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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.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Daily Drift

Got it ...

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

 Yep, he's quackery ... !
Today is - Donald Duck Day

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Today in History

483 St. Felix begins his reign as Catholic Pope.
607 The 12th recorded passage of Halley's Comet occurs.
1519 Hernando Cortez lands in what will become Mexico.
1660 A statute is passed limiting the sale of slaves in the colony of Virginia.
1777 Congress orders its European envoys to appeal to high-ranking foreign officers to send troops to reinforce the American army.
1781 Astronomer William Herschel discovers the planet Uranus, which he names 'Georgium Sidus,' in honor of King George III.
1793 Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin.
1861 Jefferson Davis signs a bill authorizing slaves to be used as soldiers for the Confederacy.
1868 The U.S. Senate begins the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson.
1881 Czar Alexander II is assassinated when a bomb is thrown at him near his palace.
1915 The Germans repel a British Expeditionary Force attack at the battle of Neuve Chapelle in France.
1918 Women are scheduled to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York due to a shortage of men.
1935 A three-thousand-year-old archive is found in Jerusalem confirming biblical history.
1940 Finland capitulates conditionally to Soviet terms, but maintains its independence.
1941 Hitler issues an edict calling for an invasion of the Soviet Union.
1942 Julia Flikke of the Nurse Corps becomes the first woman colonel in the U.S. Army.
1943 Japanese forces end their attack on the American troops on Hill 700 in Bougainville.
1951 Israel demands $1.5 billion in German reparations for the cost of caring for war refugees.
1957 The FBI arrests Jimmy Hoffa on bribery charges.
1963 China invites Soviet Premiere Nikita Khrushchev to visit Beijing.
1970 Cambodia orders Hanoi and Viet Cong troops to get out.
1974 The U.S. Senate votes 54-33 to restore the death penalty.
1974 Arab nations decide to end the oil embargo on the United States.
1981 The United States plans to send 15 Green Berets to El Salvador as military advisors.
1985 Upon the death of Konstantin Chernenko, Mikhail Gorbachev becomes the new leader of the Soviet Union.
1991 Exxon pays $1 billion in fines and costs for the clean-up of the Alaskan oil spill.

Non Sequitur


President Obama Makes a Fool of Rupert Murdoch by Being a Real Leader

Rupert Murdoch tried to get President Obama to fear monger the Chinese President in order to reignite the War on Terror. Instead, Obama and President Xi Jinping talked diplomacy ...
Rupert Murdoch is so used to running the White House during the good old days under the shrub junta, when a shrub junta fax would be read verbatim on his airwaves without acknowledging that it came from the White House, that he can’t help but try to order President Obama around.
So it was that Sunday morning, Rupert Murdoch tried to dictate foreign policy to President Obama. Naturally, because he’s a wingnut, this involved jumping the gun on the missing Malaysian airliner and claiming that for sure terrorists did it, and then merging that event together with Russia’s actions in a general jihad against terrorism (sound familiar?). “777crash confirms jihadists turning to make trouble for China. Chance for US to make common cause, befriend China while Russia bullies.”
His alleged goal? To get the US and China to come together against Russia. (In actuality, his goal was clearly to reignite the “war on terrorism” or else why would he have brought up the plane crash and terrorism at all.)
So, yeah, the President could have followed Rupert’s advice, picked up the phone to China in order to denounce the terrorists who took down the plane (except no one knows yet what happened to the plane) and then fear-mongered China to point out that they are now being targeted so it’s best that we band together against terrorism (always a winning strategy to wage war on an idea).
Or, Obama could do what a real leader does.
Guess which one your President chose? Yes, that’s right. He did the sane, reality based thing. The President spoke to the Chinese President Sunday evening regarding the situation in Ukraine, according to the Office of the Press Secretary. And without any made up stories or fear mongering, they agreed to focus on common interests and cooperation. HUH.
“The President spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping on the evening of March 9 regarding the situation in Ukraine. The two leaders agreed on the fundamental importance of focusing on common interests and deepening practical cooperation to address regional and global challenges for the development of bilateral relations. In that context, they affirmed their shared interest in reducing tensions and identifying a peaceful resolution to the dispute between Russia and Ukraine.”
No mention of terrorism and a plane so far…. Yet, the leaders understand the importance of finding a PEACEFUL RESOLUTION to the dispute between Russia and the Ukraine. Which is like the exact opposite of Rupert’s 'wisdom' and the repugicans’ goals. They’ve been beating the war drums so hard that Sarah Palin tripped over them and called for nuking now at CPAC.
Furthermore, the world is complicated. So instead of claiming they are going to get the “bad guys with the nukes” (per Sarah Palin) and then just invading/nuking the nearest targets, the two Presidents agreed on the importance of upholding the sovereignty of Ukraine but also as a broader concept (please note the huge dig this is at the shrub and the repugican cabal, who invaded a sovereign nation on a lie), “The two leaders agreed on the importance of upholding principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, both in the context of Ukraine and also for the broader functioning of the international system.”
The dig at neocon stupidity and greed continues, “The President noted his overriding objective of restoring Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and ensuring the Ukrainian people are able to determine their own future without foreign interference. The two leaders committed to stay in touch as events unfold.”
So there. That’s a NO THANKS to Rupert Murdoch and his “advice” to use a missing plane to reignite a war on terror and fear monger China, claiming that the missing plane “confirms” that the “jihadsts are turning to make trouble for China.” This man owns a “news network” but his bias has created an impediment that prohibits him from discerning the difference between what has actually happened and been confirmed and what is in his head. It’s best if the fantasy driven folks stay in the backseat during turbulent times and as cooler heads prevail.
The President simply had a reality based discussion with the Chinese President, and found common principles upon which they could both get behind.

Sorry repugicans, But Americans Support President Obama’s Calm Response to Ukraine Crisis

Barack Obama 
Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and the talking heads over at FAUX News may think the president is weak, but the American people disagree. The repugican cabal politicians have been sabre-rattling and accusing the president of presiding over a feckless foreign policy. However, if they were hoping to score political points with the American public, they are failing miserably in their efforts. A newly released CNN/ORC International survey finds a 48-43 percent plurality of Americans in favor of Barack Obama’s handling of the Ukraine crisis. While the president’s overall approval numbers are still underwater, the American people are supportive of his measured approach to dealing with the situation in Ukraine.
While Lindsey Graham and John McCain would like to see a more aggressive U.S. response, the American people are much more sober in their thoughts. Graham and McCain have never met a war they did not like. However, despite all the chest thumping and beating of the war drums, they have not made their case to the American people. The U.S. public is not receptive to the idea of an American military response in Ukraine. Only 12 percent of Americans polled favor sending U.S. ground troops to the conflict. Just 17 percent would support American air strikes. Even military aid to Ukraine was unpopular, mustering support from a mere 23 percent of those surveyed.
The repugicans attempting to make a political issue of the Ukraine crisis should realize that their pleas for aggression are falling on deaf ears. The American people are war weary. Having been hoodwinked into waging a war in Iraq, the public is not particularly interested in engaging in another overseas conflict. Americans prefer diplomacy and economic sanctions to launching a military attack. While many repugican politicians and wingnut talking heads are trying to paint Barack Obama as a weak political leader in the face of an international crisis, the American people know better. The weak leadership is within the repugican cabal where creative responses to international events are all but impossible.
The cabal that brought us the shrub and Dick Cheney still believes the proper way to handle a foreign crisis is to send troops and drop bombs. The American people disagree. They support diplomacy. So does the president. Since President Obama has kept a cool head under pressure, he has the support of the American people.

Lush Dimbulb Admits That repugicans Refuse to Work With Obama Because He Is Black

obama-limbaugh Lush Dimbulb admitted today that he thought the paralysis in our government will get better even if Hillary Clinton is elected in 2016. This remark was an admission of the real reason why repugicans refuse to work with the country’s first African-American president.

LUSH DIMBULB: I also think, folks, I that there will be dramatic changes once we… Let me just put it this way. The fact that we are living in the historic era with the first African-American president has everybody paralyzed and everybody scared.
Political leadership in Washington is literally paralyzed. Political consultant leadership in Washington literally paralyzed. The repugican cabal is literally paralyzed. Many American citizens are literally paralyzed, frightened to death to say anything to anybody about what they really think — and while this is happening, things are going down the tubes at a rapid rate. So once we get past this historical era, I think a lot of this is going to change.
I think the paralysis will end. Even if we get the first female president, it’s still not gonna be near the paralysis that exists today. That paralysis was planned for and is being used to its maximum benefit by the Democrat and the American left.
On the surface, Dimbulb’s comments make no sense. Instead of being paralyzed, repugicans have used the president’s race against him since the first Obama presidential campaign. Dimbulb was trying to explain to his listeners that repugicans are afraid to do anything because the president is an African-American. His admission that the paralysis will get better even if Hillary Clinton gets elected confirmed one of the main reasons why the wingnuts hate Obama.
Lush Dimbulb was admitting that he thinks repugicans will be more willing to work with Hillary Clinton because she is white. Dimbulb’s little discussion about the fear of the black president revealed the real reason that the wingnuts despise Barack Obama so deeply. One of Dimbulb’s favorite tactic is to assign blame to Democrats and the left for things that the wingnuts and repugicans are doing.
When Lush claimed that Democrats are using Obama’s race to paralyze repugicans and the government, what he was really getting at was the wingnuts' usage of the president’s race as a reason for obstructing his entire agenda.
Dimbulb knows his audience. He understands that the wingnuts' persecution and victimization complexes have to be constantly fed. This is why he blamed the victim of their racism (President Obama) for the repugican cabal’s refusal to do anything. Deep within this maze of intellectual fallacy was a buried truth.
The repugicans already know that they will treat Hillary Clinton better, and that race is one of the reasons for their deep hatred and obstruction of President Obama.

Paul Ryan's Free School Lunch Story Never Actually Happened

by Catherine Thompson
Paul Ryan (r-WI) fired up the audience Thursday at the Conservative Wingnut Political Action Conference with an anecdote about what he called the heartlessness of giving out free school lunches -- but it turns out that "moving" story never really happened.
Ryan used a story about a young boy choosing a lovingly made brown bag lunch over a free school meal, relayed to him by Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson, to illustrate that Democrats offer Americans a "full stomach and an empty soul."
But when Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler looked into that tale, he gave it "four Pinocchios" because Anderson presented it out of context.
Kessler found Anderson told the story at a 2013 congressional hearing that Ryan chaired, and claimed she had spoken to the boy herself. Kessler notes her story closely paralleled an exchange from a book called "An Invisible Thread," in which an executive offers to either give a young, homeless panhandler money to eat for the week or else make lunch for him each day. The boy insists on having his lunch made for him in a brown-paper bag, because that means "somebody cares" about him.
A spokesman for Anderson told Kessler that the secretary "misspoke" and was actually describing a television interview she had seen with Maurice Mazcyk, the boy described in the book. Kessler further noted that school lunch is not brought up in the book, which means Anderson inserted the program into the anecdote.

The repugican cabal and Food Stamps

Our colleagues at the Center for American Progress released a report showing that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would lower government spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by a whopping $46 billion over the next 10 years.
Just a few months ago, Republicans pushed deep cuts in SNAP, also known as food stamps, of $40 billion. What this research proves is that the best way to reduce safety net spending is not by slashing this vital assistance that lifts millions out of poverty; it's by improving families' bottom lines by ensuring they are not earning poverty wages to begin with.
Those billions of dollars in savings also represent taxpayer subsidies for low-wage employers. Many of these employers pay their workers so little that they can't even afford to make ends meet, leaving them to rely on government assistance to get by. Raising the minimum wage will essentially roll back those subsidies, helping elevate millions out of poverty.

Random Photos

We will pay for these transgressions ..

... or our children, will pay and someday soon.

by Emily Atkin  
While all eyes in America were turned to President Obama's looming decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, Canadian regulators on Thursday approved their own, smaller version - a pipeline that would for the first time directly connect Alberta's tar sands to Montreal.
Canada's National Energy Board have approved a proposal by Enbridge Inc. to allow the reversal and expansion of their Line 9 pipeline. The "reversal" means that the pipeline can now carry crude oil east rather than west. The "expansion" means it can now also carry tar sands oil from Alberta - the same type of oil that would be transported by the Keystone XL pipeline if approved.
With the reversal and expansion approved, environmentalists say the controversial tar sands oil can now be pumped almost to the New England border. This is because on one side, Enbridge's Line 9 connects to a pipeline that carries tar sands. On the other side, Line 9 connects to a 236-mile-long line pump from Montreal to Portland, Maine. The National Resources Defense Council says that Portland connection has been targeted by the tar sands industry as a way for getting the oil into the United States via New England.

Trust the market forces, our Libertarian friends tell us

Why is the Internet so slow? Or to put it more specifically, why are we used to internet speeds that are actually dramatically slower than they are in many other countries, even a number that are less wealthy and technologically advanced than we supposedly are?
This is important in terms of our chronic impatience, desire to watch endless TV shows and movies on Netflix and so on. But in the 21st century it's also critical economic infrastructure with a real affect on growth, economic competitiveness and so forth. So again, why is the internet so slow?
The standard answer is that internet access in the US is controlled by huge monopolies who have little incentive to invest in improving speeds and focus instead on extracting high rents. I have no doubt that's the main driver. In part this is because on the ground level I'm sure this is why Time Warner Cable - the company who provides our internet access at TPM's New York office - provides the worst service of any company in the history of the universe. Simple. Zero competition. There's also a pretty ample economic and policy literature demonstrating the role of monopolies in keeping the internet slow in the US and competition making it really fast in South Korea for instance.
But I was interested to see this handy list of the countries of the world ranked by Internet speed. The US is 33rd in the world, aptly perhaps close tied with Russia at 34. So who's above us? It's an interesting mix of countries. A number of relatively small and fairly wealthy countries in Europe - not terribly surprising.  

Harley-Davidson's First Factory

In 1903, William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson built their first motorcycle--the first of what became a great American tradition. Their factory was a crude wooden workshop that measured just 10 x 15 feet. Though it may have seemed presumptuous to paint such a grand title on their shed, Harley and Davidson's later accomplishments would justify it.

The Vending Machine Incident

Robert McKevitt of Spirit Lake, Iowa, worked at a warehouse in Milford. One night, he put a dollar in a vending machine to get a Twix bar, but the candy would not drop. It teetered on the very end of the hook. McKevitt banged on the machine, then rocked it.
But when that didn’t work, McKevitt walked away and commandeered an 8,000-pound forklift, according to state unemployment compensation records.

He reportedly drove up to the vending machine, lifted it 2 feet off the concrete warehouse floor — then let it drop. He allegedly repeated the maneuver at least six times, by which time three candy bars had fallen into the chute for his retrieval.

When a supervisor confronted him, McKevitt allegedly explained he was simply trying to get the snack he had paid for.

He was fired five days later.
At McKevitt’s unemployment benefits hearing, he said he never dropped the machine, but used the forklift to set it back in place after rocking it. He said he’s heard that the company now has all-new vending machines. McKevitt was denied unemployment benefits.

These Fruits And Vegetables Are Starting To Look A Bit Odd

With all the GMO food science going on these days it’s no wonder some fruits and vegetables have started to consider themselves to be more than mere produce, and they’re beginning to change their shape, grow limbs and sprout facial features- anything they can do to blend in with the human and animal populace that normally chews on them.
It’s a rather clever trick, because who would want to eat a fruit or vegetable that looks like a humanoid or a cute little duckie?
Vegans, that’s who, and they have made it their mission in life to devour as many of our planty pals as possible, whether they look cute or not.
Celebrate the life and times of some very unusual fruits and vegetables, before the Vegans come a-chewin' on their shiny hineys, check out the next stage of produce evolution here.



Research shows pitfalls of homework

A Stanford researcher found that too much homework can negatively […]

Can a Stranger Look Exactly Like Me?

Is there a science behind Doppelgangers? Laci is here to discuss what happens in the brain when we see someone that looks identical to you.

Can You Survive Without Food And Water?

Real-life barbie Valeria Lukyanova has decided she's going to try and survive on only sunlight and air. How long can you survive without food and water? Watch as Trace breaks down what happens when you don't eat and drink.

Does Spring Fever Really Exist?

Spring is right around the corner and many of us are feeling a little bit feverish and jumpy. Is spring fever actually a thing? Cristen Conger from Stuff Mom Never Told You is here to answer this question for you.

Can Thieves Rob People Using Hypnosis?

Can hypnotists put unwilling people into a trance and rob them while hypnotized?


It's common for parents to use white noise sound machines for their babies, but is this safe? Lend Trace your ear as he discusses the negative effects of using sound machines to sleep.

Atlantic Ocean Noise About to Get Noisier

Seismic air guns could be banging their way the U.S. East Coast in just a few months, in search of new petroleum reserves. How will it affect marine life?

Daily Comic Relief


It's the Atmosphere

As the sun's energy levels dipped so did temperatures in the North Atlantic, which then may have cooled the climate in Europe.
The Chicxulub asteroid impact triggered intense acid rain and ocean acidification resulting in the Cretaceous-Palaeogene mass extinction event 66 million years ago.
Open ocean clouds have been found to contain biological substances that can be traced to the waters where they formed.

There's a hole in the Ozone Layer ...

No, not that one. This one ...
New Ozone-Destroying Chemicals Discovered in Atmosphere
Four new man-made, ozone-destroying chemicals have been discovered in the upper atmosphere, and appear to be slowing the recovery of the ozone hole, according to a new report. The ozone hole over Antarctica has been gradually healing ever since an international treaty known as the Montreal Protocol began limiting the production of ozone-depleting chemicals in 1989. These chemicals, known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), were commonly used in refrigerators, air conditioners and aerosols until they were found to react with and break down ozone molecules in the Earth's protective ozone layer. The treaty was created to significantly cut CFC emissions and allow the ozone hole to completely close, potentially by 2050.
In 2010, a total ban on CFCs was put in place, but certain loopholes still exist in the Montreal Protocol that allow trace amounts of the chemicals to be used in the production of certain products, including some types of insecticides and solvents used to clean electronic equipment.
Now, researchers based at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom have calculated that these loopholes — previously thought to be relatively insignificant — have actually allowed more than 74,000 metric tons (about 82,000 tons) of three previously unknown CFCs, and one related compound known as an HCFC, to be released into the atmosphere. While this quantity is far smaller than peak CFC emissions in the 1980s, it is still a significant quantity that could slow the recovery of the ozone hole, the team reports today (March 9) in the journal Nature Geoscience.
"In comparison to the 1980s, it is minor — it is not a threat to the ozone layer just yet," said study co-author Johannes Laube.
But emissions of two of the compounds appear to have accelerated in recent years, which could result in more serious degradation of the ozone layer within a decade, Laube told Live Science.
To quantify the emissions of the new compounds, the researchers compared modern air samples with nearly century-old air samples trapped in old, compacted snow (known as firn snow) from Greenland. The team did not detect any of the four new compounds in snow from before the 1960s, which suggests that the compounds were man-made.
More recent samples were collected from a relatively unpolluted region of Tasmania from 1978 to 2012. The team has also been systematically collecting hundreds of air samples in each of the past five years from commercial air flights around the world.
It is still unclear whether the newly detected emissions are related to legal loopholes in the Montreal Protocol, or illegal chemical production, the team said. Regardless, the researchers think their findings call for a thorough examination of possible sources, and may offer a good opportunity to tighten the loopholes in the treaty, Laube said.
The team next plans to more closely analyze their aircraft samples to try to pinpoint sources of emissions, which they currently can only trace generally to the Northern Hemisphere.

Astronomical News

This newly-released observation of Saturn's second largest moon could be mistaken for our own moon hanging in the night sky.
Pledging to uphold the Japanese spirit of "wa" -- harmony -- Koichi Wakata took command of the International Space Station on Sunday, the first Japanese astronaut to lead a human space mission.
There's no evidence for the existence of Planet X, despite a NASA space telescope’s best efforts to track it down.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has helped solve an infrared mystery surrounding baby star systems that has puzzled astronomers since the 1980s.
A giant clump of carbon monoxide found around a nearby star hints at collisions between comets and the presence of a massive hidden planet.
As winter descends on Mars' southern hemisphere, forming tell-tail frost in the lengthening shadows, the opposite is true in the northern hemisphere -- spring has sprung and the northernmost dunes are beginning to thaw.
Out of the thousands of craters scarring the face of Mars, one has emerged as the likely source of most of the Martian meteorites that have been recovered on Earth.

Faces of Bees, Flies and Friends

Get up close and personal with bees, flies and more, in these insect portraits.

Sponges Likely Paved the Way For All Life on Earth

Sponges led to more oxygen in oceans, setting the stage for complex forms of life that included our distant ancestors, according to a new study.

Animal Pictures