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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.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift

Thus Spake the Lizard King ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 192 countries around the world daily.

Thar' She Blows! ...

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Today in History

Today in History
79 Mount Vesuvius erupts destroying Pompeii, Stabiae, Herculaneum and other smaller settlements.
410 German barbarians sack Rome.
1542 In South America, Gonzalo Pizarro returns to the mouth of the Amazon River after having sailed the length of the great river as far as the Andes Mountains.
1572 Some 50,000 people are put to death in the 'Massacre of St. Bartholomew' as Charles IX of France attempts to rid the country of Huguenots.
1780 King Louis XVI abolishes torture as a means to get suspects to confess.
1814 British troops under General Robert Ross capture Washington, D.C., which they set on fire in retaliation for the American burning of the parliament building in York (Toronto), the capital of Upper Canada.
1847 Charlotte Bronte, using the pseudonym Currer Bell, sends a manuscript of Jane Eyre to her publisher in London.
1869 Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York, patents the waffle iron.
1891 Thomas Edison files a patent for the motion picture camera.
1894 Congress passes the first graduated income tax law, which is declared unconstitutional the next year.
1896 Thomas Brooks is shot and killed by an unknown assailant begining a six year feud with the McFarland family.
1912 By an act of Congress, Alaska is given a territorial legislature of two houses.
1942 In the battle of the Eastern Solomons, the third carrier-versus-carrier battle of the war, U.S. naval forces defeat a Japanese force attempting to screen reinforcements for the Guadalcanal fighting.
1948 Edith Mae Irby becomes the first African-American student to attend the University of Arkansas.
1954 Congress outlaws the Communist Party in the United States.
1963 US State Department cables embassy in Saigon that if South Vietnam's president Ngo Dinh Diem does not remove his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu as his political adviser the US would explore alternative leadership, setting the stage for a coup by ARVN generals.
1975 The principal leaders of Greece's 1967 coup—Georgios Papadopoulos, Stylianos Pattakos, and Nikolaos Maarezos—sentenced to death for high treason, later commuted to life in prison.
1981  Mark David Chapman sentenced to 20 years to life for murdering former Beatles band member John Lennon.
1989 Colombian drug lords declare "total and absolute war" on Colombia's government, booming the offices of two political parties and burning two politicians' homes.
1989 Baseball commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti bans Pete Rose from baseball for gambling.
1991 Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as head of the Comunist Party of the Soviet Union; Ukraine declares its independence from USSR.
1992 Hurricane Andrew makes landfall in Florida. The Category 5 storm, which had already caused extensive damage in the Bahamas, caused $26.5 billion in US damages, caused 65 deaths, and felled 70,000 acres of trees in the Everglades.
1994 Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) create initial accord regarding partial self-rule for Palestinians living on the West Bank, the Agreement on Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities.
2004 Chechnyan suicide bombers blow up two airliners near Moscow, killing 89 passengers.
2006 Pluto is downgraded to a dwarf planet when the International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefines "planet."
2010 The Mexican criminal syndicate Los Zetas kills 72 illegal immigrants from Central and South America in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Non Sequitur

Daily Comic Relief
The 'Duh' Edition

It Ain't From There

Odds and Sods

Just because something is named after a place doesn't mean it came from there.

Outback Steak House, the Australian-themed restaurant, was founded in Tampa, Florida.

Irish Spring Soap is manufactured by Colgate in the United States, and is not sold outside of North America.

Uno's Chicago Grill pizza restaurant chain is Boston-based.

Texas Pete Hot Sauce, a popular brand in the South, is made in North Carolina.

AriZona Iced Tea is headquartered in New York City.

London broil is a method of marinating and preparing flank steak. The dish originated in the American Midwest; it's virtually unknown in London.

Old Milwaukee beer is brewed in Detroit.

Lone Star Steakhouse is the name of a restaurant chain that was founded in North Carolina. In Texas, the Lone Star State, there are no Lone Star Steakhouses.

Hawaiian Punch is made with Hawaiian fruits, including papaya and pineapple, but it invented in Fullerton, California.

Vienna Beef is a popular brand of hot dogs and deli meats manufactured by a Chicago-based company.

Arizona Jeans clothing is produced by and sold at J.C. Penney stores, based in Plano, Texas.

Budweiser beer is named after the town of Busweis in Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic), but it originated in Missouri.

Vermont Castings manufactures wood-burning stoves and grills. The company's home offices are in Kentucky; all of its products are made in China.

New York Brand Texas Toast is produced in Ohio.

Talk About Idiots: tea party Senate Challenger Can’t Spell the Word ‘Senate’

Lunatic Fringe
carrr for sentate
Joe Carr (r-TN) is the perfect poster boy for the tea party; he even paid homage to the tea party by rolling his campaign out with a misspelled sign.
Thanks to Roll Call, we know that Carr’s campaign misspelled “Senate” on a campaign banner on the very day he announced his primary challenge against Sen. Lamar Alexander (r-TN).
“Carr for US Sentate”, it read (see above) — or as they say in the tea party, “Winning against socilism!”
Perhaps this is Carr’s way of making sure his base can’t accuse him of being an elitist. A way of pretending that he is not already a state representative — but rather a fresh faced, know-nothing full of hubris and rage. A real tea party “patriot”.
The campaign is a trial run that demonstrates how the candidate puts an organization together. It tests competency and skill at leadership. So it mattered that Romney’s campaign executed a complete flop with their get out the vote system because they chose not to do a trial run and didn’t plan in advance. These are not the signs of a good leader.
If you can’t execute your campaign well, odds are high that you won’t lead well in the position you seek. If your staff are idiots (see Anthony Weiner) or racists (see Rand Paul), it says something about you. Water seeks its own level.
Carr’s campaign’s error tells us: Careful readers? No. Meticulous? No. Unprofessional and careless? Yes and yes. Oh, sure, anyone can make a mistake — but on your roll out, this kind of mistake should be deadly. This was the banner with which he announced his run. First impressions and all…
Of course, Judson Phillips, the founder of tea party nation, can’t get enough of willful ignorance and unqualified, so he breathlessly endorsed “Carr for US Sentate”.
“We enthusiastically endorse Joe Carr in the Tennessee repugican Senate Primary. At tea party nation, we refer to Senator Alexander as ‘Liberal Lamar’ because he votes with Barack Obama more often than he votes the way the people of Tennessee want him to vote. Perhaps he should be referred to as the Senator from Obama.”
“The Senator from Obama” is apparently a tea party attempt at humor. Swallow at your own risk.
In addition to not having a properly spelled sign, Carr has other credentials for the tea party. He’s a member of Greenhouse Ministries, National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), National Rifle Association (NRA), and National Right to Life — or as we like to call it, the jesus Loves Guns and Predators club.
Perhaps I’m being unfair; after all, odds are decent that Carr has an inkling what the Senate actually does, even if he can’t spell it. He’s been in the state House since 2008. This means that he might be able to inform Princeton graduate and Constitution-impaired Ted Cruz how the Senate works. Between the two of them, maybe they make one whole brain, ... nah.

Did you know ...

Did You Know ...
That skater Johnny Weir is prepared to be arrested at the Russian winter Olympics

That studies find BMW drivers are really jerks

That Glenn Greenwald's article on snooping actually snooped on everyone who clicked it

The repugicans Have Lost Their Grip on Reality and Are Disregarding the Constitution

Lunatic Fringe
Republicans have lost their grip on reality and it manifest itself their blatant disregard for the Constitution save the 2nd and 10th Amendments.…
GOP INsane
A mental or psychiatric disorder is a psychological pattern reflected in behavior that is generally not considered part of normal development. Generally, mental illness is defined by a combination of how a person feels, acts, thinks or perceives, and can be associated with particular functions of the brain that causes the sufferer to be hostile to or disruptive of the established social order and engaging in behavior that violates accepted mores. The danger is that the mentally afflicted believe their condition, regardless how severe, is normal and that anyone who disagrees with them is their mortal enemy including their allies; such is the current iteration of the repugican cabal.
It is reasonable to assume that racism, extremist religion, and disbelief in reality are manifestations of repugican psychiatric disorders and they are particularly rampant in the extremist tea party wing. It is generally agreed by mental health experts that mental illness is not contagious, but they have not yet conducted in depth studies into the plague ravaging the repugican cabal. It is unfair to blame the lunacy rampant in repugican ranks solely on delusional teabaggers because what was once regarded as extreme is the new normal for the repugican cabal from the leadership to freshman representatives in Congress and state legislatures. It is true there are a small number of repugicans who have not yet fallen victim to teabagger insanity, but they are being called upon by the psychologically demented to either get out or they will be replaced.
After the electoral loss in 2012, while the RNC’s internal studies revealed extremism coupled with their anti-women and anti-minority policies were major contributing factors to their loss, a segment of the party countered that the problem was the cabal was not extreme enough. The mindset among extremists was that if repugicans had convinced voters they really wanted lunatics ruling in Washington, the people would have overwhelmingly supported intemperate wingnuts repugicans have become. Last Friday, a coalition of teabagger groups sent a letter to Senator Lamar Alexander demanding his retirement because “our great nation cannot afford compromise” that exposes teabaggers concrete thinking that is a symptom of mental illness. Yesterday, a teabagger decided to challenge Alexander in the Tennessee Republican primary because Alexander is not extreme enough and teabaggers are tired of him compromising as part of governing.
Former senator Jim DeMint, current president of the Heritage Foundation and extreme teabagger told attendees at a town hall thatrepugicans too afraid to shut down the government over health care reform should “be replaced” and it exposes another break from reality as well as teabagger’s willingness to create more distress for Americans because their unrealistic demands are unmet. DeMint also said that if repugicans were successful passing a budget defunding the health law under threat of a government shutdown thatwe don’t know if Obama will sign a bill to defund Obamacare” suggesting the President will actually sign a bill abolishing his signature health law.  It is the height of insanity to think for one second that threats from lunatics from the lunatic fringe will force the President to sign a bill reinstating lifetime limits, pre-existing conditions, and exorbitant fee increases, not to mention removing access to health insurance for 30 million uninsured Americans to prevent repugicans from shutting down the government. Another indicator of mental illness is obsessive compulsion repugicans have displayed over the Affordable Care Act, and their obsession has cost taxpayer millions of dollars voting to repeal the health law despite it will never get past the President’s veto pen.
Yesterday it was reported that some extremists in repugican ranks left the party because they “can no longer associate ourselves with a political cabal that goes out of its way to continually restrict our freedoms and liberties,” and they were not talking about the DNC. That is how extreme most repugicans have become regardless their policies are having a profoundly damaging effect on all aspects of the nation. In fact, it was reported  that American businesses are suffering the consequences of madmen obstructing sound economic policies championed by repugican extremists and it was just a matter of time before the lunatics laying waste to the American people would affect the business world. The repugican extremism has touched all aspects of society now and still, they are ramping up insane policies that are driving one of their most dependable voting blocs, senior citizens, to turn sharply against the repugican cabal.
In the same manner that mental disorders are not contagious, they are not necessarily caused by any event. However, when the American people elected an African American man as President it drove the current crop of repugicans and their teabagger cohort mad, and like crazy people are wont, they took out their raging psychosis on innocent bystanders; the American people. President Obama is, at best, a left-leaning centrist, but he is a Black left-leaning centrist and his race drove the wingnut's decline into insanity with valuable assistance by non-stop ranting that this Black man was taking their guns and religious freedoms. There has been no dearth of paranoia that the President is on a crusade to destroy christianity because of the religio-wingnutt’s delusional belief he is a muslim and it contributed to the rise of extremism that is now the repugican cabal.
There are many on the left describing the mental state of repugicans and the resulting internal war to seize control of the wingnut delusion as the beginning of the end of the repugican cabal’s relevance in American politics and that is be true. However, repugicans still control the nation’s purse strings and they are using their five week recess to marshal support for the upcoming budget and debt limit battles. The extremists are single-minded in shutting down the government and as dangerous as that prospect, the real peril lies in their threat to block a debt limit increase over funding the health law. There are some in Congress who suggest permanently denying a debt limit rise regardless the certain worldwide financial crisis that would ensue and it exposes them for the truly insane people they are.
The repugicans have lost their grip on reality and it manifest itself their blatant disregard for the Constitution save the 2nd and 10th Amendments. Their obsession with the President has motivated them and their supporters to discuss impeaching Obama despite they have no grounds,  and many of the lunatics still consider the ACA an unconstitutional breach of power. America likely had a few crazy politicians in office throughout its history, but the level of insane extremism has never permeated an entire cabal or posed a profoundly serious threat to the nation. There is no cure for mental illness and even if there were the insanity ravaging the wingnut delusion is as untreatable as it is boundless. Obviously, the majority of American people are not insane and certainly do not support the lunacy rampant in the wingnut delusion, but there is little they can do now and the repugican cabal is just sane enough to prevent them from voting the crazy out of Congress and state legislatures in coming elections. The repugican cabal insanity will be the cabal’s undoing, but in the meantime Americans are paying dearly for sitting home and allowing raving racists, disillusioned religiosos, Obamacare obsessed fanatics, and crazed economic extremists to rise to power.

The repugican Version of a Great Idea: For Profit Natural Disasters

Lunatic Fringe
If you want to see what privatized relief would look like, think of Walmart. That's the face of repugican disaster relief
Great Fire of Rome 
The continuing repugican disgust with the necessity of vile government over a fractious and well-armed citizenry continues to amaze. Tied to this is the repeated comparisons of our modern secular government with Ancient Rome and its imagined excesses.
Of course, Roman orgies are the product of feverish and repressed sexual fantasies of christians through the ages,[1] and the belief that the Roman government was completely indifferent to the needs of its citizens is another convenient christian fantasy. Because they present christianity as an “upgrade,” both of them serve the wingnut christian cause today as an argument for the primacy of cult over state.
The problem is that as with the orgy myth, the government myth is simply untrue. Just as governments today act in response to emergencies, so did the Ancient Roman state. And if evil Roman state could act in response to disasters, why should the government of a modern nation state, with far more resources available to it, do less?
Classicist Jerry Toner writes that “Imperial intervention during disasters became one of the expectations that people had of government.”
Contrary to repugican lies, Democrats did not invent the idea of a government spending money on its citizens. Just take a look at some examples:
The reclusive Tiberius, therefore, felt obliged to leave his island retreat at Capri when the collapse [of an arena] at Fidenae killed thousands. And the range of actions which subsequent emperors took to alleviate disastrous situations expanded significantly. During a financial crisis, Tiberius lent 100 million sesterces without interest for three years. Losses through fire were sometimes made good by the imperial treasury. Such assistance could be in he form of cash, a tax rebate, the cancellation of debts, or acts such as the advancement of civic status. One law says that in the aftermath of a fire, any Latin worth 200,000 sesterces who spent half that sum in building in Rome would obtain full Roman citizenship. Dio claims that too many cities to record were helped by August and senators after they had suffered earthquake damage. Tax relief was given to cities for five years following an earthquake in Asia, help which was weighted according to the severity of impact, and was administered under the oversight of a senior official.[2]
The emperors would also release state-owned wheat during food shortages and pay for the burial of dead when plague or other disaster left so many dead that local efforts were overwhelmed. Canals were dug and rivers even diverted in an attempt to eliminate flooding. Even christian emperors continued these traditions.
The question becomes, if christianity is so vastly superior to Paganism, how is it a Pagan government can be superior to what the religio-wingnuts want today? And why do these ultra-religious repugicans want to roll back what even their christian predecessors many centuries ago were willing to do on behalf of their citizens?
Is a government helping people really such a bad thing? Can’t we expect as much today as offered by a supposedly evil government 2,000 years ago? Surely no one has forgotten repugican candidate Mitt Romney calling disaster relief immoral?
The repugican delusion tends to be morally flexible when disaster strikes. While denying it to others, repugicans always want relief for themselves. Then big government becomes their best friend. The moment the disaster is over they are back to denouncing it. For people who claim there can be no compromising, they can be almighty compromising where the federal dollars are concerned. The repugicans are drowning in their own disaster relief hypocrisy.
But grasping greed is not the same thing as compassion, and if there is one thing the modern-day repugican cabal lacks, it is compassion.
And even if it is argued that Roman rulers were merely looking at the bottom line, cannot repugicans find within themselves even a modicum of common sense? We know Walmart can’t, but Walmart doesn’t have to be the paradigm the United States revolves around. Besides, history tells us that even Nero, christianity’s favorite enemy, provided government relief in the wake of the Great Fire of 64 CE, and the emperor Titus, we are told by Suetonius (Tit. 8), showed “not merely the concern of an emperor, but even a father’s surpassing love…there was no aid, human or divine, which he did not employ, searching for every kind of sacrifice and all kinds of medicines.”[3]
Isn’t that the very least a government should do for its citizens, who, after all, pay the taxes that support the government?
The problem seems to be that there is no profit to be made in this – by private citizens. And so repugicans would prefer to privatize government services so we can all pay some more, in addition to our taxes, for the help we need in various crises. Life, under repugican governance, would become a “pay-as-you-go” or “for profit” enterprise.
And guess who will reap the profits? The repugicans, of course. None of that money will flow anywhere but into reliable repugican hands, as the examples of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Texas have shown.
Meanwhile, nasty old “Big Brother” won’t become “Little Brother” because secretly, repugicans love big government. Big Governments can start the Big Wars repugicans love so much. Big Government can intrude into your bedroom and into your doctor’s office. Hallowed Saint Ronald grew government and you know how they like to invoke his memory. Reagan repugicans, they call themselves.
Without myth, the repugican cabal would collapse, because as has often been noted here and elsewhere, the repugican cabal has nothing concrete to offer the American people. It has all become smoke and mirrors. The myth of fiscal conservatism, the myth of small government, all now work in conjunction with the myth that, as Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel Action puts it while busily working to persecute millions, “christians have been persecuted for 2,000 years by radical leftists.”
It’s a great myth, but nobody has ever persecuted christians in the Western world except other christians. The Roman persecutions are a myth.[4] In perhaps seven to ten years out of the 300 + christianity existed before becoming the state religion, the Roman government took action against christianity.
But christianity, meanwhile, has been persecuting other religions – every alternative to itself – nearly nonstop for 2,000 years and they are the biggest persecutor in history of their fellow christians – not islam.
Myth. Smoke and mirrors. Lies. That is the stuff of the repugican cabal today. Government isn’t bad. The Pagan Romans knew this. Their christian successors knew this. How can people today reject what people all through history have always known? That a government must act on behalf of its citizenry in the face of disaster?
The repugicans claim the federal government puts the screws to us. Really? If you want to see what privatized relief would look like, think of Walmart. That’s the face of repugican disaster relief. I think an educated public can do the math from there.
[1] Ray Lawrence, Roman Passions: A History of Pleasure in Imperial Rome (2009) puts it somewhat differently: “There is no real evidence for [orgies]. They are yet another case of the fevered imagination of the modern world, which attempts to sexualize all other cultures past and present.”
[2] Jerry Toner, Roman Disasters (2013).
[3] See Toner (2013), chapter 4.
[4] See, Candida Moss. The Myth of Persecution: How Early christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom (2013).

Louisiana repugicans Take Their cabal To A New Low By Blaming Obama for Katrina

Lunatic Fringe

Colorado lawmaker blames minority (read: black people) poverty on eating too much fried chicken

Lunatic Fringe
(From The Raw Story - click HERE to read more)
Vicki Marble (KMGH)
A repugican state senator in Colorado is coming under fire after implying at a hearing on Wednesday that African-Americans and Hispanics faced increased poverty because they ate more fried chicken.
Sen. Vicki Marble (r) offered the remarks while the legislature’s Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force was examining statistics behind racial disparity in the poverty rate,according to KDVR.
“When you look at life expectancy, there are problems in the black race: sickle-cell anemia is something that comes up, diabetes is something that’s prevalent in the genetic makeup and you just can’t help it,” Marble said. “Although I’ve got to say, I’ve never had better barbecue and better chicken and ate better in my life than when you go down south and you — I love it.”

The New York Times' prophetic 1983 warning about the NSA

Did You Know ...
David Burnham, in 1983: THE SILENT POWER OF THE N.S.A.
No laws define the limits of the N.S.A.'s power. No Congressional committee subjects the agency's budget to a systematic, informed and skeptical review. With unknown billions of Federal dollars, the agency purchases the most sophisticated communications and computer equipment in the world. But truly to comprehend the growing reach of this formidable organization, it is necessary to recall once again how the computers that power the N.S.A. are also gradually changing lives of Americans - the way they bank, obtain benefits from the Government and communicate with family and friends. Every day, in almost every area of culture and commerce, systems and procedures are being adopted by private companies and organizations as well as by the nation's security leaders that make it easier for the N.S.A. to dominate American society should it ever decide such action is necessary.

Sword-wielding, knife-throwing man attacked mother's boyfriend over missing can of shrimp

Criminal News
A Samurai sword-wielding, knife-throwing Florida man attacked his mother's boyfriend over a missing can of shrimp on Saturday morning. Jayson Laughman, 34, of Deltona used a sword to break down a door and threw kitchen knives at family members after his mother's boyfriend accused him of taking a can of shrimp, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

Orchard left bare after thieves stole 140 apple trees

Criminal News

Orchard owners in the Rougemont district, a renowned apple-growing area in the Montérégie, southeast of Montreal, Canada, made an infuriating discovery when they realized an entire field of young apple trees had been stolen Friday night.

In The News

In The News

An ancient recipe for seafood stew 

Archaeologists used scanning electron microscopes to look for phytoliths — the remnants of silica left over after plant cell walls decay — on ancient cookware. Their research led to the discovery of 6000-year-old garlic-mustard seed, the oldest evidence of spices being used in Northern European cooking. (Insert your own joke here.) 

Astronaut Luca Parmitano's first-person account of almost drowning in space 

Who needs coffee when you have this little horror story to wake you up in the morning? Money quote: "I think the liquid is too cold to be sweat, and more importantly, I can feel it increasing."

28 Foods Named After People

Who knew German chocolate cake wasn't German? It was named after an American named German! The Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich is named after the owner of the Brown Hotel, not the color of the dish. Which is brown. Those are just two of the stories about foods you are familiar with named after people you aren't familiar with.

Science, Religion, and the Big Bang

Minute Physics gives an incredibly concise overview of what we know, and what we don't know, about the beginning of the universe. Of course, the most tantalizing part is the point "where we don't know what we're talking about." Perhaps knowledge is like infinity; no matter how much we learn, we also learn how much more there is to learn.

Tiny pistols built into jailers' keys

Odds and Sods
WonderHowTo has a gallery of jailer key guns, which came in handy in the days of yore.
Most correctional officers today do not carry firearms, unless they're isolated away from the prison population. But back in the olden days, prison guards on their rounds needed a little backup power in their hands, especially when opening cell doors—usually a two-handed job.
So came the birth of jailer key guns, a cell door key that doubles as a primitive one-shooter. Filled with gunpowder, "turnkeys" could fire the miniature key-pistol in case there was any trouble with the prisoner when opening the door.

Motorcycle with a 48-Cylinder Engine

Odds and Sods
A classic Royal Enfield engine has 1 cylinder. The typical V-twin has 2. A Honda Goldwing has 6. But the engine of the Whitelock Tinker Toy has no fewer than 48 cylinders arranged in 6 straight 8 blocks. Its total displacement is 4200 cubic centimeters.
Simon Whitelock built this marvel. But can he steer it?

Conjoined Books

Odds and Sods
Erik Kwakkel, a medieval book historian, calls this binding technique "dos-à-dos"--meaning "back to back." He writes that it is:
[...] a type almost exclusively produced in the 16th and 17th centuries. They are like Siamese twins in that they present two different entities joint at their backs: each part has one board for itself, while a third is shared between the two. Their contents show why this was done: you will often find two complementary devotional works in them, such as a prayerbook and a Psalter, or the Bible’s Old and New Testament. Reading the one text you can flip the “book” to consult the other. 

Why Does Ketchup Pour So Slowly?

Did You Know ...

Maybe It's Rodent Fur!

Good things come to those who wait, Heinz used to say about their ketchup. But in Brazil, the ketchup may be slow pouring for an entirely different reason:
Brazilian health officials have banned a batch of Mexico-made Heinz ketchup, after detecting traces of rodent fur. [...]
The Mexican authorities have launched their own inquiry, and have ordered an inspection of the factory where the batch was produced.
Heinz said the batch was imported to Brazil last year, but had already been taken out of circulation.
Everyone knows that ketchup makes things taste better, even rodent fur! Read the rest over at the BBC

Can Brushing Your Teeth Fight a Cancer-Causing Virus?

For Your Health
by Amy Norton

People whose teeth and gums are in poor condition may be more susceptible to an oral virus that can cause certain mouth and throat cancers, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that of more than 3,400 U.S. adults, those who rated their oral health as “poor” to “fair” were more likely to have an oral infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), which, in certain cases, can eventually lead to cancer.
Overall, 10 percent of people with tooth or gum disease tested positive for oral HPV. That compared with 6.5 percent of those who rated their dental health as “good” to “excellent.”
The results, reported Aug. 21 in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, do not actually prove that diseased teeth and gums cause HPV infection.
“We don’t know if poor oral health led to the HPV infection,” said Christine Markham, one of the researchers on the study.
Her team tried to account for other factors that could affect dental health or the odds of having HPV — such as smoking or multiple oral sex partners. And poor oral health was still linked to a 56 percent increase in the risk of having oral HPV.
But there could be other explanations for the connection, and more research is needed, said Markham, an associate professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.
Still, she said, there are already plenty of reasons to take care of your teeth and gums. “Good oral health care is important for your health in general,” Markham said. This study just offers some more incentive, she added.
HPV, which can cause genital and anal warts, is the most commonly transmitted sexual infection in the United States. Usually, the immune system clears the infection, but in some cases the virus persists in the body. And persistent infection with certain HPV strains can eventually lead to cancer — with cervical cancer the best known.
HPV can also invade the mouth during oral sex. Those infections usually cause no symptoms, but a lingering infection with a cancer-linked strain can lead to oropharyngeal cancer, which affects the back of the throat, base of the tongue and tonsils.
It’s a rare cancer, but cases tied to HPV are on the rise in the United States. No one knows why.
It’s already known that poor oral hygiene is tied to a heightened risk of oropharyngeal cancer, even when smoking and heavy drinking — two big risk factors for the cancer — are taken into account.
But it has not been known whether dental health matters in the risk of oral HPV infection, Markham noted.
This study, however, does not answer that question, according to a specialist in head and neck cancers.
The study is hampered by some limitations, said Dr. Amy Chen, a professor of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery at Emory University in Atlanta.
The findings come from a large federal health survey that included more than 10,500 Americans. But Markham’s team had to exclude two-thirds of them from the analysis because the participants lacked key information — such as an HPV test result.
Paring down the group like that is problematic because it can bias the results, Chen said.
The “take-away,” she said, is that people should be aware of the already-known link between oral health and cancers of the mouth and throat.
Anna Giuliano, of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., agreed that the study leaves questions — including whether people with poor oral health have a higher risk of a long-lasting HPV infection, which is the real concern.
If unhealthy gums and teeth do raise the odds of oral HPV infection, it’s not certain how. But Markham said it’s possible that diseased gums offer an “entry portal” for the virus.
Fewer than 12,000 cases of oropharyngeal cancer occur among Americans each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But it’s thought that HPV causes nearly three-quarters of them. So preventing the infection is key to preventing the cancer.
There are two vaccines available against the most common cancer-linked strains of HPV (Gardasil and Cervarix). Experts advise vaccination for girls, boys and young adults.
Of course, that would not be of help to most of the people in this study, the majority of whom were aged 30 or older, said Dr. Dennis Kraus, director of the Center for Head and Neck Oncology at North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute in Lake Success, N.Y.
Oral hygiene, on the other hand, is something we all can pay attention to, Kraus noted. “Taking care of your teeth, taking care of your gums — it makes sense,” he said.
To help keep your mouth healthy, the American Dental Association recommends dental visits at regular intervals determined by your dentist.

Historical Photos

Pictures Say A Thousand Words
A remarkable photo of a Tibetan skeleton dancer by Joseph Rock, from 1925

Ten Great Inventions Dreamed Up By Children

Did You Know ...
Kids can be incredibly creative and inventive - and some even see their big ideas develop into astounding business opportunities as well. The following ten children turned their frustrations, mistakes and strokes of luck and brilliance into commercial successes, businesses and even life-long careers.

Their stories are sure to inspire anyone going into the business world, where ingenuity and imagination are often a bonus, if not a must. Kids came up with these ten great inventions, conceiving everything from earmuffs to Popsicles.

Nine-year-old girls become world's youngest formation wing-walkers

Fascinating People
Two nine-year-old girls have taken to the skies to become the world's youngest formation wing-walkers. Rose Powell and Flame Brewer, who are cousins, flew meters apart above RAF Rendcomb in Gloucestershire, reaching speeds of up to 100mph.
They have become the third generation of their families to wing-walk on the Boeing Stearman vintage bi-planes, which are owned by the girl's grandfather Vic Norman. Mr Norman, was at the controls of Rose's plane while Martyn Carrington, director of flying at Aerosuperbatics Ltd, piloted Flame's aircraft.
Rose said her cousin had the idea and it was a "once in a lifetime experience". "The best bit was probably taking off or doing the Superwoman pose," she added. Her cousin Flame, said: "It was really, really fun and really, really windy. The best bit is just being in the air".

The girls, both from London, were inspired to undertake the feat by the plight of their six-year-old friend Eli Crossley, who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. His parents have set up the Duchenne Children's Trust to raise money to research a treatment or cure in time to save Eli's life.

These 83-year-old twins died together on same day

Fascinating People
After 83 years at each other’s side, twin sisters from Bavaria in Germany have died on exactly the same day in the same nursing home. Anna and Maria Bachmaier, from Steinhöring, east of Munich, were both born on June 4th 1930 and stayed with each other until their death at the nursing home on August 10th.

Anna, known as Anni, died at 5am last Saturday from liver cancer. Her twin sister was sleeping in the room next to her and followed her hours later. When Anna died, Maria’s sleep was disturbed, their nephew Peter Bachmaier said. He said Maria, who had lost a leg through diabetes, cried out in her sleep.
“It is just unbelievable," he said. "They couldn’t survive without each other. My whole life I saw how they thought and felt like identical twins.” As she was sleeping Maria knew nothing of her younger sister’s death but hours later she too died. “I had been saying for weeks that they would go on the same day,” Bachmaier said.

But as young women Maria and Anna, who never married or had children, went their separate ways. Anna stayed in the area and worked in a local church for 48 years. Church warden Ignaz Loidl said: “She was very pious and her faith got her through any problems.” Maria, meanwhile, went to work in Munich as a nurse but regularly visited home. When she retired in 1985 she returned and lived with Anna.

Human News

Hallucinations and Yawning
The woman did not recognize many of the tunes that dogged her, but they had full vocals and instrumentals.
You've probably seen someone yawn and felt compelled to take a deep inhale and exhale yourself. Yes, yawning is contagious, but why do we actually do it in the first place? Trace takes a look at the competing theories out there.

Sinkhole Swallows Trees

Planet Earth

The Assumption Parish sinkhole in Louisiana has been growing for a year now. In this video, taken yesterday, you can see a clump of cypress trees being swallowed by the hole. First the trees lean a little, then they disappear, then the water rushes into the hole, lowering the water level as you can see on the remaining tree trunks.
The sinkhole has been growing since it emerged from the swamps sometime late on Aug. 2 or early on Aug. 3, 2012, as the suspected result of a salt dome cavern failure deep underground months beforehand.

Scientists have said this growth is expected as the hole seeks a final shape and size, a geologic process that may take years.

Though the watery hole — now approaching some 25 acres in size at the surface with some sections that may plunge hundreds of feet deep — has undergone continuing edge collapses or slough-ins, rarely have such sizable failures been caught on video.

The Largest Crystals In The World At Naica Crystal Cave, Mexico

Planet Earth
Dig in deep into the Naica Crystal Caves in Chihuahua, Mexico, and get nothing less than massive crystals. The cave conditions are extreme: it has a constant temperature of 58 degrees Celcius (136 °F) and very high humidity.

Trekkers are given a suit full of icebags with a respirator when they had to explore the cave. And they got to move quickly because the longer your stay in there, the more you lose your brain functions.

Labrador adopts abandoned lamb

Animal News
Rejected by her mother and abandoned in a field, Lily the lamb has been adopted by a family Labrador in Palmerston North, New Zealand. Lily and Shekel the Labrador have formed an unlikely close bond since they met, sharing breakfast, bed and bottles. Suzanne McMurtrie found the newborn lamb on her sister's lifestyle block in Pohangina on Friday.

Man walking dog while driving vehicle annoys humane society

Animal News

The Regina Humane Society in Saskatchewan, Canada is seeing red after a video taken over the weekend showed someone walking a dog while driving beside it in a van. “It’s incredibly dangerous,” said Don Simons of the Humane Society. The video was captured on Sunday night near Douglas Park. 
In the video a van is seen with its hazards on while a dog walks beside it. It is dusk and cars are driving by. “(If) it sees a squirrel, it sees a rabbit, it wants to swerve around a rock or a pothole, then it can very easily get caught up under the wheel,” Simons explained. Simons says if someone is physically unable to walk their dog, many other options are available.

“There are dog parks in town where you can maybe take your dog if that’s a problem,” he said. “Of course, there are family and friends. There are dog walkers.” Simons says it is dangerous whether in the country or in the city. The Regina Humane Society said it will consider pursuing charges if any dog is killed or injured while being walked by someone driving a vehicle.

Regina police say it is not just dangerous for the animal, but for drivers around them. “There might be evidence under the Traffic Safety Act of either obstructing traffic, or perhaps driving without undue care or attention,” said police spokesperson Elizabeth Popowich. In this case, police were called and the driver told officers he was walking the dog for a friend. He agreed to never walk an animal in that manner again.

Baby nautilus proves you don't need vertebrae to be adorable

Animal News
This baby nautilus emerged this week from an egg laid last November at San Diego's Birch Aquarium. For this tiny cephalopod, the process of being born took not hours, or even days, but weeks. The ZooBorns site has a series of photos that show how the nautilus slooooooowly emerged from the egg.
Biologists don't know exactly why this process takes the nautilus so long.
For one thing, they're difficult to breed in captivity. (It's not panda hard, but not simple, either. This was the first egg to actually hatch at the Birch Aquarium, out of 40 laid over the last 3-4 years.) The first captive nautilus hatchlings weren't recorded until 1990. We've still got a lot to learn about them.
One thing we do know, though, is that baby nautiluses don't seem to come with any special apparatus for breaking themselves out of the egg. In contrast, most birds and reptiles (as well as some frogs, spiders, and egg-laying mammals) have what's called an "egg tooth" — sort of nature's bottle opener for egg-bound embryos. Lacking that, nautilus hatchlings are basically forced to wiggle their way out of the egg along the line where a seam of capsule splits.
That's exhausting work, especially for a creature only 3cm long.

Pet raccoon confiscated

Animal News

 [Video Link
Matthew says: "Mark Brown, a self-described Tennessee 'Hillbilly' YouTuber, posts videos of himself and his pet raccoon, Rebekah. After Brown racked up over a million views from his YouTube channel, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency visited his home and seized Rebekah. Brown suspects the agency decided to seize his pet after his video went viral, but a representative from the wildlife agency claims a neighbor's complaint led to Rebekah's removal. Brown is now trying to get Rebekah released."

Animal Pictures

Animal Pictures