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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, September 7, 2013

The Daily Drift

You, got that one right ...!   
Carolina Naturally is read in 192 countries around the world daily.
 Salami ... !
Today is  Salami Day  

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Some of our readers today have been in:
Islamabad, Pakistan
Cairo, Egypt
Valdivia and Santiago, Chile
Jakarta, Kebon, Indonesia
Warsaw, Poland
Germiston, South Africa
Florence, Ivea and Bari, Italy
The Village, Ottawa, Montreal, Waterloo, Winnipeg, Sioux Lookout, Burnaby, Templeton, Mississauga and Oshawa, Canada
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Las Palmas De Gran Canarias, Spain
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Homebush and Randwhich, Australia
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, New Delhi, Vijayawada, Shillong and Coimbatore, India
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
Petah Tikvah, Israel
Helsinki, Finland
Dublin, Ireland
Istanbul, Turkey
Loyat and Boulogne-Billancourt, France
Hadong and Hanoi, Vietnam
Slough and London, England
Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam, Puchong and Kuching, Malaysia
Sandsli, Norway
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Managua and Corinto, Nicaragua
Lubny, Melitopol and Zhovti Vody, Ukraine
Mexico City, Mexico
Sampaloc, Philippines
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Lisbon, Portugal
Auckland, New Zealand
Colombo, Sri Lanka

Today in History

1571 At the Battle of Lepanto in the Mediterranean Sea, the Christian galley fleet destroys the Turkish galley fleet.
1630 The town of Trimontaine, in Massachusetts, is renamed Boston, and becomes the state capital.
1701 England, Austria, and the Netherlands form an Alliance against France.
1778 Shawnee Indians attack and lay siege to Boonesborough, Kentucky.
1812 On the road to Moscow, Napoleon wins a costly victory over the Russians at Borodino.
1813 The earliest known printed reference to the United States by the nickname "Uncle Sam" occurs in the Troy Post.
1864 Union General Phil Sheridan's troops skirmish with the Confederates under Jubal Early outside Winchester, Virginia.
1876 The James-Younger gang botches an attempt to rob the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota.
1888 An incubator is used for the first time on a premature infant.
1892 The first heavyweight-title boxing match fought with gloves under Marquis of Queensbury rules ends when James J. Corbett knocks out John L. Sullivan in the 21st round.
1912 French aviator Roland Garros sets an altitude record of 13,200 feet.
1916 The U.S. Congress passes the Workman's Compensation Act.
1940 Germany's blitz against London begins during the Battle of Britain.
1942 The Red Army pushes back the German line northwest of Stalingrad.
1953 Nikita Krushchev elected first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
1954 Integration of public schools begins in Washington D.C. and Maryland.
1965 Pro Football Hall of Fame opens in Canton, Ohio.
1970 Jockey Blll Shoemaker earns 6,033rd win, breaking Johnny Longden's record for most lifetime wins; Shoemaker's record would stand for 29 years.
1977 Panama and US sign Torrios-Carter Treaties to transfer control of the Panama Canal from the US to Panama at the end of the 20th century.
1978 Secret police agent Francesco Giullino assassinates Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov in London by firing a ricin pellet from a specially designed umbrella.
1979 ESPN, the Entertainment and Sports Programig Network, debuts.
1986 Desmond Tutu becomes first black leader of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (now the Anglican Church of South Africa).
1988 Pilot and cosmonaut Abdul Ahad Mohmand, the first Afghan to travel to outer space, returns to earth after 9 days aboard the Soviet space station Mir.
2004 Hurricane Ivan damages 90% of buildings on the island of Grenada; 39 die in the Category 5 storm.
2008 US Government assumes conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the country's two largest mortgage financing companies, during the subprime mortgage crisis.

Non Sequitur


Kentucky Fried Chicken Selling Deep Fried Soup

Is it even possible to deep fry soup? Apparently, and that can only be a good thing. Rocket News 24 reports that KFC outlets in Japan sell deep fried versions of corn potage:
One of the current darlings of the Japanese palate is the creamy soup corn potage. A common fixture in Japanese cafes, its popularity exploded when popular popsicle brand Gari Gari-kun expanded its lineup to include a corn potage flavor, which went on to become such a huge hit stores couldn’t keep it in stock.
But while Gari Gari-kun’s parent company hit upon the idea of freezing the soup, KFC Japan has chosen to run in completely the opposite direction, and will be releasing a deep-fried corn potage fritter next month.

Did you know ...

That wingnut governors face tough road to re-election

That a huge majority think arctic warming will mess with the weather

That a former Florida senator regrets his vote for stand your ground more than any other

Tattoos reduce chances of getting a job

Having a tattoo can reduce your chance of getting a job, but it depends on where the tattoo is, what it depicts and if the job involves dealing with customers,

Bad Decisions Don’t Make You Poor. Being Poor Makes for Bad Decisions.

New research shows that worrying about money causes cognitive impairments.

Busker, who receives food stamps and is unemployed due to a disability, lives with her sister, brother-in-law, and niece.
The strain of constantly worrying about money is a substantial barrier to the smart decision-making that people in tough circumstances need to succeed.
How much money do I waste in a given month by doing most of my grocery shopping at the Whole Foods that’s directly on my route home rather than taking the three-minute detour to Safeway? I have no idea. As a business writer, I’m aware that the Whole Foods markup is big on some items and small on others. I know that it sometimes reflects genuinely higher quality and sometimes doesn’t. But in my actual life as a person who shops, the main thing is that I prefer Safeway’s flour tortillas, so I go there if and only if I want to buy some flour tortillas. Otherwise, convenience is king. All I really need to know is that my grocery spending is within my budget, and even though I’m probably wasting money, it’s not worth the time and hassle to think about it too much.
Such are the privileges of affluence. It’s not just that you can afford nicer stuff than poor people or have a greater ability to spend money for the sake of convenience. You get to take advantage of what is, in some ways, the greatest convenience of all—the convenience that comes from not having to sweat the small stuff.
A study published last week in the journal Science shows that the stress of worrying about finances can impair cognitive functions in a meaningful way. The authors gathered evidence from both low-income Americans (at a New Jersey shopping mall) and the global poor (looking at farmers in Tamil Nadu, India) and found that just contemplating a projected financial decision impacted performance on spatial and reasoning tests.
Among Americans, they found that low-income people asked to ponder an expensive car repair did worse on cognitive-function tests than low-income people asked to consider cheaper repairs or than higher-income people faced with either scenario. To study the global poor, the researchers looked at performance on cognitive tests before and after the harvest among sugarcane farmers. Since it’s a cash crop rather than a food one, the harvest signals a change in financial security but not a nutritional one. They found that the more secure postharvest farmers performed better than the more anxious preharvest ones.
These findings complement the already extensive literature of the negative physical impacts of low socioeconomic status, reinforcing the point that the harms of poverty extend beyond the direct consequences of material deprivation.
But the impact on cognitive skills is especially noteworthy for how it should influence our understanding of poverty. Poor people—like all people—make some bad choices. There is some evidence that poor people make more of these bad choices than the average person. This evidence can easily lead to the blithe conclusion that bad choices, rather than economic conditions, are the cause of poverty. The new research shows that this is—at least to some extent—exactly backward. It’s poverty itself (perhaps mediated by the unusually severe forms of decision fatigue than can affect the poor) that undermines judgment and leads to poor decision-making.
This effect may be an important psychological underpinning of recent economics research on the merits of unconditional cash transfers to the poor. Researchers have found that one-time grants of cash to poor Ugandans produced large observable gains in income as far as four years down the road. The easiest way to understand that is simply as a tangible return on investment earned by the initial infusion of funds. But perhaps the mental relief provided by the cash cushion actually allowed for sharper decision-making and problem-solving.
Most low-income Americans aren’t poor at all by global standards, so evidence from successful anti-poverty programs in the developing world are difficult to apply to domestic poverty. That’s why it’s so telling and fascinating that a study on the cognitive downsides of poverty would find identical results in New Jersey and Tamil Nadu. Much work on domestic poverty rightly emphasizes the idea of skills and “human capital” needed to navigate a complicated modern economy. This naturally leads to a focus on education, whether in the guise of various school-reform crusades or the push to bring high-quality, affordable preschool to more households. But adults need help, too, and the perception that poor adults—as opposed to presumably innocent children—are irresponsible often leads to reluctance to treat adults as adults who are capable of deciding for themselves how best to use financial resources.
This paternalistic notion that we should be relatively stingy with help, and make sure to attach it to complicated eligibility requirements and tests, may itself be contributing to the problem of poverty. At home or abroad, the strain of constantly worrying about money is a substantial barrier to the smart decision-making that people in tough circumstances need to succeed. One of the best ways to help the poor help themselves, in other words, is to simply make them less poor.

The truth be told

Why Did Pirates Wear Eyepatches?

The fact that some pirates wore eyepatches most likely had nothing to do with a missing eye, and everything to do with being able to see - specifically, above decks and below them.

Pirates frequently had to move above and below decks, from daylight to near darkness, and the smart ones wore a patch over one eye to keep it dark-adapted outside. When the pirate went below decks, he could switch the patch to the outdoor eye and see in the darkness easily.

Mustache Facts

To further your knowledge of facial hair, Doghouse Diaries has supplemented the earlier Beard Facts with things you should know about mustaches. The only thing I would add is that, if your significant other shaves his mustache off, you really should notice and say something about it, even if it was the same color as his face. Otherwise, there will be hurt feelings. Don't ask me how I know. More

Surprising Facts About Cheers

Can you imagine a series about a hotel in Barstow, California, run by a retired football player? That premise eventually became Cheers, a sitcom about a bar in Boston run by a retired baseball player. Those are just some of the many bits of trivia about the hit series Cheers that you find in a list at Buzzfeed.

The Stairways to the Stars

As Los Angeles grew in the 1920s, in large part because of the film industry, city planners built hundreds of outdoor staircases into the hills to connect new homes with public transportation at the bottom. They aren't used much anymore, as residents are more dependent on cars.
The film studios were the first to develop the area, building compact bungalows to house their actors and technicians. Both Chaplin and Disney lived here.

Movie carpenters would build sets during the week and homes at the weekend. Charles said this accounted for the local architectural hotchpotch that is often ridiculed. A Moorish castle next to a Spanish villa, next to a Tudor mansion - the carpenters were inspired by whatever they had been building on the studio backlots that week.

Our second staircase was thankfully unobstructed. Here, in 1932, Laurel and Hardy tried and failed to move a piano to the top in The Music Box. The film won an Academy Award. I'd seen it over and again as a child and remembered it fondly.

There were now buildings either side but it was still quite recognisable. For such a historic landmark it was still remarkably unkempt, its history simply marked by a defaced granite plaque inset into one of the lower steps.
Take a tour of those staircases both then and now with Charles Fleming of the L.A. Times and Zeb Soanes of the BBC: Here.

Random Celebrity Photos



ava gardner <3

…Oh lordy…
Ava Gardner

In The News

A landslide in a remote part of Alaska was detected first by a new seismic signature method, then confirmed by satellites.
Processed chicken joined the long list of products OK-ed for import to the United States from China, last Friday. Concerns over health standards in Chinese food processing plants have consumer watchdogs crying foul.
A Florida treasure-hunting family struck it rich over the weekend when they discovered an estimated $300,000 worth of Spanish gold coins and chains.
Would it surprise you that the fruit in all-American apple pie isn't American at all? It originates from parts of Asia! The same goes for many fruits and vegetables we eat. Trace shows us the Old World foods that became staples of New World diets.

The American West, 150 Years Ago

In the 1860s and 70s, photographer Timothy O'Sullivan created some of the best-known images in American history. After covering the U.S. Civil War, O'Sullivan joined a number of expeditions organized by the federal government to help document the new frontiers in the American West.

O'Sullivan brought an amazing eye and work ethic, composing photographs that evoked the vastness of the West. He also documented the Native American population as well as the pioneers who were already altering the landscape. Above all, O'Sullivan captured the natural beauty of the American West.

King Solomon's Mines

New findings from an archaeological excavation prove that copper mines in Israel thought to have been built by the ancient Egyptians in the 13th century BCE actually originated three centuries later, during the reign of the legendary King Solomon.

After injecting poop bacteria into brain cancer patients' brains, doctors forced to resign

Enterobacter aerogenes.

Two neurosurgeons at UC Davis have resigned after infecting brain cancer patients with a pathogenic bacteria from their bowels in a last-ditch effort to halt progression of their cancers. The three patients gave their consent to Dr. J. Paul Muizelaar, 66, the former head of the neurosurgery department, and his colleague, Dr. Rudolph J. Schrot. But the doctors hadn't received OKs from the FDA, or school authorities, and the procedure hadn't even been tested on animals. It's a complicated story that strikes at the heart of medical experimentation ethics, and how difficult treatment options are for patients with aggressive cancers.
All three of the glioblastoma patients died. It's difficult to know what role the experimental treatment played in their deaths, because generally those diagnosed with this highly malignant form of cancer have short survival prognosis. Median survival is under 15 months.

Snip from the Sacramento Bee's coverage:
Muizelaar and Schrot called their novel approach "probiotic intracranial therapy," or the introduction of live bowel bacteria, Enterobacter aerogenes, directly into their patients' brains or bone flaps. The doctors theorized that an infection might stimulate the patients' immune systems and prolong their lives. The first patient lived about 5 1/2 weeks. The second survived another year, an outcome that buoyed the doctors and seemed to bolster their theory, they said.
The institutional trouble began in March 2011, when a newly diagnosed third patient developed sepsis, became unresponsive and died two weeks after being deliberately infected. The university's first internal investigation soon followed.
The Sac Bee has been covering this story for years, and you can dig in to their investigative reporting here.
University investigators say Muizelaar and Schrot “deliberately circumvented” internal policies at UC Davis, “defied directives” from top leaders, and evaded federal regulations designed to protect patients' rights.
Nature has a roundup of the science, here.

Awesome Pictures

Some Genes are More Analog than Digital

Ed Yong has a fascinating article on the behavior of a gene called SRY. It is located on the Y chromosome, and is pivotal in making an embryo develop into a male. But what about studies of Swyer syndrome, in which a child inherits the father's Y chromosome, but does not develop into a male? Children with Swyer syndrome are born and raised female, but do not become fertile at puberty. However, their fathers may have an identical SRY gene, and obviously were male. What makes the difference? The the gene does not always cause maleness, as it has a rather weak mechanism that is dependent on conditions being just so. Michael Weiss from Case Western Reserve University presented the research, and Melissa Wilson-Sayres from the University of Berkeley compares the gene to a dimmer switch as opposed to an off-on switch -or analog vs. digital.
That’s very strange. There are many master genes that play pivotal roles in our development, controlling the growth of eyes, limbs and more. If these genes don’t work properly, the results could be catastrophic. So, they ought to be exceptionally stable—enforcing the status quo in the face of all but the most severe mutations or environmental conditions. It should take much more than a 2-fold difference in activity to change what they do. “We’d expect to see factors of 50-fold or more,” says Weiss. “These master switches are meant to be rigorously locked in. They’re not meant to be this tenuous.”

So, why does SRY operate from such a wobbly position? Why have a set-up that could so easily lead to infertility? For the variety, says Weiss. He thinks that the vagaries of SRY leads to a wide variety within developing testes, and a wide variation in the amount of testosterone they produce. This hormone influences our behaviour, including many aspects of our social lives. So, at the risk of the occasional infertile XY female, a precariously-set master switch leads to a broad spectrum of male brains, which may make for a better-functioning society. “You can’t have all alpha-males in a group,” suggests Weiss.

It’s a fairly speculative idea, and Wilson-Sayres isn’t convinced. She says that the far simpler explanation is that the Y-chromsome is especially prone to picking up mutations with weak harmful effects.
Read more about the gene that can determine male and female, and how it does the job, at Not Exactly Rocket Science.

Ability to delay gratification linked to social trust

A person’s ability to delay gratification—forgoing a smaller reward now for a larger reward in the future—may depend on how trustworthy the person perceives the reward-giver to be, according to

Making Google Glass More Fashionable

Google is trying to improve the appearance of Glass, its wearable computer interface. At CNET, Eric Mack writes:
[...] the above revision of Glass is among the first I've seen that was designed by the Google team and doesn't look like it was lifted from the pages of some old DC Comics.
The new design was posted on Isabelle Olsson's Google+ page a few weeks back. Olsson is the lead industrial designer on the Glass team who the New York Times recently described as "one of a group of women charged by the company with turning Glass into the next It accessory."
Would you rather wear one that looks like modern fashion or something from science fiction?

Rare cranium fossil of ape Lufengpithecus found in China

A team of researchers has discovered the cranium of a fossil ape from Shuitangba, a Miocene site in Yunnan Province, China. The juvenile cranium of the fossil ape Lufengpithecus is

Astronomical News

A planet-wide storm on Saturn reveals the first evidence of water ice.
Dive into some stunning examples of bipolar planetary nebulae as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope.
Astronomers have discovered something weird in the Milky Way's galactic bulge -- a population of planetary nebula are all mysteriously pointing in the same direction.
On many occasions, objects will appear very close to each other in the sky during events known as conjunctions -- one such conjunction will occur between the moon and Venus on Sept. 8.
The Summer Triangle is one of the most easily recognized groups of stars in Northern Hemisphere skies -- Let's dive right in!

Random Photos


Mystery Bug Builds Fence Around Eggs And Nobody Knows Why

Chemical ecologist Troy Alexander discovered a strange structure on the trunk of a tree in the Amazon rainforest. It appears to be some kind of egg tower surrounded by a protective barrier that eerily resembles a white picket fence.

What's so fascinating is that nobody knows who is responsible. Entomologists, mycologists, University professors and museum directors have all seen the images but nobody has been able to provide definite confirmation of what created this.

A 150 Million Years Of Fish Evolution In One Handy Figure

Have you ever wished you could have the entire 150 million years of spiny-rayed fish evolution in convenient poster form? You can see how all the spiny-finned fish - more than 18,000 species of them, which represent nearly one-third of living vertebrates - are related to one another.

To accomplish this, the scientists inferred the relationships from the sequences of 10 genes from 520 spiny-rayed fin fish representing most of their families. They combined this data with that of 37 fossil 'age constraints' used as reality checks on the actual timing of evolutionary shifts.

Precious Therapy Llamas Bring Joy To Sick And Elderly

There are approximately 10,000 therapy animals in the United States. Of those, 14 are llamas. In an article published last year for Colors Magazine, photographer Jen Osborne accompanied two certified llama therapists as they visited the Bellingham Health and Rehabilitation Center in Washington, USA.

How Fainting Goats Work

The lives of goats, by all appearances, consist mostly of eating, climbing, butting heads and a whole lot of standing on top of things. One particular breed of goat, however, is known for a rather different trait: stiffening up and appearing to faint.

These goats (also known as myotonic goats) aren't simply weak of heart or abnormally prone to fright. In fact, fainting goats don't actually faint or lose consciousness at all during these episodes.

Animal News

Elliott Morgan from SourceFed comes back to DNews and talks with Anthony about just how terrifying (and awesome) squid and octopi are.
Cheetahs are the fastest terrestrial animals, and yet they don't try to outrun prey. They mix handling with speed.
How do the calls of monkeys, dolphins and gorillas -- among others -- resemble human language?

Animal Pictures



Photo by Jan Schou