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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 18, 2014

The Daily Drift

 Got to get one - that'll stop the spouse from making a horrendous din ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 197 countries around the world daily.   

Friends and neighbors and all the ships at sea ... !
Today is - International Amateur Radio Day

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

Some of our reader today have been in:
The Americas
Britannia, Pikangikum, Thunder Bay, Mississauga, Victoria, Montreal and Fort Nelson, Canada
Holdrege, Hickory and Helena, United States
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Lima, Peru
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Managua, Nicaragua
Magenta, Rouen, Saint-Maurice and Salon-De-Provence, France
Brussels, Belgium
Widdern, Muenchen and Dusseldorf, Germany
Kharkiv, Kiev and Zhovtivody, Ukraine
Mostar and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lodz, Gdynia, Warsaw and Kedzierzyn-Kozle, Poland
Vilnius, Lithuania
Madrid and Eixample, Spain
Lisbon and Covilha, Portugal
Tallinn, Estonia
Riga, Latvia
Ruse, Bulgaria
Stavanger, Norway
Bucharest, Romania
Ryazan and Moscow, Russia
Ivrea, Rome, Italy
Dublin, Ireland
Kista, Sweden
London, England
Istanbul, Turkey
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Belgrade, Serbia
Slagelse, Denamrk
Zurich, Switzerland
Athens, Greece
Reykjavik, Iceland
Delhi, Bangalore, Thiruvananthpuram, Jodhpur, New Delhi, Bikaner and Cuttack,  India
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Sibu, Bayan Lepas and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Guangzhou and Beijing, China
Al Hudaydah, Yemen
Pontianak, Yogyakarta and Jakarta, Indonesia
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
La Dagotiere, Mauritius
Mashhad, Iran
Tsu and Tokyo, Japan
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Setif, Algeria
Al Jizah and Cairo, Egypt
Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa
The Pacific
Sydney, Australia

Today in History

310 St. Eusebius begins his reign as Catholic Pope.
1521 Martin Luther confronts the emperor Charles V, refusing to retract the views which led to his excommunication.
1676 Sudbury, Massachusetts is attacked by Indians.
1775 American revolutionaries Paul Revere and William Dawes ride though the towns of Massachusetts warning that "the British are coming."
1791 National Guardsmen prevent Louis XVI and his family from leaving Paris.
1818 A regiment of Indians and blacks is defeated at the Battle of Suwanna, in Florida, ending the first Seminole War.
1834 William Lamb becomes prime minister of England.
1838 The Wilkes' expedition to the South Pole sets sail.
1847 U.S. forces defeat Mexicans at Cerro Gordo in one of the bloodiest battle of the war.
1853 The first train in Asia begins running from Bombay to Tanna.
1861 Colonel Robert E. Lee turns down an offer to command the Union armies.
1885 The Sino-Japanese war ends.
1906 A massive earthquake hits San Francisco, measuring 8.25 on the Richter scale.
1923 Yankee Stadium opens with Babe Ruth hitting a three-run homer as the Yankees beat the Red Sox 4-1.
1937 Leon Trotsky calls for the overthrow of Soviet leader Josef Stalin.
1942 James H. Doolittle bombs Tokyo and other Japanese cities.
1943 Traveling in a bomber, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor, is shot down by American P-38 fighters.
1946 The League of Nations dissolves.
1949 The Republic of Ireland withdraws from British Commonwealth.
1950 The first transatlantic jet passenger trip is completed.
1954 Colonel Nasser seizes power in Egypt.
1978 The U.S. Senate approves the transfer of the Panama Canal to Panama.
1980 Zimbabwe's (Rhodesia) formal independence from Britain is proclaimed.
1983 A suicide bomber kills U.S. Marines at the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon.

Non Sequitur


Ferns are old ...

Ferns are old. Arising during the late Devonian period, some 360 million years ago, ferns once dominated the land. These ancient ferns were a bit different than the ferns we know today. It wasn't until roughly 145 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period, that many extant fern families started to appear. However, a recent fossil discovery shows that at least one fern we know and love today was hanging out with dinosaurs as far back as 180 million years ago!

A team of scientists in Sweden recently unearthed an exquisitely preserve fossil of a fern from some early Jurassic deposits. Usually the fossilization process does not preserve very fine details, especially not at the cellular level, but that is not the case for this fossil. Falling into volcanic hydrothermal brine, the fern quickly mineralized. The speed at which the tissues of the fern were replaced by minerals preserved details that scientists usually only dream about. Clearly visible in the fossilized stem are subcellular structures like nuclei and even chromosomes in various stages of cell division!

Using sophisticated microscopy techniques, the team was able to analyze the properties of the nuclei undergoing division. What they discovered is simply amazing. The number of chromosomes as well as other properties of the DNA matched a fern that is quite common in eastern North America and Asia today. This fossilized fern, as far as the team can tell, is a cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum)! Based on the fossil evidence, cinnamon ferns were not only around during the early Jurassic, they have remained virtually unchanged for 180 million years! Talk about a living fossil!

When an Elephant Falls on You

Redditor 12345123451234 (which is probably a throwaway account) posted this picture of a baby elephant who fell down while being petted. Although he probably weighs several hundred pounds, it doesn’t look like he made direct contact on the woman with the bulk of his weight. But his face tells a story! “Derp! I've fallen and I can't get up!”

Rare video of oarfish captured on Baja beach

Bizarre-looking sea creatures discovered swimming along Isla San Francisco shoreline by kayakers from Shedd Adventures and Un-Cruise Adventures oarfish
A living oarfish swimming on the shoreline of Isla San Francisco off Baja, Mexico
Eco tourists from Shedd Adventures and Un-Cruise Adventures were in Baja, Mexico, to snorkel, kayak, and view whales, dolphins, sea lions, manta rays, and other marine life. Viewing bizarre-looking sea creatures on the beach was not part of the itinerary.
Boy, were they in for a big surprise.
As the tourists prepared to go kayaking off Isla San Francisco, located north of La Paz, two rare oarfish measuring about 15 feet were spotted swimming along the shoreline, seemingly trying to beach themselves.
Usually when we hear about oarfish sightings, the long, slender, odd-looking fish are dead, such as the 18-foot monster discovered off Catalina Island, California, last fall and the 15-footer that washed ashore in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, two years ago.
But these two oarfish were very much alive. Un-Cruise Adventures captured the rare video, which was then posted by Shedd Aquarium. The underwater footage is especially compelling:
Seeing one oarfish swimming alive is rare enough, but seeing two?
“It was absolutely fascinating,” Tim Binder, a marine biologist who led the Shedd Adventures trip, told GrindTV Outdoor. “First, to be able to see one alive was just amazing, but the fact that two of them were there and we were able to observe them for several minutes was really quite a spectacular opportunity.
“To be in that moment of time in an inhabited place and have that happen, the odds have got to be pretty spectacular.”
Isla San Francisco, Mexico (circled)
The first-ever footage of a living oarfish in the wild was reportedly taken in deep waters in 2011 by scientists using a remotely operated vehicle, though there was a report of another deep-sea oarfish video from 2008.
While not an overall first, this video of two oarfish might be the first footage of living oarfish in near-shore waters.
“It’s very rare,” Binder said. “I don’t know of any records of people seeing two come ashore, although they’ve been reported in pairs. But I don’t know if anybody has seen them live like this.”
Oarfish are said to be able to reach 50-plus feet in length and inhabit depths of 1,500 to 3,000 feet. When the deep-water creatures venture into shallow water, as they did in this case, it usually means they are injured or dying.
Sure enough, these two oarfish wound up beaching themselves and dying, but not before giving a group of tourists a once-in-a-lifetime encounter that lasted 20 to 30 minutes, even though most were unaware of what they were looking at.
The naturalists, on the other hand, were definitely aware, and were very much blown away by the sighting.
“The thing’s such a beautiful animal, but such a strange creature at the same time,” Binder said.


Do Animals Have A Sense of Humor?

We know that some animals, like dogs and apes, can laugh. Can an animal also have a sense of humor? Join Anthony as he discusses how Koko the Gorilla and some other animals show promising signs.

10 Surprising Facts About Animal Intelligence

From an elephant that speaks Korean to goldfish that distinguish Bach from Stravinsky, the animal kingdom is full of non-human brainiacs.

Why These Cute Animals Are Illegal to Own

Pets like ferrets and hedgehogs have been banned in certain states for decades. Why are they illegal to own, and why can't we own exotic pets like monkeys and lions? Trace explains how certain wild animals are cute, but would make terrible pets.

National Zoo's Panda Cub Is Stepping Out

The National Zoo's 7-month-old panda cub, Bao Bao, makes her first trip outside with mother Mei Xiang.

Police officers held drowning bull's head above water for three hours

An elderly bull on the verge of drowning in a Palm River, Florida pond got a life-saving boost from police officers on Friday morning. Deputy Christina Ammons found the exhausted bull in the pond, stuck in the mud and its head sinking into the water. She jumped in and held its head up.
"I saw big nostrils going underwater and staying underwater with water blowing out," Ammons said. An animal lover herself, she didn't hesitate to jump into the retention pond to rescue the bull. "I stripped everything off that the sheriff's office really cares about," she joked. "And then I got in."

For the next three hours, Ammons and her partners kept holding the bull's head above the water's surface as Hillsborough County Fire Rescue brought a truck with a winch and slowly attached the bull to several straps. Slowly but surely, the winch tugged the bull to safety.
"I'm amazed that the deputy was able to hold his head up out of that water," said Charles Cochran, the bull's owner. "You're looking at several hundred pounds." Despite nearly drowning and the stress of the rescue, the bull seemed to be recovering well. After a couple of hours of resting on the grass, it managed to regain his feet and walk back to the other cattle grazing by the pond.

Eating Fewer Calories May Help Monkeys Live Longer

Eating a calorie-restricted diet may increase longevity and improve health in rhesus monkeys, a new study suggests.

The worst thing about feeding mosquitoes on your own blood

It's the fact that they eat so damn slowly, sometimes, writes Ed Yong. Seriously, mosquitoes. When a scientist offers you their arm, the least you can do is hurry it up.



Why Do Zebras Have Stripes and Lions Have Manes?

It's all a form of camouflage, right? Wrong! Trace takes a look at a few different animals in the wild that have prominent features with a weird purpose.

How Wolf Packs Organize to Kill

Wolf packs, like people, organize themselves for maximum success, only the goal in the case of wolf hunting packs is to kill for survival.

Killer Whales on Valium

Valium might seem to be an unusual drug to give to whales in captivity, but its use on marine mammals at aquariums and rescue facilities is probably more common than you might think.

How Sharks Hunt Down Prey

Sharks can compensate if one of their senses is blocked during hunting.

Texas 'Chupacabra' Turns Out to Be Imposter

Could a mysterious creature captured in Texas be the legendary chupacabra?

Hummingbird's 22-Million-Year-Old Story

Hummingbirds are remarkably successful little birds with a long and colorful history.

How Pterosaurs Ruled the Skies Above the Dinosaurs

These winged reptiles soared around the planet during the time of the dinosaurs.

Deadly Dinosaur Chase Reconstructed

Remains of a dinosaur chase from 112 million years ago have just been recreated in 3D.

Daily Comic Relief


Ancient shrimp-like animals had ‘modern’ hearts and blood vessels

Ancient shrimp-like animals had ‘modern’ hearts and blood vessels
An international team of researchers from the University of Arizona, […]

Mouth Vision

The Mexican blind cavefish does not have eyes, but it can see obstacles by puckering its mouth and producing bursts of suction.

Sea Angels

Clione or "sea angels" are small gastropods (like clams) which have no shell and whose "foot" has evolved into a pair of delicate flapping wings!

8 Parasites that Create Zombie Animals

by Miss Celania 
Five years ago, I wrote The Invasion of the Zombie Animals and 7 More Zombie Animals. Those two lists covered the best-known cases of parasitic creatures that take over the minds and bodies of other animals for their own selfish ends. But there are many more such parasites that do exactly the same thing. They give us nightmares and feature films, but life is even worse for their victims. Here are eight more cases of mind control between species in a new article I wrote for mental_floss.

16 Fun Facts About Hedgehogs

It was only about ten years ago that I learned that hedgehogs and porcupines were different animals. After all, they are not native to America. Now thanks to YouTube, hedgehogs are a lot more familiar, but there’s still much to learn. In Europe long ago, they were the spring weather forecasters, but when Germans immigrated to America, there were no hedgehogs to be found. So the American groundhog was enlisted to announce when spring arrived instead. Neccessity is the mother of invention, you know, even when it's a tradition that evolves into something as silly as an animal seeing its shadow. That’s the kind of fun fact you’ll learn in this list from mental_floss.

Coming Tomorrow

Coming Tomorrow
  • Harvard discovers 3 of it's books are bound in human flesh
  • The Cheerleader who sued
  • Spend the night in the world's deepest hotel room
  • The Rossendale Fairies
And more ...
This bird is our Animal Picture, for today.