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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.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Daily Drift

The face of a LIAR

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

More Yummy for the Tummy ... !

Today is - Vaffeldagen (Waffle Day)

Don't forget to visit our sister blog: It Is What It Is

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The Pacific
Surrey Hills, Australia
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Honiara, Solomon Islands

Today in History

708 Constantine begins his reign as Catholic Pope.
1634 Lord Baltimore founds the Catholic colony of Maryland.
1655 Puritans jail Governor Stone after a military victory over Catholic forces in the colony of Maryland.
1668 The first horse race in America takes place.
1776 The Continental Congress authorizes a medal for General George Washington.
1807 British Parliament abolishes the slave trade.
1813 The frigate USS Essex flies the first U.S. flag in battle in the Pacific.
1865 Confederate forces capture Fort Stedman, during the siege of Petersburg, Va.
1879 Japan invades the kingdom of Liuqiu (Ryukyu) Islands, formerly a vassal of China.
1905 Rebel battle flags that were captured during the American Civil War are returned to the South.
1911 A fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, a sweatshop in New York City, claims the lives of 146 workers.
1915 The first submarine disaster occurs when a U.S. F-4 sinks off the Hawaiian coast.
1919 The Paris Peace Commission adopts a plan to protect nations from the influx of foreign labor.
1931 Fifty people are killed in riots that break out in India. Mahatma Gandhi was one of many people assaulted.
1940 The United States agrees to give Britain and France access to all American warplanes.
1941 Yugoslavia joins the Axis powers.
1953 The USS Missouri fires on targets at Kojo, North Korea, the last time her guns fire until the Persian Gulf War of 1992.
1954 RCA manufactures its first color TV set and begins mass production.
1957 The European Common Market Treaty is signed in Rome. The goal is to create a common market for all products–especially coal and steel.
1965 Martin Luther King Jr. leads a group of 25,000 to the state capital in Montgomery, Ala.
1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono stage a bed-in for peace in Amsterdam.
1970 The Concorde makes its first supersonic flight.
1975 Hue is lost and Da Nang is endangered by North Vietnamese forces. The United States orders a refugee airlift to remove those in danger.
1981 The U.S. Embassy in San Salvador is damaged when gunmen attack, firing rocket propelled grenades and machine guns.
1986 President Ronald Reagan orders emergency aid for the Honduran army. U.S. helicopters take Honduran troops to the Nicaraguan border.

Non Sequitur


The 5 Most Mysterious Places on Earth

North Carolina's Own Makes the List At #5 
Image: Artbrom

The Brown Mountain Lights

One in a long series of ghost lights that have appeared in the USA and the world, the Brown Mountain Will-o’-the-wisp lights appear and disappear randomly. Like large strobes in the sky, they seem to pop up and disappear whenever convenient. Until we figure out exactly when they come around, I’ll venture to say Harry Potter or some other wizard is playing tricks with our less magical human minds.

In the Original Story, Pinocchio Murdered Jiminy Cricket, Got His Feet Burned Off, And Was Then Hanged and Left for Dead

We may have gotten used to the Disney versions of classic fairy tales when we were children. It's a good thing because the original sources for those movies were horrifying. An authentic Pinocchio movie would go from a G rating straight to an R. Carlo Collodi, the author of The Adventures of Pinocchio, composed his work in 1881 and 1882. It features Pinocchio beating Jiminy Cricket to death with a hammer:
At these last words, Pinocchio jumped up in a fury, took a hammer from the bench, and threw it with all his strength at the Talking Cricket.
Perhaps he did not think he would strike it. But, sad to relate, my dear children, he did hit the Cricket, straight on its head.
With a last weak “cri-cri-cri” the poor Cricket fell from the wall, dead!
Pinocchio suffered a lot, too. Did the Disney movie show him getting his feet burned off? Collodi's original did:
As he no longer had any strength left with which to stand, he sat down on a little stool and put his two feet on the stove to dry them. There he fell asleep, and while he slept, his wooden feet began to burn. Slowly, very slowly, they blackened and turned to ashes.
You can read more about the terrifying adventures of the wooden puppet at Today I Found Out.

Did you know ...

That tea party repugicans register as fake Democrats in local Montana races

That even if the repugican cabal wins the senate in 2014, can they keep it in 2016?

And have you been robbed on the job?

Lush Dimbulb Tells His Ugliest Lie Ever With Speculation That Obama Waterboards Reporters

Lush Dimbulb told his most deplorable lie yet when he speculated that President Obama threatened the family of, and waterboarded a local reporter who inaccurately reported that White House reporters give their questions to Jay Carney before press conferences.
Dimbulb picked up on local TV reporter in Catherina Anaya’s claim that White House reporters give their press conference questions to Press Secretary Jay Carney in advance, “One of the things I found interesting is reporters and correspondents, unless it is breaking news, they provide questions to him in advance so he is already preparing for the answer.”
Catherina Anaya
Her claim sparked a quick rebuke from Carney, liberal and wingnut White House journalists. Anaya has apologized  for her bad reporting.
Not knowing the woman we cannot say as to her qualifications for her job, but her 'reporting' in this case does seem to be woefully lacking. Although knowing our current societal 'norms' we can say the possibility exists that her 'qualifications' have nothing to do with actually being a competent journalist. Which may be the worst thing about this entire peccadillo - Lush Dimbulb not withstanding. 

Debt collectors illegally hound people who don't owe money

A third of people who complain about debt-collectors who break the law say they don't even owe the money under discussion. Of the victims who complained to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about being hounded for money they don't owe, two thirds say they never owed it, and a third say they had already paid it off. Debt-collectors call wrong numbers or hassle people with names similar to those of debtors. They call them at work and at home, and use threats and obscene language when they're told they've got the wrong person. One offender, CashCall Inc, is being sued over its practices, and was separately ordered to refund $14M in debts it collected through fraudulent robo-signing.

Police say potholes make drunk-drivers harder to spot

Potholes caused by floods have made swerving drunk-drivers "difficult to spot", say Surrey Police.
Insp Richard Mallett, head of the force's roads policing unit, said sober drivers were forced to weave around potholes, masking the erratic behavior typical of drunk-drivers.

He added that the current conditions of the roads were a "concern". Surrey County Council said it has had to cope with about 21,000 potholes caused by flooding.
Insp Mallett, said: "Anecdotally, it makes it more difficult for us to spot the drunk drivers as everyone is weaving about around the potholes."

Police search for jewellery thief who 'walks like a penguin'

Police in Oakwood, Georgia need help finding a thief who stole tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry from a local business. Surveillance video from Aardvark Antiques in Oakwood in Hall County shows the suspect with a unique walk.
“Similar to a penguin," is how store owner Charles Pharr described it. Police and the store's owner said the man cased the business on Saturday then returned on Sunday. "He asked the ladies working to measure a piece of art, but he was looking at the jewellery near the counter," Pharr said.
After walking around the store for an hour pretending to be a customer, Pharr said the man somehow made off with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of jewellery and small collectibles. "These were full with nice rings, bracelets, vintage pieces," Pharr said. Besides the man's unique walk, police said they have little to go on.
Investigators said the man kept his face hidden from security cameras and his hands in his pockets the whole time, which means no fingerprints. The store's owner still hopes police will be able to track him down. “I hope we can catch this guy and prevent it from happening to someone else," Pharr said.
You can see surveillance footage of the man, who doesn't walk like any penguin I've seen, here.

Random Photos


Marisa Miller
Marisa Miller

The Girls of Atomic City ...

The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town did not exist. Thousands of civilians — many of them young women from small towns across the South — were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Kept very much in the dark, few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. That is, until the end of the war—when Oak Ridge’s secret was revealed.
Drawing on the voices of the women who lived it—women who are now in their eighties and nineties — The Girls of Atomic City rescues a remarkable, forgotten chapter of American history from obscurity. Denise Kiernan captures the spirit of the times through these women: their pluck, their desire to contribute, and their enduring courage. Combining the grand-scale human drama of The Worst Hard Time with the intimate biography and often troubling science of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Girls of Atomic City is a lasting and important addition to our country’s history.
Boing Boing has a lot more photos from the book here.

An SS Soldier and the Massacre in Oradour-sur-Glane

by Beate Lakotta
Searching for Justice: An SS Soldier and the Massacre in Oradour-sur-Glane
Werner Christukat, 89, has been indicted for participating in the 1944 massacre perpetrated by the SS in Oradour-sur-Glane. He says he wasn't directly involved. Seventy years after the fact, there are more questions than answers, and proof is elusive. More

Island in the Pacific is home to countless WWII relics

The small island of Mili in the southeast corner of the Marshall Islands is now populated by only 300 people, and was once under Japanese Imperial Army control during World War II. Time has passed but the artifacts of war remain and make the island a virtual military museum with remains of the past still to be discovered.

The AP reported on the current state of Mili and found numerous military remnants from that era. The locals have made use of some of the artifacts in their everyday lives. Anet Maun, pounds dried panadanus leaves with an old projectile. Maun uses the leaves for weaving and said, “This works really well and gets the work done much faster. The leaves flatten very nicely.” Rachel Boyce, a volunteer teacher from Utah, said, "One thing I learned here is that you use everything that comes. So if it's an old WWII machine, you can hang things on it," referring to the residents using them to dry laundry.
Location of Mili in the Marshall Islands
After WWI, Japanese forces used Mili as a radio and weather station. Then during WWII, it was converted into an active base with an airfield, runways, and hangars, to fight the United States. In 1945, after nearly two years of bombing attacks, Japan surrendered and the United States took over the Marshall Islands. "From our documentation, there is at least 15,000 tons of explosives that were dropped on the Marshalls and that's a conservative estimate,” archaeologist Michael Terlep told the AP. Terlep said that U.S. explosives had a 50% failure rate at that time, so there are potentially many explosives remaining on the islands.
Michael Terlep
The safety of the remaining weapons is still a concern. It’s estimated that in 1969, Peace Corp volunteers assisted the locals in destroying 2,500 items housing explosives to render them safe. Wilbur Heine, Internal Affairs Minister and Mili Senator, explained that some of the war items have been gathered however, “there are still various places with things like this." Boyce recalled that her initial concern was, "Oh my gosh, my students. What if they get blown up?" But she soon realized that they had grown up learning what safety measures were necessary and they were “too smart” to get in harms way.

Rachel Boyce
While no major accidents have been reported on Mili, there is still concern about chemicals from the remaining weapons. Terlep says that picric acid, an explosive chemical that was used in the Japanese weapons, and the TNT used in U.S. bombs, pose serious health risks. Heine believes there is “no evidence of contamination,” because, “People have been eating, they are enjoying their food.” But he would like to have further soil studies done to confirm that belief. Terlep said, "Another problem is these bombs that are actually in the water, it's then getting into the food supply, it's getting into the fish, people are eating the fish."
Wilbur Heine
In the future Heine would like to see some islanders trained in proper weapon disposal techniques for times when international assistance is unavailable. Overall, he would like to allow his residents and visitors to enjoy Mili’s natural beauty and learn about its WWII history in a safe environment.

Caribbean States Call for Slavery Reparations

by Samiha Shafy
Europe's Sin: Caribbean States Call for Slavery Reparations
The leaders of 15 Caribbean countries are calling for reparations from European countries relating to the slave trade that took place 200 years ago. A lawyer representing them says the legacy of slavery still plagues the region today.  More



This Banana Umbrella Keeps You Dry and Well-Nourished

How much potassium does your regular umbrella have? I’ll bet that you’ve never even considered that question. This cute umbrella from Firebox comes in both ripe (yellow) and unripe (green) versions, but not brown. Maybe if you leave it out for a few days, it will turn brown on its own.

6 Widely Repeated Phrase Origins - Debunked!

What does the phrase 'dead ringer' mean? Or 'saved by the bell'? What's a 'graveyard shift'?

Is the Internet Changing Our Memory?

Many of us spend hours a day on the Internet, and whenever we have a question, it's easy to go to Google for instant answers. Is this changing the way our memory works? Anthony explains how living in a world of constant information is affecting us.

Organ Theft Rumors Surface in Mexico Arrests

A ruthless Mexican drug cartel is accused of kidnapping children to harvest their organs. For real?

Society Is Doomed ...

Researchers say we're clearly on the road to ruin.

Mystery Illness Kills 23 in Guinea

The highly contagious disease shows symptoms that are similar to those caused by Lassa fever, yellow fever and Ebola.

Daily Comic Relief


The darkest night of the past 500 years

by Annalee Newitz Tonight will be the darkest night of the past 500 years 
Thanks to a lunar eclipse on the longest night of the year, we experienced the longest, darkest night in a very long time. It's been nearly 500 years since the last solstice lunar eclipse. Here's what you'll see.

NYU science journalism professor John Rennie explains what you're likely to saw in the wee hours of the  morning:
1. Faint penumbral dimming of the moon's disk.
2. Pervasive creeping sensations of unease.
3. Howling of wolves.
4. Unclean things walk the earth; Dick Cheney rises from the grave.
5. Contortion of the zodiac.
6. Intrusion of strange dimensions.
7. Universal gibbering madness.
8. Cthulhu.
9. A glimmer of sanity in the chaos.
10. Restoration of Euclidean geometry.
11. Fungal Mi-go from Yuggoth return captive brains to their rightful owners.
12. Applause, followed by waffles for breakfast.
Erm, actually that might not be the most accurate account. Damn journalists, always misrepresenting scientific results! Over at Sky and Telescope, you can get the real story on what the five possible stages of the eclipse are.
According to Wired Science:
The Earth's shadow will begin to blot out the moon at 1:32 a.m. EST (10:32 p.m. PST). During totality, when the Earth is directly between the moon and the sun, the moon will turn a rusty orange-red for 72 minutes from 2:41 a.m. to 3:53 a.m. EST (11:41 p.m. to 12:53 a.m. PST).
Europe and Africa will only get a partial view of the eclipse, but for those of us here in the Americas the best times to watch are during those 72 minutes of totality.
Here's a handy map showing the path of the eclipse:
Tonight will be the darkest night of the past 500 years

Moon Dust

The moon may not have any air, but that doesn’t mean it lacks atmosphere.

The New Spring, Brought To You By Climate Change

As the planet warms, the temperatures that trigger spring arrive earlier. But not everythings adjusting on the same schedule. Flowers open before their insect pollinators come out, and birds return from migration too late to find their usual bug meals.'

Detailed study of ecological mismatch requires equally meticulous observations of historical timing - and a Boston University lab has found a trove in the journals Henry David Thoreau kept in Massachusetts in the mid-1800s. The diaries, together with more recent data, reveal an ecological system in flux.

Pruning Wind

A curiously-shaped tree in Denmark, photographed by Marianne Kjolner.  The correspondence to the shape of the adjacent house reflects the pruning effects of near-constant wind on the coast.

Corals track strongest Indian Ocean current over 334 years

Natural variations in the warming and cooling cycles of the globally important Agulhas ocean current core region have been revealed in a new study of a Madagascar corals led by The University of Western Australia and published in Nature's Scientific Reports.
Coral in the Indian Ocean. Diameter of the coral is approximately five meters
Assistant Professor Jens Zinke, who holds a collaborative fellowship with UWA's Indian Ocean Marine Research Center, the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and CSIRO, said the research findings were important for climate science in general, as well as small and large-scale fisheries in the Indian Ocean and marine conservation and climate adaptation planning agencies.
Professor Zinke said the Agulhas Current (which flows down the east coast of Africa) was the strongest western boundary current in the southern hemisphere.
"It releases a lot of heat into the atmosphere throughout the year and through that, it influences climate and agriculture in the countries of southern Africa," Professor Zinke said. "It is also a lifeline for a variety of marine life from plankton to fish and larger megafauna such as manta rays and whale sharks which travel between Antarctica and the Indian Ocean."
But the Agulhas Current's influence extended well beyond the local scale - it was also the gateway for warm and salty Indian Ocean water on its way to the far northern Gulf Stream of the US, he said.
Map indicating the study area at the southern tip of Madagascar (left dot). The right dot indicates the Seychelles, where J. Zinke and C. Dullo also conducted coral-based temperature studies
"It takes 10-30 years to cross the Atlantic Ocean and when it arrives it changes the saltiness and density of water in the North Atlantic," Professor Zinke said. "This is really important, because in the north the dense and heavy water will cool and sink and start the cycle of the great conveyor belt that connects all our oceans.
"Our study used living corals to help us understand the long-term changes that have occurred in warming and cooling of the Agulhas Current during the past 334 years.
"There isn't an instrument that can measure these changes over such a long time so we used living massive corals that form large colonies which live for more than 300 years. We were able to record year-by-year the conditions of the ocean surrounding the corals."
Professor Zinke said the researchers used chemical changes in the coral skeleton, which altered with ocean temperature, to trace past ocean climate change.
Map with modeled stream velocities indicating the Agulhas Current
"We teamed up with physical oceanographers from the University of Cape Town, GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel and the University of Edinburgh, to unravel how the ocean currents between Madagascar and South Arica are connected," he said.
"We found that the Agulhas Current warming and cooling cycles follow slow, multi-decadal swings in the climate system and recent man-made warming only exceeded natural variability after the 1990s," he said.
"Our study also revealed a strong connection to the ocean temperatures off Western Australia, where long-term warming follows a fairly similar pattern."

Fossils of earliest stick insect to mimic plants discovered

An ancient stick insect species may have mimicked plant leaves for defense, according to a paper published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on March 19, 2014 by Maomin Wang, from Capital Normal University, China and colleagues.
At left: Cretophasmomima melanogramma at right: Membranifolia admirabilis
Many insects have developed defense mechanisms, including the ability to mimic the surrounding environment. Stick and leaf insects mimic plants from their environment, but scientists know little about the original of this interaction due to little or no previous stick insect fossil records showing this adaptation. The scientists discovered three specimens, one female and two males, belonging to a new fossil stick insect referred to as Cretophasmomima melanogramma, in Inner Mongolia at the Jehol locality, a site from the Cretaceous period (approximately 126 million years ago). The species possessed adaptive features that make it resembling a plant recovered from the same locality.
The insects' wings have parallel dark lines and when in the resting position, likely produced a tongue-like shape concealing the abdomen. Fossils from a relative of the ginkgo plant have been documented in the area with similar tongue-shaped leaves along with multiple longitudinal lines. The authors suggest the insect used this plant as a model for concealment.
The new fossils indicate that leaf mimicry was a defensive strategy performed by some insects as early as in the Early Cretaceous, but that additional refinements characteristic of recent forms, such as a curved part of the fore legs for hiding the head, were still lacking.
The new fossil suggests that leaf mimicry predated the appearance of twig and bark mimicry in these types of insects. The diversification of small-sized, insect-eating birds and mammals may have triggered the acquisition of such primary defenses.

Animal Pictures