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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.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Daily Drift

Very true ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 197 countries around the world daily.   

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Today is - National Pet Parents Day

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Some of our reader today have been in:
The Americas
Normally we list a few of the smaller and lessor know cities and towns within the USA that read this blog. Today however we decided to list a few of the better known cities and towns within the USA that read this blog. It shows we're read from coast to coast.
Los Angeles, Kansas City, Denver, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Birmingham, Brooklyn, Pompano Beach, Farmingham Center, Colorado Springs, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Richmond, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Mobile, Boise, Frederick, Newnan, Santa Barabra, New Orleans, New York City, Dallas, Baton Rouge, Des Monies, Miami, Fort Worth, Lincoln, Pittsburgh, Houston, West Hollywood, Charlotte, Orlando, Milwaukee, Syracuse, Little Rock, Tampa, La Cosse, Phoenix, Eau Claire, Ames, Bozeman, Portland and Fort Lauderdale, United States
Armenia, Colombia
Thunder Bay, Vancouver, Pikangikum, Ottawa, Britannia, Lansing, Montreal, Winnipeg and Galgary, Canada
Curitiba, Brazil
Tijuana, Mexico
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Santiago, Chile
Managua, Nicaragua
Tunapuna, Trinidad and Tobago
Lyon, Rouen, Cerny, Salon-De-Provence and Paris, France
Bucharest and Slatina, Romania
Seden, Denmark
Bushey, Cambridge, London, Slough and West End of London, England
Novi Sad, Serbia
Funchal, Covilha and Lisbon, Portugal
Tbilisi, Georgia
Rome, Treviso and Prato, Italy
Madrid and Bilbao, Spain
Nokia and Espoo, Finland
Frankfurt Am Main, Sulzbach, Koeln, Rothe Erde and Kaiserslautern, Germany
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Athens, Greece
Ryazan and Vladivostok, Russia
Kista, Sweden
Dronten, Netherlands
Dublin, Ireland
Ankara, Turkey
Zurich, Switzerland
Doha, Qatar
Colombo and Kandy, Sri Lanka
Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Jakarta, Pontianak and Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Bhubaneshwar, Indore, Bangalore and Thiruvananthpuram, India
Tehran, Iran
La Dagotiere and Arsenal, Mauritius
Bangkok, Thailand
Singapore, Singapore
Tunis, Tunisia
Johannesburg and Berea, South Africa
Al Jizah and Cairo, Egypt
Algiers, Algeria
The Pacific
Sydney and Brisbane, Australia

Today in History

1296 Edward I defeats the Scots at the Battle of Dunbar.
1509 Pope Julius II excommunicates the Italian state of Venice.
1565 The first Spanish settlement in Philippines is established in Cebu City.
1773 British Parliament passes the Tea Act.
1746 King George II wins the battle of Culloden.
1813 American forces capture York (present-day Toronto), the seat of government in Ontario.
1861 President Abraham Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus.
1861 West Virginia secedes from Virginia after Virginia secedes from the Union.
1863 The Army of the Potomac begins marching on Chancellorsville.
1865 The Sultana, a steam-powered riverboat, catches fire and burns after one of its boilers explodes. At least 1,238 of the 2,031 passengers–mostly former Union POWs–are killed.
1909 The Sultan of Turkey, Abdul Hamid II, is overthrown.
1937 German bombers of the Condor Legion devastate Guernica, Spain.
1941 The Greek army capitulates to the invading Germans.
1950 South Africa passes the Group Areas Act, formally segregating races.
1961 The United Kingdom grants Sierra Leone independence.
1975 Saigon is encircled by North Vietnamese troops.
1978 The Afghanistan revolution begins.
1989 Protesting students take over Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.

Non Sequitur


High school science teacher suspended for teaching science

Typical LA school administrator?
The LA Times reports that Greg Schiller, a popular high school science teacher, was suspended because two of his students made projects that "appeared dangerous to administrators."
One project used compressed air to propel a small object but it was not connected to a source of air pressure, so it could not have been fired. (In 2012, President Obama tried out a more powerful air-pressure device at a White House Science Fair that could launch a marshmallow 175 feet.)
Another project used the power from an AA battery to charge a tube surrounded by a coil. When the ninth-grader proposed it, Schiller told him to be more scientific, to construct and test different coils and to draw graphs and conduct additional analysis, said his parents, who also are Los Angeles teachers.
A school employee saw the air-pressure project and raised concerns about what looked to her like a weapon, according to the teachers union and supporters. Schiller, who said he never saw the completed projects except in photos, was summoned and sent home. Both projects were confiscated as "evidence," said Susan Ferguson, whose son did the coil project.
One of the most important lessons kids learn in public schools is that school administrators are usually autocratic imbeciles.

Meet the Denisovans

Bence Viola from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig discovered the tooth fragments together with Russian colleagues in the Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains. Initially, he thought the inconspicuous-looking object was the molar of a cave bear. But when the remaining fragments of the tooth turned up, it became obvious that the researchers had found the tooth of a hominid. It was too large, however, to be from a modern man or Neanderthal. When the researchers finally succeeded in decoding the DNA of the tooth, their suspicion was confirmed: it hailed from a previously unknown early human species living in Asia at least 30,000 years ago.
More on the Denisovans:
Because of the cool climate in the location of the Denisova Cave, the discovery benefited from DNA's ability to survive for longer periods at lower temperatures.  The average annual temperature of the cave remains at 0°C, which has contributed to the preservation of archaic DNA among the remains discovered.  The analysis indicated that modern humans, Neanderthals, and the Denisova hominin last shared a common ancestor around 1 million years ago.  The mtDNA analysis further suggested this new hominin species was the result of an early migration out of Africa, distinct from the later out-of-Africa migrations associated with Neanderthals and modern humans, but also distinct from the earlier African exodus of Homo erectus.  Pääbo noted the existence of this distant branch creates a much more complex picture of humankind during the Late Pleistocene... David Reich of Harvard University, in collaboration with Mark Stoneking of the Planck Institute team, found genetic evidence that Denisovan ancestry is shared by Melanesians, Australian Aborigines, and smaller scattered groups of people in Southeast Asia, such as the Mamanwa, a Negrito people in the Philippines.
And what a superb cave; no wonder it maintained its real estate value for tens of thousands of years.  The narration accompanying the slideshow is concise and superb; this video will be of interest to anyone with even a modicum of curiosity about archaeology or human prehistory

Global Warming News

Using more wood for construction can slash global reliance on fossil fuels

A Yale University-led study has found that using more wood […]
Eating less meat and dairy key to beating climate change
Greenhouse gas emissions from food production may threaten the UN […]

Liquid Boiling and Freezing

There’s not a lot of documentation on this experiment, but what we know is that the unknown liquid is both boiling and freezing. Actually, if you go by the visuals, it seems to rock back and forth between those states quickly. The pressure inside the glass was lowered, which causes the temperature to drop. But it also drops the boiling point of the liquid. Where the freezing point and the new, low-pressure boiling point meet is called its triple point. It’s freaky to watch. I kept waiting for the glass to break, because that just seems like what should happen.

An ad for radium-laced cooking utensils

Here's to your health! I liked scientist and blogger Danielle Lee's take on this ad, others like it, and the history that they represent.
They teach us about how we as a society respond — eagerly — with the prospect of a new innovation, any, especially if it solves a problem. Today we know that Radium is dangerous. So why were these sold to the public before it was thoroughly vetted first? Well, it was vetted - to the best of science's ability then. And as a result of the new info & mistake discovered hindsight, we change course. But let's be clear - SCIENCE isn't the reason for this ad or marketing this product as the best thing ever. That's ECONOMICS. Often, the beef people have with innovation is due to the marketing and politics surrounding how society (we) will use them. The discovery itself isn't usually problematic. Just things to keep in mind as we continue to debate next steps in navigating life on this shrinking planet.
That said, I'd add that it's even more important to remember that science is part and parcel with society, not something forced upon society or something distinct from it. The two are inextricably intertwined. So a scientific discovery is also economic opportunity and societies decide how they'll use the thing in both those contexts and more. In reality, you can't really look at something like this and blame it on SCIENCE or ECONOMICS. Instead, we make mistakes like radium silverware together, as part of a process where society shapes science and then science shapes society and back again. The important thing is being willing to pay attention to the results, notice and acknowledge when we've made a wrong choice, and make sure a correction gets made.

Naked Science

Well, the post title got your attention did it not?
Too, bad it is only a picture with the words 'Naked' and 'Science' on it.

Heart News

Brawn matters: Stronger adolescents and teens have less risk of diabetes, heart disease

More muscle health led to better metabolic and heart health […]
Drug a dud for diastolic heart failure
A drug that blocks the action of a key hormone […]
Astronauts’ hearts become more spherical in space

New findings from a study of 12 astronauts show the […]

Salt Isn't Really That Bad For You

We've been told that our salt intake is dangerously high. While the Centers for Disease Control back this statement, is it true? Tara Long joins DNews to look at an interesting new study saying that Americans' salt intake is fine!

How to Contain an Epidemic

Panic won't stop an epidemic, but a combination of these measures might.

Paralyzed People Move After Spinal Stimulation

Four paraplegics are newly able to move muscles using a new therapy that involves electrical stimulation of the spinal cord.

Why we miss subtle visual changes

Researchers discover a ‘continuity field’ that merges the appearance of […]



The Reason You Get the Spins When Drunk

If you've had one too many drinks, or mixed alcohol and marijuana, you might've felt like the room was spinning. It might even make you feel a bit sick. Annie discusses what causes this feeling, and offers a few theories on how to get it to stop.

Why We Can't Stop Gambling

An area of the brain may be hyperactive in problem gamblers, a new study suggests.

Why You Should Donate Your Brain to Science!

Scientists are working to find the cause of certain brain and developmental disorders but are running into a serious problem: They don't have any brains! Anthony explains how and why you should donate your brain to science.

Suspended Animation in Clinical Trials

Scientists and doctors the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, are planning a clinical trial that cannot be scheduled, with subjects that cannot be selected or screened, nor can they give informed consent. They will be ten patients with normally fatal knife or gunshot wounds which leads to massive blood loss and subsequent heart failure. They call the technique “emergency preservation and resuscitation,” which we know from science fiction as suspended animation.
The technique involves replacing all of a patient's blood with a cold saline solution, which rapidly cools the body and stops almost all cellular activity. "If a patient comes to us two hours after dying you can't bring them back to life. But if they're dying and you suspend them, you have a chance to bring them back after their structural problems have been fixed," says surgeon Peter Rhee at the University of Arizona in Tucson, who helped develop the technique.
The technique has been used on pigs in experiments, with very encouraging results.
The pig's heart usually started beating again by itself, although some pigs needed a jump-start. There was no effect on physical or cognitive function.
The technique will be used on ten candidates who are brought to the emergency room, then the technique will be analyzed and tweaked, and then on ten more patients. Since informed consent will be impossible to obtain, there is a way to opt-out online. So far, nobody has. Read about what exactly will happen when the time comes at NewScientist.

An Injectable Oxygen Particle That Lets You Survive Without Breathing

With the ocean levels sure to rise in the next few centuries it’s probably a good idea for humans to get a handle on the whole breathing underwater thing, either that or it’s to the moon, Alice!
Good thing scientists are already hard at work developing a microparticle filled with oxygen that can be injected into the bloodstream, so we can live on without breathing and possibly live out our dreams of becoming Aquaman.
Here's how this scientific step forward in un-breathing works:
Scientists have developed a new microparticle filled with oxygen that can be injected into the blood stream, keeping you alive even if you can’t intake air into your lungs. The microparticles are actually tiny capsules (2-4 micrometers tiny) made of a single layer of lipids surrounding a small bubble of oxygen gas. The capsule is suspended in a liquid so that the bubbles don’t get any bigger (which would make them deadly, FYI).
Upon injecting the capsule-filled liquid into the bloodstream, the capsules crash into your red blood cells, transferring the oxygen gas from the capsule to the cell. About 70% of the oxygen injected successfully makes its way into the blood stream this way.

Science Link Dump

Scientists begin studying annual bee death rates in a really substantive way

For the first time, the European Union began closely monitoring the deaths of bees during the course of a year. The results have been somewhat encouraging, with death rates lower than expected in 2012-2013. 

Colonies Of Growing Bacteria Make Psychedelic Art

Israeli biological physicist Eshel Ben-Jacob uses bacteria as an art medium, shaping colonies in petri dishes into bold patterns.

Daily Comic Relief


Lightning might have a connection to outer space

It's possible that lightning wouldn't exist without cosmic rays from space. Scientists have set up one of the largest experiments in physics to figure out whether this is true.

Rare Sight: Mars, Earth and Sun Align

FILE PHOTO: Frosty white ice clouds and swirling orange dust storms float above a vivid rusty landscape on Mars, June 26, 2001. (Photo by NASA/Getty Images) 
Frosty white ice clouds and swirling orange dust storms float above a vivid rusty landscape on Mars, June 26, 2001. 
Mars was exactly opposite the sun in the sky in a rare cosmic alignment that took place Tuesday (April 8). Called an opposition, this happens with Mars from Earth's perspective every 778 days, or 2 years, 1 month and 18 days. Think of Earth and Mars as two cars racing on circular tracks. Because Earth is closer to the sun, it travels faster, completing a circuit in 365 days. Mars is farther from the sun and takes longer, 687 days. By the time Mars has completed one circuit, Earth has a lot of catching up to do to get to a point between the Red Planet and the sun.
This is complicated by the fact that the two racetracks are not exact circles. As Johannes Kepler discovered in the 16th century, the planets follow slightly elliptical paths around the sun, sometimes closer to the Sun (perihelion), sometimes farther away (aphelion).
Some planets, like Venus and Earth, follow paths that are almost perfect circles. Other planets, like Mercury and Mars, follow more elliptical orbits, which are described as being more eccentric, or differing from a circle.
On the day of opposition, Mars, Earth and the sun fall on a straight line. Six days later, both planets will have moved a little along their orbits, but, because of the eccentricity of its orbit, Mars will be slightly closer to Earth than it was before.
If you look at the complete orbits of the four inner planets, you can see how Venus and Earth follow almost perfect circles centered on the sun. The orbits of Mercury and Mars are slightly askew.
If you look closely at Mars' orbit around the 4 o'clock point, you'll see a little tick mark, which indicates Mars' perihelion, the point when it's closest to the sun. If Earth is somewhere in the same quadrant, Mars will be much closer to Earth than it is right now, when it's on the far side of its orbit from perihelion.
This is where we get the idea of "favorable" and "unfavorable" oppositions of Mars. When Earth passes Mars when Mars is close to perihelion, as it did in August 2003, we have a favorable opposition. When Earth passes Mars when it is close to aphelion, as it did in March 2012, we have a very unfavorable opposition. The opposition next week is slightly more favorable than two years ago, and oppositions will gradually get better until July 2018, when Mars will be close to perihelion and we get a very favorable opposition.
But how much difference does this make? In March 2012, Mars was 62.7 million miles (100.9 million kilometers) from Earth. On April 14, it will be 57.4 million miles (92.4 million km) away. But back in August 2003, it was only 34.6 million miles (55.8 million km) from Earth.
From a practical point of view, Mars appears as a very tiny object in most amateur telescopes, almost always a disappointment to a beginner looking at it. The detailed images you see online are almost always made by combining hundreds of individual frames by a process called stacking, which minimizes the "noise" caused by the turbulence in Earth's atmosphere.
To see that sort of detail at the eyepiece requires tremendous patience, waiting for the rare instants when the Earth's atmosphere steadies, allowing the fine detail to pop into view. At those instants of clarity, you will see Mars' polar cap and traces of its subtle differences in terrain.

Astronomical News

Scientists have announced the discovery of a sub-surface ocean on the Saturnian moon Enceladus -- explore the tiny world's icy surface and water ice geysers in this stunning collection of images from NASA's Cassini mission.
Gravity measurements indicate the small moon Enceladus has an ocean sandwiched between its rocky core and icy shell, a finding that raises the prospects of a niche for life beyond Earth.
It can be stressful being a small asteroid -- not only do they risk collision with the planets any time, they are also slowly being eroded by the sun. 
Earth’s finishing touch came with a wallop when a Mars-sized hunk of real estate crashed into the fetal planet some 95 million years after the birth of the solar system -- later than some astronomers thought -- sending up debris that eventually formed moon.
NGC 1316 has a lot of skeletons in its closet -- literally.
Last month's BICEP2 discovery of gravitational waves is compelling evidence for the inflationary period just after the Big Bang. But what if there's another explanation?

Martian News

If desert mirages occur on Mars, “Lake Gusev” belongs among […]

A biologist trying to go to Mars 

Biologist Chris Patil is one of the 1058 people chosen (from more than 200,000 initial applicants) to participate in the second round of Mars One astronaut selection. That is, to say, he is one of 1058 people who are angling for a chance to go to Mars and never come back. He's keeping a blog about the experience and you can read it.

Scientists capture seven particles of stardust

After a years-long mission, a NASA spacecraft captured seven particles of interstellar dust as those bits whooshed around the solar system at speeds of tens of thousands of kilometers per hour. Then, it returned the dust to Earth. Scientists are now studying those grains for clues about the birth of our solar system.

Coming Tomorrow

Coming Tomorrow
  • Google's own software outsmarting itself
  • Student records bullies and HE gets hauled into court
  • The most hated sounds in the world (other than a repugican speaking)
  • 5 Amazing uses for spit
And more ...
This eagle is our Animal Picture, for today.