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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, May 24, 2014

The Daily Drift

Yeah, it's like that ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 199 countries around the world daily.   

 All That Jazz ... !
Today is  - National Jazz Day

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The Americas
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The Bottom, Sint Eustatus and Saba
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Madrid and Algeciras, Spain
Konstanz, Germany
Gent, Belgium
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The Pacific
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Today in History

1543 Nicolaus Copernicus publishes proof of a sun-centered solar system. He dies just after publication.
1607 Captain Christopher Newport and 105 followers found the colony of Jamestown at the mouth of the James River on the coast of Virginia.
1610 Sir Thomas Gates institutes "laws divine moral and marshal, " a harsh civil code for Jamestown.
1624 After years of unprofitable operation, Virginia's charter is revoked and it becomes a royal colony.
1689 English Parliament passes the Act of Toleration, protecting Protestants. Roman Catholics are specifically excluded from exemption.
1738 The Methodist Church is established.
1764 Boston lawyer James Otis denounces "taxation without representation," calling for the colonies to unite in opposition to Britain's new tax measures.
1798 Believing that a French invasion of Ireland is imminent, Irish nationalists rise up against the British occupation.
1844 Samuel Morse taps out the first telegraph message.
1846 General Zachary Taylor captures Monterey.
1861 General Benjamin Butler declares slaves to be the contraband of war.
1863 Bushwackers led by Captain William Marchbanks attack a Federal militia party in Nevada, Missouri.
1878 The first American bicycle race is held in Boston.
1930 Amy Johnson becomes the first woman to fly from England to Australia.
1941 The British battleship Hood is sunk by the German battleship Bismarck. There are only three survivors.
1951 Willie Mays begins playing for the New York Giants.
1961 Civil rights activists are arrested in Jackson, Mississippi.

Non Sequitur


20 Reasons To Grow A Beautiful Beard

Beards make everything better. Facial hair is awesome because it makes you look burly. Life would be better with a beard.

15 Charts That Perfectly Illustrate How To Properly Pet Animals

Learn how to interact with animals and you'll have more furry friends than you know what to do with.

This Is Why You Get To Celebrate Your Birthday Every Year

If today is your birthday: Happy Birthday! But have you ever thought about why we even bother to celebrate birthdays? When you think about it, they're really just an opportunity for your friends and family to come together and congratulate you for surviving another year. But for some reason it's become far more than that.

The Science Of Selfies

A selfie is a self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone. Selfies are often shared on social networking services such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr. They are often casual, and are typically taken either with a camera held at arm's length or in a mirror.
Social media scientist Dan Zarrella used a dataset of more than 160,000 Instagram images tagged with #selfie to study the science of selfies and what leads to more (or fewer) likes.

10 Magical Facts About Unicorns

Just because unicorns are mythical doesn’t mean they haven’t had a real impact on history. Just ask a narwhal!
1. The first known depiction of a unicorn—found in the Lascaux Caves of modern-day France—dates to around 15,000 BCE! Or so people thought, until they realized that the so-called Lascaux unicorn had two horns, drawn confusingly close together.
2. The earliest record of unicorns in Western literature belongs to Greek historian Ctesias. In the 5th century BCE, he wrote that the beast had a white body, purple head, blue eyes, and a multicolored horn—red at the tip, black in the middle, and white at the base.
3. In his travels, Marco Polo believed he stumbled across unicorns. He wrote, “They are very ugly brutes to look at. They are not at all such as we describe unicorns.” That’s because they were actually rhinoceroses.
4. Genghis Khan reportedly decided not to conquer India after meeting a unicorn, which bowed down to him; he viewed it as a sign from his dead father and turned his army back.
5. During the Dark Ages, when science famously took a back seat to illogical hunches, collections known as bestiaries listed the biological properties and medicinal use of known animals, which at the time included unicorns. It’s in these collections that virgins were first described as having great power over the creatures.
6. The King James version of the Old Testament contains nine references to unicorns, thanks to a mistranslation of the Hebrew word re’em. The original word was likely the Assyrian rimu (auroch), an extinct species of wild ox.
7. The legend that unicorn horns could counteract poison and purify water was bad news for narwhal populations, as the single tooth protruding from the front of the whale’s head made for a popular counterfeit. The Danes even had a throne made of narwhal horns.
8. At its height, “unicorn horn” was literally worth 10 times its weight in gold. In 1560, German merchants sold a unicorn horn for an astronomical 90,000 scudi—then about £18,000—to the pope. Pharmacies in London sold powdered unicorn horn as late as 1741.
9. Early unicorn heraldry can be found on the ancient seals of Babylonia and Assyria, but it’s most famously attached to Scotland’s King James III in the 1400s. Two gold coins of that era were even known as the unicorn and the half-unicorn!
10. If you’re looking to hunt a unicorn, but don’t know where to begin, try Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Since 1971, the university has issued permits to unicorn questers. Anyone embarking on such a search is advised to carry a flask of cognac and a pair of pinking shears.

10 Real-Life Locations of Fictional Television Hangouts

If you’ve ever had a hankering to get your car spiffed up at Walter White’s car wash, you can do it. The A1A Car Wash is fictional, but the car wash scenes in Breaking Bad were filmed at the Octopus Car Wash in Albuquerque. And if you have some other TV obsession, there are plenty of real-life locations you can see, from Twin Peaks, Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, and more. You’ll find ten of them in a list at mental_floss

World's First Kim Jong-un Impersonator Wows Onlookers In Hong Kong

A musician from Hong Kong has become the world's first professional Kim Jong-un lookalike. Howard has endured endless jokes about his dictator double ever since Kim rose to power in 2011. Now the 34-year-old is perfecting his wave and stern smile to bag work moonlighting as the ruthless general's impersonator.Howard - who refuses to give his surname for fear of reprisals form the secretive state - says he fell into the role almost by accident when a picture of himself posing as the Dear Leader went viral on Facebook last April.

World's Weirdest Hotels

14 Unique Offbeat Accommodations
There are hotels so strange and unusual that they qualify as roadside attractions whether you spend the night or not. They include a massive toilet, an operable crane, a survival pod with disco decor, a giant beer can and a manor where you can eat breakfast with giraffes hovering over your shoulder.



Latin America's Only Public Dairy Farm And Cheese Cellar

A 100-year-old cheese paradise sits near the town of Ojos Negros, 20 miles south of Ensenada, Mexico. If you want to meet cows, taste varieties of cheese from the mildest to the most pungent and know how cheese is made; head straight to Rancho La Campana, the home of the only cheese cellar open to public: La Cava de Marcelo.
The business started by the Holstein family in 1911 and later, the family farm was built in 2008 with 60 acres of land in the valley of Real de Castillo. The more than 200 cows are taken care of by feeding them grass, alfalfa, corn, grain and fresh water so expect to get that all-natural yummy cheese that you can't easily grab from the supermarket.

The Last Chained Libraries

Reading In Restraint 
A chained library is a library where the books are attached to their bookcase by a chain, which is sufficiently long to allow the books to be taken from their shelves and read, but not removed from the library itself.
In the Middle Ages, books were incredibly scarce, and although many wanted to share knowledge with the masses, they didn't quite trust the public. So the chained library was born, and while most of these restrained reading collections have vanished, a rare few still exist, looking much as they did centuries ago.

The Parasitological Museum Of Meguro

It's not the best place to take a date, nor would you want to visit after eating a large meal, but Meguro's Parasitological Museum in Tokio is a wonderful excursion. And a horrifying one.
Privately founded in 1954 by a doctor, Meguro's is the only Parasitological Museum in the world, with over 300 specimens on display. The focus is on human parasites, with information about their life-cycle, reproduction methods and habitats.

Is Farting In The Workplace Acceptable?

Is it OK to fart in the workplace? The Black Sheep aims to answer that. They surveyed 95 working professionals - TV producers, pilots, a nuclear physicist - to see what their personal policy is on lettin' out a toot in the ole' office.

Can We Fix The Death Penalty?

A few weeks ago, an execution in Oklahoma went horribly wrong. Join Laci as she reports on a bipartisan research group that is calling for stricter standards on lethal injections in the United States.

Random Photos

A Redneck Yard Staple ...

Over a 10-year period, home trampolines spurred 1 million emergency room visits and $1 billion for ER-related expenses.
It was recently reported that more than 1 million visits to the ER from 2002 to 2011 were due to accidents that occurred on trampolines! Even though they're fun to play on, are they safe?

Doctors, An Endangered Species Thanks To The repugicans

After your next checkup, if you know your doc pretty well, take a little time and ask him/her how the insurance companies are treating him/her under the new government health care plan. If said doc is honest, he or she will admit to being extremely frustrated over developments that could cost their practice some really serious money.
doctor photoDoctors’ fees under the marketplace segment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) are, in many areas, nose-diving. Kaiser Health News points out that many state medical associations are getting physician complaints that lowering the rates could lead to a two-tiered system with doctors bailing left and right and leaving sick patients without a road map to care. With the current shortage of family doctors, the problem can only get worse.
Many market exchange insurance companies refuse to pay nearly as much for an office visit as the higher premium commercial plans. That either leaves more money for the patient to pay or refusal of the doctor to accept the patient at all. The insurance companies are not going down without a fight. Doctors’ fees are just the latest strategy to sabotage the ACA. Kaiser quotes a Senior Executive at Blue Cross Blue Shield Association as admitting that “some” of its 37 member organizations are, indeed, offering lower doctor rates, in smaller marketplace venues, but the Association insists that plans know that without a good network of providers, customers will “Go somewhere else.”
What a crock. Many marketplaces have a minimal number of options and a great many states have few options (some only one) outside the marketplace. As I’ve said many times before, no medical legislation in my state of North Carolina ever gets passed without the direct permission from Blue Cross Blue Shield. NONE, EVER!!!
I’m on the side of the docs. And it’s not only because they’ve kept me on this earth on at least three different occasions when I should have been fitted for heavenly wings. The most recent close call was nearly five years ago, when quick work by physicians kept me afloat for the hours it took for lifesaving surgery. Yes, they’re paid a pretty penny and are likely to live in swell houses, but what kind of living is it? It must not be great for some because the profession with the highest rate of suicides is the medical profession. And female physicians kill themselves at a rate of four times the general population of women. Dentists, by the way, rank number two in suicides.
Taking a closer look at the doctor business, let’s start with education. Years and years and years of it. It’s not unusual for a psychiatrist (must be an MD, plus a four-year residency) to have celebrated his or her 30th birthday by the time they open their practice. Then throw in continuing education for good measure. For any and all physicians, there’s undergrad, med school, specialties, internships and residencies, all before the major bucks start flowing in the opposite direction. Bloomberg’s Internet site reports medical school debts as high as $400,000 at interest rates of anywhere from 7-13 percent. The median tab for a private medical school, start-to-finish, is pushing the $300,000 mark.
Finally, after years of sleepless nights, memorization of a virtual foreign language, verbally abusive mentors and repeated conversations with self about why in god’s name did I want to become a doctor, the nightmare ends. You drag your newly reconfigured brain, what’s left of your idealism and open up your own place. And you thought med school was a slog? It’s at this point you realize you’re equal parts doc and small businessperson. Offices don’t run themselves. At the very least, you’ll need three more bodies in place every day the office is open. A receptionist (probably two, for in and out), a billing clerk, maybe a medical assistant or two, an office manager and, unless you outsource your tests, a lab tech. These are mostly modestly paid positions, but pay the practitioner must do; like clockwork.
Then there are insurance companies to deal with. Most of them will argue over use of a Q-tip. Throw 25-30 patients in the mix and you’ve pretty much got the majority of a doctor’s typical daily working life. Yeah, a family doc will pull in a couple of hundred grand; some cardiologist and other pricey specialists nudge a million per annum, but for the most part, your physician is paid what he or she is worth.
And like the disappearing rain forests, doctors are becoming a rare species. Over 30% of doctors have passed their 60th birthday and not enough fresh faces are coming up to replace them. California is estimating a near-term shortage of 17,000 doctors and that’s just one state. And the moronic 2010 National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility (also called Bowles/Simpson or simply shortened to the ‘deficit commission’) proposed cutting $60 billion in Medicare support for physician Graduate Medical Education (GME) funds, or post-med school clinical training, over a ten-year period. In money terms, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) that total would represent a $254 million dollar loss for the state of Illinois alone, plus an estimated 3,500 jobs. The proposal collapsed under its own political weight and was never adopted, but you can bet the farm, it will reappear annually under the auspices of Paul Ryan and company. Incredibly, Ryan was one of the Obama appointees to the commission.
GME funding has politically ping-ponged between the parties in the last few years. The White House fiscal year 2015 budget requests (pandering to the right) read like a kaleidoscope of jumbled numbers that say one thing and eventually do another. The positives include just over $800 million for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). This specific money enables under-served communities to gain 15,000 primary care providers. But, upon further examination, these “providers” are not all docs. In fact, I doubt a majority of them will be med school grads. Most of the doctors are likely to be very young and just coming out of residency. I suspect patients already in the program are serviced, first and foremost, by nurse practitioners (the future of medicine) and physician’s assistants who are certainly educated and hardworking, but fall far short of the medical knowledge of the average doctor. And looking at the Health and Human Services website, there may even be a problem in getting enough of them for this idealistic venture. It must be pointed out that Nurse Corps Rural Recruitment has been at their job for years in supplementing the NHSC, but the need remains great.
A new GME program would get a $5.23 billion bump over the next 10 years. HOWEVER, the George Washington School of Public Health and Health Services ferreted out the small print of the budget that unearthed the fact that two existing programs are included in the calculation. Both are gone after FY 2015. And, in even smaller print, Medicare’s ‘indirect’ GME payments will actually be reduced by $14.6 billion over the next 10 years. Not $60 billion to be sure, but that cut will be devastating to both doctors and patients.
With this continued political shortsightedness, American medicine will be in critical condition any day now.
There’s a solution. It’s at your nearest polling place.

How Extreme Isolation Warps the Mind

Depriving people of human contact, or of sensory stimulation, can have profoundly dismal effects on human beings. Whether one is in solitary confinement, a solo adventure, or a laboratory, most deprived people will encounter strange changes in their psyches and their bodies alike.
We’ve known for a while that isolation is physically bad for us. Chronically lonely people have higher blood pressure, are more vulnerable to infection, and are also more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Loneliness also interferes with a whole range of everyday functioning, such as sleep patterns, attention and logical and verbal reasoning. The mechanisms behind these effects are still unclear, though what is known is that social isolation unleashes an extreme immune response – a cascade of stress hormones and inflammation. This may have been appropriate in our early ancestors, when being isolated from the group carried big physical risks, but for us the outcome is mostly harmful.

Yet some of the most profound effects of loneliness are on the mind. For starters, isolation messes with our sense of time. One of the strangest effects is the ‘time-shifting’ reported by those who have spent long periods living underground without daylight. In 1961, French geologist Michel Siffre led a two-week expedition to study an underground glacier beneath the French Alps and ended up staying two months, fascinated by how the darkness affected human biology. He decided to abandon his watch and “live like an animal”. While conducting tests with his team on the surface, they discovered it took him five minutes to count to what he thought was 120 seconds.
But that’s nothing compared to the hallucinations. Read about a range of effects isolation and deprivation can have, from both experiments and real life situations, at the BBC.

Why Do We Age?

Gray hair, memory loss, wrinkles and brittle bones, sooner or later, each of us gets old (if we're lucky). Yet scientists tell us that there is no evolutionary reason for us to age.
So, why do we age?

Daily Comic Relief


Witch Doctors in East Africa Arrested in Albino Killing

An albino woman in Africa was murdered so that her body parts could be used in magic spells. And she's not the only one.

Man Calls 911: "Where Can I Get Some Marijuana?"

Let's say that it's early in the morning and you're in the mood to get stoned. But you don't have any marijuana on hand. What do you do? Well, obviously, you should call 911. That's what one man in Washington County, Oregon did on May 1. Here's a selection from the transcript:
Man: Where can I get some marijuana?
911: Excuse me?
Man: Where can I buy some marijuana this morning?
911: Do you realize you called the police department?
Man: No I didn’t. That’s very interesting. Well, let me ask you the same question. (long pause) It’s a legitimate question.
911: Which question is that?
Man: Where can I buy some marijuana this morning?
The dispatcher said that she didn't know where he could get marijuana. The caller politely thanked her and hung up. Later, Hillsboro police visited him.
I can easily imagine this as a reference question at a library. In fact, if I was a professor at a library school, I'd use this question in a role-playing session while teaching reference interviewing.

SC woman fires shot at friend to test his bulletproof vest but she misses, and he’s dead

Kelly Ann Taylor A South Carolina woman shot and accidentally killed a friend while testing out his bulletproof vest.
Sheriff’s deputies in Anderson County said the victim, 26-year-old Blake Wardell, had been hanging out in a garage with about eight to 10 friends early Wednesday when they decided to try out the Kevlar vest.
Investigators said 18-year-old Taylor Ann Kelly fired a shot at Wardell’s chest but missed the Kevlar.
The victim’s friends performed CPR until paramedics arrived about 2:45 a.m., but Wardell was pronounced dead at the scene.
Kelly was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter, which carries a possible five-year prison term, if she’s convicted.
Deputies said they found no evidence of heavy alcohol or drug use.
A judge set bond for Kelly at $10,000.

Intoxicated mother whose baby fell from stroller pleaded guilty

A mother from Tomball, Houston, pleaded guilty on May 19 to felony charges of child endangerment.
Sandra Luann Grohmann, 29, was arrested by the Humble Police Department on April 22 after she was reportedly pushing her baby while drunk along a Humble roadway which caused the child to fall out of the stroller. In a plea bargain arrangement, Grohmann pled guilty and was sentenced to 180 days in state jail.
Humble PD was first called to the scene by witnesses at around 6pm who had allegedly seen Grohmann pushing her baby in stroller in a grassy median. “The witnesses saw Grohmann pushing the stroller about five feet away from the roadway when she fell for the first time partially knocking her unrestrained child out of the stroller,” Humble Police Detective Sergeant Mike Flynt said after the April arrest.
“She then tried to get back up and put the baby back in the stroller when she fell again causing the baby to fall all the way out of the stroller and roll into the grass. She then tried to get back up, falling for the third time.” Humble PD, at that time, determined that Grohmann was intoxicated and that the child was in imminent danger since she was pushing the baby in a stroller, unrestrained, close to a busy roadway.

Police search for clown and monkey who robbed bank

West Virginia State Police are searching for two suspects who robbed a bank in Hardy County while dressed as a clown and a monkey.
At 11:04am on Wednesday two people robbed the Capon Valley Bank in Baker. One was a man with a stocky build, wearing a clown mask with orange hair and a large cloth night gown. He had brown hair under the wig.
The other suspect, possibly a woman, had a slender build and wore a brown monkey mask. Police say the smaller suspect had what appeared to be a firearm. After stealing an undisclosed amount of money, the two left the bank in a blue Chevy Malibu.
At 11:16am, Hardy County Sheriff’s Department Deputy J. Vetter, located the suspect's car on fire. The car had been stolen from the Malloy Ford Dealership in Winchester, Va. West Virginia State Police are leading this active investigation.

Alligator helped catch car theft suspect

An alleged car theft suspect has been arrested on the Treasure Coast in Florida. Port St. Lucie police say Calvin Rodriguez was targeting certain makes and model vehicles and that Rodriguez was finally captured thanks, in part, to an alligator.
Investigators say Rodriguez is responsible for stealing at least five cars. Rodriguez was said to be using 'shaved keys' that would open the doors and start the engines of Honda and Acura vehicles.
Police finally spotted Rodriguez in a Honda Civic. They say he sped off but was stopped in his tracks when the stolen car collided with an alligator.
"It's pretty unimaginable that police officers would be at that point in time looking for these suspects and that an alligator unfortunately just happens to cross the road and assist us in catching these criminals," said Det. Keith Boham. Rodriquez is facing five counts of Grand Theft Auto. The condition of the alligator that was hit is unknown.

Coming Tomorrow

Coming Tomorrow
  • HADES searches for Dark Matter
  • Comet Theory doesn't explain cold snap at end of Ice Age
  • Particles near absolute zero do not break the laws of physics after all
  • Hedonistic motives may drive people to drink alcohol + energy drinks
And more ...
This maned wolf is our Animal Picture, for today.