Welcome to ...

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.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Daily Drift

Popcorn's still at it ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 199 countries around the world daily.   

Popcorn and his Still... !
Today  is  - National Moonshine Day

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

Some of our reader today have been in:
The Americas
Edmonton, L'ancienne-Lorette and Ottawa, Canada
Wenatchee, Carlstadt, Topanga, Pickerington and Lenexa, United States
Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Santa Cruz Do Sul and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Santiago and Providencia, Chile
Managua, Nicaragua
Madrid, Santa Cruz De Tenerife, Basauri and Torrent, Spain
Kongens Lyngby and Frederiksberg, Denmark
Sliedrecht and Amsterdam, Netherlands
Rouen and Paris, France
Katowice and Krakow, Poland
Van, Turkey
Ivrea, Naples, Venice, Perugia, Bari, Milan and Terlizzi, Italy
Valetta, Malta
Dresden and Eschborn, Germany
London, England
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lisbon, Portugal
Dublin, Ireland
Moscow and Ryazan, Russia
Oslo, Norway
Ruse, Bulgaria
Vilnius, Lithuania
Bratislava, Slovakia
Bern, Switzerland
Uppsala, Sweden
Athens, Greece
Hyderabad, Noida, Thiruvananthapuram, Delhi, Kolkata, New Delhi, Bangalore and Jodhpur, India
Ta'izz, Yemen
Tehran, Rasht and Tabriz, Iran
Kebon and Karangkecicang,  Indonesia
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Islamabad, Pakistan
Suwon, Korea
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Bangkok, Thailand
Shurugwi and Harare, Zimbabwe
Lusaka, Zambia
Abuja and Lagos, Nigeria
The Pacific
Auckland, New Zealand
Sydney and Brisbane, Australia
Sampaloc and Manila, Philippines

Today in History

1099 Members of the First Crusade witness an eclipse of the moon and interpret it as a sign they will recapture Jerusalem.
1568 Ferdinand, the Duke of Alba, crushes the Calvinist insurrection in Ghent.
1595 Henry IV's army defeats the Spanish at the Battle of Fontaine-Francaise.
1637 American settlers in New England massacre a Pequot Indian village.
1783 Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier make the first public balloon flight.
1794 The U.S. Congress prohibits citizens from serving in any foreign armed forces.
1827 Athens falls to Ottoman forces.
1851 Harriet Beecher Stow publishes the first installment of Uncle Tom's Cabin in The National Era.
1856 U.S. Army troops in the Four creeks region of California, head back to quarters, officially ending the Tule River War. Fighting, however, will continue for a few more years.
1863 The Confederate raider CSS Alabama captures the Talisman in the Mid-Atlantic.
1872 The Republican National Convention, the first major political party convention to includes blacks, commences.
1880 Wild woman of the west Myra Maybelle Shirley marries Sam Starr even though records show she was already married to Bruce Younger.
1900 British troops under Lord Roberts seize Pretoria from the Boers.
1940 The German army begins its offensive in Southern France.
1944 The first B-29 bombing raid strikes the Japanese rail line in Bangkok, Thailand.
1947 Secretary of State George C. Marshall outlines "The Marshall Plan," a program intended to assist European nations, including former enemies, to rebuild their economies.
1956 Premier Nikita Khrushchev denounces Josef Stalin to the Soviet Communist Party Congress.
1967 The Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt, Syria and Jordan begins.
1968 Sirhan Sirhan shoots Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy after Kennedy's victory in the pivotal California primary election.
1973 Doris A. Davis becomes the first African-American woman to govern a city in a major metropolitan area when she is elected mayor of Compton, California.
2004 Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan dies at age 93. Reagan was the 40th president of the United States.

Non Sequitur


Remarkable tale of lost Australian book that turned up 66 years later in New York bookstore

A book called Magic Australia, presented by wounded WWII veteran to his little girl and then lost, has worked its magic across the globe and the decades to find its way back home to her.
Betty Fowkes’s father, George Wardley, gave her the book as a present when she was 11, lovingly inscribing it: “To Betty, from Daddy. Christmas 1944.” Betty, now an 80-year-old great-grandmother, believes she lost the book about four years later when the family moved out of their home in the Northcote suburb of Melbourne, Australia.
Sixty-six years later, Ms Fowkes heard the author, Nuri Mass, mentioned on a radio broadcast, and asked her daughter, Liz Crooks, to look up the book. “For some reason the name rang a bell in my addled brain,” she said. Ms Crooks started hunting for a copy online to give to her mum.

Ms Crooks tracked down five first editions around the world. On further inspection through an American seller, New York’s Austin Book Shop, she realised it was the very same book originally given to her mother. It remains a mystery how the book found its way to a small bookstore in New York.

91-Year Old Woman Breaks Marathon Record

Harriette Thompson, 91, just completed a full marathon in San Diego. When she crossed the finish line after 7 hours, 7 minutes, and 42 seconds, she broke a record for the 90-94 age group. That's a pace of about 3.7 MPH. She smashed  the previous record, which was held by a 90-year old who completed the run in 8 hours, 53 minutes, and 8 seconds.
What's even more amazing is that Thompson did all of this after just completing cancer treatments. She still has radiation burns on her legs. She braved the 80°F heat anyway and completed her fifteenth marathon. And she's not done yet:
“If I’m still here next year, I think I’ll probably be able to train better and be in better shape,” Thompson said. “If I’m able, I’ll try again.”

Google Street View 'axe murder' solved

Officers from Police Scotland who were deployed to investigate an apparent murder in Edinburgh caught on Google Street View discovered the cold-blooded murderer and his lifeless victim were actually a pair of mischievous mechanics.
Garage boss and “murder victim” Dan Thompson, 56, who owns Tomson Motor Co in Giles Street, said he was “mortified” when uniformed officers turned up at the business to investigate reports of his death. Mr Thompson had lain on the road while his colleague Gary Kerr, a 31-year-old mechanic, stood over him with a pick axe handle after spotting the Google camera car from a distance.
However, a web user saw the images and police were alerted. Mr Thompson said: "By complete fluke I saw the Google car coming along the road but it had to loop the block so I had one minute to rush back inside the garage and set up the murder scene. There are pictures of men on Google flashing their bums but we thought we would be more classy.
"It seemed like the obvious thing to do so I threw myself on the ground and Gary grabbed a pick-axe handle from the garage. We had forgotten about it when the police arrived a year later. Two uniformed officers came down to the garage to interview us. They were treating it seriously at first – I was mortified because we didn’t want to waste police time. We explained to the police what we had done and they thought it was hilarious.”

Man attempting to simultaneously smoke cigarette and blow nose burned down house

A home in the community of Silver Valley in North Carolina was destroyed after officials say a house fire started when a man smoking a cigarette tried blowing his nose.
Officials said it happened at around 3am on Monday at a mobile home. Authorities said the tissue caught fire when the man smoking attempted to blow his nose.
He reportedly tried stomping it out, but couldn’t and the fire spread. Silver Valley fire officials said the home was fully involved by the time they arrived. A man and woman who lived there, both in their 60s, got out safety, officials said.
The fire was out by around 5am. The home is said to be a total loss. The fire marshall is investigating, although it is not said to be suspicious. The American Red Cross is assisting the victims.

Florida judge punches public defender

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Judge John Murphy. Do you want to fuck with Judge John Murphy? Public defender Andrew Weinstock did, and look what happened to him.
MURPHY: If I had a rock, I would throw it at you right now. Stop pissing me off! Just sit down! I’ll take care of it. I don’t need your help. Sit! Down!
WEINSTOCK I’m the public defender, I have the right to be here and I have a right to stand and represent my clients.
MURPHY: Sit down. If you want to fight, let’s go out back and I’ll just beat your ass.
WEINSTOCK: Let’s go right now.
They go outside
Incomprehensible yelling
I know it's beyond cliché at this point, but ... Florida.

Meet Slenderman ...

Two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls charged as adults in connection with stabbing of girl, 12 
The headline is striking in its own right, but the storyline was even more curious:
According to a criminal complaint, the girls had been planning to kill their friend for months and finally made the attempt in a park on Saturday morning, after a slumber party...
One of the girls told a detective they were trying to become "proxies" of Slender Man, a mythological demon-like character they learned about on creepypasta.wikia.com, a website about horror stories and legends. They planned to run away to the demon's forest mansion after the slaying, the complaint said...

The other girl said she sees Slender Man in her dreams. She said he watches her and can read her mind and teleport.
Basic information about Slenderman can be found  at Wikipedia, and also at What Culture:
Of course when Victor Surge first created him, he was just a creepy picture with minimal back story. Now he is a cultural phenomenon and terrorises the dreams and thoughts of many...  Now he has become a part of internet pop-culture. A tall man that lurks in the shadows with a blank face and dressed in a suit...
Myths are important to us and fundamental to our society. We always have to feel like there is something bigger than us, something unexplained. This is called “The Big Other’. It can manifest into religion, aliens, conspiracy theories, unexplained phenomenon and creatures... 
Being the complex creatures we are, we have started creating our own myths. We know Slenderman is fake. We know he isn’t standing behind us now right now. But I bet after an episode of Marble Hornets or playing a game of Slender, you still double check. As scary as you might or might not find him, you want  him to exist. We want our world to be a mystery and bigger than us. We need it to be. We need Slenderman.

Rock throwing lady with walking frame pepper sprayed by police

A lady with a walking frame was pepper sprayed by police after allegedly attacking her carer in Alice Springs, Australia on Sunday afternoon. A concerned citizen watched the indigenous woman, described as in her 50s or 60s fall to the ground in Gillen at about 2.30pm.
The witness believed the woman had been Tasered by police, but Alice Springs Watch Commander Siiri Tennosaar denied those claims. The witness said the woman was shaking and convulsing on the ground after “being Tasered”. “She was drooling out of her mouth - they could’ve killed her,” the witness said. “It was pretty brutal, really overkill.”
She was loaded into the back of the paddywagon until an ambulance arrived to transport her to Alice Springs Hospital (ASH). St John Ambulance Operation Manager Craig Garraway said he believes the woman had an altercation with a carer, and that she was carrying weapons. “I think she had knives - I’m not 100 per cent sure but police taking the action they took, she must have had weapons of some sort,” he said.
“She was throwing rocks, police tried to subdue her.” Mr Garraway did not believe her walking frame was the weapon in question. He said there was nothing wrong with her apart from a pre-existing medical condition, but she was transported to ASH for examination. Watch Commander Tennosaar refused to release a statement as it was a mental health matter.

Man allegedly lost wife in gamble over bottle of booze

Authorities in Bihar, eastern India, are flummoxed after a man allegedly lost his wife in a gamble for a bottle of alcohol.
The saga came to light after the woman contacted a women's helpline over the weekend. She told the authorities how a man had been calling her on her cell phone claiming that he was her new husband. The victim is a resident of Bihta town in Patna district.

“She [the victim] told us how a local man had been calling her on her mobile [phone] for some time claiming to be her new husband and threatening her with dire consequences if she did not talk properly with him whenever he called her,” the women's helpline project director Pramila Kumari said on Monday.
She added that an investigation had been ordered into the case. She also sought legal action against the accused if the incident was found to be true. The caller also informed her that her husband is a drunkard who always assaults her while under the influence of alcohol.

Bride and groom spent wedding night in cells after row with hotel staff

A bride and groom were still in their formal dress when they were held and taken to a police station after a fracas at the Hilton Hotel in Deansgate, Manchester. Officers were called to the hotel shortly before 11.30pm on Saturday night.
The couple became involved in a row with hotel staff as they tried to check in, and police were called. The groom, aged 25, was accused of attacking a security guard, cutting his face. The bride was accused of shouting racist abuse at the guards, who were Asian.

The groom was arrested on suspicion of a section 47 assault, with his 29-year-old wife being held on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offense. They were taken to a local police station where they were kept in separate cells, just a few yards apart, overnight. Nick Adderley, Chief Superintendent of Greater Manchester Police's North Division, said they were later bailed to a date to be arranged.
He said: "Police officers were asked to attend and we did so. We had to consider whether it was the right thing to do to arrest, but it absolutely was and I support the officers who made that decision. We can't have a situation where, regardless of what ceremony they have been to, people are being allegedly assaulted and racially abused."



Jacques Cousteau's grandson Fabien plans month underwater

NewImageFabien Cousteau, grandson of Jacques, is planning to spend 31 days underwater, beating his grandfather's record by one day while also celebrating Jacques Cousteau's research.
From NPR:
The underwater lab that's serving as the team's temporary home is called Aquarius Reef Base. The 81-ton steel structure is located 63 feet beneath the water's surface, according to the Mission 31 website. At that depth, Reuters reports, the water pressure is almost three times the pressure at the surface....
According to CNET, Cousteau will be accompanied by two technicians, who will be staying with him for the duration of the project. Two cameramen and four scientists also will be involved, but the lab only has room for three of them at a time; they will swap out halfway through.
The scientists will be observing the effects of climate change and pollution on the reefs around the Florida Keys. While the length of their stay is a bit of a publicity stunt, the ability to spend days or weeks underwater does have real value to scientists...
"Jacques Cousteau's Grandson Plans To Spend A Month Underwater"

9 Famous Geniuses Who Were Also Huge Coffee Addicts

Are you a coffee addict? If you suspect that you're going overboard with your coffee addiction, you're certainly not alone. In fact, some of the most successful and acclaimed human beings to ever walk the planet were totally, sometimes painfully, nuts for coffee.

10 Facial Reconstructions Of Famous Historical Figures

Why look at a painting of a historical figure when you can come face to face with one? Forensic facial reconstruction using scans of skeletal remains allows researchers to create 3D models of the face through a combination of science, history, and artistic interpretation.
The results may be somewhat subjective, but they're fascinating anyway. Here are 10 facial reconstructions of famous people.

Richard III was not a hunchback

The last Plantagenet king did have significant mid-thoracic adolescent-onset idiopathic scoliosis, but not enough to generate a "hump," as the video explains.
The attribution of a hunchback deformity is of course a legacy of pro-Tudor biases incorporated in Edward deVere's famous eponymous 16th-century play, in which Richard is described as a hunchback who is "rudely stamp'd," "deformed, unfinish'd."
Further information at Medievalists, where you can view a 3-D reconstruction of the spine.

Jem, The Truly Outrageous, Triple-Platinum '80s Rocker Who Nearly Took Down Barbie

Jem, the '80s girl-power cartoon rocker, is staging a comeback, via a new film - and unfortunately, male Hollywood studio execs may ruin her. Collectors Weekly looked into the real story of the beloved '80s icon, how she was born out of a drive to sell fashion dolls, and how Barbie thwarted her ascent to superstardom.

Random Photos

The Terraced Cemetery Of Pok Fu Lam

The private cemetery on Pok Fu Lam on the western side of Hong Kong island is an amazing sight. Built into the mountainside in terraced steps and interconnected with staircases, the cemetery resembles a giant outdoor amphitheater.
The Pok Fu Lam Cemetery was built in 1882. It was built from the higher contours and as the cemetery grew, it was expanded downwards towards Victoria Road. Today, a part of the cemetery lies beyond Victoria Road.

Brace for Record Heat as El Nino Approaches

Even a weak El Nino could hike global temperatures to record levels this year and into 2015

Why do hurricanes with female names have a higher death count?

Ed Yong has a great critique of the recent paper that suggests it's because latent sexism leaves us assuming lady hurricanes will be kinder and gentler. In it, he mentions an alternate answer to the above question that made me smile in its simplicity.
For a start, they analysed hurricane data from 1950, but hurricanes all had female names at first. They only started getting male names on alternate years in 1979. This matters because hurricanes have also, on average, been getting less deadly over time. “It could be that more people die in female-named hurricanes, simply because more people died in hurricanes on average before they started getting male names,” says Lazo.


The new substance will forever remain in Earth's rock record, researchers say.

Yes, The Death Star Was an Engineering Failure, But Not the Only One

The engineers of the Death Star get a lot of criticism for designing a moon-sized battleship that can be destroyed with a single shot in one vulnerable spot (assuming that you believe the official story). Many members of the design team have been unable to find professional employment and several have been sued into bankruptcy. This is largely because of a public misunderstanding of the nature of engineering on a project the scale of a Death Star.
Abstruse Goose makes an important point: every complex system, including the male human body, has vulnerabilities. Human testicles are outside of the body for an important reason: to keep sperm cells cool enough to remain viable. The Death Star had an exhaust port for a similar reason: to keep the station cool enough to remain operational within tolerances.
The Death Star was properly designed. It just wasn't properly defended.

Daily Comic Relief


Hubble Adds Ultraviolet to Epic Ultra-Deep Cosmic View

Astronomers have added an ultraviolet perspective to an ultra-deep field view of the universe taken by the Hubble Space Telescope over the past decade.

The Legend of the Devil Dog

Archeologists, digging in ruins of Leiston Abbey, Suffolk, UK, found the bones of dog buried 20 inches deep. The dog would have been around 200 pounds and could have been seven feet tall standing on its hind legs! It’s very possible that it was a reverent burial of a beloved pet, but then again, the grave could be associated with the legend of Black Shuck, a hellhound or demon dog. 
Black Shuck, Old Shuck, Old Shock, or Shuck is the name given to a medieval hellhound in England. This devil dog was said to have black fur, flaming eyes, sharp teeth and claws, and great strength. Locals described sightings of Black Shuck in graveyards, forests, and roadsides. Shuck’s most famous attack happened on August 4, 1577 at two churches in Blythburgh and Bungay in the English countryside.

During a storm on August 4, 1577, Black Shuck reportedly broke through the doors of Holy Trinity Church in Blythburgh, about seven miles from Leiston Abbey, and charged through a large congregation. It was during this attack that he allegedly killed a man and a boy, before the church steeple collapsed through the roof. As the hellhound departed, he left claw marks on the north door of Holy Trinity Church that are supposedly still visible today.
Black Shuck is not the only devil dog in European legend. Read about others at Atlas Obscura.

Police officers came to stretcher dog to safety after he got sore paws while on a hike

Fin, a 9-year-old lab mix and his owner Julia Jones had an adventure on Friday afternoon. “We took the dogs because we weren’t going to go on a crazy hike or anything,” Jones said. Jones and a friend went for a hike in the Sandia Mountains, near Albuquerque in New Mexico. When they were on their way back down, Jones says Fin wasn’t acting like himself. “I noticed that he started limping a little bit,” Jones said.
About three miles from the car, they kept pushing. “I took off my socks and put them on him and they didn’t really stay but I tried,” Jones said. It didn’t take long for Fin to give in. “I looked at his paws and the skin was completely ripped off of them,” Jones said. “He just laid down under a tree and wouldn’t come out.” Jones says they tried moving him, but the 90 pound dog was too heavy in the heat of the day. “I tried to carry him,” Jones said. “I tried to carry him and I couldn’t do it.” So she tried calling some friends and animal humane, but no one picked up. The city said they couldn’t do anything.
“So, I thought we’ll call the police,” Jones said. By using the GPS signal from Jones’ cell phone, Open Space officers with Albuquerque Police came to the rescue. “They gave the dog water and medical attention, put the dog on the stretcher and walked the dog back down to the campsite,” Officer Simon Drobik said. “They came out and rescued us,” Jones said. “I mean, they rescued him!” Fin was so tired, he didn’t even flinch once he was on that stretcher. “Open Space officers are highly trained for those types of rescues, animal rescues or human rescues,” Drobik said.
Fin is back at home now, the vet saying he’ll need to rest for about a week. “Thank you so, so much from the bottom of my heart,” Jones said to APD. “My dog is my baby and I didn’t know what was going to happen.” Jones says she and Fin have done that hike plenty of times before. She says if they do decide to go out again, she’s going to buy him some hiking boots of his own. Police say if you do venture out to explore the Sandias or other areas, take plenty of water and make sure you have a cell phone. They say without the GPS coordinates, this would’ve been a much tougher rescue.

Puppy drove car into pond

Rosie, a three-month-old German shepherd puppy is being blamed for driving a family car into a Massachusetts pond. Rosie's owner, John Costello, said he took her for a walk around Bolivar Pond in Canton on Sunday, then got into the car and started it in preparation for the ride home. That’s when the puppy jumped in with him.
"The dog jumped in and hit the gear shift and the car jerked and she fell on top of the gas pedal," Costello said. "It was just scary." Then, he said, his puppy drove the car into the pond. "The car went for a swim. We all did." "When the car first went into the water, I jumped out to grab the dog and she jumped into the back seat," Costello said. And that's when Eric Hermann, who was working nearby, rushed to help. "It was about 30 feet out the car," Hermann said.

"Puppy was scared and ran to the back seat. The front door was open, [we were] trying to get him out the front door, coax him." Hermann, Costello and another man all swam to save Rosie. "I just leaped in and grabbed the dog and pulled her out and we both fell back into the water," said Costello. The water level soon rose to be over Hermann's head. "By the time we got the puppy out, the car had slid and we had to do a little swimming," he said.
But they all made it safely to shore in the end. "I'm glad they were there cause if they weren't there, I don't know what I would have done," Costello said. The 911 call even surprised Canton police. "I've never heard of a puppy driving a car into a pond," said Officer Robert Quirk of the Canton police. Both the Canton police and fire departments arrived at the pond to help out, and remove the car from the water. Costello says the car, which is his his daughter's, is a total a loss, but he says he has insurance. As for Rosie, she's okay, and unaware of all the commotion she caused.

Animal Pictures