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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, April 19, 2014

Today in History

1539 Emperor Charles V reaches a truce with German Protestants at Frankfurt, Germany.
1689 Residents of Boston oust their governor, Edmond Andros.
1764 The English Parliament bans the American colonies from printing paper money.
1775 The American Revolution begins as fighting breaks out at Lexington, Massachusetts.
1782 The Netherlands recognizes the United States.
1794 Tadeusz Kosciuszko forces the Russians out of Warsaw.
1802 The Spanish reopen New Orleans port to American merchants.
1824 English poet Lord Byron dies of malaria at age 36 while aiding Greek independence.
1861 The Baltimore riots result in four Union soldiers and nine civilians killed.
1861 President Lincoln orders a blockade of Confederate ports.
1880 The Times war correspondent telephones a report of the Battle of Ahmed Khel, the first time news is sent from a field of battle in this manner.
1927 In China, Hankow communists declare war on Chiang Kai-shek.
1934 Shirley Temple appears in her first movie.
1938 General Francisco Franco declares victory in the Spanish Civil War.
1939 Connecticut finally approves the Bill of Rights.
1943 The Warsaw Ghetto uprising against Nazi rule begins.
1960 Baseball uniforms begin displaying player's names on their backs.
1971 Russia launches its first Salyut space station.
1977 Alex Haley receives a special Pulitzer Prize for his book Roots.
1982 NASA names Sally Ride to be the first woman astronaut.
1989 The battleship USS Iowa's number 2 turret explodes, killing sailors.
1993 The FBI ends a 51-day siege by storming the Branch Dividian religious cult headquarters in Waco, Texas.
1995 A truck bomb explodes in front of the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people

The Daily Drift

 Danger, Will Robinson ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 197 countries around the world daily.   

Hanging out- same thing we did last week ... !
Today is - National Hanging Out Day

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

Some of our reader today have been in:
The Americas
Fleming Island, Masury, Bemidji, Romulus, Memphis, Rolla, Pharr and Walpole, United States
Joliette, Pikangikum, Ottawa, Montreal, Saint John's, Moosonee, Britannia and Thunder Bay, Canada
Assis and Sao Paulo, Brazil
Santiago, Chile
San Salvador, El Salvador
Managua, Nicaragua
Bogota, Colombia
Mexico City, Mexico
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Stockholm and Kista, Sweden
Salon-De-Provence and Rouen, France
Milan, Rome and Ravenna, Italy
Bilbao and Madrid, Spain
Skala, Poland
Vantaa, Espoo and Nokia, Finland
Vladivostok, Moscow, Krasnoyarsk and Ryazan, Russia
Hermsdorf, Germany
Reykjavik, Iceland
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Dublin, Ireland
Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey
Copenhagen, Denmark
Athens, Greece
Newport, Wales
Riga, Latvia
Vinicne Sumice, Czech Republic
Oldham, England
Bucharest, Romania
Bangalore, Kolkata, Shivaji Nagar, Thiruvananthpuram, New Delhi and Lucknow, India
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Bangkok, Thailand
Medan, Indonesia
Or Yehuda, Israel
Beijing, China
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Bahar, Iran
Johannesburg and Jeffery's Bay,  South Africa
Tunis, Tunisia
Annaba, Algeria
The Pacific 
Melbourne and Sydney, Australia

Non Sequitur


Spend The Night In The World's Deepest Hotel Room

For those brave enough to delve into the abyss of the Earth, there is a hotel suite in Sweden that is not like any other on Earth. Located 155 meters deep into the ground, in a former silver mine, this is the deepest hotel experience in the world, offering an unmatched level of excitement and mystery.

The Sala Silver Mine is located in the Swedish town of Sala and while it was a mine for centuries, today - for $660 a night - it offers another experience to daring travelers.

The Rossendale Fairies

Skeptics Swarm Over Alleged 'Fairy' Photos

by David Moye 
A British professor is getting a swarm of attention for a series of photos depicting tiny creatures that he suggests look like fairies.
John Hyatt, who lectures on art research at Manchester Metropolitan University, took the photos around Lancashire, UK. The collection, entitled "Rossendale Fairies," is on display at the Whitaker Museum in Rossendale.
In an email to The Huffington Post, Hyatt said that he spotted the tiny creatures after taking pictures at dusk.
"I was just taking sunset through the trees and when I enlarged the photographs later in the studio, I saw these figures," he wrote. "They are not doctored apart from I increased the size of a detailed section of a larger photograph along with the DPI to stop them being just large pixels -- normal size enhancement techniques."
fairies 3
He said that the creatures in his photos don't look like normal insects.
“It was a bit of a shock when I blew them up, I did a double take," he told the Manchester Evening News. “I went out afterwards and took pictures of flies and gnats and they just don’t look the same."
Hyatt's photos have skeptics buzzing around him like flies. In fact, flies are what the photos actually show, according to one insect expert.
Entomologist Erica McLaughlin writes in the British Natural History Museum's NaturePlus blog that the creatures that Hyatt photographed are most likely a small species of fly known as the "midge."
"These tiny midges form mating swarms where the males will ‘dance’ around trying to attract the opposite sex," she writes. They have delicate wings and long legs which dangle down."
Hyatt isn't worried about skeptics:
“People can decide for themselves what they are. The message to people is to approach them with an open mind," he said, according to the Mirror. “I think it’s one of those situations where you need to believe to see. A lot of people who have seen them say they have brought a little bit of magic into their lives and there’s not enough of that around.”
However, Hyatt's opinion on the subject was enough to convince former FBI special agent Ben Hansen -- the former host and lead investigator of paranormal claims on the Syfy Channel series, "Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files" -- that Hyatt is fully aware that his photos don't really show fairies.
"The majority of his quotes are redirecting the conversation away from the facts of the case and instead, toward a discussion on belief and magic," Hansen told HuffPost by email. "His motive? He clearly does what you would expect for an art and design director to do... bring 'magic into their lives' by appreciating the beauty of life that 'grows everywhere,' which in turn 'can make people believe.'"
Hansen is also skeptical that Hyatt had no clue he was photographing "fairies" until he developed the photos.
"The foliage is all blurred together for that artsy look that really crushes the background. He says he didn't see the fairies until later, but aside from the motion blur, they look quite in focus," Hansen said. "It would be quite coincidental that the fairies all happened to emerge in front of the camera at the precise distance they would be in focus."
The title of the show, "Rossendale Fairies," appears to be a direct reference to the Cottingley Fairies, a famous hoax involving fairies that occurred in 1917.
In that case, two girls, Elsie Wright, 16, and Frances Griffiths, 10, pasted drawings of fairies onto cardboard and took pictures of themselves with the mythical creatures. Although it sounds endearingly low-tech, the photos managed to convince luminaries like Sherlock Holmes' creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that the fairies were real, according to the Daily Mail.
The author wasn't alone. In fact, the Cottingly Fairies created enough doubt that some believers were genuinely shocked when Griffiths admitted they were a hoax in 1983.
fairies 1
Considering Doyle was duped by a hoax, it may seem ironic that Hyatt quotes him to defend the validity of his paranormal pics to HuffPost.
"In [Doyle's] 1922 book, 'The Coming of the Fairies,' he said, 'We see objects within the limits which make up our color spectrum, with infinite vibrations, unused by us, on either side of them If we could conceive a race of beings which were constructed in material which threw out shorter or longer vibrations, they would be invisible unless we could tune ourselves up or tone them down… there is nothing scientifically impossible, so far as I can see, in some people seeing that which is invisible to others.'"
Hyatt's background is in art, but he doesn't believe that prevents his photos from providing a window to a world so far missed by scientists.
"I think it is entirely appropriate that the beauty of the artistic form enables people to open up to the possibilities of their world and to see it with fresh eyes. That is the goal of both the artist and the scientist," he wrote.
fairies 2

Shakespeare in Three Panels

May Gosling (@GoodTickleBrain on Twitter) is a librarian, cartoonist, and Shakespeare fan. She runs the webcomic Good Tickle-Brain, which is is mostly composed of Shakespearean humor. One section of her site is dedicated to condensing Shakespeare’s plays into three-panel comics, called Three-Panel Plays.
There are 38 Three Panel Plays so far, and also other comics about the Bard’s works, including some that humorously put Shakespeare’s characters into the modern world.

Fewer, better clothes

Wardrobe minimalism, personal minimalism, fashion minimalism—it represents concern at the amount of trash we generate and the money we waste, but also a continued fixation on defining ourselves through things. Europeans, writes Keila Tyner, have the balance right: "we should consider how all the cheap clothing we buy may be indirectly costing us much more than we realize."

Can homeschooling make you more tolerant?

A new study of students at a christian college found that the kids who had been homeschooled were more willing to extend basic civil liberties to their political/cultural opposites than those who had gone to public school. At The Conversation, scientist Robert Kunzman critiques this study and explains how it fits into the larger context of what we know about home schooling.
These findings are as highly suspect as they can get - any 'study' done at a 'christian' college is not worth the ink and paper they wasted on it. Those attending 'christian' colleges are THE LEAST likely to extend any civil liberties to anyone not of their same ilk, claiming otherwise is an outright lie and is not even bad science much less science.

The people who walk away from society

The Pacific Standard published profiles of people who have "opted out" — from hippie homesteaders to anti-government survivalists. 

Harvard discovers three of its library books are bound in human flesh

Harvard discovers three of its library books are bound in human flesh
There's something undeniably creepy about big, expansive libraries. The hushed whispers, the almost artificial quiet, and the smell of dusty tomes combine to create a surreal experience. But when it comes to creepy libraries, Harvard University might take the cake... you see, three of its books are bound in human skin. A few years ago, three separate books were discovered in Harvard University's library that had particularly strange-looking leather covers. Upon further inspection, it was discovered that the smooth binding was actually human flesh... in one case, skin harvested from a man who was flayed alive. Yep, definitely the creepiest library ever. As it turns out, the practice of using human skin to bind books was actually pretty popular during the 17th century. It's referred to as Anthropodermic bibliopegy and proved pretty common when it came to anatomical textbooks. Medical professionals would often use the flesh of cadavers they'd dissected during their research. Waste not, want not, I suppose. Harvard's creepy books deal with Roman poetry, French philosophy,  and a treatise on medieval Spanish law for which the previously mentioned flayed skin was used. The book, Practicarum quaestionum circa leges regias… has a very interesting inscription inside, as The Harvard Crimson reports.
The book’s 794th and final page includes an inscription in purple cursive: ‘the bynding of this booke is all that remains of my dear friende Jonas Wright, who was flayed alive by the Wavuma on the Fourth Day of August, 1632. King Mbesa did give me the book, it being one of poore Jonas chiefe possessions, together with ample of his skin to bynd it. Requiescat in pace.’
According to Director of University Libraries Sidney Verba '53, there might even be more of the creepy flesh-books out there, but while it's possible to touch the three identified books in Harvard's rare book room, the librarians aren't exactly fond of all the attention they've received lately, for obvious reasons. In fact, they've made it a point not to actively seek any more macabre volumes. yourself, do us a favor - just don't read them out loud. We all know how that ends.

Screwed Priorities

In 31 States, Daycare Is More Expensive Than College

by Erika Eichelberger

Last month, Shanesha Taylor, a homeless single mom in Phoenix, Arizona, was arrested for allegedly leaving her two children in her car while she went to a job interview. Taylor's story, and her tearful mug shot, have attracted national attention and an outpouring of donations. Debate the morals, but one thing is clear: child care is expensive. As the Washington Post reported Wednesday, infant daycare costs more than in-state college tuition in about two-thirds of the nation.
In 31 states, parents have to shell out more annually for infant child care than for a year of tuition and fees at a mid-priced state college, according to a report released last fall by Child Care Aware America, a national organization of child-care resource agencies. In New York, daycare for young children costs $8,000 more than in-state college tuition.

The creeping threat of the Risk Perception Gap

Risk perception expert David Ropeik on why we fear the things we fear and the role of the media in making our perceptions of risk even more screwed up than they are naturally.

Corporate Subsidies

The Cheerleader Who Sued

Lacy T. passed her audition to become an Oakland Raiderette cheerleader a year ago. Professional cheerleaders have a lot of rules to maintain standards and uniformity. She was told what to wear and how to have her hair styled, and must be weighed periodically to make sure she doesn’t gain or lose more than four pounds.
Long before Lacy's boots ever hit the gridiron grass, "I was just hustling," she says. "Very early on, I was spending money like crazy." The salon visits, the makeup, the eyelashes, the tights were almost exclusively paid out of her own pocket. The finishing touch of the Raiderettes' onboarding process was a contract requiring Lacy to attend thrice-weekly practices, dozens of public appearances, photo shoots, fittings and nine-hour shifts at Raiders home games, all in return for a lump sum of $1,250 at the conclusion of the season. (A few days before she filed suit, the team increased her pay to $2,780.) All rights to Lacy's image were surrendered to the Raiders. With fines for everything from forgetting pompoms to gaining weight, the handbook warned that it was entirely possible to "find yourself with no salary at all at the end of the season."

Like hundreds of women who have cheered for the Raiders since 1961, Lacy signed the contract. Unlike the rest of them, she also showed it to a lawyer.
She filed a lawsuit against the Raiders for paying cheerleaders less than minimum wage, and for other infractions of the California labor code. Some argue that she signed a contract, and that’s it. Others say that employers must follow the law, regardless of whether a worker is willing to accept less. Lacy T. has received both support and criticism for her lawsuit. There’s a lot more to the story that you can read at ESPN.

German labor ministry bans after-hours email from managers to employees

The German labor ministry has banned managers from calling or emailing employees outside of working hours as a means of preventing "self-exploitation," wherein workers end up putting in hours while they're off the clock. This follows on from voluntary bans enacted by major German companies like Volkswagen and Deutsche Telekom. Managers can contact employees after hours only under "exceptional circumstances."



How To Cook Restaurant Quality Pasta

Want a noodle with your olive oil? Doghouse Dairies advises that if your pasta gets too cool, you can always warm it up with some boiled olive oil. This may remind you of a particular chain restaurant or two. Better to set some time aside to cook at home. Comic by the food critics at Doghouse Diaries.  

The "butter is good" study has some serious flaws

You may have heard that science proves saturated fat is good for you — or, at least, that it's not the devil. That claim is based on a meta-analysis, a study of studies that reviews a wide variety of research on a given subject. Meta-analyses are a great way to get a big-picture view of what science says about a subject and the results of one of these papers means a lot more than the results of a single study, on its own.
Trouble is, this particular meta-analysis has a lot of flaws, writes James McWilliams at the Pacific Standard. Chief among them: The authors left out a couple of key studies that came the opposite conclusion and they misrepresented the results of a third. That doesn't mean butter IS the devil. But it does mean that you should pause before declaring this particular paper the final word on what is and isn't healthy to eat.

How scary is Ebola?

Ebola is scary. (Hypothesis: The fewer syllables a disease has, the scarier it is at a gut/click-bait level. For example, plague compared to malaria.) And it's true that the recent outbreak of Ebola in Guinea is objectively unusual by virtue of how widespread it is throughout the country. Generally, Ebola is relatively easy to quarantine off and tends to get itself stuck in rural areas.
But Ebola is not a disease that travelers from Western countries should be particularly concerned about. Nor, for that matter, is it even a disease that people living in Guinea, and the other African countries where Ebola has popped up, should be particularly concerned about. Ebola is scary. But, relatively speaking, Ebola kills far fewer people and has far less of an impact on the lives of ordinary people than endemic diseases like tuberculosis, the aforementioned malaria, and any number of intestinal diseases that cause childhood diarrhea. The CBC has a nice story that focuses in on this perspective. You should read it.

A new virus identified in China

Mojiang paramyxovirus — found in rats infesting a copper mine where three workers died from severe pneumonia in 2012 — may or may not be dangerous to humans. It's related to Hendra, a virus that kills horses and humans and that is a major focus of research into zoonosis (aka, the process of diseases jumping from animals to humans).

Roofer rescued from scaffolding after suffering from vertigo

A roofing contractor had to be rescued by fire crews after suffering an attack of vertigo.
The man was working on scaffolding outside the second story of a building.
Crew commander Phil Laws, from Greenbank fire station, said: “He was a young man who was contracted in to help a roofer. Once he got up he discovered that he had vertigo and found he could not get off the scaffolding. He was agitated and scared.”
Firefighters from Greenbank and Plymstock, along with a specialist rescue team from Camels Head, went up using a 10.5 meter ladder and put the man in a safety harness before leading him down to the ground. Mr Laws added: “He was fine, just a bit embarrassed.”

A Good One

A DEA Agent stopped at a ranch in Texas and talked to an old rancher. He told the rancher, "I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs." The rancher said, "okay, but don't go into that field over there...", as he pointed out the location. The DEA Agent verbally exploded and said, "look mister, I have the authority of the federal government with me!" Reaching into his rear back pocket, the arrogant officer removed his badge and proudly displayed it to the rancher. "See this badge?! This badge means I can go wherever I want... On any land! No questions asked, no answers given! Do you understand old man?!"

The rancher kindly nodded, apologized, and went about his chores. Moments later the rancher heard loud screams, he looked up and saw the DEA agent running for his life, being chased by the ranchers big Santa Gertrudis Bull...... With every step the bull was gaining ground on the officer, and it was likely that he'd sure enough get gored before he reached safety. The officer was clearly terrified. The old rancher threw down his tools, ran as fast as he could to the fence, and yelled at the top of his lungs......


Zebra Stripes Not for Camo

Zebra stripes turn out to have a surprising function.

Daily Comic Relief


Houston family calls 911 when dad has psychotic episode; now sued by the deputy who killed him

When Marlene Yazar's husband Kemal experienced a psychotic episode, she was so scared for her safety and the safety of her children that she called 911. A paramedic arrived on the scene, but fled after Kemal threw a bible at him. The paramedic called the police, and Harris County, TX Deputy Brady Pullen arrived on the scene. Ten minutes later, he and a colleague shot Kemal ten times, killing him. Then, he sued the Yazar family, naming Kemal's mother-in-law (who wasn't at home when the episode took place) because, according to him, the family were negligent in describing the threat the dead father, husband and breadwinner presented. Now, the family must not only mourn the passing of their dead loved one -- they have to defend themselves against a $100,000 lawsuit brought by the police officer who shot him dead

Couple forced into psychotherapy due to noisy Town Hall-owned peacock win €4,000 damages

A French couple left depressed insomniacs and forced into psychotherapy by the screeches and squawks of an extremely noisy city-owned peacock have won a €4,000 settlement from the city of Marseille.
The trouble started in the 10th arrondissement of Marseille when the local mayor was given a peacock as a gift in 2008. Soon after the bird began escaping from his pen and would find his way to a local couple’s home, where it would let out its ear-splitting squawks. The verbally assaulted couple in Marseille wrote letters to the Town Hall, demanding action against the noisy creature.

In response to the complaints the city even sent workers out to try and find the bird, but it was to no avail and the situation dragged on. In the meantime the racket let out by the peacock pushed the couple to the edge of sanity. In an earlier lawsuit they claimed to be suffering from various mental maladies like insomnia and depression due to the animal’s cacophony.
In January 2012 they won their suit against the city, but were awarded a mere €100 in damages. Outraged by the meager payout, the couple took their case to an appeals court, which recently ordered the city to pay €4,000. Much to everyone's relief, the city eventually caught up with the troublesome peacock and sent him to live on a farm far from Marseille.

Motorist demanding £2,500 compensation for stress and suffering after unfair parking ticket

A motorist is demanding thousands of pounds from a council for 'stress and suffering' - when he was given a ticket after parking for 14 minutes in a 15-minute free zone. Jonathan Dickson, who lives in Earby, Lancashire, parked in Bury, on July 4 last year, in an area which was described as having 15 minutes of free parking. However, Mr Dickson was unaware that to be eligible for the free parking, motorists must print out a ticket, and he was handed a £75 fine.
Mr Dickson, who was visiting Bury for a potential job opportunity, was so incensed after being handed the ticket that he appealed to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. Adjudicators upheld Mr Dickson’s complaint, saying the council had no grounds to pursue Mr Dickson for payment. The tribunal’s judgement stated: “If a motorist wishes to benefit from the 15 minutes free parking permitted by the council, he or she cannot (or should not be required to) obtain a ‘Pay and Display Ticket’ because that requires payment.” The council then cancelled the ticket.
However, Mr Dickson is demanding £2,582.13 from the council for the time and money he spent on sending representations to Bury Council, the Traffic Penalty Tribunal, as well as the 'grief, distress, stress and suffering caused by Bury Council.' Mr Dickson said: “I have yet to find someone who understands how you could get a ticket for not displaying a parking ticket, to get 15 minutes free parking. Their action has cost me quite a lot of expense in terms of time and money, and they haven’t even bothered to apologize. It has caused me months of sleepless nights. They have not even considered apologizing, and that really hurts.”
A council spokesman said: “Mr Dickson was issued with a penalty charge notice because he had not obtained a ticket when he parked his car. Even though, at the time, we allowed drivers to park for 15 minutes without charge, we still required them to obtain and display a ticket so that our enforcement officers would know how long a driver had been parked for. Mr Dickson lodged an appeal with the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. The tribunal found in his favour, and therefore we cancelled the penalty charge notice and considered the matter closed. The tribunal did not award Mr Dickson any costs, and he has submitted no evidence to the council to support his compensation claim for stress or distress.”

Elderly woman threatened to kill neighbor over placement of plants while wielding a can opener

A dispute over the placement of plants on the edge of a pond in the Florida retirement community landed a 79-year-old woman in the county jail. The woman’s 82-year-old neighbor called police. to report that she had been threatened.
According to the victim, she and her neighbor at the Fleet Landing retirement community near Jacksonville were having a dispute over large potted bushes that had been removed from an area near a pond on the property. Suspecting the victim, the woman reportedly entered the house through an unlocked front door and threatened to kill the victim while holding a metal can opener.
The victim said she’d recently had shoulder surgery and couldn’t move the pots. Meanwhile, a Fleet Landing security manager arrived and told police that the bushes were removed by management. Contact was made with the suspect, who gave police the can opener, but said she didn’t remembering issuing any threats. She was arrested for burglary and assault.
While in custody, the woman said she’d told another neighbor that she was so mad, she’d have fired a “few rounds” from her shotgun if she still had it. The other neighbor said she didn’t want to become involved. However, she confirmed that the suspect made a similar comment to her. The can opener was placed into evidence.

Coming Tomorrow

Coming Tomorrow
  • Moon Age Revealed
  • World's Oldest Weather Report Could Revise Bronze Age Chronology
  • Ancient Volcanic Explosions Shed Light On Mercury's Origins
  • Can We Genetically Engineer Humans For Space?
And more ...
This jaguar is our Animal Picture, for today.