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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.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Daily Drift

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Carolina Naturally is read in 195 countries around the world daily.   

The 'perfect' woman - Just ask Mattel... !
Today is - Barbie Day

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Today in History

1617 The Treaty of Stolbovo ends the occupation of Northern Russia by Swedish troops.
1734 The Russians take Danzig (Gdansk) in Poland.
1788 Connecticut becomes the 5th state.
1796 Napoleon Bonaparte marries Josephine de Beauharnais in Paris, France.
1812 Swedish Pomerania is seized by Napoleon.
1820 Congress passes the Land Act, paving the way for westward expansion.
1839 The French Academy of Science announces the Daguerreotype photo process.
1841 The rebel slaves who seized a Spanish slave ship, the Amistad, in 1839 are freed by the Supreme Court despite Spanish demands for extradition.
1862 The first and last battle between the ironclads U.S.S. Monitor and C.S.S. Virginia ends in a draw.
1864 General Ulysses Grant is appointed commander-in-chief of the Union forces.
1911 The funding for five new battleships is added to the British military defense budget.
1915 The Germans take Grondno on the Eastern Front.
1916 Mexican bandit Pancho Villa leads 1,500 horsemen on a raid of Columbus, N.M. killing 17 U.S. soldiers and citizens.
1932 Eamon De Valera is elected president of the Irish Free State and pledges to abolish all loyalty to the British Crown.
1936 The German press warns that all Jews who vote in the upcoming elections will be arrested.
1939 Czech President Emil Hacha ousts pro-German Joseph Tiso as the Premier of Slovakia in order to preserve Czech unity.
1940 Britain frees captured Italian coal ships on the eve of German Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop's visit to Rome.
1956 British authorities arrest and deport Archbishop Makarios from Cyprus. He is accused of supporting terrorists.
1957 Egyptian leader Nasser bars U.N. plans to share the tolls for the use of the Suez Canal.
1959 The Barbie doll is unveiled at a toy fair in New York City.
1964 The first Ford Mustang rolls off the Ford assembly line.
1967 Svetlana Alliluyeva, Josef Stalin's daughter defects to the United States.
1968 General William Westmoreland asks for 206,000 more troops in Vietnam.
1975 Iraq launches an offensive against the rebellious Kurds.
1986 Navy divers find the crew compartment of the space shuttle Challenger along with the remains of the astronauts.

Non Sequitur


Europe to America: Get Your Own Cheese Names!

American Cheese
Well, have you had that weird orange slices of processed food called American cheese? It's no wonder that American cheesemakers are miffed when the European Union proposed that they stop using European names when making cheese. No more "Mi queso es su queso".
As part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership currently being negotiated by the United States and the EU, Europe wants us to stop labelling popular cheeses Gruyere, Brie, and Parmesan as those are names with historical ties to Europe. The EU has added "protected destination of origin" (PDO) status to 180 cheeses from various regions, including Roquefort, Beaufort, and Brie de Meaux.
American cheesemakers, naturally, are upset that Europe is moving their cheese. "People have spent a great deal of money on labeling, building traditions, building a name on a product," said foodmaker Steve Stettler of Decatur Dairy in Brodhead, Wisconsin, to NPR Morning Edition's Latoya Dennis. "And then not being able to use that name would be kind of horrific."
What do you think? No more American-made feta, Asiago, Gorgonzola, Roquefort and Muenster? Should American cheesemakers be forced to call these cheeses something else?

Did you know ...

That you need to work at least 67 hours to afford rent on minimum wage

That the NRA discovers teenagers shouldn't have guns

That scientists observed the biggest meteor ever impact on the moon

That a couple finds $10 million in rare gold coins while on a walk

Our disastrously gerrymandered state

by Rob Schofield
GerrymanderingPolitical gerrymandering has almost always been a problem in North Carolina, but new evidence continues to emerge that when conservative politicians drew the current maps (with wingnut godfather Art Pope literally sitting at the table) they took the whole thing to new and historic depths.
If you think that’s an overstatement check out this morning’s “Monday Numbers” from Chris Fitzsimon over on the main Policy Watch page in which Chris highlights some the most amazing facts in a new WRAL.com story entitled “Many state legislative races all but over before contests begin”:
50—-number of seats in the North Carolina Senate (N.C. General Assembly)
21—number of seats in the Senate where the winner of the Republican or Democratic primary will face no opposition in the general election in November  (Many state legislative races all but over before contests begin,” WRAL-TV, March 1, 2014)
120—number of seats in the North Carolina House (N.C. General Assembly)
57—number of seats in the House where the winner of the Republican or Democratic primary will face no opposition from the other party in the general election in November (Many state legislative races all but over before contests begin,” WRAL-TV, March 1, 2014)
Read all of the remarkable Monday Numbers by clicking here.

Media Matters Introduces Mythopedia to Debunk Wingnut Lies

"Mythopedia was created to serve as a resource tool to catalog and debunk the most common myths and lies of the wingnut media."…
America, something great this way comes: Mythopedia, a brand new fact check tool from the folks who bring you the truth about wingnut media dishonesty at Media Matters for America. Clearly, something like Mythopedia was called for given the sheer quantity of wingnut lies. Really, don’t you find it hard to keep up? I do, and I do this for a living.
Media Matters says “Mythopedia was created to serve as a resource tool to catalog and debunk the most common myths and lies of the wingnut media.” Mythopedia addresses 400 entries at launch but, of course, they point out that it will also be “continuously updated.” Good luck to them keeping up with wingnuts lies. I hope the folks at Mythopedia like long days and late nights.
Here is an introductory video to get you started. Trust me, you’ll be hooked in no time:
If you go to the main page you can follow a link to the full list of myths, for example the lie that Hillary Clinton was behind the smear that Barack Obama was educated in a madrassa.” The truth is that “the smear that Obama attended a madrassa originated on an obscure wingnut website.” If you want to know more, for example, if the wingnut you are dealing with wants proof that he will then ignore, you can click on “see entry” and learn that the website in question is InsightMag.com in 2007b and that CNN and other news outlets “quickly debunked the claim.” There are even citations, so you can show your wingnut friend the links to the relevant CNN and New York Times articles.
Don’t you love it when wingnuts lie, and then blame the lie on liberals? It’s like a wingnut BOGO: lie, and then lie about the lie.
I admit there are some initial frustrations using Mythopedia. I can think of bunches of things to search for that you won’t find here, like all the lies told about how President Obama has sold Israel out. As a matter of fact, Michele Bachmann went there just the other day, saying how disappointed she was in American Jews, because they voted for Israel’s arch enemy, Barack Obama.
As David Harris-Gershon pointed out at Tikkun Daily on Tuesday, if Obama is holding Israel back, how is it that “Israeli settlement expansion has increased by a stunning 123 percent in 2013″?
Unfortunately, if you search for Bachmann, who is a veritable lying machine, you will not find any results at all. If you search for Israel, you will find only four results. Obviously, there is a great deal more work to do, but it’s a great start, and as someone who spends a lot of time researching right wing propaganda, I’m wildly enthused by the project.
The good news is, that if, like me, you see something missing, you can click on “submit a tip,” which brings you to a screen where you input your email address and the tip, and submit. I can imagine there will be quite a few of these coming in.
The unfortunate thing for America, and the world really, is the wingnut refusal to see facts for what they are, rejecting reality and the evidence of their own senses in favor of their preconceptions. I do not think Mythopedia will help them. In my own experience, finding a wingnut willing to examine the facts today is as hard as finding Bigfoot. You read about them once in awhile, but you don’t actually see them yourselves.
On the other hand, and here I think Mythopedia will help, there are millions of independents out there who might be brought to the truth of wingnut's misinformation by projects like this. Facts do matter, and there are still people out there who realize this, but thanks to the conservative media elite, simply haven’t found them yet. So check out Mythopedia. Send it to your friends. Arm yourselves with facts and gird your minds for battle.

Harry Reid on the Koch Brothers' agenda

Senate majority leader Harry Reid gave a hell of a speech in Congress about the agenda of the billionaire Koch brothers, carbon barons who are the prime beneficiaries of Citizens United, the Supreme Court case that ruled that corporate persons had the free speech right to engage in unlimited campaign finance spending.

Chris Christie Admits repugican cabal is Fighting for the Koch Brothers at CPAC

In a bout of honesty, Chris Christie spoke the truth about what the repugican cabal stands for at CPAC. They stand for the Koch brothers.…

As the Nation Moves Left, John McCain Is America’s New Most Hated Senator

john mccain 
A new PPP poll has found that Sen. John McCain has passed Mitch McConnell to be become America’s least popular U.S. senator.
PPP summarized what can only be described as a boatload of bad news for McCain, “PPP’s newest Arizona poll finds that John McCain is unpopular with repugicans, Democrats, and independents alike and has now become the least popular Senator in the country. Only 30% of Arizonans approve of the job McCain is doing to 54% who disapprove. There isn’t much variability in his numbers by party- he’s at 35/55 with repugicans, 29/53 with Democrats, and 25/55 with independents, suggesting he could be vulnerable to challenges in both the primary and general elections the next time he’s up.”
McCain’s approval rating of 30% back home in Arizona means that he is 2% less popular than Mitch McConnell is in Kentucky. McCain’s disapproval rating (54%) is six points lower than McConnell’s (60%), but he is also less popular than the fading fast repugican Senate leader. The fact that McCain is only six points more popular with repugicans (35%) than he is with Democrats (29%) signals that the end is near for self styled Arizona maverick.
McCain is likely to share a similar problem with McConnell. The repugicans in both states think that their incumbent senior citizen senators are too liberal, and compromise too much with Obama. I suspect that the folks back home have also grown sick of their senator’s constant chasing of television cameras. McCain is a virtual weekly guest on the Sunday morning shows, and the television networks have gone completely over the top by featuring him as a guest eleven times in the past week.
The Arizona senator has cultivated a press corps that fawn all over him so at first glance it surprising that he is the least popular senator in the country. Beneath the media hype, is a senator that has not done much for years in the Senate. Since losing the 2008 election, McCain has mostly used the Senate as a glorified retirement home and perch to get on national television often and frequently.
Arizona is shifting away from repugicans, and more towards being a 2016 presidential swing state. As Arizona changes, one of the first things it may do is send John McCain into retirement.

The repugicans Use Stalinesque Tactics to Show Their Love For The Constitution

The next time repugicans and their surrogates at Faux news talk about their love for the constitution, and especially when they claim to care about civil rights, remember Wednesday, March 5 2014. That was the day repugicans in the House and the Senate took a sledgehammer to the constitution of the United States.
There was the stunt bill to sue President Obama for being president.
There was that  repugican block of Debo Adegbile’s nomination to head the DOJ’s civil rights division. The real reason repugicans objected to Adegbile’s nomination is his effectiveness as an advocate for voting rights that extend beyond the devout followers of the repugican cult.
Their stated reason, in reality, is as much a swipe at civil rights as their primary motive. By stating their opposition to Adegbile because as a criminal defense attorney he represented Mumia Abu Jamal amounts to an admission of the repugican cabal’s opposition to the sixth amendment which guarantees all criminal defendants a right to counsel – including those accused of the most heinous of crimes. After all, the constitution that repugicans love only provides privileges for repugicans and corporations.
It’s more than shameful that seven Democrats (Casey, Coons, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Manchin, Pryor and Walsh) joined the repugicans in their opposition to the sixth Amendment.
Then there’s the Darrell Issa meltdown after Louise Lerner, once again, invoked her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent during the latest chapter of Issa’s IRS inquisition.  How dare she invoke a right that is guaranteed under the Constitution. After all, she isn’t a repugican!  How Dare Elijah Cummings think that, as the ranking member on this committee, he also gets to ask questions.  Didn’t he know Issa’s inquisitions are one sided validations of debunked conspiracy theories?
Moreover, this inquisition is really about preserving the life’s blood of the repugican cabal. Issa is fighting to protect the anonymity of rich individuals and corporations that launder money to the repugican cabal through 501(c )(4)s.   Anonymity is key because corporate free speech shouldn’t mean people knowing if their purchases might be financing efforts to allow corporations to poison their air and water with impunity while simultaneously taking away people’s jobs, housing, healthcare, insurance and education.
The repugican surrogate, Faux, wasn’t about to miss out on the day of assault on the constitution.  The repugican puppet, Jon Scott, came right out and said if Louise Lerner waves her Fifth Amendment rights, the death threats she has been receiving will go away.
I can see why if you’re getting death threats, why you wouldn’t want to open yourself up to more scrutiny,” Scott admitted. “But at the same time, it would seem that answering some of the questions might cause some of these people who are so angry to ease up.
Make no mistake.  Scott’s comments amounted to legitimizing the Stalinesque death threats as a means of getting people to give up their constitutional rights.
All of this fits a pattern in which the constitution that repugicans say they love is much like wealth.  They believe both are reserved exclusively for repugicans and their corporate sugar daddies and they are willing to use Joseph Stalin’s tactics to make sure the rest of us get the message.

New York and Connecticut take action against food stamp cuts

The Democratic governors of Connecticut and New York have taken action to prevent their states from losing tens of millions of dollars in nutrition assistance thanks to the $800 million a year that Congress recently cut from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Those cuts targeted mostly blue states through a provision often called "heat and eat," in which states could qualify residents for higher food stamp benefits by giving them a small amount of heating assistance. Congress raised the amount of heating assistance needed to qualify for the increased SNAP benefits to $20, intending that states wouldn't be willing to offer the increased heating assistance, allowing the federal government to cut food stamps. But that won't be happening in Connecticut and New York:
    Anne Foley, an undersecretary of the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management, said increasing heating assistance is "absolutely not a loophole."

    "It's a way in which we identify households that have extraordinary needs and legitimately ought to have additional federal funding for nutrition assistance," she said.

    An order by [Connecticut Gov. Dannel] Malloy will spend about $1.4 million in federal energy aid, increasing benefits for 50,000 low-income Connecticut residents from $1 to $20 so they do not lose $112 in monthly food stamp benefits. It will preserve about $67 million in food stamp benefits. New York will spend about $6 million more in federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding to maintain food stamp benefits totaling $457 million.

That means New York City's emergency food providers, already hit hard by SNAP benefit cuts in November, won't face another disastrous wave of need. Now if California, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington, DC, and Wisconsin will just follow suit, a big piece of this congressional effort to slash the safety net will have been turned back.

Paul Ryan misused data to show poverty programs don't work, say economists he cited

Paul Ryan (r-WI) misrepresented or misunderstood the data he cited in his exhaustive critique of the federal safety net, said some of the economists he cited in his 204-page report.
The former vice presidential candidate relied heavily on academic research for his report, "The War On Poverty: 50 Years Later," which was released Monday and noted the poverty rate remained stuck at 15 percent - the highest in a generation.
"And the trends are not encouraging," Ryan wrote. "Federal programs are not only failing to address the problem. They are also in some significant respects making it worse. Changes are clearly necessary, and the first step is to evaluate what the federal government is doing right now."
But some authors of that research said Ryan apparently left out or ignored statistics that showed federal anti-poverty programs worked exactly as they were intended, reported The Fiscal Times.
For example, the repugican lawmaker left off data measured in a recent study of the two most successful years in President Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty to argue that federal efforts hadn't worked.

Daughter-belting judge loses seat to primary challenger

William Adams, the Arkansas County Court-At-Law Judge caught on camera mercilessly whipping his screaming 14-year-old daughter while yelling obscenities at her, has finally lost his job after a primary challenger defeated him. His victim had anticipated the assault, recorded it, and released it only after she became an adult. Warning: the video shows physical and emotional abuse and will make you angry.

Random Celebrity Photos


Angie Dickinson
Angie Dickinson

Five Freak Show Freaks Who Should be Famous

There are many individuals who were every bit as remarkable, and sometimes even more so, who history has forgotten and fame has passed over. The reasons for their obscurity vary but all were robbed of the recognition their sheer uniqueness should have cemented.

In those days they were called 'freaks' but of course they were as humas as you and I. Here is a list of five freaks who should be famous.

Man accused of trying to break into ATM with cutting torch was wearing armored underpants

A man accused of trying to use a cutting torch to break into an ATM was wearing ballistic vests and armored underpants when he fired pepper spray at an officer, according to police in Portland, Oregon. The situation began unfolding at 3am on Sunday.

Police received a report of a man carrying a backpack who had tried to use a torch on a US Bank ATM. An officer spotted the suspect walking through a nearby parking lot. As the officer got out of his patrol car to contact the man, the suspect turned and sprayed a liquid toward him. Police said the liquid was later determined to be pepper spray. It did not hit the officer.
The suspect dropped his backpack as the officer chased after him, before finally surrendering to police. Investigators said the backpack contained an acetylene torch and stun gun. The suspect, identified as Mark Fischer, 32, was wearing two ballistic vests. Additionally, Fischer had multiple ballistic panels sewn into his underpants, according to police, covering his legs, backside and crotch area.

Police said Fischer was also armed with a large knife. Fischer was booked into the Multnomah County Jail on charges of being a felon in possession of body armor, attempted aggravated theft, attempted assault on a police officer, attempted escape, menacing, possession of burglary tools and interfering with a peace officer.

Man eating handfuls of pork almost choked to death in butcher's shop

Emergency crews in Wichita, Kansas responded after a 51-year-old man walked into a butcher's shop and began eating handfuls of pork.
The man started choking on the pork just after 8pm on Monday and fell to the floor.
Workers at Carniceria El Guero started conducting CPR to revive the man.

He was transported to Via Christi St. Francis Hospital. Police are not sure what the man’s intent was for eating the pork.

Man sues after choking on live fish at haunted house

A lawsuit filed against the operators of a haunted house in Talbot, Tennessee alleges a man was hospitalized for four days when he choked on a live fish. Cameron Roth claims the Frightmare Manor should not have allowed people to eat live fish without medical supervision.

Roth is suing Tennessee Community Enrichment. dba Frightmare Manor, American Strategic Holdings LLC and "Frightmare" overseer Charles Christopher Wooden in Davidson County Circuit Court, alleging negligence, liability, emotional distress and fraud. Roth claims he paid $15 to compete in Frightmare Manor's "'Eat Something,' 'Drink Something,' and 'Do Something'" challenge, in which he was "forced to eat" two live bluegills in October 2013.
However: "Frightmare failed to remove any of the spines from the bluegill fish," the complaint states. "In his attempt to eat the two fish within the time constraint, Mr. Roth began choking as the first fish became lodged in his throat." The defendants did not have any emergency medical staff on hand and their employees did not seek emergency medical assistance while Roth was choking, according to the complaint. Other patrons came to Roth's aid and called 911.

"The defendants willfully and recklessly failed to take necessary safety measures before Mr. Roth and other participants entered into the challenge," the complaint states. Roth also claims the defendants were negligent in requiring participants "to eat something that was inherently dangerous to consume," such as live fish "with all spines attached." Roth was taken by ambulance to a hospital where he received emergency medical treatment before being transferred to a new hospital, where he spent four days "including two nights in the intensive care unit," according to the complaint. Roth is seeking $150,000 in compensatory damages and $400,000 in punitive damages.

Fish strike forced jet to abort takeoff at Air Force base

Bird strikes are a familiar hazard for aircraft. Now authorities at a Florida military base say they've recorded a fish strike. According to MacDill Air Force Base officials, a jet flown by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration pilot was struck by a 9-inch sheepshead during takeoff in September.
Lt. Cmdr. Nick Toth a NOAA pilot, and his crew aboard a Gulfstream GIV were cleared for takeoff . "We were nearing the point in the takeoff where we needed to rotate, or raise the nose of the airplane off the ground, when an osprey with something in its claws flew in front of our aircraft," Toth said. "We saw that the osprey did not gain enough altitude, and that it passed underneath the center line of the aircraft."

Then the crew heard a thud and, assuming they had hit the osprey, aborted the takeoff. The aircraft taxied back to a hangar for inspection.They called in someone from the base's Airfield Management and Operations and Wildlife Management to see if they could find the osprey. Lindsey Garven, a 6th Air Mobility Wing Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard contractor, said her crew swept the runway but didn't find anything until they reached the end of the runway. There was the sheepshead.
She collected the fish and then took some DNA from the aircraft and sent the samples to the Smithsonian Feather Identification Laboratory in Washington. It turns out that it was the sheepshead that had struck the plane. The crew suspects that the osprey was eating the fish on the runway and took off when the airplane approached. The bird barely got away and probably would have struck the aircraft if it hadn't let go of its catch.



The Magic Number That Could Fix America’s Weight Problem

When it comes to birthday cake etiquette, there are two types of people: those that scrape off the frosting in disgust and those that strategically cut a corner piece for double the sugary surface area. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a lot of us are going for the corners. About 217 million Americans are considered overweight or obese, which is roughly two-thirds of the country.But fear not, the picture of a bloated America could easily change if we all dropped 20 pounds. Yes, we’re mindful that not everyone could or even should lose 20 - those that are underweight, children and the elderly – but we’re talking about the masses.
And full disclosure, as a kid that was forced to shop in the husky section of Sears, I know all too well the emotional and psychological toll weight can have on someone’s confidence. This is not fat shaming, this is simply a hypothetical situation.
So, what if everyone lost 20 pounds?
First, the average American male weighs a little more than 195 pounds, the average American female, weighs about 166 pounds. Based on these averages, and the CDC’s table for Body Mass Index if average American Joe’s and Jane’s dropped 20 pounds, they would no longer border obesity, but rather border what is considered normal weight.
Ever tried dropping a few pounds? Then you know that 20 can seem like a ton. It’s not, actually. It’s about the weight of a spare tire or a case of beer; interesting to note that one is the namesake for a belly, while the other is often the cause of its existence.
If we did lose 20, white women might find themselves with a little extra cash, according to Dr. John Cawley, economics professor at Cornell University. He examined 30 years of data, collected on a cross-section of the U.S. population. About 70,000 people were observed from different economic situations, educational levels, and races. As the subjects were monitored over three decades, Cawley noticed a pattern among white women; those that were heavier, tended to earn less money. In most cases, the wage difference was between 2.8 percent and 5.6 percent.
Keep in mind, this study did not come to the conclusion that weight gain automatically causes a drop in wages, or that lower wages causes weight gain. However, the observation is worth attention, considering that changing your figure, could change some figures.
But even without pay raise, if we lost 20 pounds, we’d have more money to spend, thanks to saving billions on healthcare costs. According the Cawley’s number crunching, those Americans considered obese spend about $2,700 a year on healthcare, over someone classified as normal weight. If we eliminated these bills by losing 20 pounds, the country as a whole, would save about $190 Billion dollars in healthcare costs associated with obesity.
Now that we’ve dropped a few and saved a bunch, it’s time to shop for some smaller clothes.
For the average American woman, losing 20 pounds is the difference of two sizes. Because designers pull this little trick called, ‘vanity sizing,’ there’s no measurable standard among clothing. What one label considers to be a size 14, another may consider that a 12.
Cathlin Argiro, a designer and professor at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, shared that little tidbit when I asked how big a difference could 20 pounds make for the fashion world. Basically, a lot of designers have been telling us that we’re smaller than we are in actuality, boosting our confidence, pushing us to the register.
With that in mind, the average American woman is either a size 12 or 14. A 20-pound drop, and she suddenly finds herself reaching for an 8 or possibly a 10. Which opens the door for American manufacturers to satisfy this new demand for smaller clothing, beating foreign competition.
Argiro explained that from design sketch to store rack, an American manufacturer can produce a new piece of clothing in about two weeks. It takes twice as long, nearly a month, for a manufacturer overseas to bring something into the stores. Losing 20 pounds could mean a surge in, ‘Made In the U.S.A,’ labels as we rush to fill our closets with slimmer, trimmer duds.
That is, if we can ever leave our bedrooms.
According to Dr. Deepak Chopra, author of ‘Timeless You,’ and the guy that Oprah made famous by introducing his holistic approach to medicine, explained that losing 20 pounds would mean a change in hormone levels. Those changing hormone levels would increase our sexual vitality.
Chopra explained that our bodies are comprised of feedback loops, like thermostats that regulate functions like metabolism and hormone levels.
“When you’re overweight, it disrupts these feedback loops…you’re out of tune with the essence, the fundamental basics of life.”

The nasal cycle explains why you're stuffed up on one side of your face

It's not an exercise bike for your nose. Instead, the nasal cycle is the biological cycle that automatically switches the bulk of your breathing from one nostril to another throughout the course of the day. It's the reason why you usually feel more stuffed up on one side when you have a cold but, as Matt Soniak explains at mental_floss, it's got some benefits, too.
One, it makes our sense of smell more complete. Different scent molecules degrade at different rates, and our scent receptors pick up on them accordingly. Some smells are easier to detect and process in a fast-moving airstream like the decongested nostril, while others are better detected in the slower airstream of the congested nostril. Nasal cycling also seems to keep the nose maintained for its function as an air filter and humidifier. The alternating congestion gives the mucous and cilia (the tiny hairs up in your nose) in each nostril a well-deserved break from the onslaught of air and prevents the insides of your nostrils from drying out, cracking and bleeding.

Colored diamonds are a superconductor’s best friend

Flawed but colorful diamonds are among the most sensitive detectors […]

Battleship Island

This is Mitsukejima, a Japanese island also known as Gunkanjima or “Battleship Island.” It looks the part, don’t you think?
It’s located just south of Suzu, Ishikawa, Japan. According to legend, the Eighth Century Japanese monk Kōbō-Daishi named the island after its resemblance to a warship. Mitsukejima measures about 30 meters high, 50 meters wide and 150 meters long. Visitors can reach it over a rocky causeway built from the shore. It’s considered a romantic place for couples to go.

Daily Comic Relief


Scientists find dinosaur that was scourge of Jurassic Europe

In Europe 150 million years ago, this dude was the biggest, baddest bully in town.
Two scientists in Portugal announced on Wednesday that they have identified the largest carnivorous dinosaur ever found in Europe, a 33-foot-long (10-meter-long) brute called Torvosaurus gurneyi that was the scourge of its domain in the Jurassic Period.
"It was indeed better not to cross the way of this large, carnivorous dinosaur," said paleontologist Christophe Hendrickx of Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Museu da Lourinhã in Portugal.
Torvosaurus gurneyi was an imposing beast. It was bipedal, weighed four to five tons, had a skull almost 4 feet long, boasted powerful jaws lined with blade-shaped teeth four inches long, and may have been covered with an early type of feather, Hendrickx said.
"Torvosaurus gurneyi was obviously a super predator feeding on large prey like herbivorous dinosaurs," Hendrickx said.
Remains of the new species were unearthed in Portugal by an amateur fossil hunter in 2003 in the rock cliffs of Lourinhã, a small town about 45 miles north of Lisbon, Hendrickx said. He said fossilized embryos probably belonging to this species were identified last year in Portugal.
The findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE.
At the time that Torvosaurus prowled the landscape, the region was a lush river delta with abundant fresh water and vegetation. The area teemed with dinosaurs and flying reptiles known as pterosaurs, primitive birds, crocodiles, turtles and mouse-sized mammals, according to paleontologist Octávio Mateus, also of Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Museu da Lourinhã.
Plant-eating dinosaurs living in the area included the huge, long-necked Lusotitan, the armored, tank-like Dracopelta and the spiky-tailed Miragaia, Mateus added.
The two scientists said this is the second species of the genus Torvosaurus. The other one, Torvosaurus tanneri, lived at the same time in North America. It was known from the states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming and was identified in 1979.
Its genus name, Torvosaurus, means "savage lizard." Its species name, gurneyi, honors James Gurney, the author and illustrator of the popular "Dinotopia" book series.
Torvosaurus gurneyi was not the only meat-eating dinosaur in its neighborhood. For example, there was a European species of the well-known North American Jurassic predator Allosaurus, but the Torvosaurus found in Portugal was larger.
Torvosaurus gurneyi not only is the largest known meat-eating dinosaur from Europe, but is the biggest land predator of any kind ever found on the continent, they added.
There were larger dinosaur carnivores elsewhere, however.
Tyrannosaurus in North America, Carcharodontosaurus and Spinosaurus in North Africa and Giganotosaurus in Argentina all were bigger, but appeared on Earth much later than Torvosaurus, during the Cretaceous Period that followed the Jurassic Period.
"This animal, Torvosaurus, was already a fossil for 80 million years before the T. rex ever walked the Earth," Mateus said.
During the Jurassic Period from about 200 million years ago to 145 million years ago, carnivorous dinosaurs generally were medium-sized, with an average length of about 7 to 16 feet. Larger ones like Torvosaurus, Allosaurus and Saurophaganax arrived in the late Jurassic Period.

Bee diarrhea conference underway

An amusing headline, but a serious problem for beleaguered beekeepers in England: "According to committee member David McLarin, nosema is becoming more prevalent in the South West and that is not good news as bees with the problem hardly produce any honey."

Snow Snake

This is the deadly snow snake. It has bitten 3 people in the state of Ohio and one in Pennsylvania. It’s been spotted in other states. It comes out in the cold weather and at this time there is no cure for it's bite. One bite and your blood starts to freeze. Scientist are trying to find a cure. Your body temperature start to fall once bitten. Please stay clear if you have see it. Please forward this and try to save as many people as we can from this deadly snow snake.
You do realize this is satire, right?!

Animal Pictures