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

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Daily Drift

Somehow we don't think they'd be passing those classes  ...

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Today in History

41 Shortly after declaring himself a god, Caligula is assassinated by two Praetorian tribunes.
1458 Matthias Corvinus, the son of John Hunyadi, is elected king of Hungary.
1639 Representatives from three Connecticut towns band together to write the Fundamental Orders, the first constitution in the New World.
1722 Czar Peter the Great caps his reforms in Russia with the "Table of Rank" which decrees a commoner can climb on merit to the highest positions.
1848 Gold is discovered by James Wilson Marshall at his partner Johann August Sutter's sawmill on the South Fork of the American River, near Coloma, California.
1903 U.S. Secretary of State John Hay and British Ambassador Herbert create a joint commission to establish the Alaskan border.
1911 U.S. Cavalry is sent to preserve the neutrality of the Rio Grande during the Mexican Civil War.
1915 The German cruiser Blücher is sunk by a British squadron in the Battle of Dogger Bank.
1927 British expeditionary force of 12,000 is sent to China to protect concessions at Shanghai.
1931 The League of Nations rebukes Poland for the mistreatment of a German minority in Upper Silesia.
1945 A German attempt to relieve the besieged city of Budapest is finally halted by the Soviets.
1946 The UN establishes the International Atomic Energy Commission.
1951 Indian leader Nehru demands that the UN name Peking as an aggressor in Korea.
1965 Winston Churchill dies from a cerebral thrombosis at the age of 90.
1980 In a rebuff to the Soviets, the U.S. announces intentions to sell arms to China.
1982 A draft of Air Force history reports that the U.S. secretly sprayed herbicides on Laos during the Vietnam War.

Non Sequitur


Sochi Suicide Bomber Threat

Women have a huge advantage over men when it comes to infiltrating security checkpoints, experts say.

Did you know ...

That Fukushima radiation reaches 8 times government standards

That this family who hated Obamacare now loves Obamacare

That it's been a record year for charter school failures unnerving proponents

About the coming retirement crisis

A repugican House Candidate Calls For President Obama To Be Executed for War Crimes

A repugican candidate for the House has taken Obama hate to a new low by calling for President Obama to be tried for treason and hung for war…
obama-oval-office Joshua Black, a Florida repugican candidate for the House has taken Obama hate to a new low by calling for President Obama to be tried for treason and hung for war crimes.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Black called for President Obama to be hung,
“I’m past impeachment,” Joshua Black wrote on Twitter. “It’s time to arrest and hang him high.”
The tweet caught the attention of Chris Latvala, a repugican candidate for House District 67.
“You aren’t seriously calling for the killing of Obama are you?” Latvala replied. “I know you are crazy but good heavens. U R an embarrassment.”
Latvala added: “I make it my business when so called repugican cabal candidates become an embarrassment to my beloved cabal.
Black later doubled down on his comment with the claim that Obama should be convicted of treason for a drone strike that killed a U.S. citizen, “He should be executed for treason. I think the appropriate punishment is death. They killed Benedict Arnold. (Obama) shouldn’t be allowed to kill Americans without a trial.”
Black’s background is that he is a taxi driver who is running for the House on a platform of getting rid of cameras in red lights, also he now wants to hang President Obama. As Latvala pointed out Black is most definitely crazy, but the really disturbing part of this story is the number of repugicans who agree with him.
Black has managed to up the ante, and out do them all when it comes to insane Obama hate. The real issue isn’t the mental health issues of Joshua Black, but the fact that so many repugicans agree with him. the repugicans have never been able to accept the validity of both of Barack Obama’s presidential election victories. To them he will always be an illegitimate president. This blind hatred of Obama has led them to darkest depths of betrayal against the country’s very system of government and has attracted the worst kind of candidates. Their endless preaching of Obama hate has brought the crazies out of the woodwork, and the crazies are calling themselves repugicans.
Black’s comments are troubling enough, but it’s even more frightening how many repugicans that there are out there who agree with him.

The repugicans Urged to Take Stronger Defense Against Reality

Wingnuts are urging repugicans to defend their "Pro Woman" stance of being against women's freedom. They believe that the problem is that they haven't explained their position enough.…
stopsign-GOP-war-on-womenThe ability of repugicans to operate completely within their own world of delusions continues unabated. Wingnuts are urging repugicans to defend their “Pro Woman” stance of being against women’s freedom. Stand proud, you ninnies, or else! The problem with the repugican War on Women isn’t that it’s a problem, it’s that RINOs like Ken Cuccinelli (the fact that this guy is their idea of mainstream shouts “crazy” – the ladies on The View turned him into a national joke because he sought to make oral sex illegal) and Mitt Romney refused to defend themselves properly. You see, wingnuts contend that there is no war on women.
In fact, denying medical decisions to women in order to service repugican religious delusions is actually their version of being Pro Woman, and the only problem here is that they didn’t tell you that enough. They will speak louder, so that you girls understand: THEY STEAL YOUR FREEDOM BECAUSE THEY LOVE YOU, YOU IDIOTS!
To wit, wingnuts will introduce a resolution at the repugican national cabal meeting this week, encouraging repugicans to talk MORE about abortion, not less, according to Peter Hamby at CNN. This will prove that they are not the extremists reality proves they are, but rather, mainstream anti-womeners.
CNN Got their hands on this resolution, which is being justified based on polling that shows “majority opposition” to late-term abortions. Perhaps, but then, the majority of laws repugicans have passed in order to reduce a woman’s access to safe abortion have nothing to do with late-term abortion. Reality is not impressed.
Whereas, The Democrats have waged a deceptive “War on Women” attack against repugican pro-life candidates, demonizing them and manipulating American voters;
Whereas, The repugican cabal is proud to stand up for the rights of the unborn and believe all Americans have an unalienable right to life as stated in The Declaration of Independence;
Whereas, anti-choice repugicans should fight back against deceptive rhetoric regardless of those in the repugican cabal who encourage them to stay silent;
Whereas, Candidates who stay silent on anti-choice issues do not identify with key voters, fail to alert voters to the Democrats’ extreme pro-choice stances, and have lost their elections;
(Read the full resolution at CNN.)
Oh, yes. They are going to take back this “false war on women”, rnc spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski told CNN. They will point the finger at Democrats and accuse them of being the real extremists, because late term abortion is the new Benghazi. If you say it enough, no one will remember reality.
The truth is that no one is “pro abortion”. Rational people have determined that sometimes abortions are necessary medically and ultimately they are a medical decision that is best made by a woman, her doctor, and her family. Rational people realize that they don’t want to set a precedent where the state makes medical decisions for citizens, because this is hardly “freedom”.
Rational people realize that if personhood were law per the repugican cabal platform, their real stance would be that a fetus has MORE rights than a woman. This is a super fail of an argument, PR wise, and hence, they will avoid it at all costs and instead focus on late term abortion, accompanied with gruesome images. The repugicans would like to focus on late term abortion because it polls well to do so, but that is not the area where they differ with Democrats or most of the country.
The problem with denying the War on Women is that the War on Women isn’t an idea or an accusation. It’s a fact, backed up by a historical onslaught of freedom-reducing legislation, accompanied with women-hating language, including comparing women to farm animals and trying to get neighbors to “report” on women who have a miscarriage, along with a complete failure to understand the female body. From forced unnecessary ultrasounds to being told to make lemonade out of rape lemons to being assured that women don’t need access to abortion even in the case of rape because if it’s real rape, the body shuts that down, repugicans have made utter fools of themselves on women’s issues over the past three years.
There are women in jail in America for having a miscarriage, thanks to repugicans “pro women” policies.
By all means, repugicans should discuss their position on abortion MORE, not less. This is a winning strategy, because while they are losing women voters due to their troglodyte ideas of women’s rights, if they explain this to women MORE, the dummies will finally get it.
The repugicans want to take women back to unsafe, back alley abortions that kill them because they are PRO WOMEN. The repugicans are against the things that are proven to actually reduce abortions, like birth control and education. But once a woman gets pregnant, they want to make sure she has no say over her own medical decisions – and indeed, if she’s raped, she and her partner will be forced to carry to term. If repugicans really cared about abortion, of course, they would not be going all out to make sure Planned Parenthood loses funding and health insurance won’t cover birth control.
But then, birth control and education have been proven to reduce unwanted pregnancies, and as you might have gathered by now, repugicans don’t do reality.

Random Celebrity Photos


Gene Tierney
Gene Tierney

Maple Syrup Redo

So you think you understand where maple syrup comes from in trees?  Think again...
In October 2013, Drs. Tim Perkins and Abby van Den Berg of the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center, revealed the findings of a study at a maple syrup conference in New Brunswick, Canada that sent waves through the industry. In 2010, they were studying vacuum systems in sap collection operations. Based on the observation that one of the mature trees in the study that was missing most of its top was still yielding high volumes of sap, they hypothesized that the maples were possibly drawing moisture from the soil and not the crown. Previously, they had presumed that the sap dripping from tap holes was coming from the upper portion of the tree. But, if the tree was missing most of its crown then, they surmised, it must be drawing moisture from the roots.

In order not to destroy the mature maples in the research forest to test their theory, they went to the maple saplings planted near the lab which are often used to gather data. They lopped off the top of the small trees, put caps on them with a tube inserted, sealed the cap and put them under vacuum. The young trees produced impressive quantities of sap, even without the benefit of a crown...

They realized that their discovery meant sugarmakers could use saplings, densely planted in open fields, to harvest sap. In other words, it is possible that maple syrup could now be produced as a row crop like every other commercial crop in North America.

In a natural forest, which varies in maple density, an average 60 to 100 taps per acre will yield 40 to 50 gallons of syrup. According to the researchers’ calculations, an acre of what is now called “the plantation method” could sustain 5,800 saplings with taps yielding 400 gallons of syrup per acre. If the method is realized, producing maple syrup on a commercial scale may no longer be restricted to those with forest land; it could require just 50 acres of arable land instead of 500 acres of forest. Furthermore, any region with the right climate for growing maples would be able to start up maple “farms”. The natural forest would become redundant...

"Personally the thought of taking maple out of the forest and turning into another row crop saddens me. We have been in the maple business since 2009 and our sugarhouse has a reputation for utilizing the most modern technology available to maximize efficiency of production. Nevertheless, the news of the plantation system has been a lot to chew on since we learned of it. We are relatively new to the trade but have come to love it, one of the principal reasons being our interaction with the thousand acres of forest behind our home. Like Dave Folino, I fear that the industry will no longer be special to New England but will be usurped by entrepreneurs anywhere with the right climate. And on a more visceral level, I feel that maple syrup is and should remain a product of the wild. Aside from mushrooms and game meat, the woods of Vermont hardly yield anything edible. And yet, this exquisite sugar can be extracted from the trees while still leaving them healthy and the forest a home to everything from rare wildflowers to bob cats. For me, knowing its origins elicits an amount of pleasure equal to tasting its unique flavor when I drizzle it over morning pancakes. Finally, I ponder what will happen to the acres of working forests if landowners are no longer making an income from them through tapping the trees. It would be unrealistic to expect all of those landowners to choose conservation."
There's more information at the source article in Modern Farmer and in this article from the University of Vermont. 

Pumping station disguised as plain old house

In a residential neighborhood in Raleigh, North Carolina, there's a house that looks like most every other house on the block. But it isn't a house. It's a public utility pump station perfectly camouflaged as a house. The inside is filled with massive industrial pumps chugging away. WUNC made a video documentary about the place. Apparently, this is a fairly common way to build electrical generators, pump stations, and other utility infrastructure in residential areas. That quiet house down the street from you? The one where nobody seems to live? Who knows what machinery resides inside… "What's Inside This House On Wade Avenue?"

Random Photos




(via TumbleOn)

Flames Coffee Shop destroyed by fire

Firefighters extinguished a fire that destroyed a diner in San Jose, California. The blaze broke out in the kitchen area of Flames Coffee Shop at around 6:20am on Saturday.
A few workers were preparing to open the restaurant when the fire broke out in the kitchen area, San Jose fire Capt. Barry Ehlers said. Ehlers said two of the employees ran to a fire station located just around the corner and alerted firefighters to the blaze.

By the time crews arrived on the scene about a minute later, thick black smoke was billowing from all sides of the restaurant. Fuelled by cooking oils, furniture and other materials, the blaze ripped through the building, causing multiple sections of the roof to collapse.

Firefighters battled the fire from the outside and were able to keep it from spreading to neighbouring businesses. The fire was put out at around 7:30am. The building was completely gutted by the fire, which Ehlers estimated caused more than $1 million in damage. No injuries were reported.

Don't Use Fire to Remove Toilet Paper from Tree

Cheryl Crausewell of Dora, Alabama, found that someone had TPed the trees in her yard on Saturday night. The family tried to clean up the mess, but some of the toilet paper in a magnolia tree was out of their reach. What to do? Maybe they should have tried a ladder, but instead they set it on fire. A small piece of paper drifted out to the yard and ignited the grass.
"It just popped out into a little patch and we tried to put it out and it just kept going, so I was trying to keep it from going down the front porch and came down the bank and around the back of the house," she said.

Within seconds, Crausewell said the fire spread to the backyard where the propane gas tank from a grill may have added fuel to the fire.

Crausewell, her son, her elderly aunt, her mother and her aunt's caregiver were all at home when the fire started around 2 p.m. Everyone was able to get out safely.
The video at WBRC shows the scorched yard and toilet paper still in the trees, as well as the house, which is a total loss.

Year-End Company Bonus in China

A Coffin

According to third-hand news reports, a company in China offered a special bonus to employees who performed exceptionally well: brand-new coffins!
It may be a pun in Chinese. The word for coffin in that language is a homonym for "wealthy official," so the coffins may be trophies rather than a practical gifts. The president of the company allegedly suggested that employees donate their coffins to the poor if they elect not to use them.

11 Shocking Things That People Will Allow On Their Face In The Name Of Beauty

Beauty: some people will stop at nothing to achieve it. Forget skincare creams and potions: fans of extreme beauty will let everything from poop to placenta touch their faces. Here are eleven of the planet's most bizarre beauty treatments.



Ten Debunked Myths About World War I

World War I seems like one bleak, trench filled exercise in outdated war tactics and mustard gas attacks when history is viewed through the veil, but as it turns out we have been living under many false assumptions about The Great War, and with the centennial fast approaching historians want to set the records straight.
It seems most soldiers didn't mind being sent off to war, since they got luxuries like meat, rum and cigarettes every day which most couldn’t afford at home. Troops also weren’t stuck in trenches for years on end, they were rotated out about every ten days, and most soldiers only spent a maximum of three days on the front lines.

Pelvic Bone in Storage May Be King Alfred the Great's

A piece of an ancient pelvis bone that had been tucked away in museum storage might belong to the English King Alfred the Great or his son Edward.

Did people in the Middle Ages take baths?

medievalbathingIt is often thought that medieval men and women did not care too much about personal hygiene or keeping clean. One nineteenth-century historian writing about daily life in the Middle Ages commented that there were no baths for a thousand years. However, a closer look shows that baths and bathing were actually quite common in the Middle Ages, but in a different way than one might expect.
There are stories of how people didn’t bathe in the Middle Ages – for example, St Fintan of Clonenagh was said to take a bath only once a year, just before Easter, for twenty-four years. Meanwhile, the Anglo-Saxons were believed that the Vikings were overly concerned with cleanliness since they took a bath once a week.  On the other hand, we can also see many literary references and works of art depicting people taking baths, and noting that it was part of daily activity.
Personal hygiene did exist in the Middle Ages – people were well aware that cleaning their face and hands – health manuals from the period note that it was important to get rid of dirt and grime. They also explained that it was important to keep the entire body clean. For example, the fourteenth-century writer Magninius Mediolanesis stated in his work Regimen sanitatis that ”The bath cleans the external body parts of dirt left behind from exercise on the outside of the body.”
He also adds a second reason for bathing: “if any of the waste products of third digestion are left under the skin that were not resolved by exercise and massage, these will be resolved by the bath.” There was a strong connection between bathing and eating, which could affect one’s overall health (these ideas have not quite left us – many people might remember their mother telling them not to go swimming for an hour after a meal). Baths could relieve digestion, stop diarrhoea – but taken improperly cold lead to weakness of the heart, nausea or fainting.
Medieval writers saw bathing as a serious and careful activity. One medical treatise, the Secreta Secretorum, has an enitre section on baths. It notes that the spring and winter are good times for bathing, but it should be avoided as much as possible in the summer. It also warns that excessively long baths lead to fatness and feebleness. Meanwhile, Magninius Mediolanesis offers over 57 bathing prescriptions to use in specific conditions, like old age, pregnancy and travelling and his rules for bathing run 1500 words long.
Some famous bathing sites had their own rules. In 1336, Pietro de Tussignano formulated twelve rules for those coming to the Italian town at Burmi, which lies near Switzerland, to get the healing effects of its bath. They include that the person should beforehand not to have too much sexual intercourse nor have abstained from it, and that he should also enter the bath with an empty stomach (if they had to have food it could only two spoons of raisins with a little wine). You could only pour the water over your head if you were clean-shaven, otherwise your hairs might impede the effects of the water. The person should take the baths for fifteen days, spending up to an hour a day getting washed, but if all goes well, the bather will benefit for over six months with improved health.
If people could afford a to have private bath – and not many could – they would use a wooden tub that could also have a tent-like cloth on top of it.  Attendants would bring jugs and pots of hot water to fill the tub. In John Russell’s Book of Nurture, written in the second half of the fifteenth-century, he advises servants that if their lord wants a bath they should:
hang sheets, round the roof, every one full of flowers and sweet green herbs, and have five or six sponges to sit or lean upon, and see that you have one big sponge to sit upon, and a sheet over so that he may bathe there for a while, and have a sponge also for under his feet, if there be any to spare, and always be careful that the door is shut. Have a basin full of hot fresh herbs and wash his body with a soft sponge, rinse him with fair warm rose-water, and throw it over him.
He adds that if the lord has pains or aches, it is good to boil various herbs like camomile, breweswort, mallow and brown fennel and add them to the bath.
Records from medieval England show that its kings often enjoyed these baths. When King John traveled around his kingdom, he took a bathtub with him, and had a personal attendant named William who handled it. Meanwhile, in 1351 Edward III paid for taps of hot and cold water supply to his bathtub at Westminster Palace.
bathing in the Middle AgesRoyalty throughout Europe often entertained guests with baths, often trying to impress each other with how luxurious they could make it. This tradition even goes back to the Carolingians - Einhard says that Charlemagne loved taking baths, and that “he would invite not only his sons to bathe with him, but his nobles and friends as well, and occasionally even a crowd of attendants and bodyguards, so that sometimes a hundred men or more would be in the water together.”
Wealthy monasteries often could pipe in water and have baths as well. Some monastic rules suggest that monks did not take regular baths. The monks of Westminster Abbey, for example, were required to have a bath four times a year: at Christmas, Easter, the end of June, and the end of September. It is hard to know if these rules were being followed, or if they were intended to mean that the monks could only bathe then. We do know, however, that Westminster Abbey employed a bath-attendent  who was paid daily two loaves of bread, as well as a stipend of £1 per year, which seems to indicate his services were regularly used.
For most people, having a private bath was not an option – it was simply too costly and too time-consuming to have their own baths. That does not mean they went without bathing, for public baths were very common throughout Europe. By the thirteenth-century one could find over 32 bathhouses in Paris; Alexander Neckham, who lived in that city a century earlier, says that he would be awakened in the mornings by people crying in the streets that ‘that baths are hot!”
In Southwark, the town on the opposite side of the Thames River from London, a person could choose from 18 hot baths. Even smaller towns would have bathhouses, often connected with the local bakery – the baths could make use of the heat coming from their ovens to help heat their water.
In her book Clean: A History of Personal Hygiene and Purity Virginia Smith explains,”By the fifteenth-century, bath feasting in many town bathhouses seems to have been as common as going out to a restaurant was to become four centuries later. German bath etchings from the fifteenth century often feature the town bathhouse, with a long row of bathing couples eating a meal naked in bathtubs, often several to a tub, with other couples seen smiling in beds in the mid-distance.”
Public Bathhouse

Public bathhouses were very popular throughout medieval Europe but they also raised controversy as some objected to the fact that men and women could see and be with each other naked, and that this could lead to illicit sex. A thirteenth century church writer made this prohibition: “Hast thou washed thyself in the bath with thy wife and other women and seen them nude, and they thee? If thou hast, thou shouldst fast for three days on bread and water.”
However, it seems that church officials had little influence on bathhouses in the Middle Ages. Medieval people, in fact, seems to have accepted that the bathhouse was not only a place to get clean and healthy, but it could also be a place where sex and prostitution could occur. The bathhouses in Southwark were called the Stews, and were largely seen to be just fronts for brothels. These practices were usually overlooked by local authorities, who believed that it was best to allow some level of sexual outlets for its young men, otherwise risk more serious problems.
Albrecht_Dürer_-_Bath_HouseThe prominence of the public bathhouse went into rapid decline in the sixteenth-century. Several suggestions have been made to as why – were more puritanical religious people able to impose their moral values on the community, or were the diseases that struck Europe since the Black Death convincing people from to avoid them. The disease of syphilis, which broke out in Europe the late fifteenth-century, would have also motivated people to stop their sexual promiscuity, thus reducing the other reasons for having a bathhouse.
The Dutch philosopher Erasmus, writing in 1526, notes the fall of the public bathhouse. “Twenty-five years ago, nothing was more fashionable in Brabant than the public baths,” he remarked. “Today there are none, the new plague has taught us to avoid them.”

Kangaroo in 400-year-old manuscript could change Australian history

A 16th century manuscript featuring an image that looks like a kangaroo could prove that Portuguese explorers discovered Australia before the first recorded European landing in 1606
The manuscript, which is thought to date from between 1580 and 1620, appears to show a small kangaroo within the letters of its text 
A drawing of a kangaroo on a 16th century Portuguese manuscript could potentially change the world's understanding of Australia's history.
The manuscript, which is thought to date from between 1580 and 1620, appears to show a small kangaroo within the letters of its text. If the image actually is a kangaroo, the drawing suggests that Portuguese explorers may have discovered Australia before the first recorded European landing on the continent by Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606.
The document, which contains text or music for a liturgical procession, was recently acquired by the Les Enluminures Galley in New York, which has valued the item at $15,000 (£9,174). It was previously in the possession of a rare book dealer in Portugal.
Laura Light, a researcher at the gallery, told Australia's The Age newspaper that "a kangaroo or wallaby in a manuscript this early is proof that the artist of this manuscript had either been in Australia, or even more interestingly, that travelers' reports and drawings of the interesting animals found in this new world were already available in Portugal."
The text also includes the image of two half-naked men wearing crowns of leaves, which researchers believe may represent Australian aborigines.
Others, however, are not so convinced.
Dr Martin Woods of the National Library of Australia told The Age that "it could be another animal in south-east Asia, like any number of deer species, some of which stand up on their hind legs to feed of high branches".
Other researchers speculate that the manuscript may have come from slightly after Janszoon's arrival in Australia, or may date from a 1526 Portuguese voyage to Papua.
The gallery plans to display the document as part of an exhibition.

The Neptune Memorial Reef

An Under Sea Cemetery

When you think of dead people, concrete and underwater, you might be forgiven if your mind produces images of mafia gangsters and of their victims swimming with the fishes. All that has changed - in the future what might spring to mind is a remarkable new underwater cemetery.

Off the coast of Miami in Florida a new reef is forming. It is not the result of nature playing its course but the bi-product of people's desire to have a last resting place which is both unusual and creates a new ecosystem.
This is a cemetery under the sea, the Neptune Memorial Reef.

Asbestos in the wild

When you're used to seeing it in processed form, wrapped around old heating pipes or pressed into floor tiles, it's easy to forget that good old, cancer causing asbestos is actually a natural mineral. What's more, the natural form can cause the same kind of lung damage and illness associated with factory production. New efforts are underway to map places where fibrous asbestos is a part of the natural landscape, though it's unclear what you can really do about it if it turns out that your subdivision was built on top of an asbestos deposit. Deborah Blum has the story at The New York Times.

The Solar Wind is an Interplanetary Water Factory

Hydrogen ions in the solar wind react with oxygen in interplanetary dust grains to form little packets of water, potentially supplying Earth with its water. Could stellar water factories supply exoplanets, too?

Daily Comic Relief


Witness threw sledgehammer at driver after truck hit horse

A 19-year-old man was taken to a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma in fair condition after the horse he was riding on was struck by a truck.

Bird Steals Camera And Films Penguin Colony

A Striated Caracara decides to fly off with a camera but in the process captures the first ever aerial footage of a rockhopper penguin colony shot by a flying bird.

Greyhounds kept racing during 6.3 magnitude earthquake in New Zealand

A greyhound race at the Manawatu Raceway in Palmerston North, New Zealand was disturbed by a powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake on Monday afternoon, but the trackside commentator and dogs stayed cool under pressure.

After announcing the start of Race 11, the commentator realized everything in the room was shaking. "It looks like we've got a bit of an earthquake going on here, a very big earthquake in fact," he said. The greyhounds continued as if nothing had happened, although the race was officially abandoned afterwards.

Bizarre, see-through sea creature baffles fisherman

Marine experts in the U.K. identify the jelly-like blob as a Salpa maggiore 
by David Strege sea creature
Sea creature called a Salpa maggiore
A fisherman in waters north of New Zealand came across an odd-looking, translucent sea creature swimming on the surface. Curious, he caught the creature—presumably scooping it up with a net—to get a closer look.
It was described as a see-through, shrimp-like creature.
“It felt scaly and was quite firm, almost jelly like, and you couldn’t see anything inside aside from this orange little blob inside it,” fisherman Stewart Fraser said.
Fraser, who had been fishing with sons Conaugh and Finn 43 miles north of the Karikari Peninsula, took photos and shared them with his fishing buddies, none of whom could identify the sea creature.
“We have no idea what it could have been, but it was quite something, and I’d never seen anything like it before,” he said.
Fortunately, the folks at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, U.K., had an idea, identifying it as a Salpa maggiore (Salpa maxima).
Paul Cox, director of conservation and communication at the aquarium, told MailOnline that a salp is barrel-shaped, moves by pumping water through its gelatinous body, and that the life-cycle includes alternate generations of existing as solitary individuals or as a group forming long chains.
“In common with other defenseless animals that occupy open water—jellies and hydroids, for example—the translucence presumably provides some protection from predation,” Cox said. “Being see-through is a pretty good camouflage in water.”
The report doesn’t say, but it is presumed Fraser threw the bizarre sea creature back into the ocean.
sea creature

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