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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.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Daily Drift

With the thermometer in the 90 degree plus Fahrenheit range with the humidity % to match around here - Fido has the right idea  ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   

For those interested: In World Cup play The Netherlands bested Australia 3-2: Chile bested Spain 2-0 and Croatia bested Cameroon 4-0 in play on the seventh day of the tourney. Spain's loss mean they are out of the tourney - so it was a quick two loss in a row exit for the reigning World Cup Champions.

Garfield ... !
Today  is  - Garfield the Cat Day

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

Some of our reader today have been in:
The Americas
Milpitas, Oquirrh, Shoreham, Venetia, Monticello and Hastings, United States
L'ancienne-Lorette, Ottawa, Edmonton, Saint John's, Vaughan, Vancouver and Montreal, Canada
San Jose, Costa Rica
Chihuahua and Mexico City, Mexico
Bogota, Colombia
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium
Neuchatel, Switzerland
Crawley, England
Poznan and Sobotka, Poland
Cercola, Milan, Ivrea and Ravenna, Italy
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Dublin, Ireland
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Rouen, France
Nuremberg, Germany
Mazarron, Torrent and Madrid, Spain
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Kolkata, New Delhi, Tiruchchirappalli, Pondicherry, Suratgarh, Hyderabad and Udaipur, India
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The Pacific
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Today in History

240 BC Eratosthenes estimates the circumference of Earth using two sticks.
1778 General George Washington's troops finally leave Valley Forge after a winter of training.
1821 The Ottomans defeat the Greeks at the Battle of Dragasani.
1846 The New York Knickerbocker Club plays the New York Club in the first baseball game at Elysian Field, Hoboken, New Jersey.
1848 The first Women's Rights Convention convenes in Seneca Falls, New York.
1861 Virginians, in what will soon be West Virginia, elect Francis Pierpoint as their provisional governor.
1862 President Abraham Lincoln outlines his Emancipation Proclamation. News of the document reaches the South.
1864 The USS Kearsarge sinks the CSS Alabama off of Cherbourg, France.
1867 Mexican Emperor Maximillian is executed.
1885 The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York City from France.
1903 The young school teacher, Benito Mussolini, is placed under investigation by police in Bern, Switzerland.
1919 Mustafa Kemal founds the Turkish National Congress at Ankara and denounces the Treaty of Versailles.
1933 France grants Leon Trotsky political asylum.
1934 The National Archives and Records Administration is established.
1937 The town of Bilbao, Spain, falls to the Nationalist forces.
1942 Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrives in Washington D.C. to discuss the invasion of North Africa with President Roosevelt.
1944 U.S. Navy carrier-based planes shatter the remaining Japanese carrier forces in the Battle of the Marianas.
1951 President Harry S. Truman signs the Universal Military Training and Service Act, which extends Selective Service until July 1, 1955 and lowers the draft age to 18.
1958 Nine entertainers refuse to answer a congressional committee's questions on communism.
1961 Kuwait regains complete independence from Britain.
1963 Soviet cosmonaut, Valentia Tereshkova, becomes the first woman in space.
1965 Air Marshall Nguyen Cao Ky becomes South Vietnam's youngest premier at age 34.
1968 Over 50,000 people march on Washington, D.C. to support the Poor People's Campaign.
1973 The Case-Church Amendment prevents further U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia.
1987 The U.S. Supreme Court voids the Louisiana law requiring schools to teach creationism.
1995 The Richmond Virginia Planning Commission approves plans to place a memorial statue of tennis professional Arthur Ashe.

Non Sequitur


This repugican Thinks White People Are The Only ‘Traditional’ Americans

To the eternal shame of North Carolinians this ass is in our statethom tillis

In a story posted by Daniel Strauss of Talking Points Memo on Tuesday, Thom Tillis, North Carolina’s State House Speaker and repugican nominee for US Senate, did an interview in 2012 where he suggested that Hispanics and blacks are not ‘traditional’ Americans. While being interviewed by Chris William of the Carolina Business Review, the conversation steered towards racial demographics and the challenges the repugican cabal faces in the near future. Tillis said that the cabal needs to do a better job of reaching out to minorities. He also feels that the repugican cabal’s principles of limited government and reliance on the free market are ones that many minorities should embrace.
However, at the same time, Tillis appeared to bemoan the fact that the percentage of whites in the population, in both North Carolina and the US, is shrinking while the Hispanic and black populations are growing. (Fact: While the Hispanic population rate has been growing for a while now, the percentage of blacks in the population has remained steady.) Tillis then claimed that white Americans are the “traditional population” of North Carolina and the United States and that the repugican cabal needs to reach out to the future voters, who aren’t part of that “traditional” demographic.

And here is the transcript of the relevant point of the discussion via Talking Points Memo:

William: Let’s start fairly broad with the repugican cabal. You watch— and probably see many more— polls than I do or we do in general. When you watch what’s happening in presidential politics. When you see this shift that Hispanics used to be in the repugican cabal and now they’re clearly on the other side of the aisle —when you see all of these things that have transpired, what do you think about? what is going on in the repugican cabal?
Tillis: Well I think it has more to do what’s going on in the demographics of this country and recognizing that and then having a platform and a message that resonates. If you take a look, you mentioned the Hispanic population —the African American population, there’s a number of things that our party stands for that they embrace. I think we have to do a better job of communicating it. I think we have to do a better job of being out there in between elections, garnering support for the things that we’re trying to advance. And I think that we need a focus on limited government and free markets which is something that’s appealing to everybody. That kind of work will position us for those growing sectors. The traditional population of North Carolina and the United States is more or less stable. It’s not growing. The African American population is roughly growing but the Hispanic population and the other immigrant populations are growing in significant numbers. We’ve got to resonate with those future voters.
TPM reached out to the Tillis camp to see if the wannabe Senator had anything to say in response to this. The response from Tillis’ communications director was laughable.
“”Traditional” North Carolinians refers to North Carolinians who have been here for a few generations. A lot of the state’s recent population growth is from people who move from other states to live, work, and settle down in North Carolina. Thom Tillis for example.”
Sorry. That is NOT what Tillis said at all. He specifically pointed to both African Americans and Hispanics and compared them to the “traditional” population of the state and country. This had nothing to do with people who have lived in North Carolina and everything to do with Tillis’ views on race in the state and nation as a whole. Essentially, he thinks only white people are real, salt of the earth Americans. Anyone else is just an ‘other,’ which is probably why he’s been so forceful in trying to get voter suppression laws on the books in North Carolina.
It remains to be seen if this will greatly effect the US Senate race. Tillis is matched up with incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan. Polls show that the race is a toss up, and repugicans are hoping to flip this seat in their quest to take over the majority in the Senate. However, much like 2012 with Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin, and 2010 with Sharon Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Joe Miller and Ken Buck, the repugicans might see easily winnable seats slip out through their fingers due to bad candidates saying idiotic things.

SC DMV refused license to teen until he removed makeup

qwertyhj A teenager in South Carolina was refused his driver's license because he "did not look the way a boy should."
Chase Culpepper, 16, ultimately removed his makeup in order to get the photograph taken. The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund is supporting his request for a reshoot, but the DMV in Anderson, S.C. remains an unrepentant gender policeman.
Spokesperson Beth Parks told reporters that employees were correct to refuse a license to Culpepper.
"He’s male, he needs to look like a male,” said Parks, pointing to a policy against altering one's appearance to "misrepresent his or her identity."
"Chase’s freedom to express his gender should not be restricted by DMV staff," said TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman in a press release. "He is entitled to be who he is and to express that without interference from government actors."
"Forcing Chase to remove his makeup prior to taking his driver’s license photo restricts his free speech rights in violation of state and federal constitutional protections," said Silverman.
"This is who I am and my clothing and makeup reflect that," Culpepper said. "The Department of Motor Vehicles should not have forced me to remove my makeup simply because my appearance does not meet their expectations of what a boy should look like. I just want the freedom to be who I am without the DMV telling me that I'm somehow not good enough."
I have to wonder, how on Earth does a DMV have the time to be faffing around with this sort of thing? Is it some kind of luxury DMV? This is supposed to be the one branch of government properly trained in not giving a fuck

The Gitmo 30 and the impeachment of the shrub

If wingnuts are furious about the Taliban prisoner exchange that freed Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the members of Team shrub are absolutely frothing at the mouth. Writing in the Washington Post, former shrub speechwriters Michael Gerson and Marc Thiessen suggested that at best, President Obama does not have the attitude that "we will fight you as long as you fight us" and, at worst, "is surrendering to the Taliban." Echoing the demands of the likes of Allen West and Faux News regular Jeanine Pirro that Obama be impeached, the shrub's last Attorney General Michael Mukasey declared that the "wholesale release of dangerous people" would merit removal from office.While not surprising from people who have been advocating the impeachment of Barack Obama for five years, the statements are nevertheless more than a little ironic. After all, under the shrub more than 500 detainees were released from Guantanamo Bay. And when the Supreme Court upheld the habeas corpus rights of the U.S prisoners there in June 2008, the shrub junta and its repugican allies issued dire warnings about the "Gitmo 30" who had already returned "to the kill."
The Gitmo 30 sound bite dates back to the summer of 2007, when the Pentagon released its own study to counter an analysis by Seton Hall professor Mark Denbeaux which questioned the intelligence value of Al Qaeda and Taliban personnel held by the U.S. The New York Times said the DoD assessment "paints a chilling portrait of the detainees," and quoted Pentagon spokesman Jeffrey Gorden on one of its key findings:
    "Our reports indicate that at least 30 former Guantanamo detainees have taken part in anti-coalition militant activities after leaving U.S. detention," he said. "Some have been killed in combat in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

Bobby Jindal's Outrageous Betrayal Of Louisiana

by Manny Schewitz

A Country Implodes

ISIS Pushes Iraq to the Brink
A Country Implodes: ISIS Pushes Iraq to the Brink
The terror group ISIS has occupied vast portions of Syria and Iraq in the hopes of establishing a caliphate. The jihadists' success lays bare Iraq's disintegration and could ignite yet another civil war between Shiites and Sunnis in the country.  More

Ten Tips To Beat The Odds At A Casino

Hit any casino floor and you'll find hundreds, if not thousands, of people placing their hope for a better life down on the table, alongside their gaming tokens, hoping to strike it rich but typically leaving with less money than when they arrived.
However, if you enjoy gambling at casinos despite the monetary risk there's hope for you yet, as these Ten Tips To Beat The Odds At A Casino from gambling insider Bill Zender (via Mental Floss magazine) will reveal.
Tricks like singling out the clumsiest dealer, finding an older roulette wheel and betting on the biased numbers, and always knowing when to say when will keep you from losing your shirt when the house is trying to pick your pockets clean before you leave.

India's Quest to End World Hunger

Miracle Crop 
by Philip Bethge
 Miracle Crop: India's Quest to End World Hunger 
 Over one third of humanity is undernourished. Now a group of scientists are experimenting with specially-bred crops, and hoping to launch a new Green Revolution -- but controversy is brewing.  More

Top Jobs and Athletes

Former athletes finish first in race for top jobs

Whether you were a quarterback or point guard, past participation […]


Three ways that economic figures are misused in politics
Financial Times economist Tim Harford writes about how "three sensible propositions from economics have somehow been crumpled into a mess of public relations and politics" -- how the misleading precision of economic forecasts can be used to paper over purely political decisions, making them seem to be objectively true:
The first is that opportunity costs matter. Time, money and attention that are poured into something cannot also be lavished on something else. For this reason it’s good to get a sense of how much a proposal is likely to cost and what the benefits might be. But the cost-benefit figures often convey a sense of certitude that is absurd: they are only as solid as the assumptions and forecasts that go into them.
The second proposition is about reducing everything to money. It follows from the first: if you are going to compare the costs and benefits of different things, you need some common unit of measurement. This unit doesn’t have to be money. It is just as true for the UK Treasury to say that independence will cost every Scot the equivalent of one knickerbocker glory a fortnight. But money is a more convenient yardstick than an ice-cream sundae.
The third proposition is that it’s worth paying special attention to spillover costs and benefits. In arguing over HS2, the fantastically controversial proposal to build a faster railway line between London and Manchester, people speculated over the value to passengers of a faster journey. Economics suggests that’s the last thing we should fret about, because passengers can make those benefits known by buying tickets. It’s the costs and benefits for those who don’t buy tickets that need more scrutiny.


We've always suspected that people who pick up languages easily are smarter than the rest of us, but does this hold up to scientific scrutiny?

Life Inside Russia's Secret "Closed" City

Secrets have been pouring out of Russia like water through a sieve ever since the Iron Curtain collapsed, making it easy to disregard any newly discovered "secrets" as just another batch of sensationalized snack-sized news bites, but in the case of Russia's secret "closed" city Zarechny it's far too surreal of a story to ignore.
Zarechny is one of 44 cities which didn't officially "exist" under Communism- they weren't on any map, they were home to over a million people yet the rest of Russia's citizens had no idea about these cities until knowledge of their existence was revealed to the public in 1986, and now they're slowly but surely being opened up to the outside world.
Photographer Ksenia Yurkova traveled into the forbidden zone known as Zarechny to snap some amazing pics for The Calvert Journal, and her first indication that Zarechny wasn't like other cities came upon entering the city, which is surrounded by a chainlink fence topped with barbed wire and requires a pass to enter.
Once home to "secret government strategic facilities", today Zarechny is home to Rosatom, a "state-owned corporation that manufactures parts for nuclear weapons". Sounds totally legit to me!


For a country supposedly obsessed with dieting and thinness, most Americans say they're neither overweight nor trying to lose weight.

Stress and Memory Loss

Stress hormone linked to short-term memory loss as we age

A new study at the University of Iowa reports a […]

Brain Tumors and Uncontrollable Laughter

Doctors report the case of a young girl with incurable laughter, which turned out to be from a brain tumor.

Egyptian Epidemic

Dig reveals bodies covered with a thick layer of lime, three kilns where the lime was made, and evidence of a giant bonfire containing human remains.



The Treehouse In The Lake

Treehouses are usually in trees, but this house in the lake is pretty darned amazing even if the only trees are hidden away in the bridge. The Treehouse Solling of Germany sits about 14 feet above the water's surface, offering a great view of the fish, critters and flowers of the forest.
Inside, a number of beds and benches make the site cozy, while ample storage makes it a practical place to stay and an impressive skylight makes for incredible stargazing even on chilly nights.
Check out more pics of this great vacation spot over at Homes and Hues: A Treehouse That Springs From A Pond

'Twin' Tornadoes

Separate twin tornadoes, such as the ones that devastated Nebraska on June 16, are extremely rare occurrences. 

Earth's Most Abundant Mineral

Scientists for the first time have gotten a glimpse of an elusive mineral, inside a 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite, and have named it bridgmanite.

Extroverts a No-No for Mars

As NASA focuses considerable effort on a mission to send humans to Mars, psychology researchers are looking at what types of personalities would work the best on such a long trip.

Moon Bumps and a Two-Faced Mystery

Earth's gravitational pull is so powerful that it creates a small bulge on the surface of the moon.
Heat radiating from the young Earth could help solve the more than 50-year-old mystery of why the far side of the moon, which faces away from Earth, lacks the dark, vast expanses of volcanic rock that define the face of the Man in the Moon as seen from Earth, researchers say.
Scientists finally have an answer for why the front and back sides of our shiny lunar sidekick look so different.

Daily Comic Relief


One Last Trip to the Forest

After a long illness, Ed was diagnosed as terminal, and was referred to Evergreen Hospice of Kirkland, Washington. He confided to their chaplain that he longed to see the outdoors again, because he’d been inside for several years. See, Ed had been a forest ranger, a job he dearly loved. Chaplain Curt Huber contacted the Snohomish County Fire District in Edmonds, to see if they could help.
In March, Curt and the RN Case Manager, Leigh Gardner, accompanied Ed and several members of the Snohomish County Fire District on an outing to Meadowdale Beach Park in Edmonds. Ed was picked up and transported in the EMS vehicle; other members of the fire department traveled in a fire truck.

Together, the group took Ed up and down the trails, bringing him the scents of the forest by touching the fragrant growth and bringing their hands close to Ed’s face.
Ed was delighted. So were all the professionals who accompanied him.

Couple surprised to find 3-foot-long ball python hiding in couch

python Two Long Island residents, a married couple, were cleaning a recently vacated basement apartment when one removed a couch cushion and discovered a Ball Python, shown here.
The Suffolk County SPCA said the non-venomous critter belonged to the former tenant, and that another tenant upstairs had agreed to care for it, but it got loose. Ball Pythons are legal to own in New York, and no charges were filed.

Butt Breathing

Breathing technique may be an important survival mechanism for species such as the Eastern painted turtle and the Australian Fitzroy river turtle. 

Animal Personalities

Is your personality more like that of a cockroach or an elephant? Find out after reading our list of animals with qualities comparable to those of humans.

Animal Pictures