Welcome to ...

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.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Daily Drift

Find your Peace ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 192 countries around the world daily.

Makes you wonder! ...
Today is (nothing special today)  Day  

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Today in History

1676 Indian chief King Philip, also known as Metacom, is killed by English soldiers, ending the war between Indians and colonists.
1862 Mistakenly believing the Confederate Army to be in retreat, Union General John Pope attacks, beginning the Battle of Groveten. Both sides sustain heavy casualties.
1914 Three German cruisers are sunk by ships of the Royal Navy in the Battle of Heligoland Bight, the first major naval battle of World War I.
1938 The first degree given to a ventriloquist's dummy is awarded to Charlie McCarthy–Edgar Bergen's wooden partner. The honorary degree, "Master of Innuendo and Snappy Comeback," is presented on radio by Ralph Dennis, the dean of the School of Speech at Northwestern University.
1941 The German U-boat U-570 is captured by the British and renamed Graph
1944 German forces in Toulon and Marseilles, France, surrender to the Allies.
1945 Chinese communist leader Mao Tse-Tung arrives in Chunking to confer with Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek in a futile effort to avert civil war.
1963 One of the largest demonstrations in the history of the United States, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, takes place and reaches its climax at the base of the Lincoln Memorial when Dr. Martin Luther King delivers his "I have a dream" speech.
1965 The Viet Cong are routed in the Mekong Delta by U.S. forces, with more than 50 killed.
1968 Clash between police and anti-war demonstrators during Democratic Party's National Convention in Chicago.
1979 Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb explodes under bandstand in Brussels' Great Market as British Army musicians prepare for a performance; four British soldiers wounded.
1981 John Hinckley Jr. pleads innocent to attempting to assassinate Pres. Ronald Reagan.
1982 First Gay Games held, in San Francisco.
1983 Israeli's prime minister Menachem Begin announces his resignation.
1986 Bolivian president Victor Paz Estenssoro declares a state of siege and uses troops and tanks to halt a march by 10,000 striking tin miners.
1986 US Navy officer Jerry A. Whitworth given 365-year prison term for spying for USSR.
1993 Two hundred twenty-three die when a dam breaks at Qinghai (Kokonor), in northwest China.
2003 Power blackout affects half-million people in southeast England and halts 60% of London's underground trains.
2005 Hurricane Katrina reaches Category 5 strength; Louisiana Superdome opened as a "refuge of last resort" in New Orleans.
2012 US repugican convention nominates Mitt Romney as the cabal's presidential candidate.

Non Sequitur


Meanwhile in Malta ...

While America was watching Miley Cyrus, uh, "perform" at the VMA, the good people of the town of St. Julian in Malta had a little performance of their own: the traditional "gostra" game where men, women, and children scramble up a greased pole to grab a flag.
The game is part of the annual Feast of St. Julian and you can view more pics over at The Daily Mail

Did you know ...

That a study finds heatwaves now inevitable

That the Texas dept of transportation set to convert paved roads to gravel

That more than 57,000 children were cut from Headstart because of sequester

That a deadly mystery virus tied to bats in Saudi Arabia

That the Koch brothers give up bid to buy la times

About these 40 top quotes from ALEC's birthday party in Chicago

That a Wisconsin Democrat infiltrated ALEC: "they don't want people involved in the political process

But don't worry, if you don't want ALEC, here's ALICE, the Anti-ALEC org

The truth hurts

Rand Paul Tells Poor People That Food Equals Slavery

Rand Paul says that the only way the poor can be free is if they are liberated from the servitude that comes with having food.
National Review Online reported on Rand Paul’s conversation with a group of students at the University of Louisville:
“There’s a philosophic debate which often gets me in trouble, you know, on whether health care’s a right or not,” Paul, in a red tie, white button-down shirt, and khakis, tells the students from the stage. “I think we as physicians have an obligation. As christians, we have an obligation. . . . I really believe that, and it’s a deep-held belief,” he says of helping others.
“But I don’t think you have a right to my labor,” he continues. “You don’t have a right to anyone else’s labor. Food’s pretty important, do you have a right to the labor of the farmer?”
Paul then asks, rhetorically, if students have a right to food and water. “As humans, yeah, we do have an obligation to give people water, to give people food, to give people health care,” Paul muses. “But it’s not a right because once you conscript people and say, ‘Oh, it’s a right,’ then really you’re in charge, it’s servitude, you’re in charge of me and I’m supposed to do whatever you tell me to do. . . . It really shouldn’t be seen that way.”
Let’s follow Paul’s ideology to its logical conclusion. Poor people are enslaved when the government provides them with food or housing assistance. Thus, inn order for the poor to be free, the government must take away all assistance so that the poor are free to be homeless and starve. That is Rand Paul’s definition of freedom.
Rand Paul views any benefit that the people receive from the government that they fund as a form of servitude. Unemployment insurance is slavery. Medicare is slavery. Health insurance for children, and medical care for pregnant women are both slavery. In Sen. Paul’s view, the government only gives people things in order to enslave them.
Paul’s views are no different than Romney’s 47% comments, or the repugican belief that Americans only support President Obama because they want free stuff. Rand Paul dresses up his rhetoric in the language of libertarianism, but he is really just the same old far right ideologue with some new buzzwords.
Sen. Paul is offering a less refined version of what Mitt Romney offered the country in 2012. But Rand Paul is more extreme than Romney because he really believes what he is saying.
Behind all the talk of civil liberties is an ideology that believes government food assistance is slavery.
Standing with Rand could get millions of Americans a life of hunger, homelessness, and poverty.

Reality is ...

Study finds wealth gives rise to a sense of entitlement and narcissistic behaviors

From The Raw Story
(Click HERE to view the original article)
Climbing the economic ladder can influence basic psychological processes within an individual.

According to a new study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin this month, wealth tends to increase a person's sense of entitlement, which in turn can lead to narcissistic behaviors.

Paul Piff of the University of California at Berkeley told PsyPost "there is something about wealth that gives rise to a sense of entitlement, a sense that one deserves more good things in life than others, which in turn gives rise to an increased or inflated sense of self-importance, vanity, grandiosity, and omnipotence (narcissism)."

Why do haters have to hate?

New research has uncovered the reason why some people seem to dislike everything while others seem to like everything. Apparently, it’s all part of our individual personality – a dimension that researchers have coined “dispositional […]

The Schizophrenia Switch Is Found

Schizophrenia is one of the most complex and least understood of all psychological disorders. But now scientists have found a switch of sorts that could change everything.

The truth be told

The Thorny Effects of Male Labor Migration on Women's Health in Nepal

Men in Nepal migrate to other countries to help earn money for their families, but their movements and actions can have thorny consequences. More

All 25,000 Students in Liberia Failed University Admission Exam

If you thought you did badly on that university entrance exam, take heart: at least some of your classmates aced it. Not so in Liberia: every student that took the test for admission to the University of Liberia failed it.
Nearly 25,000 school-leavers failed the test for admission to the University of Liberia, one of two state-run universities. [...]
Many schools lack basic education material and teachers are poorly qualified, reports the BBC's Jonathan Paye-Layleh reports from the capital, Monrovia.
However, this is the first time that every single student who wrote the exam for a fee of $25 (£16) has failed, our reporter says.
It means that the overcrowded university will not have any new first-year students when it reopens next month for the academic year, he adds.
The BBC has the story: Here.

Nigerian teenager who flew to Lagos hiding in wheel cavity of plane was trying to reach the US

Teenage stowaway, Daniel Ihekina, who was arrested at Lagos Airport after flying in the wheel cavity of an Arik Air plane from Benin to Lagos on Saturday morning, thought he was on a US-bound flight.

Airport security arrested him following an alarm by passengers who saw him emerge from the undercarriage following the 45-minute  flight. A source at Benin Airport said the boy’s parents had already departed for Lagos in search of the stowaway.
The airport source, who did not want to be named said: “From what we heard, the boy said he was being maltreated and tried to escape from his parents. He thought he was on his way to the US. The parents have traveled to Lagos by road, to get him back.”

Airline spokesman Ola Adebanji said: "How he got through security is something for the authorities to investigate. He's lucky to have survived it. Not many people can do that and survive." He said that the plane only went up 21,000 feet because it was a short flight, increasing the boy's chances of surviving the thinner, colder air at high altitudes. Nigerian aviation authorities are now probing how he managed to hide inside the undercarriage of the plane.

Ahem ...

Artifacts in northern Quebec could be 7,000 years old

A Quebec archaeological team will begin its work at an extraordinary site this week, as it explores a settlement that could be as old as the invention of the wheel.
Artifacts in northern Quebec could be 7,000 years old
Archaeologists believe the stone relics were made using a grinding technique, different than later techniques of chipping [Credit: Waskaganish Cultural Institute/Facebook]
The Saunders Goose Pond discovery, which could date back 7,000 years, was found last summer on Waskaganish territory in northern Quebec.

The James Bay community, located near Fort Rupert, is known as the birthplace of the Hudson’s Bay Company and has historical significance for the local Cree as a traditional fishing site.

When archaeological crews were digging near the Smokey Hill rapids last summer, they expected to find relics and pottery dating back about 150 years.

So it came as a surprise when one discovery was linked to pre-European times.

The rough-looking stone blades and arrowheads were found by a local community member, who brought them to the Waskaganish Cultural Institute.

“It was very obviously quite different and quite old,” says James Chism, the curator of archaeology at the institute.

He says the tools could be between 4,000 and 7,000 years old.

“It’s pretty exciting, because we don’t have a lot of sites in Quebec that are that old, if it’s as much as 7,000 years,” Chism says.

“It’s a time period that we know almost nothing about.”

Searching for answers

Last summer, the team did a survey of the site and marked locations of interest.

But Monday afternoon will be the first time archaeologists will dig at the Saunders Goose Pond site.

Chism says the area where the relics were found was likely once a peninsula or island, even though the site is now about 63 metres above sea level.

It’s possible the territory was a campsite, but archaeologists won’t know for sure until the team gets a better look at the settlement.

Chism hopes they will be able to narrow down the timeline this summer through geological surveys and tests on any organic materials they might find, such as charcoal or bone.

He says the dig could reveal important information about how people lived in Canada at that time — who they were, and what they hunted and ate.

Hunter-gatherers had a taste for spice

Our early ancestors had a taste for spicy food, new research led by the University of York has revealed.
Hunter-gatherers had a taste for spice
Exterior shard deposit found at Neustadt [Credit: © University of York]
Archaeologists at York, working with colleagues in Denmark, Germany and Spain, have found evidence of the use of spices in cuisine at the transition to agriculture. The researchers discovered traces of garlic mustard on the charred remains of pottery dating back nearly 7,000 years.

The silicate remains of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) along with animal and fish residues were discovered through micro-fossil analysis of carbonized food deposits from pots found at sites in Denmark and Germany. The pottery dated from the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition from hunter-gathering to agriculture.

Previously scientists have analyzed starches which survive well in carbonized and non-carbonized residues to test for the use of spices in prehistoric cooking. But the new research, which is reported in PLOS ONE, suggests that the recovery of phytoliths -- silicate deposits from plants -- offers the additional possibility to identify leafy or woody seed material used as spices, not detectable using starch analysis. Phytoliths charred by cooking are more resilient to destruction.
Hunter-gatherers had a taste for spice
Early contexts from which spices have been recovered, with photomicrographs of globular sinuate phytoliths recovered from the pottery styles illustrated [Credit: Saul H, Madella M, Fischer A, Glykou A, Hartz S, et al. (2013) Phytoliths in Pottery Reveal the Use of Spice in European Prehistoric Cuisine. PLoS ONE 8(8): e70583. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070583]
Lead researcher Dr Hayley Saul, of the BioArCH research center at at the University of York, said: "The traditional view is that early Neolithic and pre-Neolithic uses of plants, and the reasons for their cultivation, were primarily driven by energy requirements rather than flavor. As garlic mustard has a strong flavor but little nutritional value, and the phytoliths are found in pots with terrestrial and marine animal residues, our findings are the first direct evidence for the spicing of food in European prehistoric cuisine.

"Our evidence suggests a much greater antiquity to the spicing of foods in this region than is evident from the macro-fossil record, and challenges the view that plants were exploited by hunter-gatherers and early agriculturalists solely for energy requirements, rather than taste."

The Seven Most Extreme Laboratories on Earth

Extreme science sometimes calls for extreme conditions. For example, SNOLAB in Sudbury, Ontario, is buried two kilometers underground in a nickel mine to explore things you can only do away from the earth's surface.
Research at SNOLAB focuses on astroparticle physics, including cosmic dark matter searches, low-energy solar neutrinos and supernova neutrino searches. However, scientists from various other fields, including geophysics and seismology, have also expressed interest in working at the facility, which could also be useful to underground biology researchers.
Take a look at the coldest, the hottest, the highest, the lowest, the deepest, and the biggest science laboratories on earth at  Tech Graffiti.

Volcanic 'geyser' erupts in middle of roundabout close to Rome airport

Experts in Italy have been puzzled by the overnight appearance of a geyser crater spraying clouds of gas 15 feet in the air, yards from the end of the runway at one of Europe’s busiest airports. Motorists on Saturday were alarmed to notice hot, stinking gas spurting from a newly formed crater in the middle of a roundabout near Fiumicino, close to the perimeter fence of Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport -- less than 900 yards from the end of a runway.
Spectators gathered around the smoking crater, which measured about six feet wide and three feet deep, before firefighters and vulcanologists arrived to seal off the roundabout to prevent inhalation of the gas, suspected to be a cocktail of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and methane. Tests are now underway. While initial reports suggested the gas came from rotting organic matter trapped underground, one expert said volcanic activity was more likely.
“From Mount Etna in Sicily up to the Alban hills around Rome there is a good deal of underground volcanic activity,” Alberto Basili, a seismologist at the Italian National Institute for Geophysics and Vulcanology, said. The area covers Mount Vesuvius, which buried the Roman city of Pompeii when it erupted in 79AD, to a number of lakes formed in extinct volcanoes north of Rome.

“Gas underground can remain hot for tens of thousands of years after volcanoes erupt, and every now and then it can rise to the surface from miles underground,” said Mr Basili. “We have seen things like this elsewhere around Rome, with farm animals being killed after they breath in the gas,” he said.  Despite being a stone’s throw from the end of a main runway at Fiumicino, Europe’s sixth largest airport, which handles 37 million passengers a year, Mr Basili said there was no cause for fear over flight safety. “This is a limited phenomenon – it will not have created alarm at the airport,” he said.

Zen Version of Where's Waldo

New theory points to ‘zombie vortices’ as key step in star formation

A new theory by fluid dynamics experts at the University of California, Berkeley, shows how “zombie vortices” help lead to the birth of a new star. Reporting today (Tuesday, Aug. 20) in the journal Physical […]

Astronomical News

A new star burst into view in the constellation Delphinus earlier this month.
Traveling back in time may be possible if we could somehow harness a relativistic shortcut: the wormhole.
After a decade exploring the Cosmos, take a tour of some of NASA Spitzer space telescope's most beautiful nebulae.
The moon probably had water when it first formed four and a half billion years ago, according to a new study.
Enjoy some of the most inspiring, beautiful and down-right stunning photos from our adventures in space this past week.

Ocean News

Fish that feed deep in the Pacific absorb dangerous mercury at levels higher than those at the surface--but why?
Dead dolphins are washing ashore in large numbers this summer along the East Coast.
Ocean acidification will be changing your seafood menu -- from fish to shellfish to crabs and lobsters -- according to a new review of studies of marine animals.

Rising mountains, cooling oceans prompted spread of invasive species 450 million years ago

New Ohio University research suggests that the rise of an early phase of the Appalachian Mountains and cooling oceans allowed invasive species to upset the North American ecosystem 450 million years ago.
Rising mountains, cooling oceans prompted spread of invasive species 450 million years ago
This slab of rock contains fossils of invasive species that populated the continent of Laurentia 450 million years ago after a major ecological shift occurred. Ohio University geologists found that rising mountains and cooling oceans prompted the spread of these invasive species [Credit: Alycia Stigall]
The study, published recently in the journal PLOS ONE, took a closer look at a dramatic ecological shift captured in the fossil record during the Ordovician period. Ohio University scientists argue that major geological developments triggered evolutionary changes in the ancient seas, which were dominated by organisms such as brachiopods, corals, trilobites and crinoids.

During this period, North America was part of an ancient continent called Laurentia that sat near the equator and had a tropical climate. Shifting of Earth's tectonic plates gave rise to the Taconic Mountains, which were forerunners of the Appalachian Mountains. The geological shift left a depression behind the mountain range, flooding the area with cool water from the surrounding deep ocean.

Scientists knew that there was a massive influx of invasive species into this ocean basin during this time period, but didn't know where the invaders came from or how they got a foothold in the ecosystem, said Alycia Stigall, an Ohio University associate professor of geological sciences who co-authored the paper with former Ohio University graduate student David Wright, now a doctoral student at Ohio State University.

"The rocks of this time record a major oceanographic shift, pulse of mountain building and a change in evolutionary dynamics coincident with each other," Stigall said. "We are interested in examining the interactions between these factors."
Rising mountains, cooling oceans prompted spread of invasive species 450 million years ago
New Ohio University research suggests that the rise of an early phase of the Appalachian Mountains and cooling oceans allowed invasive species to upset the North American ecosystem 450 million years ago [Credit: David Wright]
Using the fossils of 53 species of brachiopods that dominated the Laurentian ecosystem, Stigall and Wright created several phylogenies, or trees of reconstructed evolutionary relationships, to examine how individual speciation events occurred.

The invaders that proliferated during this time period were species within the groups of animals that inhabited Laurentia, Stigall explained. Within the brachiopods, corals and cephalopods, for example, some species are invasive and some are not.

As the geological changes slowly played out over the course of a million years, two patterns of survival emerged, the scientists report.

During the early stage of mountain building and ocean cooling, the native organisms became geographically divided, slowly evolving into different species suited for these niche habitats. This process, called vicariance, is the typical method by which new species originate on Earth, Stigall said.

As the geological changes progressed, however, species from other regions of the continent began to directly invade habitats, a process called dispersal. Although biodiversity may initially increase, this process decreases biodiversity in the long term, Stigall explained, because it allows a few aggressive species to populate many sites quickly, dominating those ecosystems.

This is the second time that Stigall and her team have found this pattern of speciation in the geological record. A study published in 2010 on the invasive species that prompted a mass extinction during the Devonian period about 375 million years ago also discovered a shift from vicariance to dispersal that contributed to a decline in biodiversity, Stigall noted.

It's a pattern that's happening during our modern biodiversity crisis as well, she said.

"Only one out of 10 invaders truly become invasive species. Understanding the process can help determine where to put conservation resources," she said.

Walking Shark

Puppy's 911 call led to owner's arrest

A man from Quinte West in Southern Ontario, Canada may be questioning the loyalty of his best friend after his puppy called the police.

OPP received a 911 call from a home in the city’s Trenton Ward neighbourhood on Friday. The call was dropped, so curious police traced the call and showed up at the door.
They found a man who said his four-month-old puppy had stepped on the phone with its paws and had accidentally called the police.

But, police then ran a criminal check on the man and discovered he was wanted on an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court in April of this year. The man was promptly arrested and taken to Belleville Police Service headquarters, then released a short time later.

Police officer reunited little lost pig with owner

When bystanders said, ”There’s a pig walking around,” Police officer Jeremy Huffman from Grand Rapids, Michigan initially thought they were using an all-too-common reference to him.

But there really was a pig hanging around. When Officer Huffman, returned to his car, there was the pig. Just standing there.
After putting the pig in his patrol car, Huffman called city animal control and began driving around in search of the animal’s owner.

Meanwhile, the little pig was making a mess on the back seat. Huffman then reunited the pig with his owner. In gratitude, the owner cleaned up the car’s back seat.

One million cockroaches escape from farm

At least one million cockroaches have escaped a farm in China where they were being bred for use in traditional medicine.
The cockroaches fled the facility in Dafeng, in the eastern province of Jiangsu, for surrounding cornfields earlier this month after an "unknown perpetrator" destroyed the plastic greenhouse where they were raised. Disease control authorities have sent five investigators to the area to come up with a plan to stamp out the insects.
Farm owner Wang Pengsheng invested more than 100,000 yuan (£10,000, $15,500) in 102 kilograms of Periplaneta americana eggs after spending six months developing a business plan. The cockroach is generally considered a pest, but believers in traditional Chinese medicine say extracts from it can treat diseases including cancer, reduce inflammation and improve immunity.

By the time the greenhouse was damaged, more than 1.5 million cockroaches had hatched and were being fed food including "fruits and biscuits" every day, Wang said. He had expected to make around 1,000 yuan profit for every kilogram of cockroaches sold, but is now facing losses of hundreds of thousands of yuan.

Animal Pictures

Blonde Stallion