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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, May 30, 2014

The Daily Drift

Par-tay ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 199 countries around the world daily.   

Can you smell the Magnolias ... !
Today is  - Mint Julep Day

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Today in History

1416 Jerome of Prague is burned as a heretic by the Church.
1431 Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by the English.
1527 The University of Marburg is founded in Germany.
1539 Hernando de Soto lands in Florida with 600 soldiers in search of gold.
1783 The first American daily newspaper, The Pennsylvania Evening Post, begins publishing in Philadelphia.
1814 The First Treaty of Paris is declared, returning France to its 1792 borders.
1848 William Young patents the ice cream freezer.
1854 The Kansas-Nebraska Act repeals the Missouri Compromise.
1859 The Piedmontese army crosses the Sesia River and defeats the Austrians at Palestro.
1862 Union General Henry Halleck enters Corinth, Mississippi.
1868 Memorial Day begins when two women place flowers on both Confederate and Union graves.
1889 The brassiere is invented.
1912 U.S. Marines are sent to Nicaragua to protect American interests.
1913 The First Balkan War ends.
1921 The U.S. Navy transfers the Teapot Dome oil reserves to the Department of the Interior.
1942 The Royal Air Force launches the first 1,000 plane raid over Germany.
1971 NASA launches Mariner 9, the first satellite to orbit Mars.

Non Sequitur


Editorial Comment

We here at Carolina Naturally have been conducting an experiment with daily thematic posts for the past couple of months as are older readers know.
There has been positive results overall.
However, certain themes were more difficult than others to fill out the daily postings for as a consequence we have decided to return to the original mode of daily postings albeit with a twist.
Beginning tomorrow we will continue to post thematic daily postings on the schedule that has been established over the last two months in the context that each day's posting shall be varied with the lion's share of the variances being that day's 'theme'.
To wit, Sunday will still be mostly Science posts - Monday will remain Open - Tuesday will still be Political - Wednesday will stay about the Earth - Thursday will retain it's History - Friday will go to the Animals and Saturday will be Wild and Free.
This change will make Carolina Naturally more timely with it's postings (and make it easier on the volunteer staff submitting pieces for posts and the editors in editing and posting the blog).
Thank you for being Carolina Naturally readers.

Yareta, The 3,000 Years Old Plant

These rocks on the highlands of the Andes looks like they are covered with moss. Actually, they are a type of flowing plant known as Yareta and it lives in colonies which can be thousands of years old.
Yareta is a flowering plant that grows in the cold Puna grasslands of the Andes in Peru, Bolivia, northern Chile, and western Argentina. To survive the extreme conditions, Yareta grows in packs so dense that its stems can take the weight of a human. The plant keeps close to the ground in order to retain as much heat in as possible.

Top Species of Year Named

Among the latest species called out by an international committee of taxonomists are skeleton shrimp and snails you can see through. 

Top 10 Animal Myths and Mysteries Explained

Animal and insect behaviors are helping to explain the origin of many popular myths and mysteries.

Dog to lose testicles after being attacked by woman

A dog will have to be castrated after it was attacked by a woman in Bodmin, Cornwall. Alfie, a two-year-old Springer Spaniel had to be put on a drip after the vicious attack on the Beacon nature reserve. The animal also received throat injuries and bruising after it was kicked and whipped with a lead by the woman. Alfie’s owner, Keren Northcott, who is now facing a vet’s bill of £350, has reported the attack to police, who are appealing for information. The attack happened on May 9 between 5.30pm and 6pm, when Alfie tried to mount the woman’s bitch while it was on heat. Ms Northcott, who was with her daughter at the time, said the woman went berserk. “Alfie was beside me, when her dog came bouncing up to us. Alfie could sense she was on heat and they both ran off together.
“The next thing I knew the woman was trying to separate them. She was yanking his collar really hard, lashing out with her lead and kicking my dog. He spent a day in the vets on a drip, and his testicles were so badly injured he will have to be castrated now. The woman also injured his windpipe by pulling at his collar, and now he can’t bend down to eat and I have to feed him by hand." She said her dog was now on antibiotics and three further trips to the vets were still needed to treat Alfie.
Ms Northcott described the woman as in her late 30s, early 40s, with dark hair in a ponytail and her dog as a small, young, black and white collie-cross bitch. “I do hope the police manage to catch this woman. But I also want to appeal to owners to keep their dogs on leads if their bitches are on heat," she said. A police spokesperson said they would like to hear from anyone with information about the dog owner responsible.

Raccoon survived six-story fall during rescue from building

A raccoon that fell six storys from the exterior of the Rose Street Market building in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan, on Tuesday survived the fall.
"After a couple seconds, it was amazing, he got up and seems to be fine," Animal Services Enforcement Officer Deborah Themins said. Kalamazoo County Animal Control received a call about the raccoon at around noon from someone who had seen the animal on a balcony. When Themins arrived on scene, she said she attempted to remove the animal and it "shot up the building."
"It climbed like Spider-Man," Themins said. "Then it couldn't climb up any further because it had climbed up the brick and the top of the building is smooth." Themins said she called the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety for assistance and shortly after an aerial ladder truck arrived. Then, Themins and a rescue worker were lifted toward the raccoon in the basket.
She said she managed to get the raccoon into the noose, but then something went wrong. The raccoon got scared and violently resisted. "I was somewhat successful until he pushed himself out and fell to the ground," Themins said. Themins said the raccoon, who some people are calling "Lucky", appears to have suffered a punctured lung as a result of the fall and has been transported to Circle D Wildlife Refuge in Vicksburg.

Controversy after store caught selling wolfskin rugs

An upmarket furniture shop in Norway has outraged animal rights activists after it was caught selling wolfskin rugs - despite the fact that the wolf is an endangered animal in the country. The rugs were on sale for 27,800 Norwegian kroner (£2,800, $4,700) each.
Ingunn Lund-Vang, from the animal rights organization Country People for Wild Animals (Bygdefolk for Rovdyr) attacked the shop as 'completely unethical and abusive'. "There are no fur farms for wolves so either the wolf was shot somewhere, or it may be from abroad, where it is permitted to hunt wolves with a foot trap," she said.
 "This is a barbaric trapping method that involves hours of pain for the animals. If so, it's even worse." Ruben Amundsen, Mobelringen's general manager, on Sunday moved rapidly to diffuse the scandal, apologizing immediately. "We have now removed the skin, and it will never be for sale in the shop again," he said.
He said that he had bought the wolf skins, which had been imported from Canada, at a design fair in Oslo. The skins' importer, Erik Garthus, said that the trade was "perfectly legal", stressing that the animal had been shot, not trapped. According to Norway's wildlife research organization Rovdata, the country's wolf population is now down to less than 37 animals, leading some to fear that the animal could soon be extinct.

Adorable bear cub charms police in Oregon

Oregon Police Host Orphaned Bear Cub
Police in southern Oregon held an unlikely suspect overnight: an adorable black bear cub.
Myrtle Creek Police Chief Don Brown says a teen boy and his parents dropped off the cub in a large plastic storage bin at the police station Monday. The teen found the small animal whimpering in the bushes outside his house on the outskirts of town.
He told police the bear's mother was nowhere in sight.
Still, Brown said it was dangerous for the teen to pick up the cub, because the mother bear could have spotted him and attacked. Adult female black bears can weigh up to 300 pounds.
The 12-pound cub was "very well behaved" while spending the night at the station, Brown said.
Police and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials looked for the cub's mother the next day using a device that mimics a cub distress call, but couldn't find her.
The orphaned cub is now at the University of Oregon receiving a veterinary checkup. Fish and Wildlife officials said the cub is a female and is in generally good health, other than being underweight.
They said the cub will be placed at a zoo, but they didn't yet know which one.
Oregon is home to 25,000 to 30,000 black bears. Myrtle Creek, 90 miles south of Eugene, has an abundance of wildlife, the police chief said. Residents often call authorities about bear and cougar sightings.
"We've had two baby rattlesnakes brought into the station, but nobody has brought in a bear in the last nine years I've been here," Brown said.
Wildlife officials say they do not know what happened to the cub's mother. Spring bear hunting season kicked off April 1 in Oregon, but it's illegal to kill sows with cubs that are less than a year old.
Officials say no dead bear has been found in the area, no hunter has reported killing one, and there have been no reports of a bear being hit by a car.

Bear that kept getting stuck in trees eventually rescued by firefighters

Firefighters in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, have eventually removed an elusive black bear down from a tree.
The bear was first spotted in a tree in Broken Arrow on Thursday where he sat for more than 17 hours before making his way a couple miles away to a new tree on Friday. (Video).
He was found on Friday afternoon and before he could climb any higher, a game warden was able to shoot him with a tranquilizer dart. The bear quickly fell asleep and became wedged between the branches of the tree.
Broken Arrow Fire Department arrived on scene with its ladder truck and were able to get Chester the bear, as he's been named, down. They had to trim the tree in an effort to reach him. After a health screening, Chester will be released back into the wild.

White peacock devoured by zoo's polar bear

One of two polar bears at Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna, Austria, stunned onlookers over the weekend by devouring a white peacock which flew into its enclosure.
The pair of polar bears only arrived at the world's oldest zoo a fortnight ago to take up residence in the newly completed compound. Both are two years old. Female, Lynn, had come from Holland, the male, Ranzo, from Finland.
Visitors were shocked to witness Lynn demolish the hapless bird, leaving nothing but a couple of feathers, before retiring for an afternoon nap. Peacocks are free to roam throughout the grounds of the former imperial menagerie.
It appears the unfortunate bird had taken a shine to the bear's new enclosure during the two and a half year construction period, and clearly had no idea its new residents weren't vegetarians.

Zebras Travel 311 Miles in Longest Migration in Africa

Zebras break the record for longest known terrestrial migration in Africa, beating out wildebeest for the top spot.

Police officer decided against pursuing deer that allegedly committed numerous traffic violations

A police officer from Norwood Police Department in Massachusetts filed a report on Sunday about a deer that had committed numerous traffic violations. The deer had apparently veered over double yellow lines, into the lane of approaching traffic.
When the officer motioned for the offender to pull over, “the violator abruptly turned left, (without signalling) and fled up Berwick Place.”
According to the report, there being nothing other than traffic violations, the officer decided not to pursue in the interest of safety. The officer concluded with: “I radioed a description and direction of travel last seen.”

No this is not an alien species...

This is in fact a herd of Gerenuk, an antelope species found in East Africa.



Ancient DNA ends Aussie claim to kiwi origins

Eavesdropping on Bees Reveals State of the Environment

By translating bee speak and then eavesdropping on honeybee communications, researchers are able to monitor large tracts of land without even breaking a sweat.

Spider Fangs Make Perfect Injection Needles

Toothy barbs are perfectly suited for piercing the skeletons of prey and delivering a kiss of venom, a new study finds.

The biomechanics behind amazing ant strength

The biomechanics behind amazing ant strength

A recent study into the biomechanics of the necks of […]

Purple jellyfish with multiple mouths could be new species

Scientists believe a bright purple jellyfish covered in tiny mouths that has washed up on a beach in Queensland, Australia, could be an undiscovered species. The extraordinary color of the creature has baffled marine experts, who are now trying to determine the species, which sadly died during analysis.
"It's straight out of science fiction," said marine biologist Dr Lisa Gershwin. "It's an electric, vibrant, ‘wow’ purple." She said the tentacles, or oral arms, were about a meter long and covered in microscopic mouths. Lifeguards on the sunshine coast found the jellyfish at Coolum beach on Wednesday morning and handed it over to scientists at nearby Underwater World.
Gershwin believed the jellyfish could be a thysanostoma, but said the species was normally brown or beige. "It begs the question, if it's such a vibrant, different color, what other features does it have?" Gershwin, from the CSIRO marine and atmospheric research center, said. The plot thickened on Thursday, with pictures emerging of a second specimen from Ballina in northern New South Wales.
Dr Gershwin said it was possible the jellyfish had arrived in Australia in the ballast of a ship. If it is a species known as a thysanostoma, it could have come from the Red Sea, Malaysia or the Philippines. ``The reason we haven’t been able to progress this is because the literature is in German and from the 1800s,’’ she said. ``No work has been done on this since then. I’m getting the papers translated by a native German speaker. We need to find out if it’s new to science and, if it is, why it hasn’t been seen before. If it’s not from here, we need to work out where it came from and how it got here.’’

Humpback whale subspecies revealed by genetic study

Humpback whale subspecies revealed by genetic study
A new genetic study has revealed that populations of humpback […]
Humpback whale populations across the world may actually be separate subspecies, a new genetic study reveals.

Daily Comic Relief


Turtle stolen from library

Children visiting the public library in Fall River, Massachusetts, this week are being told that Franklin the Turtle is on vacation. “He means a lot to everybody who’s ever met him and held him,” said Dorothy Sorel, a library volunteer who has been feeding Franklin and taking him outside on walks for the past six years. “I just want him back,” Sorel said on Tuesday as she fought back tears. An unidentified man stole Franklin from his tank in the library’s children’s room just before closing time on Saturday. 
Police and library staff said the man hid in a corner until staff and patrons left at 5pm. “He literally just blended in. He made himself nondescript,” said David Mello, the library’s supervisor for children’s services. A surveillance camera in the library recorded Franklin’s theft. After everyone left the children’s room, the man crouched along the bookshelves, twice looking into a hallway to see if anyone was coming, before he took Franklin from his tank, hid the box turtle underneath his sweatshirt and walked out of the library.
“He was real ninja-esque,” said Mello, who was working on Saturday and said he did not notice the suspect, who had lingered around Franklin’s tank as he pretended to look through children’s books nearby. At one point, surveillance footage shows the man even stroked his chin for a few minutes as he looked directly at the tank, as if trying to figure out how he would get away with the heist. “His intentions were clear,” Mello said. “This is what he wanted to do, all for a turtle.” Mayor William Flanagan declared the man who stole Franklin to be the “Grinch of the city.”

“It’s shameful that a grown man would steal a pet turtle from the children’s room of the Fall River Public Library,” Flanagan said. “This heinous crime really broke the hearts of the children that loved Franklin. I urge anyone who knows or recognizes the individual to contact the FRPD, and I strongly urge this individual to return Franklin unharmed to the Fall River Public Library and to turn himself in,” Flanagan added. Franklin, who was donated to the library by a young boy more than 13 years ago, is estimated to be 14 or 15 years old, and police said he is valued at about $80. But for the library’s staff, volunteers and especially the children who visited him, Franklin was an invaluable member of the community.

Crocodile injured by falling accountant

A performing crocodile sustained injuries after being squashed by a portly circus accountant on a roadtrip between Murmansk to Severomorsk in northern Russia on Tuesday.
The two-meter-long crocodile was peacefully snoozing on the floor when the tour bus hit a bump in the road, triggering an unfortunate chain of events that caused a 120-kilogram (19-stone) female accountant to be thrown onto the crocodile and said crocodile to vomit for several hours afterwards.

Both reportedly sustained shock and minor injuries. But the crocodile, named Fedya, apparently fared worse than the accountant. He vomited for three hours after the accidental full body slam, though a medical examination found he was clear of any internal injuries.
Fedya had to skip a performance that had been scheduled for later in the evening, however. The accountant, whose name was withheld, was issued a formal reprimand for neglecting to wear a seat belt.

Meet a Dino That Survived the Mass Extinction

Its name might be a tongue-twister, but Leikupal Laticauda has vaulted into the upper reaches of dinosaur stardom. Why? Because it lived after almost nothing else did. 

The strange history of the grand-daddy dinosaur

This image explains how Megalosaurus, a large carnivorous dinosaur that probably looked similar to a T. Rex, almost ended up with the deeply embarrassing taxonomic name of Scrotum humanum.
Joe Hanson at It's Okay To Be Smart has more on the name that would have gotten Megalosaurus beaten up in dinosaur junior high for sure. But there's also some really interesting history surrounding how this particular dinosaur's presumed body shape changed between its discovery in the 18th century and today.
Found at the very early end of the age of dino digging — so early that its fossils were first mistaken for the remains of Roman war elephants — the earliest reconstructions of Megalosaurus are an object lesson in how modern expectations can skew how we see ancient bones. Like Iguanodon, it was originally conceived as a squat, four-footed, lumbering creature — like a cross between a monitor lizard and medieval illustrations of dragons. The depiction worked because the proto-paleontologists of the time didn't have any complete skeleton, had few other dinosaurs to compare Megalosaurus to, and what bones they did have could be configured in any number of ways ... depending on the viewers preconceived biases about what a giant, lizard-esque monster "should" look like. This is one of those Wikipedia entries that's definitely worth reading.


X-Rays Shine New Light On Mystery 'Bird'
Is it a bird? Is it a dinosaur? Or something in between? The feathered limbs of Archaeopteryx have fascinated palaeontologists ever since Charles Darwin's day. Only 12 of these curious creatures have ever been found.
Now these precious fossils are going under the glare of a giant X-ray machine - to find out what lies buried beneath the surface. Using a new 'camera obscura' technique - inspired by Leonardo da Vinci - scientists have captured some of the clearest ever images of Archaeopteryx.

Coming Tomorrow

Animal Pictures return!