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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Daily Drift

February is American Heart Month
You know what that means ...

Carolina Naturally is read in 195 countries around the world daily.
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Today is - Robinson Crusoe Day

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Today in History

1327 Edward III is coronated King of England.
1587 Elizabeth I, Queen of England, signs the Warrant of Execution for Mary Queen of Scots.
1633 The tobacco laws of Virginia are codified, limiting tobacco production to reduce dependence on a single-crop economy.
1793 France declares war on Britain and the Netherlands.
1861 A furious Governor Sam Houston storms out of a legislative session upon learning that Texas has voted 167-7 to secede from the Union.
1902 U.S. Secretary of State John Hay protests Russian privileges in China as a violation of the "open door policy."
1905 Germany contests French rule in Morocco.
1909 U.S. troops leave Cuba after installing Jose Miguel Gomez as president.
1930 A Loening Air Yacht of Air Ferries makes its first passenger run between San Francisco and Oakland, California..
1942 Planes of the U.S. Pacific fleet attack Japanese bases in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.
1943 American tanks and infantry are battered at German positions at Fais pass in North Africa.
1944 U.S. Army troops invade two Kwajalein Islands in the Pacific.
1945 U.S. Rangers and Filipino guerrillas rescue 513 American survivors of the Bataan Death March.
1951 Third A-bomb tests are completed in the desert of Nevada.
1960 Four black students stage a sit-in at a segregated Greensboro, N.C. lunch counter.
1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson rejects Charles de Gaulle's plan for a neutral Vietnam.
1965 Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and 770 others are arrested in protest against voter discrimination in Alabama.
1968 U.S. troops drive the North Vietnamese out of Tan Son Nhut airport in Saigon.
1968 South Vietnam President Nguyen Van Thieu declares martial law.
1986 Two days of anti-government riots in Port-au-Prince result in 14 dead.

Non Sequitur


This repugican Threatens To Kill Reporter During A Live News Broadcast

Michael Grimm (r-NY), who is in the middle of an investigation into campaign-finance fraud, was approached by a reporter for television station NY1...alg-michael-grimm-jpg  
It has really not been a good past 24 hours for the repugican cabal. First, President Obama knocked it out of the park with his best State of the Union address of his presidency. After that, Cathy McMorris Rodgers completely bombed in her prime-time debut when giving the repugican response. On top of that, tea party lawmakers were busy calling President Obama a ‘Socialist dictator’ and calling for his impeachment.
Well, to add to the pile, Michael Grimm (r-NY), who is in the middle of an investigation into campaign-finance fraud, was approached by a reporter for television station NY1 after the State of the Union Tuesday night. Grimm only wanted to discuss the SOTU and provide typical repglican shouting points in response. However, the reporter decided to ask him an additional question regarding the ongoing investigation. Grimm didn’t take too kindly to that, as you’ll see.
As the video shows, Grimm stomped off after the reporter, Michael Scotto, asked the question. While Scotto was trying to wrap up the segment, Grimm came back and confronted Scotto while the camera was still rolling. Grimm then said this:
“Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f***ing balcony…No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”
Let me remind you. This is an actual Congressman who serves in the United States House of Representatives. This isn’t a character from The Sopranos. What we saw in that video is a Congressman threaten to kill a news reporter on live TV. Obviously, Grimm and his staff realized they needed to explain Grimm’s words and actions. So Grimm went ahead and released a statement:
“I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests. The reporter knew that I was in a hurry and was only there to comment on the State of the Union, but insisted on taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview, because I did not have time to speak off-topic. I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor. I doubt that I am the first member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last.”
Even though you wouldn’t think it possible, Grimm’s statement actually makes the situation worse. First off, there is no hint at an apology. Another thing, he doesn’t seem to see any issue with THREATENING TO KILL somebody on live TV. In his mind, he was just a little rushed and a little annoyed, and he told a nosy reporter off. Sorry, when you threaten to throw someone off of a balcony and break them in half, you are doing just a little more than telling them off.
This is straight criminal behavior, the kind you expect to see from a true sociopath. We shouldn’t have our news media afraid to confront our elected public officials with legitimate questions. Heck, they shouldn’t be scared to ask them completely silly questions. We cannot have a man like Grimm in Congress at all. He needs to go. Now.

The repugican cabal Demands Mighty Big Tits For Few Tats

Mitch McConnell is a spokesperson for the latest round of fiscal disasters the repugican cabal is trying to foist on the American public. He's going about it on behalf of his party in a very strange way.
In order to get the repugican votes necessary for a clean debt ceiling passage, here's what Senator McConnell, the Kentucky Fried Cuckoo bird had to say, according to The Hill:
    "I think for the president to ask for a clean debt ceiling when we have a debt the size of our economy is irresponsible. So we ought to discuss adding something to his request to raise the debt ceiling that does something about the debt or produces at least something positive for our country," he said on "Faux News Sunday."
Okay, ladies in gents, there seems to be need for some 'tit for tat' here. And never let it be said the repugican cabal doesn't like tit or tat.
So what's the lunatic fringe have planned? Hold onto your seats. It's the XL pipeline. Yup, that is what they're going to hold as hostage.

The repugicans - Still hating the poor

by Josh Israel   
The payday lending industry is infamous for providing 12 million Americans each year with short-term loans that end up costing an average of more than 138 percent in interest and fees. But as the U.S. Department of Justices moves to crack down on those lenders who have illegally taken billions from the checking accounts of consumers, two powerful U.S. Congressmen are going to bat for the industry, a letter obtained by ThinkProgress reveals.
Each year, millions incur long-term debt by taking out a short-term loan that's intended to cover borrowers' expenses until they receive their next paychecks. Most take out nine repeat loans per year with an interest rate as high as 400 percent. Forty-four percent of borrowers ultimately default, even after paying back their loans several times over, and thus are pushed ever closer to poverty. Critics have called the practice "legalized loan sharking" and describe the industry as "bottom feeders." In recent years, major banks have also joined in the practice.
In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of Justice began to take aim at the big banks that illegally help payday lenders rip off consumers. "Operation Choke Point" is a massive investigation into whether banks help payday lenders illegally siphon billions of dollars from consumers' checking accounts in exchange for a fee. Some banks have already announced they would get out of the payday lending business entirely to avoid the regulatory crackdown.
But rather than cheer this consumer-friendly move, two powerful Congressmen are moving to stop it. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (r-CA) and Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs Chairman Jim Jordan (r-OH) sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on January 8, accusing the Justice Department of "using its civil investigative power" to "inappropriately target two lawful financial services: third-party payment processing and online lending."

"We're not going to be happy until we starve some of these poors out of existence."

A repugican House plan to make major cuts to food stamps would be scaled back under a bipartisan agreement on a massive farm bill, a near end to a more than two-year fight that has threatened to hurt rural lawmakers in an election year.
The measure announced by the House and Senate Agriculture committees preserves food stamp benefits for most Americans who receive them and continues generous subsidies for farmers. The House could vote on the bill as soon as Wednesday.
The compromise was expected to cut food stamps by about $800 million a year, or around 1 percent. The House in September passed legislation cutting 5 percent from the $80 billion-a-year program.
[NB - the House of Representatives have now approved this bill. It does not appear that there are enough Senate Democrats willing to vote to stop this bill - too many free give-a-ways for the food industry.]

Wendy Davis’ Daughters Slam Disgusting Wingnut Attacks Against Their Mother

wendy-amber-dru-davisI think most people knew that once a powerful Texas woman (who happens to be a Democrat) decided to run for Governor of Texas, the attacks against her were going to get very ugly.  I mean this is a strong, independent woman against the repugican cabal – and repugicans don’t like strong, independent women.
Well there’s been a lot of talk here recently about an article written by the Dallas Morning News that “poked holes” in some facts about her “story.”  Basically, they nitpicked about the actual date she was divorced (she originally had claimed it happened when she was 19 but that was when she just separated – her divorce didn’t become official until she was 21) and the length of time she lived in a trailer.
You know, because those are huge issues worthy of writing a column about.  This goes along with the typical attacks she’s endured, including death threats being posted on her opponent Greg Abbott’s Facebook page, or one of the originals many wingnuts like to use by calling her “Abortion Barbie.”
Because that’s not sexist at all.
Well, apparently her daughters have had enough and they decided to speak out.
Her youngest daughter Dru said, in part:
“We lived with her the first semester, but I had severe asthma and the weather there wasn’t good for me. My parents made a decision for my sister and me to stay in Texas while my mom kept going to school. But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t there for us. She traveled back and forth all the time, missing so many classes so that she could be with us. Her friends were such a big help. Especially her third year, when she would only go to school two weeks out of the month and her friends would share class notes so she could try to keep up while she was home with us in Fort Worth.” (read the full letter here)
This was of course in response to the wingnut accusation that she abandoned her kids to attend Harvard Law School.
Her eldest daughter, Amber, also weighed in on the ridiculous conservative attacks:
“My mother had me when she was very young, a kid herself. And although she was married for a short period of time, parenthood was her sole responsibility. Yes, we lived in a trailer. Does it matter how long? Not to me. Even though some people have tried to question my own memories; I do remember the trailer, as well as the apartments that we lived in during the years that followed. I know that I was my mother’s first priority and that she wanted a better life for me than the one she was living. She worked 2 jobs and went to community college at night. She refused to repeat the life her family struggled in growing up.” (read the full letter here)
Which echoes my point of who really cares how long she lived in a trailer?  I mean honestly, is this how pathetically low repugicans are going to stoop?  Well, of course they are – because they have.
Both of Wendy Davis’ daughters basically destroyed every pathetic wingnut attack that wingnuts have tried to throw her way here recently about her personal life.  A personal life that even a fellow Texas repugican said she wouldn’t be having to endure attacks against if she were a man.  An obvious statement aimed at the fact that women face a different (and often times unfair) scrutiny compared to their male counterparts.
I just want to commend Davis’ daughters for taking a bold stance against these pathetic right-wing attacks.  Unfortunately, I’m sure their words won’t make any difference because wingnuts often believe what they want to believe instead of what’s actually real.
And the really sad part is the attacks are almost certainly going to get worse.  Which she might not completely mind considering I believe these blatant sexist attacks will galvanize support behind her and actually help her efforts to become the next Governor of Texas.

Even Russians have their version of repugicans

by Catherine Thompson
There are no gays in Sochi, according to the Russian city's mayor.
Sochi mayor Anatoly Pakhomov told the BBC in a story published Sunday that gays would be welcome at the Winter Olympic games in the host city, but added that homosexuality is "not accepted here in the Caucasus where we live. We do not have them in our city."
A reporter found evidence to the contrary. BBC Panorama's John Sweeney visited a gay bar in Sochi the night before he interviewed Pakhomov.
When pressed about the presence of gays in the city, the mayor told BBC "I am not sure, but I don't bloody know them."
An opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov, also said there were multiple gay bars in the city and told the BBC that Pakhomov's claim was laughable.

Random Photos

(via madswigle, cosmic-dust)

Don't Stop Daydreaming!

For years, people have thought daydreamers lack focus and have a poor work ethic. Anthony explains why we spend a third to half of our lives daydreaming, and why it's not so bad after all.

The Stuff Of Nightmares

Physical attacks are a recurring theme in nightmares According to […]

Are Men More Forgetful Than Women?

If a man forgets an anniversary or a birthday, is he really to blame? Crystal answers some of Trace's questions about memory, how men forget more than women, and a phenomenon called "event boundaries."

An old mathematical puzzle soon to be unraveled?

What You Need To Know About Microscopes

An infographic about microscopes. The 1st part of the infographic is called anatomy of a microscope, then there is a part about the largest and smallest microscopes in the World and then finally a section about the history of microscopes, that starts in 1590 and goes through to 1981.

The 10 Most Famous Chocolatiers

Valentine's Day is just a month away and if you are looking for the best gift to give your partner, why not indulge in the finest chocolates by these most famous chocolatiers?

Try the Norman Love Confections! The cheery colored designs on their chocolates are either hand-painted or airbrushed into chocolate molds before being filled with Belgium, French, or Swiss chocolate. They also incorporate other ingredients like pureed raspberries, bananas, ginger, passionfruit, and hazelnuts. Browse this sweet collection of 10 Most Famous Chocolatiers.

Pensioner fined for cannabis bush grown from seedling given to her as present by neighbor

A German pensioner was fined by a court on Monday when a seedling given to her by a neighbor grew into a huge cannabis bush. It was over two meters high before police came knocking on her door. In May 2012, Christine W. received the seedling as a present from her neighbor.
“Our neighbor Bernd knows a lot about herbal remedies. I thought it was a mimosa plant,” she told the judge in the Saxony Anhalt court. Not knowing what it was, the 63-year-old planted the seedling. “I have green fingers. The bush was tiny in May, but in August it was over two meters high," she told the judge with pride.
But in September 2012, eight police officers raided Christine’s garden in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, and seized the plant, which had been placed on the compost heap after a storm. The case was brought before a court in Merseburg where Christine's lawyer defended her actions. “My client had no idea what she was growing," he said.
The judge agreed. The couple were ordered to donate their €100 fine to an organization working with young people to prevent drug addiction and the case was closed. Their neighbor Bernd E. was given fourteen months probation in November 2012 for making hash schnapps. Christine says she was unaware of his conviction.



Holy Snow Rollers!

Snow sculpted into fanciful shapes such as doughnuts and hollow tubes appear overnight.

How Did Hot Peppers Get Their Spice?

Hot peppers are all the craze these days. It's commonly thought that the hotness is in the seeds, but recent studies show what chefs have known all along! Trace jumps in and answers the fiery question ... how did peppers get so spicy?

Dead Plants Hold Earthquake Secrets

Earthquakes can cook dead plants and algae trapped in a fault, similar to how organic material transforms over eons into oil.

Using Magma to Create Energy

Iceland is leading the way when it comes to using magma as an alternative source of fuel. Trace explains how this new power plant is changing how we heat our homes in hopes for a more sustainable future.

Daily Comic Relief


Arrest after man threatened fellow queuer with knife in dispute over who was next to pat koalas

A visitor to an Australian wildlife park has been accused of assaulting another man and threatening him with a knife after complaining that it was his turn to pat the koalas.
Police on Tuesday said a 34-year-old Para Hills man had been charged with aggravated assault and two counts of assault at the Adelaide Hills park on Saturday.
The visitors were waiting to pat the koalas when the 34-year-old man allegedly became aggressive and assaulted the victim. "Two bystanders tried to intervene and were also assaulted, as was a staff member at the wildlife park," police said.
The man also allegedly threatened the victim with a knife, police said. He has been bailed to appear in Mount Barker Magistrates Court on March 5.

Expert says monster jellyfish could have killed 120 people

Two monster sized box jellyfish found by lifeguards at a beach in North Queensland, Australia would have been capable of killing 120 people, according to an expert.
The large marine stingers, each measuring 30cm in bell diameter, were discovered alive after they washed up on the shore of Balgal Beach, 60km north of Townsville on Wednesday. Surf Life Saving Queensland Townsville region lifeguard supervisor Russell Blanchard said the lethal jellyfish were the largest caught this season. "I've seen them that big before, but we generally don't get them that big," he said.
"I wouldn't say it's a record, but it's about as big as they can get." Any jellyfish found by lifeguards during their routine drags in the water are usually donated to James Cook University for research purposes. The lifeguards on Wednesday, however, did not have any buckets large enough to carry the jellyfish away from the beach, so the venomous sea creatures were buried in the sand and left to quickly die and decompose, to protect beachgoers.
Dr Lisa-Ann Gershwin, who has carried out research on jellyfish in North Queensland, said each of the marine stingers had the potential to kill 60 people, based on the number and length of each tentacle. She said each jellyfish could have as many as 60 tentacles. "It takes 3-5m to kill an adult human in as little as two minutes, and as little as 1.2m of tentacles to kill a child in as little as two minutes,'' she said, adding that the animal's discovery was a reminder for beachgoers to swim inside stinger enclosures, and on beaches patrolled by lifeguards.

Inebriated man trying to find his way home fell through pet shop skylight into tropical fish tank

A man plunged feet first into a fish tank after he fell through a pet shop skylight in the early hours of the morning. Initially thought to be a burglar, the man was arrested at about 3am on Sunday in an alleyway near to Aqua Pets in Tolworth southwest London after police spotted his sodden trousers. Peter Hunt, the owner of Aqua Pets, said: “Unfortunately he ran across our flat roof which has a fiberglass lighting partition. He fell straight through and ended up in a 3ft x 3ft fish tank. The fish are alright but the guy was arrested and taken to Kingston nick where he slept the night. It was a miracle he didn’t kill himself.” He said the fish tank contained tropical fish, including angel fish, parrot fish, rainbow fish and kissing guaramis.
But he said: “No piranhas. That would have been a good story.” The man scrambled out of the tank and up through the glass roof where he was confronted by the store’s manager who lives above the shop and was woken by the crack of breaking glass. Manager Matthew Toner declined to add to the man’s embarrassment by describing him. He said: “I saw a big hole where there used to be a roof. I ran down and saw a pair of legs going through the roof.
“He told me he was trying to find his house and that he lived next door. He has admitted he was stupid and is coming in to apologize with us. I don’t want to rub it in.” Detective Inspector Justin Howick said: “He was given a caution for criminal damage. He has caused a reasonably significant amount of damage to the roof and was reckless in so doing but clearly not a burglar. I can’t remember too many people falling through a roof into a fish tank.”

Man adopted plump black cats to cook and serve to his friends for dinner

A man purporting to be a feline friend adopted "meaty" cats from shelters across Brianza, a province in northern Italy, and would then cook and serve them to friends for dinner.
The 50-year-old posed as a cat-lover when visiting refuges, taking home at least fifteen cats over a period of several months. But suspicions were raised among staff at the shelters run by Aidaa, the Italian animal welfare association, when he came up with excuses to avoid routine checks on the care of adopted animals.
Initially believing he might be part of a satanist group, they carried out a surprise check and "caught him in the act" as he was about to kill a cat he intended to eat. Lorenzo Croce, the president of Aidaa, said the man would ask to adopt "black cats with specific characteristics. They had to be around three years old, and quite plump.”
"He even admitted to killing black cats and eating them in the company of friends," Croce added. The man confessed to having eaten the other cats in his care, and was arrested for maltreatment. The man, who is married with two children, now risks a prison sentence of between three months and a year, or a fine of up to €15,000.

Tasty Fish Grow Smaller in Warming Ocean

Biologists have concluded that climate change may be shrinking economically important fish species in the North Atlantic.

Animal News

Undercover video footage shows workers cutting up the large dotted back fins of whale sharks.
Elephants at U.S. zoos are too heavy, so a reserve is planned to help the paunchy pachyderms.
A polar bear mother -- with cubs in tow -- charges a large male feasting on a freshly killed seal.
Moths and dung eating insects live on sloths, and they create algae on its body. The algae serves as a camouflage from predators, and also as a tasty snack! Trace hangs out and discusses how you might not want to hold a sloth anymore.
Leaf-cutter bees use shreds of plastic bags or dollops of polyurethane sealant to construct some of their nests.

Animal Pictures