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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, November 9, 2013

The Daily Drift

Ain't that the truth ...?!

Carolina Naturally is read in 194 countries around the world daily.
Well ... !

Today is (there is no special celebration today)  Day 


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Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
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Today in History

1799 Napoleon Bonaparte participates in a coup and declares himself dictator of France.
1848 The first U.S. Post Office in California opens in San Francisco at Clay and Pike streets. At the time there are only about 15,000 European settlers living in the state.
1900 Russia completes its occupation of Manchuria.
1906 President Theodore Roosevelt leaves Washington, D.C., for a 17-day trip to Panama and Puerto Rico, becoming the first president to make an official visit outside of the United States.
1914 The Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney wrecks the German cruiser Emden, forcing her to beach on a reef on North Keeling Island in the Indian Ocean.
1918 Germany is proclaimed a republic as the kaiser abdicates and flees to the Netherlands.
1935 Japanese troops invade Shanghai, China.
1938 Nazis kill 35 Jews, arrest thousands and destroy Jewish synagogues, homes and stores throughout Germany. The event becomes known as Kristallnacht, the night of the shattered glass.
1965 Roger Allen LaPorte, a 22-year-old former seminarian and a member of the Catholic worker movement, immolates himself at the United Nations in New York City in protest of the Vietnam War.
1965 Nine Northeastern states and parts of Canada go dark in the worst power failure in history, when a switch at a station near Niagara Falls fails.
1967 NASA launches Apollo 4 into orbit with the first successful test of a Saturn V rocket.
1972 Bones discovered by the Leakeys push human origins back 1 million years.
1983 Alfred Heineken, beer brewer from Amsterdam, is kidnapped and held for a ransom of more than $10 million.
1989 The Berlin Wall is opened after dividing the city for 28 years.
1993 Stari Most, a 427-year-old bridge in the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is destroyed, believed to be caused by artillery fire from Bosnian Croat forces.
1994 The chemical element Darmstadtium, a radioactive synthetic element, discovered by scientists in Darmstadt, Germany.
1998 Largest civil settlement in US history: 37 brokerage houses are ordered to pay $1.3 billion to NASDAQ investors to compensate for price fixing.
2007 German Bundestag passes controversial bill mandating storage of citizens' telecommunications traffic date for six months without probable cause.

Non Sequitur


Did you know ...

ALEC moves to block paid sick days in Philly

5 reasons Obama never should have trusted the insurance industry

Bad News for repugicans

The Youth Vote Grew in 2013 and They Voted Democrat 
 The repugicans should be very worried. The youth vote grew in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial elections, and those young people voted Democrat. …
In Virginia, the youth vote as a share of the overall electorate increased by 3 points. The Democratic share of the youth vote increased by one percent, while the repugican share of dropped by 14%. Terry McAuliffe beat Ken Cuccinelli 45%-40% among younger voters. In New Jersey, Chris Christie was piling up big overall numbers, but he lost with young voters 51%-49%.
The repugicans should be very afraid. Young voters are becoming solidly Democratic. The only demographic that Chris Christie lost in New Jersey was voters age 18-29. It doesn’t appear to matter who is at the top of the ticket, the repugican cabal is a major turnoff to young voters right now.
It appears that Christie’s margin of victory had less to do with him being a different kind of repugican than Hurricane Sandy. The goodwill that Christie generated with his Sandy leadership was one of the biggest factors in his impressive showing. The fact that the Democratic Party refused to challenge Christie very hard also helped him run up a big win.
The election of 2013 revealed that repugicans have done nothing to correct their problems. On the other side, the new Democratic coalition that has grown up around President Obama took another step towards becoming the driving force behind the Democratic Party in all election years.
The repugicans still don’t have a clue when it comes to appealing to young voters, women, and minorities. There is some wishful thinking in repugican circles that young voters will stop voting when Barack Obama is not on the ballot anymore. Hillary Clinton has been accepted and embraced by the Obama coalition, and young voters aren’t going to turn their backs on Democrats because Obama is no longer at the top of the ticket.
Democrats understand that issues matter to their new coalition. These voters are demonstrating that they aren’t voting for the candidate. They’re voting for the ideas. Since the repugicans have no appealing ideas, these voters aren’t persuadable I think New Jersey was a special circumstance. I don’t think Chris Christie can win 21% African-American support and 51% Hispanic support in a presidential election. Christie is pulling a page from the Guiliani playbook by using a the moment that brought him to national prominence as a springboard for his White House ambitions.
Young voters showed that they will show up to vote in an off off year election. No one should be surprised if young voters across the country turn out in 2014 to take House back from the repugican cabal.
Young voters are here. They’ve voting, and they are supporting the Democratic Party.

Winners and Losers From This Off-Off Year Elections

There were many winners and losers (and one who won and lost) in the elections, but the biggest winner was liberalism. …
Most off-off year elections are of little interest nationally. This year's elections were different.
There were many winners and losers (and one who won and lost)  in the elections,  but the biggest winner was liberalism. In the major governor (except 1) and mayor races and ballot questions throughout the country, the liberal side won. Here are the results:
Winner – 2014 and 2016 Democratic Party. The Democrats now have mayors in New York City (for the first time in 20 years), Boston, Atlanta, Seattle, Minneapolis and Detroit. Mayors are valuable foot soldiers in national and state elections and their political machines will remain mostly intact for next year’s and 2016′s elections.
Winner – Bill De Blasio, elected Mayor of New York City. The public advocate, Bill De Blasio, won in a landslide – 73% to 24% – over Joe Lhota, long -time political adviser to former NYC mayor Rudy Guiliani. De Blasio, with his mixed race family very much in public purview, ran on a progressive/liberal platform of reducing the wealth gap, providing affordable housing to the lower middle class and the poor, expanding funding for per-Kindergarden through raising taxes, and stopping the controversial “stop and frisk” policing policy of  current major, Michael Bloomberg.
Winner – Martin Walsh, elected Mayor of Boston.  Walsh beat fellow Democrat City-Councilor at Large John Connolly by 52% to 48% Walsh will take over City Hall from beloved 20 year mayor, Thomas Menino. But Mayor Menino’s relationship with the Boston school  labor unions was not so beloved. Walsh’s campaign focused on school reform and job growth, two positions that earned the school labor unions support.  Expanding education and increasing funding for schools was a big winning issue throughout most of last night’s races.
Winner (sort 0f) – Terry McAuliffe, elected Governor of Virginia.  Former national Democratic Party chairman and BFF of Bill and Hillary Clinton won by a closer margin than expected,  47.1% – 46%, to state Attorney General and Tea Party favorite, Ken Cuccinelli. Polls leading up to election showed McAuliffe winning from 5% to 15%. The “Cooch” shifted tactics in the last week focusing on hammering away at the problems of the Affordable Care Act’s implementation.  Throughout the campaign, Cuccinelli’s radical conservative social views against woman’s reproductive rights, restrictions on divorce and same-sex marriage turned off women voters, who were the difference in the race voting 50% to 42% for McAuliffe. Since many of northern Virginia voters work in Washington D.C. and are employees of the federal government, Cuccinelli’s support of the federal government shutdown also hurt his campaign.
Despite the financial and advertising backing of the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity political organization, McAuliffe handily outspent his opponent.  McAuliffe’s new Lieutenant Governor, Democrat Ralph Nordstrom, easily defeated tea party crazy extraordinaire, E.W. Jackson, 55% to 45%. That Nordstrom’s margin of victory was greater than McAuliffe’s may not bode well with the new governor’s efforts to work with the Republican dominated legislature.
Winner – Liberal Social Issues -  Most of the candidates that supported gay marriage, women’s reproductive rights, increased spending on education and other social issues won. Colorado voters were in favor of taxing marijuana sales at 25% and using the increased revenues for regulating marijuana sales and building schools. In New Jersey, an initiative to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 passed. In Colorado, initiatives to suspend or stop fracking were passed or just narrowly defeated despite the Colorado Oil and Gas Association spending $870,000 to defeat them in the four town’s voting.
For a list of all the state ballot initiatives, visit http://votesmart.org/elections/ballot-measures/2013#.UnpZIfmsim4
Loser: The tea party - In addition to Cuccinelli and Jackson losing in Virginia, the tea party candidate in a special House of Representative repugican primary run-off election lost. Former Alabama state senator, repugican moderate Bradley Byrne, beat Dean Young 53% to 47%.  In December, Byrne is favored to win election against Democrat Burton LeFlore and Independents James Hall and Curtis Railey.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie celebrates his election night victory with supporters in Asbury Park, New Jersey
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie - Yes, Christie won re-election easily beating Democratic State Senator Barbara Buono, 60% to 38%. Christie was expected to win re-election easily, in part because of the national media focus on this race. Buono could never gain traction in the race because of the constant spotlight on the huge, often abrasive  Christie and the questions about his national political interests. She also got little help from the Democratic Governor’s Association, getting only $5,000 where McAuliffe received $6 million.
Christie now becomes the repgugican cabal front runner for the 2016 President election, if he chooses to run. In listening to Christie’s victory speech last night, it was apparent to me that Christie is going to run. He’s a political animal and is limited to two-terms as governor. Given his personality, I doubt that he would run for the U.S. Senate, a race it is not certain he’d win against newly elected Cory Booker.  At New Jersey’s expense, Christie moved his election race so that it would not be held at the same time as Booker’s.
Christie suffers from Willard Romney syndrome. He’s nationally perceived as a moderate repugican who would have to change his views in order to win the repugican presidential nomination.
Christie’s bipartisan appeal does not sit well with repugican wingnuts, who are the party’s most passionate voters and wield outsize influence in repugican presidential politics. But in a Tuesday interview with CNN, even before his victory was official, Christie appeared to be looking ahead.
Asked if he was a moderate, Christie used a word rarely uttered on the campaign trail in recent days: “I’m a wingnut,” he said.”
But Christie is not a moderate. He supported tea party stooge, Steve Lonegan, for the Senate against Cory Booker. Christie’s ties to the Koch Brothers will be nationally exposed. 
“With security extraordinary on the seminar’s opening night—audio speakers around the periphery of the outdoor dining pavilion blasted out static to thwart eavesdroppers—David Koch introduced Christie as “my kind of guy.” (The two had previously met in private at Koch’s New York City office, he revealed.) Before long, seminar attendees were roaring with laughter as Christie regaled them over dessert, telling them how, in his first weeks in office, he’d exercised extraordinary executive powers to impound billions of dollars in planned spending. (“The good news for all of you and for me,” he said, “is that the governorship in New Jersey is the most powerful constitutional governorship in America.”)”
New Jersey’s unemployment rate is at 8.5%, much higher than the national average of 7.3%. When Christie first took office, he commandeered  capital gains and business tax cuts through his legislature, proven standard conservative ineffective economic measures, which has led to record budget deficits, a 2013 $848.8 million revenue shortfall, and the still high unemployment rate. So he is not credible as a capable fiscal steward, which will not play well in the early New Hampshire and Midwest primaries. His stated views on social issues will not play well nationally, especially on the East and West Coasts.
Reaching the magic 60% election number may make him the new darling of the Faux News Network, which has called him a RINO in the past (repugican In Name Only, not the other kind of rhino, which it may have called him, too.)  But his record and “moderate image” also leaves Christie at a target for the other repugican presidential wanna-be’s: Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, et al.  This election has done either Christie or the country any favors. He won, but  he lost, and meanwhile the rest of the country loses, too..

Virginians Embrace Separation of cult and State and Send Ken Cuccinelli Packing

Fortunately for Virginians who embrace the Constitution's guarantee of separation of cult and state, freedom of speech, and equal rights, attorney general Ken Cuccinelli was defeated.…
ken cuccinelli 
Most Americans are unaware of the war to control America being waged by theocrats and the Koch brothers that played out in the Southern state of Virginia’s gubernatorial race. The race featured a progressive-leaning Democrat going up against a well-funded christian reconstructionist (dominionist) and Koch brother acolyte who said the election was a referendum on the Affordable Care Act. That may have been true, but it was also a referendum on christian extremism, the war on science, equal rights, privacy, gun safety, and a woman’s right to choose their own reproductive health. Fortunately for Virginians who embrace the Constitution’s guarantee of separation of cult and state, freedom of speech, and equal rights, rabid dominionist and Koch devotee attorney general Ken Cuccinelli was defeated by Democrat Terry McCauliffe.
It would be a mistake to downplay the significance of Cuccinelli’s religious crusade that Virginians obviously rejected at the polls because the election was as much a referendum on theocracy as it was the Koch brothers attack on climate science, the NRA’s opposition to sane gun safety measures, and the Affordable Care Act. In fact, nearly every one of Cuccinelli’s positions were founded in his religious crusade to transform Virginia into a haven for the religio-wingnuts as evidenced by his financial support from the (anti)Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage, and fellow morality policeman and christian fanatic Rick Santorum.
Cuccinelli may be best remembered of late for his attempt to police sex between consenting adults and control what goes on in Virginian residents’ bedrooms. The christian fanatic appealed to the Supreme Court to allow him to re-instate a law banning oral and anal sex regardless that the High Court found it unconstitutional in 2003. The Court reaffirmed their previous ruling by rejecting Cuccinelli’s plea for a decision to control sex in Virginians’ bedrooms. Cuccinelli’s war against LGBT rights, firmly grounded in religious fanaticism, is legendary and Virginia voters made him pay for such barbaric statements as telling an anti-gay group that “When you look at the homosexual agenda, I cannot support something that I believe brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul.” Although Cuccinelli attempted to retract his ardent anti-equal rights stance by claiming his anti-gay statements were “offensively false,” he always reaffirmed that his stance against gays had not changed and Virginians did not let him forget it when they went to the polls.
It is certain that women did not forget that throughout his career, Cuccinelli was a religious zealot against contraception, abortion, and women’s access to health clinics. The fanatical Christian also supported an insane personhood bill that would have banned all abortions (even in cases of rape and incest), birth control, and championed every evangelical’s dream of eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood.
Cuccinelli said the election was a referendum on Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) likely because he was heavily funded by PACs and individuals such as the Koch brothers and the repugican governors association that David Koch gave $250K to for Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial bid. His opponent and eventual victor, Terry McCauliffe, campaigned on expanding Medicaid and consistently derided Cuccinelli for his stated intent to reject billions of dollars available for health insurance for poor Virginians. It is possible that Virginia christians, real christians, found Cuccinelli’s opposition to jesus christ’s admonition to care for the infirm a spiritual abomination and rejected his anti-christian hypocrisy out of hand.
It is likely the Koch brothers spent millions on Cuccinelli’s campaign as recompense for his opposition to climate science that revealed his unholy ties to the fossil fuel industry. Cuccinelli is the maniac who launched a witch hunt against a University of Virginia climate scientist that was ruled illegal by the Virginia Supreme Court and revealed Cuccinelli’s rejection of free speech and academic freedom if it is contrary to the Koch brothers’ assertion that fossil fuel emissions have no effect on global climate change. For his part, Cuccinelli attacked McAuliffe for waging a war on coal and inspired audiences to exhale extra carbon dioxide just to irritate the Environmental Protection Agency, and likely alienated Virginia voters holding fast to the notion that their right to clean air and water is not a laughing matter.
In an affront to the National Rifle Association in their home state, Virginians sided with McCauliffe who strongly supports universal background checks for gun purchases that Cuccinelli opposed and boasted loudly and often that he was honored to earn an ‘A’ rating from the NRA. The NRA’s political arm contributed over half-a-million dollars to Cuccinelli’s campaign and ran ads warning Virginians that if elected, McCauliffe would rob them of their freedom and enact gun rationing. Likely the Virginia Tech massacre that claimed 32 lives is still fresh in Virginia residents’ minds and they find simple background checks a protection and not a violation of their Second Amendment rights.
The Virginia governor’s race was, as many will say, a rejection of teabagger extremism and Koch brother climate change denial as well as the NRA’s opposition to sane gun safety measures such as universal background checks. But it was also a major blow to evangelical christian attempts to elect repugican leaders who will enact harsh biblical edicts as the law of the land and a repudiation of dominionism and theocracy Cuccinelli indicated was his intent for Virginia residents based on his previous statements.
The significance of Cuccinelli’s defeat is more than a progressive-leaning Democrat winning the governor’s race in a wingnut-leaning Southern state. When Virginia voters rejected Cuccinelli, they rejected the Koch brothers, the NRA, dirty fossil fuels, and climate change denial, but they also rejected attacks on gays, free speech, women’s rights, and the idea that the bible is the law of the land.

Lush Must Go

Lush Dimbulb claimed  that Democrats have turned women into nothing but abortion machines. After these comments, it is time for national disgrace Lush Dimbulb to go.

no-rush-limbaughWhile talking about how repugicans can counter the war on women, Dimbulb said, “Look at what they are doing to destroy the black family. They’re destroying minority families. Look at what they are doing to women with their policies. I mean, they’re demeaning them. They’re turning them into nothing but abortion machines. There’s so much that we could be doing if we would just fight back, but the Republican Party even if they had all the money in the world right now, doesn’t seem inclined to do this.”
According to Dimbulb, Democrats are destroying women by standing with them in protection of their right to control their own bodies. Women are leading the fight, and the Democratic Party, in the battle to preserve their right to make their own medical decisions.
The fact that Dimbulb referred to women as abortion machines is another nail in the repugican coffin. Women aren’t machines. They are human beings with equal rights. Dimbulb went way beyond his usual shock jock offensive shtick. Women aren’t machines who have been turned into anything by a political party. Women are the Democratic Party, so it is completely illogical to argue that the Democratic Party is somehow demeaning women.
The “abortion machines” comment is another reason why Lush Dimbulb has got to go. Anyone who advertises on his program deserves to have bad publicity shower down upon them. The only way to stop the promotion of these ugly attacks against women is to make them less profitable.
Lush Dimbulb has an audience that is even older that the one that watches Faux News, but the country can’t wait for his brand of hate speech to die out in another 20 years. Women deserve respect, and every company that buys an ad on Lush Dimbulb’s radio show is disrespecting women.
It is time that American consumers used their power in the free market system to deal with the national disgrace that is Lush Dimbulb.



Free Puzzle

"We've got to rent a dumpster to get rid of these broken pieces of concrete."
"OK. How much is a dumpster?"
"A couple of hundred bucks, probably"
"What? We ain't got that kind of money. There's got to be a better way."
"Like what?"
"How about if we give it away?"
"Who'd take broken pieces of concrete?"
"Well, dummy, you don't tell them that. See, it's all in the marketing!"
Hire that man for your next ad campaign! You've got to admit that's pretty clever. Best of all, after completing the puzzle, you get a whole new concrete patio!

Pro Tip for Criminals ...

Don't Try to Rob a Competitive Axe-Thrower

“If you’re in my house, you’re not walking out.”
Two burglars in Hemet, California experienced a major failure in the victim selection process last Saturday. Maybe they thought that an older woman by herself would be vulnerable.
They were wrong.
Robyn Irvine woke up in the middle of the night and saw a man kneeling by her bed, trying to remove the watch from her wrist. She reached for her axe, which she always keeps at her side:
“He froze at first. I shocked him with my voice and then he took off. There was no way I could’ve caught him but I could’ve thrown it,” said Irvine, adding that she could have paralyzed the suspect by striking him in the spine.
But Ms. Irvine was merciful and let police arrest the burglar with his spine intact. His accomplice escaped . . .
. . . for now. Ms. Irvine has added a Bowie knife to her arsenal. She’s ready if he comes back.

Messages in bottles fished out of River Thames contained Nigerian inheritance 'scam' letters

A cyclist has unmasked what appears to be a money scam in the form of a message in a bottle. Tom Fenton, from Caversham, Berkshire, was cycling along the Thames Path on Thursday when he noticed three identical bottles with a rolled-up piece of paper inside, floating in the river. He managed to fish two out, which had an identical typed note inside. It read: "Dear Friend, I am pleased that this letter has reached you safely. I was given your name as an honourable and upright person to do business with.
"Let me introduce myself; I am Umsloppogas Adinga a barrister working in the Nigerian inheritance court and have been assigned to the estate of a Mr Bates who has left an unclaimed estate totaling £4,500,000. If left, the money would revert to the government and I want to get the money safely to a western bank account. If you will allow me to use your bank account for this purpose, I would be happy to render 10 per cent of the estate to you as a fee for helping me with this transaction.
"If you are happy to help me with this, please email me at neeeeeep@yahoo.com with your details so that we can progress this and once you have paid any fees necessary the money can be transferred to your account. May the lord bless our business arrangements. Yours faithfully, Barrister Adinga (aka Impro)" Mr Fenton was unable to reach the third bottle, but said it looked identical to the others. “It must be a joke,” he explained. “I got the bottles out of the water because I was intrigued, but I am assuming it is a scam, the message in the other bottle was exactly the same.” Mr Fenton disposed of the first bottle in a bin.

Police spokeswoman Rhianne Pope said: “Only give out your personal details when absolutely necessary and when you trust the person you are talking to. Treat personal details like you would money. Don’t leave them lying around for others to see and take. Be wary of who you give your personal details to in the street (eg charities, products, competitions etc). Do not sign up for anything until you have researched the company or charity. Never send money to anyone you don’t know. Do not send any money or pay fees to claim prizes or lottery winnings. Avoid transferring or sending any refunds or over-payments back to anyone you do not know.”

Narcoleptic woman ejected from bar after falling asleep

A Swedish woman who fell asleep in a Stockholm bar has reported the venue to authorities after bouncers kicked her out, despite the fact that she informed them she was a sufferer of narcolepsy.
20-year-old Evelina Perés reported Stockholm nightclub Café Opera to the Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsman, DO) after she was thrown out for dozing off. "I felt tired and sat down on a stool. As I have narcolepsy, I suddenly fell asleep which sometimes happens. It makes no difference if I have been drinking or not, or if I have slept properly before," she wrote in her complaint to the ombudsman. "It just happens."

After snoozing on the stool, two bouncers took her by the arms and threw her onto the street, roughing her up enough to leave bruises on her arms, her report stated. She was fully awake at the time and maintained that the guards showed no interest in hearing her explain her condition. The incident occurred in September. Perés, who has a doctor's certificate for her narcolepsy, wrote that the condition was a direct result of a swine flu jab, and added that she hoped her report could bring some much-needed attention to the problem.
"The state made us get the shot. We are already affected. We don't need to be punished more, we need support and help instead. I have friends with narcolepsy who no longer go out because they don't want to risk being kicked out," she said. A Swedish study confirmed in March that the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix had a direct link to narcolepsy, with those taking the shot under the age of 21 at three times the risk of developing the condition. The owner of Café Opera expressed his regret over the Perés's treatment, explaining no one intended for her to feel "insulted".

Daily Comic Relief


Study Links Intestinal Bacteria to Rheumatoid Arthritis

Breeding a Tastier Tomato

If you want to stir consumers’ passions about produce, just mention tomatoes. There’s no shortage of outrage about those supermarket tomatoes that look as pretty as a picture, but sometimes aren’t much tastier than the […]

States upping their game in science R&D

According to a recent study published by the National Science Foundation (NSF), state government agency expenditures for research and development (R&D) totaled $1.4 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2011, an 11 percent increase over the $1.3 billion […]

Rock ‘n’ roll bolsters solar cell efficiency

Playing pop and rock music improves the performance of solar cells, according to new research from scientists at Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College London. The high frequencies and pitch found in pop […]

How the Finnish school system outshines U.S. education

The Finnish school system might sound like a restless American schoolchild’s daydream: school hours cut in half, little homework, no standardized tests, 50-minute recess and free lunch. But the Finns’ unconventional approach to education has […]

Smart foam takes aim at concussions by measuring helmet impact

Concussions in college and professional football are under the microscope more than ever these days, but they don’t seem to be slowing down in frequency. Nearly every game produces an incident where a player suffers […]

Fascinating Maps Showing The Origin Of Words We Use All The Time

You say church, I say kerk. You say pineapple, I say ananas. You say cucumber, I say komkommer. U.S. playwright Rita Mae Brown said: 'Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.'

That quote comes to mind looking at these fascinating European etymology maps of various commons words posted by reddit user sp07, which provide a kind of cultural commentary on Europe.

Three 'Modern' Inventions That Existed Millions Of Years Ago

Evidence exists pointing to prehistoric civilizations as advanced as our modern civilization - or perhaps more advanced. Such evidence could turn our scientific certainties upside down.
The discoveries that nuclear reactors, telescopes and clothes existed millions of years ago have been contested, but some scientists have maintained that they constitute indisputable evidence that at that time humans walked the earth with as much knowledge and culture as today's people.

When the Polar Ice Melts ...

We lose Florida, the East Coast and more
When all of the ice in the world melts, sea levels will raise over 200 feet. What would that look like?
What would such a worse-case scenario mean for the Earth’s population?
National Geographic has created a fascinating visual representation of this eventual certainty and provided an analysis of how North America would be affected by such a catastrophic change.

Astronomers conclude habitable planets are common

Astronomers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and the University of California, Berkeley now estimate that one in five stars like the sun have planets about the size of Earth and a surface temperature […]

Snakes the size of school buses?

Horses the size of house cats?
It happened before and could happen again.
by Jay Busbee
Digital reconstruction of a Titanoboa skeleton
Sleeping well, lately? This will cure that: Imagine a snake the length of a school bus, with a mouth that opens wider than you can spread your arms. Not only could such a snake exist, it did exist ... and may exist again in the future as temperatures warm.
That's among the findings reported this week at the ScienceWriters2013 conference in Gainesville, Florida. During a period of time known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, high temperatures favored larger reptiles ... and, in turn, smaller mammals. Imagine, for instance, a horse the size of a house cat. 
The Paleocene Epoch lasted about 9 million years, starting with the fall of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Jonathan Bloch, a paleontologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History, discovered gargantuan turtle fossils and a snake known as Titanoboa from that period.
That's right. Titanoboa. Beat that, Sharknado.
On the other end of the spectrum, mammals were much smaller in warmer climes. Consider the horse, which, during certain periods in earlier epochs, looked as if it would make a perfect little pet.
Comparisons of horses across eras.
 When temperatures spiked twice at about 55 million and 53 million years ago, mammals shrunk in size, according to a new study published by the University of Michigan. The changes come about when temperatures rise into the mid-90s for a sustained period of time; the thought is that larger mammals have a harder time regulating body temperatures and finding nutrition.
"Developing a better understanding of the relationship between mammalian body size change and greenhouse gas-induced global warming during the geological past may help us predict ecological changes that may occur in response to current changes in Earth's climate," said Will Clyde of the University of New Hampshire.
As terrifying as the thought of a gigantic snake might be, or as precious as the thought of a football-size horse might be, don't go looking for them any time soon. These changes take centuries, not years. But you might want to leave your great-great-grandchildren a heads-up note, just in case.

Chicken thief 'was in a movie'

A man who stole packets of chicken and then turned unruly in a hospital has been jailed for nine months. Michael Scott also smashed potted plants and shoved a garage manager who confronted him over the theft. As he left the dock at Belfast Magistrates' Court Scott shouted: "It's not my fault, I'm in a movie."

The 28-year-old was charged with common assault, criminal damage, assault on police, disorderly behaviour and the theft of 16 packs of chicken. After being challenged he threw plants at a car before banging his head against a stanchion.
He was taken to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, County Down, for treatment to his head injuries, only to become disorderly and abusive to staff. Damage was caused to a hospital floor and work benches. The court heard that Scott, of no fixed address, has amassed a criminal record with some 160 previous convictions.

Scott's lawyer said his client accepted full responsibility and was dealing with a number of personal problems. "He's his own worst enemy," the lawyer said. The judge imposed a five-month sentence for the chicken theft and lesser, concurrent terms for the assaults, criminal damage and disorderly behavior. However, she added a further four months by activating a previous suspended sentence.

Bathe In A Hot Spring With Japanese Snow Monkeys

In northern Japan, where freezing winter temperatures reach as low as -15°C (5°F), a group of monkeys thrive in the cold in a rather interesting, unconventional way. Visit Jigokudani Yaenkoen Park in Yokoyu River valley, and find this strange species relaxing in a hot onsen bath in order to survive the cold.

Deer rescued from French garage roof

A deer got stuck on the garage roof on Monday night in the town of Verneuil-sur-Indre in the Indre-et-Loire department of central France.
After a three-hour rescue mission conducted by local government agents, the animal was finally back on firm ground. Reports say that the animal probably ended up on the roof by way of a perch from a neighbouring garden.
But the animal slipped on the roof slates and was unable to turn back. “He tried hard to turn back but slipped and was lying on the roof. We had to find a solution,” the town’s mayor Philippe Bruneau said.

Fortunately, the animal suffered no injuries and was eventually able to go back the way it came. "In my 12 years in office, I've had to track down a wolf, and now rescue a deer from a roof. Not bad," added Bruneau.

Giant rat ate parts of one-year-old Yemeni boy

A one-year-old Yemeni boy died after he was attacked and partly eaten by a giant rat in his home.

His mother has just stepped out and returned home when she saw the rodent gnawing at the body of her screaming son.
Overcame with shock, she carried her son to a nearby medical centre but the boy died on the way.

The incident took place inside the boy’s bedroom at a clay house in the western Yemeni province of Al Hudaydah. “The mother is still in a bad psychological condition after seeing the giant rat feeding on her own baby,” a source said.

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