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.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Daily Drift

True  ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   

For those interested: In World Cup play Uruguay bested England 2-1: Colombia bested Ivory Coast 2-1 and Japan and Greece played to a 0-0 tie in play on the eighth day of the tourney.

Soar ... !
Today  is  - American Eagle Day

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

Some of our reader today have been in:
The Americas
Cochabamba, Bolivia
Santiago, Chile
Azusa, Boronda, Escondido and Lenexa, United States
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Managua, Nicaragua
Tlalpan, Mexico
Bogota, Colombia
Abbotsford, L'ancienne-Lorette and Provost, Canada
Madrid, Mazarron and Torrent, Spain
Nesoddtangen, Norway
Lindfield and Woking, England
Swansea, Wales
Lodz and Warsaw, Poland
Muenchen, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Eschborn and Hamburg, Germany
Reykjavik, Iceland
Vilnius, Lithuania
Ruse, Bulgaria
Sigtuna, Sweden
Naples, Ivrea and Settimo, Italy
Orange, Rouen, Paris and Velizy-Villacoublay, France
Vladivostok, Moscow and Ryazan, Russia
Tampere, Finland
Brussels, Belgium
Dublin, Ireland
Vinice Sumice, Czech Republic
Athens, Greece
Frederiksberg, Denmark
Bucharest, Romania
Nahavand, Iran
Doha, Qatar
Islamabad, Pakistan
Kolkata, Cochin, Jodhpur, New Delhi, Mumbai, Pondicherry and Delhi, India
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalm
Bangkok, Thailand
La Dagotiere, Mauritius
Rehovot, Israel
Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Homagama, Sri Lanka
Singapore, Singapore
Pontianak, Medan and Jakarta, Indonesia
Semey, Kazakhstan
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Tunis, Tunisia
Lagos, Nigeria
Al Jizah and Cairo, Egypt
Harare and Shurugwi, Zimbabwe
The Pacific
Sydney, Australia
Agoo, Philippines

Today in History

451 Roman and barbarian warriors halt Attila's army at the Catalaunian Plains in eastern France.
1397 The Union of Kalmar unites Denmark, Sweden, and Norway under one monarch.
1756 Nearly 150 British soldiers are imprisoned in the 'Black Hole' cell of Calcutta. Most die.
1793 Eli Whitney applies for a cotton gin patent.
1819 The paddle-wheel steamship Savannah arrives in Liverpool, England, after a voyage of 27 days and 11 hours–the first steamship to successfully cross the Atlantic.
1837 18-year-old Victoria is crowned Queen of England.
1863 President Abraham Lincoln admits West Virginia into the Union as the 35th state.
1898 On the way to the Philippines to fight the Spanish, the U.S. Navy seizes the island of Guam.
1901 Charlotte M. Manye of South Africa becomes the first native African to graduate from an American University.
1910 Mexican President Porfirio Diaz proclaims martial law and arrests hundreds.
1920 Race riots in Chicago, Illinois leave two dead and many wounded.
1923 France announces it will seize the Rhineland to assist Germany in paying her war debts.
1941 The U.S. Army Air Force is established, replacing the Army Air Corps.
1955 The AFL and CIO agree to combine names for a merged group.
1963 The United States and the Soviet Union agree to establish a hot line between Washington and Moscow.
1964 General William Westmoreland succeeds General Paul Harkins as head of the U.S. forces in Vietnam.
1967 Boxing champion Muhammad Ali is convicted of refusing induction into the American armed services.
1972 President Richard Nixon names General Creigton Abrams as Chief of Staff of the United States Army.
1999 NATO declares an official end to its bombing campaign of Yugoslavia.

Non Sequitur


President Obama Expands Marine Sanctuary to World's Largest

President Obama announces the expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument from almost 87,000 square miles to nearly 782,000 square miles.

Did you know ...

That sales of luxury goods fall in China
Does sex work beat working for wal-mart?
The people who got us into the Iraq mess in the first place have earned the right not to be listened to again
About the dangers of a world without net neutrality
That the DEA is accused of obstucting research of marijuana benefits
That war gear is flowing to police depts
About the c-words anti-choicers don't understand
That Fukishima's children are dying
We need to end mass incarceration now
About these 5 wingnuts who are still mad that women got the vote
The Secret Service wants software that can detect sarcasm on social media
That Denver crime falls 10% in the wake of pot legalization
That the 'ready for hillary' campaign backs down from legal action against parody t- shir
This new report shows how privatization is leading america on a race to the bottom
Just what in the hell made evangelicals come out of the closet?
About what's lost as hand writing fades
About glenn beck and the box of dildos
How about a lifetime ban on lobbying for law makers?
The tea party nuts go nuts over California bill requiring verbal consent for sex

Do Other Countries Really ‘Hate’ Obama as the wingnuts Claim?

Barack-Obama-e1392231845858Oh, how they hate Obama. I mean ‘hate’ with a capital “H.” We’re talking about most of the world’s population. I know this animus to be true because the wingnut echo chamber led by wildly overpaid, radical talk show hosts, Faux News, and pollsters tell me so, relentlessly.
Tracking this hate back to just after the shrub departure, a compilation of a wigged-out wingnut sites and others of a similar mien continuously examine the premise, why the world “Hates” Obama or euphemistically, U.S. “leadership.” One of the president’s shortcomings is apparently his refusal to fight every muslim nation on the planet. Whenever he doesn’t send your son or daughter to a far-off land to get butchered for essentially local civil-religious wars and multi-national oil interests, he’s accused of being an appeaser. His Nobel Peace Prize is held in total contempt by the warmongers. Trying to prevent needless deaths is perceived as “hostility to American power.”
Many of these statements are by some guy named Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow and a professional hater with the so-called “Freedom Center.” Greenfield is always promoted as being on the cusp of writing a book about the most recent alleged administration snafu consuming his small band of paranoids. I haven’t seen any best seller titles as yet, but I do spot a few largely ignored hate-pieces aimed at anything or anybody to do with the Obama administration. The Center was founded by former commie, David Horowitz, who has prospered nicely by pocketing a large percentage of his supporter and underwriter’s money (the Olin and Scaife Foundations among them). His salaries have approached a half-million annually for which he appears to do very little. Hate PAYS!!!
The latest Greenfield project is strongly opposing amnesty for young, undocumented Hispanics in the U.S. who are deemed responsible for more guns and gang violence. More guns? Your uncle Bubba has more firepower in his basement than all of Compton. Uh, Dan, the causation of gang violence is socio-economic. You see, when a group of people is repressed and not given the oppor…oh, never mind!!!
Other Obama-bashings include: His administration is a rolling disaster and “He’s failed from sea to shining sea.” A Pew Research Center survey is referenced that since 2009, favorable attitudes toward the U.S. had slipped everywhere in the world except Russia and Japan. American (read Obama)-hating surveys and lists are always appearing in assorted right-wing rags including the Wall Street Journal. “The 9 countries that hate us the most. The 10 countries that hate us the most. The 5 countries that hate us the most.” A sampling from assorted lists from last year includes Pakistan, Jordan, Palestinian territories, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, China, Argentina, Tunisia and Lebanon. Well, I guess I would agree with Tunisia, where the infamous “Arab Spring” took flight. Egypt would fluctuate with political and nationalist’s winds. Turkey, as Obama-basher is total nonsense. Anyone who has visited or has been stationed in that country would absolutely agree that the Turkish population is very friendly toward Americans.
If Congress would tell the American people the truth, they would be forced to concede that Turkey was a major player in the reason for the Benghazi attack as the late Ambassador Stevens, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar met multiple times in secret to plot moves against certain Middle East governments.
If the Greeks hate Obama, they sure hide it well. Hard economic times can blip up a poll, but hate Obama? Not a chance. China can’t afford to hate the president with their huge investment in the U.S. and vice-versa. China’s young population is growing more Americanized by the day.
The presence of Jordan on the list is absurd beyond absurd. Historically, the late King Hussein, who was married to an American by the way, was one of the great leaders of modern times, balancing the interests of numerous bellicose allies and enemies alike. Upon assuming his leadership role that he was to hold for 46 years before his 1999 death from cancer (treated in the U.S.), Hussein single-handedly pulled his countrymen up by their bootstraps and by any civil and social measure, improved the lot of Jordanian citizens enormously.
Current leader, King Abdullah the second, recently spent a few days in Washington, hitting Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and the State Department before meeting with President Obama at Rancho Mirage for some statecraft and a weekend of golf for the president. Amendments to Jordan’s anti-terrorism law were passed a couple of months ago, calling for the criminalization of any Jordanians associated with terrorist groups. Japan, hating Obama? What misleading tripe. Pakistan may indeed think ill of the president from time to time, but, as in every other instance of Mid-East hatred referenced in these polls, it all depends upon whom you ask. Is it a representative sample? Is the poll random or targeted? And who is paying the pollster for desired results? Is there anything easier to manipulate than a poll? The answer (not counting viewers of Faux News) is a resounding, NO!
When I hear anything come out of a Rupert Murdoch (News Corps-owned property such as the Wall Street Journal, I immediately dismiss the findings and their special interests irrelevancy.
A Gallup poll naming most of the above countries was done in cooperation with the Meridian International Center. The shrub’s former Commerce Secretary, Carlos Gutierrez, who was a driving force behind the Central America Free Trade Agreement, now heads Meridian. CAFTA’s endless negatives are accurately and comprehensively listed here at a website called “Global Exchange.”
Let’s get to the objective truth of who “hates” Barack Obama. My daughter, an International Law Attorney, just returned from The Hague. She was a U.S. delegate to the “Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH).” Members from every corner of the globe gather to discuss and occasionally act on such esoteric ‘conventions’ as treaty considerations of Service, Evidence, Access to Justice, Enforcing Judgments and drafting Handbooks. It lasts a few days and participants not only tend to the business at hand, there’s plenty of time to interact and socialize. There are representatives of the most important of the 76 official member countries and an additional 68 signatories to one or more of the Hague conventions. These people don’t need partisan push-polls to accurately read the political tea leaves of their citizenry.
My next observation is anecdotal and not at all scientific, but it’s way closer to the truth than Gallup and their global power-mad running partner, Meridian. Here is my daughter’s assessment of the attendee’s feelings about U.S. President Obama. Quote: “They love him.” No qualifications. Everybody she talked to loved Obama. Conversely they unanimously expressed something largely ignored by many of these international polls and certainly on Faux and the talk shows. They all still harbor a deep hatred of the shrub.
It’s important to know that my daughter is largely apolitical. I hadn’t even thought to suggest the question of Obama to her before she left. But she’s as close as I’ll get to objective and she’s chocked full of integrity and honesty. She didn’t give me the answer she thought I wanted to hear; she just passed on the truth.

The repugicans Claim Benghazi Suspect Capture Is A Distraction

You’ve Got To Be Kidding! 

The way repugicans and wingnut media reacted to this good news, which also provided proof that the President is adhering to his promise to bring those responsible for the attack…

Tuesday morning news came out that United States officials had captured Ahmed Abu Khattala, one of the Libyan militants suspected in the Benghazi terror attacks that took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. After announcing that Khattala was in custody, the White House reiterated its promise to find and try those responsible for the attacks. Khattala had actually been captured on Sunday by US special forces and has since been held in an undisclosed location. He will be brought back to the United States to face charges.
The way repugicans and wingnut media reacted to this good news, which also provided proof that the President is adhering to his promise to bring those responsible for the Benghazi attacks to justice, shows that they have collectively lost their minds due to that most deadly of afflictions, Obama Derangement Syndrome. Wingnuts, who have been screaming at the top of their lungs for almost two years that everything the President does is a distraction from Benghazi, claimed on Tuesday that the capture of a suspect in the Benghazi attacks is a distraction. Yes, you read that right. Now Benghazi is the distraction!
First off, we have Allen West. The former one-term repugican congresswimp and tea party darling has been in the front of the pack when it comes to highlighting President Obama’s attempts to distract the public from Benghazi. He’s claimed that the attention given the Boko Haram kidnappings were nothing but a White House distraction. West stated that the Donald Sterling situation was meant to distract the public from Benghazi. According to West, the President is now using Benghazi to distract from his “other nightmares.” However, going back the last 18 months or so, every little thing that the President commented on West claimed to be a distraction from Benghazi. It must be nice to live in Lunaticwingnutistan, when you never have to prove your right on anything. Instead, you merely have to hate the President and blame him for everything.
West was hardly alone on Tuesday, though. Over at Faux News, the nitwits there both downplayed the news and provided commentary suggesting this was either a distraction or a way to help Hillary Clinton’s book sales. On Faux News’ panel of hate speech show Outnumbered, contributors Kennedy (of MTV fame) and Peter Hegseth both suggested that Clinton’s book tour and potential 2016 Presidential run provided the impetus for Khattala’s capture and this news being broken now. Faux News anchor Jon Scott also questioned the timing of the capture and wondered if the United States could have brought in Khattala at any time but decided to wait for the most politically advantageous moment.
Of course, El Lushbo had to chime in and offer his two cents. Lush Dimbulb not only claimed that the timing was peculiar, but that Obama would make Khattala claim that the anti-mulsim video that sparked protests across the Middle East was the cause of the Benghazi attacks, therefore ‘vindicating’ the administration.
LUSH: Folks, anybody want to bet me that this Benghazi suspect, at some point — they’ve captured the militia leader, leader of the Benghazi attack — anybody want to bet me that sometime this week he will admit that the Internet video is what made him so mad that he rounded up his buddies and began the assault on the consulate? I am just going to tell you, I’m not going to predict that, but I want to go on record here on June the 17th making it very clear that, if that does happen, I, for one, will not be surprised in the least. It would fit perfectly, ’cause — grab sound bite 21. Let me upset the applecart.
I guess we shouldn’t be surprised by any of this anymore. Still, just because you expect this to happen on a daily basis, does not mean that it should be acceptable in any possible way. All this behavior does is keep viewers and listeners in a constant state of angry confusion and perpetually agitated at the President. To feed this perpetual hate machine, wingnut media and repugicans in Washington have to constantly complain about the President and blame the White House for anything and everything. Even if it is contrary to what they said a week ago, or it just plain doesn’t make any sense.

Dick Cheney Rewrites History And Blames Iraq Violence On Obama In Disgusting Op-Ed

Dick Cheney, along with his daughter Liz, penned an unbelievable piece of retcon tripe for the Wall Street Journal where they claimed that Obama lost the war...
Dick Cheney Sneer

I think we all knew this was coming. Since the flare up of sectarian violence in Iraq, the cheerleaders and architects of the War in Iraq have taken to the airwaves and opinion pages to criticize President Obama over his decision to withdraw all troops from Iraq in 2011. (Never mind that the withdrawal agreement was signed by the shrub before Obama ever took office.) Over the past few days, we’ve seen neocon chickenhawks such as Bill Kristol, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton step to the podium to attack the current administration for its handling of Iraq. Needless to say, they’ve all blithely dismissed their own roles in selling a disastrous war whose only outcome appeared to be chaos and disorder of the kind we are seeing.
However, the one person we hadn’t heard from yet was Dick Cheney, the chief architect and liar when it came to the Iraq War. The wait is now over, as Cheney, along with his daughter Liz, penned an unbelievable piece of retcon tripe for the Wall Street Journal where they claimed that Obama lost the war that was already won, while at the same time positioning Dick Cheney as a hero. It is hard to imagine that one would have the audacity to write something like this, considering his own role in selling a lie and reassuring the American people that the war would only last a few weeks, yet here we are.
Right away, the Cheneys set the tone, claiming that President Obama is never right and that he is completely ineffective as a leader:
Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many. Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is “ending” the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—as though wishing made it so. His rhetoric has now come crashing into reality. Watching the black-clad ISIS jihadists take territory once secured by American blood is final proof, if any were needed, that America’s enemies are not “decimated.” They are emboldened and on the march.
Of course, per Dick Cheney, he is seen as a respected statesman in Iraq, and people keep asking him why the President abandoned the Iraqi people rather than keep a ‘residual force’ in the country forever. The obvious inference here is that the Iraqi people see Cheney as a ‘liberator’ and that the President wasted all the goodwill that the United States built up with a nearly decade-long war.
On a trip to the Middle East this spring, we heard a constant refrain in capitals from the Persian Gulf to Israel, “Can you please explain what your president is doing?” “Why is he walking away?” “Why is he so blithely sacrificing the hard fought gains you secured in Iraq?” “Why is he abandoning your friends?” “Why is he doing deals with your enemies?”
In one Arab capital, a senior official pulled out a map of Syria and Iraq. Drawing an arc with his finger from Raqqa province in northern Syria to Anbar province in western Iraq, he said, “They will control this territory. Al Qaeda is building safe havens and training camps here. Don’t the Americans care?”
Just in case the point hadn’t been hammered home enough that Obama doesn’t care about Iraq or take his job as President seriously, the Cheneys toss in some 8th-grade level insults (my guess is this was Liz’s contribution to the article.)
Our president doesn’t seem to. Iraq is at risk of falling to a radical Islamic terror group and Mr. Obama is talking climate change. Terrorists take control of more territory and resources than ever before in history, and he goes golfing. He seems blithely unaware, or indifferent to the fact, that a resurgent al Qaeda presents a clear and present danger to the United States of America.
Gotta get a dig at climate change in there. Good job!
Thankfully, this display of hubris mixed with a complete lack of self-awareness shaken with a dose of heartlessness and poured into a glass of douchebaggery was not lost on others Wednesday morning. Once the Cheneys objectionable and off-putting op-ed hit the stands and net, the attacks came from all sides.
Like I said when Bill Kristol got smacked down by John Heliemann for suggesting that we need to send tens of thousands of troops into Iraq for an indefinite period of time — if you were one of the ones responsible for getting the US into war, then you kindly need to sit down and stay quiet. You aren’t allowed to speak on this subject. Everything going on right now is the direct result of your actions and words. At this point, you need to be happy that you aren’t being tried as a war criminal and sentenced to death due to the destruction and decades of chaos you’ve brought forth. Just go away, never to be heard from again.

Tense Times As Supreme Court Could Rule In Favor Of Hobby Lobby’s Attempt To Rule By Religion

It turns out that the Greens are lying about more than just not wanting to impose their religious delusions on their female employees…
During the 2012 repugican presidential primary and general election campaign, Americans learned from various repugicans claiming christianity informed their policy positions that “lying for the lord” did not violate number nine of the ten commandments so long as it helped them garner electoral support. Apparently, godly mendacity is a cherished biblical trait permeating the extremist American evangelical population that Hobby Lobby’s owners have embraced in their pursuit of religious freedom to impose their perverse interpretation of biblical principles on all Americans. According to Hobby Lobby’s owners, the Greens, and the majority of so-called christians, their demand for comprehensive religious liberty is not about imposing bible dogmata on Americans, or in Hobby Lobby’s case its female employees, but just their constitutional right to circumvent laws they believe restrict their ability to freely exercise religion.
Americans mortified the Supreme Court is going to rule that corporations such as Hobby Lobby are not only people, but people who pray and worship a deity that gives them authority to impose their version of christianity on their employees and flout any law that offends their religious delusions, may remember that the Greens claimed they are only fighting to honor the lord and not push their religion on anyone. It turns out that the Greens are lying about more than just not wanting to impose their religious delusions on their female employees, they are spending hundreds-of-millions of dollars to push what they claim is the literal and historical truth of the bible on all Americans; including public school students. Besides a pubic-school biblical curriculum, the Greens are funding a giant museum near the Smithsonian as well as traveling public displays and forums teaching American sinners about the devout christian non-exisitant faith of the Founding Fathers.
Besides building a bible museum near the Mall in Washington with as much space as the National Museum of American History, the Green’s funded an ornate traveling religious exhibit replete with a conceptualized recreation of a holy land cave, a “Noah’s Ark experience” for children, and animatronic characters such as William Tyndale burned at the stake for translating the new testament into English. The Greens also sponsor “scholarly” bible studies and host historically inaccurate forums preaching christianity’s non-role in founding America they intend to package for national broadcast. However, the proof they lied about not pushing christianity on Americans is their multimillion-dollar attempt at bible curriculum intended for every public school in the nation. According to a source close to the Green family, the museum’s cost alone is estimated to be $800-million, and with the public school curriculum and traveling exhibits the family will spend about a billion of their $5 billion-dollar fortune.
The textbook for the first of four year-long public high school theocratic courses presents Adam and Eve as historical figures and “introduces god as ‘faithful and good,’ ‘gracious and compassionate,’ and includes a list of ‘curses for disobeying the Lord’ that warns students of defeat, fever, disaster, and panic in everything you do.” According to Hobby Lobby owner Steve Green speaking at the national bible coven last spring, “Our goal is to reintroduce this book to the nation that is in danger because of its ignorance of what god has taught. We need to know it. And if we don’t know it, our future is going to be very scary.” Steve Green said his dream and goal is for the bible curriculum to become a mandatory course for all high school students in spite of the persistent claim his family is not interested in pushing christianity on Americans.
The high school curriculum portrays the bible and its mythical cast of characters as historically accurate and unflinching force for good according to the executive director of the international society of biblical fiction, John Kutsko. However, Kutsko quite rightly said the Greens’ approach fails miserably to incorporate the latest biblical scholarship or acknowledge that the bible has played a role as a significant tool of oppression like the religio-wingnuts are doing in America, or recognize different religious viewpoints. Kutsko continued that the Green’s bible curriculum is “a simple, superficial, literal reading of the bible that’s inappropriate both in a public high school and in a private museum that by virtue of being adjacent to the Mall gives the impression that it’s almost a national museum.” The Greens cannot possibly say pushing christianity on the nation is solely about their, or their corporation’s, religious liberty without lying. A lie is a lie, and lying for the lord no more exonerates them for violating the ninth commandment than their hypocrisy in seeking Supreme Court authority to exercise religious freedom on their female employees that had to have been a revelation from god in 2012.
Prior to 2012 when Hobby Lobby’s owners concluded “religious freedom” meant controlling women’s reproductive health and sought Supreme Court authority to “exercise religious freedom,” they covered most of the disputed methods of contraception in their employees’ health plans they suddenly deemed violated their religious liberty in 2012. The Green family is so righteous and driven to honor the lord in all they do, that they invest in pharmaceutical companies that manufacture and produce IUDs, emergency contraceptives (Plan B etc), and drugs utilized during the performance of abortions their biblical sensibilities claim violate their religious liberty. Apparently, the Green’s have no problem reconciling funding production of contraceptive and abortion drugs with their deep-seated passion to “honor the lord” by appealling to the Supreme Court for religious freedom to control women’s reproductive health choices. It is another in a very long list of instances of evangelical hypocrisy that is a defining characteristic of the extremist christian movement they justify because it “honors the lord.”
The Green family has not sought the kind of publicity for their near-billion dollar effort to “christianize” America like they have with their corporate religious freedom case and the reason is clear; it decimates their assertion they have no interest in pushing their religious beliefs on “anyone,” much less their employees. Their hypocrisy in investing in pharmaceutical companies producing the same contraceptives and abortion drugs they claim their religious freedom prohibits their female employees having access to is only exceeded by the lie they are not imposing their religion on those employees. However, now that it is revealed they are willing to spend nearly 20% of their $5 billion fortune to push their religion on Americans with lies about the bible’s veracity as a historical document and key to America’s salvation, especially in public schools, they expose themselves as typical extremist evangelical liars.

Real gun shop robbed by fake-gun-wielding suspects

A gun store in El Cajon, California, was robbed by three masked suspects armed with a fake gun on Friday afternoon, officials confirmed. The robbery happened at around 2:15pm at Hiram’s Guns & Spirits.

Slippery-looking character got stuck in fish and chip shop's extractor fan while trying to break in

Police have charged a man who got stuck in a Christchurch, New Zealand, fish and chip shop's extractor vent while allegedly trying to break in. By the time he was freed, the 19-year-old was a "slippery-looking character", covered in oil from the vats, police said. Police were called to the Mr Fish and Chip shop in Papanui at about 2.30am, after neighbors heard someone shouting for help. Inside they found "an unusual situation" - a man wedged in the steel extractor vent above the shop's cooking vats, a police spokesman said.
"He'd been there, possibly, for several hours,'' Inspector Derek Erasmus said. The Fire Service was called to cut him out. Central Station Officer Omar Yusaf said fire fighters arrived to ''a pretty untidy scene''. The ''skinny chap'' appeared to have slid into the flue from the roof, but hit the motor on the way down. The motor had four stainless steel struts attached to it, one of which was lodged between the cheeks of his bottom. His legs were dangling above the shop's cooking vats, while his torso, head and one arm were trapped in the flue.
''One arm was by his head, one was by his hips. There was nothing to hold onto and nothing to push up from. He was really stuck fast. It certainly wasn't what I expected.'' Yusaf said the man was cold and sore. ''I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. I think he just wanted to be out of that pipe.'' The extrication took about 30 to 40 minutes. The flue was ''caked'' in grease about 2-3cm thick, so once fire fighters cut away the steel struts, ''he just drifted out''. The man's shoulder-length, curly hair was ''chocka'' with oil grease, Yusaf said.
'He said to me he was embarrassed. He was obviously really relieved to be out of there.'' He was not the only one. ''We were all covered in the same grease as him,'' Yusaf said. The firemen's uniforms and rescue gear had to be sent away for laundering. They binned their gloves. ''It was hilarious afterwards. It was certainly an unusual one,'' he added. The man was treated for hypothermia at Christchurch Hospital before being discharged. Police have charged the man with burglary and granted him bail to appear in the Christchurch District Court on Monday.

Couple rescued from dense rhododendron mountain forest after five hour ordeal

A couple in their 50s had to be rescued from a dense rhododendron forest after they became trapped in a "treacherous area" on an Irish mountainside. The five-hour rescue operation took place in the Knockmealdowns Mountains, which straddle the border between County Waterford and County Tipperary. The couple, who are experienced hill walkers, got into difficulty on steep ground overlooking Bay Lough on Sunday. One of the rescuers said the plants were "like an impenetrable jungle". Jimmy Barry from the South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association said the rhododendron forest was so thick and deep that people could not hear each other.
"It was horrendous - I have been a member of mountain rescue for 15 years and it was probably one of the most dangerous exercises or rescues I've been on," Mr Barry said. The couple had lost their way on a hillside that sloped down to a lake. The rescuers located them quickly and managed to get into a position no more than 400 meters away, but did not anticipate how difficult it would be to reach the couple through the dense vegetation. "We sent the first party of five in - I was in that party - and within 50 meters, we couldn't move. It was like a jungle and it was horrendous, because everything dies underneath rhododendron," Mr Barry said.
"And it was messy, we had to crawl through it, carry our gear and then try and locate the people as well." He said he had never seen his rescue team struggle so much among rhododendrons, and it took them two hours to walk about 350 meters. "We kept going," he said. "Two hours later we finally reached the two people inside the middle of the rhododendron forest, and then the fun began, because we had to decide how we were going to get out of it. We were 100 meters from the edge of the lake, so we decided to literally drop down through the forest," he added. The plant's dense foliage tends to block out sunlight and kill off surrounding vegetation. Mr Barry said this meant the rhododendron forest had produced very difficult terrain on the mountainside.
"It's regarded as a weed. It's not a native plant to Ireland or any part of the British Isles and they've just gone wild," he said. "It looks beautiful, but underneath it nothing of our native plants grows, and it's just horrible in there. Dangerous, because where it was growing on the side of the lake, it's very steep ground, so we were literally walking on rhododendron. We could look down through the rhododendron and see 10ft drops, 20ft drops and at the end we were looking at a 50ft drop, but we had to go down through it to get out." The couple and their rescuers eventually reached the lake where they were picked up by a boat and taken to safety. Mr Barry said the couple were not hurt but were "tired and very, very relieved". He added that his team was "exhausted" following the rescue. The multi-agency operation also involved Cahir River Rescue and the police.

How to turn .01 dollars into 9.5 million dollars

An incredibly rare 19th century postage stamp from British colonial Guyana shatters auction mark. 



Ten "Sci Fi" Medical Technologies that Lengthen Human Life and Its Quality

The introduction to Listverse's  "10 Sci-Fi Technologies Moving Us Closer to Immortality" reads,
"The average life expectancy is constantly rising as we improve our knowledge of medicine and the human body. We have eradicated diseases, discovered powerful treatments, and figured out how to fix ailments which would have once killed us. Now we’re accelerating even more rapidly in the practice of keeping humans alive, jolting toward something close to immortality with technologies that sound like they’ve been ripped straight from the realm of science fiction."
From growing new body parts to printing a human heart, read their list of medical marvels here.

Ice Cream Science

You're probably craving ice cream to cool you down this summer. Take a look at the chemistry involved in making the treat creamy and sweet. Turns out the creaminess of ice cream has little to do with cream. It's all about the ice crystals. The smaller the crystals, the creamier the treat.

YouTube link

What Fills The World's Cups

With the World Cup underway, let's take a look what slakes the thirst of these 32 countries, and help you to authentically celebrate your teams through their homelands' beverages.

5 Of The Addictions Most People Have

Are you one of those people who can't live without a wi-fi connection? Or maybe you can't wait for the time to watch TV after work, but at the same time you feel bad when leaving the office, right? Yes, you got it. There are things you are addicted to, consciously or even unconsciously. Here are 5 addictions that strike most people.

Dracula's Tomb Found in Italy?

Historians poke holes in a recent claim that Dracula's tomb was located in Italy.

Scientists Solve Small Part Of Genetic Mystery Behind Blonde Hair

From a first pass, hair color is a pretty simple trait. Basically, the more pigment you have in your hair follicle, the darker it is. Given how simple hair color is, it is surprising how complicated its genetics are. It turns out no one gene plays a dominant role in determining how much pigment you make.
Scientists at Stanford has figured out how a certain version of one small bit of DNA that goes by the name of rs12821526 makes it more likely for some Europeans to have blonde hair. Basically the 'blonde' version of this DNA can't bend as easily. The end result is that hair follicle cells can't read the kit ligand gene as well which means less pigment gets made.

Daily Comic Relief


Animals at zoo form unlikely friendships

Animals at the Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia are forming unlikely friendships. A rhino is living with donkeys and a lion cub is living with a poodle.

It all started when a 6-year-old rhino named Manuela became depressed after the death of her mate and became aggressive toward her caretakers. Zoo management searched for the perfect companions to make her feel at ease, which turned out to be a herd of donkeys.
They had tried putting zebras in her enclosure, but they only returned the aggression. Then they tried goats, which ran away. But the donkeys had an instant calming effect.

Zoo officials say the rhino even protects the youngest donkey when somebody enters their living space. Also, sharing the same living space is a black poodle and a white lion cub named Shumba. The two were raised together after the cub was separated from his mother.

Kayaker hospitalized following attack by upset beaver

A beaver jumped out of Irondequoit Creek, in eastern Monroe County, New York, and attacked a man in a kayak, knocking him into the water last Tuesday. The victim, Michael Cavanaugh of Lima, N.Y. is recovering after being treated in the hospital for bite wounds on his back and deep puncture wounds on his arm. He is also being treated for rabies as a precaution.

These Wildebeest Are Totally Lost And Confused

Hilarious video of a herd of wildebeest walking around and around and around a bush. Taken in Kruger National Park in South Africa.

The Peacocks Of Palos Verdes

Peafowl first came to the Palos Verdes Peninsula almost a century ago when Palos Verdes founder Frank Vanderlip received 12 birds as a gift. Now, there are hundreds. The birds roam streets and roofs in the city of Rolling Hills Estates. Some residents love the peafowl and some wish the city would take more control.

Thieving Chimps and African Farmers

The Gyspy Moth and the threshold of extinction

In the battle against invasive species, the scientists who are responsible for fighting off and, ideally, eliminating, the invaders have an unlikely ally mdash; the scientists who try to keep endangered species alive.
For decades, scientists have studied dwindling populations of endangered animals, trying to figure out how to keep them from going extinct. Along the way, they’ve learned a lot about what happens to a species that’s on its last legs, and what kind of situations can push those species over the line from endangered to totally wiped out.
But say that you are, instead, dealing with an invasive species — an animal that is not native your region and whose presence is upsetting the ecological balance. Turns out, it’s possible to intentionally set up the tipping-point scenarios and use them as a weapon against the animals you don’t want to survive.
Gypsy moths are a great example of this. While this species hasn’t been successfully eradicated in the United States, we have been pretty successful at holding it at bay, and that success is thanks to tricks learned from ecologists.
Entering without a visa
Gypsy moths came to the United States from Eurasia in either 1868 or 1869. That’s a much more specific date than we can give for the landfall of most invasive species, but gypsy moths are a strange case. Unlike the vast majority of invasive, we know exactly who brought them from overseas — Etienne Leopold Trouvelot, an artist from the suburban Boston area who was also an avid amateur entomologist. Among his bug-related interests: Starting an American silkworm industry.
Unfortunately, silkworms have a pretty limited diet, heavily favoring mulberry trees for their sustenance. Trouvelot came up with a great idea — cross the picky silkworm moth with the not-even-remotely-picky gypsy moth and maybe you’d end up with a much more hardy source of silk production. This plan went predictably awry when the gypsy moth larvae escaped his backyard breeding facility. Suddenly, the voraciousness that Trouvelot had prized became a big liability.
By the late 1880s, gypsy moths were devouring enough Massachusetts trees that the state launched the first eradication campaign against them. By 1900, that effort had failed so miserably that Massachusetts effectively gave up.
But if you look at the range of gypsy moths today, they only occupy 1/3 of their potential range in the US, said Andrew Liebhold, a research entomologist with the US Forest Service. In fact, there’s a huge gypsy moth barrier — a sort of insectoid DMZ — that stretches from Minnesota to North Carolina, effectively hemming in gypsy moths and trapping them in the land they already occupy.
Erected in 1998, it’s reduced the rate at which the moths spread by more than 50%. The barrier works by the same mechanism that drives many endangered species to extinction: Lack of ability to find a mate.
On the threshold
An extinction threshold is the minimum number of individuals necessary to maintain a species in the wild. The exact number differs depending on the species, its habitat, and how quickly individuals are dying off — it’s an equation, not an absolute number. But, over decades of studying endangered species, scientists have learned that every population has a threshold. If the number of individuals drops below the threshold, then the population is going to go extinct.
“One of the main drivers is mate finding,” Liebhold said. “At low population levels, for sexually producing animals, it becomes too difficult for males and females to find one another.” Basically, low enough population levels can create a vicious cycle where it becomes impossible to grow the population. The numbers stagnate, they fall, and then the species disappears.
When it comes to endangered species, ecologists spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to avoid letting populations drop below their threshold. With the gypsy moth, different scientists work equally hard at making sure it does.
The gypsy moth barrier zone is set with hundreds of thousands of pheromone-laced traps. The moths use pheromones as a means of communication. The chemicals are like a personal ad saying, “Hey there! I’d like to have sex with you!” As long as the traps remain empty, the scientists know that the barrier zone is gypsy moth-free (or, anyway, free enough). When the moths turn up in the traps, it’s a sign that an invasion is underway.
The scientists react by setting out even more traps and by spraying the mating pheromone over the area with a crop duster. It’s as if somebody released millions of friendly chatbots into one city’s OKCupid sphere. When most of the other profiles on the dating site represent actual humans, it’s reasonably easy to find a date in your neighborhood. But if there are suddenly way more fake accounts than real ones — and if those fake accounts engage you and distract you from seeking out the real people — then your chances of ever successfully getting laid go way down.
The moths make small incursions into new territory, but each time they do, the scientists make sure their numbers stay or fall below the extinction threshold. This way, researchers are able to keep gyspy moths inside a quarantine zone and away from vulnerable trees.
This technique won't work with all invasive insects. Scientists would love to use it against the Emerald Ash Borer, for instance, but can't because the ash borer's sex life isn't sufficiently dependent on pheromone signaling. But it’s a clever way to turn the tool of extinction thresholds into a weapon, and it's a good reminder that ecology isn't always a hippie-friendly, animal-hugging stereotype.

Dog Enjoys World Cup

Georges is a real football fan -and a real TV fan, too! He’s getting so much pleasure out of watching the World Cup games that you can’t help but get excited yourself! Georges really doesn’t care who wins, as long as he gets to watch the action. You can almost read his mind: “Throw the ball! Throw the ball! Throw the ball!” But it’s also true, not every dog is a soccer fan…

Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Hiccups?

...not this wolf pup! In fact, Nikai, the yawning, young wolf shown here, would likely be asleep if it wasn't for his hiccups!
Nikai is in the care of The Wolf Conservation Center (WCC), an environmental education organization and sanctuary located in South Salem, New York. A portion of the work done at the WCC helps preserve two critically endangered wolf species, the Mexican gray wolf and the red wolf, which are among the rarest mammals in North America. At one time, both species were completely extinct in the wild. Currently, there are approximately 400 Mexican gray wolves and 300 red wolves remaining in the world, the majority of which live in facilities such as the WCC.

Animal Pictures