effective against dandruff due to its ability to treat Malassezia furfur, a type of fungus which is the most common cause of the condition. Tea tree oil is a known antifungal agent, effective in vitro against multiple dermatophytes found on the skin. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12451368
7. Toenail Fungus. A drop of pure tea tree applied (i.e. via Q-tip) to an infected toenail twice per day has been suggested as a toenail fungus remedy. One clinical study found that 100% tea tree oil administered topically was comparable to clotrimazole in effectiveness against onychomycosis, the most frequent cause of nail disease. It was not as effective at lower concentrations. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8195735
8. Bedbugs and mites. One study has shown a 5% tea tree oil solution to be more effective than commercial medications against the scabies mite in an in vitro situation. ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15148100 ) Other “promising” essential oils against scabies include turmeric and neem ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15148100 ) 2 teaspoons can also be added to laundry, using a very hot water setting, to kill mites, bedbugs. A few drops of oil can also be added to a spray bottle and used as an ant deterrent – used to clean cupboards and places where ants enter the home.
9. Disinfectant. Tea tree can be diluted and use as a disinfectant for toilet seats, door handles, faucets, light switches (with care!), and so on. Laundry soap containing tea tree oil may be effective at decontaminating clothing and bedding, especially if hot water and heavy soil cycles are used. Some studies have indicated that tea tree may be more effective than chemical disinfectants against serious bugs such as MRSA. Other essential oils showing “promising efficacy” include lemongrass, eucalyptus ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23199627 ), thyme, clove and cinnamon ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21941919 ).
10. Aquarium Fish Care. Diluted solutions of tea tree oil are often applied as a remedy to common bacterial and fungal infections in aquarium fish such as bettas. The tea tree acts as a disinfectant and is most commonly used to promote fin and tissue regrowth, but is also considered effectiveagainst conditions such as fin rot or “velvet”. Tea tree based remedies are used mostly on betta fish, but can also be used with other aquarium fish, other than goldfish.
But wait, there’s more: Tea tree has also been reported useful against toothache, candida ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9848442 ), for use against mold in the home (1 teaspoon to a cup of water used to clean the mold area), and has shown “rapid” direct anti-cancer effects in subcutaneous tumours in mice. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22727730 . There may also be possibility that Melaleuca species are effective against disease carrying mosquitos – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23293776 .

Buy Tea Tree Oil Online

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A Few Tea Tree Oil Safety Notes

Tea Tree oil should never be ingested and is toxic when swallowed. It is also advised not to put it into ears undiluted, as there have been reports of hearing loss in animals under such circumstances.
As with most essential oils, tea tree oil should not in general be put on skin undiluted. It can cause irritation, redness or blistering. Occasionally people are allergic to it and some individuals may experience a reaction such as dermatitis. It is thus often suggested to dilute the oil and / or to use a very small amount to begin with and observe effects carefully.
Dogs and Cats: There have been cases of toxicosis associated with application of Tea tree to the skin of dogs and cats. In most cases the oil was used at “inappropriate high doses”, however it may still not be safe for their use. Source – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8197716

General info sources:


Note: as per usual, this article is a “general knowledge” report on the findings of others – not medical advice nor a recommendation to self medicate.

Herbs For Depression

Characterized by feelings of chronic sadness, melancholy and disinterest, depression is classified as a mental illness that affects sufferers in a variety of debilitating ways. Many individuals suffering from depression experience difficulty carrying out everyday activities, and have trouble coping with life in general.
Herbs For Depression

As symptoms of depression are varied and complex, receiving an accurate diagnosis can be a lengthy process. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), symptoms of depression include frequent feelings of guilt or worthlessness and about past mistakes; recurring thoughts about death and/or suicidal thoughts; fatigue, lack of energy, extreme tiredness, and lack of motivation; irritability, frustration, agitation, and restlessness; indecisiveness, inattentiveness and difficulty concentrating; trouble with memory and thinking. Other common symptoms are decreased libido and sudden bouts of intense crying “out of the blue.” Some people with depression experience unexplained weight gain or loss, and others may develop physical problems with no apparent cause. Symptoms of depression are not the same for everyone, and depend on a number of variables including age, gender, culture, and hereditary factors. People who experience five or more of the above symptoms for over 14 consecutive days may meet the criteria for clinical depression, also referred to as major depression or major depressive disorder.
St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Indigenous to Europe, St. John's wort has a history of use in traditional herbalism as a remedy for various mental and emotional disorders. The herb is available in powder, tea, tincture and capsule form. Used today by practitioners of alternative and naturopathic medicine, St. John's wort has been studied in recent years regarding its effects on brain chemistry. [1] A number of clinical trials have suggested the effectiveness of St. John's wort as a treatment for mild to moderate depression. According to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center clinical trial published in a 2006 edition of BMC Medicine, St. John's wort was superior to placebo in treating symptoms of major depression. [2] As determined by laboratory experimentation, active constituents in St. John's wort prevent reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, and therefore might be used as a natural alternative to pharmaceutical depression medications in the selective-serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. [3]
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) (extracted from seeds of the plant Griffonia simplicifolia)
Derived from tryptophan, an essential amino acid, the chemical 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is required for the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with well-being and happiness. Dietary sources of tryptophan include turkey, chicken, dairy products, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, sunflower seeds, and leafy greens including kale and collards. Other tryptophan-rich foods include sea plants such as wakame, kombu, and kelp. In most cases, Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) levels are maintained via regular consumption of tryptophan- containing foods. However, some individuals may lack the ability to absorb tryptophan and thus may benefit from direct supplementation of 5-HTP. Extracted from seeds of Griffonia simplicifolia, a plant native to Africa, 5-HTP supplements are widely available have been tested clinically for their effectiveness in treating depression disorders. [4] Results from number of small-scale and preliminary trials suggest that 5-HTP meets the criteria for FDA approval as a medication for depression. [5]
Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum L.)
Also called linseed, flaxseed has a history of use in ancient cultures as a remedy for various ailments, especially digestive disorders such as constipation. Due to their high concentration of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a powerful, health-promoting omego-3 fatty acid, flaxseeds have been tested clinically to determine their potential to help cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, eating disorders, addiction, and other disorders affecting the body and mind. [6] Various studies using animal models have revealed that flaxseed might be effectively used to treat various psychiatric disorders, including depression. In 2009, French scientists found that when compared to placebo, depressive symptoms were significantly reduced in rodents treated with ALA from flaxseeds and other omega-rich sources. [7]
Vervain (Verbena officinalis)
Native to eastern Europe, northern Africa and parts of Asia, vervain has a history of use in traditional medicinal systems as a treatment for headaches, respiratory disorders, snake bites, fevers, jaundice, gout, kidney stones, epilepsy, ulcers, and painful menstruation. Mentioned in historical texts as a remedy for feelings of fatigue and ill-will, vervain contains a broad spectrum of active phytochemicals and tannins--including verbenalin, verbenin, and beta-carotene. A precursor to vitamin A, an essential dietary nutrient, beta-carotene is associated with the treatment and prevention of depression and related conditions. [8] Although its medicinal properties have not been extensively studied, vervain is used by contemporary herbalists as a treatment for various disorders, including mild depression. [9]
B Vitamins
Found in many herbs (as well as other sources), B-vitamins are involved in the maintenance of healthy brain chemistry. Results from clinical trials indicate that B-vitamin deficiencies are linked to depression, and even those with healthy, well-balanced diets are at risk. In order to properly diagnose B-vitamin deficiencies or imbalances, blood panel analyses are often required.
Herbs that are sources of B- vitamins include catnip, alfalfa, burdock root, yellow dock root, and nettle. [9]
B-vitamins are categorized as follows: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate (also called folic acid), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, biotin and pantothenic acid:
Botanical sources of thiamin (vitamin B1) include leafy green dark-colored vegetables, green peas, lentils, almonds and pecans.
Plants high in vitamin B2 (riboflavin) include dark greens (i.e. asparagus and spinach).
B3 (niacin) plant sources include legumes such as peanuts and lentils, and sources of folate (vitamin B1) include dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale and collards.
Botanical foods high in vitamin B6 include potatoes, bananas, spinach and other leafy greens.
Sources of vitamin B7 (biotin) include leafy greens (i.e. swiss chard) and legumes (e.g. peanuts).
Vitamin B1 deficiencies are characterized by various symptoms of depression including feelings of sadness and disinterest, fatigue, irritability, anxiety, memory problems, insomnia, and--in some cases--suicidal thoughts Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is a necessary component in the production of serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine--all of which are involved in the maintenance of mental health. Deficiencies in vitamin B6 include lowered immune function, mental confusion, and inhibited healing of wounds.
Vitamin B12 (also called cobalamin)--perhaps the most important of all B vitamins--is produced by the metabolic systems of all animals, including humans. Vitamin B12 deficiencies can be the cause depression symptoms including mood swings, irritability, loss of appetite, and fatigue. [10] For many, dietary consumption of vitamin B12 is an easy feat. For others--such as those who do not eat meat (including poultry and fish), eggs, or dairy--dietary absorption of vitamin B12 is a more difficult feat. Strict vegetarians and vegans may need to supplement with synthetic vitamin B12 supplements in order to remain healthy. However, studies show that people of all dietary habits - -including those who eat meat or consume dairy on a regular basis - are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. To combat vitamin B12 deficiencies, experts recommend sublingual tablets, liquids, and also vitamin B12 shots. [11]
Rhodiola Rocea
Also known as rose root, arctic root, or golden root, rhodiola rosea is a wonderful herb that shows promising effects in dealing with depression. What makes rhodiola effective in combating depression is its ability to inhibit the activities of monoamine oxidase A and B. When the activities of these substances are prevented, neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin cannot be broken down. In effect, they become more available. According to research, low levels of these neurotransmitters usually lead to depression. [12]
Some studies claim that depression and stress level are directly related to each. Excessive level of stress hormones like cortisol, is believed to be one of the major factors that trigger depression. According to research, rhodiola rosea is effective in reducing the level of cortisol hormones thereby limiting one’s susceptibility to depression. [13]
Ginkgo Biloba
For thousands of years, ginkgo biloba proves to be an excellent herb that treats depression. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center website, intake of ginkgo biloba regularly is effective in eliminating the symptoms of depression. Furthermore, the leaves of this herb contain lipophilic extracts that are believed to have anti-stress and anti-depressant effects. [14]
For centuries, lavender proves to be an outstanding herb for depression. Though it can be used as oil which can be directly applied onto the skin, lavender is often used in aromatherapy. Experts believe that the scent of lavender helps in promoting relaxation as well as in inducing high quality and longer sleep. This can help in alleviating one’s stress level which is considered as one of the major causes of depression. [15]
Aside from its natural ability to balance the level of cortisol hormones in the body, lavender also works by slowing down the brain waves. Lavender is believed to have natural sedative effects that are beneficial in calming one’s mind, body, spirit and soul, especially in times of depression and restlessness. [16]
Today, valerian emerges to be one of the most popular effective herbs that cure depression. Known for its natural sedating effects, valerian is also capable of calming the nerves by reducing one’s anxiety and phobia towards a certain stimulus. [17]
When taken regularly, this perennial herb brings about promising results in treating depression. In fact, many studies have proved that regular intake of valerian can significantly help in eliminating the most common symptoms of depression which include high blood pressure, insomnia, lack of focus, restlessness, irritability and anxiety. It works because of its valepotriates, which are known to be natural relaxants. Aside from reducing one’s stress level, valepotriates are also effective in relaxing the central nervous system of the body. [18]
Though widely used to treat toothaches, peppermint never ceases to amaze patients who suffer from depression. Through the years, peppermint has proven itself to be effective in dealing with the symptoms of depression. As mentioned in the University of Maryland Medical Center website, peppermint oil offers soothing and calming effects which make it effective in treating anxiety and depression. [19]

Herbs For Depression - References:

[1] Depression (major depression). Alternative Medicine. Article by Mayo Clinic staff. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression/DS00175/DSECTION=alternative-medicine
[2] Siegfried Kasper, Ion-George Anghelescu, Armin Szegedi, Angelika Dienel and Meinhard Kieser. Superior efficacy of St John's wort extract WS® 5570 compared to placebo in patients with major depression: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center trial. BMC Medicine 2006, 4:14
[3] St. John's Wort and Depression. National Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/stjohnswort/sjw-and-depression.htm
[4] Byerley WF, et al. 5-Hydroxytryptophan: a review of its antidepressant efficacy and adverse effects. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. 1987;7:127-137.
[5] 5-Hydroxytryptophan. NYU Langone Medical Center. http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21399
[6] Flaxseed. University of Maryland Medical Center. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/flaxseed-000244.htm
[7] Nicolas Blondeau, et al. Subchronic Alpha-Linolenic Acid Treatment Enhances Brain Plasticity and Exerts an Antidepressant Effect: A Versatile Potential Therapy for Stroke. Original Article. Neuropsychopharmacology (2009) 34, 2548–2559; doi:10.1038/npp.2009.84; published online 29 July 2009.
[8] Beta-carotene. Medline Plus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/999.html
[9] Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for Nutritional Healing: A practical A-Z reference to drug-free remedies using vitamins, minerals, herbs and food supplements, 4th ed. 2006. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
[10] Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D. What's the relationship between vitamin B-12 and depression? http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-b12-and-depression/AN01543
[11] Butler, Christopher C., et al. Oral vitamin B12 versus intramuscular vitamin B12 for vitamin B12 deficiency: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Family Practice (2006) 23 (3): 279-285.
[12] http://depression.about.com/od/Rhodiola/a/Rhodiola-Rosea-For-Depression.htm
[13] http://www.livestrong.com/article/344852-benefits-of-rhodiola-rosea-for-depression/
[14] http://www.livestrong.com/article/336068-gingko-biloba-for-depression/
[15] http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5138366_lavender-depression.html
[16] http://voices.yahoo.com/how-treat-depression-lavender-6322774.html?cat=68
[17] http://www.livestrong.com/article/338826-valerian-for-depression/
[18] http://www.ehow.com/about_5402645_valerian-cure-depression.html
[19] http://www.livestrong.com/article/445955-peppermint-oil-for-anxiety-depression/

The History of Ice Cream

vThere was once a TV commercial in which a chef was frustrated to find that the Italians did not invent spaghetti -it was supposedly the Chinese. It ended by saying at least the Italians invented ice cream. Well, that's not exactly true, either. It turns out that earliest form of ice cream was made in -you guessed it- China.
No specific person has officially been credited with inventing ice cream. Its origins date back as far as 200 B.C., when people in China created a dish of rice mixed with milk that was then frozen by being packed in snow. The Chinese King Tang of Shang is thought to have had over ninety “ice men” who mixed flour, camphor, and buffalo milk with ice. The Chinese are also credited with inventing the first “ice cream machine.” They had pots they filled with a syrupy mixture, which they then packed into a mixture of snow and salt.
But frozen dairy desserts popped up in various places over history, making it hard to pin down any one place of origin. Read about the history of ice cream at Today I Found Out.

Hollow spy-coins milled out of real currency

A company called "Covert Coins" mills hollow coins out of real currency and turns them into hidden, spook-tastic secret compartments. Reviews say that the coins are indistinguishable from undoctored items on casual inspection.



Lost Tribe On Small Island In The Indian Ocean remain virtually untouched by modern civilization

The Sentinelese (also Sentineli, Senteneli, Sentenelese, North Sentinel Islanders) are one of the Andamanese indigenous peoples and one of the most uncontacted peoples of the Andaman Islands, located in India in the Bay of Bengal. They inhabit North Sentinel Island which lies westward off the southern tip of the Great Andaman archipelago. They are noted for vigorously resisting attempts at contact by outsiders. The Sentinelese maintain an essentially hunter-gatherer society subsisting through hunting, fishing, and collecting wild plants; there is no evidence of either agricultural practices or methods of producing fire. Their language remains unclassified.
The present population of the Sentinelese is not known with any great degree of accuracy. Estimates have been produced ranging from lower than 40, through a median of around 250, and up to a maximum of 500. In the year 2001, the Census of India officials recorded 39 individuals (21 males and 18 females); however, out of necessity this survey was conducted from a distance and almost certainly does not represent an accurate figure for the population who range over the 72 km2 (17,800 acres) island. Any medium- or long-term impact on the Sentinelese population arising from the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and resulting tsunami remains unknown, other than the confirmation obtained that they had survived the immediate aftermath.
On previous visits, groups of some 20–40 individuals were encountered regularly. Habitations of 40–60 individuals were found on two occasions. As some individuals are almost certainly hiding, a better approximation of group size cannot be determined. This would suggest that some 2–6 groups occupy the island. The rule of thumb population density of 1.5 km2 (370 acres)/individuals in comparable hunter-gatherer societies indicates that one such group could live off the land alone. A significant amount of food is derived from the sea. It seems that the groups encountered, at any one time, could only have come from a rather small part of the island. There appear to be slightly more males than females. At any given time, about half of the couples seemed to have dependent children or the women were pregnant.
North Sentinel Island
The Sentinelese and other indigenous Andamanese peoples are frequently described as negritos, a term which has been applied to various widely separated peoples in Southeast Asia, such as the Semang of the Malay archipelago and the Aeta of the Philippines, as well as to other peoples as far afield as Australia (notably former populations of Tasmania). The defining characteristics of these “negrito” peoples (who are not a monophyletic group) include a comparatively short stature, dark skin and “peppercorn” hair, qualities also found commonly across the continent of Africa. No close contacts have been established, but the author Heinrich Harrer described one man as being 1.6 m (5′ 4″) tall and apparently left handed.
Negrito people of the Andaman Islands
From 1967 onwards, the Indian authorities in Port Blair embarked on a limited program of attempts at contacting the Sentinelese, under the management of the Director of Tribal Welfare and anthropologist T. N. Pandit. These “Contact Expeditions” consisted of a series of planned visits which would progressively leave “gifts”, such as coconuts, on the shores, in an attempt to coax the Sentinelese from their hostile reception of outsiders. For a while, these seemed to have some limited success; however, the program was discontinued in the late 1990s following a series of hostile encounters resulting in several deaths.
In 2006, Sentinelese archers killed two fishermen who were fishing illegally within range of the island. The archers later drove off, with a hail of arrows, the helicopter that was sent to retrieve the bodies.  To this date, the bodies remain unrecovered, although the downdraft from the helicopter’s rotors at the time exposed the two fishermen’s corpses, which had been buried in shallow graves by the Sentinelese.
On 2 August 1981, the ship Primrose grounded on the North Sentinel Island reef. A few days later, crewmen on the immobile vessel observed that small black men were carrying spears and arrows and building boats on the beach. The captain of the Primrose radioed for an urgent airdrop of firearms so the crew could defend themselves, but did not receive them. Heavy seas kept the islanders away from the ship. After a week, the crew were rescued by a helicopter working under contract to the Indian Oil And Natural Gas Commission (ONGC).
The Sentinelese apparently survived the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and its after-effects, including the tsunami and the uplifting of the island. Three days after the event, an Indian government helicopter observed several of them, who shot arrows and threw stones at the hovering aircraft with the apparent intent of repelling it. Although the fishing grounds of the Sentinelese were disturbed, they appear to have adapted to the island’s current conditions.
Amazing that in 2013 there is still a tribe that has had virtually no contact with the outside world. 

Airborne laser reveals city under Cambodian earth

In this photo taken on June 28, 2012, Cambodia's famed Angkor Wat temples complex stands in Siem Reap province, some 230 kilometers (143 miles) northwest Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Airborne laser technology has uncovered a network of roadways and canals, illustrating a bustling ancient city linking Cambodia's Angkor Wat temples complex. The discovery was announced late Monday, June 17, 2013, in a peer-reviewed paper released early by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith) 
Airborne laser technology has uncovered a network of roadways and canals, illustrating a bustling ancient city linking Cambodia's famed Angkor Wat temples complex.
The discovery was announced late Monday in a peer-reviewed paper released early by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The laser scanning revealed a previously undocumented formal urban planned landscape integrating the 1,200-year-old temples.
The airborne lasers produced a detailed map of a vast cityscape, including highways and previously undiscovered temples, hidden beneath dense vegetation atop Phnom Kulen mountain in Siem Reap province. It was the lost city of Mahendraparvata.
"What we have now with this instrument is just 'bang' — all of a sudden, an immediate picture of an entire city that people didn't know was there before, which is remarkable," University of Sydney archaeologist Damian Evans, the study's lead author, told Australia's The Age in a video interview from Cambodia. "So instead of this kind of very long gradual process, you have this kind of sudden eureka moment where you bring the data up on screen the first time and there it is — this ancient city very clearly in front of you."
The laser technology, known as lidar, works by firing laser pulses from an aircraft to the ground and measuring the distance to create a detailed, three-dimensional map of the area. It's a useful tool for archaeologists because the lasers can penetrate dense vegetation and cover swaths of ground far faster than they could be analyzed on foot. Lidar has been used to explore other archaeological sites, such as Stonehenge.
In April 2012, the Australian researchers loaded the equipment onto a helicopter, which spent days crisscrossing the dense forests from 800 meters above the ground. The team then confirmed the findings with an on-foot expedition through the jungle.
"We had reasonable expectations, I guess, of what we would find using the lidar data, but what we've ended up with has just blown our minds," Evans told The Age. "It's just absolutely incredible what we can see."
The researchers theorize the civilization at Mahendraparvata eventually collapsed because of deforestation and broken canals and reservoirs.

Secrets Of Ancient Roman Concrete Discovered

The chemical secrets of a concrete Roman breakwater that has spent the last 2,000 years submerged in the Mediterranean Sea have been uncovered by an international team of researchers led by Paulo Monteiro, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

Analysis of samples pinpointed why the best Roman concrete was superior to most modern concrete in durability, why its manufacture was less environmentally damaging - and how these improvements could be adopted in the modern world.

Random Photo

Loch Ness Monster Spied ...

Ol' Nessie isn't known for making herself easy to find, but it looks like she recently popped up in an image from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey -- and my, how she's grown!

The Kraken Is Real!

Scientist Films First Footage Of A Giant Squid

A giant squid stars in this still image taken from the footage Edie Widder shot. It's the first-ever video of these giant squids, and it'll debut in a Discovery Channel documentary airing in late January. A giant squid stars in this still image taken from the footage Edie Widder shot. It's the first-ever video of these giant squids, and it'll debut in a Discovery Channel documentary airing in late January. 

For thousands of years, sailors have told stories of giant squids. In myth and cinema, the kraken was the most terrible of sea monsters. Now, it's been captured — on a soon-to-be-seen video.
Even after decades of searching, giant squids had only been seen in still photographs. Finally, in last July, scientists filmed the first video of a live giant squid swimming some 2,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.
Edie Widder is the ocean researcher who shot the footage, which is slated to be released in a Discovery Channel documentary later this month.
She told Jacki Lyden, host of weekends on All Things Considered, the elusive creature could have been as much as 30 feet long. The largest squid on record, she said, was 55 feet long.

Interview Highlights

How Widder stalked the giant squid
"I had been wanting for a long time to explore the ocean in a different way, because I've always been concerned with how much stuff we must be scaring away — the way we go down with noisy submersibles that have thrusters whirring and bright lights on them. Any animal with any sense is going to get away from that. So I wanted to develop a stealthy system. And besides having a stealthy camera, I wanted to not just put down bait the way normally people do to attract animals, because dead bait is just going to attract scavengers. And so I wanted to attract active predators, so I developed an optical lure that imitates a particular type of bio-luminescent display that I thought should be attractive to large predators."
Despite the myths, scientists knew giant squids existed
"The reason we know giant squids exist is that they happen to float when they die. But we really [have] only explored 5 percent of the ocean, and I think we've explored that in the wrong way. I think we've scared a lot of animals away. So what about the stuff that doesn't float when it dies?"
A giant squid is attracted to the "e-jellyfish," a bioluminescent lure invented by marine biologist Edie Widder.
A giant squid is attracted to the "e-jellyfish," a bioluminescent lure invented by marine biologist Edie Widder.  
On getting the money-shot of the camera-shy giant
"The footage I got was just amazing to see... . The first few times we saw it on camera was like it was doing a fan dance and just showing us little bits of itself. We'd see the arms kind of wave by the camera. ... But the most spectacular shot is when it came in on the attack ... it comes up over the sphere — which is the optical lure that's illuminating the bio-luminescent display — and attacks the camera itself."
On the squid's surprising appearance
"The color was utterly different than any of us expected. The one that had been brought to the surface and that there were pictures of was red, and a lot of deep-sea squid are red. But this was a spectacular silver and gold. It just looks like it was carved out of metal, it's just completely breathtaking and completely unexpected."
On how it feels to be the first to capture video of the giant squid
"The excitement was incredible. It's just amazing to be able to have a moment like that and realize you've done something people have been trying to do for decades. That's what got me into science in the first place — this opportunity to explore a new frontier. But I never, never imagined that I'd get an opportunity like this."

The Natural History Of The Unicorn

Today we know that there's no such thing as unicorns. But back in the 1500s, they were sort of a respectable version of Bigfoot. Although only a few people had ever 'seen' them, it was widely believed that they existed.

So when Topsell's Historie of Four Foot Beasties, the first illustrated natural history in English, was published in 1607, unicorns were included. Here are some excerpts from the original version of the book. Remember, as you read, that these descriptions were considered science, not fantasy.

Little and large owls make an odd couple

A male great grey owl and the pint-sized long-eared owl have become inseparable since they began sharing a nest at a wildlife park in Goldau, Germany.
The junior partner - at 12 inches tall - is just half the size of its landlord and doesn't even seem to be put off by the fact that he has share the nest with a full time mate and several chicks too.

Vet Martin Wehrle: "A great grey owl would normally see this sort of owl as a snack. Normally a long eared owl would be too scared to go anywhere near them," he added. But observers say he has been accepted completely as one of the family.

Wehrle added: "They all get on very well together and we think the two grey owls must have accepted the long eared owl as a chick because they even try to feed it from time to time."

Pet Poisons Lurk in Gardens

Many garden favorites and houseplants can poison pets.

Animal News

A new group known as the Ugly Animal Preservation Society is using aesthetically challenged species to promote conservation efforts.

Scientists pinpoint why famous gorilla was white.

Animal Pictures