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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.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Daily Drift

Why high pressure water hoses were invented - because they frown on using a shotgun ...

Carolina Naturally is read in 195 countries around the world daily.
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Today is -  International Tug-of-War Day

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Today in History

1408 The revolt of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, against King Henry IV, ends with his defeat and death at Bramham Moor.
1701 Philip V of Spain makes his ceremonial entry into Madrid.
1807 Vice President Aaron Burr is arrested in Alabama for treason. He is later found innocent.
1847 Rescuers finally reach the ill-fated Donnor Party in the Sierras.
1861 Russian Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom.
1902 Smallpox vaccination becomes obligatory in France.
1903 The Austria-Hungary government decrees a mandatory two year military service.
1915 British and French warships begin their attacks on the Turkish forts at the mouth of the Dardenelles, in an abortive expedition to force the straits of Gallipoli.
1917 American troops are recalled from the Mexican border.
1919 The First Pan African Congress meets in Paris, France.
1925 President Calvin Coolidge proposes the phasing out of inheritance tax.
1926 Dr. Lane of Princeton estimates the earth's age at one billion years.
1942 Port Darwin, on the northern coast of Australia, is bombed by the Japanese.
1944 The U.S. Eighth Air Force and Royal Air Force begin "Big Week," a series of heavy bomber attacks against German aircraft production facilities.
1965 Fourteen Vietnam War protesters are arrested for blocking the United Nations' doors in New York.
1966 Robert F. Kennedy suggests the United States offer the Vietcong a role in governing South Vietnam.
1976 Britain slashes welfare spending.
1981 The U.S. State Department calls El Salvador a "textbook case" of a Communist plot.
1987 New York Governor Mario Cuomo declares that he will not run for president in the next election.

Non Sequitur


1 in 4 Americans Don’t Know the Earth Revolves Around Sun

1 in 4 Americans are idiots*
by Allen Clifton

Does anyone remember the game show that was on about a decade or so ago called Street Smarts?
The basic premise was that they’d randomly ask people on the street questions and the contestants in the studio had to determine whether or not the person answered correctly. You’ve seen late night talk shows do something similar. They’ll go out, ask people on the street questions (usually things that should be common knowledge) and usually what ensues is absolutely hilarious because it showcases how ignorant much of our society is with the most basic of facts.
Well, one night while watching that show they asked three different people who fought in the Civil War – only one of the three answered correctly. How the hell does that even happen? This is something that’s taught all throughout school, has been featured in movies, countless documentaries and is often a common subject matter between peers. How in the hell could someone be a grown, American adult and not know who fought in the Civil War?
Maybe some of you read the article I wrote a while back about the poll that was done in Louisiana asking wingnut voters who was to blame for the response to Hurricane Katrina. Well, in that poll one-third of those who responded blamed President Obama – not the shrub. In fact, within that poll a higher percentage of wingnut voters blamed President Obama than the shrub. Even though Hurricane Katrina happened over three years before President Obama became president. Meaning that either these people had no clue what year it was, they had no idea how long President Obama had been in the White House or they had no idea when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana.
Well, a new poll done by the National Science Foundation trumps all of that. In their poll of 2,200 Americans, twenty-five percent weren’t aware that the Earth revolves around the sun.
Just let that sink in for a moment.
One in four respondents weren’t aware of a basic, common and indisputable scientific fact.
Which means that out of the 2,200 people they polled, 550 weren’t aware that the Earth revolves around the sun. That. Is. Shocking. What do these people think then? That the sun rotates around the Earth? Do they still believe the Earth is the center of the universe? Hell, do they still think the Earth is flat? Or do they just not think at all? I’m going with that last part.
Now in less “indisputable” territory (though still widely scientifically accepted) only 39% said the universe started with a huge explosion. Only 48% believed that humans evolved from another species and only 51% knew that antibiotics don’t kill viruses.
In more positive news, 90% were actually enthusiastic about science and 1 in 3 believed science needs more government funding.
But the fact that 25% of Americans apparently aren’t aware that the Earth revolves around the sun is just something I can’t wrap my mind around. I get people can be very ignorant at times, and that our educational system is in dire need of repair, but something as simple as Earth’s rotation around the sun is a “question” I thought we had put to bed a long time ago.
* And it should not surprise you that 1 in 4 Americans claim to be repugicans (read: wingnuts) as well.

Did you know ...

Oh, don't pity the billionaire

That white, wingnut men dominate Sunday talk shows

That Mitch McConnell wrestles the monster he helped make

That the world's oldest bird hatches a baby

That MacGruff the crime dog actor sentenced to 16 years for drugs, weapons

About the moral case for a minimum wage

About the repugican cabal's health crisis

House repugican concedes that repugican cabal's interests aren't aligned with the country's

Boehner wants credit for letting Democrats do the hard work of governing.

This is an incredible statistic about Tuesday's vote in the U.S. House to raise the debt limit through March 2015:
    The 28 members of the repugican majority who voted for the bill - a meager 12 percent - was the lowest percentage for a majority on passage since the House began publishing electronic data on votes in 1991.
The clear implication, says Carl Hulse of The New York Times, is that the vast majority of House repugicans voted against a measure that they actually wanted to pass: The "vote no, hope yes" phenomenon. This pattern-public opposition coupled with private support-is utterly dysfunctional, says Hulse, and the amazing thing is that at least one House repugican agreed with him:
    "The incentives are not aligned," one House repugican acknowledged in conceding that the debt limit vote was not exactly what the framers intended when they drew up the plans for how the House would operate.
On issue after issue, what we're seeing is a House of Representatives in which the majority party is utterly incapable of governing, whether it's immigration reform or the government shutdown or turning to Democrats to save the country from default. And it's pretty clear, not just from that quote above, that Republicans-at least the somewhat smart ones-understand the dysfunction.

Election Thief Karl Rove Says Chris Christie Is What We Want In a President

On Faux News Sunday, Karl Rove claimed Chris Christie’s scandals are a good thing that represent what the American people want in a president.
Rove desperately tried to spin Christie’s troubles. The former Bush’s brain said, “There will be reasons why conservatives will have disagreements with Chris Christie. I don’t think the tea party is going to seize upon Fort Lee and the George Washington Bridge as their defining difference with Christie. In fact, I think his handling of this, being straightforward and taking action. Saying I’m responsible, firing people probably gives him some street cred with tea party repugicans who say, that’s what we want in a president.”
Chris Christie’s handling of this scandal has drawn comparisons to Richard Nixon from both the left and right.
The wingnut rag Daily Caller noted the similarities between Christie and Nixon, “Both would win by landslides. Neither the Watergate break-in or the George Washington Bridge closing were about winning votes. The motives of the Watergate burglars and those who directed them are still not clear. No one is sure why Christie’s henchman closed the George Washington Bridge, either. Christie invited this comparison when he said “I am not a bully,” evocative of Nixon’s famous “I am not crook.” We know how that worked out.”
Rove is trying to sell Christie so hard because he and his Crossroads groups have already put all of their eggs in the Christie basket. For Karl Rove and the rest of the repugican establishment, Chris Christie is their candidate. If Christie doesn’t run and become the nominee, establishment repugicans have nothing. Rove needs the tea party to embrace (pun intended) Christie, but the New Jersey governor’s chances of ever being embraced by the right were always slim. After all, he did commit the ultimate sin of hugging President Obama.
On top of all the already mounting evidence, MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki is reporting that another friend of Chris Christie was present at the GWB lane closures. The facts are suggesting that Chris Christie is the exact opposite of what Karl Rove is selling.
Chris Christie is more like the last thing that we want in a president. America doesn’t a president who governs through fear, intimidation, pettiness, and consistent abuses of power. Leave it to noted election thief Karl Rove to fall in love with Chris Christie. Corruption and abuse of power is an aphrodisiac to disempowered and disgraced political operatives like Karl Rove.
Karl Rove is saying yes, which is a great reason why America should say no to Chris Christie.

Random Photos

Man arrested for attacking two teenagers he claimed knocked over his snowman

A man from Clinton, Colorado was arrested on Thursday for attacking two teenagers he claimed knocked over a snowman in his yard. James Knudsen, 22, had built the snowman at his home at a trailer park. Knudsen told police the juveniles had also apparently knocked down another snowman he had built earlier that day.

Metronome led to evacuation at school

A portion of a school in Woodland Park, Colorado was evacuated on Thursday morning due to security fears.Woodland Park School District RE-2 says that a ticking sound was heard coming from a student's backpack at about 8am.
The decision was made to evacuate students in the wing of the school where the backpack was found to another part of the building.
Police opened up the backpack and found a metronome inside. The school district says that by 8:25am all students were back in class.

For an Increasingly Jaded America Internet Hoaxes Are the New Reality TV

With online hoaxes increasingly going viral, has the internet become the new reality TV?
Reality TV became popular in the 90s as a method for entertainment execs to skirt the expensive unions affiliated with traditional television production. Instead, they developed concepts around colorful real-world characters and shot miles of cheap videotape which they crafted into episodes using fresh-out-of film school editors. No writers needed. Show producers – who aren’t covered by unions – instead took over the writing chores, setting up situations with their found on-camera talent, who were also – you guessed it – non-union. No troublesome Screen Actors Guild actors or demanding Writers Guild writers. More money in the execs’ pockets. The process of making TV was changed forever.
But reality TV has little credibility with today’s increasingly jaded viewers, who’re well-familiar with the formula. Yes, there are still plenty of reality TV shows, but the genre has greatly declined in popularity.
But now we have the online hoax.
One of the latest: Mom Writes Horrifying Response To Birthday Party Invite From Kid With Gay Dads. Here we have a Baldwin, NY mother responding in an unexpectedly nasty manner to her son’s invite to a birthday party for a little girl – a party hosted by the girl’s two gay dads. The mother’s written response: “Tommy will NOT attend. I do not believe in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your ‘lifestyle.’ I’m sorry Sophia has to grow up this way.”
The story first appeared this year on February 12, authenticated with photos of the original invite and the indignant mom’s reply, and empathetically wishing Sophia a happy birthday. It received the intended response – readers were outraged by the homophobic mother’s action, and expressed sorrow for the birthday girl.
Two days later however, the story was updated with the news that it was a hoax. Turns out it was created by Steve and Leanna, two radio hosts at K98.3 of Long Island, NY, who posted it and the photos on the station’s Facebook page. Then it went viral. On the 14th, the two hosts copped to the hoax on the station website, citing their intent as “attempting to spur a healthy discourse on a highly passionate topic”, and apologizing for misleading their listeners with the story, “even after it was clear that it had taken on a ‘life of its own.’”
That last sentence is confusing. Would they have been okay with the falsehood if they’d misled only a hundred listeners? A thousand, maybe? Perhaps they intended to fool only their Baldwin, NY listeners – home of their fictional dad and daughter?
The internet is loaded with similar hoaxes. Spend an hour on Facebook or YouTube and you’ll come across more than you realize. And therein lies the evolution from reality TV.
Television started out and was quickly characterized by fictional comedies and dramas. Sure, there have always been news shows, documentaries, and other non-fiction outlets on the tube — but they’re identified as such. The internet is a different animal, though. Traditionally, we use the internet to gather what we assume is factual information, unless like its television counterpart it’s identified as otherwise (like in a credit-crawl, where actors are identified). Maybe it’s not always well-vetted fact, but as internet-users we take the credibility of sites we visit into account. And we’re generally aware of sites with agendas that spin the truth for their own purposes. Overall though, we make the general assumption that we aren’t being intentionally misled.
That’s not the case with these hoaxes though. That’s their whole raison d’ĂȘtre — to mislead. For what reason? To see how many people they can fool before they’re debunked? To raise awareness of an issue by constructing circumstances that illustrate a point? To generate a mutual empathy? Whatever the reason, these hoaxes degenerate the steadily-eroding integrity of the internet.
It’s a conundrum. With so much user-generated content, the internet is now recognized as our go-to source of timely and unedited truth.
But then there’s the flip-side.
Beware internet-surfers. You may be the next to be hoodwinked. You see, with reality TV, the joke is on the subjects of the show. But with internet hoaxes…
The joke is on you.

The Mellowest Park In Canada

Dude Chilling Park

There's a park in Vancouver which sports a most unusual name on its official sign- Dude Chilling Park.
The park was originally called Guelph Park, but a crafty individual named Viktor Briestensky replaced the boring original with a more appropriate sign, based on a piece of public art found in the park that looks like a dude chillaxing on the grass taking in the scene.
Park officials promptly took the sign down, but due to a petition signed by 1,500 residents in favor of the sign the park has been permanently renamed Dude Chilling Park, making it the mellowest park in all of Canada!

The Calico House

Artist and adventurer Kat Wise bought a house in upstate New York in 2009 and proceeded to fix it up. Now it’s a work of art! The home is filled with her collections, souvenirs, artworks, stained glass, and riotous color, including a kitchen “shrine” built around a vintage toaster. She named the house Calico and describes the style as “Bollywood Regal.” Read about the house and see many more pictures at Messy Nessy Chic.



Modern Genes Reveal 100 Major Population Shifts In Human History

Violence and love, conquest and assimilation, they're all in your DNA. Literally. As human populations have moved around the world, they've left bits of their genes to mark their passage. An ambitious new project has attempted to use genetics to identify many of the major movements of humans over the last 4,000 years.

By measuring the sizes of different chunks of DNA in modern people, a team of geneticists and statisticians from the U.K. and Germany identified more than 100 major population movements. They saw the spread of Mongol genes across the Mongol empire, the appearance of European genes in Maya and Pima Indians during colonization, and the arrival of Cambodian genes at the fall of the Khmer empire.

The Sights And Scents Of The Sensorama Simulator

You're perched atop a motorcycle, cruising through Brooklyn with the wind whipping through your hair. A faint waft of indefinable city-funk hits your nose and the rumbling of the engine rattles your backside. Then your tokens run out.

You've just experienced the Sensorama Simulator, a machine from 1962 that played a 3D film along with stereo sound, aromas and wind in order to create an immersive sensory environment. It was one of many 3D-related creations that visionary inventor and cinematographer Morton Heilig gave the world.

The Dark Origins Of 11 Classic Nursery Rhymes

In the canon of great horror writing, Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, and Mary Shelley tend to dominate the craft. But Mother Goose isn't too far behind.

That fictional grande dame of kiddie poems has got a bit of a dark streak, as evidenced by the unexpectedly sinister theories surrounding the origins of these 11 well-known nursery rhymes.

Awesome Pictures


 Valley of waterfalls II  |  Mehmet Ozgur

What is Climate Change Doing Now?

Wavier jet stream 'may drive weather shift.' new research suggests that the main system that helps determine the weather over northern Europe and North America may be changing. The study shows that the so-called jet stream has increasingly taken a longer, meandering path - More


There's no bubbling pool of lava under the world's liveliest volcanoes, but rather magma in cold storage, waiting for a splash of heat to wake up. 

Ice Giants

Dunure Castle and Labyrinth on Ayrshire coast, Scotland. According to Irish and English ancient legends the fairies danced on labyrinth spirals in the moonlight; in accordance to Norwegian popular beliefs, the stone rows were made by ice-giants; in Swedish tales labyrinths mark the entrance into underground palaces. Most modern researchers consider labyrinths religious structures.

Port Royal, Jamaica

Once referred to as the ‘Wickedest City on Earth’ (because of its rampant piracy, prostitution and rum consumption), part of Port Royal sank after an earthquake in 1692. The ruins scattered in the Kingston Harbor, and currently, the remains of the city encompasses 13 acres at depths of up to 40 feet.

Lake Kaindy, Kazakhstan

Lake Kaindy is a 400-meter-long lake in Kazakhstan that reaches depths near 30 meters in some areas. It is located 129 kilometers east-southeast of the city of Almaty and is 2,000 meters above sea level. The lake was created as the result of an enormous limestone landslide, triggered by the 1911 Kebin earthquake. The track to Lake Kaindy has many scenic views to the Saty Gorge, the Chilik Valley, and the Kaindy Gorge. Dried-out trunks of submerged Picea schrenkiana trees rise above the surface.

Daily Comic Relief


Fisherman catches rare footage of marlin attack

A 600-pound blue marlin jumps completely out of the water while chasing a 25-pound dorado off Costa Rica; seasoned skippers had never seen anything like it marlin attack
Fishermen trolling the waters off Los Suenos, Costa Rica, witnessed a rare and remarkable sight while fishing for sailfish and dorado a week ago. A blue marlin, estimated at 600 pounds, was chasing a 25-pound dorado, causing quite a stir in the water. The fish, neither of which was hooked, put on an impressive aerial display, with the huge marlin coming completely out of the water and the dorado catching big-time air.
Capt. Mark Garry aboard Fishizzle managed to capture the amazing moments on video. The slow-motion part is especially dazzling, with the most incredible leap by the fish starting at the 2:04 mark:
Back on shore, Garry showed the video of the marlin attack to several seasoned Costa Rica fishermen and none of them had ever seen anything like it.
marlin attack 
“Obviously neither did we,” Garry wrote on his YouTube post. So, what became of the dorado?
The fisherman doesn’t know for sure, but it might have escaped using an ingenious plan for evading the attacking marlin.
“The marlin made several attempts at the dorado, and the last we saw of both of them was they passed five feet away from us [and] the dorado was on the tail of the marlin,” Gary said. “I guess that’s the farthest place from his bill.”
Now that’s a smart dorado.

How Wolves Change Rivers

Our natural ecosystem is a delicate balance. When you take one part of it away, the results can be unforeseen and even catastrophic. But Sustainable Man tells us a story of one case of man correcting that imbalance. In 1995, wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park after being absent for 70 years. In the 19 years since, the park has undergone a number of astonishing changes that can be traced to the wolves. By the time the video was ending, I fully expected to hear “The Circle of Life.” The moral of the story, as you can guess, is "Don't mess with Mother Nature."

How Pronghorn Newborns Survive

Mammal species are born mostly helpless and vulnerable to predators. Many hide their babies in nests, but pronghorn antelopes are born on the open range, while coyotes wait for an easy snack. And to complicate matters, they always have twins. But Stacey Dunn, who studies pronghorns, tells us that pronghorn fawns are born for camouflage. They are born, they flatten themselves against the ground, and they don’t make a sound. Trying to find them in the grass is not easy for coyotes or humans. And the mother drops each twin in a different location.
Mothers return every three or four hours for nursing, day and night, staying away in between so as not to reveal the babies' location. The coyotes, of course, are watching, tracking the mothers. Over the weeks, the young ones are getting stronger, but when their mothers go, they curl back down, getting quiet again.

Fawns born in April stay quiet till June.

"The technique works," writes Craig. Researchers can see them across a meadow, when the mothers are nursing, but once the baby goes back down to the ground, it vanishes. "I've almost stepped on them without realizing they were there," Stacey told me.
Hey, your baby would be quiet, too, if his life depended on it! The pronghorn fawns learn to walk and run quickly, but they live on mothers milk for months. Dunn has quite a few pictures of pronghorns hiding in the grass, which you’ll have to study if you’re ever to see them. 

Snake handling pastor died after being bitten by snake

Pastor Jamie Coots from Middlesboro, Kentucky died on Saturday night after he was bitten by a snake.
According to the Middlesboro Police Department, emergency crews responded to reports of a possible snakebite victim at around 8:30pm, but say the victim had already left the scene by the time they arrived.

Police say they found Coots at his home with an apparent snakebite to his hand. Officials say EMS responders explained the dangers of not treating the wound, but that Coots still refused to be transferred.

Pastor Coots filmed last year.

Police and EMS returned to the scene an hour later to find Coots dead. Coots was the pastor of Full Gospel Tabernacle in jesus Name cult in Middlesboro.

The Python Patrol

Time was you could buy a Burmese python in Florida, but the cute little snakes sold at carnivals eventually became 20-foot-long eating machines, so a lot of them were freed into the Everglades. Now they are an invasive species that has all but wiped out rabbits, raccoons, bobcats, and other small mammals from the park. It has been estimated that there are around 100,000 Burmese pythons in Florida -a place where they do not naturally exist. In 2008, the Nature Conservancy began training citizens to spot and report pythons, and training wildlife professionals to capture them. This is the Python Patrol.
The Python Patrol program has since trained more than 450 responders and 2,625 detectors, including field scientists, state wildlife commission staff, state park service personnel, utility workers for the city of Miami—anyone likely to encounter non-native snakes in the field—and even a group of war veterans known as the Swamp Apes. One trainee, 70-year-old Eric Raits, has now caught three pythons while working as a tour guide at Shark Valley Tram Tours in Everglades. Once, lacking a bag into which to deposit the snake, he simply held on to the 9-foot python for the remaining half of the two-hour tour. “I was sitting in the backwards-facing seat with the snake coiled up around my arm,” he says. “Unsurprisingly, no one sat in the two rows closest to me. They were all in the back, sitting on each other’s laps.”
The aim of the Python Patrol is to limit the spread of the pythons, so scientists are still working on the problem of eradicating them. But the program has had some success, and the volunteers are also being trained in spotting other invasive species that threaten Florida’s ecology. Read about Florida’s invasive species problem and the Python Patrol’s efforts at The Nature Conservancy.

Animal Pictures