Welcome to ...

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 30, 2014

The Daily Drift

It's a Scientific Encyclopedia
The Laws of Physics always apply! 
Carolina Naturally is read in 196 countries around the world daily.   

And here you thought it was greener ... !

Today is - The Grass Is Always Browner On The Other Side Of The Fence Day

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

Some of our reader today have been in:
The Americas
Goshen, Dewey, Palatka, Anaheim, Phoenix, Omaha, Auburn, Throckmorton, Shata, Tampa, Upton, Chicago and Dallas, United States
Lansing, Pikangikum, Ottawa, Montreal, Thunder Bay, Guelph, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Vancouver,  Quebec and Regina, Canada
Buenos Aires, Rosario and Villa Maria, Argentina
Ecatepec and Mexico City, Mexico
Lima, Peru
Salvador, Sao Paulo, Brazil
The Bottom, Sint Eustatius and Saba
Tipitapa, Nicaragua
Limerick, Ireland
Costa De Caparica, Funchal and Lisbon, Portugal
Crawley, England
L'Olleria, Madrid, Magala, Cadiz and Huelva, Spain
Lille, Antwerp and Brussels, Belgium
Ponte Di Piave, Rome, Milan and Prato, Italy
Warsaw, Gliwice and Krakow, Poland
Chisinau, Moldova
Moscow, Ryazan, Kazan and Novgorod, Russia
Newport, Wales
Ostrava, Czech Republic
Rouen, Paris, France
Linkoping, Sweden
Mercin, Turkey
Bucharest, Romania
Zhovti Vody, Ukraine
Reykjavik, Iceland
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Nuremberg, Germany
Athens, Greece
Bangalore, Pondicherry, Delhi, Cannanore, Chennai, Patna, Pune, Kolkata, New Delhi, Shillong, Kakinada, Thiruvananthpuram and Bhubaneshwar, India
Nablus, Palestine
Petaling Jaya, Kuching, Kuala Lumpur and Balakong, Malaysia
Colombo and Dambulla, Sri Lanka
Jakarta, Bandarlampung and Sukatani, Indonesia
Almaty, Kazakhstan
La Dagotiere, Mauritius
Shanghai, China
Baghdad, Iraq
Bang Rak and Bangkok, Thailand
Islamabad, Pakistan
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Al Jizah, Egypt
Berea, Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa
The Pacific
Homebush and Melbourne, Australia
Mandaluyong City and Manila, Philippines

Today in History

1492 King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella sign a decree expelling all Jews from Spain.
1840 "Beau" Brummell, the English dandy and former favorite of the prince regent, dies in a French lunatic asylum for paupers.
1858 Hyman L. Lipman of Philadelphia patents the pencil with an eraser attached on one end.
1867 Russian Baron Stoeckl and U.S. Secretary of State Seward completed the draft of a treaty ceding Alaska to the United States. The treaty is signed the following day.
1870 The 15th amendment, guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of race, passes.
1870 President U.S. Grant signs bill readmitting Texas to the Union, the last Confederate state readmitted.
1885 In Afghanistan, Russian troops inflict a crushing defeat on Afghan forces Ak Teppe despite orders not to fight.
1909 The Queensboro Bridge in New York opens. It is the first double decker bridge and links Manhattan and Queens.
1916 Mexican bandit Pancho Villa kills 172 at the Guerrero garrison in Mexico.
1936 Britain announces a naval construction program of 38 warships. This is the largest construction program in 15 years.
1941 The German Afrika Korps under General Erwin Rommel begins its first offensive against British forces in Libya.
1943 Rodgers and Hammerstein's first collaboration, Oklahoma, opens on Broadway.
1944 The U.S. fleet attacks Palau, near the Philippines.
1945 The Red Army advances into Austria.
1946 The Allies seize 1,000 Nazis attempting to revive the Nazi party in Frankfurt.
1950 President Harry S Truman denounces Senator Joe McCarthy as a saboteur of U.S. foreign policy.
1957 Tunisia and Morocco sign a friendship treaty in Rabat.
1972 Hanoi launches its heaviest attack in four years, crossing the DMZ.
1975 As the North Vietnamese forces move toward Saigon, desperate South Vietnamese soldiers mob rescue jets.
1981 President Ronald Reagan is shot and wounded in Washington, D.C. by John W. Hinkley Jr.
1987 Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflowers is bought for $39.85 million.

Editorial Comment

Editorial Comment
Welcome to the new experiment here at Carolina Naturally.
We thought we would coordinate each day's posts more thematically rather than sectional has we have been doing with posts akin to another lumped close together separated by either a picture, cartoon or whimsical type post.

Beginning today ...
Sunday will be all about Science
Monday will be all about Human Interest: Fun, Whimsy and Serious things as well
Tuesday will be all about Politics
Wednesday will be all about the Earth: Man-Made and Natural Wonders and Disasters
Thursday will be all about History
Friday will be all about the Plants and Animals we share the world with
Saturday will be Open Season with postings of any type in the sectional format described above

Do not worry we will maintain the balance of seriousness and hilarity in each day's postings. We would not want to become too 'dry and stuffy' now would we?!

Thanks to you our readers. Now enjoy today's edition of Carolina Naturally.

Non Sequitur


You’ve know you’ve worked too long in a lab when…

You’ve know you’ve worked too long in a lab when…
My fellow scientists, you’re not alone in thinking “is it […]

Professor attacked during lecture

Professor and pundit Tyler Cowen was lecturing about vigilantism yesterday, only to be pepper sprayed in class by a man trying to place him under citizens' arrest. The attacker, who was arrested, appears not to have been a student.

This Brilliant Invention Helps Disabled Kids Walk and Play

Debby Elnatan's young son, Rotem, has cerebral palsy. He has very limited mobility. She wanted to find a way to help him experience upright movement, so she invented the Upsee. It's a harness that straps a child to the legs and waist of an adult. Both the child and the adult wear sandals that are joined together and slip over their shoes. With the adult's assistance, the child can step, walk, dance and even kick. Both can keep their hands free while doing so.
Elnatan took the Upsee to Leckey, a child accessory manufacturer in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. On Monday, the company released Upsee for global distribution. You can find a promotional video below.

Woman Has Her Own Skull Replaced with a 3D Printed Plastic One

A Dutch woman had a rare bone disorder that caused her skull to grow from 1.5 centimeters thick to 5 centimeters thick. Among other problems, this disorder gave her terrible headaches and reduced her eyesight.  Eventually, it would kill her. So surgeons led by Dr. Bon Verweij at the University Medical Center Utrecht replaced her skull with a plastic one produced by a 3D printer.
Dr. Verweij had worked with skull implants before, but never as large as this one. The operation was nonetheless tremendously successful. The patient has regained her sight and recovered enough to return to work. You can read more about her case at Wired.


What we lose if we lose antibiotics

This is about more than just the ability to treat an infection, important as that is, writes Maryn McKenna.

If antibiotics no longer work, we also lose organ transplantation, cancer treatments, kidney dialysis, safe childbirth, many types of surgery, and cheap meat.

First comprehensive atlas of human gene activity released

http://scienceblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Cdnaarray-100x100.jpgFirst comprehensive atlas of human gene activity released
A large international consortium of researchers has produced the first […]

Medical Marijuana Legalization Doesn’t Lead to More Crime

Texas Study: Medical Marijuana Legalization Doesn’t Lead to More Crime
The legalization of medical marijuana has sparked debate across the […]

Clusters of ‘broken hearts’ may be linked to massive natural disasters

Cardiovascular health a problem in U.S.

Dramatic spikes in cases of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also called broken […]

Sleep, Chronic Pain and Zombies

Sleep may stop chronic pain sufferers from becoming zombies

Chronic pain sufferers could be kept physically active by improving […]

Chronic stress in early life causes anxiety, aggression in adulthood

Autism linked to second-trimester fetal brain development

Scientists found differences in the brain structures of kids with autism compared to kids who don't have autism.

Those specific structures form during the second trimester of pregnancy, suggesting that autism is something that is present long before birth



Archeologists Discover Tomb of Attila the Hun

Construction workers building the foundations of a new bridge over the Danube River in the Hungarian capitol of Budapest, have unearthed a spectacular 5th century sepulcher. The analysis of the monument revealed that it was the burial chamber of a great Hunnic leader, most likely  that of King Attila himself.
“This site is absolutely incredible!” explains Albrecht Rümschtein, an historian from the Lorand Eötvös University in Budapest and member of the team of specialists investigating the tomb. “We found many horse skeletons, as well as various weapons and other artifacts, all traditionally associated with Huns. These objects include a large sword made of meteoric iron, which could certainly be Attila’s legendary “Holy War Sword of the Scythians”, allegedly given to him by the god Mars himself. In fact, this definitely seems to be the resting place of the almighty Attila, but further analysis needs to be done to confirm it.”
Nicknamed “the scourge of God” by roman historians, Attila was the ruler of the Huns, a nomadic people originating possibly from Central Asia. He ruled from 434 A.D., until his death in 453 after a feast celebrating his latest marriage to a beautiful and young Gothic princess named Ildico. He led many military raids on both the Eastern and Western Roman Empires provoking what has become known as the Barbarian Invasions or the Great Migration, a large movement of Germanic populations that greatly accelerated the fall of Rome and the advent of the Middle Ages in Europe. He his considered by most Hungarians, as the founder of the country.
The discovery of this funerary site could bring many clarifications concerning the origins and identity of the Hunnic people and of Attila himself, which have both been sources of debate for centuries. The analysis of pieces of pottery and jewelry found on the site, should bring a new light on their cultural origins and trade networks, and help scientists better understand this badly documented people.

The Vikning Sun-Compass ... After Dark

A clever combination of Viking sunstones and a specialized sundial might have enabled Vikings to navigate after sunset.

1,300-Year-Old Egyptian Mummy Had Biblical Tattoo

A mummy of an Egyptian woman dating back to 700 A.D. has been scanned and stripped to reveal a tattoo on her thigh that displays the name of the biblical archangel Michael.

Roman Emperor Dressed as Pharaoh in Newfound Carving

An ancient stone carving on the walls of an Egyptian temple depicts the Roman emperor Claudius dressed as an Egyptian pharaoh, wearing an elaborate crown.

Hey, here's a thought ...

Art Masterpieces Recorded Centuries of Pollution

Artists' sunsets turned increasingly crimson after major volcanic eruptions and increases in pollution.

Satellite 3-D

A satellite launched by NASA and Japan's space agency can for the first time can detect light rain and snowfall from space.

First Asteroid With Rings Discovered

Move over, Saturn—rings aren't just for giant planets anymore.

A photo of rings around the Centaur asteroid.
This illustration shows the ring system detected around Chariklo, an asteroid-like object called a centaur.
Saturn has rings, of course, and so do the other gas giants of our solar system—Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune—albeit wispier ones than Saturn's.
But until now it seemed that only giant planets had the gravity to hold on to the billions of bits of orbiting ice and dust that make up a ring.
In a paper published in Nature, astronomers report the discovery of two icy rings around a small object named Chariklo that orbits between Saturn and Uranus. Chariklo is only 154 miles (248 kilometers) across.
"When I first heard of it, it was unbelievable," says Joseph Burns, an astronomer at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, who wasn't involved with the ring discovery.
"It's a mind-blowing kind of observation," says Marc Buie of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, who also wasn't involved with the study.
"This probably will be the biggest discovery of my career," says Felipe Braga-Ribas of the National Observatory in Brazil, who led the team that found the rings, and who received his Ph.D. just last year.
A Comet? An Asteroid? A Minor Planet?
Chariklo, which was discovered in 1997, is the largest of a strange class of objects known as centaurs. There are a few hundred of them. Like the mythological hybrid of horse and human, they straddle two realms: that of the rocky asteroids, which orbit closer to Earth than Jupiter, and that of the icy comets, which mostly lie beyond Neptune.
Centaurs may hail originally from the comet belt, but they now circulate between Jupiter and Neptune on unstable orbits that cross the path of one of the giant planets. That means they're probably doomed, within ten million years or so, to be flung into the inner solar system or out into interstellar space.
There's a lot that's not known about centaurs, including how many have enough gravity to pull themselves into a round shape, which would earn them the title of "dwarf planet."
On June 3, 2013, Braga-Ribas and his colleagues observed Chariklo as it passed in front of a distant star—an event called an occultation. By using seven different telescopes around South America to determine exactly when and for how long the star's light was dimmed by the centaur, they hoped to measure Chariklo's size and shape precisely.
The event lasted only a few seconds. At first, the team thought the brief, unexpected dips in starlight they recorded were evidence that Chariklo was giving off jets of gas, like a comet. The same phenomenon had been seen previously on Chiron, another centaur.
But from the pattern of the light dips, which came before and after the dimming caused by Chariklo itself, it soon became clear to the researchers that they had observed two closely spaced but distinct rings passing in front of the star.
"It was a complete surprise," says Braga-Ribas.
The rings are about four and two miles (seven and three kilometers) wide, and are respectively 243 miles (391 kilometers) and 251 miles (405 kilometers) from the center of Chariklo. They are chock-full of water ice, Braga-Ribas says, and are bright and dense, resembling a miniature version of Saturn's majestic bands.
In retrospect, the discovery of the rings may clear up a mystery about Chariklo's behavior. From 1997 to 2008 it got progressively dimmer, and signs of water ice seemed to disappear from its spectrum. Braga-Ribas says the most likely explanation is that Chariklo's bright rings were gradually assuming an edge-on orientation and becoming invisible to observers on Earth. As the rings tilted back to face Earth, Chariklo brightened and signs of water—most likely locked up in the rings—became apparent again.
The Power of the Occult
Astronomers aren't sure how Chariklo got its rings. But they provide a great opportunity to learn how rings form in general, Burns says.
One possibility is that a collision with a smaller object created a disk of debris around Chariklo, and that the smaller pieces were then corralled into rings by the gravity of some of the bigger pieces. Such "shepherd satellites" help give Saturn's rings their sharp edges. The shepherd satellites that may orbit Chariklo, however, could be less than a mile across, making them difficult to detect with a telescope.
Since making their discovery, Braga-Ribas and his colleagues have watched Chariklo pass in front of another star, and they're planning to observe more such events this year. They're also keeping their eye out for rings around 50 other centaurs that are predicted to occult.
"If this sort of thing can happen and is commonplace, what is that telling us?" says Buie. "This is really new stuff and it's going to take a while for the full ramifications to sink in."
"Discovering a new object is a pretty good experience," Braga-Ribas says. "We are making history here."

Astronomical News

Hubble gets its first close-up of comet Siding Spring, which will give Mars a close shave this fall.
Through a predicted celestial dance, an asteroid drifted in front of a distant star and gave astronomers an unprecedented solar system discovery.
After a decade of searching, astronomers have found a second dwarf-like planet far beyond Pluto and its Kuiper Belt cousins, a presumed no-man’s land that may turn out to be anything but.
NASA's new sunshade will shield the glare from distant suns, providing a better view of their planets.

Daily Comic Relief


Chernobyl Trees Barely Decomposed

The world has moved on since the 1986 catastrophe, but one thing hasn't changed very much: The dead trees, plants and leaves at the contaminated site.

How Can Something Be A Plant And An Animal?

It's very easy to tell the difference from plants and animals...right? It was announced last week that sea anemones are actually half animal, and half plant! Trace explains how something can be both.

A Rat's Mind and 'Metal Flowers'

The inner workings of a rat brain and “flowers” of cobalt pyrite were among the photos picked as winners of the University of Wisconsin's Cool Science Image contest.

Coming Tomorrow

Coming Tomorrow
  • The island where everyone is related
  • An ATM only 15" off the ground
  • Oh, those Wild Baby Boomers
  • April Fool's pranks you can pull on your kids
And more ...
You didn't think we were going to end the day without an Animal Picture, now did you?