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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.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Daily Drift

Niagara Falls in all her glory - Check out what the falls looks like below!

Carolina Naturally is read in 196 countries around the world daily.   

It happened ... !

Today is - Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day

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

Some of our reader today have been in:
The Americas
Clovis, Okeechobee, Tigard, Fairfax, Haslett, Yakima, Kalispell, Avenel, Saugertees, Gurnee, Wichita, Minnetonka, Topeka and Carteret, United States
Guelph, Quebec, Edmonton, Pikangikum, Montreal, Toronto, Saint John's, Regina, Vancouver, Calgary, Scarborough and Winnipeg, Canada
Buenos Aries, Puerto Iguazu and Villa Maria, Argentina
The Bottom, Sint Eustatius and Saba
Tipitapa, Nicaragua
Tijuana, Mexico
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Lima, Peru
Bogota, Colombia
Santiago, Chile
Athens, Greece
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The Pacific
Makati and Manila, Philippines
Black Flat and Surrey Hills, Australia

Today in History

1461 The armies of two kings, Henry VI and Edward IV, collide at Towton.
1638 A permanent European colony is established in present-day Delaware.
1827 Composer Ludwig van Beethoven is buried in Vienna amidst a crowd of over 10,000 mourners.
1847 U.S. troops under General Winfield Scott take possession of the Mexican stronghold at Vera Cruz.
1867 The United States purchases Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million dollars.
1879 British troops of the 90th Light Infantry Regiment repulse a major attack by Zulu tribesmen in northwest Zululand.
1886 Coca-Cola goes on sale for the first time at a drugstore in Atlanta. Its inventor, Dr. John Pemberton, claims it can cure anything from hysteria to the common cold.
1903 A regular news service begins between New York and London on Marconi's wireless.
1913 The German government announces a raise in taxes in order to finance the new military budget.
1916 The Italians call off the fifth attack on Isonzo.
1936 Italy firebombs the Ethiopian city of Harar.
1941 The British sink five Italian warships off the Peloponnesus coast in the Mediterranean.
1951 The Chinese reject Gen. Douglas MacArthur's offer for a truce in Korea.
1951 Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical The King and I opens on Broadway starring Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner.
1952 President Harry Truman removes himself from the presidential race.
1961 The 23rd amendment, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to vote for president, is ratified.
1962 Cuba opens the trial of the Bay of Pigs invaders.
1966 Leonid Brezhenev becomes First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party. He denounces the American policy in Vietnam and calls it one of aggression.
1967 France launches its first nuclear submarine.
1971 Lt. William L. Calley Jr. is found guilty for his actions in the My Lai massacre.
1973 The last U.S. troops withdraw from South Vietnam.
1975 Egyptian president Anwar Sadat declares that he will reopen the Suez Canal on June 5, 1975.
1976 Eight Ohio National Guardsmen are indicted for shooting four Kent State students during an anti-war protest on May 4, 1970.
1986 A court in Rome acquits six men in a plot to kill the Pope.

Non Sequitur


Did You Know ...

That the average family pays $6000 in corporate subsidies every year in taxes

That over 21 million people worldwide are forced into labor

That vax deniers Australian vaccine skeptics lost their charitable status

How to support independent media

Cities won't talk about spying devices disguised as cell phone towers

Stingrays are cell phone tracking and monitoring devices disguised as cell phone towers. Harris, the corporation that sells the majority of stingrays, "profited an average of over $533 million in each of the last five years," according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ars Techica reports that "Harris requires its law enforcement clients to sign ... nondisclosure agreements that forbid those agencies from publicly revealing whether they use the stingray."
Look, we got the cyperpunk dystopia of our dreams! Cities won't talk about spying devices disguised as cell phone towers

Ironclad Patriotism

When Germans Gave Up Their Gold Jewelry To Battle Napoleon

Collectors Weekly has a short piece on Berlin Iron, the darkly beautiful lost-wax-cast iron jewelry from Germany. In the early years of the 19th century, citizens of what is now Germany, then called Prussia, were called upon by members of the royal family to exchange their gold and silver jewelry for Gothic-looking pieces of ornamental iron jewelry.

The precious metals were sold to finance Prussia's part in the Napoleonic Wars, which raged across Europe and beyond from 1803 to 1815.

The Fascinating Remains Of Rochester's 'Subway'

Not much of Rochester, New York's rapid transit system remains. The network of rail cars launched in 1927 and served its last passenger on June 30, 1956. Like so many cities at the time, Rochester's ambitions quickly shifted to the suburbs. The city invested in new highways and sprawl; the 8.5 mile, 24-station system suffered as a result.

Referred to by most locals as a subway, the transit system only went underground for 1.5 miles as it passed through the heart of downtown and an aqueduct over the Genesee River. A majority of the service was below street level, but uncovered.

Please enjoy this massive online trove of Classical Realist paintings

Gerald F. Metcalfe (1894-1929), Pan, Oil on canvas My friend Rob Walker writes a great column every Friday on Yahoo Tech called The New Old Thing, which "tells you about what’s not-new—but still great and available to you right now thanks to the magic of technology." His latest column is about my recommendation, The Art Renewal Center.
The Art Renewal Center bills itself as “leading the revival of realism in the fine arts,” and it’s fair to say that founder Fred Ross has a passionate point of view about the value of realism and modernist efforts (in his view) to denigrate it.
“Before visiting Artrenewal.org for the first time (about 10 years ago),” Frauenfelder says, “I’d never heard of William Bouguereau, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, John William Waterhouse, Lord Frederic Leighton, Ernest Louis Meissonier, Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Frank Dicksee, James Joseph Tissot, or John William Godward.
“Looking at their work makes me feel like I’ve entered a secret museum that was closed off to the public for fear of a mass outbreak of Stendhal syndrome.”

25 Things You Should Know About Life With A Toddler

From the time they take their first steps to the time you send them off on the preschool bus, your life with a toddler is a trip through the looking glass. And just like Alice, you will be confused and confounded by something new every day. If you’ve never been totally in charge of a 2-year-old demon spawn from the pits of hell, you might find this amusing, if a bit incredible. If you’ve actually raised a child through the toddler phase, you will laugh uncontrollably at how spot-on this list really is.

Watching a toddler is like watching an alien creature build some kind of extraterrestrial machine. It’s like watching ritually-peculiar Druid magic, or the interpretive dance of a sentient spam-bot. Our boy-human will put on an Indiana Jones hat and start calling himself “Nemo.” He’ll hand you things and then demand you hold them and if you try to give them back you’ve broken some ancient changeling contract. He’ll require a very particular truck and if you hand him one that is 95% the same truck, he’ll actually hate you — like, maybe literally hate you — for at least two minutes. (Then he’ll forget.) He’ll place things around the room or perform a sequence of events that, for all you know, is meant to unlock some kind of apocalypse. It’s methodical and maddening, like a bird building a nest out of watch parts. Other times? He’s not like that at all.


Take a bunch of wolverines. Throw them into a roaring F5 tornado. That’s a toddler. It’ll tear through your home, shrieking and whirling about, scooping things up and depositing them elsewhere. It’ll lose things. It’ll destroy other things. It’ll change direction in the hair’s breadth of a moment — “I’m doing this no now I’m doing this other thing wait what’s that over there.”
Chuck Wendig’s observations as a father include a part about toddlers being “proto-teenagers.” As the parent of several teenagers, I look forward to his analogies when his child reaches that stage of life. And I will laugh then, too. 

Frank Zappa Played The Pope On Ren & Stimpy

Once upon a time, way back in 1992, a little cartoon show about a dog and a cat called Ren & Stimpy was making waves with episodes about rubber nipples, a toast headed superhero, and all sorts of gross out gags parents felt were too extreme for kids.
But Ren & Stimpy wasn’t really a kiddie show, John Kricfalusi’s seminal animated freakout simply fell victim to the cartoon stigma built by Disney decades earlier, which established the idea that all TV cartoon shows should be made for kids.
Proof that Ren & Stimpy was not made for kids lies in the episode where Frank Zappa voiced the Pope, who is rescued by Powdered Toast Man and has to cling on to Toast Man's speedo clad buns as they fly through the air.
Boy, they sure don’t make cartoon shows like that anymore!

Here’s a 125-Pound Hot Dog

There’s a really big weiner at the Miami-Dade County Fair. In other news, Miami-Dade County has a fair in March. This hot dog may soon be in the Guinness Book as the largest hot dog ever.
Weighing in at 125.5 pounds — the naked dog tipped the scale at 51 pounds; the rest of the heft came from a gargantuan bun and gallons of condiments — the dog was cooked for three hours on a 100-foot mobile grill that travels from fair to fair on the bed of a 27-ton tractor-trailer.

Brett Enright, founder and CEO of Juicy’s Outlaw Grill, already holds the Guinness record for largest commercially available hamburger. His 777-pound behemoth burger costs $5,000 and can be ordered with two days’ notice.
The hot dog can be bought, too -he’ll make one for your party for just $1,000. The fair hot dog was weighed, photographed, and sliced up and sold for a dollar a sample, with proceeds going to charity.

Official haircuts of North Korea

There are 28 official state-approved haircuts in North Korea, and there is renewed emphasis on the official coiffure parameters under its new leader, Kim Jong Un. Ironically, Kim's own haircut is not on the official list. 

Beware The Staten Island Clown

Coulrophobes had better steer clear of Staten Island for a while, until the local authorities take care of a certain creepy clown they’ve got lurking around the city streets.
He has become a bit of a local legend in the few short weeks he’s been clowning around the streets of S.I., because people claim he’s an elusive clown, appearing with a wave then disappearing back into the city before most of them can snap a pic.
Is this the same clown faced freak that has been haunting Northampton, England, or is this one of the British clown’s disciples? Whatever IT is, if you see the Staten Island clown prepare to laugh your head off!

Street football axe wielder jailed

A man who wielded an axe in his street after becoming annoyed by people playing football has been jailed for 15 months. Thomas Conway, 31, lost his temper about the game of football being played outside his home in High Street, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Conway at first went outside without a weapon and had to be dragged inside by his girlfriend. Conway explained he felt like "a prisoner in his home" and went outside a second time at around 10pm with a curved axe behind his back, the court was told.
Phil Howes, prosecuting, said Conway eventually produced the axe and made a "slashing movement." One witness heard Conway say "I'm going to slash you up," Mr Howes added. Police attended at 10.15pm after a 999 call was made. Conway admitted to having consumed one and half litres of cider.

The court heard Conway had 12 previous convictions for 25 offences including a previous sentence in 2011 when he produced a machete in the street. Conway, formerly of Gainsborough, now of Rotherham, admitted charges of affray and possessing a bladed article following the inciden. Judge Michael Heath made a destruction order for the axe and told Conway: "You waved it about. The people who were there were frightened, not surprisingly."

Man riding motorized cooler charged with drink driving after being caught six times over the limit

A man allegedly caught riding a motorized cooler found himself in hot water after blowing more than six times the alcohol limit.

The 38-year-old man from Scarness, Queensland, Australia was spotted by police riding the cooler down a bike path on Friday afternoon at 4.45pm. He was breath-tested and returned an alleged reading of 0.305%.  Police raided the cooler, which they said was carrying 10 tallies of beer, two cask wine bags and up to six cans of Woodstock bourbon.
The man has been issued with a notice to face the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court for offences including driving while under the influence of liquor, driving while unlicensed and driving an unregistered and uninsured motor vehicle. Officer In Charge Sergeant Darryn Morris said while the case was unusual, it was no less serious.

"Due to the fact it is a petrol engine (the cooler) falls under the ambit of a motor vehicle under the Traffic Act," Sgt Morris said. "Some people aren't aware that if they're riding a wheeled object, the footpath is also deemed a road under Queensland legislation. It is a serious issue due to one, the amount of alcohol he had on him at the time and two, in relation to those using these motorized devices that can cause serious injury to themselves or other people."

Man tried to break into police station to get his skateboard back

A 20-year-old Oregon man was arrested after attempting to break into the Troutdale Police Department to steal his skateboard that was kept after he was earlier arrested for shoplifting.
On Saturday morning, police said, Nathaniel Mirelez was picked up for shoplifting. That afternoon, police said they noticed the door handle at their main entrance was gone.

They checked their video surveillance and saw a man try to break in at around 2:15pm. Eventually the suspect tore a door handle off and then is seen leaving while still holding the door handle.
Police then identified the Wood Village resident and arrested him on Monday morning. When he was arrested, police said he told them he wanted to get his skateboard back. He now faces multiple charges including second-degree attempted burglary.



How to negotiate with believers

Malcolm Gladwell's retelling of the Branch Davidians and the Waco Siege lets a survivor, Clive Doyle, do most of talking.
They did not worship Koresh, the way you would a deity. He was just the latest of many teachers, in a religious delusion that dated back half a century. “I’m just a messenger of the truth,” Koresh would say. “I’m like a Dixie cup that dog will crumple up and throw away when he’s done with it.” Or, as his deputy, Steve Schneider, put it, “All of these places talk about a man in the last days that’s a sinner. He can do one thing, open up the words of the book, open up the seven seals. Can’t do any miracles, doesn’t raise the dead, heal the sick, isn’t a psychic but . . . if people have questions about life and death, eternal life, no matter what the question is, he will show it in context from the book.”
The argument that follows--that the FBI gave itself no meaningful way to communicate with true believers--is fascinating: "For those who don’t take the Bible seriously, talking about scripture when there is a battle going on seems like an evasion. For those who do, however, it makes perfect sense."

Eau de Zombie

Cologne for the apocalypse

Putrescine, cadaverine, and methanethiol are three chemicals produced by decaying human flesh and are responsible for a dead body's distinctive odor. If zombies find living human prey by scent, those chemicals could make a living-dead-repellant perfume

In a world of text, humans experiment with different ways of conveying emotion

Texting has changed the English language!

We now use more exclamation points than we did 15 years ago!
But that's okay, because language is always changing!

A biodegradable battery

This four-cell battery dissolves in water after three weeks. Made from non-toxic concentrations of metals and saline electrolyte, researchers hope to use it to power medical devices inside the human body. Another interesting application: Powering devices used to monitor oceans after an oil spill.

Why failed science matters

The Michelson-Morley Experiment — a 19th-century attempt to prove that electromagnetic waves traveled through a "luminiferous aether", the same way that waves travel through water — failed. But that failure is one of the most important moments in early modern physics. In fact, it earned Albert Michelson a Nobel Prize. 

For MS patients, medical marijuana succeeds where other alternative medicines fail

http://media1.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2014_13/275286/140324-sativex-jsw-1201p_57e22e2da17fa9e15479c98a1c9fb6bd.nbcnews-ux-960-600.jpgA review of alternative treatments for multiple sclerosis found that most don't actually work.
One that does: An oral cannabis spray that seems to help reduce muscle spasms.

Daily Comic Relief


Meet, The President

This incredible sequoia tree in Nevada's Sequoia National Park is 3,200 years old, has 2 billion leaves and stands over 247 feet tall. This tree is so magnificent that it even has a name. Meet the President.
via National Geographic

Until recently, this giant tree has been too large to capture in its entirety. Well, it still is too large, but with the magic of Photoshop and an innovative rigging technique, National Geographic has stitched together 126 photographs to make the stunning full-length shot.

How Big Is The Universe?

In 'How Big Is The Universe?' Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomer Liz shows us the expanding nature of the Universe and how this affects the light reaching us from distant galaxies, some of which will remain forever hidden from our view.

Astronomical News

If you happened to be falling into a black hole, the last thing on your mind will likely be how pretty the view is. 
It's been 40 years since we first saw Mercury up close, and the flyby raised more questions than it answered.
Gravitational waves have been observed for the first time, providing direct evidence for quantum gravity. How does this prove the Big Bang actually happened? Trace and explain this groundbreaking finding.

Water buffalo rounded up after escaping from film set and rampaging down busy street

Two water buffalo ran loose on a busy street in Newtown in inner west Sydney, Australia on Tuesday. The animals had escaped from a film set.
The two beasts roamed for more than two kilometers along some of city's busiest roads before being rounded up by firefighters and animal wranglers.
The buffalo escaped just after 10am, leaving a red-faced film crew chasing after them in a jeep.
And the escapees did not go down lightly as fire crews needed ladders and a truck to trap them in the front yard of a home.

'Surprised' spider was probably not surprised

An Australian arachnid expert says a spider filmed in the Queensland’s northern tropics appearing to be surprised by the camera could have been reacting to its own reflection.
Owen Seeman from the Queensland Museum said the male Northern Green Jumping Spider was probably not surprised, but posturing when it saw what it thought was another male spider in the lens’ reflection. In the footage filmed by an amateur photographer, the spider approaches the camera, then appears taken aback and on edge as the camera follows its moves.

The reaction has led to the arachnid being dubbed the ‘surprised spider’. But Mr Seeman said it most likely wasn’t surprised. “What happens with these spiders is that they have some of the best vision of any of the animal kingdom. Their telescopic vision is magnificent. What they see when you get a camera is a spider looking back at them in the lens and it’s another male spider.”
He said the spider could have been “agitated” by seeing a rival male and this may have led to the spider’s curious behaviour. “If you set up a mirror in front of one of these spiders, they’ll put on their aggressive displays that they show to another male.” Mr Seeman said the Northern Green Jumping Spider is quite common from northern New South Wales all the up the east coast of Queensland.

There's a news video with an explanation by Mr Seeman here.

Animal Pictures