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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

1805 - Lewis & Clark reach Pacific Ocean, 1st European Americans to cross continent
1881 - A meteorite lands near the village of Großliebenthal, southwest of Odessa, Ukraine.
1911 - NY receives 1st Marconi wireless transmission from Italy
1959 - Ford cancels Edsel
1965 - Kellogg's Pop Tarts pastries created
1989 - US beats Trinidad, 1-0 qualifing for 1990 world soccer cup finals it was US' 1st qualification since 1950

Non Sequitur


The Kelpies

Mythological Horses Power Again Through Scotland
An extraordinary work of art has just been completed in Scotland. The Kelpies by figurative sculptor Andy Scott surge upwards in steel, whinnying and snorting alongside the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal near the town of Falkirk.

These fantastic beasts from Gaelic mythology have risen again as monuments to the horse-powered industrial heritage of Scotland.

New human body part discovered

Most people think that anatomy is a dead, dried-up, unchanging subject. Not true.Two surgeons in Europe have just discovered a new ligament in the human knee.
An anatomist, over 100 years ago, hypothesized that this ligament existed, but it was only discovered recently during some gross dissections of the knee.
The surgeons were trying to understand more about repairing the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), and found this new structure. They’ve named it the Anterolateral Ligament (ALL).
Human knee, via NIH.
Human knee

Scientists develop handheld device to detect bacteria on food

Michigan residents want access to healthy, safe, affordable food. Each year, one in six Americans — 48 million people — gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from food-borne diseases, according to estimates from […]

Random Photos


Camille Neviere

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Upset over Lara Logan or Richard Cohen? call CBS and E Washpost and let them know!!

The Founders Did Not Establish Congress as a Cult Council

The Statue of Liberty does not say "Give me your angry blowhards"
The Statue of Liberty does not say “Give me your angry blowhards”
Here we go again. We were just witness to Representative Louie Gohmert (r-TX) going on a rant of Old Testament proportions to condemn the Obama administration for not being – you guessed it – Old Testament enough. Gohmert, apparently completely unfamiliar with not only Article VI of the Constitution but also with the First Amendment, wants Obama to use the Old Testament to guide his policies. This is hardly the first and it will not be the last attempt by a repugican to force a biblical worldview on the American government. It is happening with tiresome regularity. I want to first of all go on the record as saying that biblical stances on anything don’t belong in Congress. Keep your religion in your pants. Or at home. In Congress we ought to be debating the constitution’s stance on immigration, and nothing else.
We didn’t elect these guys to hold a church council. We elected them to run our country.
And they’re not doing a very good job of it.
Maybe because they’re so confused.
The quote on the Statue of Liberty kinda mirrors what jesus was saying:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
But they don’t want the poor and they sure don’t want anything jesus was selling.
The repugicans are really unhappy with immigrants (and nobody hates immigrants more than Louie “Terror Babies” Gohmert) and yet they want our foreign and domestic policies to be informed by a foreign book! Foreign not only the United States but to the Anglo-Saxons.
I’m getting confused too: Only Anglo-Saxons are real Americans but then only if they are carrying around a Semitic book with a later Greek revision added to it?
And as long as we’re on the subject of immigration – and being a Heathen I always wonder if there is any particular way a Heathen like me should think about the topic – shouldn’t we be cognizant of the underlying historical fact that America is largely a country of immigrants?
And we can do better than that. The people who came here not only came from someplace, but their ancestors often came from someplace else. Not only the United States, but the world, has been a real melting pot.
No more than the jewish or christian bible is the Heathen Hávamál a manual on immigration policy and procedure. I mean let’s face it, there wasn’t much in the way of immigration controls in the ancient world. People really got around. If the Israelite port authority had something on paper it didn’t survive Sargon II’s visit.
The Scandinavians (my own ancestors) were pretty easy-going on the subject of moving populations. They moved themselves around and they moved others around as well. A recent genetic study has shown that while only a quarter of the men in ninth century Iceland were Gaelic in origin, half or more of the women were.
Irish brides, anyone?
The Vikings more often than was once thought brought their families with them. In the early 11th century Adémar of Chabannes mentions them invading Ireland “with their wives and children.” But the Vikings demonstrated that if they came lacking brides, they were more than capable of finding some. After all, Adémar also mentions their “christian captives whom they had made their slaves.”
Cultural assimilation was the rule of the day. Peoples mixed. Sometimes willingly, sometimes not. The periphery of the Viking Age world was a melting pot, and not merely as a consequence of the activities of the feared Northmen.
So the picture that emerges is that this was not the sort of world in which set ideas of immigration could exist, let alone be enforced. You went where a boat – or your feet – could take you, freely or as a slave, and mixed with the dominant culture.
People talk about immigrants in the Roman empire being Romanized (and they were) but the Romans were also Germanized, Syrianized and other-ized up the proverbial wazoo. In the same way christianity itself was Germanized when it came north force the not-such-good-news gospel on the Heathen, most of whom were perfectly content with the gospel they had been born with. And of course, the same process is taking place in America – and the world – today.
By the same token, sometimes the Vikings assimilated others. More often than not, as I mentioned above, they were assimilated themselves. Recent studies have shown the extent of Norse blood in the populations of the northwest of England: “The collaborative study, by The University of Nottingham, the University of Leicester and University College London, reveals that the population in parts of northwest England carries up to 50 per cent male Norse origins, about the same as modern Orkney.”
We see something similar in Iceland, where genetic studies reveal that while most settlers were from Scandinavia, the rest – particularly women (to the tune of 60 percent) – were from the British isles. Certainly some came as slaves, but many Norse immigrants to Iceland came from Scotland, where they had intermarried and brought their mixed blood brood with them. Others were those Irish brides. Of course, all this becomes politicized in nationalist but also racialist terms. But the search for “real Vikings” as it is for “real Americans” is doomed to failure by history itself.
Americans – some Americans – “real” Americans – set themselves apart like a chosen people, and in fact, some of them do consider America the successor to Israel as their god’s chosen agent and Americans as their god’s new chosen people. As a consequence of this mode of thinking, they tend to be picky about who gets to share in the bounty of this new covenant.
These Americans seem positively xenophobic when it comes to letting their “Anglo-Saxon” blood become diluted (in the new Confederacy they call it “Anglo-Celtic”) providing the irony of something “pure” being by its very name something mixed. For a long time in America, the Irish were not even considered white, yet now we’re told the South is a white homeland for people of Irish descent?
Really! Go back a century and a half and see how well that idea sells.
So where would this debate take us, given the store of Norse wisdom that has come down to us, and the example of Viking history?
There isn’t much reason to suppose that anything like Norse Exceptionalism existed before the 19th century when the Viking Age was invented by an excess of nationalism among Scandinavian scholars. (Imagine how different the world of our imaginations if there had been some equally enterprising Hungarian scholars to foist on the world the Magyar Age – and let’s face it, Medieval Europeans were as afraid of the Magyars as they were of the Vikings.)
Despite what some Heathen groups pretend today, there seems to be no lack of willingness among Viking Age folks to allow others into the fold, or to join another’s fold.
Thralls were the lowest of the low but even thralls could be freed. They could become part of the community, sharing in the religion and culture of the Norse. They could cease to be part of the constructed other in a way no black person in American can aspire to.
And Norse folks easily assimilated into foreign cultures, as in Ireland and England and Normandy. It didn’t take them long, either. A mere century after settling in Normandy Rollo’s Normans were speaking French and acting not like seagoing buccaneers but knights, destroying the fabled Anglo-Saxon culture in England, which itself had subsumed a previous Celtic culture which had a millennium before replaced the indigenous culture.
The world is a crazy place. More than a match for any crazy Republican racist.
But back to my ancestors. There is no suggestion that anyone was saying that the blood had to be preserved or kept pure, or that Norway or Sweden or Iceland was only for the Norse. Obviously it wasn’t, given the preponderance of non-Scandinavian women who found their way there. That’s more Irish than 19th century Americans were willing to have around.
Norse wisdom has a strong pragmatic flavor, a practicality and acceptance of the world that is missing from American conservative discourse – and from biblical discourse, which is not inclusive but exclusive, lists of don’ts rather than do’s.
Yes, the Vikings killed their share of foreigners. Every Medieval culture did. Every modern culture has continued to do so. But the idea that America is for Americans, specifically for those who happen to be white, Anglo-Saxon, and protestant, is somewhat new and absurd.
After all, if we go back to olden times, nobody was checking passports at the port or along the border. Those who wished to come, came. The same is true of the Viking Era. There were no legal or illegal immigrants in the modern sense and the bible no more than the Hávamál is going to guide modern minds through the dangerous shoals of immigration policy.
Nor are ideas of justice limited to religion, or to any particular religion.
To answer my own question, I rather suspect that the Heathen “community” is so varied that we might get any number of answers and of course, you can (and they do) make the bible give any number of answers to the question of how to deal with the immigration issue.
Then again, the bible presupposes we own slaves and stone unfaithful wives and disobedient children and that there is nothing wrong with this.
You have to wonder sometimes just how relevant what comes to us by way of millennia-old documents is relevant to us. Maybe we should just be who we are, the sum total of all our parts, not just our spiritual notions, and check our religion at the door and look at the Constitution when it comes to deciding how to run our country.
I think it’s safe to say that’s what the Founding Fathers had in mind. After all, they wrote the Constitution, and they no more referenced the bible than they did the Hávamál, the qur’an or any other holy book you care to name.

Dazed and Confused: The state of the wingnut mind

The repugicans hope to win elections by being less visible

Split GOPoposaur
Looks like we're going to be seeing some changes in repugican strategy for the 2016 presidential race. Hmm.
Most significantly, the party is considering holding a “Midwestern primary” featuring Great Lakes states such as Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin that would come immediately after the votes in the traditional early primary states. Also being weighed and thought likely to be approved when the repugican national cabal meets in early 2014 is a plan to shorten the primary season considerably by holding the party’s convention in July, almost as soon as the last primary ballots are cast.
"Shortening the primary season considerably" is code for "the less the public is exposed to the horrific gaggle of nutcases that we expect to comprise the 2016 repugican presidential lineup, the better." But what's the "Midwestern primary" bit about?

Bob Woodward Explains to Faux News That the ACA Isn’t Obama’s Watergate

This ride must almost be over because Bob Woodward, Obama hater extraordinaire, has just told Faux News that this is not Obama's Watergate. …
Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 4.18.49 PM
Washington Post editor Bob Woodward has spoken a small bit of reality and on Faux News Sunday, no less. The pundits are all wrong. ObamaCare isn’t Obama’s Katrina or his Iraq, or even his Watergate (notice these are all repugican scandals that repugicans are dying to falsely equivocate onto a Democrat oh PLEASE). Nope.
According to Woodward, Obama is incompetent (of course), but he had good intentions.
“What this is, it’s a mess clearly, but what it isn’t, and I think you have to look at the question of motive. And the President’s motive here, even though there were deep problems with the implementation, he wants to do something good for 30 million people and get them health insurance. So this isn’t Watergate, this isn’t Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.”
Is he incompetent? Faux News Sunday host Chris Wallace begged. Of course, Woodward soothed.
Woodward said, “There’s no question about that. But you see all of these stories and this frenzy out there, the game over, the presidency is over some people are saying, and I think that’s not the case.”
It will get much worse, Woodward fed Wallace. Oh yes, much worse than an almost Katrina/Iraq/Watergate. Hisssss.
It’s the President’s fault that a website was deliberately overloaded and unfunded and then DDOS-ed, because Obama is responsible for everything, especially repugican obstructionism (see Benghazi). It’s like David Gregory said, it’s Iraq but without the deaths. And that is so not tacky or out of context or clown showy at all. Trying to help save the lives of millions of people is just like starting a war on a lie but without the deaths because you see in this episode of Rewriting History, Iraq was about incompetence, not lies.
Live or die, what’s the diff? Please be quiet when Very Important Pundits speak.
And so we have come around some crazy corner where this ride must be almost over because Bob Woodward has just told Faux News that this is not Obama’s Watergate.
Never mind that 47 million people without insurance are going to have it. Almost WATERGATE I tell you. Or at least Katrina. Iraq? PLEASE!?!?
When this hysteria has passed and people are signed up for affordable healthcare, we will resume our regularly scheduled Obama taxpayer funded repugican cabal enabled Witch Hunts: Benghazi and the IRS. We will never discuss the People or how this helps the People, because life and death? Meh. We are so serious.

Why the repugican cabal Will Fail

Senator Admits repugicans Have No Plan to Fix or Replace ACA barrasso-sotu 
John Barrasso showed why repugicans are setting themselves up for failure by admitting to millions that they plan to take away their health insurance by not fixing or replacing the ACA.
CROWLEY: Let me bring in Senator Barrasso. So, this clearly — the president is off to a rough start on this. But one of the pushbacks whenever repugicans say this is wrong, that’s wrong is you never wanted it in the first place. They sort of turn it back on you saying, yes, it’s been rough, yes, it’s been terrible, but now you’re just trying to undermine it. What is your take on the repugicans next move to fix some of the things that you think are wrong with this?
BARRASSO: Well, you know, Candy, this past week, I introduced legislation, the state health care choice act so states could make decisions if they wanted to opt-out of the individual mandate or the employer mandate for the people in their states. I’m concerned about getting people health care that they need and want and can afford, and we don’t have those happening with these policies.
The website is just the tip of the iceberg, but for only every one person that’s been able to sign up, 40 people have gotten cancellation letters and, you know, the president may call these junk policies or substandard policies, but they’re policies that work for those people. I was with a rancher yesterday in Wyoming, in Laramie, others who’ve gotten these letters and it didn’t meet the president’s standards because the insurance policy didn’t include maternity coverage, but this is a woman that’s had a hysterectomy.
She shouldn’t have to pay for that kind of coverage. The repugican solutions are there. We need to level the playing field so that people who buy insurance individually at the same tax rates as those who buy it than get it through work. We need to be able to let people to shop across state lines for better deals with insurance that works for them and their family not something the government says they have to have.
In terms of pre-existing conditions, my wife is a breast cancer survivor. She’s been through three operations, chemotherapy twice. I know how critical it is to make sure that people with pre-existing conditions have affordable insurance and states are able to do that.
What we’re seeing is this failed website that’s just the tip iceberg of lost coverage, losing your doctor, higher premiums and the fraud that is coming even on the healthcare.gov website has been remarkable and that the fraudsters are out there in force, trying to take advantage and steal identity of the American people.
When Barrasso was asked about the repugican cabal’s plan to fix the ACA, he immediately suggested the legislation that would allow states to opt out of the individual and employer mandates. Barrasso went as far as to suggest that lots of states already sell affordable health insurance to people with preexisting conditions. This must come as a big surprise to the estimated one in seven Americans who were denied health insurance in the individual market due to a preexisting condition.
The repugican fix for the ACA is to kill it. Barrasso touted the same non-solutions that repugicans have been proposing since John McCain was their presidential nominee in 2008.
The repugicans have no plan, and that’s why this effort to get rid of the ACA is going to fail. The problem for repugicans is that they are living in a fantasy where the website never gets fixed. The fact that the website is improving everyday, and more and more people are signing up doesn’t exist in the repugican cabal mind. To them, the website is broken. It will never be fixed. Obamacare is doomed and must be scraped.
The repugican cabal is going to run on getting rid of the ACA next year. They do not understand that by that time millions of Americans will have signed up and be participating in the exchanges. Those millions of newly insured people are going to look at repugicans and demand to know what they plan to replace the ACA with.
Mitt Romney tried to bluff his way through not replacing the ACA in 2012. That didn’t go so well, and that was before people were signed up and enrolled.
The repugicans aren’t going win many votes when millions of people in red and blue states find out that the their healthcare solution is to take their health insurance away.
The media and the repugican cabal are bashing president Obama for not having better planned the ACA roll-out, but repugicans have no plan for the present or the future.
There is a freight train loaded will millions of ACA enrollees heading straight for the Republican Party in 2014, and when it arrives the ugly truth that Republicans have been trying to hide for years will be revealed. While they are campaign against the ACA next year, they will have no other choice but to make it clear that they don’t want people to have access to affordable healthcare.
Their dirty little secret will soon be exposed, and the ACA repeal that repugicans have lusted after will lead to their own demise.

Recent Judicial Decisions Show How Crucial It is To Fight for Obama’s Nominees

Here we go again, another week, another Obama nomination for the judiciary blocked by the overly abused filibuster from the contemptible repugicans. Their insidious behavior actually comes with two excuses they actually expect fools to swallow. First, after admitting that Obama’s nominations to the judiciary are “uncontroversial,” they say that the courts are “not busy enough” to fill the empty seats. Next, they say that Obama is “court-packing,” or in other words, putting too many liberals in open judicial seats. This is laughable as the courts are currently tipped heavily in a wingnut direction, and Obama has had no chance to appoint judges in the face of years of filibusters; fully 20 judges have sat in limbo, only to have most withdraw their names in frustration or have their nomination withdrawn by Obama. It is Obama’s job to appoint judges. He has every right to appoint liberal judges, just as the shrub stacked the courts with lunatic fringe judges, but even then Obama selects centrist judges. Interestingly enough, the pool of judges Obama has picked has been very diverse including 7 African Americans, 1 Asian, and 1 Native American nominee. We have seen how willing these repugicans are to work with a person of a different race this past five years, so one is left to wonder if these judges didn’t fit their desired profile. The repugicans whine when accused of exercising bias against women and minorities, yet they have no other legitimate explanation for blocking Obama’s appointments.
Wingnuts have an immeasurable number of faults and deficits, but the ability to effectively organize and strategize is not one of them. Ever since the 1960s, they have been meeting in cults, restaurants, and homes to plot their takeover of the country. It may even date as far back as the 1950s; Kim Messick at Salon.com notes, “William Rusher, Bill Buckley’s colleague at National Review, remarked revealingly that the modern wingnut movement formed itself ‘in opposition to the Eisenhower administration.’” The story of this movement is masterfully explained in the book, “Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right,” by Lisa McGirr. While most people think of the 1960s as a time of counterculture, rebellion against the status quo, and a liberalization of the nation, that is not a complete picture of what was going on in the United States. Concurrent with the rise of the hippies was the rise of the grassroots wingnut crusade, a crusade to see the country become a christian nation (or in their eyes return to being a christian nation) with all the associated wingnut mores. Furthermore, the Civil Rights movement and the War on Poverty were cause for a “mini-revolution,” by these suburban warriors who felt threatened by the ascendancy of minorities and the economic initiatives of the government that were built on “their tax dollars” and helped “those people.” 
Their planning and scheming brought them long-term success. The rise of Ronald Reagan from California was no accident. One of the strongest centers of wingnut agitation was in Orange County, California. A consequence of wingnuts’ steadfast commitment to organizing has been their ability to identify which seats of power to target for infiltration. At some point, they eyed the judicial system, at the local, state, district, and federal levels, and decided this would be a place they could make a lasting impact. Of course, they were right; just look at Brown vs. Board of Education or Roe vs. Wade or Citizen’s United to see the enormous influence the judiciary has over social policy and American society. Having learned this lesson, they have steadfastly manipulated our courts to put in place far right judges, often with lifetime appointments, that haunt our daily lives with their outrageous decisions (e.g.  Crawford v. Marion County Election Board; Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission; Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores; District Attorney’s Office v. Osborne; Shelby County v. Holder).
If you watched the confirmation hearings for Chief Justice John Roberts, you know he is highly intelligent, genuinely knowledgeable about the law, and has the conniving manner of a stereotypical lawyer to practice doublespeak, eloquently evade pointed questions, and manipulate listeners into believing he is a fair-minded justice. This facade hides his real intentions. As Jeffrey Toobin wrote in the New Yorker,
“In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff. Even more than Scalia, who has embodied judicial conservatism during a generation of service on the Supreme Court, Roberts has served the interests, and reflected the values, of the contemporary repugican cabal.”
Democrats never tried to filibuster the shrub-nominated John Roberts. They did put in some effort on two of the shrub’s nominees that ended up receiving confirmation anyway, only to become radical judges giving a bad name to the word ‘ judgment’. Recently, Rachel Maddow profiled the legacy of the shrub in his appointments of Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown. Each has just made rulings eating away at women’s reproductive rights; Owen joining with two other shrub appointees, also women, to reinstate new, draconian Texas abortion laws that had been halted by a lower court, and Brown granting religious rights to corporations in allowing them to force their beliefs on employees with regard to birth control. Rogers is not alone.  Judge Timothy Tymkovich, a shrub appointee, made the same ruling as Brown, but also said religious employers can reject laws that require gender equality. This is not surprising given that prior to nomination, Priscilla Owen had made judicial decisions so egregious that Alberto Gonzales once referred to one as “an unconscionable act of judicial activism.” Other judges have been just as destructive to civil rights, such as William Pryor, who ruled that Georgia’s voter ID law was “not discriminatory, but necessary to avoid voter fraud,” when only a thought-challenged fool, deliberately ignoring evidence, could ever reach such a conclusion.
These efforts to thwart President Obama’s nominations for federal and district courts are strategic, calculating, and part of a long-term plan to force wingnut social policy on the country. Thus far, Harry Reid has steadfastly allowed the filibuster to remain a powerful tool in the hands of the repugicans. He needs to just shut it down. No doubt, in his mind, he pictures a day in the future when Democrats are in the minority and may need to use the filibuster themselves. He needs to rethink this dynamic. Except in rare instances, Democrats have not been good at drawing a line in the sand and refusing to negotiate.  Whenever they do filibuster, they end up compromising, which is how we ended up with Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown. This week, in response to threats to change the filibuster rules, Senator Charles Grassley (r-Iowa) snidely said, “Go ahead. There are a lot more Scalias and Thomases that we’d love to put on the bench.” Guess what, Democrats had the filibuster when those men were put on the bench. It didn’t work to prevent their appointment. It’s in our nature to be reasonable and cooperative. Our adversaries are neither. They will keep beating the Democrats over the head with the filibuster, force the slew of open judicial seats to remain open, and try every cutthroat measure to prevent the country from finally having a balance in the judiciary. It is part of their long term scheme, so it’s time the Democrats had a long-term scheme of their own.

The Truth Be Told


The Bloody Benders, America's First Serial Killers

The Bloody Benders were a family of serial killers who owned an inn and small general store in Labette County of southeastern Kansas from 1871 to 1873. The family consisted of John Bender, his wife Mrs. Bender, son John, Jr., and daughter Kate.

They are believed to have killed about a dozen travelers before their crimes were discovered and the family fled, with their fate uncertain. Much folklore and legend surrounds the Benders, making it difficult to separate fact from fiction.

Virginia girl found eating herself in cage in mobile home


Brian Gore, 29, and Shannon Gore, 25, face child abuse and murder charges.

A young girl was found caged and attempting to eat herself in a mobile home in Virginia, and cops say her parents are responsible.
The malnourished girl, believed to be either 5 or 6, was discovered in a crib that was converted into a makeshift cage after police arrived at the home in Gloucester County to investigate a burglary last week.
The girl's parents, Brian and Shannon Gore, were arrested and charged with felony child abuse. The mother was also charged with attempted capital murder.
However, the gruesome twosome now faces first-degree murder charges after the remains of what authorities believe to be another child were found buried outside their mobile home.
"I've done this for 20 years, and I've never seen anything like this in my life," Gloucester Sheriff's Maj. Darrell Warren said.
A month-old baby boy was also found in the home, but was in good condition. Both he and the older girl are now in the care of the county Department of Social Services.
The horrific find came as police investigated a robbery on April 17.
A child's remains were found buried outside the Gores' home.
A nearby homeowner reported his house was broken into and claimed gold bullion, a vacuum cleaner, a passport, $2,000 in cash and other items had been stolen, according to a police report.
Investigators trailed the bullion to an auction house, which claimed to have bought the gold from 25-year-old Shannon Gore.
Authorities arrived at her mobile home in Gloucester with a search warrant when they made the shocking discovery.
The girl's blond-hair was matted and filled with knots. She wore only a diaper and t-shirt and was eating flakes of dried skin on her body.
Brian Gore, 29, reportedly told police the girl had been kept in the cage since the summer.
"It was horrific. I don't know what else to say," Lt. Scott Little of the Sheriff's Department told Virginia's Daily Press on Friday.
"They seemed like nice people," neighbor Tim Hudnall told the newspaper. He noted he had seen the baby boy, but never saw a girl with the Gores in the six years they've been neighbors.
"He was really a nice guy," Brian Gore's ex-girlfriend, Sandy, told WTKR 3 News in Norfolk. "He went to church and everything."
Deputies discovered the child's remains while digging under and around a shed at the mobile home Friday evening. The age, gender and identity of the remains are not known, pending an examination by the state Medical Examiner's Office.
The Gores are being held in prison as authorities determine how the child died. An autopsy report by the state medical examiner is pending.
Editor's Note: This story is from earlier this year.

Pensioner tried to smuggle €100,000 in his shoes

A Bavarian pensioner tried to smuggle €100,000 of cash between Germany and Luxembourg by hiding the stash in his shoes.
The 73-year-old was stopped at the border between Luxembourg and Saarland in Germany, where customs officers found €50,000 in each of his shoes and a further €100,000 in clothes packed in a suitcase.
The limit for taking money between Germany and the tax haven of Luxembourg is €10,000. People carrying large sums also have to say where the money has come from and what it will be used for.

Summary proceedings have now begun against him, the customs office said. “Money is hidden as often as narcotics,” a spokeswoman for the customs office in Saarbrücken added.

Founder of Dave's Killer Bread arrested following wrecking spree

The founder of Dave's Killer Bread was arrested late on Thursday evening after reportedly acting strangely before wrecking three cruisers from the Washington County sheriff's office. David James Dahl, 50, of Milwaukee, was accused of second-degree assault, assaulting a police officer, attempting to elude a police officer, resisting arrest, criminal mischief and reckless driving.
His checkered life that saw him spend 15 years in and out of prison and his story of redemption and financial success are part of the allure of the branding of his organic bread line. The incident began when he arrived at the company's bakery and began acting strangely. "He went into the store and he smashed a life-sized cutout of himself because he's the symbol of a brand," began a witness as he spoke to the 911 operator.

"And he's intimidating employees that are watching him. Basically, talking ... preaching," continued the caller. Dahl left the scene before officers could speak with him. Later on Thursday night he was arrested when police say they got a call from a woman claiming her friend was acting erratically. When police arrived, they say Dahl rammed three police cars. Police boxed him in, pulled him out of his car, a fight began and officers were injured. That's when authorities say a taser was used to stop him.

"I don't think people want to use him as a role model anymore, but I don't think you should discount the positive aspects that he was able to accomplish," said Anne Carter, the General Manager at the Medford Food Co-Op. While the man may not be considered the hero he once was, his brand is still alive and well at the Medford Food Co-Op. "It is a really good bread, very healthy, a variety of grains and nuts and seeds in it." Carter said she hopes people recognize the quality of Dave's Killer Bread and separate it from this incident. Dahl is on $290,000 bail in Washington County.

Sentence pending after man fleeing wife's stabbing was run over by two drunken drivers

A woman from Manitoba in Canada will soon learn whether she'll serve four years in prison for stabbing her common-law husband, who was then run over by two separate drunk drivers after collapsing on the road as he walked to get medical help for the stab wounds. Lois Cook, 39, pleaded guilty on Friday to manslaughter for the death of Dave Hudson, 32 on May 31, 2010, in the community of Berens River north of Winnipeg. The community was celebrating Treaty Days and Cook, Hudson and a number of others had been partying and drinking at a home. At some point in the evening, the couple got into a dispute.

Cook stabbed Hudson twice in the arm, leaving two three-millimeter stab wounds. The intoxicated victim appeared fine despite his bleeding arm. He even spoke to other party guests before walking up the road to a nearby relative's home to get a ride to the nursing station. The Crown says he collapsed in the roadway "likely due to the loss of blood." The court heard he was run over by a drunk driver and then run over by another drunk driver. Only the second collision was witnessed - by RCMP on their way to investigate the stabbing call. The wounds Hudson suffered from being run over were "extremely dramatic" and he was covered with "significant road rash."
Believing it was the collision they saw that killed him, RCMP charged the 27-year-old driver with impaired driving causing death. It wasn't until after the pathologist concluded his autopsy's careful "second look" he discovered Hudson actually died of blood loss stemming from a minuscule nick in an artery from the stabbing, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Joan McKelvey was told. Police then undertook another investigation, which saw the first drunk driver come forward to admit he hit Hudson, but police didn't lay charges. They also arrested Cook for his death. "There were a lot of issues... law school exam-type issues," Crown attorney Dan Angus said. The case went to a preliminary hearing earlier this year where Cook was ultimately committed to stand trial.

Defense lawyer Scott Newman said the preliminary inquiry was necessary to sort out the facts of the case. Hudson's fatal stab injury was "by no means an obvious or significant wound," he said. If it had been caught in time, it was an "absolutely survivable" injury, Newman said of the medical evidence. The Crown is seeking four years in prison for Cook, while Newman is asking for two years minus time served to keep her in the provincial jail system and placed on probation to help with a long-standing alcohol problem. "I just want to apologize to the family for their loss, my loss and the children's loss," Cook said. "I hope they can forgive me one day." McKelvey will issue a decision on Nov. 21.

Attempted theft unsuccessful after inflammable gas and ignited petrol poured over ATM explode

Three bungling would-be thieves might have been injured by a fireball during a botched ATM raid on Australia's Gold Coast, police say.
The machine, installed in a wall, exploded after the men filled it with inflammable gas then poured petrol over it and ignited it in the early hours of Friday morning.

The explosion and subsequent fire forced them to flee empty-handed from the scene in Upper Coomera. "It is believed the persons involved could have been injured," a police spokesman said.

The men, who covered their faces with cloths, caused extensive damage to the ATM and smoke damage to nearby businesses. They made their getaway in a light-colored four-wheel-drive.

Police seek man accused of attacking his brother with samurai sword

A man accused of attacking his brother with a samurai sword is on the run. Oregon State Police (OSP) is asking for the public's help to find Preston Sweaney, 23. OSP dispatch received a call of a stabbing in the Grants Pass area early on Thursday morning. OSP troopers and detectives responded to the scene.

According to investigators, Sweaney got into a fight with his brother, Nathanial Sweaney, 21, inside a motorhome. Another relative, Christian Burnison, 18, was also there too. The fight turned physical between the siblings, and Preston Sweaney cut his brother's side and left arm with a samurai sword, OSP said.
Burnison also received a minor cut on his hand while trying to intervene. Paramedics took Nathanial Sweaney to Three Rivers Community Hospital in Grants pass for treatment. He's expected to recover. Preston Sweaney was last seen running away from the motorhome and should be considered dangerous, OSP said.

The suspect is described as 5'9" tall, 155 pounds, with hazel eyes and a scar on his chin. He has tattoos on his chest, right calf and shoulder. When he left the scene, he had a shaved head with a "Mohawk" strip, and was wearing blue jeans with white rear pocket stitching and no shirt, OSP said. A photograph released to the media shows his eyes crossed, but according to Curry County Sheriff's Office correction staff he does not have crossed eyes.

Nothing Beats The Classics


1948 International Pickup
1948 International Pickup

The Mysterious Dome Houses Of Cape Romano, Florida

If you zoom in using Google Earth on the southern point of Cape Romano Island in Florida, you'll find a curious set of round structures along the shoreline.

These are the abandoned dome houses which have mystified the internet regarding their existence for many years. Who built them and what were they for?

Health Threats from Climate Change

Deadly storms, such as Typhoon Haiyan, represent only one way the effects of climate change may devastate livelihoods and harm human health.

Fire and Ice

Earthquakes deep below West Antarctica reveal an active volcano hidden beneath the massive ice sheet, researchers said in a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The discovery finally confirms long-held suspicions of volcanic activity concealed by the vast West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Several volcanoes poke up along the Antarctic coast and its offshore islands, such as Mount Erebus, but this is the first time anyone has caught magma in action far from the coast.
"This is really the golden age of discovery of the Antarctic continent," said Richard Aster, a co-author of the study and a seismologist at Colorado State University. "I think there's no question that there are more volcanic surprises beneath the ice."
The volcano was a lucky find. The research project, called POLENET, was intended to reveal the structure of Earth's mantle, the layer beneath the crust. In 2010, a team led by scientists from Washington University in St. Louis spent weeks slogging across the snow, pulling sleds laden with earthquake-monitoring equipment.
Right place, right time
Two earthquake swarms struck beneath the researchers' feet in January 2010 and March 2011, near the Executive Committee Range in the Marie Byrd Land region of the continent. As the researchers later discovered, the tremors — called deep, long-period earthquakes (DLPs) — were nearly identical to DLPs detected under active volcanoes in Alaska and Washington. The swarms were 15 to 25 miles (25 to 40 kilometers) below the surface.
"It's an exciting story," said Amanda Lough, the study's lead author and a graduate student in seismology at Washington University in St. Louis. Though there were no signs of a blast, a 3,200-foot-tall (1,000 meters) bulge under the ice suggests the volcano had blasted out lava in the past, forming a budding peak.
"We can say with pretty high confidence that there wasn't an eruption while we were out there," Lough told LiveScience's OurAmazingPlanet. "We had people installing [seismometer] stations and flying airborne radar over the ice. But from the bed topography, we can see there is something building up beneath the ice."
Scientists think that underground magma and fluids pushing open new paths and fracturing rock cause deep, long-period earthquakes. Many active volcanoes in Alaska's Aleutian Islands have frequently produced these deep earthquake swarms without any signs of impending eruptions. However, researchers also monitor the tremors because a sudden uptick in shaking was seen before eruptions at Mount Spurr and Mount Redoubt in Alaska.
A volcanic flood
If the volcano in Antarctica did erupt, it would melt the bottom of the ice sheet immediately above the vent. Scientists aren't sure what would happen next. In Iceland, volcanic eruptions can melt glaciers, causing massive floods called jökulhlaups. But the ice above the Antarctic volcano is more than a half-mile (1 km) thick.
"How West Antarctic ice streams would react to an eruption a hundred or more kilometers [60 miles] inland from the grounding line is a yet-to-be-answered question," said Stefan Vogel, a glaciologist with Australian Antarctic Division who was not involved in the study. The grounding line is the spot where glaciers detach from rock and float on water.
"There is certainly a need for more research, both in mapping the distribution and monitoring the activity level of subglacial volcanic activity beneath ice sheets, as well as studying the impact of subglacial volcanic activity on the hydrological system of glaciers and ice sheets," Vogel said in an email interview.
It would take a super-eruption in the style of Yellowstone's ancient blowouts to completely melt the ice above the active volcano, Lough and her co-authors calculated. And if the volcano under the ice is similar to ones close by, such as Mount Sidley, there's no risk of a super-eruption.
Instead, the millions of gallons of meltwater might simply hasten the flow of the nearby MacAyeal Ice Stream toward the sea.
"People hear the word 'volcano' and get caught up in the idea that it will change the way the ice sheet works, but this stuff has been going on underneath the ice [for millions of years], and the ice sheet is in balance with it," Lough said. "Everyday magmatism isn't enough to cause major problems."
Hugh Corr, a glaciologist at the British Antarctic Survey who also discovered a buried Antarctic volcano, said an eruption could have a big effect, but it's difficult to quantify.
"The biggest effect on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is still climate change — warming the ocean, melting the ice shelves. That's the most immediate risk, compared to if a volcano might go off," said Corr, who was not involved in the study.
A geologic puzzle
Signs of active and extinct volcanoes pop up all over Antarctica. Ash layers and lava indicate volcanoes spouted while the continent froze during the past 20 million years or more. (An 8,000-year-old ash layer sits above the newly found volcano, but it comes from Mount Waesche, a nearby peak.)
"The [West] coast of Antarctica is like a ring of fire," Corr said.
The earthquake swarms line up with older volcanoes in the Executive Committee Range, suggesting the volcanic activity there is slowly migrating south by 6 miles (9.6 km) every million years. This migration is perpendicular to the motion of Antarctica's tectonic plate, so a hotspot or mantle plume is not feeding the volcanoes, Lough said. (A mantle plume should make volcanoes that line up parallel to plate motion, like those of the Hawaiian Islands.)
The big mystery is figuring out why the volcano and its forerunners even exist. "Antarctica is certainly one of the most fascinating and enigmatic of all of Earth's continents," Aster said.
Let's set the scene. Antarctica is split by an incredible mountain range. Imagine if Utah's spectacularly steep Wasatch Mountains cleaved North America from Texas all the way to Canada. That's what the Transantarctic Mountains are like. In the West, the land dives off into a deep rift valley, where the crust has been tearing apart for about 100 million years. The newly found volcano sits on the other side of this rift, in a higher-elevation region called Marie Byrd Land.
While the torn crust may seem like the best explanation for Antarctica's many volcanoes, many of the peaks fit no obvious pattern. Rifting and volcanism in Antarctica could be like nowhere else on Earth. "What is going on with the crust in Antarctica is still puzzling," Lough said.

Daily Comic Relief


Monkeys 'understand' rules underlying language musicality

Many of us have mixed feelings when remembering painful lessons in German or Latin grammar in school. Languages feature a large number of complex rules and patterns: using them correctly makes the difference between something which "sounds good," and something which does not. However, cognitive biologists at the University of Vienna have shown that sensitivity to very simple structural and melodic patterns does not require much learning, or even being human: South American squirrel monkeys can do it, too.
Monkeys 'understand' rules underlying language musicality
This is a Squirrel monkey/Saimiri sciureus [Credit: Photo: M. Bockle]
Language and music are structured systems, featuring particular relationships between syllables, words and musical notes. For instance, implicit knowledge of the musical and grammatical patterns of our language makes us notice right away whether a speaker is native or not. Similarly, the perceived musicality of some languages results from dependency relations between vowels within a word. In Turkish, for example, the last syllable in words like "kaplanlar" or "guller" must "harmonize" with the previous vowels. (Try it yourself: "gullar" requires more movement and does not sound as good as "guller." )

Similar "dependencies" between words, syllables or musical notes can be found in languages and musical cultures around the world. The biological question is whether the ability to process dependencies evolved in human cognition along with human language, or is rather a more general skill, also present in other animal species who lack language.

Andrea Ravignani, a PhD candidate at the Department of Cognitive Biology at the University of Vienna, and his colleagues looked for this "dependency detection" ability in squirrel monkeys, small arboreal primates living in Central and South America. Inspired by the monkeys' natural calls and hearing predispositions, the researchers designed a sort of "musical system" for monkeys. These "musical patterns" had overall acoustic features similar to monkeys' calls, while their structural features mimicked syntactic or phonological patterns like those found in Turkish and many human languages.

Monkeys were first presented with "phrases" containing structural dependencies, and later tested using stimuli either with or without dependencies. Their reactions were measured using the "violation of expectations" paradigm. "Show up at work in your pyjamas, people will turn around and stare at you, while at a slumber party nobody will notice," explains Ravignani: In other words, one looks longer at something that breaks the "standard" pattern.

"This is not about absolute perception, rather how something is categorized and contrasted within a broader system." Using this paradigm, the scientists found that monkeys reacted more to the "ungrammatical" patterns, demonstrating perception of dependencies. "This kind of experiment is usually done by presenting monkeys with human speech: Designing species-specific, music-like stimuli may have helped the squirrel monkeys' perception," argues primatologist and co-author Ruth Sonnweber.

"Our ancestors may have already acquired this simple dependency-detection ability some 30 million years ago, and modern humans would thus share it with many other living primates. Mastering basic phonological patterns and syntactic rules is not an issue for squirrel monkeys: the bar for human uniqueness has to be raised," says Ravignani: "This is only a tiny step: we will keep working hard to unveil the evolutionary origins and potential connections between language and music."

The research is presented in the journal Biology Letters.

Young dolphin thanks fishermen after being freed from plastic bag

A baby dolphin was rescued on Friday after getting stuck in a plastic bag near the Fort Itaipu in Praia Grande on the coast of São Paulo, Brazil.

Noticing the little dolphin struggled, trying to get rid of a foreign object, the fishermen approached the animal and managed to pull it with a net.

By bringing the mammal onto the boat, they noticed that he was wrapped in a plastic bag and quickly removed it.

Upon being returned to the sea, the dolphin quickly jumped out of the water, as in a gesture of thanks to the fishermen.

Animal Pictures