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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, April 4, 2014

The Daily Drift

It's Feral Flora and Fauna
Makes you wonder - just who is the smarter speices ...
and today's posts deal more with fauna than flora but give it time
Carolina Naturally is read in 196 countries around the world daily.   

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Today is - Square Root Day

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Today in History

527 In Constantinople, Justin, seriously ill, crowns his nephew Justinian as his co-emperor.
1581 Francis Drake completes circumnavigation of the world.
1812 The territory of Orleans becomes the 18th state and will become known as Louisiana.
1818 The United States flag is declared to have 13 red and white stripes and 20 stars.
1841 President William Henry Harrison, aged 68, becomes the first president to die in office, just a month after being sworn in.
1862 The Battle of Yorktown begins as Union gen. George B. McClellan closes in on Richmond, Va.
1917 The U.S. Senate votes 90-6 to enter World War I on Allied side.
1918 The Battle of the Somme ends.
1941 Field Marshal Erwin Rommel captures the British held town of Benghazi in North Africa.
1949 The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) treaty is signed.
1968 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
1974 Hank Aaron ties Babe Ruth's home-run record.
1979 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the president of Pakistan is executed.
1985 A coup in Sudan ousts President Nimeiry and replaces him with General Dahab.

Non Sequitur


Mongolian girls becoming eagle hunters to help keep ancient tradition alive

Ashol Pan, 13, takes to centuries-old pastime that has been dominated by men

eagle hunter
Eagle hunter Ashol Pan of Mongolia lets go of her golden eagle. 
A photographer seeking to document the next generation of Kazakh eagle hunters in Mongolia discovered a 13-year-old girl who has taken to the male-dominated tradition.
Photographer Asher Svidensky made a four-month trek through western Mongolia, mostly on horseback, and found Han Gohadok and his daughter, Ashol Pan, who had expressed a desire to take up the full-time profession that is centuries old.
Good thing, too, since the ancient pastime is said to be a dying part of Mongolian culture, as young men are leaving their families and the hunting duties behind. As a result, more girls are becoming eagle hunters to replace their brothers, according to the Mail Online.
Gohadok told the Mail Online that his eldest son was to become the eagle hunter of the family but was drafted into the army. That’s when Ashol Pan stepped forward.
eagle hunter
Eagle hunter Ashol Pan of Mongolia holds her golden eagle, giving perspective on the size of the bird. 
Eagle hunters use golden eagles to hunt foxes during the winter months when the gold-colored foxes stand out against the snow. They also hunt hares. Typically, the training of young men begins at age 13, when they are strong enough to carry a full-grown eagle on their arm.
The training is rigorous, as the master and its eagle develop a long-term and trusting relationship that is all consuming. The Kazakh custom is for the eagle hunter to ride a horse while hunting.
Svidensky was looking for something different when he set out to document eagle hunters in Mongolia.
“I decided to focus myself—stop looking for a portrait of a centuries-old image of a Kazakh eagle hunter and instead represent the future of this ancient Mongolian tradition,” Svidensky told the Mail Online.
Ashol Pan represents the future. She is one of an estimated 250 eagle hunters in western Mongolia.
In his photos, Svidensky depicts the evident joy Ashol Pan has in her new role, one her father never would have forced upon her unless she had asked. And she did.
eagle hunter
Eagle hunter Ashol Pan of Mongolia is developing a trusting relationship with her golden eagle. eagle huter
Eagle hunter Ashol Pan of Mongolia gets an eagle-pat on the head. eagle hunter
Eagle hunter Ashol Pan of Mongolia

Jeu de la Bataille ou le Buffon amusant


Jeu de la Bataille ou le Buffon amusant [early 19th century]
SG 3102.106.1
Houghton Library, Harvard University
Jeu de la Bataille ou le Buffon amusant [early 19th century]
SG 3102.106.1
Houghton Library, Harvard University

Leap of Faith

A tiny French bulldog puppy takes his first ever jump off the couch onto the floor. You have to admit, he’s got style!

Rescued Dog is Grateful

A dog became trapped in a concrete-walled waterway in Romania. We don’t know how long he was there before two men hauled him out, but it was long enough for the dog to realize he was in danger.  He readily display the pure joy of being on dry land and was very appreciative of the rescue. Contrast his reaction to that of the cat in Sweden that was rescued by a sailor from under a boat. Dogs cannot hide their feelings. Cat make it an art. That’s a good dog.

There has been much discussion about holding a grown dog by the scruff of its neck. While that isn’t the best way to handle a dog from the dog’s point of view, it is safest for a man approaching a frightened dog he doesn’t know

Goats cleverer than thought

"Goats learn how to solve complicated tasks quickly and can recall how to perform them for at least 10 months, which might explain their remarkable ability to adapt to harsh environments."

Chicken Beauty Pageants

Photographer Ernest Goh brought us fish portraits a while back. Now he has a series of glamor photos of ornamental chickens, called Cocks. The photos are featured in his book COCKS: The Chicken Book. You can get a sneak peek at Goh’s website

Bat Soup Blamed as Deadly Ebola Virus Spreads

To combat the spread of Ebola, officials have taken the unusual step of banning the consumption of bat soup, grilled bat and other local delicacies.

Big brown bat males call ‘dibs’ on food

As big brown bats wake up from their winter slumber […]

Time-lapse fireflies

Vincent Brady shot these scenes of swarming fireflies at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, and at his home in Michigan: "I used every trick I have up my sleeve to pull this off. Image stacking, 360 degree startrail panoramas, and even a macro love scene! Hold on to your seats these fireflies fly by pretty quick!"
There's a fantastic gallery of stills, too. And that perfect musical accompaniment is by Brandon McCoy. Video Link.

Honeybees are NOT native to North America

"If the honeybee is a victim of natural menaces like viruses and unnatural ones like pesticides, it's worth remembering that the bee itself is not a natural resident of the continent.  It was imported to North America in the 17th century, and it thrived until recently because it found a perfect niche in a food system that demands crops at ever cheaper prices and in ever greater quantities.  That's a man-made mercantile ecosystem that not only has been good for the bees and beekeepers but also has meant steady business and big revenue for supermarkets and grocery stores."

X-rays film inside live flying insects

Scientists have used a particle accelerator to obtain high-speed 3D […]

Introducing the hammerhead (flat)worm

This planarian is an inhabitant of the soil; it preys on earthworms:

More details about its biology at The Ark in Space.

Canal between ears helps alligators pinpoint sound

By reptile standards, alligators are positively chatty. They are the […]

Salamanders shrinking due to climate change

Wild salamanders living in some of North America’s best salamander […]

Will Global Warming Really Trigger Mass Extinctions?

by Axel Bojanowski
UN Backtracks: Will Global Warming Really Trigger Mass Extinctions?
In 2007, the IPCC predicted that rising global temperatures would kill off many species. But in its new report, part of which will be presented next Monday, the UN climate change body backtracks. There is a shortage of evidence, a draft version claims.  More



Slow Life

'Slow' marine animals show their secret life under high magnification. Corals and sponges are very mobile creatures, but their motion is only detectable at different time scales compared to ours and requires time lapses to be seen. These animals build coral reefs and play crucial roles in the biosphere, yet we know almost nothing about their daily lives.

Crude oil causes developmental abnormalities in large marine fish

Crude oil causes developmental abnormalities in large marine fish
Study shows Deepwater Horizon oil disrupts heart development in tunas […]

Enormous Shrimp ...

Perhaps the most peaceful time on the planet was around 540 million years ago, when the number one predator was a huge, yet gentle, shrimp-like creature.

7 Of The Coolest Living Fossils

Want to see history? You could go to a museum - or you could go to the zoo and check out these animals that haven't changed for tens of millions of years.

Ancient African cattle first domesticated in Middle East

Geneticists and anthropologists previously suspected that ancient Africans domesticated cattle native to the African continent nearly 10,000 years ago. Now, a team of University of Missouri researchers has completed the genetic history of 134 cattle breeds from around the world. In the process of completing this history, they found that ancient domesticated African cattle originated in the "Fertile Crescent," a region that covered modern day Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Israel.
Kuri-Rinder cattle from the Buduma Area of West Africa
In their study published in PLOS Genetics, Prof. Decker (University of Missouri) and a team of international researchers compared the similarities and differences among the genetics of many different cattle breeds to determine how the breeds are related. Their research found mixing of native cattle in Indonesia with imports from India, European and African cattle in Italy and Spain, and European and Asian cattle in Korea and Japan. The MU researchers also determined that unique American cattle breeds, such as Texas longhorns, are the result of breeding between Spanish cattle, transported from Europe by explorers in the 16th century, and breeds of Zebu, or Brahman cattle from India imported into the U.S. from Brazil in the late 1800s. Decker says these discoveries help advance genetics and uncover important information about human history.
Prof. Decker says the genetics of these African cattle breeds are similar to those of cattle first domesticated in the Middle East nearly 10,000 years ago, proving that those cattle were brought to Africa as farmers migrated south. Those cattle then interbred with wild cattle, or aurochs, which were native to the region, and changed their genetic makeup enough to confuse geneticists.
"In many ways, the history of cattle genetics mirrors human history," Decker said. "In the case of African cattle, anthropologists and geneticists used to suspect that domesticated African cattle were native to the continent, when in fact, they were brought by migrating peoples thousands of years ago. By better understanding the history of the animals we domesticate, we can better understand ourselves."
Decker also said that cattle breeding is important for animal farmers looking to maximize their herds' meat and dairy production. He says that understanding the genetic history of cattle breeds is important when looking for solutions to agricultural issues.
"Now that we have this more complete genetic history of cattle worldwide, we can better understand the diversity of the species," Decker said. "By understanding the variations present, we can improve cattle for agricultural purposes, whether that is through breeding more disease-resistant animals or finding ways to increase dairy or beef production."

Neck ribs in woolly mammoths provide clues about their decline and eventual extinction

Daily Comic Relief


Animal News

Primate poop reveals what our furry ancestors are eating.
Giant Pandas Love Sugar
Giant pandas have a sweet tooth, which explains why a baby giant panda at the National Zoo keeps craving a certain sweet food.
How long can you hold your breath underwater? A Cuvier's beaked whale just did it for over two hours while on a dive that took it to nearly 2 miles below the ocean's surface.
The Copenhagen Zoo recently killed four members of a lion family because the cats didn't meet the needs of the zoo's captive breeding program.

Study yields ‘Genghis Khan’ of brown bears, and brown and polar bear evolution

Male bears are seemingly always on the prowl, roaming much […]

Bears Doing Human Things

There’s a reason they chose a bear to be the star of so many cartoon shows, from Yogi to Baloo to the Three Bears in those Looney Tunes shorts, because very few critters act as humanistic as bears.
When a bear stands up and gives you a wave you can almost see your big, hairy uncle doing the same thing, and when they hold a newspaper, sit at a picnic table waiting for a basket full of goodies to come their way, or simply stick their tongue out at the photographer we instantly imagine a friend or family member doing the same thing.
Enjoy this selection of images showing Bears Doing Human Things, put together by the animal loving folks at Bored Panda.

Coming Tomorrow

Coming Tomorrow
  • Beer Money and Babe Ruth
  • Visualizing a beautiful mind
  • Life on the frozen-food-tasting line
  • Black markets for hacker are increasingly sophisticated ...
And more ...
Pandas - our Animal Picture, for today.