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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Daily Drift

Ain't that the truth ...!

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Today in History

655 - Battle of Winwaed: Penda of Mercia is defeated by Oswiu of Northumbria.
1315 - Battle of Morgarten: Swiss beat duke Leopold I of Austria
1660 - 1st kosher butcher (Asser Levy) licensed in NYC (New Amsterdam)
1763 - Charles Mason & Jeremiah Dixon begin surveying Mason-Dixon Line between Pennsylvania & Maryland
1777 - Articles of Confederation adopted by Continental Congress
1869 - Free postal delivery formally inaugurated
1881 - American Federation of Labor (AFL) founded (Pittsburgh)
1920 - League of Nations holds 1st meeting, in Geneva
1936 - Nazi-Germany & Japan sign Anti-Komintern pact
1937 - 1st congressional session in air-conditioned chambers
1938 - Farewell Parade of International Brigades in Barcelona
1939 - Nazis begin mass murder of Warsaw Jews

Non Sequitur


Animal Pictures

Bacon Body Wash

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This Bacon Body Wash brings the exhilarating aroma of bacon to yet another part of your morning routine. The friendly Mr. Bacon on the label wants you to smell like he does. Now you can smell like bacon in every nook and cranny.

Did you know ...

That 10 corporations control almost everything you buy

Dr. Paul Wheeler: asshole of the decade

That this repugican candidate endorses death penalty for rebellious kids

Upton Sinclair and Freddy Hyeck debate FDR's social security on the 1936 edition of crossfire

Extremists Launch Treasonous Plot to Overthrow President Obama A Week Before Thanksgiving

A coup d’état is the sudden deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment to depose the extant government and replace it with another body, and when a coup neither fails completely nor succeeds, a civil war is the likely consequence. Because  a coup d’état is supposed to be a sudden event, it is unlikely that a seditious group would announce, or hold a rally, publicizing their intention to overthrow America’s legally elected government, but this is the 21st Century and an African American man has been twice elected by the people to serve as President. A little under two months ago, an anti-government islamophobe and 'christian' announced in an op/ed his intent to marshal a million like-minded rebels to march on Washington D.C. to demand the President’s removal, and subsequently proclaimed a date a week before Thanksgiving to demand the surrender of President Obama to face charges set out by a citizens’ grand jury.
On Monday, the same un-American, Larry Klayman, released a new declaration of independence and announced that on November 19th he and fellow islamophobes, extremist 'christian' leaders, and wingnut gun fanatics will converge on the White House and depose the Obama Administration, members of Congress, and the Supreme Court. According to Klayman, President Obama is a “despot, socialist, ultra-leftist “muslim” who, with his Democratic minions, passed a destructive piece of legislation” (Affordable Care Act) that Klayman claims is unconstitutional. Within the new declaration of independence is a laundry list of imagined slights that claims after “warning him and his administration of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us, we must acquiesce in the necessity, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.” Klayman’s group clearly holds the United States government and Barack Obama as “Enemies in War.”
The November 19th rally calling for the overthrow of President Obama and the government is being co-sponsored by groups such as Accuracy In Media, GrassTopsUSA, Gun Owners of America, Pacific Justice Institute, and several teabagger groups. Klayman claims Trent Franks (r-Ariz) will speak at the coup d’état rally, but a spokesperson from Franks’ office says the congressman will not attend. Franks is likely wise enough to avoid being seen with the other speakers slated to join Klayman who say they are “disgusted by Obama’s criminality, his muslim, socialist, anti-semitic, anti-shristian, anti-white, pro-illegal immigrant, pro-radical gay and lesbian agenda to demand the President leave town and resign from office if he does not want to face prison time.” Klayman said if the seditionists’ “list of grievances is not considered by the ruling establishment it will result in their demise” and strongly suggested there may be a violent revolution if the November 19 rally fails to reach its stated goal; overthrow of the United States government.
Klayman’s threat of a violent revolution if the President, congressional leaders, and the Supreme Court do not meet their list of demands and be “abolished from all allegiance to the current government’s regime, including political connection between them and the current government, is to be totally dissolved” is treason. Calling on, and inciting, millions of other Americans to join in the overthrow of the United States government is sedition, particularly under the threat of violent force, but it is glaringly obvious Klayman’s group eschews U.S. law and the U.S. Constitution.
Reading through the list of grievances against the President and the government exposes Klayman and company’s motivation is rank islamophobia, hatred of minorities, and a desire to dissolve the Union into a collection of independent nation states. In fact, in the “new declaration of independence” there are repeated references to “tyranny” against “the patient sufferance of the States” that leaves them with no choice but, according to their duty, “to throw off and alter the former system of government.” In its place the rebels demand that the country be made up of “free and independent States” and if their demands are not met, “it is only a matter of time before the people and the military rise up to remove the shackles that have been placed on them by the government.”
Klayman is a seditious traitor and he joined Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin during a Washington rally to protest the government shutdown where he repeated his demand that President Obama “get up, put the Quran down, get up off his knees and come up with his hands up.” Klayman’s group also joins Ted Cruz in demanding that “the Internal Revenue Service be abolished entirely,” as well as obliterating the Affordable Care Act.  The group also demands that on November 19, the day they designated as “new independence day,” that President Obama “submit himself to examination and appear in front of a citizens’ grand jury to answer questions under oath regarding his illegal, treasonous and impeachable actions during his presidency, as well as provide a physical, original copy of his birth certificate and submit himself to the scrutiny of qualified forensic experts.”
On November 19, Klayman hopes millions will join him and demand the President and key leaders of both Parties and the courts surrender and leave the government. According to Klayman, if nonviolence fails to achieve their goals then “surely another recourse will break out” and after three straight years of threats of armed rebellion against the government, their threats cannot be taken lightly. The U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment certainly guarantees Klayman and his un-American cabal the right of free speech, but even the Supreme Court put limitations on speech regarding sedition and imminent danger that certainly includes incitement to overthrow the United States government under threat of violent rebellion.
According to 18 USC § 2382 – Misprision of treason, “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States and having knowledge of the commission of any treason against them, conceals and does not, as soon as may be, disclose and make known the same to the President or to some judge of the United States, or to the governor or to some judge or justice of a particular State, is guilty of misprision of treason and shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than seven years, or both.” Therefore, any American with knowledge of Klayman and company’s intent to commit treason and overthrow the legal government of the United States has a duty to report the November 19th coup d’état rally; if not to avoid imprisonment, but to put a stop to these persistent call-to-arms to overthrow the legally elected government. Maybe then the ascendance of right-wing Christian extremists will come to a halt because it is just a matter of time before these well-armed un-American maniacs will succeed in starting what they yearn for America; a violent rebellion to overthrow this country’s government.

Desperate Mitch McConnell Announces that He Will Only Talk About Obamacare

A desperate Mitch McConnell announced to the media back home that he will only talk about Obamacare. The problem is that the ACA is popular and working well in Kentucky.
According to WFPL,
In a candid moment, McCOnnell told reporters that was all that he wanted to discuss at Tuesday’s press conference even in the face of polling numbers that show his popularity waning and that the Kentucky race is tightening.
“I’m probably not going to be answering questions about anything else, but I’m happy to respond to questions about Obamacare,” McConnell said. “As some of you have complained from time to time that I don’t do a stake out after every event and I’m not going to do a stake out after every event because as you can imagine I prefer the news of that day to be what I’d like for it to be rather than what you all may be interested in pursuing.”
Talk about putting all of your eggs in one basket. McConnell isn’t going to lay out his vision of what he will do for Kentucky if he wins another term. Instead, McConnell is going to spend the next year doing nothing but criticizing the ACA. Sen. McConnell hasn’t seemed to notice that the ACA is working beautifully in his home state. McConnell refused to talk about his horrible job approval numbers, or the fact that he is tied with Democratic challenger Alison Grimes in the latest poll. McConnell wanted to talk about the ACA, so that is all he was going to discuss.
Mitch McConnell wants to make the Kentucky Senate race all about Obamacare, but this might be a terrible idea since Kentucky is one of the states that has set up their own exchange which is doing really well. The political strategy here is a desperate one. McConnell is hoping that the ACA is less popular in Kentucky than he is.
Sen. McConnell is in big trouble, and his plan to make his reelection campaign all about the ACA demonstrates how out of touch he is with his own state. McConnell is living in some sort of fantasyland where he is proclaiming the ACA a failure in Kentucky despite the fact that the numbers suggest the exact opposite. Each day, 1,000 more people are being given access to healthcare because of the ACA.
Sen. McConnell’s decision to run against the ACA in a place where it is working may backfire and cost him his Senate seat. He is so out of touch with reality that his own campaign strategy may get Alison Grimes elected to the Senate in 2014.

The Great Hypocrisy Is That repugicans Are Anything But 'Pro-Life'

In military parlance the fog of war is the uncertainty in situational awareness experienced by participants in military operations, and the term seeks to capture the uncertainty regarding one’s own capability, adversary capability, and adversary intent during an engagement, operation, or campaign. Over the past year, repugicans have been uncertain about whom their real enemies are in their perpetual war to control America, but one thing is beyond question and that is repugicans are engaged in a war against nearly all Americans.
One of Republicans’ greatest crusades has been their war on women’s reproductive rights according to their so-called pro-life designation they claim is to protect the unborn that observers opine ends when a fetus breathes air and becomes a living human being. Between their disregard for new mothers, infants, and children borne of their perpetual attacks on social programs through spending cuts, it began to appear that the only thing repugicans cared about was zygotes, embryos, and fetuses; they have always hated the mother.
As it turns out, in their blood lust to withhold healthcare from any American, coupled with their sheer hatred for the Affordable Care Act, repugicans revealed that they hate the unborn at the same level they hate women, infants and children. The repugican crusade against the Affordable Care Act is expanding and now includes assailing the requirement that basic insurance policies cover maternity, pre-natal, and newborn care. The chairperson of the House repugican Women’s Policy Committee, Representative Renee Ellmers, is leading the charge against the repugican cabal’s latest target in the ACA; the requirement that health insurance policies include maternity and prenatal care as part of basic healthcare coverage.
The glaring hypocrisy of the “pro-life” party is nothing new as repugicans have, without remorse or regard for the unborn, slashed government spending on programs to help expectant mothers, but they revealed their true contempt when they began using both their lust to protect healthcare insurance profits and their hatred of the Affordable Care Act to decry inclusion of maternity and prenatal care as a basic component of health insurance plans. The oft-stated remark that repugicans love a zygote but hate living breathing babies is, apparently, inaccurate and better stated that repugicans just hate pregnant women and the unborn in spite of their tireless effort to force America’s women to become birth machines or remain abstinent.
This new repugican war on fetuses, zygotes, and embryos is particularly draconian because the requirement to include maternity and prenatal care in health plans is no different than requiring healthcare insurance policies to include yearly physicals, doctor visits, or hospitalization. Ellmers claims the maternity and prenatal coverage is unfair to males because “a man has never delivered a baby,” and Deroy Murdoch of the National Review said, “How about lesbians who do not want kids, and are highly unlikely to become pregnant accidentally.” It is not that wingnuts have a newfound love for men or lesbians; they just hate expectant mothers and the unborn, and do not want them to receive medical care whether it is from a government-funded program or a private health insurance policy they pay for themselves.
The repugicans claim it is a travesty for healthcare plans to include maternity and pre-natal coverage for policy-holders who will never give birth, and yet they are silent about healthcare policies covering prostrate exams, boner pills, or testicular cancer that are unique to men’s health but included as a basic service in healthcare plans purchased by men and women. The travesty is that the pro-life party purporting to protect the unborn is railing against the requirement that private healthcare policies include coverage to protect mothers and the unborn by providing maternity coverage; something 'right-to-life' advocates and 'pro-life' repugicans should celebrate and defend if they were really “pro-life” or serious about reducing abortions.
One would think the anti-abortion crowd and their repugican pro-lifers would be consistent in their right-to-life advocacy and support coverage, whether through government programs or private insurance policies, that may mean a woman is more likely to choose to carry the fetus to term if she knew that both she and her fetus will receive regular medical attention. However, these are the same repugicans that decry any program that helps expectant mothers and their fetuses, or their children by opposing expanded healthcare coverage, food stamps, the Women, Infants and Children feeding program (WIC), and other measures to help parents after their children are born. In the past, Democrats and liberals have sought to find common ground with anti-abortion groups on issues like maternal and child care, WIC, and other programs to help ensure that a woman is never forced to have an abortion for economic reasons, but that would mean 'pro-life' repugicans cared about women, fetuses, and children; something they are incapable of.
This latest assault is more than just hypocrisy of 'pro-life' repugicans who, on one hand, claim to be protectors of the unborn while they oppose domestic spending for pre-natal healthcare, and now inclusion of pre-natal care in private healthcare insurance. It is all about their blatant disregard for any American who is not part of the wealthy elite as well as using any means to restrict Americans from having access to healthcare whether it is Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance through an ACA exchange. It is also about forcing women, all women, to remain abstinent until they marry a man who will provide and pay for healthcare for themselves and their unborn children.
Over the course of the past four years, Americans have witnessed the depth of repugicans’ evil nature and their inhumane disregard for all Americans; particularly women and children. But now that they are attacking a requirement in private healthcare insurance with the same intensity as domestic programs to protect the health of expectant mothers and the unborn, their contempt for human life is clearly evident. If nothing else, Americans should comprehend that repugicans’ 'pro-life' self-designation, like every aspect of their existence, is nothing more than a label to garner electoral support for their ever-expanding war against Americans that now includes zygotes, fetuses, and embryos.

The Truth Be Told

Which Of The 11 American Nations Do You Live In?

Red states and blue states? Flyover country and the coasts? How simplistic. Colin Woodard, a reporter at the Portland Press Herald and author of several books, says North America can be broken neatly into 11 separate nation-states, where dominant cultures explain their voting behaviors and attitudes toward everything from social issues to the role of government.

Woodard says: 'The borders of my eleven American nations are reflected in many different types of maps - including maps showing the distribution of linguistic dialects, the spread of cultural artifacts, the prevalence of different religious denominations, and the county-by-county breakdown of voting in virtually every hotly contested presidential race in our history.'

Stories Behind Some Of The World's Best Forgers

Forgery is the process of making, adapting, or imitating objects, statistics, or documents with the intent to deceive. Forging money or currency is more often called counterfeiting. But consumer goods may also be counterfeits if they are not manufactured or produced by the designated manufacture or producer given on the label or flagged by the trademark symbol.

Delve into some of the bad choices available when it comes to making money - literally.

Random Celebrity Photos


Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy

Mystery surrounds man's 'Pandora's box' death

Mystery surrounds the death of a 37-year-old Cumbria man who collapsed after opening ‘Pandora’s box’. Jason Airey was found slumped unconscious by his parents in the bedroom of their Carlisle home in May this year. A box bearing the words ‘Pandora’s box’ was beside him. An inquest into his death heard how no drugs were found in his system and the box – which bore the inscription in red letters – contained unused synthetic cannabis.
Coroner Robert Chapman said a post mortem showed Jason’s heart had stopped beating, causing his organs to fail – but they would probably never know why. He never regained consciousness and died in the Cumberland Infirmary two days later. His father, Dennis Airey, told the inquest that Jason had been in a happy mood when he returned to the family home in Harraby on May 2. “He was just his normal self,” he said. “I think he had enjoyed himself in town. He had been shopping and said he was going upstairs to get changed.” Mr Airey said his wife Anne got concerned when Jason had been upstairs for some time.
“She went upstairs and came back down saying something was wrong. She couldn’t wake him.” Mr Airey went upstairs and found his son slumped on his knees, face down. “I got hold of him and his shirt was clammy. His face was blue. I could feel a faint pulse on his neck,” he said. Paramedics and an ambulance was called and Mr Airey started CPR, he said. The paramedics worked on Jason for an hour before he was taken to hospital. His father said he found “a little packet” inside ‘Pandora’s box’ and thought it was cannabis but “it didn’t smell”. Mr Chapman said tests later revealed it was synthetic cannabis.

“I thought [the box] had just been opened,” Mr Airey said. “It was a packet but had not been used. It was on the bed right beside him. He hadn’t taken any drugs after having a bad experience with ecstasy 13 years ago.” Mr Chapman said toxicology tests had found no trace of drugs in Jason’s system and ruled that he died of natural causes. “His heart stopping caused the death of his brain which caused multiple organ failure,” he said. “We don’t really know what caused his heart to stop. There is a possibility that he had a fatal cardiac arrythymia – a change in his heartbeat.” Pandora’s box is an artifact in Greek mythology which contained all the evils of the world.

Pianist faces seven year jail sentence over 'psychological damage' caused to neighbor

A professional pianist in Spain is facing a seven-and-a-half-year jail sentence for playing her instrument eight hours a day, five days a week, according to her former neighbor in Puigcerdà, Girona.
Prosecutors are seeking the sentence for crimes against the environment - acoustic contamination - and the psychological damage caused to Sonia B. between 2003 and 2007. Defense lawyers for the musician, Laia Martin, have asked that the case be thrown out, describing the complaint as “completely disproportionate.”

Both the defendant and her parents, who face the same sentence as accessories to the fact, deny the claims of Sonia B., who in turn stated that not only did Laia Martin’s mother enter her apartment and concur that the sound of the piano was louder there than in her own home, but also that Laia Martin had to be restrained by her father while attempting to hit the defendant. Medical reports state that Sonia B. suffered hearing damage, panic attacks and problems during her pregnancy as a result of the “environmental auditory stress.”
Laia Martin refutes the charges, stating that she could not have been playing the piano when Sonia B. claims, as she was studying outside of Puigcerdà. The defendants also said that they had attempted to soundproof the room containing the piano. In addition to the sentence, prosecutors are seeking to have Laia Martin banned from any profession that involves a piano for four years, a fine of 10,800 euros and damages of 9,900 euros. The trial is expected to conclude this week.

There's a news video in Spanish here.

Motorist headbutted moving cars on Australian freeway

A man is being assessed in a West Australian hospital after headbutting several moving cars on a busy freeway. Police spokeswoman Ros Weatherall said it happened on Monday night after the man crashed his Mazda ute into an unattended Volkswagen which was parked in the emergency lane of the Kwinana Freeway near Canning Bridge just after 7pm.
Witnesses reported the man then got out of his car and ran into the oncoming traffic, jumping on the bonnets of some cars and throwing himself head first into the windows of others. Motorist Jordan captured the dramatic images on his dashcam. "It was at about 7pm, I was heading down to Freeway South and all the traffic just stopped," he said.

"It was like the movie World War Z, where the zombies just run into cars, he was exactly like that and I thought 'oh shit, it's the zombie apocalypse'. He was just running into cars, jumping on top of cars, he was obviously trying to hurt himself. I kept driving and I went past about four cars that had pulled over...he was just going crazy."

Windscreens and windows of several cars were damaged, forcing traffic to stop and causing a major backlog on one of the city's main highways. A police spokeswoman said inquiries are continuing, and the man, who is believed to have mental health issues, was being assessed at Fremantle hospital. Officers were also investigating whether alcohol and drugs were involved.

Sailor arrested for attacking taxi with didgeridoo

A cab driver in San Diego, California says he was in fear for his life after his car was attacked by a passenger armed with a didgeridoo. That passenger was 31-year-old Joaquin Gonzalez, a Navy sailor stationed at North Island.
Driver Duncan Dagbe said it was the cab ride from hell. "He just started hitting on the car. He hit here, bam and said, 'Leave! Leave!'" Dagbe said. "He had looked extremely drunk." On Sunday evening Dagbe said he picked up Gonzalez from a Mission Valley bar and drove him and a woman's home to Chula Vista.

Both fell asleep. Twenty minutes later, at the home in the gated community, Dagbe said the man woke the woman up and started to walk away. "I said, 'Hey, you haven't paid me yet," said Dagbe. He says Gonzalez became belligerent and refused to pay the $60 fare. Dagbe said Gonzalez used a didgeridoo to beat his cab.
"He chased me all over the place," said Dagbe. "At this point, I was just so frantic. I was afraid he was going to hit my windshield and all the glass come up on me. He definitely has to be checked out because something is wrong with him," said Dagbe. Repairs to the taxi are estimated to be about $5,000. Gonzalez faces a charge of felony vandalism. He has been released on bail.

There's a news video here.

Unhappy man accused of threatening wife with fake bomb

A Florida man who was angry with his soon-to-be ex-wife wife left a fake bomb on her kitchen counter.
Randolph Troy Smith, who is in the process of becoming divorced from his wife, also placed notes alongside a grey high tension fuse jack. “This is a explosive,” Smith wrote in red ink. “It’s a bomb. Boom.”

Smith’s wife discovered the notes and the device at about 9pm on Thursday at their home in Vero Beach, and called authorities. Deputies cordoned off the home and had the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad check out the pipe.
Bomb squad members determined it was not a real bomb and Smith later told deputies that it was meant as a hoax. Smith, 51, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, planting a hoax bomb and resisting arrest without violence. He is being held at the Indian River County Jail in lieu of $11,000 bail.

Man called 911 because woman in his bed was 'snoring like a train'

A Wisconsin man called 911 early on Sunday morning and asked for assistance in removing a snoring woman from his bed.

Benjamin Duddles, 41, dialed police at around 4:20am to say that he wanted “a female removed from his bed,” adding that he was not sure “how she got into his apt.” He subsequently reported that he had let the woman into his home and she “just went into his bed and fell asleep.” The woman, Duddles complained, was “now snoring like a train and he wants her out.”
When officers arrived at Duddles’s Waukesha residence, he revealed they “drank together, had relations and she fell asleep.” After repairing to his living room, Duddles returned to his bedroom and could not roust the snoring woman, “so he called police,” according to a Waukesha Police Department report.

The unidentified woman was “found to be fine medically, just has sleep apnea.” Officers advised Duddles that a snoring woman in his bed was not a police matter since he had allowed her into his home. Duddles, who was not arrested, was “provided the comfort of his couch for the evening” and directed to “work out the ‘issue’ in the morning.”

Man twice called 911 because his neighbors were mean and wouldn't drink with him

James Collins said his neighbors were mean and wouldn't drink with him. So he called 911. Twice.
Police in Fort Pierce, Florida received a call at around 8:35pm on Nov. 3 about a domestic disturbance. Officers arrived at the scene and Collins explained to them why he was so upset.

"The complainant, James Collins, stated that his neighbors were being mean and would not drink with him," notes the police report. “Officer Rahn explained to James about misusing 911."
30 minutes after his initial encounter with police, Collins, who turned 56 on the day of the incident, again called 911 to complain that his neighbors wouldn’t drink with him. Collins smelled of booze and had a container of "Blue Ice" in his front pocket. He was arrested on charges including disorderly intoxication and misuse of 911.



Unusual Towers From Around The World

The towers are tall structures, usually taller than they are wide, often by a significant margin. These slender buildings are generally built to take advantage of their height, and can stand alone on the ground, or as part of a larger structure.

Here we have 12 towers that are significantly different from all other towers, and because of that are preferred by many photographers and tourists.

Man marries tree

An environmental activist has “married” a tree in Argentina.
Dressed in a white suit and blue hat, Richard Torres carried a bouquet as the wedding party approached his "bride-to-be” in a Buenos Aires park on Sunday.

The 33-year-old Peruvian actor and activist read vows and was given a ring. Torres said the spectacle was intended to draw attention to environmental issues.

While this is the actor's first ecological event outside of Peru, he said it's the start of his championing of the environment and plans to take his unique style of activism to countries throughout Latin America.

What America's Forests Looked Like Before Europeans Arrived

European settlers transformed America's Northeastern forests. From historic records and fossils, researchers know the landscape and plants are radically different today than they were 400 years ago.
But little direct evidence exists to prove which tree species filled the forests before they were cleared for fields and fuel. Swamp-loving plants, like sedges and tussocks, are the fossil survivors, not delicate leaves from hardwood trees.
Now, thanks to a rare fossil discovery in the Pennsylvania foothills, scientists can tell the full story of America's lost forests.
The fossil site is a muddy layer packed with leaves from hardwood trees that lived more than 300 years ago along Conestoga Creek in Lancaster County, Pa. The muck was laid down before one of Pennsylvania's 10,000 mill dams, called Denlinger's Mill, was built nearby, damming the stream and burying the mud and leaves in sediment.
Researchers from Penn State University discovered the fossil leaves while investigating the lingering effects of milldams. The thousands of small dams — which powered mills, forges and other industry — changed the water table, altering the plants growing nearby and eventually changing the landscape from wetlands to deeply incised, quickly flowing streams.
Before Europeans arrived, American beech, red oak and sweet birch trees shaded Conestoga Creek, according to a study the researchers published today (Nov. 13) in the journal PLOS ONE. Some 300 years later, those trees are gone. The same spot is now home to mostly box elder and sugar maple trees, said Sara Elliott, the study's lead author and a research associate at the University of Texas at Austin's Bureau of Economic Geology.
"This is a very unusual opportunity to compare modern and fossil forest assemblages," Elliott told LiveScience. "It's like you're time traveling," she said.
Elliott carefully peeled apart hundreds of leaves stuck together by mud and layered like a pile of sticky notes. Washing the leaves in a variety of chemical baths helped Elliott determine the leaves' structure and species.
Other kinds of trees found in the fossil layer that have since vanished from North America include the American chestnut, which was attacked by an imported fungal disease called the chestnut blight. Leaves from swamp plants also appear in the mud, confirming that the forested spot was on the upslope edge of a nearby wetland.
"We had a valley margin forest growing right next to the valley bottom in conjunction with all these wetlands," Elliott said. "I think we really have a rather complete picture now of what the landscape was like in this region."
The three dominant tree species found in the fossil forest leaves still exist today in the Northeast, but in different proportions and in different places, Elliot said.
The scientists hope that identifying similar fossil tree-leaf sites will help the massive milldam restoration projects underway throughout the Northeast. The dams left a legacy of toxic sediment piled up behind their walls, as well as reshaped the landscape.
"Having a more complete and enhanced understanding of this past dynamic and complex landscape will help in restoring an ecologically diverse and functional system," Elliott said.

Saturn up close

NASA's outer space photo shoot with the ringed planet

For readers, the smaller images housed within this article truly don't do the images justice. You'll want to download the full 9000x3500-size image in all of its 21MB glory.
Back on July 19, 2013, Cassini was positioned to capture the images of Saturn with the sun largely blocked behind Saturn’s circumference, providing near-perfect backlighting.
The outer space photo shoot resulted in incredibly detailed images of Saturn, its seven moons, the planet’s inner rings and even images of Earth in the distance.
Over the course of about four hours, Cassini’s wide-angle cameras captured 323 images in blue, green and red spectral filters. Those images were then combined together to create the most accurate representation of Saturn and its seven moons. Amazingly, the images capture 404,880 miles of space.
The composite image and an explanation of the shoot is hosted on the site for the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations (CICLOPS) website.
“This mosaic is special as it marks the third time our home planet was imaged from the outer solar system; the second time it was imaged by Cassini from Saturn's orbit; and the first time ever that inhabitants of Earth were made aware in advance that their photo would be taken from such a great distance,” reads an explanation in the post entitled “The Day the Earth Smiled.”
The Cassini Solstice Mission is a joint project between NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and an imaging team with experts from the U.S., England, France and Germany based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Slate’s Phil Plait has taken an in-depth look at the images and found some incredible details, including the image of Earth in the background and an image of the moon Enceladus, with geysers of liquid water erupting from its south pole.
“This view of Enceladus is truly incredible,” Plait says. “It was far enough out in the picture to show a half-moon phase, the dark half to the left, away from the Sun. It’s embedded in the diffuse E ring, which itself is created by the geysers on the moon, blasting tiny particles of ice into space, which then circle Saturn on their own.”
 What does Earth look like from Saturn?

Daily Comic Relief


Dog saved man from fire before man saved dog

A man whose dog saved his life by waking him during a house fire repaid the favor when he re-entered the burning home to save the dog. Paul Kemp from Des Moines, Iowa, was awakened by his three-year-old Sheltie named Sheba at around 1:30am on Tuesday when flames started to engulf their home.
Kemp said he awoke on the living room couch to Sheba jumping onto his chest. "It was unusual, and startled me - and then I saw the fire," said Kemp. "So, I went and got my coffee pot, and threw some water on it and it didn't help, and it just grew really quickly." Kemp ran outside and assumed Sheba was with him like always, but she wasn't.
"I was yelling outside for her, and I didn't see her and I figured she had to be back in the house, so I went in the house and yelled for her, and then she came running and ran outside," said Kemp. Co-workers were shocked to see Paul and Sheba at work just hours after their ordeal, but at the Animal Lifeline this story of dog saves man, man saves dog goes hand in hand with the mission of the no-kill animal shelter. It's where sick, injured and abused animals get a second chance.

"I love her, she's my little girl. I mean I've always loved her but now she saved my life, ya know," said Kemp. "She showed me that she's my best friend, because she was worried about me. I mean she wasn't running around when she first saw the fire. Her first instinct was to wake me up, ya know, thinking about me first." Kemp suffered some burns described as minor in the fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Authorities said the home is a total loss. Kemp and Sheba are currently staying in a hotel.

Rare mammal first sighted in Vietnam in years

One of the rarest and most threatened mammals on earth has been caught on camera in Vietnam for the first time in 15 years, renewing hope for the recovery of the species, an international conservation group said Wednesday.
http://l2.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/DjGUOcK7EFTP0nUpt2wGIA--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Zmk9ZmlsbDtoPTEwMjtweW9mZj0yNTtxPTc1O3c9MTkw/http://l.yimg.com/nn/fp/rsz/111313/images/smush/saola_ipad_1384317446.jpgThe Saola, a long-horned ox, was photographed by a camera in a forest in central Vietnam in September, the WWF said in a statement Wednesday.
"This is a breathtaking discovery and renews hope for the recovery of the species," Van Ngoc Thinh, WWF - Vietnam's country director, was quoted as saying.
The animal was discovered in the remote areas of high mountains near the border with Laos in 1992 when a joint team of WWF and Vietnam's forest control agency found a skull with unusual horns in a hunter's home. The find proved to be the first large mammal new to science in more than 50 years, according to the WWF.
In Vietnam, the last sighting of a Saola in the wild was in 1998, according to Dang Dinh Nguyen, director of the Saola natural reserve in central province of Quang Nam.
In the area where the Saola was photographed, WWF has recruited forest guards from local communities to remove snares and battle illegal hunting, the greatest threat to Saola's survival, the statement said. The snares were set to largely catch other animals, such as deer and civets, which are a delicacy in Vietnam.
Twenty years after its discovery, little is known about Saola and the difficulty in detecting the elusive animal has prevented scientists from making a precise population estimate.
At best, no more than few hundreds, and maybe only a few dozen, survive the remote, dense forests along the border with Laos, WWF said.

Rare albino wels catfish believed to be world record

Monster weighs 206 pounds and measures 8 feet; fishing the River Ebro, Bernie Campbell finally catches the elusive fish after seven years of trying
 Rare albino wels catfish
For seven years, British fisherman Bernie Campbell sought to catch a rare albino wels catfish, but the odd-looking fish had always eluded him—until a recent trip on the River Ebro near Barcelona, Spain, with CatMaster Tours.
Not only did Campbell reel in the rare species, but he also caught what is believed to be a world record for the albino wels catfish, beating the previous mark by 10 pounds, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
The enormous fish weighed a whopping 206 pounds and stretched 8 feet long.
“We have had two or three big albino catfish out of the river, but none that has topped 200 pounds,” expert catfish angler and guide John Deakin of CatMaster Tours told the U.K. Daily Mail. “Albino catfish of that size are very rare indeed. This is the biggest we’ve ever seen. It was a very special fish.”
Rare albino wels catfish
Campbell, 54, was fishing with his son Gary when he hooked into the beast, using special pellets for bait and 1,800 feet of super-strength fishing line.
“When I got the fish closer to the shore and I saw it was white, I couldn’t believe it,” Campbell told the Daily Mail. “It was so strong it nearly pulled me in on four separate occasions.”
After about 30 minutes or so, Campbell pulled the monster fish into shore where it was weighed, photographed, and released.
“I was absolutely shattered [read: exhausted] when I landed it, but the feeling was unbelievable. It was a huge fish, but when we got it on the scales I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
“It was my first albino, and it was a world record.”
Rare albino wels catfish
The record fish surpassed by Campbell’s catch was a 196-pounder landed last year.
“The record could stand for 10 minutes or it could stand for 10 years,” he told the Daily Mail. “But for me it’s going to take a long time to beat this fish.”

Deer broke into school, broke out, then tried to break in again

A four-legged vandal broke into a building at a school in Garrett, Indiana on Tuesday just before 8:30am.
A young buck burst through the window of a computer lab, ran around inside, avoided breaking any equipment, then broke out a different window. The deer then ran full speed toward a set of doors. It slammed into them head-first, but didn't make it through.

Jim Slain, Garrett's director of school safety, said this isn't the first time a deer has broken into the school. "This is the third one we've had. For some reason it comes this time of year," Slain said. Slain was thankful no one came into contact with the deer.

"Five minutes later, this classroom would have had 15 to 20 elementary kids in it. Luckily there was nobody in the classroom," Slain said. Maintenance crews quickly replaced the broken windows. They cleaned up broken glass and blood. Eventually, the young buck ran off.