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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.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Daily Drift

The Daily Drift

World's shortest back to school story ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 192 countries around the world daily.

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Today is  The National Parks Service Founders Day  

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Today in History

Today in History
357 Julian Caesar defeats the Alamanni at Strousbourg in Gaul.
1346 Edward III of England defeats Philip VI's army at the Battle of Crecy in France.
1758 The Prussian army defeats the invading Russians at the Battle of Zorndorf.
1765 In protest over the stamp tax, American colonists sack and burn the home of Massachusetts governor Thomas Hutchinson.
1830 The "Tom Thumb" steam locomotive runs its famous race with a horse-drawn car. The horse wins because the engine, which had been ahead, breaks down.
1862 Union and Confederate troops skirmish at Waterloo Bridge, Virginia, during the Second Bull Run Campaign.
1864 Confederate General A.P. Hill pushes back Union General Winfield Scott Hancock from Reams Station where his army has spent several days destroying railroad tracks.
1875 "Captain" Matthew Webb becomes the first man to swim across the English Channel.
1916 The National Park Service is established as part of the Department of the Interior.
1921 The United States, which never ratified the Versailles Treaty ending World War I, finally signs a peace treaty with Germany.
1925 A. Phillip Randolph organizes the Sleeping Car Porters' Union.
1940 The first parachute wedding ceremony is performed by Rev. Homer Tomlinson at the New York City World's Fair for Arno Rudolphi and Ann Hayward. The minister, bride and groom, best man, maid of honor and four musicians were all suspended from parachutes.
1941 British and Soviet forces enter Iran, opening up a route to supply the Soviet Union.
1943 The Allies complete the occupation of New Georgia.
1944 Paris is liberated from German occupation by Free French Forces under General Jacques LeClerc.
1948 The House Un-American Activities Committee holds first-ever televised congressional hearing.
1950 President Harry Truman orders the U.S. Army to seize control of the nation's railroads to avert a strike.
1980 Zimbabwe joins the United Nations.
1981 Voyager 2 spacecraft makes its closest approach to Saturn.
1989 NASA scientists receive stunning photographs of Neptune and its moons from Voyager 2.
1989 Mayumi Moiyama, formerly head of Japan's Environmental Agency, becomes Japan's first female cabinet secretary
1991 The Airbus A340 makes its first flight.
1991 Belarus gains independence from the USSR.
1991 Croatian War of Independence: Battle of Vukovar begins, an 87-day siege of a Croatian city by the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), supported by various Serbian paramilitary forces.
2012 Severe flooding in Burma.

Non Sequitur

Daily Comic Relief
The 'He Had It Coming' Edition

An Open Letter to the President and CEO of Costco

Doing What's Right!
"It shouldn’t surprise anyone that if you find good people, give them good jobs, and pay them good wages, good things will happen." - Jim Sinegal, CEO, Costco
Matthew Horst At Costco
Below is a letter I recently sent to Jim Sinegal and Craig Jelinek (CEO and President, respectively) at Costco Corporation, an international chain of membership warehouses. I am publishing this letter publicly because too often the only businesses we hear about are those which are in some way abusive to customers, vendors and/or employees. As you’ll read in the letter and elsewhere, Costco is an absolute world-class business. If you’re a regular on this blog, you’ll know this is a topic I’m enthusiastic about. Despite the refrain of many headlines, Costco is not the only remarkable business!

Dear Mr. Sinegal and Mr. Jelinek,

Throughout the 90s, my older brother Matthew worked part-time at a grocery store. He was punctual, cared for his customers and he completed his work (clearing grocery carts from the parking lot) with excellence. But, the part-time minimum-wage salary, lack of benefits and toxic work environment prevented this job from becoming a career.

When a Costco opened up in our neighborhood (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) in the late 90s; its reputation for treating its employees with dignity preceded it. Matthew applied immediately in hopes of joining the Costco team. A few short months later, Costco took a chance on him. Today, 11 years later, after several promotions, consistent pay increases and with a supportive team around him, Matthew has found his career. The very generous salary and benefits package allow him to enjoy life in a debt-free home in a great neighborhood, within walking distance of Costco.

For his entire life, Matthew has been classified and known by his “special needs”. Since the day he began at Costco, however, his coworkers and customers have valued him because of his unique strengths. There are many companies which “succeed” at the expense of their workers. I am a firsthand witness to a counter-intuitive company: Costco succeeds through the flourishing of its employees.

Matthew worked for years in the Costco parking lot (bearing the wind, rain, cold and snow), taking pride when it was free of carts. And, true to the rumors (that Costco promotes from within), he eventually was given the opportunity to work in the warehouse as a cashier’s assistant, supporting customers as they check-out. He absolutely loves his job…and his customers absolutely love him.

Matthew raves about his friends at the eyeglass center, bakery, pharmacy, food court and customer service desk. He always talks about the tire crew members who allow him to park his bike under their watch–and make sure it is tuned and safe to ride. He pays tribute to his many supervisors, each of whom has taken special care to help him succeed. Matthew enthusiastically participates in Costco’s Children’s Miracle Network partnership month, the annual Christmas party, and he recently won an employee Biggest Loser competition (losing over 65 pounds).

Costco has become much, much more than an employer to Matthew. Thank you for giving him a chance. I have always deeply believed that Matthew does not need any handouts — he just needs opportunities to apply his incredibly unique gifts and abilities. The purpose and care with which you approach business has literally changed the course of my brother’s life and has been an unspeakable blessing to him and to our family.

My warmest thanks,
Chris Horst

Did you know ...

Did You Know ...
These 9 myths about welfare the wingnuts doesn't want you to know the truth about

That the Texas U.S. attorney wrote racist posts on facebook

That a creationist radio ad says dinosaurs were on Noah's Ark

Study Shows U.S. Media Has Been More Critical of Obama than the shrub

In The News
U.S. outlets were more critical of Obama and less critical of the shrub than were Arab and European outlets, according to the Center for Media and Public Affairs… Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 1.05.59 PM
The U.S. outlets were more critical of Obama and less critical of the shrub than were Arab and European outlets, according to a study released by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University. Yes, the U.S. press loved them some shrub.
They found that European and Arabic-language TV news shows were both more positive toward the Obama administration than were U.S. TV news shows. Faux News Channel had the most negative coverage of Obama (shocking). But also, all news outlets in the study except for Faux News were more negative toward the shrub junta than they were toward the Obama administration, which might seem confusing until you put into context the epic debacle that was shrub’s squatting in the people's office. Even our corporate press couldn’t whitewash the stream of lawlessness that comprised the shrub junta.
The U.S. outlets were more negative toward the shrub but less negative than the European and Arabic-language outlets. To make sense of this, consider the policy differences between Obama and the shrub, and how they impacted the perception of each in international media. European news outlets were the most negative toward the shrub junta, even more negative than Mid-East outlets, which says that it wasn’t all about the the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but also about the shrub’s cowboy diplomacy and the tendency of European news outlets to actually cover the news as opposed to U.S. outlets. The U.S. outlets were the least negative toward the shrub junta.
These findings are from a new book published August 16, The Global President, by CMPA Senior Fellow and University of Mary Washington Professor Stephen Farnsworth, CMPA President and George Mason University Professor S. Robert Lichter and Media Tenor President Roland Schatz.
Given the fact that European outlets are more likely to have real news than the Kardashian-obsessed, for-profit, cute-whale-sighting, shiny weapons-of-mass-destruction that passes for our “news” here, one might deduce that this means that the shrub junta did more negative things, like say lying about WMD, invading a sovereign nation on a lie, ignoring an entire region after a natural disaster, outing a CIA agent for political retribution, using U.S. attorneys for political retribution, politicizing the DOJ with evangelical partisan hacks in career, non-political jobs, ending his term with a global financial meltdown attributable to policies he and his party championed, and so much more.
Oh, sure, you’re thinking but Obama is responsible for Katrina! Only in the repglican cabal, my friend, proving that they have given up on reality all together in order to justify their irrational hatred of Obama. And then there was Obama using the IRS for partisan political purposes! Oh, it turns out that was a repugican lie sold to you by none other than the US “news” outlets (see above). In fact, it was repugicans who used their power in the IRS and the House to manufacture a false narrative and provide false testimony to Congress in hopes of implicating Obama and Hillary Clinton. In other words, repugicans used their power to exact revenge on their enemies’ list.
The idea that the U.S. press is less critical of repugicans isn’t new. Being negative toward the shrub was sort of impossible to escape in the reality based world, but did they tell the truth? If one side is so off that Constitutional scholars accused the shrub of operating like a dictator (and they did/do), to be negative isn’t necessarily to be truthful. Instead, the press ran with the junta’s big lies, like their WMD lies, with the same fever and naivete that they now follow repugicans’ fake scandals about Obama.
The press give Romney three times more positive press during the campaign than the President. The U.S. press isn’t liberal, and facts do have a liberal bias these days. Follow the thought — the press isn’t always factual. They are trying to sell something, not trying to inform you. Gone are the days when TV news was the loss leader and could afford to inform you.
Today, our corporate for profit news must cater to the deregulators and that cabal is repugican. They are also always a few years behind reality, just like Hollywood, always chasing the last popular thing instead of looking forward. Fear and profit motives will do that. The repugicans have never been real Americans, but  every knows that since the shrub sold WMD.
The press is supposed to be a watchdog, so it’s great that they are critical of Obama. It would be more helpful if they could manage to be critical over real things instead of chasing every repugican lie that comes from headquarters. It would be even better if they could find a modicum of that bravado when a repugican is in office, or even of the repugicans in Congress. It is not surprising that the U.S. press was less critical of the shrub and more critical of Obama than were Arab and European outlets.
It’s painful to pay attention because things really are much worse than they appear on the surface. Meanwhile, the misinformed and barely-informed live in a happy bubble where both sides are the same and President Obama’s biggest error was his response to Katrina.
Thanks for nothing, Obama.
There is no liberal media. The U.S. media caters to repugicans, even misleading you on purpose in order to sell repugican lies with impunity.

“News” at 11.

Methodology and scope: The study examined over 200,000 statements on thirteen flagship TV news programs in England, Germany, the Middle East, and the United States (listed below) concerning the Bush and Obama administrations from January 2005 through June 2010. The outlets studied were: England – BBC1 10 O’clock News, BBC2 Newsnight; Germany – ARD Tagesthemen, ZDF heute journal; Middle East – Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiyah; Nile News, LBC, and Al-Manar; USA – ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news shows, Fox News Special Report.
According to CMPA, an outlet’s coverage was defined as mainly positive or favorable if positive statements about the Obama or Bush administration outnumbered negative statements. An outlet’s coverage was defined as mainly negative or unfavorable if negative statements outnumbered positive statements.

The repugicans Admit to President Obama That They Are Afraid of Lush Dimbulb

Lunatic Fringe - The 'Proving what wimps they are' Edition
In an interview on CNN, President Obama said that repugicans have admitted in private that they agree with him, but won’t act because they are afraid of Lush Dimbulb.

Transcript from CNN:
CUOMO: Nobody knows better than you that it is a big part of the job of the president to make that happen. How much of the lack of action in Washington do you put on yourself, in terms of blame?
OBAMA: Well, look, ultimately, the buck stops with me. And so any time we are not moving forward on things that should be simple, I get frustrated. And, you know, I’ve said before — and I continue to say — you know, I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get Congress — and repugicans in Congress in particular — to think less about politics and party and think more about what’s good for the country.
There is nobody out there who thinks that us not paying bills we’ve already racked up is good for the economy, is appropriate, that America losing its reputation and the full faith and credit of the United States would somehow improve the prospects of working families or businesses around the country. Nobody thinks that. So why are we even talking about? Why aren’t we just getting that done?
When it comes to the budget, we know that we shouldn’t be cutting more on core investments like education that are going to help us grow in the future. And we’ve already seen the deficit cut in half. It’s going down faster than any time in the last 60 years. So why would we make more cuts in education, more cuts in basic research? Nobody thinks that’s a good idea.
And then, finally, now what we’ve got is repugicans talking about the idea that they would shut down the government — bad for the economy, bad for not just people who work for the government, but all the contractors who — and the defense folks and everybody who is impacted by the services that they receive from the federal government, we should shut that down, because repugicans, after having taken 40 votes to try to get rid of Obamacare, see this as their last gasp.
Nobody thinks that’s good for the middle class. So the question is ultimately, if you are putting the American people first, if you are prioritizing them, then this shouldn’t be that difficult. And I’ve made this argument to my repugican friends privately, and, by the way, sometimes they say to me privately, “I agree with you, but I’m worried about a primary from, you know, somebody in the tea party back in my district,” or, “I’m worried about what Lush Dimbulb is going to say about me on the radio. And so you got to understand, I’m — it’s really difficult.”
Well, you know what? I can’t force these folks to do what’s right for the American people, because they’re independently elected, it’s a separate branch of government, and I don’t have a vote in Congress. But what I sure as heck can do is stay focused on what I know will be good for the American people.
The repugicans are scared of Lush Dimbulb because the wingnut hate-spewer has an out sized presence in a cabal that has gotten very small over the last few years. Congressional repugicans are more interested in protecting their own seats than passing legislation. They see working with Obama on anything as the kind of activity that will get them a tea party challenger, and earn the wrath of Dimbulb.
Lush Dimbulb has 20 million brain-dead sycophants. 60 million repugicans voted for Mitt Romney. This means that Dimbulb is capable of reaching 1/3 of the repugican cabal. If the repugican cabal was larger or had stronger leadership, Dimbulb could be kept in his place.
Since repugicans are scared of Dimbulb, this means that the dynamic in Washington isn’t Obama versus the repugicans. It is Obama versus Lush Dimbulb, Faux News, and the wingnut media.
The good news for Democrats is that Obama is consistently winning this battle. The repugicans may have successfully demonized the term Obamacare, but repgicans are also lining up to enjoy the benefits of the ACA. Obama has consistently won the message war. That’s why taxes were increased on the wealthy. Congressional approval ratings are sitting at an all time low, and the repugican agenda has been reduced to 40 votes to repeal Obamacare.
Obama is the president, and the president will always trump a wingnut hate-spewer sitting in his home studio in Florida spewing hate.
Lush Dimbulb isn’t an agenda. He is political junk food, which is why the president has been able to slice through repugicans like a knife through warm butter when he has to.
The difference between Democrats and repugicans is that Democrats have a strong leader with a clear agenda in the president. The repugicans have no leader, and are busy kissing the ring of a drug addicted hate speech show host.
Democrats are rebuilding America. The repugicans are living in fear of  a hate spewing radio host whose only goal is to make himself even more money.
Just as love overcomes hate, real leadership always emerges victorious, and a Democrats have all the leaders.

The truth be told

The Truth Is ...
The 'Stolen Dream' Edition

The repugicans Take America Back (To the 19th Century) By Cutting Education and Paved Roads

Lunatic Fringe
Since 2011, repugican governors have taken their country back with the systematic demolition of the public education system and for Texas residents, the loss of paved roads.…
Education cuts 2
Americans are witnessing firsthand the long-intended consequences of repugican economic policy that favors corporations and the rich to make room to drastically scale back services and programs that serve 98% of the people, but the damage on the national level pales in comparison to repugican-controlled states. Indeed, when Democratic voter apathy and opposition to President Obama’s inability to grant every whim of many on the left prompted them to sit out the 2010 midterms, it gave repugican governors the power they needed to take their states back to conditions typical of 19th century America. For four-and-a-half years teabaggers and hardline conservatives decried the 21st century and claimed their intent to “take our country back,” and their calls have been answered with the systematic demolition of the public education system and for Texas residents, the loss of paved roads.
First, while Texas repugicans and Governor Rick Perry approved giving corporations $1.6 billion in tax cuts in April, residents learned this week the Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT) began converting paved roads to gravel to take their already pathetic roads back to 19th century standards. The roads primary damage is from years of heavy oil industry equipment and according to the TDOT, the “only option to make roads safer is to turn them into gravel roads,” and for further safety, speed limits on the unpaved roads will also be lowered to 30 mph. Ranchers and farmers are impacted the most and they are understandably unhappy, but that is the consequence of electing repugicans more concerned with giving $1.6 billion in corporate tax cuts than repair 38% of Texas roads in poor condition according to America’s Infrastructure report card. The same repugicans giving corporations tax cuts follow other repugican states withholding funds for education; Texas ranks 49th in the nation in education spending and Pennsylvania and Virginia are attempting join them at the bottom of the education funding list.
In Pennsylvania, Governor Corbett and the repugican legislature followed an ALEC plan carefully and have refused to fund schools adequately despite the state Constitution mandates the Legislature “provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education.”  The repugicans are uninterested in the state Constitution mandate and forced the city of Philadelphia school district to borrow $50 million just to open schools according to schedule on September 9, albeit without counselors, administrative staff, noon aids, nurses, librarians, or pens and paper. Corbett and repugicans did manage to approve corporate tax breaks amounting to $833 million, and they are following an ALEC mandate to break the Philadelphia’s school district in order to crush the teachers union and divert money to vouchers for religious and corporate run charter schools.
Thus far, the district laid off nearly 4,000 teachers and staff members, and closed 24 schools, and this is after they were  forced to  shutter eight schools the previous year and it informs that empty buildings and mass layoffs are the repugican vision for education reverting back to 19th century America. One Philadelphia school appealed to parents to donate $613 per student just to open the school that marks the beginning of the end of equitable public education, and it is part and parcel of repugicans’ deliberate attempt to prevent the city’s poorest children from getting an education. Besides breaking public schools, teachers’ union, killing thousands of living wage jobs, and leaving children uneducated and impoverished, repugicans can pillage teachers’ pensions and transfer them directly to their ALEC-supporting corporate donors.
The prospects for Virginia’s education system according to the fanatic yearning to be the first theocratic dictator in Virginia history are not much better than either Texas or Pennsylvania if aberro-christian Ken Cuccinelli is successful in his bid to be governor. Cuccinelli took a page right out of ALEC’s playbook and proposes cutting the education budget by nearly half-a-billion dollars and diverting what is left to private charter schools, online learning, and publicly funded parochial schools. According to Cuccinelli, the separation of church and state provisions the United States Constitution and Article IV, Section 16 of Virginia’s constitution were anti-christian bigotry that cannot stand and he will repeal the Virginia Blain Amendment that explicitly bars government funding for religious schools and institutions. In Louisiana a similar unconstitutionally enacted law to Cuccinelli’s proposal exposed a flaw that meant christian taxpayers would be forced to fund an islamic school, but so far religious schools benefiting are those inserting biblical teachings into math, science and literature along with restricting education that does not comport with evangelicals’ world view.
The repugicans and their legislative arm ALEC have much more in store for Americans than simply providing gravel roads and inadequate religious education funded by taxpayers, but any emerging enterprise has to start slowly. Every tactic and policy ALEC devises for repugicans to enact in the states is a portent of the repugican cabal’s plan for the federal government. For example, repugican states slashing education and transportation funding while providing billions in corporate tax cuts follows the Ryan budget that  cuts education spending by 33% and transportation by 38% to give the wealthiest Americans a 15% tax cut. The nation’s infrastructure is at the bottom of developed countries in the world and yet repugicans refuse to fund the President’s request for $50 billion to create jobs repairing over 70,000 bridges despite the nation requires $3.7 trillion over ten years to bring America up to standards to compete with the rest of the world.
One is inclined to feel for the residents of repugican-controlled states except that likely the same people affected by repugicans destroying public education and replacing paved roads with gravel voted for the ALEC governors and representatives bent on taking the nation back to the 19th century. They doubtless decry secular education and fall for the home and religious school scam that gives anyone with a King James qualifications to educate children to compete in the 21st century world. However, there are residents in repugican-controlled states who do not adhere to religious libertarianism ALEC and repugicans are selling as “parent choice” and “free market capitalism” and they are unnecessarily suffering the effects of serving the corporate world’s needs that ALEC and repugicans are advancing.
If nothing else, repugican states are providing the rest of the nation with a portent of what they have in store for the entire country, and it is rolling along at 30 miles per hour on gravel roads and an education consisting of honing Ten Commandment skills. It is important to remember that repugican states destroying education and underfunding basic services for “lack of funds” are giving billions to corporations in tax cuts, and it is exactly what voters wanted. Sadly, they are likely unable to stop ALEC repugicans because the same politicians destroying their states are destroying their right to vote and in that sense voters did get what they asked for; no education, gravel roads, and no right to vote to change their pathetic 19th century states.

Rick Perry Quietly Lobbies The White House For $100 Million In Obamacare Funding

Lunatic Fringe

The real food stamp fraud is in the reasons repugicans give for cuts

Lunatic Fringe
Canned food and fork
House repugicans aren't telling all the details of their plan to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by $40 billion over 10 years, but the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has taken a look at the information that is available and rounded up some of the bad news. The CBPP estimates that the cuts would deny food aid to "at least four million to six million low-income people, including some of the nation’s poorest adults, as well as many low-income children, seniors, and families that work for low wages."
The repugicans will talk a big game about adding "work requirements" to SNAP. In fact, SNAP has work requirements, in the form of a three-month limit for childless unemployed adults to receive benefits, unless they live in an area with such high unemployment that their state has gotten a waiver for it. So what would these so-called work requirements really do?
In reality, they would terminate basic food assistance to people who would take any job or job training opportunity offered but cannot find one; the proposal doesn’t require states to provide jobs or job training and includes no added funds for these activities. And, though proponents stress the need to promote work, the proposal cuts assistance to low-income working families who struggle to afford food.
Proponents’ rhetoric about the importance of work also ignores the fact that most SNAP recipients who can work do work. More than 80 percent of SNAP households with at least one working-age, non-disabled adult worked in the year before or after receiving SNAP.

Two Banksters Charged ... Finally

Doing What's Right!
JP Morgan employees in deep trouble  

U.S. officials on Wednesday lodged criminal charges against two former JPMorgan Chase employees accused of concealing hundreds of millions of dollars in trading losses in an episode that cast a sour light
on the bank’s high-risk investments.

Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout were charged with wire fraud, filing false information with the SEC
and other crimes that were part of an alleged conspiracy to hide mounting trading losses on derivatives
investments assembled in the bank’s London office.

Losses stemming from that unit eventually topped $6 billion.

First, I suspect those "losses" were actually stolen.
That's how they do things - they make trades then bet the trades will lose money.

But I'm sure the thieves will be forced to pay a Draconian $25K fine and get a stern warning not to steal additional billions in the future.  


Man arrested after spat with neighbor about peanut shells discarded by squirrels

Criminal News
A 57-year-old Florida man has been arrested after he assaulted his neighbor for feeding the squirrels in their neighborhood. An Indian River County Sheriff's deputy arrested Eugene Oates after the spat over peanut shells discarded by the squirrels.
A deputy went to an address in Vero Beach where he met a woman and a man. The woman said Oates, who lives nearby, came to the porch door steps of their trailer.

The woman called for the man, saying she didn't wish to speak with Oates because Oates "had an issue with them feeding squirrels peanuts and the squirrels would deposit the peanut shells on the defendant's (Oates') lawn and driveway, which the defendant (Oates) did not approve of," an affidavit states.
Meanwhile, the man said Oates grabbed his arm and tried to pull him outside, leaving two scratches. Deputies arrested Oates in on a battery charge. He was later released from the Indian River County Jail on $500 bond.

Random Photos

Pictures Say A Thousand Words

Nice outfit!
This one says 'Wowzer'

The Top 20 Weird But Amazing Uses For Garlic

Did You Know ...
20 Weird But Amazing uses for GarlicNow I’ve always considered myself a garlic aficionado, and have long believed in its nutritious and healthful qualities. I eat garlic almost every day. It’s widely considered a blood tonic and cleanser. And you can be sure that if Count Dracula came knocking, I would keep him at bay with a clove or two.
I was aware of many of the medicinal uses of garlic, such as the use, in alternative circles, of raw garlic as part of a parasite cleanse.
However, not even a lifetime’s adoration of garlic bread and pasta sauce could possibly have prepared me for what follows: A list of uses for garlic that encompasses the weird, the wonderful and the downright spectacular. Road de-icer, splinter remover, hair loss remedy…?
On further reading it turns out that the use of garlic as a road de-icer is perhaps something of a false call: One winter in Iowa, a batch of garlic salt that had been declared unfit for consumption was donated to be used on roads – however in all likelihood it was the salt that was doing the de-icing!
That still leaves 19 good ones! Here then, without further ado, beyond pizza topping… beyond bane of ancient Transylvanian Counts… here is the list of the top 20 weird but amazing uses for garlic.

Lived Once, Buried Twice

Odds and Sods

Legend has it that in 1705 a Mrs. Margorie McCall of Lurgan, Ireland dropped dead of a fever and was hastily buried to prevent the spread of infection. She also happened, at the time, to be wearing a rather expensive ring, the existence of which was apparently quite well known to the people of the area because, that very same evening, a grave robber disinterred Margorie’s body in order to steal said ring.

Initially unable to prise the ring from Margorie’s bloated finger the robber decided to cut the finger off with the ring still attached. However, upon making his first incision Margorie suddenly awoke! She had not been dead but rather was the victim of a premature burial. Naturally, the grave robber scarpered.

 Margorie then made her way home, as one would, and knocked on the door. Her husband, John McCall, who was having dinner with their children, apparently recognised his wife’s knock and went to answer the door. Upon seeing his supposedly dead wife very much alive, he dropped dead himself and was buried in the plot Margorie had vacated.

The myth is a variation on the story of ‘The Lady with the Ring’, which was popular in European folklore from the 14th to 19th centuries and, although there have been numerous Margorie McCalls living in Lurgan, there is no evidence to suggest the story is true. In the 1860s a local stone mason erected a stone inscribed “Margorie McCall - Lived Once, Buried Twice” and fixed it to the headstone of a random John McCall in Shankhill Cemetery in the town.

In Australia, what may be a 'new' indigenous language has been recorded

Interesting Stuff
US-based Australian linguist Carmel O'Shannessy has documented what she believes are "the beginnings of what's been described as the world's newest known spoken language." Light Walpiri is described as a blend of one small indigenous Australian town's traditional Aboriginal language, Warlpiri, plus English and a form of Aboriginal English known as Kriol. Read more about Light Walpiri, and O'Shannessy's work, at the professor's academic website. And below, videos of an Aboriginal child reading a monster story in Walpiri, and in Light Walpiri.


Daily Comic Relief
The 'No Shit Sherlock' Edition

Carved ostrich egg is oldest depiction of the New World

It's All About The Maps
You could hold the whole world in your hands if you cradled this ostrich egg. Its carved surface shows what is thought to be the oldest known depiction of the New World on a globe – ousting the Hunt-Lenox Globe held by the New York Public Library.
The globe shows North America as an unnamed group of scattered islands. Regions of South America are labelled as Mundus Novus or "New World", Terra de Brazil and Terra Sanctae Crucis, or "Land of the Holy Cross".
There are also depictions of ships, monsters, intertwining waves, a shipwrecked sailor, 71 place names and the sentence "HIC SVNT DRACONES" – "here be dragons".
The globe was bought by an anonymous private institution at last year's London Map Fair and then lent to independent researcher Stefaan Missinne, who published his analysis this week in The Portolan, the Washington Map Society's journal.
Judging by the density of its shell, Missinne reckons that the egg globe dates from around 1504 and notes the influence of Leonardo da Vinci's workshop on the globe's style. It may even have been the model for the Hunt-Lenox globe.

American dialects mapped

It's All About The Maps
Joshua Katz, at NC State University's Department of Statistics, compiled a series of simple, striking maps that visualize the words Americans use—and where they use them. The data was compiled from a survey conducted by Bert Vaux at the University of Cambridge. This is to whet your appetite for the full set of 122.

Racial Map of the United States

It's All About The Maps

Image: Dustin Cable/Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service/University of Virginia
Where are you in the map above? Demographic researcher Dustin Cable of University of Virginia plotted every person in the United States of America - all 308,745,538 of us as single dots in the map of the country - to create the Racial Dot Map.
Cable used the 2010 census data and color coded each dot according to racial breakdown. Caucasians are blue, blacks are green, Asians are red, Hispanics are orange and other races/Native Americans/Multi-racial as brown.
The location of the dots do not represent actual addresses - the smallest geographical unit in the data used by Cable is the census block, which is roughly a city block in large cities (but may cover greater dimensions in sparsely populated rural areas).
At first glance, there seems to be quite a bit of racial integration in the United States as shown by large swaths of purplish area. But in many cases, zooming in reveals racial segregation at the city or neighborhood level. Cable pointed out to the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area:
Is your neighborhood a model of racial integration or racial segregation? Take a look over at The Racial Dot Map | Full Screen Map

The American Folklore Map

It's All About The Maps

Artist William Gropper created a U.S. map and placed characters from folklore into the appropriate areas. The U.S. Department of State gave these maps out abroad beginning in 1946.
The “folklore” on display in this richly illustrated map is a soup of history, music, myth, and literature. Frankie and Johnny are cheek-by-jowl with a wild-eyed John Brown; General Custer coexists with “Git Along Little Dogies.” Utah is simply host to a group of “Mormons,” in which a bearded man holds up stigmata-marked hands to a small group of wives and children, while a figure labeled “New England Witches” flies over New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
The map actually got Gropper in hot water with Joe McCarthy and he was called to testify about his political associations in 1953, but pled the Fifth. Read more about him, and see an enlargeable version of the map at Slate.

Believe it or not

Pictures Say A Thousand Words
Believe It or Not!

Human News

The Science Of Being Human
Snail fur can regrow their parts -- so why can't we?
The tiny delay between lighting hitting the retina and the brain translating that into perception can play tricks on our mind.
The U.K. sci-fi comedy 'The World's End' draws from a long tradition of social science fiction.
The convicted WikiLeaker wants to undergo sexual reassignment therapy; his case is likely to end up in court.
Ever known someone who sleepwalks? Or maybe it's even happened to you. Laci looks at why some people walk in their sleep, and puts to rest the question: Is it safe to wake a sleepwalker?
As the 2013 NFL season ramps up, more attention than ever before will be on the players' safety. Trace shows us what happens to a player's brain during those hard tackles and what's being done to keep the athletes safe.
Supporters of losing teams on Sunday tend to binge on unhealthy foods the next day.
Taking a hallucinogen doesn't raise the risk of psychological distress or other mental illnesses, says a new study.

Archaeology News

Archaeological News
One of the first stepping stones for Europeans as they explored across the Atlantic was colonized much earlier than thought -- and not by the Vikings.
The ring has a hole with a cartridge that was likely used for pouring poison into drinks.

Who built them—slaves, or well-compensated workers? How were they built? What are they made of? What do they symbolize? Nearly everything about the Egyptian pyramids raises questions and inspires scientific investigation; they are the classic […]

Science News

Scientific Minds Want To Know

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have discovered that the way the gut “tastes” sweet food may be defective in sufferers of type 2 diabetes, leading to problems with glucose uptake. This is the first […]

A lightweight and field-portable device invented at UCLA that conducts kidney tests and transmits data through a smartphone attachment may significantly reduce the need for frequent office visits by people with diabetes and others with […]

Music really can bring people together. According to new research by Stanford psychologists, people’s attitudes toward another racial or ethnic group improve when they participate in the other group’s cultural activities, such as – in […]

The discovery of brain impairment in mice may eventually lead to better therapies for people with schizophrenia and major depression. Studying rodents that have a gene associated with mental illness, Michigan State University neuroscientist Alexander […]

Earth News

Planet Earth
Civil disobedience is on the minds of about a quarter of Americans when it comes to getting some large corporations to stop adding to climate change woes.
When the Cassini spacecraft snapped photos of Earth as it appeared from Saturn in July, many space fans waved back.
Jason Ahrns, a graduate student at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, goes sprite-chasing at night during electrical storms. Here's what he captures.
Amazing new photos and video of the elusive red lightning called sprites are helping researchers understand how the mysterious electric bursts form.

Jurassic Park: The Truth About Dinosaurs

Scientific Minds Want To Know
What did Jurassic Park get right? What did science get wrong? And will we ever see dinosaurs on Earth again? As Steven Spielberg's film is re-released in 3D, palaeontologist Dr David Hone explains all.

Animal News

Animal News
Humans appear to be responsible for rapid brain growth seen over the past 100 years in small mammals from both urban and rural areas.
Howling has less to do with instinct and stress in wolves and more to do with caring and loneliness.
The worms spit an immobilizing, glue-like material onto prey before injecting them with saliva and chomping down.
Why do lobsters turn bright red when cooked?