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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 23, 2014

The Daily Drift

This is NOT OK ...

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

Things, OK ... !

Today is - OK Day

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Today in History

1657 France and England form an alliance against Spain.
1743 Handel's Messiah is performed for the first time in London.
1775 American revolutionary hero Patrick Henry, while addressing the House of Burgesses, declares "give me liberty, or give me death!"
1791 Etta Palm, a Dutch champion of woman's rights, sets up a group of women's clubs called the Confederation of the Friends of Truth.
1848 Hungary proclaims its independence of Austria.
1857 Elisha Otis installs the first modern passenger elevator in a public building, at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway in New York City.
1858 Eleazer A. Gardner of Philadelphia patents the cable street car, which runs on overhead cables.
1862 Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson faces his only defeat at the Battle of Kernstown, Va
1880 John Stevens of Neenah, Wis., patents the grain crushing mill. This mill allows flour production to increase by 70 percent.
1901 A group of U.S. Army soldier led by Brig. Gen. Frederick Funston capture Emilio Aguinaldo, the leader of the Philippine Insurrection of 1899.
1903 The Wright brothers obtain an airplane patent.
1909 British Lt. Ernest Shackleton finds the magnetic South Pole.
1909 Theodore Roosevelt begins an African safari sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society.
1917 Austrian Emperor Charles I makes a peace proposal to French President Poincare.
1920 Great Britain denounces the United States because of its delay in joining the League of Nations.
1921 Arthur G. Hamilton sets a new parachute record, safely jumping 24,400 feet.
1927 Captain Hawthorne Gray sets a new balloon record soaring to 28,510 feet.
1933 The Reichstag gives Adolf Hitler the power to rule by decree.
1942 The Japanese occupy the Anadaman Islands in the Indian Ocean.
1951 U.S. paratroopers descend from flying boxcars in a surprise attack in Korea.
1956 Pakistan becomes the first Islamic republic, although it is still within the British Commonwealth.
1967 Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. calls the Vietnam War the biggest obstacle to the civil rights movement.
1970 Mafia boss Carlo Gambino is arrested for plotting to steal $3 million.
1972 The United States calls a halt to the peace talks on Vietnam being held in Paris.
1981 U.S. Supreme Court upholds a law making statutory rape a crime for men but not women.

Non Sequitur


Tolkien's Translation Of Beowulf Is Finally Being Published

J.R.R. Tolkien’s original stories, like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, get all the attention and overshadow the fact that Tolkien is known in academic circles as an authority on Beowulf, citing the work as having a major influence on his writing.
He delivered a passionate lecture in 1936 on Beowulf's merits as a classic work, and this lecture succeeded in convincing many scholars to take Beowulf seriously.
Tolkien felt that Beowulf should be appreciated as a work of fantasy fiction, and not as just some silly vikings versus monsters story, and in 1926 he finished his own translation of the poem, a translation that would never see publication-until May 22nd, 2014 when Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary arrives in bookstores.

NYC's Newest Neighborhood Will Float Above an Active Train Yard

West Side Yard is a 26-acre train depot in Manhattan. You know how important trains are to New York City, but you might also have some idea of how valuable land in Manhattan is. The train yard must stay, but that acreage will be developed into skyscrapers, business, and housing anyway. Hudson Yards, a private development leasing space from the city, will be built on a platform above the train yard. There will be four skyscrapers on the corners. How they’re going to do it is explained at Gizmodo. Just think: in another hundred years, people will consider the train yard as being underground, and assume that it was originally planned that way.

The Best and the Worst

The best of North and South Carolina
State Best Thing About It Worst Thing About It
North Carolina Lowest alcohol abuse/dependency Most teen driving deaths
South Carolina Lowest gas prices Most domestic violence against women
Check out the other states here.

Did you know ...

The christian wingnuts are a danger to American freedom

That George Zimmerman's parents sue Roseanne over tweets

That a drug company withholds drug from dying boy because it would cut into profits

That people are more ethical in the morning

Court Documents Confirm NSA Surveillance of Americans Solely on the shrub’s Orders

The shrub junta authorized the NSA to collect data on millions of Americans. 
This was done solely on the shrub's orders and for some time before…
Benjamin Franklin warned that he who sacrifices freedom to get security deserves neither.
We’re seeing the wisdom in his words in post 9-11 America with laws that have weakened or simply ignored constitutionally protected freedoms.  In the name of national security, Congress passed the Patriot Act, and several other laws to weaken many of our rights under the Constitution.  Also during that period, the shrub junta authorized the NSA to collect data on millions of Americans.  This was done solely on the shrub’s orders and for some time before a FISA court judge allowed the data collection in 2004.  Of course, we didn’t find out about that ruling until it was made public in November 2013.
Politico reports in 2004 then Deputy Attorney General James Comey questioned the legality of some of  the shrub’s post 9/11 surveillance programs and he refused to re-authorize them.  That’s when the the shrub took the matter to the FISA court where Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly approved the program.
According to court papers from 2007 that were made public on Monday,
Specifically, the shrub authorized the NSA to collect metadata related to Internetcommunications for the purpose of conducting targeted analysis to track Al Qaeda-related networks. Internet metadata is header/router/addressing information, such as the ‘to,’ ‘from,’ ‘cc,’ and ‘bcc’ lines, as opposed to the body or ‘re’ lines, of a standard e-mail. Since July 2004, the collection of Internet metadata has been conducted pursuant to an Order of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
It wasn’t until 2006 that the shrub junta acknowledged that it was collecting phone data, but made no mention of the email data it was also collecting.
If we didn’t know it before, it became all too obvious following Edward Snowden’s leaks – including the NSA Inspector General’s Report 2009 that our government was not only collecting data from our phone calls but from our email as well.
Since then, Rand Paul milked the Snowden leaks for all that he could before throwing Snowden under the bus earlier this year and misrepresenting  President Obama’s announcement of changes to the surveillance program.  Rand Paul went on to sue the Federal Government in the name of protecting our right to privacy with a stolen lawsuit, with Freedom Works as his co-plaintiff and with that great champion of privacy rights, Ken Cuccinelli, as his lead lawyer.  Larry Klayman also has a similar suit pending.
The ironies in this story are endless, beginning with the cast of characters. We have Rand Paul who believes freedom means businesses denying services to black people, denying women the right to make their own healthcare decisions and denying non-repugicans the right to vote as a great civil libertarian fighting for privacy rights that were, in reality, violated by the NSA solely on orders by fellow repugican, the shrub. We have Ken Cuccinelli who tried to regulate sex when he was Virginia’s Attorney General as the lead attorney in a suit on privacy rights.  We have Larry Klayman, who tried nullify Barack Obama’s presidency with a birther suit, and last year tried to stage a coup with his demand that Obama “put the Quran down.” Yet, he filed his suit because he is concerned about privacy rights?
It took these lawsuits against the Obama Administration to see court documents that reveal what a repugican junta did to our privacy rights solely on the orders of the shrub.  So yes, in a back handed way, if it wasn’t for Rand Paul trying to make himself over as a civil libertarian, we might still be in the dark about the origins of the NSA program and why the shrub junta eventually disclosed its existence to the secret Fisa Court.
The fact remains that Rand Paul is trying to make himself over from a guy who opposed the Civil Rights Act because he thinks businesses should have a right to discriminate against whoever they please to a guy who cares about the privacy of all Americans at least so long as a black man is in the White House or when it’s tax dodgers hording their money in Swiss Bank accounts.
However, his respect for constitutionally protected privacy changes when it comes to women making their own health care decisions or planning the size of their families.
In Rand Paul’s world, privacy is merely his delusion of a ticket to the White House.

Faux News and Lush Dimbulb Blow a Gasket Because Obama Filled Out an NCAA Tourney Bracket

Faux News and Lush Dimbulb have completely lost their minds over the fact that President Obama filled out an NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket.
Lush Dimbulb claimed that while Obama was filling out his bracket, Putin was rebuilding the Soviet Union:
Dimbulb said, “Well, here’s a headline that says it all: “Vladimir Putin Redraws Russian Borders; Obama Unveils Bracket Picks.” Does that not say it all? Vladimir Putin is reassembling the Soviet Union, and while all that’s going on, Obama is filling out his March Madness bracket picks. In fact, that is such a big story that CNN broke away from the coverage of the Malaysian airliner disappearance to report on Obama filling out his NCAA March Madness bracket picks.”
Faux News dedicated to multiple segments to the president’s dooming of the republic by filling out a bracket.
On Special Report with Bret Baier, Steve Hayes said, “This is a disgrace. The way that the President of the United States and his administration is handling this is so unserious on so many different levels. You heard from the NATO Secretary General that this is a crisis, it’s a crisis like we haven’t seen in decades. What’s President Obama doing? He’s filling out his NCAA bracket. He’s hosting a film ceremony for Cesar Chavez. This is not a serious response to what is, I think, a real crisis.”
The Five spent a whole segment claiming that Obama’s March Madness is destroying America:
Republicans have completely lost their minds over President Obama’s bracket. No one, but the most diehard of Obama haters, would see the president filling out a tourney bracket as the moment when America reached its valley of steepest decline.
A different kind of March Madness has infected the right. Obama hate has finally driven them over the edge. The great hypocrisy hidden in Faux News’ criticism is that they didn’t have a word to say about President Obama giving an interview on Super Bowl, but this is because the Super Bowl was on Faux, and the interviewer was Swill O’Really.
This style of senseless petty bashing makes repugican cabal look like a bunch of frothing lunatics and goes a long way towards explaining why they keep losing presidential elections.
The repugicans, and their media, have gone insane.

John Boehner's ready to pop an orange aneurysm over states 'cheating' to preserve food stamps

By now, you're probably familiar with the brilliant move that at least half a dozen states have taken to preserve food stamp coverage, despite Republican attempts to cut the program under the recently passed farm bill. The new law requires that certain food stamp recipients receive at least $20 in home heating assistance per year in order to still qualify for food aid. Previously, as little as $1 a year in heating help was enough to make many people eligible for food stamps.
So a number of states, including New York, Pennsylvania, and Montana, had a very simple response: bump up everyone's heating aid to $20 a year. That cost New York, for instance, just $6 million in state funds but allowed $457 million in federal benefits to keep flowing to 300,000 families. Conservatives, predictably, are outraged, and Republican House John Boehner looks like he's about to pop an orange aneurysm:
    "Since the passage of the farm bill, states have found ways to cheat, once again, on signing up people for food stamps. And so I would hope that the House would act to try to stop this cheating and this fraud from continuing."

This catholic 'Human Rights' Leader Wants Liberal Professors 'Taken Out And Shot'

Austin Ruse is a devout Catholic who advocates for human rights. Both are evident in the name of the organization he heads up.
Ruse also evidently believes that the wicked liberals who populate academia ought to be rounded up and shot.
Yes, the leader of a group called the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (or "C-FAM") had a pretty extreme take on the Duke University freshman who has made waves by revealing that she will subsidize her education through her work as a porn star.
Ruse said on American Family Radio earlier this week that Duke student Miriam Weeks, who performs under the screen name "Belle Knox," was clearly corrupted by those no-good "women's studies" professors at her school.
    That is the nonsense that they teach in women's studies at Duke University, this is where she learned this. The toxic stew of the modern university is gender studies, it's "Sex Week," they all have "Sex Week" and teaching people how to be sex-positive and overcome the patriarchy. My daughters go to a little private religious school and we pay an arm and a leg for it precisely to keep them away from all of this kind of nonsense. I do hope that they go to a Christian college or university and to keep them so far away from the hard left, human-hating people that run modern universities, who should all be taken out and shot.

This catholic wingnut's lexicon is telling

Truck Flies in Between 2 Parked Cars

Amazing Near Miss

Trooper Jess Hernandez of Sheriff's Office of Johnson County, Iowa is alive and unhurt. As you can see in this animated .gif, that was almost not the case. It's a selection from a video made by the dashboard camera on a patrol car, one of two pulled over on a busy night on Intersate 80.
A semi-tractor trailer hit a truck, which careened off the road, sliced off the back of Hernandez's car, then flew into a ditch. You can watch a video of the incident at KCCI News.

Lawnmower stolen from car waiting at traffic lights

A lawnmower was stolen from a car while it waited for traffic lights to change in Grimsby, South Humberside.

Police are appealing for information after the incident which happened at around 3pm on Friday.
The gold Ford Mondeo had its boot slightly open to fit the lawnmower inside and the driver noticed a white Ford Transit van behind him and, heard a noise that he thought was his boot opening.

When the driver arrived at his location he noticed that the lawnmower had been stolen. Police believe there may have been other vehicles in the area who may have witnessed what happened. Anyone with information is asked to call police.

Woman squirted nail polish remover into eyes and mouths of salon workers over broken nail

A customer who allegedly squirted nail polish remover into the eyes and mouths of employees at a southern New Jersey nail salon has been charged with aggravated assault and a weapons offense.
After getting her nails done last Friday, 29-year-old Hakera Cochran allegedly became incensed when one nail broke, so she returned to MEI Holiday Nails to register her displeasure. According to police, Cochran began shouting at salon employees, who unsuccessfully sought to placate her.

During her tirade, Cochran allegedly grabbed a bottle of nail polish remover and squirted the liquid into the eyes and mouths of two workers, according to a criminal complaint. The victims were later treated at the scene by emergency medical personnel for exposure to a “deadly weapon,” specifically “a spray bottle filled with an acetone that removes paint.”
Cochran, who lives in Bridgeton, the city where the salon is located, was subsequently arrested for aggravated assault and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. After being booked on those counts, Cochran was released on her own recognizance, according to a Municipal Court official.

Inebriated man used chainsaw to carve up car during argument over whiskey

An argument over whiskey ended with a man carving up a car with a chainsaw, police said.

According to an arrest report, Joshua D. Keene, 33, was drunk at his home in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday night and wanted to leave on a four-wheeler to get more whiskey.
Keene and the victim argued about the situation, and Keene knocked her to the ground and pulled her hair, police said. Another person restrained Keene. Police said Keene then went into the garage and started a chainsaw, using it to cut into the hood of the victim's car, break the windshield and damage the passenger side of the vehicle.

Keene then fled on foot. Officers found Keene a short distance away. They said he was unsteady on his feet with slurred speech and red, glassy eyes and smelled strongly of alcohol. Keene is charged with criminal mischief, fourth-degree assault and alcohol intoxication in a public place.



Not Just What You Eat

Obesity: Not Just What You Eat

Over 35 percent of American adults and 17 percent of […]

No soda taxes or size restrictions

Americans don’t want soda tax, size restrictions

Those hoping to dilute Americans’ taste for soda, energy drinks, […]

Lost Sleep Leads to Lost Neurons

How Lost Sleep Leads to Lost Neurons

Most people appreciate that not getting enough sleep impairs cognitive […]

Random Celebrity Photos


Conspiracy Theories and Medicine

Half of Americans endorse at least one medicine-based conspiracy theory. Why?

Beautiful Images From Rare Books Of Science And Astronomy

Swann Auction Galleries will host an auction of rare astronomy and science books from The Library of Martin C. Gutzwiller next month on April 3, 2014.

Martin C. Gutzwiller of Yale University was a Swiss-American physicist best known for his work on chaotic systems in classical and quantum mechanics. The set of rare books for auction include books on Ptolemaic and Copernican astronomy in the early modern era, as well as the historical development of celestian mechanics and related advances in both physics and math.

The Amazon Inhales More Carbon Than It Emits

Amazon Inhales More Carbon than It Emits, NASA Finds

A new NASA-led study seven years in the making has […]

Daily Comic Relief


The 'Chicken From Hell'

Scientists announce ‘chicken from hell’ dinosaur find in N. America
Scientists from Carnegie and Smithsonian museums and the University of […]

Pig retires from Fire and Rescue Service for being too good at his job

A 14-stone pig nicknamed Fireman Ham has retired from Avon Fire and Rescue Service after becoming too good at his job. Dominic was rescued by animal welfare charity HorseWorld two years ago after his elderly owner died. After several attempts to break free from his new home, keepers decided the 200lb animal would be the perfect candidate to teach fire crews how to handle escaped animals.
Dozens of firefighters have since taken part in Dominic’s ’escapology’ lessons, which involve simulating rescue situations and moving him safely around the farm. However, course leaders say Dominic has become so good at his job that he no longer poses a challenge. Animal safety lecturer Dawn Watkins said: “Dominic is a very friendly pig, he loves people and likes to be the center of attention so having everyone run around after him makes his day.
“He has now however, reached a stage where he knows his job so well that he goes where he is supposed to go on his own so is not really a challenge for the crew to move. He was offered a home on a farm with other pigs where he will be kept as a pet and will receive lots of attention so we decided to let him retire.” She added: “The Fire and Rescue Service will be sad to see him go. They usually start the day a bit wary of the pig but by the end of the training, he’s everyone’s best friend. It’s impossible not to love him.”
News report about Dominic the fire pig from last year.

Station manager Gary Weeks, Avon Fire and Rescue Service’s animal rescue lead adviser, said: “As a fire and rescue service we are attending more incidents involving large animals so it is vital we have the right training to ensure the welfare of those animals and ensure that our crews are safe when dealing with incidents of this nature. Trapped or injured animals, like cows, pigs and horses, may pose a real threat to our firefighters as they may try to kick or bite in a traumatic situation. Working alongside Dominic has been really useful in giving our staff the knowledge and confidence they need when dealing with animals. I would like to thank Horseworld, and Dominic in particular, for helping us with our training and we wish Dominic a happy retirement.”

Owl survived 300-mile journey clinging to front of train

A tawny owl has been named Lucky after clinging to the front of a train for a journey of more than 300 miles.
The bird was found below the driver's cabin of the Class 66 locomotive as it pulled into Stobart's freight terminal in Crick, Northamptonshire. It is thought he had been clinging on since the train set off from Mossend, near Glasgow.

Lucky is now recovering from a sprained wing at Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary. "It's a miracle, really," said sanctuary owner Geoff Grewcock. "He could have easily been blown off and gone under the train. He's lucky to be alive."
Mr Grewcock said he hoped to release Lucky, believed to be between two and three years old, back into the wild in about a week. He said the sanctuary had previously helped a kestrel found inside a train from Germany but "nothing like this".

There's a news video here.

Snake found in chicken coop confused golf balls for eggs

A rat snake in Georgia is alive thanks to a team of doctors at the Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island.
The center reports the grey rat snake was recently found in a chicken coop in north Georgia.
In its stomach were two golf balls that the snake surely thought were chicken eggs.
Veterinarians say they were able to cut the golf balls out of the snake with little complications but are monitoring the snake for any type of infection. The snake will be released when it has fully recovered.

21 Mind-Blowing Now-Extinct Lifeforms

As amazing as the different species of earth are, there were so many more that are no longer with us. In some cases, that’s fortunate for us, because many were huge and predatory. In other cases, it would be so cool to have them around now. And then there are some that are just too weird to contemplate, like the shark with a circular saw in its mouth and the poop-eating snail that fossilized in place to show how it was done. Emily Graslie of The Brain Scoop guest-hosts this week’s mental_floss video from the Field Museum in Chicago. 

Animal Pictures