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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.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Daily Drift

Spring has sprung and so have the 'clock-springs' that were wound too tight ...

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

Welcome Spring Fairy ... !

Today is - Spring Fairy Fun Day

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Today in History

630 Heraclius restores the true cross, which he has recaptured from the Persians.
1556 Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is burned at the stake at Oxford after retracting the last of seven recantations that same day.
1617 Pocahontas (Rebecca Rolfe) dies of either small pox or pneumonia while in England with her husband, John Rolfe.
1788 Almost the entire city of New Orleans, Louisiana, is destroyed by fire.
1806 Lewis and Clark begin their trip home after an 8,000 mile trek of the Mississippi basin and the Pacific Coast.
1865 The Battle of Bentonville, N.C. ends, marking the last Confederate attempt to stop Union General William Sherman.
1851 Emperor Tu Duc orders that christian priests are to put to death.
1858 British forces in India lift the siege of Lucknow, ending the Indian Mutiny.
1906 Ohio passes a law that prohibits hazing by fraternities.
1908 Frenchman Henri Farman carries a passenger in a bi-plane for the first time.
1910 The U.S. Senate grants ex-President Teddy Roosevelt an annual pension of $10,000.
1918 The Germans launch the 'Michael' offensive, better remembered as the First Battle of the Somme.
1928 President Calvin Coolidge gives the Congressional Medal of Honor to Charles Lindbergh for his first trans-Atlantic flight.
1939 Singer Kate Smith records "god Bless America" for Victor Records.
1941 The last Italian post in East Libya, North Africa, falls to the British.
1951 Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall reports that the U.S. military has doubled to 2.9 million since the start of the Korean War.
1963 Alcatraz Island, the federal penitentiary in San Francisco Bay, California, closes.
1965 The United States launches Ranger 9, last in a series of unmanned lunar explorations.
1971 Two U.S. platoons in Vietnam refuse their orders to advance.
1975 As North Vietnamese forces advance, Hue and other northern towns in South Vietnam are evacuated.
1980 President Jimmy Carter announces to the U.S. Olympic Team that they will not participate in the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow as a boycott against Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.
1984 A Soviet submarine crashes into the USS Kitty Hawk off the coast of Japan.

Non Sequitur

So the equinox was yesterday ... deal with it

Mind-bending animated GIF illusions

David "Davidope" Szakaly is a talented Hungarian animator who specializes in trippy, freaky GIFs that pulse and twist and melt your brain.
Szakaly began experimenting with the vector animation program Macromedia Flash back in 1999 where he used the software to create presentations, banners, and other creatives for clients. It was nearly a decade later when he decided to dedicate more time to experimenting with motion graphics and found that Tumblr was a great platform to share his quirky gifs. While he still works in the corporate world on other digital projects, he has also found commercial success making animations for clients around the world. Though it’s his personal work that really stands out. If or when gifs end up on gallery walls, it will be hard to deny Szakaly’s role in getting them there.

Man getting revenge on rogue internet seller by texting the entire works of Shakespeare

A Bristol man who was ripped off by an internet seller has turned to Shakespeare to get his revenge. Edd Joseph, 24, was furious when he bought a PS3 games console for £80 and the seller failed to deliver the goods. So Edd decided to take his revenge by sending him the entire works of the Bard - by text. Edd bought the console and a bundle of games from a seller in Derby two weeks ago. But Edd paid by direct bank transfer - giving him no protection when the seller failed to send the goods or provide a refund.

He complained to the police who said his chances of catching the crook were slim, and Gumtree, which posts free classified ads, said bank transfers were against its terms and conditions. So Edd found a Shakespeare play on his iPhone internet browser and then copied and pasted it into a text message with just a few presses of a button. Despite the length of the text, Edd only has to press 'send' once for each play and his phone then processes them into individual texts. And because he is on an unlimited texts and calls package with O2 at £37 a month, his stunt is not costing him a penny.
Edd discovered he could copy the words from the internet and paste them into a text message without costing him a penny on his unlimited mobile phone package. He sends it as one text but his victim can only receive them in 160 character chunks - meaning the 37 works of Shakespeare will buzz through in 29,305 individual texts. So far Edd has sent 22 plays including Hamlet, Macbeth and Othello which have been delivered in 17,424 texts. He reckons the remaining 15 works will take another few days to send - meaning his adversary's phone will have been constantly beeping for nearly a week.

The longest play, Hamlet, took 1,143 text messages and Edd has also sent Macbeth (600 texts), Cymbeline (847) and All's Well That Ends Well taking 861 messages. Edd has now started getting abusive replies from the seller. He said: "I got the first reply after an hour, and then a few more abusive messages after that. His phone must have been going off pretty constantly for hours. But recently he has taken to calling me and giving me abuse on the phone. I tried to ask him if he was enjoying the plays, but he was very confused. I'm going to keep doing it. If nothing else I'm sharing a little bit of culture with someone who probably doesn't have much experience of it."


Leprechauns are IRISH wee ones and have a close counterpart in the Lapp (or Sami) stallu aned Finnish talo, a mischievous sprite that likes to pull tricks. The Icelanders believe in creatures called hildufolk or "hidden folk" which are similar to leprechauns. The hildufolk myth is believed to have come to Iceland with the Irish slaves that the Vikings brought to the island over 1,000 years ago.

The Scottish have the KELPIE; a malevolent and supernatural shape-shifting water horse that purportedly haunts the rivers and streams of Scotland. Could be the Lock Ness??

The leprechaun plays several roles in Irish folklore; he is principally a roguish trickster figure who cannot be trusted and will deceive whenever possible. In her encyclopedia "Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins" folklorist Carol Rose offers a typical tale of leprechaun trickery "concerning a man who managed to get a leprechaun to show him the bush in the field where his treasure was located. Having no spade (shovel), the man marked the tree with one of his red garters, then kindly released the sprite and went for a spade. Returning almost instantly he found that every one of the numerous trees in the field sported a red garter!"


If you get lucky and manage to catch a leprechaun you need to be smarter than him or else you will be easily tricked, which can have damaging results. Never take your eye off him or he will vanish.
A captured leprechaun will grant you three wishes or a gold coin to bribe his way to freedom, but this is when things can go terribly wrong if the wrong decisions are made.
Many of an Irish man who thought he could out smart an Irish leprechaun would either go insane trying to think of what to wish for or their wishes would back fire with something bad happening.
One common story was of Seamus in County Mayo who wished to be the richest man on a tropical Island but when his wish came true he suddenly realized that there were no shops or pubs on the island to spend his money or even people to talk with. Unfortunately Seamus became bored after a few hours on the Island and had to waste his third wish to return to Ireland. This could be how the phrase “luck of the Irish” originated from.
One of the biggest tips an Irish person can give anyone is to never listen to what the Irish leprechaun says, no matter what. The leprechauns are great mind players and will say anything, confusing you into making the wrong wishes. Although he is smart he can be fooled.
Irish leprechauns are devious little creatures and will do anything to escape from man, so they should never be trusted. Some say angry leprechauns are more common than a friendly one, but this is very untrue as Irish leprechauns are very friendly but tend to dislike humans who always seem to chase them for wishes and pots of gold.
If you ever spot a leprechaun you may be better off to pass him by without taking notice, you can end up in more trouble than it’s worth if you decide to chase them, as the people of Ireland know only too well. Unfortunately, with cities in Ireland expanding, the poor wee leprechauns are being driven further underground away from man, taking their pots of gold with them.

Ukraine officials denied entry into Crimea

Unarmed members of Pro-Russian self-defense forces, left, force themselves through a chain of Ukrainian military men at the Ukrainian Navy headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. An Associated Press photographer said several hundred militiamen took down the gate and made their way onto the base. They then raised the Russian flag on the square by the headquarters. The unarmed militia waited for an hour in the square before the move to storm the headquarters. Following the arrival of the commander of the Russian Black Sea fleet, the Crimeans took over the building. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov) 
 Masked Russian-speaking troops on Wednesday seized control of Ukrainian naval headquarters in Crimea after it was stormed by militiamen. Pro-Moscow Crimean authorities also detained the Ukrainian navy commander and reportedly blocked the defense minister and another government official from traveling to the peninsula in what they said was a bid to defuse tensions. Ukraine's military, which is heavily outnumbered in Crimea, has come under increased pressure since the region was nominally incorporated into Russia on Tuesday.
The several hundred militiamen who captured the base in Sevastopol met no resistance. Sevastopol is also the home port of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, and tens of thousands of Russian-led troops are now patrolling Crimea.
It came a day after a confrontation between Ukrainian soldiers and pro-Russian militia left two dead.
The Russian-speaking troops, who arrived on the base after the storming, wore helmets, flak jackets and uniforms with no identifying insignia. By afternoon, they were in full control of the naval headquarters, a set of three-story boxy white concrete buildings with blue trim. It was not immediately clear how many, if any, Ukrainian servicemen remained on the base.
Ukraine's Defense Ministry said no one was injured in the raid, which it said was led by pro-Russian militiamen and Cossacks.
The ministry said in its statement that Rear Adm. Sergei Haiduk was detained by unknown people after the storming of the fleet headquarters. The Russian state ITAR-Tass news agency reported that he was being questioned by Crimean prosecutors.
Ukraine's defense minister and deputy prime minister had planned to travel to Crimea on Wednesday in what they said was a bid to avert an escalation in hostilities.
The prime minister in Crimea warned after the announcement of their departure that they would be turned back, however.
"They are not welcome in Crimea," Sergei Aksyonov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. "They will not be allowed to enter Crimea. They will be sent back."
Interfax later cited Welfare Minister Lyudmila Denisova as saying the officials had been denied entry to Crimea. She said an emergency session of the National Security and Defense Council will held in response.
At the Ukrainian navy headquarters, an Associated Press photographer said the militiamen took down the gate and made their way onto the base. They then raised the Russian flag on the square by the headquarters.
The unarmed militiamen waited for an hour on the square and, following the arrival of the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, they took over the building.
The AP photographer was able to enter the headquarters and saw the militia roaming around while the Ukrainian servicemen were packing up and leaving.
On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty to incorporate Crimea into Russia following a referendum Sunday in which residents of the region overwhelmingly backed the move.
Jubilant crowds in Moscow and other cities across Russia hailed the annexation, while Ukraine's new government called Putin a threat to the "civilized world and international security," and the U.S. and the European Union threatened tougher sanctions against Moscow. On Monday, Washington and Brussels targeted Russian and Crimean officials with visa bans and asset freezes.
Russian news agencies on Wednesday cited Constitutional Court chairman Valery Zorkin as saying the treaty signed by Putin has been ruled valid, thus formally clearing another hurdle for Moscow to annex Crimea. The treaty now only requires ratification by the Russian parliament.
A Ukrainian serviceman and a member of a militia were killed by gunfire in the incident in Crimea on Tuesday.
It is unclear whether the militiaman was a Ukrainian citizen. Although Moscow has insistently denied it has not deployed its own troops in Crimea, people in the peninsula have reported seeing a large number of military vehicles with Russian plates.
Thousands of troops under apparent Russian command took over Crimea two weeks before Sunday's hastily called referendum, seizing Ukrainian military bases, blockading others and pressuring Ukrainian soldiers to surrender their arms and leave.
Putin insisted Russia's military presence in Crimea was limited to those stationed under the terms of a treaty with Ukraine that allows Russia to have up to 25,000 troops at its Black Sea fleet base. Ukraine claims that Russia deployed further forces, however, and expressly went against its request for troops to remain confined within their barracks.

Obama’s Gigantic Victory Transforms America as Experts Agree ACA Enrollment is Big Enough

President Obama has managed to deliver a massive political victory, as health insurance experts agree that ACA enrollment is large enough for the program to go forward.
Forbes has the details:
Health benefits consultants agree with President Obama’s assessment this week that enough Americans have signed up to private health plans under the Affordable Care Act that it will work even though there could be up to two million fewer Americans covered than the White House had hoped.
“We would agree with the president, but it’s really on a state-by-state basis,” said Bryce Williams, managing director of benefits consultancy Towers Watson’s exchange solutions segment. “We don’t even look at the national enrollments. You don’t need to get to 6 to 7 million nationally.”

So far, however, health insurance companies have said the enrollment is trending younger and there have been few surprises that would require them to pull out of the program.

“Six or seven million people doesn’t sound like much in a population of 300 million, but when you consider that the majority of Americans gets their health insurance through employers, and another large chunk is covered by government programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare, you’re left with 12 million covered in the Individual market and about 48 million uninsured pre-ACA,” said Helen Leis, partner in the health and life sciences practice group at Oliver Wyman, “Six or seven million of that is good uptake after less than six months. We expect to see about 22 million lives on the public exchanges by 2018.”
After it became obvious that they were not going to be able to repeal the ACA, repugicans, and their wingnut billionaires put all of their chips on preventing people from signing up.
The anti-Obamacare forces spent months deploying every tactic that they could think of in an attempt to dissuade the uninsured, especially younger people, from signing up.
From Ted Cruz’s faux filibuster to the Koch brothers creepy big headed Uncle Sam, to fake Obamacare victims, and Speaker Boehner’s phony sign up problems, their efforts have completely failed.
It is estimated that 2.6 million people have gotten covered under the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. The CBO originally estimated that 7 million people could be covered under the Medicaid expansion by the end of this year. That number looks very likely to happen.
At the low end of the scale, Obamacare could end up providing 33 million of the nation’s 48 million uninsured with access to healthcare. The ACA will likely end up covering 70%-80% of the nation’s uninsured over the next few years.
The repugicans will try to spin the program’s failure to meet their subjective goal of 7 million sign ups as a public rejection of the Affordable Care Act, but it is clear, without the website issues during the launch of the program, the Obama administration would have likely surpassed their sign up goals.
Politically, the repugican cabal has painted itself into a corner. The repeal or bust rhetoric that are hanging their next two political campaigns on is nothing more than a campaign to take away access to healthcare for 30 million people. This will play well in repugican controlled states that have already rejected the ACA, but it will be a disaster in the rest of the country.
President Obama has delivered what Democrats have dreamed of decades, and he is bringing this country closer to universal coverage than at any time in its history.
This is a presidential legacy defining moment, and some real change that people can believe in. It has been a long hard battle, but the president and his supporters are the verge of a victory that they have spent years fighting for.

After Getting Pummelled By Fact Checkers Koch Brothers Dump Obamacare Horror Story Ads

The Koch brothers spent millions of dollars on ads that focused on bogus ACA horror stories, but after being eviscerated by fact checkers, the Koch boys have changed their course.
The infamous cancer Obamacare victim ad that was described as, “An ad so misleading that even wingnuts won’t back its Obamacare claims. In the Americans for Prosperity ad aimed at destroying Michigan Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Gary Peters, Julie Boonstra inaccurately claims that Obamacare is threatening her cancer treatment and that it “jeopardized my health.”
It turns out that Boonstra was a repugican through and through, and her story of ACA victimization was widely debunked by fact checkers everywhere because it failed to mention that Boonstra would save $1,200 on her health insurance premiums under Obamacare.
The Koch funded ad completely backfired in Michigan, and has helped its target, Democrat Gary Peters, to lead the U.S. Senate race.
These completely fabricated tales of Obamacare woe have been turning up in states all across the country, and they have been called out for being false at every turn.
Because of the negative backlash, it appears that the Koch brothers are trying a new approach. Instead of claiming that the ACA will literally kill you, Koch money is now being spent on ads that argue that the law doesn’t work.
Here is the latest ad:
Notice the difference? The new ads have retreated back to the same widely debunked lies about millions of people losing their health insurance. The Kochs have been reduced to treading over the same old tired ground that repugicans have been working for the past four years.
The dramatic tales of Obamacare killing granny are out, and in comes the same batch of lies that destroyed the repugican cabal during the government shutdown last fall.
Koch front group, Americans For Prosperity, denied to TPM that they were changing tactics, “We are currently on-air with many different types of ads, including personal testimony of Obamacare impact. This is the same strategy we’ve been using for 6 months. This does not represent a shift in strategy.”
The Koch strategy of claiming that Obamacare will kill you has completely failed. Judging by the millions who are still flocking to sign up for the ACA, people don’t believe what the Kochs are selling.
One of the biggest signs of their defeat is the desperate manner in which the right is flailing about trying to find that one Obamacare lie that will carry them to victory.
The Koch brothers had their lies called out, so they changed tactics. Like copies of copies, each new tactic is weaker than the previous attempt. It all appears to be a futile effort. Not even the Koch billions can stop the Obamacare lies from slowing fading away.
The truth is that the stench of defeat has once again consumed both the repugican cabal and their billionaire puppeteers.

Chris Christie Has Police Remove Protesters Who Question His Use of Sandy Relief Fund

Chris Christie (r-NJ) demonstrated his willingness to abuse his power by having police remove protesters from a town hall who questioned his handling of Sandy relief funds.
According to NJ.com:
The group rose up in unison after Christie finished answering a question about why parents who send their children to catholic schools have to pay taxes to support public schools and started shouting at the governor, blasting him for his handling of Hurricane Sandy relief aid.
One of the protestors called out a chant and the rest echoed it, line by line.
“Governor Christie, we are here to demand, you stop your corrupt uses, of Hurricane Sandy money,” they said. “There are still families without homes who have received no aid.”
Christie responded by having police remove the nearly two dozen Rutgers University students, and others who were chanting. Christie then blamed the protest on public sector unions, “Congratulations, everybody. You are now seeing the latest gift given to you by the public sector unions in the state of New Jersey. This is what they do.”
President Obama gets heckled, and he doesn’t resort to using the police to throw out those who question him.
A real leader isn’t afraid to answer questions. A real leader doesn’t have to use the police to silence voices that challenge him, but hiding behind the police is the new normal for repugicans. Mitch McConnell called the police on a reporter whom he feared would ask a question the other day.
There seems to be an endless supply of scandals surrounding Chris Christie, but the most troublesome one is his handling of Sandy relief funds. Christie was a jerk for closing down bridge lanes, but if the governor abused his responsibilities with Sandy relief funds, he may have harmed his own citizens.
Christie isn’t fooling anyone with his attempts to avoid answering questions about his handling of the Sandy relief money by blaming unions.
Chris Christie can’t hide forever, and he can’t call the cops on every single citizen who demands that he be held accountable. New Jersey residents need to hound the governor every single day until he is held accountable for his corrupt handling of Sandy relief funds.

Texas repugicans Don’t Support Equal Pay Because ‘Men Are Better Negotiators’

The Chief repugican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott ally and the Executive Director of the Texas repugican cabal tried to explain why Abbott refuses to get behind equal pay…
Beth Cubriel
Ladies, Texas repugicans love you but they just can’t get behind legislation that would make it possible for you to sue if you found out you were being given the shaft regarding equal pay, because you suck as negotiators.
To wit, here is chief repugican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott ally Beth Cubriel, the Executive Director of the Texas repugican cabal, trying to explain why Abbott refuses to get behind equal pay for women. Turns out you all are just really bad negotiators.
Watch here:
“Men are better negotiators. I would encourage women, instead of pursuing the courts for action, to become better negotiators,” Beth Cubriel explained to YNN’s Capital Tonight.
Ms. Cubriel felt the need to explain things more clearly, just 24 hours after Cari Christman, the Executive Director of the Texas repugican cabal Women’s PAC, tried and failed to make binders full of women sit down and shut up about equal pay by saying they were too “busy” to care about equal pay.
Stop whining about the fact that Texas women make 82 cents on the dollar compared to men, ladies. If only you girls knew how to negotiate, which is covered in the class right after shutting-that-rape-down. It should be easy to find on your calendar since it comes on the same day as the rape lemonade class, where repugicans explain that while they fought against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, they encourage you ladies to make lemonade out of those rapes.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis campaign spokeswoman Rebecca Acuna responded to Beth Cubriel’s remarks in a statement, “Greg Abbott’s allies’ defense of his opposition to equal pay for women is out-of-touch and offensive. Texans deserve a governor like Wendy Davis who will fight for economic fairness for all hardworking families instead of Greg Abbott’s business as usual hostility to fair pay legislation.”
The Texas legislature passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act that would allow women and minorities to sue in court if they are being paid less for the same job as men, but repugican Governor Rick Perry shut that whole business down. We can’t have pesky lawsuits, ladies.
Texas businesses can’t negotiate, and hence need repugicans to veto laws that would require them to negotiate with women, who repugicans tell us suck at negotiating. This is confusing. But women don’t need laws to protect them like businesses do, because they suck at negotiating. Lost in a repugican cabal logic fail.
Maybe if you Texas girls could negotiate like a man, you too could get the same protections Texas repugicans give legally to businesses, in order to protect them from scary Texas girls who want to be paid what others are paid for doing the same job. Just a full circle repugican policy thought to ponder.
Buck up, girls of Texas. The repugicans are sure you’re too busy working and raising a family to care about getting paid what you deserve.
Maybe another repugican needs to step up to the plate to try this explaining thing again, because they seem so sure that it’s just the words they are using and not the actual fact that they do not support equal pay for women that is causing all of this drama.
The intentions can be seen in the policies and laws. Texas repglicans have made it clear that they intend to protect businesses from women legally. They can’t trust businesses to negotiate with women, so they need to protect businesses legally.

Utah representative proposes shutting off NSA's water supply

The NSA has a research facility in Bluffdale, Utah. It's loaded with "metadata-gathering computers that currently require 1.7 million gallons of water a day" to keep them cool. Utah representative Marc Roberts (r) has introduced HB161, which would shut off their water supply. If the bill passes, how will the federal government respond?

Anti-vaccine activists contributing to measles outbreaks around the U.S.

by Arturo Garcia

Outbreaks of measles, a disease once considered practically dormant, are on the rise once again, in part because of the spread of anti-vaccine activism, Think Progress reported on Friday.
A report released last year by the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that measles cases were recorded at a 20-year high, with 80 percent of the victims being people who did not get receive the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) vaccine. Many of those who fell ill said they did not get the vaccine because of "philosophical differences."
WABC-TV reported earlier this week that at least five people have been hospitalized due to measles in New York City. In two of the cases, the disease was reportedly transmitted inside a doctor's office. Officials in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Texas have also reported measles cases.
On Thursday, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and his wife, reality television star Kristin Cavallari, told Fox News that they oppose vaccination.
"I've read too many books about autism and the studies," Cavallari was quoted as saying, citing an argument long held by another celebrity vaccination opponent, actress Jenny McCarthy.
However, a University of Chicago expert, Dr. Kenneth Alexander contested Cavallari's argument, noting to the Chicago Tribune that the theory that autism was a result of vaccination had been debunked.
"Her words are dangerous, will result in the under-immunization of children, and an increase in morbidity and mortality due to vaccine preventable diseases," Alexander was quoted as saying

Dead man who wasn't now is

Remember Walter Williams, the 78-year old who last month was pronounced dead and then found to be alive and kicking, literally, inside a body bag? He died on Thursday.

Nevada deputy who took $50,000 from a man ordered to return it

In September 2013 Tan Nguyen was pulled over by Nevada Deputy Sgt. Lee Dove for driving 78 MPH in a 75 MPH zone. Deputy Dove asked Nguyen for permission to search the car and Nguyen consented to the search. (Big mistake. He should have done this instead.) Deputy Dove found $50,000 in Nguyen's briefcase and confiscated it. Deputy Dove did not charge Nguyen with any crime. Nguyen asked Deputy Dove not to take his money, which he said was casino winnings. According to Nguyen's lawsuit, Deputy Dove "threatened to seize and tow his car unless he 'got in his car and drove off and forgot this ever happened.'" This photo of Sgt. Dove with the money he took was posted to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department's Facebook page.
This story has a happy ending. Nguyen sued the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office and got his $50,000 back, plus $10,000 to pay his lawyer. The Humboldt County District Attorney issued a laughably stupid statement that tried to deflect the blame from the sheriff's department over to the liberal media elite, which had "unfairly criticized the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office as the Sheriff's Office was acting in accordance with the law as they understood it and was not responsible for any procedural defects following the seizure of assets."

Man assaulted after burping and not saying excuse me in Taco Bell

A customer at a Taco Bell in Tega Cay, South Carolina said a man became irate and hit him with a chair, grabbed his throat and tried to head butt him after he did not say “excuse me” after burping on Sunday.

Officers were called to the fast food restaurant at around 4:30pm after the 20-year-old victim was assaulted inside the business. The victim told police he and his friend had been sitting in a booth eating when a man sitting with a woman asked the victim if he just belched without saying “excuse me.”
According to the police report, the man then walked over to where the victim was sitting, picked up a chair and hit the victim on the left elbow with it. The victim told police the man then grabbed his throat and tried to head butt him. A Taco Bell employee then told the assailant he had to leave the premises.

The man then walked out of Taco Bell and got into a white truck, possibly a pickup. No one inside the restaurant was able to get the pickup’s licence plate number and the restaurant’s manager told police he was unsure if the surveillance cameras recorded the incident. Police have not made any arrests and the suspect is still unknown.

Man threatened neighbor with hand grenade after being requested to turn down his music

Police officers in Orange County, Florida arrested a man they said threatened his neighbor with a hand grenade. Deputies said the victim was upset that their neighbor Timothy Bare, 32, refused to turn his music down at around 10pm on Friday.

The victim said he asked Bare to turn down his music several times, and at one point Bare produced a hand grenade and threatened to throw it in the victim’s apartment.
Investigators found the grenade inside Bare’s home but said Bare was very intoxicated and could not confirm if the device was live or inert. After some evacuations, officers with the sheriff’s office Hazardous Device Team recovered the grenade.

Though the bottom of the grenade was hollowed out, it still could not be determined if it was active. “Though the grenade could not explode, it still had a possible live fuse inside, which was a danger,” said Lt. Paul Hopkins with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. The grenade will be destroyed by the Hazardous Device Team.

Woman concerned after finding what may be dead chicken floating in tin of chicken soup

A mother from Broomfield, Colorado, says she found an unappetizing object floating in a container of soup that clearly did not belong. "It's like a train wreck - you can't stop looking at," Nicole Montgomery said. "I keep looking at it and thinking, 'How does this happen?' I have no idea."
Montgomery says she poured the single-serving can of Campbell's Chicken and Stars soup into a bowl to heat it up for her daughter Molly. She noticed the strange lump when she took the bowl out of the microwave. "I opened it up, and there was this spec in there - I was like, 'What is that?' I looked a little bit closer and I was like, 'Oh, that looks like a dead chicken.'"
The object is shaped like a lima bean, nearly twice the size of the star-shaped noodles that give the soup its name. Several dark and narrow appendages reach upward from the core of the bean-shaped lump. "I just can't stop thinking about it," Montgomery said. "It makes me sick to my stomach to think about what was in that soup. I know things get in the manufacturing process all the time, but this is a big company that should know a little bit better."
Campbell's Soup Company issued this statement: "Campbell Soup Company takes all claims of product contamination very seriously. Whenever we receive such a claim, it is fully investigated by our Quality Assurance team to determine its possible cause. We are in the process of evaluating the claim and have not yet received the exhibit from the consumer to conduct our investigation." A spokeswoman said a FedEx box is en route to Montgomery's house for the exhibit.



The Battle of White House Canyon

On March 18th 1877:
The Battle of Yellow House Canyon took place near present-day Lubbock, Texas. It was a battle between a force of Comanches and Apaches and a group of bison hunters. It was the final battle of the Buffalo Hunters' War, and was the last major fight between non-Natives and Native Americans on the High Plains of Texas. On February 1, 1877, Marshall Sewell discovered a herd of buffalo, and after setting up station, picked the animals off one by one with his rifle before running out of ammunition. Black Horse witnessed this, and with his warriors surrounded the hunter on his way back to camp and killed him for his senseless slaughter of the buffalo. In retaliation, local buffalo hunters attacked the Comanche and Apache camp, killing 21 and wounding another 20+ people. During the 19th century bison were relentlessly killed and slaughtered by the US Army, commercial agents, and others in an attempt to starve Native peoples and open land for cattle. The total number of bison killed is unknown, but some statistics paint a gruesome picture: one professional hunter killed 20,000 on his own, and commercial hide firms were killing between 2,000 to 100,000 bison PER DAY.

10 Interesting Facts About Roses To Blow Your Mind

A beloved's smile, a friend's hug, an official token or a kind touch, everything seems to become complete and fulfilled through a bunch of roses. Also used worldwide as an ingredient of rich perfumes, this beautiful flower has been a timeless inspiration for artists, poets or song composers.

Here are some of the most exciting facts about roses that will make you experience the unfathomable beauty of these flowers in an innovative way.

The Fire Whirl

Nature’s Fiery Funnel

They are called variously fire whirls, fire devils, fire tornadoes and even firenadoes - and the chances are you will never be fortunate (depending on your outlook) enough to see one in real life. An extraordinarily rare phenomenon they are only occasionally caught on camera. 

The Earth nearly got fried a little while ago

This image captured on July 23, 2012, at 12:24 a.m. EDT, shows a coronal mass ejection that left the sun at the unusually fast speeds of over 1,800 miles per second. Image Credit: NASA/STEREOEarth nearly got fried by Sun discharge in July 2012
Earth dodged a huge magnetic bullet from the sun on […]

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The Mystery of the Sea Unicorn

At one time, Vikings made a lot of money by selling narwhal horns to European royalty as unicorn horns. Of course, they were secretive about where they obtained the horns. We know more about narwhals now, a lot more. They are a type of whale in which one tooth grows into a long, straight tusk -but only in the males. But what purpose does it serve? A new experiment points to the theory that the tusk is a sense organ.
Part of their argument is based on the anatomy of the tusk. Rather than being a solid hunk of bone, it’s shot through with nerves. And it appears specially adapted to bring those nerves nearly in contact with sea water. In us and in other mammals, teeth are armored in sheets of enamel. Narwals don’t have enamel on their tusks. Instead, the surface of the tusk is covered in fine channels that can bring water down into the tusk’s interior, close to the nerve endings there. And some of those nerve endings have the structure you find in nerves sensitive to pain.
An experiment in which scientists manipulated the water around narwhal’s tusks appears to prove the theory. Read about it and a whole lot more we now know about narwhals at The Loom.

Insect learns to love genetically engineered corn designed to kill it

Seed companies and farmers didn't follow scientists' recommendations about growing a type of corn that had been genetically engineered to produce its own pesticide, and now the beetle they were battling has developed an immunity to the corn and is gorging on it with abandon. This type of corn (Bt corn) accounts for three-quarters of all corn grown in the US.
By the turn of the millennium, however, scientists who study the evolution of insecticide resistance were warning of imminent problems. Any rootworm that could survive Bt exposures would have a wide-open field in which to reproduce; unless the crop was carefully managed, resistance would quickly emerge.
Key to effective management, said the scientists, were refuges set aside and planted with non-Bt corn. Within these fields, rootworms would remain susceptible to the Bt toxin. By mating with any Bt-resistant worms that chanced to evolve in neighboring fields, they’d prevent resistance from building up in the gene pool.
But the scientists’ own recommendations — an advisory panel convened in 2002 by the EPA suggested that a full 50 percent of each corn farmer’s fields be devoted to these non-Bt refuges — were resisted by seed companies and eventually the EPA itself, which set voluntary refuge guidelines at between 5 and 20 percent. Many farmers didn’t even follow those recommendations.

Chinese farmer piggybacks around town on giant hog

A 68-year-old pig farmer in Chongqing has been drawing attention from local residents for casually cruising the streets on a gigantic hog ever since he became too sick to take long walks.

Jiang Chengyou, from Huilong village in Dianjiang county, has been a pig farmer for the past 30 years, and had the idea to ride the hog a few months back as he suffered a bout of bronchitis. "Riding my pig saves me a lot of energy and is also quite fun," Jiang said.

Police investigating dead seal found with sign at side of road

A mystery is unfolding in Providence, Rhode Island, where a man discovered a dead seal with a handwritten sign saying: "Free Seal: (To a good home, naps a lot, housebroken)", on the side of the road.

Form of epilepsy in sea lions similar to that in humans

Form of epilepsy in sea lions similar to that in humans
California sea lions exposed to a toxin in algae develop […]

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