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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, September 22, 2013

The Daily Drift

Full Service ... Back in the day

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Today in History

1656 The General Provincial Court in session at Patuxent, Maryland, impanels the first all-woman jury in the Colonies to hear evidence against Judith Catchpole, who is accused of murdering her child. The jury acquits her after hearing her defense of never having been pregnant.
1711 The Tuscarora Indian War begins with a massacre of settlers in North Carolina, following white encroachment that included the enslaving of Indian children.
1776 American Captain Nathan Hale is hanged as a spy by the British in New York City; his last words are reputed to have been, "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country."
1789 Russian forces under Aleksandr Suvorov drive the Turkish army under Yusuf Pasha from the Rymnik River, upsetting the Turkish invasion of Russia.
1862 President Lincoln issues a proclamation calling for all slaves within the rebel states to be freed on January 1, a political move that helps keep the British from intervening on the side of the South.
1864 Union General Philip Sheridan defeats Confederate General Jubal Early's troops at the Battle of Fisher's Hill in Virginia.
1869 The Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball team, arrive in San Francisco after a rollicking, barnstorming tour of the West.
1893 Bicycle makers Charles and Frank Duryea show off the first American automobile produced for sale to the public by taking it on a maiden run through the streets of Springfield, Massachusetts.
1906 Race riots in Atlanta, Georgia leave 21 people dead.
1914 The German cruiser Emden shells Madras, India, destroying 346,000 gallons of fuel and killing only five civilians.
1915 Xavier University, the first African-American Catholic college, opens in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1918 General Allenby leads the British army against the Turks, taking Haifa and Nazareth, Palestine.
1919 President Woodrow Wilson abandons his national tour to support the League of Nations when he suffers a case of nervous exhaustion.
1929 Communist and Nazi factions clash in Berlin.
1945 President Truman accepts U.S. Secretary of War Stimson's recommendation to designate the war World War II.
1947 A Douglas C-54 Skymaster makes the first automatic pilot flight over the Atlantic.
1961 President John Kennedy signs a congressional act establishing the Peace Corps.
1969 Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants becomes the first baseball player since Babe Ruth to hit 600 home runs.
1970 President Richard M. Nixon signs a bill giving the District of Columbia representation in the U.S. Congress.
1975 Sara Jane Moore attempts to assassinate US President Gerald Ford, the second attempt on his life in less than three weeks.
1980 The Iran-Iraq War begins as Iraq invades Iran; lasting until August 1988, it was the longest conventional war of the 20th century.
1991 Huntington Library makes the Dead Sea Scrolls available to the public for the first time.

Non Sequitur


Mabon - Autumn Equinox

Mabon - Autumn Equinox Mabon: Autumn Equinox - September 21st-23rd
Gwyl canol Hydref or Mabon: (Also known as Harvest Home, Harvest Tide, Fall Equinox, Autumn Equinox etc.), September 21-24.
Actual Date and Time of Autumnal Equinox: 4.44Pm 22nd Sept 2013 Local Time
Technically, an equinox is an astronomical point and, due to the fact that the earth wobbles on its axis slightly , the date may vary by a few days depending on the year. The autumnal equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator on its apparent journey southward, and we experience a day and a night that are of equal duration. Up until Mabon, the hours of daylight have been greater than the hours from dusk to dawn. But from now on, the reverse holds true.
Mabon marks the middle of harvest, it is a time of equal day and equal night, and for the moment nature is in balance. It is a time to reap what you have sown, of giving thanks for the harvest and the bounty the Earth provides. For finishing up old projects and plans and planting the seeds for new enterprises or a change in lifestyle. Mabon is a time of celebration and balance.
This is the time to look back not just on the past year, but also your life, and to plan for the future. In the rhythm of the year, Mabon is a time of rest and celebration, after the hard work of gathering the crops. Warm autumn days are followed by chill nights, as the Old Sun God returns to the embrace of the Goddess.
The passing of Mabon is inevitable and The Sun God should be mourned. We too, must remember that all things must come to an end. So the Sun God journeys into the lands of winter and into the Goddess' loving arms, but endings are a good time to celebrate our successes, thank our selves and those who helped us, and take part in the balance of life!

Daily Comic Relief


Did you know ...

That KKK fliers left in people's yards

That smaller testicles linked to caring fathers

Here's 7 rip-offs you should know about

That employers actually plan to hire more full-time employees as Obamacare takes effect

That the climate report coming out this month is going to be bad news

The 1928 Yiddish-English dictionary may be first official instance of "meh"

Osama Bin Boehner and the repugican cabal Are The Real Terror Threat To America

Boehner-point After the terror attacks on 9/11, Osama bin Laden remarked his long term plan was drawing America into a long drawn out war that would wreak havoc on the American economy, and shrub junta kindly obliged him. An act of terrorism to destroy a nation’s economic security is no less despicable than a suicide bomber destroying a nation’s sense of physical security, and it is likely a prudent government would take whatever steps necessary to thwart an act of terror they knew was underway. After weeks of warnings and blatant threats from a powerful terror group, America is in the midst of a terror attack, but there is little the government can do to thwart the terrorists because they are firmly entrenched in the government.
Terrorists instill fear to extract concessions from their target, and repugicans are using fear of a government shutdown and economic devastation to force President Obama and Democrats to meet their demand to eliminate the Affordable Care Act and enact steep cuts to Social Security and Medicare. If any American thinks islamic terror groups such as al Qaeda or the Taliban are any less dangerous or despicable for killing innocent civilians to extract demands than repugicans, they are deluded. Unfortunately for Americans, repugican terrorists will inflict damage on millions of Americans’ lives whether their demands are met or not, and it informs that compared to the repugican cabal, al Qaeda and the Taliban are reasonably kind-hearted humanitarians. For the American people, the simple truth they must come to terms with is that regardless if repugicans shut down the government, crash the economy, or succeed in eliminating the Affordable Care Act, millions of American lives will be devastated.
On Friday, Americans witnessed the beginning of the operational phase of a terrorist act in progress as repugicans in the House passed a budget with a provision to wipeout the provisions of the ACA. To make matters worse, Speaker of the House John Boehner had the temerity to announce the terror attack was a victory for the American people, and doubtless there are terrorist sympathizers in the population who celebrated an act of terror to deprive 30-million Americans of healthcare. It is noteworthy that the act of terror is also an act of insolence in attempting to eliminate a law passed by both houses of Congress, signed by the President, and ruled constitutional by the wingnut Supreme Court. House repugicans are now daring Senate Democrats to foil their terror plot to eliminate the ACA, and if they do, the terrorists will shut down the U.S. Government. If anyone thinks the repugicans are not the American version of al Qaeda, they will be convinced when the next phase of the terror attack gets under way when the full faith and credit of the United States is the price for rejecting repugicans’ attempt to deny tens-of-millions of Americans healthcare.
Shutting down the government is a very serious threat and one many repugicans are advocating without remorse, but the real danger lies in the repugican cabal’s threat to cause an economic catastrophe if they cannot keep millions of Americans sick and dying. There is little argument from economic experts and repugican leaders alike that a credit default will create a world encompassing economic and financial crisis to rival the Great Depression, but with support from 66% of repugican sycophants , the repugican cabal figures economic ruin is a small price to pay to prevent Americans from gaining access to healthcare. Regardless if President Obama breaks precedent and negotiates with repugican terrorists or not, millions of American lives will be adversely impacted either by losing access to healthcare or suffering through a 21st century Great Depression.
It is safe to say most Americans expect Islamic extremists affiliated with al Qaeda to launch terror attacks against innocent American citizens, but it is likely few expect a devastating attack from members of Congress. The repugican al Qaeda is worse than Osama bin Laden’s organization because at least the islamic terrorists gave America a demand that, although unacceptable, would stop further damage to innocent victims; repugicans intend to harm Americans whether their demands are met or not, and it puts them in a special category of evil even the worst radical islamic terrorist cannot fathom. It is true al Qaeda or the Taliban have little compunction harming their own people, but they always give them a way out that doesn’t incur more damage; repugicans revel in inflicting damage on Americans.
It is not often that intelligence agencies are able to identify and track a terror group’s activities from the planning stages through to the actual attack, but the entire nation has witnessed repugicans broadcast their intent, launch the first stage of the attack, and ready the next phase that will be more devastating and affect much more than just the American people and the economy. To be fair to the terrorists, they did warn the nation two years ago they would hold the debt ceiling hostage under threat of inflicting major damage to the economy like they did in 2011, but the threat of a government shutdown and defaulting on the nation’s debt in exchange for keeping millions of Americans sick and dying, or their Social Security and Medicare intact, exceeds the damage even the most evil al Qaeda terror cell could dream up to harm the most American lives.
The President announced not long ago that it was time to shift the focus of the war on terror, but it is likely he did not imagine it is time to focus on the true terror threat to America, its economy, and people; the repugican cabal. For the American people, they are witness to a crime of terrorism in progress, and although the majority of Americans shudder at the damage repugicans intend to inflict on the nation and its people, the unfortunate truth is that many of them are on the sidelines cheering that the terrorists succeed.

Misplaced Priorities


It’s Official — the repugican cabal Is Now the “American Taliban”

For years now, liberals have referred to the tea party as the “American Taliban” for their policies which almost certainly would devastate millions of Americans.  But for the most part I’ve refused to call them that because, while their partisan obstruction was obvious, the comparisons just seemed a little too radical for me.
Well, not anymore.  Not with this continued insistence by repugicans that “Obamacare” be defunded, and their willingness to take down our nation to do just that.
Weeks ago when I heard people like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul talk about a push to shutdown the government to try to force the defunding of Obamacare I figured it would make news — but I thought it was so radical that I wrote it off as their push to set themselves up for their 2016 presidential campaigns.
I never thought it would be taken seriously by “mainstream” repugicans because even they would know it was a horrible plan, right?
It appears now that House Speaker John Boehner is prepared to move forward on a proposal that will fund our government only if Obamacare is defunded.
This in response to repeated comments by the president that he will not, in any way, sign anything that defunds the Affordable Care Act.
So basically what Boehner is saying is that his “plan” to fund our government proposes something that the president has clearly said he will never sign.
In other words, Boehner, and fellow Republicans, are willing to shut down our government (hurting millions of Americans in the process) on some futile attempt to defund something that was passed by Congress, signed by the president and declared Constitutional by our Supreme Court.
And this is just their first plan.  There’s still talk that if this ends up falling through, they’re going to use the debt ceiling vote as another way to try to “defund Obamacare.”
A vote which, if not passed, could send our economy straight into an economic depression.
It’s one thing when these types of things are discussed among the lunatic fringe members of the repugican cabal and dismissed by anyone who would even consider themselves someone to be taken seriously nationally, but these ideas are now being fully embraced by the repugican cabal.
Just think about that for a moment.  A political cabal that’s willing to crash our economy or shutdown our government to avoid complying with a Constitutionally-upheld law.
And they don’t want liberals to consider them the “American Taliban” or some other form of domestic terrorist?  Not all terrorism involves the killing of innocent people.  Terrorism can be seen as any calculated, and planned, attack on the United States meant to purposefully inflict harm.
Tell me, how is willingly crashing our economy not a “purposeful” act which would harm millions of Americans?  How is shutting down our government not a “purposeful” act to harm our nation?
Because President Obama has made it clear that the law of the land as per our Constitution “Obamacare” will not be defunded.  So if the repugican responses to that are proposals which include it being defunded, they are then willingly threatening to crash our economy or shutdown our government unless “their demands are met.”
And repugicans like Boehner damn well know what either of those actions would cause.  Oh—and neither of these actions would ultimately defeat “Obamacare.”
What if al Qaeda came out said they planned to crash our economy if specific demands weren’t met (say, the immediate withdrawal of our troops in Afghanistan), then after those demands weren’t met—they did crash our economy?
We’d call it a terrorist attack and label them criminals, right?
Yet that’s exactly what many repugicans are pushing for.  A direct attack on our country and our economy if their demands aren’t met.   An attack which would devastate millions of Americans and potentially send not just our economy, but the entire global economy, into a free fall.
So tell me, what’s the real difference?  Because they’re elected officials and not Islamic radicals?  It seems to me that both seem to wish harm on millions of Americans if they don’t get their way, and are willing to go to great lengths to do so.
And if you think the killing of Americans is what makes Islamic radicals that much different, you’re being naive.  Because I promise you, shutting down our government or purposefully crashing our economy will cost — and irreversibly ruin — American lives.
Let’s not also forget that these repugican acts are in “defiance” of a health care law which seeks to provide millions of Americans with health insurance.  How many lives would be lost if conservatives got their way and saw the health care law defunded?
But this isn’t really anything new for repugicans.  Since President Obama was elected in 2008, tea party repugicans and the repugican cabal as a whole have been going out of their way to try to sabotage our economy in hopes that they could defeat him last November.  Of course that plan failed, and now we’re left with these same repugicans now fully embracing the most radical parts of the dangerous tea party agenda.
Or let’s just call them what they really are — domestic terrorists.  People who are willing to go to any lengths, even if it means crashing our economy, to try to force the president to “give in to their demands.”
These people are reprehensible.  My biggest hope is that next November, the American people don’t forget these moments when the repugican cabal put the lives of millions of Americans in jeopardy simply to try to blackmail the President of the United States.
The fact is that the “extreme” is now the “mainstream,” and because of that I can no longer view these people as belonging to a legitimate political party.  They really have turned into the “American Taliban.”

The Age of Hyper-Racism

White Supremacy as the White Knight of Capitalism

by Michael Ortiz

White capitalism
We've heard the argument over and over. "Of course we're in a post-racial society; racism is over; slavery is long gone; the president is black, etc." And then we've heard the counterargument over and over. "Post-racial?! How can that be the case when health disparities remain significant along racial lines? When unemployment and incarceration continue to disproportionately affect people of color, etc.?"
However, what both arguments fail to admit, and what the media refuse to acknowledge (although they fan the flames as well as anybody), is that racism has gotten worse over the decades.
Why and how has it gotten worse? And how can we realistically remedy a problem if we cannot call it for what it really is? If we don't understand exactly what racism is and where it comes from, how can we expect to live in a society of true equality? The disheartening truth is that we can't.
Understanding the supremacist framework
Unfortunately, racism has been defined in a superficial way. Racism tends to get looked at as a set of prejudiced beliefs or attitudes toward racial or ethnic groups. However, the idea that racism is limited to individual thought and behavioral patterns does a disservice to the examination of its structural roots; this, in turn, works brilliantly to perpetuate racism because it avoids deeper mainstream analysis.
Sociologically speaking, though, racism refers to the systemic, structural, institutional or ideological disparity in the allocation of social and material rewards, benefits, privileges, burdens and disadvantages based on race. That includes access to resources, capital, property (which affect life chances) and possession of social power and influence.
Going even farther down the rabbit hole, racism is built on the framework of racial supremacy. Racial supremacy refers to the systemic, structural, institutional and ideological racial base that our contemporary society operates within. All interaction among participating members or structures of the society becomes racialized. If and when we find disparate and discriminatory outcomes within the frame of racial supremacy, then we've got ourselves a good ol' case of racism.
Specifically, white supremacy is the form of racial supremacy that we operate under in America. The white supremacist framework has been set in place for centuries, yet it doesn't get much critical attention in the media or in the overall social structure. And therein lies the root of the problem to which racism is tied. White supremacy is a social framework, which means that its basis is fluid, not rigid. Its power lies in its amorphous ability, its ability to change "faces." It expresses itself via different social and structural modalities. The only thing that actually changes is the systemic form that white supremacy portrays takes (through which order and control is maintained). For example, we went from the system of slavery to the system of Jim Crow to the contemporary system of colorblind racism and mass incarceration. Throughout all of these changes in form, the fundamental centralization and concentration of racial power has not shifted. In fact, it has only gotten stronger.
Consider what has taken place in the past few months. The Supreme Court has struck down key portions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act; affirmative action measures that aim to reduce discrimination in college acceptance are being threatened; surveillance and policing of black youths is becoming more rampant; and Trayvon Martin and many other similar young people have been killed because of intensified racial anxieties. Consider also all of the other economic, educational and health disparities that are particularly experienced by people of color.
White supremacy is stronger now is because it operates under the guise that it doesn't exist and that race is no longer an issue in America. So certain rationales become justified in stopping and frisking targeted black youths for nonracial "suspicion" reasons. Or if black unemployment is disproportionately high, it must be the result of a lack of trying because race is not an issue. Therefore policies meant to guard against employment discrimination may no longer be needed. In actuality, these rationales are highly racialized, and they do become institutionalized. They divert attention from larger, more complex forms of covert control. In this way, a hyper-racist social environment has been constructed whereby the distribution of social and material advantage and disadvantage has become severely disproportionate under the assumption that race is no longer a factor in racially inequitable outcomes.
Once we understand what the racial framework of white supremacy is and how it operates, then we can begin to see how contemporary racism works. They are inextricably linked. From that point, it may be possible to mobilize, contest and transform the racial platform and live in a racially equitable environment.
We cannot simply keep advocating for policy change and political change, because racism has gotten worse in the past two centuries. And clearly, white supremacy is flexible and adaptable in keeping the conditions necessary for it to flourish. Therefore, it may suit us to create a social rift of sorts that white supremacy cannot adapt to. And that rift can begin with raising individual consciousness as well as simple, everyday gestures that reject the racial status quo. If people of all racial, ethnic, cultural and social delineations come together and redefine their relationships to each other on the basis of unity rather than division, then the social framework will have no choice but to change and morph into a structure of true equality.
Rejecting systems of inequality
If the framework of white supremacy disproportionately affords benefits and privileges to those in the dominant group, what incentive would there be for the dominant group to abandon it? Why would anyone in their right mind bite the hand that feeds them?
The answer lies in the fact that white supremacy - just like any other social structure - does not simply exist in a vacuum. It exists in relation to many other social frameworks and structures in an intersectional manner. And when we begin to fit the pieces of this intersectional puzzle together, we begin to see exactly why there is a severe disunity of people based on race (as well as other social identities) in the first place. The circumstances and consequences of white supremacy are no coincidence.
White supremacy has a history of intersecting with social class, which has been utilized as a tool, of sorts, to maintain prevailing social and economic power interests. White supremacy was created as means for a powerful Eurocentric elite to exploit the labor power of black slaves (as well as poor whites) and quell any possibility of people with a common class status from realizing their commonality by creating the constructed delineation or division of race. As time progressed, the economic system of capitalism came into fruition and developed a harmonious marriage between itself and white supremacy, which aimed to exploit all people regardless of race, but granted whites dominant group status and the illusion that they were truly part of the "in" crowd.
To this day, white supremacy acts as the white knight of capitalism. It acts as a specialized type of guardian or warden of the economic elite by keeping the majority of the population fractured along racial lines. In this way, it works to cover up the social ramifications of the crises that capitalism inherently produces. So if we are living in a time of hyper-capitalism (or hyper-appropriation of value), then it would make perfect sense for white supremacy to create this environment of hyper-racism. It is done through a plethora of ways mentioned earlier, but one specific way hyper-racism is generated is by fueling white racial anxiety through accentuating and amplifying a false narrative of "otherness." It creates this sense of an "in" crowd and an "out" crowd, of the need to be protect the values and attributes of the "in" crowd at all costs from "deviant outsiders." In this way, the perspectives of individual dominant group members (as well as all members of the population) can continue to be manipulated for the purposes of disunity and dominant economic interests. Severe economic inequality that affects all people of all social identities calls for extreme methods that must be implemented to distract the masses of people from realizing the overwhelming commonality that they share with each other.
So white supremacy offers temporary, specious benefits and privileges to dominant group members, which will run out when this hyper-capitalist economy spins itself off the edge of the cliff. Dominant group members will feel the sting of the divorce between capitalism and white supremacy once they begin to lose the protective facade of whiteness (that they may or may not have even known they had) to the reality of disastrous economic conditions.
The sooner we all come to grips with this reality, the less of a sting we will feel when we begin to detach ourselves from these dominant frameworks. The sooner we all begin to reject these systems of inequality (that were doomed from the start), the sooner we can begin to construct alternative systems of equality and unity. We must cease consenting to systems that are designed to exploit human beings and the planet itself - and start supporting systems that are conducive to harmony and thriving possibility. The only way to get there is by renouncing the restrictive and oppressive structures we've been placed in and by realizing the common unity that we all share. Seeing through the divisions that have been assigned to us is the social rift we need that none of the dominant structures will be able to adapt to. Together, we can get it done.

Random Photos


Check out our new car, about 1948. 1948 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible Woody

Family told to leave restaurant then warned by police because of their noisy children

The parents of Ryan and Ethan Gau say they feel "heartbroken" and "disrespected" after being kicked out of an Applebee's in Gaty, Texas, over their children's behavior. Eli Gau and his wife Lillian Maliti took their 3-year-old and 1-year-old sons there for dinner on Sunday night.
"They're kind of active," Gau said. "They act like children. They're not adults." When his three-year-old wandered off, Gau went to get him. "As I was grabbing him and coming back, the manager was walking to me," said Gau.
Gau said the manager told him that the children were making too much noise, and then called the authorities and told the entire family to leave. When they walked outside, they were confronted by a Harris County Sheriff's Deputy, who gave them a notice warning them for criminal trespassing.

The restaurant, that markets itself as a "family-friendly" place, has apologised for the incident. An Applebee's spokesperson said the management team had mishandled the situation. The restaurant also invited the family to come back and offered them free passes for dinner, but Gau said his family will not be returning. "I feel very sad," Gau said.
Good for the manager. More should enforce a code of conduct conducive to a pleasant dining experience.
As for this couple they can be 'heartbroken' and feel 'disrespected' all they want. It was their callous disregard for the "RESPECT THEY SHOULD HAVE SHOWN FOR OTHERS IN THE RESTAURANT BY REMOVING THE BRATTY KIDS IMMEDIATELY -- OR BETTER YET NOT COME TO THE RESTAURANT WITH THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE!"

Miss America - Too Dark to be Miss India?

The crowning of first Indian-American Miss America Nina Davuluri may have highlighted some
American xenophobia, but comparing her to Indian pageant winners has others discussing Indian
prejudices. "What's interesting is Miss America Nina Davuluri would never win pageants in South Asia
because she'd be too dark to be considered beautiful," journalist Anna John tweeted. Davuluri looks
"too 'Indian' to ever be Miss India," Lakshmi Chaudhry wrote in First Post.
India's skin-color obsession drives a whitening-cream market valued at $432M in 2010.
Beauty queens appear in skin-whitening advertisements; the pursuit of fair skin is pervasive,
particularly in pageants. Chaudhry points to cultural anthropologist Susan Runkle, who followed
contestants preparing for the 2003 Miss India pageant. Skin-lightening was part of the regimen. 

City officials baffled after accidentally banning flip-flops at parks

City officials in San Juan Capistrano, California, are trying to figure out exactly how flip-flops became banned at two city parks. The flip-flop ban is in place at Los Rios Park in the city’s historic district and at a recently opened dog park, said city spokeswoman Cathy Salcedo. The rule had gone largely unnoticed at Los Rios. But when the dog park opened in August and the rules were posted, several commissioners with the city's Parks, Recreation and Senior Services were befuddled.
During a meeting in August the commissioners said they didn’t understand why the flip-flop ban had been implemented. “I wouldn’t think twice about going into the dog park in my flip-flops,” said Commission Vice Chairwoman Jenny Friess. “I don’t think we need to really be telling people what to wear on their feet.”

On Monday, Commission Secretary Cynthia Alexander said she had been informed by city staff that the ban was designed to protect the city from liability under a template provided by the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority, which provides liability insurance to dozens of cities in the state. Salcedo, the spokeswoman, said she believed the ban had been implemented in response to a recommendation from the city’s insurer but added that she was trying to reach the project manager who oversaw Los Rios Park to be sure.
During the Monday meeting, some of the commissioners said they had even worn flip-flops to the dog park’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. Alexander said the rule is not enforced because there is no supervision at the park. “If you go to the park with flip-flops there’s no one going to tell you to leave the park,” she said. “You’re using it at your own risk.” Commissioner Gerald Muir took issue with that. "Why have rules that you’re not going to enforce?" he said.

Two killed when woman hanging out washing on third-floor balcony fell and landed on man below

In a bizarre incident, a 20-year-old woman accidentally fell from the third floor of her house on to a 60-year-old sweeper while hanging washed clothes on the line in Salarpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. Both died on the spot.

Police said the incident occurred at around 11.30am on Thursday when the woman, identified as Poonam Tiwari, was hanging out her washing on the clothes line. Suddenly her foot slipped and she lost her balance and came crashing three floors down.
"At the time of the incident, Om Prakash, 50, was cleaning a drain below. Poonam landed on him and he sustained serious head injuries," said RK Mishra, DSP, Noida. "Both victims were rushed to the district hospital where they were declared dead," he added.

The woman was living in the rented accommodation with her husband, Ramakant Tiwari. "The husband was away at the time of the accident and Poonam was alone at home. The family do not suspect any foul play," Mishra said.

It's a Generation Thing

Ten Fascinating Facts About Costco

Costco is a membership-only warehouse club that provides a wide selection of merchandise. As of July 2012, it is the second largest retailer in the United States and the seventh largest retailer in the world.

Founded by James Sinegal and Jeffrey H. Brotman, Costco opened its first warehouse in Seattle, Washington, on September 15, 1983. Sinegal had started in wholesale distribution by working for Sol Price at both FedMart and Price Club. Brotman, an attorney from an old Seattle retailing family, had also been involved in retail distribution from an early age.

The Color That Changed the World

Indigo is an incredible color for so many reasons. Mesmerizing, striking and much loved, the colour itself is a heady mix between violet and blue and has been intrinsic to many cultures throughout history.

Indigo: The Colour That Changed the World is a new book by Catherine Legrand and it offers a fascinating documentation of the importance of this dye created from variants of the indigofera plant, tracing Indigo's history and cultivation from the Golden Triangle to Central America, to demonstrate why it has been so important and renowned in multiple textile practices for so many centuries.

How Does The Body Clock Work?

The body clock, or circadian clock, is an internal clock that keeps track of time. Circadian comes from 'circa-diem' meaning 'around a day.' Although circadian rhythms are endogenous (built-in, self-sustained), they are adjusted to the local environment by external cues called zeitgebers, commonly the most important of which is daylight.

Last month scientists discovered proteins within our cells that prevent us from drastically adjusting our body clock, leading to the familiar sensation of jet lag.

UV Baby Branding

Branding a Baby? Although it doesn't burn as much as branding cattle, the principle and purpose is the same. In 1938, some hospitals used ultraviolet light to "sunburn" the parent's initials onto a baby to ensure that the right babies left with the right parents. A plastic bracelet works just fine these days. This not-so-bright idea is part of a gallery of 11 Terrifying Childcare Inventions From The Early 20th Century at PopSci.

A field "teeming with Bronze Age gold rings"

Amateur archaeologists Hans Henrik Hansen and his nephew Christian Albertsen were exploring a field near the Danish village of Boeslunde, southwestern Zealand, with metal detectors this June 18th when they discovered two bracelet-sized gold rings. They immediately brought the rings to the Zealand Museum where curator Kirsten Christensen recognized them as “oath rings,” arm rings that are open-ended with decorated funnel-shaped tips. Hansen and Albertsen told her they were off to find more of them and returned to the field the next day where they found another two rings within meters of the first two. They are from the Late Bronze Age and date to around 800 B.C...

The four rings are all different, although they do share some decorative features like meander patterns, snaking bend patterns like a river seen from above. Those meander patterns are a stylistic feature of Late Bronze Age (950-800 B.C.) metal work, which is how the rings were dated. The rings all show significant wear, especially on the tips were some of the decoration has been almost entirely eroded away, which means they were not made solely for sacrifice in a religious ritual... 
From Science Nordic (where there are additional closeup photos and a map of the Zealand region)

Awesome Pictures

The Biggest Organism on Earth

Blue whales are the biggest animal to ever exist -but it's an animal. But what's the biggest living thing of any kind? It depends… is that biggest in width, height, mass, or weight? The crew from Minute Earth breaks it down for you.

Man Turns Green from Eating Too Many Snails

It's not easy being green. An unnamed 24-year-old man from Zhejiang Province, China, was hospitalized because he was turning green.
He began to complain of severe abdominal pain about two months ago, but did not seek medical attention until his body started to show some very strange symptoms.

His skin and the whites of his eyes began to turn green.

Concerned, he visited several hospitals in the province of Zhejiang, but he was not be properly diagnosed until he admitted himself into the Guizhou Aerospace Hospital in Guizhou.

"I was afraid of my own reflection, I looked like The Incredible Hulk," the young man said.
Doctors finally diagnosed the man with an infection caused by parasitic river worms that attacked his liver, which he had ingested with river snails. He admitted that he had been eating a bowl of fried snails every night. More

'Bored' horse climbed on top of family's roof

A couple in New Brunswick, Canada were baffled after a family member sent them a photo of their horse perched on the roof of a garage. Stephen Downey and his wife Pat raise racing horses in Hampton N.B. But despite their experience with the four-legged beasts, they say they were baffled after seeing a photo, taken by Stephen's brother Archie, of a young colt on the garage roof.
"It looked like Archie had done a joke on Stephen and Photoshopped the horse on the roof because that just doesn't happen" Pat Downey said. "You would never get a horse to do something like that." After snapping the photo, Archie, who lives on the farm with the horse, coaxed the uninjured horse down. The horse was able to climb a small knoll at the back of the garage to get up onto the roof.
Stephen Downey says the colt was alone on the farm at the time because several of his horses had been sent to Saint John for training. "I think he was just bored," Downey said. "He's like a two or three-year-old kid and he was just looking for some excitement and he got into trouble like a regular kid would do." Downey says he sent the photo to several people who also thought the photo was a fake. "They think it's not real," he said. "They think you've Photoshopped it, but it's real and it really happened."

There was a hole in the roof where were the colt had put a hoof through. Pat Downey says it would have been a drop of more than 3.5 meters if the colt had plunged through. "I don't think he would have recovered from it because we couldn't have gotten him out," she said. The family has since put up a fence to block any horses from up getting up on the roof again. "In the 15 years we've had horses, I can honestly saying nothing like this has ever happened," Pat Downey said.

Woman called 911 when two goats sneaked into her backyard and began munching on her plants

A Fort Worth woman called police for help when two goats appeared out of nowhere and wandered into her backyard. "Are you needing police, fire or ambulance?" the 911 operator asked. "No, this is goats," answered Sharon Dyer. "Two billy goats in my backyard."
She first noticed the animals when she was in her living room watching television. "Out of the corner of my eye, I see two billy goats," she said. She walked outside to investigate. "I went and looked; looked down thataway, looked down thisaway," she said. The animals had sneaked into her backyard.

Phone in one hand, video camera in the other, she ended up calling 911. "Ya'll get," she yelled at the animals. "Don't come over here to my garden." Sure enough, they destroyed a few of her jalapeno plants. But Dyer was especially protective of a tiny palm tree that she had brought back from a recent trip to Florida. "And then a goat is going to eat it? Not on my watch!" she said.

Dyer grabbed a small table to protect the palm tree, which is in a bucket and just a few inches tall. Several police officers arrived. The goats' owner, who lives just around the corner, showed up about the same time. He said they were his pets, named Savannah and Willie. He apologized, promised to replace the destroyed plants and took them back home. "I videoed 'em all the way down the sidewalk," Dyer said. "They didn't want to go, either."

Car thief thought to have mistaken elephant poo for marijuana

A thief rifling through a vehicle parked on the lawn of a home in Fremont, California ignored a cheque book, spare change, and an expensive pillow, stealing only elephant poo.

Police say items were strewn throughout the Chevrolet Suburban, which has a cow-patterned paint job and horns on the bonnet, but the only thing missing was a bag of elephant dung.
It's unclear how the thief got inside the car but the theft occurred sometime between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning in the Niles area of Fremont, police said.

The homeowner, Krysten Laine, explained: "We got it as a gag gift in the mail at our business from an anonymous person. My guess, they thought it was a bag of pot," she said. "Maybe it's the new fad drug."

Aurora The Animatronic Polar Bear Heads Global Day Of Protest To Save The Arctic

We have heard of all sorts of animals landing up in London over the last few years. Many have surmised that it is global warming and its effect on the environment that is to blame for the English capital's increasingly more unusual and exotic accidental visitors.

Last Sunday, however, there was no guessing. Aurora the animatronic polar bear was there quite deliberately and she had her Arctic home and its protection very much on the agenda.

The 40 Of The Most Detailed Close-Ups Of Arthropods You Will Ever See

An arthropod is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton, a segmented body, and jointed appendages. Arthropods include all insects, arachnids, and crustaceans. The USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program designs and develops large and small-scale surveys and identification tools for native bees. A vital aspect of the program is to create accurate and detailed pictures of native bees as well as the plants and insects they interact with.

On their 1200+ Flickr photostream, the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab has uploaded an astounding collection of macro photographs that you can see in full resolution. Here are 40 of those pictures.

Animal Pictures


Thanks to Quill, Mose, Kate & Willow … by corvidaceous on Flickr.